Smear: Ryan Kopf wastes his convention’s money.

One of the most common charges against is that the conventions “must be evil” because they are organized as for profit companies. However, there are two great big problems with that. 1. There are several for-profit conventions that are beloved by fans and attendees, and 2. Being a non-profit convention does not stop a convention from paying it’s executives. The largest anime convention in America pays its CEO more than $90,000 a year.

My annual salary is usually between $50,000 and $80,000. However these amounts also include taxes. After taxes, this leaves between $30,000 and $48,000.

If I did not organize conventions, I would be working as a Ruby on Rails Programmer ($60,267), Server Administrator ($65,992), or Database Administrator ($77,080). However, I would also be free to move to a better paying city, such as San Fransisco where says I would be making $129,000.

A lot of my “salary” also goes back towards the conventions. Anytime I buy something as a gift for my friends or my staff, that’s part of my salary. And any money I “invest” in conventions, is also part of my “salary”. (For example, I have 2,000 shares of Wizard World, but they cost less than a dollar at the time).

Most importantly, I make our convention less expensive.

The average convention uses EventBrite to sell tickets/membership, which takes about 3% per ticket. At 20,000 people and $50/ticket, that’s $30,000. However I programmed our own registration system, which saves us $30,000 a year in extra fees.

The same goes for other areas of the conventions. We are often able to pay less, because having a full time manager allows us to order our supplies in advance, in bulk, and at better discounts. We tend to pay less for our badges, our program guides, and our other supplies, while getting them at a higher quality.

Details: EventBrite sometimes claims to be "free" for events as there is an option to pass on their fee (2.5% + $0.99) onto the attendee. A lot of attendees for other cons see a published price of $50, and actually have to pay $2.24 extra. Events can also choose to pay the fee directly themselves. In either case, the total fee per $50 ticket is the payment processor fee (about 3%) + eventbrite's fee (2.5% + $0.99). The Cons.MX registration software I developed enables us to process registrations with only a 2.2% + $0.30 Paypal fee, saving about 3% per registration. The 20,000 attendee figure is an estimation that should be pretty close to our annual ticket sales in total. 20,000 X $50 X 0.03 = $30,000 saved annually.