A new hashtag has cropped up following this year’s ClexaCon and it spells bad news for this still-fledgling con. The multifandom convention puts focus on LGBTQ women in media, including celebrity guests, artists and more. Its third show took place April 12-15 at Tropicana Las Vegas and unfortunately, many vendors are speaking up about the con’s lack of organization and its damaging effects on the marginalized community it aims to support.

#Clexapocalypse is filled with tweets from vendors and exhibitors from this year’s show, including an open letter shared by comics writer and Arledge Comics founder, Jordaan Arledge. The general consensus seems to be that lack of preparation, communication and transparency led to lost sales for vendors and an artist alley that was off the map — literally, because there was no map posted on the ClexaCon website, although a vendor list was apparently sent out via e-mail.

“We are writing to express our sincerest disappointment with your mismanagement of ClexaCon 2019,” begins the open letter, addressed to ClexaCon showrunners from ClexaCon vendors. “The majority of vendors here are seasoned exhibitors who know the risks of conventions, but we also know that our success is largely dependent upon convention leadership.”

From there, Arledge and the other vendors identify “key failings” and a list of changes they urge the con organizers to consider for future shows. Communication, misinformation about table sizing and pricing, lack of vendor badges creating confusion and in some cases leading to harassment from volunteers when vendors lingered in the convention hall to pack up each night are at the top of this list of grievances. The vendor hall was not mentioned in any official con promotion, nor were there signs in the center itself.

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Furthermore, though ClexaCon states on its website that it “provides a platform to build community, bringing together a diverse group of LGBTQ fans and content creators from around the world,” vendors experienced misgendering and there were no pronoun badges available from the official con organizers. Other reports note that bathrooms were not gender-neutral and that con security — down to broken glass being in the vendor hall all weekend without any attempts made to clean it up — was extremely lax.

The Beat will have a longer story on the happenings at ClexaCon 2019 to come. Stay tuned.

5 COMMENTS

  1. The entire vendor area was mapped out in the con app. Also all of the bathrooms in the lower con area were gender neutral. They can’t make the bathrooms where the general hotel guests are using gender neutral.

  2. I don’t want to dismiss the vendors’ experience but I’m not seeing it mentioned anywhere in all of this that there was a floor plan and vendor list on the official app. The room was right next door to where the main panels were and where the food/coffee station was – I get that signage was lacking but you really couldn’t miss it! I was in there all weekend. And lastly, downstairs there were definitely gender neutral toilets, I’m sure because I used them.
    I’m just concerned that on Twitter, the genuine gripes of the vendors are being spun into other accusations that may or may not be fair, who knows when they’re so vague. Twitter is great but many of the people I see commenting weren’t there and are running with it.

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