Over the last 6 weeks or so, I have languished over whether or not to write, and then post this. After much consideration, I decided to share this. If I did not, and the latter part of the title holds true, I would likely regret not doing everything in my power to save something I believe in so much.
SINergy was conceived in 2012. On the 700+ mile car ride back to Grand Rapids after attending the Leather Leadership Conference in Nashville. Niki and I had a whirlwind weekend meeting and talking with amazing people from all over the country. We were left asking one very important question on those many miles home….why did Michigan not have a weekend style kink event with multiple classes/presenters?
Fast forward 5 months. Thank to the help of GRALE, we are able to have the first SINergy. It looked nothing like what would follow. A camping event with 66 attendees, entirely outdoors, it had a vastly different feeling. Great but different. With overwhelmingly positive feedback, we knew that this was something we wanted to continue, grow, and see flourish.
After a nearly 2 year hiatus while we sought out a new venue, we were blessed with meeting the amazing Unikitty, and she was able to secure us just what we needed. An upscale hotel, with a convention center, that was eager to have us knowing exactly who were are and what we do.
We went to work, and what has been SINergy for the past two years came to fruition.
Now, 3 weeks before our fourth event, we have reached a critical point in the journey of the event…..
For those who don’t know, SINergy is a relatively low cost event for what it is. While we have never lost money to date, we have never be “in the business” of making money. Most of the time, we make enough profit to pay for the venue, our educational track/offerings/presenters, special events, our web hosting for the year, printing, and sponsorships for the next event. SINergy has a very low price point when compared to other weekend conferences that bring presenters in from across the country.
Here in lies the problem, and the root my writing. This year, we have sold about 1/3 the total admissions as last year. We had nearly 300 attendees last year, and while you always are speculating on how many people will buy tickets, and never want to over commit, no one on the staff, myself included, saw this kind of fall of as a possibility after receiving such positive feedback after the last two years.
So, SINergy is facing a major loss this year. Which means, I personally am facing a major loss, as I will need to fund the shortfall out of pocket to the tune of thousands of dollars.
I have had many people tell me, “Maybe next year”, and while I understand that not everyone can make it every year, we are certainly facing a situation where there will not be a next year.
I want to state emphatically, I am not looking for charity, or donations. I don’t expect anyone to give us anything. What I am asking for, is that if you want this type of event in your community, and local to you, please consider joining us this year. Each year, the most important part of the event is the attendees, and that rings true now more than ever.
We can’t do it without you.