I would like to start saying the following…
Before writing this message, I tried to contact and explain my concerns about the operation of the global events bounty to Zoé. Unfortunately, we scheduled several meetings with her but they could never take place from their side.
First, I attempted to attend the Event Monthly Call on September 7th, but none of the curators (Zoé and Mark) showed up.
Elodie is no longer part of the bounty.
Second, I understand the complexity of what being an events curator entails, as it is my role in the Spanish-speaking bounty. This role requires extreme responsibility since the funds that finance these projects are NOT from the Bounty, curators, or organizers but rather from the entire community. In short, what happens here concerns all of us.
With that said, I’ll begin my presentation:
The global events bounty was created to expedite the event organization process because there are many factors where, if the process isn’t efficient, organizers can lose providers, speakers, venues, face flight and hotel price increases, among many other things.
For this reason, before OpenGov appeared, it was decided to delegate 1 million DOTs to this bounty, which consisted of three community members (Zoé and Marc, Head Ambassadors Events Track, and Elodie, Parity Technologies) to finance meetups and events, both in-person and online. Here you can see the complete proposal
When I saw that only three people would be in charge of all Polkadot events worldwide, I knew this couldn’t work, and unfortunately, time proved me right.
The current events bounty fails in several important aspects:
A mechanism designed to make the process much faster has become a tedious, frustrating, and maddening process for almost any community member who wants to organize an event. To give the community an idea, with the OpenGov model, an organizer could take about a month and a half from when they submit the proposal to receiving funds for the event. Nowadays, in the bounty, with a bit of luck, it takes two months.
For example, I submitted my proposal in early August and still haven’t received any feedback from the curators.
But some have even worse luck, Hackaton Polkadot Championship send his proposal in May and still waiting…
5 months to approve an event? Doesn’t make sense…
You can find more cases like this here
Why does this happen?
Well, it’s easy to explain. Curators give a response at most once a week, there are too few curators, they are ineffective, and they have other job responsibilities within the ecosystem, so they can’t dedicate the time that a GLOBAL event bounty requires.
This makes the process endless, and not always are the suggestions they make in the proposals clear, which shows their lack of experience in this field.
For example, recently, Georgi and I were suggested that Parity Technologies should cover the costs of roll-ups, mock-ups, and all the design work… Why should Parity cover these costs?
Suggestions that sometimes border on nonsense, and anyone with even a minimum of knowledge in events should know.
Another highlighted deficiency is the lack of transparency. Currently, there is no way to see any reports created by the curators, and most worryingly, there are no reports from event organizers. In their proposal to run as candidates for curators of the bounty, they stated the following:
5. Reporting: in order to keep the community involved and aware of the latest updates, the Admin Curator should update the on-chain council every three months as well as the community. Reporting will take the form of a shared and living document so that the community can keep track of the approved proposals. This document will be added as a post on Polkassembly in the timeline section of the original on-chain bounty as comment. A Update in the report will likely include things like:
2. Total bounty funds spent so far.
3. Details of the event such as agenda, success metrics, link to event, pictures etc. (most of the information requested on the child-bounty application) see here and here.
Furthermore, there are no established curation criteria for giving rewards or not to event organizers. This should be a secondary payment to organizers based on whether the event was successful or not.
What do they base it on?
Why don’t curators attend events when it has often happened that they are in the same city as the Polkadot event but prefer to attend events of other blockchains?
Finally, there is no effective way to communicate with the curators, and many members, including myself, have not received responses from them.
The curators of this bounty are not experts in events. So, how can someone who is not an events specialist be responsible for the events area? Being in charge of financing Polkadot events with money from the entire community requires extraordinary responsibility, and if they can’t respond to an email, Discord message, Telegram…
- How can they perform the actual event curation?
- Have they ever checked if the invoices are legitimate?
- How do they control the attendance that the organizer promised?
- Are they able to track social media and marketing strategies of organizers to meet objectives?
These are many questions that come to mind, but if I have to give an answer, it’s NO since 2-3 people can’t possibly do all that work. In the Spanish-speaking bounty, there are two of us curating events in LATAM and Spain, both pre-event and post-event. Thanks to that, we were able to detect a fake invoice, and the event organizer sent the $2,000 he wanted to keep to the Kusama treasury.
The lack of transparency raises doubts about impartiality since some events have been under review for 5 months, while others are approved within a week. To have impartiality, there should be written and clear rules where any community member knows what rules they are playing by. That is if marketing cannot be included in the proposal, this rule should apply to everyone. If speakers have to pay for their flights, meals, and hotels, the same applies. Regardless of whether these rules make sense or not, it’s worth noting that in the proposal made by the curators of the bounty, they say the following:
Child-bounties proposed for such event types can cover following costs:
- Logistics, venue, marketing (including website, articles, swag, prints), travel, hackathon prizes, actors/artists, food & drinks.*
The lack of transparency and professionalism, combined with the curators’ lack of experience in events, is creating frustration among organizers. What was supposed to be a tool to facilitate and expedite the system has become a bottleneck with senseless rules.
That’s why the curators should leave this role to professionals in events who are genuinely willing to contribute and create a better and fairer ecosystem.