Some bozo named @RichSandersen on Twitter asserted that
Skepticon att. dropped 1200 to 700. With @PZMyers and @RebeccaWatson there, no wonder people stayed away.
(It’s worth noting that in the twitter thread, DJ Grothe graciously wrote that he’d heard figures of 1600 attendees, and that it was a “great event.”)
Hmm. I was at both Skepticon IV and Skepticon V. @RichSandersen wasn’t. I can tell you that it was a big crowd at both, and the size was a little hard to judge, because this year it moved to a much larger venue, but I had the impression that it was even bigger this year than last — it’s growing steadily.
So I wrote to the organizers and asked them about the attendance figures. Here’s their reply.
Our estimates are 1400-1600 in meatspace. The reason for the variance is that while we know we got a bump in attendance from foot traffic from Meals a Million [a charity convention that was going on next door], but we didn’t have a good metric for tracking them. That said, the live stream was new exciting. We don’t know how many people signed on to it over the course of the event, but during Greta’s talk we had 1,100 people watching. That’s pretty cool.
So @RichSandersen believed that it must have been smaller, since Rebecca Watson and I are so odious, so he decided it was smaller this year, which means that Rebecca Watson and I really are awful horrible people. What a lovely example of confirmation bias!
Since we were going to be responsible if attendance had plummeted, I insist that we now get full credit for the increase in attendance this year. It would only be fair.