Re: [72attendees] Meeting arrangements and costs (was: Re: Clarifying Host Responsibilities )

Kurt Erik Lindqvist <> Mon, 04 August 2008 08:07 UTC

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From: Kurt Erik Lindqvist <>
To: John C Klensin <>
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Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2008 10:07:23 +0200
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Subject: Re: [72attendees] Meeting arrangements and costs (was: Re: Clarifying Host Responsibilities )
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On 3 aug 2008, at 16.10, John C Klensin wrote:
> --On Saturday, 02 August, 2008 06:30 -0700 Randall Gellens
> <> wrote:
>> At 1:07 AM +0200 7/29/08, Kurt Erik Lindqvist wrote:
>>> "the powers that be" are trying to optimize location /
>>> internationalization / the host that PAYs preferences to
>>> location for their needs / and a number of factors including
>>> availability of a hotel. This equation is far from easy, but
>>> what worries me greatly is that we in the future find any
>>> hosts at  all given that the only thing you can expect as a
>>> host is  complaints and endless threads about visa / robbery
>>> / cookies / how  the showers works threads on mailinglist.
>> Well, if we don't care about visa issues, crime, cookies, nor
>> showers, I'm sure there are a *lot* of places we could meet!
>> :-)
> Let me add two comments to Randy's, noting that this is not
> about the facilities for IETF 72 at all (and that I waited until
> now to post this in the hope of avoiding confusion of what I'm
> about to say with a complaint about that particular location).
> (1)  Ray advertised these per-meeting lists as the place to post
> information about, and issues with, the meeting before and
> during it.  While my personal opinion is that some of the
> threads (including this one and the earlier/related Guestroom
> Network one),

I'll note that it was several times pointed out that the hotel room  
network issues should be bought up with the hotel as noone on this  
list had any relation to it except that the host kindly improved the  
service over what we would otherwise have had. Which I think was the  
point missed on this list.

> and some of the complaining/ whining went on much
> too long, if you (the IAOC)

Please note that I am no longer on the IAOC.

> don't want the input, don't ask for
> it.  And, if you don't think the hotel or host doesn't want to
> hear the input, don't tell them about the list.

I am sure the current IAOC as well as the host is happy to hear about  
issues they can solve and do to improve the meetings. The food  
comments are one such topic.

> (2) I note with some chagrin that Kurt's optimization list of
> "location / internationalization / the host that PAYs
> preferences to location for their needs / and a number of
> factors including availability of a hotel" does not include
> "total cost to attendees".   Given that we come from different
> locations and have different needs, I don't even know how IAOC
> figures that out, but I'm worried that it periodically does not
> appear to have been high on the consideration list.

I can only speak for the time I was on the IAOC, but at least then we  
frequently tried to estimate the total cost. The problem however isn't  
so much the total cost as to where to set the barrier. For example  
with a weak USD exchange rate, Europe might seem very expensive to US  
participants, while when the USD was almost twice the current exchange  
rate, Europe probably seemed very cheap, while for Europeans it was  
prhibitly expensive. It also depends on your employers policies etc.  
But the IAOC still tried to make an estimate for total costs. But I  
agree that is hard too.

> To repeat something I suggested just before this meeting, even
> if the IAOC cannot optimize for total cost of attendance, I
> believe that the IAOC and Secretariat should be able to
> determine and post, well before the meeting, estimates of local
> contributing costs -- options for airport transport and their
> costs; typical costs of meals in hotel restaurants and other
> restaurants within short distances; ranges of food choices
> available; maybe local air quality reports; whether the hotel
> guestroom network was to be lashed up to the IETF one or kept
> separate (and, if the latter, what it was going to cost guests);
> whether the terminal room arrangements will be made by an
> experience team under contract to the IETF or by a sponsor and
> what is expected; transport plans to and from the city center if
> that is relevant; and so on.   I think others in the community
> can add to that list, but with the understanding that the items
> on it are data to be collected and reported rather than things
> we really expect IAOC to use as criteria.

While I think some of the suggestions above are good ones, I also  
think there is a limit to how much the IAOC/IAD need/should work on to  
help attendees. We are al grown ups with different backgrounds,  
experiences, culture and how used we are to travel. The IAOC/IAD can't  
possibly be expected to deal with can cater for all people in all  
given circumstances.

> I think it is a wonderful accomplishment of the IAOC/IASA model
> that we now have meeting dates set well into future and sites
> lined up a year or so in advance rather than carrying out that
> process on a just-in-time basis.  I am extremely impressed by
> the degree to which sponsors and the Secretariat have been able
> to remedy problems once they have occurred, whether those be
> problems with networks, problems with room environments (meeting
> rooms or sleeping rooms); alternate transport arrangements, and
> so on.


>  But I believe we need to get far more of those
> activities, and the likely need for them, into the long-term
> understanding and planning process, rather than dealing with
> them "just in time" or a tad later.   As with hotel
> construction, I don't believe that we should try to constrain
> IAOC to avoid a location that is likely to be suboptimal on one
> of these characteristics.  But I do believe that IETF
> participants should have information sufficiently far in advance
> that we can make rational decisions about whether to attend.

I guess I am naive, but I have always based my attendance on the  
benefit for my employer and the achievements I believe I can  
contribute to, rather than my personal comfort.

Best regards,

- - kurtis -

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