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A Voice for Men tries to jump-start ticket sales for its convention by promising greater punctuality, longer lunch breaks

moneyonfire
Burning hundred-dollar bills: A much better entertainment value than AVFM’s upcoming conference

So Susan Morris, the Conference Manager for A Voice for Men’s allegedly upcoming “Men’s Issues” conference this year. has posted a rather puzzling statement attempting to answer questions she’s been getting from AVFM readers “concerning there being fewer speakers on the programme this year and the ticket price being higher.”

Morris — described on the site as “a British woman, an experienced general and event manager in public service” — assures potential conference goers that, “contrary to the headline which I saw somewhere, the ticket price has not been set at $649!”

And that’s true. If you go to the conference’s website, you can see that, in fact, full price tickets to the event are only $645.

That is FOUR WHOLE DOLLARS LESS than the amount reported by the scurrilous press. And … by Morris herself, later in her post. 

But hey, she suggests, only suckers will be paying the full $649.

The Early Bird Discount ensures that if you purchase your ticket by the 30th of April, you will only pay $399. Buy it between 1 May and 30 June and you’ll still get it at a good discount, at the price of $449. The price will increase in $50 steps until it gets to the buy-at-the-door price of $649 and we expect very few, if any, to do so. In fact, that price has been set to deter people from doing so, so that they don’t hold up those people who have been entered into the pre-registration system and only need to book in.

Morris also insists that

Contrary to the efforts made by our detractors to blacken our name, the ticket price is not aimed at making a profit but breaking even would be nice.

Yeah, it’s not like AVFM founder and chief donation-receiver Paul Elam ever said that he hoped to make some actual profit from the conference. You know, except for that time he said he “hope[d] to make some actual profit” from the conference.

So what’s to blame for the higher price? Apparently, it’s largely due to, er, time-traveling protesters from Detroit?

Last year, you may recall, a group of Detroit-area activists held a protest several weeks before AFVM’s conference was scheduled to happen in that city. There were no protesters at the event itself.

This year, the conference is being held in Elam’s hometown of Houston. But evidently — at least in the fevered imaginations of AVFM’s brain trust — that won’t stop last year’s protesters from driving 1300 miles from Detroit to Houston to protest this year’s event. At least that’s what Morris seems to be suggesting:

The protesters from last year have already vowed to shut us down this year and though we know they will not achieve their aim, they will still be protesting (as is their right, of course). Security and safety of our attendees, speakers and volunteer staff will always be of prime importance and so, to avoid a repeat of last year’s emergency appeal for funding, we have built into the costs additional but reasonable security cover.

Aside from “security cover” from time-travelling protesters, what will attendees get for their $649 — sorry, $645 — that no one is really expected to pay?

Fewer speakers!

“Last year,” Morris writes

in our naivety and enthusiasm, we overbooked the number of speakers for the two day event. During the conference it became clear that the programme was too full and did not allow sufficient time for decent length talks followed by full question and answer sessions. This year we have arranged ten speakers.

Greater punctuality! 

And this year we will ensure that we start each session on time.

Longer lunch breaks! And afternoon breaks! 

We have extended the afternoon break and the lunch time and we will be opening the doors each day at 8am. So, provided you arrive early, you will have over eight hours across the two days to mingle with other attendees and to network. And that’s not including the time spent at the evening events, socialising and networking with other like-minded people over dinner or pizza.

Dinner is an additional $20; Pizza is $15. But the time you spend eating is ABSOLUTELY FREE.

A larger number of unpaid staffers than you would think would be even remotely necessary for an event of its size!

Another factor which people tend to forget is the cost of flying in the speakers and volunteer staff and accommodating them all. Between speakers, panel discussion members and staff, we’ll have some forty five people there.

Free taxi service!

We’re arranging an optional taxi service to collect you from your hotel and take you to the venue and then to return you afterwards.

Wait, scratch that, the Taxi service will cost you an additional $15!

But talking to the cabbie is INCLUDED IN YOUR TICKET PRICE.

And finally, FREE ACCESS to an actual BRITISH WOMAN — namely conference manager Susan Morris herself.

I shall be flying in to Houston from the UK. It will be my first flight, a long one around ten hours and I can’t say I’m looking forward to it. But the end result will be worth it. I am looking forward to meeting as many of you as I can.

Because why not fly your conference manager all the way from the UK at the conference-goers’ expense? Sure, makes perfect sense!

I wonder if a single person has bought a ticket for the conference yet.

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Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
7 years ago

@Alan

A primer on Reddit:

http://gawker.com/5950981/unmasking-reddits-violentacrez-the-biggest-troll-on-the-web

The article mentions that Reddit at one time called itself (and for all I know, still does) “the front page of the Internet.” Yes, the site is that arrogant.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
7 years ago

They’re very good so I will. I’m now desperately trying to fill in a ‘brand’ questionnaire for them.

Thanks for the info on Reditt; think we’ll stick to Facebook!

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
7 years ago

Cheers POM, I’ll check that out.

Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
7 years ago

@Alan

Twitter would also help a lot in reaching the young crowd (teens to 20s). Facebook has become more for parents and older people, so it’s great for reaching this 35+ crowd. Though IDK what your business is so pfff.

Of course, every site has it’s problems, it’s just Reddit has been pretty much the “Old West” of the internet for so long with an “anything goes” attitude it might not ever change (because the users won’t allow it). Not that the new CEO and shit are doing much in the way to change it, anyway.

At least Facebook and Twitter have regulations and the ability to report harassment, so it should provide much safer environments for your potential clients/customers.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
7 years ago

I actually think Youtube has more marketing potential than Twitter, if used properly. For instance, this is a real commercial for a real product that you can really buy:

(I would call this not-quite-worksafe)

I’m trying to imagine something that effective on Twitter, and the best I can come up with is a tweet that links to the youtube post.

Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
Banana Jackie Cake, the Best Jackie and Cake! Yum! (^v^)
7 years ago

@PoM

I was thinking less marketing and more getting in touch with the customer base. Twitter and Facebook allow direct customer interaction.

But I have no idea what Alan’s business is about, anyway. There might not be no need to speak directly to customer.

Also, I had an add for PooPourri around Christmas time. I was like: 😐

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
7 years ago

Hi All

Thank you *ever* so much for the social media tips; that’s really helpful, especially about communicating with younger people.

The business is a “Community Interest Company” (that’s something we have in the UK, a semi-commercial organisation that fulfills a social purpose)

The aim of our CIC is to provide opportunities for people who want to get active but are put off for various reasons. We’re especially aiming at women and younger people hence why your input is so useful.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
7 years ago

Ha, with perfect synchronicity…..

http://dilbert.com/strip/2015-05-10

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
7 years ago

Also, I had an add for PooPourri around Christmas time. I was like: 😐

I’m not endorsing PooPourri. The commercial is brilliant, but the product is very problematic. The fact that it’s being marketed directly to women, and it relies on the “feminine mystique” for its appeal, is not at all okay. Women are human beings with normal human bodily functions, and any framework that requires women to create a fiction to the effect that they are not fully human is never going to be okay. This is part of the same framework that leads to the obsession with sexbots, and the attitude in patriarchal religious groups (I’m thinking particularly of Quiverfull) that women are supposed to perform literally superhuman feats of energy and never get tired or burned out.

So, I’m not recommending PooPourri, even though the commercial makes me lol.

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