I was thinking about how much GA costs. Whether one self-pays, gets assistance or volunteers, there are opportunity costs for this kind of meeting.
- If I had gotten the cheapest flight to Portland when prices were the very lowest -- about three months ago -- I could fly from the Washington area for about $270.
- If I shared the cheapest official hotel -- which isn't itself a bad deal; I've shared before and was asked to share this year had I gone -- housing would about $165.
- Registration itself is $285.
- Add in cheap meals, gratuities and airport travel but no frills and no purchases.
We've gotten to $800, perhaps more. For one person.
Last year, I had a bit of a spasm at Philocrites in March 2006 when I thought the Progressive Blog Con was going to cost $630 a person. I can't afford that! But it turns out the whole conference -- which included a couple dozen top-flight faith bloggers -- cost $630 to put on. $25 registration fee. Bus ride plus room and meals would have surely been less than $200. Of course, it was shorter, much smaller and less formal than General Assembly, but you have to ask, what are we getting for our money?
What does this say to independent affiliates, clusters, district and the rest who work on a "theme speaker and panel discussion" basis?