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By Mikel Lindsaar

Why is RailsConfAU 2015 cancelled?

It's with sad news that I must announce the cancellation of RailsConfAU 2015.

We will be refunding 100% of all tickets and sponsorships paid this week and all ticket holders and sponsors will be personally contacted by myself with an apology.

There are several reasons for this, but the biggest one is that I personally did not consult with the community enough on what was needed and wanted for this conference.

We were planning on creating RailsConfAU to be a more business and technically focused conference, this was fine and I believe, wanted. However what we did wrong was in the positioning. Because reinteractive took the initiative to organise the conference, it was seen as "reinteractive's conference" and the success being a commercial venture making us profit.

This meant that it wasn't announced or pushed with vigour at the various Rails community gatherings such as RORO meetups or community mailing lists etc. In fact, why would it if it's a profit making thing for reinteractive? This makes sense.

The truth of the matter was that RailsConfAU was planned to be an event for the community, just like our Ruby on Rails InstallFest and Ruby on Rails DevelopmentHub initiatives, it was never intended to be a profit making activity, in fact we spend a lot of money and resources of our team on our awesome community to make sure it continues to grow over the coming years. Any profits from RailsConfAU 2015 were planned to go into a kitty to be distributed to Ruby Australia after helping pay for the basic requirements for RailsConfAU 2016.

Nevertheless, because of our failure in communicating this, it was not seen as a community event and so was not promoted and talked about and now we are in the position where we must cancel it, and write off the deposits paid so far as a very expensive learning experience.

This doesn't mean there will not be a RailsConfAU 2016, it just means I need to re-evaluate how to make this a success and get things rolling with the community instead of at odds with it.

Again, I apologise for the hassle, it's squarely on my shoulders and hopefully there are things I can learn from what has happened and I can continue to help build the Ruby and Ruby on Rails community in 2016 and beyond.

If you are interested in attending RailsConfAU 2016, please register your interest.

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