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Main Programming Feedback For Dances and Events. Merged topics

#1 User is offline   GSDfan87 

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 10:27 AM

EDIT FROM ALKAREN HYRALT:

The following posts were in a different topic about the Soap Bubble Event. When I merged topics with my own it threw my posts to the bottom. I will address the concerns as I originally intended here.

----------------------------



So this year wasn't too bad. Main problem I had was the amount of lines... for everything. But this was even tolerable because I was with my friends and we were still having a good time.

To the point...

After sitting in the game room forever due to unrelated gripes, my friends and I decided to go to the rave in the main hall. I figured that it had been nearly two hours since it opened so if there is a line still it shouldn't be that bad. I was dead wrong...

The line was clear out the door and almost to the edge of the building. We stopped and spoke to a guy who was in line and asked how long he had been waiting. He said over an hour.

This is insane. So my idea is to utilize the Embassy and the Double Tree.

Basically the convention center isn't open 24 hours so no late night activities can take place there, but the hotels are. We already used the Embassy for the friday night rave, and I am sure the Double tree can be used if need be. I am not sure how hard it would be to find another DJ for another rave, but I am willing to bet the current DJ has a couple of DJ friends who may be available. So if we could get 2 DJ's and 2 Main halls, then we could run 2 concurrent raves on Saturday night. Which I think would pretty much cover the over crowding and line issue from this year.

what does everyone else think?

#2 User is offline   mmy-sama 

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 12:55 PM

Why not have multiple dances on saturday night? Each one can cater to a different theme, or age group. At reactor, they used to have one all ages event and one 18+ event. thats would be a good idea for Acen. That way, none of the events are over crowded, and theres less standing in line.
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#3 User is offline   www.ProdigyGM.com 

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 01:00 PM

the line wasn't that bad. The swine flu bits were hilarious.

#4 User is offline   CptMath 

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 02:35 PM

View PostGSDfan87, on May 13 2009, 11:27 AM, said:

So this year wasn't too bad. Main problem I had was the amount of lines... for everything. But this was even tolerable because I was with my friends and we were still having a good time.

To the point...

After sitting in the game room forever due to unrelated gripes, my friends and I decided to go to the rave in the main hall. I figured that it had been nearly two hours since it opened so if there is a line still it shouldn't be that bad. I was dead wrong...

The line was clear out the door and almost to the edge of the building. We stopped and spoke to a guy who was in line and asked how long he had been waiting. He said over an hour.

This is insane. So my idea is to utilize the Embassy and the Double Tree.

Basically the convention center isn't open 24 hours so no late night activities can take place there, but the hotels are. We already used the Embassy for the friday night rave, and I am sure the Double tree can be used if need be. I am not sure how hard it would be to find another DJ for another rave, but I am willing to bet the current DJ has a couple of DJ friends who may be available. So if we could get 2 DJ's and 2 Main halls, then we could run 2 concurrent raves on Saturday night. Which I think would pretty much cover the over crowding and line issue from this year.

what does everyone else think?


It's not a horrible idea in general. This year, there was something seriously wrong with the sound at the Embassy. If it's going to be too hard for them to get the sound right in general, I'd rather there just be one dance in the Hyatt where it will at least sound ok.

#5 User is offline   Rini 

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 02:47 PM

The only problem is that Main programming would be then overseeing TWO extremely large scale dances, + getting the IRT needed to help keep all the attendees safe.

I say this as an attendee, not a staffer, btw. These are just two problems i can see arising if we were to split the soapbubble into two concurrent dances.
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#6 User is offline   GSDfan87 

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 04:29 PM

View Postrini, on May 13 2009, 08:47 PM, said:

The only problem is that Main programming would be then overseeing TWO extremely large scale dances, + getting the IRT needed to help keep all the attendees safe.

I say this as an attendee, not a staffer, btw. These are just two problems i can see arising if we were to split the soapbubble into two concurrent dances.



Well the general idea would be that if there were 2 dances, then there wouldn't be a line, or no where near as long of one, and therefore you wouldn't need as many IRT at each dance. I know you would still need a few more in the end, but as the con expands so must the activities and staff.

#7 User is offline   Rini 

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 04:30 PM

Actually, although you sometimes don't see them, there are still tons of IRT INSIDE the soapbubble/underground groove just to keep an eye on things. <3 IRT
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#8 User is offline   GSDfan87 

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 04:37 PM

View Postrini, on May 13 2009, 10:30 PM, said:

Actually, although you sometimes don't see them, there are still tons of IRT INSIDE the soapbubble/underground groove just to keep an eye on things. <3 IRT


I know that from previous years, not this one, couldn't get in. I am not sure how big the IRT staff list is at this point, but I am sure it is quite large. Perhaps Acen should look into some other dance only monitors. Like offer people either comp or discount badge in exchange for watching over the Rave for an hour or two, and then have a team B, that switches so Team A can go to rave.

Or perhaps, they could get the IRT something like a Lifeguard stand, enabling 1 IRT to do the monitoring of 2 or 3.

#9 User is offline   sammy-45 

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 06:04 PM

So have you seen the numbers that we had for the con. Paid attendees was 14,351- thats just people who registered to go. With everyone counted including staff it was 16,200.

About 80-100 staffers were IRT. So if you do the math its about 202 people for each IRT person. Thank goodness for the Rosemont police they do a great job. (If I am wrong please fix it)

the main programing staff is about 10-20 people. They need to sleep too.

To do two dances right now at the same time everyone on IRT and main programing staff would have to be up all night working and no one would get any sleep.

Now it would be cool to just add more staff- but the more staff we add more people we have to find housing for, and feed on staff. Nothing is every easy.

As for the idea that 2 dances = no line, look back at the reg numbers. The dances are one of the most popular things to do at con, so even if you had 2 dances on the same night there would still be a line.

I hope that this helps, and now that you have some numbers to work with you can help us come up with ideas to make it better.
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#10 User is offline   daegan 

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 06:15 PM

View Postsammy-45, on May 14 2009, 01:04 AM, said:

So have you seen the numbers that we had for the con. Paid attendees was 14,351- thats just people who registered to go. With everyone counted including staff it was 16,200.

About 80-100 staffers were IRT. So if you do the math its about 202 people for each IRT person. Thank goodness for the Rosemont police they do a great job. (If I am wrong please fix it)

the main programing staff is about 10-20 people. They need to sleep too.

To do two dances right now at the same time everyone on IRT and main programing staff would have to be up all night working and no one would get any sleep.

Now it would be cool to just add more staff- but the more staff we add more people we have to find housing for, and feed on staff. Nothing is every easy.

As for the idea that 2 dances = no line, look back at the reg numbers. The dances are one of the most popular things to do at con, so even if you had 2 dances on the same night there would still be a line.

I hope that this helps, and now that you have some numbers to work with you can help us come up with ideas to make it better.


And again, I'll say that a way needs to be found to actually use the extra space that was added to main programming this year. I want to thank the staff that has replied so far for making it known that space is not the only thing taken into account when figuring out capacity: there are things like the stage and front of house, chairs, exits, etc.

Now here's the kicker though: every other thing was pretty much the same from the last time I was in hyatt's MP room in 07. The same exits were sealed, the stage still took up the front 1/3 of the room, etc, etc, etc. The one variable that did change? The size of the room. Why take the space if you're not going to use it?
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#11 User is offline   Rini 

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 05:20 AM

It's not so much about the extra space as it is about the number of attendees. Yes, they could find more space, but acen grows each year, so there would still be lines just due to the sheer amount of people.

No matter what, there will never be a perfect attendee to IRT ratio, but splitting the dance into two, at two DIFFERENT hotels (or even in the same hotel) would just deplete staff and not necessarily kill the lines.

*Note* This was stated as an attendee, not as a staffer.

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#12 User is offline   Miss Yoko - Fanciful Faces 

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 08:23 AM

View Postsammy-45, on May 13 2009, 07:04 PM, said:

Now it would be cool to just add more staff- but the more staff we add more people we have to find housing for, and feed on staff. Nothing is every easy.



And why not hiring peeps? I'm pretty sure there is a lot of local ready for that kind of job...
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#13 User is offline   Alysia 

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 08:27 AM

View PostMiss Yoko - Fanciful Faces, on May 14 2009, 09:23 AM, said:

And why not hiring peeps? I'm pretty sure there is a lot of local ready for that kind of job...

Are you suggesting paid people? We're a non-profit, nobody gets paid. We use our money to put on the con.

#14 User is offline   daegan 

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 08:33 AM

View Postrini, on May 14 2009, 12:20 PM, said:

It's not so much about the extra space as it is about the number of attendees. Yes, they could find more space, but acen grows each year, so there would still be lines just due to the sheer amount of people.

No matter what, there will never be a perfect attendee to IRT ratio, but splitting the dance into two, at two DIFFERENT hotels (or even in the same hotel) would just deplete staff and not necessarily kill the lines.

*Note* This was stated as an attendee, not as a staffer.


Right, and I still agree that this is pretty much a bad idea and not the way to do it. This would be diluting the musical talent pool, etc.

Screw it, just have it on top of the parking garage XD
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#15 User is offline   Miss Yoko - Fanciful Faces 

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 08:34 AM

View PostAlysia, on May 14 2009, 09:27 AM, said:

Are you suggesting paid people? We're a non-profit, nobody gets paid. We use our money to put on the con.


So maybe you have to change your business model, you're maybe now to big... ;)
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#16 User is offline   Alysia 

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 08:41 AM

View PostMiss Yoko - Fanciful Faces, on May 14 2009, 09:34 AM, said:

So maybe you have to change your business model, you're maybe now to big... ;)

Can't happen-we would cease to exist. Were we to start paying people, we would no longer be able to support a con the size of ACen.
We're not looking to become a big trade show, anyways.

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 08:46 AM

View PostAlysia, on May 14 2009, 09:41 AM, said:

Can't happen-we would cease to exist. Were we to start paying people, we would no longer be able to support a con the size of ACen.
We're not looking to become a big trade show, anyways.


okidoki, it was just a suggestion/question. :)
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#18 User is offline   EzERawk 

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 09:06 AM

I already posted a huge post about my problems with the Soap Bubble and how it was definitely worse this year than last year. I also offered a few suggestions and what not. No actually seemed to comment on my post, but here's the link.

http://www.acen.org/forums/index.php?showt...mp;#entry726470

Realistically, something needs to be done because the dance is the biggest draw and I'm sure there are a lot of people that just come to go to it. I'd really like to get some discussion moving on this and possibly see what I can do to help the situation. I'm willing to play phone tag with people and companies to find a reasonable solution that can satisfy everyone, because as I already stated Acen keeps growing yet continues to operate in the same venue, and that's just going to make things more and more complicated.
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#19 User is offline   GSDfan87 

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 10:24 AM

Look, I know this isn't the simplest idea in the world, but since one the Hyatt isn't making its room any larger, and two since Rosemont isn't making its fire code any more relaxed, there really isn't a choice. The fact is as the con's population grows, so must the physical space that it occupies. And if we don't start making better use of the other hotels in the area, then the con will need to be moved to a more accommodating venue. But most people don't want to move it for one reason or another. And I understand the IRT thing to a point. But you also have to consider how many IRT are used for completely pointless tasks. There are always IRT standing around in public areas trying to get people to move from one place to another, and frankly it isn't there problem nor there business. A public area is for the public, con goers included, leave them alone. I was told to move twice for the reason of "we are trying to keep this area clear" no reason for doing this, but ok what ever. I think the con should try giving the con goers a chance to prove there responsibility. I am pretty sure that the number of in IRT is way above what is actually needed. There is a pretty large population of adults at the con, we don't need babysitters. I estimate at most each dance would need 10-20 IRT, 1 for each non lock door 2-3 for lines, and a few more inside near the stage. They already have walkie talkies and can call for back up if anything stupid happens.

#20 User is offline   Rini 

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 10:51 AM

Do you have any idea how hard it is to hear on walkie talkies? O.o

Irt's job is to keep people safe. Con goers might not always agree or see the point, but they are assigned their job for a reason.
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#21 User is offline   GSDfan87 

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 03:58 PM

Yes the con needs to be safe, but that doesn't mean you need watch dogs placed every 20 feet in a line. If you give people a little bit of elbow room you will find they are more responsible than you give them credit for and they don't need constant attention. And the few that do, will quickly be identified by the rest of the con goers and they can be handled by IRT or the cops. With this understanding, 2 raves are completely possible, with minimal effort and additional man power.

#22 User is offline   sammy-45 

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 08:04 PM

One we don't have the personal to put them every 20 feet. not even every 100 feet. for the line that started in the hotel, went down the lobby around the corner, out the door, back down the sidewalk- there were about 10 IRT people working that whole line.

Two if they asked you to keep an area clear it had a point. Many times it was because they had an emergency and needed to have a clear path for people to get in and out for help. Other then that if the area is public, and not in front of a fire door, they let you be.
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Posted 15 May 2009 - 11:45 PM

View PostGSDfan87, on May 14 2009, 12:24 PM, said:

Look, I know this isn't the simplest idea in the world, but since one the Hyatt isn't making its room any larger, and two since Rosemont isn't making its fire code any more relaxed, there really isn't a choice. The fact is as the con's population grows, so must the physical space that it occupies. And if we don't start making better use of the other hotels in the area, then the con will need to be moved to a more accommodating venue. But most people don't want to move it for one reason or another. And I understand the IRT thing to a point. But you also have to consider how many IRT are used for completely pointless tasks. There are always IRT standing around in public areas trying to get people to move from one place to another, and frankly it isn't there problem nor there business. A public area is for the public, con goers included, leave them alone. I was told to move twice for the reason of "we are trying to keep this area clear" no reason for doing this, but ok what ever. I think the con should try giving the con goers a chance to prove there responsibility. I am pretty sure that the number of in IRT is way above what is actually needed. There is a pretty large population of adults at the con, we don't need babysitters. I estimate at most each dance would need 10-20 IRT, 1 for each non lock door 2-3 for lines, and a few more inside near the stage. They already have walkie talkies and can call for back up if anything stupid happens.


Just a couple of points I want to address.

First, the radios don't work very well inside the dances... you can't hear anything, do that's unfortunately not a good means of communication inside the dances.

Also... IRT is split into shifts. Out of roughly 100 IRT this year, about 10 of them were on Guest Escort duty, and the rest were split between day shift, mid shift, and night shift... and also split between the hotel and the con center. We honestly don't have 10-20 IRT for each dance, for two dances... we would have to double the number of IRT assigned to dance duty. Besides that, programming people would need to be up as well, so they'd have to double their available numbers at that time, plus we'd have to have double the equipment and double the DJs. So having two dances at the same time really isn't a realistic thing.

We would also have the cost of renting space for the dance in another hotel... unfortunately, they don't let us use space out of the goodness of their hearts... the hotels charge for every bit of space we use for the convention.

Another thing, regarding the IRT standing around in public areas.... IRT doesn't stand around in an area unless they have to keep a specific area clear for an important guest coming through or a medical issue. IRT on shift walk around an assigned area... and yes, they do ask people to keep some reasons clear: mainly entryways and hallways, to keep the flow of traffic moving. If people can't get through a hallway because it's too crowded, or if someone if blocking a doorway, that can cause a problem which is why people are asked to keep areas clear. Basically, if you're standing around talking to someone, please don't do it while standing and blocking a hallway. It's really difficult to get somewhere when there are people walking in two directions in the hallway around a group of people who are just standing there blocking it.

Also remember, when IRT says that they're keeping an area clear, it's most likely for fire code reasons as well! Yes, blocking hallways and doorways can be a violation of the fire code!

#24 User is offline   Aeros 

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 08:31 AM

Here's a terrible idea:

Rave Tickets.

Ya have tickets for everything else that's popular, why not the rave as well?

Maybe have Tier A (First In), Tier B(As people leave) and Tier C(Clean up Crew)?

Possibly exempt it from the one ticketed event rule. Or possibly not. Since at most you'll be able to get 10% or less of the con through the rave.

Also, possibly set the age restriction to 18 and up for both logistics and safety reasons, if they're not already in place.
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#25 User is offline   Alkaren Hyralt 

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 12:32 PM

Greetings all, as some of you may know; I am Zac, ADH of Main Programming. As the most prominent member of MP on these forums, I feel that I should be better addressing the concerns of people with my department. I have seen lots of comments about the Soap Bubble and other events scattered about the forums. As it's hard for me to keep track of every single post relating to the department, I would like to try to focus them all in to this one thread. If I need to, I can merge the Saturday night rave topic in to this one as well.

I would just like a more uniform topic so I and Kat of AV Tech can better address concerns of you, the attendees. Last year I was the one in charge of the soap bubble, however this year I was in charge of the Underground Groove and took over the later part of the Soap Bubble. However, as a senior staff member, and working closely with IRT all these years (Some of you may have seen me in my IRT vest this year) I try to bring a good insight and idea on how we all can work together to make things more streamline and solict more positive feedback.

There have been many ideas on how we can improve the soap bubble coming from the attendees; I apologize if I ask you to move the discussions to here for the benefit of everyone. A link to the post is even acceptable.

As I have said, we in Main Programming work hard to put on the best shows for all of you, and we always will welcome your feedback and suggestions on how we can better improve.

On that note, I would like to open the floor, so to speak.
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#26 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 03:46 PM

View PostAeros, on May 16 2009, 09:31 AM, said:

Here's a terrible idea:

Rave Tickets.

Ya have tickets for everything else that's popular, why not the rave as well?

Maybe have Tier A (First In), Tier B(As people leave) and Tier C(Clean up Crew)?

Possibly exempt it from the one ticketed event rule. Or possibly not. Since at most you'll be able to get 10% or less of the con through the rave.

Also, possibly set the age restriction to 18 and up for both logistics and safety reasons, if they're not already in place.

I like the idea of tickets for the rave and I like the age restriction idea too.
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View PostFoolish Humon, on 13 June 2010 - 07:19 PM, said:

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#27 User is offline   Yahoodi 

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 04:24 PM

I agree the rave needs to be bigger. There was like an hour long line at 2 AM. I remember last year getting in no problem around midnight.

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 04:58 PM

I will soon merge this topic in with my Main Programming feedback to better address suggestions and concerns with the soap bubble and other events we host.
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#29 User is offline   GSDfan87 

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:20 AM

Tickets could work, and age limits is a great idea, though I'm not sure how much that would help the line because it seems the Acen population is becoming more mature (like in the 20-30 range) not 14-18 range. Which I think is how it got as big as it has, which is great, but the organization has to be whiling to grow too. If there are over 16000 attendees, then shouldn't that mean there is that much more registration money. Not to mention that the price has gone up as well. And on the topic of hiring help, if the con paid a security service to use there people to do it, wouldn't it be a similar expense as buying food for staffers. It would just be a service for the con, not actually paying people.

Bottom line, the con is now huge, really huge, therefore other things must get larger as well. This would mean staff, and floor space.

#30 User is offline   GSDfan87 

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:25 AM

Here is a topic I started about the Saturday Night Rave. To sum it up, I was unable to attend the rave due to the huge line to get in. This is pretty ridiculous and I think that Acen should consider splitting the rave into 2 buildings (Hyatt and Embassy or Double Tree) to facilitate more people attending. There are many comments in the topic, please read through them post your opinion or concerns.

http://www.acen.org/...showtopic=30189

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