If Lotusphere Costs More Should We Get Better Service

By now your probably aware that the lowest
cost for Lotusphere 2007 is $1695 which is a bit of an increase over last
year. The CLP’s out there normally get a $500 discount but
until
we hear more
that discount is
not being offered this year. After the 15th October the price goes up to
$1895 and on December 9th up to $2095.. As
Andrew
points out
this will raise IBM
an extra $2.8 Million if the usual 7000+ attendees go to the conference.

So if IBM is getting all this extra
money then one question has to be asked, will we, as attendees see any
benefits from the extra income.

From my first USA Lotusphere just 3
years ago to the latest one even I have seen the service levels at the
show get worse from year to year. At my first show they had a wonderful
coffee stand on the showcase floor that was open ALL DAY, you could walk
up, ask for a double shot latte and it would be made for you on the spot.
 The next year this wasn’t just gone it was worse, as
Julian
experienced
when his coffee was
rolled away from him from right under his nose, and last year in the Dolphin
they served the afternoon coffee breaks down on the showcase floor and
not up by the breakout session rooms.

So if some of the extra income for Lotusphere
2007 is spent on providing a much better coffee service that I won’t grumble
too much about having to pay extra….

If you could ‘improve’ Lotusphere in
any one way with the extra income what would you spend it on ?

( Unless, of course, the 2.8 Million
is the fee to have William Shatner do the opening session, I’d happily
pay extra for that )

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10 comments on “If Lotusphere Costs More Should We Get Better Service
  1. John Head says:

    Dec, your not taking in to effect the cost of running the conference and what costs have gone up at Disney. All conference prices across all industries is going up this year and next … this could just be to cover whatever cost is being charged IBM.

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  2. Oh crap, the coffee thing. I had forgotten all about that. Still makes me mad when I think about it (and it happened last year to other people too). Damn Disneybots.

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  3. Timothy Briley says:

    I haven’t been to Lotusphere since ’99 or ’00, so maybe this has changed, but I bet it hasn’t.My biggest beef is with tent assignments for meals. Invariably, I would be assigned to a tent on the other side of where I’m coming from and need to go to, so I waste 20 minutes each way, all the while walking past half empty food tents and swearing that I’ll never go to Lotusphere again. Dump tent assignments and let me eat where I want to.I live in Florida, I don’t need the escape. Or the abuse.

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  4. Pete says:

    You also have to consider that IBM is “promising” Westin (The actual operator of the hotels) so many rooms. At certain dates, they either take away rooms or increase the cost to IBM to hold them. They also need to finalize food and to do that they need numbers, the closer to the date they are, the more it costs to get the volume of food required.The increase or decrease in attendees can change the size of the tents that they get for food serving. You would be surprised at the cost savings in reducing a tent by 5000 sq ft.Same goes for the Sunday and Wednesday parties, they get the entire facility at a price and then pay per attendee. The sooner they have the numbers, they better discount they can negotiate.I still agree, having attended every LS, the food has been on a steady decline since the mid 90’s. I sympathize though, I know the people involved in these decisoins are trying to balance a buget, a fairly unwavering hotel and the wants of hungry attendees. Try to book a room for an unofficial event and see how much everything costs. $5/shrimp, not the shrimp ring or a bucket, that’s per shrimp!As for Hotel/Dinning tent, the formula is pretty simple. Book your hotel through the online booking process, you will be dinning in the tent closest to that. Depending on whether you choose a “track” when you register, if all of your sessions are at the Yacht/Beach Club for example, even if you are staying at the Swan, you will probably be dinning at the Yacht/Beach dinning tent. Mind you they seem to have dropped that dinning tent recently. The Swan tent is larger and with declined attendees from the 10K+ high, they don’t seem to need it anymore.See you in January,–Pete

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  5. @4 – are you dissin’ Lotusphere Boxed Lunches??

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  6. Conrad says:

    I haven’t been since 2001, but a pet peeve at that time was the crappy pen that came with the badge holder, that was…well, crap! Go back to the really nice pens that would actually write and that you are proud to carry and use. Most vendors in the showcase give away better pens than what I got the last time.

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  7. Sean Harris says:

    Dec,Unfortunately the answer from IBM, regarding the CLP discount, is no.Interesting note is that the hotels are only marginaly higher (average $8) than last year.

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  8. Devin Olson says:

    I understand the cost/effort/PIA factor involved in keeping the refreshment “break” stuff stocked and staffed; and recognize that keeping them there all day adds a huge expense the the show. However, I have an idea that I think can be implemented with minimal cost.In addition to the regular coffee / refreshment break setups (that get rolled away at the end of the “breaks”); put at least 1 coffee stand near the conference rooms (upstairs in the Dolphin & near the back of the Swan) and keep it open and stocked all day. That means from 1/2 hour before the beginning session of the day until 1/2 before the ending session of the day. We’re not talking a huge setup here. Just 3 urns (regular, unleaded, and hot water for tea), a few stacks of cups, some powdered creamers & suger packets, some stir sticks and knapkins is all it would take. This can fit on one single table, taking up less than 6 square feet. If you wanted to get really crazy you could add a second small table and load it up with Lotusphere water bottles. They wouldn’t even have to be iced down -people would understand they aren’t the “real” break setups.This one single thing will GREATLY improve the satisfaction / morale of the attendees.

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  9. In regards to @7 – Sean, please email me the contact you spoke with at IBM about the CLP discout — I’ll toss my $0.02 in the ring!

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  10. Shatner? No, pleeease don’t!

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