I think there’s additional details here, and that’s just TIME. The amount of runway an event has to build or destroy their reputation I feel is the most important aspect in getting the best players to attend. Events had it easy 20 years ago because the group of elite players had barely any options to play. “See you at Expo! See you at PAPA!” was about it. It’s very hard TODAY for a new event to pop out of nowhere and instantly pull in those elite players because there’s just so many to choose from these days. Outside of a few events that do get the benefit of being in a major city, or having organizers that have a reputation built upon previous activity, it’s really going to be a slow burn towards building that status of your event.
You’re now in year 4 of YEGPIN, and like I’ve mentioned previously, that slow burn is continuing to build. If I were you I would be motivated to stay the course, keep doing what you’re doing, and the status will come.
2016 --> 19.73 WPPR’s
2017 --> 33.78 WPPR’s
2018 --> 44.97 WPPR’s
Even maintaining that 2018 level of participation, and you’re in the hunt to becoming a SPC event. I think we can both agree that it’s highly likely you’ll see the 2019 numbers just continue to increase.
I truly believe that events do control their own destiny here, because I see the opposite side happen when previous support of an event from the elite player base doesn’t continue “just because”.
You see this with an event like the Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown. Back in the early WPPR days this event was one of those events elite players went to. It would consistently pull in 40-50 WPPR’s, making it within the top tier of event values in the world (outside of Majors). Fast forward to 2011-13 and the average dropped to 28 WPPR’s per year. Fast forward to 2014-2016 and the average dropped to 18 WPPR’s per year. 2017 brought a change in tournament staff for the venue, and a renewed interest in wanting to make a quality tournament associated with that show. So far 2017-18 has averaged 37 WPPR’s per year.
There’s a ton of examples just like that, but it just takes TIME to see how things ebb and flow with respect to the elite player base really embracing an event as a quality event. Denver has been running since 2004, so I you can literally watch the evolution or de-evolution of their tournament over time.
Let’s revisit the YEGPIN results when you have 15 years worth of data to pull from, and I think we’ll have a better chance at explaining things.