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Re: [802SEC] It doesn't have to be either or


I have to agree with Tony on the point that, in essence, we shouldn't
knowingly walk into a buzzsaw with the idea that we "will learn from our

While hopefully we all learn from our mistakes, mistakes should, by
definiition, be accidental, not something that we knowingly walk into
knowing that it's going to be a disaster.

We have a fiduciary responsibility to 802 to not blow our reserves (which we
need for truely unpreventable occurrances, not preventable ones, and we need
to remain mindful that those funds in reserve are really our attendees'
money held in trust for legitimate 802 expenses).

I think at this point the only truly responsible thing we can do is to
accept the fact that a viable nNA session for March 2009 has been blown,
contract for Vancouver, and redouble our efforts to make SURE that we get
VIABLE nNA venues in the schedule ASAP (first making sure that the 2010 and
2011 nNA slots work, second looking for other opportunities for the future
with a determined eye to success, not the frustration of an intial failure).


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-stds-802-sec@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG 
> [mailto:owner-stds-802-sec@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG] On Behalf Of 
> Tony Jeffree
> Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 1:26 AM
> To: Sherman, Matthew J. (US SSA)
> Subject: Re: [802SEC] It doesn't have to be either or
> Mat -
> Comments interspersed below.
> Regards,
> Tony
> At 04:25 27/11/2007, Sherman, Matthew J. (US SSA) wrote:
> >Mike / All,
> >
> >I'm still withholding my vote.
> >
> >I voted abstain last time because I didn't feel we were given enough 
> >time to consider the matter.  I will come off the fence this 
> time, but 
> >I'm not sure which side yet.
> >
> >I currently favor voting against this motion.  Rome would be 
> a hardship 
> >(for me as well as the group).  Yes, there is financial risk, but we 
> >have dealt with financial insecurity before, and will face it again.
> >This is a new experience, and by definition we have a lot to learn.  
> >But whatever happens we will benefit from the experience and it will 
> >help us refine our techniques for selecting future Non-NA 
> meeting sites.
> I think there is a big difference between dealing with 
> financial eventualities that we cannot predict and going into 
> a situation with open eyes that we can see is highly likely 
> to be a financial disaster. IMHO the latter is where we would 
> be going with Rome.
> >As for the poll, I can't help but feel that IEEE802 was 
> presented with 
> >only half the story.  Unfortunately, I could not attend the 
> activities 
> >that developed the poll, but it seemed more focused on the raw cost, 
> >and presented little rationale as to why the extra financial 
> costs and 
> >risks may be warranted.  Here are some rationales in favor 
> of staying 
> >the course with Rome:
> >
> >1) We seem to have forgotten the original rationale for doing non-NA 
> >plenarys to begin with.  While we can poll the people who 
> attended the 
> >last 802 in Atlanta, we can't poll any of the people who 
> didn't because 
> >Atlanta was not a convenient location for them to attend.  By 
> >definition the poll is biased because it did not include the many 
> >people who might have attended IEEE802 if it were in Europe or Asia, 
> >but couldn't because it was in Atlanta.  In short, we don't 
> know who we 
> >are disenfranchising from the IEEE802 process, and can't 
> unless we take 
> >IEEE802 to other locations and see what happens.
> That is true - we clearly don't know what we don't know. 
> However, from the survey information, we *can* see who we are 
> likely to be disenfranchising in our existing population of 
> attendees, and it is a significant number of people. That is 
> hard to ignore on the basis that it might be a smaller number 
> of people than the ones we might be disenfranchising but that 
> we don't know about. As I have said, it is a significant 
> enough problem that it will probably mean at least one of my 
> task groups in 802.1 won't be viable at that meeting, and we 
> may have to consider holding a separate meeting for that TG 
> to make progress.
> >2)  In my opinion Vancouver should never have been considered.  The 
> >requirements for this meeting (as I recall) were that it should be 
> >non-NA.  It's not even clear to me why Vancouver was on the list to 
> >begin with as it did not meet the stated requirements.
> I think you are way off base here. From all the evidence that 
> has come to light in the discussions of the Rome venue, it is 
> Rome that should never have been considered. It just doesn't 
> meet our needs as a meeting venue. In contrast, Vancouver 
> works just fine.
> If what you mean is that we should never have been presented 
> with a choice between a (suitable) NA and a (suitable) nNA 
> venue, I would agree; however, fixing that by presenting a 
> completely unsuitable nNA venue as the only choice makes no 
> sense to me.
> >3) In my mind Vancouver is the 'easy way out'.  Yes we would have a 
> >successful session in Vancouver (we've had many before).  But I'm 
> >really worried if we bail now, it will just bail again and 
> again in the future.
> >If I understand correctly, we spent 3 years trying to set up 
> the non-NA 
> >session for 2009, and Rome was the best we can do? The next 
> opportunity 
> >for a non-NA meeting is 2011, and I see no evidence that we 
> will do any 
> >better then.  I am worried about establishing a pattern of 
> taking the 
> >easy way out an never going non-NA because it is just too hard.  I 
> >really feel if we don't try, we won't learn from our mistakes.
> I'm sorry - it makes no sense to me to choose a venue that we 
> know ahead of time is highly likely to be a disaster just so 
> that we can "learn from our mistakes". That makes about as 
> much sense as walking into the middle of a busy freeway so 
> you can learn that playing with the traffic is a really bad idea.
> >4) Other organizations seem to make this work.  IETF is the closest 
> >example I can think of.  Why is it they can do it, and we can't?
> Thats a good question, and we need to find out how they do it. 
> However, they clearly haven't succeeded by choosing 
> unsuitable venues. Neither will we.
> >5) Other IEEE meetings (MILCOM is the most recent one I have 
> attended)
> >regularly have registration fees over $1000, and yet have 4000
> >attendees, and charge >$250 per night for rooms in Orlando.  
> Some have
> >argued that IEEE802 has plenarys 3 times a year, so it's not a fair
> >comparison.  But we are only going non-NA once every two years at the
> >moment.  If once every two years we have a meeting that 
> costs about the
> >same as what other IEEE meetings normally cost, (I'm assuming many of
> >our attendee will find cheaper hotels for $250/night) then I 
> don't see
> >this as an issue.
> Different population. Different industry sector. Different drivers 
> and constraints. I don't see the relevance of the comparison 
> to our situation.
> >6) A prior poll of IEEE802 seemed to favor Rome.  So we sort of have
> >conflicting info in front of us. Assumedly price is what turned the
> >community against Rome, but it's not clear to me the issues were
> >properly presented.  Hotel costs should have been decoupled from
> >registration fees in the question.
> There are all sorts of factors that may have affected the results:
> - Later poll, therefore based on more complete information (therefore 
> more relevant).
> - Different voting population. The population that attends plenaries 
> is not the same as the population that attends interims - looking at 
> my attendance records, we get far more people showing up at plenaries 
> as first time attendees, for example. I would argue that as we were 
> choosing a plenary venue, asking the plenary population is likely to 
> give the more relevant answer.
> - Shifts both in costs and the exchange rate have made Rome look even 
> less attractive.
> - There has been time for attendees to discuss with their management 
> since the interim - maybe if they had been able to do that for the 
> interim poll the answer would have been different.
> - Etc.
> >7) While I don't like the venue in Rome, we have been left 
> with no other
> >Non-NA choices.  I still think there are things that can be done to
> >improve the situation.  For instance, we could run a bus 
> service (even
> >if only twice a day) to / from a central location in Rome.  
> Many people
> >commute in their daily lives.  People drive and take cabs.  
> If the Cab
> >fare is $50 each way, but it saves you $200 on your room, 
> perhaps that
> >is worth it.
> I think Pat already de-bunked this one. Even ignoring the cost of 
> running sufficient coaches, we're talking a major logistical 
> nightmare here - with more than half of our attendees having to find 
> hotels off-site, that means shifting 800+ people from the hotel to 
> central Rome at peak times. That's just not going to happen.
> >8) Something I don't see being accounted is that not everyone is
> >spending dollars.  If someone is paid in Euros or Yen, will 
> they still
> >perceive these costs are as out of line as Americans might?  If they
> >already travel regularly in Europe, they might view the costs
> >differently.  Also the costs presented are speculative.  It is still
> >possible that the dollar will be stronger by the time we go 
> to Rome, and
> >the difference in cost might not be so dramatic.
> Even priced in Euros or Pounds, those prices look too high to me.
> Yes, anything could happen to the exchange rates - the US economy 
> could suddenly enter another boom, for example. I'm not holding my 
> breath. In the meantime, this place is expensive.
> >Anyway, I encourage further debate and comment before we 
> conclude this.
> >I will probably wait another day before casting my vote and see how
> >others respond to my comments above.
> >
> >Mat
> >

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