[Scottish] Time flies - January's meeting and other stories

Ben Thorp THORPB at uk.ibm.com
Thu Jan 26 09:43:49 GMT 2006

> I can't decide if offering to pay someones travel expenses is a
> slippery slope
> or only fair.

Personally, I think that if we're looking to get a "professional" speaker
in, particularly if they are travelling long distance, then it is probably
the only way to go. I realise that Jono is known to a few of us, but I
would still regard him as a 'professional' speaker to a degree. Plus, it's
only travel expenses he has asked for, not a charge for the talk

> I think this idea raises a few issues.
> I don't think it is something that can just happen for one speaker.  So
> would we decide who gets travel expenses and who doesn't?

I think it would depend on a) the profile of the speaker, and b) the
distance travelled. However, see my notes below.

> The example of £75 divided by turn out could involve charging over £5 per

> person depending on numbers that meeting which I'd describe as a lot more

> than "nominal".  What if there is a poor turn out what happens about any
> shortfall?  What about people that want to come to meetings but can't
> genuinely afford the entrance fee?  Would we want to charge an entrance
> every meeting to try to build up funds to pay for other speakers?  I
> attendance would be affected depending on who was speaking, greatly
> the dynamics of our meetings equating monetary worth to each speaker.
> Irrelevant of any amount charged I think that it would affect attendance
> also attenders expectation of what the meetings would be like and also
> probably the offers of talks from members.

As long as there was reasonable response from the list, then my intention
would be to advertise it outwith the list as a 'special' meeting, rather
than a 'regular' meeting, and throw the doors open to, say EdLUG, and any
other people we can drag along. My original intention was to make the fee
nominal (£2-£3), and, should the need arise, I am willing fund any
shortfall myself. Our usual attendance on a normal meeting is between 10
and 20 people, which would equate to a minimal of £20 or a maximum of £60.
However, I think that there would be an opportunity here to interest a lot
more people, or at least to encourage some of the 'lurkers' on the mailing
list to make a special trip for the special meeting.

> Historically ScotLUG has intentionally never charged for meetings ortried
> collect money.  Managing the money would add a lot of work,
> and problems IMHO.  This would be a major change and not something to be
> taken lightly.

I have no desire to charge for normal meetings, nor for money to be
involved in the regular workings of ScotLUG. I agree that this would be a
major change, and one that I would vociferously oppose, as I reckon we're
bad enough at organising meetings that handling money would be a nightmare.

However, I would like to see some good speakers coming to talk, and I think
that a one-off charge at a special meeting is a small price to pay for
getting a relatively "big" name to come and talk.

To underline - this would be a one-off special meeting - probably something
that could only be done maybe once a year. If there is not sufficient
interest, then we can just forget about it.


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