[BIP-348] Ecosystem ONsite Proposal Q4 2023

PR with Payload

Hello Balancer Community!

Historically Orb has included the cost of our ONsites into its funding requests. We’ve decided to change that and request a separate, standalone proposal for these events starting with the one we are hoping to have in Q4 of this year. I know it might seem super early to start planning for this, but fear not, we are right on time. We need to get started on location selection because hotel blocks for groups of our size fill up many months in advance.

We are requesting 93,750 USDC to pay for 25 attendees:

  • Maxis: 7
  • Beethoven: 3
  • Integrations (Orbies): 3
  • Grants: 1
  • Foundation: 2
  • OpCo: 5
  • Other Ecosystem Contributors: 4

Balancer Labs will pay for the costs of its attendees.

As a reminder, the goals of our ecosystem ONsites are to facilitate 1) in-person brainstorms and collaboration meetings and 2) team bonding. We have found the optimal cadence for in-person gatherings to be twice per year. Gathering the ecosystem together in person to discuss, debate and learn from things that went well and didn’t go well over the last six months has proven to be super valuable.

The agenda for each ONsite includes a Retrospective Meeting to review the last 6 months of work across the ecosystem), a Funding Meeting to plan the roadmap of projects that the ecosystem will work on in the next 6 months, and meetings that are reflective on what’s timely at the time of the event (ie, KPIs, marketing, regulatory, technical vision, mission/vision/values). Having the space and time to hold these meetings in person has been significantly more impactful for our team than having them virtually. In-person meetings allow more fluid conversations and attendees are more likely to build positive relationships through them. Contributors are also able to collaboratively brainstorm easier in person rather than virtually.

Here is some feedback that we received in our follow-up survey after our Q4 2022 ONsite:

  • “ONsites are a must for remote-first companies.” - BLabs contributor
  • “Getting to know everyone personally [was my favorite part]. It created an even better feeling when doing video calls now.” - BLabs contributor
  • “Being able to meet the smart contracts team and ask them some questions [was my favorite part].” - OpCo contributor
  • “The organization was great overall and I’ve really enjoyed the experience and getting to know my co-contributors in person :)” - BLabs contributor
  • “We were reasonably frugal.” - BLabs contributor
  • “It was an amazing experience.” - Orb contributor
  • “I found that just a sole opportunity to meet the team and exchange ideas was very valuable.” - BLabs contributor

We are asking for funding based on our best estimate of what the total ecosystem headcount will be in Q4. If we have more attendees than what we budgeted for, we will need to request additional funding. If we have less, we will return excess funds to the OpCo. It’s worth noting that if that additional funding is not approved we won’t be able to invite new ecosystem members to this ONsite.

We are estimating that each attendee will cost 3,750 USDC for our five day/four night event. Breakdown of this cost:

  • Travel (Flights/Airport Transfers): 1,229 USDC/person
  • Overnight Accommodations: 928 USDC/person
  • Meeting Room Rentals: 82 USDC/person
  • Meals: 594 USDC/person
  • Activities: 332 USDC/person
  • Misc Expenses (ie, covid tests, meeting supplies, etc): 27 USDC/person
  • Canvas Meetings organizer fee: 399 USDC/person
    • Includes sourcing, contracting, pre-planning, budget management, food & beverage management, vendor and all event logistics management.
  • ONsite event coordinator: 159 USDC/person
    • Includes 24/7 dedication to our group ensuring everything goes smoothly from start to finish of the event. They monitor and assist with incoming and outgoing travel and make sure that all meetings, meals and activities are set up correctly and go on without a hitch.

When planning these events we are always looking for ways to achieve our goals with a cost conscious lens on. Examples of this are not covering costs for flight upgrades and a mix of per diem meals and shared meals versus all shared meals. The Q4 event will be no different. For any funds that aren’t used for this event, we will keep those in our ONsite account and apply it to the next one.


This a capped budget and funds will flow directly through OpCo and OpCo’s wallet. Unused funds can be returned to Treasury. With Orb sunsetting, organization will be handled by Maxis together with OpCo for logistics and BLabs for their own contributors.

If approved, DAO Treasury 0x10a19e7ee7d7f8a52822f6817de8ea18204f2e4f will transfer 93,750 USD to OpCo’s wallet 0x3B8910F378034FD6E103Df958863e5c684072693 to cover ONsite expenses

OpCo’s multisig to receive funds: 0x3B8910F378034FD6E103Df958863e5c684072693


From the conversation happening in this other thread: Request to Compensate Contributors in Liquid BAL - #5 by Danko8383, while it is advisable to plan things in advance, the current funding period for Orb Collective is ending. Wouldn’t it make more sense to discuss such an investment when a new agreement is in place?


Actually, I think it makes sense to have it as a standalone proposal. Both for (the need of) planning ahead and the validation of this spending by governance.

I’m of course biased enjoying two previous onsites myself, but can witness to the fact that there were no crazy expenditures on parties and first-class tickets, and the organization seemed very responsible on their choices. The irl interaction and meetings were greatly appreciated by everyone attending.

Being this a capped budget, it would be best if @SparkleLatte can change its specification so that the funds flow through OpCo (and unused funds can be returned to Treasury), then I’d say its safe to propose/approve it ahead of time. That would also allow changes to the number of attendees for each participant entity, as needed.


Thanks for your comments @Danko8383. I’m going to let @immutbl weigh in. He will be overseeing the Q4 ONsite since this is my last week with Orb.


These questions are fairly important, so please do circle back and keep us updated on the status of revising the proposal.

1 Like

Bumping this so it can go to a vote next week and, under the risk of loosing reservations and prices previously budgeted. We still keeping it at 25 attendees, but with a little update:

Maxis: 7
Beethoven: 3
Integrations (Orbies): 3
Grants: 1
Foundation: 2
OpCo: 5
Other Ecosystem Contributors: 4

Specs should be edited to say this a capped budget and funds will flow directly through OpCo and OpCo’s wallet. Unused funds can be returned to Treasury. With Orb sunsetting, organization will be handled by Maxis together with OpCo for logistics and BLabs for their own contirbutors.



Hello, Balancer community! Here’s the final update on our Q4 event.

Overall, it was another very successful meet-up. Teams got together in three full days of meetings and bonding activites. We started the working days with a hearty breakfast at the Hilton Milan, where we secured a very well-equipped meeting room. After some retrospectives, brainstorming and many iterations, we could sit outside in the great Italian weather for lunch. Teams could also play a cool escape room game, go on a bike tour around town and - of course - experience a typical Milanese food tour :spaghetti:

After the Maxis took over the event planning for Q4 ONsite in Milan (early July), we followed the capped budget and whatever was previously contracted. Attendee numbers fell to 15 DAO contributors (from 25) due to Orb sunsetting and unexpected cancellations. We still managed to keep it below 3,750 USDC per person, however, far from what we expected. Given the lower attendance and the travel agent’s super-high fees already under contract (by Orb/BLabs), the overall cost was still very high.

These are great events to favor communication and professional relationships. We look forward to the next one. But now planning ahead and keeping our feet on the ground, Governance should expect a much lower budget proposal for the next edition of the Balancer Ecosystem ONsite.

The Maxis have already started planning for Lisbon’24, and we’ll soon present a funding proposal. We find it extremely valuable for Balancer DAO contributors to tag along with Balancer Labs, and I’m sure this will in another very productive event. :portugal:

Below is the cost breakdown for Milan:

Flights $14,233.61
Ground Transportation $1,167.60
Guestrooms (includes breakfast) $13,330.00
Taxes $1,705.00
Per diems $700.00
Meals (not including hotel lunch and breakfast) $2,927.24
Meeting Room Package (includes cb and lunch) $6,053.28
Shipping Canvas Supplies $25.95
Activities, local agent and fees $3,477.04
Arrival Gift / Swag $844.15
Management Fee $5,985.00
Onsite Lead Planner $3,214.29
Travel Leaders Fee (Flights) $850.00
Expenses Onsite planners $955.89
Grand Total $55,469.05
Per person $3,697.94

Surplus: $38,280.95 (currently held at Balancer OpCo Limited)

Note: All of BLabs expenses were paid separately or split proportionally by the number of contributors. The DAO Treasury hasn’t paid for any expense for Balancer Labs or its employees.