Alright Jason, I'll be brutally honest (and a lot of people aren't going to like this, but so be it).
First, locations. There will be people on here who will happily talk about 'let's have an event in Northampton!', or 'How about another event in Glasgow?'. Bottom line, in this environment, there is only one thing that's important - and that's whether or not an event is economically viable. And an event in Stoke is not going to be economically viable, you know it, I know it, and in their hearts, they know it too. I find it amazing that you ran an event in Glasgow and made money. Maybe it didn't make money - I don't know. And that brings me on to my next point.
Now, the amount of events. Honestly? I think you should cut back right now. I think now is the time to cut back, and focus purely on 1 or 2 high quality events per year. Get in as many guests as you can, including the big ones, and don't dilute your offering. But focus purely on those two events. Ditch all of the 'secondary' events (Supernatural conventions, and all the rest of it). Just focus on CM, and LFACC, push them hard, and deliver them well, just as you always have.
Don't get me wrong, if a secondary con makes money, stick with it - maybe the Twilight ones are in this category, I don't know. But anything that is 'iffy',or 'debatable', get rid of it
. Fall back on your core competencies, and hunker down to weather this economic storm. Because those that are inclined to stick with you, will stick with you, and those that are going to leave anyway, will leave no matter what you do. Right now, there is no growth strategy - there is only survival, and again that is about CORE COMPETENCIES. Stick with what you do well, what consistently makes money.
Back to Location. Stick with London, and maybe MK. People will complain about coming to London. But seriously, when a plane ticket to London from Glasgow is £25, there is no excuse, no excuse
, for people not just getting on a plane down to London. And if those people don't want to spend £25 on a plane ticket, you don't want them at the con, because they will not spend anything. The people that will come anyway, will still come.
I would love you to run an event every month, in every county in the country, but we are not in those times, and you're running a business. If you can't survive by running two events in London / MK with quality guests, then bottom line you cannot survive. Get rid of everything else, and boil down and reduce your offering.
That's my view, and no doubt many will disagree - and if I've offended anyone, I'm sorry. But at the end of the day, your balance sheet needs to have a positive number at the end of the year. And right now, focusing on core competencies is the way to do it.
Meanwhile, I will continue
to support your events, as I have for the best part of ten years.
All my best,
Edited by MikeDonovan, 31 January 2011 - 11:45 PM.