So by now you have read about the mess that was Fandom Fest. The lines, the ridiculously unprepared employees, angry stars, angry vendors, etc. This wasn’t my first con. Being from Indiana, I’ve been to GenCon a few times, and while I never made it inside SDCC when I lived in the area, it did some amazing people watching outside. I’m ok with lines and waiting and honestly expected a small amount of confusion. What I didn’t expect was the level of attitude given to me by the staff. Which leads me to my biggest complaint: the organizers, staff members, and volunteers had zero communication skills and refused to take responsibility for anything.
Staff members were rude and constantly yelled at fans, blaming confusion on us rather than being honest about bad planning. Several volunteers were high school age and had zero customer communications training, which increased tensions and confusion. Vendors also tweeted that staffers were blaming them for mix ups and delays- I’d be surprised if the majority of them come back next year. Colin Baker tweeted about getting forgotten in his room by staff– the same staff that later blamed him for cancelling his Q&A when it was THEIR fault. John Barrowman (in his fantastic way) shamed the staff who tried to cut him off and insisted people get their money back for photo-ops that they ended up not being able to attend.
Seriously people. You’re adults (mostly), take responsibility for your mistakes. Disrespecting that talent, vendors, and fans is not the way to get a crowd next year. We heard a lot of chatter about how FandomFest has gotten worse every year- this year may just have been the last straw. Without fans, you have no con. Without fans, you just have a lot of surly staff standing around with no one to yell at.
That being said, I didn’t have a terrible time. I try to be pretty zen about these things, and the Fiance and Geekling joined me on Saturday. He and I traded off waiting in line for his Boondock photo op and made some friends in line. I took the Geekling to a Doctor Who panel, which pretty much made her day. I like to look at cons like a trip to the amusement park- you wait in line for an hour, get 2 minutes of fun, and then jump in another line. And while the rude staff and lack of communication made the day less fun than it could have been, I’ve never left a con or an amusement park and said “Wow that was awful I never want to go to another one of these again.” While I won’t be going back to Fandom Fest, I will go to other cons in the future.
(Special thanks to the wonderful ladies dressed as Merida and Ariel who stopped for pictures with the Geekling. Between you and Doctor Who, I think she had the best weekend of her life! lol!)