The end of an era

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Apr 092014

Hello all Notacon participants, presenters, staff and volunteers past and present.

This is a difficult piece to write, but it’s time to deal with some facts head on. Paid attendance this year is down by 50% from last year. This means we did not book enough hotel rooms necessary for us to afford the Notacon conference space. When all is said and done, it looks like we’ll owe the hotel about $8,250 in various rental fees, food and beverage purchases (as require by contract) and other things.

We only pulled in $8,076.68 in combined registration fees (after credit processing fees). As is apparent, this amount is not enough to cover what we will owe the hotel at the end of Notacon 11. I have worked with the hotel to reduce this, but they’re not budging and I understand their reasons for not doing so. They have a business to run, too, and need to recoup their costs and make money.

There is an outside possibility this situation could change. For example, we could find people to book 30 more nights worth of rooms. A angel sponsor could come in with a $3,000 to $5,000 check. We could also manage to sell more stuff at Notacon than we’ve ever sold before. Realisticly, though, that’s probably not going to happen.

What does this mean in practical terms?

It means that FTS Conventures will likely work with a bankruptcy attorney after Notacon and shutter the business for good. Notacon will be die and that will be that. Tyger and I have bailed out the company to the tune of $25,000 over the years and it’s time that I personally admit it’s untenable to keep going and call it quits.

This is unfortunate, as I thought set up Notacon in every way for success this year. We negotiated lower hotel rental fees, food and beverage requirements and lower number of bookings. We cuts costs wherever we could. However, with a paid attendance 50% of where it was last year, it means that we’re basically screwed.

This graph should explain things fairly clearly:

So there we are. That’s our reality. There is an outside chance that a miracle occurs, but common sense says that’s not going to happen.

With all of that said, here’s how we will move forward with Notacon 11:

We want you to focus on having the best Notacon ever. Enjoy everything as much as possible. Realize that you, a participant in our events, have been a critical part to an event that, over the past decade, has set the standard that many other hacker cons aspired to. Many new cons were started in direct response to the awesomeness that is Notacon and, as such, we now have more hacker cons in the United States than ever before. Likewise, long established cons looked to Notacon to revamp and refresh their own events. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Notacon humbly stands as flattered as anything.

Notacon and all who participated in it have touched thousands of lives across the world. We have opened minds to ideas and concepts never before touched at other conferences. We have changed lives and made them better. There is an incredible amount to be proud of and I’m really glad many of you all were along for the ride!

So at Notacon 11, let’s celebrate what we’ve done and look toward the unknown future to discover what comes next!



 Posted by at 1:06 am