I thought I should respond as the IAOC chair.
First of all, complaints and discussion about the IETF meeting costs should be
directed toward the IAOC and not toward the Secretariat. It is the IAOC who
makes the decisions on meeting venues. Our mailing list is
As many of people have responded to the initial query, there are many tradeoffs
here. If we negotiate for a lower room rate, the food and beverage costs
and/or meeting room charges may go up. We do try to get a lower rate than the
hotel's standard rates and have Internet included, as well as getting an
agreement that no other group will receive a lower group rate. Further, if we
want to have meetings scheduled into the future, we have to sign contracts with
hotels well before the meeting and our ability to negotiate (and renegotiate
later) is limited. Hotels don't tend to discount until much closer to a
specific date. We also have requirements that limit the number of hotel
properties that can be considered. This includes many parallel meeting rooms,
and space for two plenaries for about 1,300 people, and deploying the IETF
network. Not all properties can accommodate our requirements.
The IAOC considers the total package of room rate, food and beverage costs, A&V
costs, meeting space costs, location (restaurants, travel, etc.), circuit
costs, host, and anything else that is relevant when making a decision on a
venue. It is not an exact formula, but we try to get the best value we can for
We have a meeting sub-committee that works on meeting venue qualification and
making a recommendation to the IAOC. If you have experience in this area,
please consider volunteering. I note several people thought they could do much
better. You could help the IETF.
I hope this is helpful.
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