Lessons Learned from Tanacon: Never Plan a Convention in a Month

People are still buzzing from the disaster known as Tanacon. It happened over the weekend as a contrarian convention to Vidcon, and quickly gained news for being disorganized, too small for the amount of people that came, and basically a big scam. So what happened?

Well, this all began when popular Youtuber Tana Mongeau felt that she had been snubbed too many times by Vidcon, who wouldn’t give a content creator’s pass, even as she starred in Escape the Night, one of Youtube Red’s larger shows. Finally, she had decided she had had enough, and decided to make a convention of her own, meant to be a fun place for her and her fans. The move was bold and inspiring, but there were a series of missteps that ultimately led it to being considered one of the worst conventions ever.

The first misstep? Trying to plan an entire convention in a month. Such a move is utterly impossible. It takes many years in order to start a convention, and none are ever perfect from the start. The fact that she tried to plan a convention in a month with no previous experience and nothing really planned is bold- too bold for a newbie.

But you know, the result of a month’s planning wouldn’t have been so bad had there not been over 5,000 people in attendance. This came as a result of Tana promising the option of free tickets, wanting it to be open to all. Tanacon gave free tickets to those who reserved online in May. For VIP or FFC (featured fucking creators), you have to pay $65 and $70 (plus $12 tax) respectively, which were supposed to allow you to skip the line and get a guaranteed spot for meet-and-greets. However, when it came down to it, there was no different lines for the VIP and the regular, and it seemed more people had bought the VIP passes than the free ones.

People also flew out from all over the country to come, wanting to see the larger Youtubers such as Shane Dawson, Elijah Daniel, and of course, Tana Mongeau herself. What they got instead was waiting over five hours in a line with no shade, no water, and no food, unable to get into a venue that couldn’t fit anywhere near the number. The line was unmoving, leaving people getting sunburnt and even getting the risk of heat stroke. Some people even went so far as to jump the fence blocking the ticketing booth, throwing passes over to the crowd waiting.

For those who could actually get in the convention, they were sorely disappointed. There was only one hall for people to go around, and the many fun events that had been promised were lacking. Plus, there wasn’t enough space for everyone to attend the meet-and-greets, leaving many people who had reserved tickets left out. Plus, half the people who said they would attend actually couldn’t, having conflicting times for panels at Vidcon. To make matters worse, at the end of the day, security kicked people out, as per order of the fire marshal.

The real cherry on top, however, would have to be the gift bags, which were supposed to have over a $60 value. What people got instead was a bag, stickers, and a condom (this is a kid friendly event). This left people furious. Now there are a few law suits, as people were basically scammed out of around $80+. It’s also a message of how not to run a convention.

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