[Conferences] TCC = Total Cost of Conference

Carl Trachte ctrachte at gmail.com
Sat Aug 21 21:32:56 CEST 2010

On 8/21/10, Carl Karsten <carl at personnelware.com> wrote:
> How do you measure the value of a weekend?  Is it worth more or less
> than 2 work days?

Oversimplified - but if it makes me happy, it's worth it.

> 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 gave up trying to split it/itemize it and finally just told my wife
it's probably about $2000 total.  Depending on how cost conscious I am
at a conference (usually, I'm not), this number may be a bit on the
high side or spot on.

The flight plus meals is usually around $300 to $600 dollars (I've
never gone overseas).  The conference venue hotel runs around $150 to
$200 a night (4 X $200 = $800).  It's not hard to drop another $200 on
the road if you eat at nice restaurants or are forced to buy hotel or
conference center food.  The conference registration is about $300 to
$500, but sometimes they're practically free (SCALE, IIRC, is less
than $100).  My company paid my registration this year.

> 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
> $1000.
> 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
> number?
> I know there are more, but have run out of steam for now.  anyone up
> for adding to my list?
> --
> Carl K
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