It’s become clear that the Dublin Unconference preceding the Hostelworld conference last year was a hit! People who attended are already buzzing about it on the Facebook group asking if there will be another one. In general, we have about 1 or 2 Unconferences per year, or as we have the budget to do so. It's rare that we hold an Unconference so close to the Hostelworld conference, but last year it just worked out that way. The goal for Unconferences is to hold them in a variety of locations throughout the world to give hostel owners everywhere an opportunity to participate.
While we understand that there will be many hostel owners in Dublin for the ‘Hoscars’, at the moment we have no plans to host an Unconference in Ireland or nearby this year. The problem and reality is a serious lack of funding. The average Unconference costs us about $3000 to put on (administration, insurance, transportation, and facilitator wages), with about $1200 of those costs deferred by (recently implemented) registration fees. At the moment, these Unconferences are a luxury HostelManagement.com quite frankly can not afford.
Even with a number of people volunteering their time, the ongoing costs for maintaining the HostelManagement.com site is about $800 per month. At the moment, we have sponsorship income of about $100 per month. This results in a loss of about $8400 per year. For many years, Josh hosted and maintained HostelManagement.com and paid for these expenses out of his own pocket (many thanks & appreciation Josh). When I took over the site, I knew this was unlikely to change and have continued the tradition of self funding the site because I feel so strongly about hostels and want to support hostel owners and managers anyway I can.
So here is our humble appeal: Does this site help you, motivate you, or enhance your hostel business? Do you feel the HostelManagement.com site has helped the industry organize around issues ranging from the Hostelworld contract to getting hostels their own sub-category on Tripadvisor? Do you want more Unconferences in a greater number of locations to help support and grow our industry from within? If so, please consider giving something back. It’s as easy as clicking the “Support Hostel Management” button that appears on nearly every page of the site. With over 11,000 members, imagine the difference that could be made if everyone donated even just a few dollars monthly. In many countries, business expenses are tax deductible so your contribution to HostelManagement.com could be tax deductible as well.
However, we also understand we are a lot like Public Radio (at least in the U.S.) and many people are not willing to pay for something when they can already get it for free. So, we have been focusing our limited resources on adding value to the site. Our plan is to add new features to the site that will go well beyond the simple discussion forums. These new new features will be premium features that will only be available to HostelManagement.com members that support the site financially in some way.
But why wait? If you love HostelManagement.com and want to see it become the very best site for hostel professionals it can be, please consider a monthly or annual contribution. By supporting HostelManagement.com now, you'll help fund these great new features and make them a reality that much sooner.
We hope you have a wonderful and prosperous 2014!
With deep gratitude,