Celebrating Three Years of Events
We regret to announce that the Simmers Meetup 2016 was our last event that we will be hosting.
The Simmers Meetup started on a whim in 2014. We – Dan, Rachael, and Maaike – decided to meet up for a day in London and ended up inviting the entire Sims community! Little did we know that it would be a hit with approximately 70-80 Simmers showing their faces from all over the world. It was an exciting day (despite the rain) and identified that there was a demand for this event.
For 2015, we wanted to build upon the success of the previous year by securing an event venue and partner with Electronic Arts to make it bigger and better. We attracted 100+ attendees, with the limited number of tickets selling out within hours! We had EA Pods to experience The Sims 4, devices for The Sims FreePlay, our first YouTube panel, giveaways, and even had a surprise visit from SimGuruRachel and SimGuruLyndsay! It was magical for us to see Simmers coming together and being able to facilitate such an exciting day.
Our latest event, which was hosted by Dan and Rachael, was held in Manchester at EventCity – the second largest event venue outside of London. It was truly a massive step up as we turned the Simmers Meetup into a convention-style event whilst retaining the community feeling. We attracted approximately 300 Simmers, which was phenomenal considering we only announced it less than two months before the event date. We also brought back the YouTube panel, alongside the new Workshops, had The Sims 4, The Sims FreePlay, and SimCity BuildIt, a visit from a very friendly alpaca (basically a llama) called Gabriel, and also had a Skype call on-stage with SimGuruLyndsay. We can’t stress how amazing this event was, and how much we are grateful to everyone for their support. Additionally, a huge thank you needs to be extended to Electronic Arts who sponsored the 2016 event to make it a reality.
But with all of this success, why would we say that we are not continuing the Simmers Meetup in the future? It was an extremely difficult decision, although we think we’ve made the right choice, but let us explain.
Firstly. We both (Dan and Rachael) organised the event voluntarily in our free time. This is outside of other day-to-day activities such as our jobs. As the event is growing, it’s demanding more and more of our time and at times has been almost impossible to balance. It was a case of working full time to live, and then working full time on the event (which, by the way, was worth it so that we could bring you something special). Every year we tried to make the event bigger and better than the last, and not compromise on how awesome it should be for Simmers to attend.
Secondly, The Sims franchise is Electronic Arts’ intellectual property (IP). Therefore, it’s not a case of us being able to host an event, use Sims branding and images, sell tickets, etc. This can greet us with several obstacles, but we have worked with EA’s Legal team in order to gain permission to use their IP. EA has been very kind to trust us with their brand and IP and we’ve ensured that it’s been used in an appropriate manner to celebrate The Sims at our events. This is something that has to be done for every event which can be time consuming and as a result we can’t announce any events or move forward until we have the greenlight from legal.
Thirdly, costs. This isn’t something we can fund off of our own backs, even with ticket sales. We rely on sponsors, such as EA and other Sims-related companies, in order to make everything come together. There’s a lot of expenses associated with organising an event and a high risk in doing so. The venue, staff, catering, electricity, activities, travel, to name a few. The event doesn’t pay for itself and we don’t want to be in a position where we are either self-funding the event, charging high prices to attend, or have to sacrifice growing the event and returning to something like the first year.
In light of all of the above, we want to clarify that we are not ending the Simmers Meetup because we’ve been told to, or because it’s been unsuccessful, or because of hurdles (we’ve jumped over plenty). We’re not hosting future events because we want to end while we are ahead and because it feels like it is the right time to do so after three fantastic years.
Simmers Meetup has been an incomparable, unique, and amazing experience for the both of us. It’s been amazing to meet hundreds of you from all over the world and for us to think that we were able to provide you with a memorable experience and a platform to meet other fans of The Sims!
You can stay in touch with us through our channels! Find Dan @beyondsims and Rachael @rachybop.
Dan and Rachael
If you have any questions about the Simmers Meetup, feel free to email email@example.com.