*VIDEO NOTE* "Brian" is the collective term for our convention planning team and staff. It may help to know this when you watch the video.Melksham Comic Con is back! 2014 will be our third year, and this year, we’re expanding!
We turned to Kickstarter last year to help fund our second convention, and help us become self-sufficient for future years. We were successful, and we now have enough of a budget to maintain the size of the show – but the convention was so popular that we now have to expand to accommodate future growth.
This, understandably, comes at an increased cost.
We’ve made the decision to expand this year’s show in two ways:
1. Become a two-day event. This gives more people the opportunity to enjoy the convention, as they can spend the whole weekend with us, or pick one day to come along and have a great day!
2. Bigger Panel Rooms - and more of them! Our current panel room can only hold about 30 people – the demand for space at the 2013 Panels meant that we were turning away twice as many people as we could fit in! We have been able to acquire a second venue, right next to the current one that will allow more panels and workshops to run across the weekend, and accommodate up to 100 people in the audiences! Our feedback from attendees also asked for more panels, so by having a second day, and extra rooms, we can deliver!
For those who don’t know much about Melksham, it’s a small town in the heart of Wiltshire in the UK. The Assembly Hall, where Melksham Comic Con is held, is right in our town centre, less than 5 minutes walk from a number of smaller venues that could also be used for Q&A sessions, workshops and activities to make our convention a town-wide weekend show.
We’re starting with Melksham Town Hall. It’s directly in front of the Assembly Hall, and the main room can hold up to 100 people for panels, as well as a Committee Room which is perfect for “How-To” Workshops or interactive sessions.
Our Kickstarter campaign this year is to fund the following aspects of Melksham Comic Con 2014:
- Venue Hire for the Second Day – this includes the cost of overnight secure lock-up of the facility and ensured safety of any guest and exhibitor items stored throughout the night.
- Melksham Town Hall Hire – this second venue is also run and managed by the same staff as Melksham Assembly Hall, so there will be no additional staffing costs – however, we are required to pay for the hire of the extra rooms
- Convention Promotional Printing – Last year we were very generously sponsored by a local print and design company, saving us thousands of pounds on promotional material to make the day a success. This year, we need to find the funds to pay for it ourselves. This includes all promotional posters and flyers, weekend programme of events for all attendees, event banners and signposting, and so on.
- Kickstarter Rewards and Fees.
Melksham Comic Con is totally not-for-profit. All the planning staff work for free outside of their day jobs and busy lives, year round to make sure the convention is a success. Any profits left after each event are ploughed back into the following year, but this only goes so far.
Our Staff love what they do. They are a strong close-knit group of friends and family, who believe in their community and believe that Melksham Comic Con is worth doing – for the smiles, the laughter and the looks of awe and inspiration they see at the end of it all.
They have fun with it too – The Staff are known collectively as Brian to all convention attendees, guests and exhibitors, and this persona has become a part of the convention too – making Melksham Comic Con truly unique and special to the comic book industry!
We have some fantastic rewards on offer in exchange for pledges this year – be sure to check them all out before making a decision – we’ve got merchandise galore, special artwork and comic book cameo opportunities as well as advertising options and sponsorship options for the businesses and entrepreneurs out there wanting to show their support!
If you are able to help in ways other than pledging, or you’d like to find out more, ask questions or just send up some words of support, please do send us a message – we’d love to hear from you!
Risks and challenges
No project is without risks, but this is our second Kickstarter campaign, and we have also received help and support from a number of individuals who have succeeded with their own Kickstarters too. We've learned from last year, and we've planned for any setbacks.
We will rely on companies to produce certain rewards for us, and we will be bound by their timescales - but by running this campaign at the beginning of the year, for 30 days, it gives us ample time to continue planning and delivering Melksham Comic Con, as well as allowing some of our staff to dedicate their time to fulfilling Kickstarter pledges and ensuring all tasks are complete well within the timescales provided.
The other risk we face is not being successful. While Melksham Comic Con 2014 will still go ahead, our budget will be severely restricted, and we won't necessarily be able to afford a venue to hold larger panels, or promote the event as far afield as we'd like - but the dedication and level of work won't change!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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