Fan Expo Canada, a commercial sf convention held in Toronto at the end of August, drew 60,000 fans last year but wasn’t prepared to handle the throngs wanting to get in this year. The con was overwhelmed and its reputation took a beating in the local paper:
Hundreds of gamers, superfans and sci-fi geeks are fuming after a mismanaged weekend at Fan Expo Canada, a popular annual convention celebrating pop culture.
Eventgoers say this year’s three-day convention was marred by hours-long lineups. On Saturday afternoon, crowds became so unmanageable organizers had to shut down door sales and temporarily lock out ticket holders, prompting hordes of frustrated fans to start chanting for refunds.
While the Fan Expo has always seen its share of organizational glitches, loyal attendees say this year’s convention was by far the worst.
Con committees – even profit-motivated ones – are not renowned for making gracious replies to criticism, but Fan Expo has proved to be an exception to the rule. They posted this public apology immediately after the con:
On behalf of the staff of Fan Expo Canada™ I would like to apologize for the lengthy delays and inconvenience experienced by many at Fan Expo Canada™ this past weekend. We were, quite simply, inadequately prepared for the increased crowds in a venue that was neither familiar to us nor not capable of meeting our collective demands. We recognize and have heard from many of you that this was unacceptable and unfair to our loyal fans.
Fan Expo Canada is one of three media cons held in Toronto, a different event than Anime North, or Polaris (formerly Toronto Trek).
[Thanks to Taral for the story.]