Re: Specific Questions about Registration details for IETF 108

Bob Hinden <bob.hinden@gmail.com> Thu, 04 June 2020 03:07 UTC

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From: Bob Hinden <bob.hinden@gmail.com>
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Subject: Re: Specific Questions about Registration details for IETF 108
Date: Wed, 3 Jun 2020 20:07:24 -0700
In-Reply-To: <86D7C39D-9778-4408-B7CA-CB74E9572B1B@ietf.org>
Cc: Bob Hinden <bob.hinden@gmail.com>, IETF <ietf@ietf.org>
To: Jay Daley <jay@ietf.org>
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Jay,

Thanks for the quick response.   Inline.

> On Jun 3, 2020, at 12:15 PM, Jay Daley <jay@ietf.org> wrote:
> 
> Bob
> 
>> On 4/06/2020, at 4:32 AM, Bob Hinden <bob.hinden@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>> Jay,
>> 
>> I have some specific questions about the registration fees for IETF 108 as announced.  Note, I am OK with charging a fee for remote participation, but I still have questions.  I have reviewed your blog entry [3].
>> 
>> While I support charging a fee to participate, I don’t see any justification for having different fee levels (Early, Standard, Late).  Why is this being done?   It makes some sense for a face-to-face meeting, where we do need to know how many people will be on site, cookies to buy, etc., but that is not the case here.   Do we have a cash flow problem that we need to get the money early?   Please explain, this seems completely arbitrary to me.
> 
> As you know the Early/Standard/Late approach was implemented as a forcing function on the basis that the earlier people registered, the better the planning and it works well in that regard as the bulk of people register in the Early Bird phase.  I don’t know when the Early Bird/Standard split came but the Late phase was added in 2018:
> 
> 	https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/ietf-announce/jJ8_yArXVOtsw613FP9gol9EjxU/

I am aware of the past, but this is quite different now and I don’t think it applies.

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

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.


> 
>> 
>> 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.


>>  I infer the fee is being set do to how the LLC is doing its accounting, not related to the direct costs.
> 
> Yes, though I would say we’ve (LLC and prior to the the IAOC) been explicit about that for several years rather than leaving it to inference.
> 
>> 
>> I would prefer that the fee be set based on our costs for running the meeting.
> 
> That is a very substantial piece of work with significant implications that need to be thought through and in light of those this might not be a good idea.  For example, it would show our meeting income greatly exceeding our meeting costs, which may lead some participants or some sponsors to question our fee levels and that would then cause problems for our non-meeting expenses.

That isn’t a new problem, as much of our funding some from ISOC.

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

> 
> 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.

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
>