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

Mat -

I have indeed tried to take just such an active role in the past - on 
that occasion we came up against apathy on the part of the target 
hotel & the idea crashed and burned.

Any solutions in the UK are likely to be based around university 
campuses as far as I can tell. If that sounds at all interesting I 
will see what I can do with the contacts I have. But it would almost 
certainly NOT involve accommodation in a single hotel - maybe not 
even in a hotel at all (student accommodation for example). In the 
days when I was doing ISO SC21 I went to several meetings that were 
organized on that basis.


At 14:46 27/11/2007, Sherman, Matthew J. \(US SSA\) wrote:
>Frankly Carl, I'm very close to joining you.  I like to jog, and the
>wild dogs really got to me.  But I wanted to make the arguments in favor
>of Rome as forcefully as possible because I didn't feel they had been
>stated on the reflector yet.
>To push back just a little bit, you have to ask what constitutes a
>disaster?  We have knowingly operated meetings in the red before.
>Hawaii is an example, and by the way I believe we once operated a
>meeting in Vancouver where we wound up $50K in the hole.  We found
>creative ways of getting ourselves out of the hole (scheduling more
>meetings in Vancover).  I'm not sure what our exposure on this meeting
>will be, but it would be helpful if we quantify it with probabilities.
>What is the probability we wind up $100K in the hole?  200k?  300K?
>Bottom line is, this stinks!  I don't like Rome, but I see no evidence
>that we will have any non-NA meetings ever at the moment.  People keep
>saying it's too hard, but they are too inflexible in my opinion.
>FYI, I'm contacting the IETF to try and find someone over there who
>organizes their meetings and get a better picture of how the IETF does
>You are on the other side of the pond.  Is it possible you could take a
>more active role in perhaps locating a venue for IEEE 802 somewhere in
>Frankly I'd prefer non-London.  But other large groups must meet in the
>UK from time to time.  There must be a way to do this... And we can't
>just say it is more expensive, let's never do business in Europe.  Many
>other organizations find ways of making this work.  There has to be a
>way to conduct business outside of NA.
>Matthew Sherman, Ph.D.
>Engineering Fellow
>BAE Systems -  Network Systems (NS)
>Office: +1 973.633.6344
>Cell: +1 973.229.9520
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Carl R. Stevenson []
>Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 9:33 AM
>To: 'Tony Jeffree'; Sherman, Matthew J. (US SSA)
>Subject: 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
>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
>VIABLE nNA venues in the schedule ASAP (first making sure that the 2010
>2011 nNA slots work, second looking for other opportunities for the
>with a determined eye to success, not the frustration of an intial
> > -----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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