Weather Conference 2020

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Steve Miller

Owner Emeritus
Staff member
Jun 14, 2004
Moore, OK
Anonymous Stormtrack member post:

The following is a quick survey to gain interest in the establishment of a fresh new conference concept surrounding all aspects of weather but from an enthusiasts point of view. The conference would occur on February 21-23 in Oklahoma City, OK. Storm chasing and spotting are heavily supported and that's why we're approaching membership to garner interest. Naturally, we're remaining anonymous in the near-term as we explore the potential and "Weather Conference 2020" is just a placeholder name. If you believe you'd like to participate and/or learn more, please follow this link Weather Convention 2020 - if you think your friends or fans would be interested in attending, please consider passing this link along.
Regarding this post, on a personal note, I can vouch for the potential of this ask and that's why I'm posting it. If you have questions, just stick them in this thread.
Mar 30, 2008
Norman, OK
Thinking a new conference with new ideas/organization and way of doing things is just what we need. I know I won't be at another chasercon, but would attend something with new ideas, breakout sessions, etc.

Shane Adams

If it's in OKC I'm already interested. And yes, the whole conference thing needs a revamp.
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Jun 4, 2018
San Angelo, TX
I have no idea if I would be able to attend it, but if I'm available I would be interested in attending. If nothing else to hopefully network and put some faces and conversations with the names I see here on the forum. And I'm sure I would learn something along the way.
Mar 8, 2016
Bloomington, IL
If the price is right I'd be open to it. Biggest reason I didn't go to Chasercon this year despite it being much more accessible for me than Denver in Wichita was the steep cost.

Jeff Duda

Resident meteorological expert
Staff member
Oct 7, 2008
Broomfield, CO
I guess I have a hard time seeing what this new conference would offer that existing ones don't. There are already tons of regional storm chaser/severe storm conferences, both on the academic/research side and on the chasing/logistical side. So what's different about this one? Need more details to give much of an answer.

Rachel McBee

Jul 1, 2019
Norman, OK
I guess I have a hard time seeing what this new conference would offer that existing ones don't. There are already tons of regional storm chaser/severe storm conferences, both on the academic/research side and on the chasing/logistical side. So what's different about this one? Need more details to give much of an answer.
This event would be for all types of weather, not just storm chasing. Think tropical, winter, even volcanic events and more. The approach would be more of a breakout style as well; attendees can pick and choose what they want to learn at the event, and at what level in some cases, so no one feels left out. It’s more of an all-encompassing, freestyle approach that’s not meant to take away from any of the other conferences.
Not sure who has already heard, but as I understand it, there are some questions regarding continuing Chasercon via Roger and Karen (at least what has been posted on social - please correct me if I misunderstood?)

That said, I totally agree with @Shane Adams and @Ben Holcomb...would be nice to have a fresh start if you will most particularly if the Hills indeed decide to kill Chasercon.

I was actually just thinking the other day about calling @Steve Miller to see if he could “work his magic” and garner some type of interest on this topic.

That said,
IMO, it would be very nice to something a little different than the usual Chasercon type event. What I mean is - maybe something like what Chasercon was back in the early 2000s? I would def. be interested!
Jul 5, 2009
Newtown, Pennsylvania
I would definitely be interested. I know there are other conferences out there, but my impression (I could be wrong) is that - except for Chasercon - the bigger ones are more academic and geared toward professional meteorologists, while the smaller/regional ones for enthusiasts, especially the single-day events, just aren’t worth traveling by plane for. I like the idea of including other types of weather, but having breakout sessions so you can choose your own track for what interests you.

I have only been to Chasercon twice, but the whole thing recently about seeking subsidy on GoFundMe was a turn-off to me, it’s a for-profit venture, raise the price if it’s not profitable, why am I going to subsidize it to keep the price down for everybody else? It also irked me that it was always on a weekend near Valentine’s Day, kind of tough to leave my wife at home to go on my own personal boondoggle for that particular weekend.

But if Chasercon is going to continue, I agree with @John Farley it would be foolish to have this new thing so close to Chasercon on the calendar. If Chasercon were to continue, I would schedule this new conference in the fall. In the winter, an east coast snowstorm could easily disrupt travel plans. And this way it separates the conferences by a number of months. Also I don’t like the idea of scheduling it on Presidents Day weekend; it’s a lot easier for me to get away and do my own thing on a “normal” weekend as opposed to a holiday one where potential family events/trips take priority; I have to assume others with family responsibilities feel the same way. Unless you want it to just be a conference for college students and people in their early 20s.

Having said all this, of course I can’t commit to actually attending in a given year, it depends on budget etc. Also depends on what’s going on at work, if I have enough vacation time, etc. In general, February is a bad time for me to be away, I’m a CPA and the first quarter is a very busy time of year. But that’s just me.
Apr 3, 2010
Shreveport, LA
I think I would need more information to be able to say “yes” or “no” to being interested. As others have alluded to, their are a lot of conferences out there. It would have to stand out fairly significantly in order for me to attend, especially given I do not attend the others
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Regarding the Chasercon GoFundMe page, I am pretty sure that was started by some attendees who wanted to help fund the conference, not by the conference organizers. They have always done what James suggested, i.e. charge enough to cover the costs. There have been some discussions about ways to make the conference funding more reliable if indeed it continues, since an instance a couple years where the required number of people did not stay in the hotel, although I think that situation was eventually resolved without out-of-pocket losses for the organizers. But the underlying problem of conference organizers being at risk if the conference loses money is a potential problem for any conference organized by individuals rather than by an organization. The same thing would be true of the new conference if it is organized by individuals.

Shane Adams

Bottom line, for any conference in the future to be successful, the organizers will have to realize that it needs to be convenient for the ATTENDEES, not the organizers. IMO the biggest issue with Chasercon was, at the end of the day, it was 99.9% geared towards the convenience of the organizers and not the attendees....who, for several years, pleaded for changes. It also didn't help that the organizers basically separated themselves from the community at large over the past several years, then complained and (more or less) begged for help increasing attendance. If you're going to be successful in keeping folks interested, #1 - WALK AMONG THEM.

Moving it around was a great idea, but it's always gonna be tied to Denver. That's great, but IMO "the" conference of stormchasing needs to be in a more traditional stormchasing beacon, like Oklahoma City (the tornado capital of the world).
Jun 16, 2015
Oklahoma City, OK
The main obstacles with weather/storm conferences tend to be distance/location and cost.

If there was a local conference, anywhere in or near Oklahoma City would be a prime location. For starters, it's in the heart of tornado alley, but it's near a major meteorology program, the Storm Prediction Center is right here and so is the Norman National Weather Service forecast office. There would be no shortage of potential attendees (which can be a limiting factor when organizing a conference, which I've been part of before) and the same goes for speakers/presenters.

You would no doubt get some people to travel to a weather conference in the Oklahoma City area, to speak/present and attend, but you'd have a great local source of talent and general interest.

I don't see why I would not support such a conference, especially since with it being here, the local attendees would not have to worry about hotel costs. While conferences are great, not a lot of people can dish out $100-150 dollars per night for a room. (it is less if you book with a group, of course)

The timing is good too, because weather would probably not negatively impact the conference and it's a great way to kick-start a year, as it would fall only about a month or so before the storm season starts to ramp up.

Shane Adams

If it were in OKC though, why not break the President's Day Weekend tradition and have it at another time of year? Summer. Fall. Late year Winter. I'm just kinda over any and everything that's been associated with Chasercon. This needs to be unique, or it will fail.
May 25, 2014
I'd be game for something in the Fall. Favorite time of year, and I'm always able to chunk something into the schedule, even if it might take me away from eastern Second Season activities.
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Jul 5, 2009
Newtown, Pennsylvania
Agree on fall, as I mentioned above Feb has potential disruption to air travel from winter storms. It’s also roughly halfway between chase seasons so something to look forward to during the long gap between chase vacations. IF Chasercon were to continue, there would be enough time between conferences so that they could potentially both be viable. Just a personal matter but Feb is much busier for me at work so doubt I could miss even the one business day required with the travel and all. Then again, Sep is my wife’s b-day so would have to hope it’s not the same weekend 😏