On 6/14/2011 4:00 PM, Kyle Banerjee wrote:
>> ....  Or maybe the conf has gotten more expensive such that we need more
>> money and thus more incentive to sponsor. (First priority -- try to keep the
>> conf from getting more expensive so this doesn't happen)....
> Costs can be kept down by securing sponsorships, reducing what is provided,
> and/or by increasing registration fees. The reality is that people have
> gotten accustomed to major costs of c4l effectively being subsidized. Space
> and bandwidth are very expensive and when these are generously provided at
> low or no cost, it makes c4l look much cheaper than it is.

So what I'm curious about, is how did the first 3-4 Code4Lib's manage to 
happen in a way that satisfied us, had low conf registration, and had 
lower sponsorship contributions and lower sponsor privileges than it is 
suggested is now required?

Apparently our _expenses_ (not registration fees, but the overall 
expense column on the conf) have gone up. What happened?  Is it that the 
conf is providing more than it used to be?  If so, does the community 
want a more full-featured conf that has increased sponsorship, or 
instead a conf like it used to be?

Or have the expenses of putting on a conf gone up for reasons other than 
increased services?  Maybe more stuff used to be done by volunteers that 
now needs to be paid for?  I don't know.

Or is something else going on? Maybe the expenses haven't gone up, but 
instead it's harder to get the level of sponsorship we had at those 
first few confs, without giving them more privileges then we did at 
those first few confs?

Basically, what I don't understand is how 'we' managed to do 3-5 conf's 
with low registration fees, and sponsorships that could be acquired by 
only offering limited sponsorship exposure -- but now we can't anymore. 
What has changed?

> I don't think that's a barrier to funding. Those who help make things
> possible deserve recognition whether their domain name ends in .com, .edu,
> or whatever and recognition doesn't imply content control. Anyone interested
> in sharing their knowledge and learning should be welcome. Vendor
> participation done properly benefits attendees and vendors alike, so we
> should be able to find some common ground.

I'm not talking about whether their name ends in .com, .edu, or whatever.

I'm saying I don't like the idea that someone gets time in front of the 
conf because they paid money, rather then because it was decided upon by 
our usual community process (voting on proposals etc).  Anyone 
interested in sharing their knowledge and learning should be welcome, 
but they should not get 20 minutes or an hour in front of a captive 
audience becuase they paid money, rather than becuase the community 
collectively decided we wanted to hear the content, through our usual 
means.   I don't think I'm alone in not liking that.  If this has not 
been neccesary before, what's changed?

It's worth pointing out that vendor's get plenty of benefit (as do all 
other participants) when they simply register their staff in the usual 
way, and the staff comes to the conf as an attendee, presents in the 
usual way (if accepted, or lightning), talk to people over meals and in 
hallways, etc.  We've always had vendor staff participation like this, 
it is indeed good thing (for the vendors exposure, and for the rest of 
us having them there to exchange info with), and I don't expect it would 
stop if we didn't have any sponsors at all. What is at issue isn't 
vendor 'participation', it's sponsorship, how much we need, and what we 
need to offer to get it.