[Conferences-discuss] Let's step back a bit...

David Ascher DavidA@ActiveState.com
Thu, 14 Feb 2002 11:22:11 -0800

> You can call Texas part of the South or the Southwest, but it
> points out the Midwest is due a conference at some time.

There's nothing _due_ to any region, state, county, or principality!  I
expect the conference locations to be near large concentrations of the
target audience and/or where we can find appropriate accomodations.

I happen to live far from both the east and west coast, as you do.  But
it makes little sense for me to say that British Columbia is due a
conference.  British Columbia might be a good place to run a conference
because the canadian dollar is so low and the accomodations/environment
make it a great place to be, but it's got nothing to do with being "due"

Somehow, this is the inverse problem of NIMBY -- everyone wants to go to
a conference and no one wants to travel to go there.  I'm sorry, but
that doesn't work.

Personally, I do expect something like a weighted score (blending
audience preferences with appropriate locations and cost) to decide the
location.  If the primary goal of the conference is to make it
accessible to a broader audience than in the past, then locating it in a
part of the world which is hard to reach for most people makes zero
sense to me.

Similarly, spending an hour getting from the airport to the conference
is frankly a third-order effect if it means that 1) more people can get
there and 2) the conference is $100 cheaper for everyone.

Travel costs are real, and I don't want to diminish the impact of travel
costs on people, but 1) travel costs can to some extent be mitigated, by
planning, charter fares, discount airlines, carpooling, greyhound, etc.
and 2) the oddities and "unfairness" of airline price structures are a
fact of life that we can't do anything about.  There is simply no way
(except maybe by making the conference hard to reach for everyone --
antartica, anyone?) to make the costs both fair and as low as possible
for as many people as possible.

We could setup a travel fund to equalize travel costs, but that, too, is
not a first-order problem IMO.

> Type of conference: I like the style of the previous conferences
>   (is it a workshop or a conference style, or both?)

Can we please _not_ answer this half-baked poll right now?  I want us to
come up with questions, _not_ answers!