Dragon Con Has Got To Go

If you don't follow Least I Could Do, you should. It's funny. And because they're very good at what they do, they also get to do things like go to conventions and peddle their wares. This is a story of bad things happening to good people. This was originally posted by Ryan Sohmer, writer of Least I Could Do and Looking For Group:

My mood is less than pleased right now, and I’m going to tell you why.

To start things off, Lar and I will NOT be attending DragonCon in Atlanta this coming summer. In order to understand that, we must go back to a time and place…say, around September of this year.

This was our second year in Atlanta, and it was one of the shows we were most looking forward to. There’s just something about the atmosphere of this show that’s so casual, that you really get a chance to hang out with a great deal of wonderful people.

As last year was so successful for us, we paid for a larger booth this year and intended to do some fun & unusual things with the space. Upon getting to the show, however, someone had setup in our space. Confused, we asked the hall attendants what was going on, and were rudely informed that our booth had been moved.

When I inquired as to where, I was shown the furthest and poorly lit section of the room, with a giant pillar intersecting the middle of the booth. I then proceeded to tell the attendants that this was unacceptable, not only because of the move but because of the new location.

Despite the fact that I had announced where we were setup weeks leading up to the show, I would’ve been fine if we were moved to a location similar to the one we lost. But this was unacceptable.

The attendants, once again, were rude and told our crew that we could take the new spot or we could go home. This wasn’t their problem. Still calm and polite, I asked if there was someone else we could speak to, because we did not deserve to be spoken to like that.

A couple hours later, we sat on the carpet waiting, a minor functionary came downstairs and repeated what the attendants had told us. Again, I asked if there was anyone else I could talk to.

An hour later, one of the board members of the show came down to talk with us.

He apologized for the situation, note that this was the first apology we had received thus far, and inquired what could to be done to make things right. In the end, he generously offered to repay us for the booth, but still allow us to use. It was a good solution, we shook hands and all was well.

At the end of the show, I again thanked him for taking care of the matter, and we signed up for the next show gladly.

Usually how this works, is at the end of a show, you sign for the next one, and a few weeks later you receive an invoice. A month passed, and we had yet to receive a single thing.

Wanting to make sure everything was fine, Randy began calling them. For 6 weeks Randy called, at least 3 times per week leaving messages for everyone. No one called us back.

Finally, we reached someone, and were told that we were not invited back to DragonCon because of the incident. I was and still am shocked.

We are not allowed to exhibit because their staff was verbally abusive towards us, including profanity. We are not allowed because they moved our location without any warning or apology. We are not allowed because DragonCon shoved us in the dark corner of the show.

Let me be clear. Never did I, or any of my staff, raise their voice or even mutter a ‘shite’ under their breath. That’s not how we behave.

I don’t understand this decision, and no one was inclined to explain it to me, only referring to the ‘incident’.

I am saddened by this, but more so that we won’t be able to hang out with the folks who came out to Atlanta to see us. I felt you were owed an explanation, and there it is. We hope to be able to find a show nearby that we can attend.

As for DragonCon, I will do my best to ensure that this story gets out, so others don’t share our fate.

I've been to cons before, and I've met Ryan and Lar and some other Blind Ferret dudes, and this is shameful. Not only does it show a distinct lack of respect for the people who want to pay you to exhibit their wares, but it shows a total lack of accountability or responsibility on their part; the planning staff fucked up, and their response is to kick out the people who got screwed? And they think this kind of thing is acceptable?

So that's it for Dragon Con. None of you should ever go there again, and you should all tell them why. Even if you weren't planning to attend anyway, tell them this is why you never will in the future. And make sure everyone you know does the same thing. Kick them in the dick if that's what it takes (and put the video on the web).

I live and work in a world that survives purely based on accountability and responsibility, and then I hear about something like this? Even if I didn't know what nice guys everyone at Blind Ferret are this would boil my blood. It's bullshit, and they need to know it's unacceptable.

Fuck Dragon Con. It's obvious they don't have any respect for their merchants; just using them to pay the bills and that's that. If they don't respect the people who keep them in business, then they don't deserve any respect themselves.

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