The corona crisis hit the event industry hard: No events mean no visitors and therefore no income. Big players in the industry have opted for online alternatives, while small organizers are anything but good. Then what can help? Maybe the community. That is what board game Youtubers Hunter & Cron thought, who launched their own public event with Berlin Con in 2015. The Spielschmiede is now looking for supporters as part of a crowdfunding campaign.
There is potential dormant in the format of the Berlin Con. This is at least indicated by the growth in visitor numbers since the board game fair's debut in 20215. Now the sword of Damocles hovers over the convention, which could not take place this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. So that the Berlin Con can remain a fixed date in the capital's event calendar, the Youtubers Hunter & Cron collect money through a crowdfunding campaign with their Berlin Brettspiel Con Event GmbH, which was founded especially for the fair.
Berlin Con: From hobby to main job
Now you might ask: who cares if the convention will take place in 2021 or not? In addition to around ten thousand fans who make a pilgrimage to Berlin every year full of anticipation, three livelihoods are now also attached to the convention: "Hunter" Johannes Jaeger and the two employees Andreas Langkamp and Alexander Koppin have raised the hobby to a professional level - for them Berlin is Con their day job, a main job that they use to finance their livelihood. If the Board Game Con breaks down, the financial resources for the staff will also be lost, at least in the short term.
In addition, investments were made in the past year in order to grow with the convention. There was still no trace of the corona virus, now the pathogen is everywhere and everyday. Within less than a year, the world has changed and with it the plans of the Berlin-Con organizers: The black zero was the target for 2020, the makers reveal that their crowdfunding project page. One can roughly imagine how far one is now from this goal.
The organizers ask the community for help: you can provide support with just five euros. More than 500 fans have already done this - because the Berlin Con counted almost 2019 visitors in 10.000, it quickly becomes clear that there is still plenty of room for improvement.
The organizers are still collecting one month via the games forge of the games offensive, which is backed by Happyshops GmbH. Hunter and Co are aiming for 25.000 euros, almost 17.000 – as of December 15th – already. The money should primarily be used to preserve jobs, for which reserves are to be created in order to hold the convention next year - if the virus situation allows it. Fans can even give the organizers “serenity” with 50.000 euros in crowdfunding.
One thing is clear: all income from the financing campaign should flow to Berlin Con and thus also to the preparation for the next edition of the event. The plan is to hold Berlin Con 2021 from June 16 to 18.