Loud Love Phoenix
Of course there is a story.
In the grand planning for the new community, which likely wont be called Chubby Squirrels, (this week the most likely name is The Hive) one of the things we wanted to investigate was “Could we make money running conferences at Sophia House?” Loud Love came out of the idea that if we chose interesting enough materials, we would be excited about organizing it and participants would flock to the event.
We started with an organizing model like the one used for the communities conference. This has a portion of “fixed format workshops”, in which we bring experts or eloquent “headline presenters” to insure quality content and we pay for their travel and waive their admission fee. The second part of this is “open space technology”, where we offer to all participants that they can present on something of import to them moving for them. It also has two workshop blocks of open space, in which anyone can propose a work shop and the ones which have enough participant interest happen.
Financially, this model requires higher entrance fees and tends to be more full service (meal plan, staffed child care, outreach budget, etc). Plus the organizers dont pay to get in, nor do the many communards who attend. They are subsidized by the rest of the door for the event. The problem with this model is if you dont have many confirmation of the attendees, your event can loose money.
Three weeks ago, we looked at the small number of confirmed (as in paid up) conference attendees and decided to cancel the event. This was an unusually harsh blow to my generally rugged ego. This was the second major event in a row which i had initiated which collapsed (the first being Village in the Sky). i grumped around for a couple of days, more than a bit out of sorts.
Enter some folks from the Cville poly group. They said “Hyey we want this to happen, let’s reformulate it cheaper and easier.” Their proposal was to go to 100% open space format, no “headline presenters”, everyone pays to get in (including organizers and workshop presenters), cut all other costs (pot luck instead of meal plan, paretn coop child care, etc) and just charge for the housing costs. For someone camping at the event the price dropped from $100 to $25.
This model also means you can go forward even if there are only a handful of participants, since their fees just covers the variable costs. i happily agreed to un-cancel the original event. The original organizers collective dissolved and a new smaller “un-organizers” one formed with some of the same people involved.
The event puttered along and a few people registered and we expected a considerably smaller event. Then something funny happened, a bunch of people expressed interest in this new event, confirmed registrations are just short of 40 with perhaps a dozen more possible. Angie stepped back in as an un-organizer and shined in that way she does, whipped out a fingerbook, a new logo (see above) and wrestled the kitchen organizing into shape inthe last couple days. The new name “Loud Love Phoenix” is actually credited to my dear friend Rez. And today, a very sweet piece fell into place – several folks from the Keep in DC decided to come to the reformulate event. The content looks strong. i am jazzed.
There is still time for you to register and come.
So now just two days before the event,
About paxusa funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.
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