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 Post subject: Dragoncon and the people who run it
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:01 pm 
Orc
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Picked up a story on one of my other favorite web comics about their run-in with the douchbags that run Dragoncon in Atlanta, thought I'd post the story here for viewing:

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My mood is less than pleased right now, and I’m going to tell you why.

To start things off, Lar and I will NOT be attending DragonCon in Atlanta this coming summer. In order to understand that, we must go back to a time and place…say, around September of this year.

This was our second year in Atlanta, and it was one of the shows we were most looking forward to. There’s just something about the atmosphere of this show that’s so casual, that you really get a chance to hang out with a great deal of wonderful people.

As last year was so successful for us, we paid for a larger booth this year and intended to do some fun & unusual things with the space. Upon getting to the show, however, someone had setup in our space. Confused, we asked the hall attendants what was going on, and were rudely informed that our booth had been moved.

When I inquired as to where, I was shown the furthest and poorly lit section of the room, with a giant pillar intersecting the middle of the booth. I then proceeded to tell the attendants that this was unacceptable, not only because of the move but because of the new location.

Despite the fact that I had announced where we were setup weeks leading up to the show, I would’ve been fine if we were moved to a location similar to the one we lost. But this was unacceptable.

The attendants, once again, were rude and told our crew that we could take the new spot or we could go home. This wasn’t their problem. Still calm and polite, I asked if there was someone else we could speak to, because we did not deserve to be spoken to like that.

A couple hours later, we sat on the carpet waiting, a minor functionary came downstairs and repeated what the attendants had told us. Again, I asked if there was anyone else I could talk to.

An hour later, one of the board members of the show came down to talk with us.

He apologized for the situation, note that this was the first apology we had received thus far, and inquired what could to be done to make things right. In the end, he generously offered to repay us for the booth, but still allow us to use. It was a good solution, we shook hands and all was well.

At the end of the show, I again thanked him for taking care of the matter, and we signed up for the next show gladly.

Usually how this works, is at the end of a show, you sign for the next one, and a few weeks later you receive an invoice. A month passed, and we had yet to receive a single thing.

Wanting to make sure everything was fine, Randy began calling them. For 6 weeks Randy called, at least 3 times per week leaving messages for everyone. No one called us back.

Finally, we reached someone, and were told that we were not invited back to DragonCon because of the incident. I was, am shocked.

We are not allowed to exhibit because their staff was verbally abusive towards us, including profanity. We are not allowed because they moved our location without any warning or apology. We are not allowed because DragonCon shoved us in the dark corner of the show.

Let me be clear. Never did I, or any of my staff, raise their voice or even mutter a ‘shite’ under their breath. That’s not how we behave.

I don’t understand this decision, and no one was inclined to explain it to me, only referring to the ‘incident’.

I am saddened by this, but more so that we won’t be able to hang out with the folks who came out to Atlanta to see us. I felt you were owed an explanation, and there it is. We hope to be able to find a show nearby that we can attend.

As for DragonCon, I will do my best to ensure that this story gets out, so others don’t share our fate.

- Because I can.


I've never been to any Con in the states, but I'm sure some of you have, anyone been to this one?

I just find it crappy when i find something like this!

Page it came from


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoncon and the people who run it
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:09 am 
Dragon
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I've never even been to a Con, regardless of where, though I have a good friend involved with a local one. I find this story appalling. Someone, somewhere seems to have had a grudge against these folks, and found a really convenient excuse for excluding them...

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoncon and the people who run it
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:00 pm 
Minotaur
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Well I do attend SF Cons and I have been to Dragoncon once about three years ago. Friends of mine have gone/continue to go to Dragoncon. Its a large regional convention in Atlanta, Georgia on Labor Day weekend, so it hovers around September 1st. Its strengths include a large membership (over twenty thousand), a strong comic book and media special interest track, fantastic hall costumes/cosplay and a huge dealers room.

The drawback is that its huge. Three hour waits in the registration line is normal. Its so large that individuals get lots in the greater whole.

I'm not sure if its still a fan based organization or if its become a corporate business with paid workers. Either way the story quoted by the OP is unpleasant. Although I'm more inclined to look at it *not* being malicious but merely expedience over compassionate effort.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoncon and the people who run it
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:54 am 
Demigod
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Quote:
The drawback is that its huge. Three hour waits in the registration line is normal. Its so large that individuals get lost in the greater whole.


*shudders at the many GenCon memories involving herds of sweaty gamers.*

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoncon and the people who run it
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:59 pm 
Orc
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Lord_Fellgrin wrote:
Quote:
The drawback is that its huge. Three hour waits in the registration line is normal. Its so large that individuals get lost in the greater whole.


*shudders at the many GenCon memories involving herds of sweaty gamers.*


eww

I've been to only a couple Con's in my life.. and none of them were particually huge...

I figure before I get *too* old, I'd like to attend a Mac World (or WWDC) and one of the big Cons...


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoncon and the people who run it
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:50 pm 
Puce Guardian
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I've never been to Dragoncon, but it's been on the 'must see someday' list for years. Dragoncon and Comiccon are the two biggest conventions in the states, usually known for how amazing they are and how there is always something to do at all times. Both cons are frequently used to launch new sci fi shows and promote new movies, comics, book series etc, as that's the place to start your viral advertisement if you want it to take off.

I am, however, disappointed in the behavior of the people running it, after listening to this story. I agree it sounds like a case of expediency over taking the time to deal with the issue ... but that's the sort of thing that starts reputations crumbling.

Hopefully, as it is a fan run con, the people responsible for the muck up will be cycled out in a year or two, as their behavior indicates they are already not enjoying their volunteer time and may soon decide not to show up rather than continue to show up just to ruin someone's day.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoncon and the people who run it
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:15 am 
Demigod
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If you go to one Mathius, for God's Sake remember that extra layer of deodorant. Not that would've helped in Milwaukee in August, but it's a nice thought.

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 Post subject: Re: Dragoncon and the people who run it
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:25 am 
Orc
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Yes, I plan to, while classy dress may not be required, I do plan to smell good... Or was that not what you meant?

I guess it can get quiet hot in convention centers... Points to the obvious stereotype that lot of nerds in one place sweating = one smelly crowd.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragoncon and the people who run it
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:26 am 
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It isn't just the heat. Milwaukee is right on Lake Michigan, so the humidity in late summer is miserable. Worse than St Louis, almost as bad as New Orleans (but without the lovely aroma of centuries of drunken pisses soaked into the cobblestones).

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