MISTI-Con 2017 Closing Thoughts

MISTI-Con 2017 Closing Thoughts

To our MISTI-Con family, friends and supporters:

We’d like to once again thank all of you for making MISTI-Con 2017 the best MISTI-Con yet! Because of all of you we truly felt that this convention was about "Coming Home".

As we turn the page from this year’s con and begin our focus on the next chapter, we’d like to take a moment to address a few things regarding the very difficult decision to not have the next MISTI-Con at the Margate Resort.
Firstly, we want to specifically thank Ray, Caroline and Kyle for all of their support over the last 5 + years.  Their willingness to let us completely transform the hotel into our wizarding world has been absolutely incredible and we can say without hesitation that the need to make this move was 100X harder because of how amazing they all are.  We’d suggest raising a glass to them, but that’d put poor Ray to work on his own celebration so instead we would ask that you all please take a moment to go to TripAdvisor, the Margate’s Facebook and any other travel sites you may know of and give them a positive review.  It will just take about 5 minutes of your time and while it may seem like a small gesture it can help them immensely!
We want to assure all of our MISTI-Con family that we are not selling out to any big convention companies and we aren’t rebranding to be a multi-fandom con. The only “wizard world” you’ll ever see in relation to MISTI-Con is the one created by J.K. Rowling.  We remain committed to being a small, fan run, & non-profit convention where we create an intimate & unique experience for all who attend.  We will not compromise on any of these points. 
We came to the decision based on many factors - many of which are due to challenges for our existing guests and our staff.  We’d like to address some of those key factors.  
The entire complex of the Margate includes only 146 rooms. If every single room was filled with 4 people the facility could house 586 people on site.  That is how our original “cap” of 500 attendees (guests, featured guests, staff etc) was developed.  
However, as we’ve grown and produced several events at the Margate, the reality is that while the facility is capable of housing 500 people, it simply isn’t capable of handling that many people.  This isn’t a criticism of the Margate at all. One of the things we absolutely love about it is the size, but logistically this leads to issues with check-in, staffing, cleaning, set-up etc. that cause frustrations for their staff, MISTI-Con Staff and our attendees as well.   

Some examples of this are only about 145-150 can eat breakfast at the facility at once,  there are only two luggage carts, and there are only two check in areas, etc. make for some stressful situations and there isn’t a way that can be addressed.  

One other area that we are extremely passionate about is accessibility.  The facility is ADA compliant and getting around the campus if you’re simply staying as a guest is manageable, but moving around the entire facility has been a significant hindrance for our guests with mobility impairments.  We feel it is extremely important to address this issue as we want every person in attendance to be able to enjoy the experience with as little restrictions and stressors as possible. 
The location of The Margate is simultaneously one of it’s greatest qualities and one of our most challenging. Since apparating isn’t actually a thing for (m)any of our attendees it is a challenge for a large portion of our guests to make it there. (Multiple connecting flights, shuttles, etc.) One of the things that we specifically plan to address is finding a venue that is easier for people to get to.  All that we know for certain at this time is that we will be staying on the East Coast for MISTI-Con 2019 and we want the location to be much closer to a "major" airport.  

In addition to making it easier to get all of your lovely people there it will in turn open up our ability to reach out to celebrity and technical guests who can't justify an entire day of a travel just to get there. 
If you have any suggestions of venues on the East Coast or have any questions whatsoever, please, feel free to contact us at info@misti-con.org and we’ll answer as best as we can.  This is a convention for the fandom and we want you all to know that every decision we make is with the interest of making MISTI-Con the best possible experience it can for as many of us as possible.

We love you all, we love this fandom and we look forward to MISTI-Con 2019!
-Your MISTI-Con Head Organizers