nach Berlin [bankrott!]

I have started to make preparations for the Winter Simulation Conference (WSC) in Berlin next December, like booking a (cheap) plane, finding a (cheap) flat thru Airbnb, and registering for the conference… However, when checking on the conference website, I was rather shocked to discover that the registration fee is $720 for non-members of sponsoring societies! (I am glad to be an ASA member as the registration fee down to $570.) I cannot really fathom the reason for this unusually high fee, the highest I ever paid for a conference. It indeed “includes access to all sessions, attendee bags, a USB stick or CD containing the conference proceedings, all coffee breaks, and a conference reception.” While I’d be happy to do without the useless “bags, coffee breaks and conference reception” package, this all-inclusive offer still does not add up to $720… By far. So either the organising society is making a profit by charging so much, or it picked such a luxurious hotel that it had to charge all participants enough to avoid making a loss. In both cases, not my vision of a conference run by an academic society… There is a clear tendency over the years to steadily increase conference rates and make conferences a source of profit for either the organisers or the organising society, tendency that I strongly object to.

By contrast, let me stress that MCMSki IV should have a fee of about 150 euros for the same duration (and in a highly touristy place in the heart of winter!). And all “ABC in…” have been free so far!

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