Instead of one large event in 2023, we are planning to do a series of smaller quarterly meetups where we bring in 1 or 2 speakers.
A Bit of History
In 2018 (at the Low Carb Houston conference), Miriam and I (Chris, that’s me!) decided we would do a keto/low carb conference in Salt Lake City where we live, in an effort to bring some of the amazing speakers and more to OUR local community. In 2019, we held our first conference and it was fantastic: tons of great speakers and a sold-out venue. Because the event was sold out, and because we wanted to bring the information to as many people as possible, we live streamed the entire 2-day conference for free straight to YouTube. No registration was needed, and (again) it was FREE. Doing the stream for free cuts down on my stress considerably since I don’t have to worry if the stream goes down – nobody paid to get access so there’s no reasonable expectation of service level =) I can just do the stream and relax (a little). You can watch all of the recordings from the 2019 conference here:
- 2019 Live Stream the whole stream as it was broadcast
- 2019 Individual Presentations split up into individual talks
We looked at 2020 with high expectations, contracted a larger venue, and got more speakers and vendors lined up… then 2020 happened. The 2020 conference was postponed and then eventually canceled. In 2021, we pivoted to doing a live “direct to YouTube” conference, you can view that here:
- 2021 live stream the whole stream as it was broadcast
- 2021 Individual Presentations split up into individual talks
For 2022 we had our previously paid-for venue from 2021 in downtown Salt Lake, so we used that. We also did a free live stream directly to YouTube. You can view that here:
We ended up with half as many people coming for 2022 as we needed just to break even on the expenses of the conference. Some of that may have been that people could look at what we did in the past and correctly assumed we would live stream the event for free, and some of it was likely them not wanting to travel and uncertainty about exposure. The event was great, but it was quite disappointing to not have the space as full as it could have been.
For 2023, we looked at different possibilities, with our biggest hurdle being WHERE we could hold the conference. Do we go back to the same location we used in 2019? Do we go to a conference room at a hotel? My personal favorite option was we simply rent out a local High School auditorium. Finding a date that worked in our schedule was the next issue, at least for that I have lowcarbevents.com which I created a few years ago to keep track of the different events and their dates. We were not having any luck with the venue selection, nor with the date selection. We discussed several options and ultimately decided on a new approach.
To the Future
We started the Keto Salt Lake conference to bring these speakers to our local community. Maybe a 2-day conference is not the best way to accomplish our goals. From 2017-2020, we hosted a monthly keto “MEAT-up” – we’ve been hesitant to start it back up again with all the restrictions and such, but for now, that all seems to be less concerning to many people. So we’re going to bring back the meat-ups with an enhanced format.
We will be doing the meat-ups on a quarterly basis, at least initially. There is one planned for Sept 10, 2022, with the next ones on Nov 19, and Feb 18. You can see the updated current list of dates and times on the Meat-up page.
Starting with the meat-up on November 19, we will be bringing in a speaker (or 2 if you’re lucky!) to talk to the attendees. Some will be relatively local, and some will be from far away, but they’re going to be awesome.
With most conferences, there are several presentations/talks from different speakers that come at you in rapid succession. We feel that this new format will give the attendees the ability to really focus on the specific message, and give attendees the option to maybe even talk one-on-one with the speaker while we’re all hanging around eating meat (we did mention SEVERAL times that it’s a MEAT-up).
Speaking of MEAT – I usually make Keto Chow sponsor some kind of meat for everyone to have. In the past, many of the attendees have enjoyed bringing fun keto/low carb/carnivore recipes to share with their friends.
I’m planning to set up a camera and live stream/record the presentations so that people far and wide can also enjoy them, again: for free (and stress free-ish).
We’re hoping that the quality of the speakers, and the interval between the meetings, will make the meat-ups something special that people will want to make time for. I don’t know if it’ll be enough for people to want to travel across the country to attend but they can at least connect up and watch it with us.
So, if you are in the Salt Lake area (well, Draper, to be specific) or are willing to travel a bit, come join us. It’s going to be great.