The Highspots.com WrestleCon convention released the following statement on issues with the convention this past weekend in New Orleans:
Dear WrestleCon Customers,
Thank you for your patronage at WrestleCon 2014 in New Orleans; we are thrilled to have had you join us in celebrating many wrestling superstars, both past and present. While we deemed the event to be successful overall, we are aware that there were some shortcomings, and wish to address those with you.
To start, please accept our apology for the long lines encountered by guests who pre-ordered admission to WrestleCon Session One on Saturday April 5th; we understand that by pre-ordering, you expected early access and ease of access, guarantees which were not delivered to many of you. We acknowledge that the wait many of you endured was completely unacceptable and embarrassing for our company, but wish to offer an explanation of the circumstances that resulted in the delay.
When we first booked The Sugar Mill, we envisioned using part of the outdoor courtyard space for the staged events, and much of the outdoor space to facilitate registration of patrons who pre-ordered. However, when our staff arrived in New Orleans and was faced with the significant threat of rain for the entire weekend, we were forced to put a tent over the courtyard. In doing so, we recognized that we would be cutting our available space for registration significantly (the only option for tent placement was right in the middle of the outdoor area).
However, we thought that providing the entertainment promised (Mickie James Concert, Colt Cabana Live, Goldberg Q&A, etc.) was more important than prioritizing registration space. We were forced to choose between facilitating faster registration, or providing the entertainment we advertised, and we chose to do the latter.
Aside from the space issue, we had a staffing issue. We had contracted with some local volunteer staff to work the event, many of whom showed up late on Saturday. We attempted to secure more staff, but we were unsuccessful. As a result, we had less space than we needed, and fewer staff than we needed to facilitate registration efficiently for Session One.
Lastly, we know many customers who pre-ordered were frustrated that the Walk-Up line was moving far more swiftly. Even though we only dedicated one staff member to work this line, we felt it was necessary to keep it open and moving, since we also made assurances on our website that customers who pre-ordered autographs and photo-ops did not also need to pre-order admission.
Ultimately, facilitating a simple cash or credit card transaction took far less time than facilitating pre-order check-ins, which resulted in that line moving more quickly.
We are not attempting to excuse the wait time that many of you experienced; however, we did make decisions that we thought were in the best interest of the event overall. Moving forward, we have decided that if WrestleCon is to continue in 2015 and beyond, we must identify an electronic ticketing system that can better facilitate entry to the convention.
We envision a system that allows customers who pre-order to receive electronic tickets; those tickets would be scanned quickly at an entry point, similar to admission to a concert or sporting event. If we cannot eliminate the check-in/registration process entirely in future years, and move to a more efficient electronic ticketing system, we will not host WrestleCon in the future.
Aside from the wait time experienced by many of you, there was an additional issue related to one of the WrestleCon vendors, who did not deliver the services promised to, and pre-paid for by, our customers.
WrestleCon makes its best attempt to only contract vendors who have a reputation of delivering our customers the guest experience advertised. While WrestleCon cannot claim responsibility for the vendor shortcomings, we do wish to assist you in securing a refund or other remedy. We ask that you first contact the vendor directly to attempt to resolve the issue; if you are not successful, please email email@example.com with a description of your situation, and we will intervene as appropriate. We also plan to discontinue future business with vendors who are not able to provide a sufficient remedy for failing to deliver services guaranteed at WrestleCon 2014.
Again, we want to thank you for supporting WrestleCon. Our staff is one of the most dedicated you will find; we work throughout the year to provide an event where wrestling fans can gather and share stories, make memories, and celebrate the industry we all love so much.
Our pledge to you is to move forward having learned from the mistakes of this year, and ensuring that we provide a far more patron friendly experience in the years to come. If you wish to share an individual concern, or have a suggestion regarding future WrestleCon events, please email us at Wrestlecon@gmail.com.