Ancient City Ruby 2016 has come and gone, and I already miss it.
Since our first Ancient City Ruby in 2013 – yes, we've somehow pulled off FOUR of these things – we've seen our humble idea mature from a meeting of the minds into a gathering of friends. We're thrilled beyond measure at the reception to ACR this year.
Clear night skies help kick off the ACR registration reception
ACR IV was a new high in terms of attendance, sponsorship, and energy level. After four years, we're starting to get the hang of this: booking speakers is easier. Printing and assembling of signage, swag and collateral is becoming smoother. Local businesses are helping out through breakfast vouchers and discounts. ACR is hitting its stride, and we're proud to see it coming together in bigger and better ways each year.
Ben Lovell speaks to a packed house in the Casa Monica ballroom
We started a tradition last year: each attendee receives a button in their swag bag representing their years of ACR attendance. The buttons (like your badge, tickets, and even the ACR stamp on your canvas swag bag) were created in-house: we laid out button sheets in quantities proportionate to the totals of each type, printed a bunch of sheets, and cried softly as we cut buttons for hours.
Here's this year's button sheet:
This means a couple of things. Yes, we're stuck making an increasingly elaborate set of buttons every year – but also: 65% of that button sheet is composed of 2, 3, or 4-year buttons, meaning roughly 65% of our attendees have attended ACR previously and determined that it was worth their time to return. We're proud enough that ANYONE would take time to come see us every year, but we're absolutely ecstatic about this percentage of returnees.
You out there – if you've returned, or are planning to return: you're the lifeblood of ACR. We're nothing without a friendly, inclusive community, and the Ruby community has embraced us. We look forward to crafting special 5-year buttons next year. Thank you, literally everyone.
If you attended the conference, you hopefully saw one of these sitting on your chair:
That's right, we offered up a deep discount for anyone who wants to reserve their ticket for ACR 2017. That $200 ultra-discount is now expired, but never fear: for the next 30 days, we're offering a $50 reservation to get your 2017 pass at the still-crazy-low price of $250. This offer will expire on May 12, so visit bit.ly/acr2017, and we'll see you in 2017!
On behalf of the entire Hashrocket team, thanks to everyone who attended, and we'll see y'all next year!