2 years ago
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DashCon: The Convention Catastrophe

It's been exactly a year since DashCon, the first (and only) fan-run Tumblr convention imploded.

The con, which was not associated with any official Tumblr personnel, was ambitious from the start. With appearances from Doug Jones, Welcome to Nightvale, & Noelle Stevenson, and an impressive lineup of events and panels, the convention was set up to either be totally epic, or a complete disaster.
www.youtube.com1DAA50E1-0355-420D-A1AD-2C244287F3DCCreated with sketchtool.

You guessed it: Complete Disaster

At the last minute, the convention runners reported that they needed $17,000 or the hotel where the con was being hosted would kick them out. The hotel however, told a different story. As in, they reported this was not the case at all. The money was raised, but no one had any idea where it went. Not to the celebrity appearances.

Payment that had been promised to Welcome to Nightvale & the other official guests was not rendered.

Which meant many of them cancelled. Their hotel rooms were also not covered as promised. And those last-minute cancellations were seriously bad news. Many convention-goers has paid for reserved seats at the panels. How did the convention compensate them? With an extra hour in the ball pit.

That was the ball pit.

Overall, it seems like there probably wasn't any malicious intent on behalf of the convention organizers. It was a huge event, and they were incredibly inexperienced. And even with all the mishaps and communication breakdowns, the con was engaging and fun for plenty of people. It's likely that fans will be a lot more cautious now when it comes to major events like this, and leave it to the professionals.
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I know some people who help run bigger east coast cons and its really, really not that simple....the peopel who took this on were foolish to think they could do it, tbh.... and others were naive to donate to a cause so unorganized
Yeah @vulpix I've run really really small events (like, less than 100 people) and even then you're going to run into a lot of problems. It seems like the coordinators bit off way more than they could chew with this- I get the impression they were really inexperienced. I know it looks really easy to pull this stuff off from the outside, but the reality is obviously very different. You live and you learn I guess?