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


You can see mentions at the reviews on The reviewer on
Jun 4, 2007 mentions seeing a pack from his car while driving to the
airport at 6 AM. This was a fairly positive review otherwise so it
doesn't seem like it is fabricated. The review on May 15, 2007 also
mentions them. It sounds like walking to the train station in the
evening or early morning could be a problem. 

I've also come across a review (on that mentions some
of the breakout rooms having "many huge posts right in the middle of


-----Original Message-----
From: ***** IEEE 802 Executive Committee List *****
[mailto:STDS-802-SEC@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG] On Behalf Of Tony Jeffree
Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007 10:26 PM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] It doesn't have to be either or

Mat -

Comments interspersed below.


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.
>whatever happens we will benefit from the experience and it will help
>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,
>presented little rationale as to why the extra financial costs and
>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
>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
>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

>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
>worried if we bail now, it will just bail again and again in the
>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

>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
>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,
>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.
>Matthew Sherman, Ph.D.
>Engineering Fellow
>BAE Systems -  Network Systems (NS)
>Office: +1 973.633.6344
>Cell: +1 973.229.9520
>-----Original Message-----
>From: ***** IEEE 802 Executive Committee List *****
>[mailto:STDS-802-SEC@LISTSERV.IEEE.ORG] On Behalf Of Michael Takefman
>Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007 7:08 PM
>Subject: Re: [802SEC] It doesn't have to be either or
>With all due respect to John and tongue somewhat held in cheek.
>Canada's visa requirements are significantly different then those of
>12th through 62nd
>southern provinces. Thus sessions held south of the border are
>viewed as
>non-Canadian although clearly North American to our visitors from
>in the globe.
>That being said, I agree that the Vancouver session does not meet the
>goal, but from what I've read on the reflector, is more likely to be a
>better session
>then Rome.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "J Lemon" <jlemon@IEEE.ORG>
>Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007 3:16 PM
>Subject: [802SEC] It doesn't have to be either or
> > If you are inclined to vote against Rome, think before you vote for
> > Vancouver. Vancouver is not the logical alternative to Rome. If we
> > get a European or Asian venue this time, then the next best venue
> > at least be non-NA. I know that people are afraid of Hawaii being
> > as a vacation trip. But I also know that it is very popular among
> > participants coming from Asia, and it is definitely non-NA. Sure, it
> > still the US, but does anyone other than Canadians (hi Mike) really
> > Canada as being a non-American venue? Vancouver does little if
> > to ease the Americancentric appearance, and does nothing to
> > the travel burden of those from other continents. Rome may not be
> > best choice, but neither is Vancouver. Until a venue is proposed
> > addresses at least some of the problems we were trying to solve, I
> > you to reject switching to a random venue of convenience.
> >
> > John Lemon
> >
> > ----------
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> >
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