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Re: Query to the community -- An additional IETF Meeting event?



The question I would ask is: "who are the vendors marketing to, and what are they selling?" At NANOG, that's fairly clear; companies like Cisco and Juniper, and resellers like Network Hardware, are selling to their customers, who are often technical decision makers or senior staff in companies that buy the stuff. The vendors that sponsor the event go home with business cards, which give them the opportunity for sales contacts after the event. Those people also come to IETF, but many others at IETF are from exactly those vendors, or from research and academia. I'm not convinced that the lead generation exercise, which is the vendor's reason for showing up and sponsoring the event, is going to be as useful for them.

Not opposed to the experiment, but not sure that we're comparing apples to apples.

On Mar 16, 2012, at 12:49 PM, IAOC Chair wrote:

> 
> The IESG and IAOC are considering an addition to the IETF meeting week, and we would like your views before we develop the idea further.
> 
> At NANOG, there is a Beer and Gear reception one evening.  There are exhibitor tables with product vendors (hardware and software) and service providers (registries, registrars, ISPs, ESPs, etc.) and anyone else interested in face time with NANOG participants. They show their equipment and services.  There is bar in the center of the room serving beer, wine, and soft drinks. There are hors d'oeuvres scattered around the room.
> 
>  QUESTION:  What do you think about doing a Beer and Gear style
>             of event on an evening that does not conflict with
>             other IETF activities?
> 
> This would be an opportunity for free food and drink for attendees, for vendors and service providers to talk with IETF participants, and for additional revenue to the IETF.  Obviously, attendance would be optional.
> 
> Technical people are at the tables, not sales or marketing staff.  Vendors know that the audience is very technical, so they send the people that can communicate with that audience.
> 
> We would charge for exhibit tables, to raise additional funds for the IETF. A stronger base of opportunities for IETF sponsorship distributes our funding, making it less fragile; this could make it less likely that we would have last-minute scrambles for additional sponsors, including hosts. A successful Beer-and-Gear like event would not solve this but it would help.
> 
> In the past, the IETF has avoided vendor exhibits and demonstrations.  However it is clear that NANOG has found a balance that works and that NANOG participants and the vendors consider the event valuable.  We believe this could translate well to the IETF.
> 
> We are considering some test events, hopefully to be held at IETF 84 (Vancouver, July 2012) and IETF 85 (Atlanta, November 2012).
> 
> The kinds of evaluation criteria we are considering could include:
> 
> - Did participants enjoy the event?
> 
> - Did vendors consider the event successful?
> 
> - Did the IETF raise additional funds?
> 
> - Did the event "steal" potential sponsors away from other
>  aspects of the meeting?
> 
> So, what do you think?  Is this something that we should try?
> 
> Please respond on the ietf@xxxxxxxx mail list.
> 
> On behalf of the IESG and the IAOC,
> 
> Russ Housley
> Bob Hinden




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