Please DO NOT have conventions in dirty spaces!!!

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#1 xandra on 6 years ago

(This is a semi-rant)

So this weekend I attended Aki-Con. It's a NorthWest convention in the rainy state, Washington. The vendors hall/artist alley was just horrific! It was held in a dirty parking garage that was filled with mold and the ceiling lined with buckets to stop the water from flowing onto the attendees.
I am completely horrified that the staff let expensive merchandise and artist's works be displayed in such a dirty place. Let alone even considered this an acceptable place to have the Vendors hall/Artist Alley in. (Note: I'm merely angry about the location of the Vendor's Hall, the people at the con made it awesome!)

See the rust, mold and just buckets of water?

Even the walls are disgusting

Sadly, this bucket was so full of water that it spilled onto a con goer. =/

They even served food in this garage.

The convention head still has yet to apologize. I, and other con goers are completely upset. Some are thinking of filling a lawsuit for damaged goods. However, we don't want to just be whiney brats. We are trying to fix the problem, but the con heads keep ignoring us.

Official Feedback thread: [url][/url]


Worst place to have a convention?
Is this acceptable?


I appreciate everyone's responses, regardless if you were an attendee or not. My main purpose of this thread was to spread awareness of hazardous conditions that conventions should NEVER put their attendees through. I realize that we simply could just not have gone, but no one knew about the parking garage before hand. Everyone, including the vendors and artist, found out of their location when they got to the con.

This whole discussion has lead to Aki-Con closing their feedback forums, and just ignoring anyone that tries to speak to them about the situation.

My main intention with this thread is [U]not[/U] to shut down Aki-Con, but to make them realize that this what they did is not acceptable. The staff just will not listen and it's very frustrating.


This is what we have heard so far.

Update: A wonderful attendee shared her email that the Aki-Con head sent to her. This one line standed out most to me:

"As I stated on the forum our theme was halloween and we didn’t want carpet or drapes. That was our choice and I think the garage looked just as we envisioned, a spooky halloween warehouse. But i suppose not everyone shared out vision of a spooky halloween con."

Links that explain the situation in more depth:

I am just hoping to find support from the cosplay community to make sure that this does not ever happen to anyone ever again.

#2 Jia Jem on 6 years ago

That seems like a situation where vendors could sue for damaged merchandise, and I feel bad for any cosplayer that got their costume ruined :( I definitely wouldn't want to cosplay there - seems rather uncomfortable and not photo friendly. Unless you're from Silent Hill, I guess.

#3 dx7879 on 6 years ago

That's pretty bad. I probably wouldn't want to attend in cosplay either, for fear of damaging the outfit. If it was really cheap I might check it out, but probably not dress up

#4 Orochimaru86 on 6 years ago

Looks awful! And dangerous as well!!

#5 Zoeyromanov on 6 years ago

Thats horrible! Im sorry to those who had their cosplays ruined somehow, I hope yours wasn't. Honestly, you guys wouldnt sound like whiney brats because, if you look at this way, why would I travel all the way to a con; getting everything ready to go, only to have a part of it to be in this type of setting? I have yet to be at a con in the States; although I have travelled many times there to visit family, but I already know I wouldnt want to go to a con if this is what im expecting to see. That just doesn't make any sense to me to have a part of the con in this type of setting, why did they think this was ok? :/
(hehe sorry if I sound a bit "ranty" im not usually like that)

#6 dizzymonochrome on 6 years ago

Wow, that doesn't look good at all. Which is strange, because I've seen other members here say good things about this con in the past.

What was this parking garage for? It seems like a strange place to hold a convention. Was there not enough space in the hotel?

#7 Li_Syaoran on 6 years ago

[QUOTE=dizzymonochrome;4542157]Wow, that doesn't look good at all. Which is strange, because I've seen other members here say good things about this con in the past.

What was this parking garage for? It seems like a strange place to hold a convention. Was there not enough space in the hotel?[/QUOTE]

I think that may be the case, but i did saw many other indoor locations though where they could split the AA alley and Dealers hall into.

#8 Talossa on 6 years ago

That was... not a wise decision. Aside from being gross, it's a safety hazard. (Wet floor leads to falls, water could have icky stuff in it, etc.)

I'm wondering what happened with the venue that that ended up being the space they picked, because I find it hard to believe that was the first choice. I'm also rather amazed that their venue even let them do that!

[QUOTE=zeochan;4542150] I have yet to be at a con in the States; although I have travelled many times there to visit family, but I already know I wouldnt want to go to a con if this is what im expecting to see. [/QUOTE]

Don't worry! As you might be able to tell from people's reactions, this is absolutely not typical of cons here.


#9 Kenkaya on 6 years ago

I've never been to a con that did something like that before! I feel bad for any cosplayers or vendors who had to deal with water damage... I think you certainly have the right to complain about it! Otherwise, it might happen again.

#10 Lithium Flower on 6 years ago

If I was the cosplayer who had that nasty stagnant water spill on me I'd have a FIT the convention holders would remember well into the next ice age. That's disgusting, and with the mold growing there's no telling what kind of awfulness is growing in the water.

Not good, it shows a huge lack of respect for your attendees by ignoring any health concerns. Serving food in that area? Absolutely not. With buckets of moldy rainwater hanging above everyone's heads they really thought it was acceptable to serve FOOD? There's no telling what disgusting bits could have gotten into food, especially for the vendors with open-top serving carts. I know I wouldn't touch a single thing that wasn't pre-wrapped or had a lid on it.

That's just a huge lack of respect and concern for your guests and to me is a huge sign that I wouldn't spend my money attending their convention. Nope nope nope.

And as someone who sells in the artist alley I would NEVER bring my merchandise to this place. NEVER. I am not going to put time and money and effort into my work only to have a bucket of gross dump all over my table.

#11 Noize on 6 years ago

Now this is just terrifying and I'm pretty sure the people working at the dealer halls were concerned about this problem as well. Look at the garage... It looks like it hasn't been properly cleaned (from other people's experience with the dealers hall). It also looks really dark in that convention, which is really dangerous with people carrying around weapons and pointy objects, even though the lights were on.

I just read that this is their 2nd year? Maybe in a couple years, when they begin to have more people, they will change the location to a much bigger place since a underground garage isn't enough to fit over 3,000 people.

#12 angelbabycakes on 6 years ago

The con has been running for longer than two's been going since at least 2009. While, it's still fairly new, it is unacceptable to place anyone in this mess. I read a lot about the conditions...which seemed bad, but the photos prove more than words could ever say. This is just disgusting. It apparently happened last year as well, but I've read that they did not alert the AA or vendors that the conditions were the exact same until they all arrived. I do not know whose fault that was...hotel or head of the con, but either way, they should have considered finding another space for the vendors and artists. Part of being in charge of a con is to be able to think on your feet and be a problem solver. If you knew this didn't solve the problem last year, how would you even think it could slide another year? It's just sad. This con should really think more and find a better location before they decide to continue. I've seen photos of cons that took place in an open parking lot with canopies and tents...those at least looked better and cleaner than this, not to mention safer. How horrible.

#13 EgnirysFaye on 6 years ago

Oh. Oh dear. That is....quite the erk.

How disapointing. Not a great way to relax and enjoy the con experience, having to be distracted because bucket-water-roulette is threatening attire, items and meals.

Additionally, who knows if someone could have had asthma or an allergy towards that mold. Don't need to explain why this would be incredibly problematic.

So no, you're not being a whiney idiot OP. I mean, would anyone have a wedding in that place? With expensive decor and gifts, nice fancy dresses and suits, quality food. Con is almost somewhat the same basic concept, with a variety of costumes that were of cost/effort for the attendees, expensive merchandise, decor, and food.

Hopefully there will be a solution/resolution!

(Much sympathy for the poor person who actually got a dump of that water)

#14 Jei-Cos on 6 years ago

Yep gross..I was there. They don't even care..they told all the people complaining that they were jerks for complaining and wouldn't even say sorry

#15 CapsuleCorp on 6 years ago

This is definitely a case of...well, one con being made of total fail, I've never heard of anything like this happening anywhere before.

There's one easy solution for regular congoers and artists who may not have the backing of lawyers and business solutions: DON'T GO. By not giving this convention your money, they won't have the money to hold another convention. By spreading these photos and information across the internet, you can ensure that no one else goes, and they learn the lesson the hard way.

Honestly, if the con staff was being shafted by the hotel/convention center/location themselves - say, they were promised repairs that didn't happen, or promised rooms that magically became no longer available - they in turn need to take legal recourse based on whatever contract they had with the location. But if the con staff willingly signed a contract to hold their convention in this space, while knowing full well that it wasn't going to be repaired, or deliberately chose the cheaper, damaged space for whatever reason, they've made themselves vulnerable to legal action. Being rude to congoers who dared to say "um, this ain't right" doesn't give much hope that they're nice people who were taken advantage of by the big mean hotel/convention center, though.

But don't wait for a vendor or sick person to file a lawsuit. Vote with your feet and your money. Don't patronize a con that chooses a terrible location. They will have no choice but to cancel or rethink their long-term plans if they want to keep holding a con. (and as a side note, I'm so tired of every cluster of fans deciding that even if there are 47 conventions in a given city or region, no, they have to have ONE MORE, because they personally want to run a con. And then they find out, like this con did, that it's not as easy as it looks!)