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An Open Letter from Our President (Or, "Why Are Cons on Holiday Weekends?)

Hello Gamers!


I’m Matt Boersma and I have the honor of serving in a number of roles this year for Who’s Yer Gamers: Con Chair, Director of Conventions, and President. I’m excited about our upcoming Con and other events, such as Thanks4Giving. I love the mission of our organization: to bring free and low-cost gaming events to Indiana. We have had so many awesome events put on by this organization, from the con, to game days at libraries, to hosting free gaming during PopCon this last year. All of those events are what we are here to do and I take the responsibility of implementing our mission very seriously.


Who’s Yer Con has always been a favorite of mine, even before I started serving the organization, first as Tech Director, then more recently with the other roles. In the decade before COVID, Who’s Yer Gamers had grown significantly. While we had managed to keep the con free through that time, even then we were starting to hit the limits of what we could accomplish within the convention and hotel spaces we were working with.


Then the world changed. Post-COVID, we ran into a number of complications. First, the cost of using hotel convention space was significantly higher. To some extent, this was because there was a backlog of conferences and conventions wanting to come back to in person events, and so those spaces were in higher demand. What also happened during that time was that labor costs went up, so even if there was not higher demand for convention space, there were more costs associated with it. For us, we also had a number of our core staff move out of their previous roles, leaving us with a number of positions to fill.


We looked at a number of possibilities. Venues other than hotels did not cost significantly less, and they also lacked a lot of the community elements that come with sharing a space for 3 days straight. Several of them were unable to handle the number of attendees we traditionally have. Non-holiday weekends were available at the hotel venues, but they were significantly more expensive (4-5x the cost, minimum, plus higher room rates for attendees). There could be solutions to those problems, such as charging more than we are for badges, but we felt that our mission to provide free and low cost gaming would not be supported if we had to charge the $75-$100 a badge that we would likely need to charge to cover the cost of a non-holiday weekend at a hotel.


Which leaves us with the option of the holiday weekend and as low a charge as we can for badges. We realize that some of our attendees may not be able to attend for some or all of the convention because of this choice, and we are sad that they won’t be able to come game with us. We have looked at other holiday weekends, but many of them are already taken by other events and sibling conventions in the area. Perhaps in the future, Who’s Yer Gamers will be in a position where we can host our con in a way that aligns with our mission and avoid a major holiday in the process, but at this time, we are not in that position.


I want to hear from you, though. If you have ideas, let me know. If you have suggestions on ways we can keep our mission going, reach out. If you want to talk in person, we have a few events coming up where I am happy to make myself available. If you will be at VoltCon (Oct 14-15 at the Indianapolis Wyndham West), I will be at our WYG table in their community row. If you are coming to Thanks4Giving (Nov 4 at the Nexus Impact Center), I will be there and will plan on having a round table discussion at 1pm, plus be available to talk throughout the event. If you cannot make those, or just want to send a note through email, I can be reached at president@whosyergamers.org .


Thank you for trusting me, and the other officers, with our organization. I hope we can plan some awesome events together.


Matt Boersma

President & Director of Conventions

Who’s Yer Gamers

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