Have you ever planned to attend a conference months—or even years—in advance? Have you ever arrived at a conference venue only to find the event had been cancelled before you ever arrived and that the “official announcement” was made via Twitter?
That’s exactly what happened to my son and husband this week when they headed to New York to attend MineORama 2014.
Last Minute Cancellation of MineORama 2014
After taking the redeye from Los Angeles to New York City, the first thing my 11-year old son wanted to do was visit the venue where MineORama 2014 would be held this past weekend. He was looking forward to meeting numerous YouTubers who are famous in the Minecraft community and being able to game all night with fellow Minecraft fans. (Note: MineORama was NOT sponsored by or affiliated with Mojang, the creators of Minecraft.)
They arrived at the venue to discover that the event had been “postponed”. Further research uncovered that the venue had never even been reserved.
Needless to say, my son was devastated…and he wasn’t alone.
According to ComputerandVideoGames.com, 3,600 Mineorama tickets were sold at a hefty $150 each and an additional 2,000 comp tickets were issued.
The MineORama organizers will tell you that the event was not “cancelled” but merely “postponed”. But when you’ve spent over $2000 on non-refundable airline tickets and hotel accommodations, it’s “cancelled” no matter what anyone decides to call it.
Apparently, the organizers discovered three weeks prior to the event that their funding was not going to go through. After failing to raise additional funds in the weeks running up to the event, they decided to postpone the event. They needed more time to get things right. Unfortunately, it was all too little, too late.
But I’m happy to report this story has a happy ending…
YouTubers from the Minecraft Community Create Alternative Event at Their Own Expense
As it turns out, the YouTubers, server administrators and many others in the Minecraft community have a big heart for their fans, most of whom are teens and tweens. Many of the presenters who were scheduled to take the stage at MineORama 2014 took the reins and saved the day for over 1000 would-be attendees.
They called it the YouCube Meetup 2014.
In four days, they banded together to create the YouCube Meetup 2014. They secured a venue that would hold 1500 attendees. They set up a registration page on EventBrite.com, asking that MineORama 2014 ticket holders register via EventBrite.com and bring in their MineORama tickets as well. They put together a full blown agenda, including fan meet-and-greets, presentations on running a Minecraft server, how to set up a YouTube channel, how to livestream an event and more.
And here’s what’s so amazing about it…
The YouCube Meetup 2014 was entirely FREE for all MineORama 2014 ticket holders.
Do-Gooders Remain (Almost) Anonymous
Not only did these Minecraft community do-gooders save the day, they did it at their own expense. Rather than being opportunistic and swooping in to extract even more cash from fans, they sought to right an injustice in the Minecraft community.
In doing so they have built goodwill for themselves and, it’s being reported, may have garnered the opportunity to run their own “official” YouCube Meetup event in 2015. And I guarantee you, it will be an event that both fans and parents will willingly pay for.
Not only did they front the money for this amazing, last-minute event, they’re not even bragging about it. In an effort to give credit where credit is due, I tried going back to the Event Brite page and to the YouCube Meetup page to get the names of the event sponsors so I could list them here.
They’re names are no longer listed. Even the names that were listed were their YouTube handles and not their “real” names. So not only did they save the day by putting on an event for FREE, they’re being pretty humble about the whole thing.
God Would Call Them Heroes
So what does this have to do with running a godly business?
I have no idea what these Minecrafters’ positions are when it comes to belief in God. What I do know is that they were absolutely committed to doing the right thing: being merciful to hundreds of disappointed children, using their own funds to support a good cause, being non-judgmental in social medial toward the event planners who failed to run the MineORama 2014 event as promised, and then being humble enough not to plaster social media channels with self-congratulatory comments about what a great job they did.
This is the way to run a godly business and to build a relationship of love and trust with your fans. We could all improve our own businesses by following their example.
So who are they? I’ve heard their “names” a thousand times at home. And to be honest, I didn’t really care very much who they were or what they were doing. My son would say, “SkyDoesMinecraft just did this video on….” “Jerome just tested out this new mod.” Or “BajanCanadian was on the Hunger Games server and he….” And so on.
I can’t even complete those sentences accurately because I never really listened to what my son was saying. I would smile and nod and act like I was listening…but I was really just waiting for him to stop talking. While these YouTubers were the lifeblood of his daily conversation, they meant nothing to me. To be honest, I could not have cared less who they are. As long as they didn’t cuss or post inappropriate content in their videos, that was all I needed to know.
I must confess I now have a soft spot in my heart for these Minecraft YouTubers. I still don’t know their real names, but I’m going to pay a lot more attention when my son returns from New York and wants to tell me all about meeting them.
As a Minecrafter’s mom, I’m thrilled to discover that my son’s YouTube heroes have turned out to be real heroes after all.
Big thanks go out to SkyDoesMinecraft, JeromeASF, BajanCanadian, ZombieUnicorn and many, many others who saved the day for so many kids this weekend. You are more than just a household name now.