A brief update on the Monero Konferenco; I'm making this update so that the Konferenco can have the FFS funds released. As I stated in my original FFS: We plan on (i) keeping finances as transparent as possible and (ii) rolling over excess funding toward next year's Monero Konferenco and (iii) rolling over all net profit made from the event toward next year's event. Folks hired to work on the conference will, of course, be compensated for their time, but this event is not designed to profit the organizers.
We have signed a contract with The Curtis in Downtown Denver . We pay our deposit for the venue this week. The remainder of our contractual obligation will be due 30 days before the event. In the meantime, we are spending the next 3 months arranging for speaker's travel, trying to get more and more interesting speakers to get our program together, arranging ticket sales, trying to get more sponsors, and working with the venue on setting up. More details on schedules will be posted soon.
XMR.to has joined our sponsor list! We want to once again thank all our sponsors for all they've contributed to make the Konferenco possible. We are still seeking sponsors! If you think your company may be interested, please send them over to the website to get ahold of us.
News: The Venue
We have signed a contract with The Curtis in Downtown Denver; the location has a capacity up to 300. This place is in a beautiful, walkable part of Denver next to the Denver Performing Arts Center, the 16th Street Mall, and (amusingly!) the Denver Federal Reserve (group photo, anyone?). The Hotel is bundling several services for us. The location is next to bike shares and lightrail stops ($10.50 for airport, $3.00 for a local pass). Attendees can take the lightrail from the airport almost directly to the conference location, and folks who aren't staying at The Curtis have a lot of public transportation options to get there, depending on where they stay. In addition to transportation convenience, we selected this hotel for some bundling of costs (see below).
We have a deal with The Curtis to reserve 20 rooms at a fixed group rate of 220 USD a night for attendees for June 21, 22, and 23. We are setting aside 15 of these rooms for Konferenco speakers. This leaves five additional rooms available for Konferenco attendees. We tried to strong-arm the hotel into accepting Monero, but they didn't bite... yet. In our original budget, we assumed hotels were between 150-200. Airbnbs in the area are usually cheaper than hotels.
Right now it appears that hotels in Denver will be 220-300 for the weekend of the Konferenco, and may go up as the date approaches, and our deal is guaranteeing a maximum hotel room price for these five rooms. The deadline for taking advantage of this room offer is June 1, 2019, and these rooms should be available for booking by the end of the week.
News: The Program
We are going to post videos of our talks, or stream them live, so that the content at the Konferenco is free to access for anyone with an internet connection. The same weekend, Zcon1 in Croatia is streaming their conference, and we will be making that conference content available in one of our breakout rooms. We are excited to have a weekend-long firehose of cryptocurrency conference content brought to you by Colorado Crypto Conferences, XMR.to, and the Zcash foundation. Moreover, we have added space for an additional session, we have expanded the second day of the conference due to interest from speakers, and we are planning an inter-continental panel where attendees at Konferenco can ask questions from panelists ats Zcon1 and vice versa.
We have an additional space we are considering doing something fun with. A meditation or finger-painting room, something like that.
The New Budget
The cost of the venue is now wrapped up together with the cost of food/beverage minimum (we expect to meet this minimum with coffee/tea/soda alone), as well as the cost of providing the speakers lodging, and the cost of the Audio/Visual production through The Curtis. Details on A/V to come. The package deal lowered our overall anticipated costs on almost everything except catering (moderately increasing the cost of catering). This caused a small restructuring of our budget:
Gross expenses: 41750 USD for most expenses... plus catering 150 to 220 USD per attendee with a minimum of 4500.
Justification: Venue + Audio Visual + Speaker lodging + food/bev minimum combined is 16,500 after taxes. Between 150 and 220 per attendee after taxes for catering, but first 4,500 is counted in the food/beverage minimum. Speaker average flights are expected to cost 300-750 USD (with flight costs between 225 and up to 1275 generally with averages close to 350), with 15-20 speakers, totalling between 6,000 USD to 15,000 USD; we are budgeting 15000. The cost of project organization, printing conference materials, out-of-pocket expenses (office supplies, shipping, etc.), swag bag and speaker gifts, and speaker dinner remain unchanged, totalling 15,250 USD. Our decisions on catering do not need to be made until 30 days before the event, at which time it will be easy to decide what we can afford.
As before, the variable that accounts for the greatest variation is the cost of ticket prices to bring attendees to the event.
Gross revenue: We have received 599 XMR from the community and 190 XMR from our very generous sponsor XMR.to. We have taken the 190 XMR from XMR.to and have begun converting it into USD for expenses. We are selling tickets, too, and we must decide on our ticket price, and we are thinking about merchandising opportunities. If any artists want to design (one of) the first annual Monero Konferenco t-shirts, they should contact me!
Balancing the budget: We will decide on ticket prices to help balance the budget if needed. Our break even price for tickets is presently Y = C + (789/N)(58.61 - R) where C = cost of catering and N= number of attendees, assuming we make no money on merchandising sales, but this will change if we get additional sponsorships or other sources of revenue. For example, if we only spend half of our travel budget, then Y drops to C + (789/N)(49.10 - R).
If not needed (that is, if additional Konferenco sponsorships can take care of all expenses) then our target ticket prices are intended to be around 80 USD with (at least partial) rebates for students at the door. Colorado Crypto Conferences pledges that any net profits made by the Konferenco will go toward the next year's Konferenco.