Re: [78attendees] We'll meet again...

Mary Barnes <mary.ietf.barnes@gmail.com> Thu, 12 August 2010 14:56 UTC

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Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 09:56:57 -0500
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From: Mary Barnes <mary.ietf.barnes@gmail.com>
To: Ted Lemon <Ted.Lemon@nominum.com>
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Subject: Re: [78attendees] We'll meet again...
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The one advantage to Anaheim is there are oodles of tourist guide books that
one can find that provide all the information ahead of time as to what the
situation will be. There were no such guide books that I could find about
Maasticht - Lonely Planet for the Netherlands had one very small chapter
that didn't get into any of the accessibility/how to get there issues.

Also, any of the hotels in Anaheim would have been able to provide folks
like me refrigerators in their rooms.  And, many of the hotel chains that
were within walking distance of the venue had such as a standard part of the
room and many of these hotels were in the same price range as what I paid in
Maastricht and I was in one of the less expensive hotels. Also, many of
these do offer a free breakfast that are comprised of pretty much the same
sorts of foods available at the venue. I would certainly agree, however,
that the breakfast I had in Maastricht was much better than any of these.
But, that's generally true in my experience for any European hotel -
reflective of the prevalance of the generally less healthy diet in the
U.S..

So, yes, I would agree that Anaheim wasn't the greatest venue for a business
meeting despite my having found it a great place for a vacation with my kids
the week prior.  But again I consider the requirements for a business
meeting to be distinctly different than those of a vacation locale.
 certainly, Maastricht wins handsdown in terms of a nice place to be and the
social was one of the best I've attended.  I just think that being in a nice
place should be lower priority in the decision making  than the basic
logistics of having an effective meeting - i.e., hotels and food
(restaurants and markets) close to the venue.  The best meetings that we've
had that have provided such have been Paris (by far one of the best meeting
choices), Stockholm, San Francisco and London.   While definitely, the
latter 3 are generally fairly expensive for food (and lodging for the latter
two), I still think those meetings were far more effectiveness due to being
in the city center near places to eat, etc.

One thing that would have helped me tremendously would have been if renting
a car had been described as a really good option for getting to Maastricht
and convenience in reaching the venue for those of us at hotels in the city.
 The website indicated that wasn't at all necessary. In hindsight, I will
rent a car if we have any more meetings in small European towns.  I did look
into renting a car just to get me to Maastricht and dropping it off locally,
but that was cost prohibitive - around 200 Euros.  Again, in hindsight that
might still have been a good choice since I barely caught the last train to
Maastricht on Saturday nite and it was fairly deserted, which I found
uncomfortable for a good reason. Fortunately, a taxi was dropping someone
off as I arrived, otherwise I would have had to walk to my hotel.

Regards,
Mary.


On Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 9:15 AM, Ted Lemon <Ted.Lemon@nominum.com> wrote:

> On Aug 12, 2010, at 2:53 AM, Elwell, John wrote:
> > Picking up only on the issue of cost, I found the overall cost of
> Maastricht a lot less than Anaheim (even after adjusting for lower flight
> cost and one day shorter stay). Food certainly was cheaper, plus the fact
> that my hotel rate included a decent breakfast - not the case in Anaheim.
>
> Anaheim is a good example of the sort of place I'd really hope IETF would
> avoid in the future--it was like living on a desert island, because there
> weren't any real businesses within walking distance of the venue--just
> chains.   Maastricht was just as isolated, but felt completely different
> because of the excellent bus service.   If IETF were making a choice between
> a venue like the one in Anaheim, and a venue like the one in Maastricht, I
> would really strongly prefer they choose the latter.
>
> IETF in Ireland worked out just fine for me, but the reason it did was
> because I figured out in advance how isolated the venue was by using Google
> maps, and once I realized how isolated it was, I got a hotel that was closer
> in.   I felt very bad for the people who were stuck at the venue.   OTOH,
> not being at the venue meant I had fewer of those highly desirable
> accidental hallway meetings.   I would say that the venue in Ireland was
> probably worse than Anaheim, but I enjoyed Ireland a lot more than Anaheim.
>
> Maastricht beat either city because even though my hotel was isolated, like
> in Anaheim, I was close to the venue, so I went to meetings I wouldn't
> otherwise have attended and ran into people I wouldn't otherwise have run
> into, and yet with the bus service I was able to go forage for real food.
>
> Honestly, I have no idea how the folks organizing IETF meetings make these
> choices.   Walking through this, my main reaction is to feel happy that it's
> not my job.
>
>