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Re: [802SEC] Final venue choices for our March 8-13, 2009Plenary Session for your review

I have keep a running list of attendance for the 802.11/15/18/20/21/22
wireless interims over the last few years (attached). Note that the
September count is only pre-registration. We typically get 50-100 walk-ins
as well.

It does show that if you pick the wrong location (e.g., Australia)
attendance suffers. Berlin was a good example of a nNA location that worked.
Taiwan in January of 2008 will be a challenge to see if it does attract the
Asian members we did not see in Australia (claimed to be an AsiaPAC

Regards, John

On 9/13/07 7:00 PM, "David Bagby" <david.bagby@IEEE.ORG> wrote:

> Hi -
> I've been reading a fair amount about how SEC members wish the world were,
> but not much discussion about how it is. For me, the recent venue discussion
> thread is missing significant points -
> Heinlein may have said it best:
> "What are the facts? Again and again and again - what are the facts? Shun
> wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what "the stars
> foretell," avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the
> unguessable "verdict of history" - what are the facts, and to how many
> decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your
> single clue. Get the facts!"
> I'd like to form my opinion re non-NA venues from some facts. I think 802
> has the desired data, let's see what it tells us.
> 1) attendance vs. locations - what is the data?
> 802 is an organization that depends on volunteer labor. What are the facts
> wrt to attendance at various categories of locations? I don't have the 802
> attendance data or I'd have done the exercise myself. I'd like to see some
> simple analysis of 802 attendance data. A starting idea: a simple 2 bar
> graph - one bar is average attendance at NA location for some period (say
> the most recent 5 years) and the other bar is the average attendance at
> non-NA locations for the same period.
> I suspect there is a significant difference between the two bars. Further I
> suspect that the NA bar will be the higher one (that's just what my
> experience over 17+ years of participation tells me I would expect - but
> again, what are the facts?)
> 2) what does this data tell us?
> Set aside the discussion of how SEC members "want" 802 to be perceived in
> the world (and then asserting that this justifies non-NA venues), and let's
> spend a little bit of time considering what the membership is telling us
> about what they want for locations.
> The requested data is likely to tell us something significant about what the
> aggregate membership is (and has been) willing to support wrt to venue
> locations.
> For each session the members have voted with their time and dollars - and I
> suspect the reality is that there is a real, significant, manpower cost to
> non-NA venues. Take the difference in the bars from the graph, and do the
> math - add up the delta man-hours and apply an average burdened manpower
> rate (between $200 and 4250/hr the last time I looked) to convert to $ -
> this will be a first estimate of a real $ cost from venue dependant manpower
> deltas.
> If the membership has been willing to pay the direct costs of non-NA venues
> for the time period for which we have data, the bars will be very close in
> magnitude. If the bars are not close, that also tells us something.
> 802 offers a product - standards. 802's primary customers for the product
> are it's members. The members use the product to create products for their
> customers. I suspect we have a case of a company's (802's) customers (802
> members) speaking pretty clearly.
> The venue/price issue has elasticity. I personally suspect that a
> significant number of members have been telling the organization that they
> are not willing to pay the costs of non-NA venues (the Rome situation would
> just another example that corresponds to the data we already have). As the
> 802 participation costs go up, attendance goes down. As attendance goes
> down, organization productivity also goes down (the work doesn't get done by
> people that don't show up).
> Perhaps a bit of consideration is also in order as to why we hold sessions?
> When I read comments of the form "I've already been to location XYZ", I have
> to wonder: Is the 802 business to produce standards products or to provide
> interesting travel locations?
> Now I finally come to the sub-topic in this thread which tipped me into
> writing this email...
> When you see people staying elsewhere, they are voting with their wallets.
> Personally, I've stayed 99% of the time in the session hotel. That is not
> usually the lowest cost option. There are reasons this works for me - it's a
> matter of ROI - and the balance that works for me may not be the one that
> works for others.
> Attempting to "penalize" attendees by charging them what someone thinks they
> "should have paid" had they stayed where "you wanted them to stay" (not
> where they wanted to stay) is doomed to failure. You won't get the "extra"
> $, you'll just eliminate some more attendees - resulting in even lower
> income to 802 for that session. That's the nature of the concept of
> elasticity.
> Like it or not, the reality is that 802 simply does not have the ability to
> reverse the economic forces in play. Increase the costs of attending (time,
> hassle and/or $) and less attend - doesn't matter how you allocate the $
> between hotel, reg fess etc.
> 802 doesn't have to like the facts, The facts are simply what they are - and
> the facts don't care if they are liked.  But.... IMHO 802 management would
> be wise to pay attention to what the data says.
> Personally, I think the best business decision is to do what maximizes the
> productivity of the volunteer labor pool that creates the 802 product.
> If the DATA supports more non-na venues, so be it; if the data says zero
> non-NA venues so be it. If the data says all meeting should be in Timbuktu,
> so be it.
> So what does the data say?
> David Bagby
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-stds-802-sec@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG
> [mailto:owner-stds-802-sec@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG] On Behalf Of Carl R. Stevenson
> Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 4:22 PM
> To: 'John Hawkins'; 'Bob O'Hara (boohara)'; STDS-802-SEC@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG
> Subject: Re: [802SEC] Final venue choices for our March 8-13, 2009Plenary
> Session for your review
> Better judgments/earlier adjustments for attendance can likely be obtained
> by making the early registration period open sooner and the "ratchet up
> point" occur earlier (with significant steps up for later registration).
> I also liked the suggestion (I think it may have been Buzz's, but don't
> recall for sure) to have a 2 tier registration ... With a "surcharge" if you
> will that would cover the "fair share" cost of meeting space and other
> things for folks who choose not to book hotel rooms in our hotel/block.  To
> me, that is fair, because those who stay in other hotels are impacting our
> costs for other things that are provided (and in EU charged for) by our
> meeting hotel.
> Regards,
> Carl
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: owner-stds-802-sec@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG
>> [mailto:owner-stds-802-sec@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG] On Behalf Of
>> John Hawkins
>> Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 4:43 PM
>> To: Bob O'Hara (boohara); STDS-802-SEC@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG
>> Subject: Re: [802SEC] Final venue choices for our March 8-13,
>> 2009Plenary Session for your review
>> That ability certainly exists. We have a healthy reserve at
>> the moment,
>> and we have time to add to it if deemed necessary for the Rome session
>> (or any other one for that matter). Note that any session defict by
>> definition comes out of that reserve. Where else would it
>> come from? So
>> the trick is being able to predict attendance. This was the case w/
>> London, and will be the case going forward. It's hard to predict how
>> many folks will show up, and how many rooms they will book.
>> john
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: ***** IEEE 802 Executive Committee List *****
>> [mailto:STDS-802-SEC@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG] On Behalf Of Bob O'Hara
>> (boohara)
>> Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 3:14 PM
>> Subject: Re: [802SEC] Final venue choices for our March 8-13,
>> 2009Plenary Session for your review
>> Even with all the uncertainty about attendance and cost, I
>> support going
>> to the Rome venue.
>> I would like to hear John Hawkins' thoughts on the ability to use a
>> growing reserve to partially offset the large meeting registration
>> fee.
>>  -Bob
> ----------
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> ----------
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John R. Barr (
Director, Standards Realization - <>
Chairman of the Board, Bluetooth SIG - <>
(847) 576-8706 (office) +1-847-962-5407 (mobile) (847) 576-6758 (FAX)

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