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

Dave (and EC members),

While as usual Dave's approach is calm, rational, and dignified, I don't
think that there is a direct correlation between the size of attendance and
"how much work gets done."

Larger attendance can be due to many factors (not in any particular rank
order and not all inclusive):

	What part of the cycle projects are in
	Other factors in people's schedules
	Need to attend to keep one's voting rights
	The location happens to be favorable to attract folks who want to
see what's going on
	(note the the "lookie-loos" may decide to become regular,
contributing attendees)

There are several factors that drove the decision that we should use non-NA
venues (again not all inclusive:

	To further the reality, as well as the image, that IEEE Standards
are global standards and that the IEEE-SA and its sub-units like 802 are
truly international in nature.

	To be more fair to our large contingent of participants from EU and
Asia.  It is fundamentally unfair for them to always have to bear a
significantly larger burden in travel cost, travel time, and the resulting
wear and tear on personnel.

	The US is not as "visitor friendly" (visa-wise, at least) for some
of our colleagues as are other locations.

I firmly believe that we should not focus on quantity, but quality and
fairness across the spectrum of our participants.  I believe that the
participants who do the majority of the work (and their employers) are
committed enough to attend and get the work done, *almost* even if we held a
session at the South Pole (that would also attract some for whom, as you
point out, attendance is viewed as an opportunity to visit an interesting
destination :-)  However, facetiousness aside, I don't think our quality or
"time to market" will suffer if we indeed have lower attendance at non-NA

Many (perhaps most?) other organizations of similar stature *routinely* hold
an equitable portion of their meetings in non-NA venues without adverse
effect.  Many alternate regularly between NA, EU, and Asia. 802 cannot be,
or be perceived as, "US-centric" or there will be adverse consequences
(remember WAPI ...)  To be "US-centric" would also be contrary to the
internationalization policy goals of the IEEE-SA, where "walking the walk"
as an international SDO is a very prominent agenda.  (The SA has opened an
office in Beijing and other locations are under study.)

So, in summary, just as I don't believe that a purely economic solution to
spectrum management always results in the best and highest use of spectrum,
I don't believe that a "they vote with their wallets" attendance-based
metric for determining (or limiting the scope of) venues will result in the
best long term results for 802 in terms of international acceptance of its
standards going forward as the world becomes more "globalized" and EU and
Asia seek more input and influence in this area.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-stds-802-sec@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG 
> [mailto:owner-stds-802-sec@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG] On Behalf Of David Bagby
> Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 8:01 PM
> Subject: Re: [802SEC] Final venue choices for our March 8-13, 
> 2009Plenary Session for your review
> 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)'; 
> 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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> This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email 
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This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email reflector.  This list is maintained by Listserv.