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Posted by | June 9, 2011, 11:45 (EST) | 16 Comments
Category: Fandom, The Vampire Diaries TV, Website

In light of recent drama, and because we have been receiving a lot of questions, we feel it’s time to set the record straight on a few things.

First off, we want to stress that this post is based entirely on our own personal experience with EyeCon in March 2011, most of which is detailed in our review: Fool Me Once.

UPDATE: EyeCon has refunded our sponsorship money. So at least that’s settled!

We bring up a lot of issues in that post but the crux is this: We paid $450 for a vendor and guest badge sponsorship (here is the PayPal receipt) and our logo was not on any badge given to vendors or guests during the convention. We know this because we had a vendor badge, which we’ve scanned for you. (Yes, that’s the actual badge.)

These are facts. We’ve been seeing a lot of talk about everyone deserving a second chance. Generally, we would agree. However, there has been zero effort on the part of EyeCon to address this issue or refund money. When our review went live, it would have been so simple to acknowledge the problem and at least attempt to make amends. No such effort was made. In fact, Kenny made repeated appearances in our comments to respond to people and made several visits to both of our post-EyeCon posts in the weeks following the March event; he knew what happened and apparently did not care.

This is bad business and bad public relations.

We guess nearly half a grand is not a big deal to some people but it’s a big deal to us. That’s server money that keeps our site afloat, supporting the show and giving fans a platform to share their passion for it which we and others have been doing far longer than EyeCon’s been on the TVD scene.

The saddest part of the entire debacle is that this situation could have been easily rectified. We can’t speak to others’ personal experience with the con, or EyeCon’s subsequent words/actions in response. If you want to read them, they’re out there on several fansites, Twitter and Facebook, but we at V-D.net are speaking only for ourselves. We have not been tweeting abuse at EyeCon’s account. Apart from our initial statement on Twitter that we would not be promoting the October con in any way, we have said nothing about it. We have not gone out of our way to use our site (which has tens of thousands of visitors a day) or the @tvdnews Twitter (which, as of this posting, has nearly 46,000 followers) to disparage them since the announcement.

It saddens us that some are putting their personal reputations on the line to defend a company against legitimate complaints that they themselves refuse to acknowledge or apologize for. That is not those fans’ jobs, it’s EyeCon’s and EyeCon’s only. Also, it is unfair to imply that by not supporting or promoting the con we are punishing the cast scheduled to appear. First, we are not telling people not to attend; secondly, conventions are for FANS. We are fans. Attempting to guilt-trip fans in regards to the actors is a weak and incredibly misguided argument, particularly when it means putting money in the pockets of a company that did those fans wrong. The fact remains that if this con was being put on by a different promoter, we would be posting about it. At the end of the day, this is an issue of self-respect for us, and we feel very strongly about it. And we ask that you respect that choice as we, in turn, are respecting your decision to promote or attend.

That being said, to attendees we say: We genuinely hope EyeCon makes good on their promises and that you have a blast. Our feelings on this matter are very specific and are directed solely at EyeCon. Our issue is not, and will never be, with those who choose to attend or support; our issue is with being made to feel as if we’re being unreasonable or aren’t true fans because of our stance.

We reserve the right to feel wronged because we were wronged. As far as we’re concerned, every day since our review went live was a second chance, an opportunity to make things right. EyeCon didn’t care then and they obviously don’t care now. As a result, we in turn don’t care who they book or what promises they make. Second chances are earned, and they haven’t earned one. We lost hundreds of dollars on the first EyeCon. We aren’t going to pay more money and just cross our fingers hoping it pans out this time.

Finally, we are not speaking on behalf of anyone but ourselves in this. Please do not try and dismiss us as “disgruntled fans” and tell us to “let it go.” We’ve been around a long time; you’re gonna have to do better than that.

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  • http://twitter.com/katelinnea Katie Welsh

    FWIW, I think you’re being completely reasonable about this whole situation. Well said, Vee.

  • Anonymous

    I agree and support you 100%. You are doing the fandom a service by standing up and bringing attention to the possibility for the kind of organization fans are going to be giving their money too. V-D.net’s experience was as a vender/sponsor, but many similar stories can be found about the ‘personal autograph sessions’, meet & greet events, etc. It makes me sad that some people are standing up for a company when they themselves have seen so many negative stories. 

    In my opinion it’s not about second chances. It’s about accountability. This organization is asking for hundreds of dollars from fans and sponsors alike for things they didn’t deliver on in March and didn’t make any apologies or amends for. They were not held accountable the first time, why should they be the next? Warning the fandom about that behavior should be commended. We should all be looking out for one another, not trying to make a business with no real regard for the people of this fandom richer. 

  • Misty

    Although I did not attend Eye Con, I really appreciated you sharing your story with us.  I felt the article was written very well and fairly displayed the facts of your experience.  I’m saddened that there are people who feel the need to dismiss your opinion and tell you what you should and should not report on your own website.  Personally, I’m glad you shared your experience.  I also support your decision not to support future events organized by Eye Con.  No one is being punished by your decision and it is not your job to provide free publicity for any event.  Some may consider it your obligation to provide information to your readers.  However, it would also be irresponsible for you to promote something that has not lived up to expectations or promises in the past.  Thank you for sharing the details of your experience to help me make a more informed decision in the future. 

  • http://twitter.com/NinaDobrevFan Nina Dobrev Fan

    Stay strong. You guys have every right to feel the way you feel. The way you were treated was appalling.  You are absolutely right. Second chances are EARNED.

  • Nikk Mote 79

    Like the others say, if i were in your shoes i’d be taking it further so 100% support for u guys. Thats disgusting behaviour on their part.

  • Anonymous

    I can understand why Vee, as a vendor, would feel this way considering payment was made and expectations from the promoter was not met.  A reimbursement was definitely in order.  This was a total fail on Eyecon’s part and they need to correct their mistake.

    As a fan of the show whose expectations were met at the Eyecon in March, I will definitely be attending the October event if Ian Somerhalder is there again.  However, it was just announced that Daniel Gillies has been booked, so I may go to meet him.  The October event will be held at a larger and much nicer venue in downtown Atlanta.

  • http://twitter.com/Dayna_Barter Dayna Barter

    I’m glad that you have spoken up about your experiences with Eyecon. Mistakes can be forgiven if they are owned up to and rectified.  That has not been the case with Eyecon, however. They refuse to acknowledge any of the complaints, instead calling those with legitimate issues ‘disgruntled fans.’  

    It is clear that Eyecon cares about one thing, and one thing alone:  Its own bottom line.  I might have been tempted to attend by a certain guest’s appearance in October; however, your willingness to be open about your experience has saved me a lot of money and headache, and I appreciate that.

  • The Televixen

    I did not attend the event, but I know enough people who did and were not satisfied. I applaud you for sharing your experience with us. You shouldn’t have to candy coat anything to appease those who didn’t see any fault in the March EyeCon event. You don’t have to agree with those who believe that they should be given a second chance, knowing that they have yet to address your concerns (and those of numerous other attendees) from the first event.  

    To me, it looks like a fandom is being taken advantage of, and that saddens me. I really hope that another, more established, reputable company decides to do a TVD convention in North America at some point.

  • Charlie

    Although I didn’t go to the convention I think you guys are 100% right to share your experiences and stick to your guns. You got ripped off and by the sound of it so did a lot of other websites and fans. From what i’ve heard people came from all over the country for this thing so at least this time fans can make an informed decision before travelling 1000s of miles !

  • Artyjill

    I read the Eyecon review and it made me think twice about whether or not to attend a convention. I was, at the time, a ‘convirgin’! I’d seen the ads for Insurgence3, (uK), so I contacted them about my concerns. There is a lot of money involved for fans and vendors alike and nobody wants or can afford to be ripped off. Rogue events were honest in their email and assured me that I would have a blast and a really positive experience. They lived up to my expectations. The staff were fantastic. The venue was great. The cast were amazing. The vendors were genuinly decent people. The fans were so welcoming-first convention and I’d gone on my own. The interaction between everybody concerned was fabulous. I had THE most amazing time. I will never forget it. That, to me, is what should be the ‘norm’. Can’t wait for I4.

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, I don’t know anything about this situation (though I did read your review and felt bad that you had such a poor experience). I can empathize that you spent a considerable amount of money, were looking to promote your brand, and did not receive the “goods” that you had been promised. You have every right to express your opinion (especially since this is YOUR site) and should not have to apologize for your obvious hurt feelings as people who run a site solely for fans and as fans yourselves.
    I hope that EyeCon does make good on its promises to other fans and vendors. I would be a shame if a promoter disgraced the name of the show and all involved in the show by putting on an event in its name that is disappointing to some and considered a rip-off by others.
    As for me, I find your site to be all I need as that “extra something” to enjoy a show that I love. Thank you for all that you do without monetary compensation. I hope it brings you joy to know that you are bringing joys to other fans. Thank you.

  • Corinne

    Well Said Vee! I support you 100%! Thank you for always looking out for TVD fans and always being so honest. It is greatly appreciated! Sorry that you have had to deal with attacks from TVD fans and others. Everyone is free to share their own thoughts and opinions!

  • Brina

    Well said guys, well said.

  • http://twitter.com/mylobster27 Becca Leigh

    I have never attended any convention so I dont’ have a personal opinion on this subject. It seems to me that the EyeCon experience has divided the fandom in may ways & this makes me sad. It’s obvious that this site as well as others were taken advantage of & promised things that weren’t delivered. Your (our) money was essentially stolen, but worse was the trust factor. If EyeCon even remotely tried to make amends, I think the situation would be different. That is unprofessional and worse it’s just wrong.
    It appears that to many fans it was poorly run & they were treated badly what a shame.I’ve also read account from fans that had positive things to say at least about certain parts of the convention.I think the biggest shame of all is that EyeCon is stealing the spotlight away from what the focus should be: the shows & it’s fans. We should be able to enjoy meeting & hearing from our beloved cast, not stressing over so much negativity. We love the show & we love to talk about it to other fans. Convention experiences should be geared toward that , not dollar signs.If it weren’t for fans, they could not put on a convention.I am so glad that his site continues to be professional & honest in their posting. The truth is important & not giving into to constant internet hate is as well. This is why it’s my favorite site.

  • TriniJax

    Well said and I applaud you for not engaging in Twitter abuse of EyeCon.

  • http://twitter.com/AbbyGraham A.G.

    Frankly, I think the fansites who
    attended last year would be remiss if they didn’t share their
    experiences. This site’s refusal to promote an event that literally
    stole money from them is a wise decision on their part, both to
    protect the interests of the site and to inform the fans about
    possible problems before anyone arranges time off work or starts spending money. While I absolutely believe in supporting the TVD cast &
    crew in every way, I don’t believe that encouraging people to attend
    an event run by a company with shady business practices is in any way supportive. The TVD cast members are great
    people, but their attendance at an con should not be seen as an
    endorsement of it – there are a lot of people involved in deciding
    where and when actors appear, and those people have different
    priorities than the fans who spend money to attend. Skipping an event does NOT make someone a bad person, or a bad fan. There are plenty of ways to show support for the cast and crew, and they would be the last people on earth to want fans to commit to something those fans were in any way uncomfortable with. 

    The fact is, it’s always tempting to
    put on rose-colored glasses when you love something as much as we all
    love TVD, and it’s very hard to have to face the fact that something
    you wanted to be wonderful turned out poorly in the end. Every fan will have to make
    their own decision about whether or not to attend EyeCon:The Sequel,
    but I personally am very grateful for the fansites that have honestly
    shared their experiences – both negative AND positive- as
    vampire-diaries.net has done. When it comes to conventions, we’re all
    better off if we think not just as fans, but also as consumers and
    travelers, and give serious consideration before committing hundreds
    or thousands of dollars to any event.  





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