Jan Zuppinger thinks the entry price for LIFT06 is “nuts”. He claims we refused public funding (“you SHOULD have taken public funding”) to build an elitist event. Facts please:
• Fact 1: Unfortunately our experience has been that public money is not something that you conceive in terms of SHOULD I take it or not. It is CAN I have it or not. It is not a choice. LIFT received no subvention. We’d rather do a great conference with a price tag than no conference at all.
• Fact 2: LIFT is one of the cheapest (295/195CHF) conference in the world, happening in one of the most expensive city in the world. Tweakfest costs 580CHF (if you wanted to see the star speakers), Reboot 325CHF (early bird) and 420CHF. An expensive conference is TED at 4’400$. Let’s call that elitism.
• Fact 3: LIFT is organized by a team of people that worked 100% for free. Nobody (organizers, speakers) has been, is, or will be paid. We are talking about more than 1’500 (and counting) hours of work.
• Fact 4: we have 50’000CHF of costs to cover, with one sponsor paying 25% of that sum. That is more than 35’000CHF to pay with one single source of income: entrance fees. We have 250 seats. Around 100 people do not pay (speakers, speakers guests, organizers, partners, etc..). You do the math.
• Fact 5: unfortunatly we can not offer free entries to bloggers even if they are willing to cover the event. See Fact 4 for the main reason. LIFT is a gathering, and people understand that the money they pay builds a common pot used to pay for Scoble and Doctorow’s plane ticket and a decent venue with Wifi.
Matt Biddulph understands this. So do Julian Bleecker, Jean-Jacques Duclaux, Fabien Girardin, Jens-Christian Fischer, Nicolas Nova, Marc-Olivier Peyer, Pedro Custódio, Shuja Parvez, Emily Turrettini, Nico Macdonald, Mauro Cherubini, Steve Crossan, Fiona Romeo, Roberto Ortelli, Andre Ribeirinho, Heiko&Martina Proeger, Simon Ganière, Rany Keddo, Kushtrim Xhakli, Sigurd Rinde, Reto Stuber, Gia Milinovich, Cyril Rebetez, Hubert Guillaud, Alejo Duque, Geoff Jones, Olivier Tripet, Henriette Weber-Andersen, Ian Prince, and all the other bloggers that contributed by either paying their entrance fee or giving us a hand.
Bottom line is we tried to create an event as cheap as possible so as many people as possible could participate. There has never been an intention from us to discriminate or exclude certain categories of people, hence the clear and flat pricing structure.
PS: because of a recent spam attack on this blog I have turned comments moderation on. Sorry for the delay in publishing your comments.