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NitroSquatch

Are Bigfoot Conferences Worth The $$$?

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NitroSquatch

RayG brought up some questions in the "Operation Persistence" thread, and I thought it was worth starting a new topic. I've included a quote below, but the particular questions that I want to bring out here at first are the following:

  • Do those who attend a bigfoot conference expect it to be closely comparable to science conferences? How are they comparable and how are they different?
  • What are the different reasons or motivations to attend a bigfoot conference?
  • Those of you who have attended conferences, were you pleased or disappointed for what you got for the $?
  • Do bigfoot conferences ultimately help or harm the effort to have the topic taken seriously by mainstream science? Does it matter?

Here is the most relevent post from the Operation Persistence thread...

I think you think I'm trying to be sarcastic, but I'm not. I'd truly like to know where the line in the sand, so to speak, is located. When science has something of note to present they seldom do it by charging admission, and if they do, it's usually called a science museum, or science exhibit. Sure there are geology conferences, and archaeology conferences, and anthropology conferences, and physics conferences, and all sorts of science conferences, but they usually have something tangible to present. Geologists present rocks and minerals, archaeologists present tools and artifacts, etc. etc.

Zoos charge admission, but when you go to the lion/tiger/gorilla cage, you expect to see, and nearly always do see a lion, tiger, or gorilla. If you don't, the zoo likely won't stay in business long. Circus sideshows charge a fee to peek behind the curtain or see the ghastly (fill in the blank), but even then, they're presenting something for the viewer.

I'm not aware of any zoos or circus sideshows where you pay a fee to speak to the zookeeper/sideshow carney but don't get to see any main attraction.

Bigfootery seems to be one area (UFO enthusiasts is probably another) where the lack of a subject is no deterrent for handing over money. I've done that myself a number of times with bigfoot books, but I wouldn't do it to attend a bigfoot conference, just so I could meet other bigfoot enthusiasts. What would be the point? To speculate about something yet to be proven? I can do that right here.

And this isn't meant as a flame at Operation Persistence, I'm just expressing my puzzlement at all fee-collecting bigfoot gatherings.

It's somewhat of a sideshow because no matter what you are presenting, or anyone else for that matter, bigfoot never shows up. It's like a circus that advertises elephants as the main attraction, and after you pay your admission, you see all sort of acts, but never any elephants. If mainstream science is expected to be open to the thought of bigfoot, then treat bigfoot as a scientific endeavor, not a circus sideshow.

RayG

Edited by NitroSquatch

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Oonjerah

Bigfoot Discovery Museum in Felton, CA, had a conference in Oct 2012 & charged $20

at the gate, $15 advance tickets. It featured the lost film of Roger Patterson.

http://www.bigfootdiscoveryproject.com/

I am told the museum itself has an awesome collection of Bigfoot literature and

related artifacts. It has been a financial struggle for Mike Rugg to keep the facility

open. No doubt, attendees felt they got a great bargain at $20 a pop.

I don't drive long distances anymore; from my place to Felton is about 200 miles,

maybe less. But I would really like to visit his Museum some day. It'd be worth

the trip to meet Mike in person.

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Guest

I have been to several over the last few years. I have felt like I got my Money's worth. I don't feel that a conference is about science only. It is about networking and meeting people with similar interests. Isn't that why we are all on this forum? I plan on going to a few more this year also. I am not a wealthy person, but I feel what I have paid has been very fair compared to what I have learned and the friends I have met.

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NitroSquatch

Thank you OOnjerah and ORRT BURT for your posts. This is the first thread I've started on this forum, and it doesn't appear to be drawing a ton of responses, but I do appreciate your posts. I referred to $$$ in the title, but I really mean it to include not only $$$, but also time and effort. I have not attended a bigfoot conference, but I am considering it this year, and actually do value the input.

I will put down my assumptions and preconceptions about some of the questions I asked, because I have really no direct experience to speak from - I have only heard second hand reports from these conferences.

* Do those who attend a bigfoot conference expect it to be closely comparable to science conferences? How are they comparable and how are they different?

It sounds like there is a mix of scientific presentations, some of which provide information and possibly raise questions, but stop short of making scentific conclusions. Then I’ve heard of presentations which are more eye-witness reporting and those that delve deeper into speculation. Since bigfoot has not proven, there naturally has to be differences when compared to other science conventions. I don't think one could expect the same presentations and information as a species that has been cataloged and accepted by mainstream science. Also the bigfoot phenomena is not just the pursuit of an unknown species, and possibly interaction between that species and different cultures, but is also mixed with mythology and pop culture. I'm guessing that those additional attributes of the phenomena (and others I've neglected) have some impact on the bigfoot conference experience.

* What are the different reasons or motivations to attend a bigfoot conference?

I would guess that these conferences draw more than just proponents, but probably include non-proponents and also those with just in interest in the phenomena in general. Along with interest in the presentations, there are the face-to-face meeting with others in the community. I would also assume that some would just like to support the sponsoring organization, and are happy with whatever they get from the conference. Just like any subject that includes a pop-culture element, I would expect some are there just to have a memorable experience. I personally wouldn't to go to a conference and expect to come away with “insider†knowledge.

* Do bigfoot conferences ultimately help or harm the effort to have the topic taken seriously by mainstream science? Does it matter?

When observing or hearing reports of the non-scientific elements of a bigfoot conference, I would suppose that those included in “mainstream science†would be negatively affected. That being said, I think that “Finding Bigfoot†has eclipsed bigfoot conferences in this regard. Ultimately, if the conferences ultimately serve some role in the identification (and preservation) of a new species, including the raising of funds for these efforts, the long-term effect is positive.

Edited by NitroSquatch

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Guest RedRatSnake

This is the first thread I've started on this forum, and it doesn't appear to be drawing a ton of responses,

Sometimes it takes while to get going, all you need is one key post and off you go, IMHO this is a real hot ticket and can get flamed real quick.

I personally have no involvement with conferences, we don't have any around my area anyway so I have no temptation to go, for those that enjoy this BF subject beyond the internet I am sure it is a cool thing to go to, meet like minded people and a few BF celeb's, I personally don't see they provide much more than what you can get doing a Google search or hitting up the forums and blogs, etc, so for a guy like me that likes the subject, but keeps it low-key, conferences are more or less just a way to produce funds for researchers that produce very little in return.

Tim

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Guest

I have no idea if the conferences are worth it, but as soon as a particular group starts charging admission you have to question what they are about. It depends on how much they charge and how much the hall they rent costs, how much speakers charge and any other fees associated with the event.

I work for a group that promotes robotic surgery and they do not charge attendees for admission to their conferences. The foundation pays for the hall and all fees associated with the guests. The greater the profit the greater the skepticism on my part.

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Guest

Great thread - I really hope more BFF old timers and members who are well known names in bigfooting notice this thread and comment. Never been to a BF conference, and have wondered the same question(s) myself!

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Guest wudewasa

Conferences, just like anything, are what you put into them. You attend the presentations and workshops that you want, and avoid the others. It's a good way to network with others of like mind and careers as well.

Bigfoot conferences seem affordable, and it would be interesting to meet some of you people in person. The people watching would be fun as well. I bet these events draw a lot of characters.

The same thing goes with BFRO expeditions. I'm leery of them due to prices, NDAs and basically one has to provide everything to care for themselves that weekend. However, some folks seem to have a really good time on them.

If a conference was closer to where I live, I might be interested in attending. The cost of gas and travel time is what gets in the way. these days.

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NitroSquatch

Sometimes it takes while to get going, all you need is one key post and off you go, IMHO this is a real hot ticket and can get flamed real quick.

I personally have no involvement with conferences, we don't have any around my area anyway so I have no temptation to go, for those that enjoy this BF subject beyond the internet I am sure it is a cool thing to go to, meet like minded people and a few BF celeb's, I personally don't see they provide much more than what you can get doing a Google search or hitting up the forums and blogs, etc, so for a guy like me that likes the subject, but keeps it low-key, conferences are more or less just a way to produce funds for researchers that produce very little in return.

Tim

Thanks for the encouragement on my first thread RRS. Also, I would also assume that conferences wouldn't provide much more information than what you can find on the internet. For eyewitness accounts (which I know are of limited scientific value), it would provide an opportunity to evaluate body language/non-verbals, which you can't get from reading. It could help you solidify your opinion of the account. But it is double-edged: If someone is particularly charismatic, it could tempt one to give more credence to a story than is reasonable.

Edited by NitroSquatch

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Guest RedRatSnake

Thanks for the encouragement on my first thread RRS. Also, I would also assume that conferences could provide much more information than what you can find on the internet. For eyewitness accounts (which I know are of limited scientific value), it would provide an opportunity to evaluate body language/non-verbals, which you can't get from reading. It could help you solidify your opinion of the account. But it is double-edged: If someone is particularly charismatic, it could tempt one to give more credence to a story than is reasonable.

You are Welcome ~

Some of the people that speak at these conferences are indeed very charismatic, as are some here on the forum can be, they are very good with words and could dodge a hellfire missile from 20' out if needed, but to someone that already knows what's going on it is a wasted effort, when the conference is over you still have no BF and they roll onto another town and play those people all over again.

Tim

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NitroSquatch

By the way RRS, I ninja edited you. I meant to say " I would also assume that conferences wouldn't provide much more information". I am suffering from over-editing and under-proofreading more today than usual. It kills me that I misspelled "relevant" in my first post and used "ultimately" twice in the same sentence in my second post, and I can't fix it now.

Edited by NitroSquatch

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Guest RedRatSnake

Hey! That's ok I never get tired of throwing out one of my opinions, and don't sweat the spelling, I am sure my misspellings equal my post count, I have been using a new spellchecker I bought on Ebay, but what's the use if you have to keep translating it back from posting everything in Mandarin Chinese.

Tim :prankster:

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kbhunter

Hopefully I can add a little. I have just finished helping with the Midnightwalkers Southeastern Big foot conference.

It really depends on what you want to get out of the conference. I can speak for myself and say I look at the speakers and I look into what the conference is going to promote. Here is the websight for the one I just helped with above; http://mwsbc.com/. I also look at the venue, the area and make sure it is something I feel is going to be a experience I think I would enjoy. It just so happened this one I got to participate in and just meeting the people I had saw on TV, read their books and got to know through Internet sights were all people I wanted to meet someday. The conference allows you to meet and interact with those people in a way you could never do without the face to face meeting. I saw many people talking with the speakers, swapping stories and even discussing research areas they may go to together.

I gained some new friends from this one we had this weekend in Dahlonega GA. getting to talk in person and breaking bread with them was a very cool and unforgettable experience for me.

So, if there is one you think you would be interested in, research the speakers, research the area it will be in and decide based on that.

KB

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1980squatch

In any field, conferences are typically regularly scheduled events designed to present the latest happenings and to facilitate networking. It is nice if some big break occurred in the topic lately that can be presented but that is usually not the case. In my field I have attended over 30 conferences and presented at most of those.

You should be suspicious if a meeting costs too little. Special events, included meals, conference rooms, tech support, etc cost money and you want the organizers to have some of those covered. The biggest cost is likely your time commitment to attend in any case.

If a particular BF conference has been scheduled regularly for several years it would be worth the cost for attendees, otherwise it would not exist.

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Martin

I took my daughter to a "Twilight" Convention a few years ago but she didn't expect to see a vampire. She just wanted to hang out with a few of her friends and experience the atmosphere and theme of the event.

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