Let's stop shooting the shit, talking in circles, and waiting for someone else to do the right thing. We can do the right thing right now - that's what RooFest is all about. RicketyRoo is tired of sitting on the sidelines and watching the industry keep its status quo. So, we're going to do the only thing we can do – we're going to act.
We know we’re not alone, there are other conferences that are doing great things, too, support them, now, please & thank you;
(think your conference should be listed? Shoot Blake a DM on Twitter, his DMs are open)
Three women are not enough to consider a conference diverse. What are y'all even doing?
When is RooFest?
RooFest will take place in Sunriver, Oregon, but we haven't landed on a date just yet. The conference will likely take place either Q3 of 2023 or May 2024.
Where is Sunriver, Oregon?
Look at Oregon on a map, it’s almost smack dab in the middle. We’re already engaging Sunriver Resort as the location for RooFest. This is the same place brands like Nike hold their Executive Retreat every year.
Our Speaker Line-Up Won't Look Like This
How is RooFest different?
This conference will be unlike anything you've attended in your career.
For two (maybe three) days, you'll engage in no more than three sessions a day and spend more time talking to the people in the room. This will be a single track. No more trying to run from room to room or figuring out what you must miss to learn something new. Keynote in the morning, a Keynote before lunch, then a Keynote before dinner.
You'll learn from the people doing the hard work you do every day for your clients or your employer. You'll learn from new people, not the same speakers that dance around the conference circuit yearly. This isn’t a slight against them, we speak at conferences, too. Making presentations takes a lot of time and effort.
We'll also have breakout rooms for just about every topic in Digital Marketing. Technical, content, local search, the feared link building (gasp!), structured data, Paid Media, Social Media, GA4, google updates, QRG/E-A-T,. Ever wanted to pick someone's brain you've followed on Twitter for years but were scared to ask them a question? This is your moment! Better yet, you might get to help THEM!
Get the F outside - Alcohol won’t be the center of ‘networking’
But there's more. The best aha moments don’t happen during a session, they happen during the breaks, lunch hall, ‘networking’ thingys.
We want to encourage everyone to spend time away from the computers we all spend way more hours than we want to admit in front of every day.
We'll provide the shuttles; Go and do something you love outdoors. We want you to meet new people and try new things in the beauty that is Central Oregon. After all, you never know what you'll learn from someone new.
Go golfing, rent a kayak, go paddleboarding, flyfish, mountain biking, lounge at the pool, go snowboarding/ski, or tackle a hike. There are dozens of outdoor activities for everyone. Not into the outdoors? We got you fam, there are lots of great amenities including a VR game room.
None of the ‘networking’ thingies will happen at a bar or brewery. Grab a beer, cocktail, hot chocolate, herbal tea, smoke a joint (maybe), sit around a campfire, make s’mores and ‘network’, or, head back to your room and decompress, whatever floats your boat, friend!
We're running things differently
In addition to encouraging YOU to act, RooFest will do things better, too.
We're a non-profit (501c3 in progress). This isn't about us making more $$$. This is about giving back to the community that's given us so much. Every dollar we bring in and every dollar we spend will be shared publicly.
Speakers get paid. Not only do they get paid for providing us with kickass content. We're covering travel, lodging, and per diem. We'll take care of all speaker costs because it's the right thing to do for what they teach us.
No more same old, same old speakers. We want speakers nobody's seen before. We want speakers scared to take the stage for the first time and that nobody will give them a chance. We want inclusivity. No more of the same speakers hitting our stage when they've been around the block or the BS that is all-white male lineups.
Affordable tickets. We're not going to bankrupt you to get in. We already know you're traveling and the costs associated with that. We don't need to bankroll the show from ticket sales. That's what sponsors are for.
Hardship fund. The more ‘profit’ RooFest makes, outside of forming a reserve fund for future events, we’ll allocate a portion to a pool that will provide free tickets to those that need it.
Also, we're not staying in Central Oregon
Maybe the first couple of years, but after that, our goal is to let you or your company/group bid on where we host RooFest. We'll come to your town with all the ways we're trying to change our industry for the better. This opens the doors for more people to attend, learn, and have fun doing it across the globe.
Code of Conduct
Talk is cheap, tweet about DEI and protecting attendees until your face turns blue. Blake (yep, frikin’ white dude) served on the Board of Directors for a nonprofit organization that throws large-scale conferences every year for 6 years before stepping down from his volunteer position. 10 years ago, that nonprofit implemented a Code of Conduct Policy (while he served) that we will use as a template, then have a lawyer review it.
YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PURCHASE A TICKET UNTIL THE MODAL CLOSES FORCING YOU TO READ THE CODE OF CONDUCT.
We will also have very easy and specific guidelines on how to report harassment, inappropriate behavior, etc., authorities will be called if needed/warranted.
RooKrew and some other awesome volunteers will be wearing neon-orange t-shirts. If you see something or want to report something, grab one of them or text the phone number we’ll provide everyone with any inappropriate behavior. We’ll be paying attention, too.
A frequent ask from the industry is asking for more diversity, equity, and inclusion from the speaker lineup. There are 0 excuses to not have diverse lineups. There are numerous orgs already formed that have these amazing people ready to go. We want more DEI so it’ll be at the forefront of our speaker selection process.
We Need Sponsors
We need sponsors to help us do something different. We'll have a title sponsor, travel sponsor, speaker sponsor, s'mores sponsor, you name it. Want to sponsor something unique? Give us the craziest thing you've ever wanted to do at a conference, we'll talk. Our goal is to provide a great experience for everyone, including sponsors. We might have booths but why not just have your team engage IRL, build relationships, and not pitch, pitch, pitch?
We need YOU
Look, this whole thing can’t happen if we can’t count on a few hundred people to show the heck up. Let us reiterate that this isn’t about money. The more attendees we can get (we’re not going to overdo it, that would just be too hectic for us Introverts), the more we can help others attend, too. Help us help the industry change.