I’m writing to announce that we’ve decided to postpone the 2023 Micromobility Conference.
We ran the first Micromobility Conference in November 2022 and although it was a great success in terms of fantastic speakers, encouraging reviews from delegates and many other positive aspects, it ran at a financial loss.
It’s about a month since we launched delegate registrations, our call for abstracts and sponsorship renewals for the 2023 Micromobility Conference. The response to all three has been disappointing.
You might wonder why we didn’t give this year’s event more time, especially considering the pattern from last year where most delegates registered in the final month. But we’re at a threshold where we need to make major financial commitments if we are to continue, so it’s better to make the decision now.
We still strongly believe micromobility has a bright long-term future in Australia and we’re committed to playing a role in its progress. In fact, our Micromobility Report newsletter has more subscribers than ever and our website in March recorded new monthly records for both views and unique visitors, at 8,100 and 4,700 respectively.
We’re also proceeding with our planned launch of the new Micromobility Yearbook sourcing directory at the end of this year. We’ll now be able to focus more resources on making this a success.
Opportunity for a New Conference Host
I’ve never been into corporate spin. We could have said we were simply deferring the conference and we’d be back next year but that would not be the plain truth.
Given the resources our company has available right now – including the intellectual property and momentum gathered from last year’s conference – and the other ways we can make a difference for micromobility in Australia, our greatest hope for the future of the conference is for another party to take up the reins.
If anyone would like to pick up where we left off, we’d be happy to talk to you and give our support! We have an extensive database, a well-established conference website (micromobilityconference.com) and other relevant URLs, as well as strong sponsor relationships, great video content including an almost completed promo reel from last year’s conference, and various other conference-related assets.
Given our ongoing belief in the conference and its potential to further the sector in this country, we would be prepared to remain involved as a media partner, consultant or in whatever capacity would be helpful to the new organiser.
By postponing the Micromobility Conference until 2024, hopefully that will give another organisation time to take over and fully prepare to run a great event.
There is the option to shift the event to a biennial format (once every two years), which could lower the risk for a new organiser and allow more time for the micromobility sector to grow.
In summary, this is not a decision I have taken lightly. But sometimes you need to concede a battle in order to win the war. Postponing the Micromobility Conference is one of those difficult business decisions where we needed to take a sober look at our resources, market feedback and our best priorities.
If we had deeper pockets, I’d gladly continue to run the Micromobility Conference at a loss for however long it took until the sector grew into one that could sustain the event. But long-term optimism does not pay the bills. I was only prepared to run an event at least to the standard of last year’s conference. Others are better placed to run lower-cost, grass roots, volunteer-run conferences such as the Australian Walking and Cycling Conference and we will continue to fully support all positive events such as this.
Finally, I would like to thank the many people who made last year’s event such a great success in almost every aspect. This includes all of our sponsors, presenters and our team.
Hopefully this will not be the end of the road for the Micromobility Conference, but a passing of the baton to someone ready to take our momentum and run the next lap.