Here’s my crazy idea.
Do you have any idea how much it costs to rent furniture for a conference? Here’s a hint: A LOT!!
What do you end up with after the conference for that money? NOTHING.
Let’s do the Figshare Café furniture a different way at ScienceOnline2013 (the cafe is where we network, relax, share stories, recharge with coffee & snacks, and is the social hub for the conference). I proposed that we buy nice leather loveseats and chairs from IKEA (yes, IKEA… stick with me) and use them in the café during the conference (it costs about the same to rent furniture as to buy what I’m suggesting). THEN after the conference we donate the furniture to the local Durham nonprofit TROSA who does amazing work in the community, so that they can put the furniture to good use in their various projects.
Sounds great, right? Win-Win-Win, right? I think so too. But in 6 months, we haven’t found sponsors who will take up the challenge! This will cost $10,000 to do a minimum of seating, but $20,000 will cover all the seating (& small tables) we need for the conference.
So, here’s my challenge. Can you help make this happen? Donate a bit yourself (dig out those pennies from the sofa), or point us to a group or organization who would jump in to help us help TROSA. Any contribution will help move us toward the total. Make this happen. Please. We are running out of time.
UPDATE 1/23/2013: We ran out of time to fully implement this idea, but we did get a few donations that enabled us to purchase the tables we will use in the seating area of the cafe. We’ll pass those on after the event! I’ll continue to work on this idea for next year! Thank you so much.