CHI FI Convention Screwing Up PR and Communications… Again

So right now as I write this, CHI FI, a science fiction convention in Chicago, is running their inaugural event. Well… sort of. They technically ran “CHI FI 0” last year, after cancelling their full 2014 convention the previous January.

In that cancellation, as we reported way back in episode 13 of the podcast, with the staff making up weird lies about their hotel harassing them (which probably never happened) and a whole bunch of other stuff. Here’s a pretty neutral timeline about it.

So if you expected their 2015 event to happen without a hitch, you’d be… well, wrong.

Before the convention, both Steve Jackson and GeekGirlChicago pulled out of the event, citing poor communication from the organizers… and stuff.

Steve Jackson wrote on his site:

I will not be appearing at Chi-Fi, due to bad communications and non-payment. If you had hoped to see me at that show, I’m very sorry – but the con chair is no longer returning my calls or mail, I haven’t even been reimbursed for the plane ticket, and the only other committee member I have ever spoken to could do nothing but refer me back to the chair. I don’t know what’s going on there, but it will be without me.

I know their website still shows me as a guest. This is incorrect, and if you are acquainted with anyone on the committee, feel free to point that out to them.

GeekGirlChicago has a much more comprehensive list of issues with CHI FI, which you can find here. Most importantly though, since she published that, the CHI FI organizers have been trying to get it pulled down from ChicagoNow, claiming it’s defamatory. I’ve embedded GeekGirlChicago’s Facebook response to the attempts to get her blog post pulled:

It should be noted, that while I write this, CHI FI still lists GeekGirlChicago as a guest on their website.

I honestly have begun to question the ability of CHI FI’s organizers to NOT put their feet in their mouths. This is the second year in a row they’ve done weird miscommunications and strange reactionary stuff, and the event isn’t even over yet.