Co-founder of MicroConf here.
For our Europe event the cost for the ticket and hotel room fluctuate 5-15% per year (both up and down) depending on the country, city, hotel, etc. Keep in mind if you convert the ticket price to USD it adds a 15% premium due to Euro conversion rates.
We maintain the “Micro” ethos we’ve had since day 1, but you are correct to assume we cannot charge the same as we did back in 2011, nor can we find hotels that still charge 2011 rates. Every single year we seek a venue that’s nice, easy to travel to, while reasonably priced.
This year in Croatia, for example, we have an amazing hotel. But we booked it during shoulder season where the rooms are half the price (or less) than peak season. We did that very intentionally with self-funded founders in mind, even though we risked running into bad weather, which is common this time of year in Dubrovnik (luckily it looks like we dodged it again).
Not sure if you’ve run an in-person event, but when a hotel charges you $40 per gallon of coffee and $10k for A/V, you can’t run a viable event at a couple hundred bucks per ticket. We run lean events, by conference standards.
With that in mind, we are working on top secret stuff for 2020 with the goal of having some lower price point gatherings. More on that soon - hit microconf.com if you’re interested in staying in the loop