Team Gather has some news about this year’s event.
We won’t be hosting Gather 2017 🙁. This isn’t because y’all don’t want to attend anymore — we know that you do. Overwhelmingly so. This isn’t because we don’t believe in our mission anymore — we do. Fiercely so.
However, there are two reasons why we’re taking a break (in 2017, at least):
Paying for this is hard. Over the last 10 years, this event has relied on the financial support of largely the same group of people. We are immensely grateful for their contribution over this period—they are truly part of the team who have helped us deliver Gather to the community. Over time, the amount contributed per company has steadily declined. We expected this—our long-term supporters have been incredible, but sustainable sponsorship means diversifying our sponsorship lineup to relieve some of the burden on them. We’ve kept adding new sponsors, but we’re now at a point where we need to convince ~20 companies to support the event every year just so we can keep the ticket price at a level that ensures we’re accessible to the widest number of people possible. This has always been our biggest challenge (it wasn’t even this bad when we had a venue cancellation 3 weeks out, back in 2013) and is super stressful at the best of times.
It’s time for a break. We’re exhausted. There’s no other way to say this. We are physically and mentally tired, and we need some time off. We’ve worked hard to improve the quality and professionalism every year and it’s now a major undertaking. We almost feel like it’s our national duty to host Gather which can make it tricky to actually take a moment to reflect and acknowledge that oh hey, actually we need to hit the pause button. Our lives have changed dramatically over the last three years but we have never stopped to take stock of personal commitments to our family and friends. We need to choose to look after ourselves for a bit.
We love bringing Gather to you every year. We would like to do so again. But this is where we’re at, folks: we’re taking a breather this year. We need to refuel, and we need to figure out how to run this event sustainably so we don’t burn out again.
Ludwig, Rochelle, and Su Yin
Thanks to InternetNZ, Gather Workshops has funding this year to do another round of 15 workshops in rural and low-decile schools. We’re eternally grateful for the way InternetNZ has supported us over the years. If you’d like to help us share the love of the web with high school kids across provincial Aotearoa and demonstrate the diversity within our community, we’d love to have you as a mentor.
Can we do anything to change your mind?
No, but thank you. We need a break. Next year, we’d love it if you encouraged your company to sponsor Gather.
What if we got you sponsorship tomorrow?
We’d still need a break! We love that you love Gather (we do too), but we need a holiday.
Yeah, we know the feeling. It’s OK, though. We’ll be back.
Want to send team Gather a message?