Reflecting on SoloPolyCon2017 - the first ever! (1/2)

In April 2017 Mel Mariposa and I organised the first ever solo polyamory conference (#SoPoCo17) in Vancouver, BC. We were of one mind that the event would be an 'unconference', with no more than 2-4 'speakers'. An unconference means participants offer to facilitate topics that interest them, and you figure out the schedule, ground rules etc collectively when everyone arrives. We felt strongly that this was the best approach for a bunch of highly autonomous, anti-hierarchical relationship anarchists and solo non-monogamists!

Organising such an event in a country I'd never been to with someone I'd never met felt like a really good idea at first, like a really stupid idea for a while (ticket sales were VERY slow and there was tumbleweed in the SoPo Facebook group whenever we promoted the event), and finally like a brilliant idea again when the conference was a success! :-)

Here - for the benefit of the #SoPoC018 organisers and anyone else who is interested - are summaries of the results our two event questionnaires:

  1. Arrival questionnaire (this page)
  2. Departure questionnaire (next page)

Around 70 people attended the conference. 57 submitted the arrival questionnaire.

Q1. How did you hear about this first ever SoPoCo?

SoPo group on Facebook: 32
Another way: 23
Relationship anarchy group on Facebook: 2

Q2. Why are you coming to SoPoCo17? (please rank with '1' as your top reason)

In descending order:

  • Participate in unconference sessions
  • Build SoPo community
  • Meet friends
  • Hear keynote/s
  • Lead an unconference session
  • Meet lovers/get laid
  • Present keynote
Q3. What is your current, preferred relationship style? (tick all that apply)

Solo by choice: 41
Polyamorous: 34
Relationship anarchist: 33
Solo but would like a primary/nesting partner: 8
Other: 6

Q4. How old are you?

60 or more: 1
50-59: 7
40-49: 16
30-39: 23
20-29: 10

Q5. How old were you when you began identifying as SP/RA? (ignore this question if you don't)

Answers ranged from 14-51

Q6. What is your identity in terms of race and/or ethnicity?

*note that I deliberately did not define 'race' or 'ethnicity' and this was a free-text field

I have grouped the results for ease of reference.

'White'/'European'/'Caucasian': 43
'Asian' and 'Asian Canadian': 3
'Jewish': 3
'Black' and 'Black mixed': 2
'Hispanic': 2
'Mixed': 2
'Human': 1

Q7. Do you consider yourself to have a disability or chronic illness?

No: 44
Yes: 10
Rather not say: 3

Q8. What is your identity in terms of class*?

*note that I deliberately did not define 'class' and this was a free-text field

'Upper' and 'Upper middle': 7
'Middle' and 'Lower middle': 37
'Working/Lower': 1
'Below poverty line': 1
'Student': 1
Other answers: 7

Q9: What is your identity in terms of gender?

*note that I deliberately did not define 'gender' and this was a free-text field

'Woman'/ 'Female' (sic): 23
'Man'/ 'Male' (sic): 23
Genderfluid/ Genderqueer/ Gendernonconforming/ Genderflux/ Non-binary/ Queer: 11
'Femme': 3
'Trans-masculine': 1
'Intersex': 1

Q10: What is your identity in terms of sexual orientation?

*note that this was also a free-text field

'Straight' and 'Heterosexual': 16
'Heteroflexible': 12
'Queer': 11
'Pansexual': 9
'Bisexual': 8
Lesbian/ dyke/ gay: 3
Other answers: 3

Want to read some of feedback we received after the conference? Click here.