Just some clarification on the 1st and 3rd c4l conferences:

The first code4lib conference had about 85 attendees, and was situated on
the Oregon State campus. We still paid for the conference space, food,
conference support, shuttle buses to / from downtown, and signed a
contract with a nearby hotel that committed us to filling a percentage of
rooms. We were able to get about $12k in sponsorships to cover costs and
keep the registration fee to $100.

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.

Without knowing the specifics of the amount of sponsorship needed for
code4lib Seattle, I still believe that we can likely get the required
sponsorship needed to make the conference break even and to keep the
registration costs in line with prior code4libs, without the need to look
at new forms of sponsorship. If the sponsorship amount is more in the
range of Portland than Corvallis, then we should make a concerted effort
to bring together a hard-working sponsorship committee and start working
on this now.

Tangental to all of this, btw, is the question of any proceeds from
code4lib Bloomington being transferred to this year's conference - this
year's hosts should probably contact Indiana to check into this.

-- jaf
Jeremy Frumkin
Assistant Dean / Chief Technology Strategist
University of Arizona Libraries

+1 520.626.7296
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"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts
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On 6/14/11 3:19 PM, "Joe Hourcle" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>On Jun 14, 2011, at 5:34 PM, Kyle Banerjee wrote:
>>> So what I'm curious about, is how did the first 3-4 Code4Lib's manage
>>> happen in a way that satisfied us, had low conf registration, and had
>>> sponsorship contributions and lower sponsor privileges than it is
>>> is now required?
>> I can't speak with authority as I wasn't involved in planning any of
>> But I've done a number of other conferences and I worked at Oregon
>>State for
>> a long time. My recollection was that facilities and bandwidth were
>>free. No
>> need to pay for bandwidth or equipment. Generous institutions were
>> intentionally or unintentionally covering costs. The uni caterer was
>> reasonable.
>I suspect that this is likely a large chunk of the difference ...
>When I worked for a university, we could get space for cheap (student
>groups could get it for free), and internet access was free, too.
>When you grow to the size that you have to look at conference centers /
>hotels / whatever to hold the event, it gets expensive very, very quickly.
>And thinking that the 'free' wireless that some conference centers offer
>is adequate for a decent size group of geeks is a joke ... I'm actually
>at a conference right now, and it crapped out entirely today.  (and as
>there's no afternoon sessions for today, I think they might've given up
>on fixing it ... a few of us started advertising SIDs like 'convention
>wifi sucks' ... and then it went downhill from there.)
>One other thing to consider is location -- some places just cost more.
>You likely wouldn't hold a conference in downtown New York city.
>(Although, I did once go to one that was held in a middle school on
>Roosevelt Island)
>Unfortunately, the cheaper places may not be as well connected
>(larger airports nearby, etc.) so even if you're able to keep the
>costs of running the conference down, the cost to attendees might
>not.    (eg, I'm currently in Las Cruces, New Mexico ... but the closest
>airport was El Paso, so it almost required people to rent a car
>(we tried coordinating flights to reduce the number of cars, but
>there were so many delayed flights, etc, that it turned into a
>nightmare unless people were on the exact same flight)
>Universities nearby can help, if the conference is in the summer
>or when their dorms aren't in use ... some offer renting out their
>rooms by the day if it's for a university-affiliated event.
>One other option, rather than sponsorship is grants -- if this were
>a science related conference, you could put in for a grant from NSF.
>I've gone through the IMLS grants, and the only one that seems
>like it might fit is the "Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program" :
>Does anyone know of any other government or foundation grants
>that could be used for conferences?