What is Imagine Con?
Imagine Con is a family-friendly, multi-fandom (comics, science and science fiction, fantasy, horror, anime, literature, cosplay, steampunk...) convention planned for the first weekend of October 2014 in Spartanburg, SC. We are a SC nonprofit corporation founded to promote education around science fiction and fantasy as portrayed in the media arts, and we want to use this convention as the primary means to accomplish that goal while also supporting the community and creating a great event that will establish Spartanburg as a viable market for similar conventions.
By donating to our Kickstarter, you are supporting this goal and getting some great items in the process!
What makes Imagine Con different from other conventions?
Imagine Con will not only be the first large-scale convention of this type in Spartanburg, but will have many other features that set it apart from other cons. Being a nonprofit chartered for educational purposes, Imagine Con will try to bring in guests that educate as well as entertain. In addition to standard discussion panels, we want to have panels geared toward hands-on experiences that let you learn valuable skills. Of course, all the standard convention elements will be there- vendors, costumes, great guests, and an awesome atmosphere.
Imagine Con is being built from the ground up to incorporate the best aspects of other
cons while avoiding their mistakes. We have been going to cons for 25+ years, and there are certain things we have run across that we feel detract from the con experience such as long lines, terrible food, poorly planned venue space, expensive parking and hotels, etc. that we feel are absolutely avoidable with the right planning. Because of this, we have selected a great venue in the Spartanburg Expo Center with free parking, lots of local dining and hotel options, and room to grow with us.
Our goal is to make Imagine Con an awesome experience from start to finish so you will leave with great stories and plans to come back every year.
We also want to give you a voice in shaping the convention. Through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, we will be getting input on all aspects of the convention, including guests, activities, contests, etc.
We also are very passionate about
giving back to the community, as our partnerships with local
organizations will show. We think having a convention of this type is awesome for the community, and we have seen firsthand the impact it can have from a financial and social perspective. It might seem silly, but we want to make sure that after the con is over, Spartanburg is a better place.
What's in it for me?
We are offering great discounts for both attendees and sponsors for believing in us early and committing to be a part of Imagine Con.
- You have been to other cons and enjoyed them but wished some things were handled better--
- This is your first con and you want a great experience--
- You are a vendor and are looking for the perfect location to connect with your target audience at an awesome price--
- You are a business looking to get your name out there to a great demographic who are passionate about fun--
- You are anywhere in the Southeast and are looking for a something unique to do for a weekend--
Imagine Con is for you!
Please support us in reaching our goal of bringing a great convention to Spartanburg!
WEEK 1 UPDATE:
We have been working really hard the past week to promote Imagine Con and the Kickstarter.
We have not had any response to date from local media outlets, which has been disappointing, but we are in the middle of several "grass roots" efforts to get the word out to online media and high profile fans in the hopes we will gain more momentum. We are also engaging some vendors that we have seen at other cons (collecting all those business cards finally paid off!) in the hopes we can get some of them on board.
We also wanted to add some information around the finances of the convention. Here is a high level breakdown of how the costs stack up:
You will notice there is no breakout for salaries. That is because there are none. None of the staff, including the Directors, are making ANY money from the con. We are only looking to cover expenses, and ALL of the money we make over and above that will go to future cons.
This is a labor of love, both for our community and the convention experience.
Look for some exciting information to be added to both our Facebook and website over the next few days and please donate and tell your friends to support Imagine Con!
SPONSORSHIP PRICE DROP!
We have lowered the prices on our Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Sponsorships in an effort to make them more accessible to small business who want to take part.
Sponsorships now start at just $250 and at the highest level are only $750, which is a HUGE bang for your advertising buck.
We have been hard at work this week based on response and feedback, and we have been able to have some services donated and negotiate some costs for Imagine Con. Because of this, we will be able to make Imagine Con a 3-DAY convention if we meet our $35,000 original goal! That means everyone who buys a ticket and every vendor will get the benefit of a Friday-Sunday convention running October 3-5, 2014.
Because of this, we have removed our previously-stated stretch goals, although we will re-establish some if we trend toward exceeding our goal.
Thanks to all who have made this possible, but make no mistake, the time to act is NOW! If you want to support us and get tickets at CRAZY prices, select your reward level TODAY. If you have already gotten your tickets and want to make sure we can have Imagine Con in Spartanburg, we need your help in spreading the word!
Risks and challenges
Putting on a convention is a daunting challenge, primarily from a financing perspective. There are literally dozens of conventions who have fallen apart due to lack of funding, some at the last minute, many leaving the planned attendees and vendors fighting to get their money back. This obstacle is why we established a Kickstarter, so we are held accountable to deliver what we say and you know that the funds are there to ensure our success.
Another obstacle is getting celebrity guests to a convention. This is especially hard in locations that are not big cities with direct flights from the major entertainment centers. It is a Catch 22--you can't land celebrity guests until they know you are solid and well attended, you can't get attendees until you start advertising guests. By contributing to the Kickstarter and planning to attend, you establish that we have the funding and the interest and we can leverage that to bring major celebrities to the area.
We will also mix that up with quality guests who are NOT as well known, but who we know from experience have established fan-bases and great fan interactions. Round that out with fan groups that give their all to their respective fandoms, and you have a great experience!
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter