Something no convention-goer ever wants to hear, The Show Has Been Cancelled, especially when it’s mere days before the show was to open. Even as attendees, guests, and exhibitors had been in the midst of packing to head off to the Edward Village Michigan Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan, word was posted to the event’s social media platforms and website:
We are coming to you with a very heavy heart to inform you that, due to circumstances beyond our control, the 2017 Midwest Media Expo has been cancelled. For the past year we have been working hard to bring you a very special event, and it pains us greatly to have to make such an announcement, especially this close to our event date. We understand how much this event meant to everyone, and we apologize for this happening so suddenly. At this time, we are making arrangements to assist those displaced by this turn of events and those affected should expect we will be sending off notifications immediately to go over available alternatives.
We will be making further statements as we are able to discuss things, but know that we are working with good people to help us in this dark hour. Thank you very much for your understanding.
Chairman of the Midwest Media Expo
Exhibitors, guests, and pre-registered attendees were notified via email over the course of the day on Tuesday.
The hotel and convention center’s Facebook page has been flooded with angry commenters plunging their star rating down to 2.0 with more than 380 1-star ratings. The assumption by the reviewers is that there had been a fully executed and paid-up contract that the hotel broke out of hand. We’ve reached out to Mr. Kollin to find out of that was the case, or if there were enough elements still on the table that gave the hotel the legal wiggle room to tap out at the 11th hour.
The website Nerd & Tie did some digging and came to the conclusion that it was based at least in some part to “with an irreconcilable issue with the venue’s current management” and the event’s production team.
The hotel underwent an ownership change last year and proceeded to dump it’s sales team (the individuals responsible for booking large events). Working with event venues is a large enough challenge, often with salespeople changing fairly regularly. However if you lose (read: fire) an entire department, then legacy working relationships and understandings may fall by the wayside. This could be one of those cases where the event staff was expecting a similar relationship but when it became clear that it wasn’t to be the case things started to unravel.
We’ve reached out to both hotel and event staff for comment and will update as we learn more.