Hey WMC faithful, Jeff Finley here. I just wanted to post a quick update. We're about halfway through our Kickstarter campaign and I'm getting a little nervous that we won't get this thing fully funded. I know, I know, I shouldn't say that but I must admit that it's been on my mind the past few days. You all keep telling me it will be awesome in the end, which I'm sure it will be, but right now our biggest issue is funding.
So far you all have been pretty awesome at promoting the Kickstarter, I see our speakers, bands, and designers tweeting regularly and the support really IS strong out there, it's just not quite reflected in the funding department.
I want to remind you all why we're running this WMC Fest 2012 Kickstarter Campaign. Some of our funding comes from company sponsors which are more targeted towards businesses and might not be affordable for individual supporters. Kickstarter is about the people — smaller donations and a more personal connection to the fest.
Why are we doing it this year when we've ran it twice already for the previous two years? This year is not the same fest as the last two years. We are dramatically improving things and building on our success and really hoping it pays off in the end.
And remember, our fest only costs $50 bucks or less to attend. Most other conferences or fests with the same caliber of speakers, designers, or bands cost hundreds of dollars. We've made a point NOT to be like them. We want to do things OUR way. That's how we do it here in Cleveland!
Here are a few things different about 2012:
1. New music venue with TWO stages for bands. One indoor and one outdoor. This adds about $8,000 to our costs this year. The music venue Saigon Plaza has 11,000 square feet and can fit a LOT more people in there. Plus it will be home to our "trade show" area where vendors, artists, and bands will be selling their merch. And it's actually right next door to the gallery and auditorium, so no more having to walk far to see bands!
2. We have a new mobile app for the fest. This added another $5,000 to our expenses that we didn't have last year. I felt like it was needed to give people a chance to create their own custom schedules and provide a much better "during the event" experience. It will also include a fun scavenger hunt, live tweets, maps, information, and other stuff you would expect.
3. We have a new Street Team platform. We really wanted to give volunteers and fans the opportunity to get credit for their hard work supporting and promoting WMC Fest. So we signed up for Fancorps, a Street Team platform that allows anyone to sign up and start performing tasks and get rewards, achievements, and rise in the ranks for doing so. Now this is awesome and stuff, but it costs $1,500/month. If we don't receive the funding we need this will be something that might get cut from our budget. I really DON'T want that to happen because I really LOVE our Street Team and I feel like this adds tremendous value to them.
Now those are the major differences this year. There should be general improvements in the overall fest experience such as signage, way finding, food and beverage, etc. Stuff people EXPECT from a fest but it all costs money to implement. We are finding this out first hand!
So I want you to know where your money is going. This is a fest we have built together since day one. If you helped us with our very first Kickstarter, you know who you are! If you are one of those, consider writing a blog entry about why you have backed us all three years and what it means to you. I want you to share that passion.
Remember, you can get a ticket on Kickstarter for the cheaper than you can regularly. There are no Eventbrite fees to deal with and you will get your name listed on the website and mobile app as a backer of the fest. You'll also get $45 worth of Arsenal products. If you are planning on coming to the event, what better way than to pledge on Kickstarter!
Thanks again friends, let's keep pushing.
WMC Fest Founder