Saturday, July 14, 2012

Why I'm not at TAM this year

Last year I had an amazing time at The Amazing Meeting in Las Vegas. I flew in Friday night and left Sunday evening after giving a short presentation on my views of why the skeptic view is rarely represented in the media.

But this year I'm not going.

Other people have spoken up why they're sitting this one out, such as political reasons or to avoid conflict. I do not fit into either one of these camps.

For me, it's all about the money.

In April I attended the North East Conference for Science and Skepticism in New York City. By the time I returned home, I had spent around $300 on my ticket, bus pass, subway, food and optional events. Part of that cost was offset by having a gracious host let me stay with him for free so I had no hotel fees.

The three times I've gone to TAM have cost around $1,000 for the ticket, airfare, hotel room, food and optional events.

I had a great time at TAM, don't get me wrong. As much as I enjoyed NECSS, TAM was the superior experience. It attracts more people and provides convenient nearby spaces for attendees to find each other and talk outside of lecture, which is the true point of going to any conference.

However, for a third of the cost, NECSS was a good deal. It's not as elaborate or memorable as TAM, but people on a budget and with little vacation time need to take into account the cost of an event, not just the experience itself.

Next year I will probably decide to go to TAM, but for now, NECSS was an amazing substitute and a great change of pace.


  1. I *think* I met you at tam before, but I'm sorry I was unable to make NECSS or TAM this year (and for different reasons)

    Where abouts ate you from? I presume the Northeast, based on the fact that NYC was so cheap?

  2. I live in Massachusetts now, but I don't think we met at TAM before.