She Believed She Could So She Did
When I started planning She Sails I didn't take one major thing into account: Signing Up Required a Leap of Faith.
I'm a huge fan of 'Full Disclosure' - I'd like to lay all my cards on the table for you Ladies. I realized this She Sails Meetup may seem a little 'nebulous' - consider this me letting you in on the planning process.
To my knowledge, a Meetup like this has never happened before. What this inherently means is that the kinks haven't been worked out of the system yet. The luxury of 'having learned from last years mistakes' isn't currently available.
There is also a major Catch 22. I can't plan the perfect weekend without people signing up but, I need to be able to provide information in order to get people to sign up but (here we go around again), I need people to sign up so I can get the details together...
I didn't realize when I began advertising for She Sails that I was basically asking people who didn't know me to 'trust that I can pull this off'. It sounds silly but that's actually what it boiled down to.
I was initially planning a purely social weekend however; a lot of women requested workshops. I was all for this. I think professional development is huge and, I think it adds a lot of value to the weekend. When I began looking for meeting space it made the weekend a lot more expensive.
Here's where I lay the cards on the table. To have a dedicated room with audio visual capability (so workshop leaders could plug in their laptops) was $5,000. If we were going to have meals in the room they averaged about $2,500 per meal. What this meant was that I needed 30 attendees to keep the cost at $750 per person for the weekend - I also had to cut some of the 'fun things' out of the budget.
What I quickly learned was that everything had a price and, the higher the price the more I needed attendees to help keep the cost down.
This week Wednesday I would have had to sign a catering contract. I would have then been liable for a percentage of the contract. I couldn't do it. I didn't have enough attendees.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I HAVE ZERO CONFIRMED ATTENDEES.
I've spent the last few days completely revising my budget and reinventing the weekend. I'm going back to my original plan - this will be a social weekend.
I've taken the workshop ideas and have began planning 'round table discussions' and 'break out sessions'. These will be much more informal, we'll be able to have them on the fly and, they'll remain flexible.
Since we no longer need the workshop space the price has been lowered to $500 per person. I'm waiting on new quotes to come back in on exactly what that will get us but again, without a head count it's impossible to know because, I don't know how many people to divide cost by.
I have until February 25th to book rooms at the quoted price. Registration will end on February 24th.
I know some people have said that this event is very 'last minute'. True. The catch? 50% of you will always be at sea. I will never, ever be able to find a time and date to accommodate everyone. I also have my own shipping schedule that gets in the way!
I recognize that signing up for what seems to be a slightly disorganized event might feel like a leap of faith but, for me, there is a bottom line: There has to be a start. A large community can be built from a small beginning. If two ladies and myself go to Vegas together I'll still be totally jazzed!
I hope you come to Vegas! I need people to help me make a start! I hope you're ready for an adventure, I hope you can keep an open mind, I hope you can roll with the punches!
I have high hopes for She Sails in Vegas. I am excited for what it can become in the future. I'm looking forward to meeting you Ladies!
She believed she could. So she did.