2010 Caps Convention

The 2010 Caps Convention (CapsCon) was held yesterday to put Caps fans in a convention and have one big pep rally before the season begins the next week. Here’s my view:

The Good

  • If you read my review of the 1st CapsCon last year, I knew they we’re going to move the convention to DC since a lot of fans were dedicated to go to National Harbor. The DC Convention Center was the appropriate place and the space was much bigger. If you’re at some booth, you had a good view of the main stage. Big difference from last year.
  • The sessions were great again. In addition, Don Fishman improved his PowerPoint slides.
  • The people on the panels were looser than last year and made the sessions even better.
  • Seeing the Caps Twitter friends and for some, meeting them for the first time…and a former co-worker.
  • Most of the people were wearing their Caps gear, which says a lot about the fan base.

The Bad

  • Although the DC Convention Center is big, it is still operated like a small business. The lines were crowded, people were confused which line they were in. In addition, the session were literally next to each other with no barrier except for a huge piece of cloth and the sounds overlap.  Terrible planning.
  • Guns n’ Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” joins Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” as one of the most overplayed songs thanks to CapsCon.
  • Everyone knew what most of the Caps Winter Classic jersey would look like. From afar, it looked no different, but if you look closer, it seems Reebok put stickers on the jerseys , which looks tacky. Reebok couldn’t find a sweatshop or someone who can sewn/stitch?
  • The lines for concession foods were long. I would assume it was the food, but the registers were at fault all day. Better machinery.

Interesting tidbits

  • At the end of the convention, the Caps were playing “We Are One” by 12 Stones, which is also the theme song for WWE’s Nexus, which I found interesting since last night Wade Barrett faced John Cena and if Cena wins, Nexus is disbanded, but if Barrett wins, Cena joins Nexus.  This is exactly how I feel about the caps this season. Do or Die. (Spoiler Alert: Here’s the result)
  • There were many Caps fans in attendance, but there were a good number wearing Nationals stuff as well. One of Don Fishman slides also had Nats on the background. Is Leonsis willing to buy the Nationals from the Lerners? I doubt it, but I hope the Lerners learn from Leonsis (unintentional tongue twister).
  • I totally lost my wrist shot from last year. Damn you, NHL Slapshot
  • The Caps Convention, GMU Alumni Weekend and Wizards Training Camp all happened on one weekend in the area. Leonsis might have devious plan in the future.

Recommendations

  • The Caps must own the whole DC Convention Center next year. I’ve been to the concourse and it can hold 10,000 fans (and more). It was more spacious than last year at National Harbor, but I heard complaints about the line been a clustercrap…and that’s before it opened to the general public.  If I were the Caps, I would use the SHRM Conference Model on setting up the convention. Use the Concourse for your events and big announcements; use the other rooms for sessions to make it more intimate; and have the team store in a big area like in the lower level. because it will only get bigger, not smaller (unless you trade Ovi and Backstrom, then you achieve your goal of getting smaller).
  • Some of the fans were very tired 3-4 hours before CapsCon closed. I would get one preseason game in after CapsCon to get the fans excited for the evening. Use the Strasburg model where people pay for an all-day event.
  • A Charging station to charge our laptops and phones.
  • A music playlist. That is all.

As for my prediction for this season: I underestimated the trade with D.J.King and he has been a great addition to the team.  I haven’t watch any preseason games, but from what I heard, the addition of King will let everyone play their style.  I do think they’re going to do something at the trade deadline, but I hope they get a veteran who knows the ropes to get to the Stanley Cup.  That’s the missing part on this team. Luckily, we have 5 months to make a move.

Overall, it was good event and felt like a family reunion meeting old and new friends and the event has put me into hockey mode. Hockey has an adrenaline rush that makes fans crave like no other sport. Ted knows a thing on how to build a community and he has a powerful one growing. Hopefully, it cashes in June.

2010 CapsCon Pics

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