SOE's annual Fan Faire event is moving to autumn next year, well into the school year for many parents and children, but otherwise staying put in Las Vegas and the now familiar Bally's hotel. The three dates on offer this time around are:
- September 13th – 16th, 2012
- September 27th – 30th, 2012
- October 18th – 21st, 2012
Voting for one of the above three dates for Fan Faire 2012 is only open until August 19, 2011.
If you're wondering why Fan Faire seems locked to Las Vegas and hasn't traveled to the Midwest or East coasts in many years, or why Fan Faire is straying from the summer months next year, you'll want to read Linda "Brasse" Carlson's extensive response to those concerns:
Let me pop in here to talk honestly about a few points that come up every year:
Why the autumn?
Among the many, many considerations in booking FanFaire is the simple fact of availability of the venue.
The choices set before are the only three weekends that Bally's has open in 2012. Plain and simple. THREE out of the entire year! In 2011, we had two choices, one in July, one in August.
We know kids are in school and that Fan Faire covers two weekdays, Thursday and Friday. Over the past few years, when we've been able to run Fan Faire during the summer, we have received many complaints about the overbearing heat and the almost inevitable double booking with family holiday plans, other conventions.
Each year we have people tell us how disappointed that they cannot attend, and others who tell us they happy that they can attend for the first time ever. There is no perfect scheduling solution that will fit everyone, unfortunately... at least not until someone invents cool wormhole technology. Man, that would be cool. Please get working on it.
We have been at Bally's for three years running, and we have developed a very good relationship with the hotel. Almost all technical and logistical issues have been ironed out (hey, there is always room for improvement and we have collected ALL your feedback to work on next year!). Moving from venue to venue means we have to reinvent the wheel every time.
The price is right for SOE and for guest rooms.
If we moved elsewhere, to another hotel capable of giving us the same level of facilities and services, we'd be picking up a much larger bill.
I'll say it right here: the cost of admission does not cover the cost of admission, not by a long shot. This is our big annual fan event, a heartfelt thank you to our players, but in order to be as fiscally responsible as players should expect us to be, we have to choose our venue with extreme care, or increase badge fees such that no one could afford to come.
The rooms are affordable for a large convention hotel as well. As a player, I've had to pay $150 - 190 a night at other Fan Faire hotels we've been at over the years. I know what it's like to live on a tight budget and how hard it was to fork over that kind of money for 3 - 4 nights. Bally's is on the strip, and for those who prefer fancier hotels, there are several other choices nearby within a reasonable distance!
We've talked about this a lot over the years. Las Vegas is the most affordable solution. Yes, for both parties.
For SOE, it is within a reasonable day's bus trip for the hundred or so staff and devs we send out - yes, you heard right, we use a bus, not air travel... to save money and keep your badge costs down!
Vegas is the most affordable airfare option on average for folks from all over North America. We are fortunate that many of our wonderful overseas friends make the trip regardless... and yep, it's true, we cannot afford to host this event overseas, as much as we'd love to.
Vegas has Bally's. See above (it's big enough, reasonably priced, and we know it well enough to make our jobs easier every year).
We are always looking at other options. Our Events Team is forever on the search for the best deal, location, service, venue, value on the dollar for our fans and for the company. We never say never for the future, but for 2012, all signs point to Bally's in Vegas once more, and we all hope to see you there again! I just wish it was sooner!!!!
Yer auld Dwarf,