March 2018 Board Notes
Board Attended: Andy, Kim, Troy, Renee, Kevin, Michelle
Board Absent: Joe, Megan
Observers: Heather B., Kale, Diana, John K., Tristan, Lauren, Erick, Christina, Clarissa, Geordan, A.L., Matt S., Flip, Cyn.
Anime Twin Cities, Inc Board Meeting March 13, 2018 6:30pm
Waterbury Building; 1121 Jackson St. NE Minneapolis MN 55413
- Open Session
- Coordinator Updates
- Anime Detour
- Media Relations
- Grant Program for Local Cons to Obtain Equipment for their respective consuites
- Contest Rules Run by ATC
- Anime Detour 2019 Badge Price Discussion
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- The convention starts in 3 weeks!
- Went to steps of home, was good time. Michelle attended and helped get ideas/contacts
- Has new staffer bringing on board, helped get contacts to Big Brother/Big Sister. Giving that org some passes to Detour.
- Michelle and Kat volunteered at Operation Glass Slipper. Looking to get team of cosplayers on board to help. They do one weekend and help get a thousand girls through. This group has been around locally for about 10 years. Charities will be having a meeting shortly to build proposed budget.
- Clubs exist. Doing a panel at Detour for one club with no budget.
- Working to get stuff printed to give to room party.
- AMKE went well. Got stuff signed for charity, contacts made.
- Discussed stuff with Clarissa about how they do Registration vs us.
- Ai-Kon will not be able to attend Detour this year.
- Charity Auction - we can’t rely on corporate partners anymore. We’ve been buying and getting stuffed signed, after Detour can Board consider fund allocation to further this pursuit.
- NakkaCon get get some stuff signed if we send it to them.
- AMKE report: table presentation could use more ‘spice’. More noticeable when in a row of other tables.
- Need something to ‘draw’ more people in.
- Lauren - we have $138 credit at one of the places we have merchandise at. Around 12 items were signed. Around 9 hours of line standing for these signatures. Made contacts at mixer and outside of it.
- This Sunday we have cosplay on ice. Went and did flyering. Have facebook boost running. Trying to get some specific hand outs made for summer events for the room party.
- SOS has two panels at Detour this year. Coordinators to e-mail Lauren if they have things they want passed out or talk about.
- There’s a lot of spending going on. That’s about it. Registration is closed. Dealers still has a lot of money coming in yet. Kale has a thank you card from AUSM.
- Account: $350818.52
- Education: $825.40
- LEG: $15,562.77
- Community Coordinator : We will start an e-mail chain and hope to reach a decision by this weekend.
- Joe sent out an email regarding an opportunity. This is Geek proposing an opportunity with them and EPIC (Tournament based gaming event) at Mystic Lake. Looking for a sponsorship to help out, looking for 30 monitors, and gaming systems. This has the potential to be big since it’s first tournament in area with large cash prizes. Proposal: This Is Geek and ATC listed as co-sponsors, ATC provides 30 monitors, This is Geek supplies gaming. Mystic lake spends a lot of money promoting events. ATC and This Is Geek would get separate tables to promote. Good chance to put stickers for ATC/AD on back of monitors for promotion as they’ll be seen while streaming.
- This is outside 60 day window
- We have provisions for exceptions
- This is more a sponsorship than a equipment rental
- We should gather more information.
Andy: Will send email to board for inquiries to bring to Joe before deciding anything.
Agenda: Grant Program for Local Conventions to attain equipment for respected consuites.
It was proposed that ATC once a year would give out a one time grant to a local convention to purchase their own consuite equipment.
This would negate the need for that convention to depend on ATC for their consuite needs. We brought it up as general inquiry to a couple conventions and they were under the impression we are cutting them off. Conventions kinda planning to have access to our equipment, and feels there’s a redundancy and wasteful to buy our own. One convention thinking of starting up their own rental program. Plus no place to store purchased equipment Issue: Getting our equipment, ensuring working, and putting back, is non-trivial. Proposal: of a team of volunteers from various places to help with this.
VOTE 20180313.1: “We re-add consuite equipment back to the equipment rental list” - TROY , seconded Kim. [6 Pass, unanimous amongst present board]
Agenda: Contest rules for contests run by ATC
- Postponed since Joe isn’t here.
Agenda: Lions Gate Academy - looking for partnership opportunities. They are at least state non-profit, didn’t check yet if 501c3. They are a non profit charter school. Should we consider those for charitable giving or case by case basis?
Agenda: Anime Detour 2019 Badge Price Discussion
- Emily (via email) Exhibit Hall Head: for what AD offers as current draw our prices are too high. Our prices are on par for bigger convention but AD doesn’t have competitive featured. We need to get reg numbers back on track. Recommend lowering costs, recommending drastically low price at con, and 24h on website after con. Board should consider whatever Clarissa says.
- Clarissa: We shouldn’t be charging big sized con badges prices yet.
- Current pricing structure: $45 (staff and previous con). Opened $50. Jumped to $60. $75 at Door.
- Clarissa deals with a lot of people complaining about too expensive.
- Michelle: What aren’t we doing?
- Clarissa: We need guests who are relevant to convention. Same guests, little known people, small roles. Lots of people don’t come cause we get same guests. Not relevant to today’s youth.
- Out current registration graph shows 21-30 is our target range.
- Guests too much from older animes or non-mainstream -- not a draw.
- Dealer’s hall always have same people.
- Artists swapped out, which actually angers people.
- New location - why is it worth their time to come to new location? Always the exact same thing going to for last 5 years.
- Renee: What did registration number close at? 4571. Last year we were 984 behind last year. We are only above 2010/2011 because our cap is higher. We are about 1200 behind two years ago.
- John: Hard to compare. Since we raised cap, registration numbers on website shows percentage being lower. Now dropped off website. Before it was get in early or don’t go via word of mouth. Now we don’t sell out due to raised cap. We won’t know what at the door is.
- More people are realizing they don’t need to pre-register, because we don’t sell out.
- Cyn: Their prices just a little lower than ours. Downtown is expensive market. They are having same problem as we are seeing.
- More expensive for food, for parking, etc...
- Lauren: If concern is parents are bringing kids and it’s very expensive to bring 4 kids. And we are losing the high school demographic. Should we consider lowering the minor badge price?
- Clarissa: It’s $35 flat 6-12 entire time.
- We started marketing late.
- The last few years through 2015, our demographics are almost identical.
- Under 18 is ~ 250 this year. We had 340 last year. About 325 time before that. Year before that was sub 200.
- Christina: How are our prices compared to other conventions at this hotel?
- Some are significantly lower. (Some are between $30-$50) - plus may charge for stuff at convention and have a one day badge.
- Migration just below ours.
- Cyn: by raising above cap, we are reducing demand.
- Renee: If we don’t have things that meet price point, why are we discussing price point so much instead of improving con instead?
- John: Value for price we aren’t doing a good job. We need to focus more on our value instead of price. Lowering cost won’t bring people in. Don’t want to make people think we are desperate.
- Erick: We aren’t advertising our current value enough.
- We aren’t charging for signatures
- One of the few anime conventions that still have a consuite.
- Why can’t we advertise our current value?
- Christina: Use more marketing expertise. Other conventions in area market a lot better than us. We should learn to market better.
- Troy: If we continue to offer same stuff, and lower our prices, we won’t gain significantly more attendance.
- We are working on guests, other conventions have an 80% turn over, we have around 20%. We are addressing this.
- Wouldn’t have an issue to drop minor badge to $25.
- We recently dropped at the door.
- Tristan: These are all good points, but same issues we’ve been hearing for the last 5 years.
- Clarissa: Proposal - doesn’t want to change the prices. Would like to lower minor badge price. And act to grow value of con.
- Andy: What would be impact to charitable giving if we keep prices for 2019.
- Kim: Can speak to current, and assumes it’ll be similar to next.
- This year we increased expenses by $60k.
- We are running about $40k in income behind.
- Charities likely looking at half of what they got last year.
- We would have to bring in about 625 people at door, to have same bank for next con cycle and to give a little more than half of what they had last year.
- Or we need to significantly cut expenses.
- Troy: Budget was about $300,000k. About $416k was submitted. We will have to work with department heads that not each department can be upgraded to level they want each and every year.
- Working with Anton to change guest model.
- Looking into decreasing guest count to get bigger guests.
- Hoping for attendance spike there.
- Some departments like tech need upgrades, some department like dealers haven’t upgraded lately, looking into rotating upgrades? What can wait till next year?
- John: We have about 40 kids, 6-12. Last year we had 35. Year before we had 15, year before we had 9. Can we lower that further? Can we charge about $15 for their badge? We are pretty much guaranteeing we get an adult badge with this, since they won’t drop off a 12 year old.
- Flip: Another convention already started having a family price, and seems to be working well.
- Helps preventing dropping off.
- Should increase numbers.
- Helps engage families, becomes a family outing.
- Troy: Going to look into children programming, post Detour.
- Andy: For con Sunday we only let people know price for that day right? - Correct.
- Clarissa: Wants to open earlier. Especially since we are in early March next year.
- John: We should consider 13-17 and lowering minor badge entirely. Can’t get into most room parties, or 18+ panels. Could bring in more high school kids to begin and in future years bring in those same college students.
- Michelle: Family pack, if we just gave them a discount with a full badge.
- Renee: Discounting badge after pre-reg, people could get upset.
- Lauren: Next year is a good time to powerhouse under 18. SOS gets a lot of high school students who never been to Detour, because Detour falls over midterms last few years.
- Kale: Lowering minor badges, especially if we are worried about hitting cap. As long as we are making some profit, it’s some dollars vs no dollars.
- Clarissa: We could open pre-reg online for 24h as well, and then Clarissa doesn’t have to stay open longer.
- Andy: for Con Sunday all we have to do is tell them reg rate that day, and minor price. And we can announce if it’s a special or base price. Family plans sound great and should be explored in detail. For tonight, we determine Sunday regular and minor prices?
- A.L. - marketing text determines if we sound desperate or trying to support families. We want this to be a family event.
- Clarissa - Don’t give them a chance to make assumptions, advertise it.
- Troy: We are doing it for the best reasons, so let’s tell them.
- A.L. - Market it so parents know about it and come.
- VOTE 20180313.2: “Motion to keep regular badge price at $45 of early bird price and any potential 24h online opening after” - Andy, seconded Troy. [6 Pass, unanimous amongst present board]
- VOTE 20180313.3: “Starting 2019 6-12: $15” - Michelle, seconded Renee. [6 Pass, unanimous amongst present board]
- Parent concern about big price jump for teenager?
- Every place has 13+ price jumps it seems.
- Places like ACEN consider 13 an adult/regular badge.
- Erick: 98% of everything we offer is 13+. Why are we talking about this Tier? We are a weekend, and cheaper than a day of Valley Fair with coupons.
- VOTE 20180313.4: “Starting 2019 13-17: $40 Flat Rate” - Michelle, seconded Kim. [5 Pass, Renee oppose, Joe not present]
- Renee concern that we may not bring in enough people to drive numbers up.
- Clarissa: Wants registration open mid June
- We will continue discussion in April for further registration price structure.
Motion to adjourn - Troy seconded Renee. Passed.
Time End: 18:40.