2018 Conferences, Wrapped. Onward!

Warning: This has little to do with writing.

Last week, I wrapped up the last of 2018’s 360|Conferences events.

360|iDev, like her sisters; 360|AnDev and Chicago Roboto did really well this year. I’m three for three, turning a profit. That is probably a head scratcher, “Just now turning a profit?”

Chicago Roboto launched in 2017. 360|AnDev in 2016. Not unexpectedly, new events struggle to get their footing. 360|iDev has had profitable years but had a super horrible one in 2017.

One Horrific Year

In fact, 2017 was seriously the worst year of my life. It was horrible. My closing keynote for 360|iDev 2018 touches on it some, I might release it. Last year I got teary on stage thinking “This might be the last time I see these people.” This year on stage I got a bit teary too but in a good way. Not only was I certain I’d see everyone again in 2019, but I was specifically calling out four people who I considered to be MVPs. I started doing this MVP thing several years ago during 360|Flex.

Every few years, I call on a few people to thank specifically. I give them a limited run MVP jacket and a copy of the Cluetrain Manifesto and Anything You Want. I might have to start stocking up, as Cluetrain is getting harder and harder to source as a paperback!

2018 was a major turning point. I spent much of the end of 2017 and early 2018 revamping how I deliver my events. Managing costs, and much more. I’m really happy to say that the efforts seemed to have paid off.

As I wrap up conference work (at least my own) for 2018 I’m feeling really optimistic, more so than ever before, about the coming year. 

Worlds Collide, or at least meet.

My First Signing, at a conference no less
My First Book Signing!

It was also kind of cool to introduce one half of my world to another. I had a set of Space Rogues books (1 and 2) at home so I added them to my conference raffle pile. I suppose it also counts as my first signing since the winner asked for both books to be signed. That was kinda cool, though I had to think of a good “Tagline” for signing.

Anyhow, I’m really happy with life right now. Money wise the business isn’t out of the hole that was 2018, but we not only didn’t dig a deeper hole but at a little closer to the exit of the hole.


By John Wilker

I'm a science fiction writer and conference organizer. In 2017 I published my first book, 'Space Rogues', a fun Sci-Fi adventure with a fun cast of characters. I'm also the co-founder of 360|Conferences, a conference and event logistics consulting company.

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