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The 3rd Annual Conspicuous Consumption Silent Auction

For the last two years, Balisage attendees have created the Conspicuous Consumption Silent Auction. It was a great success each year. Each year we raised over $1300 for the winners of the Students Support Awards. All the money raised was given to the students -- all the costs were absorbed by other conference attendees and the donors. The auction items were a mixture of valuable books and software, fun toys, shirts and other odds-and-ends, and interesting topic-specific discussion "Dutch-treat" dinners.

We hope we can repeat this success for a third year. We've got some pretty impressive students joining us, and we want to support them every way we can. What we need is two kinds of things:

  1. We need folk to donate software, books (both print and e-books) and other items that will be of interest to others in our community. Software from oXygen and Saxonica, and books from O'Reilly have been a big help each year. We'd love to also see software, books, and other items from other sources.
  2. We need folk to lead topic-specific discussion dinners. The last two years, the dinners were attended by a topic expert and by four companions, the winners of the dinner auction items. Everyone paid for their own dinners ("Dutch treat"), and care was taken that they wouldn't be too expensive for the auction winners: under $40. They have been very successful auction items and there were many people who were out-bided. So we'd like to see more dinners on a wider range of topics.

If you've got something that you think will be interest to bidders and if you want to support this year's students, please send in detailed information about the items you are donating to [email protected]. A photo, of the item, of the donator's logo, or of the product's logo, helps us make a appealing bidding sheet.

For the dinners, include a title, a short description of what you think is an interesting topic, who will be the expert discussion leader, a short description of why that'll be a good leader, and what you think is the best choice of how many diners should be invited to the dinner. The leader can be you. Alternatively, if you'd like to attend a dinner lead by an attending expert, you can nominate them. They'll be asked if they agree to take on that role. The number of winners per dinner should be kept low, as they were last year, so that everyone at the table gets a chance to participate fully.

Thanks for your donations, and good luck with your bids.