A few weeks ago in California, Tana Mongeau hosted a convention titled TanaCon. This was around the same time as VidCon, a convention that also takes place in California that hosts YouTube creators and their fans. For anyone who doesn't know, a convention is an event that people attend that is hosted for a specific reason. In Florida alone, there are many conventions that happen throughout the year, including MegaCon in Orlando and Tampa Bay's Comic-Con - which both take place in the summer. These two events, one in its ninth year and one in its first year, was tightly linked by the creator of TanaCon. After a video she posted in April of this year went viral - she decided to host her own convention to spite VidCon for not featuring her. As one would guess, this went extremely poorly due to the fact that she starting planning it less than one month before she wanted to host the event.
The convention gained attention on many social media platforms when attendees starting complaining about the lack of anything to do at the event and the overwhelming amount of people that attended. In the event's first day it was shut down hours early with the promise it would come back the next day at a new venue but that never happened. The event was canceled entirely and people were furious. So, what went wrong? Why did this event fail? Why did so many people show up? Why did Tana think she could plan an entire event in less than one month? Some questions have been answered but others are still wondering what exactly went wrong.
When Tana first announced her event, people were extremely excited about the prospect of getting to meet her and other famous Youtubers at the event. Especially since the tickets for TanaCon were much cheaper than the tickets for VidCon. But missteps were made starting when she decided that she wanted to have the event about a month or so after she announced it. First time conventions take months or even years of planning to understand how to properly staff the event, getting the right space for the event, funding the entire convention, selling tickets to attendees, planning events at the convention, and most importantly - getting guests and exhibitors for the actual event.
Tana wanted to have the event at the same time as VidCon, which explains why she only had a month or so to plan the event. This was to spite VidCon for not making her a featured creator at their event for the past few years. She wanted to have somewhere where her fans could enjoy their own event at the expense of VidCon. However, her next fatal mistake was telling people on social media that her convention was free to attend. Usually, with conventions, there are a certain number of ticketed attendees that are allowed to enter the building due to code restrictions and fire hazards. Now because people showed up without tickets (because it is a free event) there were way too many people for the building that only held about 1,200. According to Tana and Good Times' (the company hired to help run her event), about 10,000 unticketed people tried to get into the venue but people have fought these claims saying that they are over exaggerated and Tana was just trying to make her event look better than it actually was.
After all these people finally got into the building, they discovered that there wasn't actually anything to do inside the venue and it was just one long hallway with no panels or events. The other conflict was that Youtubers that were supposed to be attending both TanaCon and VidCon had been scheduled for events at the same time at both conventions. Now, this would have been entirely Tana and Good Times' fault as the Youtubers would have known their VidCon schedule and would have communicated the time issue if they would have known about the event. So, basically, this entire thing was doomed from the start.
Since TanaCon was canceled people that attended and paid about $65 for a VIP pass to the event have been demanding refunds. Tana has said that she would pay everyone back out of pocket if necessary and that she didn't want this to happen, even going so far as to blame security for shutting the event down. It was entirely her fault that this event failed and people defending her don't seem to understand what a huge undertaking planning an event is. She set unrealistic goals for herself and didn't properly plan out anything for her attendees to do. The worst thing was that she had free tickets, which meant as many people as possible could have shown up and gotten into the building, there was no way to prove that they were actually going to the event.
Shane Dawson, who attended the event, has spoken out majorly about the entire situation and has said this would have never happened if he planned an event. Unfortunately for him, he is still caught in the crossfire because fans have spoken out and said that they felt he was too soft on Tana and that he doesn't understand what these fans went through that attended the event.
At the end of the day, it is not an understatement to say that TanaCon was a disaster. A 20-something cannot plan an entire event for 5,000 by herself with only the help of a few employees at an event planning company. Tana needs to understand the huge amount of money that was wasted by fans that attended the event and were not able to even get into the building. Travel funds, hotel, VIP passes if they bought them - all of that money wasted that the fans may never end up getting back due to the strange refund process that the event is putting in place. It is unfortunate that this happened and, hopefully, she has learned that if she wants to plan an event in the future, there needs to be much more work done than went into TanaCon.