No Mobilism 2014

Back in April I reported that ticket sales for our Mobilism conference weren’t going too well, and that Mobilism 2013 might be the last one ever. I also promised an update in September.

Well, it’s September and here’s the update: there will be no Mobilism 2014.

That is, there will be no two-day conference about the mobile web in May.

Maybe something else will happen: we have an option at one of our venues for a one-day conference in November/December 2014. The trick here is that we have until February to decide what to do with this option.

Ticket sales

There was a minor outcry after my April post, with many people lamenting the demise of Mobilism, and that was repeated during the conference itself. Many, many attendees encouraged us to do another Mobilism despite the difficulties, and we listened carefully and nodded wisely.

Unfortunately these hard-core fans suffer from a self-selecting bias, since they bought a Mobilism ticket even in a bad year. I estimate that there are about 200 of them, and the problem is that we really need about 50 more in order to run a conference without worrying too much about money.

And the harsh fact remains that we sold 25% less tickets for Mobilism 2013 than for the 2012 edition. Stagnation, OK, we can always hope for better times. But active decline ...


Also, we are pretty tired. Since January 2012, nineteen months ago, I spent about 70-80% of my time on conferences, and I desperately want a break. Krijn is thinking along similar lines, so we decided to give ourselves that break.

So from the end of PhoneGap Day EU next week until February we will not do any conference-related work. Blessed peace; no attendees to help, sponsors to talk to, venues to select, or speakers to convince. I plan to do some testing and work on an as-yet-secret project.

Future plans

Will Mobilism ever return? Possibly. We still believe in the concept, and we’ve built up a good name, so a Mobilism 2015 is certainly an option.

Not in May, though. May is way too full of conferences. The overlap with Google I/O, in particular, was problematic since we could hardly get any Googlers to come. So we have to move to another time slot. We’re not yet sure which one: every month in season is full with conferences nowadays.

Maybe there are just too many web conferences. If that’s the case, some must decline and fall. Maybe Mobilism will be one of them.

Even if it is, we still have other conference ideas; and, as I said, an option for end of next year. We will take a decision on that option in February, and we’ll let you know.

Thanks for all your support over the years; and remember we’re not dead, only sleeping.

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, web developer, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter or Mastodon.
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