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Posts: 28
Local Event - One Day Conference - Is it worth it?

In a separate message regarding Establishing an Online Presence...

I mentioned that "imho" - the One Day Conference is lots of work with minimal ROI.

I'll elaborate a bit on that.

 

"I did not want to be a RUG, SGF or Training company".  (that is what my goal was when i relaunched the Chicago LUG in late 2014).  And One Day Conferences - to me are what one of those three types of organizations are there to do.

  • You will need lots of organizational effort just to put together an event once, maybe twice a year.
  • Scrap around for help.  Work all sorts of hours to get it together. 
  • Plead with speakers to come join you. 
  • Hunt down locations, catering, rules, insurance etc.

Why?

Why are so many small volunteer groups trying to do what is (imho) the Regional User groups role and in many cases SGF's?

 

I was away from the user group community for a few years.  I though when I returned that there would be some cool changes and all sorts of other stuff.  I havent really seen that.  When I was asked by local colleagues to relaunch - i specifically told them what I did NOT want from my memories of being a LUG leader in the past.

 

I always liked the networking and social component of ODC.  But it was not worth it.

 

Here is what i've grown to love.

1. Simple events - once maybe twice a month - These are in person events.  Small number of attendees.

2. Simple Webinar events - twice a month - sometimes more. 

 

Less fuss.

People come and join us often for more than one kind of event.

 

Let me put it another way.

In 2015 we had over 500 people participate in one or more kind of event we held.

But thats because we didnt hold "one" kind of event.

 

If we would have even tried to put together a "one day conference" the best we could have done was 60 people?

WHy?  Why would we do all that work and miss out on 440 other people participating?

 

So this year.

We MIGHT do a one day event - but we are NOT going to work for it. 

We are leveraging our relationships with local universities and SAS UG Support to keep this minimal on the effort.

And we also are NOT going to stop our other efforts.

If anything we are going to do more webinars and local in person events.

 

Has anyone else dropped the one day and switched to something else?

And if you are so committed to the one day.  

I'm curious  - why?

 

As i see posts about needed help with organizational boards and structures.

I'm kinda giggling because for the 4 to 5 groups we run.  Theres only like 2 or 3 of us.

So what are we missing?

 

About the only thing i see that we have NOT capitalized on yet is getting some funds from membership to cover some costs.

But thats just because we are trying to keep things simple.

 

Few Other Questions

  • Do you produce one day events as revenue generators?
  • If so when you calculate your ROI - do you factor in all costs?
  • I've done one and multi day conferences - they always seemed to make money somehow. But not with out costing us volunteers who said "that was a lot of work".  So in the end we kinda loose.
  • How many people consistently and regularly attend your one day conference?
  • Are you doing any other kind of event that is NOT a one day conference?

 

Best

Zeke