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Babscon=epic fail?

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Babscon is over and so is the hype. Being a Bay Area Brony, you would think I was there. Unfortunately, I decided to focus on school and my various side projects. I kinda kick myself for not going, but Bronycon is going to be better. Mostly because it won't be an epic fail like Babscon seemed to be.

I had a few friends go to the Bay Area Convention and tell me stories about how the staffers did not know what was going on. My friends told me that the convention center overbooked and almost got shut down by the fire marshalls. My friends also told me how some people from 4chan almost made Hasbro cancel any upcoming conventions.

The specifics are unknown to me, and im interested in learning the full report.

Also, sorry if this thread is similar to any others; my laptop is on its last legs and cruising through the forums crashes my browser

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Wow, it was that bad? So people were a bit out of control, if the fire Marshalls had to say something.

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I'll reiterate what I've said about the child being stalked by a rogue con-goer: if these things happened, I would have thought that it would be a bigger thing in the fandom but I haven't heard anything of the sort.

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I had a few friends go to the Bay Area Convention and tell me stories about how the staffers did not know what was going on.

That's true. Even the con chair wasn't aware of their own perks that they were supposed to give out to the higher level badges.

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you must be joking, it was epic. As someone who went to Bronycon 2013 and BABS was better...

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Considering the con DID NOT get shut down like other cons last year I'd say it wasn't nearly the epic fail some people would want to believe it was.

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(edited)

The con was a blast!  And they're already taking registration for next year, so I have no idea what those people on 4chan are talking about.  The staff did seem overwhelmed on the first day, but that's understandable for the first day of a brand new convention, and I heard a lot of people volunteered and didn't show, so that would explain the crazyness.  Obsidian Winter has claimed other things as the problem, but until I see some evidence of this, I'm not prepared to take her word for it.

 

I'm really looking forward to going back next year :D

 

 

 

I'll reiterate what I've said about the child being stalked by a rogue con-goer: if these things happened, I would have thought that it would be a bigger thing in the fandom but I haven't heard anything of the sort.

 

What do you mean?  It was all over tumblr, and the babscon twitter talked about it, and I even made a topic about all the drama that's gone on about BABScon right here on this forum.  People have been talking about it, and the whole thing wasn't as bad as that first tumblr post made it seem.  He never grabbed her or tried to drag her to an elevator, he asked her a question which made her uncomfortable (and rightly so) and she went and hung out at the SACAnime table until she saw her mom.  It wasn't nearly so dramatic.  Still, con staff should have been alerted to the situation.

Edited by 11thDoctorWhooves

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What do you mean?  It was all over tumblr, and the babscon twitter talked about it, and I even made a topic about all the drama that's gone on about BABScon right here on this forum.  People have been talking about it, and the whole thing wasn't as bad as that first tumblr post made it seem.  He never grabbed her or tried to drag her to an elevator, he asked her a question which made her uncomfortable (and rightly so) and she went and hung out at the SACAnime table until she saw her mom.  It wasn't nearly so dramatic.  Still, con staff should have been alerted to the situation.

 

A lot of the press about that came about in the aftermath of the con.  Given the location of the SACAnime table, there would have been multiple witnesses and word would have quickly spread throughout the convention so you'd think that if it had happened as the staffer said it did, the whole con would have been talking about it.  As it was, I didn't hear about it until after I had already gone home but then I wasn't following the tumblrverse extensively so I might have missed it.

 

Likewise I didn't hear anything about the con overbooking or presenting a fire hazard, or about people from 4chan other than Capper General who was there for the /mlp/ panel.  If there was an incident going on like OP described, it would surely have been making the rounds on the rumor mill.

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No one other than the SACanine staff, the girl and her family knew about the incident until after the con was over, and that's why SACanime is banned from having a table next year. They should have told the BABScon staff about it so they could have thrown the guy out.

 

I also never heard about the overbooking thing or the fire marshall being called in. The only instance over overbooking was on the Hotels part, when they over booked the vendors area and they had to wait a few hours to set up.

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The specifics are unknown to me, and im interested in learning the full report.

 

 

 

I'm glad you are interested in hearing the full report.

 

Rumors certainly fly when people have the chance to talk, don't they?  Sometimes the rumors are very damaging such as the hideous lies told by the SacAnime volunteer (who just happened to hate Bronies anyway) about what happened to the young girl.  Even the mother wrote to apologize at how out of proportion that story got.

 

And I also find it interesting that people who have never run a full scale event in their lives expect everything to magically fall into place.  If any of your friends ran a full scale convention for the first time I will bet that they would make mistakes too.  The ratio of mistakes to greatness was very slight.  Folks LOVED this con.  I'm sorry you missed it.

 

The fire marshall bit is more than likely a stupid rumor as is the Hasbro part.  Since there are many cons still going on and since they don't sponsor them and since the voice actors are still attending them, I would say it's not true.

 

I have never attended BronyCon because I am new to the fandom but I have attended many conventions for other interests and the bottom line was that this went incredibly well for a first year.  It was packed with a fantastic guest list and I am amazed at all that they accomplished year one and can't wait until next year when I plan to go again.

 

I have said this before but I think Babscon will outgrow the Hyatt and will be to the west coast what Brony Con is to the East coast.  Personally I hope it doesn't get quite that big because I would rather navigate through a couple of thousand vs. 10,000 but I think it's inevitable.

 

I hope you give it a chance next year.

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I had a few friends go to the Bay Area Convention and tell me stories about how the staffers did not know what was going on. My friends told me that the convention center overbooked and almost got shut down by the fire marshalls.

 

The convention was NOT cancelled, and I remember the guest VAs like Tara Strong saying that this was the best convention in awhile! You must be mistaking BABscon with Unicon in Vegas (That was terrible on so many levels).

 

 

 

My friends also told me how some people from 4chan almost made Hasbro cancel any upcoming conventions.

Well given 4chan's questionable honesty of rumors in the past, I'm not surprised if they'll say things like that. But in the US, it's really difficult to stop the freedom to assemble, which is constitutionally protected. The thing that cancels most conventions is mostly because of financial reasons.

 

And yes, there's a thread on how the SACanime staff blew up an incident and posted it on social media instead of calling security, but I'll leave it for the other commenters to post that.

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Bronycon is going to be better

 

 

My friends told me that the convention center overbooked

If the big complaint you heard was about the crowding going on at Babscon, how on Earth would a convention with five times as many attendees be more of a success?  The convention center wasn't overbooked... there was one incident the very first day where the convention center had another event booked in the vendor's hall for until babscon was scheduled to start because they didn't know that room would require extensive setup, so the vendor's hall opened a bit late on day one... other than that, there were long lines for some of the more important panels, but it was well within capacity... even at the VA panels there were empty seats in the main room.  The only time there were ever space issues was at a couple of the panels which were put in the smaller rooms that turned out to be more popular than the convention had expected, but that's hardly an overbooking situation.  Certainly Bronycon isn't going to be able to fix the long lines, it's going to have even longer ones.  Instead of having a line with 2000 people in it for the VA panel, you'll have 10,000 people in line.  

 

And I never saw fire marshals at  the convention at all..  Not saying it didn't happen, but I never saw it or heard anything about it.  And even if it did happen, the convention wasn't shut down, which either means they were called by somebody like a random hotel guest, and there wasn't a problem when they inspected the convention, or there was a problem and the convention was able to easily fix whatever the issue was.

 

As for the convention staff not knowing anything... well with any event using a volunteer workforce you're going to have issues like that.  The big problem is that you have people from all over the country working, so most of them will have very limited info about their actual job until the day before or the day of the convention, so they aren't going to have all the answers.  They can do information sessions for the staff and everything, but nobody is going to fly to California a week before the convention to get training for a volunteer job, so you're going to have issues with people having all the right information.  Bronycon, Babscon, and any other convention with volunteers is going to have those exact same issues.  So yeah, there were problems with some staff not knowing what was happening with certain things, and while Babscon should probably work hard to address those issues, it's hardly anything so unexpected that you should jump ship and never go to Babscon again.

 

Let me put it another way... I went to a coffee shop at a casino I frequent and as part of my status there I get 20 percent off.  The person screwed up my order and thought the dollar in comp money I redeemed was my 20 percent discount.  Then when I went to the casino host to straighten it out, they didn't even know I was supposed to get 20 percent off even though it's their job to know that.  The moral of the story is that even with paid employees, you're going to have people in low level positions who don't have all the answers or aren't good at their job.  All you can do is give the business or convention feedback and let them know of the issues you have so they can address the problems with that worker for the future or if necessary get rid of the problem employee.  But it hardly makes the entire event or business a failure to have one or two people not have an answer... that's just called life.

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(edited)

As for the convention staff not knowing anything... well with any event using a volunteer workforce you're going to have issues like that.  The big problem is that you have people from all over the country working, so most of them will have very limited info about their actual job until the day before or the day of the convention, so they aren't going to have all the answers.  They can do information sessions for the staff and everything, but nobody is going to fly to California a week before the convention to get training for a volunteer job, so you're going to have issues with people having all the right information.  Bronycon, Babscon, and any other convention with volunteers is going to have those exact same issues.  So yeah, there were problems with some staff not knowing what was happening with certain things, and while Babscon should probably work hard to address those issues, it's hardly anything so unexpected that you should jump ship and never go to Babscon again.

 

Let me put it another way... I went to a coffee shop at a casino I frequent and as part of my status there I get 20 percent off.  The person screwed up my order and thought the dollar in comp money I redeemed was my 20 percent discount.  Then when I went to the casino host to straighten it out, they didn't even know I was supposed to get 20 percent off even though it's their job to know that.  The moral of the story is that even with paid employees, you're going to have people in low level positions who don't have all the answers or aren't good at their job.  All you can do is give the business or convention feedback and let them know of the issues you have so they can address the problems with that worker for the future or if necessary get rid of the problem employee.  But it hardly makes the entire event or business a failure to have one or two people not have an answer... that's just called life.

I can attest to this. I volunteer for conventions a lot, and it's downright embarrassing to not know the answers to every question a customer has. But at the same time, it's not really my fault because I'm only trained to work my station and its limitations, and knowing more would require either more training (which none of the leaders want to do) or leaving my post to learn the other positions.

 

Please remember this when you have problems at a convention with staff, especially when the staff is probably volunteering for free. They deal with a lot, the convention chairs don't want to invest more time and money into teaching all of them the answers to all of your questions, and they do not like telling you that they can't answer your question.

Edited by nami438

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there was no fire. There was no downside. Its true, the staff was confused the FIRST DAY. It was great. And it had the most cast members and mlp show staff EVER TOGETHER. it was amazing, so i dont know what your friends were talking about.

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The WORST/most-out-of-control thing I can remember that I witnessed was one guy who was walking drunk and shirtless across the lobby and he got tangled-up in the (empty line) line-ropes (you know, those portable flat, red, line-organizing tapes attached to those portable black poles). To this date that was the first time I've ever seen anyone caught-up in one of those things (I personally found it quite funny, especially since no one was hurt and it was handled so well by the con staff, who asked him to go put on a shirt). Classic YouTube material!

 

Aside from that, sticking to things I've personally witnessed (as I've heard lots of stories, from a "child-stalker", to a guy from I think Ever-free Network being kicked-out of the con), one staff member (not a volunteer) who was probably under some pressure was quite rude to me when he had no right to be. Other than that, things seemed to go fairly smoothly for a first-year con. And they also had a thing at the end where you could offer constructive criticism (where I forgot to mention something) so that they could improve for next year!

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The WORST/most-out-of-control thing I can remember that I witnessed was one guy who was walking drunk and shirtless across the lobby and he got tangled-up in the (empty line) line-ropes (you know, those portable flat, red, line-organizing tapes attached to those portable black poles). To this date that was the first time I've ever seen anyone caught-up in one of those things (I personally found it quite funny, especially since no one was hurt and it was handled so well by the con staff, who asked him to go put on a shirt). Classic YouTube material!

 

Aside from that, sticking to things I've personally witnessed (as I've heard lots of stories, from a "child-stalker", to a guy from I think Ever-free Network being kicked-out of the con), one staff member (not a volunteer) who was probably under some pressure was quite rude to me when he had no right to be. Other than that, things seemed to go fairly smoothly for a first-year con. And they also had a thing at the end where you could offer constructive criticism (where I forgot to mention something) so that they could improve for next year!

 

all the stories have been discussed in another topic...oh Final Draft...

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Wow, it was that bad? So people were a bit out of control, if the fire Marshalls had to say something.

 

The fire marshals can't even handle us right now!

 

Q60uf.gif

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The good and the Bad. [full disclosure, I did not attend babscon but did look into it]

 

As someone who has worded from as an unafilited paid staffer for over a dozen conventions (ala event security) no con goes perfectly and evey con has issues. The key is the con wasn't a financial bust, which is important from the perspective of the entire con scene, no one got hurt, and a lot of people had fun.

 

That said there were some things that were unacceptable to me. I don't name names but I think it was mentioned, someone from a decently sized brony group got thrown out of the con for repeatedly violating on polocy including accessing areas they weren't suppose to access and contacting guests seperatly from going through the con to talk with them at the con in addition to trying to scam extra free passes. This should not have gone past the second offense and the inability of the con to act was unprofessional. Still it is the cons first year and even if they are experienced at staffing other cons the idea of a My Little Pony con having troublemakers probably threw them for a loop.

 

As to the incident with a potential stalker, I hate to say this, but it happens. I've seen it at many different types of events and what was generally put out there is in any way true then I'm not surprised. Not for any specific reason but because people. Heck, hundreds of pedophiles are arrested and dozzens of people die just at events at American Football stadiums every year. If you pick a few cons from any group, and they all have a couple thousand people this will happen at least once if not more.

 

 

I did hear that several staff walked off not even half way through the weekend. I believe it was the people involved with setting up and managing the technology during panels and presentations. This left that particular area of the con understaffed.

 

Additionally a volunteers personal aniversarry gift that she got signed before working was auctioned off. They got it back but supposedly she was reduced to tears because of a lack of organization. Plus the person who won the auction had to give their item back.

 

My conclussion is that they went to big, to far, to fast. They weren't ready. But that is also par for the course for first time cons. The behind the scenes management will probably improve greatly next year and I hope them the best.

 

The main issue I took with Babscon was the disrespect for the show guests. It looked to me like they wanted numbers and names and didn't care about people. At the point where 6 authors are on stage together and have no, or few, individual events. You can't focus on individuals and other than signatures they provide very little to the con. In fact, from some angles they take away from the con because they only have time for short stock questions and short stock answers. Things that we already know in many cases. Also, many cons take a cut of the signature money, it’s why you have to go through the con to get a voucher for the artists.

 

They also invited numbers for fanfiction which was where my interests lay. I didn't go because of money but I was interested until I saw a copy of their invitations. They invited guests to come, and if they applied and were selected to panel they would get a free badge. Except only the first few people had this option, then it went to the same thing but no free badge. It makes it sound like they were inviting people which sounds terrific to a lot of authors who never attended a con, but it's also how people can inflate there numbers. Get people to come under the guise of honoring them and then not following through. The key is that Babs con didn't do this to my knowledge. They did follow through and include as many people as they could so everyone seemed satisfied, but that meant a lot of guests were only on one panel. Again it sounds like inflating numbers rather than being respectful of the people they invite.

 

I also took issue with their pricing. A $60 badge is fine, its a good price for a 3 day con. But it was marketed at $60 and the majority of attendees got the badges off of the discount. Any group that promoted the con gave a %10 discount. Thus means that they listed the price at $60 but expected $54 per ticket. At the same time people think they are getting a deal. In reality when the majority of people get the discount the con set the price at $54 but downplayed it and made people think they were getting a deal because of their proffered media outlets. I find this disgusting and misleading and whoever decided on that policy should be ashamed of themselves. As should the con board that approved it.

 

Overall, I hope they run it more professionally next year and that the con acts with more dignity and respect for themselves, their staff, their guests, and their attendees. But despite the issues brought up it was a fun con for the majority of people and while I won’t ever go I wont tell other people not to because in the end it is $54 for a fun weekend with thousands of like minded people. It’s hard to screw up that kind of weekend. On a technicality side it was run well enough that I see it being around at least the next two years sans any egregious issues come up such as corruption. I also see it improving drastically and now that they have a decent name for themselves they can focus on streamlining the con rather than over promoting it.

 

As to how I learned of all this, I found the extreme amount of advertising annoying and worrisome. I looked into Babscon before and after and while I did not like some of the things they do and did most of that was personal preference. I couldn’t find anything to truly condemn them (though I don’t do 4chan as I dislike the overall structure) and I do recognize their achievement of getting so many show guests. It was a decent event overall and I have worked and attended hundreds of events for both work and pleasure. If it’s a local con I do recommend people attend it over flying out to other cons if money is, at all, an issue as the price difference for not flying would be well worth it.

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@@PiquoPie,

 

Let me address your concerns one by one, because you have a lot of wrong information and just bad conclusions going on.

 

Final Draft incident - I know you didn't want to use names, but that has been talked about a dozen times in this and other threads so there's no real shock about who you're talking about here.  This doesn't have anything to do with whether Babscon was run poorly or not.  If anything, the fact that they revoked his badge instead of letting EFN walk all over them shows strong leadership.

 

Stalker Incident - This has largely been confirmed to be a couple of people making the situation sound worse than it really was in order to make the fandom look bad.  Again, the staff didn't know about this so it really has nothing to do with whether Babscon was a success or not.

 

Staffing issues -  I didn't hear anything about staff walking out.  The staffing issues I did hear about were at the very beginning of the con when they had a couple volunteers not show up and told everybody if they were interesting in volunteering, they would appreciate it.

 

Auction incident - Again, how was this a reflection of the convention being a failure?  Mistakes happen.  This was a particularly bad one, but what's important is that it got remedied at the end of the day.  The person returned the item for a refund and the staffer got it back.  The important thing here is that it wasn't the convention's fault but a single staff member's mistake in thinking that item was part of the auction.  However, the convention was quick to step in and remedy the situation as soon as they found out about the problem.

 

Show Guests - No show guests every complained about there being too many people invited and not getting good treatment.  In fact, every show guest has done nothing but say what a great time they had and how well they were treated, so I'm not sure where you heard otherwise.  If you've ever actually watched a VA panel or writer panel, you'd know that these people love to be on stage in groups... they like interacting with eachother and that's what makes it fun.  If anything, I think the staff like it less when they have individual panels.  And yet, this convention actually had a lot of individual staff panels as well which is unusual for a convention.  Cathy got to do a panel about finding your pony personality, Nicole got to do a couple different events with the kids that she loved, there was the Voice Equestria, and Amy did a panel by herself where she played her Ukulele.  They really gave all the guests an opportunity if they wanted to do something that expressed their own personality, so if anything the convention went way above and beyond to make the guests happy.

 

Fanfiction Guests - How can you possibly blame them for doing it like that?  The convention was planned in a relatively short amount of time so when it comes time to do something like plan the Fanfiction panel, they can either invite a small group, wait for a response, and then invite more to fill empty spots, or they can do what they did.  The problem with the first is that it takes a ton of time, and they didn't have that kind of time.  So this was the next best solution.  It makes it so that they can get the number of fanfiction guests they want.  I could understand this being an issue if the fact that the invitation was only opened for the first few that replied wasn't made clear, but that's simply not the case.  This was the absolute best way the staff could handle doing this given the time constraints of the convention's planning.

 

Pricing - I find it funny that the only people I see complain about the pricing of this convention are people who didn't go and didn't intend to go.  The tickets were affordable whether at $60 or $54.  Using promo codes is a very normal way of promoting the convention.  The way they gave out these promo codes is by saying them during things like interviews and in articles about the convention... that way they could encourage people to listen to the PR for the convention.  There's nothing underhanded about this, it's done every day.  Why do you think your grocery store gives you a coupon instead of just lowering the price on some items?  It's because they want you to have to open up the advertisement you get in the mail to look for the coupons.  It's not about manipulating people into thinking they got a deal, it's about using the marketing tools you can to have a successful convention.  And given the fact that this was the largest first year brony convention ever, I think we can't do too much but give them a lot of praise for their marketing efforts.

 

Bottom line, nothing you said really identifies a problem with the convention.  Most everything you said either has nothing to do with how the convention was run or is based on speculation and bad information.  Babscon didn't get too big too fast... it was just a successful convention.  More importantly, you didn't go to the convention so you didn't experience any of it.  You're making speculations as to whether or not the convention was a success, and saying it was a "decent event overall" based on things completely unrelated to what's important - whether the convention was enjoyable to the people that were there. 

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@PiquoPie I find it amazing how lengthy a review you made for an event you never attended.  @Simon pretty much summed up my feelings as well but I have to ask why on earth you would feel motivated to give such a lengthy misleading dissertation on an event you knew nothing about?

 

You are judging them for giving Final Draft too many opportunities?  Seriously?  You are blaming them for warning him and giving him another chance.  That's a new one on me especially in a forum based on MLP FIM.

 

And as for the stalker situation I agree bad people are everywhere but it just happens to be that even the MOTHER of the girl wrote an apology for the daughter blowing the situation way out of proportion.  And the person who wrote the original fictional story of all that happened just happens to be a Brony Hater which was all too obvious by her post- she was volunteering for an outside group that had a table set up there and the head of that group did not know she was a Brony hater until it was too late.

 

And you say the amount of advertising was annoying and worrisome?  I'm sorry but how many commercials do you see on TV?  There is a reason to advertise and that is to reach the largest possible group of interested people to purchase your product or services or in this case a ticket to a convention.  What is worrisome about that?  It's called marketing. 

 

I attended Babscon and I would recommend it to anyone who loves MLP.  For a first year con I think they did an amazing job and I can only imagine what they will do next year.

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(edited)

@

Diva Pony

 

I'm one of those weird people who doesn't like short stock answers that don't help people understand different points. I like exploring a topic more completely. I can come off as a pompous ass sometimes, and I do apologize if it seemed that way, but it's just how I do things.

 

The reason I think poorly of them for giving too many opportunities is because I've worked in event security. An opportunity, maybe 2, is acceptable. But Final Draft has a bit of a history and violated con policy twice before the con including trying to scam extra free tickets which is the same as stealing. Then two more issues at the con itself before being removed.

 

If the show staff were major stars and found out about this 50/50 that they would walk out because this kind of behavior, if allowed to continue at all, can and has lead to celebrities being put in danger in the past. From a security standpoint they were to lenient and if this wasn't a brony convention and these decisions were made by a third party security group like I worked for we would likely be dropped or have a serious ding with our client.

 

The stalker thing I agree with you on. Blown out of proportion and it just happens sometime. The con is not at fault in any way.

 

The advertising was annoying mostly because it was the majority of ads and news I saw. Most cons rely on getting their name out but not overwhelming their audience. In my case I have several podcasts that all did it every cast, and the site I went to normally kept posting about it. Plus they got a lot more free reign and posts than other cons especially on EQD which gave a disproportionate amount of attention to them which overall hurts the con seen in my opinion. I believe they had several different posts in one day which is a bit much and goes against how EQD treats other cons when they force their announcements to wait to be mass posted. Though they only do this a bit.

 

The reason I found it worrisome is that if they expect 200 people, but get 500 news and media posts, then their return is wasteful and potentially indicative that they were really pushing to not crash. That said that worry was unfounded. I probably didn't make that as clear as I should have.

 

Overall it sounded like a fun con and for a first time con was run decently. I wouldn't recommend that people stay away and if what they have is what people are looking for, especially if the people are local, then they should go. Though I won't go myself, as they are below my personal standards, I also recognize that I am a grumpy old man at heart and tend to be a bit of a stick in the mud. Always have been, always will be.

 

Have a good day, glad you had fun.

Edited by PiquoPie

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The good and the Bad. [full disclosure, I did not attend babscon but did look into it]

 

 

 

The reason I think poorly of them for giving too many oportunities is because I've worked in event security.

 

Great Scotts, do I detect a discrepancy? If the 2nd post is about your past experience, disregard this. Regardless, I hope you're not the type that advertises bad rep with conventions, particularly with 1st year conventions with large audiences that have less experience than the multi-year ones. We wouldn't want that! :)

 

Anyways, I'll keep this short and sweet: As the only California convention in 2014 after EQLA decided not to have one this year, I think Babscon had to have a lot of expectations that it may or may not have met, depending on who you ask. From an outsider's POV, I think Babscon handled the Final Draft fiasco and SacAnime table incident in the best possible and professional manner, and thus made all the correct moves. The con-goers are pleased, Tara Strong and Peter New both claimed on Twitter this was a fantastic convention, and I think this convention served its purpose. Therefore, the final verdict for Babscon == Epic Success. :)

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(edited)

@Simon,

 

1st) Thank you for taking you time with a detailed response. And though you disagree with me I appreciate the mature way in which you approached the items you took issues with.

 

Let me address your concerns one by one, because you have a lot of wrong information and just bad conclusions going on.

 

 

1) You didn't really dispute my information other than staff walkouts. Our disagreements seemed to be on the conclussions drawn from the info.

 

2) You seemed to miss my point. There were a lot of minor issues, I wanted to list the ones I knew about and explain why there were or were not issues. I even looked for issue and didn’t see anything that was a major failing, even if I listed one issue as my prime issue it's still not massive.

 

Final Draft incident - As I mentioned I have worked as an event security staffer for many events. When a individual is known for having issues, and begins causing issues at your event with intent, you're not suppose to give multiple extra chances on top of past opportunities to learn from their mistakes. First he blatantly tried to con the con out of money AND broke the con rules about contacting guests which is a giant nono. That’s two issues before the con, and I believe it wasn't until the second issue at the con that actual action beyond a warning was taken. It's something that outside looking in people don't get but if you know about con procedures it’s a extremely lax stance. It's both a safety and a resource issue. If they repeatedly cause problems then they will almost always continue to cause problems. Often these escalate if they feel like they got away with something. Being lenient has lead to many celebrities and innocent bystanders being harmed.  If people think that a pony con should be more lax that opinion will only last until examples of that policy backfiring occur. Fortunately it didn’t escalate.

 

Stalker incident – I agree, not the cons fault, nor should the con be judged for it. If anything their openness about it is comforting.

 

Staffing issues – I could be wrong on this. I only heard it from 1 staffer. Also it happened very early, I believe in the setup phase, so it’s not like they walked off mid set or anything. If it happened they will just want to make sure they cover their bases better next year.

 

Auction incident – I consider this a failure of the con. There should have been a system set up to prevent auctioning off the wrong items. It sounds to me like they had no paperwork and no more than a partial system in place. If someone wanted to walk off with items they wouldn’t know until the end when people wonder why items didn’t go on the auction. I have no reason to believe this happened, but it is a serious organizational failing that a simple mistake could so easily happen. They got lucky it wasn’t worse with other items being auctioned off on accident and/or people walking off with auction items. That said it shouldn’t happen in the first place but it’s something all charity auctions should, and almost always do, have.

 

Show Guests – They paid them good money to be there and the guests were rewarded with fans interactions and attention so of course they were happy. Groups also make the work easier. But when you have so many guests that in some cases you can only do group events it looks like money grab were they can get more attendees and more signature money. It disrespects them because it mineralizes them and doesn’t give them individual time to shine or explore/their opinions in depth because they only have time for what would otherwise be considered the early lead in questions. It’s also a lazy way to deal with it. Many minor celebrities are just happy for attention and appreciation, but that doesn't mean that the con should only put the minimal effort to include them in the con.

 

Fanfiction guest – It’s not the mass email that’s the issue. It’s the unprofessional way in which it was done and the changing criteria. I will also give BABScon’s writing staff leeway /credit here because it was one person brought in a ways into planning the con with little or no experience. As such he did a good job. No one jumps in feet first and acts like a true professional right away. But the criticism still stands. The invitations were not done professionally and it looked like they were padding numbers, caring more about how many people they could get rather than quality. Still, people had a good time and that’s what matters.

Also, they had enough time, and even if they didn’t, it doesn’t weaken the criticism. That argument would, however, be an argument for their opportunity to grow. Now that they have a con’s worth of experience, networking, and extra time it is likely they will improve.

 

Pricing – I actually stated that even $60 would have been a good price. They didn’t overcharge at all. It’s not the price that I took issue with.

 

“It's done every day.  Why do you think your grocery store gives you a coupon instead of just lowering the price on some items?  It's because they want you to have to open up the advertisement you get in the mail to look for the coupons.  It's not about manipulating people into thinking they got a deal, it's about using the marketing tools you can to have a successful convention.”

 

  1. Just because people do it every day does not make it okay. If people steal every day that doesn’t make it okay (A extreme example by comparison but it makes the point.) It’s easy to become complacent with little ethical dilemmas.
  2. Grocery stores actually give coupons for a number of reasons.
    1.  Often it’s the items manufacturer giving the coupon. This is to increase market share for a short period. It’s rare that they expect the price to always be that.
    2. If the store issues it they usually require a rewards card. By using these cards and giving them information they learn, and often sell, information about people. They also use that information to optimize their item placement to get you to buy more by using psychological tricks to make you want something when you otherwise didn’t intent on buying it.

 

  1. Saying “It’s not about manipulating people” is not true. By marketing you are manipulating people. The key is that this tactic can effectively be a lie and a misrepresentation of a product. Example: Often during the holiday shopping season stores will increase the base price of items and then give a discount. It looks like you get 20% off but you are only actually getting 10-0% off their actual normal price. Some companies have even been caught with their ‘sale’ price being higher than their normal price. And it works. JC penny recently went through a major issue where they specifically decided not to do this and, though they were already having issues, it had disastrous results. Sense then they publicly stated that they will go back to having a sale model (that is manipulating prices then pretending it’s a deal). It happens in everyday situations as well and is a supper common thing in infomercials. ‘Normally $10 but through this special TV offer [the only way to buy the product from the company] you can get two for only $7.99.”

What Babscon did is the exact same. They set their price at $54 and then said it’s normally $60 and some people even paid $60. Saying it’s a deal is a lie when it’s the majority of the sales. Also, they probably gave some of the 54 to the media as part of the sponsorship. That I get because it’s a paid promotion.

“Most everything you said either has nothing to do with how the convention was run or is based on speculation and bad information.  Babscon didn't get too big too fast... it was just a successful convention.  More importantly, you didn't go to the convention so you didn't experience any of it.  You're making speculations as to whether or not the convention was a success, and saying it was a "decent event overall" based on things completely unrelated to what's important - whether the convention was enjoyable to the people that were there. “

  1. We disagree on one piece of information, and the conclusions we draw.
  2. For some of the topics, like the stalker incident, I addressed that it had nothing to do with how the con was run. For others, like the system behind auctioning, marketing decisions, and community guest outreach were specifically about the decisions they made and the systems they had in place.
  3. It was my opinion that the con grew too big too fast and though you said they didn’t you also provided an opinion that supports that statement. You said it yourself; they didn’t have all that much time. Time to do something determines how fast they need to do it. I actually disagree on this point. They did have time, but they had to adjust for the size. I think that if they started with a larger expectation they could have done better. That said you don’t start big, it’s a bad idea. You start at the safe numbers and if the numbers get bigger you adapt. They did that, quite well in fact. Also getting big fast isn’t a problem or a bad thing about the con. If anything it shows that they were doing a good job. It’s also a reason why next years will be better. They did well with growing quickly, and it will even out for next year making their job easier.
  4. I didn’t go, your right. I also admitted this. But it doesn’t mean that I am not allowed to have an opinion or disagree with some of the decisions they made. Just like your allowed to disagree with me.
  5. I ‘speculated’ that the con was a success, which is the point you were making. Most of my objections won’t be shared by others and that’s fine. But I did mention that people should go to the con. It seems that is also your stance. I am just a bit more picky than you when it comes to things like professionalism.

 

Apparently on this site making two posts after eachother makes it one big post so here is another responce.

 

that have less experience than the multi-year ones

 

I thought a lot of the staff had con experience?

 

 

I think Babscon handled the Final Draft fiasco and SacAnime table incident in the best possible and professional manner, and thus made all the correct moves

 

Thats my point, to a professional their actions were not professional and were excessively lax. They didn't make the correct moves because they could have acted after the first incident at the con, which gave them two chances to get their act together before the con.

 

Also

 

 

hope you're not the type that advertises bad rep with conventions, particularly with 1st year conventions with large audiences that have less experience than the multi-year ones. We wouldn't want that!

 

No we wouldn't, I've said there were no major issues multiple times. It's a first year con, things happen. But if no one points out issues then they won't improve. It is my hope that they take a successful con, that a lot of people had fun at, and come back next year even better. It's why I said I see them sticking around for a while and encourage people to go. Was it perfect, no, and I stated why, but I also stated that people had fun.

 

I don't know why people keep reading critisisms as me condeming the con. Nothing is perfect, and I take personal issue with a few decisisons they made but that has more to deal with personal taste. But I will say it again. It was a fine first year con. It could be around for a long time bringing cheer, sunshine, and Rainbow Dashes for tens of thousands.

 

Do you guys get it yet? Anybody? I can think well of something and still think it can be better.

Edited by PiquoPie

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The good and the Bad. [full disclosure, I did not attend babscon but did look into it]

 

If you didn't go then don't write a college thesis about it. That's like reviewing a movie or video game based on other peoples' reviews. You're bound to hear biases come out, one way or another.

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