[Convention] Con-Geda – Another Failure for the Books

Con-Geda

Con-Geda is probably a convention you haven’t heard of, until now. It was pretty small, the advertising wasn’t very good, and it crashed before it even left the ground. They labeled themselves as “a unique fan experience designed to bring The 100 fandom together.”

The 100 is a fairly popular show currently in its fifth season. Many of the actors make appearances at conventions around the world.  There have also been international conventions dedicated to the show itself. There has never been a convention for The 100 within the United States.

The End for End of the World Events

This was obviously a dream that failed. I applaud the organizers for being transparent; they aren’t hiding and they do seem to be handling things as best they can. The infuriating part for many is that they went to a lawyer, instantly, but that is probably a smart move for them.

However, when you see this on the front page of a convention you have invested money into, you get a little miffed:

MAY WE MEET AGAIN…
Unfortunately, due to a lack of funding and sales, we are devastated to announce that Con-Geda has been cancelled. We will be updating this site as information becomes available. Thank you to those who passionately supported this endeavor, and please know this is an incredibly painful decision for us. We cannot comment on the situation outside of what is written in our official statements, and those who purchased any tickets will hear from our lawyer in the future. Thank you again for your passion and support. May we meet again.

“..those who purchased any tickets will hear from our lawyer in the future..” That is an intimidating and aggravating phrase that automatically sets people on edge.

The KickStarter

On July 5, 2017 a group of young women launched a kickstarter campaign to fill what they perceived as a void in the convention world.

The Kickstarter goal was to raise $15,000 in 30 days, and it more than succeeded and raised $17,000. It looked like the convention was off to a good start. They even had plans for the money they hoped to raise.

“Of the $15k, approximately $5k will go toward securing a venue for Con-Geda to be held at, $8k will be used for deposits on our initial 5 hopeful guests, and the remaining $2k will pay for Kickstarter’s fees.”

So that means that they even had an additional $2,000 as a buffer.

133 backers supported this campaign. Thirty-three of those backers were promised weekend passes for their contributions (along with a variety of other extras).

They even got one of the show’s celebs and their representation on board with the campaign.

Pledge $75 or more

IDDS Autographs – Pack of 3

Exclusive backer updates regarding the planning process for the convention, your name listed on our website as a contributor in our “Thank You” section, an exclusive The 100 postcard created especially for our supporters, an exclusive The 100 pin created by Parody Pins, AND a pre-autographed photo of each of the following: Chelsey Reist (Harper McIntyre), Richard Harmon (John Murphy), and Sachin Sahel (Eric Jackson).

Planning Began

According to a podcast interview on Chasing Dreams by Aimee J. on March 14, 2018, Michaela Martin, Rachel Walker, and Rory Beale were roommates at another convention for The 100. They started discussing the possibility of creating a US-based event for the show. They were later joined by Jessie Suarez, Nicki Murphy, and Sam Makowski as their plans moved forward.

As far as I can tell, the only one with some decent behind-the-scenes convention experience is Rory.

“In addition to being huge nerds, we also have valuable experience that will be advantageous for this convention! Nicki and Rory have been attending and volunteering at conventions for nearly 10 years, Rachel has helped to plan many events and conventions, and Sam works as a coordinator. Jessie has experience working at a theme park, so she knows how to work under pressure, and Michaela has experience with accommodations and making sure everyone feels welcome.” – Con-Geda Kickstarter

It looks like this was a convention by fans. Unfortunately, just being a fan of a show does not make you a convention runner. There is a lot to running a convention but it seems like theses girls had some ideas about what it took.

In the interview with Aimee J., the convention organizers were obviously aware of conventions that had previously failed. They also clearly stated (at 8:48) that they were not getting any money out of this event, in fact they were investing their own finances into the venture.

It is also clearly laid out that they are aware of the expenditures and costs to run a convention (22:28) when they start talking about deposits for conference rooms, hotel rooms and the guests themselves, as well as the fees associated with almost everything.

But one of the big questions is…..Where was their advertising?

Ticket Sales

During the interview, it is repeatedly stated that everything comes down to ticket sales; the more tickets they sell, the more guests they can get. Ticket sales always seem to the the sticking point for these conventions.

It seems the girls were relying on pre-show ticket sales to finalize their commitments. Convention-goers have been burned more than once and more than one convention fan has been left holding a useless pre-show ticket with no hope for a refund.

According to the notice posted on the Con-Geda website on May 13th, they sold less than 70 passes. If this number includes the Kickstarter tickets then that means that less than 40 tickets were sold after the Kickstarter. That would be a very poorly attended convention.

Con-Geda update

With ticket sales that low, they probably should have called the convention off months ago. Less than 50% of their expected sales should have spelled disaster a long time ago.

Update 5/16 11:55 am CST

I had earlier applauded the organizers for their transparency, but I now wonder how seriously they took the event, or how seriously they are taking the cancellation. At least one of the convention runners appears to have been in Peru since the beginning of May.

I do need to commend IDDS Management for a few of their recent twitter posts. They had eight names signed up for this convention and this cancellation had probably put a heavy crimp in their business, but they are trying to make some gestures of good will.

They don’t make promises about anyone being there, but its a gesture and it gives the fans something.