This whole thing blindsided me. This is the first time I've actual seen this happen in action, the con has ballooned in size over the last 3 or 4 years. 3 years ago they fit the whole thing into one or two large rooms. Now it takes up the entire center and that's still not enough room.
Honestly had I stuck around and got in I thought about buying that poor door guy a beer at the end of the show, he looked like he needed it.
(we're on Tumblr too!)
Every year the con gets more rooms and expands to try to keep up with the level of people coming. Every year there they underestimate a bit. This year was the worst by far. They got more people on Saturday alone than came to the convention all days last year. By the same token, I talked with a lot of people, and a lot of people did better on Sat than on all three days last year. I watched one dealer pay for next year's booth in cash that he'd earned yesterday.
Jim apparently will attempt to get the entire convention center next year, but I haven't confirmed it yet. I'd like to get it confirmed before I write my article. If he does, the layout will change quite a bit, since he's mostly been adding panel space and signing area spaces in the last two years.
I see other cons are catching up with what happened in San Diego a few years ago. Took a couple of nightmare years to get some changes made. It's better for long-term planners and everything, but yeah, if you don't know until close to the con you're going to make it, you're just not going to get in. That's been the story in San Diego for some time, which really sucked for all the locals who were so used to just waking up on the Saturday of the Con, catching a trolley to the convention center, getting in a line and getting a ticket. Them much happier days is all over. You want to go to San Diego in the summer, you'd better have made that decision by around Halloween.
Michael O'Chronicles / Michaelocomedy.com / PostApodaclypse.com / How to start in stand-up comedy
Keith Lowell Jensen: "Michael O'Connell said to say hi to you."
Bobby Slayton: "Who the fuck is Michael O'Connell?"
Keith Lowell Jensen: "Uh...you did a show with him a couple of weeks ago? Comedian in a wheelchair?"
Bobby Slayton: "Oh yeah! I fucking LOVE that guy!"
One problem that convention holders are always worried about is over-expanding. That don't want to expand too much and risk not turning a profit.
Last year I attended Detroit Fanfare as a guest. This was the second year of the event and I'd heard from friends that the first year had been a good year in Artists Alley for creators. I schlepped my stuff to Detroit based on their recommendation.
Based on their first year success the con organizers moved the event from a smaller venue in the college town of Dearborn to a much larger convention center in downtown Detroit. The organizers expected 10,000 people. What I've heard is 800 people came out but that seems too low. Whatever the actual number was, the con was a ghost town and I lost my shirt on travel expenses. Lots of things contributed to the low attendance like the higher cost of travel for con goers to moving away from a huge college town with your target demographic.
I've heard that they've now moved the convention back to Dearborn for this year. I guess it's better to sell out and turn some away than end up eating the extra expense if you don't.
It's really hard to believe it's been ten years. I hope I can make it next year. I'm thinking two days instead of trying for all three.
Tyr I love you man I really do, but poor this is poor planning on your part. They flat out told you they sold out when you got there. Like most events that sell out event organizers try to make room by moving things on the day of to create space for additional seating and revenue but that isn't a guarantee. Bottom line is that by waiting to purchase your tickets to the last minute you ran the risk of the event selling out and it did.
To be fair this has happened to me several times as I refuse to pay additional fees laid down by Ticketmaster so I always purchase at the venue but that can and has backfired on me.
And before anyone says I'm being hypocritical for asking the organizers to do the same. Let's make this clear, in hindsight I might have been unfair to the organizer, given I have a friend who use to organize events like this. I know the nightmare it can be when dealing with the government bureaucracy when it comes time to organize such a large event, as well as the little things. The fact of the matter was, at the time of posting this thread, I was angry that I had gone out of my way to go to con and came back with nothing to show for it.
Now you can argue that I was unfair for laying the blame at the feet of the organizer, for what was inevitably circumstances that could not be entirely foreseen. But I do have right to at least be upset that my weekend got ruined. This was just my way of letting of some steam.