Scoble just did this long… post on conferences and the issues around creating them. Adding to Jeff Jarvis’ post here.
I left this comment….
We in the identity community are trying to figure out the venue thing too. 1st key is a place that lets you bring in outside catoring.
We are also doing 75% open space at our next conference – so no planning for â€™sessionsâ€™ the attendees create them based on what is alive in the room that day. This is how you have a discussion with 2000 folks – not trying to have it all in one big room. You can also use process like Appreciative Inquiry where a whole room of over 5000 folks can have a meaningful conversatino â€˜togetherâ€™. I think we should have a conference for conference organizers to mull on options and issues faced by our crowd. Innvation is needed in this space and market needs are largely unmet.
The breakdown on the Identity Workshop was a fee of $75 for a two day conference that included lunch.
Those of us who organized it did it volunteer and we broke even. Everyone loved us bucking the trend of the ‘expensive’ conference. We are hoping to pull it off again this year in May.
The details – We had about 70 paying attendees. 80 people attended. Lunch was $800 a day -$10 a head (and people liked the food)
We paid the venue about $800 a day (but the wifi was iffy and chairs not super comfy). We got someone to help with refreshments for about $400. A neutral sponsor came through and sponsored dinner for everyone the first (and only) evening of the conference.