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Re: [802SEC] 802 Plenary registration fees

Members of the SEC,

In my email of two weeks ago, I indicated that we needed to increase the
Plenary registration fees to at least $275/$325 and maybe more.  Of the
responses that I received, the vast majority supported going to a fee of
$300/$350 or supportive of doing whatever is necessary for the
organization to continue and not to depend on polls to solve the problem.

Since then I have attempted to further refine the budget.  The costs of
refreshments and the social are the most problematic to project. 
Previously, they were essentially gut feel estimates.  That troubled me.

It finally occurred to me that a more objective approach was possible. 
As part of the hotel contracting process, each hotel guarantees the
maximum price that they will charge for continental breakfast and
refreshment food items.  Based on some food consumption numbers from our
meeting planners, I built a simple model of continental breakfast and
refreshment food consumption and then computed the cost for each meeting
based on the pricing quoted by each hotel.  The model assumes that same
level of continental breakfast and refreshment food service as provided
at the last few Plenary meetings. The model was sanity checked on one
data point, the continental breakfast and refreshment costs currently
projected by the meeting planners for the Hyatt in Kauai.  Does this
mean the model is correct?  Of course not, but I believe that it
provides a more objective estimate than gut feel.

The result of applying this model to the budgets for the 2003 Plenary
meetings was that the continental breakfast and refreshment cost
estimates in the 2003 budget spreadsheet that I sent in my email are too
low.  (Food and beverage pricing is as high in DFW and SF as it is in
Kauai and Albuquerque in not cheap.) Using the costs projected by the
model, I project that we will be at about break-even for 2003 with a fee
of $300/$350, no cookies and no surprise expenses.

I have since consulted with Buzz and Paul and we concluded that we
should raise the Plenary registration fee to $300/$350 for the March
plenary and see how it goes. Based on the results in Kauai and DFW, we
may need to make another fee adjustment, but we hope that it will not be needed.



Bill Quackenbush wrote:
> Members of the SEC,
> As I indicated in the Treasurer's report at the closing SEC meeting in
> July, we need to increase the Plenary meeting registration fees in order
> to maintain a reserve adequate to cover the worst case meeting
> cancellation penalties.  This criteria requires that 802 maintain a
> reserve of at least $125k to cover the worst case primary hotel contract
> cancellation penalty.  To achieve this, the Plenary meeting fee must be
> raised to at least $275/$325 beginning with the March, 2003 Plenary
> meeting.  I have not yet reviewed the secondary hotel contracts.
> Depending on the penalties in these contracts, the increase may need to
> be greater.
> The budget through 2003 assuming $275/$325 registration fees is attached.
> While it appears that the Treasurer does not need approval to set the
> Plenary meeting fees (Section 2 of the LMSC Operating Rules), I request
> your support for an increase in the Plenary registration fee of at least
> $25, but no more than $50 beginning with the March, 2003 Plenary meeting.
> Thanks,
> wlq
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