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Re: COLD2012 Cost

From: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2012 18:10:47 +0000
To: Abraham Bernstein <bernstein@ifi.uzh.ch>
CC: Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <8DB1AC5C-FA2D-4752-B71E-041C22E66D6E@soton.ac.uk>
Dear Avi,
Many thanks for your detailed message.
I don't consider any of your explanations wrong - as someone who has organised conferences I well know that $100 is likely to be a subsidised cost, and for the organisers, it is very helpful to be able to use the centralised systems, including underwriting.
I even understand that there may be deals with hotels that don't want people arriving for just two nights.
Although, the workshops do make the conference event more attractive, and so boost the number of delegates who stay the whole week, whatever the charging structure - it is a symbiotic relationship.

But your message really crystallises the issue for me:
If as you say, full cost accounting would mean it costs $500, then why not charge $500? - what could be simpler and fairer than that?
That would be $500 for only the workshop, or +$100 with the conference.
That's not not even asking for marginal costs.
But instead it is being charged at twice as much.
Essentially you are saying that if I chose to attend only COLD2012, in effect I would be subsidising the main conference, not the other way round.
I find that pretty amazing, if not actually outrageous.

Much as I would have fun at the conference, as I have in the past, I can't help but look at the costs:
a) workshop only "real": travel + $500 + 2 days subsistence (@ $200/day) = travel + $900
b) workshop only being charged: travel + $1050 + 2 days subsistence = travel + $1450
c) full conference as you suggest : travel + $1050 + 6 days subsistence = travel + $2250
Of course, for option c there is also the extra time spent away, along with any lost earnings from the extra 4 days.

But I also understand that this seems to have become the norm (I seem to recall it was the same with LOD at WWW), so I wasn't really having a go at you or even ISWC - hence it was more just a sigh.

I just think conferences should have transparency in the costs, and give delegates the freedom to choose.

I wish you a most successful event - it looks really great.
Best
Hugh

On 13 Sep 2012, at 07:45, Abraham Bernstein <bernstein@ifi.uzh.ch> wrote:

> Dear Hugh, dear all
> 
> I can sympathize with the general feeling that this seems like a steep price for a one day workshop. What needs to be understood, however, is that conferences and workshops do not exist in isolation but are strongly intertwined. As a consequence visiting them does come in a bundle.
> 
> First, it is important to note that conferences heavily subsidize the workshops. The 100$ COLD fee does not even approach covering the costs the workshop generates. If we would do full cost accounting one would get closer to a 500$ fee for the day. Also, you may want to think about the fact that the conference organizers carry no financial risk at all. This alone is worth a lot, as more workshops need to be canceled than you might think.
> 
> Second, workshops profit from both the marketing and reputation of the conference as well as the fact that many people would not travel to a one day event - but a multi-day event may make the trip worthwhile. So the conference actually increases the potential audience, which comes at a great benefit.
> 
> I could go on, but would much rather invite you to stay for the whole conference. ISWC will have a great number of highly exciting papers - quite a few will touch upon the exact subjects that COLD will cover as well. In addition, this year's conference will feature a panel on processing large number of triples, which should be exactly down your alley. Also, our keynotes seem highly relevant to the subject.
> 
> In summary, I hope you understand that workshops do not live in isolation but are part of a greater context. Taking advantage of that benefit will result in many highly exciting encounters and ideas - all for the bargain price of 250$/day.
> 
> If during ISWC you are unhappy, please come and talk to me. I will be there and happy to listen to your thoughts on how to improve ISWC, its workshop organization, or anything. Alternatively, I invite you to come to the town hall meeting we will be holding on Wednesday, November 14 at 5:45pm
> 
> Whatever the outcome, I wish you a successful and stimulating COLD 2012
> 
> 
> Best
> 
> Avi Bernstein
> ISWC General Chair
> 
> 
> On 11.09.2012, at 14:08, Hugh Glaser wrote:
> 
>> Sigh, same again.
>> Early registration is $1050 for COLD2012.
>> 
>> (As the site says: *The Sunday and Monday workshops/tutorials are only available to those registered for the full conference.)
>> 
>> That's about $100 a paper.
>> 
> 
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
> |  Professor Abraham Bernstein, PhD
> |  University of Zürich, Department of Informatics
> |  web: http://www.ifi.uzh.ch/ddis/bernstein.html
> 
> 
> 
Received on Sunday, 16 September 2012 18:11:31 UTC

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