Rae
05 July 2011 @ 10:18 am
Since I was a babbling mess of nerves before the con, I figured I'd reassure everyone that I'm still a babbling mess of nerves after it.   Delta H Con was a bust, financially, and I'm beginning to understand why it's getting a negative reputation.  Which is sad as it has a lot of potential. 

DHC has taken place at the University of Houston (UoH) for the past four years.  From what I understand, it had rather rough beginnings that have simply not been ironed out.  It's major issue seems to be that it thinks it's larger than it is.  There's been a long-running suggestion that the con needs to be a one-day event, and I have to say that I agree.  Based upon attendance and the singular ability for all the con's events to fall flat on their proverbial faces, it just doesn't have the strength to run a full three days.  The management seems to disagree.

What really stood out to me in the first five minutes was the utter lack of organization.  I arrived and parked at the university Hilton, and wandered around until I figured out where the student center was located.  After managing to find someone to direct me up to registration on the second floor, I stood around for a good ten minutes listening to the con staff bicker before they finally acknowledged me.  I told them I needed to sign in to the artist alley and get set up.  What should have happened was me signing in and picking up my badge.  Instead, they had a short consultation amongst five or six of them about "Where is the AA again?," finally figured it out, and then sent me on a journey three stories down (underground), through a tunnel, around a lobby, and into another hallway where the artist alley was hidden away inside the Maid Cafe.  There were a couple of other panel rooms down there as well, but the main con was half a building away.

Eventually someone brought me my badge, and the con president wondered why so many artists hadn't signed in when they'd gotten there. She didn't seem to understand when I pointed out that her staff had less idea of what to do than most of the guests. 

Though the con was supposed to start at three, set up continued at least until around six pm.  Not that it mattered, as there were maybe five guests that found the AA in that time.  Maybe. 

The University didn't help, either, as they took down any sign that the con attempted to put up.  Because no signs were allowed, most people had little idea where the panel rooms or the AA was.  Many didn't even realize that either existed (by their own admission, when one of the artists tried to go find people and point them in the right direction).  By 10pm on Saturday, the AA had seen around sixty or seventy people, total.  I managed to make back the cost of the table and decided that Sunday wasn't worth bothering with.

This isn't to say that the con was a complete disaster, but I did find that most of the fun had was in spite the con staff.  Come late Saturday evening, guests had pretty much petered out and some of we artists, vendors, and security staff all sat around in a corner to chat, cut up, and have a grand old time.  Afterward, we all packed up and several of us went up to the late night "rave" in the main event room.

It was fun for a while, though the DJ was insistent upon blowing his tweeter.  Unfortunately, he was also very skilled at picking out great music, only to cut the song short just as everyone began to enjoy themselves.  He'd then switch in something completely un-danceable.  After several instances of this, all the dancers left in a huff.  We sat out in the lobby outside and talked some more, while the DJ kept trucking on terribly.

None of the con staff seemed to understand, or wanted to understand, what the problem was--though they asked us.  They seemed to live in a state of perpetual confusion, and utter refusal to listen to any ideas or suggestions that were not their own.  Taking all of this into account, I have to say that unless someone I trust implicitly gives me indication that it's turned around in the next few years, I'm never going back to this con as an artist or otherwise.  I'll be pretty surprised if it lasts a fifth run.