Hello, this is Chase Hedges, one of the founders and con chairs of all three MLP-MSP conventions. I’d first like to thank every single individual for attending and making these past three years possible. I hope we put on excellent conventions for you over the years and gave you memories that will last a lifetime. I hope for those who find it hard to be social due to whatever the reason is for you personally, that you found a safe haven for three days meeting your like-minded friends, and creating new relationships.
We know that many of you have been anxiously awaiting news about the possibility of another MLP-MSP, and we’re sorry to have kept you all waiting for so long.
It is with deep regret that I must announce that the current owners of MLP-MSP are not able to commit to another year of the convention.
We are hopeful that another group will be interested in taking it over, and will talk more about that at the end of this post, but first we wanted to explain our situation, and more specifically mine, as I was the primary financial backing for the convention.
It was no secret to most that met me that I am not a brony. I did not hide the fact that I was not interested in the show and that I started the convention for one reason alone: to try an entrepreneurial experience for myself by starting a business and see where it led. However, after finding the right team of people and creating an excellent first year convention, my motivation changed quickly and radically. I was no longer in this experience for myself; I was in this for YOU. After the incredible turnout for our first year, walking through the halls and seeing so many happy faces, I took it all in and decided that this is what friendship is all about.
Despite being a fantastic experience, our first year left me in a financial position where the convention probably should not have continued to its second year. It turns out it’s fairly difficult for a first-year convention to be profitable, especially when (admittedly) run by people without a ton of experience in the area. In the end however, my incredible team and I decided that we would push for a second year because the turnout and positive reviews of MLP-MSP 2014 were hard to ignore.
Our second year rolled around and MLP-MSP 2015 was just as fun as the first, if not better. More lights, concerts, VA’s, writers, panels, you name it. We grew and got better in almost every way. Even still, after our second year was all said and done, I was still left with debt for something that was more for others than for me.
The convention founders discussed over the summer what the next move should be. If the financial aspect wasn’t weighing on me enough, at that point my new job was taking over my life. I was working 55 hours a week or more and after the continued debt I was consuming, I had to really sit down and talk with the others to see if continuing was a smart choice. After many meetings, we decided we would put on a third year and see what would happen after that.
As many of you know, our third year was hit hard in April by the sudden announcement of the demolition of our venue. This was about as big of a crisis as a convention could have to deal with. Fortunately we found a new venue at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis in relatively short order, but even though they were nice enough to work with us getting the fee close to what we had negotiated with the Ramada, this change still brought with it a slew of unexpected expenses. The change did not end up helping with gaining attendees either.
To make matters worse, over year three I was not involved like I was the first two years. I did not have the time to manage the areas that needed my attention. At one point things really looked up for us for MLP-MSP 3, but after the dust had settled I was left with more debt than ever. As things were coming to a close for year three, I explained to the team that I would no longer be able to continue, due to work and financial constraints. The other owners are likewise not able to fund the convention either, so regrettably we have no choice but to make this announcement.
We don’t want this to be the end of MLP-MSP, though! We are currently discussing options for selling, auctioning, or otherwise transferring the convention ownership to others that may be interested and capable of keeping it going.
If you feel that you have the time, experience, capital, and dedication to want to take over MLP-MSP, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know why you would be a good choice.
Once we decide how we are going to continue – which will depend greatly on the kind of responses we get – we will notify interested parties of our plans.
I hope that I, along with our incredible 60+ members of staff gave you experiences that you will never forget. I am proud to say that I was able to do this for three years for everyone. I learned a lot about friendship, coming together, and positivism from bronies that I will always thank you for.
THANK YOU ALL,
P.S. Yes, the MLP-MSP 3 photos are still coming! Sorry for the long delay in getting those out to you all.