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Re: [EFM] Please Read - New Orleans Meeting


Thank you for your suggestions and observations.
Rather than continue this discussion via email,
I plan on spending a few minutes on this subject
at the New Orleans meeting.  We'll look at the
current model for meeting finance, and consider

I will state in advance my opinion that all things
considered, we put together a very good package
for this meeting, balancing all of the factors.
However, the group may wish to strike a different
balance in the future, and I am more than willing
to accomodate the groups wishes, to the extent
possible and practical. Perhaps people are willing
to shell out $500 registration fees in exchange for
$100/night rooms. I think that the folks who show up
for only two days of the meeting will object, but
maybe I am wrong.

As to whether or not it is anyone's intent to cause
financial harm to the host or the other meeting
attendees by staying in a lower priced hotel,
the effect is real, regardless of the intent.

Howard Frazier
Chair, IEEE 802.3ah EFM Task Force

Pete.Youngberg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

>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