Thank you so much for coming to PoleCon 2018 in Orlando, Florida!
This is my fourth PoleCon as CEO/owner, the eighth overall event since it’s founding and it was the best one yet!
I’m starting a new tradition this year/right now of providing you personally with my recap, including increased levels of transparency on our numbers.
This is YOUR event. I just handle the paperwork =)
PoleCon 2018 had just under 1,000 people attend.
We had almost 300 performers and 56 vendors!
We grew between 22-25% and y’all ate me out of house and home increasing our anticipated food budget by almost 40%!
This was the first year of the Queer Pole Showcase, the first time we brought you so many art options including a live painting option, light photography, underwater photography (offsite) AND featured Mini Smallz who even painted a portrait of moi.
We increased our paid workshop rooms from 4 to 5, held the first ever Cleo the Hurricane Rock N Pole instructor certifications and the first Russian Exotic Intensive with Sasha Meow (whose actually from Latvia!). We held our first ever panel on race and cultural appropriate with BGP to help us understand how to talk about the issues as a family and we again held our popular panel on sex workers which is so important given current FOSTA-SESTA issues.
The BGP showcase for the third straight year was the highlight of the convention with the most curated collection of performers ever produced, livestreamed through UPA.
We also had the most eggplants <wink wink> ever at a PoleCon with several inflatable “willys” gracing the stage during the Sexy and Pole Comedy showcases and Vertical Joe’s new workshop “Strip and Stroke” workshop featuring some <ahem> live adult entertainment by a gentleman named Seduction while you paint.
We had a K-Pop group from Korea perform, super heroes perform, a family of pole dancers perform including their adorable little babies, a pregnant pole dancer (who we hope will return with her baby) perform, a teeny tiny baby came with his actual momma, some service dogs, lots of diverse body shapes and styles AND the return of the ever-popular DJ PoleCon to keep everyone movin’ and groovin’. PoleCon really is a family affair and several generations of pole dancers and pole dance enthusiasts came to take part in some aspect of the Convention.
We added a Floorplay playground thanks to Home Pole Studios right next to our Aerial playground provided by Xpole. We also saw several returning sponsors including our Platinum Sponsor Artista Apparel and Silver Sponsors Twisted Polerina, Twisted Bodies and Vertical Wise. Bad Kitty joined this year as a Gold Sponsor and contributed several raffle items which raised more than $200 to support the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, one of my favorite charities that provides arts education!
PoleCon continues to grow and to continue to offer you the highest quality “family reunion” experience you’ve come to love and expect, I will be raising prices slightly and modifying discounts for performers, volunteers and free workshop leaders for the 2019 event in Denver. I personally hate to do this but for the past four events, I have run PoleCon at a loss. And no, it’s not because I’m a wealthy heiress (which is the funniest rumor), but because I believe in the long term growth of this industry AND I want us to be around for years to come creating a sustainable business that promotes other small businesses and offers a platform for continued community discussions. I’m working on what those increases/changes will be (I’m keeping them as small as possible!) and will announce them soon so y’all can budget appropriately.
Thank you for believing in PoleCon and in the community we all love and support. See you in Denver OR before at one of the new Intensive events, LA in October and Baltimore in February!
HBIC, Colleen “Muthafukin” Jolly
PS If you missed getting a onesie — we’re reopening the store!