Hello Senshi Con Fans!
First, we want to say thank you for coming to last year’s Senshi Con. We took on some new tasks, and we feel we accomplished a lot. At this time, it has come to light that Senshi Con will not be held at the Dena’ina Center in 2019. Nor will we be going to the Egan Center. The decision to change venues was a tough one, but ultimately we went with what was best for you our fans and attendees. SMG management, the company that oversees the Dena’ina, Egan, and Sullivan, has told us that if we continue to use their facilities, we will be required to use Ticketmaster.
The Senshi Con management was made aware of this possible change before we began our planning of Senshi Con 2018. At that time, our previously established contract allowed for the continued use of PayPal for ticketing needs. In our first meetings of 2019 with SMG management, they explained that their corporate office would not let us use PayPal or another ticketing system if we chose to hold Senshi Con at one of their facilities. If we went this route, then all box office sales would be handled solely by Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster’s policy is to add on a high fluctuating convenience fee to each ticket sale. A sample breakdown of this is listed below:
A single ticket is $45. With Ticketmaster, you would pay that cost along with a 12.5% convenience fee. As well as a $2.15 service fee, along with another $2.00 credit card fee. In the end, the total cost would amount to almost $55 for a single ticket.
The most significant non-negotionable issues are the fluctuating convenience fee and accessibility to buying tickets. We did ask if there was any room to negotiate the convenience fee, but SMG made it clear that the cost was non-negotiate. Additionally, tickets could only be purchased online through Ticketmaster, or at the Sullivan Arena during their regular business hours. With ticket prices steadily rising each year, we could not fathom asking you, our fans and attendees, to pay extra fees and have so few ticket purchasing options. We understand that the fluctuating ticket price could leave our attendees with nothing left in their budget for vendors, food, or games at the convention itself. At most conventions outside of Alaska, the convenience fee is either waived or is a set no higher than 3 to 5%.
SMG did give the following analogy, “I believe in Ticketmaster. It does everything for the person. You can buy online, on your phone, and at Sullivan Arena. Also, the Kevin Hart Show sold out, and I know you guys would be just like that show because people trust Ticketmaster.”
Once we heard this, we were convinced that SMG did not fully understand our attendees and Senshi Con itself. The Kevin Hart show and Senshi Con are two completely different demographics and two completely different types of events. Yes, we would see Kevin Hart or another possible once in a lifetime concert in a heartbeat and still hate the hassle of all the extra fees. This same hassle would not be worth it for an annual convention you attend have fun with friends and family.
With this decision, it does limit where we go next. However, we guarantee that where we go, we won’t make you pay a high fluctuating convenience fee on top of the ticket price to attend an event. Yes, we went big and hit the milestone we were hoping to achieve. However, growth only comes from challenging ourselves to do better for our attendees. This decision will mean that some events will have to be put on hold for now. Each area will be smaller with fewer events and vendors. Senshi Con may be smaller, but we will do all we can to keep the heart of the convention true to its fandom. We want you to enjoy Senshi Con because we are like family. We want you to feel like you are coming back home after a long journey to share your adventures with others.
We will keep you updated as the weeks go by, but please understand that it’s not at all SMG’s fault for this decision. They have to do what their corporate office directs. Senshi Con is grateful to SMG for the six years of partnership and for giving us the opportunity to grow and learn. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, and that’s okay. We keep moving forward, and that is all that truly matters.
We hope to see you all at Senshi Con 2019 and will keep you updated on any news we might have. If you have any questions, please email us or leave a comment below.