YAPC::NA 2006 Proposal - Boston, MA
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.
Going through the criteria from http://yapc.org/yapc-crit.txt.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
Broken out by the three sites we're considering.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
Yes! 50 free points!
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.)
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.
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.
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