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[802SEC] Proposed process to choose March 2011 802 Plenary


I think it's time to plan the process for choosing the site of the  
March 2011 802 Plenary. I recommend we try a new approach.

In my view, the best path to success is to work with a local host who  
wants our session and will be willing to put its name and credibility  
on the line to make sure it goes right. I have some experience in  
this area. I served as the Meetings and Symposia Chair of an IEEE  
Society that threw an annual Symposium for around 8,000 to 10,000  
people. The event is big enough that the site is chosen annually  
eight years in advance. Still, the competition to host is strong, and  
it is not unusual to have three proposals from which to choose. The  
process involves a request for proposals, a site visit committee, and  
a formal site selection process. Proposals are selected based on  
location, facilities, costs, the interest of the local community, and  
the commitment of the local organizing committee. The results are  
great. The locals want the Symposium, and they work hard to deliver  
one that people will remember. [Since I served as Vice Chair of one  
of those local committees, I know how hard people work to pull off a  
successful event to which their name is attached.]

Long ago, I used to organize 802.16 interim sessions myself when I  
had no other option. I always chose a site near my home. Sometimes  
people would say something like, "Hey, let's meet in Rio; that would  
be a great spot." I would say, "Sorry; I know Denver; I don't know  
Rio." Eventually, I developed a simple site selection process based  
on host proposals. Now, when someone asks for Rio, I say "Great, why  
don't you make a proposal?" Every four months, when we choose a site,  
we have at least one proposal to consider, and we have had as many as  
four at once. We get, for the most part, committed local members who  
convince their company to join in and, in the best cases, bring along  
the local industry, academic, and government communities.

I think that 802 is in a similar situation now. Buzz knows North  
America like I know Denver. We can tell Buzz to go make a meeting in  
Rio, but we may not be happy with the results, and we may not build  
any lasting relationships.

I suggest that we seek proposals to host the March 2011 Plenary and  
make a choice at the July session. Here is a specific timeline to get  

(1) by 31 January: IEEE 802 Executive Secretary issues a draft set of  
facility requirements and issues a Request for Interest (RfI) seeking  
a letter of intent from any prospective hosts.
(2) 7 March: Deadline for letter of intent that would name  
prospective host and venue but without a firm commitment to host.
(3) 21 March: 802 EC approves a request for proposals (RfP),  
including facility requirements and hosting specifications, with a  
specific submittal template to allow ready intercomparison. 802 EC  
also authorizes travel expenses for site visits to prospective hosts  
identified by letter of intent.
(4) 20 June: Deadline for host proposals issued in response to the RfP.
(5) 1 July: Executive Secretary submits report summarizing proposals  
and results of site visits.
(6) 14 July: During a tutorial slot, host candidates overview their  
(7) 18 July: 802 EC votes to accept a proposal.

Note that this would not require any EC action before the March 802  
Plenary. We just need Step (1) to kick it off.

The RfP could specify that we are particularly seeking venues outside  
North America and would expect to give them preference. We could also  
be rigid about this, but my personal opinion is that we should be  
flexible, retaining the option to choose a North American site if  
that was the only reasonable option. Anyway, the RfP would be subject  
to EC discussion.

If we take an approach like this, I have a lot of confidence that we  
will get a good response. I am committed to working with prospective  
hosts to get us at least one solid hosting offer outside North America.

I welcome your thoughts on this proposal.


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