Discussion:
NZNOG Conference 2002: Further Feedback
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Donald Neal
2002-01-10 21:03:47 UTC
Permalink
NZNOG People,

OK, I asked for further feedback and now I've got some. Quite a lot
actually. With a certain amount of interpretation on my part (e.g. all
cases of "I'll bring along some other people" interpreted as "I'll bring
along one other person"), I believe that we have something like this:

Potential attendees volunteering: 21
Potential attendees volunteered by others: 7
Offers to provide or be speaker(s): 7
Offer to help organise speakers: 1
Offers to help organise: 5
Offers of venue: 4
Offer of sponsorship (i.e. money): 1
Offer of exhibition network equipment: 1

There have been relatively few statements of preference as to
location:

Auckland: 3
Wellington: 3
With UniForum NZ: 2
Hawke's Bay: 1
Outside Auckland and Wellington: 1

Interpreting the comments of two University of Waikato staff as votes
for Hamilton would not clarify that picture any.

I'm impressed. All of that in three days.

We do appear to have enough interest to justify proceeding to planning
a specific event. In doing that we face a number of inter-related
decisions.

1/ Do we wish to restrict this to one day, or are we looking for a
residential conference? I think this is the most important of the
decisions. It has implications for cost, obviously, but also for where
we do this and what sort of organisational structure is needed. A
residential conference should probably be outside (though within reach
of) Auckland or Wellington to keep costs down and to reduce the
temptation to go back to work. Conversely, that can be expected to make
it harder for some people to attend. I'm assuming that we do want a
national event rather than local meetings over drinks, but if that's not
the case, now's the time to say so. I'm also assuming that multicasting
is an add-on to a physical event, not a substitute for one.

2/ Are we happy to have a vendor provide a venue? There has been at
least one quite feasible, as well as generous, offer from a vendor.
Whether this is even an issue depends on the answer to the previous
question.

3/ How often are we planning to do this? Should we be thinking big on
the basis that this is a once-a-year thing, or are we trying to keep the
scale down so that it will be repeatable more often? This is closely
related to cost, in money and time to organise. See also question 1.

4/ How much emphasis do we want to place on construction of a
laboratory/exhibition network as opposed to paper sessions? More
hands-on fiddling means the option of having attendees have stuff
explained to them as they do it, but requires a longer event.

My Opinion:

"The opinions expressed in this programme are bloody good ones." - F.
Dagg

I wish us to be very conservative in what we expect from the team of
people we put together to organise this. I believe that if we choose a
residential event we should piggyback it into UniForum NZ's event and
seek to have them do a fair amount of the work for us. Conversely, if we
choose a one-day event we should seek to cooperate with a host
organisation - whether an education institution or a company - while
ensuring that a NZNOG committee (yes, sorry, it has come to that)
retains control over the programme. In either case a certain amount of
exposure for vendors is to be expected.

As to frequency, I'm inclined to go for as large an event as we think
we can manage, and worry about the next one after we've learned about
running one. Others may think differently.

I believe that the composition of the committee/team/chain gang will
vary depending on exactly what we're trying to achieve. So I'd like to
see some discussion of these questions, and others that seem relevant
_to potential attendees_ before we try to work out who's going to be
asked to take the next steps. I'd hope for some clearer idea of where
we're going within the next few days.

- Donald Neal

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Andy Linton
2002-01-10 21:29:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Donald Neal
We do appear to have enough interest to justify proceeding to planning
a specific event. In doing that we face a number of inter-related
decisions.
1/ Do we wish to restrict this to one day, or are we looking for a
residential conference?
Residential but no more than two days. Venue needs to be somewhere with a
reasonable airport closeby preferably with cheap airfares.
Post by Donald Neal
2/ Are we happy to have a vendor provide a venue? There has been at
least one quite feasible, as well as generous, offer from a vendor.
Whether this is even an issue depends on the answer to the previous
question.
I'm content with that as long as it doesn't become something like the
"Microsoft Weenies", "Cisco Kids" or "Juniper Berries" NZ Network Meeting.
It's important that the meeting is vendor/provider neutral so that
criticism of or complements to particular vendors/providers can be voiced.

It would be really good if sponsorship came from multiple sources.
Post by Donald Neal
3/ How often are we planning to do this? Should we be thinking big on
the basis that this is a once-a-year thing, or are we trying to keep the
scale down so that it will be repeatable more often? This is closely
related to cost, in money and time to organise. See also question 1.
Once a year but keep the scale down as well.
Post by Donald Neal
4/ How much emphasis do we want to place on construction of a
laboratory/exhibition network as opposed to paper sessions? More
hands-on fiddling means the option of having attendees have stuff
explained to them as they do it, but requires a longer event.
Choose a venue that has a network we can use. Otherwise you have people
having to arrive in advance to set up the network and stay behind
afterwards to take it down.

I'd have thought that this group was sufficiently au fait with setting up
networks that this was a bit of a busman's holiday.

This advice has been independantly valued at 7c.


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Dean Pemberton
2002-01-10 22:38:02 UTC
Permalink
Ok - I wrote all of the rest of this and then it occured to me.

"I talk too much"

There are hundreds of you on this list and it's the same ones talking
all the time. Either you all agree with us, you are too scared to pipe
up or you just don't care.

In reality it's probably none of these. But do get some input. You
can't come across any more crazy than Juha =)

Anyway, I said I talked too much, I didn't say I was about to stop doing
it.
Post by Donald Neal
1/ Do we wish to restrict this to one day, or are we looking for a
residential conference? I think this is the most important of the
decisions. It has implications for cost, obviously, but also for where
we do this and what sort of organisational structure is needed. A
residential conference should probably be outside (though within reach
of) Auckland or Wellington to keep costs down and to reduce the
temptation to go back to work. Conversely, that can be expected to make
it harder for some people to attend. I'm assuming that we do want a
national event rather than local meetings over drinks, but if that's not
the case, now's the time to say so. I'm also assuming that multicasting
is an add-on to a physical event, not a substitute for one.
Hmmmmm resisential, but I have some issues.
One of the things that I want to see out of this conference is that it
fosters interest in 'up-and-coming' network people.
I never want this to turn into an old boys club, nor do I want it to be
restricted to people from the few large companies.

If you have a 3-4 day conference in Auckland, then a Wellington company
will send one or two people if they are a large company, or zero if they
are small.

I want a conference where everyone can come along and not feel like they
are not welcome there.

I want the guy who works on the helpdesk but likes to play with networks
at home to be as able to front up as the CTO of a major carrier. Lofty
goals I know - but this is the time to start.

How do we do this? well I don't really know.
But the cost has to be low. I'd say ditch the overseas speakers if they
want free airfair etc. There are enough inteligent people in NZ who can
contribute to this.

It would be great to see overseas people there, but which would you
rather see.

a) Room full of only the people who can fly to anywhere in the country
and pay $400, all drooling over the latest International Guru?
or
b) Room full of anyone who wants to attend, all on an equal footing,
all learning from what each other has to offer.

Which one of these fits the culture of this list better?
There have been times in the past where it has been mooted that the list
be closed or a new one created that just allows "Major Network
Operators" access.
This is one of those times, and a direction needs to be chosen.

Well that or Donald needs to tell me that it's not an "either/or" thing
again and I get to sit down and shut up =)
Post by Donald Neal
2/ Are we happy to have a vendor provide a venue? There has been at
least one quite feasible, as well as generous, offer from a vendor.
Whether this is even an issue depends on the answer to the previous
question.
Nope - Absolutely not. In no way, shape or form. At all, ever

Well ok - but only if it's Juniper and no other vendors can have any
logo's there.

Well ok - small logo's but they are not allowed to give away any stuff,
and the venue has to be called "Juniper Wonderland".

Well alright, I'll ditch the name. And I spose that other vendors might
be able to give away small things, as long as none of them is in any way
cool or useful. And I have to be able to get up and make a huge speach
about how good our gear is and what our corporate direction is.

Alright, alright. I won't talk. You can have it at a Juniper facility.
I'll let any other vendor give away whatever they want and advertise
however they want. And make no demands on what they can and can't do.

(This does not constitute an offer for a Juniper facility)

But my point is made.
*puts on vendor hat*
I would not mind having it at a vendors venue. But it has to be a level
playing field.
I've been told before that I can't give stuff away at a vendor's venue.
This goes against the spirit of the thing and will be unacceptable this
time.
Vendors can be strange beasts about branding and corporate image.

Vendors making offers of venues should do so out of goodwill and not
advertising. They should also be VERY open to the idea of allowing
competeing vendors equal access to advertising/branding space

*takes off hat*

See the can of worms this opens? Do you see now? =)
*takes pills, calms down*
Post by Donald Neal
3/ How often are we planning to do this? Should we be thinking big on
the basis that this is a once-a-year thing, or are we trying to keep the
scale down so that it will be repeatable more often? This is closely
related to cost, in money and time to organise. See also question 1.
I'm torn.

*one hand*
A big one is really the way to go
*other hand*
IF we try to organise it and it ends up being too big for us, then it
will just suck.

Is there somewhere in the middle that we can start for the first year?
Post by Donald Neal
4/ How much emphasis do we want to place on construction of a
laboratory/exhibition network as opposed to paper sessions? More
hands-on fiddling means the option of having attendees have stuff
explained to them as they do it, but requires a longer event.
Interesting thought.
A large hands on component would be good. Don't want this to turn into
a vendor bake-off though.


Someone mentioned before that there would have to be a network there for
people to use while they were there.

Well having set up a Uniforum network one year can say that it was hard
work. Nowdays that venue's have a bit more wiring it could be easier,
but I think wireless is the go here.
(What? Dean wanted to use wireless? He said it was insecure)

Yeah yeah yeah. But so is any conference lan.

So here's what I want. I want a vendor/company to come forward and
offer to lend us some base stations. Offer to lease out cards to people
who need them. And I also want a telco/ISP to cough up the free
connection for the duration.

There - thats not too much to ask is it? =)



Dean
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Tony McGregor
2002-01-10 23:03:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dean Pemberton
It would be great to see overseas people there, but which would you
rather see.
a) Room full of only the people who can fly to anywhere in the country
and pay $400, all drooling over the latest International Guru?
or
b) Room full of anyone who wants to attend, all on an equal footing,
all learning from what each other has to offer.
Something in the middle.

When we've done things like this at the university in the past the
cost has been between $100 and $200. It could be less if vendors
sponsor food/drinks bandwidth etc. If we hosted the event we would
sponsor someone from NLANR or CAIDA to come (not quite drooling
material, but generally worth listening too.)

Accommodation and social extra (say $75 and $50).


Tony

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Kefyn Judson (ENZ)
2002-01-10 23:28:20 UTC
Permalink
I do like the Waikato Uni as the venue. That is once we have sorted out why
we want to do this and a big venue is appropriate.

We have international "guru's" coming down all the time. I'll keep an eye on
the talent and drop a name if their field looks interesting to the list.

Regards
Kefyn JUDSON (FROM HAMILTON)
Multiservice Network Architect
ERICSSON New Zealand
* Phone: +64 9 3555 461
* Mobile: +61 21 535 331
* E-mail: ***@ericsson.co.nz
* SMS: ***@vodafone.net.nz


-----Original Message-----
From: Tony McGregor [mailto:***@cs.waikato.ac.nz]
Sent: Friday, 11 January 2002 12:04 PM
To: ***@list.waikato.ac.nz
Subject: Re: NZNOG Conference 2002: Further Feedback
Post by Dean Pemberton
It would be great to see overseas people there, but which
would you
Post by Dean Pemberton
rather see.
a) Room full of only the people who can fly to anywhere
in the country
Post by Dean Pemberton
and pay $400, all drooling over the latest International
Guru?
Post by Dean Pemberton
or
b) Room full of anyone who wants to attend, all on an
equal footing,
Post by Dean Pemberton
all learning from what each other has to offer.
Something in the middle.

When we've done things like this at the university in the
past the
cost has been between $100 and $200. It could be less if
vendors
sponsor food/drinks bandwidth etc. If we hosted the event
we would
sponsor someone from NLANR or CAIDA to come (not quite
drooling
material, but generally worth listening too.)

Accommodation and social extra (say $75 and $50).


Tony

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Donald Neal
2002-01-11 01:18:14 UTC
Permalink
Dean,

--
Donald Neal
Special Operations
Network Delivery
Telecom New Zealand Ltd
[...]
Post by Dean Pemberton
It would be great to see overseas people there, but which would you
rather see.
a) Room full of only the people who can fly to anywhere in the
country
Post by Dean Pemberton
and pay $400, all drooling over the latest International Guru?
or
b) Room full of anyone who wants to attend, all on an equal footing,
all learning from what each other has to offer.
Which one of these fits the culture of this list better?
Given the very high proportion of postings by a very low proportion fo
subscribers, and the many subscribers who hardly ever post at all, I'm
not sure you'd like the answer to your question.

For myself, I'm asking what people would actually exert themselves
enough to attend. If hundreds of people just want to lurk on this list
and wouldn't attend any event that was organised, that's fine. But that
would make them not the people who should be deciding what form such an
event should take.

- Donald Neal

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PhoneNet
2002-01-11 02:11:36 UTC
Permalink
Ok then I'll chip in at this point having read the whole thread so far....
Post by Dean Pemberton
One of the things that I want to see out of this conference is that it
fosters interest in 'up-and-coming' network people.
I never want this to turn into an old boys club, nor do I want it to be
restricted to people from the few large companies.
[snip]
Post by Dean Pemberton
I want a conference where everyone can come along and not feel like they
are not welcome there.
I want the guy who works on the helpdesk but likes to play with networks
at home to be as able to front up as the CTO of a major carrier. Lofty
goals I know - but this is the time to start.
this is where I fit in... I've been lurking on nznog for a while now - I
don't REALLY fit the mold of Network Operator but I run a small lan of
twenty Linux and Windows machines in a cybercafe and we "do" email
addresses and host web sites... there's a lot I've learned from folks on
this list (thanks guys) and I'm always interested in attending something
where I might pick up some useful info that will make my life easier :-D

I've not attended any of the other "open" invitation meetings in the past
as they seemed to be for the "Real Pros"... I could be tempted to attend
this (or even send my one employee... or better still we could BOTH attend)

there 's lots more I agree with in Dean's email but I also want to comment
on Kefyn's comments on what is the purpose...

I think this is a prerequisite that needs to be identified... if I'm going
to attend then I want to know what the ultimate purpose of a "conference"
is... an excuse (sorry read reason) for another booze up?... exchange of
knowledge, dicussions on issues..... so define the purpose, THEN worry
about venues, vendor support, etc....

Ian
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Terence Giufre-Sweetser
2002-01-23 15:52:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Donald Neal
There have been relatively few statements of preference as to
Auckland: 3
+1

I'd say with a good lead time (July) you'll get a few international
attendees, please consider the extra travel some of us may have to go
through...

---
Terence C. Giufre-Sweetser

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Michael Hallager
2002-01-23 22:10:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Terence Giufre-Sweetser
Post by Donald Neal
There have been relatively few statements of preference as to
Auckland: 3
+1
My preference is for Auckland.
Post by Terence Giufre-Sweetser
I'd say with a good lead time (July) you'll get a few international
attendees, please consider the extra travel some of us may have to go
through...
Yes, in 2000 I attended the Sydney Internet Service Providers Conference
and Trade Show as a guest of a major Canadian .COM.

That was very big and lasted 3 days. (It filled a reasonable part of the
Darling Harbour Conference centre)
It would be nice if we could work towards having something like that locally-
some time.

Best regards,

Michael Hallager

Managing Director
Comsolve Networks (NZ) Limited
E-Mail: ***@comsolve.net.nz
Website: http://www.comsolve.net.nz

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