Mindcamp, we have a problem…

MindcampArticle, Fun, Mindcamp 2018

… a weird and wonderful problem. But a problem nevertheless:

Mindcampers are
just too damn loyal!

Most years, Mindcamp Canada has a very high rate of returning alumni. Year after year, 2/3 of us are returnees. Only 1/3 are first-timers.

We don’t know of any other creativity conference with anywhere near that ratio. More typically, it’s flipped—2/3 newbies and 1/3 veterans (often presenters).

Why is that a problem?

Our 67% return rate is great! Amazingly great… Until it isn’t.

Because too much loyalty creates two big downsides:

Downside 1: Newcomers often feel they’ve hit a wall of people who are already old friends. Even with our newbee program, newcomers can feel ‘outside’. That can have a negative effect on their whole experience. We don’t want that.

Downside 2: Not enough new blood. If the same people come back year over year, eventually we’ll die out. Literally. We don’t like the idea of circling that drain. You know how great Mindcamp is. It’s why you keep coming back. Wouldn’t it be a shame to fall victim to our own success?

It gets worse…

How could it be worse? So far, this year’s ratio is not 67:33. It’s 73:27. That’s right—a full 73% of us are returning Mindcampers. Only about 1/4 are new.

That makes Downsides 1 and 2 even more perilous.

What to do?

The Mindcamp Faeries put our little heads together to figure out how we might continue to delight alums,  and  encourage new blood as well (imagine that, we applied some creative problem solving).

We came up with something super simple that we think might work. We call it…

Bring a Friend!

Every returning Mindcamper persuasive enough to get a new Mindcamper to come this year will earn a $50 voucher towards next year’s registration. (If you’ve already brought a newcomer this year, you qualify too).

That’s not all. Every new Mindcamper this year (those already registered plus those you persuade to come) qualifies for a draw for 50% reduction to Mindcamp 2019.

That’s the plan. It’s simple. And we’d love you to participate. 


Just kidding. We love your loyalty. It makes our wings quiver. But we really do need to spread the joy, don’t you think?

Comments 2

  1. glad you are experiencing this problem

    it helped CPSI in the past to grow to 600, 750, to over 1,000 for a couple years.

    In more recent years from 2007 onward the numbers dropped dramatically
    down to around 200

    the ex dir even bragged in 2008
    “almost all of the registrants this year are BRAND NEW people”

    she didn’t see a problem with that.

    Oh the days when Sid would do his favorite opening exercise

    How many of you is this your 2nd, 5th, 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th CPSI?

    Best wishes for the type of solution(s) you are aiming for.

    1. Thank you Alan.

      What I’d like for Mindcamp is a dynamic balance. Of course, old friends and colleagues are a delight to see, and I wouldn’t miss them for the world AND I think we have so much to offer to—and so much to learn from—people with different life experiences, different perspectives, different abilities. That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about how Mindcamp has been expanding—to Chile starting in 2017, to the US Southwest in March of this year, and possibly to France and Denmark in 2019.

      I’m convinced that one of the most important things we can do for our world is to recognize and promote the Edge Effect—the profound flourishing of the new that takes place where the edges of adjacent lifesystems (both human systems of ecosystems) overlap.

      That’s my dream for Mindcamp and the Mindcamps of the future.

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