To the members, supporters and friends of Who’s Yer Gamers;
Thank you all for your support over the years. We couldn’t have gotten here without you.
It is no secret that our member body is the driving force that enables all our efforts. Per our bylaws, the mission of this organization is to promote gaming as a pastime throughout the fine state of Indiana through free and low-cost gaming events. In other words, your volunteer hours and member dues allow us to spread the joy of gaming throughout the state. Your donations open our doors to gamers and gamer families who could not otherwise afford a weekend of gaming and fun. You are the reason that many of these kids get to experience the imagination and camaraderie of a gaming convention. We, together, are building a foundation of creativity and positive personal interaction that will serve our community for years and generations to come.
As Who’s Yer Gamers moves into our 6th year as an organization, we recognize that we need to be bold to keep this mission alive.
The Clarion Waterfront Hotel has served us well, but it is clear to all that we have outgrown the space, turning down many, many events and vendors due to lack of room. We have sold out the hotel room block earlier each year and we see attendance eventually pushing up against fire codes. As of last weekend, we’ve sold out Who’s Yer Con 2014 — a full five weeks early. This is a wonderful problem to have, but a serious problem nonetheless.
For the last several years, the WYG Board has scoured Indianapolis and surrounding area for bigger and better convention spaces. The good news is those spaces exist. The bad news is the price tags run $7K – $10K minimum above our current operating budget. And that’s just for the hotel space.
As more high-end conventions come to Indianapolis, we see even more importance in our mission. We love the big cons, but they cost families of four up to $300 for tickets and then $200 a night for hotel rooms. That is not who we are, nor is it what we want to be. We are the convention anyone can attend for free. We include everyone in our fun, and we want to continue to be that type of organization.
This is why we need your help. We need bigger space but our current model does not allow it. The math simply doesn’t add up. So, do we intentionally cut back on events and other possibilities? Do we intentionally stay smaller and continue to squeeze into the Clarion? Or… do we choose to work together and to push this organization forward and upward?
We, the board of Who’s Yer Gamers, have our answer. We are committed to move us forward and upward. We will make this organization and this convention bigger and better. With more and better space, WYC can support more games and more vendors, as well as tournaments, seminars, and possibly even add larger items like LARPs and industry events. Beyond the con, we can expand our fledgling outreach efforts with more Marion County Library teen gaming days and expand our local gaming store game days. We can raise more money for charities. We can do more of everything.
But it all comes with a price.
This is why Who’s Yer Gamers is increasing our annual membership donation from $20 per year to $25 per year, effective at the close of WYC 2014 pre-registration at midnight Wednesday, February 19, 2014 (36 hours before WYC 2014 opens). Those who pre-register for WYC 2014 on the website before 12:01 AM Thursday Feb 20, 2014 will get the full member con swag package for $20. Those who pay at the door will get the same package for $25. We feel this modest increase will help us reach our three primary goals: expanding our reach, staying free to the public, and remaining very affordable to our members. Given the tremendous value of our membership package each year, we feel $25 is still a very reasonable price.
We also hope you can recognize that alone, a $5 increase in supporting memberships will not be enough to move hotels or perpetuate any of our other goals in the community. In addition, our staff continues to work with sponsors, vendors and other local organizations to help reach our goals. This is more than a price increase to members. This is the beginning of a new era. This is the start of a bigger and better Who’s Yer Gamers and Who’s Yer Con. With your help, we can get there.
Likewise, we will always be sincerely grateful for any additional monetary donations you care to give, either at the convention or on the website. People often ask how to donate additional money. Stay tuned: we will soon begin communicating fundraising opportunities, as well as posting the results and posting how the funds are being used. We are committed to being good stewards of your contributions.
So, please join us in this leap of faith toward creating a better organization, a bigger convention and a better community.
As always, thank you for your continued support!
Yours in gaming,
Who’s Yer Gamers Board of Directors