We spent a year
in purgatory on the Baycon 25 (and Westercon 60, yes, the year of two cons) staff. It's disappointing to see what's gone down, but not surprising.
For my Baycon staff peeps who left:
You're going to hear a lot of "this happened before." You're going to hear a lot of "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
This has happened before, and over the same issues. Leaving, though, isn't the insane choice. Banging your head against the wall over and over when problems aren't fixed over and over is the insane choice.
I don't blame any of you for deciding that reassurances things would be fixed weren't reassuring enough. There comes a time when only results are reassuring enough.
Don't let this ruin your fun. Go to the con. Don't go to fiddle while Rome burns. Don't go to show off your "Not my con, monkeyboy" button. Go to spend time with your friends, some who are still on committee, some who aren't on committee, some who never were on committee. You'll be surprised.
For my Baycon staff peeps who stayed:
Robert has it right. You've got 4 months to rebuild the departments that left and put together a con.
That said, don't lose track of the message that the folks who left gave y'all. You've worked with them for many years. They aren't a bunch of malcontents and drama queens. There are problems inside Baycon, and ignoring them doesn't help anybody.
For the Artistic Solutions Board:
You blew it. Big time.
You lost the trust and support of over a dozen key people, people who have done great work for Baycon, people who have dedicated years of their lives to make Baycon a great event.
You can focus on the drama. You can focus on the tone. You can rail against communications failures. You can blame people for not being patient enough. It doesn't matter.
Suck it up. You lost the trust and support of many senior staffers. You lost it over some piddly paperwork.
This has happened before. It's Baycon's cycle. The board has to step up and break the cycle unless you want this to happen again in another 5 years.
Artistic Solutions has to acknowledge its mistakes. It has to correct those mistakes. It has to show how those mistakes will be avoided in the future. It has to, on a regular basis, show the remaining committee members that business is being attended to.
It has to rebuild trust with Baycon's staff and volunteers. Without that trust, Baycon's attendees are going to stop trusting in the event too, and that's the end.
Oh, and see if you can do this without all the bitterness and recriminations that followed previous walk-outs.