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Warpstock Bid Process

  1. The Warpstock Board of Directors

    Warpstock, Inc., a corporation incorporated in the State of North Carolina, is the legal entity sponsoring the annual Warpstock conference. Warpstock, Inc. is represented by the Warpstock Board of Directors (the Board). The purpose of the Board is to provide the continuity of management for the conference and to manage those aspects which transcend a single year.

  2. The Annual Event Team

    The Annual Event Team (the Team) is the group responsible for the annual Warpstock conference management. They are the group which plans and puts on the conference with oversight by the Board.

  3. The Bid

    The Board will solicit bids from a Team to put on each annual Warpstock conference. The Team is composed of, but not limited to, the following positions:

    - Event Chair
    - Event Co-Chair
    - Speaker Coordinator
    - Facilities Coordinator
    - Exhibitor Coordinator
    - Volunteer Coordinator
    - Registration Coordinator
    - Network Coordinator
    - Publicity Coordinator

    The Board, based on it's own experience suggests that each team attempt to fill all the previously listed positions so that no single team member is overwhelmed by the responsibilities of their position. Remember that you are a TEAM and must be flexible enough to help and fill-in any position should "Real Life" intrude on the timely performance of any particular Team Member's duties.

    As part of submitting a bid, the Team needs to name a person to fill each of these roles. The Board prefers to see a separate person for each role, but may allow, with sufficient reason, for one person to fill two roles. No person on the Team may fill more than two roles, nor shall the roles of Event Chair and Event Co-Chair be filled by the same person.

    In the event of the Event Chair becoming unable to fulfill his/her role, the Event Co-Chair shall become the Event Chair. The new Event Chair shall then submit a nomination to the Board for a new Event Co-Chair to be approved by the Board.

    It is desired that most of the team be from the proposed geographic area, though not required. It is also desired that the team be part of a group of people who have a history of working and interacting with each other, however, the Board will consider the Team and not the group when awarding a bid.

  4. The Relationship

    The relationship between the Board and the Team is much like the relationship between a corporations board of directors and the executives of that corporation. The Board is responsible for year to year management, budget approval, and general oversight of the event. The Team is responsible for site selection, speaker and exhibitor recruitment, volunteer management, network management, and general day to day activities once the Board approves the specific plans.

  5. Items Which Require Board Approval

    Several major items, which are part of the bid, require approval by the Board. These items include:

    - Event Chair
    - Overall Budget
    - Site selection
    - Event Dates
    - Registration Rates
    - Exhibition Rates
    - Advertising and marketing
    - Registration Policy

  6. The Budget

    The Event Chair, along with his/her team, is responsible for submitting a budget to the Board for approval. This budget should lay out all major expenditures expected for Warpstock. Examples of expenditures would be hotel fees, audio/visual equipment rental, network access, and T-shirts. It is not necessary for the budget to show to the penny each expense, however it should show all general categories and any item of significant expense. It does not have to specify vendor names, but instead the general category such as audio/visual equipment rental will suffice.

    The Warpstock Board will provide copies of budgets from prior Warpstocks, showing what was planned and actually spent in various areas for use as a guide. As an example, Warpstock is always being told that it doesn't spend enough on advertising, and past budgets reflect this. Your team's budget doesn't have to continue this pattern, but the Warpstock Board will ask how and where you plan to spend money on advertising and what benefit will it bring to the Warpstock event.

    Once the Board approves a budget, the Team is free to work within this budget to put on the event. Any deviations/overruns from the budget will require approval by the Board.

  7. Surplus Funds

    Warpstock is not designed as a money making venture. However it must break even in order to remain successful as a non-profit event. Generally the budget is designed so that a small surplus is generated to allow for corporate expenses such as taxes, lawyers and accountants. Warpstock, Inc. will make every effort to maintain funds and a credit rating so that next year's event contracts can be entered into with good faith. If surplus funds exist beyond that, Warpstock Inc. may share those funds with the local user group the Team represents. This is provided that the local group is a non-profit organization according to the applicable state, federal, and tax regulations. The Team should propose any disposition of surplus funds in their bid submission.

  8. Contracts

    As a corporation, only the officers of Warpstock, Inc. may enter into contracts on behalf of Warpstock, Inc. The event chair will work with a board member(s) during the negotiation stage. The board may authorize the event chair to negotiate some minor contracts without interaction of the Board as long as the budget amount is not exceeded and no unreasonable liabilities are agreed to.

  9. Communication

    It is the responsibility of the Team to keep the Board informed of their progress. At minimum, a report should be submitted by the Event Chair listing the current status and progress of the entire Team prior to the Warpstock, Inc. Board of directors meetings. Starting two months prior to the event, reports must be submitted on a weekly basis. The Board also operates a mailing list for communication between the Team members. The Team is encouraged to use this list for communication between themselves. Several prior year Team members as well as industry advisors and members of the Board are available on this mailing list to help and assist the Team.

    From time to time, the Board may request the Team to meet via Internet Relay Chat conference, conference call, or other such means to be decided.

  10. Responsibility and Obligations

    By submitting a bid and being selected as the Annual Event Team, the Team is entering into a contractual agreement with the Board to plan and produce the annual Warpstock conference. The Team has a responsibility and obligation to the Board to do this in the manner proscribed by the Board. Any actions taken by the Team outside of the rights granted by the Board may be grounds for rescission of the bid award. Actions which may result in rescission of the award may include, but are not limited to, direct violations of the bid agreement and incurring budget overruns without the approval of the board.

    Refusal or inability of the Team or Event Chair to inform the Board of the status of the event or where the Board is unable to determine the viability of the event can result in removal of the Team or individual Team members from the event. The Board's sole purpose is to ensure that Warpstock happens on schedule and on budget and will work with the event team to see that their Warpstock event takes place as planned.

  11. Bid Submission

    Teams wishing to bid on hosting Warpstock 2004 must declare their intention to do so by December 31, 2003. This may be accomplished by sending electronic mail to the Board of Directors. A reply will be sent upon reception of the initial information. If a reply is not received within 24 hours of submission, please contact any Board member directly to determine the notification status.

    Once an initial "intention" has been made, the Board will remain in close contact with the Teams throughout the remainder of the bid process. It is expected one person on the bid team will become the liaison to the Board during this time. The Board may also arrange a "virtual" meeting with the bid team to discuss specifics of the proposal. This meeting would be either by Internet Relay Chat or telephone conference call.

    Final bids are due on February 28, 2004. As soon as all of the bids have been received, the Board will review all proposals and announce the winning Annual Event Team.

  12. Bid Outline

    The bid shall include the following information:

    1. Contact Information

      For each person on the Team (as listed in section 3):

      - Contact Name
      - Contact Position
      - Contact Qualifications
      - Contact Phone
      - Contact E-mail Address
      - Contact Postal Mail Address

    2. User Group / Organization Information

      If applicable:

      - Organization Name
      - Organization postal mail address
      - Organization legal standing (incorporated, tax status, etc.?)

    3. Dates

      - Proposed dates for Warpstock?
      - Any conflicting trade shows (Comdex, Internet World, etc.)?
      - Any trade shows just before or after Warpstock to make it easier, and more reason to travel to the US? (i.e. can someone combine a trip)

    4. Geography

      - Why is this city a good location for Warpstock?
      - What special advantages does it offer?
      - What disadvantages need to be coped with?

    5. Travel

      - What options are available for out-of-towners?
      - Hotel prices, or other lodging arrangements?
      - Airports?
      - Amtrak service?
      - Driving ease?
      - Representative airfares from the following cities: New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Houston, Chicago, Denver, Munich, London, Sydney, Atlanta, Brussels, Amsterdam.

    6. Facilities

      Where will Warpstock be held? (List all choices being considered) How many people can be accommodated? How many rooms are available for presentations, with what capacity? Where will the exhibit hall be? What other advantages --and disadvantages-- does the facility have? What about the site's proximity to hotel, food, and airports?

      The bid may list several sites that are being considered. Pros and cons between the sites should be noted.

    7. Event Planning

      This doesn't have to be in as much detail, but it doesn't hurt to mention. What are your thoughts and considerations about the presentations, exhibit hall, etc.? What do you have in mind for entertainment?

    8. Everything Else

      How will you market Warpstock, so that the target audience learns about it, and realizes that it simply must attend? What unique advantages would attendees have, by attending a Warpstock in YOUR city? In other words, why should we choose you, instead of the other guys? How are you going to get more attendees interested and reach into new markets?

      Here's some logistics issues to keep in mind, in no particular order. They're meant as fodder for your thinking/planning process.

      - parking
      - handicap accessibility
      - hotel facilities (including computer friendly rooms)
      - food
      - shuttle bus
      - discounts on airlines
      - discounts for local group members (if any and amount)
      - weather issues
      - audio-visual issues (projection screens, microphones)
      - computers for presenters
      - speaker prep room
      - fast Internet access, for vendors and/or presenters
      - preparing the program
      - preparing the after-event CD-ROM (or whatever you have in mind)
      - Internet access for those who can't attend (videoconferencing etc.)
      - volunteer chair/management
      - T-shirts (for volunteers, and for sale)
      - registration check-in and database management
      - establishing what should be on the program (program chair)
      - establishing which vendors should be invited, convincing them, etc. (exhibit chair)
      - arranging the presentation schedule
      - press/media relations
      - IBM liaison
      - storage equipment rental (chairs, exhibit tables, and so on)
      - setting up facility (when can exhibitors get in to set up their booths?)
      - posters and banners
      - entertainment for the evening(s)
      - entertainment available nearby (for family, before/after the event, etc.)
      - lists of nearby restaurants and tourist sights
      - area maps (for the Web site, at least) and driving directions
      - press releases for Warpstock liaison with vendors for their
      - "announced at Warpstock" press releases
      - acknowledging that the organizers in charge won't have a life for weeks before the event
      - cleanup after the event (who does it?)

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