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Re: One Day Guest Pass [was Re: Important Information about IETF 76 Meet

Subject: Re: One Day Guest Pass [was Re: Important Information about IETF 76 Meeting Registration
From: John C Klensin
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 20:56:10 -0400
Dear Marshall,

--On Wednesday, August 19, 2009 17:53 -0400 Marshall Eubanks
<tme@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>>> Along those lines, I strongly think that any day pass
>>> payments should be fully applicable to a
>>> full registration, if people decide they want to stay for the
>>> whole meeting. We want to encourage that.
>> 
>> Marshall, I generally agree, but your suggestions raise other
>> issues that need sorting out.   I would have hoped that they
>> would have been sorted out before the original announcement...
>> perhaps they have been and the announcement is just
>> incomplete.
> 
> First, this is an experiment. Suggestions are certainly
> welcomed.

No problem with that.

>> For example, we have a rather steep late registration fee and
>> a nasty policy if one cancels less than a week before the
>> meeting. I presume there are good reasons for both (other
>...
> With the automating of the system, it might be reasonable to
> change or even remove the cancelation policy (as is
> done already for people with visa issues) but I think that
> this needs a little thought and
> should be considered separately.

Absolutely (both to "needs thought" and "separately").  I think
these questions and changes/experiments suggest each other, but
that doesn't turn them into the same question.

>> However, suppose a "day pass" costs only $200.  I presume, but
>> Alexa's note didn't say, that number is independent of
>> whether I register for one a few weeks in advance or at the
>> meeting.
> 
> The current planning is that the day pass fee will be fixed,
> with no early bird benefit and no late fees.

Ok.  See below.

> I am not quite sure I understand why you think there is a
> difference here. If I get you, either way, you would wind up
> paying the full walk up fee, just once in a lump sum and the
> other way in two stages. It's not like you have to reserve
> early to be sure we don't run out of tickets - we can always
> print more !

Maybe you have answered the question, but let me explain it.
Your "day pass payments should be fully applicable to a full
registration" seems reasonable to me.  I think we should
encourage such conversions because it would give someone more of
the IETF experience and because we could always use the revenue.
However, if the day pass is fully applicable to a full
registration including the on-site registration penalty (whether
that should be described that way or as the absence of an early
registration discount is just semantics at one level, but it
clearly affects the difference in the way we are thinking about
this), then that late registration penalty will wipe out most of
the cost of the day pass.

Put differently and, again, it depends a bit on how you look at
this, if I submit and pay for my day pass two or three weeks
ahead of IETF, when I would have gotten the early registration
discount for the full registration, then letting me get to IETF
and convert the day pass to a full registration after
experiencing a day of the meeting isn't what I would consider
fully-convertible, it is, if my memory that the late
registration penalty is $150, a $50 discount off of what I would
have paid for the full registration had I gotten it earlier. 

Given that the full registration is more than three times that
$200 day fee these days (even without the late registration
penalty), it would be more economic for me to buy three day
passes rather than convert.  With the penalty, it would be more
economic at four.  I think that encourages behavior we don't
want to encourage... unless you prevent someone who is getting
one day pass from getting more to the same IETF meeting (which,
in our community, is going to give you an interesting
authorization problem).

> Either way, the revenue to the IETF would be the same, so I
> don't see a risk (to the IETF) here. Of course, if the
> Secretariat is overwhelmed with additional work, that would
> have to be reconsidered.

If people start buying day passes, especially a couple or three
day passes, instead of registering for the whole meeting, it
definitely carries a "total registration income" financial risk.
This is positive from a financial standpoint only if those who
buy day passes would otherwise not have attended at all (or
would have snuck in).    Please note that, I'm in favor of this
experiment, I'm just curious about how many of the scenarios
have actually been examined.

I am curious --but just curious-- whether buying a day pass
would entitle someone to come to the opening reception or to
register for the social.   Especially given the experience in
Sweden, I would hope that decisions will be made about those
sorts of issues before registration is opened.  I have no idea
what the right decision should be but suggest that having a
decision is important.

> In large part, this is a response to the tough economic times
> we find ourselves in. There have
> been complaints about the overall cost of attending the
> meetings, and some particular circumstances pertaining to
> Japan, so an experiment seemed in order. I hope that we find
> it increases the total attendance and also income; we shall
> see.

Without knowing the "particular circumstances pertaining to
Japan" (unless they are the issue Ole mentioned), my assumption
is that for most people, or most people who would outside east
Asia, the airfares will be enough larger than the registration
fee to make this kind of tuning fairly marginal.  Of course, a
longer stay in Japan is more expensive than a shorter one, more
or less proportionate to the number of days.  But I don't
imagine that very many people are going to fly to Hiroshima for
a one-day meeting.

As far as people who are closer are concerned, I don't see the
Japanese situation as being that unusual, even with Ole's
explanation.  If there is a meeting that is fairly nearby, I
can't imagine many companies releasing employees who are not
directly involved to go to it (with or without a fairly high
registration fee) for a whole week.  A day, maybe, but a week is
a big deal.  I don't know how to separate it from other
fluctuations in meeting attendance, but I think the migration to
five full days is likely to cost us some attendees who can be
away from their desks for four days but for whom being away "a
whole week" is going to be a major psychological barrier.

It will be an interesting experiment.

> As this is an experiment, comments and suggestions are
> especially welcomed.
 
> Ole's recent comments are germane here and I fully agree with
> them.

And they are the sort of explanation about why decisions were
made and how they are being thought about that I believe it
would be very helpful if the community heard proactively and
from the IAOC, rather than getting a note with no background
from the Secretariat and then having to fill in the details via
questions to the list.

> All of the above is just my opinion. I am specifically not
> speaking for the IAOC or other members.

Much appreciated.

    john

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