Although I sat in the room and nodded a lot in Athens when we picked
and chose our conference options and signed the contract, I remember
very few details of it anymore.
I do remember when the UGA Conference Center representative left the
room for a minute that we all thought that the prices we were looking
at must be the daily rate, since we couldn't imagine the total costs
being that cheap (in fact, it *was* the total cost).
UGA could actually have handled a conference much more the size of a
modern C4L (the plenary session room seats ~350).
What the Georgia Center doesn't have is polish ('zazz!) and Athens
definitely fits Kyle's and Joe's profile of being less accessible
(although that also applies to Bloomington, Asheville and Corvallis).
While I certainly appreciated the venues in Portland, Providence and
Asheville, I wouldn't say that they had a tremendous impact on the
outcome of the conference (I don't, for example, remember the food at
any and *none* of the plenary rooms were as good as Athens). I do
remember the bars at Providence and Portland, though.
I'm not arguing for us returning to Athens, but don't think it's
completely unique (see: Corvallis). If this desire to offset
conference costs is really deep (and I think that reducing the
dependency on sponsorship *should* be a goal, honestly -- it's a lot
of work and very unpredictable), then I think there are definitely
opportunities. It's just a matter of scouting locations and figuring
out how to get the local population to get involved. I think this
would be easier if there was some kind of insurance policy in place so
that the host isn't completely on the hook for all of the costs if
things go "pear shaped".
On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 7:42 PM, Kyle Banerjee <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> The third code4lib conference was hosted in Portland, and the venue was a
>> hotel. Costs were **much** higher in Portland, due mainly to the type of
>> venue (hotel) and Portland being a larger city. To keep the registration
>> fee at $125 (which I think it was, if memory serves me correctly), we
>> needed to get $40k worth of sponsorships, which was about 4x the amount of
>> either the previous two years. It was hectic and a bit nerve-wracking, but
>> we hustled and worked hard and brought in the necessary sponsorships
>> without the need to provide any special events - all of the sponsors we
>> willing to sponsor us based on the general sponsorship levels that we've
>> put out each year.
> This is exactly what is going on in Seattle.
> If we can attract $40K in sponsorships, the registration fee will be kept
> low. But that gives people an idea of what is being dealt with in the
> background as that works out to nearly $200 per attendee. Not trivial to do
> in today's climate, but you can be sure everyone will try their best.