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[edit] Meeting: DebConf 16 Cape Town bid planning meeting -- 2014-10-15

Held at 2014-10-15T18:50:36Z in #debconf16-capetown on oftc. Convened by tumbleweed.

[edit] Attendees

  • nattie
  • wendar
  • ginggs
  • superfly
  • tumbleweed
  • madduck
  • Hodgestar
  • indiebio

[edit] Minutes

[edit] Quotes from Venues

We received the first few quotes, and started to review them. Allison will get them into a spreadsheet for comparison.

[edit] Work for the next two weeks

Graham will contact the Dean of Engineering, to see if we can use the UCT Chemical Engineering buildings.

Stefano will start to write up Location Checklists for UCT venues.

Bernelle will start to work on the rest of the bid document. Amongst other things, we need to split our conference planning material that isn't relevant for bid evaluation, out into separate pages.

Graham will contact some film production company contacts, to get a feeling for catering rates.

[edit] Automated Minutes

18:50:36 Meeting started
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 Meeting ended

[edit] Full 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

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