It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing this for 40 years (starting with T’Con in 1978). MediaWest*Con’s focus has shifted and expanded over the years as we try to welcome new interests while retaining an emphasis on media science fiction and fantasy fandom, and we believe this makes us unique among conventions. Our basic format — lots of panels on topics suggested by members and no official guests — is what makes MW*C special to those who look forward to it every year, but it is limiting at the same time. Our intended audience is active fen, those who read and write fanfic, publish fanzines, make fannish videos, create fan art, do costuming, etc., or would like to.
Unfortunately, membership has been slowly declining for years, despite our efforts at promoting the con with limited resources. And as membership declines, costs of putting on the con continue to rise.
We would like MW*C 38 to go on as planned, but it is now at the tipping point. The number of Attending memberships we currently have is well below what we would expect at this point, and at this rate will not be enough to justify holding the con. This trend must be reversed if MediaWest*Con is to continue.
We basically have a month to decide whether or not to cancel without invoking penalties.
MW*C has always been a participatory con, and for MW*C to survive we need your help. Word of mouth is essential; tell old fannish friends who used to attend to come back (or at least get supporting memberships), and newer fannish friends to give us a try and if they want their fandom represented they can suggest panel topics. Talk us up wherever and whenever you can. Remind fannish friends that the convention is what they make of it. If they haven’t been back in years, let them know we no longer have waiting lists for membership or hotel rooms, and single-day passes are an option if they can’t take off a whole weekend. Tell them info is readily available on the MW*C website (www.mediawestcon.org) and blog.
Wear your MW*C T’shirts to other cons and fannish events, and take flyers as well. If you are associated with other conventions, we are willing to trade program book ads or maybe swap tables or at least send flyers.
MW*C has always been what you, the members, make of it. We like to think MW*C members look out for one another and care for one another, and we hope you all will put forth an effort to help MediaWest*Con continue into the future.
If you care about the convention and want to see it thrive, please help!
— Lori & Gordon