Category Archives: Convention News

In depth reporting on issues and news within the North American Convention Scene.

Midwest FurFest Evacuated After Intentional Release of Chlorine Gas

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Nineteen people were taken to the hospital with naseua and other symptoms, and the hotel evacuated at Midwest FurFest early this morning. Just before one in the morning, there were complaint of a noxious odor on the Rosemont, IL Hyatt’s ninth floor, and upon arrival responders found high levels of chlorine gas.

Chlorine gas is, of course, highly dangerous and deadly.

By 3:30AM the hotel was cleared, and attendees were allowed back in the building. Police are saying the release was an intentional act, and are investigating it as a criminal matter. That’s right, someone literally attacked the Midwest FurFest using a method banned by the Geneva Convention.

What the hell is seriously going on?

Via Chicago Tribune

Awesome Con Milwaukee Officially Canceled

So Awesome Con‘s attempts to make inroads into the Midwest haven’t exactly been smooth. Their Indianapolis event in October drew significantly smaller crowds than anticipated (the organization anticipated 20,000 attendees but on the floor estimates put the number that showed up in the four digit range). On October 14th they were forced to announce they had lost a significant portion of their guest list for Awesome Con Milwaukee, and they slashed their admission prices in an attempt to drum up interest.

Sadly things haven’t gotten better for the organization, and Awesome Con has had to make yet another announcement: Awesome Con Milwaukee is canceled.

Continue reading Awesome Con Milwaukee Officially Canceled

Rhode Island Comic Con and the Importance of an Attendance Cap

So Rhode Island Comic Con was this past weekend, and apparently it was a bit of a mess. You see their venue was only capable of holding 17,000 people yet they sold well over 20,000 registrations. And they kept selling admissions.

This led to the Fire Marshalls having to step in, and as people left the event, they found themselves barred from re-entry.

Needless to say, attendees were a bit miffed, and the con staff has absolutely bungled the response. Anime Herald has some solid coverage for those curious. This brings up an important thing though: Attendance Caps.

While most of us don’t like finding out an event is sold out, attendance caps ensure that cons are fun for everyone… and you don’t have to worry about the authorities suddenly taking over your event. If you can only support X number of attendees, only sell X number of badges. Anime Detour used to have crowd issues until they instituted an Attendance cap, and now while the event sells out, you rarely hear complaints about the quality of their event.

Attendance caps are just good con management, and if an event’s staff can’t understand that, they maybe shouldn’t be operatiing a convention.

Via Anime Herald, Thanks for the tip Korfan!

The Epic Failure of Epic Con Ohio

Contrary to rumor, Epic Con Ohio did actually happen this last weekend in Dayton, OH. Of course, the show it was turned out to be very different than the show it promised to be.

Literally dozens of guests cancelled on the con, mostly because the convention appeared unwilling to cover travel costs. Those who did show up are rumored to have done so out of their own pocket. I could cover more, but it wouldn’t do justice to the write up over at Bleeding Cool. Seriously, read it. It is a tale of mismanagement, poor PR instincts, and just a total clusterf*** of con running incompetence.

You should also read Bleeding Cool’s article about a Nurse who tried to get a refund for her $200 VIP pass.

It’s just… completely amazing.

Thanks for the tip, Joe!

Aki Con Is At It Again, Sends Artist’s Personal Information To Random Person

Washington’s Aki Con seems to be determined to keep screwing something major up every year. We talked about their history on the podcast last year, but to sum it up:

  1. In 2012 they put their Artists and Vendors in a leaking, freezing garage.
  2. In 2013 they invited a convicted sex offender as a guest, who then drugged and sexually assaulted another guest… and then Aki Con staff blamed the victim.

So, yeah – they have a history. It may come as a relief to hear that this year all they’re doing wrong (so far) is mostly just being bad at their jobs.

Tumblr user MysticMagix has posted an extensive write up about their experiences trying to register for Aki Con’s artist alley, and it’s been a cluster f*** of incompetence on the part of Aki Con staff. You can read the full write up here, but the highlights include:

  • Contradictory instructions
  • Lack of any email responses
  • Taking the artist’s money while still rejecting the table
     
    And my favorite…
  • They were sent a copy of artist Sammy Ng’s contract, including all of Ng’s personal information

That’s right – Aki Con sent artist Sammy Ng’s personal information to MysticMagix for no discernible reason beyond straight incompetence.

Aki Con seems determined to get things wrong before the event even happens this year.

An Animinneapolis and MetaCon (Ex)Staffer is a Convicted Predatory Sex Offender (Updated)

Update: AnimeCon.org staffer Cay Combs has posted a response to this article stating that they were until recently unaware of Goodew’s history, and he has been banned from staffing their events.

Robert Goodew is a staffer for two (and department head for at least one) of Ryan Kopf’s AnimeCon.org events. He was the head of viewing rooms for Animinneapolis 2014 and on his Facebook page lists himself as working in Operations for the upcoming 2014 MetaCon. On Facebook he “likes” the WWE, Jason David Frank, and the “Baconator.”

More importantly though, Robert Goodew is a predatory sex offender who was convicted in 2010 for sexual conduct and contact with a 12 year old boy.
Continue reading An Animinneapolis and MetaCon (Ex)Staffer is a Convicted Predatory Sex Offender (Updated)

GaymerX Kickstarter Hits its Goal

GaymerX is putting together their third convention (rebranded as “GX3: Everyone Games”), and to do so they’ve been running a Kickstarter campaign to raise $80,000. With less than two days to go they’ve now exceeded their goal with more than 800 backers.

GaymerX held their first event in 2013 in San Fransisco, and their second year (held this last July) had an attendance of over 2000. Their third event is planned for either November or December of 2015, and will continue to strive for crating a more diverse space in gaming.

Which is, y’know, a good thing.

Via IGN

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. Continue reading DashCon Rebrands as EmotiCon, Hopes You Won’t Notice

Do Some of Ryan Kopf’s Conventions Break the Law? Quite Possibly

Update: Since posting this article, Chrono L.C. has registered with the State of Minnesota and the State of Illinois (not directly linkable – but easily found). The original article appears as follows.

The Complicated Web of Ryan Kopf, Chrono LC, Black Materia Inc and State Lines

This was all supposed to start simple enough: I was going to write a follow up on Ryan Kopf’s new ventures run through Black Materia Inc. I had discovered that Black Materia Inc was a completely seperate corporation from Chrono LC, and I was going to reveal who Kopf’s new business partner was.

I figured I’d be done with it under 300 words, and likely never think of it again.

But as I took my stroll through Google searches and public records, things started to feel off. Something wasn’t quite right, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. — so I kept digging even after I found the answer.

And what I found blew me away. Continue reading Do Some of Ryan Kopf’s Conventions Break the Law? Quite Possibly