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Comment count is 19
BHWW - 2014-07-15

As many people have pointed out, would this managment at this hotel which is part of the Mariott chain really have waited until the evening of the first day of a scheduled convention to ask for several thousand dollars instead of being paid well beforehand?

Nominal - 2014-07-15

Indiegogo, when Kickstarter just isn't shady enough.

BHWW - 2014-07-15

In the end, this sort of thing is nothing new, it wouldn't be the first time a shaky fan convention started begging people for money right in the middle of it to help keep the event alive, nor have the whiff of a scam about it. Using crowdfunding is just a slightly new wrinkle for this sort of thing.

New fan conventions have been crashing and burning forever. Some people get a wild idea to start a convention, spend way too much money, wildly overestimate attendance figures, have a weekend of stress and fail, and watch the thing fall apart because they had no idea what they were doing and were in denial about it.

Fan conventions fail, sometimes very badly, for a variety of reasons. Poor money management, unrealistic business models, failure to delegate, lack of organization, insanely optimistic attendance projections, and sometimes, just sometimes, plain bad luck. And ego trips. Never forget about ego trips. These sort of things get held because the people behind them saw other people running conventions and decided "hey, us too!" because they want the sort of social cred or respect or fandom-fame or (imaginary) profit they imagine these other people who run conventions are just swimming in. Thus you have people who couldn't organize a New Year's Eve party at home trying to ride herd over a series of wildly variated events and people in a hotel.

badideasinaction - 2014-07-15

BHWW: Actually, it's quite possible.

(puts on convention staff beard)

Part of the agreement with a hotel/convention center agreement is that you fill hotel rooms, with the function space being cheaper the more rooms in the room block are filled. In some cases, you can get the basic function space virtually for free if you completely fill the hotel. When you get a hotel room under the "con rate" you're filling the room block. I've heard horror stories of very sleepless nights from con runners when the kids all say "oh hey, the motel six across the street is cheaper, we can all stay there!" or when the con people make the rookie mistake of not contractually obligating all other room rates (i.e. like on expedia) be higher than the con rate, because...

...the bad news is if you don't fill the allotted hotel rooms, you have to effectively pay to fill those rooms yourself or pay for the less-discounted function space rate. In effect, your bill goes up on the spot. Once this happens, a hotel will play hardball because they already know something has gone very wrong with this event and they'd rather scuttle it on Friday and take the (in this case) ,000 hit than have the con declare bankruptcy when they get the bill for several times that after the event is over. This event was claiming 5000-8000 people were going to show up, and less than 1000 did, so I can pretty much guarantee their room block did not fill.

Also, given the con's (high) prices this translates to about 200 more people showing up at the door and buying a weekend badge - the organizers probably assumed that would happen, hence the money crisis.

All reports on this con was that it was an unmitigated disaster. What depresses me as a con staffer is that there's plenty of people who attended this con saying this shitfest was an amazing con, and the con already has a page up for 2015. It really makes you wonder why you bother running events professionally and responsibly when the bar is so low that some attendees thought this con was the best thing ever (while all the reports from vendors and volunteers/staff/guests were that this was an unmitigated disaster)

BorrowedSolution - 2014-07-15

Thanks, badideasinaction! Very informative.

EvilHomer - 2014-07-15

It's at times like this that you start to develop a respect for Anthrocon.

Gmork - 2014-07-15

No it isn't.

Spaceman Africa - 2014-07-15

Reminds me of the whole Las Vegas brony convention fiasco.

TeenerTot - 2014-07-15

Okay....what's Dashcon?

Adham Nu'man - 2014-07-15

By tumblr fans, for tumblr fans (not actually endorsed or supported by tumblr).

My follow up question is: what is a tumblr and why does it exist?

oddeye - 2014-07-15

Tumblr is just a website for posting images and "funny" gifs I thought. Why would you want to meet random people that do that?

Riskbreaker - 2014-07-15

Tumblr users have become a special breed of special people who really REALLY think they are extra....special.

Needtodestroy - 2014-07-15

As someone who uses tumblr as the backend for my website... fuck this.

roughnready66 - 2014-07-15

The more I read about this the less I want to be on the internet.

dairyqueenlatifah - 2014-07-15

The more I read about this the more awesome I feel.

Nominal - 2014-07-15

Why do people bother working real jobs anymore? Flappy Bird made five figures a day, kickstarter throws free money at anyone invoking nostalgia, and internet kids will trample each other to hand over money to sit in a urine soaked kiddie pool with balls.

Scrotum H. Vainglorious - 2014-07-15

Audience looks like its mostly composed of millennials which would explain why they have so much free time on their hands to attend a con.

Gmork - 2014-07-15

I've finally made it. I'm at that point in my life when I can legitimately start saying "This new generation is fucking awful."

Jet Bin Fever - 2014-07-18

Fools and their money, yadda yadda.

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