i suppose we could say that the meeting rooms are subsidizing
the food, but frankly, i'd prefer that we didn't spend the additional
$340K/year, and folks who want food can have breakfast at the hotel
restaurant and snacks at whatever's available at the lobby level.
As most people I know of have to eat and drink, this suggestion would
only increase the cost of going to IETF meetings, and the ones who
would win something would be the hotel restaurants.
I also agree with Harald that the convenient food service makes us
work more efficient, and I further think it is an important social
To reduce the costs, John made a good point about terminal rooms,
and especially computers. These days, providing wireless
connectivity would probably be sufficient.
Since we do not have that many parameters to play with, I think we
will have to adjust the meeting fees to the current financial
situation. What we should further do is to make sure people can
participate even if they can not afford to go to the meetings
(f2f meetings are supposed to be an optional component of IETF