Blog / Our Work | WA Farming & Agriculture

How We Set Tilth Conference Registration Fees

The Tilth Conference is one of our largest — and most important — events, bringing together a special community of hundreds of farmers, food system professionals, researchers and educators from across Washington State.

A considerable amount of time is put toward creating its budget. Each year, beginning in August, I work closely with Tilth Alliance’s staff to review past performance, plan future objectives and begin building a detailed budget. While we do what we can to keep registration fees within a realm that feels reasonable by controlling costs and raising extra revenue, registration fees have continued to rise.

Deciding where to set registration fees this year involved many long and difficult discussions weighing costs and benefits and evaluating the potential impact on those the conference is intended to serve. We also always consider how the cost of the conference intersects with our commitment to equity.

Still, I know that for some who hope to attend the conference, the registration fee poses a challenge.

Offering scholarships and stipends are two ways we work to ensure everyone can attend, regardless of financial need. We also contribute our own operating funds to the budget, depending upon how much revenue we raise through sponsorships, advertising and the trade show.

With that as context, I wanted to share the conference budget (below) with those of you who are interested in seeing where revenue comes from and where it is going. I hope understanding the costs and revenues associated with the Tilth Conference helps make your decision to invest in attending an easier one.

Be well and hope to see you in November!

Melissa Spear
Executive Director
Tilth Alliance

Registration Fees$96,625
Trade Show$13,500
Staff (Planning & Implementation)$57,400
Conference Venue$6,500
Conference Meals$58,000
Keynotes (Stipends & Travel)$9,500
Farm Walk Buses$4,800
Spanish Interpreters$4,000
Streaming Services$3,000
Farmer-Presenter Stipends$1,000
Staff Travel & Lodging$5,350
TOTAL COST$160,050
Net (Tilth Alliance Contribution)-$5,025