Re: Registration details for IETF 108

Lixia Zhang <lixia@cs.ucla.edu> Mon, 01 June 2020 16:23 UTC

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Subject: Re: Registration details for IETF 108
From: Lixia Zhang <lixia@cs.ucla.edu>
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Date: Mon, 1 Jun 2020 09:23:09 -0700
Cc: Alissa Cooper <alissa@cooperw.in>, ietf@ietf.org
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To: Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com>
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> On May 31, 2020, at 9:36 PM, Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> ......
> On the substance (and partly in response to SM) I know that participants have had to cover IETF meeting costs since 1992, and presumably longer, so I don't find this shocking. But for the longer term, we do need to think about how this interacts with the goal of "any interested person can participate in the work, know what is being decided, and make his or her voice heard" [RFC3935].
> 
> Regards
>    Brian

a few observations following Brian's above comments as food for thought:

1/ organizing IETF meetings, in person or online, incurs cost. 

2/ if this cost needs to be covered by meeting participants: this conflicts with "any interested person can participate in the work" for free.

3/ for academic conferences: online conf. registration is so much lower now (e.g. one used to be $700/person, now $100/person), plus no travel cost, this makes it a lot more more affordable, potentially attract a higher attendance.

4/ as a central principles of the IETF, people participate as individuals, not representatives of their companies, this seems to argue for consideration of moving meeting registration fees, or more general IETF participation fees, towards a model as personal professional cost (e.g. IEEE or ACM membership fees), of course only if it can be made affordable.
(I didnt have time to follow all exchanges but do wonder whether the $230/person reg. fee can be reduced)

bottom line: it is so unfortunate there is no free lunch. C19 pandemic brought the issue on the table: We cannot have both "everyone can participate" and "for free" in the same sentence.

my 2 cents,
Lixia