In the past 24 hours we have been contacted by some of the 2012 Academy attendees (from LSH and beyond) concerning an event of similar size has scheduled their bi-annual gathering on the same dates as the 2013 Academy. These people were confused, disappointed and, in some cases, angry. We wish this was not the case but this was not a decision on our part, as our event was open for registration on June 18th, two months ago. We could be angry about something like this but we at Lone Star Holidays want to accentuate the positive of our event and not focus on the negative of the scheduling situation: The 2012 Academy hosted 242 people from 24 states. That’s registered attendees, not walk ins, and we're confident that based on our registration numbers so far (nearing 100!) we will exceed that in 2013. There were over FIFTY unique class topics taught at the Academy in 2012. There is no other event that even comes close to the educational aspects of our event and we are extremely proud of that. The feedback on our education and quality of instructors over the past 5 years has been nothing short of extraordinary. We are, quite honestly, humbled by the support and kudos we receive on classes every year. The cost of the Academy has never exceeded $75 (and is at an Early Bird price of $60 right now). We believe that the cost to the attendees and our vendor partners should be reasonable and should go along with our guiding principles as a non-profit organization. Everyone, from the planners to the instructors to the attendees, pays their registration fee to attend. This is not a money-making venture for us and it never will be. The Academy happens every year and has never been cancelled or downgraded to a smaller event. We work within a well-planned out budget and consider the economic climate each and every year. We have made adjustments to our financial model over the past 5 years and will continue to do so. In short, what we say you'll receive is exactly that. We believe in underpromising and over delivering.
We are of course disappointed that attendees and vendors are going to have to choose between 2 events in 2013. Because we opened registration on June 18th and have almost 100 already paid to attend we wouldn't feel right about making a change (not to mention that we have our facility contracted and paid for). All we can do is continue to bring you the most economical and comprehensive decorating event that we can, and we promise we’ll always do that. Regardless of geography or forum/group affiliation, everyone is welcome to join us at the 2013 Academy.