September 25th-28th, 2011
Hosted by the WSATI Central Chapter
Concerning the Cancellation of the 2011 WSATI Seminar in Fresno
The Board of Directors for the Central California Chapter of WSATI met last week to discuss the upcoming WSATI Conference. The normal attendance for this annual event is approximately 300-350 people. Beginning in 2008, during initial planning for the 2011 conference, the board anticipated that the attendance would likely be less, due to the state of the economy. It was clear that the budgets of public sector agencies were being affected, particularly with regard to training and travel. For this reason, the Central Chapter of WSATI elected to move the upcoming 2011 conference from its traditional venue, Monterey, to Fresno. This move was made in the hopes that attendees would be attracted by virtue of cheaper room rates, a reduced registration fee and other related factors. We based our planning for this conference on an anticipated attendance figure of 250 people.
We are currently less than 60 days away from the conference start. In past years at this point in time, based on historical data, we normally would have about 40-60 paid registrants; we currently have six.
In order to project potential final attendance numbers, we conducted an informal telephone survey of likely attendees, based on prior attendance records. Our survey of state, county and municipal agencies as well as private sector companies revealed that a core group of regular attendees would not be coming. The reason, almost unanimously cited, was budgetary constraints. This core group of regular attendees represents about one third to one half of normal total attendance.
Our Association is a not for profit professional training organization. Our only sources of revenue come from member dues and profits derived from hosting this training conference once every three years. Based on cost projections, a minimum of 100 attendees are needed just to break even. Given the state of the economy and the budgetary limitations of agencies historically in attendance, we have concluded that it is not financially feasible for us to move forward with this conference at this juncture.
This week, after reviewing all of our data and giving due consideration to the state of our Chapterís finances, the board voted unanimously to cancel this yearís conference.
Arrangements are being made to send refund checks to those that have already registered.
We plan to discuss future conferences with the other chapters and hope we can schedule a conference in the near future.
Please feel free to call or email any questions or concerns to any member of the board via the Central Chapter WSATI website link.
Chris Sullivan /WSATI Chapter President
If you have any questions regarding the seminar, please contact any of the following Chapter Officers:
2010-2011 WSATI CENTRAL CHAPTER OFFICERS