[Air-l] Question of Rooms for meeting space

Ed Lamoureux ell at bradley.edu
Fri Jul 8 13:26:47 PDT 2005

I would add one a comment about a general factor that is usually in  
play in US . . .
one COULD find a venue that would work, in a smaller town. Dayton,  
OH, Peoria, IL, Boise, ID, Spokane WA, etc. etc. etc.
Attendees could probably get rooms there in the 85-100 per night range.

However, as many of you know, one trades off HUGE differences in  

So while NY, Chi, LA, Boston, DC, Atlanta, etc., charge high room  
rates, the air costs for tickets to and fro (esp. international  
fares) are so much lower that in the long run, attendees save $ in  
the bigger cities.

Not to mention the cultural/entertainment opportunity trade offs . . .
Don't know if you've spent a weekend in, say, Boise lately, but I'm  
in Peoria . . . and a weekend convention in Chicago is pretty darned  

On Jul 8, 2005, at 1:05 PM, Steve Jones wrote:

> Hi Ted:
> Thanks for your question.
> Finding meeting space for anywhere from 300 - 500 people in one  
> place is difficult, at best. Most universities do not have  
> sufficient meeting space to allow conferences that large to meet at  
> their facilities (and of those that do there are few options for  
> accommodations near the campus - even outside the academic year  
> student residence halls often do not provide sufficient space as  
> there are multiple other uses to which they are put). Thus our only  
> options are to either pay for space at a convention center or  
> barter for space in exchange for room occupancy at a hotel that has  
> sufficient meeting space for a group the size of ours (which quite  
> a bit narrows the number of hotels we can consider).
> The dues that are paid to AoIR are minimal compared to those of  
> other organizations, and bring with them quite a few benefits  
> (those have recently been enumerated by Jeremy Hunsinger or Nancy  
> Baym, I believe). A good part of the income from dues goes toward  
> subsidizing portions of the conference (that is why, for instance,  
> the registration fee and the meal costs are lower for students).  
> Thus far we have been able to keep operating expenses fairly low,  
> thanks to support from several universities (though that may change  
> and we may have to pay for a variety of things that have thus far  
> been free or given at greatly reduced cost, such as servers,  
> hosting, etc.). Indeed, I dare say that AoIR's operating expenses  
> are but a fraction of those of most other scholarly associations.
> The conference registration fee is set such that we can be  
> reasonably certain the conference will break even and not cause  
> AoIR to take a loss, and that the fee not be so high as to be out  
> of reach for most prospective participants. But it is also set with  
> the thought that we will not have to pay for meeting space.  
> Although I can only estimate the registration fee were we to pay  
> for space, I would guess that we would probably need at a minimum  
> to triple the registration fee.
> In short, the balance is a delicate one, between finding sufficient  
> space, negotiating room rates, operating on a shoestring budget,  
> keeping member and conference participant costs down, and keeping  
> AoIR going. It certainly is dicey! I would not recommend to anyone  
> that they start a scholarly association unless they are prepared to  
> be unafraid of insolvency. :-)
> Sj

Edward Lee Lamoureux, Ph. D.
Director, Multimedia Program and Co-Director, New Media Center
Associate Professor, Speech Communication
1501 W. Bradley
Bradley University
Peoria IL  61625

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