Background:

Hi. I’m Steve Hargadon. I run large, online conferences for teachers, and am also the organizer of the Asheville (NC) tiny house Meetup and Facebook groups. (If you need or want to know about me details are at www.stevehargadon.com.)

Both our Asheville tiny house Meetup and Facebook groups have about 900 members, and are pretty active. I’m organizing a group of us to put together an online conference or “summit” on tiny houses and small-scale living.

We’re hoping you'll help us do this right. I've started some discussion forum topics to get advice, and I hope you'll let me know personally if you are interested in participating or presenting - you can email me at steve@learningrevolution.com.

Thanks, and I'm looking forward to connecting more!

Some History:

For the past eight years I've run these massive, online, peer-to-peer conferences for traditional and alternative education (learningrevolution.com is the main site). I have 150,000 members in my conference networks and 450,000 education followers, and typically have hundreds to thousands who attend each event. For one of my conferences, "The Homeschool Conference," I had Ocean Robbins as a keynote speaker. Ocean's father is John Robbins, the son of the founder of Baskin-Robbins, and who out of principle walked away from the ice cream empire and wrote Diet For A New America. Ocean and John run an annual event called the "Food Revolution Summit."

The Food Revolution Summit runs on a different model than my education conferences. Almost all of my events, since they are mainly for teachers, have been free to attend, and have been supported by sponsoring organizations. The Food Revolution Summit follows a model, which now that I've paid attention to it, is the same as that used by many health and food-related events: they are typically some number of days long, each day a number of speaker interviews are released in recorded form, those recordings are free to listen to for 24 hours, at which time the next day's recordings are made available. Should you want to purchase all of the recordings to listen at your convenience, there is a "package" you can buy with the recordings and lots of extra bonuses.

Ocean was kind enough to spend time with me on the phone one day, outlining exactly how he runs his event, how the registrations and money and everything work, and I filed that away in case I ever wanted to do an event that way. So, some months ago I was contacted by an old friend who runs a great publishing company, who asked me if I knew this model of running conferences, and would I consider proposing to run one for them in similar fashion. As a part of the discussions with him, I researched this conference model in even greater depth, made a list of all the topics I'm involved with where this model might work, and started thinking seriously about doing a "Tiny House Summit." We've discussed this in a few of the Tiny House Asheville meetup events for the website project, and I made the commitment a few weeks ago to hire Sera and really give this go.

What makes this model so incredibly appealing is the win-win-win nature of how the events are run. Attendees who can't afford to buy the package can listen for free; those who do want to buy the package get a lot for what they pay for; and speakers and others are able to advertise the conference and make a generous commission (or "affiliate" fee) for each sale they generate. What we've been doing right now is trying to build a list of everyone (and we mean everyone) who is involved in tiny houses (builders, bloggers, authors, event holders, etc.) and reach out and find out what they'd want in such an event and what would make it a win for them and something they'd be willing to promote.

More to come!

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