The convention was fun! I had a good time.
Now you have my general mood, here is the gist: I've heard several fellows around here distraught with how some cons were handled in the past, but this first Alien Con would make any of your past logistical issues seem a walk in the park.
Attendees, promoter and hosts alike were stunned with the turnout. They expected more interest in the mainstream shows like Battlestar Galactica and Ridley Scott's Alien franchise, but support for Ancient Aliens dwarfed them all. I heard early estimates from a convention worker who stated roughly 12,000 people showed up for the convention.
Giorgio Tsoukalos was like a rock star, he had massive lines he couldn't work through despite signing for three hours straight on multiple days. The AA theorists were originally scheduled to speak in halls that could only seat from sixty to two-hundred people at most, so you can imagine the issues that arose when literally a thousand people showed up for a panel.
That said, I was prepared for debacle. I knew the TV show was big, I deal with it at a public level working in a library. I knew the space they were working with having helped run Fanime Con there prior to its move to San Jose Convention Center. So, I took it all in stride knowing this was their maiden voyage. Not everyone had my background though. The promoter, Cosmic Con, cobbled together a Q&A session, and took complaints/feedback from other attendees who were most rightly upset about standing in line for hours only to be blocked from their desired event. Discounts were promised for future events.
Kevin Burns, the creator of the TV show and discoverer of Tsoukalos is awesome. He's genuinely a fan of old horror and sci-fi. He now understands the exact interest level in his production. He and the promoter scrambled to get more space at the last minute to expand the conference. That's a task harder than it sounds especially with multiple conferences happening all around the center at the same time. He and the promoter learned they can't treat the show as a comic convention which judges attendance based on showroom space (the artist alley and dealer room were big), but they need to base it on conference room seating. So, indeed, it needs to be less a CONvention, and more a CONference as that's what the attendees desire.
Producer Jon Jashni epiphanied during a panel the AA TV show can now sustain its very own gathering of this particular size, a level of achievement belonging to a handfull of other science-fictions/fantasies including Star Trek and Star Wars.
As for Tsoukalos being a "confidence man," I'd say he's no more so than Robert Ripley. But if you saw Ripley as one, then the whole world is a con, just choose your game.
Meanwhile, this was my favorite costume at Alien Con 2016.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton chained to their Alien Overlord. Sorry for the quality level, my phone is Ancient like those Aliens.
Last edited by Josh (11/01/2016 5:54 pm)