[Conferences] TCC = Total Cost of Conference

Carl Karsten carl at personnelware.com
Sat Aug 21 17:33:19 CEST 2010

How do you measure the value of a weekend?  Is it worth more or less
than 2 work days?

yeah, the devil is in the details, YMMV, bla bla bla.  but I think
this is worth talking about so that it is acknowledged as something to
be aware of when considering asking people to show up for an event.
Ignore the value someone gets from attending a bunch of talks and
hanging out with others who share the passion of Python.   That would
be for the Total Value thread which someone else can start.  I think
getting an appreciation for the magnitude of the cost will help put
things in perspective like $10 parking charge.

I am sure we all agree that for the most part a Python event has a
positive net value.   We also agree that the registration cost is a
real cost (duh.)  What we don't talk about much is other costs the
attendee incurs.

Lets look at groups of people:

Anyone from out of town:
Hotel - on my way to NY I found a hotel for about $50.  But that was
in the middle of nowhere.  for conferences, I assume $100/night, so
$200 for a Sat/Sun event given you need to arrive the night before.
This is about the only firm number.

Travel - I think $200 is a minimum cost as soon as an airplane is
involved (including taxi/getting someone to give you a ride to the
airport, parking)  will eat up more time.  Anytime I fly I assume I
will get no work done that day.  I do try to make up for it by
catching up on reading, but even that only gets me about 1/2 day of
reading in, and it is typically in a noisy distracting etc
environment.  So $200+value of a day which can be anywhere from 0 to

The rest apply to both locals and out of towners:

M-F job and takes care of children who are in school, weekend is when
they get to do things with the family.

Single consultant, lives alone, works whenever they need to to meet deadlines.

M-F job where the employer recognizes the value of attending a Python
conference, so the cost is the backlog of work that the employee comes
back to because they took some days off.

Students pay to be instructed at. I remember considering how much it
was costing me per hour and it made me more motivated to show up.  I
have no idea what the cost is now... anyone want to throw out a

I know there are more, but have run out of steam for now.  anyone up
for adding to my list?

Carl K

More information about the Conferences mailing list