I participated in Colorado Springs Comic Con in its inaugural year in 2016, and I honestly did not enjoy it. It was a terrible venue, organization was lacking, and nobody was buying. Thus, I did not go back in 2017. However, several friends who went in 2017 told me that it had gotten much better and I should give it another shot. What the hell, I figured. I live in Colorado Springs now, so expenses would be minimal, I may as well give it a shot.
I....should not have given it a shot.
Nothing, what so ever, had improved and much of it had gotten worse. Check in was a nightmare. I showed up to find that it didn't actually exist. I asked the other vendors around the door and they said they didn't know and had just found their tables on their own and started setting up. I did the same and by the time I was done there was still no sign of an official check in area (and no one official at all anywhere near the front doors, because who needs security for all the expensive stuff inside, right?). I didn't have time to just sit around so I figured I'd just get my badge the next morning before the con started, but I decided to go to the bathroom before I left. It was only then that I discovered that there WAS a check-in, it was just tucked in an obscure little backroom near the bathrooms, not near any entrances, and with no indication it was there. A+ job there.
For its third year the convention had upgraded to a much bigger venue; an empty two-floor department store. This SHOULD have been a good thing. It wasn't. Despite having a much bigger space and a slate of fantastic guests they still apparently only had one panel room, which is just ridiculous. Many attendees also seemed to have a hard time finding the way to travel from the first floor to the second floor, and just orienting themselves in general. There was a map provided in the con booklet, but it was useless. Only "featured" artists were labeled on the map in any way (and I have no clue what their distinction between featured and not featured was). Not only that, but there was no banners or signage indicating the rows/sections in the artist and vendor areas, so me saying "I'm at table W11" was pointless because there was no way for anyone to easily figure out where that actually was. Another problem with the venue is that a department store has the amount of bathrooms needed for a department store. Not the amount of bathrooms needed for a convention of any size, and it showed. They did have a line of port-a-pottie's outside, but, to me, that's not a very professional solution.
The staff themselves were non-existent as well, and useless when they did happen to be around. I had an issue with a near-by table carnival barking to the point of actually pulling away people from my booth and she didn't stop when I spoke to her so I reported her to the con. Their response? "Well, you can just do the same thing if you want."
I will not steal from other booths, and I will not create a corridor of annoyance that no customer wants to walk through. I was honestly a bit blown away by how unprofessional that response was.
On top of all that, the convention hours were basically whenever someone decided to open the doors, and whenever they decided to make everyone leave. The lines were horrendous according to everyone I talked to, and badge handouts were a suggestion at best. A friend of mine with a press badge said they didn't even check anything about who she was to make sure she was press and it was her badge, and they didn't even try to check her in at all until she made them.
Then there's the fact that Colorado Springs Comic Con is SUPPOSED to have you do your taxes right at the convention, which is actually really nice. I'd rather just do it and get it out of the way. They're supposed to put your form in your check in packet and you have to hand it in to them before you leave. We were told this was how it would work this year, except no tax forms were in the packet. Neither were they handed out during the con like we were told they would be when we asked about them not being in the packet. In the end I left without bothering to track the form down, resolving to just pay them on my own when I got home.
Overall it was just a very shoddily put together convention for artists, vendors, and attendees alike. The only good thing was that they had food trucks and one of them would deliver to your table if you texted them your order. I would like to put in a vote for all conventions to do that.