A crowdfunding initiative to promote diversity at the Columbus Analytics Conference

I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to attend the last three years of the RIT Sports Analytics Conference. The first year I went, I was nervous to meet people whose work I admired. I was afraid that nobody would want to talk to this new person that few people knew and who was just starting to learn about the field. 

I could not have been more wrong. 

I was blown away at how welcoming everyone was, even the most well-known of the speakers. Just by attending the conference, I was able to gain contacts and friends in the industry, many of who have helped me out over the last few years. I would not have been able to present at the latest edition of RITSAC without the help and support from people in the community. 

Because of this, a quote tweet from Seth Partnow the other day really got me thinking. I remembered how last year Chris Watkins tweeted about donating a ticket to RITSAC for underrepresented people. So I decided I wanted to donate a ticket to the upcoming Blue Jackets Analytics Conference in Columbus. 

I knew from talking to people in the hockey analytics community that there was an opportunity to make this into something bigger. So, I’m putting together an initiative to help underrepresented people get to the Columbus conference. 

Here’s how it works:

If you want to donate a ticket (or more), please fill out this google form. Tickets are $52.50

If you are a member of an underrepresented community, and you want to apply to receive a ticket, please fill out this google form. 

In order to give people enough time to plan travel, I will keep this open for a week. Please fill out the form by midnight ET on Sunday Oct 27. 

At that point, I will conduct a random drawing if there are more requests for tickets than pledges to buy a ticket. If there are more pledges than request, I will randomly choose the donors. 

Obviously, this still leaves the question of travel cost, which is obviously another barrier to entry for these conferences. 

So, if people (or companies) want to pledge money for travel costs, please fill out this google form. 

Please only pledge if you are committed to paying the money. All money will go directly from people pledging to the recipients. I will coordinate that.

Even if one person is able to go to the conference who wouldn’t otherwise be able to go, I would consider it a success, but knowing the hockey analytics community, I think we can all make even more of a difference. 

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