Wineconf 2004, otherwise known as...

Jeremy White jwhite at
Sun Sep 28 21:02:29 CDT 2003

Hi Stefan,

I'm torn; I'm glad my threat seems to be working, but
I was starting to enjoy the idea of having Wineconf here...

> Here are some questions i like to get clarified before i start:
> * What are you willing to pay for the meeting space ?

I was quoted a rough cost estimate of $60-70 per person per day
for a moderate conference facility; that's imagining a
continental breakfast and lunch buffet.  You vary the price a bit
if you can promise the hotel 'heads in beds' - then you tend to
get down to paying just for the catering.

CodeWeavers is willing to chip in some meaningful cash to help pay
for Wineconf (in exchange for 'sponsorship' creds), and I would
personally like to pay for a meal and drinks.

We've had a private offer to help subsidize travel,
and I suspect we could wrangle an arm or two to help
sponsor the event.  We also have about $1000 in the Wine
party fund (thanks to the many that have donated).

I was thinking that if we asked $100/attendee, and got some sponsorship
cash, we'd have cash left over to subsidize some travel costs
and pay for some nice meals.  (I had been hoping that, in St. Paul,
I could afford to just cover it, and not charge anyone anything;
making people come here in January seemed cruel enough <grin>).

> * What do we need inside the meeting space e.g. beamer, internet, .. ?

Ideally, you need a conference facility that isn't uptight about
the internet access.  You want to pay a (probably high) fee for
access to a DSL line, and then bring in your own wireless hubs.
Unfortunately, most conference facilities see this as an excuse
to gouge people (you'll see charges into the thousands of dollars
for internet access many places).

Personally, I really think we just need a few rooms (I was thinking
2), with net access (wireless preferred), and access to food and 
beverages. Ideally, it would be somewhere we could camp in for fairly 
long days.  I guess whiteboard/chalkboard is a must as well.

My other thought, by the way, was to ask some friends at a community
college to lend us some classroom space; I think that's an angle
worth pursuing, because a school could be the perfect host facility
(save money, better facilities).

Final thought - there are 'meeting planners' who can arrange
this sort of thing for a fee.  I think their fees are modest
(in the scheme of things), and might be a worthwhile expense.
They're generally in local phone listings.

> * What is a hotel room with a moderate price for you ?

The place I was looking at goes for $68/night that time of year.
Candidly, I think hotel cost is usually a secondary concern, though -
the plane ticket cost usually overshadows it.

Also, St. Paul, particularly in January, is very reasonably priced.
I suspect that for a 'big city' - say New York - you should expect
to at least double those figures.



p.s.  My comments about St. Paul are all self deprecating humor;
the twin cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul are a fantastic place.
It's the best place in the world to live, and a great place
to visit.  It's very low key and easy to get around, has good
night life + culture (okay, we have the Mall of America,
but we have *other* redeeming features <g>), and is an altogether
pleasant place to have a meeting.  Of course, it is as cold
as Siberia - that's not an exaggeration.  But that can be
fun in its own way...

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