We’re experiencing a good demand for pre-registrations for ICMI16, and I would remind you that it’s important people pay the pre-registration fees of £22, to provide a stronger steer on likely delegate numbers. This will enable us to select an appropriately-sized venue. More details can be found in the event announcement.

We’ve noticed some slight misunderstanding about the various payment options for conference tickets. Early Bird Discount tickets will cost £225, otherwise the normal delegate fee of £265 will apply up to and including payment at the door during the conference. Other than Early Bird Discounts, the ticket cost can be made easier by paying in four instalments with no premium.

We decided to offer this method of easy payment after listening to feedback from friends after the Detroit conference in 2014, and knowing the ticket price is always an important factor in people’s minds. This leads me to an explanation of how we decided on the ticket prices, which is directly related to an initial estimate of delegate numbers, based on the numbers at the ICMI14 conference in Detroit.

The quality venues in the locations we wish to hold the conference, able to accommodate that number of people, will cost in the region of £30,000 – some of them a lot more – to which will have to be added our covering some or all of the travel, accommodation, and subsistence costs for some of the speakers, the cost of A/V hire, registration, and other services during the entire three days, including of course, security for our delegates.

We thought long and hard about the pricing of tickets, and used a very sharp pencil to keep them as affordable to as many as possible. However, the financial analysis forced us to conclude that if we charged a lower price, we couldn’t make the project work. Conference venue hire costs rise sharply in proportion to delegate numbers, so apart from a lower ticket price making it impossible to cover the costs, really large delegate numbers, encouraged by a lower price, would force us to relocate to a bigger, more expensive venue, and send the project into a spiral of loss.

ICMI16 will be a three-day conference. It had to be like that to make it worthwhile for those people who will be travelling from across the world to attend, and with ticket prices from £75 per day, admission to ICMI16 is comparable to the average cost of most conferences. I hope anyone who is perhaps tentative about booking at present will see it as excellent value for the chance to meet and make international connections with others of a like mind – and, of course to meet and befriend the stellar lineup of speakers who are probably already so familiar already that they seem like friends to most of us. Without exception, all of them accepted our invitation to speak with enthusiasm.

I know that the Detroit ICMI14 cemented those who attended into a bond of friendship and mutual understanding, and I know London 2016 will do the same, and more! It will be a wonderful get-together for all of us concerned about men’s and boys’ issues across the world. Certainly, I can’t wait to see old friends again and to making new ones, and I believe everyone who attends will look back on it and remember its value, not its cost.

We must make this conference pay its way, and if there is a surplus, that will go into the J4MB ‘war chest’ to fund our campaigning, not least that relating to the 2020 general election here in the UK, where we plan to field 20 candidates, challenging the Conservative party in its most marginal constituencies.

In the last two weeks we’ve seen a major breakthrough for men’s and boys’ human rights in the British Parliament, after a particularly vicious radical feminist MP, Jess Phillips, who had blocked an application by Philip Davies MP for a debate on men’s issues on International Men’s Day, was over-ruled by her committee. The debate will go ahead on Thursday, 19 November. We’ll be protesting against MGM in Parliament Square that day.

Come and join us at ICMI16 in London, be inspired, enjoy the fellowship, and together we’ll make a difference.

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