Finally! After much advice and help from several Kossacks and lots of jiggling, fiddling, and tweaking, the OctopodiCon Kickstarter Project is up!
OctopodiCon is a convention focused on science through hands-on activities, classes, demonstrations, and art with a very strong steampunk theme.
We've been scraping by on paying for everything to put this convention on by the skin of our teeth. Most of it has been funded out of my personal pocket so far, but we've reached the end of my personal finances, and we still need to pay a few large ticket items: the deposit on the site, the transporation for our Distinguished Visiting Professors, the food for the Professors Lounge, the printing of the T-shirts and a few tote bags, and badges and program books.
Spelled out like that, it's a lot we haven't paid for yet. We've paid for the website, advertising, the monthly Teas, licenses, fees, permits, taxes, and printing and postage costs to date.
This Kickstarter project is a way to get funding without asking for too much from any one person. I personally don't know anyone who could afford to front the money for this convention, or anyone from whom I could borrow the money. This first year is the scariest when it comes to financing it because we don't have a track record so we didn't get a lot of the grants I'd hoped we'd get and as a first year event, we don't have a cushion of income from previous years.
We've calculated out how many attendees we'd need to break even on expenses and we're pretty confident we can reach and exceed that goal based on pre-registrations and interest.
Our June Tea brought nearly 2 dozen new people who knew about steampunk and were excited to learn there were local steampunk activities going on. Several of them bought enrollments right then.
There were a lot of children there, too, and the interest in the children's programming we have in place was extremely high.
The theme for June's Tea was Games and Gaming, and as you can see, that meant the people didn't stay at the tables for long, we had them up and in groups playing games and looking over the gaming materials.
When we started OctopodiCon, we thought it would be just a hundred or so people who would be interested and would play with us. But as we've pulled this together, that number has gone over a thousand. People want to learn how to do all the cool steampunk stuff they see, and they want a chance to show off and share the cool steampunk stuff they've discovered on their own. Their creativitiy is amazing.
OctopodiCon is structured like a seminar or mini-college, with hands-on labs to make things, classrooms to learn things, an airship race, science and engineering competitions, as well as interactive discussion panels on literature, costuming, history,
science, and more, an art gallery, a stage filled with performers, and a tea parlour and promenade.
We've also got a large children's track, with science and art activities and storytelling for children aged 6-16. That's become so popular that groups in other states want to emulate it, so we've got a committee working on creating manuals for it and we may soon have a Junior Sprockets Youth Program available that extends beyond OctopodiCon.
Other groups want our classes and makeshops available to them, too, and we're developing "tentacle classes" for them.
OctopodiCon needs to happen.