I want to boost Terry's thread as well.
Having gone to C4L in 2007 in Athens, when it was I think 150 people (ha! Let's be honest: 145 men and 5 women) and then again in 2015 in Portland and 2014 in Raleigh, the Code 4 Lib that once was is no more. Long live Code4Lib.
If we continue to want a large conference we need a better fiduciary agent. Take the fact that so few folks are willing to put bids to host as a sign that something different is happening here from what used to be 10 plus years ago. (Wait, damn! Am I THAT old???)
I'm not saying that all the changes that have happened over time have been bad (see my observation of gender balance above) but I think the large annual conference specifically needs to be thought through.
How do we approach thinking it through? I have no idea but as others have said, the conversation is long overdue. (I wonder when Ruth says "Clearly the community wants to go" WHAT "the community" wants to go TO? Would we even be able to come to an agreement on that?)
John Spoor Broome Library
California State University, Channel Islands
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Terry Reese
Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2016 2:37 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Formalizing Code4Lib?
>> Fiscal agents are ultimately responsible for the contracts they are
>> going to be signing. In the case of this conference, that is easily well over $200K.
I think that this is the first pertinent question for the community to decide. The conference wasn't always this big, this extravagant, or this expensive. And the costs of running a conference that hosts say 150-200 people, is order of magnitude higher than our current size of 450-500. It brings with it tradeoffs, and one of them has been the difficulty and exceptional risk organizations take on to run this event. If as a community, there is an ongoing desire to have an annual mega conference, then it probably is definitely time to start looking for an organization that can provide the type of continuity needed to make the event easier to run and financially easier to manage. And if we can't do that as a community, it's probably time to rethink our annual conference and scope it into an event that's more sustainable and attractive to a volunteer run community.