conference policies?

Glenn Morton (
Sun, 14 Sep 1997 16:22:15 -0400 (EDT)

I really enjoy the convenience of the annual ASA Meetings: everything
(meeting rooms, eating areas, and housing) is close, and the organizers
arrange roommates for those who don't want to pay for a single room.
This is very convenient, and at lunchtime it is easy to find people to
talk with, because everyone is eating at the same location.

By contrast, at another meeting (History and Philosophy in Science
Teaching) nothing was arranged except the meeting rooms; everyone found
their own rooms and roommate (if any), and for eating everyone scattered to
restaurants around the city. The Christian Scholarship conference (see my
second post) is similar in its minimum-arrangements policy.


* Which type of conference do attenders usually prefer?
{ Are those like me, who prefer the ASA-type conference, a minority? }

* Which type is most common?
{ My previous experience has been mainly with ASA & IJA (International
Jugglers Association) who both provide for everything. But at the HPST and
Boulder conferences, nothing is arranged except the meetings.
{ Also, NON-SUMMER conferences would not be able to take advantage of the
empty dormitories that are used at most ASA meetings. }

* What are the reasons for a "minimal organization" conference?
* For example, why is there sometimes no roommate-arranging service?

Is it because most attendees want single rooms? (for simplicity, to
insure a good night of sleep without a roommate noisily stumbling in and
turning on lights after you've fallen asleep)
Or because most attenders have "expense accounts" and don't have to pay
for the housing themselves? ( Or because their salaries are such that
paying the full cost for a room doesn't matter that much? )
Or because they arrange for their own roommates? (people from their own
institution, or people they've met at previous conferences)

Or is it because the conference organizers just don't want to bother with
it? (I appreciate the effort ASA invests in this) But even if the
organizers wanted to stay out of the process, it wouldn't take that much
work to just create a "roommate wanted" web-page with e-mail addresses, and
make it clear to all registrants that this is available; the web-page could
even have a password, to help increase privacy)

Or is it because conference organizers sometimes make decisions based on
what is best for the local economy? (as when attendees eat at local
restaurants; and a lot more revenue is generated when everyone pays for a
single room instead of splitting the cost for a double room)


A naive, inexperienced conference-attender,
obviously spoiled by ASA's excellent meetings,

Craig Rusbult