I had been looking forward to RICC for months now. Took time off work, pre-paid for tickets, and I was so looking forward to meeting the cast of Warehouse 13. I was so ready for this convention. Sadly this did not happen the way I hoped it would. Here is how my weekend went:

This past weekend I took three days off work to attend this event with my sister that I pre-bought tickets for. When we arrived, there was no sort of instructions as far as where I was to go to if I had already bought tickets. Eventually after asking fellow convention attendees, I found the line that was to enter the building. The line wrapped around the building and almost reached the highway. It was after an hour of standing in the cold that we eventually made it to the front of the convention center.

Once inside the building and waited another half hour, RICC employees started to swap our all-weekend tickets for our bracelets. No one scanned the tickets or made sure that they were actually all-weekend passes. I had to make sure that the bracelets that I received were the ones that I needed.

Eventually we made it pass the bag check ,where they checked my briefcase but not my sister's purse, into the convention floor. By the time that we were able to get in, it was already too crowded and you couldn't move anywhere else but with the flow of the crowed.  We managed to stay on the floor for about an hour to which point my sister and I decided that we wanted to have lunch. Knowing that they ran out of hot food, we decided to head out for lunch thinking it was no problem to come back because we had our all-weekend passes. It took us a good 20 minutes to find the exit in the maze of people and escalators.

 After an hour lunch break, we realized that we needed to go through the line again to go back inside, this was about 1:30.  Finding the end of the line we proceeded to wait in the wind and rain to be let in.  It was an hour later when the line stopped moving when a couple of convention attendees came out to tell us they hit capacity. None of the staff members came out to let us know what was going on.  Later on in the day I found out that they sold 23,000 tickets for a convention that held 7,000. Their excuse was that they were expecting a high turnover of people leaving.

I started not to feel well standing out in the cold and being wet, I decided to leave the line and check into my hotel. Along the way, I found some RICC staff and asked them what was going on. They had no idea and couldn't tell me any information. I also asked the staff how I was going to be able to get my pre-paid photo-op done or returned since I was going to miss it due to being locked out. They said I had to go back inside to a table with another huge hour wait line to have it possibly returned. Since my photo-op was at 2, I knew there was going to be no way make it.  

Deciding not to waste the day, my sister and I decided to check into the hotel and then head over to Providence Place Mall to do some retail therapy. Once I checked into my hotel, I called my parents to let them know what was going on. They went into research mode to find out more what was going on with the event. My mom looked everywhere for a phone number to anyone who was connected to the event. She even went to their facebook page asking for any information about what was going on, why they were closed down, and if we can get returns.  After a few hours of looking and calling, my mom got nowhere with the information. All of her posts on facebook were deleted. Eventually she got ahold of the convention box office and was told that they were issuing refunds. 

They then let me know that this was happening and left to get a refund. I left my sister in the hotel because was feeling overwhelmed by the whole situation. When I asked for a refund I asked if I could just have Saturday's. But they said they had to do the whole weekend. I was able to get my ticket refunded because I had my bracelet, but I left my sister's in the hotel. During this time, 4:30, I was also informed that they were letting people back into the convention. I walked around to see what was going on and they still were not letting people back in. 

I still needed to get into the convention on Sunday to see about my photo-op being refunded, so I went back to the hotel and purchases a ticket for Sunday on Ticketmaster. The next morning, we got up early to wait in the same line as the day before. This time it was snowing and windy with no hope that we would actually get into the convention. After a while, my sister and I decided to give up and head home.

It was a disappointing weekend. I spent so much on my hotel, parking, pre-buying tickets and photo, and gas to get there for an event that I only spent an hour at. Not to mention the physical and emotional toll it took out of me and my sister.  The time spent in the actual convention was ok. Loud, crowded, and hot. My sister was able to get some awesome pictures. 

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