Say, I got this same email from the JREF that JT did.
TAM 2013 is actually cheaper than any other skeptic conference when hotel, travel, and meals are factored in. Hotel rates for similar conferences range from $150-200 per night, while our TAM group rates go as low as $45 a night! But the group rates end tomorrow, so book your hotel room right now with JREF’s group code AMA0707!
That’s just plain bullshit. TAM is actually one of the more expensive conferences around — it’s a fundraiser for the JREF. There’s nothing wrong with that — TAM has always positioned itself as a kind of premium event that brings in professional entertainers and big name celebrities. But Skepticon is a free skeptics conference in a city that isn’t particularly expensive; I don’t understand how they can claim that TAM is cheaper than any other.
Here’s a full breakdown of the costs of attending a couple of different conferences. TAM is the most expensive. If you really want to attend a national conference that is as easy on the pocketbook as possible, Skepticon is probably the best bargain.
On top of that, there are growing numbers of free skeptical conferences that serve different regions &mdash in this area of the upper midwest alone we had the Madison Freethought Festival and SkepTech this past year, all free, so it’s getting easier and easier to find local events that make travel and lodging even cheaper. And most importantly, they build regional talent and communities.
Again, TAM has a niche, and there’s nothing wrong with filling that niche — but to claim to be the budget conference is thoroughly dishonest.
Isn’t one of the planks that the JREF builds their version of skepticism on “consumer protection”? Let’s have a little truth in advertising.