mtgvenue E. Lear, Ed.
Internet-Draft Cisco Systems
Intended status: Best Current Practice June 14, 2018
Expires: December 16, 2018

IETF Plenary Meeting Venue Selection Process


The IASA has responsibility for arranging IETF plenary meeting Venue selection and operation. This memo specifies IETF community requirements for meeting venues, including hotels and meeting room space. It directs the IASA to make available additional process documents that describe the current meeting selection process.

Status of This Memo

This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

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This Internet-Draft will expire on December 16, 2018.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

The Internet Administrative Support Activity (IASA) has responsibility for arranging IETF plenary meeting venue selection and operation. The purpose of this document is to guide the IASA in their selection of regions, cities, facilities, and hotels. The IASA applies this guidance at different points in the process in an attempt to faithfully meet the requirements of the IETF community. We specify a set of general criteria for venue selection and several requirements for transparency and community consultation.

It remains the responsibility of the IASA to apply their best judgment. The IASA accepts input and feedback both during the consultation process and later (for instance when there are changes in the situation at a chosen location). Any appeals remain subject to the provisions of BCP101. As always, the community is encouraged to provide direct feedback to the Nominations Committee (NOMCOM), Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), and IAB regarding the discharge of the IASA's performance.

Four terms describe the places for which the IETF contracts services:


This is an umbrella term for the city, meeting resources and guest room resources.

The building that houses meeting rooms and associated resources. It may also house an IETF Hotel.
IETF Hotels:

One or more hotels, in close proximity to the Facility, where the IETF guest room block allocations are negotiated and where network services managed by the IASA (e.g., the "IETF" SSID) are in use.
Overflow Hotels:

One or more hotels, usually in close proximity to the Facility, where the IETF has negotiated a group rate for the purposes of the meeting. Of particular note is that Overflow Hotels usually are not connected to the IETF network and do not use network services managed by the IASA.

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14 [RFC2119][RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all capitals, as shown here.

2. Venue Selection Objectives

2.1. Core Values

Some IETF values pervade the selection process. These often are applicable to multiple requirements listed in this document. They are not limited to the following, but at minimum include:

Why we meet?

We meet to pursue the IETF's mission [RFC3935], partly by advancing the development of Internet-Drafts and RFCs. We also seek to facilitate attendee participation in multiple topics and to enable cross-pollination of ideas and technologies.

We would like to facilitate the onsite or remote participation of anyone who wants to be involved. Widespread participation contributes to the diversity of perspectives represented in the working sessions
Every country has limits on who it will permit within its borders. However the IETF seeks to:
  1. Minimize situations in which onerous entry regulations inhibit, discourage, or prevent participants from attending meetings, or failing that to distribute meeting locations such that onerous entry regulations are not always experienced by the same attendees; and
  2. Avoid meeting in countries with laws that effectively exclude people on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, or gender identity.
Where we meet:

We meet in different locations globally, in order to spread the difficulty and cost of travel among active participants, balancing travel time and expense across the regions in which participants are based. Our regional location policy is articulated in [I-D.ietf-mtgvenue-meeting-policy].
Internet Access:

As an organization, we write specifications for the Internet, and we use it heavily. Meeting attendees need unfiltered access to the general Internet and their corporate networks. "Unfiltered access" in this case means that all forms of communication are allowed. This includes, but is not limited to, access to corporate networks via encrypted VPNs from the meeting Facility and Hotels, including Overflow Hotels. We also need open network access available at high enough data rates, at the meeting Facility, to support our work, including the support of remote participation. Beyond this, we are the first users of our own technology. Any filtering may cause a problem with that technology development. In some cases, local laws may require some filtering. We seek to avoid such locales without reducing the pool of cities to an unacceptable level by stating a number of criteria below, one mandatory and others important, to allow for the case where local laws may require filtering in some circumstances.

We meet to have focused technical discussions. These are not limited to scheduled breakout sessions, although of course those are important. They also happen over meals or drinks, a specific type of non-session that we call a "Bar BOF", or in side meetings. Environments that are noisy or distracting prevent that or reduce its effectiveness, and are therefore less desirable as a meeting Facility.[RFC6771]

Meeting attendees participate as individuals. While many are underwritten by employers or sponsors, many are self-funded. In order to reduce participation costs and travel effort, we therefore seek locations that provide convenient budget alternatives for food and lodging, and which minimize travel segments from major airports to the Venue. Within reason, budget should not be a barrier to accommodation.
Least Astonishment and Openness:

Regular participants should not be surprised by meeting Venue selections, particularly when it comes to locales. To avoid surprise, the venue selection process, as with all other IETF processes, should be as open as practicable. It should be possible for the community to engage early to express its views on prospective selections, so that the community and the IASA can exchange views as to appropriateness long before a venue contract is considered.

2.2. Venue Selection Non-Objectives

IETF meeting Venues are not selected or declined with the explicit purposes of:


Endorsing or condemning particular countries, political paradigms, laws, regulations, or policies.
Maximal attendance:

While the IETF strives to be as inclusive as possible both online and in person, maximal meeting attendance in and of itself is not a goal. It would defeat a key goal of meeting if active contributors with differing points of view did not have the opportunity to resolve their disagreements, no matter how full the rooms.

Variety in site-seeing experiences.

3. Meeting Criteria

This section contains the criteria for IETF meetings. It is broken down into three subsections: mandatory criteria, important criteria, and other considerations, each as explained below.

3.1. Mandatory Criteria

If criteria in this subsection cannot be met, a particular location is unacceptable for selection, and the IASA MUST NOT enter into a contract. Should the IASA learn that a location no longer can meet a mandatory requirement after having entered into a contract, it will inform the community and address the matter on a case by case basis.

3.2. Important Criteria

The criteria in this subsection are not mandatory, but are still highly significant. It may be necessary to trade one or more of these criteria off against others. A Venue that meets more of these criteria is on the whole preferable than another that meets fewer of these criteria. Requirements classed as Important can also be balanced across Venue selections for multiple meetings. When a particular requirement in this section cannot be met, the IASA MUST notify the community at the time of the venue announcement. Furthermore, it may be appropriate for the IASA to assist those who, as a result, have been inconvenienced in some way.

3.2.1. Venue City Criteria

3.2.2. Basic Venue Criteria

The following requirements relate to the Venue and Facilities.

The IETF operates internationally and adjusts to local requirements. Facilities selected for IETF Meetings SHALL have provided written assurance that they are in compliance with local health, safety and accessibility laws and regulations, and will remain in compliance throughout our stay.

In addition:

3.2.3. Technical Meeting Needs

The following criteria relate to technical meeting needs.

3.2.4. Hotel Needs

The following criteria relate to IETF Hotels.

3.2.5. Food and Beverage

The following criteria relate to food and beverage.

3.3. Other Consideraitons

The following considerations are desirable, but not as important as the preceding requirements, and thus should not be traded off for them.

4. Documentation Requirements

The IETF Community works best when it is well informed. This memo does not specify processes nor who has responsibility for fulfilling our requirements for meetings. Nevertheless, both of these aspects are important. Therefore, the IASA SHALL publicly document and keep current both a list of roles and responsibilities relating to IETF meetings, as well as the selection processes they use in order to fulfill the requirements of the community.

5. IANA Considerations

This memo asks the IANA for no new parameters.

[The RFC-Editor may remove this section prior to publicaiton.]

6. Security Considerations

This note proposes no protocols, and therefore no new protocol insecurities.

7. Privacy Considerations

Different places have different constraints on individual privacy. The requirements in this memo are intended to provide for some limited protections. As meetings are announced, IASA SHALL inform the IETF of any limitations to privacy they have become aware of in their investigations. For example, participants would be informed of any regulatory authentication or logging requirements.

8. Contributors

The following people provided substantial text contributions to this memo:

Fred Baker

Fred originated this work.

Ray Pelletier

Laura Nugent
Association Management Solutions

Lou Berger
LabN Consulting, L.L.C.

Ole Jacobsen
The Internet Protocol Journal

Jim Martin

9. Acknowledgements

Additional contributions came from Jari Arkko, Scott Bradner, Alissa Cooper, Dave Crocker, Jordi Palet Martinez, Andrew Sullivan, and other participants in the mtgvenue working group. Those listed in this section or as contributors may or may not agree with the content of this memo.

10. References

10.1. Normative References

[I-D.ietf-mtgvenue-meeting-policy] Krishnan, S., "High level guidance for the meeting policy of the IETF", Internet-Draft draft-ietf-mtgvenue-meeting-policy-06, May 2018.
[RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997.
[RFC4071] Austein, R. and B. Wijnen, "Structure of the IETF Administrative Support Activity (IASA)", BCP 101, RFC 4071, DOI 10.17487/RFC4071, April 2005.
[RFC8174] Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC 2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174, May 2017.

10.2. Informative References

[RFC3935] Alvestrand, H., "A Mission Statement for the IETF", BCP 95, RFC 3935, DOI 10.17487/RFC3935, October 2004.
[RFC6771] Eggert, L. and G. Camarillo, "Considerations for Having a Successful "Bar BOF" Side Meeting", RFC 6771, DOI 10.17487/RFC6771, October 2012.

Appendix A. Change Log

[RFC Editor: Please remove this section prior to publication.]

Initial version
Update to reflect and, accessed from
Reorganize and capture IAOC Meetings Committee discussions.
Final from Design Team.
First update incorporating comments
Updated in accordance with editing by Laura Nugent, Dave Crocker, Lou Berger, Fred Baker, and others.
posting as working group draft
August 2, 2016
Reorganized per Alissa Cooper outline
Work in progress. In addition, contributors were re-organized to be authors.
Editor changeover. Further alignment with guidance by Alissa Cooper, Andrew Sullivan and the mtgvenue working group. Many various changes.
Extensive editorial, format and polishing pass. A few substance changes, including food section.
Additions based on working group meeting and off-list discussions; more editorial and format hacking.
Various clarifying bits to provide some glue between the high-level 'objectives' and the detailed criteria and roles, per suggestions fronm Lear. Editorial changes, per 12/27 response to Cooper. Refined uses of 'Facility' and 'Venue', per 12/4 response to Carpenter; also added Carpenter 'lounge' text. Moved community consultation to a separate criterion; removed 'acceptable to the IETF Community from the 2 entries that had it. Removed Post-Seroul Revisions and Text Carried Forward.
Address comments made on list by Stephen Farrell <>. Minor text change in Section 5. Replaced links in sections 5.3 and 5.5.
Add openness comment as requested by Stephen Farrell. Add statement about 4071 as proposed by Brian and modified by Jari. Elaborated on what "unfiltered" means, based on discussion between Eliot and Stephen. Preface to Section 5 as discussed between Lou and Stephen. Slight editorial tweak to that by Eliot. IETF operates internationally, as proposed by Brian.
Add new introductory text. Sharpen mandatory definition. Split first criteria into two, and reword them to be more actionable. Remove net cash positive requirement. Change many critera from Mandatory to Important. Remove consensus text. Modify chapeau. Add some normative MUSTs in Section 5, and restructure Section 5.5. A bunch of other stuff as well. Use diff.
Happy Mother's Day. This version removes the tabular format of requirements, moves mandatory requirements up front, adds a desiderata section, adds a mandatory filtering requirement, consolidates introductory text, moves procedural requirements into Section 5, removes the definition of Headquarters Hotel, removes the MUST in late changes, and adds a desire for a local participant in site selection.
These are last call edits. Big change is around Internet requirements. Also, address Andrew Sullivan comments, as well as SM comments. Brian Carpenter big scrub on IAOC to IASA.
Final edits from WGLC based on Laura Nugent's review. Most are editorial for clarity. Also, remove large table and link to the live copy.
Changes based on AD review.
Changes based on genart review and IETF last call.
Several versions of changes. Based on reorg of meetings committee, Section 4 and 5 moved out. Also, final LC comments addressed. In particular: no smoking added. Reference to RFC8174 added. Reference to meeting policy doc added.
Remove no smoking.

Author's Address

Eliot Lear (editor) Cisco Systems Richtistrasse 7 Wallisellen, CH-8304 Switzerland Phone: +41 44 878 9200 EMail: