On 6/14/2011 5:34 PM, Kyle Banerjee wrote:
> C4l was much smaller then. The smaller the event, the less complicated 
> things are and the more options you have. There are quite a few 
> regional c4l events. We held one for a capacity crowd in Portland 
> yesterday. It was about the same size as the first c4l for roughly the 
> same cost. There is no way we'd be able to do it so cheaply if we had 
> to triple the size of that same event.
> As size goes up, you find fewer venues capable of hosting it.

I think this is probably a large part of it.  As Kyle says, a larger 
conf ends up costing more per-seat. (At least until you get even much 
more larger).

So, not neccesarily for this year, becuase the venue is already in place 
and such, but we the community should collectively consider:

Do we want the larger (then the first 1-4 years) conf we've got, which 
requires more sponsorship and such? Or we rather have a conf the size of 
the first few years, knowing that means fewer people will get to go, but 
that it will be easier to put on, cheaper, and require less sponsorship?

It is not set in stone that C4L conf needs to keep getting larger and 
larger every year. And there are downsides to the conf planning and budget.

Also, I think there are some 'extras' that we should not neccesarily 
assume are mandatory:  Kyle mentions food at meals and breaks as being 
killer expenses. The food at meals is probably non-negotiable (although 
breakfast might be), but food at breaks?  If I were on the conf planning 
committe and that were a significant expense, I'd say, eh, skip it, 
code4lib is not supposed to be a fancy ass conf, we don't need granola 
bars and soda at our break (and I'm pretty sure we didn't have such at 
the first 1-4 confs; I don't think we even had 'free' breakfast 
neccesarily, as we did last year and maybe the year before.).

I think the general trend of code4lib getting more and more expensive to 
put on every year, with more and more amenities, should be resisted.  
The trend is becuase everyone figures they should do everything that was 
done previously, and oh, hey, let's increase conf capacity just 20 or 30 
seats too, we can manage it, and hey, let's add food at breaks too, it 
doesn't add THAT much. And then the next year, thinks they have to do 
everything previous and then adds in a few more too. And the complexity, 
expsense, and amount of work conf organizers (volunteers!) have to do 
keeps edging up and up, and it's harder and harder to pull off how we 
want.  We should figure out how to resist that trend.