When I go back to the hotel room at a convention
This is it. This is the pinnacle of nerdom. This is the greatest height of nerdery that has ever been reached before.
Peter in Loki’s body on a bus downtown to the real Loki and making an excuse that he’s going to a comic convention.
Never will such levels of pure fucking nerd ever be seen again, it’s just not possible. This is a beautiful day, I am glad I am alive to experience this, god bless.
Bear witness, this is the San Diego MTA (trolley and bus) system for the next few days.
Coming-Con International has announced a fairly major policy change this year, though it’s one that will only affect those who plan to line up for Hall H before the first panel - so basically, a lo…
Hn. Interesting. I suspect this will largely not go over well. Mostly due to actual execution when the wristbands don’t mean you get in for certain, people missing wristbands because bathroom breaks, it only applying to first panel of the day, and if you’re implementing wristbands why people still have to sit in line all night. OH. And announcing this new policy so close to con. Sheesh. Could have been done better.
Stuff like this makes me wonder. When I was younger (like 20 or so years ago…) I went to a game convention in New Jersey. It was only $5 for a full weekend pass, but you signed up for games, and there was a fee for each game. If you wanted in on an AD&D game run by RA Salvatore, that was $15 a seat. If you wanted to play some pre-release Warhammer 40k armies with Games Workshop, that was $25 a seat. So on and so forth. I’m curious if we’re approaching a point where the con tickets themselves drop in price, but they sell tickets to Hall H panels.
(Also, why aren’t they hiring professionals to record the panels, then edit out the sneak peek copyrighted material and make a blu-ray to send out to con attendees and sell on their website. Bought a ticket for SDCC? A month later you get a blu-ray in the mail with all the Hall H panels. Couldn’t make it to SDCC? For $30 you too can have all the Hall H panels in glorious 1080p yadda yadda yadda…)
(If they are doing that dvd/bluray thing, please let me know… I can’t afford the trip out to San Diego, but I would spend a few bucks on a disc to see all the panels…)
There’s some massively nostalgic price tiers, wow. Today you’d probably be looking at $40/$50+ depending on fame levels of the guests involved.
There’s a general dislike at cons for “nickel-and-diming” attendees as it does run counter to the fan convention concept of buying a badge to attend the event. The idea of buying tickets to specific panels becomes increasingly difficult given the schedule does not come out until a couple of weeks prior to the event. It would also encourage increased scalping from what SDCC is already subject to. (Check out San Diego’s Craigslist ads during SDCC, I’ve heard of 4-day badges being sold for a couple of hundred bucks.) While several cons do engage in “ticketing” (usually free) for major events (i.e. AMV Contests, Masquerades, concerts) or have pre-event participation sign ups (i.e. gaming contests) primarily as a way to control seating and the number of tickets match the number of seats available exactly — this is not something that can be applied to “smaller” things like panels that might be moved or might overlap schedules. These events are usually set for a known time well in advance, are timed to minimize potential overlap with regular daytime panels, and are considered special events rather than panels. Panels are intended to be the main content of a convention, the reason you buy your badge. Ticketing for every panel would be quickly become absurd, charging extra for these might cause riots. Trying to pick which are “big enough” to get called an event and be ticketed might result in some nasty posturing and bidding wars from the industry guests. Plus, every panel deemed an “event” would become the fresh hell that is SDCC badge registration repeated multiple times over, that or the Hall H line just moves to point at a ticketing booth inside the con rather than at the Hall H doors. It’s just not terribly feasible.
Plus, SDCC has been very anti-change regarding their panel system. Multiple people have suggested something as simple as clearing rooms between panels and limiting when people can start officially lining up (both fairly standard convention practices). Combining these two practices and adding some sort of marker like wristbands to avoid line jumping would do loads to prevent people spending their entire con in lines and others taking up space in a panel they don’t care about waiting for one several hours later. The biggest disadvantage would be forcing people to choose which panels they really wanted to attend. SDCC Admin think the insane lines are a proper part of the con experience and are more concerned about backlash than making the con more pleasant for the majority of attendees.
There are professionals recording many of those panels, usually they’re part of the company that is running the panel. Uploading or selling even the non-exclusive parts would involve licensing and contract changes I doubt either side is willing to do at this point. Plus, the stuff people are fighting to get in to see is the exclusive content and the time in the same room as a celebrity. Everything else (and the exclusive content too, honestly) ends up on the internet within a week or two of con, so it’s not likely DVD/Blu-Ray sales would be worth the production and contract costs.
okay legitimate warning here
1. never go to a con in its first year that is ran by people who are NOT professionals when it comes to staffing conventions if said con runs more than two days.1 to 2 day ‘test runs’ are the BEST choices for first year cons, unless they very clearly have full staffs that have definitely participated in running and organizing a con before.
2. if staffers have no radios, that’s a really really terrible and concerning sign, especially if the con has that much funds hanging under their belts.
3. if tickets are $60 for a weekend con that’s a first year, that’s a huge red flag.
4. if this is a convention that is very niche, like a tumblr con that has never happened before and is without precedent, proceed with extreme caution.
5. if you do spend $60 for that badge and this fiasco happens, do not settle for compensation in the form of a Sunday badge and ball pit (seriously?) and a discount on next year’s tickets. never, ever pay for a con in advance that has yet to confirm a venue and again is expecting $60 for a weekend.
6. if they can pony up $17k to ‘save the convention’ that they were meant to be giving anyway at the end of the con to the hotel, yet not offer to refund any of that or pay WTNV, that’s fishy.
7. even if you’re having a good time, consider this: is the programming worth it? is it worth $60? if it isn’t, give the con terrible reviews. do not inflate their reputation.
8. do the staff seem competent? do the volunteers? are they helpful and knowledgeable? another red flag is first year cons that are full of confusion. i give leeway to first year cons that generally have competent staff, but you have to remember first year cons are the ones that convince people to attend second years and so forth.
i worked at a first year con, called World Steam Expo. While it was chaos behind the scenes, we made everything work because we were all experienced with running cons. We were helpful and friendly towards the attendees. Everyone left having a good time. Now, the hotel WAS familiar with anime cons (since Youma was hosted there), our budget was managed and we never ran out of funds and surprise, we made it to a couple years after.
Badges were far cheaper and we brought in several bands for actual concerts. We followed through. We had lighting technicians, full tech staff, the whole nine yards. Because we knew what a first year con needed and we pulled through.
People left satisfied and attendance actually climbed far beyond expected due to word of mouth.
We needed no sad ball pit, no rushed fund raisers for $17k. Yes, it’s apples to oranges since the steampunk demographic is different than the tumblr one in many ways, but we made it work.
So always, always proceed with caution when it comes to these things. I feel nothing but absolute sadness that people drove from very, very far away to see WTNV and the con could not and did not compensate them. This meant that they didn’t bother to set aside funds for one of their biggest attractions. Imagine if World Steam Expo had done that to Steam Powered Giraffe or Abney Park. But we did that, and ohmygosh, they came back year after year!
So please, by word of mouth, recommend against Dashcon. Acknowledge it’s flaws over it’s good points, because you can and should. Having a fun weekend because of the people you met does not a con make. Having a good weekend because you got to go to awesome panels (that weren’t interrupted by a sudden desperate plea for moneey) and got your money’s worth does indeed a con make.
If you really want to gauge the success of the con as well, walk through the Dealer’s Hall and ask vendors if they plan to be back. Vendors are directly in touch with higher ups (again, I worked for a major wig company at cons—they want your business back, so you bet your ass you talk face-to-face with someone in charge). If the vendors are embittered by the con, it’s a huge sign.
But remember as well: you’re representing a community (tumblr fans). Exhausted hotel workers generally can do absolutely nothing for you and insulting them looks bad on you and bad on the tumblr community as a whole. I know hotel workers and many are extremely overworked during cons. A little politeness goes a long way.
So keep these things in mind, try to enjoy your weekend, and do not settle for any more bullshit Dashcon may be trying to pull. Be wise, beware, and be respectful to the hotel staff.
So the Dashcon story thus far is this, according to on-site witnesses:
A bunch of Tumblr kiddies all got rooms in the same pre-booked hotel, which the Dashcon staff supposedly had a verbal agreement with the staff of to pay them after the con, but the hotel contract said before. Thus, the Dashcon attendees and other various Tumblr sundries scraped seventeen thousand dollars together in like an hour (without any verification of whether or not the Dashcon staff actually needed the money or whether they were just scamming a bunch of kids), donated it to the hotel’s PayPal (which confused the fuck out of the hotel staff), and are currently protesting in the hotel’s lobby by singing Les Miserables songs to a bunch of underpaid and exhausted hotel employees with no control over the situation.
Leave it to Tumblr users to conduct the single most embarrassing fan convention in world history
So apparently DashCon is part Tumblr convention, part scam, part pure asshatery, and 100% fandom chaos.
Oh fer fucks sakes. What a bunch of incompetent assholes.
- In the real world, you exchange money for goods and services (like lodging) — IOUs don’t hold up in the business world.
- A hotel is a business. They’re going too follow the written, legal, and binding contract — not some purported verbal agreement that may never have existed or may have been spoken by someone without the power to actually make that decision.
- Your con violates the contract, the hotel is in no way obligated to hold up their end. You broke faith first.
- You can’t just throw gobs at money at someone (individual or business) without making an agreement that this is how the money is being sent, clearly marking what it’s paying for, and having the confirmed agreement that the recipient is still willing to provide the goods/service you’re trying to pay for. If these were earmarked as donations to the hotel, I don’t even know what they were supposed to make of that. What kind of clusterfuck did you inflict on this poor hotel?
- Do NOT harass and punish service staff for things outside of their control. It sounds like your issues are with the con organizers, why are the hotel day-to-day staff and their customers being punished? Nobody’s getting paid enough to put up with that.
Okay, I feel like I should do a serious response to this since I’ve been sharing a couple of my stories and pretty vocally supportive of get-a-real-harassment-policy-SDCC since a couple of years ago when the Girl-Wonder.org founded Con Anti-Harassment Project pushed for it. Plus, I’ve had a couple of people ask me for input on what I think the best course of action given my con experience and my (admittedly incomplete but a bit above average) knowledge of SDCC in particular.
This will be a long post.
ComicsAllianc’s Chris Sims reacts to Comic-Con’s problematic response to a petition asking the convention to strengthen its policy against forms of harassment.
So, here’s the thing #SDCC or San Diego Comic Con or Comic Con International as it tries to make people call it with minimal success is refusing to amend their harassment policy and provide any real and visible support to cosplayer/women/humans who don’t enjoy having people treat them like meat, because then people may think they have a harassment problem.
I understand their concern. Outside of the comics community people don’t really know that Comic Con can be a dangerous and sometimes deadly place for people. This is especially true if you’re a woman or cosplayer in a crowded place with tons of people and no help easily visible or available. To them, protecting their brand is more important than protecting their attendees, supporters, and creators.
So, it seems to me there is only one way to solve this: Everybody needs to start sharing their SDCC harassment stories in as public a forum as possible. Contact comics news sites, normal news sites, feminist news sites. Hashtag blogs, tweets, and facebook posts with #SDCCHarassment. Dig up and share some of those old classics I’ve seen passed around that just don’t seem to have gotten deep enough into the media to really affect these fine folks.
They had a choice to make of whether to protect people or the brand. Let’s make the choice easier.
"Oh phew, C2E2 is over guess I have a little time to re— OH SON OF A BITCH"
Why would you remind me of this?!
Yes hello do you have rum ice cream 8y chance?
but all the people who own shops around cons
every year they just see this swarm of people coming down the street in dumb costumes
"yep same shit as usual"
Dude cons make so much fucking money for these people it’s utterly ridick. After Otakon this year my dad and I went to this little pizza shop down the road form the convention center and my dad being my overly friendly, talkative dad, started chatting with the nice old lady who ran the place.
She told us about how the con brought in a TON of money into the city every year, and not only that, dramatically reduced the crime rate over the weekend. If you go too far down the road, you realize that the Baltimore convention center isn’t that far from a not really great part of town. But all those people? It makes it hard for the really bad people to do their thing. For one weekend, some of the people in the area get to go about their business feeling a little safer, and a little better off than they normally would, because the swarms of people are coming down the street in their dumb, wonderful costumes.
cons are great okay, even for those not involved with them. It’s really, really beautiful.
I don’t have statistics, but most likely, yes. While the sheer volume of people does present more opportunity for shoplifting and theft, they also mean more eyes and more cameras. Cons (especially established local and larger ones) also have their own security as well as prompt increased police presence and patrols in the areas — as the cities know this brings in revenue and tourism and therefore want these visitors to feel safe.