The sweet satisfaction
That Con is over once again and I have to say it was a very satisfying weekend. It was satisfying in many ways. Gaming did well, despite having less space. I got to spend time with old friends and new. I got time to spend with my kids and my wife. I gamed a little as well as socialized. However, there were more levels of satisfaction than these.
For 11 years, I willingly put blood, sweat and tears into a convention that I did not have to. I never asked for compensation for my time, and more often than not, it cost me more than just bodily fluids to run. At times, I did get a few minor perks – free food at client events at the hotel, free tickets to sporting events, got to shmooze with a few celebrities and authors I was a fan of, and have some great fandom experiences – but nothing to claim on my income tax or anything. The effort far outweighed many of the perks I was getting. Some apparently believed that I had ulterior motives but in truth, everything I did was for the benefit and growth of the convention. It showed with a continued growth through out the 11 years to the point it reached nearly 1500 people attending. I even signed the contracts that committed them to two more guests that would help them grow even further.
After my wife and I were forced out, they continued to grow. They blew the doors off the hotel with one guests I signed and continued to do well the next year. They moved to a bigger hotel (despite my recommendations not to) under the assumption that regardless of what guests they got, they could fill the new bigger space and they did not. They got screwed by many of the fine-print, nickel-and-dime charges I knew this location would use. They started down a downhill spiral that I have seen further manifested this past weekend.
This weekend was a shocker for me. It took 5 years for one person to destroy something I helped build over 11 years. If this convention got even 800 attendees, I would be shocked. If they broke 1000, I would be surprised. The guests were boring to me. For the most part, they were relying on sapping off the popularity of another con – DragonCon. There did not seem to be any kind of flair or energy to the convention. Gone where several things that I thought made it unique – car shows, Zombie Walk, other outdoor things other than the same old same old. It was a deflated convention to me and I think the effort behind it has severely decreased.
Although it is terrible to see something like this, I have to say that it is very satisfying to me. I realize it is not very humble of me to say it, but I told them so. And my attitude all weekend displayed as much. I was very happy on how my side of things went but the fandom side looked like 2007 or 2008 all over again. While I would have been happy with this kid of attendance back then, this low attendance now should be disastrous for the current leadership. Heads need to roll as far as I am concerned.
From what I have been hearing, there is some serious internal strife going on that continues. They kicked me out and my wife out because they thought we were the source of strife but I think they know now where it comes from. Too much power in one couples hands, my ass! They now have 6 concom members all controlling things when I had 12 or so. Ridiculous!
I would not be surprised if things significantly change for next year.