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Hello Otakorp, I have an idea.


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I have an idea, you might not like it and I’m sure a lot of us won’t like it either but I believe it’ll help the longevity of our beloved convention.

 

Cancel Otakon 2021.

 

Yeah I know, I read the email but hear me out. I know you’re asking for donations and that’s wonderful, I’m going to donate as much as I possibly can to help. And I don’t know how long you can keep those donations considering you’re a non-profit, but if there is a way you can keep them til November/Decemberish and find a smaller venue to secure for 2022 I say do it. Go back to Baltimore? Go back to State College? Somewhere else? Have a smaller attendance and just keep it smaller for now. Keep getting donations while using the money from memberships to keep rebuilding. When it comes to attendance, hopefully in 2022 we will have a better grasp on COVID and it’s vaccine. Require members to be vaccinated and show proof(sorry people who don’t want the vaccine). Wear a mask in all public areas. Hell sell some Otakon masks and donate the proceeds. Even if we have to keep this small for awhile, some form of Otakon is better than no Otakon.

 

Let me know if I’ve gotten anything wrong or if you would like to add to it. 

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Honestly, my friend and I thought the same thing. Save what you can for the year and come back when hopefully everything settles down. Doing the 2020 shirts for fundraising was a good idea. I'd do that again, maybe dona design contest and sell some of the winning designs. I agree with the masks as well.

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I'm of 2 minds about changing the location and/or venue of Otakon.

On location: Pro - Being closer to Philadelphia than DC would an easier commute and I wouldn't be dependent on SEPTA and AMTRAK being on time. (In 2018 the train to DC was delayed by 2 1/2 hours due to an incident between NY and Philly.) Con - I really like going around DC because I'd never really spent time down there with except for a class trip back in 84. My brother & I hit 3 of the Smithsonians in the 3 years we've gone down there.

On change of venue: Pro - It would be a lot cheaper than the WEWCC. Con - Having been in Baltimore during the peak years, an overcrowded convention is not fun. I've never felt hemmed in while in DC, and not having to stand in line for a long time just to get something to eat is I'm sure everyone can appreciate.

I agree that I'd rather have a small con than no con. Unless it's somewhere seriously out of the way, I'd make the move w/ Otakon. I've been to State College, Hunt Valley, Crystal City, Baltimore, and DC, we're sort of attached at the hip at this point.

One last thought: a rollback might not be possible, depending on how long Otakon signed to stay with the WEWCC. (Though 5 years sounds like a typical contract length, I have no clue.) 

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On 1/28/2021 at 3:34 PM, CraigerRay said:

I have an idea, you might not like it and I’m sure a lot of us won’t like it either but I believe it’ll help the longevity of our beloved convention.

 

Cancel Otakon 2021.

 

Yeah I know, I read the email but hear me out. I know you’re asking for donations and that’s wonderful, I’m going to donate as much as I possibly can to help. And I don’t know how long you can keep those donations considering you’re a non-profit, but if there is a way you can keep them til November/Decemberish and find a smaller venue to secure for 2022 I say do it. Go back to Baltimore? Go back to State College? Somewhere else? Have a smaller attendance and just keep it smaller for now. Keep getting donations while using the money from memberships to keep rebuilding. When it comes to attendance, hopefully in 2022 we will have a better grasp on COVID and it’s vaccine. Require members to be vaccinated and show proof(sorry people who don’t want the vaccine). Wear a mask in all public areas. Hell sell some Otakon masks and donate the proceeds. Even if we have to keep this small for awhile, some form of Otakon is better than no Otakon.

 

Let me know if I’ve gotten anything wrong or if you would like to add to it. 

I'm not staff and I don't speak for anybody but me but the letter made it pretty clear that if there's no Otakon this year, they still need money to keep the lights on. Insurance and force majeure may protect Otakorp from cancellation fees and what have you but there's still merch that isn't being sold, booths that aren't being booked, memberships that aren't being registered.

Otakorp signed a five-year deal with WEWCC. 2021 is either the fourth or fifth year of that deal (depending on whether the pandemic changed things up). I don't know if that deal's already been extended or what. My point is that, barring force majeure, they can't get out of it. And even if they could, your idea depends first on the restrictions in Baltimore or Bethesda or wherever being substantially different than in the District. Unlikely. Now, to your point, what happens after that contract is up, I don't know. Nobody knows. All of this happening right now is absolutely unprecedented.

Furthermore, Otakon has contracts with its guests. Spark Speaker isn't performing for free. It costs a boatload of money to fly all these people and, in the musical act's case, their handlers and what have you. You need a way to make that math work. Backing out of these contracts, however, would be costly.

So either they have Otakon at WEWCC or they don't.

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On 1/30/2021 at 2:10 PM, Aresef said:

I'm not staff and I don't speak for anybody but me but the letter made it pretty clear that if there's no Otakon this year, they still need money to keep the lights on. Insurance and force majeure may protect Otakorp from cancellation fees and what have you but there's still merch that isn't being sold, booths that aren't being booked, memberships that aren't being registered.

Otakorp signed a five-year deal with WEWCC. 2021 is either the fourth or fifth year of that deal (depending on whether the pandemic changed things up). I don't know if that deal's already been extended or what. My point is that, barring force majeure, they can't get out of it. And even if they could, your idea depends first on the restrictions in Baltimore or Bethesda or wherever being substantially different than in the District. Unlikely. Now, to your point, what happens after that contract is up, I don't know. Nobody knows. All of this happening right now is absolutely unprecedented.

Furthermore, Otakon has contracts with its guests. Spark Speaker isn't performing for free. It costs a boatload of money to fly all these people and, in the musical act's case, their handlers and what have you. You need a way to make that math work. Backing out of these contracts, however, would be costly.

So either they have Otakon at WEWCC or they don't.

Add to that they are likely awaiting closer to the con, the conditions on the ground & what the District becomes in terms of open to the public. Would be a miracle if they are above a 25% capacity for convention centers under the exceedingly most optimistic conditions. Then, translate that into what the contracted gate numbers are & scale down from there. Add to that the liability still pending for last year as there usually is a time limit on holding admission refunds (no matter what they are called) to events. The house of cards was already shaky in January. Expect to hear the tree falling in the forest soon as, sadly, the forest will be falling in general...Do not worry - things always come back in some form. All that matters is the question of time.

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1 hour ago, kalyoth said:

Add to that they are likely awaiting closer to the con, the conditions on the ground & what the District becomes in terms of open to the public. Would be a miracle if they are above a 25% capacity for convention centers under the exceedingly most optimistic conditions. Then, translate that into what the contracted gate numbers are & scale down from there. Add to that the liability still pending for last year as there usually is a time limit on holding admission refunds (no matter what they are called) to events. The house of cards was already shaky in January. Expect to hear the tree falling in the forest soon as, sadly, the forest will be falling in general...Do not worry - things always come back in some form. All that matters is the question of time.

Yeah, this is the no man's land I've been talking about in the Discord. If WEWCC is open but with restrictions that don't make Otakon's math work, I don't know what the contract language looks like, but they might be in a position of choosing between putting on the con at a massive loss or canceling guests, either way vomiting gobs of cash. And then you have the artists and dealers who pay all this money expecting all this traffic that won't be there. Or, and this is where it gets real screwy, what if the cap on attendance is smaller than the number of people registered? Yikes.

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