File 770’s post in January about We Are ALL SF con began with a long list of the announced guests and reported the organizers were going forward despite the lack of response to their Indiegogo funding appeal.
Yesterday, however, Lou J. Berger announced that the con has withdrawn some benefits offered to some guests of honor:
Some emails went out today to a select subset of our Guests of Honor, informing them that we had, in our exuberance, overstepped our ability to host as many GoHs as we had hoped.
Location constraints, including room capacities, make our attendee list limited, and the income that this group can provide therefore has a ceiling. As we mentioned in an earlier post, we have had to cap our attendance at 1,200 members. This is for economic reasons, not because we don’t like the GoHs that received the email.
Folks, we asked everybody we love to be Guests of Honor, and with only a couple exceptions, everybody said “yes!”
It breaks MY heart to have to ask some of our Guests to help contribute toward their own attendance, but we are not in a position (unless we double our membership rates) to afford everybody who agreed. I know that this email ruffled feathers. I know that MY name is on the front of this convention, and I accept sole responsibility for this situation.
Ocean Shores, Washington is a small community. They are SO excited to have us coming in November. They have bent over backwards to be accommodating, and we are grateful to them for their support.
My cell phone number is 303.601.4284. If you received one of these emails, please know that you are STILL a valued Guest of Honor, but that we don’t see a way to completely fund your entire experience.
Please, please call me and yell at me.
This is not a slight against you, and any indication that it might have been was unintentional.
File 770 became aware of the story because Steve Fahnestalk wrote on Facebook how unhappy he is with the situation:
Lynne Fahnestalk and I had been invited to be guests at the We Are All SF convention in November, and they promised us transportation, room and board. I just got an email from a board member of the con saying they were withdrawing the transpo, room and board, but we could get a free membership, and could buy a banquet ticket and possibly get a hotel discount. I didn’t tell her where she could put it, but told her it was extremely unprofessional. We don’t plan to attend.
Curious how many other guests might have dropped out, I compared the names in the January post against those still shown on the We Are ALL SF honored guest page. So far the only name missing is Donna Barr. (Fahnestalk wasn’t on the list there when I wrote in January.) On the other hand, Greg Bear, Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Ken Burnside, Satyros Phil Brucato, and the band Telesterion have been added in the last month.
Not all the news is bad. They have sold out the banquet.