Alrighty, finally had a chance to put down for the night and I'm somewhere in Minnesota , hoping to be home by Sunday.  It's been a long strange trip cut short but still interesting... looking forward to some decompression time.  Oh I'll be adding a link to my twitter account to the sidebar after this post.

Follow up on the dangerous debacle

This has been quite the topic since Saturday evening, even making it  to the UACM forum as well.

I posted this link on my new twitter account, posting here with text copied.

EDIT: Also an idea was emailed to me and I thought I'd share it.

"Contact your credit card companies [if you paid that way] and tell them you did not receive what you paid for and they can charge back the cost."


Fan Expo organizers, activate your force fields: a revenge of the nerds is brewing.

Hundreds of gamers, superfans and sci-fi geeks are fuming after a mismanaged weekend at Fan Expo Canada, a popular annual convention celebrating pop culture.

Eventgoers say this year’s three-day convention was marred by hours-long lineups. On Saturday afternoon, crowds became so unmanageable organizers had to shut down door sales and temporarily lock out ticket holders, prompting hordes of frustrated fans to start chanting for refunds.

While the Fan Expo has always seen its share of organizational glitches, loyal attendees say this year’s convention was by far the worst.

“This is very hard for me to admit: I wanted to cry in frustration,” said 28-year-old Mike Dodd, who covered Fan Expo for his website, This Week in Geek. “Sure there’s been hiccups previous years but this was a friggin’ joke.

“I’ve never seen people so demoralized. A sad nerd is not a good thing.”

The annual pop culture convention, which attracted just under 60,000 people in 2009, has been rapidly gaining popularity and this year saw record numbers thanks to a star lineup, including comic book creator Stan Lee, Adam West (TV’s Batman) and Star Trek’s William Shatner.

Organizers were “definitely overwhelmed” by this weekend’s crowds, said Aman Gupta, president and CEO of Hobby Star Marketing, which operates Fan Expo.

Gupta said a scheduling conflict forced this year’s convention to move from the south hall of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to the north, which has smaller capacity. Organizers also tried to shorten last year’s lineups by hiring 85 more staff and doubling their ticket entry points. The problem is, the improvements worked a little too well.

“We took last year’s problems, we solved them extremely well to the point where it hurt us in a different area,” Gupta said. “We need to find that happy medium.”

Clara Nigh has attended Fan Expo for four years and preordered a $60 deluxe weekend pass, which was supposed to give her in-and-out privileges. But on Saturday, Fan Expo’s most popular day, Nigh left the convention centre to grab some lunch; when she returned, hundreds of people were waiting outside locked doors.

A security guard told her no one was allowed back in until patrons inside started leaving.

“That line wrapped around the block,” she said.

Sunday’s wait times were better but lineups still snaked around the block, Nigh said. And to make matters worse, she added, staff members were still selling tickets.

“I thought, 'money grab,'” Nigh said. “How can you take people’s money when you can’t guarantee them entry? When you can’t even guarantee people who prepaid months ago?”

Gupta said door sales were shut down for about three hours Saturday when the main level of the convention centre exceeded capacity.

The weekend was just as tough on staff and volunteers, he said, and two of his publicists actually broke down in tears.

“We’re really sorry and we’re going to do absolutely everything we can to fix this problem for next year,” Gupta said.

But for 27-year-old Stephen Bryce, who made a YouTube video railing against the disorganization of this year’s event, nothing will ever get him back to the Fan Expo.

“If someone did lose their temper in that crowd, all hell would’ve broken loose,” he said. “We very much had the impression the people running the convention were flipping us off and laughing at us, saying, ‘Ha ha, we got your money, we can do what we want with you.’ ”

... and people wonder why I don't support their product...

The following video was forwarded to me by Johnny Zed.  I just finished watching it after my shift tonight after having read a few lj entries by some attendees and their concerns.  Even considering my personal views and documented experiences from their continued business practices with that company I kinda thought to myself that the lj posts by my friends that attended - the treatment of customers at that event couldn't have been *that* bad.

Then I saw this video.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5nixgXT8z4

Weep for the future, Na'Toth. Weep for us all... if crap like this continues unabated.  To my friends who attended and had to put up with this crap, I am truly sorry for your mistreatment.  Here`s hoping (slim, but it`s there) that eventually that company will get around to doing the right thing and make safety and ethics a priority - but somehow I have a feeling they'll just throw one or some staff members under the bus instead.