Why are the conference hotels so expensive?
We could get better hotel rates if we met in January or February. However, we don't want to conflict with the meetings of other large societies that are of interest to many of our members (AHA, CAA, MAA, and MLA).
How do we pick the cities?
Because of the size of our annual meeting and because we are an international society, we need to meet in large cities with major airports, to make sure there are enough flights and reasonable fares.
Why do we have a large closing reception with an open bar?
American conference hotels waive the cost of renting their meeting rooms and give us better discounts on the sleeping rooms if we agree to spend a certain amount on food and beverages. So it's to our advantage to hold a large closing reception.
I don't plan to attend the closing reception, so why can't I have my registration fee reduced?
Because the cost of the closing reception is a trade-off, allowing us to use the meeting rooms for free, we spread out the cost among all attendees.
To participate in the conference, why do I have to become a member for the year as well as paying the conference registration fee?
The income from registration covers all of the conference expenses (AV, printed program, app, etc.) except for the staff time required to manage the conference throughout the year. So we also use some income from member dues to pay for staffing.
Why is there free coffee for breaks and free wifi at some RSA conferences but not others?
We provide coffee and wifi whenever we can without raising the registration fee, that is, whenever the hotels provide it for free. At hotel catering rates, a cup of coffee can cost as much as $12. Some American hotels still see wifi as a profit center, while others offer it gratis, to create goodwill and loyalty. Hopefully, as time goes on, more hotels will join the second group.
Why do I need to bring my own laptop and adapter to show images in my session?
A/V is one of the biggest expenses in our conference budget. The standard audio-visual setup includes a projector, screen, and basic connecting cables. Adding computers would raise the cost enormously, and there would be no guarantee that the computer provided would have the exact software that you need. The only way to be sure everything will work is to bring your own.
Why are some sessions scheduled at the same time as other sessions on similar topics? Can’t this be avoided?
Across the three days of our conference, there are fourteen time slots for sessions. We schedule each topic (Shakespeare, for instance) in a series, across the fourteen time slots, and then we double back and start over with a new series. We try to avoid creating glaring problems, but inevitably there will be conflicts because of the size of the conference.