Boston 2006 YAPC Bid

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Below is the bid submitted by the Boston group.



NAME

YAPC::NA 2006 Proposal - Boston, MA



SYNOPSIS

Boston has a variety of sites we are currently exploring. We've reached the stage where we're confident we can successfully host YAPC,
and hope to convince you as well.



CRITERIA

Going through the criteria from http://yapc.org/yapc-crit.txt.

Estimated Costs

We're confident we can run at $100/head. Estimates below amortize fixed costs over 250 people. Our budget looks better if we are closer
to 300 people.

Site 1: University of Massachusetts: Boston Campus

The meeting rooms, A/V, and network will come to just over $12000. That leaves about $52/head for catering and the banquet. UMass's
caterer can give us continental breakfast and two snacks each day for
$42/head. We have a budget banquet option that will be $15/head. So
we're slightly in the red at 250 participants. At 300, we're slightly
in the black. We'd have to rely on the auction or sponsorship to
bring us into the black if we get a low attendance.

Site 2: Simmons College

The meeting rooms, A/V, and network should come to a bit over $4000. That leaves roughly $85/head for catering and the
banquet. Simmons' caterer is a bit expensive, but $45 gives a nice
continental breakfast and one snack each day. $40/head should give us
a nice banquet, even at Boston prices. (Or devote $15/head to a
second snack, and do a budget banquet.)

Site 3: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

We're still finding the right approach to negotiating with MIT. It would be a nice location, but we aren't confident about it at this
stage. We don't have enough information to form a budget for this
site possibility.

Readily Accessible Location

Logan airport is served by almost every major US airline. (The exception, Southwest, serves two nearby airports: Manchester, NH and
Providence, RI.) There is good coverage of international airlines.

For east-coasters, Amtrak provides service. For much of the rest of the country, Amtrak pretends to provide service.

For the car-bound, it is easily possible to drive into Boston. Parking is pricey, but available.

Public Transportation

Boston has one of the better public transportation systems in the US. The MBTA, http://www.mbta.com, (``the T'' for short) provides subway and
bus service throughout eastern Massachusetts.

All of the sites we are considering are either near subway lines, or have a shuttle bus to the subway. The airport and train stations have
good connections to the subway.

Facilities

Broken out by the three sites we're considering.

UMass Boston

A brand-new conference facility. In banquet seating, the main conference room can hold 360, leaving room for the dividers, buffet
tables, etc. So we could squeeze in a few more if necessary.

When divided, the conference room becomes three meeting rooms, holding 120 each in banquet tables. (Slightly more in classroom style, many
more in lecture style.) There are two smaller rooms next to the main
room that we can reserve if desired, that hold 65 in lecture
configuration.

Nearby on the same floor, next to the elevators, is a lounge area where we would likely set up registration. There are additional lounge
areas (and a food court) on the lower floors.

A/V facilities are so new, they aren't installed yet. But we are promised they'll be done by June, giving us all of the PA and
projection we could want. There are multiple power/network points in
the floor of the main hall. We have an option to turn on WiFi antennas
to cover the hall.

The hallway outside the conference room has a great view of Dorchester Bay. It might be possible to dock a harbor cruise directly outside. Or
we can hold the banquet in the main conference hall. A short walk
along the bay brings you to the JFK museum.

Simmons

A somewhat small facility for YAPC, but we could fit if necessary. The main restriction is that the largest room only holds a bit over 300 in
lecture style (i.e., no tables). For session, that room can hold one,
and we have two other rooms that hold a bit over 100 each. We can
reserve classrooms if necessary for a small fourth track, etc.

The rooms are an easy walk from each other, but are not next to each other. Also nearby is a lounge/cafe, and a cafeteria.

A/V is a la carte, but has everything we need so long as we plan ahead. There are internet connections around the edges of each room,
and we have permission to bring in access points for WiFi.

We can't fit the banquet into any Simmons facility. We have a couple of options for off-site halls, and the possibility of a harbor cruise
(like Toronto did).

Simmons is located in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, near the Museum of Fine Arts, the Gardiner Museum, Fenway Park (home of the Red
Sox), one of Boston's restaurant/club districts, and more. It's a fun
place to be.

MIT

MIT won't commit at this time to what facilities would be available this coming summer. The most likely scenario would be to hold plenary
sessions in one of the lecture halls (there are at least five
candidates that can hold over 300) and tracks in small lecture halls
or large classrooms. There will probably be a bit of walking from one
room to the other, depending on exactly what is available to us.

The rooms we would use have A/V and internet connections. Most are air-conditioned. We could shorten some of the walks by using non-AC
rooms, but that's probably a bad idea in June.

The student center has a large space that can easily accomodate the banquet. We also have the possibility of holding the banquet at a
corporate site in Kendall Square, adjacent to campus.

MIT has a variety of interesting displays on campus, plus the MIT Museum. It's a short walk to the Boston Science Museum. The Kendall
Square restaurant district is a short walk, and the Central Square
restaurant/club district is a bit further.

Internet Access from Conference Location

All three sites have a limited number of wired internet connections per room. The plan is to reserve one or two for the speakers, and to
provide WiFi out to the audience. Some facilites (UMass) insist on
their own WiFi, and some (Simmons) want us to bring the access points
(we have enough volunteers to cover this).

Internet Access from Accomodations

Simmons dorms have wired internet in the rooms. We think Lesley has internet, but we need to verify before booking with them.

All of the hotels we have looked at to date have internet. Some charge an extra nightly rate, some include it. Wired vs. WiFi varies.

New Location

Yes! 50 free points!

Affordable Dorms and Hotels

For the Simmons site, we would use Simmons dorms. The cost would be between $45 and $60 per night, depending on the exact arrangement, the
mix of singles and doubles, etc. The dorms that we would reserve are
air-conditioned, have internet, share bathrooms, and share phones.

While Lesley doesn't have a large enough space to hold YAPC, it does have dorms we can rent. The cost would be $60/night for a single or
$100/night for a double. Since Lesley is on the Red Line, it would be
more convenient than Simmons for a YAPC at MIT or UMass-Boston.

For the MIT site, we would use either MIT dorms or Lesley dorms.

For the UMass-Boston site, we would use either Simmons dorms or Lesley dorms.

UMass-Boston has a nearby Doubletree, which would give us $139/night for a double, parking $8/night, and internet $10/night.

Simmons has a nearby (easy walk) Best Western, which would give us $139/night for single or double, parking $17/night, WiFi
included. (Limited number of rooms available. We might need to also
use some other hotels at $179/night. Hotel shuttle or subway would get
to the conference.)

Quality of Host Committee

Uri Guttman has been Socialist Czar for the last 3 YAPCs. Our committee has about 5 active members. Boston.pm has over 50 members
and is very active with monthly technical meetings and regular social
meetings. We will be drawing on our members for help in running YAPC.

Tourist Activities

I've listed a few next to each possible venue. Downtown Boston (T-accessible from any of the sites) has the Freedom Trail of historic
(mostly Revolutionary War) locations.

Boston is famous for its tea parties, and for its shots heard around the world. Boston used to be :-) home to the World Champions in
baseball, for a sufficiently narrow definition of the world. Eastern
Massachusetts is geek heaven, as measured by the ``Historic Universities
per Square Mile'' index. MIT and Harvard start the list, and the
runners-up are not too shabby either.

Tourism name-dropping is easy in Boston: Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Kennebunk, Providence, White Mountains, etc.
For those who have more time on their hands, many excellent locations are
available within two hours' drive of Boston.



BUGS


UMass is expensive.


UMass might not have good dates.



They are hoping to give us three days at the end of June, but need to
clear one of the days. If that falls through, we have possibilities
in late May and early July, neither ideal for YAPC.

Simmons is small.



The plenary sessions would be cramped.

MIT is unresponsive.



We might break through in time to organize there, but it can't be
relied upon.



AUTHORS

The Boston.PM YAPC Committee currently consists of

  Bob Clancy
  Emily Chew
  John Macdonald
  john saylor
  Kenneth A Graves 
  Kripa Sundar 
  Ronald J Kimball
  Uri Guttman
  William Ricker 

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This page contains a single entry by Jim Brandt published on December 6, 2005 12:11 PM.

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