As 2009 approaches, we need to start the planning process for our Face 2 Face meetings. We have discussed three meetings each year:
- EDUCAUSE Constituent Group Meeting: this is an hour long standing meeting at the EDUCAUSE national meeting.
- Goal: outreach, spreading the word, introducing ITANA to new people. Chance to put faces with names.
- Campus Sponsored Working Meeting: this is a day long meeting hosted at a campus.
- Goal: to work and move forward a set of deliverables for ITANA. For example, this January we will gather at UC-Boulder to work on the Data Management deliverables, to film a set of Case Studies and to develop a Selling Points document.
- Face2Face Conference: this is a day long or 1.5 days long meeting.
- Goal: this meeting has a mixed set of goals. One goal is to report out on current activities and to have a set of standard presentations. A second goal is to have working group sessions to move deliverables or topics forward. A third goal is to have a hot-topic discussion session. Finally, this is a chance to chat and talk and meet your peers.
There are several issues at hand as we plan these meetings.
- The economy and the impact on travel. We don't know how deeply the economy will sink or what the impacts with be on our travel. Many institutions are greatly restricting travel now.
- Planning schedules for other meetings. One way to deal with the travel issue is to piggy-back or concatenate with another meeting. This allows the members to travel to one place and attend two different conferences. The schedules and programs of the other meetings may not be set early enough for us to take advantage of this.
- Funding at the sponsors. Just as our budgets are tightening, so are the budgets of our sponsor organizations. Their ability to cover meeting costs are being stretched.
- Under-attendance risk for the sponsors. If we schedule a meeting now and get a room block at a hotel that we do not fill, then the sponsors have to cover the cost of the unfilled room. The possibility of greater travel restrictions increases this risk to our sponsors.
- Registration Fees. We will probably need to charge a registration fee for the Face2Face Conference. This fee can vary depending on how we choose to hold the meeting.
- Piggy-backing on another meeting: If we can piggy-back on another EDUCAUSE or Internet2 meeting, our registration fee would be lower. We would need to decide early which meeting we want to piggy-back with. This would allow us to use the same logistics (room block, conference rooms, etc) as the EDUCAUSE/I2 meeting.
- Concatenate with another meeting. We could just schedule our meeting in the same town as another meeting. The registration fees would be much higher since we would need to handle all of the logistics. This would give us greater flexibility in when and where our meeting is held.
- Delayed Decisions. We can wait until Spring to decide when and where to have our Face2Face meeting. This would allow us to define exactly what we want to cover on the agenda. It would also let us see what impact the economic downturn will have on travel.
- If we concatenate with another meeting, we could open up our choices of meetings that we would like to meet before or after. For example: Burton Group meetings, Gartner meetings, Open Group EA Practicioners, etc.
- We should explore other meeting types. What can we accomplish through web-meetings (like WebEx et al)? What about ad hoc meetings at other national or regional meetings? What about regional meet-ups?