[svlug] Conference venues and audio recording?

Karsten M. Self kmself at ix.netcom.com
Sat Jan 25 17:47:46 PST 2003

on Sat, Jan 25, 2003 at 12:15:25PM -0800, J C Lawrence (claw at kanga.nu) wrote:
> This is wildly off-topic, for which I apologise profusely.  I'm hoping
> y'all have worked with small conferences enough to know some ropes I
> don't.
> I'm setting up a small technical conference in a couple months and am
> looking for a venue.  We're also looking for a cheap audio setup so that
> we can record the talks, Q&A's etc.  The constraints:
>   -- Cheap ($1k okay, $2K pushing it).  This is a small technical
>   hobbyist group.

I'd look to schools.  Back when I was doing this for $FIRM, I found that
a local JC was significantly less expensive than a hotel.  Given the
down economy, this is probably moreso now.  At the time (1999/2000)
there was active competition for the business conference market.

Other alternatives include a local restaurant, or community organization
(Elks, Moose Lodge, etc.).  Many of these have reasonable facilities
sitting largely empty.  Particularly if you're looking for daytime use.

The venue that seemed to offer most interesting potential at the low end
was DeAnza College.  Their conference unit is associated with
foodservice.  It's not upscale, but for a small group might well be

IIRC the conference space can be organized to your preference, and can
be subdivided with a range of seating arrangements.  There's A/V
capability, and if desired, catering (from DeAnza foodservice, FWIW).

I'm not sure about network, but believe it *may* be available, you
definitely want to nail this down.  POTS can probably be provided.

Note that for this sort of gig, most places nickle and dime you for
every extra.  This means per-mike charges, and extra $$ for any service
provided.  Again, down market, they may appreciate your business.  But
don't be surprised if they exhibit a different attitude.  DeAnza was
looking for a profit center IIRC.

>   -- Preferably near SJC (weekend of 8th March, same week as GDC -- the
>   audience will also be at GDC).

Where's SJC?

>   -- Space for ~30 people, a speakers area, and tables
>   -- Not a banked theater of seats.  Conversation and milling about are
>   essential components of the affair.
>   -- Audio setup could be as simple as a couple mics for the speakers
>   and one on the floor for Q&A.  Ultimately we just want MP3's out of
>   it.
>   -- 'Net connectivity is good, not essential.  Wireless, even slow
>   wireless or POTS dialup is just fine.


Karsten M. Self <kmself at ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
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