I never said people don't have to pay for covention content. My feedback (this is a feedback thread after all) regarding Mikomicon is that they had nothing worth paying for.
I suggested Vensy and Vash_Fanatic come to Mikomicon because I would be there photographing and I could shoot them while I was there. They arrived and asked me if there was anything worth paying for and I said no. They had already missed both band performances and from what I had seen, there wasn't anything else to see. I suggested they get a badge if they wanted to see the masquerade, but they didn't care to see it. I don't know what other people's reasons for not paying were. But that was me actively looking for something to do in between shoots.
Hazel_Chaz, how many people did you get at your potluck picnic? 50+? That was free and that was done in one forum thread. But it demonstrates that people DO have a lot of choice now which means you can't just throw up a website and expect people to pay. If Mikomicon's forums weren't working, that's on them. I just checked and saw new posts dated last week which shows me it's working for some people. Their main site right now says to provide feedback on cosplay.com, not their own forums. So either way, Mikomicon owes a lot to cosplay.com.
@Super No 1, you're right, I'm just 1 photographer and my presence won't affect ALA. That doesn't mean I have to give them my money though.
@Hazel_Chaz, your first two replies didn't even apply to me, but insinuating that my friends are somehow bad people for not paying for an event that didn't offer them anything, seemed rude to me. Would you have asked people to leave your picnic if they didn't bring something?
I'm not trying to stir up drama and I haven't attacked anybody, but that's my honest feedback for Mikomicon and it can be summed up in one line: Give attendees a reason to pay and they will.