..from the Salt Lake Comic Con Fan Experience, or FanX as it is being billed. It should be a wonderful opportunity to meet a bunch of great celebrities, especially if one is a Walking Dead or Star Trek – The Next Generation fan.
I still find myself hesitant to get too excited about it.
Because I’m afraid that, even after all of the feedback that the fans gave after last September’s HUGE event, that some of the most basic issues will not have been addressed.
First and foremost of these issues?
Communication (or lack thereof) and over-ticketing.
There was ample discussion on Facebook about the organization and communication displayed at last year’s event, mostly focusing on the seemingly hap-hazard way panels and photo-ops were organized and communicated to the fans, up to and including the virtual “lock-out” of fans on Saturday due to over-attendance due to the organizers over-selling the event.
But again, as I commented previously, I was not necessarily concerned about those issues, despite their seriousness, as there were some surprise circumstances [Stan Lee’s last minute addition] and, I think, simply a bit of shell-shock on the part of the organizers about exactly how popular the event would be.
With that being said, I was optimistically looking forward to FanX when it was announced that there would be a “pre-event” in January featuring the one and only George Takei. You can see my review of that event HERE, but suffice it to say that this is the event which starting me worrying about the upcoming FanX.
My worry does not stem from the problems from September. They don’t even stem from the problems at the George Takei event. They stem from something a little more subtle and insidious: the apparent unwillingness of Dan Farr, who is the face of the event, to address those concerns with me.
Let me explain: I applied for–and was granted (for which I am thankful, BTW)–Press credentials for FanX. In my application, I indicated that I would like to, if possible, spend a couple of minutes with Dan Farr to include his comments on this blog. That request was greeted enthusiastically, and I requested to do it closer to the event itself, or even during if time permitted.
After the George Takei event, however, I requested an earlier interview with Dan Farr, or even a simple email interview to ask him to address some fan concerns. When they asked what specific concerns, I replied that a lot of fans had expressed concern about organization and communication at the Takei event, and so I wanted to see what he thought about that.
That email was sent on January 20th. I followed up on January 25th and March 2nd, but have so far been completely ignored. I had also sent Dan Farr a message on Facebook (where I am counted a “friend,” so I shouldn’t end up in the dreaded “Other” folder) requesting that interview on February 15th, but have still been ignored.
So, you see, it is not the prospect of there being problems with the FanX event that is bothering me (because there will be problems–there are always problems at an event of this size and scope), it is the apparent disregard the organizers have for addressing those problems. If they won’t even talk about past problems, my experience tells me that they aren’t looking at those problems in the future.
And THAT, fan-boys and fan-girls, should bother all of us.
I’m going to the event, damn it, and I’m going to enjoy myself, but I will be watching for shenanigans. As someone who is reporting on this for you, as well as from one fan-boy to the rest of the fan community, I have an obligation.
And, for the record: yes, I know what a well-run event like this looks like. I attended Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo in November 2014 as a member of the press, as well. You can read my thoughts on that event HERE, HERE, and HERE. That should give you an idea of what I’m talking about. An incredible event from top to bottom.
That’s what we should be demanding for Salt Lake. It’s what we deserve to have.
And I fervently hope it is what we get.