UPDATE: After listening to the feedback and receiving no new ticket sales, we have decided to postpone the conference. More details on this new blog post, Postponing Social Media University.
We need your help and we need it now. Our conference, Social Media University, is suffering the same fate as many other conferences and events that are new to the market, and without your help, we will be canceling it next Tuesday, 10/12.
Basically, our attendance is about 30 tickets short of break even (we have 55 registered). We have received practically no feedback, with no open criticism and only private praise. The lineup we have put together is intended to help you THINK differently about Social Media and focus on the things that matter most in creating social media strategy and executing on the programs. Putting together a slate of speakers like we have done would normally cost $2,000 but because the speakers are supporters of Social Media Club and because we wanted to make it more affordable for folks, its only priced at $595 with discounts for members.
We had been relying upon our global Social Media Club membership, and in particular the leaders of local groups, but this has not worked as we hoped. With multiple attempts to reach out to the local leadership to support this conference, even at times by direct phone call, we were only able to muster a few tickets sold and a few dozen tweets. With a global reach in excess of 150,000, you would think we could get 100 people to join us in Orlando to talk about the future of the organization, establish the formal bylaws, adopt a professional code of conduct and learn from some of the true thought leaders in the industry.
But I was wrong. In part because of the economy. In part because of how we didn't communicate and talk enough about the conference last month. In part because our chapters are not engaged in supporting the broader network or sharing resources and labor with other local groups.
We know there is a strong core of people who are only working so hard for the Social Media Club community because you share our values, you share our desire to change the world, you want social media to be meaningful and to serve a higher purpose then merely being a cost effective broadcast channel for Word of Mouth. So because we know you exist, and because many of you have spoken up for us and for the bigger cause, we are going to see if there is a way to save this conference, and in the process take the association in the right direction – to move clearly away from those who really truly don't get it.
So with an attempt to turn the negative into a positive, and in an effort to avoid having to cancel the conference, we are turning to our real supporters for some help. We need you to join us in Orlando on November 10-12 for Social Media University. We need you to help us get the word out across Florida and around the world to let people know about this great conference we have organized.
We need you to come, join as a professional member, and make the decisions about the future of Social Media Club and the whole of the Social Media industry with the rest of the attendees.
We need your ideas and support to get more people to join us at the conference. We need you to ask us questions so we can make our communications more clear and accessible to others. I fear we are just not connecting the true value proposition of what we are offering and I fear for the future of Social Media Club if no one is interested in being a part of the discussion as to its future.
We basically have until next Monday evening, 10/11 to make Social Media University work. Our ears are open to hear constructive suggestions and other ideas.