How Not to Run a Convention

I do conventions. I work a lot of them. Even though I’m not a conchair, I’ve been high enough up in the hierarchy, and worked with enough of them, to know how much work they are, and how they can go wrong.

But I’ve never seen one go as badly as this.

This is the story of FedCon USA. A Trek convention in Dallas Ft Worth where the organizer, one Tim Brazeal, apparently through pure incompetence, caused an entire event meltdown. The reasons appear to be manifold, but the causes seem to be miscommunication, poor organization, and in some cases, out right falsehoods.

On the flip side, it appears this failure is, apparently purely due to mismanagement, and cannot be ascribed to malice. He didn’t wreck the event on purpose, for profit or for some other reason – he simply screwed it up. Badly.

It should be noted, that this is FedCon USA, which only bears the name FedCon as borrowed from FedCon Germany. That organization, which is widely respected, issued a press release describing their dealings with Tim, and how he lied and alienated them as well. FedCon Germany withdrew support for the event, but Tim went on advertising that he had their financial and organizational backing:

I never in my life meet an individual like Tim. First he seems like to be a great buddy, but after a while you discover a person, who is constantly lying, apologizing and making things up. He was never straight forward, almost everything he said was a lie. I never in my life met someone who actually believes all this BS he says. He was always totally sure, what he says. But saying and doing are two totally different things. He is the person who says: “Okay no problem, i book the flights for you!” As soon as you hang up he totally forgot the conversations he just had. But if i would have told the fans earlier, I would for sure got some legal problems!”:
All i can say is, FedCon Germany (the real thing) is always a feast for the fans and if i can help out some of you at one of our next shows please let me know, just email us and sent us some proof that you purchased a ticket for FedCon USA and we give you something back at our next show.
I also think, the whole staff from FedCon USA (not Tim!!) have nothing to do with this mess and they sure worked their asses up to make some things better, but with their figurehead hiding in dream worlds, lame excuses and lies, this was just not possible.

My heart goes out to the volunteers, staff, and particularly the attendees who, in some cases, drove many hours or flew in for the event, only to have most of the guests not show (even though they were still on the conventions schedule), and have the event shut down halfway through Saturday.

So next time you’re having a hard time at an event? Think of how bad it could get, and thank your event staff.

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A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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4 thoughts on “How Not to Run a Convention

  1. So apparently this is the same genius who ran the “Save Enterprise” campaign a few years ago and convinced several thousand idioticgullible Trekkies to send him money for a “fan-funded” Enterprise before Paramount smacked him down. And they let him run a con? I’d say I’m astonished, but mostly I’m just amused.

  2. @dr_m – ther’es a lot of traffic on the net pointing out that the folks who let him use the ‘fed con’ name should never, ever have done so. They actually removed support from the event after they realized what a bozo he was, but never announced that they had, thereby continuing the veneer of legitimacy.
    One thing is fairly clear, the guy will never, ever, have a chance of doing business on the net again, with his name being spread far and wide. And everyone agrees he totally screwed it up. The poking at FedCon GMBh is sort of overflow.

  3. Sounds like the goat show I was at last week. Yeah, liars will always find new suckers, they’re born every minute.
    And ours are even named “CONway”! helLO!

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