On how to screw up trust: Booster Events and Flanvention 2

So pretty much anyone who’s been around me in the past two years (and many who haven’t) knows I’m a huge fan of the shortlived Joss Whedon TV series Firefly, a scifi-western that was later turned into the feature film Serenity. Here are my first impressions of both the show and the movie.
Well, shortly after the theatrical run of Serenity ended last year, a convention devoted to all things Firefly and Serenity, The Flanvention, was held, put on by Booster Events. It was a great success, with a full schedule and many high-profile guests. Here’s a review, and some pictures.
Anyway, this year rolls around, and the sequel to last year’s event is planned: Flanvention 2. Fans went online and purchased their tickets, and soon all 500 spots were sold out. Everything was looking peachy until Nov 28th, when Booster said there was a possibility of the event getting cancelled due to financial trouble. From Booster:

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT – Boosters is experiencing financial difficulties. We are doing everything in our power to facilitate Flan 2, but at this point, it is uncertain that we will be able to obtain financing in time for the event. We will update you daily in the Flan 2 forum. Anyone with airline tickets who might want to cancel, will need to do so immediately. If we are unable to obtain the needed financing by Friday, Dec. 1st, the event will be cancelled.

Dec 1st rolls around, and Booster says this:

Flan is a go. So much has happened, it needs a proper explanation. Following the convention, we will publish a State of the Union to clarify what happened, where we are, and settle the many misconceptions floating around out there.

That is, until about 5 hours ago, when they posted this note:

Booster Entertainment apologizes for the great inconvenience, but due to unforeseen circumstances, Flanvention is cancelled. An official notice will be posted within 10 days.

Keep in mind, the conference was set to start tomorrow.
Attendees are probably finding out about this RIGHT NOW, as they step off the plane and arrive at the hotel. Fan-written blog Whedonesque is covering the debacle (see also The Flanvention Helpline). I feel badly for everyone who was duped in this. Booster owes them nothing less than a full refund and a big apology.

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