A fan run science fiction convention is put on by fans, for fans. The concom is a small group of volunteers who decided to help out. All of us on the concom gave up lots of personal time and money to throw a party for the other members. We made a lot of mistakes, mostly due to inexperience. Other than the Treasurer, everyone was in his or her position for the first time.
To add to this, we had several people dropout. Some due to illness, some due to family issues, some for personal reasons. As people stopped coming to planning meetings, more and more responsibility became shouldered on the remaining volunteers. The vocal detractors seem to think we sit on the right hand of God, making decrees that get followed to the letter. The reality is we have limited resources that we have to manage so that everyone who wants something at the event gets it.
The video programming was cut this year because no one showed up to planning meetings to do it. That is a personnel resource. Due to renovations at the hotel we did not have a good place for one. That is a space resource. If there was a room available, we did not have money in the budget to pay for it. That is a financial resource. These are the tools we have to work with, and these are the deciding factors.
"The dealers room was too small." - It was oversold by the previous dealers room coordinator. I guess we could have talked to the architect about making the room bigger.
"There was no food in the consuite" - A lot of food was bought, but those people running it failed to put it out.
"There was too many people in the consuite"/"The consuite was empty every time I went there" - Fuck me.
"The big panel was in the little room and the little panel was in the big room" - The panel application form had a spot to fill out saying how many people were expected to attend. This was not filled out on most forms leaving me to guess. Sorry if I can't read the membership's mind.
"Too much [insert genre] and not enough [insert other genre]" - The programming ran on a "call for papers" format. Meaning you tell me what you want to have a panel on, and I will find space for it. If you want [blank] consider putting some panels together.
"It sucks, we had to shut down at 1 am" - That's what the liquor licence said. Deal with it.
If you went to someone's house for a party and made these kinds of complaints, you would be considered rude. I don't see why a volunteer committee of a non-profit society who plays host for a get-together of the membership should be treated any differently than any other friend who invites a group together for a party. The membership paid to come? So did the concom.
Here are some positive quotes about the event so I don't lose focus:
"the [lightsaber] demo was conducted by a martial arts instructor who had devised/adapted sword and stage fighting technique and adapted it to lightsabers. it was extremely cool and i wanna play too once i'm healed. patsy came out of it with a greater appretiation of the star wars movies and martial arts in general." - Sledene
"Well I think I'm safe in saying that ConVersion 22 was the best time I've had this summer. The panels were neat, I didn't spend any money in the dealers room and the costume contest and slave auction were a blast." - LemonferretThank you.
Rant, Con-version 22, con-version, CSFFS, science fiction convention