As you might have recognised, it has been a bit silent over here recently. One reason was, that I have been running the tenth edition of beyond tellerrand in Düsseldorf. I only had two month to prepare everything and confirm speakers, book their travel and hotel and so on. Usually this takes something between 8 months and a year for each event, but I wanted to use the chance and run this event. Well in short: it worked out wonderfully and everybody was happy that it took place.
But it also showed that my business financials are close to zero now on my bank account after two years of not being able to run proper event, but online events, which just cover the cost of itself. After paying all the bills for Düsseldorf 2021, I have been happy to having been able to finally run the event so many people were still holding tickets for. Now I am in the situation to decide what to do next. Since I do not have any money that protects me from any unsuccessful event left over – all the savings I was able to make during the last ten years are gone – I needed to decide whether I let beyond tellerrand come to an end or how I could try to get it on track again.
It is still very uncertain when Covid is finally coming to an end. So I have written all the long time supporters to see how they would commit for 2022. They are unbelievable and wonderful and I am happy to confirm that so far beyond tellerrand is safe for 2022 at least for now. Nevertheless I needed to make a plan about which event is safe to being organised since the money that came in so far only covers about 50% of the rental cost on its own. Not to speak about all the other things that add to the bill.
Düsseldorf and Berlin are long established events and safer to run than any other location. So sadly I needed to make a decision about Munich, which I love to establish as a third hub as well. But three points were critical to decide against running a 2022 Munich edition:
- Munich is the newest location and I need to work on making beyond tellerrand more known in this area. It was hard to sell out the 2018 event and with 600 people for the new venue, I would have to make some more noise even. Right now there is no chance to travel to Munich to attend other events and acquire sponsors.
- The venue and also the city are the most expensive of all three. With venue rental and base cost of €40.000 on its own, this is a huge risk in times, where I don’t have any money on my bank.
- Covid – yes, still Covid. Even if people say we are out of the fourth wave over here in Spring – and I think I am safe with May and September for DUS and BER – what about a possible fifth wave and corresponding restrictions coming with this? November in Munich … who knows what the restrictions are going to be, or, if people are in for an event with 600 attendees, just to mention these two points.
It was a tough decision, but yesterday I cancelled the Munich venue as I would have to sign the contract otherwise.
The plan is to run Düsseldorf and Berlin, tough. I signed both contracts for the venues and already have some wonderful long time partners on board with financial support. Next to this I will start a Steady account soon (similar to Patreon) to ask for support as well. I am still sorting out what to give back in return apart from the fact that it helps keeping beyond tellerrand alive, but one thing is to make Stay Curious online events free for example. More about this soon. Also have a look out what is going to happen in Hamburg ;) Not saying more right now, but smaller spin-off events might help to survive as well.
I also made a list of ongoing payments for micro-things and subscriptions and cancelled any paid subscription (software, magazines …) that I do not urgently need for business right now and might subscribe a later point again. It was tough to do this as I see this as some kind of support of wonderful things other people do. It was heart breaking to think of the people behind it, but I simply can’t afford it right now.
Anyways, I am grateful for having been able to do, what I did the last 20 years. And even though I am very down right now and really thought that beyond tellerrand might end, the last 4 days have given me hope and trust that things will be better again.