The way to limit all of these conferences...go ahead and hold them but put them all in cities like Ames, Iowa, or Topeka, Kansas, or Birmingham, Alabama. Put these folks all into three-star hotels.....give $20 a day for food, and let them have their conference. My guess is that half will turn down the deal.
BTW, USPS already has thousands of employees all over the country who can easily be called upon to provide support services at the National Postal Forum meetings ~ at no more cost than would ordinarily be paid for their salaries.
What we need is information about how many employees need to travel to the conference and how many are already there.
San Fran this time of year is OUT OF SEASON!
I tend to agree on holding the meetings in less expensive venues.
I tend to support the idea of having the meeting however. The concept of continental uniformity is pretty much blather. There are regional differences producing regional specific problems. The chance to mingle is the chance to increase understanding.
They are having an exhibit hall. This means the meeting is in some way akin to a trade show where you meet vendors eyeball to eyeball and get the latest info and convey gripes. It is very hard to place a value on such opportunity.
It is cool for those in a rut that never permits travel and interaction to bitch about costs. It is more difficult to convey understanding of the concept that meetings are not total boondoggles meant only for entertainment. The cost benefit ratio is conceptual and to a large extent not measureable with precision.