Thinking about Pre-Cons In Orlando in 2019

In the spirit of “do more” we’re hoping to host at least 4 pre-cons in Orlando in 2019. Right now we’re looking for ideas for the first one to be held sometime in March 2019. If you’re interested, here’s how we do it:

  • We have a meeting space that seats 20 comfortably. Projector is provided (HDMI). Internet is ok.
  • We sell the class via EventBrite. Typically the minimum is $149, sometimes we will list higher so we can discount. We also sometimes will give away a few free seats to help advertise or support the class.
  • We split 50/50 with the speaker after our expenses (room, lunch, sometimes breakfast) with a guaranteed minimum payment of $1000 to the speaker (enough to cover travel and misc expenses)
  • We don’t cancel based on registrations – that’s why we guarantee the speaker a minimum payment. 
  • We advertise via posts to our Meetup group, announcing at the meetup prior to the class and working with partners (staffing companies, .Net group, etc) to get the word out
  • We provide a volunteer on site to handle any issues and check people in.
  • We send you a check 14 days after the event

We do it that way based on a few reasons:

  • Having the no-cancel policy allows the speaker to book travel early and hopefully cheaper (to their benefit)
  • We get a lot of our registrations in the 2 weeks prior. Waiting to make that nail biting go/no go decision sucks and it makes it harder for the speaker to book travel at a decent price
  • We don’t want to argue about speaker expenses. If you want to fly first class, stay in a $500 a night hotel and get room service, good. If you want to drive down and sleep in the car, that’s good too!

The downside of course is that we’re making that $1000 bet. Historically we like the odds, but it’s still a bet. We worked hard last year to bank money so that we could make a few bets this year – I wouldn’t recommend this approach if you’re personally guaranteeing the minimum.

Last year we did database design and PowerBI, so at least for Q1 we’re looking for a different topic. Interested? If so, contact me via email or LinkedIn with the abstract along with details if you’ve presented it before. Note that we’re open to a first time presentation or a first time pre-con speaker, but in both cases we look at those a bit harder.

We’re also hoping that one of the four will be “free”. We’ll guarantee the speaker a payment and probably charge attendees for lunch, but otherwise it will be free. The hard part on this one is guessing whether to stick with the 20 seat facility or move to the one that seats 100 – another bet!