2022 Rising ConFusion Final Report & Handoff to The Legend of ConFusion

“For the human soul is virtually indestructible and its ability to rise from the ashes as long as the body draws breath. – Author, Alice Miller”

Hello Hello The Peoples and Folks of ConFusion! 

My name is Cylithria “Lithie” Dubois and I am the 2022 Rising ConFusion Conchair. 

Rising ConFusion 2022 took place January 21st – 23rd of 2022.  December & January were peak times for the  DELTA variant of the COVID-19 pandemic. As DELTA took hold, times looked very grim due to the pandemic, and on January 7th, 2022, I made a public plea to our community, alerting you of the dire financial straits ConFusion Convention faced due to lower attendance, higher costs, and lack of income from the postponed 2021 event. 

The day I made that plea, I was also packing to travel via car from my home in Kansas City, MO., to my Home in Bay City, MI. I posted that, went to bed, got up and drove the 14 hour journey. By the time I arrived in Michigan, I was gob-smacked at the community outpouring of support. Y’all have no idea how utterly stunned silent I truly was. (Lithie, Silent? Whoa) 

I made a follow up post to thank our community for your iconic rallying to the cause, and I promised that I would come back, after it was all said and done, to tell you how we all did. To let you know if we saved Confusion? 

So Did You Save Rising ConFusion? Will there be future ConFusions? How much money did we raise via income/donation? How much did we spend? How many people showed up? Did we make Lithie cry? 

Let me answer those in list form: 

-I have a spreadsheet for this answer.
-And a spreadsheet for this answer.
-Oh and a Membership Spreadsheet too! (Here is a link to the spreadsheets. Tabs at top of page)
-Damn right you made me cry – in all the best ways! 

In Quick Summary Form:

-The amount of income made by Rising ConFusion 2022 was $17,848.48. 
-The amount of Donation Income made from your generosity was $13,705.09. 
-Combined those total: $31,553.57! 
-Our total expenses (see note below) came to -$19,234.81.  
-The amount of money leftover was: +$12,318.76

In Short; Yes, you saved Rising ConFusion and there will be another ConFusion in 2023! (More on that below!) 

It is important to note:  with regards to the 2022 Expenses, we had a ton of items donated by our hardworking Concom or used from previous ConFusions to help us cut costs. The expenses incurred by 2022 were bare minimum. Super bare minimum. 

We cut out printing the schedule on paper. We had no Signage Print Order. Our Reg Team printed badges at their own personal expense. We did not provide pizza parties to Kid/Teen Fusions. We hacked Consuite’s Budget down to minimal. We did not provide extra budgeting for upgraded Programming Items. (No Dance, No karaoke event, No Film Room, No Filk/Music Stage, No budget for new items for Kids/TeenFusion.) We cut a large portion of programming items due to expenses. AV Costs are huge, and I knew this year had to be bare bones in order to survive. Expenses for items like swag stickers, or fun decor, or pizza parties for staff and volunteers; we had none of that. 

Not only did we cut our budget massively, compared to budgets of the past ConFusions, but we faced new, increased expenditures. Room nights that were comp’d typically in the past from contracts, 2022 did not get. We did not meet our contract, thus we lost all the concessions. Every item we typically buy for a con each year, we faced supply chain issues, increased item costs, last minute “oops we don’t have that now, sorry for your luck!” items.

I share this so that going forward you understand the next few years for ConFusion will be super tight.  Things may or may not yet be affordable. We, as a community; must understand that COVID-19 and its lasting effects have greatly, vastly, massively impacted how small, fan-run cons can operate, budget-wise. We have a future, but it will continue to take all of us to ensure Confusion grows and functions at peak ConFusionism. 

Did we Rise in 2022, yes, hell yes! Brilliantly so!!!!

Personally, I want so badly to express in words the ever lasting effect this community has profoundly made in my heart. Every time I try to write those words, I end up in tears. Every single time. 

In 2019, the person elected to be the 2020 Conchair resigned. I was a happy-go-lucky Head of Consuite person in the ConFusion Ranks, and a member of the AASFA Board. The day the resignation happened, I agreed to take on the position of Conchair temporarily, until someone else stepped up. When there was no other, I took on the task of Conchair in earnest. 

ConFusion had been facing dwindling membership, and higher costs in the years prior to my ConChairship. So for 2020 I knew I had to keep it lean and clean. Spend only what we made. As with all cons, some years there is more money, some years less. 2020 was a less year. But 2021? It would be epic. The 2020 ConCom and Staff worked hard to ensure we had a great event, covered expenses and set 2021 up for success.  I was so excited. 

2020 How to Train your ConFusion occurred just as the first cases of COVID-19 were being seen in the US. None of us knew then, we’d be locked down only months later. I watched the news, researched, and made the difficult decision to postpone 2021 ConFusion due to the pandemic. As the vaccines began rolling out, there was hope.  ConFusion 2022? It would be epic.

Yeah, I was a hopeful dork, who truly felt that with the advent of vaccines, and better knowledge about this virus, we’d be fine in 2022. Then the Delta variant exploded on scene at the end of 2021. 

Y’all…..as I watched the numbers of pre-registrations and room bookings and realized we would not make our hotel contract minimums….. The realization that my hopeful dorkiness was going to kill ConFusion – a 47 year long convention; it was gutting. That’s when I came to the community and told them the news on Jan 7, 2022. 

Although there are 48 years worth of ConFusions, each with their own epicness, I, as the Conchair for Rising ConFusion 2022 – am truly the luckiest. Not only did I get to lead the con to a return from pandemic lockdown, but I was allowed the privilege of being a Conchair who was forced to recall that it wasn’t “my con” – it was ours. I was the Conchair who got to witness first hand, every member of our community rallying  rising to the challenge. Together we became the physical embodiment of our 2022 name: Rising ConFusion. 

It was truly a humbling honor to witness Rising ConFusion. Through all the beautiful rising that we, as a community did, I also saw the distinct ‘holes’ left by those in our community not with us at the event we all worked so hard to save.  It is truly a blessing to be able to stand in your Event Space, watching the community do as they do,l and also see, via your heart, those not present but still integral. 

Rising ConFusion changed the way I think of, view, and plan events/conventions now. In every way possible. It changed my core being, in the best of ways. How do I ever thank you for this? For saving Rising ConFusion? For Saving Future ConFusions? For saving me? 

Thank You. <3 

So, check the linked spreadsheet to see the nitty gritty of this bare bones Rising ConFusion 2022. With the release of these documents, it is time for me to step away from ConFusion ConChairism. If you want to reach me personally, email me: cylithria(at)gmail(dot)com. 

Then set your sites on our next adventure as a community. Together, we rose, and like the phoenix, Rising ConFusion 2022 will go down in legend.

Oh, speaking of Legends? It is my distinct honor, privilege and joy, to be the 2022 Conchair who officially hands the reins over to the 2023 ConChair.

In January 2023, The Legend of ConFusion begins, led by an intelligent, capable, enthusiastic, talented, smiling person who has grown up in ConFusionness, Kat Malokofsky! The AASFA Board of Directors Congratulates Kat on becoming our 2023 ConChair and hopes you will support Kat as much as we do!

As one ConFusion Chair to another, Kat – Tag. You’re It! 

I love you all. And I wanted to share the picture of a badge I carried with me in my badgeholder the entire Rising ConFusion event. Because I promise each of you unable to attend the 2022 event, you truly were with me all along! 

Badge for those not present, carried by Lithie during Rising ConFusion 2022

Stay Safe, Stay Strong, Stay Legendary, 

Cylithria “Lithie” Dubois 
Rising ConFusion 2022 ConChair Emeritus