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Email from the Otakorp President.


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I'm sure many of you have received the email from Brooke Zerrlaut about the future of Otakon.  The prognosis certainly doesn't sound positive but I'm wondering if there are any long-term plans to reboot the convention in the future if the con does in fact permanently close its doors in its current form.  It seems many large fan-run conventions will not make a full recovery from this and the con industry in general is going to take a massive hit, especially those like Otakon that will potentially lose 2 years worth of attendance. (Others like Katsucon were lucky enough to squeeze in before the 2020 shutdowns.) 

It seems like many big staples of the con scene will either be permanently shut down or have to restructure or downsize.  I'm hoping Otakon makes a full recovery as my group has been going since 2004 but I'm not entirely optimistic. 

Edited by KyoKyo
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This is troubling, but here’s what I think should happen.

 

it’s time, for now, to scale back. Get a smaller venue for the next few years until we can start to rebuild back up. Get donations for 2021(or 2022) and build off of that. I would rather see some form of Otakon rather than no Otakon at all.

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here is a copy/paste of the announcement.   

A Message from the President of Otakorp

As much as we hope you love coming to Otakon, we love making it happen even more.  We were devastated to have to cancel Otakon 2020.  In a year where so much was going wrong, we held onto every chance to do something positive, but were ultimately unable to do so due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we turn the page on 2020, we're hopeful and looking forward to a better 2021.

 Now, more than ever, Otakorp needs your help.

As you may be aware, Otakon is the annual convention of Otakorp, Inc. Otakorp is an all-volunteer run, nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization, whose mission is to promote the appreciation of Asian culture and its fandom, primarily through its media (anime, manga, music, movies, video games, etc.). As a volunteer organization, every dollar that we make from our memberships goes towards realizing that mission to promote and celebrate Asian culture, and our largest event is our annual meeting – Otakon. We use the proceeds from each year to plan the next Otakon and make sure we survive until then. So without the income from Otakon 2020, and the early pre-registrations we would normally see at this time of year, we are in a very precarious position.  Put simply, in the next few months we will have to make a decision to continue planning for Otakon 2021, or potentially close our doors forever.

 We are hopeful. Our decision will come at a pivotal time during the rollout of the vaccine. We continue to work with our partners in DC to explore options to safely gather later this year. In the meantime, family, friendship, and community are more important than ever to stay connected. Because of this, it is even more crucial that we do not fail in our mission.

 

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Thanks for that!

I'll have to kick in when I get my latest credit card payment done - without Otakon, I wouldn't have a reason to take vacation from work. (I'm only half joking about this. People who know me would vouch for that.)

I don't know how feasible it could be, but could a type of... monthly payment... be worked out for donations? I know a lot of people would find it easier to pay, say, $8.50 a month for a year than $100 at one time. I hear them talk about it when I'm listening to the public radio jazz / classical station on the drive in to work.

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I don't think we know (yet); I am not sure if we will, as the finances may be a little hard to put a number to depending on what can be negotiated, what goes right, and what goes wrong. 

But here's hoping! I donated. I'd gladly buy things if there's a fundraiser -- like an art package or anything else they can get together.

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38 minutes ago, texside said:

I don't think we know (yet); I am not sure if we will, as the finances may be a little hard to put a number to depending on what can be negotiated, what goes right, and what goes wrong. 

But here's hoping! I donated. I'd gladly buy things if there's a fundraiser -- like an art package or anything else they can get together.

Same here. I donated $50 a couple hours ago, and I'm willing to buy stuff to help raise additional funds for the convention.

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21 hours ago, windseeker said:

I donated, but it would be nice to know the fundraising goal. 

I am guessing, based on the scale of Otakon being a multi-million dollar operation - the goal would be in scale to that - between hundreds of thousands & up. Many others have yet to even advertise registration or hotel rates. Gonna guess they have given up spending & are expecting a 2nd year of no go & are avoiding the costs as much as possible. Being late Summer, tough to do for Otakon. I am curious just how long it will be before international guests are allowed by their employers to leave their home country. Add to that the drop expected in financial industry support - gonna be a rocky decade for our industry.

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21 hours ago, Clutch said:

Donated what I could. Hope it helps. Would be better to get the word out to more people. Those with fond memories of Otakon may be willing to help.

Just paid off my credit card, and made a donation to Otakon.

I don't know how it exactly works, but maybe explore Go Fund Me? They do work with 501.c.3 organizations. Heck, I just saw one up there for saving some bars and restaurants in Baltimore while I was looking at the site.

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So I gave $60. But what I want to know, and I know I'm not alone, is where that money is going. This isn't a telethon or a Kickstarter, I'm not necessarily expecting a progress bar. But I think we as members deserve to know, to the extent it wouldn't violate any contracts etc., more about what Otakorp's finances are at this point in time, what big expenses are coming due, how we got here and what the consequences of the rona could be for Otakon going forward. For example, the venue. One of the things we've divined from 990s and news clippings is that Otakon signed a five-year deal with WEWCC. This is year five--are alternative venues, to the extent any are suitable or less expensive, being explored for years ahead?

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There is a new email today saying they are asking for $250,000 for this year. I want to see the breakdown before I give. Otakon is an amazing con where I have made so many friends over the last 10 years. (Every Otakon since 2010). If there were to be no Otakon in the future I would be heartbroken. Let's hope we can go to Otakon in the future. 

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1 hour ago, totalanimefan said:

There is a new email today saying they are asking for $250,000 for this year. I want to see the breakdown before I give. Otakon is an amazing con where I have made so many friends over the last 10 years. (Every Otakon since 2010). If there were to be no Otakon in the future I would be heartbroken. Let's hope we can go to Otakon in the future. 

Or rather, $250,000 is what they need to pay whether there's a con or not. If you want a breakdown, their 990s are public. The $250,000 figure matches up with what their 2018 990 says for their legal, accounting, storage costs and such.

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On 1/28/2021 at 4:49 PM, Revan said:

Thanks for that!

I'll have to kick in when I get my latest credit card payment done - without Otakon, I wouldn't have a reason to take vacation from work. (I'm only half joking about this. People who know me would vouch for that.)

I don't know how feasible it could be, but could a type of... monthly payment... be worked out for donations? I know a lot of people would find it easier to pay, say, $8.50 a month for a year than $100 at one time. I hear them talk about it when I'm listening to the public radio jazz / classical station on the drive in to work.

trust me, there's life after otakon.

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