Quoted from orangestorm87:
So there is a post on the MGC Facebook page that is a bit confusing to me. If I am reading it right, it appears as if MGC is asking to be shutdown by a government agency. If not, they will be financially ruined for any future shows.
I am confused, what is stopping them from just having the show? And if the show goes on, is the only concern nobody would show up, or are there already vendors canceling?
In short, and without saying anything I can be liable about, the chickens started coming home to roost yesterday in an unexpected way, at that same time that ticket sales had completely cratered. The state shut down schools, but had only "recommended" events of 250 or more cancel. With that, we had no recourse with... well... anything very suddenly.
For the most part, it was incredible how many people were sticking through this with us. I only knew of a handful of drop outs. But, what had become obvious is ticket sales had fallen off a cliff - we sold 2 yesterday (oddly, until after the announcement when people started buying to help out) compared to a year on year sales of over 75. We were at the point that money had to go out to make the show happen, and money wasn't coming in. While we *may* have been able to survive off credit for a week or two, we don't think it would have been recoverable funds.
Add to this that when schools got canceled, the writing was on the wall and we were the largest event standing, and we were getting slammed with messages and notes calling us out for not canceling. The further we went, the worse optics got and we appeared tone deaf. We agreed that we didn't want to operate due to any social risk factors - added to by the "recommendation" to close essentially ceding all legal liability if anyone got sick at our show to us.
We were in a situation that us canceling had been made impossible due to certain places that were unwilling to work with us on pricing. Prices would have spiraled to insane levels, and it was clear people would not come.
Running the show would be socially irresponsible at best, and would open a world of legal liability that could have made it even worse than canceling it outright.
Waiting until the State or City finally made the call to force events to cancel at best would have made us look like clueless dolts since everything else had already closed. If it didn't come fast enough, what I mentioned above started to kick in.
Rock... hard place.
You may read into this why exactly we felt the need to call out Evers publicly. I will say I was *shocked* that it was the City that called it, but thank goodness they did.
I'm not going to sit here and tell everyone that we're in a great spot because that is clearly not what we expected. Thankfully, we put into place a number of measures to assist in the case of a disaster like this after two years ago with the giant snowstorm, and last year's show was able to get us onto solid footing. We anticipate being able to hold the show next year as expected.
I am personally hurt at this point that people have attacked both myself and fellow show organizers. MGC was in a unique spot of having emergency plans that are panning out. I had also worked in a job that taught crisis management and that served me really well throughout this. Unfortunately, most shows are not in this position. I know of more than a handful of friends that run other shows that expect to declare personal bankruptcy over this - two more contacted me today. Anyone acting flippant or like this is a joke should realize that shows like this operate on surprisingly thin margins, and most are directly attached to their owners. It's not a time to be sarcastic about this stuff.
Having said that, I am also amazed by the outpouring of love that the show has had. I've had dozens of people reach out to me with encouragement and offers to help. At the moment, I'm stuck waiting for places to open on Monday and can't do much, but being real - this is why we do this. It sure isn't lucrative enough to do otherwise, and the stress level... yeesh.
I am disappointed that we are not going to get to operate the 2020 Midwest Gaming Classic as planned. We had a ton of great ideas, and some awesome announcements still yet to come that we will now not get to do. Ultimately though, I do believe that this is the best course of action that the show can be taking for the health and safety of those attending and the communities that we belong to, and I support the decision.