Give and thou shalt be given

by Volker Weber

ilug logoILUG was an interesting exercise in finance. Paul came up with the idea of a conference with no registration fee, mainly because it sometimes is very hard to get your boss to pay for a conference and also give you time off to attend.

This has worked very well. Quite a bunch of people from Germany chose to not even try and bitch around with their boss, but rather took vacation leave and paid their own way to get to Ireland. The same is actually true for a few speakers, even from IBM.

Then there were a large group of freelancers, who never need to ask their boss to go to a conference. And they felt, they got the deal of their lifetime. While employees usually get their company to pay the conference fee, they are used to paying everything. A user group conference like DNUG for instance is not free. Registration is 595 Euro for members and 1345 Euro for non-members (discounts for universities and students available). This time they got a free ride. And what a ride it was.

Of coure, even a conference without a registration fee is not free. You need to pay for the venue, for food and drinks, for bags and trinkets. This is what the sponsors did. They gave the money to make it all fly. And they get something in return: new contacts and an opportunity to show their products. This is an area which could be improved next year.

And of course, even if the sponsors chip in the money, even if the speakers do it all for free, the conference does not just happen. There is an incredible amount of work that goes into organizing this. If it's all done very well, it looks like there was no effort at all.

On top of all the recognition that the organizers receive, I also wanted us to give them some "hard evidence" of our gratitude. And you did good. We were able to raise roughly 3500 Euro for gifts. People gave between 10 and 100 Euro, and if you do the math, you will see that we only needed contributions from 30 % of the attendees to raise this money.

Paul and Eileen never started this to get anything in return. But this conference has been proof that you receive if you give. Paul was desperately looking for his portable hole to disappear through when we rolled out his MacBook. Eileen wanted to give her substantial gift to charity towards The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland. However I am going to insist she spends it on herself. Instead, we can help her with her charity:

eileens charity

If this all works out she gets her own punishment: walk across the Andes in Peru for eight days. :-)

Comments

The load round of applause during the ILUG closing leads to believe that at least 100 people cheered Eileen's project. If each of us donates EUR 50, the target will be reached in no time at all, and Eileen can spend her ILUG gift on something for herself.

Jan-Piet Mens, 2007-05-29

Jens... Eileen IS spending that gift on herself... She has no choice... I have a plan which involves my credit card and her being guilty!

Paul Mooney, 2007-05-29

Here is how to keep a secret: post on vowe.net.

Volker Weber, 2007-05-29

I kinda hope she sees it here....... then she has no choice...

Paul Mooney, 2007-05-29

Volker, I never got round to handing over my money for the collection for Paul and Eileen, even though i promised you I would. I'm hopping over to the website right now to make my donation.
Thanks to all of you involved in the organisation of ILUG. See you next year.

JC

John Cawrey, 2007-05-29

Paul, that is the idea behind this posting. Thank you!

In a way the conference organizers have done the same. I collected almost 600 Euro more than I needed and handed it over in a heavy bag of Euro coins. They have just donated that money to this charity.

Volker Weber, 2007-05-29

@6 - John that is a great idea! I was originally going to attend ILUG 2007, but never made it due to work commitments. I felt really guilty about not being able to contribute to Paul & Eileen's collection, but I now know what I can do to ease that guilt! I'm right behind you John (and you too Eileen!)

Frank Docherty, 2007-05-29

If you register as a DNUG member very early the price for the 3 day DNUG conference is only 350.- EUR. The regular early bird rebate is still 495.- EUR. Most DNUG members make use of the early bird rebate.

Felix Binsack, 2007-05-29

For once in my life I am speachless, well almost. THANK you for your contribution to making ILUG a success and your support, and thank you for the positive comments. The week before we were kinda wondering ' Why are we doing this, but the buzz, the positive feedback and the support made it all worth while. Back in work today and trying to get my head back into the day job, after the buzz of last week its hard.

And I'm really tempted to let Mooney run his plan and call his bluff ( I'm not that nice Paul ) I enjoy travelling and hiking and to I'm trilled to get the opportunity to do that while raising money for a good cause, there is also a lot in this for me as well :-) So thank you all for your support.

Eileen Fitzgerald, 2007-05-29

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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