It has been all that and more.
That said, all good thing must come to an end. YC will celebrate 20—TWENTY!—years in 2019, and we have made a decision that we will officially put the YC brand to bed at the CoSIDA Convention next summer in Orlando.
There is some symmetry involved in this decision. In 1999, a group of people came together with similar interests and informally dubbed themselves Young CoSIDA. That was at the CoSIDA Convention in, you guessed it, Orlando. To those who are centrally involved with the YC brand, it felt appropriate to put the cap on this generation in the same place where it all began.
It is also an acknowledgement, frankly, that we aren’t as young as we once were. (We are fully aware that there are plenty of people who will read that statement in disbelief.)
There’s a small number of us for whom YC was more than an annual social event at CoSIDA. For those who are in the “inner circle” of evolving YC over the years, there were elements of identity, rebellion, and importance. (Some would likely say self-importance, and they might not be that far off.)
For many in our business, YC was something you signed up for and attended one night each year at the convention. The scavenger hunt in Philadelphia; High School Prom in Nashville; our luau in San Diego. Oh, what times!
What started out as silly social events, of course, eventually morphed into what we do today: a charity raffle. YC has donated thousands of dollars in recent years to good causes in our convention cities. YOU HAVE MADE THAT HAPPEN! We are so appreciative of the support you always showed, whether it was through raffle donations, attendance at the event, or your support from afar.
I also want to thank those folks in CoSIDA who have stood up for us over the years and helped our momentum with the membership. Our relationship wasn’t always perfect, but there are a lot of people out there who worked hard to put the final elements on the two-way street that sometimes felt like it was never going to connect.
As the memories of events, newsletters and late-night shenanigans fade into the past, what will remain in the present and future are the friendships and social community YC helped to create, evolve and nurture. There was always one thing that mattered to the YC “board”: IT’S ALL ABOUT ENTHUSIASM! That remains as true today as it did in 1999, and will continue to be the creed we think everyone should live by going forward.
We are taking this opportunity to ask folks to share their stories—the PG-13 versions, please—and photos throughout the year on social media with the hashtag #ForeverYC. YOU have made this experience rewarding for us, and we hope we have made it rewarding for you, too.
You have been warned. We look forward to seeing everyone in Orlando in 2019, where we plan to BLOW IT OUT at the Sea Dog and party like it’s 1999 (again)!
Yours in YC,