Whence comes this custom of, “If you will agree to be our guest, you may bring a companion at a special discounted rate.” What the hell? Now even Readercon is doing it; I had thought better of Readercon.
This should be part of a longer rant on how to treat guests and guests of honor, which I may get to someday, but for now, this business irritates me.
In general, as Conventions have become more diversified, they have been forced to invite more guests of honor for the same number of members. It is more or less expected now that there will be a writer, a fan, an artist, a filker, a gamer, a media guest, a science guest, and maybe one or two more. As a result, what is being offered the guests has generally dropped (with a few notable exceptions). It is been increasingly common in the last ten or fifteen years for a convention to say, “I’m sorry, but we cannot pay transportation for a companion for you.” As an Old Time Fhan, this is a little annoying, but it is also understandable.
But to invite someone who is NOT a guest of honor (that is, someone just being offered of free membership), and then not even offer THAT to a companion, well, there are several ways to interpret that and none of them are good.
1. We don’t actually care about you; we care about money.
2. Our financial condition is so desperate that there is a 50-50 chance you’ll show up to find the whole convention has been cancelled.
3. We’re idiots.
Are there other interpretations I’m missing?