The Mindbridge Board Decision to Cancel Icon in 2007

After some consultation at the last Mindbridge meeting in October, it was decided that a document along these lines might be a good idea to share with the membership of Icon, lest some rumors fester into fact.

On the whole, the Mindbridge Board wanted Icon to continue, but finally as a group we came to the stark realization that Icon could not continue. Our main motivations were as follows: continued financial loss and lacking volunteer base. In this memo, I plan to deal with each of these in turn.

Financial Loss

Any rumors that Mindbridge is absconding with Icon funds are unfounded, given that Icon has steadily lost money for the past several years. As always, the Mindbridge books are open, and we will be happy to share the gory details with interested parties. Financially, the con has not been able to support itself for a long time. Icon’s deficits were usually covered by Mindbridge’s general fund, and not carried into the next year’s convention.

A serious restructuring of Icon is necessary if Icon is to balance its budget, based on current membership, number of paying members, and financial outflow.

Lacking Volunteer Base

This is perhaps a much more serious problem. While it is often possible to drum up a convention committee at the last minute, that convention committee often has huge issues staffing its major departments and finding adequate volunteers to carry out the duties of the convention.

Last year, many new things were tried to increase the vitality of the convention. New programming and guests were used to attempt to draw new people to the convention. These plans did not help. A meeting was successful in pulling together this year’s con committee, and helping us find a list of potential contacts.

This year, the Mindbridge Board needed two criteria for the convention to continue. The first was that we needed to have a convention committee in place our September meeting. This was advertised on fliers and on the Mindbridge Boards. It was discussed frequently. No interested bids stepped forward. The other criteria would be that this year’s convention would have to break even. When we had no convention committee step forward in September, we decided to close down the convention as a Mindbridge Project.

We know that there is a great deal of interest in Icon from its regulars, and we are sorry that Icon is being discontinued as a Mindbridge project. This is a highly emotionally charged decision. However, we feel as a board we can not continue to run a project that loses money and is difficult to staff.

Mindbridge would welcome a bid in the future from Icon if Icon can present a balanced budget and a staff list for its major departments. Mindbridge would also be happy to negotiate Icon putting together a con without Mindbridge backing. These are matters for the new board of Mindbridge to discuss.