Thread Links Date Links
Thread Prev Thread Next Thread Index Date Prev Date Next Date Index

RE: [EFM] Please Read - New Orleans Meeting

Howard -

I appreciate your strongly worded exhortation to stay at the meeting 
hotel at meeting hotel rates at EFM meetings.  I have hosted meetings 
for other standards organizations, and know that it is a tremendous 
amount of work, and can result in a significant financial exposure if 
room/night commitments to the hotel are not met.  In the past, our 
company has always encouraged its meeting delegates to stay at the host 
hotel at the meeting rate.

Unfortunately, a tight economy has hit our industry particularly hard.  
Companies are looking for ways to cut expenses, and travel budgets are 
an easy target.  For our division in my company, we currently have a 
limit of $90 per night for hotel rooms, and all company travel requires 
VP approval.  This generally means staying at a Fairfield Inn, La 
Quinta, etc.  I doubt that most companies have as tight of a travel 
restriction as ours.  But I would guess that supervisors and corporate 
bean counters are increasingly questioning hotel rooms in the $150-200 

I would assume that one of the goals of 802.3 is to maximize 
participation of member companies.  The EFM work is certainly 
significant to us, and we want to send representatives whenever 
possible.  We plan on sending a representative to New Orleans.  But 
because of company policy, he will be staying at another hotel and will 
appear on your "list".  It's not our intent to hurt the host by doing 
this.  It's simply our only choice.

Given the current economic climate, standards organizations may do well 
to try to limit the expenses to participants:
* As I indicated above, lower room/night commitments by the host may be 
* Consideration might be given to whether goals can be met with fewer 
and/or shorter meetings.
* Are receptions worth the expense?  How about afternoon snacks?  ($2 
cookies and cokes add up fast.)
* It helps to go for off-season locations and avoid luxury areas.  (For 
us, Hawaii is a "don't even bother to ask" location.)
* The additional meeting fee that you suggested in your e-mail may be a 
way to go.  For us, it is generally easier to get approval for meeting 
fees or dues than to get a travel policy exception.)

Again, I very much appreciate the work of the meeting planners and 
hosts, and know that they put in a great deal of effort.   But in the 
interest of promoting maximum participation at meetings, I wanted to 
call attention to our own company travel restrictions and suggest that 
other companies may face similar restrictions.

Pete Youngberg

-----Original Message-----
From: millardo [mailto:millardo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2002 3:21 PM
To: stds-802-3-efm
Subject: [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 
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 
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 
of charging a registration fee for all attendees. When you or your 
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