[Global_chapter_committee] Providing incentives for chapters to promote OWASP conferences AND membership

Matt Tesauro matt.tesauro at owasp.org
Mon Mar 14 14:34:52 EDT 2011

Since OWASP makes a large percentage of our funds from our AppSec
conferences, I'd like for OWASP put incentives in place for our chapters to
assist in promoting our conferences.

e.g. If the Boston chapter knew that it could get a cut from every attendee
that went to AppSec US and ticked the box that said attend the Boston
chapter meetings, they are much more likely to mention and talk about the
benefits of AppSec US.  Same for the Belgium chapter and AppSec EU.

However, if we expect to have chapter leaders help out with promoting OWASP
conferences, we should show them some renumeration.

Look at the "New York" model:  The conference costs X and it discounts X by
$50 USD for OWASP members PLUS all non-members get a membership as part of
the registration fees. [1]

Under this model, why should the membership split NOT go to the local
chapter of the attendee?  Yes, the chapter close to the conference will
likely have many members in attendance but they will also be called on to
help support the conference.  So shouldn't the chapter get that 60/40 split
of the $50 membership?  Plus, any chapter which convinces their attendees
that the conference is worth attending should also get the 60/40 split.

I doubt we're talking about tons of money from the 60/40 split of $50 USD
(not enough to make or break a conference anyway) and looking at this with
my high-level board hat, I'd rather positively reward chapters that help
sell our conferences then have that money in the OWASP general fund (if such
a thing exists).  As I see it, everyone wins:

   - The conference wins by expanding their marketing reach to all the local
   chapter meeting attendees more consistently
   - The membership wins
      - Existing members save $50 USD and feel like their members gets them
      something more then warm fuzzies
      - Non-members are made members and some % of those will re-up when it
      time to renew
   - Local chapters get some funds in their accounts based on letting their
   attendees know about OWASP conferences
   - OWASP Foundation wins since the pool of people we reach grows.

If this really works, we'll have the wonderful problem that we have so many
members that nearly all conference registrations are discounted $50 USD.

I'm looking for problems with this idea.  I don't really see any and would
love to have this as an optional model for any OWASP conference.  I suspect
our new RegOnline system can handle this so why not make it available?


[1] I call it the New York model only because the first time I heard this
employed was at the AppSec US in NYC in 2008.

-- Matt Tesauro
OWASP Board Member
OWASP WTE Project Lead
http://AppSecLive.org - Community and Download site
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