Yes, we are already planning for next year - although I may not do this one. But, at least I can get it started... For next year we will have to change things a bit. Here are some ideas floating around.
Finances: First is that the attendance fee will have to be be $300 minimum but probably more like $500 for all three days. I can't see that the attendance charge will mean much since the local folks didn't come anyway (not many) and another $500 for those who did stay at the hotel will be just under what the hotel room itself costs. And we'll have to negotiate the coffee expense next year: $68 per gallon for Starbucks is outrageous since that comes out to a bit over $3 per 6-ounce cup of coffee. Starbucks is good but...
Speakers: We probably should pay them about $1,000 each honorarium to help with their time and expenses. I'm not sure that we can get Dr. Forgy, Gary Riley and some of the others back next year unless we have something like that. Without them as a drawing card I seriously doubt that there can even be an ORF 2009. Also, we need to get John Zachman to come and be one of the keynote speakers. (No more managers as speakers - not even for keynotes!!) Yes, that will run the cost of the conference up by about $30K but it should return its value in the quality of speakers.
Speakers Per Vendor: Only one per vendor-sponsored per day. Period. EOL. Even with two or three tracks.
Vendor-sponsored lunch: If the Lunch period is two hours each day then we could have three vendor presentations (which would not count as a regular presentation) and a free lunch for attendees. The vendors (only the Platinum ones) would be allowed to also present a full-blown demo during lunch for about an hour. I'm sure that we would have lots of folks who would attend a demo for a really good (free) lunch, right? :-)
Time Allowed for presentations: Maybe the presentations should be 1.5 hours each with a 15 minute break in between. That will leave about 20 minutes for Q&A time plus some time in between to allow setups. That means two in the morning if we start at 8:30 and three in the afternoon for a total of only 15 presentations. BUT, if we have two tracks then we will have 30 talks available. Just some thoughts - comments are encouraged and welcome.
Talks: ALL presentation will HAVE to be submitted en toto not later than June 1, 2009, before approval and publication. We got sandbagged this year by some abstracts that said one thing and the talk that floated in the week before the conference was quite something else. Talks will have to be in two formats; one is the traditional PPT or PDF but the other will be a "White Paper" suitable for publication. Also, we should have an approval board that is completely independent of the conference that will approve all talks - meaning that the talks will now be juried presentations and suitable for publication as a booklet or a book after the conference is over.
Location: We need some feedback on the hotel. Most seemed to think that it was OK but could be better. Also, maybe next year we could do this in San Antonio on the River Walk near the original Alamo. San Antonio is also just about 5 miles south of a VERY large German community. Or Austin which is just north of the German Community. Hawaii or The French Rivera would be nice too but we would have to raise the price to $1,500.
Logo: If we have it in France, then the ORF logo could be emblazoned on "an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow, polka-dot bikini" and we would have the ORF-Dog logo on 1-liter steins, coffee mugs and T-Shirts. :-)
Time of Conference: I still like having it the week before BR Forum BUT it has to be in late October when it finally gets cool here in Texas. Geeks at ours, Business guys at theirs. And, hopefully, they will meet up at their various companies when they get home. If we have it in France, then maybe late Summer. (Yes, I really was serious about that.)
Something that we had not considered is having memberships (stock ownership) for sale that would help to sponsor all of the events. If each share costs $1,000 and each share had one vote then that would follow good accounting principles.
Anyway, just some thoughts... let me know what you think.
Who stole my spring?? - After a nice 20C degrees day yesterday, I woke up this morning to this:
3 years ago