If you’re thinking about going to Rhode Island Comic Con tomorrow, DONT.
I’m exhibiting in Artist Alley and the things I’ve experienced, seen, and heard are deplorable.
I have never, in my entire career, been treated so poorly by a con.
There was no information posted or emailed to artists/venders about loading information, times, table numbers, etc. I showed up an hour before the con, only vaguely aware of where to go/time to show up from word of mouth from other artists.
I was told by the staff when I got my passes ‘you’re in this general area, but we’re not really sure where anything is. So just wonder around and you’ll find it’.
There were no programs printed. So no one knew where to find artists tables. Not to mention panel schedules & other events.
20,000 people who bought tickets were denied entry. The fire marshal threatened to shut the event down at one point because they were over capacity. Artist, vendors, and attendees who stepped out of the building were locked out for hours!
There were 6 'Code Adams’ (Missing Children). Most of which were never confirmed to be found. When you issue a Code Adam, as with any emergency code, it is important to issue an All Clear upon resolution.
People were forced to stand outside in the freezing rain. Many cosplayers had their costumes ruined. People in the holding space inside waited so long some of them passed out and the ambulance had to be called.
As complaints were being left on the RICC facebook page, someone began hiding and deleting them. Instead of fixing the actual problems people were complaining about, someone sat at a computer and deleted comments.
Even after they had sold over capacity, RICC marketing was lying. Telling people doors were still open.
One man was locked out of the building, being separated from his child who was still inside.
I don’t care if I don’t make anymore money tomorrow, so long as no one else has to suffer this inexcusable behavior. Fans are the life blood of this industry, and they deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.
Needless to say, I will not be attending next year and you shouldn’t either. If you have complaints, the artists are trying to unify with the tag #RICCRefund. If you are coming tomorrow and you’d like to talk about it, come see me in Row 200, near the food court.
Well. I met one of my favorites today. She was so kind. I am embarrassed to admit I cried when I met her in the autograph line. She rubbed my arm and took my hand and handed me these chocolates as she did not want me to cry. I wish I said more but I was truly star struck. It is always refreshing when you meet someone who exceeds your expectations. What an amazing afternoon.
As many others have said RICC was completely disorganized but it was worth it to meet Sebastian. He is incredibly beautiful and I wish I was more articulate than just saying “hello”. Either way it was a great day! ❤️❤️❤️
Please don’t crop me out, and please credit if you repost :)
Okay, for real though, Mark Sheppard is honestly so caring about the fans. The convention staff kept trying to clear out the room and end the panel but Mark literally told them that he didn’t care and kept taking questions from people because there were so many people. They all had to literally be kicked out of the room to make way for the next panel.
I don’t normally post things like this but I just saw this on my Instagram explore page and it was so cute that I needed it to be on my blog. Jack is so gentle and supportive with his fans and he’s been through a lot of controversy and gotten a lot of hate. I’m just really happy that he’s pulled through to be good role model to his fans especially the younger ones that look up to him.
Video was posted by @jackdgrazer.officialfans on instagram and belongs to @genieve_002 also on instagram
How Rhode Island Comic Con Fucked Up: or "Trade Show Capacity Turnover"
So I’m sure a few of you are aware of the complete disaster that happened at Rhode Island Comic Con earlier today. As a past volunteer, this unfortunately was not surprising to me. What got me (and what has gotten me for the last three years) is the blatant unprofessionalism and lack of responses and open communication between the convention staff (Altered Reality Entertainment LLC) and it’s ticket holders.
I watched as my newsfeed blew up with anger from friends and fellow nerds, stuck in 40 degree weather (during a downpour). Then I checked it out. As someone who didn’t attend, I can’t say much for what went on at the convention itself.
It was this comment that got me. I read it as very smarmy and very holier then thou. And whether it was intended as such the ‘there’s this thing you don’t know about because you don’t plan events’ attitude left a bad taste in my mouth.
So as someone who works, trades and plans trade shows for a living: Lets talk about Capacity turnover and how this isn’t an acceptable fucking excuse.
What is Capacity Turnover? As the RICC PR people stated, Capacity turnover allows you to sell more tickets then a venue can hold, by assuming a certain percentage of guests will leave the convention and the flow in and out will be steady.
Do all Trade Shows do this? Absolutely not. Some Trade Shows (The ones I really rather prefer) sell sessions. Usually a morning and afternoon session. Say a Trade Show Venue can hold 10,000 people. Removing the number of convention staff, venue staff and vendors/vendors guests from that number you still have well over 9600 tickets you can sell. So you have a morning session (say 10AM-1PM) and then an afternoon session (2PM-4PM). BAM You’ve now sold 19,200 tickets. Twice the amount a venue can hold. Your event was a Success. Go home. Your work is done.
What about Trade Shows that don’t have sessions? It depends on the type of Trade Show you’re having. Is it a wholesale Trade Show? Most attendees are there to make business contacts or put orders in and get special Trade Show only deals. They will not be spending the entire day, so selling tickets a little over what your actual venue capacity is, factoring in CAPACITY TURNOVER and of course, the average percentage of attendees that don’t actually show up - you rarely if ever will have an issue.
But that didn’t work for Rhode Island Comic Con. If only someone had asked! If only there’d been someone with past Trade Show AND Comic Con experience in the room when this awful decision was made - someone, anyone could have mentioned that Comic Con is not, can not be a Trade Show. Comic Con is a social event. People do and will stay all day. There were dozens of high-regarded and well known actors attending offering panels, autograph signings etc. The Capacity Turnover for a Comic Convention is extremely, extremely low.
Was there a way selling 20,000 tickets for this venue would have worked? Well, anythings possible, however extremely unlikely. Using Sessions as mentioned would have been an option. (But do you want to pick and choose what panels to see?) From what I’ve been told the rented space in the convention center holds 9600 according to Fire Marshall Standards. That being said, selling double that for an event like this was grossly unprofessional and showed an extreme disregard for ticket holders. At the end of the day, everyone WANTS a sold out show. You know what else everyone running a show wants? Extra 'heads’. From your sales a certain number of 'heads’ (numbers of patrons) should be set aside in case of something unexpected. Whoa! William Shatner brought his wife AND his Personal Assistant, plus his three body guards. Shit you only factored in Shatner, his PA and his bodyguards. I’m sorry. Do YOU want to tell William Shatner his wife can’t attend the convention with him? No. No you do not. Abort.
But surely one more person doesn’t mean anything! You’re right. William’s Wife isn’t that big a deal. You can totally look the other way. But you also have 500 vendors. Four dozen of them have brought an extra helper that they didn’t mention when they submitted their paperwork. You also have another 3 dozen Celebrities, and at least four of them have decided to bring along extra guests. One more person doesn’t mean much in the general scheme of things, but it’s never, ever 'one more’ person.
This is why ticket sales is such a tricky business. Look, I’m not going to vilify any event manager or producer who rents a venue that holds 10,000 people and has 10,012 attend. But what happened today shouldn’t have happened. Tickets should have been sold out. (Or, 1000 or so held back for in person purchasers over the two days). Selling 20,000 tickets for a venue that holds less then 10,000 people is wrong. There was absolutely no reason for it. This should have been handled. And frankly, if you think a Comic Book Convention and a Trade Show are the same thing - you have no right producing either.