[LGM] Update on reimbursement process for 2014

Michael Schumacher schumaml at gmx.de
Sat Jan 25 05:05:16 PST 2014

On 25.01.2014 12:47, Louis Desjardins wrote:

Hi Louis,

> a) For the return ticket to the airport (which I think is the only case
> that could occur as we wouldn’t reimburse a taxi or a costlier shuttle
> and people travelling by train will be at walking distance), I guess
> it’s possible to buy a round-trip ticket. And here we speak of 4-6 €.

note that some people prefer to not use trains in foreign countries or
cities - for various reasons: fear of getting lost, safety concerns,
general uneasiness with public transport. They may arrive also at
unusual hours, for example, where the audience in these options is hard
to tolerate.

I can understand that you want to want to prevent spending too much on
this part of trip, especially if there are multiple options for
transport. It is just that some people might take this into
consideration - a 35 euros cab ride they have to cover themselves may
not prevent them from attending by itself, but it'll add up (and I'm not
referring to money alone).

It may help a bit if the ticket and trip that will be reimbursed is made
as clear as possible - maybe someone from the locals can help, and a
"get this ticket for x euros, take that train in that direction,
disembark at station to get to the venue" is specified.

> b) Access to a scanner is a good idea but most people use their phone or
> their camera to "scan" their documents.

Maybe. Please do a few test runs of the reimbursement form when used
from phone browsers. It seems to work in general, but I didn't try to
submit anything. Make sure that the average quality is sufficient for
your needs, unless this has been well tested last time already.

> c) Closing on the last day allows us to announce at the closing meeting
> what to expect as a percentage of their expenses. Hopefully, 100% like
> previous years, but we make no promises!

Depending on how much that is, you're going to send people home with a
feeling that they will have to cope with only x% of reimbursement.
Of course, this has to be balanced with the uncertainty of not knowing
how much will be reimbursed at all, but I'm not sure if this is what
attendees may want to be reminded about at exactly this time...

Announce that you want to do this as early as possible, and do not give
attendees the impression that it may be their fault it can't be done if
they are unable to hand in their documents in time (see below, too).

And... um.. how are you going to announce how much will be reimbursed,
if the form is going to be online until 23:59:59, but the closing talk
will be earlier? This is as if you have an implicit deadline set at e.g.
noon of that day.

> Again, I thank you for your input and I hope to read your further comments.
> Opening the form for an extra week should not hurt that much. My own
> enthusiasm at solving that issue led me to that idea!

I understand that you want to put some mild pressure on people, to help
them to avoid procrastination. At the same time, the "submit until that
date, or else" message this form sends right now may make some people
unsure - especially if they know that they will e.g. be unable to
provide the documents until after a few additional days, or have time
constraints - maybe have to leave LGM early to attend another obligation?

Please make it obvious that they can contact you with such issues. In
particular, make sure that there are links to the contact page in the
relevant section (right now there is only a "see contacts" text there.

On the contacts page, please indicate that your mail address is
spam-proofed, what people have to do to make it work, and that the
+1xxxx thing after it is your phone number. Please specify whether the
ext. means people can and have to dial it, or whether they'll have to
ask a dispatcher to put them through to this extension - I assume the
former, but was wondering why it is written in this format.

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