Re: Conferences - Fees: Some observations

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Posted by Wendel Swan on January 12, 1999 at 07:19:54:

In Reply to: Re: Conferences - Fees: Some observations posted by Steve Price on January 11, 1999 at 19:23:26:

Dear Steve and all,

Steve wrote:

: "The postings on this thread by Wendel Swan and Alberto Boralevi have given me, and I suspect many others, their first look at the matter of conference finances. I doubt that anyone has been getting very rich from them, there just isn't that much money involved. ICOC's 500 attendees, for example, only generate $200,000 in registration fees if every one of them pays $400."

Not "getting very rich from them"? When the volunteers aren't being paid at all and when they put forth some of their own money, it's a question of just how poor one gets, not how rich.

Steve further wrote:

: "On the other hand, ICOC has consistently maintained secrecy around the workings of the conference, and secrecy inevitably breeds suspicions that there is something to hide. A more open system would, in my opinion, be to everyone's benefit."

By singling out the ICOC, you imply that it performed some acts of omission or commission that distinguish it from other conferences on the issue of secrecy. I am unaware of any effort to "maintain secrecy", but there also has been no effort to publicize the financial results of any conference. In this regard, the ICOC, the ICOC is no different than any other group to put on a rug (or any other) conference.

Let us judge all of the rug conference sponsors by the same standards.

ACOR is a non-profit corporation whose constituent members are rug societies. One could argue (I do not) that ACOR has "maintained secrecy" about its four conferences since even the rug societies have not been given profit and loss statements for any conference.

Have you ever seen the financial report of a Textile Museum convention? Will AORTA tell us whether it made or lost money on its recent conference?

As to whether the ICOC "consistently maintained secrecy," let me just ask you to describe the financial details of any rug conference held at any time at any place in the world. Unless you were involved in the actual organization of the event, you can't.

Steve, as an educator, you must belong to professional societies and either are required to or elect to attend various seminars, institutes, conventions or conferences. Can you name one where the financial results of the program were published? Upon reflection, do you think now that this leads to "suspicions that there is something to hide?"

I cannot explain why no financial details have been issued by any of these institutions on the conferences. Maybe I should know, but I simply don't.

Publishing the financial results of a conference would, I believe, do no harm. Despite the seeming proliferation of rug conferences, they are not in competition. So one conference is not going to learn a "competitor's" pricing structure, for example, or some other trade secret.

If publishing a financial report satisfies the conferees, perhaps that could and should be done. But the mere fact that you don't know the financial results doesn't mean that there has been any effort to maintain secrecy.


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