It is with profound regret and sadness that I must announce that Steamcon in no longer a viable organization, which means we must cancel Steamcon VI. Our debts are too great a hurdle for us to overcome. Based on our calculations, somewhere between 25% and 40% of the funds that we would raise for Steamcon VI will go towards paying off Steamcon V. The board has been wrestling with these economic realities for several weeks now, and voted one week ago to dissolve the corporation.
Since the meeting of January 12th, where we laid out the economic problems that we faced, we have had thirty five people purchase memberships. ( That works out to about one membership every other day. ) We have had three people donate to the CD fundraiser project. ( That is, one and a half donations per month. ) In order to raise the amount of money that we need to stave off bankruptcy, we need 390 memberships in 29 days. Just to tread water.
We could soldier on. We could attempt to raise $15,000 in 29 days. But if we once again fail, that will mean that even more people will be out money. I cannot in good faith recommend that course of action.
Steampunk Conventions, the corporation that puts on Steamcon, has $40,000 of debt from Steamcon V. The difficulties and the biggest amounts are the penalties to the hotel. When we don't meet our room goals or food/beverage goals, the hotel imposes very sizable penalties. This is the way of doing business with hotels or venues. We get a fantastic room rate, and we get a huge amount of convention space. To get these at hardly any cost, we need to hit these numbers.
Here are some of the things we currently owe:
Hotel room/food penalty: $37,000
State of WA tax: $2,500
ASCAP estimate: $2,000
Space needle logo licencing: Unknown what we ow them for our merchandise sales
IRS: unclear how much we owe
Insurance: Still shopping around as our bid has not been picked up
Essentially, without a way of raising this money in a very short term, we have no choice but to close down operations.
Here are some questions we've received:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Isn't there any way to keep Steamcon going?
A: Sure. Donate $40,000 to us right now. That will cover our immediate debts and allow us to continue.
Q: But what about Kickstarter/Indiegogo/other crowdsourcing site?
A: Croud sourcing takes time and effort. Much of the capital would be taken by rewards, as people expect rewards for kick starters. Also, all of these sites take a percentage of the money raised. Furthermore, it would take a few months to get it going, and the capital wouldn't show up until the very end. Believe me, we have considered this. ( and had a planned one to start in a month or two. )
Q: But why didn't you make it more abundantly known how much trouble Steamcon was in?
A: We did. At the January meeting. We told everyone assembled about our $37,000 outstanding bill from the hotel. And how we needed everyone's support to continue.
Q: Can't you just move it to a cheaper hotel?
A: We have a contract with the Hyatt for 2014. Breaking the contract costs us over $100,000. Adding that debt puts us even further in the hole.
If you have further questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to follow the discussion, you can see it here:
If you want to follow along and receive news updates, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter, plus you can sign up for our email list at the bottom of this page.
We hope for better news in the future and we know that many other smaller Steampunk events will continue to run in the Seattle area. You are welcome to email us if you have an event you would like us to promote on our social media channels.