Vintage Computer Festivals???

ethan at ethan at
Mon Apr 18 13:18:17 CDT 2016

> The tone here seems awfully heavy-handed.

Naw, it's not a bad thing. Whomever made the first named Vintage Computing 
Festival handed it off, and if someone wants to maintain control and keep 
order that isn't a bad thing.

In Norfolk I helped run (to the point of signing the contract with the 
city venue) two Mini-Maker Faires that were pretty decent in size. 
O'Reilly Publishing owns Maker Faire, Mini Maker Faire, etc. It was good 
from the perspective of kicking something off that was totally awesome and 
making things go. There was strict controls over artwork, domain names, 
web site CMS / theme etc. They just don't want people doing things that 
would harm the hard work they put into building their brand and their 
thing. It's tough when you have rando's trying to do things, not everyone 
uses good judgement.

> My personal opinion is that a singular entity running your festival
> remotely- particularly with local folks doing most of the leg work- is of
> dubious value. It will almost certainly limit the diversity and creative
> charm of such events, if not now then in the future. And it's simply more
> work for organizers to comply with...

This was kind of the case with us and Makerfaire, we did all the work but 
it looked good. The flip side was using the branding from Make Magazine 
didn't really help us that much. The #1 source of marketing was Facebook, 
it blew away our mention in local print media and everything else. One 
thing that kind of gave an upset stomach was the 2nd year there was a 
per-attendee license fee that we had to pay to O'Reilly/Make Magazine. 
This kind of sucked because we were a free event to the public. We had to 
raise around $7000 in sponsorship money to pay for the venue (which took 
a ton of work.) The venue along with many others were in a ticketmaster 
contract so in order to do online paid ticketing using the chosen system 
(Eventbright) we would of had to buy out the ticket master contract first. 
So the middle finger to that is go free. Other makerfaires were pulling in 
a good chunk of money but were in areas with more support than Norfolk VA, 
and at venues not locked into contracts -- which can be tougher to secure.

Events are a pain to run!

I also have a 2nd row seat to a 20,000 person gaming music and 
gaming festival that grew organically. That one is hell :-) The 
payback is when you run into random people and they talk about how much 
they liked the event.

> *So Mike, to summarize-- go ahead and do your own show your own way*-- just
> don't use Evan's fraternity letters if you do so. Or work with Evan to use
> the name "Vintage Computer Festival," if you see your event's value as
> contingent on that banner.

That sounds ok?

Ethan O'Toole

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