William H. Magill on 10 Sep 2004 16:08:02 -0000

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Re: [PLUG] KDE Conference 2005

On 10 Sep, 2004, at 11:14, Ian Reinhart Geiser wrote:
Historicaly we have been big fans of using
university campuses, but I'm having problems getting to "the right people"
to see if we can get into a campus for free or for cheap.

Basicly our requirements are on site food service that is discounted, or
at least bundled with the stay. Dorms, or hostel type accomidations for
students and developers. Hotels for those who can afford such things on
their own.

In general, all the Schools in the Philadelphia area will only provide free support for "small," faculty sponsored groups -- nominally the size which will only require one room or lecture hall ... and then usually only for 2 to 4 hours.

The big issue with scheduling a Campus location is timing -- you have a better (actually the only) chance if you can schedule for a time when their student body is "off." The problem with Philadelphia is that time is becoming shorter and shorter, to the point of being virtually nonexistent on the larger campuses. Most of the campuses are actively recruiting "paying groups" to run conferences on campus as a mechanism to make money.

If you get a Tenured Faculty member to sponsor your meeting to the School's conference coordinators, you will have a much easier time than if you contact the coordinators first and the go looking for a sponsor.

Dorm accommodations are in the same category -- although, here in Phila, dorms room "deals" don't cost much less than hotel rooms. Remember, hotel rooms in Phila are only slightly cheaper than those in NYC.

The place you should start talking is the Phila Convention and Visitors Bureau.
They have access to the current accurate information (including scheduling availabilities) for every venue in the City. [Your title is "Meeting Planner."]

They will also have records on your organization and will likely know more about your meeting requirements than you do!!! (All of the similar bureaus around the country exchange information.)

They will help you put together a complete bid package - Accommodations, attractions, venues, etc.

William H. Magill
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