For nearly 20 years, Tekko has been Pittsburgh’s Japanese Pop Culture and Anime Convention. Starting in 2003, we’ve worked hard to grow and connect the community with industry guests, fantastic fashion designers, amazing cosplayers, entertaining games, and other community nerds like us. Countless volunteer hours have been donated to help bring the Tekko community together, because at the end of the day we are nothing without our attendees, our vendors, our artists, our jfashion designers, our cosplayers, our staff. At the end of the day, Tekko is made for you. Today, in our 19th year, we reach out to the Tekko Community for help.
It is no secret that COVID-19 has affected conventions across the country. Unfortunately, Tekko is no different. With the cancellation of our 2020 con, we, like many other conventions, took a heavy hit. While the community saw refunds and transfers, what they didn’t see was the garage full of t-shirts, cups, bags, and flyers, all marked with 2020, now sitting in boxes. Not to mention overhead cost deposits lost to the cancellation. Regardless, we pushed forward with Tekko 2021, but the event was not as successful as anticipated.
With COVID restrictions in place, and an uptick in cases due to the Omicron variant, attendance in 2021 plummeted. This was in part due to the constant rescheduling, and the timing of the convention as well. Our convention, which normally takes $600K to run, only brought in around $250k, a little over a third of what was needed to cover costs.
Now as we approach 2022, we hit a third snag: a US economic downturn. Prices have gone up everywhere, from food to gas to hotel rooms. Labor, supplies, swag, everything that we purchase to make Tekko happen has gone up in price.
Due to our lack of funds for 2021 and the subsequent payment plans we needed to initiate, we are now forced to pay many of our post-con expenses upfront, before July 2022. Over the last few weeks we have worked tirelessly to come to an agreement with the organizations and convention center that worked on Tekko 2021. Negotiations recently ended early this June, and now we turn to the community for help in raising $100,000.
While these organizations and the convention center have graciously agreed to reduce the cost we must now pay upfront, we still need $60,000 before the show starts in July 2022. This is more than we have needed to pre-pay in the past. Without this, there will be no Tekko in July. This hurdle is not the only one we need to overcome to ensure the safety of our convention. As we mentioned earlier, our outstanding bills from 2021 still threaten to take us under. That is why we are asking the community to help us raise $100,000.
We know that this leads to a lot of questions and we wish to answer as many as we can, starting with these:
Why are we only finding out about this now?
Negotiations recently finished (in early June), it was at this point when we were able to determine the amount of money needed before the show. Many of our overhead costs are often paid after con, not before. Initially, we were working on a fundraising event for later this year, but due to these increases we are forced to secure the funds BEFORE July 2022, or we will not be able to host Tekko 2022.
What happens if the campaign fails?
If we do not reach at least $60,000, Tekko 2022 may not happen. We will most likely be forced to cancel our July con, and subsequently may not be able to host another Tekko in the future. If we hit the $60,000, but not the end goal of $100,000, that secures Tekko 2022, but not the future of Tekko as a whole.
Will I get a refund If Tekko 2022 is canceled?
If the event is canceled, a good faith effort will be made to issue refunds to anyone who requests one.
What happens to Tekko 2023 and Sangawa?
In the event that Tekko 2022 does not happen this July, PittJCS may not be able to host another event in the future, this includes Tekko 2023 and Sangawa, our other smaller convention.
Why should I donate?
- Without your help, this may be the end of Tekko. We wish to continue to bring our amazing guests, designers, cosplayers, panelists, vendors, artists, and community together for another 20 years. Your donation, big or small, will go a long way towards helping us bring Japanese Pop Culture to Pittsburgh for years to come.
- Since PittJCS is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, your donation may be tax deductible. Consult your tax advisor for more information.
I can’t donate. Is there another way I can help?
- If you cannot donate, please consider sharing our campaign with others. You can share our GoFundMe link:
Or by sharing this webpage: https://tekko.us/fundraiser
- Please also encourage others to join us for Tekko 2022, by pre-registering at https://tekko.us/registration
- We are also looking for volunteers for Tekko 2022. You can apply at https://tekko.us/staff
- Share with us why you love Tekko by using the hashtag #TekkoTogether on your favorite social media platform.
- Participate in and share our virtual fundraising event, Tekkothon, happening on July 9th at 12pm. More details on this event will be announced soon.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please reach out to [email redacted]. Thank you for all of your support over the last 19 years. Together, let’s make sure Tekko makes it to its 20th year. Together, we are Tekko.
Banner Art by the lovely @hootlesart! Support our local artists! Check out more at https://hootlesart.com/
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