With being a non-profit conference organization SEC-T means we use all money gained through sponsorship, attendee ticket prices and other sales to make our events better and more valuable for all involved. No one in the SEC-T Organization is compensated monetarily for their efforts and any surplus stays on the books for the years to come. Our budgets are also compensated each year to ensure we do not unnecessarily build up capital we do not need for our current and planned events.
Traditionally our “everyone works for free” philosophy has included our speakers, this has been revised for the 2015 conference as we now understand it to not be conducive to a healthy conference ecosystem.
When we started SEC-T the idea was to run everything as a Swedish non-profit organization (Ekonomisk förening) resulting in a couple of years of net loss for different tax reasons. Today that same non-profit is the sole owner of the Secure Technology Events Sweden AB limited company that manages the economic side to the conference. No SEC-T organizations have or will have any employees as this could compromise our idea of non-profitability. SEC-T Organizers are also barred from being speakers as this could lead to both conflicts of interest and lead to organizers being compensated monetarily. (This does not mean a speaker is barred from offering to help out with the organization or logistics.)
When we started SEC-T back in 2008 we said that half of the cost of the conference should be covered by our sponsors and the other half by our attendees. Even if this has been our strategy from the very beginning in reality this is a hard goal to reach, but we come a little closer to doing this every year.
The SEC-T conference event today has 8 sponsoring organizations and about 300 attendees that lets us turn over just under one million SEK per year on all our events put together.
Conferences today around the world seem to have adopted either a market priced model, charging upwards of 1500 USD per person for attendance, or gone completely sponsor based making them free for their attendees. Though we would gradually like to make the tickets cheaper for attendees we don’t see that we ever would be able to provide the conference free of charge both due to the costs associated with running this event in a city like Stockholm, Sweden, and also the fact that we would like to cap conference attendance at 350 people without running an invite-only or rush-to-release system.