Big Temporary Networks

Jo Rhett jrhett at
Tue Sep 18 22:44:08 UTC 2012

On Sep 18, 2012, at 2:38 PM, William Herrin wrote:
> IIRC when the Democatic National Convention was held in Denver in
> 2008, they had to strike a special deal with the venue to bring in
> union labor instead of the normal workers because they couldn't find a
> suitable place that was already union.

I can provide people who can refute that, but I don't have (or care about) the details enough to bother quoting them. I can say that Worldcon was in Denver the proceeding week, and we could only get one hotel about a half mile from the convention center to allow us to serve drinks in our own rooms without a union person there to serve them. So I have personal experience to doubt your story.

> Conversely, when I went to IETF in Minneapolis a few years ago the
> networking folks simply took over the hotel network for the week. IETF
> attendee or not, you got wired Internet in your room courtesy of the
> conference. As I understand it, they convinced the hotel with the
> simple expedient of paying what they would ordinarily earn from a
> week's Internet charges.

IETF is considerably smaller event that Worldcon, and as such can play ball with smaller hotels.  Worldcons haven't fit into hotels in more than 20 years*, and must negotiate with the convention centers -- and are not able to leverage room nights in the balance.

* They tried with the large Hyatt in Chicago this year and got the worst of both worlds. The rooms were overfull far beyond standing room only, and they still couldn't get a hotel contract with good internet, accessibility or issue handling.

> My point is that blaming union contracts or union anything for being
> unable to find a place to hold a convention where you can implement
> the network you want to implement is nonsense. NANOG, ARIN and IETF
> conferences have all somehow managed to implement their own effective
> networks. Even in union towns. If Worldcon's site selection committee
> can't find a suitable host, that's their deficiency.

Money speaks here. The budgets for NANOG conferences are posted, as are some of the worldcon committee budgets. RTFM. And again, even though Worldcons have significantly less money, the largest Nanog ever was still smaller than the smallest worldcon in the last 20 years. Smaller == more choices of hotels == negotiating ability.

Please stop trying to be a smartass about something you could research, but haven't bothered to do so.

Jo Rhett
Net Consonance : net philanthropy to improve open source and internet projects.

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