IETF 102: Change of venue, dates

IAOC Chair <> Sun, 16 July 2017 09:36 UTC

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Subject: IETF 102: Change of venue, dates
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Following up on concerns discussed at the beginning of 2017, the IAOC has effected a change of venue for the IETF 102 meeting in July of 2018.  Instead of San Francisco, the meeting will now be held in Montreal at the Fairmont Hotel. Securing the venue for Montreal required changing the dates to one week earlier, i.e.,  to July 15-20, 2018.

Below is the background information and IAOC resolution to effectuate this change (updated for current timeframe and contract confidentiality requirements), which the IAOC agreed to in May. We are able to announce the change now that contract negotiations with the new venue have concluded.

A. Background

The Hilton San Francisco has been contracted for IETF 102 and Juniper has agreed to host the meeting. The meeting is about 12 months away.

Observing events in the US related to restrictions and policies concerning international travel, before the Chicago IETF meeting in March 2017, the IAOC requested that the Meetings Committee evaluate the situation and the possibility of selecting an alternative North American venue for IETF 102.

The Meetings Committee observed that the United States had attempted to restrict entry into the country for individuals from a number of named countries and in other ways had increased its vetting of individuals entering the country regardless of citizenship through searches of personal electronic devices and other means. Some of this action has been blocked by the courts. These actions have resulted in an atmosphere of uncertainty in international travelers about their ability to enter the United States.

The Meetings Committee expressed its belief that the IETF should optimize for a successful meeting, by taking the conservative action to minimize attendee risk. At this point in time it is impossible to know or predict the extent of the restrictions placed on individuals attempting to attend IETF 102 twelve months from now, or the level of uncertainty that will exist, and the impact that will have on the ability for the IETF to hold a successful meeting in the United States at that time. However, the current orientation and actions of the US government provide no basis for expecting conditions at the US border to improve for non-citizens.

The Meetings Committee observed that time is very short to find and contract with a qualified, alternative venue outside of the United States. While the meeting itself is 14 months from now, the contracting windows are closing as other organizations are also looking for alternative venues outside the US.

The Meetings Committee recommended the following to the IAOC:

The IETF 102 meeting be moved to Canada from San Francisco, and the Fairmont Montreal be selected as the first choice for contracting a venue.

Montreal received community vetting in April 2016.

B. Financial Impacts

Cancelling the Hilton San Francisco contract:

The IAOC understands that there are costs associated with cancellation.  Those costs are graduated based on timing of the cancellation, growing larger as we are closer to the meeting.  Cancellation prior to 17 January 2018 allows us to minimize the cost of cancellation.

In order to minimize and possibly eliminate costs associated with cancellation of IETF102 in San Francisco, the IAOC could reschedule this meeting at Hilton San Francisco.

Entering into a contract with Montreal Fairmont:

The 3 key numbers in hotel contracts are:  cost of meeting space, guest room rates and food and beverage costs.

a. There will be no change in meeting space cost,
b. Guest room rates: $179/night in Montreal, as compared to $259/night in SF
c. Food and Beverage: historically, lower in Montreal

Net Cost
>From a total budget perspective, including meeting attendance fees and projected costs, the IAOC understands that the move could cost the IETF money (not expected to exceed $100K) if we do not contract for another meeting in SF and lose the cancellation fee.  If we do contract for another meeting in SF, the cost of the move would be revenue neutral or positive.

C. Community Input

The IAOC conducted an anonymous survey to ask about travel plans and experiences entering and exiting the US to attend IETF 98 in Chicago, and potential future US travel concerns to inform decisions regarding the future location of meeting venues, including decisions concerning IETF 102 in San Francisco.

The survey received 366 responses, of which 58% (211) were from non-US community members.

15% of those living outside the US who responded to the survey said they were so concerned about US travel restrictions that they decided not to attend IETF 98 in Chicago.

Of those who responded, lived in the US, and planned to attend IETF 102, only 1 said they would be so concerned about US travel policy that they would likely decide to not attend a meeting outside the US.

Many were concerned that the IAOC not make a political decision.

D. Fairmont Montreal Availability for IETF 102

The Fairmont Montreal is not available over the scheduled dates for IETF 102, July 22 - 27, 2018. However, it is available for the week prior, July 15 - 20, 2018.

E. Clash List and Community Review

The IAOC, IESG, and IAB reviewed the IETF Meeting Clash List, and updates to the list were made on 27 April 2017.

A clash was found with 3GPP SA3-LI and ANSI T10 meetings for the week of 15 July 2018.

The IETF Chair conducted a community review of a possible move of the IETF 102 dates to the week prior or after the scheduled dates and received no opposition to the July 15-20, 2018 dates.

F. Host Reaction

Juniper has been provided a heads up with regard to the discussion of the possibility of moving the venue under the current circumstances. They are aware of of the issues and are supportive of the meeting whichever venue the IETF moves forward with.

Resolution [As approved on May 25, 2017]:

The IAOC changes the IETF 102 meeting dates to July 15 - 22, 2018 and selects the Montreal Fairmont for IETF 102 to optimize for a successful IETF meeting, provided a contract can be concluded for that venue over those dates; and requests the Internet Society to enter into such agreements to effect those dates and that venue

Leslie Daigle, for the IAOC.