Conference Requirements

This page details GNOME Foundation requirements for all GNOME conferences. It is intended to provide clarity over conference procedures for both conference organizers and the Foundation. It also includes spending authorization rules for conferences, as approved by the Foundation. If the language sounds strict it is purely a result of the need to be clear; the Foundation wants to provide a supportive environment for conference organizers and is grateful for all their work!


  • The GNOME Foundation decides which conferences it will run and support on a case by case basis. For its regular conferences, it may choose to invite competing proposals from local teams.
  • If you would like to run a new GNOME conference, either as a one-off event or as a regular occurrence, please contact the Foundation ( with a proposal, and we'll be happy to talk it through with you.

Conference Bidding and Selection Processes

  • Bidding processes are authorised by the Foundation, and may be run by the Foundation itself or by a community team. Community teams that want to run a bidding process should contact the Foundation for guidance.
  • Bidding processes must be announced on the main GNOME communication channels. Each announcement must include a schedule for the bidding process and must indicate who will be responsible for selecting the bid.
  • Local teams must announce their intention to bid publicly.
  • Community teams must send their final selection and rationale to the Foundation for approval, prior to informing any local teams or making a public announcement.
  • The selected bid must be announced on the main GNOME communication channels. This applies to bids that have been selected either by staff or a community team.

Board Oversight

  • The Board expects the Foundation to have an events strategy in place. This strategy must form part of our overall Foundation strategy and as such must be presented to and be reviewed by the board.
  • Events are included in the Foundation's annual budget, which must also be approved by the board.

Code of Conduct

Conferences are required to adopt GNOME's Events Code of Conduct. Guidance on how to do this is provided on the code of conduct conferences page. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact the Code of Conduct Committee.

Trademarks and Logo Usage

Conferences should follow the GNOME brand guidelines. This is particularly important if a conference has its own logo which incorporates the GNOME logo. In these cases the conference logo should be approved by the Foundation.

Conference Spending Policy

This conference spending policy is intended to make it clear what conference organisers can expect from the Foundation in terms of funding and finances.

Each conference proposal should include an indicative budget which describes anticipated income and expenditure for the event.

Once a conference proposal has been approved by the Foundation, conference organizers can start to spend money on the event, but they must adhere to the following spending rules:

  • Accurate accounts must be maintained at all times. These should summarise all income and expenditure.
  • Conferences that are anticipated to make a profit or break even: conference organizers can spend up to the amount that they have secured in income (this includes sponsorship that has been agreed but not collected). The Foundation may also specify a maximum level of expenditure which should not be exceeded.
  • Conferences that are anticipated to make a loss: the Foundation will specify the maximum loss that the conference is allowed to make. They may also specify a minimum amount of income that must be raised before losses can be incurred.

Provided that these spending rules are followed, conference organizers can be flexible in how they manage their budget. Lines of expenditure can be added and removed as needed, and it is only necessary to maintain a single operational budget (as opposed to organizing the budget into different scenarios or bands of income and expenditure).

However, if there are any significant deviations from the budget proposal, the Foundation should be informed. This is especially true if the anticipated profit or loss from the event changes in a significant way.

Travel budgets

GNOME conferences typically have a travel budget which is administered by the Travel Committee. This budget should be included in the indicative budget that is presented to the Foundation. This is to ensure that the Foundation is presented with a complete proposal for all the financial costs associated with the conference.

The Foundation is happy advise on an appropriate amount to budget for travel.


Sometimes a conference needs to spend some funds before they have started raising income. This is often needed to pay a deposit on a venue.

In these cases, the Foundation can authorize an advance to be made available to a conference team. This is an amount of funding that can be spent prior to it being raised as income for the conference. Advances should be deducted from the conference accounts and are counted as part of the event's total expenditure.

The Foundation may specify what an advance can be spent on.

Winding up

Conference accounts should be settled within two months of the conference ending. This includes doing the following:

  • Any funds raised by the conference team should be transferred to the Foundation.
  • The conference team should send accounts for all income and expenditure to the Foundation.
  • Any conference funds being held by the Foundation should be transferred into general usage.

If, for any reason, conference accounts cannot be settled within two months, it is the responsibility of conference organizers to agree on alternative accounting arrangements with the Foundation.

Other requirements

  • Spending can include having invoices issued to the Foundation. These invoices should be included in the conference's budget and accounts.
  • Conference organizers can do additional targeted fundraising in order to raise funds for costs that are outside of their conference budget (for example, to pay for parties or social events). However, this type of fundraising should not be allowed to negatively affect budgeted sources of income.
  • Co-hosted events should have an explicit agreement in place regarding how income and expenditure will be split between hosting organizations.
  • GUADEC events are required to support remote participations for both attendees and presenters. For other events it is strongly preferred.

This policy was originally approved by the Board of Directors on 30 January 2018. It was subsequently updated on 13 April 2020.

Foundation/Conferences (last edited 2023-07-24 07:24:25 by SonnyPiers)