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Acen 2009 Cheers And Jeers What went right and wrong this year....

#1 User is offline   akakaze 

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Post icon  Posted 11 May 2009 - 08:23 AM

Cheers:

1.) Registration. Even though I was a pre-reg attendee and got my badge in the mail, I'd go down to the registration area occasionally to check out Linecon 09... strangely enough, it never materialized! Registration, you guys were awesome!

2.) IRT. Usually I get yelled at at least once a year for just going about my normal business. But this year things were different. Every member of IRT that I saw performing their job did it politely and professionally. When one IRT bumped into me when going up the escalator on Friday, she actually apologized (rather than saying "GET THE*#&$*@#&$ OUT OF THE WAY") and she told me that the rudeness of IRT is one of the reasons she joined staff. I don't remember her name but the other IRT with her had callsign Akuma. They were both very nice. I can't find one bad thing to say about IRT this year. Thank you so much everyone for keeping the con running smoothly.

3.) Negotiation with the hotel for discounts on Hyatt food. I remember this being a discussion on the forums for a while (I'm a long time lurker) and I believe it was mentioned that it was pretty much impossible to do. Someone made it happen though. I suppose the Hyatt was sick of having an empty restaurant losing so much business to Giordano's and McDonald's when their rooms are completely sold out. The "Japanese inspired" menu was delicious (curry chicken FTW...even if it's really not that Japanese). Thanks Hyatt and ACEN, for providing affordable fooding options inside the con! ^_^

4.) MOVE. They were absolutely amazing both in concert and to the fans afterwards. Motsu even gave out his PSN ID (I sent him a friend request, we'll see if he takes it) ^_^

5.) The Spoony Bards. These guys are awesome every year, and thank you ACEN for providing them with the main stage this year. Ever since I met these guys at the Angela Aki/Nobuo Uematsu meet and greet a few years ago, I've been a fan. :)

Jeers:

I don't have a lot to complain about, and a lot of this may have to do more with contracts than anything else, but they need to be said...

1.) Only one MOVE concert?! What about all the people who couldn't make Friday's show? I'm glad I was able to make it to the con on Friday to see them. I'm wondering if this was either part of ACEN's contract with Avex or whether it was a choice on ACEN's part to cause the concert to be more crowded than usual in an effort to impress Avex for future conventions. Either way this is kind of a FAIL... T_T

2.) The bass during Friday's concert was turned up way too high and drowned out Yuri's beautiful vocals. This is a crime. The same thing happened during High and Mighty Color two years ago, when we could barely hear Maaki for about half the performance (apparently only Friday was an issue and they fixed it for Saturday at that time, though).

3.) Concert delays. I thought the time listed in the program was the starting time for the concert, not starting time for TECH WORK/SETUP. What gives, guys? At least you provided us with one hell of a lightshow before Friday's concert started and some awesome dance music. But Saturday's delays are really inexcusable.

4.) Picture policy with MOVE. I haven't been to a lot of panels/autograph sessions with guests in the past so I'm not sure exactly what the deal is there...but they seemed friendly enough to not be the type of celebrities to say "You can take pictures OF me, but not WITH me - I don't want my image tainted by my fans." I got their autographs and talked to them a bit in Japanese, but was really disappointed that I couldn't get a picture with them since they're my favorite Japanese band. Again, this could be a contract issue or it could be a rule designed to avoid holding up the lines...but the rule was present for both autograph sessions and the panel. A shame, since the panel didn't have THAT many people in the first place. >_<

5.) The TOOL that plowed his way into a crowded elevator when the IRT on the elevator with us told him it was full. I guess on Sunday people don't really care about listening to IRT since getting their badge taken away at that point isn't that big of a deal. The elevators in general during checkout were painful...the only way to really make it fair would have been to keep an IRT on each elevator to ensure people don't ride them up to go down - this makes it really hard for the people on the highest floors. But this is really unavoidable during certain times of day, I guess.

**Edit-no-jutsu**

6.) Concert policy concerning bags/cameras. One HEROIC IRT on Saturday attempted to watch everyone's bag who wanted to go into the concert...but still the rule is lame. I understand the "no props" rule, and to a degree the "no bags" rule...I mean, you don't want people sneaking in something that could hurt other attendees or the performers (even though without IRT Hero anybody who doesn't have a hotel room, car, or other place to put their bags is out of luck as far as the concert is concerned)...but why no cameras? Why not just say "no flash photography"? Is it a contract issue?

This post has been edited by akakaze: 11 May 2009 - 08:29 AM


#2 User is offline   Stkbayfield 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 08:53 AM

As disappointed as I am by the "No bags" rule (my wife refused to leave her purse behind, so we couldn't see Spoony Bards, which I had been looking forward to) I can understand it. Especially with more party atmosphere events, if everyone had their bags, wether they large purses or blue bags of Dealers Room swag, then there'd be a hazard of either losing/crushing things en masse or hitting people by mistake.

It's all in the interests of safety and in that environment, it is a good idea. I'm disappointed there was no storage space, but with thousands of people going to the same event, that would require a Herculean effort.

As for the time of start. I believe there should be a bigger open block between main stage events. I recall Anime Hell let out a hour after Midnight Madness should have begun. I assume it's a domino effect of the "running late time" accumulating throughout the day. May be wrong though.

#3 User is offline   supergeekgirl 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 09:25 AM

Cheers:

1. As always, the dealers' room and artists' alley are awesome! They were too big for me to see everything even.

2. IRT was pretty great this year. I didn't encounter any power-hungry or drunk or irate IRT people like I have in years past. The only time an IRT person was rude was when we were walking to our car to get something just after the dealers' room closed on Saturday. We passed a HUGE group of IRT in the skywalk, and I said, "WOW!" because they looked so cool all marching together (seriously!). Then one of them said in kind of a nasty voice, "I don't know where you're going. The convention center is closed." I did think that was quite rude as the best way to get to the Embassy Suites garage when it's that cold outside is through the skywalk.

3. Crowds weren't too bad this year. Usually I feel way too stifled, and it takes forever to get from point A to point B. This year was great until around 9:00 Saturday night.


Jeers:

1. The rules on cosplayers are getting too restrictive. My husband and I were going over out costume ideas for next year, and just about everything we thought of broke the rules in some way and would require leaving a piece in the hotel room until an outdoor photoshoot. Carrying around large props in pieces has proven to be more dangerous than carrying a large prop and not acting stupid with it. The pieces are tough to juggle, making it hard to hold onto handrails or get to objects in pockets or bags. Characters with large props (which there are a LOT of in anime, obviously) almost necessitate a handler at A-Cen.

2. The Hyatt sucked. I have never stayed at the Hyatt during A-Cen and never will again. We had to use the stairs most of the time because of the elevators, which I will complain about in my next "Jeer". The staff was very rude to us just because we were booked under the A-Cen block. In fact, a bellman dropped my stuff on the ground while he was helping me and said NOTHING to apologize or explain and instead walked over to an older couple to help them instead (with fewer bags and no costume pieces). I brought our treatment to the hotel's attention, and they tried to make right. I'm still not sure I want to stay there ever again. I'll likely just book at the Embassy. Also, I could hear the rave and people talking in the street from my seventh floor room. There's more, but that's the basic gist.

3. Elevator parties and elevator stuffing is getting ridiculous. IRT and A-Cen staff: can we find some way to limit people using the elevators to go up or down one floor? Also, can someone at least TRY keep people from playing on the elevators or stuffing them? The hotel obviously needs elevators in the four towers, but barring them doing a huge redesign, something still needs done before someone gets killed. A couple of years ago, a kid at Ohio State University was killed when his dormmates stuffed an elevator. He was the last one to get on and almost literally the straw that broke the camel's back. He was crushed to death when the elevator suddenly dropped 10 floors, hurting most of his friends in the process. Elevator stuffing is also the reason two of the elevators were shut down for periods of time. People put too much strain on them, and they stopped working. Grow up. Take the stairs or escalators for one-two floor journeys.

4. Why was only one door open in the dealers' room? Everyone was pushing in and out of the same door. At a convention this big, why wasn't there an in door and an out door?
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#4 User is offline   SyaoranFan85 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 11:44 AM

View Postakakaze, on May 11 2009, 09:23 AM, said:

4.) Picture policy with MOVE. I haven't been to a lot of panels/autograph sessions with guests in the past so I'm not sure exactly what the deal is there...but they seemed friendly enough to not be the type of celebrities to say "You can take pictures OF me, but not WITH me - I don't want my image tainted by my fans." I got their autographs and talked to them a bit in Japanese, but was really disappointed that I couldn't get a picture with them since they're my favorite Japanese band. Again, this could be a contract issue or it could be a rule designed to avoid holding up the lines...but the rule was present for both autograph sessions and the panel. A shame, since the panel didn't have THAT many people in the first place. >_<


I was the IRT/Guest Escort guy between the merch and signing tables, and I can answer this for you. It was AVEX's policy and part of the contract they signed for M.O.V.E. to appear at ACen. Trust me when I say that it seemed, to me at least, that they would've loved to take pictures with people, but the company said no.

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#5 User is offline   NoseMaster 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 12:10 PM

I think the best addition to the IRT is that they let the one female IRT wear a corset. *eyebrows*

The only real problem I had is when the yaoi manga vendor grabbed a volume of Sgt. Frog I bought someone else and accused me of stealing it from him. Cause, frogs in gundam suits look just like man on man action. ?_?

#6 User is offline   Fairy Hime 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 12:49 PM

Cheers:

To the staff. Me and my friends didn't have any problems with staff this year at all. Everyone we met was nice and helpful. I was especially happy with IRT because every single acen I've been to before I've always come across at least one IRT member who has had a stick up their butt and I'm as far from a troublemaker as you can get so it's not like they've ever had a reason to be mean to me. This year, every IRT person I met was helpful and friendly. You guys rocked.

Jeers:

To the 21+ party. There was no info on it in the programs. The staff didn't really even know about it. It was way too far from the rest of the convention. And it ended a half an hour earlier than it was supposed to. We didn't arrive until 1:30am mostly because we were asking the staff about it to make sure it was still going on. We didn't want to walk all that way for nothing. There's been events that have mysteriously vanished in the past. Eventually we decided to check it out anyway. We thought we had at least thirty minutes before they closed. Well we managed to make it all the way to the bar and then they turned on the lights. T_T

To the Soap Bubble. Now I know the reason you couldn't let more people in is because of the fire code. But isn't there somewhere we could move it to for greater capacity? There's been a huge line for years and every year the con keeps on getting bigger. If there really is no place we could move it to then couldn't you add an overflow room or maybe a room that plays something other than techno. Or turn the 21+ party into a dance. You could close the other room at three which is usually when the soap bubble line disappears. I was in the bubble from 3-5am this year and the music was really good. But it felt like every two minutes they turned the music down and they started talking and saying put your hands in the air which got really annoying. Also I felt like who ever was in charge of the lights turned the strobe lights on a bit too much and then there were times when the house lights came on for several seconds. Dances need to stay dark especially since everyone loves their glow sticks.

To everyone who crossed the street while the green turn light was on. You're supposed to wait until the walk light comes on or at least until the coast is clear. I felt bad for all those cars that didn't get to turn left even though they had the right of way.

To the lack of Japanese guests.

To the gaming room. It felt like it was a lot emptier this year and it'd be nice if Para Para and Dance Dance Maniax could return to the gaming room.

Overall I have to say that this was the best run acen I've attended in awhile. Great job everyone and keep up the good work for next year.
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#7 User is offline   chamere 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 12:56 PM

Cheers: the parties were pretty fun, the dj decks in the dealers rooms, the con overall was good

Jeers: for some reason acen didnt feel teh same as last year, idk, but last year the atmosphere was super happy and that was all the time, and this year it felt a bit toned down, but eh w/e its probably just me :P
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#8 User is offline   simonsaz3 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 01:42 PM

Cheers:
1) (I hope this counts) I really appreciated the title cards at the start of AMVs with all the info-- honestly, it was great to see the category, the series title, the sound details, the artist info. Excellent work! <3
2) Artist Alley/Dealer's Room-- everything seemed pretty organized and the atmosphere was as good as ever. It's always a pleasure to check out these areas and help out fellow artists.
3) I know this is late, but I still want to thank ACen for sending out badges in the mail earlier than last year-- I'm really glad it worked out for so many people. As for those who had trouble with pre-registration and their to-be-mailed badges, it's definitely getting better at reducing the unfortunate mis-haps.
4) My personal experience with IRT members has never been negative, so thank you! This year a kind IRT woman informed some photographers not to block the hallway while taking pictures-- totally understandable since I felt awkward standing in everyone's way while posing.

Jeers:
1) Main program delays-- had to reschedule plans because programs were running late and not just by a few minutes either.
2) Lack of details in programming guide-- I was told at the door of "RPGs of the 90's" that it's +18, which the guide failed to mention.
3) Two programming books?

Will add more later...
=)
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#9 User is offline   mmy-sama 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 02:15 PM

View Postsimonsaz3, on May 11 2009, 08:42 PM, said:

3) Two programming books?

Will add more later...
=)


The idea of a pocket programming book is that you can find events without having to carry a large book. However, there was no mpa in the pocket programing book, only in the larger opne, so it kind of defeated the purpose. However, I always was too busy having fucn and kicking as to attend any panels this year. I wish someone would start a con thats just like acen but without any cool people that I know. Then maybe i'd be bored enough to go to some of those great panels.
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#10 User is offline   Mattchu 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 03:32 PM

Acen 2008:

I came in on Friday to purchase a weekend badge. I was in line for 8 hours. FAIL. Next time, no more using Windows 97 computers connected to a DSL server to put names through the computer.

Acen 2009:

The line was in a seperate area from the vendors, and the staff used an organic system (with just paper) and I saw at least nine payment vendors open. EPIC WIN! I was out of that line in less that 30 minutes, and I came on Saturday between 8am and 9am.

Excellent job con-staff! I highly recommend you stick with this system next year! It's awesome!
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#11 User is offline   KnitChick 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 03:58 PM

View Postakakaze, on May 11 2009, 09:23 AM, said:

3.) Negotiation with the hotel for discounts on Hyatt food. I remember this being a discussion on the forums for a while (I'm a long time lurker) and I believe it was mentioned that it was pretty much impossible to do. Someone made it happen though. I suppose the Hyatt was sick of having an empty restaurant losing so much business to Giordano's and McDonald's when their rooms are completely sold out. The "Japanese inspired" menu was delicious (curry chicken FTW...even if it's really not that Japanese). Thanks Hyatt and ACEN, for providing affordable fooding options inside the con! ^_^


Wow! I was on staff so I was eating in staff services. But I'm glad to hear that the Hyatt tried to offer affordable options this year, that's really nice to hear!

Also to your question about the bag policy, with many of the artists it is in our contract with them that the only photography during concerts is authorized Press members. So I know it totally sucks, but that is a part of the reason.

Of course, too, for the Soap Bubble, I was with a couple friends standing in the Special Needs office during the lineup for it and people were asking us about checking bags. I felt really bad saying no but the idea of a bag check is on the table as an idea for the future, we do hear your suggestions! But really, do you REALLY want to bring your purse into Soap Bubble? I'd be afraid to! Not that I ever go in Soap Bubble, it's not my thing. But if I were to go, I'd just bring my badge and ID and nothing else. No money, no bags, no props, nada. But that's just me.


I agree with the complaints on the elevator stuffing. Thankfully this year we did have measures in place to help those who were handicapped. In the future if you are handicapped in some way and unable to take the stairs, and there is elevator stuffing going on, just come to special needs and we can escort you. I think that worked well, but I still feel there is a need for SOME kind of plan to prevent/reduce this problem in the future. So far, though, I am coming up blank. So please if you have ANY ideas to help with this problem, speak up!

wuanimesociety: I am so sorry to hear about Hyatt problems. Did you get the bellman's name and report him to the Hyatt?


There is a program book suggestions thread in the Suggestions/Gripes section of the forums, if you had any problems with the books or any ideas for the future please put them there so we can make next year's books awesome!


Um, that's about all I can think to address right now. Please keep those comments coming! I'm looking forward to hearing what people thought this year, especially since the con was so different for me this year as I'm on staff.
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#12 User is offline   Rakuen 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 06:28 PM

Fie on you and your silly structure. I wrote a review instead.

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#13 User is offline   Kewpie83 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 07:36 PM

Cheers:

-Staff: I saw IRT smiling during the con! I also didn't see anyone being yelled at. Everyone had a much more positive attitude this year, from what I saw! Thanks for your hard work!

-Programming: There were 4 BJD panels, plus a Pullip panel! Wow. I like how the programing branched out from just bleach or naruto fan panels. :P

-Artist Alley: Nice layout with lots of space! Also, loved that it wasn't just artists with prints (though I picked up a few of those, too!).

-Spoony Bards: You guys rock!

Jeers:

-Sofitel Hotel: ACEN had no control over this, but still... They didn't charge me, but what the heck was up with the hotel saying they wanted to charge an extra 50 bucks if you wanted to check in before 3? I understand if the room wasn't ready yet, but they weren't even checking to see if your assigned room WAS ready for you. Thankfully, they were holding bags for people who didn't want to wait until 3, but they weren't advertising that option.

-Dealers Room: You could kind of tell the economy sucks right now. With Yen going up, prices went for things that used to be affordable... Also, the items based off actual anime/manga was a bit lacking... But, really, what can you do about it? *shrug*

-Dance/Rave lines: Every 'rave' or dance I decided to try out had an insane line... Time spent in the actual dance wouldn't have warranted waiting in line. Oh well.

This post has been edited by Kewpie83: 12 May 2009 - 07:14 PM


#14 User is offline   shinjig 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 07:40 PM

didn't really experience the con as I spent most of it asleep lol.

But from what I did experience.

Lines out of the hyatt and into the street? unacceptable.

Laggy TVs in the gaming room? unacceptable.

#15 User is offline   Raiji Magiwind 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 08:40 PM

As far as what I saw this year I would say I was relatively pleased with ACEN this year.


Cheers:

-First off, whatever you did for Registration this year, obviously worked quite well. I defiantly suggest keeping this method or very similar for the future. If so, then perhaps we can finally kill the infamous Linecon of ACEN forever...:D

-I was quite pleased with the general overall respect the con staff seemed to have this year, especially the IRT folks. I know you guys are usually under a lot of stress, and by the weekend, probably as burned out and as tired as the rest of us, but to see you guys work to be as respectful to us as you could without shirking your duties was a nice change. Of course, smiling more and in general actually stopping and talking with us attendees or joining in a little fun during your off duty hours was fun. I feel it gave you a chance to maybe get to know your attendees better and maybe even help you to best deal with us all. Basically the fact that you showed you cared and where willing to not alienate yourself from us by hanging with us when off duty or just chatting up with folks waiting to get in to stuff, smiling and in general being polite seemed to get you guys a lot more quicker resolve on things then the power trip I had seen in some years. I know theres a few folks that being a dick or butt to is the only way to get it through to them, but the fact that you all tried a respectful approach and also interacted with us all some this year, made it probably easier for all, attendees and IRT.

-Bless your heart to the staff and to the folks running the panel "Be Your True Mind: A Persona Panel". The fact that you where willing to do a second panel and the staff was willing to accommodate by giving a larger room for the second one made myself and a lot of other Persona fans very happy. Doign that earned you a few points in the books of a few attendees that night.

Jeers:
-The whole fiasco with the cosplaying props rules. I understand there are reasons for it due to a variety of things from public safety issues, crowd control, and a multitude of other things I'm sure, but the fact that the rulings in general are all over the place as well as the fact that communication of them are completely shitty makes this something to seriously look into.
Please remember that most of us begin work on costumes up to 6 or 7 months or more BEFORE the con. Some even begin initial planning for the next ACEN right after we get back from the current years ACEN. Making clearer, and more timely updates to your props rules should be a strong item to work on for the year. I know a lot of people got really really pissed with the less then 2 month notice of the ban of realistic looking airosoft guns and similar props. Mind you stuff like this ain't cheap, and for us to find out we just spent say $200 in props we can't use (airsoft or otherwise) pisses off attendees faster then the Hindenburg going up in flames. Perhaps you should be mindful of this in the future when looking to adjust or change prop regulations and rules. Of course, the idea of even just coming to us and maybe posting the idea fo r a possible change would be nice. That way perhaps we can voice our opinions on the matter, but also maybe even help with giving ideas on how to make it a win-win situation. After all, we cosplayers CAN BE reasonable if we are given a chance to defend or side on a issue, or even have a say in the way the rules are written for things such as props and the like. After all I would think that more folks would adhere to the prop rules in general if they knew there concern and such where being heard and also knew that you are willing to make compromises that will give you what you want in a way, as well as the attendees.

-A little bit better research in regards to the current 'fandoms' when it comes to planning the panels and there room assignments. Some panels surrounding some fandoms that had either recently seen increases or in general had become more popular or even had a resurgence, ended up getting small rooms, only to have the insanity of your poor guys having to turn folks away when they suddenly saw the line for 'em and went 'O.O crap'. I know you try an anticipate as best you can, but perhaps just be a touch more aware of the current popularity of some things, and not just anime, but games and such as well...
One example was the "Be Your True Mind: A Persona Panel". They set it in a room for about 45 (for the first attempt), and ended up having over 120 or so folks turn out for it. Even though they may not have been expecting it completely, but the fact that Persona 4 came out this year, should have a been a general clue to say...maybe we should put this in a slightly larger room, just in case, since usually this is one particular group that experiences a boom anytime a SMT related title comes out.
Fortunately I was happy that for this particular case, the staff was willing to allow and that the panelists also agreed to doing a second round for there panel.


That is about all my semi-fried brain can think up at teh moment... now off to bed for more Zzzzz
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#16 User is offline   Alkaren Hyralt 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 09:15 PM

Greetings, I am Zac, one of the ADHs of Main Programming.

I will apologize for us, in our delays in both main programming alpha and beta both. While I only know the issues with Beta this year, as that was the room I was running, usually most delays are because of some technical problem that cannot be foreseen. The delay in the groove is one such example where there were several tech delays that prevented me from letting all of you into the room on time.

We in MP try very hard to stay on schedule, and if we fall behind, we do our very best to try to make up the time and get back on schedule as best we can.

I will always be happy to address any complaints or comments that you all have. :]
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#17 User is offline   pointlessone 

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 11:38 PM

-Cheers

Good god, Registration and the Vendor/Artists Alley was pretty amazing this year. Lots of space, fast moving lines, everything just worked out great.

-Jeers

Line management and "pre-lines": Please, PLEASE do a ticket system for the major events. You guys already do a ticketing system for the concerts and Masquerade, extending this out to the Underground Groove, Soap Bubble and other large events would help a ton in terms of both reducing the lines and eliminating the MASSIVE FIRE HAZARDS in the hallways when people start to line up to get into line. Mitigating the massive swarm of people will be a major benefit for both IRT (Whoever was futilely trying to get the soap bubble crowd pushed back out of the hallways at about 9:00PM Sat, you guys did a great job in such an unruly bunch) and for attendees (Reducing the amount of being forced to stand around just to get into an event in a semi timely manner makes for happy people all around). My friend and I ended up going to Star Trek instead of standing around in the line again after being told about 15 feet from the door to the soap bubble that props and bags were not allowed in. I didn't have time to run back to my hotel to dump off my bag by the time the preline started to accumulate in the halls. A ticket system would have allowed us to head back and not be forced to wait in a very dangerous (in fire hazard terms) line that kept getting pushed back further into the hotel.

#18 User is offline   Alkaren Hyralt 

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 01:02 AM

View Postpointlessone, on May 12 2009, 12:38 AM, said:

-Cheers

Good god, Registration and the Vendor/Artists Alley was pretty amazing this year. Lots of space, fast moving lines, everything just worked out great.

-Jeers

Line management and "pre-lines": Please, PLEASE do a ticket system for the major events. You guys already do a ticketing system for the concerts and Masquerade, extending this out to the Underground Groove, Soap Bubble and other large events would help a ton in terms of both reducing the lines and eliminating the MASSIVE FIRE HAZARDS in the hallways when people start to line up to get into line. Mitigating the massive swarm of people will be a major benefit for both IRT (Whoever was futilely trying to get the soap bubble crowd pushed back out of the hallways at about 9:00PM Sat, you guys did a great job in such an unruly bunch) and for attendees (Reducing the amount of being forced to stand around just to get into an event in a semi timely manner makes for happy people all around). My friend and I ended up going to Star Trek instead of standing around in the line again after being told about 15 feet from the door to the soap bubble that props and bags were not allowed in. I didn't have time to run back to my hotel to dump off my bag by the time the preline started to accumulate in the halls. A ticket system would have allowed us to head back and not be forced to wait in a very dangerous (in fire hazard terms) line that kept getting pushed back further into the hotel.




During the lines for the groove I was making sure IRT was walking the line all the time and letting people know about the no bag policy because I didn't want anyone to get to the very front and suddenly find out they couldn't go in.

I apologize for any inconvenience this policy caused anyone as well for the Groove, however it was IRT's rules and I do not feel that I have the right to overrule them on such matters.

On the matters of tickets for such events; it's not really a feasible idea. The sheer number of attendees we have show up for the soap bubble alone is staggering. On top of that we have a constant flow of people going in and out..some temporarily and some for the night. Tickets wouldn't fix this; however we try to make sure everyone can get in as quickly as possible. But we must be careful that we stay within in numbers for fire code, as we are watched very carefully during both dances since they are some of our biggest events. There is also a matter of fairness, as everyone wants to get in to an event like the soap bubble as soon as they can.

I can understand one's frustrations with the lines for such events too, but due to fire code we have to have such a thing. For the soap bubble, due to fire hazards, the hotel, location and everything else, there is no where else for the attendees to stand usually but outside on the sidewalk and such.
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#19 User is offline   tatter 

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 08:28 AM

i wont bother with the cheers it would take to long


so my JEERS

only one that i can say i really have would be about soap bubble there is still ton of empty space they could have put it into so that way more people could have been in it at a time and the strobe light were just going to much i hasd to leave about 3 am because of that

#20 User is offline   Zerox20 

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 09:05 AM

View PostRaiji Magiwind, on May 12 2009, 02:40 AM, said:

One example was the "Be Your True Mind: A Persona Panel". They set it in a room for about 45 (for the first attempt), and ended up having over 120 or so folks turn out for it. Even though they may not have been expecting it completely, but the fact that Persona 4 came out this year, should have a been a general clue to say...maybe we should put this in a slightly larger room, just in case, since usually this is one particular group that experiences a boom anytime a SMT related title comes out.
Fortunately I was happy that for this particular case, the staff was willing to allow and that the panelists also agreed to doing a second round for there panel.



I can address your Persona Panel Issue !! Originally the persona panel was scheduled in a 150 room, What we found out friday morning from the hotel was... We don't have that room?! We had no idea on this, it was told to us that room is not for ACEN use. So we had to scramble and get another room from the hotel. Malpense was this room originally (Panel Programming 7) -- 150 people, they gave us Capital (~60 people), which is where persona had to get moved.... Thus as you can see we did plan on Persona being popular, it just got messed up due to the hotel killing off that room. I do apologize for this, if there was something we could have done to figure out the rooms we would have.
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#21 User is offline   Sir Gibby 

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 09:57 AM

View Postsimonsaz3, on May 11 2009, 02:42 PM, said:

3) Two programming books?


Yeah, that was a problem I had. The only one really. They both said programming on them, so when people told me to check the programming book I was looking at the big book and the master schedule. None of us even knew there was a little pocket book that had all the times in there. If they put the schedules in both book, or just condensed it down to one pocket book, groovy. I don't see the logic in one big book telling you what everything is, and then a smaller book telling you what everything is and when. I missed all the autograph signings I wanted to go to 'cuz of that.

Besides that ACen was perfection.
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#22 User is offline   pointlessone 

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 10:30 AM

View PostAlkaren Hyralt, on May 12 2009, 03:02 AM, said:

On the matters of tickets for such events; it's not really a feasible idea. The sheer number of attendees we have show up for the soap bubble alone is staggering. On top of that we have a constant flow of people going in and out..some temporarily and some for the night. Tickets wouldn't fix this; however we try to make sure everyone can get in as quickly as possible. But we must be careful that we stay within in numbers for fire code, as we are watched very carefully during both dances since they are some of our biggest events. There is also a matter of fairness, as everyone wants to get in to an event like the soap bubble as soon as they can.

I'm not sure I understand this line of reasoning. Allow me to explain my thoughts on a ticket system. For this, I'll assume the room can safely hold 3500 people (unsure of actual number, using this for demonstrative reasons.)

There are three major flaws I can see with the dances right now
1. Line management before the event begins
2. Capacity while the event is underway
3. Needed cooldown areas for people who don't wish to leave, but need to get out of the room.


Ticketing and strict door management can solve issues one and three. With a ticket system in place, ticket holders would be allowed to queue into the line before the event opens, removing the entire first wave of guests milling about in the hallways creating fire hazards. Stricter door management (exiting means no re-entry, small cooldown area well away from queuing area) would also make door management easier. With stronger doors, the line should move along faster because there's no questioning if someone's going to come right back or not. I don't have any real suggestions on the capacity issues because I know the cost of equipment for multiple rooms is rather overwhelming,but perhaps a new venue could be found for next year? I'm sure that it's become obvious the current room just isn't large enough for everyone involved.

During the day of the soap bubble, tickets would be distributed at the ticket booth up to the original 3500 population cap in multiple groups of 500 tickets over the day. Doing this only on the day of the dance solves the fairness issue of people showing up only for the event. Once the original 3500 tickets are distributed, anyone else wanting to attend would go into the overflow line. The overflow line would be entirely first come, first serve, much like the current system. To eliminate the issue of people hopping in and out, a separate exit door could be used with a barricaded area for people wanting to get out for a breather, much like the outdoor area set aside at an indoor sporting event for smokers. Someone leaves through the main exit? They're done for the night and their spot is now free. Removing the issue of re-entry seems to be a large step into better door control and faster line management.

On the issue of fairness, the currently ticketed items don't seem to have anyone really complaining about lines and such. Fair is knowing if you're going to get into the event in a timely manner, not guessing the right area to stand to try and get to the front of a line. I understand that you (the organizers) have a lot going on just keeping the place running. Taking some of these suggestions would help you make things run smoother.

#23 User is offline   EzERawk 

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 02:04 PM

There's always something that goes wrong every year. The last couple years it was registration, and this year it was definitely the Soap Bubble.

Ok, on ticketing, my first complaint is that last years tickets ofr the concerts and Masq were given out by blocks depending on when you got the ticket. I was expecting that this year, especially since staff had said on the forums that tickets would be available Thursday and their was also a special guaranteed ticket for somebody's birthday if you registered early enough. After much looking around we got tickets on Thursday, then were told Saturday there was a different type of ticket. Those this didn't seem to change anything, as I heard an IRT member say there were 4 different type of ticket, I am entirely confused as to why a system that worked so well last year was changed?

On to the Soap Bubble. Let me start out by saying last year me and my girlfriend jumped in line for the SB about 20 to 30 minutes after the original line was let in and pretty much only waited in line for 30 minutes. This line was small and indoors, which is why we hopped in. This year, something was definitely off as I stood in line from 11ish till about 12:30 in a gigantic, unmoving line outside freezing to death. When we got close enough to see the indoors, the roped off sections for the line were empty, and even when IRT filled them, they did not fill them all the way. What exactly was so different about this years compared to last years where there is an hour long difference in wait?

Alkaren Hyralt, you said that the number of attending that show up to SB is staggering, and I agree. Acen grows by over 1,000 attendees each year, statistically speaking, and as such the number of attendees for SB grows every year, yet the venue has yet to change. Also, I could easily argue that there are a large amount of the people that attend Acen mainly just to go to the SB. Being such, the attendees that go for everything else that Acen has to offer, but also want to go to the SB kinda get the shaft, especially we are the ones you are holding Acen for, not just the kids that wanna dance. Something needs to be done.

A few suggestions, since free ticketing does seem implausible. 1) the venue needs to change and this is the simplest solution to this problem. A bigger area means more people can get in. 2) SB can give special privileges to people who attend Acen for more than just the dance, such as us who pay for the full weekend, or a special badge for people who just come to go to the dance. 3) a cover charge. I'd pay $5 to $10 bucks extra to not have to wait in line for an hour and half, and this leads into my final suggestions, 4) I know changing venue is a matter of price, but if you have a cover, can't you pay the convention center to stay open later, using the cover, so no one would have to wait in line.

These are just my suggestion, but the biggest drawn, based on lines, to Acen is the SB, which really has nothing to do with Animation or the industry. It's just a dance. Things need to change because as Acen grows, there are just going to be more complaints about the line. Registration got fixed, why can't the SB get an upgrade as well?
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#24 User is offline   Sakamura 

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 03:41 PM

I believed the entire convention tried to go to the soap bubble this year. Last year I was able to walk-in around 12, this year the line never ended beyond 1:00am.

The solution is simple: Bring the spillover rooms back. The room next door to the Main Hall was not used this year. Free ticketing can work yet the implementation of the idea needs to be changed.

Press was able to get into the Soap Bubble without waiting in the long line.. hmmm...
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#25 User is offline   Zrana 

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 03:57 PM

I'll keep this short and sweet.

Cheers: Holy crap was everyone well behaved overall this year or what? I didn't really see anyone being a jerk or destructive this year. And the only times someone talked to me about my props other than to admire them was when I was pretty much done with them. I didn't even know my 8 little knives were supposed to have been checked until late sunday. I had them beside me with I normally had them tightly between my fingers and well within the 6 inch rule that applied to them more so than the other prop rules because of how they were virtually a part of my hands.

Jeers: Karaoke you were FAIL. So was Rock Band, but that was something I was told, not that I experienced. There should NEVER be two seperate lists (LISTS not Pages, there's a difference and I know it) that get alternated from--one list will get longer than the other, making alternating unfair. They had to get paper from the hotel or something to even start the lists as well! And they should NOT let people sign up for multiple songs in a row. During the first 10 songs I think I saw one girl up there THREE TIMES (my song count might be wrong, but I'm not wrong about the number of times she was up there) and she wasn't the only one up there multiple times. That is TOTALLY unfair for ALL THE MANY MANY OTHER PEOPLE who are signed up after them, especially when an event has already had many delays. I wasn't the only one pissed off about this. And saying that That's the who the paper says means NOTHING--if you're the one running the panel it's YOUR responsibility to keep things fair. It doesn't matter if they're your friend or if you love their song or singing. FAIRNESS. That's all I ask. And one more thing--why the hell did I and others nearly lose our voices before we finally did have a chance to sing? It was too loud in there, unneccessarily so. I shouldn't have to YELL into the ear of someone next to me for karaoke. For a concert or dance? Sure. But not for a karaoke room.

tl;dr: painfully obvious that karaoke was ill-prepared both with supplies and mental concepts of how to do things.

Okay, rant done. Acen was 90%+ good to me this year. Just the one fail. Normally cons have more fail than that, so I'd say that things went well!
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#26 User is offline   ayekasong 

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 04:58 PM

View Postwuanimesociety, on May 11 2009, 10:25 AM, said:

3. Elevator parties and elevator stuffing is getting ridiculous. IRT and A-Cen staff: can we find some way to limit people using the elevators to go up or down one floor? Also, can someone at least TRY keep people from playing on the elevators or stuffing them? The hotel obviously needs elevators in the four towers, but barring them doing a huge redesign, something still needs done before someone gets killed. A couple of years ago, a kid at Ohio State University was killed when his dormmates stuffed an elevator. He was the last one to get on and almost literally the straw that broke the camel's back. He was crushed to death when the elevator suddenly dropped 10 floors, hurting most of his friends in the process. Elevator stuffing is also the reason two of the elevators were shut down for periods of time. People put too much strain on them, and they stopped working. Grow up. Take the stairs or escalators for one-two floor journeys.


While I agree that there needs to be some way to monitor the elevators, I want to point something out about the going up or down one floor thing. My friend and I lucked out and got a room on the 3rd floor. I was thrilled, but my friend has major back problems and cannot walk up and down stairs too often. To complicate things, she fell on Thursday night and could barely walk. She refused to get a wheelchair, so you could not visually see that she couldn't walk well unless you saw her limping before we got on the elevator. We got some snide remarks about it, but sorry, I was not going to go to the Emergency Room because she insisted on going up stairs when she could hardly walk. Anyway, the point of this is that they cannot stop people from only going up or down one floor because it is against handicap compliance rules.

Now on the flip side, we stayed in one of the rooms that was NOT in a tower...so we could hear everything. Including the 500 people who kept ringing the emergency bells on the elevators at 3 in the morning. Come on guys, I'm all about having fun, but pissing off the Hyatt staff and your fellow congoers is ridiculous. I really hope that there is some way this could be monitored next year.
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#27 User is offline   Lenne 

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 05:08 PM

Quote

Now on the flip side, we stayed in one of the rooms that was NOT in a tower...so we could hear everything. Including the 500 people who kept ringing the emergency bells on the elevators at 3 in the morning. Come on guys, I'm all about having fun, but pissing off the Hyatt staff and your fellow congoers is ridiculous. I really hope that there is some way this could be monitored next year.


This is the first year I wasn't in a room in the Executive Wing during the con, and yeah. Even though my room was up on the 8th floor, I could still hear just about everything from down in the lobby and first floor, and people can be really loud.
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#28 User is offline   Voxx 

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 05:17 PM

Cheers:

♥Meeting all of you! You guys rocked the party! Ow ow! And seeing how everyone was sooo happy about reg lines made us feel fantastic!

♥Takashi Miike panel. That was just awesome XD I love his movies.

♥Layout for Reg/Dealers/Artists Alley- It was SOOOO organized and VERY VERY well planned out and extremely accessible and easy to find your way around everything! DEFINITELY suggest doing this again because it worked out VERY VERY well.


Jeers:

◘ Organization with lines. The Move concert was horrible. I was one of the first 5 people there and asked if I could start the line and asked where it should be and they told me where and I started it and everyone was very nice and even when we were asked to move back to a certain spot we all politely scooted back IN SINGLE FILE. Then some very unorganized person was like, okay everyone needs to line up......THERE! And it was one big clusterpluck. Then they did that about 3 more times. It was unfair to those who waited and wanted to be in the front. Make sure with IRT there is only ONE person directing the line or have better communication and organization skills. Seriously. You have one big line that is in a nice line and saying for everyone to run to the door isnt a good idea. *le sigh*

◘ This isnt about the con, but with attendees. With the elevators be COURTEOUS! Jeez seriously people. Everyone needs to use them so dont all bunch up to the front and ACT like its full. That is seriously rude and just makes more people have to wait. Also I had to yell at some kids who were like, "lets jump on the elevators!" and myself and a few people around GLARED and SNAPPED at them. We are like GROW UP. The LAST thing we want is an elevator broken. They shut up quickly...

◘ The Karaoke panel. I already discussed this on the thread about it, but it was quite disorganized and I think it should be much earlier.

Thats my top 3 Cheers and Jeers ♥

Okay im going to put one more Jeer only because its important

* Next year with the programing book, have it so the rooms match up or have it in one big book! It would be much bigger but hey, less things to carry and check through. I would definitely love to have just one big programming book over 2.
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#29 User is offline   Yuna7780 

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 05:28 PM

I had to pick up my badge in line and it went quickly, imo.

The IRTs were really polite, and I enjoyed talking to them when they could.



One of the things that bothered me the MOST was when I was waiting in line for the rave Saturday night... I waited outside in the cold for 2 hours (a half hour inside), and there was PLENTY of space inside the building with the ropes. I also had to go to the bathroom after being in the line for an hour and a half, and I couldn't lose my spot in line, so I made sure I spent a lot of time inside the rave once I got in, and had to endure a full bladder for a really long time...

The Persona panel got changed one too many times...

There were no maps and schedules I could pick up.
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#30 User is offline   Valencia Crowe 

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 05:31 PM

View PostYuna7780, on May 12 2009, 06:28 PM, said:

There were no maps and schedules I could pick up.

Registration had bags and books (with a map and schedules) and a sheet that had the schedules for panels and stuff.

Edit: Fixed sentence.

This post has been edited by Valencia Crowe: 12 May 2009 - 05:32 PM

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