[Talk] Re: Cheaper conferences Not in commercial hotels would help BSD.

Greg 'groggy' Lehey Greg.Lehey at auug.org.au
Sat Sep 21 13:52:36 EST 2002

FYI.  This went round the FreeBSD lists earlier today.  It's a thing
that we've been talking about on the AUUG Board for some time.  Note
particularly the reference to GUUG, our German counterpart, who do a
two conferences a year with different focus.  Is this something that
would interest people?


----- Forwarded message from Julian Stacey <jhs at berklix.com> -----

> Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 17:24:42 +0200 (CEST)
> From: "Julian Stacey" <jhs at berklix.com>
> To: advocacy at freebsd.org
> Cc: Andreas.Lohrum at tngtech.com, "Gary Jennejohn" <gj at freebsd.org>
> Subject: Cheaper conferences Not in commercial hotels would help BSD.
> _Cheap_ conferences _Not_ at hotels would help BSD promotion !
> Un-necessarily expensive conferences impede participation & interest in BSD.
> 20 years ago:
>   - Unix was commercial, but
>   - Unix conferences were at Univesities, cheap to attend, & if an
>     employer wouldn't pay, you could book a few day's holiday, & pay
>     your own way.  Local students & ex students of whichever University
>     campus - Not Hotel - where the conferences were held, could also
>     often smuggle in free for a few lectures, boosting interest :-)
> Now:
>  -  The software's free, but
>  -  The conference fees are prohibitively expensive :
>     Facilities are provided by expensive hotels speialising in providing
>     luxury facilities at high prices. Indicators of Bloat can also include
>     `Partner Programmes'  ( It didn't need money to a
>     partner programme, when a group of us plus assorted
>     girlfriends organised our own picnic in a park at the European
>     Unix User Group in Paris in '82; & it cost nothing when German
>     Unix User Group conference attendees were invited to join the
>     Munich BSD group's monthly drinks session aprox 3 years ago ).
>   - Bloated company paid conference fees is not the way it has to be.
> A cheaper more inclusive solution for some conferences is:
>   - Back to the Universities !  Dump the hotels !
>   - Use University campuses, lecture theatres & student halls of
>     residence & student campus bars during student holidays.
>   - Get a free or near free lecture room from a University during a vaction,
>     reward their generosity with equally free or near free lecture
>     hall entry to students & local ex students & organisers of the host
>     college, & give the student halls of residence the profit of our
>     overnight accomadation, food, & coffee/ beer bar income.
>   - If local organisers are needed, let students do it, they'll be more
>     grateful for any money, be cheaper & likely more intelligent & or more
>     commited to the technical agenda of the conference, than random hotel
>     conference employees.
>   - Keep it _Cheap_ so that people who aren't sure yet if they're interested
>     in BSD, can still drop by for a few lectures.
>   - Keep it _Cheap_ so people not flush with cash can afford to attend.
>   - Keep it _Cheap_ to not be too far out of kilter with _Free_ software.
>   - Further suggestions at
> 	http://yetanother.org/
> 	http://www.yapc.org/venue-reqs.txt
> Heavy fees tilt the balance & possibly contributory worth of who can attend:
>   Students:
>     Will only attend if cheap, may then discover BSD, write code for BSD,
>     &/or take a BSD Cdrom to install in new companies during holidays,
>     part time jobs, etc, seeding the BSD market.
>   Unemployed & under-employed programmers:
>     (yes there are some, see jobs at freebsd list if in doubt )
>     They will have some time on their hands, but not much money to pay
>     bloated conference fees on top of travel/accom. costs)
>   Employees of firms on hard times:
>     Probably also find it hard to justify heavy conference fees, yet their
>     employers would be more receptive to free BSD software/solutions.
>   Employees of firms doing well:
>     Probably find it easiest to get conference fee travel & accomodation paid,
>     yet harder to get employers to use BSD (after all, one attraction of
>     Free Software is that you avoid wasting money buying Microsoft).
> Some may say: "Cheap venues won't impress businessmen" -
>   (A laudable target ! they're my consultancy customers :-) But I
>   don't believe we should burden all our BSD conferences with
>   expensive fees on that argument. At least do what German Unix
>   User Group http://www.guug.de does: alternate [slightly cheaper?]
>   (spring technical) & more expensive (Autumn full blown) conferences.
> "We get people anyway, there's no problem" would be complacently wrong:
>   BSD remains fringe, & high conference fees can only deter those
>   with an initialy casual / light interest.  (the fees certainly
>   deter me, a dedicated Unix person for 20+ years.)
> To open one's mouth, is of course to be invited to contribute to a
> solution :-) So if there's serious interest in a European BSD
> conference in Munich, I'd willing to investigate what the local
> universities could offer during holiday periods.
> If people want another EuroBSD in the UK, University of Kent at
> Canterbury does a roaring trade in vacation conferences, & was one
> of the first Unix centres in the UK, & would probably be happy to
> seriously way underbid previous BSD hotel venues such as Brighton.
> Copious public terminals of course, I suspect all study bedrooms on
> campus are net- wired by now.
> 	http://www.ukc.ac.uk/hospitality/holiday/bedbreakfast.html
> 		20 pound / night
> 	http://www.ukc.ac.uk/hospitality/conference/availability.html
> 		57.5 per night 	(Day delegates 25 inc VAT)
> Presumably many other Universities around the world offer similar
> good deals during student vactions.
> Compare prices above with last California or next EuroBSD, Hotel based pricing:
> 	http://www.eurobsdcon2002.org/hotelreservation.html
> 		EUR 130 per night (excl. breakfast and excl. 5% city tax)
> 		+ American breakfast - EUR 16
> 		less hotel bulk pre-book discount
> 	http://www.eurobsdcon2002.org/registration.html
> 		250 Euro for 3 day conference booked before October 18th
> Note the UKC University price may or may not have a discount negotiable,
> I don't know, not tried, but UKC price _Includes_ cost of conference
> facilities, so only extra fees BSD volunteer organisers would need to
> collect would be out of pocket phone charges, & maybe more cash
> for guest speaker accom. & travel if desired.
> Exchange Rate Aprox: 3 Euros = 3 US Dollar = 2 Pounds Sterling (UK)
> Comparison:
> 	Hotel 3 * 146 * 1.05 guess discount 0.7  + 250 Euro = 570 Euro
> 	Uni.  3 * ( 57 + 5 for org. expenses + 15) * 1.5 exchange = 340 Euro
> 15 = a guess at extra surchage to subsidise guest speaker
> travel &/or accomodation.
> Accomodation in Univesities might be more basic, but wher it really counts:
> tiered lecture theaters & net access, they'll be way ahead ! Plus ...
> Aprox. Half Price !!  Lets have some BSD conference in Univesities, not Hotels !
> Julian Stacey	jhs at berklix.com   Computer Sys. Eng. & Unix Consultant, Munich
> 	Ihr Rauchen = mein allergischer Kopfschmerz !  Schnupftabak probieren.
> To Unsubscribe: send mail to majordomo at FreeBSD.org
> with "unsubscribe freebsd-advocacy" in the body of the message

----- End forwarded message -----

See complete headers for address and phone numbers

More information about the Talk mailing list