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[edit] Priority List

  1. "affordable" for both sponsors and attendees
    1. We have shown that we can host this conference affordably in New York, despite the reputation of the city. Nonetheless, it will be more expensive than most past DebConfs. This will be partly mitigated by the greater number of sponsors which might be willing to pay for a US DebConf, including many local to NYC, and by the travel cost savings from having relatively cheap and direct flights from around the world.
  2. strong, mature, experienced local team
    1. We have shown that we can hold our own, work together, and produce two separate solid bids in a short time. Two of us have been in the orga team of a previous DebConf and will be participating heavily in DebConf9 orga matters. Several of us have attended multiple DebConfs.
  3. good working spaces
    1. We have plenty of spaces available for us for meetings and presentations, though some can not be reserved until much closer to time. We still need to work out exact hackspace arrangements, which is a big unknown (which we are fully confident we can solve, based on the extensive explorations of this issue which we have done so far).
  4. excellent network connectivity
    1. We have a modern academic network and connections to the department which runs it. This will be plenty sufficient for our needs; we will be a small load relative to the other researchers at the university.
  5. quality and quantity of food and drink in close proximity
    1. Quality and quantity are both extremely high. The number and diversity of restaurants in New York is amazing. If we get on-campus catering, we are not restricted to the Columbia catering service.
  6. suitable accommodation in close proximity
    1. As discussed below, we have both close-ish places (Columbia), and cheap places (HI and other hostels). We will have to compromise to decide what combination of these we want. However, we see it as an overall advantage: it is better to have many options and have to choose between them, than to not have a choice in the first place. We shouldn't have to pay more than an estimated $52.50 per person per night in any case, and there are enough beds available in either Columbia by itself or HI by itself, so we aren't forced to spread people out if we don't want to.
  7. presentation facilities
    1. As an academic institution, we will have good access to presentation facilities in most classrooms and auditoriums. New York has many businesses which could be asked for loans of further equipment, if needed. The disadvantage is that to use certain e-rooms, we must pay a fee, instead of this being free. This is explained in our bid page, and we can host a majority of talks in rooms with free presentation equipment.
  8. travel logistics
    1. We are in one of the easiest-to-get-to cities in the world. New York is a huge travel hub with multiple direct flights to almost every major world city, coming in to multiple airports.
  9. accessibility
    1. We have no major accessibility problems, and the US, and New York/Columbia in particular have strong accessibility initiatives. However, we are not perfect. New York and Columbia are very old relative to the effective dates of US accessibility laws, and thus some effort can be needed to get around the many staircases we have. Sometimes the accessible path is roundabout, but it almost always exists. Disability issues will not prevent anyone from particpating fully in a NYC DebConf.

[edit] Good Points About Other Bids

  • Quito uses a major world currency (US Dollar) which makes it very easy to transfer money. Visa issues are essentially nonexistent, everyone could attend with no applications. Hosting DebConf in Quito will support their free software community. It would be culturally different from what North Americans and Europeans are used to.
  • Boston has a large, well-connected free software community with operatives in important positions. Their reputation may help attract attendees. The conference would be hosted by a university (MIT) that has many ties to Debian, and FSF/GNU is in the same city.
  • Margarita would have beautiful beaches and would provide more of the hotel-type experience that we had in Argentina. It would also be rather low cost once we are on site. There is also wide use of, and official government support of, free software throughout Venezuela.

[edit] Weak Points of New York's Bid

  • The reservation timeline will require some thought and watching, mostly caused by the fact that Columbia is an huge academic institution. We have to coordinate a variety of different departments within Columbia, as well as the hostels. We have been aware of this from the start, and have constantly asked departments how early they can commit. The most important entity, SEAS, has said that they can commit immediately.
  • We may have to compromise on housing options. We have a large number of housing options available to us. The close-by housing is expensive (est. $52.50 pp/pn), and the slightly farther housing (roughly 15 min) is cheaper. The team (everyone, not just the local team) will have to discuss the tradeoffs we want to make, and where.
  • The exact location of daytime hackspace still hasn't been completely identified or decided. We have a variety of free rooms from SEAS (engineering school), which could accommodate us, however, we plan on using these rooms for talks/eating/night hackspace instead. Classrooms, dorm common areas or the Law School can't be booked until later. Lerner Hall (student center), is quite basically too expensive (without unlikely discounts) to consider. As a last resort, Hostelling International has rooms, but they are farther away. Being in New York, space is extremely tight here, and thus we must be more creative in finding hackspace. However, there are many other departments whose space is not centrally managed, who can be contacted if we are selected, and classroom space can be arranged later.
  • New York is such an awesome place people might forget it's a DebConf.

[edit] Questions

Add your questions here and we will answer them.

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