July 21, 2021

Virtual Conferencing on a Shoestring: Thoughts on the Budget

About this series: The 2021 Virtual Library Publishing Forum was a huge success, combining excellent content with smooth facilitation and a liberal dose of whimsy and care. We decided to pull back the curtain on how it was run to support other organizations that are interested in hosting thought-provoking, humane events on a shoestring. Because we have a lot to say, we are publishing a series of daily posts, each with a different theme. The series was created by the group of Educopia staff and LPC Program Committee members listed above, but the guide is written in first person and each section is written from a different perspective. Authors listed above who aren’t credited on a particular section helped with planning and editing the series.


Melanie SchlosserI’ve been responsible for managing the Forum’s budget since 2017 in Baltimore, at which I learned some valuable lessons about the improvidence of holding small conferences in hotels. The Forum is always meant to break even, rather than serving as a money-maker for the LPC. However, both the costs and the revenues of in-person conferences are so unpredictable (especially when the conference moves to a new location each year), and my tolerance for financial risk is so low, that we generally end up over-budgeting and bringing in a surplus on the event. Switching to a virtual conference format slimmed down the costs and complexity significantly, but we (fortunately) still overshot the mark. 

Costs: The basic technological infrastructure of the conference was Eventbrite (a small charge that comes out of registrations before they get to you, so no separate payment needed), Sched for an interactive online program ($250), Zoom for the conference sessions and some social events ($140 for a temporary second Zoom account on top of LPC’s existing Zoom account), and Discord for social stuff (free). We had small expenses around our sponsor bingo game, but otherwise the big-ticket items were staff ($3,000 for additional staff support during the event) and honoraria for keynotes and plenary speakers ($4,000). One speaker donated back their honorarium to support travel costs for an attendee of next year’s Forum, reducing the speakers’ fees for this year by $1,000. TOTAL COSTS: $6,600.

Revenues: We charged $25 per person to register—partly to defray expenses, but partly because people are more likely to show up to an event that they have paid for. Since our per-attendee costs were so low, though, we offered a registration waiver to anyone who needed one, no questions asked. We ended up with 437 registrations for a total of around $8,000. (Registration for our in-person Forums is about $300, and we generally get about 250 people.) We had a simplified, two-tier sponsorship program (see the Sponsorship post), and the eight sponsors brought in $7,000. TOTAL REVENUE: $15,300. 

As you can see, we made more than $8,000 in surplus. We are currently looking at how to earmark that money to cover future Forum travel awards and honoraria. The most exciting thing about this year’s Forum budget was the money we allocated to support invited plenaries, which allowed us to prominently feature and financially support the participation of some really exciting voices in the field. Keeping that model when we go back to in-person will require funding travel, as well, so we’ll need to do some calculating to figure out what we can manage. This year’s surplus will definitely help! 

If we do another virtual Forum in future, I might look at the sliding scale model for registration fees that was very successfully used by the BitCurator Users Forum last year. We required folks who needed a registration waiver to email us and request one, and even without any other requirements, that’s a hurdle for some people. Incorporating the waiver option into the registration setup would probably result in less revenue, but we obviously could have taken the hit this year. It would also let us provide an option for those who can afford a little more and want to support travel scholarships and similar programs. 

July 21, 2021

Virtual Conferencing on a Shoestring: Thoughts on the Budget

About this series: The 2021 Virtual Library Publishing Forum was a huge success, combining excellent content with smooth facilitation and a liberal dose of whimsy and care. We decided to pull back the curtain on how it was run to support other organizations that are interested in hosting thought-provoking, humane events on a shoestring. Because … Continue reading Virtual Conferencing on a Shoestring: Thoughts on the Budget

July 20, 2021

Sponsorship, Streamlined: How We Shifted In-Person Benefits to a Virtual Space

About this series: The 2021 Virtual Library Publishing Forum was a huge success, combining excellent content with smooth facilitation and a liberal dose of whimsy and care. We decided to pull back the curtain on how it was run to support other organizations that are interested in hosting thought-provoking, humane events on a shoestring. Because … Continue reading Sponsorship, Streamlined: How We Shifted In-Person Benefits to a Virtual Space

July 19, 2021

Pets, Plants, and New Partnerships: Creating Space for Social Activities at LPForum21

About this series: The 2021 Virtual Library Publishing Forum was a huge success, combining excellent content with smooth facilitation and a liberal dose of whimsy and care. We decided to pull back the curtain on how it was run to support other organizations that are interested in hosting thought-provoking, humane events on a shoestring. Because … Continue reading Pets, Plants, and New Partnerships: Creating Space for Social Activities at LPForum21

July 16, 2021

You Always Need More People Than You Think: Staffing a Virtual Conference

About this series: The 2021 Virtual Library Publishing Forum was a huge success, combining excellent content with smooth facilitation and a liberal dose of whimsy and care. We decided to pull back the curtain on how it was run to support other organizations that are interested in hosting thought-provoking, humane events on a shoestring. Because … Continue reading You Always Need More People Than You Think: Staffing a Virtual Conference

July 15, 2021

Stick-With-What-You-Have and Add Slowly: Configuring Technology for a Virtual Conference

About this series: The 2021 Virtual Library Publishing Forum was a huge success, combining excellent content with smooth facilitation and a liberal dose of whimsy and care. We decided to pull back the curtain on how it was run to support other organizations that are interested in hosting thought-provoking, humane events on a shoestring. Because … Continue reading Stick-With-What-You-Have and Add Slowly: Configuring Technology for a Virtual Conference

July 14, 2021

Blending the Synchronous with the Asynchronous: Strategies for Planning a Successful Conference Program

About this series: The 2021 Virtual Library Publishing Forum was a huge success, combining excellent content with smooth facilitation and a liberal dose of whimsy and care. We decided to pull back the curtain on how it was run to support other organizations that are interested in hosting thought-provoking, humane events on a shoestring. Because … Continue reading Blending the Synchronous with the Asynchronous: Strategies for Planning a Successful Conference Program

July 13, 2021

Finding Connectedness, Inspiration, and Comfort at the 2021 Library Publishing Forum

About this series: The 2021 Virtual Library Publishing Forum was a huge success, combining excellent content with smooth facilitation and a liberal dose of whimsy and care. We decided to pull back the curtain on how it was run to support other organizations that are interested in hosting thought-provoking, humane events on a shoestring. Because … Continue reading Finding Connectedness, Inspiration, and Comfort at the 2021 Library Publishing Forum

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June 30, 2021

A Strengths-Based Approach to Evaluation and Transformational Change in Publishing

When Katherine Skinner and I published the Values and Principles Framework and Checklist last year, we introduced them as mechanisms to hold actors in the scholarly communication system accountable to their stakeholders and demonstrate their commitment to openness in concrete and documentable ways. We conceived the framework and checklist as living, iterative, and adaptable documents. … Continue reading A Strengths-Based Approach to Evaluation and Transformational Change in Publishing

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June 29, 2021

Educopia Releases Q2 Newsletter

We’re delighted to announce the publication of the Q2 2021 Educopia Newsletter, a quarterly publication that features events, resources, updates, and announcements from our diverse portfolio of research, consulting, and community cultivation work. In this issue, you’ll find: MetaArchive Cooperative’s new membership levels The latest publication from the Next Generation Library Publishing project, “Living Our … Continue reading Educopia Releases Q2 Newsletter

OSSArcFlow: Modeling and Synchronizing OSS Workflows. Photo of Disk Imager in black and white.
June 15, 2021

Alexandra Chassanoff and Colin Post Receive SAA Preservation Publication Award for “OSSArcFlow Guide”

Alexandra Chassanoff, assistant professor at the School of Library and Information Sciences at North Carolina Central University, and Colin Post, assistant professor in Library and Information Science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, are the 2021 recipients of the Preservation Publication Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) for their handbook, … Continue reading Alexandra Chassanoff and Colin Post Receive SAA Preservation Publication Award for “OSSArcFlow Guide”

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May 9, 2021

Position Announcement: Project Manager for Research & Strategy

Educopia Institute is pleased to share a new job announcement! We are now hiring a Project Manager for Research & Strategy who will be responsible for supporting the extensive portfolio of research and consulting projects within Educopia’s Research & Strategy program.

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March 31, 2021

Educopia Releases First Issue of Quarterly Newsletter

We’re delighted to announce the inaugural issue of the Educopia Newsletter, a quarterly publication that features events, resources, updates, and announcements from our diverse portfolio of research, consulting, and community cultivation work. In this first issue, you’ll find:  The release of Educopia’s first Community Cultivation guide Updates and resources from the Library Publishing Workflows, BitcuratorEdu, … Continue reading Educopia Releases First Issue of Quarterly Newsletter

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