As a fellow chair, I agree with Chaz's concerns. Ghosting has been a growing problem for the smaller events in the last 5 years. Gotta find a happy medium somewhere. People want the small intimate con feel, but if they want superior entertainment, revenue must be raised just as surely as you have to pay to get into whatever KISS FM is putting on. J-rock bands are demanding at least $1000 for the weekend as well hotel rooms off the con, and lately, some VA guests are picking up on the "appearance fee" scheme (where once they came for the shear networking to make connections in the industry and going to cons was an investment).
When you go to these events, appreciate that whatever you experience costs something. A hotel room, a fee to appear, stuff like that. If we don't make the numbers to cover cost, hotels and whomever we owe have little understanding or patience. It's business.
In our esteemed partners case, holding Mikomicon on campus exacts a high rental fee of student building and common areas, so the memberships were high in the past to cover that. This year it was a case of using volume (high numbers of people paying a low price) to cover those costs and ghosting hurts the event in that regard.
Cons are always about hanging out with your friends, along with a little something extra to share while you're there. Small events provide time and space you'd never get at the larger ones. I think we've reached critical mass in California with the shear number of cons we can all attend. People now have no fewer than 7 events to choose from up and down the state, a huge increase from the first two since 1992. You can't go to them all these days, but the ones you DO go to, please support them financially if you can. Perhaps a "donations" can in the hang out open zone would work. Kinda like public radio; you listen to it and they need public support now and then.
Con organizers despise having to chase people around checking for badges. It's bad PR. But if a solution could be found so that those wishing to hang out could support the event in some small way, it would be wonderful if not abused. It's a great con for the area and it offers a unique experience. Mikomicon reminds me of those school fairs I used to experience in Japan. I hope it will continue for as long as we have.
Last edited by AM Chair : 09-22-2009 at 10:02 AM.