|Earlybird* member of IFA||€574.08|
Have a look at the IFA Congress 2012 page, and see yet again what happens when the organisers are not doing the work themselves but outsource to Elsevier. Let me make a quick calculation: cheapest possible with early bird. The student fee is the cheapest with 360 € plus 80 € conference dinner. So 440 € plus 4 days accommodation (lets say cheapest 50€). So we are at 640 € plus travelling. Let's say from Britain: 150 €. So we end up with roughly 800 €. And that is the very cheapest! Which student can pay that, except if it comes from a research grant.
If you are a consumer (i.e. stutterer) or a therapist, you must pay at least 1000€. If you come from overseas, probably 1500 or more. That pretty much excludes all except the richest countries.
The key is that Elsevier is taking a profit and you have to pay VAT. And they would claim that they have to pay staff and website. But that is a semi-lie as their staff probably handle 10+ conferences each, and most admin is done by the website.
Is it that difficult to get a local organisation committee together? Try to get a conference centre for a cheap rate from a local council by pleading a charitable goal? Try to organise two dinners at local restaurants for a price of 40€ each instead of a rip-off conference dinner for 80€? Try to make it as cheap as possible for people from non-rich countries?
By the way, Elsevier (and other publishers) is conducting a massive lobbying effort in the US congress to prevent us from receiving the results of scientific research paid by us (or at least the US tax payer). Check this article.
To end, I just want to say that this post is not against the local organisers who surely try their best. And who might well have second thoughts about their decision to involve Elsevier.