It is with great sadness and profound regret that I e-mail you this morning with the news that we’ve had to make the hard decision to cancel Open Source Scotland.
Sadly, events transpired against us last week, and I arrived back into Heathrow this morning to confirm the final bad news. Every event has it’s issues to overcome, and we’re no different, but the lynchpin this morning was a combination of the following:
- Without warning Paypal closed access to our account, trapping the funds from the sold out early bird tickets, until after the event is complete.
- The venue management demanded a much larger deposit that originally agreed as well as their full fee at a more advanced timetable. Additionally they demanded that we share the building and with another booking to maximise their profits.
- Finally, a significant number of tickets were refunded last week, to people who were unhappy at my decision to no longer promote a specific CMS as default to my clients. With multiple speakers chosen for their links to this software, this worrying trend alone put the feasibility of the event in doubt.
I always knew, and had prepared for, the fact that #oss2012 would lose money; but last weeks turn of events has ensured that we do not have the cash flow to be able to put on the event, regardless of profitability.
On the topic of money:
Everyone will have their ticket refunded in full within the next two weeks. It’s sadly not as simple as clicking a button, so I’m afraid this this will take some time, and is a very manual process that involves multiple parties. I know its asking a lot, but please give us this time to jump through the necessary hoops.
Additionally, I hope to cover some, if not all, of incurred costs on previously booked travel and accommodation. At this point in time I can’t guarantee that, as I will be paying for this out of my own pocket, but I believe it’s only fair that I try. I want to thank you in advance for your patience – I know how much money some of you have spent.
I’m sure there will be disappointment. I hope that by doing everything in my power to ensure that no-one is out-of-pocket, people will start to forgive me for taking this exceptionally painful decision. While my personal reputation may be tarnished, the numbers don’t lie, and the events of last week left me with absolutely no choice.
I am incredibly sorry that it has come to this, and I offer you my sincere apologies.
I am devastated that it had to end this way, but I would rather try and give you the best event I could possibly imagine and fail a thousand times, than just sit there and not give back. Thank you for believing in us, and in me. You deserve better than this.