The early registration rate for the 2009 Con is rising to $65. That will rise again to $75 in the fall. I understand that their expenses are going up, but unfortunately, my value is going down, and it's no longer worth the money or the hassle. There were five panels I wanted to see today, I only got into two of them. Con management is putting panels in rooms that are too small for their audiences. The Sarah Connor Chronicles was in room 6A. They turned away a large crowd. The room was heavily filled with people there early for the Office panel following it. I didn't get into the Comics Across Every Medium panel--five established but small-reputation writers. (Paul Feig, of Freaks and Geeks fame, was one of them.) The room was already jammed with people for Pushing Daisies.
They scheduled a panel and showing last night of Dr. Horrible for room 6B. Massive overflow. Ditto tonight for Mythbusters. The room should've been at least twice as large. They turned away at least 500 people tonight. JMS appeared two slots before Mythbusters, and there were lots of people there who were sitting through him, and then sat through the TV Guide panel after, just to see Adam and Jamie.
(Also, Penny Arcade was stuck in 5A on Friday. Way too small, turned away half the crowd.)
The Convention Center contracts with Elite Security to provide crowd control droids. Most of them are still good people (if not very smart,) but they get more rude and belligerent every year. Con has no control over which firm is hired (and it doesn't matter anyways, no one else is big enough,) and they take shit from Elite too!. Con elected directors get refused passage, despite their permanent, thermal-printed "ALL ACCESS" badges. Did I mention some of these fuckers are rude?
I really do love this event. No where else do you get as many people from as many media together. But it has become a victim of its own success. It's bad enough you have to give up half your day to see the really big programs in Hall H (people now camp out the night before to get a good seat for the 12:00 or 1:00 panels there.) Sitting through one panel in order to see yours, I can live with. But now it's become two. Big events are put in rooms too small. The droids are ignorant, misinformed, and rude. The information, I can get off the internet later. The merchandise, I can order the same way. This is no longer worth my time or money.