Re: Specific Questions about Registration details for IETF 108

Jay Daley <jay@ietf.org> Thu, 04 June 2020 03:36 UTC

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From: Jay Daley <jay@ietf.org>
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Subject: Re: Specific Questions about Registration details for IETF 108
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2020 15:36:04 +1200
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To: Bob Hinden <bob.hinden@gmail.com>
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Bob

> On 4/06/2020, at 3:07 PM, Bob Hinden <bob.hinden@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>> While an online meeting is different from an in-person meeting there are still a number of key variables where the earlier we know, the better the planning.  These include: the number of people we need to have on support desks, the initial scaling of the infrastructure and how many t-shirts to order.
> 
> Charging different rates based on when you register doesn’t have much effect on this.   You need the same level of support independent of when people register and how much they pay.

There is always a difference between planned numbers and actuals.  This certainly helps with the former, which is sufficient reason to keep it.  It’s also not clear what downside there is to keeping it.

>   I bet you have a good idea of how many people will attend independent of this.

Unfortunately I don’t - we are in uncharted waters now.

> 
> Note, I also think that a virtual t-shirt would be more appropriate, instead of mailing everyone a shirt around the world.  This seems like a needless expense to me.

There were differing views expressed on this in our internal planning but the winning view is that t-shirts matter a great deal to IETF participants and represent the only tangible takeaway from this event.

> 
>> 
>>> 
>>> How does the fee relate to the costs of running the meeting?    As it said in your blog entry:
>>> 
>>> "As noted above, $515,145 is much higher than the direct cost of running an online meeting due to the way we spread some operational costs.”
>>> 
>>> How much higher is it?   Please share the details.
>> 
>> I don’t know the answer to that in detail as we have only started looking at this recently.  As explained in the blog post, one third of the annual Secretariat labor cost and of some of the annual NOC cost is assigned to each meeting. In other words, four months of labor is assigned to each meeting.  I have not done the work with the Secretariat to see if that is actually one month or more.  Additionally, there are multiple costs incurred in the run up to meetings, such as site visits, which are not accounted for in the cost (and so would raise it) that would need to be incorporated.
> 
> I was responding to what you wrote in your blog, I assume you had the data behind what you wrote.   Secretariat labor makes a lot of sense, but I suspect there won’t be a NOC so there shouldn’t be any significant NOC expenses, except for additional Meetecho expenses for the additional remote participation support.

We no longer have a volunteer funded NOC lead and so pay for NOC services throughout the year.  Additionally, there will indeed be a NOC for IETF 108 with both volunteers and a contracted helpdesk (in addition to Meetecho)

> 
> A model where the meetings (face to face or all remote) pay for themselves, and ISOC pays for the rest would work.  The financials break this all out quite clearly.   According to the 2020 budget the meetings are running at a slight loss. We are close to that now.
> 
> https://www.ietf.org/media/documents/IETF_2020_Public_Budget_nmHyaCx.pdf <https://www.ietf.org/media/documents/IETF_2020_Public_Budget_nmHyaCx.pdf>
> 

I think you’ve misunderstood.  We are running at a slight loss with some non-meeting costs bundled in with meetings.  If we took those out and reduced meeting income so that the meetings were at break even then that leaves those non-meeting costs not covered.  We cannot assume that ISOC would cover that shortfall if that’s the way we decided to go.

>> 
>> As this is the basis on which, for several years, the LLC and the IAOC before it has structured its accounts, there would need to be a compelling reason to change.
>> 
> 
> How about because the world has changed and our ability to have face to face meetings any time soon is unlikely.   This is not business as usual.  It’s unlikely we are going to have any face to face meetings this year, nor I suspect the first half of next year.

That isn’t a reason for why we need to fundamentally restructure our finances.  Charging a registration fee for IETF 108 puts us in a very similar financial position to that we were in before the pandemic and so with all other things being equal, this is "solved" for now.

If the reason is "well this is how we reduce registration fees to the minimum possible" then let’s start with getting consensus that we should set fees that way and then the LLC can work out how best to fund that.

Jay

> 
> Bob
> 
> 
> 
> 
>> Jay
>> 
>>> 
>>> Bob
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> On May 27, 2020, at 6:12 PM, IETF Executive Director <exec-director@ietf.org> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> As previously announced [1], IETF 108 is switching to a fully online meeting over 5 days, 25-31 July, with an agenda structure similar to that of an in-person meeting [2].
>>>> 
>>>> Registrations will open on 8 June 2020 and the registration fees will be as follows:
>>>> 
>>>>  Early-Bird:  USD 230, until 26 June 2020
>>>>  Standard:  USD 280, until 20 July 2020
>>>>  Late:  USD 330, after 20 July 2020
>>>>  Full-time Student:  USD 50
>>>>  One Day Pass:  USD 125
>>>> 
>>>> This meeting will have a substantial agenda but as the cost of an online meeting is lower, the registration fees have been set at approximately one-third of those for an in-person meeting.  A detailed explanation of why we charge a fee for meetings and how the fee reduction was set for IETF 108 is provided in a separate blog post [3].
>>>> 
>>>> As online participants have until now not had to pay a fee, it is recognised that there may be some for whom the fee presents a barrier to participation and so we will provide up to 100 early bird fee waivers for IETF 108. If the number of waiver requests exceeds the number we can offer, waiver recipients will be chosen at random using a process similar to the one specified in RFC 3797. Details of how to apply for a waiver will be provided when registration opens.
>>>> 
>>>> No decision has been made on whether or not a fee for online participation is needed when we return to in-person meetings.
>>>> 
>>>> As this is a fully online meeting, there are two key changes in the meeting process for you to be aware of:
>>>> 
>>>> 1.  When you register you will be able to choose if you want to receive an IETF 108 t-shirt delivered to you at no additional expense. Numbers will be limited to 1000 t-shirts on a first-come-first-served basis with 900 for Early Birds and 100 for Students.
>>>> 
>>>> 2.  All participants will need a Datatracker account in order to authenticate with Meetecho.  If you do not already have an account then one will be created for you during registration and you will receive a password setup link by email.
>>>> 
>>>> As with in-person meetings, a video recording of each scheduled session will be posted after the session concludes and the proceedings will be posted in the normal timeframe following the meeting.
>>>> 
>>>> Finally, we are still in the process of securing sponsors with some generous contributions already agreed and more under discussion.  Full details and thanks will follow later.
>>>> 
>>>> Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments.
>>>> 
>>>> [1]  https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/ietf-announce/kzC7M48oKrAwdh9uyOvseeKFW3A/
>>>> [2]  https://www.ietf.org/blog/ietf108-survey-results-informed-planning/
>>>> [3]  https://www.ietf.org/blog/ietf108-registration-fees
>>>> 
>>>> --
>>>> Jay Daley
>>>> IETF Executive Director
>>>> exec-director@ietf.org
>>>> 
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> IETF-Announce mailing list
>>>> IETF-Announce@ietf.org
>>>> https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/ietf-announce
>>> 
>> 
>> --
>> Jay Daley
>> IETF Executive Director
>> jay@ietf.org

-- 
Jay Daley
IETF Executive Director
jay@ietf.org