Alpha Con 2022
This week I’ve been thinking about getting a Subaru Crosstrek. My dating profile says I’m interested in men. I have a mask that has “VOTE” written on it tucked in my bag, and I’ve unapologetically tweeted multiple insults aimed at Jeff Bezos in the past year (and will again). In spite of clearly being the last person on earth that Alpha Con 2022 was made for, I still can’t shake my rubbernecking curiosity: what is it and, more importantly, why is it?
I first heard about Alpha Con 2022 after someone named ”Joe but politics” tweeted an alleged poster for the event last month and called it “the CRINGIEST thing I have ever seen.” According to the Official Alpha Influence website, Alpha Con is an annual business conference that bills itself as a way to “Tak[e] Your Business to the Next Level.” The event will be held in the Grand America Hotel on February 18th and 19th. This is their inaugural year.
The poster for Alpha Con features a motley crew of ten white guys—including Utah golden boy Tim Ballard—with varying degrees of facial hair who all otherwise look exactly the same, which is to say they look like they would coal roll me in the bike lane and say #NotAllMen if given the opportunity. Beneath the event name is the slogan, “Be great or be nothing.”
Personally, I have a lot of logistical questions about this conference after looking at this copy-paste hodgepodge of bros. It’s implied that everybody on the poster is an alpha, but if everyone’s an alpha, isn’t nobody an alpha? Am I looking at ten alphas, or one alpha with ten different heads? If it's ten alphas, how are conference organizers going to safely accommodate all of them in one room with a live audience? Are they going to have animal control officers on standby in case someone accidentally sheds blood and the alphas go feral? Sounds like multiple OSHA violations waiting to happen, if you ask me.
Not pictured on the poster are the event’s BIPOC speakers and its only woman speaker. Their pictures can be found on the Alpha Con website beneath a video that plays music reminiscent of the Succession theme song. I’ve watched this video three times, and it’s different almost every time. The first and second time I watched it, it included footage of Tim Ballard speaking in between footage of the other white male speakers. The Tim Ballard footage is now gone. The last time I watched it, shopped photos of Jocelynn Harward and Mohamad Younes had been thrown in between the footage of the other white dudes. As I look at their flat, smiling faces, I find myself with a lot to say, like “Are you being held against your will?” and “Blink if you need help.”
There are several reasons why I’d imagine this event has not landed well on Twitter—representation being one of them. Another is phrasing. Spend enough time on the internet and you’re sure to rub shoulders with a masochist with laser beam eyes in their avi who calls men who treat women like equals “beta cucks.” As red flags go, the use of the word “alpha” as a self-descriptor is a packed minesweeper board.
The Alpha Con website currently keeps its secrets close to its chest. There’s absolutely nothing on it that suggests what the featured speakers will be talking about, what the breakout sessions are about, or what it even means to take your business to the next level. I genuinely hope there’s a breakout session about improving your business’s SEO, because trying to find any information about this event on Google has felt like hunting for Jimmy Hoffa.
The website promises exclusive access to the greatest entrepreneurs and influential minds in the country, none of which I’ve ever heard of. As far as I can deduce, Alpha Con is an event targeted to the most annoying person you know on LinkedIn with the end goal of making them even worse. To each their own, but I just can’t get behind that morally.
I thought for a hot second about buying a ticket to this thing and She’s the Man-ing my way into the inner alpha circle for journalism. After looking at the price tag for the event, I’m highly suspicious that anybody paying for a ticket is asking to be Alpha Conned—virtual access alone is $497, and a VIP pass will put you out $2997.
“Buy your ticket early for a huge discount!” the site says ($497 and $2997 are the discount prices). “We will only hold this offer for a limited time.” I don’t know what that means because the countdown clock has been counting down from 17 minutes since at least December 28th.
I know nothing about what will happen at Alpha Con, but I do know a little something about cons, having gone to SLC FanX two times in full Han Solo cosplay and more recently, a paranormal con, which featured a keynote speaker who got abducted by aliens and a van tour of a paranormal ranch where I got to float in a magical spring with a bunch of baby boomers who believe the pyramids were built by extraterrestrials. If there’s such a thing as a Beta Con, baby, I’m a VIP member.
At cons, there’s typically a large convention floor with dozens of booths where you can buy memorabilia, swag, and art. There are guest panels where experts and actors answer fan questions and share an insider look at their show or craft. There’s always one sadist during every Q&A session who gets up to the mic and says, “This is more of a comment than a question…” Cons typically end with some kind of party or award ceremony or fancy dinner.
With that in mind, and a vivid image of the types of men who call themselves alphas, and no other concrete details to go off, I’ve been asking myself, “What would an alpha convention look like in theory? What would be on the itinerary?”
I imagine it would look something like this:
Alpha Con: Day One
4 AM - Crossfit (Leg Day)
5 AM - Cold shower
8 AM - Breakfast provided by Home Depot (it’s nails) OR intermittent fasting
9-11 AM - Breakout Sessions
- The Case Against Therapy
- Lazy and Bored Because You Retired Early? How to Craft the Perfect Unhinged Email about the Jewish Cabal that Gets the Entire Business World Talking
- Sexism in the Workplace: Fact or Fiction?
- The Right Click Problem: How to Protect Your NFT Empire
Noon - Lunch provided by Buffalo Wild Wings
1-3 PM - Breakout Sessions
- The Crypto Convo: How to Talk to Your Friends About Bitcoin
- Male Representation in Film: Fast and Furious
- Stop Being Poor and Other Tips to Get Rich Quick
- It’s Okay to Be a Man and Other Stuff CNN Isn’t Telling You
3-4 PM - Break for Convention Exploration
- Booths include: some guy who sells Don’t Tread on Me and Confederate flags, axe throwing, there’s probably a Dodge Ram parked in the middle of the floor as part of a raffle
4-5 PM - Keynote Speaker
- Will spend 50 minutes sharing his backstory and name dropping the CEOs he knows and sharing the amounts of money he’s made, will say he “pulled himself up by his bootstraps” at least once and spend five minutes teaching business owners his secret to success, which (in sum) is “work 12.3 times harder” or some other arbitrary number that looks good on a book cover.
5-8 PM - YOYO Dinner: participants must hunt for their food in the Wasatch mountains using only their hands and rudimentary weapons like their Anglo-Saxon ancestors
9 PM - Lights Out (Early to Bed Early to Rise Makes a Man Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise)
Alpha Con: Day Two
5 AM - Crossfit (Leg Day)
8 AM - Bacon and Sausage (NO vegan options)
9 - 11 AM - Breakout Sessions
- Woke is Broke: Air Conditioning, Water Cooler Talk, and Other Things Women Have Ruined
- The Subtle Art of Not Being a Cuck
- How to Choose a Middle Name that Inspires Fear and Demands Respect
- Avoid Paying Taxes Like the Pros
- It’s Okay to Be a Man and Other Stuff CNN Isn’t Telling You (Repeat Session Due to Popular Demand)
Noon - Lunch - YOYO
1-2 PM - Panel featuring local SHE-EO
- Token woman will speak and male panelists will interrupt her to repeat exactly what she is saying
2-4 PM - Breakout Sessions
- 10 Ways to Protect Your Workplace from Feminism
- Masculinity in Art: How to Be a Man that Inspires a McNaughton
- Socialism and Satanism Both Start with S and End with Ism: Coincidence? No.
- The Case for Giving Billionaires More Rights
4-6 PM - Keynote Speaker
- Some guy who does shamespirational TED talks will get on stage for two hours asking men if they want to be “weak little [censored]” or alpha wolves, insult younger generations, and say something about people choosing to take offense followed by something patently offensive. A t-shirt cannon will be involved at some point, and a signing of a book with the man’s face filling the entire cover will follow.
6-8 PM - Fancy catered dinner featuring any music that can be found under this Quora question
I’d imagine there’s much more to be seen of the real-life Alpha Con as the weeks go on. Regardless, I’ll be spending February 18th and 19th relishing my nothingness, because being great during a plague year sounds absolutely insufferable.