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Program Book Feedback the good, the bad, and the ugly about the books

#1 User is offline   yashaface 

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 10:43 PM

To all our lovely con-goers:

I hope all of you had fun in some shape or form despite anything that went wrong over the weekend. As Production ADH, I'd like to ask you all for some feedback on the program books.

Some specific questions:

-How important is the autograph page? Did anyone successfully use it?

-We are considering a limit to the length of panel descriptions in the pocket book. How much would suffice to get the point of the panel across?


I have already gotten some feedback on the map, and have noted for next year:
-- Incorporate an area street map clearly showing where events are taking place in the multiple venues.

-- Make room names more clear and so they match up better with what's on the schedule. (This was due to a communication error between departments.)



I look forward to hearing what you guys have to offer for suggestions. We in production also enjoy compliments, should you have any. ;)

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#2 User is offline   Zrana 

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 01:23 AM

I honestly didn't really use the program book. But that's not to say that my friends didn't.

Most panels should only need a few normal length sentences to give people the jist of things, people it something plain and simply informative, or something inticing to make people curious, so a limit for that isn't unrealistic at all. A essay shouldn't be needed for a description.

You've already mentioned teh room labeling inconsistancy and adding more details to the map, and that was the only issue I had--and that was fairly minor since the map is pretty accurate to scale with itself, unlike other cons where I can tell someone with some basic picture editing skills just faked the shape and size of places. (I much prefer a map that's actually a map and not some almost rough guideline.)
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#3 User is offline   Aj-chan 

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 09:09 AM

Yep, if you can fix the room discrepencies, that would be the most important issue I had with the book.

#4 User is offline   Berry 

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 09:41 AM

There should be a hotel map like the one in the large program book also in the small program book, so people do not have to "lug around" the big book if they don't want to.
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#5 User is offline   Kasemei 

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 06:47 PM

I really didn't use the program book, since I downloaded the program list when it came out. However, it did come in handy when I needed to look up a few descriptions on panels. For that, I think it should be used. ^^
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#6 User is offline   Kasin 

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 06:54 PM

may i suggest a page for friend info, likw username screenname and e-mail ans such
Anime: hell girl, & trigun. Manga: Soul eater. / Games: Dragon Age, DCUO, batman, & soulsilver.i'm a rini fan boypokemon friend code: 2836 0346 5412 battle anytime, need to get my gold/silver code. wii code: 0061 4530 7677 7629. XBL: hitherkasin & PSN ID: kasin13in 2011 i will be cosplaying as gene starwind & kouga, also w/ my daughter we will do pokemon trainer red/ash & eevee/pikachu. in 2012 we will do hit girl & big daddy, also mini moon & tuxedo mask. in 2013 we will do wizardmon & kari with a gatomon plushie (ty teko!) also mystic gohan & pan. I will also do green ranger some day.

#7 User is offline   this_chick25 

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 07:22 PM

Not a bad idea, Kasin!

I loved that you had the food places in there, but maybe you can have them divided into a section for who delivers to the Hyatt (and add more if there are business further out who would deliver) instead of just listing the places. Giordano's was awesome, but their selection was somewhat lacking, and I'm not sure if it was demand on their resources, or if that's all they offered. If it is possible to have a bigger selection of restaurants I'm sure there are plenty of businesses willing to make the extra cash that delivering to a con would bring.

Maybe we could get input from the forumers and congoers who live close or frequent the area in that matter.
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#8 User is offline   Cuddles116 

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 07:31 PM

The only issue I had with the program book was the Yaoi Ad.

I am a HUGE yaoi fan, but I go to great lenghts to keep my 9 year old brother away from any of my yaoi things because my mother is completely against the idea of exposing him to it yet. And had I not spotted it before they went through there bags I would have had to explain why there was a naked guy in another guys lap in addition to one petting the other.

It was completely inappropriate. In the dealer's room hentai/yaoi/yuri is kept away from minors for a reason, why anyone thought it would be ok to broadcast it in the program book is completely beyond me, the payment for ad space couldn't have been that great.
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#9 User is offline   Kasin 

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 07:38 PM

ummm i think there was a delivery thing T_C, but it was at the checkin, it would be better in the guide
Anime: hell girl, & trigun. Manga: Soul eater. / Games: Dragon Age, DCUO, batman, & soulsilver.i'm a rini fan boypokemon friend code: 2836 0346 5412 battle anytime, need to get my gold/silver code. wii code: 0061 4530 7677 7629. XBL: hitherkasin & PSN ID: kasin13in 2011 i will be cosplaying as gene starwind & kouga, also w/ my daughter we will do pokemon trainer red/ash & eevee/pikachu. in 2012 we will do hit girl & big daddy, also mini moon & tuxedo mask. in 2013 we will do wizardmon & kari with a gatomon plushie (ty teko!) also mystic gohan & pan. I will also do green ranger some day.

#10 User is offline   Tukaro 

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 10:01 AM

Put the map in the very middle, so that if you just flop it down it will open to the middle (where the staples exit, so the book wants to open that way). Perhaps also make the map easily removable (if not a complete, larger tear-out).

There were also a few panels that weren't in the book- I realize they're not all printed together, and so you may miss a few late entries, but it would be nice to have some sort of last-minute insert. At the very least, a large board where panel updates, cancellations, and other information could be displayed near registration. (Perhaps just a projector connected to a laptop with Microsoft Powerpoint or somesuch.) If you guys had something like that this year, I didn't notice it.

View PostCuddles116, on May 22 2008, 01:31 AM, said:

The only issue I had with the program book was the Yaoi Ad. [...] [H]ad I not spotted it before they went through there bags I would have had to explain why there was a naked guy in another guys lap in addition to one petting the other. [...] In the dealer's room hentai/yaoi/yuri is kept away from minors for a reason[...]

While I didn't care much for that ad myself (I have absolutely no interest in yaoi, so it was a waste to me), you seem to be confusing things. The yaoi that is kept away from minors in the dealer's room is straight up pornography- the ad might be better described as "Shōnen-ai", though that still doesn't quite fit. It's barely soft-core. Certainly nothing for a 9-year old to see, and I agree that it was probably in bad taste, but it's not as bad as you make it out to be.

#11 User is offline   stardust462 

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 07:20 AM

Personally, I didn't like how the video programming was listed by room, then time. I find it easier when all the rooms are listed by time in a grid like the large programming page, that way you don't have to flip back and forth to compare which show is on at a certain time. Also, add a map to the smaller program guide, not just in the big one.

#12 User is offline   Aj-chan 

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 10:34 AM

View Poststardust462, on May 23 2008, 08:20 AM, said:

Personally, I didn't like how the video programming was listed by room, then time. I find it easier when all the rooms are listed by time in a grid like the large programming page, that way you don't have to flip back and forth to compare which show is on at a certain time. Also, add a map to the smaller program guide, not just in the big one.

I much prefer how the video rooms are listed now, by themed-room and then by more specific category.

#13 User is offline   Tofu 

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 10:58 PM

For the hotel/convention map, is it possible to label photoshoot areas? Like "East Wall", "Garden", "Tree Patch", etc.? Because as a first time ACEN-er, I missed out on so many photoshoots cause I couldn't find where they were being held. :blink:
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#14 User is offline   DJFLuFFKiNS 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 12:10 AM

If it's posted earlier, how many people would make use of an online schedule? How many people would rather keep up with panel information online before con and have their trip planned out before they showed up at con?

How many people would make use of at con wireless intranet with access to an updated schedule/newsfeed as well as an information chatroom?

How many people would sign up for alert reminders via SMS or email to their portable devices before events or panels?

I'm just trying to gather what enhancements we can shoot for (read work towards, not promise for next year) in the future to make your experience better.
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#15 User is offline   Tukaro 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 11:59 AM

View PostDJFLuFFKiNS, on May 26 2008, 02:10 AM, said:

If it's posted earlier, how many people would make use of an online schedule? How many people would rather keep up with panel information online before con and have their trip planned out before they showed up at con?

How many people would make use of at con wireless intranet with access to an updated schedule/newsfeed as well as an information chatroom?

These two. I don't normally carry my laptop with me, but I ever got a web-enabled phone I would definitely use this stuff.

I actually did use the online schedule that was posted this year. However, I couldn't find a programming guide to tell me what things were. I would recommend a more "interactive" schedule, if possible. Something where you could click a place to see the description pop up in a little window, and perhaps allow someone to mark off sections so they can print out a ready-to-go schedule for their weekend. I'd be happy to do a mockup for this if you don't understand what I'm talking about.

Having the printable PDF is good, too, though you may want to make a version only available online that prints better to normal letter sheets.

#16 User is offline   Juri 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 12:04 PM

In the same vein, how many people would like to use something like Twitter for last minute convention updates? You can sign up to have Twitter send you an IM or txt message every time it updates. So, say, "XYZ concert postponed one hour" would zap to your phone.
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#17 User is offline   jsieczkar 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 05:42 PM

View PostTukaro, on May 26 2008, 01:59 PM, said:

These two. I don't normally carry my laptop with me, but I ever got a web-enabled phone I would definitely use this stuff.

I actually did use the online schedule that was posted this year. However, I couldn't find a programming guide to tell me what things were. I would recommend a more "interactive" schedule, if possible. Something where you could click a place to see the description pop up in a little window, and perhaps allow someone to mark off sections so they can print out a ready-to-go schedule for their weekend. I'd be happy to do a mockup for this if you don't understand what I'm talking about.

Having the printable PDF is good, too, though you may want to make a version only available online that prints better to normal letter sheets.

I preplanned what panels I was planning to go to. Largely because I was expecting lines that you would have to get in early to get into the panel. It is also for time management I am very organized.
I like Tukaro's idea, If you also include a nice map to print off so you can know where you are going before the con I would be happy.
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#18 User is offline   Aj-chan 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 05:47 PM

I love having the schedule online before the con, and from the response pre-con this year, there a good number of people who also like to have it.

I think updates via sms is a great idea.

#19 User is offline   DJFLuFFKiNS 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 06:40 PM

Here's another topic that has been brought up in the past and has been tabled due to manpower or other reasons (anyone knowing these other reasons please chime in).

I have thought about having an interactive guide through our venue before the con even began. Think of the game Myst, except for ACen, and there's absolutely no objective in it.

A lot of people ask me for directions at con, but I am always afraid that my directions just make sense to me... I would hate to give directions just to have people more confused. Also because there are so many routes to the exact same place, I would like to have those maps in such a way where it can walk you from point A to B, or you can navigate yourself from point A to B. I didn't know until Friday this year, that the skywalk actually puts you in front of the night entrance for panels at the convention center. More maps more signs everywhere explaining how to get places.

I'm hoping that someone, not specifically staff, might be able to have the manpower to do a photo map of the ACen venue and perhaps work with staff to get it correct and functional.
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#20 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 06:53 PM

Just throwing an idea out here, keep in mind that I am insane and frequently lose arguments with parked cars, so don't laugh too hard. :wacko:

As ACen grows, so does the information we need to try and convey. While the current format with the wire bound heavy enameled stock is truly a work of art, it's bulky, heavy and has to be as expensive as a government contract. It's gotten to a point where we have to publish two separate books and are still concerned about having enough room.

I'm thinking that a new format may be in order. We could combine both books into one, have plenty of room for all of the information people could want, including full panel and video descriptions, and still keep it compact and portable. All we'd really have to do is switch to a perfect bound digest version, reserving the fancy paper for the cover, and maybe even a fold-out map. Picture something along the lines of the old style TV Guide. It would be easier to layout and edit (less content per-page,) portable enough to fold in half and stuff into a back pocket, and if people just want to keep certain sections handy, all they'd have to do is crack the spine back and pull out the desired pages.

Surely production costs would be reduced, and will eliminate one thing we'd have to stuff into the bags.

So whaddaya think?
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#21 User is offline   Smeet 

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 02:00 PM

View PostDJFLuFFKiNS, on May 26 2008, 07:40 PM, said:

A lot of people ask me for directions at con, but I am always afraid that my directions just make sense to me... I would hate to give directions just to have people more confused. Also because there are so many routes to the exact same place, I would like to have those maps in such a way where it can walk you from point A to B, or you can navigate yourself from point A to B. I didn't know until Friday this year, that the skywalk actually puts you in front of the night entrance for panels at the convention center. More maps more signs everywhere explaining how to get places.

Oh yes please, more signs. Maps would be lovely, assuming there are at least some areas with the "you are here" type.

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#22 User is offline   randy r 

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 11:57 AM

View PostAj-chan, on May 23 2008, 04:34 PM, said:

I much prefer how the video rooms are listed now, by themed-room and then by more specific category.


I also liked the way that the video rooms were listed- by theme and then by more specific. I think that what could help a little bit more would be if the room breakdowns were done as as the main programming schedule was done- a nice chart that listed each room then what was playing, i.e.:


room 1 room 2 room 3

time title title title



As for the online schedule, yes, keep it please. I downloaded it to plan what panels and events I was going to go to. It would also be nice if there was a downloadable map as well, as I had to try and remember where certain rooms were and if I would have time to get between events. Since new programming areas were added this year, a map would really have helped to plan this.

Otherwise, I think the program books worked out very well this year.
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#23 User is offline   xtrastage 

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 01:21 PM

I say that we make a big map of all the Rosemont stuff, such as the main stuff (RCC, Hyatt, Sofitel), linking hotels (Embassy Suites, I am sure there are other ones), other related entertainment things (Rosemont Theatre, Muvico, etc.), nearby hotels (Westin, Marriott, etc.) and restaurants (McDonalds is the only one I can think of for now), so we can unify everything and avoid confusion.

#24 User is offline   pointlessone 

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 07:51 PM

I just rediscovered my bag of swag from 2008, and looking through it I've noticed that it's really tough to use the pocket guide as it was set up this last year (2008 was my first year at ACen or any con) compared to the Anime North materials from 2007 that somehow made it into my "Hey awesome, these vender booths are giving free stuff away!" bag right next to my ADV calender. Comparing the two sets of guides, AN's full page guide and sorted by date/time system of panel description is much easier to read and use to plan around than the 6-7 panels listed in alphabetical order as in the ACen pocket guide.

My suggestion are a few small changes in the way things are laid out that may not be possible given the much nicer quality of the ACen program book (big book)

Expand the Program Book: This is where the bulk of panel, video room, gaming, maps and other event information should be held. Putting all of this into the larger formatted book makes it easier to read and easier to find. This book should hold complete information about all times, dates and descriptions of everything happening during the con. I understand last second changes happen, but inserts could be used to announce any major changes. If printing costs are a concern, using a hybrid plain paper (programming guide)/glossy (guest biography, ads) setup would likely reduce costs to a reasonable range.

Make the Pocket Guide more pocket friendly: Have a timetable of panels with a brief (one to two sentence) description or page number annotation to the new improved program book to save space in the pocket guide (and hopefully make it fold able, 2008's was too thick to do this) and let it go as a quick information guide with just the basics in it. (Maps, time tables, rules) Turn the pocket guide into a quick reference that can be tossed into a pocket, leave the bulk in the big book. :)

#25 User is offline   Raiji Magiwind 

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 08:49 PM

View PostDJFLuFFKiNS, on May 26 2008, 01:10 AM, said:

If it's posted earlier, how many people would make use of an online schedule? How many people would rather keep up with panel information online before con and have their trip planned out before they showed up at con?

How many people would make use of at con wireless intranet with access to an updated schedule/newsfeed as well as an information chatroom?

How many people would sign up for alert reminders via SMS or email to their portable devices before events or panels?

I'm just trying to gather what enhancements we can shoot for (read work towards, not promise for next year) in the future to make your experience better.



I would go for a mobile online thing. Youmacon experimented with something on a smaller scale this year, which didn't do to bad. I mean you could only find out what was going in the next hour, but its a start.

Utilizing a way to transmit wireless would be nice or by text message, though how many use it will depend on the package people have on there phones.

The biggest thing I definably suggest is expanding on the map of the con and the areas around. I would also suggest labeling the common/major photoshoot areas, as many first timers can't find or miss the areas since there not familiar with the area.

Also take a look at expanding on a system or board where update, cancellations and so on can be posted, so folks can come and check on things to make sure something hasn't been moved, changed or delayed.....
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#26 User is offline   KnitChick 

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 02:18 AM

View PostTofu, on May 23 2008, 10:58 PM, said:

For the hotel/convention map, is it possible to label photoshoot areas? Like "East Wall", "Garden", "Tree Patch", etc.? Because as a first time ACEN-er, I missed out on so many photoshoots cause I couldn't find where they were being held. :blink:


I agree with that. One of these days (perhaps when I finally take a web development class toward my degree) I was thinking about making a page with pictures and possibly video of this is how you get to the photoshoot location. RenegadePocky has some great photos of each location on the official Gathering thread but I think for those not familiar with the area it would help to have some kind of navigation aid too. :)

View PostDJFLuFFKiNS, on May 26 2008, 12:10 AM, said:

If it's posted earlier, how many people would make use of an online schedule? How many people would rather keep up with panel information online before con and have their trip planned out before they showed up at con?

How many people would make use of at con wireless intranet with access to an updated schedule/newsfeed as well as an information chatroom?

How many people would sign up for alert reminders via SMS or email to their portable devices before events or panels?

I'm just trying to gather what enhancements we can shoot for (read work towards, not promise for next year) in the future to make your experience better.


The last two years I have downloaded the panel programming schedule and used it as a preview, not setting my schedule in stone but at least trying to work around what panels and photoshoots I want to get to.

I took my laptop with last year, mostly for a camera dump, but now I finally have a wireless card for it so yes I would totally use a wireless intranet. Just...give me for dummies directions for it. I'm still getting the hang of working the wireless (it's a 7-year-old laptop running Kubuntu Linux and I'm still learning my way around the OS)/

Alert reminders via SMS would be GREAT!!! I have unlimited texting and I like that kind of thing. Besides, it's funny when I'm walking around as Captain Jack and his voice issues from my pocket :D

View PostJuri, on May 26 2008, 12:04 PM, said:

In the same vein, how many people would like to use something like Twitter for last minute convention updates? You can sign up to have Twitter send you an IM or txt message every time it updates. So, say, "XYZ concert postponed one hour" would zap to your phone.


Um, I still am beyond clueless about Twitter but if it can txt me when there's an update, that would be good. Just...someone teach me about how to set that up. :D (I feel so old...I am so clueless about Twitter)


My two cents -- I liked the program books, the panel descriptions did help enormously. Though, any chance of having those online ahead of time too? Especially because I'm gonna be staffing I'd like to know as early as possible if there's a panel I'm dying to go to.

Maps are love! I know my way around the Hyatt and Rosemont area fairly well, I've only lived in the vicinity for nearly 30 years after all ;) but it still helps me. I need a compass to navigate my way out of a paper bag, y'know! Clearly labeling room names on the map would help (took me a bit to figure out where DFW was last year). Also, a little clearer map on just how to get to stuff in other hotels including which doors are closest and where to go from the door would really help too. I almost got hopelessly lost heading to the Masquerade Ball last year.

That's about all I can think of...for now ;)
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#27 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 06:25 PM

I never use the autograph section because I'm not gonna waste hours in line just to get an autograph when I could be doing so much more. |: I don't think the autograph section is very important. I don't know if a lot of people use them. For me, if I were going to get autographs, I'd get my own little book so I have all my autographs together, even autographs from other cons.
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View PostFoolish Humon, on 13 June 2010 - 07:19 PM, said:

Ladies ladies ladies, if you find a man whose only concern about a woman is her breast size, he just may be dumb enough to believe you if you say you have Ds when you have Bs. :thumbup:

#28 User is offline   Unka Josh 

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 12:15 AM

Well, actually, at least in the past, if you took a good look at that autograph page, you'd notice that it was sponsored by some company or another. It's basically an odd form of goodwill advertising by the company, in at least some cases.
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#29 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 12:21 AM

Really now? I didn't know that. Actually, I haven't had a book since '07 since I had my badge mailed. I never bothered to pick up the stuff because I thought you had to go in line to get it, but I could be wrong about that.
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View PostFoolish Humon, on 13 June 2010 - 07:19 PM, said:

Ladies ladies ladies, if you find a man whose only concern about a woman is her breast size, he just may be dumb enough to believe you if you say you have Ds when you have Bs. :thumbup:

#30 User is offline   Voxx 

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 03:42 PM

Definitely keep in the photoshoot grouping get together times/place like last year. That was just an awesome idea and helped a lot more people go to them!
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