2017 in review

As 2017 comes to a close, I feel I should get everyone caught up on where things stand, what was accomplished this year, some insights, and what sorts of things I’d like to see happen in 2018 for Greggo’s Game Shows. This post will be a bit stream-of-consciousness as I remember things and it might get updated once or twice before it’s over. Bear with me.

Here we go!

WHAT WAS ACCOMPLISHED IN 2017

Thanks to a pie-in-the-sky request from Kami-Con and the cooperation of Team Four Star, Malcolm Ray, Leo the Sci-Fi Guy, Mike Leneski and Aaron Pabon, we were able to bring back Family Feud in a celebrity format. I had decided a long time ago that it wasn’t a viable format to do with random contestants at an anime con (you can see my rationalizations as to why here) and developed Strikeout as a result. Utilizing the celebrity format, however, we were able to put together what wound up being my second-highest-attended game show (and most popular Youtube video) of all time. We wound up playing it again at San Japan and it should be back at this year’s Kami-Con. Look for it around twice a year.

I was able to attend and perform at my first Wizard World in June. As the company was looking to expand its anime programming, they decided to bring me on for their Philadelphia show. It was a bucket list sort of event for me, and even if I don’t get another one, I feel like getting invited to the show was a major feather in my cap. Plus we had what was undoubtedly the most exciting episode of Pointless we’ve done to date, with a pair of elementary school-aged brothers taking home the jackpot.

After experimenting in 2016 with having a table at conventions, towards the end of 2017 I finally hit my stride, figuring out the best configuration to have even more fun with the attendees in the form of Pointless surveys, while being able to bring in a few extra dollars to help support the effort. I was able to bring in around two extra conventions’ worth of income by tabling. Should that trend continue, I will likely reach the goal I have set forth for 2018.

At Zenkaikon I debuted a new show that has quickly become a staple for both conventions and the Youtube audience: Play Your Cards Right. While the endgame is still a bit rough around the edges as I try to encourage the winning couple along the way to ensure they win the big bonus prize, the format itself has proven to be a hit among audiences (when we have them) and adds an interesting wrinkle to my lineup since it requires couples as contestants. The plan for 2018 is to emphasize this show at conventions to make sure we have great couples interested in playing the game.

A number of satisfying new accomplishments, all of which I would consider positive.

INSIGHTS

Breaking the statistics down, here’s how 2017 went compared to 2016:

22 conventions for 2017 compared to 27 conventions for 2016

The 18% hit I took here was definitely noticeable, and resulted in my needing to pick up a part-time job to make sure I could make ends meet. Six conventions where I performed in 2016 did not return in 2017, three conventions did not invite me back, and one convention had a date conflict. I was able to replace five of those with new shows, but the other five weekends went vacant. Unfortunately, 22 is the lowest number from the last five years.

10% increase in revenue from Youtube

Despite the Ad-Pocalypse, I was able to bring in an extra 10% or so from Youtube, which sounds great. What that means in reality, however, is that I made an extra $20. On the whole, for the entire 2017 year I made less in Youtube revenue than I make at a single convention; about 30% less.

3 new conventions

I hosted games at my first Shumatsucon, my first JAMP-Con, and as mentioned previously my first Wizard World. While one of those conventions had its last year this year (Shumatsucon) and I haven’t gotten another invite to a Wizard World show, I did get some new shows, which is a good thing. In comparison, in 2016 I added eight new conventions.

Diving into the numbers, I’m not particularly thrilled with how 2017 went compared to 2016. There has been a lot of navel-gazing and speculation as to how I can right the ship here and ensure that 2018 is a major improvement to the numbers.

WHERE WE CURRENTLY STAND

As of the writing of this article, I have fourteen shows locked in for 2018 and am expecting that I will be invited back to an additional four shows where I performed this year. In order to remain confident that I can continue producing entertainment at a full-time level, I feel that I need to increase the number of shows to at least 25 by the end of the year, which means I need to acquire eight additional invites. I should have two of those weekends filled with new events, which puts my current expected total to 20.

The amount of revenue brought in by Youtube is insignificant enough that I will be flipping the switch and demonetizing the channel tomorrow evening. As I’ve highlighted in a previous post, I’m switching to a 100% contribution model when it comes to video. Game shows that are not currently airing on a network will be given to the Patreon to fund (at least one video per month) while the other shows, which will be the ones most likely to be demonetized or given Youtube strikes, will be reliant on contribution incentives through the various means I’ve enabled here for use.

At the present time I’m still not 100% confident that I can continue with Greggo’s Game Shows as my full-time job. I’m not ready to pull up the stakes and move on yet, but 2018 is going to be full of uncertainty until I’m satisfied that the model is bringing in enough income to sustain me and build towards a future.

HOPES FOR 2018

With any luck, the two new formats I’m introducing (Greggo’s Casino and Home Game Enterprizes’ Scrabble) will be successful additions to the lineup. The former will debut at Wicked Faire in February, the latter TBA. Both are games that are suitable for Youtube as is and should bring fun to congoers in ways I haven’t previously attempted.

I’ll be working with folks to introduce some new merch for my tables. I’m introducing a new element, the “Greggo Dollar,” for many of my game shows (replacing the yen) and hope to have some fun with the new pseudo-currency.

Ultimately, the two main hopes for 2018 are a successful move to West Virginia and an increase in invitations back to a more sustainable level, so that when I type this article at the end of 2018 there will be a “Hopes for 2019” section.

As always, thank you for your support in making this dream, for now, a reality.

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