Copyright Paul Clarke, cc by 4.0

How we’re funding the online ODI Summit 2020

Mon Jul 27, 2020
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Stuart Coleman – ODI’s Business Development Director – shares, in the spirit of being ‘open’, how we choose to spend income from ODI Summit ticket and sponsorship sales

The ODI Summit 2020 is set to be bigger and better than ever, and this year it’s online. Early bird tickets are going live this week, and Stuart Coleman – ODI’s Business Development Director – shares, in the spirit of being ‘open’, how we choose to spend income from ticket and sponsorship sales

The ODI Summit is our flagship annual event for our business, academic, startup and governmental community. It helps us develop and sharpen the lens on why opening data, sharing data and better enabling data capability is critical to all our futures. This year the remote-working world gives us an opportunity to reach new audiences, geographies and hopefully take our mission and values to new places, people and influencers.

We first ran the ODI summit in 2013, and I remember then, when it was all over, our whole team was energised to do it again – we felt it made a difference. But we also realised it had run at a loss. In those early days, that was OK; we were building awareness, investing in our message, supporting the community and the narrative – and the ODI Summit was part of that.

However, as the years have passed, so the event has grown – in parallel with the ODI’s own journey of growth and development. In 2020 we want to reach a more global audience and our 2020 hybrid online / offline format is intended to show that. Our ticketing approach is fairly straight forward: ODI stakeholders, partners, customers and members and their communities feature in our planning and in the way we allocate our VIP places. We also value early commitment – early bird signups help us build confidence that we can deliver and run the event to enough people to make it worthwhile. They also of course help us balance the books.

2019 was the first year ever we made a small return on the event; it is being invested back in this year and our goals remain the same: to deliver an exceptional and valuable experience for our audience, and to reach, engage and inspire new audiences.

This year we’ll also be growing the number of accessibility tickets available to those who cannot afford the full price, and we’ll be posting details on how to apply in the next few weeks.

The ODI Summit will be held across multiple rooms, with attendees free to move between them. There’ll be plenty of space for roundtables, workshops and fireside chats – all alongside a virtual expo with engaging partner ‘booths’ and our Data as Culture art exhibition. By switching to online, we’re also able to greatly reduce the environmental impact of our event – while opening up the conversation to a much more diverse audience

Here’s how we fund the ODI Summit, and how we spend the money:

Income and costs

Estimated income: £132,000

Audio / visual / broadcast costs: £30,000

Marketing / branding / streaming costs: £31,000

Event management / other costs: £54,000

Staff time costs: £36,160

Total costs: £151,160

Net loss: -£19,160