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

Mary Barnes <> Wed, 11 August 2010 15:38 UTC

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Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2010 10:38:41 -0500
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From: Mary Barnes <>
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Subject: Re: [78attendees] We'll meet again...
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I also agree with Joe's point.  While I found Dublin to be a great place to
spend time and found that once I reached the city, the choice of places to
eat was excellent, having a meeting at such a remote location is not a good
thing.  Maastricht also had some excellent restaurants once I got back to
the city at the end of the day.  But, I did not consider the cities in
general to be a good choice for a business meeting.  For many of us, the
week is extremely grueling and we have to manage on very few hours of sleep.
When the venue, hotels and places to eat are not conveniently located, extra
time is added to our already very busy days.

The one thing that I really liked about Dublin was that there were buses
provided so that we didn't have to find our way back to the venue on our
own.  It was extremely helpful and very much appreciated that we were
provided access to the buses in Maastricht to get us to and from the venue,
however, that did result in some of us having to make our way back on our to
our hotels at night.  This concern may not be one that others encounter, but
as a female traveling alone, wandering around a city where I am not familiar
with areas where I should and shouldn't be on my own is a big concern.
 Certainly, there are enough IETF gentlemen that I can generally find
someone to walk with me. However, that is inconvenient for them and in one
case it was suggested that I could walk to the hotel by myself since the
individual (a male) said it was safe.  That was an uncomfortable situation
for me since the city center in Maastricht (in particular the side street
where my hotel was located) is quite deserted at nite and the only people I
encountered were  hanging out in front of a "coffee" house.  When I took a
self defense class, I was taught that the most effective way to avoid
problems is to not put yourself in a situation where I might be vulnerable.
 I have traveled to many places all over the world on my own and in general
avoid being out at night until I've been able to assess the situation, which
I do by seeing how many females I see out alone at nite.  In general, I have
found major cities that are open 24 hours, so to speak, as very safe places
since there is safety in numbers, if you will.  I have no fears about
traveling around midtown NYC or central London or Paris on my own. In my
experience, the least safe places for me to be alone at night are towns that
pretty much shutdown by around 10 pm at nite or in areas of cities that I
know are not particularly safe.  I live in a small town and can tell you
that the same bad things can happen in small towns that happen in big

Again, I know that my concerns only apply to a very small subset of IETF
participants, but I have to wonder if it isn't this safety concern that
prevents more women from being actively involved in IETF. It takes far more
guts for a woman to travel to unknown cities on her own than it does to deal
with folks in the IETF.  Statisically, one would expect IETF to have the
same percentage of female participants as there are women in computer
science. Unfortunately, that number is around 10%, but my guess is that the
percentage of women that attend IETF is around 5%.

So, I strongly encourage the folks that plan the meetings to consider the
safety factor associated with a venue that is not located in a city center
with convenient acess to restuarants (that serve food beyond 10pm).  And,
based on my previous comments on the list, access to food markets is also
very important for folks that are on restricted diets for medical reasons.
 I had to skip a WG session that I really should have attended to go to the
market in Maastricht (the nite after I did not receive the meal I ordered at
the hotel restaurant).  I also realize this isn't an issue for the majority
of participants, but I would hope folks could have some empathy for those of
us that go without many meals at the IETF meetings (I'm still down 5 pounds
since that meeting and that raises a big flag with my doctor).  Just
consider how you would feel if the only food that you could eat in
Maastricht for lunch was a salad or if the only snacks available at breaks
was veggies (which I personally really appreciate).

And, while I'm on the topic of why I did not find Maastricht to be a good
place for a business meeting, the fact that we could only buy train tickets
at the station between 10am and 5:30 pm is another negative.  In Yokohama,
we were able to purchase our train tickets at the venue - that was extremely
helpful. That would have been really nice in Maastricht.

I also don't buy into the idea that these smaller cities are less expensive.
The transportation expenses and extra travel time have already been raised.
 My guess is that the less expensive part in these smaller/out of the way
venues is the meeting space. Personally, I'd prefer to pay a higher meeting
fee and have the meeting in a large, easily accessible city. In my
experience, you can find reasonably priced hotels in many major cities. For
example, the hotel that I stayed in in Paris after the meeting was 30 Euros
a nite less than my hotel in Maastricht (same class of hotel). And, the
subway in Paris is very inexpensive.  I found the venue in Paris in 2005 to
be perfect - there was even a market located in the shopping center
connected to the hotel/venue.


On Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 9:21 AM, Haibin Song <> wrote:

> > This is less an issue with city size than with venue location within the
> > city. IMO, Hiroshima, Stockholm, Anaheim, and Vancouver had this, but
> > Maastricht and Dublin's venues (NOT the cities) made the week more
> > difficult than it needed to be.
> I agree. I'm also very happy if the host can find some nice and convenient
> locations within cities like Tokyo and Beijing, where you can have
> restaurants in walking distance, and where that is not so crowded and noisy.
> Haibin
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: []
> > On Behalf Of Joe Touch
> > Sent: Friday, August 06, 2010 10:01 PM
> > To: Ole Jacobsen
> > Cc:
> > Subject: Re: [78attendees] We'll meet again...
> >
> > Hi, all,
> >
> > I too enjoyed visiting Maastricht, and like the idea of not always going
> > to the same large places repeatedly, and don't mind a brief (2-hour or
> > less) train ride after a flight.
> >
> > That said, I would appreciate future locations be less 'pinned', i.e.,
> > where at least some alternatives (for lunch, [brewed] coffee, or just to
> > take a break) were available within a reasonably brief walk.
> >
> > This is less an issue with city size than with venue location within the
> > city. IMO, Hiroshima, Stockholm, Anaheim, and Vancouver had this, but
> > Maastricht and Dublin's venues (NOT the cities) made the week more
> > difficult than it needed to be.
> >
> > Joe
> >
> > On 8/6/2010 8:09 AM, Ole Jacobsen wrote:
> > >
> > > Cities like Maastricht and Hiroshima offer the "all in one place"
> > > experience. Pretty much everything your would want to see/buy/eat
> > > could be gotten to by foot, a short cab ride or even the tram.
> > > This is also very much true for places like Oslo, Vancouver, and
> > > yes Amsterdam (apart from the separation of venue and hotels for
> > > an event as large as the IETF).
> > >
> > > This has a lot more to do with geography than it has to do with
> > > population density.
> > >
> > > Ole
> > >
> > > Ole J. Jacobsen
> > > Editor and Publisher,  The Internet Protocol Journal
> > > Cisco Systems
> > > Tel: +1 408-527-8972   Mobile: +1 415-370-4628
> > > E-mail:  URL:
> > _______________________________________________
> > 78attendees mailing list
> >
> >
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