So maybe part of the problem is our venue voting system -- people vote
for flashy locations, which are also expensive locations. The people
voting (which is anyone who wants to) don't neccesarily consider all the
ramifications (don't neccesarily have the experience/background to do so
even if they thought of it).
Heresy I know, but I wonder if we should change conf host/site selection
from an open vote, to a conf selection committee that chooses. Then the
committee could say to themselves "you know, even though the hosts say
no problem keeping costs as usual, we don't think an expensive city like
that is the best thing for us." Of course, in addition to being
heretical, that would rely on there being some people who wanted to fill
that role, which there may not be.
On 6/15/2011 10:06 AM, Ross Singer wrote:
> 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.