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 Post subject: Re: AGA losses in 2011 Congress
Post #41 Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:58 pm 
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HKA wrote:

This is really getting annoying. You actually started this thread by bringing some discussion from another thread - starting with your post indicating that you were happy about the loss.


Nevermind how much I disagree with the rest of what you are saying but how on earth did you interpret this to mean that he was happy about the loss ?! obviously he is talking about the first part.
Joaz Banbeck wrote:
Feng Yun wrote:
...
I want to make AGA decision making more transparent... The AGA lost tens of thousands of dollars at the 2011 Go Congress without explanation to members...


I like this part.


Feng Yun wrote:
...
I want to make AGA decision making more transparent...


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 Post subject: Re: AGA losses in 2011 Congress
Post #42 Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:02 pm 
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Joaz Banbeck wrote:
Redbeard wrote:
... I think that the AGA should take over organizing the event...

In 2011, Prez Abramson did that.

I'm not sure that is correct. My understanding of the 2011 congress is that it was organized by a coalition SoCal of AGA chapters, not directly by the AGA. There were AGA board members involved in the congress planning, but they acted as members of the host chapters and not as representatives of the AGA board. Is this not right?

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 Post subject: Re: AGA losses in 2011 Congress
Post #43 Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:28 pm 
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You are correct that it was not directly run by the AGA. Andrew Jackson and I (Lisa Scott) came to the AGA in 2009, before either of us had any official position with the AGA other than occasional chapter heads, and volunteered to run a Congress somewhere in the country at an undetermined time. We were asked if we would be interested in running it in the LA area in 2011, and after brief consideration we said that we were interested.

While this Congress was intended by some AGA officials as something of an experiment with leadership that was not entirely local, it was not intended to be an experiment with running a Congress entirely by the AGA. The Congress directors were not local, but many of the volunteers were, and it was run similarly to how Congresses put on by local organizers had been run, with the exception that more meetings were made virtually rather than in person. (This change was due in part to the geographic distance between organizers, but at least as much to the age and technological inclinations of the organizers--more than half of the key volunteers, including the directors, were and are under 30.)

Let me know if you have any more questions of this kind.

Lisa


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 Post subject: Re: AGA losses in 2011 Congress
Post #44 Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:02 pm 
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HKA wrote:
...
This is really getting annoying...


It is probably easy to get annoyed when you have a bunch of incorrect facts - even easier when you misunderstand a simple English sentence. ( Thanks, speedchase! )

You weren't there.

I don't recall you being at the table in 2009 in Portland when we did the initial planning. I don't see anything from you in the 20 months worth of emails that I have when we did the planning. I didn't see you at the group meeting at Cotsen in 2010, or the meetng at Cotsen in 2011. I don't recall riding with you to any of the numerous trips made to potential venues.

You were not involved, and think that explains why you misunderstand so much.

HKA wrote:
...
My understanding is the organizers found out you quit when you posted it here, not with any personal communication with them. You were asked here what your concerns were - with months to go before Congress - and you did not respond.
Only now in this thread do you refer to failures of outreach with the local Asian population as your concern.

I made my resignation - with reasons, in detail - to AGA officers. I guess they didn't forward it to you ...because you weren't involved.


HKA wrote:
...

Did you, with your experience and local familiarity, volunteer to direct the Congress?


No. I was too old. AGA policy was don't trust anyone over 30. BTW, I hear that they have changed that policy.

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 Post subject: Re: AGA losses in 2011 Congress
Post #45 Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:39 am 
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My 7 year old son and I attended the Santa Barbara Congress. He thought it was the 2nd best vacation we have had, after Disney World. It was a wonderful week and a well run congress.

As a long time AGA member and former congress director (with no recent AGA political activity, meetings attended and rare 19x19 posts), I would judge a congress primarily by whether the congress helped the strategic goals of the organization. This congress achieved 4 goals.

1. It was a beautiful congress in a lovely place - a refreshing moment in rough economic times.
2. It deepened AGA ties with Southern California
3. It tested again mixed AGA and local support
4. It gave experience to a younger generation of leadership.

In the larger scheme of things the economic outcome of a congress is fairly minor. Over time the Congresses should have a positive economic contribution to the AGA. That has occurred over 25 years. The 2012 congress and likely the 2013 will return to prior locations, so budgeting will be easier. Any one year loss will be easily compensated over the next year or two; projections conservative, expenses less, charges a bit higher. There is no great lesson to be learned.

I am pleased the AGA in planning congresses can take some risks, take a breather with a couple of conservative choice of locations and then on to Canada.

Lastly, while I liked the beaches of Santa Barbara, once the tar has worn off the heels of ones feet, I would not trade them for the hills of Appalachia or glacial till of the Northwest.


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 Post subject: Re: AGA losses in 2011 Congress
Post #46 Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:09 pm 
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This is my issue. The loss at a congress should be obvious well in advance. Typically a group using a site will pay for the rooms they use. I am not sure of exact numbers that the congress uses. but i will use general numbers for this.

Say a congress has budget of 180l to pay a school, all associated costs, and a modist profit. historically there is an attendance of about 400 people. to low ball it and get some breathing room say 390 people attend. that would cost everyone $460 to attend. Typically there is a cut off date for early bird registration that afterwards the cost increases. This is ususally 30 days prior to the event. As of that date there is only 350 registrants red flags and bells should be going off. at this point there is time to try and lower the potential loss.

This is plain and simple. Being that AGA board members and chair of the board was involved in this, it does not give me a warm feeling on how well the aga board plans or even deals with issues.

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 Post subject: Re: AGA losses in 2011 Congress
Post #47 Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:48 am 
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With more and more Pros coming to the US and home-made pros, will AGA reconsider its policy about inviting pros to the congress with subsidies? Do we have a budget each year for inviting them?

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 Post subject: Re: AGA losses in 2011 Congress
Post #48 Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:07 am 
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fentonaop wrote:
With more and more Pros coming to the US and home-made pros, will AGA reconsider its policy about inviting pros to the congress with subsidies? Do we have a budget each year for inviting them?


I haven't been to a Congress for over 12 years but earlier the pros generally only received complimentary room and board from the AGA and their other expenses were sponsored by their home associations. Some even paid their own way to come. Perhaps things have changed in recent years. The oriental go professional associations are not thriving financially so maybe they don't sponsor their representatives any more. As for the pros residing in the USA, some of them have full teaching schedules and attending the Congress represents a financial loss for them so the AGA has to give them some compensation to get them to come.

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 Post subject: Re: AGA losses in 2011 Congress
Post #49 Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:30 am 
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OK, there's a good chance that three months worth of minutes will be posted any day now.

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 Post subject: Re: AGA losses in 2011 Congress
Post #50 Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:16 am 
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Ah, for once something happened earlier than I expected! Happy reading...

http://www.usgo.org/board-minutes

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 Post subject: Re: AGA losses in 2011 Congress
Post #51 Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:21 pm 
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daniel_the_smith wrote:
Ah, for once something happened earlier than I expected! Happy reading...

http://www.usgo.org/board-minutes



Thanks, Daniel. :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:

[Admin]

There is a lot of interesting stuff in those minute. I suspect that they will generate a few new comments about subjects other than the 2011 Congress. If you do have such comments, please start a new thread ( or, for subjects such as the tap, there may be a thread already )

Thanks
-JB

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 Post subject: Re: AGA losses in 2011 Congress
Post #52 Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:58 pm 
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The minutes from the February meeting don't really shed a lot of light on the source of the loss from my perspective.

In the minutes Lisa makes reference to a break-even point - the number of attendees needed to break even. Their break even point ended up being wrong. As the registrar of the 2005 Tacoma Go Congress, this does not surprise me. Steve Stringfellow, the 2005 Congress Director, planned everything out about as well as one could, and after the Congress we still didn't know exactly what the final bill from Pacific Lutheran University was going to be. We had lots of experienced local people helping to organize, but there was still an element of uncertainty.

Posting a one year loss at a Congress does not automatically require chopping off heads. That said, we should understand why there was a loss and come up with some lessons learned for future organizers. I would also support some program where Congress organizers who put on well run and profitable congresses are brought in to consult on the planning of subsequent congresses - maybe they get comped at next year's congress for their efforts.


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 Post subject: Re: AGA losses in 2011 Congress
Post #53 Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:00 pm 
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Having read the minutes, I'm confused. Our conversation in this thread two weeks ago suggested very strongly that the congress had come in on budget, but that too few people came. The minutes from three months ago suggest that the losses were restricted to budget over-runs in two areas: (i) comps for pros and (ii) some sort of penalty rate for needing too many rooms. Which

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 Post subject: Re: AGA losses in 2011 Congress
Post #54 Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:17 pm 
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jts wrote:
Having read the minutes, I'm confused. Our conversation in this thread two weeks ago suggested very strongly that the congress had come in on budget, but that too few people came...


Now I'm confused too. Isn't "the number of people who show up" essentially the definition of budget?

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 Post subject: Re: AGA losses in 2011 Congress
Post #55 Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:57 pm 
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Joaz Banbeck wrote:
jts wrote:
Having read the minutes, I'm confused. Our conversation in this thread two weeks ago suggested very strongly that the congress had come in on budget, but that too few people came...


Now I'm confused too. Isn't "the number of people who show up" essentially the definition of budget?

Oh, perhaps I misunderstand how they do their accounting. Normally when you make a budget you estimate the red ink and the black ink separately. Whether a project comes in "over budget" or "under budget" is a function of the red ink, and whether revenue expectations were met is a separate issue. But I don't know much about accounting.

So when the April minutes say "We have a clear picture of where the budget was exceeded," they follow this up with "comps were exceeded by 12k-13k", and "there was a 5k charge from SB for facilities for which the Congress had not budgeted," I assumed that meant that the shortfall in revenue was less than 25% of the total deficit.

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 Post subject: Re: AGA losses in 2011 Congress
Post #56 Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:25 pm 
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jts wrote:
Joaz Banbeck wrote:
jts wrote:
Having read the minutes, I'm confused. Our conversation in this thread two weeks ago suggested very strongly that the congress had come in on budget, but that too few people came...


Now I'm confused too. Isn't "the number of people who show up" essentially the definition of budget?

Oh, perhaps I misunderstand how they do their accounting. Normally when you make a budget you estimate the red ink and the black ink separately. Whether a project comes in "over budget" or "under budget" is a function of the red ink, and whether revenue expectations were met is a separate issue. But I don't know much about accounting.

So when the April minutes say "We have a clear picture of where the budget was exceeded," they follow this up with "comps were exceeded by 12k-13k", and "there was a 5k charge from SB for facilities for which the Congress had not budgeted," I assumed that meant that the shortfall in revenue was less than 25% of the total deficit.


Hmm...I think that fundamentally we are talking about the same thing. If a the definition of a budget is "the expected number of people who show up" X "the amount they pay", then we are talking about the same ideas with slightly different words.

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