This site is archived.

The number crunching from DrupalCon DC is done, and we wanted to share the results.

  • 1,422 people came to DrupalCon DC.
  • 130 people presented 109 sessions.
  • That doesn’t include the people who led the 100 birds of a feather sessions that we know about (and we know we don’t know about all of the ones that took place).
  • 9 people helped record the 109 sessions, and they’re all online now.
  • 75+ people volunteered their early mornings, weekends, and conference time to register people at DrupalCon, stuff those green bags we all got, monitor IRC and twitter to make sure questions were answered and issues were dealt with, point people to where they wanted to go, and generally make sure DrupalCon DC rocked. Thank you : )
  • 55 shops, companies, and organizations sponsored DrupalCon.
  • 91 individuals sponsored DrupalCon as well.
  • 100s of blog posts were written and 10,000s (and maybe more) of messages were tweeted that helped us all learn from each other and let people follow along from home.

The Money

Revenue was more than a half million dollars at $542,350.

Our expenses came in at $356,569.31.

The Drupal community made a profit of $185,780.69 from DrupalCon DC.

A Closer Look at Where the Money Came From

Ticket sales for DrupalCon DC brought in $230,750.

Sponsorships of DrupalCon DC brought in $311,700.

  • 91 Individual sponsors raised $9,100.
  • 23 Bronze sponsors raised $57,500.
  • 17 Silver sponsors raised $85,000.
  • 10 Gold sponsors raised $100,000.
  • 4 Platinum sponsors raised $60,000.

How We Spent It

DrupalCon DC cost $356,569.31 at the end of the day. This means that it cost just over $250 for each person to attend. (Thank you sponsors!)

  • It cost $44,210 to rent the space at the Convention Center. The venue also required us to have a nurse ( $990 ), security ( $2,022.41 ), and insurance ( $556 ).
  • Projectors, screens, mics, and other AV equipment cost $39,176.01. Bringing in extra electricity by wiring some rooms with extra outlets and buying 70 power strips cost $2,469.40.
  • Wireless internet cost $24,225.23. That’s with a hefty discount for not so great service.
  • We ate $111,061.50 in lunches (4,475 total), and drank $29,504.64 in coffee (509 gallons).
  • Pre-event planning by professionals cost $15,430, and their help at the conference itself cost $15,350.
  • We paid our keynote speakers $3,000 each (well, the two other than Dries) to deliver targeted-to-us talks.
  • Travel and hotel for our 25 scholarship winners cost $14,990.65 (plus 25 free tickets, which we’re not counting here), and $9,378.32 for our keynote speakers and event planning team.
  • We spent $11,152.37 on DrupalCon swag: $7,510.99 on t-shirts, $3,397.23 on bags, and $244.15 on posters for sponsors.
  • Printing program handbooks cost $3,919.55, and the banners and signs cost $3,134.80. We also paid a moving company $660.52 to bring this stuff from Development Seed’s headquarters to the venue.
  • Paypal charged us $7,513.57 for processing DrupalCon tickets.
  • Video recording almost every session at DrupalCon cost $6,006.20. Another big thank you to the video team : )
  • Our two interpreters earned $3,305 combined for their assistance.
  • We spent $1,035 on advertising, which includes printing buttons for Drupal user groups, stickers, and signs for DrupalCon Paris. Volunteers picked up the tab for all the designs.
  • Lastly, we spent $4,478.14 on many small and random things.

Moving Forward

This was all made possible because so many people volunteered their time to make DrupalCon DC a success, and this energy from the roots of the community is what made the conference so amazing. This is a feeling that sets us apart and that can’t be outsourced.

We are now in a unique situation in that we have the financial resources on hand to take DrupalCon to the next level. We’re sure that there will be some exciting conversations in the coming weeks as the Drupal Association looks at what DrupalCon should be in the future and how we as a community can make them sustainable. Do we want to keep doubling in size each year? How big should DrupalCons be? Should they stay heavily focused on development, or should designers, business folks, and other be seriously targeted too? Is it DrupalCon’s job to service n00bs, or should for-profit training events fill that void? When do we need to hire someone full-time to support DrupalCons and work alongside the host communities to help them put on a large community conference? What would a full-time support person mean for Camps, and how could that person help facilitate Camps and reduce the liability risk of a Camp or other event going poorly? Or would paying three times more for a DrupalCon ticket from an O’Reilly run conference make all these issues go away?

All of these are very real questions that are a result of our growth, and they don’t have any easy answers. At least now we have serious reserves so we can implement the hard decisions we need to make to ensure that the next DrupalCon will always be better than the one before it.

Et maintenant nous rendre à Paris!


Thank you Bonnie, this information is valuable for our DrupalCamps in SouthAmerica. And you worked a lot already, please take a break in Brasil, Argentina, or Perú.

Thank You

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that made DCDC happen. I also really want to thank Bonnie and Development Seed and the Drupal Association for being completely open about the money aspects. I think open source means more than just code, and this sort of information sharing is extremely important. Thanks.

We can now retire the word awesome.

There is no overstating the scope of your accomplishment. The DCDC team hit every mark and you have set a high standard for DrupalCons to come.

@theneemies: Yes, the total number of people is everyone, i'm sure including Dries also.

Aside from two of the keynotes, there's no big distinction at DrupalCon between presenters and attendees– as a regular paying attendee, I was on one panel and involved in organizing two Birds of a Feather session. (One hastily called BoF got 20 people with 20 minutes advance announcement. DrupalCon is an amazing bending of the space-time continuum.)

I second, third, and one thousand and fourth all the praise for the pulling together of this great conference, and for this fantastic financial reporting.

Also, it needs to be pointed out that Development Seed isn't counting the huge amount of time and company resources they put in to make it such a success. How many full-time employee equivalents for how long? (Or was Bonnie simply everywhere?) Thank you and congratulations!

Future conference organizers: take heed of everything done right here, but please get lunches provided on materials that can be re-used or at least recycled!

Above all I would like to see the resources so visibly brought together from the financially secure sectors of Drupal used to ensure that our community's other half– people very involved in the community in code, issue queues, documentation, on IRC, in forums, or just making sites for people and organizations who need them but don't have much money – can also attend without ticket and travel costs being a block.

benjamin, Agaric Design Collective

This event is the finest example of excellence within Drupal that I can think of. It's a serious milestone for our project, and represented a real coming-of-age for DevSeed. You wonderful people got a chance to show your true colors, and you rose to meet the challenge magnificently. Your suggestions and open questions for the future of DrupalCon are invaluable, thank you for those as well. DCDC will be an inspiration for years to come.

A great virtue in itself.

In South America we are planning camps, and for 2010 a DrupalCon!

It would be very interesting to see the numbers of how many man-hours Development Seed and other organizers put in, not only volunteering, but also, "what did it take" you as people/hours to actually organize all this?


Victor Kane

Thank you for sharing all of the financial details and keeping them open for the community. It's an incredible accomplishment to pull off such a successful and well run event. You mention "to ensure that the next Drupalcon will always be better than the one before it." It's going to be hard to top DCDC and maybe it doesn't need to be topped. ;-)

If doubling every year Drupalcon would be looking at 10,000 people in only 3 years. Sustainability for the event and the community should mean promoting organic growth, but not pushing it either. For instance, the ticket price should not go over $200 or $250 to still allow the average person to attend. If the price were to go over that range it may shift the balance from a open community effort and atmosphere to a more commercial event. Hopefully we can keep that balance.

Regarding the expenses, everything makes sense and obviously you did everything possible to keep the costs as low as possible. The only items that didn't fully make sense were lunch at $24/lunch and coffee at $58/gallon, but maybe that's pretty standard?

Yes, this is standard for the catering companies / costs that are usually contractually bundled with conference venues. Yes, we really did have to pay $24 pp for "lunch". And yes, those coffee costs look high, too. It is a bundled cost for both that includes tables, set up, tear down, service, clean up, etc. etc. etc.

Totally agreed on the rest of your points. Note that if we had kept pace with organic growth (i.e. made it so that the all the people that couldn't get tickets could come) it would probably have meant ~2000 ... organically. It was funny to hear about all the plans that DevSeed had for further promoting Drupalcon that never got used ... because they sold out so quickly.

We are actively seeking comments on the future of Drupalcon through two methods
1) The Drupalcon 2010 and beyond thread at g.d.o
2) The Drupalcon Survey at
(even if you did not attend we want to hear from you)

This is a community conference and despite its cost and its size it is still being presented by the community. The organizers are listening to you.

Just wondering whether the '1,422 people' includes the presenters, BoF leaders, volunteers, etc?

These costs are all hard costs and not a true representation of the actual costs. The great folks at Development seed poured in numerous hours of website development, project management and conference planning. Their time is extremely valuable and they have been a great service to the Drupal community. These folks deserve a ton of credit for all of their hard work.

Also we can't undervalue the volunteers, their time is extremely valuable as without them this would not have been possible.

Well done

DrupalCon DC was the bomb, and I think that everyone would agree that's a reflection of the people who put it together - well done, and thank you!