JumpCon

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Convention
Name: JumpCon
Dates: 2008
Frequency: never happened
Location: various
Type: for-profit
Focus: science fiction, media
Organization:
Founder: Shane Senter
Founding Date:
URL:
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JumpCon was a for-profit series of 72 planned science fiction/media cons, none of which ever actually took place.

The main con organizer was Shane Senter. He was referred to, and referred to himself, as "The Prince" and "The Emperor."

The first two cons were canceled abruptly. [1]

The third con (which according to a 2007 post on JumpCon's website, was to have been the first con), planned for Boston, was canceled two days before it was to have taken place.

The list of the 72 events is at: Convention Dates, Archived version

A group of fans stepped up at the very last minute and planned a relaxacon for fans in lieu of JumpCon. See NonJumpCon.

This was the second time in the last two months events like this had collapsed at the last minute; in June 2008 FedConUSA in Dallas, TX canceled the rest of their show during the actual event itself.

Similar Disasters

Legal Consequences

He was indicted in late April 2009. [2]

In June 2009, Senter filed for bankruptcy. It was estimated that financial liabilities were at least 8 million dollars. [3]

In November 2009, Senter was found guilty of fraud and sentenced to five years probation. [4]

Some History

In mid-2007, announcements began to appear regarding a series of cons and fan events that would take place in different US cities. From the JumpCon website on July 21, 2007:

Greetings all and welcome to the news section of the JumpCon Website.

We all here at JumpCon Control are very excited that in less then one year from now we will be enjoying the company of you at our premier event in Boston, Massachusetts. We are overwhelmed at the growing response from our special guest stars that are confirming left and right to attend our events. Also, to our total amazement we are having thriving ticket sales and booth sales for the expo area. Just a side note that we have not even confirmed 1/4 of the guests at this point. We here strive to keep you informed of the special events that will be upcoming all I can release at this time is that there are some very special and unique opportunities that are going to be presented. So sit back and relax and get ready to enjoy a new experience is coming and you will never be the same after.

Thank you, JumpCon Control [5]
Some fans quickly expressed doubts over the ambitions of the project without having established itself on a smaller scale first. A fan in March 2008 wrote:
I’ve been hesistant to post this as I am a little worried that some of the events may get canceled but it looks like there is a new media promoter in the vein of Creation called Jumpcon The reason I’ve been hesistant is it looks like they are a little overambitous announcing 24 conventions between June and December. I guess its possible but I wonder how effective they will be at delivering on all of them. Hey they are coming to Iowa so Ill [sic] definetly go to that event. I do like that unlike creation you can pick and choose your package for photos or autographs, meaning if your into that kind of thing you dont have to spend money on autographs you dont want. Im not into that at all so Ill be happy to pay my 20 for general admission and just go listen to some q and a’s. If anyone knows anyone running these shows shoot us an email so we can know what to expect. [6]

JumpCon Conventions Discussion's Journal (Unofficial)

"JumpCon" had a message forum of its own, but in June 2008, when things began to visibly fall apart, the con PTB began to delete messages to it, as well as not answer others.

On June 28, 2008, greycoupon (sometimes referred to as a "livejournalist") created jumpconcons; archive link, a LiveJournal site where fans could speak freely and communicate about the con.

The opening post was "Sadly, this is very much needed as the forum on their site is moderating all posts and comments. Feel free to post any questions, concerns or information you may have." [7]

Some Posts

Some Statements by Fernando Martinez and Shane Senter

July 15, 2008:

From Fernando Martinez, Former owner and promoter of Vulkon and Seatrek:

To all fandom:

Please be advised that despite all my efforts to try to salvage Jumpcon, as of today - I see absolutely no chance of this event happening.

When I was hired by Jumpcon, I was assured that the Boston event would happen and that the funding was all arranged. I spent countless days and hours negotiating new appearance contracts with the stars and their agents to try to save the event, only to find that Jumpcon was unable to fulfill it's financial obligations to the stars after all.

I regret that the stars were financially harmed by not being paid their appearance fees or cancellation fees.

I regret that the stars representatives, who were so nice and gracious, were not paid for their time and ended up looking bad to their clients. And I especially regret that the fans were harmed financially and (although not intentionally) were betrayed when they placed their trust in Jumpcon. I have been promised by Shane at Jumpcon that he would return every penny to the fans, I hope that is one promise he can keep.

Lastly I do want to thank: Lolita Fatjo, Erin Grey, and Julie Caitlin Brown (they were the agents representing the stars). They all went above and beyond to help salvage this event and to try to work with Jumpcon to the very end - in their efforts to protect the fans and their clients/stars from this event being cancelled. Although he (Shane) failed, it was not do to any failure on my part or the staffers or the other consultants, it was all due to Jumpcons inability to pay.

I know Fandom is resilient, and I know there will be other events, but every time something like this happens - all events lose fans who become jaded or give up, not wanting to attend cons anymore for fear of another cancellation. But, consider this, if we all give up there may be no cons to go to eventually, and that is a no win scenario for all of us. So please use this as a lesson learned and continue to support the events that have withstood the tests of time. I do recommend (and this is only my short list) the following events: San Diego Comic Con, Dragon Con, Creation Conventions, Shoreleave, Florida SuperCon, Vulkon, MegaCon, and FX. I know I missed a number of other great cons, but you can find them on the internet, and I do hope you will support them.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

See you out there. Sincerely, Fernando Martinez, Former owner and promoter of Vulkon and Seatrek [8]


Also on July 15, 2008:

From Shane Senter:

Announcement to fans coming to JumpCon Boston:

I regret to announce the cancellation of our Boston event. Many factors that needed to come together to make it happen simply did not. We tried everything humanly possible and were unable to overcome the insurmountable obstacles. This is not to say that I don't take the blame myself, I do. I wanted to see this succeed so badly that I was blinded to some warning signs that should have been obvious. If I have learned anything through this process it's that running a convention business is far more intricate and fraught with peril than it seemed at the outset. I fully apologize to all the fans who've been inconvenienced by this late announcement and assure them that we're in the process of getting you all refunds. I know there are airfare and other considerations for which you will be liable and for that I am truly sorry. I wanted to let you know today rather than keep trying to pull this off and end up like FedCon USA where the fans were already in attendance. Please accept my humble apology, but I'll understand if you can't.

To all the consultants and industry experts that were brought in to help; I thank them and hold them blameless as they advised me and tried to do what they could to help. They should not be held accountable for my actions, they should be lauded for what they did try to accomplish based on what they had to work with.

To all of the media guests that were to appear at our events; I want to say - I am sorry that this has happened and has put some of you into your own troubles by declining work, saying no to other conventions, and other issues. My intentions were honorable and I expected to be able to salvage things but at this point it seems I cannot.

Sincerely, Shane Senter [9]

July 16, 2008:

A Message from Shane

I've never been really good at expressing myself. I think I need to try, though, to express just how deeply this all has affected me. JumpCon was a dream. It's something I've poured my heart and soul into from day one. I wanted to meet and work with some great people. To put on a great show like so many I've been to myself over the years. In my desire to do so, I took a few wrong turns. I trusted some of the wrong people, and took advice from those I shouldn't have. Maybe someday, I'll look back on this and chalk it up to the growing pains of getting into this particular business. At the moment, I can't think that far ahead. Right now, it just hurts me all too much.

When you create something, or try to create something, you put a lot of yourself into it. A lot of emotions, of energy, of heart. When that creation doesn't come to being, it's very much like loosing those pieces of yourself that you put into it. Right now, I feel like I've lost a good friend. Part of me is still in shock. I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me. I'm hoping and praying that somehow, some good will come of all this and something can be saved. I want everyone to know, though, that I am still here. I'm working to get refunds out to everyone as quickly as possible. I'm more or less alone now in all of this, so please bare with me a little.

I know that some people have low opinions of me in the wake of all this. That hurts too. In the wake of what happened at FedCon USA, as well as other less-than-honest convention promoters of the past, I can understand it. But please know that it does not apply here. This has never been a scheme, and was never about money for me. I hope when the refunds have all been issued, people will accept that truth. Some people that I've spoken to already do, and it's appreciated. Others, I hope will change their minds when all is said and done. I've got a lot of work ahead of me, but it will get done. If anyone has any questions or concerns, I'll do my very best to answer them as quickly as I can.

Thank you for all of your support, Shane [10]

Some JumpCon Links

Fan Comments

July 16

Shame on EVERYONE involved with Jumpcon. Many of us fans saw this day of cancellation coming from the first day the events were announced. It was a ridiculous idea and venture from the beginning. If it was so clearly obvious to many of us fans from the start that this concept could not work, why would celebrity booking agents (such as Erin Gray, Julie Caitlin Brown, Lolita Fatjo and others), convention organizing “experts” (such as Fernando Martinez) and celebrities who get in and stay involved with such a “company” especially after all the writing on the wall for the past couple of months?! They may try to wash their hands of this, but they are just as responsible as “The Emperor” Shane Senter. They are the ones who empowered him and allowed him to continue as we watched this inevitable train wreck happen. Greed is what drove them and they need to take responsibility for getting and staying involved with Jumpcon. So shame on the so called Jumpcon organizers and staff, booking agents, celebrities and others who were so quick to Jump on the Con! [11]
Efforts are being made to create a Relaxacon-type experience in Boston this weekend. The word needs to spread to those still going to Boston (non-refundable plane tickets, that kind of thing) that plans are in the works and they should try to get in touch with folks like Greycoupon/Shayna so a rough headcount can be made. [12]

July 18

Fans still have something to do in Boston this weekend. Friday, July 18th, 2008 Randolph, MA. – July 17, 2008 – United Fan Con Inc., a small not-for-profit fan-run group located in Randolph MA, has stepped up to give the fans in Boston the fun-filled weekend that they were anticipating.

On Tuesday afternoon, July 15th, the Milford, NH based event promotions company, JumpCon LLC, cancelled a large Science Fiction / Pop Culture event scheduled for this weekend July 18th-20th at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. This is a second time in the last two months events like this have collapsed at the last minute, in June Fed Con USA in Dallas, TX canceled the rest of their show during the actual event itself.

United Fan Con has been producing fan-run events in Massachusetts for the past 17 years and knows when events are canceled like this it leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouths; it hurts everyone involved: actors, agents, hotels, other promoters and especially the fans. This time it is different, a lot of fans that were planning to attend the now canceled Jumpcon Boston have rallied together to put on there own mini convention. It started with online forum posts discussing the situation and then moved to the realization that many people were still coming to Boston regardless of the JC cancellation. These fans decided to organize and started planning a mini fan event. United Fan Con stepped in to help the fans make it happen, giving the fans the funds to rent space at a new venue and use of any and all equipment and supplies needed to host an event. In addition UFC is contacting actors, agents and vendors with the hope of making this an exciting weekend.

This Fan Con will be free to all attendees and include; games, videos, fan panels, auctions, vendors and more. The event will take place at the Hilton Back Bay, located at 40 Dalton Street, Boston MA (directly across the street from the Boston Sheraton). The event will run from 3pm – 10pm on Friday, 10am – 6pm on Saturday and 12pm – 6pm on Sunday. [13]

Some Fan Communities Created in Response

Meta/Further Reading

2008

2009

References

  1. » Blog Archive » And Jumpcon cancels its first two events., Archived version
  2. » Blog Archive » Jumpcon promoter going to court., Archived version (April 27, 2009)
  3. Jumpcon bankruptcy details, Archived version (June 4, 2009)
  4. Jumpcon, Archived version
  5. News and Events, Archived version
  6. Jumpcon: A convention tour? : con-news.com, Archived version
  7. Welcome!
  8. A Message from Fernando Martinez, Archived version
  9. Message from Shane Concerning JumpCon Boston, Archived version
  10. Message from Shane Senter: Just how deeply this all has affected me, Archived version
  11. comment by Charles at » Blog Archive » can we call this horse dead now?, Archived version
  12. comment by Sam at » Blog Archive » can we call this horse dead now?, Archived version
  13. Fans still have something to do in Boston this weekend., Archived version