Every year we, the organizers, ask for comments and criticism regarding the Dallas Suscon. Each year we make note of everyone’s suggestions and even reply to some that we feel need to be answered. This year, 2012, was no different. However, we did have some concerns about admission and registration selection that we feel needed to be shared with the entire community.
As some of you may know, admission requirements for the Dallas Suscon have become stricter every year. Furthermore, the registration system has also become tighter in that we have required team leaders to pick and choose who is allowed to attend. Why might you ask? Well here’s your answer.
First, there is limited space. This year we had 208 people attend, our highest attendance yet, and in many ways too many people for the venue to accommodate. If we were to open the event to every person wanting to attend the venue would simply be overcrowded. Besides not allowing everyone that wants to suspend the chance, a problem we are already having, it’s also a safety issue. With so many people packed into such a small area, chances of cross contamination increase dramatically with every extra body.
Safety is also our second issue. The Dallas Suscon and its protocols are designed for trained practitioners only. Unlike smaller suspension events, that are open to the general public, our event has no safety measures for dealing with untrained people. With the exception of the 15 aspiring practitioners we allowed in this year (A new program we are testing to allow a small group of untrained people to learn at the event) all people in attendance need to be trained and competent to limit the chance of accidents.
Lastly, there is the issue of team attendance. The Dallas Suscon mission statement states that the objective of this convention is to promote international communication within the suspension community, share information on techniques, protocols and safety measures. To do this we try to bring together as many different teams as possible. This year we had 40 teams from 7 countries register for the event. In the future we hope to have even more teams and countries represented. As the number of teams grow, it is quite possible that the amount of people per team may have to be reduced. Understandably, this might be an issue with larger teams. However, we hope that members of each team will be understanding and realize that the admission limitations are a necessity for the event to run smoothly and benefit the suspension community as a whole.
Final Note: To those that feel excluded, please understand this event it not designed to be elitist, nor provide special treatment to those whose registrations are approved. We are simply trying to keep the event from growing too quickly, maintain the highest level of safety, and provide education to as many suspension teams as possible. Organizing and running the Dallas Suscon is a difficult, time consuming, and expensive endeavor. Every year I personally donate hundreds of hours of my time and sacrifice thousands of dollars of potential income to focus my attention on the convention. I am not looking for thanks nor asking for pity. What I want is for people to comprehend what it takes to make this event happen and to respect the decisions that both team leaders and the event registration team need to make when it comes to choosing and ultimately limiting attendance. Every year we do our best to improve the Dallas Suscon and help the entire suspension community as a whole. Sometimes that means making some pretty tough choices.
Thank you for your support and understanding.
Dallas Suscon – Event Organizer