According to Robert Scoble, one of the expected speakers at Postiecon, the convention is going to be delayed until November due to low attendance numbers. PayPerPost has been plugging this really hard amongst all of their blogging community trying very hard to make it work, but it just would fly.
Here are my thoughts on the issue. I don’t think that trying to hold a conference was a bad idea. I think the people who could have gone would have enjoyed it quite a bit. One area where I think things went awry was that they tried to have a big conference right away. The Webmasterworld conferences are now massive, but they began as pubcons. The idea was simple, a bunch of people get together and talk shop at the pub. That quickly outgrew the capacity for any sensibly sized pub and shortly grew to the now massive Las Vegas conference. I think it might have worked out better if they had tried something on a scale where if not that many people showed up, it would have been ok. Let’s say only 50 people or so show, then you change what’s going on a little. Bring them to the PPP headquarters, show them some of the inside scoops, get them to meet the people they’ve been working with through e-mail, etc… That way when those who went go back to the message boards, you will have comments like “Wow, that was amazing!” and those who passed on the opportunity will feel like they missed out and won’t miss the next one.
Also, I think they missed the boat in terms of real costs for attendees. For many people that would be a $1000 trip. I know that sounds really high, but realistically that’s what it would cost most people to fly there, stay in a hotel, eat, pick up souvenirs, etc… The top earner for PPP currently has a smidgen over $10K and that took nearly a year. Would you spend 10% of your yearly income to go to a conference? By the time we get down to the 10th highest earner we’re pretty close to $5K. That then becomes 20%. No matter which way you slice it that’s a lot of money when contrasted with the revenue we’re all bringing in.
I’m not writing this to make fun of them for failing or anything like that. This is a hindsight breakdown of where I feel things went wrong from an outside party’s perspective. This is also based on the original comments made by Robert Scoble as to why Postiecon was canceled since PPP has yet to comment publicly. While some see this as a huge failure, I see it as an opportunity for PPP to re-adjust their current ambitions regarding this conference.
As a side note, I wish they’d get rid of that word, Postie, ugh…