Thanks for all the Fish

This is not a post I ever thought I’d write. I mean, sure, maybe if O’Reilly or some other big tech co. bought the conference, but that was always one of those, “Sure, and maybe someone will drop off a pot of gold on the doorstep because they have too much.” type scenarios.

So what am I saying? 

Well, Chicago Roboto 2022 was the last Roboto. It was such an honor and pleasure to hold one last event and be able to do it in-person. That wasn’t the intention going in, but after all the bills were paid, speaker travel reimbursements processed, we cleared about $1500. By far not enough to make it make sense to continue. If you attended, Victoria and I can’t thank you enough. If you didn’t, well, you missed out. 

How is this possible? Like most things, just bad luck.

Chicago Roboto started strong, but also started off losing a ton of money, because hotels in Chicago are expensive. Bringing the Android community to Chicago was so incredibly rewarding. The two years prior to the pandemic attendance had dropped some and we were working on what the future holds.

Then Pandemic came and still isn’t over as we experience a prolonged recovery. That was a double whammy that we struggled to get through. After pivoting in 2020, and 2021 having the lowest attendance we’ve ever had, it was clear online events didn’t have the legs some pundits were claiming. 2022 coming in a close second for lowest attendance further showed that we hadn’t figured it out.

Add to that, our other events performing closer to 2021 levels than 2019 levels, and we simply ran out of runway to keep trying to improve.

No one wants to admit that they’ve failed. Humans are a naturally stubborn group. Keep fighting; an opening to win will come. Sometimes that works, but most of us aren’t Adam Neumann.

To everyone who’s ever bought a ticket to Chicago Roboto, thank you. I hope you always left the conference better than when you arrived. Better equipped to rock your job. Better equipped to take your business to a new level. Better equipped to deal with being a human surrounded by other humans. 

The only thing I ever wanted the conferences to be, was a place for people to connect and grow. 

I hope at least we did that.

You’ve meant to world to us.

John (And Nicole) & Victoria

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