Re: [Recentattendees] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100

Yoav Nir <ynir.ietf@gmail.com> Mon, 30 May 2016 06:13 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Recentattendees] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100
From: Yoav Nir <ynir.ietf@gmail.com>
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Date: Mon, 30 May 2016 09:13:14 +0300
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To: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
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On 30 May 2016, at 2:31 AM, John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> wrote:

> 
> --On Saturday, May 28, 2016 2:34 PM -0400 "Joel M. Halpern"
> <jmh@joelhalpern.com> wrote:
> 
>> Fernando,
>>     Your response assumes that it is proven that moving to
>> less-participating locations increases long term participation
>> from those locales.  There are also indications from other
>> data that it is not particularly effective.  Thus, while your
>> view is a reasonable hypothesis, it will take time and
>> measurements to confirm it.
> 
> Let me take Joel's observation about the particular BA
> experiment a bit further.  If, independent of who showed up at
> that meeting, it isn't followed by a significant spike in
> long-term IETF participation and contributions from the region,
> I think people who say "go there in spite of the fact that there
> hasn't been a lot of participation from the region because
> participation will increase" are going to have a very hard time
> making that case... for either a return to Latin America or for
> any other region.

We have run this experiment before. The IETF met in Korea in 2004. I’ve just counted, and in IETF 93, 94, and 95 there were 32, 41, and 17 participants from Korea respectively. Whether this can be attributed to our meeting or to the ascendance of the Korean high-tech industry or to the greater involvement of Korean universities is debatable, and I have no idea how we can ever determine this. It does show the effect of geographic distance and cost. Going from Korea to Prague is difficult enough. Going to Buenos Aires halved the participation compared to Prague.

>>     I do note that many of our regular participants found BA
>> to be simply too much (by whatever measures they use) and
>> chose not to come. That is an observed cost that also must be
>> factored in.
> 
> That drop in attendance, and overall lower attendance, are
> significant for other reasons, but, at least to me, further
> raise  the bar for "going to this new place will help the IETF"
> arguments.

It seems that in general the European meetings have the highest attendance, mostly because obtaining a visa is more straightforward for people from India and Africa compared to obtaining a visa for the US. US meetings are a close second. Other regions have relatively poor attendance, although Yokohama was surprisingly well-attended.

>>     Also note that we did chose to conduct the experiment.
>> So I think your comparison is quite a ways off the mark.
> 
> Indeed.

I think we’ll need to wait for at least two years before we can declare this experiment a success or a failure.

Yoav