Minutes of the Meetings of the Executive Committee of the Internet Society

27 August 1999
Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Author(s): Martin Burack
Date: 1999.8.27
Committee:Executive Committee of BoT
Document: 99-06
Revision:
Supersedes:
Status: DRAFT
Maintainer: Martin Burack
Access: Unrestricted

The meeting was called to order by Geoff Huston, Chair, at 8:30am, EDT.

Participants:
Geoff Huston
Don Heath
Vint Cerf
Lynn St. Amour
Marty Burack

1. Financials
Expenses are projected to be $1.2 million under budget at year-end, but revenue from INET’99 and NTW will be short by $1.4 million. Revenue from organizational memberships is expected to be over $600 thousand short. Along with expenses from our growth initiative, the above items are expected to result in a loss for the year in excess of $800 thousand. Assuming we are successful on dues collections, upgrading existing members, and recruiting new organizational members, we could still end the year cash positive.

2. INET
Cost for INET2000 is 2,000-4,000 per attendee (based upon 1,100 attendees). Fee for the conference manager is $450K; cost for convention center is $650K. Sponsorship revenue won’t come in until March-April, due to the Japanese fiscal year. So ISOC would have to cover the expenses until then.

The Executive Committee expressed concern over the risks involved in the current plans for the financing of INET2000. The figures will be verified and further analyses and recommendations will be made for reducing the risks to ISOC.

We need to consider a new business model for INET. Most conferences make money from selling exhibition space, and ISOC does not (and may not be willing to) focus heavily on this aspect. One possibility is to move away from a single international conference to regional conferences run by chapters. Smaller conferences, in some cases with support from governments, may have a better chance of success. If we continue to hold a single INET, the hosts will have to guarantee large amounts that can ensure financial success.

NTW needs a new look, too. Regionalization of the workshops could result in much lower costs per student. If we move to regionalization of INET, it may not make sense to continue to bring the NTW students to one main location.

3. Org Membership
We must bring in more organizational members, and help is needed from all Trustees. The Secretariat will send a package to every trustee, consisting of letterhead and material that can be sent to prospective org members. A discussion of potential members followed. Don has various prospects in the pipeline. Upgrades are also important and Don expects some to come in. We need $875K from renewing orgs and another $400K from new ones. We still don’t seem to have a clean message for org prospects.

Perhaps we can create more value to the org membership by providing derivative research. We could use some staff time to assemble data from various sources (e.g., NUA, MIDS) and make it available to our members. Geoff will pull together a rough plan for this in the next three weeks.

4. Individual Membership
Don has been meeting with Mike Goodman and Lynn St.Amour on strategic planning. The business model being reviewed indicates that if we were to drop individual membership costs for people from developing countries to $5, we could afford to have 60% of the membership from those areas. One related point to consider is that (until we significantly increased the number of members) at $5 per member, it becomes relatively easy for someone who wishes to become a Board member to subsidize the fees for a sufficient number of people to get elected. Various ideas for attracting new members are being explored, such as placing banner ads (that would cost nothing up front) on heavily visited sites.

5. Board Elections
The next Nominations Committee should be in place by the end of September.