A Letter to the SOBCon Community
Anyone who has been around me in these past few months knows how much I have been looking forward to SOBCon this year. A fabulous and hard-working team of volunteers stepped up to help make our SOBCon goals real. A most impressive group of speakers committed to start the conversations that would drive the mastermind team discussions. I was thrilled and humbled to be planning such a big deal.
With the initial ticket sales and the enthusiastic response on social networks, it seemed that SOBCon LEVERAGE had real traction. Not only were so many returning, but folks who had been hearing about SOBCon for years were buying tickets too!
Then SOBCon faced a crucial challenge, we had not had to overcome before. We were hit hard by sponsor-partnerships that didn’t materialize. Despite a deep commitment to “make it happen through sheer force of belief and a will to serve,” we couldn’t find new sponsor-partners on short notice to replace what we lost.
Suddenly the momentum of a great start to ticket sales and social network buzz, wasn’t enough to make a SOBCon experience that you love. An experience that
- is focused on the audience and giving time to meet and discuss how the great ideas they’re hearing can be custom-fit to their business
- allows every voice in the room to add value,
- is more than exchanging business cards, that gives the chance to sit with, work with, and learn from every person in the room.
- is single-strand content plan that brings the latest questions and answers in serving customers and growing a business.
- is fabulous food, great venues for conversation, and the best wifi.
because every event experience should be worth far more than the cost of getting there and packed with ideas and relationships that keep delivering for years after the event. The SOBCon community is unforgettably supportive and, as we all know, filled with lifelong friends. But, as much as it is a labor both love and business, I need to be realistic. I can’t pursue an endeavor that puts my business and personal life seriously at risk.
Unfortunately, this year hasn’t generated enough resources to do that. Despite the great planning and the support of so many, I sadly must report that SOBCon 2014 won’t happen.
If you are one of the great folks who purchased a ticket or reserved a seat, I’ll contact you next week about refunds.
In truth and trust and with so much gratitude,
Jim Kukral says
Nooooo! I was so looking forward to coming to my first one. Sorry to hear this. 🙁 But I understand.
Ali Davies says
So sorry to hear that Liz.
Jason Falls says
The event business is hard. I hate to hear this, but I’ve been there and understand more than I should about the reality of making these things work.
The awesome thing is that you, Liz, bring value to whomever you touch, however you touch them. Get out and speak at other events more. Take your passion and your creativity to webinars, blog posts and more and you’re going to continue to disseminate the SOBCon ethos to the audiences it needs to reach.
A good idea never dies. It just finds a different path to fruition.
We love you, no matter how you touch us. 😉
Barry Moltz says
You and Terry have made a lasting effect on our community- SOBCON lives on!
Paul O'Mahony says
“SOBCon lives on” – what a great phrase Barry Moltz.
Paul Merrill says
Thank you, Liz, for all you have done through SOBCon. As Barry said, what you have done lives on and has changed the lives of many, myself included.
Becky McCray says
I’m very sorry this year isn’t happening, but I know you, Liz. You have many great things yet to do, and I hope to be part of them.
Sheila Scarborough says
What you and Terry are doing with SOBCon (and I use the words ARE doing quite deliberately) is the future of conferences & meetings. There’s too much value in it for 2013 to be the last one, and meantime the community lives on at #SOBCon. Hugs!
Jane Boyd says
SOBCon has impacted so many people in so many amazing ways. Since attending my first SOBCon in 2011 my life has been profoundly changed for the better. I am so thankful to you Liz and to the whole SOBCon community – which truly has become an extended family to me. I’m beyond sad that 2014 won’t be unfolding in the way we have been planning.
Whatever happens next – for you Liz – as well as for the amazing community that is SOBCon, know this – I will continue to contribute both my support and love. It is the very best “give back” I can offer.
Drew Marshall says
I’m am sad to hear of the end of this era for SOBCon. As many have said the business of hosting events is a challenging one, and as Liz herself noted, creating an event that has value and isn’t just about filling local hotel rooms or restaurants means it has to be sold each and every time to new people. In short it’s no easy path
After attending the one and only Boulder, CO SOBCon and then making Chicago the one conference I simply had to attend in year, I cannot wait to see what else unfolds from this community. I am thankful for the gift of friendship from Liz and Terry and look forward to what’s next.
Molly Cantrell-Kraig says
This makes me profoundly sad. The people I’ve met at previous SOBCon events have remained in my orbit and have enriched my life.
I agree with what’s been said by the other commenters above: there’s a unique alchemy to what Liz and Terry built. It’s a network with invisible filaments that tethers people, causes, business and results in unbelievable ways.
Please let me know how I may help in any venture you have, Liz. You are inspiring and your insights are invaluable.
Geoff Livingston says
I’m sorry to see SOBCon go. Or perhaps we should say in 2014. Never say never, and next year isn’t unreasonable. I brought xPotomac back from the BlogPotomac ashes. Fingers crossed.
We all understand Liz. I do wonder if doing a kickstarter or Crowdtilt could help? I know it wasn’t about ticket sales but maybe the crowd could help fill the gap this time around?
Jeff Bunch says
I’ve never seen a more sincere and inspiring community in action than SOBCon. It lives on – even during this season. Thank you Liz and Terry for bringing so many amazing folks together.
Deb Brown says
SOBCon started for me in 2009. Just because it won’t happen this year (sadly) doesn’t mean it leaves my heart. We will find ways to connect and empower others.
Sponsorship is an ugly beast to tame, and the formula is always changing. I’m looking forward to what you’ll be doing in the future and hope to be a part of it.
Love you much!
Ivana S Taylor says
Hey Liz – Say it isn’t so! I was really looking forward to it (Like Jim Kukral) –
I completely understand the situation.
Looking at these comments so far — Liz, there is an opening. Maybe it doesn’t look the way you thought it did – but there is a big giant missing that people are hungry for — and you have it.
Robyn Tippins says
I’m so sorry to see this. SOBCon is an amazing event and I’ve watched you and Terry build it into a fantastic community.
That said, I know what’s in your horizon is going to be even better. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you!
Steve Hall says
So very sorry! I loved attending and always was rewarded with so much because I had attended. Sorry to see it go!
Shashi Bellamkonda says
I was planning to bring my family this time to Chicago. This is a never miss conference that I always attended. Made new friends, learned a lot that I could apply back to my business. I know it takes a lot to put a conference together and I thank the entire team for this. Liz you have been very brave through these years and appreciate the attempt. I hope we can still meet another year.
I tell everyone: SOBCon literally changed my life. It showed me how to make my business viable. I was so looking forward to returning to learn and give, but I get it. I cannot wait to see what you’ve made room for.
My most sincere gratitude,
Jane Boyd says
Paul OÂMahony, Eric T. Strauss and I have some news that we are sure you will want to read!
We hope you will join us in Chicago in June.
Diane Brogan says
So sorry SOBCon will not be happening in 2014, but I am looking forward to the future. Liz, you have taught me so much, I look forward to learning more. You and Terry are a great team. I am sure the best is yet to come.
Michele Price @ProsperityGal says
AWE, was finally going to come this year and really was looking forward to this experience Jeff, Lisa, etc.. have shared with me.
How can we help find sponsors who would be a good fit?
David Griffith says
is there a plan to try again 2015? I’ll commit today if so!