[Conferences] TCC = Total Cost of Conference

Carl Trachte ctrachte at gmail.com
Sat Aug 21 23:42:28 CEST 2010

On 8/21/10, Carl Trachte <ctrachte at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.

Sorry - I forgot something else - stuff.  You'll probably end up
buying a book or a shirt or something else.  I remember OSCON a number
of years ago - they were selling these programmable talking tux robots
for about $100/a pop.  Seemed like everybody had one.  I always am
shooting to buy something from Elegant Stitches at Pycon.  These
aren't conference costs, but sometimes they are things you wouldn't
buy unless you were at the conference (the tux robot I described comes
to mind).

>> 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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