Registration is open for PodCamp Boston 3, organized by Christopher S. Penn, Whitney Hoffman, and tons of great folks. I’m excited to be part of the experience, mostly in the Mayor role, and I want you to come. But first, I want to talk about why we decided to ask for $50 to attend an event that has been free up until now.
First, some history. Until last October’s PodCamp Boston 2, our attendance-to-no-show rate was unprecedented for free events. We had approximately 70%-80% attendance. Not so last year. We had almost 700 people not come. This caused some problems. One, we had sponsors paying money for a lot of things, estimating a higher number of attendees, so some people bought things like tee shirts for nothing. Second, and more important to me, participants who expected tons of people got something different.
But what we felt after the experience was somewhat sideways to both of those things: we found that we were craving a closer connection to the people who wanted to be part of our community. We wanted a more intimate experience, where everyone who came felt like they were part of something special, and that they were making a commitment to something we feel is valuable.
Is $50 a lot of money? Yes, to some folks. Does this make us less of an unconference? Frankly, I’m a little frustrated by arguing what type of event we are or aren’t. We allow for group participation, no keynotes, as much access to everyone’s ideas as possible, and with as much consideration for our community as possible. We’re an event that has proven itself to be useful to those who choose to participate. We recognize that $50 might be a barrier to some, but feel that the commitment it represents means a lot to us.
Remember, our ledger is open. You can read the blog to see that our costs this year are $35,000, which I will be helping to raise via sponsors. Chris and I don’t make a dime off participants, and we both put in our money at several steps. Repeat: we make no money off the event for ourselves.
So, I’m asking you to register and show your commitment to PodCamp, and the Boston 3 event. Potential sponsors, I’ll be reaching out to you, but if you want to be associated with a 40-plus event and growing experience, drop me a line.
Co-founder and friend, Christopher S. Penn states his take on it here.
Photo credit, DC John