(Many other cons of Fanime's size start announcing guests and events for their next con a few months after that year's con ends.
What con does this? AX has 0 guests announce. Kraken con has 1 announced. SacAnime has 1 announced. Back your claims up with specific examples rather then throwing around generalizations. Really guests are the only thing we don't know about for next Fanime. All other programming is likely to be comparable to the year before. The only guest that makes any sort of difference to me for Fanime is who they are going to get for Music Fest. And if I really don't like who they get there is plenty of other programming going on. I couldn't imagine getting an autograph or photo making the difference between spending $55 + hotel or not.
AX has their organizational problems as well, but they have a guest announced -- Yoshitaka Amano. A huge name. They also have hotels already up, and event applications up, which is /way/ ahead of Fanime.
Kraken-con is nowhere near Fanime's size so that isn't a fair comparison. They also don't have the same organizational problems that Fanime does, so again, not a fair comparison. ;]
I can't speak to Sac-Anime, but they usually get a lot of good guests, at least American VAs. They also usually have more guests lined up than announced -- I don't feel like digging my program guide from last con out of my car, but they usually have an ad for next con on the back page that announces a few guests. It's also twice a year, so the timescale is a bit different than Fanime's.
Looking at cons closer to Fanime's size, using the 2014 North American con numbers and assuming Fanime has ~25,000 attendees, since that was the original comparison:
ACen doesn't appear to have any guests yet, but they have programming submissions open, and their Dealer's list is full. Not sure if they have accepted AA members yet.
Anime North doesn't have much announced, but they do have a few panels up. Canadian con, if that matters.
A-Kon has made several guest announcements.
AWA has several guests announced and they are in September/October
Otakuthon is a bit smaller and in Canada, but has a number of guests announced guests announced
Not using anything from March and sooner (so things like Sakuracon that's in March, Katsucon next month, etc.).
Not sure if this really "proves" anything, but if we're going to base arguments on what other cons do, we should at least have the facts on that.
It looks like (counting AX), of the larger non-Fanime cons in NA, 4/6 have guest announcements, and 6/6 have some form of content announced, whether that is programming submissions, Dealer's applications, etc. I also don't know whether these cons tend to have the same paltry guest lineup and poor communication that Fanime typically does, since I don't keep up with them. (Also programming "likely to be comparable to the year before" isn't enough for a lot of people, especially when some of that programming -- most famously the Masquerade -- has a reputation for being a bit of a mess.)
I'm not the type where a guest will make or break my attending a con (with very few exceptions for very few guests -- if I had money and time for it, I'd travel for Yoko Shimomura, Kotono Mitsuishi, and possibly a few others), but I know that for many people, that does factor in heavily.
I think the bigger issue here is the general lack of communication by this con, whether that is on guests, hotels, etc., rather than whether a specific announcement has been made yet for this particular year. It's more about the overall pattern.
Its hard to say... a few years ago I was able to get a room for the full weekend in the Hilton about a month after hotel booking opened up no problem. Then the last couple years, I can't get into the site the first day it opens, and by the middle of the week I would get a stray Double Tree room for 1 day (all that was left, save the airport hotel) and was added to the waitlist for the full weekend. And every time, I've had my waitlist granted. So I guess its impossible to know how much of that was room hording and how much was simply an increase in attendees needing a room, but I do recall the occasional craigslist add of people trying to "sell" their Hilton/Marriot rooms.
Now that you mention it, I have seen some posts around on places like cosplay.com where people are trying to fill large room blocks. Mostly that was on person, though. I don't have Facebook, so I don't know if that kind of thing is happening more often over there or not.
So scalping may be a legitimate issue. But I still feel like at /least/ half the problem is with there simply not being enough rooms, as well as the ensuing room panic where people know that there aren't enough rooms and thus try to snap up whatever they can get. Hopefully, rationing the rooms out like this will help with that part of it, and it won't then cause a "badge panic" where everyone tries to be first in line to buy their badges.
So I'm really hoping this system works, and that it doesn't screw over people like artists and dealers. Increased communication from the con and a solid timeline on when things will be announced would really help out, so that people don't have to worry about whether they can get a room or not because of XYZ circumstance.
The system seems good for a lot of your "average" attendees, and will (hopefully) be better in future years for people coming from far away who hesitated on a badge because of unknown rooming situations but may not hesitate in future years now that they know this system is in place. It's the special categories of attendees that I'm most worried about, especially give this con's late timeline for most things (and notoriously long AA wait times). Do you want to keep attracting people who provide programming to your con (like artists do), especially ones who are trying to run a professional business? You have to treat them well, and this isn't doing it.
Sorry if I seem overly salty. I'm really hoping that this new system works, and I'll probably be one of the ones to personally benefit from it. I'm really glad that they are trying to do something about this abysmal hotel situation, but there are too many unknowns at this point, and the con has a habit of not communicating information in a timely manner, so it's hard to know how well this will actually be implemented.