Current cost of attending conferences

I know that it costs a whole lot of money to host a conference, but doesn’t it seem like we are slowly being priced out of attending Elixir conferences? Take a look at the next Lonestar Elixir. It’s being held at the Norris conference center in Austin, which no doubt requires a huge amount of money to book. Attending this conference is going to cost no less than $600 after a one night hotel stay, plus the ticket for the conference ($375 for early bird). If you want to attend the training even, the day prior, you’re looking at another $275 and an additional hotel night. You’re looking at at least $1000 in that case. This is starting to get up to enterprise pricing.

Is it possible to host these conferences for less, and still be able to provide a nice venue?

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I haven’t actually been to a programming conference but I imagine the associated costs to be high - it’s not just planning, organisational or staffing and venue costs, but design and branding, procuring sponsors, speakers, filming and production and all sorts of other costs.

Having said that… where there’s a will there’s a way - have you thought about organising a local meet-up? If it gets big enough you could give organising a low-cost conference a go :slight_smile:

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The ticket prices for 2017 were 325/365/425 (, so The ticket prices for 2018 are 375/425/475

The first few ElixirConfs were also at Norris Conference center, so you can compare that on cost

The ticket prices for 2014 weren’t listed on the site, only the ticket vendor, which I click through says the Full Conference is $585 (

The ticket prices for 2015 were 385/425/500 (
It also had training, which was 250/250/300

The ticket prices for 2016 was at Walt Disney World, so we won’t compare it.

If we consider the Jim Freeze Elixir conferences that were held at Norris Conference center from 2014-2017, they were going down with a 50/60/50 bump between 2017 and 2018 now, but they’re still cheaper than the first Elixirconf in 2014 since it says $585, which likely had the same size as the current regional Lonestar Elixirconf now with ~100 attendees.

Yes, it’s not great the the price went up between 2017 and 2018 for us attendees, but overall, since the start, it’s still cheaper.

Jim may have also switched vendors for the filming. He didn’t seem to use ConFreaks for the last ElixrConf (since the videos weren’t posted to ConFreaks channel on Youtube), so maybe they won’t be filming Lonestar ElixirConf, in which case, maybe the new cost is additional filming cost. Since ConFreak’s turn-around was weeks for the Orland ElixirConf and they had sound problem while Seattle was same day with good sound, the new film company seems a lot better, which probably means more expensive.

I get that there are some pretty high costs involved in throwing a conference, I really do. However, there’s a shift going on right now in the development community of being inclusive. That includes keeping things like this within reach of those that can’t afford a thousand dollar price tag. Take RustConf this year. Tickets were only around $175, and it was amazing.

I get that there’s youtube for those of us that can’t get tickets. I’m just saying that if this trend of high ticket prices continues then the only people that will end up getting to go to these conferences are those that can convince their work places to pay for them.


It would be cool to see an online conference. Sure, there’s Confreaks and other resources for watching talks, but I feel like that takes away from the experience. I’d love to see an online elixirconf with live chatroom and discussion for the current talk, etc… Has this been done yet?

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