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[EFM] Please Read - New Orleans Meeting

Dear Members of the IEEE 802.3ah EFM Task Force,

If you plan on attending the upcoming meeting of the IEEE 802.3ah
EFM Task Force in New Orleans, please remember to make your
hotel reservation by this Friday, August 30th, and pay your
attendance fee by Friday, September 20th.  The information you
will require can be found on the web at:

In the past, some of you have been able to find a less expensive
rate at the meeting hotel or a nearby hotel, so our hosts didn't
get credit for your stay.  This places a severe financial burden on
the host. Our contracts with hotels always include a guaranteed
minimum revenue from the sleeping room accommodations.  At the
Vancouver meeting, we fell short by at least a couple of hundred
room nights, primarily because attendees were able to find less
expensive accommodations at a nearby hotel.

We negotiate the room rate for the hotel on the basis of several factors,
including a portion of the meeting room rental fees, the audio-visual
equipment fees, and the food and beverage fees. Thus, the group rate
will always be a little higher than the lowest discounted rate you can
find in a particular market. We then balance the total cost of the meeting
against the money collected from registration, plus the host's 
If we run short on the room pick-up, the host gets stuck with the bill 
for the
shortfall. This is one of the reasons why we recently started the practice
of charging a registration fee for all attendees. When you or your travel
department tries to save some dough by booking a cheaper room, you are
sticking it to your fellow meeting attendees, you are really hurting 
your host,
and you will wind up costing yourself, your company, and everybody else
a lot more in the long run.

If we continue to experience this problem, it will become even more 
to find hosts willing to sign up for the financial liability. We will 
then be
forced to either increase the registration fee substantially, or start 
an additional fee to everyone who attends the meeting but can't produce
proof that they are registered at the meeting hotel. This additional fee 
probably be on the order of $50 to $75 per attendee, per day.

The bottom line is, please stay at the meeting hotel, and pay the group
rate. I am going to ask our meeting planners to produce a list of the
people who attend the New Orleans meeting but don't stay in the
Astor Crowne Plaza. If we fall short on our room block, please believe
me when I say that you will not want to find your name on that list.

Howard Frazier
Chair, IEEE 802.3ah EFM Task Force