Meeting about DebConf 16 Cape Town bid planning meeting

Convened at 2014-10-15 18:50:36.516489 by tumbleweed in #debconf16-capetown on oftc


[18:50:36] STARTED (tumbleweed)
[18:51:53] TOPIC: Review of quotes received from venues (tumbleweed)
[19:05:35] AGREED: wendar to get the quotes into a spreadsheet for comparison (tumbleweed)
[19:27:53] TOPIC: Delegation of Location Checklist write-ups (tumbleweed)
[19:53:40] AGREED: ginggs will contact the dean of engineering (tumbleweed)
[19:54:00] AGREED: tumbleweed will start writing up the UCT locations (tumbleweed)
[19:55:17] AGREED: ginggs will contact film production companies to get details of caterers (tumbleweed)
[20:02:41] AGREED: indiebio to start working on the bid (tumbleweed)
[20:03:25] AGREED: split the conference planning bits that aren't relevant to the bid evaluation, out into their own page(s?) (tumbleweed)
[20:05:00] ENDED (tumbleweed)


Raw Log

[18:50:36] <tumbleweed> tibid: start meeting about DebConf 16 Cape Town bid planning meeting
[18:50:36] * tibid gets out his memo-pad and cracks his knuckles
[18:50:47] <tumbleweed> first item?
[18:50:59] <nattie> ok, we have Hint Of Agenda, soon as i dig up the mail
[18:51:06] <tumbleweed> all I have is the thing I mailed
[18:51:07] <tumbleweed> * Review of quotes received from venues
[18:51:07] <tumbleweed> * Figure out how to beat them down (the quotes I've seen are way too high)
[18:51:10] <tumbleweed> * Delegation of Location Checklist write-ups.
[18:51:13] <tumbleweed> any more additions?
[18:51:45] <nattie> i think let's just get started. the quotes will take some time to deal with
[18:51:47] <tumbleweed> that's a no
[18:51:53] <tumbleweed> tibid: topic Review of quotes received from venues
[18:51:53] <tibid> Current Topic: Review of quotes received from venues
[18:52:12] <tumbleweed>
[18:52:17] <nattie> so i think we currently have two concrete quotes, right?
[18:52:54] <tumbleweed> Technopark and River club?
[18:53:00] <tumbleweed> we also have a price list from schoenstatt
[18:53:15] <tumbleweed> and lord charles
[18:53:22] <indiebio> yes
[18:53:27] <tumbleweed> and from what I've seen of the other two quotes, they don't really deviate from the price lists
[18:53:38] <indiebio> I am still waiting for blackwater
[18:53:44] <indiebio> and chrysalis seems interested
[18:53:45] <nattie> oh, hold on, i missed the lord charles one
[18:54:00] <indiebio> it is too far in the future for them to make any special arrangements or anything...
[18:54:11] <indiebio> fuck. breakwater, sorry
[18:54:17] <indiebio> I'm a sanitation engineer :)
[18:54:17] <tumbleweed> :)
[18:54:45] * tumbleweed is glad to hear we aren't dealing with paramilitary organisations
[18:55:27] <nattie> though i'm sure we'll look very dashing in uniform if we have to. especially with the balaclavas.
[18:55:49] <indiebio> So the quotes that we have we sortof expected them to be pricey.
[18:56:04] <tumbleweed> I didn't expect river club to be
[18:56:06] <nattie> yeah, they're quoting for a lot of things we emphatically won't need
[18:56:16] <superfly> wow, R2 million
[18:57:10] <wendar> they are quoting for more rooms than we need, and 300 people for the entire 10 days
[18:57:24] <nattie> *nods*
[18:57:33] <tumbleweed> and, confusingly, for the rooms twice, or something like that
[18:57:39] <tumbleweed> we need to ask them to explain it
[18:57:39] <nattie> so certainly on that front, we can get it down by quite a bit
[18:57:42] <nattie> yes
[18:57:53] <indiebio> ok, so this isn't a valid quote anyway, I mainly asked for prices to get an analysis going.
[18:57:54] <nattie> i'm wondering if it's a manoeuvre to see if we flinch
[18:58:20] <wendar> they probably don't put much care into initial quotes, just toss in the lot, and see what people actually want
[18:58:22] <superfly> tell them that R2mil is about 1.9 mil over our budget :-P
[18:58:25] <indiebio> What I would like to see next is someone to do a spreadsheet of some kind and itemise and cost these things sothat they're comparable acorss venues
[18:58:39] <indiebio> The lady at river club, collette, was just trying to give as much info as possible.
[18:58:56] <wendar> I can do that this weekend, with the info we have so far
[18:59:03] <nattie> ok, so we'll call that a worst-case scenario, budget-wise
[18:59:13] <wendar> (reusing the spreadsheets I used for the same thing for Portland)
[18:59:41] <indiebio> icool, thanks wendar, I know you sent me stuff, but got lots on at the moment, and I think it's also time for the rest of the team to chip in here :)
[18:59:46] <wendar> do we have a standard inflation measure?
[18:59:53] <indiebio> I'd like to get started on the proposal...
[19:00:07] <wendar> I won't complain if someone else wants to do spreadsheets either/too :)
[19:00:11] <indiebio> I was working on 6%, but the venue people said 10% per annum, or something like that.
[19:00:21] <tumbleweed> 10% is too high
[19:00:26] <indiebio> I would make it a separate cell, then we can change it later if we have to.
[19:00:55] <superfly> current inflation is something like 6.5% I think
[19:00:46] <tumbleweed>
[19:01:12] <wendar> yeah, I'd really like to see how things total up for what they're quoting us now anyway
[19:01:46] <wendar> (for a lot of these places, I suspect we'll be negotiating down *below* current rates, not for 20% above current rates, despite inflation)
[19:02:12] <tumbleweed> yeah, we have to get them way down
[19:02:52] <wendar> The fact that we have NEB for practically nothing is a great bargaining tool. :)
[19:03:07] <wendar> or ChemEng, or whatever
[19:03:11] <nattie> so, should we work out what we're requesting?
[19:03:21] <indiebio> I would still not get bogged down in that until we have a proper analysis...
[19:03:40] <indiebio> wendar: NEB, actually. ChemEng confuses ginggs :)
[19:03:52] <tumbleweed> is it worth analysing quotes in detail, if we don't think they're plausible for us, yet?
[19:04:21] <wendar> the rough ballpark of "standard" rates is good enough for the bid
[19:04:26] <nattie> only inasmuch as we can hope to make a model soon and have it analysed before the next meeting
[19:04:38] <wendar> together with an estimate of how much "influence" we'd likely have over the venue for bargaining
[19:04:47] <tumbleweed> ok
[19:05:13] <tumbleweed> oh, I should minute this
[19:05:35] <tumbleweed> tibid: agreed wendar to get the quotes into a spreadsheet for comparison
[19:05:35] <tibid> Agreed: wendar to get the quotes into a spreadsheet for comparison
[19:05:53] <tumbleweed> anything else to discuss here? NEB stuff?
[19:06:33] <indiebio> I would say, list, plenary, breakaway etc etc, then fill in the price per day, then add them all up.
[19:06:41] <tumbleweed> yeah
[19:06:46] <indiebio> I could set up the empty table, but it will be on google sheets :P
[19:06:51] <nattie> we should work out how many rooms we actually need
[19:07:01] <tumbleweed> that will depend on the venue, to some degree
[19:07:01] <nattie> indiebio: wendar's got a spreadsheet from last year
[19:07:15] <nattie> ok, to a first approximation?
[19:07:34] <tumbleweed> 2 talk, 2 bof, 2 hacklab
[19:07:45] <nattie> we'll likely only need the plenary room on two occasions (opening and closing)
[19:07:47] <wendar> yeah, let's stick with libreoffice, rather than google :)
[19:07:57] <tumbleweed> plus 100-150 double bedrooms?
[19:08:18] <indiebio> wendar, can you load that sheet up on alioth please?
[19:08:34] <tumbleweed> for the video team, plenary = main talk room is much easier
[19:08:45] <nattie> yes
[19:08:47] <wendar> indiebio: well, it's all portland at the moment, but I'll upload it when I've got a rough start
[19:09:14] <indiebio> 'K thanks. is this the same one you emailed me?
[19:09:24] <wendar> yup, that's the one
[19:09:36] <indiebio> ok cool
[19:09:50] <wendar> you can see we did multiple profile estimates, based on number of attendees
[19:10:04] <wendar> (i.e. 200 people is a very different total than 300)
[19:10:20] <wendar> and for sponsored lodging/food, sliced it even finer
[19:10:26] <indiebio> by what time will we know if it's closer to 300 than 200?
[19:10:28] * madduck checking in late sorry
[19:10:46] <wendar> we won't know final count until quite late
[19:10:58] <wendar> but, we also have the power to vary how many people we sponsor quite late
[19:11:01] <madduck> well, depending on when you close registrations ;)
[19:11:39] <wendar> it's a matter of setting a base required sponsorship amount for venue, and estimates for sponsorship
[19:11:59] <wendar> then, closer to the time, we may find attendance is closer to 200, and that we can sponsor travel for more people
[19:12:13] <indiebio> ok
[19:12:20] <wendar> or, that we got more than the required minimum of sponsorship, which can also go to sponsor more travel
[19:12:48] <wendar> we will want to check with the venue and see if we'll have the ability to make slightly different room choices closer to the final date
[19:13:08] <wendar> (i.e. can we swap out their largest room for a slightly smaller one, 3 months before?)
[19:13:12] <tumbleweed> that's a good point
[19:13:28] <wendar> With UCT, i'm sure that'll be doable
[19:13:33] <wendar> with others, it'll depend
[19:13:50] <tumbleweed> sometimes contracts are only signed around that far in advance, right?
[19:14:33] <wendar> I'd hope the contract would be signed a year before, (or earlier), to lock in prices.
[19:14:42] <wendar> But, with options for variations later.
[19:14:55] <wendar> madduck: when did you sign for dc15?
[19:15:10] <tumbleweed> yeah
[19:15:18] <madduck> contract? about 13 months in advance
[19:15:23] <wendar> nod
[19:15:29] <madduck> but it's a special contract in that we can cancel without charges until april 2015
[19:15:37] <tumbleweed> nice
[19:15:37] <wendar> excellent
[19:16:05] <madduck> yeah, I wanted to decrease the prices further and give up this right, but then decided not to push my luck that much ;)
[19:16:21] <wendar> :)
[19:17:35] <tumbleweed> this is getting into my next agenda item of: Figure out how to beat them down (the quotes I've seen are way too high)
[19:17:46] <tumbleweed> I guess it's too early for that
[19:17:59] <madduck> no it's not.
[19:18:10] <madduck> i've employed two strategies
[19:18:42] <madduck> first, even though I was the only one negotiating at that point
[19:18:53] <madduck> I always said that I am just a strawman and that I need to check with my team
[19:19:13] <madduck> and then I was able to say things like "my team currently likes Munich better, but I think Heidelberg would be cooler, is there anything we can do…"
[19:19:23] <tumbleweed> :)
[19:19:32] <superfly> hahaha
[19:19:34] <superfly> nice
[19:19:38] <madduck> and second, I kept them updated whenever we made any advances in Munich
[19:19:48] <madduck> sometimes even when they weren't real, only possibilities.
[19:19:56] <madduck> it was bluffing, but it increased the pressure
[19:20:04] <madduck> because i knew early on that they wanted to host us
[19:20:14] <madduck> I am pretty sure you can do that too
[19:20:20] <madduck> and even though I don't advise bluffing
[19:20:28] <madduck> (unless it just so happens)
[19:20:46] <nattie> so who's got the least legible face here?
[19:20:50] <madduck> being the person out there that wants venue X and to side with them "against your own team"
[19:20:53] <madduck> can work very well
[19:21:39] <madduck> obviously it's not a guarantee for success. I was also very lucky to have had a very cooperative and young negotiation partner ;)
[19:23:14] <tumbleweed> all the conference centers seem to be more full-service than we want
[19:23:30] <tumbleweed> we need to get them down to bare-bones rooms with some chairs in them
[19:23:48] <nattie> yeah. and we don't need a technician
[19:24:02] <tumbleweed> or snacks
[19:24:21] <indiebio> that's why I'm holding out for places like chrysalis. but we can get back to e.g. river club with these comments...
[19:24:28] <nattie> snacks are nice-to-have but certainly not for an initial quote
[19:24:30] <tumbleweed> well, we do need tehir technicial on call, if we're hiring any equipment from them
[19:24:33] <indiebio> for that I need the analysis though.
[19:24:42] <tumbleweed> indiebio: what do you think the chance is of allowing alcohol in chrysalis?
[19:25:20] <tumbleweed> I guess we should be telling the venues that we're going to need a range of possibilities, depending on funding raised
[19:25:30] <tumbleweed> and trying to get the low end of that range as low as we can
[19:25:31] <indiebio> i dunno. I still need to meet with them. I think rather good if we can convince them we're responsible
[19:25:52] <tumbleweed> for those who weren't there, I ask this becasue there were signs up EVERYWHERE
[19:26:11] <indiebio> tumbleweed: meaning?
[19:26:21] <tumbleweed> indiebio: "no alcohol" signs
[19:26:54] <indiebio> well, they're working with youths at risk. but if the youths aren't there...
[19:26:58] <tumbleweed> yeah
[19:27:08] <indiebio> i don't know. I'll ask the guy when I meet with him
[19:27:12] <tumbleweed> cool
[19:27:18] <tumbleweed> ok, moving on?
[19:27:53] <tumbleweed> tibid: topic Delegation of Location Checklist write-ups
[19:27:53] <tibid> Current Topic: Delegation of Location Checklist write-ups
[19:28:15] <tumbleweed> we should probably start worknig on location checklist for the UCT venues
[19:28:28] <tumbleweed> and whatever other favourites emerge?
[19:29:00] <tumbleweed> I'm willing to start doing some of this
[19:29:30] <madduck> nattie: generally, we can do better on snacks ourselves, I believe, because our attendees are happier with more volume and longer serving times at lesser quality than what those centres can usually offer.
[19:29:55] <nattie> madduck: well, quite. whether we will be allowed to provide our own snacks is another matter, though
[19:30:01] <madduck> yeah
[19:30:03] <tumbleweed> nattie: we have been asking venues that
[19:30:09] <tumbleweed> but generally debconf is 3 meals, no snacks
[19:30:11] <madduck> "no alcohol" in the venue would be a first, but I wouldn't see it as a show-stopper
[19:30:22] <tumbleweed> this would be venue + accom
[19:31:04] <tumbleweed> I think we're subversive enough that we'd break any such rules, and it could be problematic
[19:31:07] <tumbleweed> (see portland)
[19:31:21] <nattie> us, break rules? surely not.
[19:31:28] <tumbleweed> the 5th floor doesn't exist
[19:31:35] <wendar> front desk was a constant stream of snacks
[19:31:42] <tumbleweed> oh that was true
[19:31:44] <wendar> (where'd that come from? somebody left it here)
[19:31:58] <nattie> people kept bringing us stuff, and we said "here, take!"
[19:32:03] <tumbleweed> front desk even delivered waffles, on occasion
[19:32:12] <wendar> heh
[19:32:40] <madduck> tumbleweed: yeah, and we are also a very responsible and reasonable crowd that doesn't misbehave in the way that makes people forbid alcohol in the venue
[19:32:52] <nattie> ...
[19:32:55] <nattie> largely.
[19:33:00] <madduck> so in general, it's not that important because we probably won't be noticed
[19:33:04] <tumbleweed> madduck: yeah
[19:33:18] <madduck> but sure, if it means we'd get kicked out when a beer is sighted, then this would be a show-stopper i guess
[19:33:21] <wendar> but, official permission to bring our own food/alcohol is a plus
[19:33:39] <wendar> (as we're weighting venue choices)
[19:34:10] <madduck> wendar: unless there is food/alcohol on sale for reasonable prices, double-plus if we can influence the offerings.
[19:34:17] <wendar> nod
[19:34:23] <madduck> nod too
[19:35:56] * Hodgestar forgot about the meeting. :/
[19:36:00] * Hodgestar reads.
[19:36:13] * wendar back in five, changing locations for expiring parking
[19:36:13] * tumbleweed should program a pingall into tibid
[19:36:23] <nattie> Hodgestar: dude, i sent a mail to the list...
[19:37:02] <nattie> shall we hold for a few minutes, give Hodgestar a change to catch up while wendar moves her car?
[19:37:24] <tumbleweed> sure, I think we're winding up, anyway
[19:39:49] <ginggs> BTW, if we can get outside catering, there are plenty of companies that service the film industry here, and being winter (off-peak) we could probably negotiate good rates
[19:40:03] <ginggs> just mentioning that for the record, i have plenty of contacts
[19:40:04] <tumbleweed> yeah
[19:40:24] <tumbleweed> these are areas where I expect a cape town bid to be strong (cheap and good quality)
[19:40:59] <madduck> ginggs: how strong are these contacts? can you get non-binding preliminary inofficial approximate quotes from them? ;)
[19:41:23] <tumbleweed> yeah, that'd be cool
[19:41:32] <tumbleweed> I'd also love to see some quotes for busses
[19:41:59] <Hodgestar> nattie: I know. :/
[19:42:10] <madduck> busses are like 5€/person/day in .de, so those are negligible costs, really.
[19:42:11] <Hodgestar> No need to wait for me unnecessarily. I'm caught up now.
[19:42:23] <indiebio> please minute the bus thing, tumbleweed
[19:42:24] <nattie> Hodgestar: sorry, i wasn't *actually* bitching you out, just pretending to, for effect
[19:42:29] <madduck> tumbleweed: but yeah, getting an idea of prices would be good.
[19:42:33] <tumbleweed> madduck: and I'd expect even cheaper here
[19:42:40] <madduck> however, I would advise against getting quotes now
[19:42:53] <tumbleweed> but if we were in an out of the way area, we may want to provide our own shuttles
[19:42:53] <madduck> wait until you have more information as that opens up for better negotiation positions.
[19:43:46] <ginggs> re: catering: i'll send some mails
[19:45:29] <superfly> ya, public transport in Cape Town is pretty lousy compared to most cities in the US
[19:45:48] <tumbleweed> waterfront would have good myciti service
[19:45:54] <tumbleweed> anywhere else, ...
[19:46:07] <nattie> what's myciti? is that regular buses?
[19:46:15] <tumbleweed> yeah
[19:46:21] <nattie> (sorry to ask all these silly questions, but, you know, foreign.)
[19:46:24] <tumbleweed> except they call it an IRT
[19:46:29] <nattie> ?
[19:46:31] <tumbleweed> "integrated rapid transport"
[19:46:35] <nattie> really.
[19:46:39] <tumbleweed> busses that sometimes have delegated lanes
[19:46:46] <tumbleweed> and bus-stops that are sort of like stations
[19:46:48] <indiebio> river club would also be sorted
[19:46:54] <nattie> like guided buses, or different?
[19:47:35] <tumbleweed> - looks like a bus, smells like a bus, ...
[19:47:47] <madduck> yuk
[19:48:08] <nattie> ok, a bus with delusions of grandeur :)
[19:52:29] * wendar (here)
[19:52:43] <nattie> ok
[19:52:52] <tumbleweed> anything more?
[19:53:09] <nattie> what have we got minuted so far?
[19:53:26] <tumbleweed> tibid: minutes so far
[19:53:26] <tibid> Minutes available at
[19:53:28] <nattie> did we note that ginggs will contact the dean of engineering
[19:53:31] <tumbleweed> + .html
[19:53:40] <tumbleweed> tibid: agreed ginggs will contact the dean of engineering
[19:53:40] <tibid> Agreed: ginggs will contact the dean of engineering
[19:54:00] <tumbleweed> tibid: agreed tumbleweed will start writing up the UCT locations
[19:54:00] <tibid> Agreed: tumbleweed will start writing up the UCT locations
[19:54:32] <tumbleweed> anything else?
[19:54:51] <tumbleweed> next meeting in 2 weeks? Or in a week, if there is something to discuss?
[19:55:05] <ginggs> ginggs will contact film production companies to get details of caterers
[19:55:06] <nattie> 2 weeks should be fine, but we *can* discuss outside meetings, you know
[19:55:07] <indiebio> tumbleweed, do you have/need the UCT venue capacity link?
[19:55:17] <tumbleweed> tibid: agreed ginggs will contact film production companies to get details of caterers
[19:55:17] <tibid> Agreed: ginggs will contact film production companies to get details of caterers
[19:55:24] <tumbleweed> indiebio: yes, I think I have it
[19:56:01] <indiebio> I'd like to start with the bid proposal. I'm bored with venues, will push the ones who haven't supplied quotes, and load stuff up, but other than that I work on a request basis. :)
[19:57:20] <tumbleweed> ok, so that's mostly writing it up and making it pretty?
[19:57:29] <tumbleweed> and some overlap with things I'll be doing
[19:57:57] <wendar> indiobio: can we move the potential speakers piece off to a separate wiki page?
[19:58:18] <indiebio> ok
[19:58:50] <wendar> also "Public engagement initiatives"?
[19:58:57] <indiebio> tumbleweed: yes, and I want to play with the sponsor doc. basically just figuring out the look and feel of the thing for my own head
[19:59:05] <wendar> basically, anything that isn't intended for the audience of bid voting
[19:59:06] <indiebio> grrr. ok.
[19:59:19] <wendar> it's important content for *us*, but not for them
[19:59:28] <wendar> (could be one "local team planning" page)
[19:59:28] <indiebio> any particular heading, like, 'other stuff'?
[19:59:40] <nattie> perhaps "interna"? or is that a bit german?
[19:59:44] <indiebio> I was thinking it would strengthen our bid as it shows we're reaching further
[20:00:23] <wendar> it'll definitely strengthen the event, and help us target local sponsors
[20:00:23] <tumbleweed> we do have to work with the global talks team, to actually make these things happen
[20:00:28] <indiebio> How about 'Auxiliary activities'
[20:00:32] <wendar> but.. the bid is evaluated on different criteria
[20:00:52] <wendar> sure, I'm not picky about the title of the separate page :)
[20:00:53] <tumbleweed> this is more conference planning, than conference bid
[20:02:26] <tumbleweed> oh, we can minute this too
[20:02:41] <tumbleweed> tibid: agreed indiebio to start working on the bid
[20:02:41] <tibid> Agreed: indiebio to start working on the bid
[20:03:25] <tumbleweed> tibid: agreed split the conference planning bits that aren't relevant to the bid evaluation, out into their own page(s?)
[20:03:25] <tibid> Agreed: split the conference planning bits that aren't relevant to the bid evaluation, out into their own page(s?)
[20:03:41] <tumbleweed> it's been 90 mins and I'm getting hungry. Are we there yet?
[20:04:24] <wendar> seems like enough tasks for 2 weeks :)
[20:04:30] <nattie> there as we'll ever be
[20:04:33] <tumbleweed> that's for sure :)
[20:05:00] <tumbleweed> tibid: end meeting