The Panel Debacle

Zach and I were incredibly excited about the prospect of hosting a panel at Raleigh Supercon in 2018. As they are still growing as a convention in North Carolina, we thought it was a perfect time to, as they say, get in on the ground floor. The quality of some of the panels we attended were lackluster at best, and to be honest, uninspired.

We thought we could review tabletop RPG elements, such as hosting a game and taking your Game Master skills to the next level. It was actually a clever concept, where we added in that we could expand, or contract the panel to suit their needs. We would have 1 strong panel covering three concepts. However, if they needed to fill a track, we could unpack it and expound on the concepts into 3 different panels. In mid-April we submitted the panel for review and we waited. And we waited.

In mid-May I emailed the submission board, requesting an update on when approvals will be made and when schedules will be released. A week later I received a reply that they hoped to be finished with everything announced the first week of June. So we planned a little more, we got a little more excited, and we waited. And we waited.

Late in June with no announcements, I sent in another inquiry to the submission board. Of course, it took a few days for them to respond, asking the name of the panel, which I took as a good sign. I replied within 2 hours, but it took them another few days to reply, where we received this message:

“At this time due to space and time restrictions we are unable to approve your panel. Thank you for your interest and we hope to still see you at Raleigh Supercon.”

While it was somewhat of a relief to know that we didn’t have to rush the last-minute details of assembling the panel in only 3 ½ weeks, I felt we missed out. I thought it was something of a validation for us in this little FoundryCast venture. I have always felt the quality of what we put out is excellent, and I thought an opportunity like this would give us traction. Zach said he believed the reason to be that the Raleigh Supercon really doesn’t have a niche for tabletop RPG’s and they aren’t quite going into that direction yet. And so, the idea was put to bed.

Two weeks later, we receive another email, but this time from someone else on the submission board. It is an email blast that must have been sent to dozens of other panelists, and it read:

“If you have received an approval notice from us regarding your panel at Raleigh Supercon, you will likely still have an approved panel for our event. Unfortunately, we caught a lot of mistakes in the first draft, and you shouldn't have been notified before we caught those mistakes. We're fixing those overlaps now, and we'll send another email in a couple days with a link to the schedule, so you can see the new times for your panels. Sorry for the confusion and trouble.”

Were we back on? It was hard to tell. The past two weeks were prime days to have been preparing all of the props and all of the tech we would need to accomplish our panel. We could also have used the practice time to streamline and ensure what we present is the best thing possible. We were now having to overhaul our ideas a bit, figuring out how to cut corners and still make something awesome and worthy of the attendees’ time.

After a few more days’ time, I inquired again. I asked this same board member if we were still in the mix, so we could be best prepared. It was a couple of days with no answer that I kept looking around, eventually finding that the lineup of panels on their app had been updated. We were not on it. I asked Zach to look around as well, and The FoundryCast’s Panel: “Stepping Up Your Game” was not on the list. It wasn’t for another 3-4 days when the board member replied back:

“Unfortunately, your panel did not go through the final run through, we apologize for any inconvenience.”

We will likely speak about our this in the Supercon Roundup video that will come out directly after the convention. It was exciting planning a panel and it will not be our last effort. What do you think?

Should we shoot for bigger and better???