DashCon Rebrands as EmotiCon, Hopes You Won’t Notice

For those of you who don’t remember, DashCon will likely go down as the worst managed convention of 2014. Even with all of its issues though, DashCon 2015 was almost immediately announced for June of 2015, set to be held in Indianapolis instead of the Chicago suburbs.

And yes, I was kind of surprised by this.

What I’m not surprised by though is DashCon’s attempt to rebrand itself. You see, the organizers have smartly decided to disregard the DashCon name… and have rechristened the convention “EmotiCon.”

That’s going to be really difficult to find in Google.

The DashCon website is gone, but the EmotiCon/Emoti-Con site (the URL makes it hard to figure out which spelling is supposed to be official) sits proudly on the internet, ready to take your money. The casual observer might not even realize DashCon II and EmotiCon are the same event, as the EmotiCon site goes out of its way to avoid mentioning the former (although much of the text remains unchanged from the DashCon site and there is a self referential bit about the Ball Pit). But if a person pulls up the Indianapolis Convention Center website, you find the following:

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 9.07.01 AM

I mean, the fact that the location and dates matched the previously announced information for DashCon 2015 were probably a tip off too, but it’s always nice to have a little bit of confirmation. Of course, if you were to ask EmotiCon’s organizers if it’s a rebranded DashCon, you’ll get a very different story:
Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 8.58.05 AM

I know they want to pretend it’s a different con, but it isn’t. It just really, really isn’t.

And that’s actually okay. I totally get wanting to distance themselves from a disastrous first outing – but something else has been bothering me. You see, there has already been an event called “Emoti-Con” for quite some time in New York. It’s not a fandom convention, but it is an actual thing. The golden rule of convention naming is that you never take someone else’s name, period. Sure, it used to happen back in the day before we all used the internet (hence the two unaffiliated cons named “MarsCon”), but in these days? It’s just… not done. And the EmotiCon staff know about Emoti-Con, as they’ve added a disclaimer to their website about it already. Of course, that’s because someone told the other Emoti-Con about it.

It’s enough to make your ears start bleeding.

So if you thought that DashCon’s staff had learned their lessons from their “TumblCon USA” name fiasco when renaming to EmotiCon, you would be… really, really wrong.

But hey, it’s going to be held less than an hour from where I live.

So I’ll probably be there.

Thanks to Dillon Kaarstad for the tip!

Update: Aaaand it’s been cancelled

Trae Dorn

Trae Dorn has been staffing conventions for over twenty years, and is a co-founder of Wisconsin’s longest running Anime convention No Brand Con. Trae also wrote and drew the now completed webcomic UnCONventional, and produces the podcasts BS-Free Witchcraft, On This Day With Trae, Stormwood & Associates, and The Nerd & Tie Podcast. This leads many to ask when the hell they have time to actually do anything anymore. Trae says they have the time because they “do it all quite poorly.”

15 thoughts on “DashCon Rebrands as EmotiCon, Hopes You Won’t Notice

  • September 3, 2014 at 11:51 am
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    Should just call it ballpitcon

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  • September 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm
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    The problem I see is that even if they try to rebrand themselves, they will still have the association of head of dashcon. They are also still trying to hold it in a venue too large and expensive for a early con. It will be interesting to watch this unfold.

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    • September 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm
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      Oh, I know – it’s going to be amazing. I just hope I can get a good enough internet connection while I’m there to livestream it or something 😛

      Reply
  • September 4, 2014 at 9:47 am
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    Dashcon 2015 was reserved for Indy even before Dashcon 2014 happened. What surprises me is that they’re still planning to do it. I remain skeptical as to whether the event will in fact happen– it doesn’t sound like they’ve really learned much from their financial mismanagement, but the Indiana Convention Center is a serious venue that hosts a lot of events, and they are not going to have any patience with these guys if they can’t pay their bills on time.

    The other thing is that they have picked the worst possible year to move to Indy. There are several other new geek conventions starting there in 2015, plus three 2nd year conventions (PopCon, AwesomeCon, and Indiana Comic Con), PLUS the established juggernauts like Gen Con. Even conventions with excellent organization are a bit nervous as to how all that competition is going to shake out. With their awful reputation and poor organization, I don’t think DashCon has a chance.

    Reply
    • September 4, 2014 at 10:00 am
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      Yeah, we’ve been watching the Indianapolis scene pretty closely — it’s amazing how Indiana has pretty much zero regional con scene beyond a handful of one day cons and Ikasucon in Fort Wayne (I consider RamenCon a Chicago area con, so it doesn’t really count). Everything is Indy or bust it seems.

      And that centralization of the market is going to over saturate pretty damned quick.

      Reply
      • September 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm
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        There’s EvilleCon in Evansville

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        • September 7, 2014 at 12:50 pm
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          Forgot about that. It’s odd to me that the only non-Indianapolis cons of any size seem to be at the far corners of the state

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          • September 7, 2014 at 8:18 pm
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            yeah no it’s incredibly inconvenient for those of us who live kind of near Indy but don’t feel like going to Indy for a con

      • September 17, 2014 at 10:18 pm
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        Does Pentacon count?

        Reply
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  • September 4, 2014 at 11:39 am
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    So the money raised at Dashcon in ticket sales for Dashcon 2015 is going where, I wonder? Legally it should be tied to Dashcon and its associated debt. If that’s the case, then this new convention is starting from scratch with 8 months to raise enough fundage to not be put into further debt. And if there’s no connection to Dashcon, does that mean those presold tickets just…go away? Or will Emoticon honour those tickets, even though, ya know, it’s not the same con?

    Oy.

    Trae, why would you throw money into this oh-they’ve-got-balls moneypit?

    Reply
    • September 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm
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      Because sometimes you want front row seats to the trainwreck.

      That and I write a webcomic that takes place at conventions, and this is how I get some of my best material 😛

      Reply
  • September 6, 2014 at 4:30 pm
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    With regards to the bit about never taking another con’s name, it’s more common now than it used to be, as more conventions are being done with no connections to previous fandoms. For example, two of the new cons this year in Long Island, NY are EM-con (a name taken by a con in the UK) and RamenCon (which as I just learned from the comments here exists elsewhere as well). The third I can recall is LI-Con, an original name but a spinoff from I-Con, a name which exists as three separate entities in different parts of the globe.

    Con name repetition is pretty common, because a lot of people want to use puns on the word-part “con”, and that’s a finite list. The only really original one I’ve heard about recently is In-CON-ceivable, which was a new one this year.

    Reply
  • September 16, 2014 at 10:21 am
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    Kind of reminds me of some of the problems a convention I helped with (Fencon) found itself all too close to a similarly disastrous Star Trek convention (Fedcon USA) back in 2008.

    Both events happened in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, though Fedcon happened earlier in the year. The organizers were hyping this thing big time, but it was clear in the days before the con things were not all right. Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol from Battlestar Galactica) was scheduled to be a guest, but never received any info on his flight. He couldn’t get hold of the con staff to deal with this, and finally took to the convention forums. That was the first clue something was wrong.

    From what I hear, the con went alright on Friday, but everything starts falling apart on Saturday morning. The convention’s check to the hotel bounced, and so the hotel told the con to pack up. The con chair had disappeared (later claiming he had some medical problem about leaking spinal fluid) leaving the MC and the handful of stars that did come in for the event to handle the irate crowds.

    The hotel cut them enough slack to let the con limp on till about 4:00pm that afternoon, though almost everyone had left by noon.

    Meanwhile, all of us that were part of Fencon (a much smaller literary science fiction convention) spent the weekend, and a good portion of the week afterwards, getting on the internet and posting We’re Not These Idiots Disclaimers in every forum where this story was getting posted.

    In the end, almost everyone who was direct witness to this disaster claimed they were not there. The organizer; Tim Brazeal, who was also noted for his failed (and possibly fraudulent) attempt at saving Star Trek: Enterprise, ended up disappearing from the fandom all together.

    As for Dashcon, I have never known a convention that has failed so miserably to ever recover. And June is pretty far away, I’m expecting the con won’t happen once word gets around about the organizers.

    Reply

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