I'm writing this three days before AX 2010, after months of begging people to give the con a chance, see what the new management can do, reserve judgment until we know more, one way or the other.
And people have, at least in my sphere. We're complaining about the location, but no more than before. We're skeptical about the ticket prices, and doubly skeptical about the add-on fees, but we're still going to the con. We're looking forward to the guests. We're going to see our friends.
But now AX has to justify it. This is where all our cheerful optimism gets tested against the brutish reality of convention life. We've demanded the right to judge AX on its own merits, and in three days we're going to do just that. If they get out of the way and let the attendees have fun, we'll know. If they start erecting a maze of tariffs and establishing themselves as gatekeepers, we'll know that too, and we'll know what to do about it.
Remember, there's nothing magic about AX in itself. We need an industry con. It doesn't have to be AX, or run by the SPJA. If this MAX event, this upstart, turns out to be better, we'll see that too. Draw your own conclusions.
It's rare that one's choices are so clear.
This is part of an ongoing series on the pre-AX 2010 trainwreck. Please read the others if you'd like.