True, I just trusted my memory on the whole pre-conferences as free thing.
Correcting my memory, in 2011, we charged $15 per half-day conference and
in 2010 we charged $25 for an attend-all-you-want preconference. I am not
sure that these prices included the hackfest and the unconference. Cary, I
think your memory is correct in that hackfests are generally free. At least
the Access Conference Hackfests were/are.

In general we are operating on the notion of trying to keep the conference
as affordable as possible, while still covering expenses and providing
attendees with the latitude to connect, learn and have a good time. I side
with Cary on this one, that we encourage people to participate in as much
of code4lib as they can. Or as Kyle phrases it, I think encouraging people
and community is what it's really about, and that if the preconferences are
free and more people come, it strengthens the entire conference.

I am inclined to go with my rash original statement and keep preconferences
free. Or I also like Sean's suggestion and rename it accordingly as
'generously free preconference.'

At $150 for registration, I agree with Kyle, that this is a very good price
in comparison to most technical conferences. Perhaps you could consider the
extra airfare and hotel room night as the price of the pre-conference.

Collectively, we've already spent almost or as much money thinking about
this issue than the preconference would have brought in. (Jenn)

And no lunch for preconferencers. None.