Putting on a conference is a risky endeavor. Conference centers require a guaranteed minimum income to block the dates of a conference; for a conference like Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++, that minimum is in the tens of thousands of dollars.
As of today, we have 14 people registered for Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++ 2013. That’s about half the number of people who were registered at this time last year, and last year’s number took a big leap of faith on our part to carry on. See, our break-even point is about 75 people, and according to our contract with the hotel, we have until July 2 to cancel or we’re on the hook for our guaranteed minimum whether there’s a conference or not.
Southwest Fox is one of the highlights of the year for the three of us. A ton of planning and work goes into organizing it, but we are happy to do it because we feel it’s an important way to keep our community going. We’re realistic enough to know that it won’t go on forever and each year could be the last. So, was 2012 the last year? You can help us make that decision. If you were thinking about going this year, vote to continue the conference by registering now. If you know others thinking of attending, share this message with them.
If we do end up cancelling, everyone who registered will get their money back in full, so you can’t lose out. (Just don’t make your flight reservation right way.)
The FoxShow #77 features an interview with us discussing this and other SWFox-related issues, so be sure to check it out. Andrew MacNeill also has a blog post about this.