I organized some conference in the Bay before (~250 attendees), and at the
time, 4 years ago, I researched the various options.

Let me say first of all that I think it would be a real challenge.
Wikipedians expect rock bottom prices, and that, coupled with the prices in
the Bay, makes up for what might be an unsolvable problem.  At least,
unsolvable by me!

At the time, I enquired about accomodation at UCSC.  UCSC (like Berkeley)
has lots of dorm rooms in the Summer, and in fact, has a well-oiled process
for organizing Summer conferences / camps.  There were however four
problems:

   - Price is still about $80 or $100 / night per person!  It is run like a
   profit operation.  And with the current UC budget, I don't see them making
   an exception.
   - They used to be not very flexible, expecting most participants to
   arrive on one day, and leave all on the same day (think Summer camps).  I
   had to argue a lot to make them accept the fact that people would have
   different length stays; I won the point in the end.
   - The campus is 1.5 miles from the city of Santa Cruz.
   - Transportation: it's necessary (and possible) to organize shuttles
   to-from SFO.

The plus is that once we are there, meeting rooms are plentiful and
excellent, network works, etc etc etc.  Plus, the redwood forest is
gorgeous, and Santa Cruz is a small enough city that participants don't get
diluted away in a huge metropolis (well, not that this was a problem in
Buenos Aires or Taiwan!).

In the end, I chickened out, and I held my conference in a SF hotel (so I
would not have to worry about transportation, arguing about length of stay,
etc).  It was ok, but it had its own set of issues.

All in all, I see price as one of the main problems for the Bay -- at least,
I was not able to solve it.

I am also at Google now, so if you like, I could at least let it be known of
the possibility; I have no idea of whether it would be possible, or
advisable, to get Google support or space for this.  Any feedback?

Best,

Luca


On Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 3:51 PM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.ay...@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 3:42 PM, Eugene Eric Kim <ee...@blueoxen.com>
> wrote:
> > 2010/1/27 phoebe ayers <phoebe.ay...@gmail.com>:
> >> I researched this question out of curiousity last year, and the most
> >> promising venue seemed like UC Berkeley, with their blocks of dorms
> >> that they rent out for conferences. USF/SF State similarly have space.
> >> Someplace like Mission Bay is gorgeous but pricey.
> >
> > Phoebe, did you look at Fort Mason? They've got a beautiful space, a
> > nonprofit rate, and there are places to eat and stay close by.
> > Transportation is not the best, though. It doesn't have that collegial
> > residency nearby, though, a feature that's been great at previous
> > Wikimanias.
> >
> > =Eugene
>
> I did -- it's great, though the onsite hostel only sleeps 162 and the
> theater max capacity is 437 (although there is a big warehouse for
> 3000 that can also be rented), so we'd likely have to have the
> keynotes elsewhere, and accommodation and transport would be a
> problem.
>
> Otherwise a good plan! You see the trouble with this particular
> conference size :)
>
> -- phoebe
>
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