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January 26, 2009, Steering Committee and Program Committee Joint Lunch Meeting Minutes


  • Nina Bargisen
  • Betty Burke
  • Larry Blunk
  • Tom Daly
  • Steve Feldman
  • Igor Gashinsky
  • Patrick Gilmore
  • Joel Jaeggli
  • Sylvie LaPerriere
  • Jared Mauch
  • David Meyer
  • Kevin Oberman
  • Lane Patterson
  • Joe Provo
  • Ren Provo
  • Tom Scholl
  • Josh Snowhorn
  • Richard Steenbergen
  • Todd Underwood


  1. The meeting began at 1:18pm in Champions Bar and Grill at the Renaissance Jaragua Hotel in Santo Domingo.
  2. Review of NANOG 45: 

    NANOG 45 included high level of schedule shuffling, although we seem to have successfully made all of it work without disruption to all too many speakers or attendees. General consensus is that the quality of the program at NANOG 45 was higher than previous meetings. 

  3. Discussion of Sponsorship of NANOG: 

    There are members of the PC who would like to participate at a level beyond just recruiting and picking talks. Specifically, there are members who would like to help contribute to developing ideas and concepts to bring more sponsorship dollars to the meeting, thereby increasing Merit's ability to engage hotel contracts earlier on, through a greater amount of margin generated at each meeting. The overall idea is to raise the caliber of the conference, by booking meetings further out, and providing more opportunities for the community. There are many PC members with industry contacts who may be able to leverage further sponsorship opportunities. There concepts are all being considered with the quality of the program and impact to attendees. 

    One concept presented was a means by which NANOG and equipment vendors could facilitate one on one equipment demo meetings during the general session. The current thought is that this would permit a greater opportunity for vendors and attendees to interact during the meeting - and to really test equipment out during the meeting. We heard some concerns about this type of event detracting from attendance during the general session. 

    We discussed concerns about break sponsorships and how some sponsors have been unable to derive the value they desire from the breaks, because people are on social time / bathroom breaks / food and drink. Could we find another sponsorship model? We discussed other concepts, including separation the roles of host and connectivity sponsor, adding multi-tier sponsorship levels, having separate sponsors for printing, t-shirts, and other items. 

    In summary, the PC would like to work with the SC to develop a subcommittee to work on sponsorship of NANOG, similar to the exploratory committee used to survey the feasibility of NANOG 45 in Santo Domingo. 

  4. Discussion of a Regular Meeting Location: 

    The group next moved to discussion about the establishment of a regular meeting location for at least one NANOG per year, to help defray ongoing costs of bringing bandwidth and other services to the meeting venue. In the past, financial constraints have limited booking hotels this far out, but NANOG's meeting balance helps with this. Generally speaking, hotel contracts, reservation of room blocks, and food and beverage commitments are the fiscally limiting factors. More balance in the NANOG meeting account would help make these commitments earlier on. 

    The group discussed why this is desired amongst attendees and the general gist is that the community wants predictability. The PC/SC is going to reconfirm this through mailings to nanog-futures. The group also discussed the concept of buying a year's worth of meeting attendance "slots" at once, at the beginning of the year, as a way to increase the funds in the NANOG account up front, permitting more commitments earlier on. Some limitations on this plan include how NANOG fees are charged at the time of sign up, not at the time of meeting and how it impacts travel budgets, or what to do if people back out. 

  5. Program Content for NANOG 45 in Philadelphia: 

    We discussed the current Call for Presentations (CFP) to decide if it is being effective. Generally consensus is no, because we never alter it. The PC is thinking about what more we can do with it. Generally speaking, we need to work harder to cross promote the conference in and amongst other technical groups. 

    We discussed the idea of moving to a more BOF oriented approach for future meetings, whereby attendees develop and select BOF topics right at the meeting ahead of time. We discussed the logistics of this, including Merit's role, and the PC will continue to explore the concept. Concerns revolved around "vetting" of content and speakers. A standard AUP for BOFs was suggested. 

  6. After a long and productive meeting, we adjourned at 2:25pm. 

The Program Committee welcomes your comments and suggestions at [email protected]