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Old 05-02-2018, 01:05 AM   #101
chemgear
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Interesting discussion and feedback this year about the Expo here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Calgary/com...ing_in_so_far/

Didn't realize that they were bought out last year by FanExpo/new management based out of Toronto.
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Old 05-02-2018, 03:50 AM   #102
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Interesting discussion and feedback this year about the Expo here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Calgary/com...ing_in_so_far/

Didn't realize that they were bought out last year by FanExpo/new management based out of Toronto.
It's always tough to consider how to take online feedback, 'cause people love to gripe online. It's easy to see the 'upset' numbers everywhere, but difficult to remember to put them into context.

That reddit thread, for instance, has almost 250 replies. Assuming, for sake of argument, that every single one was a legit complaint from a different person...the Expo has averaged 100k attendees for the last handful of years. So that reddit thread would represent 0.25% of attendees. If you had a 1000 different people who were upset with legit gripes, that's still just 1% of the attendees.

That doesn't nullify the legit gripes, but it does (at least, to me) put them into perspective.

Disclaimer: I did not work for/with the Expo this year. My schedule clashed completely, and I was unable to get the time off (unlike the previous 6 years). I also wanted to see how the Takeover was going to work as I wasn't sold on the new owners, either. And to be clear, it's not a partnership, it's a full buyout. The folks who started CCEE are still around, but finding themselves in very different roles than they used to be.

It's almost kinda like Informa wants to spend the next 2-5 years re-learning everything that CCEE learned in the last 6 years all over again.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:03 AM   #103
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The owner of the Calgary Expo sure got out at the right time. The peak for Cons have gone by. I can't see the Calgary one ever hitting 100,000 again,and it will most likely be a 50,000 show in the next 5 years. I was talking to some vendors and all were down at least 20% from last year with some of them not coming back.

and it's not just Calgary, all the other ones except for San Diego can be in for some rough times.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:38 AM   #104
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I've gone every year for the last 5 or 6 and I doubt I'll be back next year unless they do a reunion at the level of Star Trek: TNG again. Or there are a few creators I really want to meet or get original art from.

I'm not really into the talks and don't pay for autographs or photos (except once for Stan Lee). The vendor section was much bigger this year but there was a lot of the same stuff. It's not really worth the admission cost for me.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:58 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by WhiteTiger View Post
It's always tough to consider how to take online feedback, 'cause people love to gripe online. It's easy to see the 'upset' numbers everywhere, but difficult to remember to put them into context.

That reddit thread, for instance, has almost 250 replies. Assuming, for sake of argument, that every single one was a legit complaint from a different person...the Expo has averaged 100k attendees for the last handful of years. So that reddit thread would represent 0.25% of attendees. If you had a 1000 different people who were upset with legit gripes, that's still just 1% of the attendees.

That doesn't nullify the legit gripes, but it does (at least, to me) put them into perspective.
I know it's only anecdotal and I'm only one person but I was overhearing a lot of complaints in real time at the event, it was significant enough that people weren't feeling the need to keep their issues filtered to online discussions.

The really puzzling thing is that a number of improvements would be simple to implement since they've already figured out the solutions through previous experience. Things like continuing the separated crowd control for getting people in and out of the Corral/Boyce should have been a complete no-brainer, reverting back to funneling people in and out through the vendor area for no evident reason makes me wonder how poor the communication was between the old and new management.
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Old 05-02-2018, 12:05 PM   #106
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The reddit thread says there were no lines at the food vendors, which is weird because I was told by my friends that the lines were more or less the same as before. One friend skipped buying food because of the lines.
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Old 05-02-2018, 12:16 PM   #107
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I know it's only anecdotal and I'm only one person but I was overhearing a lot of complaints in real time at the event, it was significant enough that people weren't feeling the need to keep their issues filtered to online discussions.

The really puzzling thing is that a number of improvements would be simple to implement since they've already figured out the solutions through previous experience. Things like continuing the separated crowd control for getting people in and out of the Corral/Boyce should have been a complete no-brainer, reverting back to funneling people in and out through the vendor area for no evident reason makes me wonder how poor the communication was between the old and new management.
From what I understand, and remember I didn't work this year, this was essentially the new guys (management) telling the old guys (staffers) how to run the con that the staff have run forever, because management knows better.

Staff can talk to and suggest things to management until they are blue in the face. If management doesn't listen and/or ignores that advice and/or thinks it knows better...guess who 'wins'.
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Old 05-02-2018, 12:21 PM   #108
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The reddit thread says there were no lines at the food vendors, which is weird because I was told by my friends that the lines were more or less the same as before. One friend skipped buying food because of the lines.
Lunchtime lines during the weekend were what you'd imagine they'd be. I'd typically wait until 2-3 to get lunch and the lines would be far more manageable. And they all seemed really quiet on thursday-friday (I could have ordered dinner from pretty much any of the vans/Big 4 vendors straight on walk-up) but the overall crowds are much lower those days to suit.

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From what I understand, and remember I didn't work this year, this was essentially the new guys (management) telling the old guys (staffers) how to run the con that the staff have run forever, because management knows better.

Staff can talk to and suggest things to management until they are blue in the face. If management doesn't listen and/or ignores that advice and/or thinks it knows better...guess who 'wins'.
Yeah, I'd consider that falls under 'poor communication' if true, lol.

Reading through the reddit thread I think what should be concerning to the Expo is how many of the complaints revolve around the way vendors were treated. A vocal minority of attendees having issues is one thing but alienating the vendors in ways the average visitor isn't necessarily going to be aware of and could convince them to not put up shop next year (or simply price them completely out) ought to be treated fairly seriously.

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Old 05-02-2018, 01:46 PM   #109
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Reading through the reddit thread I think what should be concerning to the Expo is how many of the complaints revolve around the way vendors were treated. A vocal minority of attendees having issues is one thing but alienating the vendors in ways the average visitor isn't necessarily going to be aware of and could convince them to not put up shop next year (or simply price them completely out) ought to be treated fairly seriously.
Yeah. Those are the vast majority of the legit complaints I'm hearing, too.

Also of concern to me is that the Expo did spend 2-4 years working and working and reworking line control and things like that, and was starting to make some real headway on that...and it looks like a big chunk of that previous work was tossed.

Con goers understand that there will be lines...but making them as annoying as possible, especially when most folks who go there know that it can be done better...does not bode well at all.
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Old 05-02-2018, 03:14 PM   #110
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I haven't decided yet if we'll be back next year. This was the 11th time we've done CCEE, and it was easily the worst from a logistics standpoint. I don't have data from before 2013, but this was also our worst year for sales in that time. All of the changes this year made the show worse. Fan Expo cut corners every way possible, and they will continue to do so. And raised our price significantly as well. Pay more, get less!

They also savagely cut the perks for volunteers. So they are about to lose the vast majority of the good and experienced volunteers. That will lead to a worse experience for guests next year, which of course leads to less people the following year, less money for vendors and the spiral down continues.

We've already cut the Edmonton show and won't be going again, as in just 4 years it has gone from highly profitable to not profitable at all. It took longer for the decline to hit Calgary, but all the same signs are there, and now Fan Expo is accelerating the decline with bad policies. I haven't fully decided yet on going back, but I'm leaning towards not doing it.
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Old 05-02-2018, 04:03 PM   #111
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They also savagely cut the perks for volunteers. So they are about to lose the vast majority of the good and experienced volunteers.
I've been hearing a LOT of this...and I've been very seriously re-considering volunteering next year, too. I simply couldn't this year, and while I hate letting my buddies and "ConFam" down, it sounds like I dodged a bullet. I am kind of willing to 'give' them this year as growing/transitional pains...but it sounds like it was pretty painful, and it's really gonna cost Informa (who, from all sounds of it, likely doesn't care)
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:27 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by mikephoen View Post
I haven't decided yet if we'll be back next year. This was the 11th time we've done CCEE, and it was easily the worst from a logistics standpoint. I don't have data from before 2013, but this was also our worst year for sales in that time. All of the changes this year made the show worse. Fan Expo cut corners every way possible, and they will continue to do so. And raised our price significantly as well. Pay more, get less!

They also savagely cut the perks for volunteers. So they are about to lose the vast majority of the good and experienced volunteers. That will lead to a worse experience for guests next year, which of course leads to less people the following year, less money for vendors and the spiral down continues.

We've already cut the Edmonton show and won't be going again, as in just 4 years it has gone from highly profitable to not profitable at all. It took longer for the decline to hit Calgary, but all the same signs are there, and now Fan Expo is accelerating the decline with bad policies. I haven't fully decided yet on going back, but I'm leaning towards not doing it.
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I've been hearing a LOT of this...and I've been very seriously re-considering volunteering next year, too. I simply couldn't this year, and while I hate letting my buddies and "ConFam" down, it sounds like I dodged a bullet. I am kind of willing to 'give' them this year as growing/transitional pains...but it sounds like it was pretty painful, and it's really gonna cost Informa (who, from all sounds of it, likely doesn't care)
So my daughter couldnt go this year, but I have a number of clients who attend regularly and I'm hearing the exact same thing from them.

The reviews of this year's Expo are largely and loudly negative.

Now that could be because some of the past Expos have been overwhelmingly amazing that perhaps ordinary is disappointing, but that doesnt appear to be the case here.

Its always going to fluctuate depending on the availability of the guests and who shows up and who drops out, but the overall organization should stay consistent.
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Old 05-03-2018, 05:41 PM   #113
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That redit thread had this alternative listed that I have seen before... http://foothillscomiccon.com/
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Old 05-04-2018, 07:30 AM   #114
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Well one positive at any Expo I've been to that I don't see changing is the great opportunities for some neat photos. Here is my usual link to my Calgary Expo photos. I am adding more over the next several days as well so feel free to have a gander.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/samuraiscallywag/?
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Old 05-04-2018, 08:26 AM   #115
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That redit thread had this alternative listed that I have seen before... http://foothillscomiccon.com/
Well if you hate crowds that's the one to goto!

Just so many cons. Oversaturated and not necessary. Super hero fatigue is going to set in pretty quickly.
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Old 05-04-2018, 08:42 AM   #116
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The Red & White Comic Show is my go-to but even that might have out grown its current space. It can be a pain to move around all the booths, especially if you have kids with you.
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