Tuesday, December 24, 2013

SPX 2014's lottery system for tables

Dear Creators, Publishers, and Friends,

We hope you've had a great 2013!  As we look ahead to next fall and the SPX 2014, we need to update you on a few things.  We'll be making some changes to our registration process and we want to walk you through them.

The rush for SPX tables last year revealed that simply moving our long-time "first come, first serve" rules to a digital format was not the right solution. Beyond the website issues that plagued us (A pox on your household, Bluehost!), it was clear from the overall feedback that we needed to rethink the entire process. So back to the drawing board we went.

We Have a Plan

We've given loads of thought to how best to manage the show given its recent growth and taking into account what's going on in the independent comics community we exist to support. After a great deal of careful consideration, we've made the decision that for 2014, SPX is moving to a split registration system. Half of our tables will be awarded by an open Lottery and half byinvitation.

About the Lottery

Here's a crazy notion: SPX has literally doubled in size since 2011. We are now able to accommodate a larger and more diverse group of creators than ever before.  And we're committed to keeping SPX open to all, whether you're just starting out or have been honing your craft for years. Moving to a table Lottery allows us to meet these goals while removing the potential for unfairness and unquestionable inconvenience that had crept into our "first come, first serve" process.  

Going forward there will be total transparency to how people get their tables and how the wait list works. We'll have a simple initial registration and a lengthy window of registration so you won't be dealing with website crashes. This will be a truly random and fair process to reserve your tables.

About those Invitations

Let's get the "C" word out of the way up front. SPX has no interest in broadly "curating" our show based on content.  Whereas other shows use this method quite well, we prefer a different path.

On the other hand, each year we try to put together thematically consistent groups of guests. We begin working on guests a full year in advance and that work continues up until a few weeks before showtime. We need to ensure that we have the appropriate table space to offer our featured creators.  This is not a major change from year's past but by acknowledging these folks as invited, the process is more transparent.

Along with our annual guests, another group that is just as important are the creators and publishers who have continuously supported SPX over the last half decade or more. These folks have been instrumental in creating the community that we cherish. Without these stalwarts, SPX would be utterly unrecognizable and the growth of the last several years would have been impossible.  With our 20th Birthday Party approaching, we would not want to have these friends miss the festivities.

As to how this will work, practically speaking, prior to the Lottery, SPX will reach out to those legacy supporters of SPX offering them a window of opportunity to commit to their table(s).  If the table space is declined, it will then roll over to the Lottery pool and be available to all Lottery participants.

What to Expect

1. By early January we will notify all of the SPX Legacy members so everyone knows whether they need to register for the Lottery or not.
2. In mid-January we will send out via both our exhibitor e-mail list and social media the start and end dates for Lottery registration. A web site will be provided to enter your information as well as further details on the registration process. We will also announce the final size of the number of tables in the Lottery pool.
3. There will be a 3 week window to register for the Lottery, so we can avoid the crazy, mad rush to sign up online that plagued us last year. Weekly reminders will go out via our e-mail list and social media to be sure that this is kept on everyone's radar.
So There it Is

We're growing - this community is growing - and with growth comes change.  Given our experience last year, we're sure these changes to our registration process are for the better.  

We're committed keeping SPX an open, welcoming event and to using a transparent, democratic process that ensures new creators have an equal opportunity to participate.

With our 20th Birthday coming up, we want to have a really happy party crowd!!!

Any questions, do not hesitate to send us a note to EXHIBITORS@SPXPO.COM and we will get right back to you with answers.

Thanks all,

Mike and Eden and Dan and Sam and Sarah and Bill and Catherine and and Nate and Warren and Greg and John and Rusty and Joe

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