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Re: [802SEC] Responses on venue for March 2009 - Please VOTE Now !!!

Hi Pat,  I'm afraid you're still not understanding how it works in nNA venues.  The room rates and meeting space fees quoted were based on the assumption that breakfasts and buffet lunches would be included in the program.  The lunches are not optional and they compute out to ~$40 per person for a simple three course buffet (soup/salad, entrée, and dessert).  If you try to eliminate the lunches, you find the price for rooms and meeting spaces go up and so you wind up paying virtually the same amount and you don't get the lunches.  So you DO the lunches.  We only do 4 lunches (Mon-Thu) so the cost is closer to $150 for the week and for many that means they can get by with a snack or sandwich for dinner, and you can think of it that a significant portion of that cost comes back to you in reduced rates on rooms and meeting space.  I don't know when the last time you did a sit-down buffet lunch at even a NA hotel but I would be totally surprised if you could find anything at all!
  for less than $30 per person after tax and services charges are added.  That's why we usually do the grab-and-go, cash-lunches at plenaries because the alternatives are way too costly.  

But you can't let yourself get hung-up on the hotel prices like the $4.50 cookie or the $3.50 Coke.  It'll drive you crazy.  You just have to take your budget and keep looking at the bottom line and keep trying different combinations until you get a close match.  That's why when the prices are good we have a bounty of choices, and when they're not we focus on mostly the essentials.  Dealing with hotels is always like shopping in Mexico: you can always do better if you are willing to bargain but there is a limit to how good a deal you can achieve, and if you try to go beyond that limit the whole tenor of the negotiation changes and further concessions are just not available.  

The F&B prices in London were higher than those we are being quoted for Rome so we do have a pretty good handle on the costs per attendee.  Then we take that budget and we spread it out over the meeting and fine tune things a bit so that we will come out even at the end.  If we can take enough surplus from prior meeting to reduce the reg fee to $500 that will be great but we should all be aware what the true underlying costs are.  If we were to pursue doing one of these sessions every year we would only have two meetings in which to build up surplus so the fees would have to be higher.  Given the amount of hostility we seem to be getting from the more cost-conscious folks we might want to consider a lesser goal of doing one every other year.  

I know you've attended many IETF sessions and are aware how some of their nNA venues have been, shall we say, less-than-satisfactory (I hesitate to use the word fiasco ...) ???  I hope you will support us in trying to maintain a higher and more consistent standard for our plenary sessions.  These meetings are hard enough with excellent facilities.  And trying to make do with inadequate facilities will only cause great distress and impede our ability to complete standards on schedule.  Some sacrifices will be inevitable but we must strive to resist any that would hinder our ability to get our work done with reasonable efficiency.  

Thanx,  Buzz
Dr. Everett O. (Buzz) Rigsbee
Boeing IT
PO Box 3707, M/S: 7M-FM
Seattle, WA  98124-2207
Ph: (425) 373-8960    Fx: (425) 865-7960
Cell: (425) 417-1022

-----Original Message-----
From: Pat Thaler [] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2007 4:15 PM
To: Rigsbee, Everett O; STDS-802-SEC@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG
Subject: RE: [802SEC] Responses on venue for March 2009 - Please VOTENow !!!


The lunch part was based on this statement from your earlier reply to my
concern about lunch and dinner spot availability close to the hotel:

"Hi Pat,    Fees for facilities use are usually negotiable as part of
contract deal.  That would include such things as pool, fitness center,
and Internet Connectivity.  I would expect that we can get such items as
part of our bundled Group rate especially since we are paying a large
lump-sum to get direct access to their High-Speed Internet Access
Service Link.  Breakfasts are included with the rooms, and we will cover
buffet lunches for all registered attendees." 

$40 per day per lunch is not acceptable. Did the casual "we will cover
lunches" mean by increasing registration about $200? 

Most of us do not eat enough at lunch to be worth that. I don't expect
our constituents will look kindly on an extra $200 in meeting fees to
get lunch thrown in. Given that and the location of the hotel, what do
you suggest we do to handle lunch?

Our normal registration has been $400. Your memo said $800 to break
even. $500 per attendee means a $300 delta times 1000 attendees =
$300,000. The treasurer's report showed a net surplus from March 2007 of
133K and a projected surplus from July 2007 of 81K and we have talked
about whether to reduce registration or use this to subsidize non-NA
plenaries. San Diego showed a surplus of $105K. So that seems do-able as
the subsidy for a low attendence turn-out. 

I think it would be acceptable to kick up late registration by $200
instead of our usual $100 as well but I think 60 days out for late
registration is kind of far. I'd rather see 45 days which would let most
attendees attend their interims and then decide whether they were going
to the plenary.

Prior experience with 802.1 and 802.3 shows that we get solid attendance
at non-NA interims. Stockholm was an expensive city too and 802.1 did
fine on attendance. For those who chose to economize by staying in a
different hotel, it looked like more was available in Rome for
reasonably priced accomodation than in Stockholm. I don't believe that
the decision of those groups about where to hold their interim in
January 2007 is an indicator of turn-out for a Rome plenary. And the
decision not to go to London wasn't based only on cost. It was also
based on our other options for non-NA interims in 2007 vs a January in
London. In 2007, 802.3 had interims in May Geneva and September Seoul
and 802.1 had May Geneva and September Stockholm. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Rigsbee, Everett O [] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2007 3:24 PM
Subject: RE: [802SEC] Responses on venue for March 2009 - Please VOTE
Now !!!

Pat,   Some comments on your suggestion: 

I would prefer to anticipate attendance at 800 just to be safe since I
expect low turn-out from 802.1 and 802.3 based on prior experience and
their stated preferences.  

You cannot get 4-days of buffet lunches for $50, not even close.  The
going rate is $40-50/day.  

We need to come up with $402K just to pay for meeting space.  No way you
can do that with +$100 reg fee (that barely covers the increased cost of
F&B) unless you are able to take all of that out of our treasury. We
would need to raise our fees by $50 to build that much reserve between
now and March 2009 (only 3 sessions).  

We can work up some options with subsidized fees if you would like but
it's still not going to look cheap.  

Thanx,  Buzz
Dr. Everett O. (Buzz) Rigsbee
Boeing IT
PO Box 3707, M/S: 7M-FM
Seattle, WA  98124-2207
Ph: (425) 373-8960    Fx: (425) 865-7960
Cell: (425) 417-1022

-----Original Message-----
From: Pat Thaler [] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2007 3:00 PM
To: Rigsbee, Everett O; STDS-802-SEC@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG
Subject: RE: [802SEC] Responses on venue for March 2009 - Please VOTENow

Can Rome be set up with the following parameters?

Budget can be made to work with 
	anticipated attendance of 1000
	registration fee no more than $100 over our usual plenary
registration fee 
		(or $150 if buffet lunch is included)
	extra registration fee of up to $200 for attendees that don't
stay at the meeting hotel
	difference between cost and registration fees decreases for
higher attendance
	difference between meeting cost and registration at 1000
attendees is within our ability to subsidize from the IEEE 802 Treasury

And our attendees staying at the hotel are not subjected to excessive
fees (compared to what we pay at our customary venues) for the usual
hotel services. Specifically:
	access to fitness center and hotel indoor pool should be free
	in room internet should be no more than 10 Euros 

Note: I expect that 1000 is the minimum attendance we will get. Buzz's
information memo said 800 to 1000 but looking at the past meeting
history for interims we don't have that much fall off for NA vs non-NA,
actually attendance looks pretty good at previous non-NA meetings. "our
ability to subsidize from the IEEE 802 Treasury" means using the
treasury funds we have been building up to help with the expected extra
cost of non-NA and not reducing our treasury to a point that endangers
our ability to operate going forward.

If and only if those parameters can be met, then I vote approve.

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