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Panelist Policy Feedback Thread PROVIDE IDEAS/FEEDBACK

#1 User is offline   Zerox20 

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 10:11 PM

The current Panelist Policy for 2011 has raised many concerns from Panelist and generally some issues with understanding it. Please use this to provide good feedback and ideas on how you would like to see this policy revamped or changed.

We know it needs to be reworded, that is 100% our fault for not wording it as clearly as we should have. Rest assured that issue WILL be fixed. Again this will be heavily moderated thread, please keep it civil and on topic.

We have posted an OFFICIAL Statement regarding Panelists Policy for 2011 year: Panel Programming Q&A
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E: panelprogramming@ACen.org || Panel Programming FAQ

#2 User is offline   nyanderful 

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 11:02 PM

I think this years policy wasn't a bad idea, it is just that it wasn't clear and was not made enough of a focal point. Also if that Q%A thread was posted much sooner, or the policy change wasn't buried in the panelist policy I don't think there would be so many ppl upset. Another thing that would help is if programming was quicker to respond to our emails when we misunderstand or have a concern.

This post has been edited by nyanderful: 14 May 2011 - 11:03 PM


#3 User is offline   Lizzykun 

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 11:19 PM

An example would have made things much clearer. I also feel it should have been addressed much sooner. I'm not sure if I agree 100% on the idea of one comp badge an hour. Maybe one badge should be cut off and instead of offering 3 comp badges just offer 2 for regular panels, and 3 for panels with more interactive programming such as workshops and games. Things that would fully utilize 3 people.
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#4 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 11:33 PM

This isn't about the policy per se, but I feel that the time frame for applying for panels is way too long. I say a month at the most is enough time for people to apply for panels that way it gives you more time to approve/deny panels, gets approval/denial emails out faster and gets a schedule out faster. It has taken way too long for people to be notified whether a panel has or has not been approved and it is too close to the con when we are notified. Hopefully this will get fixed. While I know Otakon is a much bigger convention but, I think they had panel applications open for only two weeks.

This post has been edited by Lina: 14 May 2011 - 11:34 PM

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#5 User is offline   AnimeFantasy 

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 11:55 PM

Panelist do put in a lot of time and effort into creating content for a panel be it creating a game or quiz, possibly buying prize support, And Panels are one of the key lifeblood's of Anime Conventions. There should be some kind of reward for panelists, if a 100% free badge or badges aren't a viable option as they have been in years past.

Could it be possible to have a discount system put in place? Say if a group of 3 people wish to run a 1 hour panel, Comp the Head Panelists badge, and give a special panelist rate for the other 2 panelists. Giving say a 50% off discount would be a way to keep it economically viable while still offering a nice thank you to panelists. With the current policy, I do have fears that many panels may end up mysteriously canceled or no shows, which would be really depressing, Its also a shame that this kind of stuff happens 1 week before the con kicks off.

I understand the possible issue with panels being perhaps a 1 man PowerPoint slideshow where there might be 2 people mooching a free badge and twiddling their thumbs off to the side. But there are many panels where even with 3 people they put in hours and hours of work to make it come together.

This post has been edited by AnimeFantasy: 14 May 2011 - 11:56 PM


#6 User is offline   TaiyakiOni 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 01:09 AM

1) Most panels only run 1 hour long at most, few ever run 2 hours in length, and most panels have at least 2 people running it. I'd say either cut it down to 2 badges for 1 hour or the suggestion of a discount to panelists on their badges also sounds viable. If you don't give panelists a reward for putting all that work and effort into a panel for people at your con why should they care enough to do it for you when it is us spending our free time to make your con an enjoyable experience.

2) The biggest reason most people are upset is because the policy wasn't made clear until a week before the Con starts, catching many panelists off guard who were expecting badges for their work and have not accrued the budget necessary to now purchase a badge. This information was also made aware AFTER Preregistration closed, so now they are doubly screwed in having to go wait in line for their badges. This is very upsetting after the work they put into making your Con's programming.

3) It especially hurts those who have morning panels on Friday who now have to get their badge in line during the time their panel is originally scheduled to run. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

All in all, more warning next time guys, and be more specific about and bring attention to changes in policy and what those changes are.

Especially do this long before a week until the Con and after pre-registration is closed and screwing over the panelists who are now badge-less.
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#7 User is offline   therobd 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 01:41 AM

An example would have been clearer, and some way to notify head panelists exactly who is getting a free badge would have been a good idea.

This post has been edited by therobd: 15 May 2011 - 08:14 AM


#8 User is offline   HaruHE 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 02:05 AM

It seems most if not all of us were unaware of the changes buried within the terms of service, this is my personal point of view but I believe some sort of discount should be provided to those of us who are signed up to do a panel at least for this year, since this cost us the opportunity to get our badges earlier within the year, I believe it would be quite fair.
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#9 User is offline   rdhdtwns 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 08:11 AM

I believe there are a few logical ways to be able to handle this democratically -

1) Shut up and take the the hit this year - stick to your old policy of 3 badges per panel. This is clearly ACen's fault with customers (ie us) misunderstanding, and since I have already heard many of my friends say they don't wish to return next year, in the name of Customer Service - you need to do what's right. (believe me, I work for FedEx - I know too much inregards to customer service. The Customer may not always be right, and the customer may just be down right stupid and not deserving of anything, but if it was even your simple mistake, it's still your responsibility.)

2) This is really hurting those who may have earlier panels - they'll be stuck in reg line. No offense, but your reg lines are horrendous. Have any and all panelists (comped or not at this point) be able to check in through Panel Ops. You already have their information, so there should be no issue in being able to offer them a badge through there at a discounted rate. It's also no fair to those who have a badge to have to be in line with their friend/SO/sibling who ended up not getting one. So everyone has to wait. No show, no panel, disappointment abounds.

I still have full faith that you'll do something right this time. Because there have been many mistakes.
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#10 User is offline   Hanamizuki 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 08:39 AM

I'm pretty much agreeing with everybody else in this thread, but I'm going to post anyways just to show that it needs to have attention.

1) The wording of the policy change was definitely confusing. As soon as I found out that badges aren't going to be granted out as every past year, I went to go read it myself just to see what it's saying, and I didn't understand it at all. Something that might've been helpful was noting the policy change in the panel acceptance e-mail. This way, as soon as the panelist found out their panel is going to be featured in programming, they can go back and look through the policy and ask questions in case they missed the change or if there is any confusion.

2) Because of this, there are chances that I may not be able to make it as a co-panelist this year depending on how badges are assigned to panelists. I worked hard watching series and doing my own small share of research to help make the panels become a great experience for the con-goers with the head-panelist. Finding out that I may not get a badge for some of the work I put into helping the panels be enjoyable and interesting is devastating. While comp badges aren't going to be given out freely this time around, I believe that giving some kind of compensation would be admirable. No matter what people say, conventions are a business--they make money and need it to make it successful. Customer Service is important to business.

3) I fully approve of the policy change because it's reasonable and people DO abuse the system. Of course there would want to be a stop to the abuse. However, providing examples and using smaller words would have helped for those that have a hard time understanding. Because this is pretty much giving out free stuff, it's important to know. Important things need to be understood by children so they KNOW that it's important and know what to do.

This was going to be my first Anime Central experience, and I'm really sad that it may not work out. I hope that things can be turned around some way.

#11 User is offline   nyanderful 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 09:01 AM

View Postrdhdtwns, on 15 May 2011 - 08:11 AM, said:

I believe there are a few logical ways to be able to handle this democratically -

1) Shut up and take the the hit this year - stick to your old policy of 3 badges per panel. This is clearly ACen's fault with customers (ie us) misunderstanding, and since I have already heard many of my friends say they don't wish to return next year, in the name of Customer Service - you need to do what's right. (believe me, I work for FedEx - I know too much inregards to customer service. The Customer may not always be right, and the customer may just be down right stupid and not deserving of anything, but if it was even your simple mistake, it's still your responsibility.)

2) This is really hurting those who may have earlier panels - they'll be stuck in reg line. No offense, but your reg lines are horrendous. Have any and all panelists (comped or not at this point) be able to check in through Panel Ops. You already have their information, so there should be no issue in being able to offer them a badge through there at a discounted rate. It's also no fair to those who have a badge to have to be in line with their friend/SO/sibling who ended up not getting one. So everyone has to wait. No show, no panel, disappointment abounds.

I still have full faith that you'll do something right this time. Because there have been many mistakes.


I agree with this

#12 User is offline   Krystal 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 09:18 AM

Maybe don't just blame us for it as well? In the last thread, I said tere should have been a warning at the top, and the only reply I got was "oh, you agree to things without reading them? How do you know anythibg else about panel-running?" You guys KNOW that this isn't the case, because that new policy was very, very tiny and sandwiched.

This is a GREAT was to ensure you lose panelists in the future. We may not be guests, but we sure provide a lot of entertainment, so at least treat us with a normal amount of respect. Now that only one badge is being comped, a lot of us are now uncomped volunteers, so give us a break. I'm going to repeat what I said in the last thread about comping two badges for the first hour. Many people cannot run a panel by themselves, and it would not be fair if every year, a pair of friends had to argue about who now gets comped and who doesn't under this new system.
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#13 User is offline   The Ghost of Acen 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 09:28 AM

I agree with a discount. I pre registered early, so that in case my panel was denied, I could pay the lower rate. Now, I'm likely to pay the full price, since pre reg is closed. I know for my panel, all three of us are doing work, and presenting. Abuse happens, yes. But maybe there should be a review of the panels? Say, the IRC person in the room determines if the panel presenters all did work, and presented, and then, if that panel returns, they get all three badges comped? I know that's a lot of work, but it's just an idea for next year. It wouldn't really be fair to the new panels, so a discount sounds good, and then if you're good, you get the full comped badge.

Thank you for working on this, I know it must be stressful, especially the week before ACen.
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#14 User is offline   HEDGESMFG 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 01:41 PM

Personally, I believe that any good panel fundamentally needs to have 2 speakers. That way, ideas can be debated back and forth between the two, as well as with the audience, and you have more than simply one person speaking for an hour. Due to this, I believe ACEN should start by allowing 2 comped badges for the first hour, and one for each additional hour, cutting it off at 3 badges total. Putting on a presentation for 2 hours is no small task. High quality panelists shouldn't be punished just because a few might not have lived up to the task. If the head panel coordinator has done their job and properly screened applicants for what seems to be a quality presentation (looking at outlines, ect. ect.), then you shouldn't have to worry about people just "talking for a free badge". If 2 panelists give you an hour of quality programming that helps draw attendees (and panels, though they are not the sole reason people attend ACEN, are certainly an important part of the convention's operation!), ACEN should be willing to sacrifice a few thousand dollars to ensure the motivation of happy and high quality panelists.

I realize that times and budgets are tight, and that you're just trying to be efficient perhaps even out of budget necessity, but panelists who work hard and do a good job should be properly rewarded. They are far less expensive than many other guests and events can be. Don't cut your budget by screwing the little guys, please.

Edit: Discounts have additional problems. If the discount approach is taken, please still make it possible for panelists to be able to work to earn a full badge. If you go with 50% discount for one hour or whichever, make sure the equivalent of 3 badges can still be reached with 3 hours of speaking.

Also, to be clear, while I can see that the update was in the new panelist terms, you really should have taken greater steps to ensure people on the forums knew about such a major change. A stickied thread dedicated EXCLUSIVELY to this issue, since it impacts the financing and plans of many repeat panelists who were, quite frankly, used to the old policy. If things MUST be changed in such an extreme way, realize that such a change warrants notifying as many people as possible well in advance.

This post has been edited by HEDGESMFG: 15 May 2011 - 02:00 PM


#15 User is offline   Zerox20 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 04:27 PM

Just a small update. We are having a meeting about this situation tonight and hope to have a resolution posted today.

Thanks for the patience.
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#16 User is offline   Rena-Chan 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 07:26 PM

I've been to other conventions before, and one of the things that separates ACen from other cons is the fan-run panels. This isn't something that a lot of others actually do, and it adds a whole different dimension to Anime Central. We have more for congoers to do, as well as involvement, love, and pride from fans who want to be a part of it. This year's change to the comped panelist badges almost seems to discourage it.

Someone mentioned that it really takes at least two people to run a panel successfully; I can vouch for this whole-heartedly. When I first ran a panel back in 2006, I thought that it was going to run an hour...and it would have if I had another person to work with (allowing for conversation, added opinions, etc). With just myself, I paced it too fast, didn't have enough material for just one person practically rattling it off, not knowing what I was doing...it finished super early...by about a half hour. This was by no means intentional. I have done a panel ever year since then (one year I did two) and haven't had that problem since. Do you know why that is? I've had fellow panelists. Having groupmates means having people to differ to, to have multiple perspectives on some issues, to banter with, to work with, and to push ourselves to do our best with. When I work on panels with people, I make sure they know that, if they're working on the panel, they will be helping with it in some way. Yes, these are referred to as "free badges" but they're not free--we are working for badges and earning them. It is a business transaction of the basic sense--bartering. We're giving our services (our time and effort preparing for the panel, then actually putting it on), and we're getting admission. If the people I am working with are going to be on the panel, they will work for it. As it would be, I have found two people whom I really work well with and know will work to earn their badges, and we're doing our panel again this year.

Some may say that it was the panelists' fault for not reading the new policy, but I beg to differ. Many who read it didn't quite understand what you intended, and those who didn't refrained from doing so since, with no great notice given to the change, they assumed it was the same as it has been for years.

I can understand that there would be the fear of just abusing the system, but I was under the impression that you really helped to change that this year with how you made us list just about every single thing that we are going to do in our panels. Theoretically, you all but are eliminating this. The only real thing you can do otherwise would be to have us list how each panelist is going to be involved (what sections they are covering, what have you). If they don't work for it as they said that they would? Blacklist them from running a panel for the following year.

Also, the issue of badges was not addressed until far too close to the convention--to the point that I've heard a few people voice that they think it wasn't brought into the forefront earlier purposely to try and get more money. Maybe I am wrong, but is the convention really LOSING money by comping the panelist badges (aside from the cost of printing the badge), or is it just that the con isn't making as much money as they assume that they will be? I'm really all for the notion of two comped badges for one hour, the third comped with a second hour. In some cases, the discount might not be enough. I know that I'm traveling from Wisconsin, border Minnesota, to go to Anime Central, and that running our panel is the main reason why I'm going. If I wasn't doing this panel, I probably wouldn't have signed up to go to the con this year. I've been coming every year since 2004, but, right now, I just can't afford it with the travel involved and all. When money is this tight, I was counting on hard work paying off. I am sure that it is the same with many others--the cost of the badge wasn't factored in. Really, if you're only going to reward us for a third of the work (ignoring the time involved with preparing beforehand, of course), then it would be easy to imaging that some people will only put in a third of the work. The way this goes, the future may include a bunch of solo panels not running nearly as well as they could have, panels being stretched out longer than they should so that they can afford it, or filled with people not trying their hardest.

In the words of a wise man:

"He was a great swordmaker, my father. When the six-fingered man appeared and requested a special sword. My father took the job. He slaved a year before it was done...The six-fingered man returned and demanded it, but at one tenth his promised price. MY FATHER REFUSED." -Inigo Montoya
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#17 User is offline   Krystal 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 07:36 PM

Hello. My name is Krystal. You cheapened my panel. PREPARE TO DIE. XD
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#18 User is offline   wrexness 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 08:53 PM

I made some of these opinions known earlier, but I'll go ahead and toss them out again since this will be the main thread it seems.

1) If you're going to make a significant change to policy, you really have to make a bigger deal about it. From the couple of people I've talked to, for the most part the rules seemed to be copy-pasta from years past. It may be a bit lazy, but I would think that if the rules looked the same for the first few sentences look the same as every other year before, I would be skimming through the rest and not looking too closely at them. Is that my fault (as a reader)? Yeah, sure. But it's also a human nature thing.

I have yearly training at my job, and it's the same every year. (Sexual harassment, suicide awareness, etc etc.) I barely paid attention to it the first time, why would I look at it any closer in the years after? If you put in big, bold letters (metaphorically or literally speaking - your choice) at the top of the panelist rules page, it would've gone a long way towards mitigating the surprise on the panelists' part. As a con, of course you have the ability to say, "Well, it was in the rules, that's what you agreed to," and if you want to get technical, you'd be right. But do you, as a con that relies rather heavily on fan panels to fill out the schedule, want to nitpick with the community that provides so many hours of your entertainment? I personally wouldn't, but obviously I don't make the rules.

2) As stated, the wording of the rule itself was rather ambiguous. I'm not going to go into depth about that, but the switching between terminology (groups, head panelist and co-panelist(s), panelist with no qualifier) left the exact meaning of the policy in muddy waters. It wasn't until the post on the forum that put it into plain terms did anyone even realize there was a rule change. This is just the reaction of people on the forum actively following the issue, what about the people who don't keep up with the forum? Or ones that normally do but are currently busy preparing and can't check the forum? This will be one heck of a surprise to panelists showing up Friday expecting a comp badge only to be turned away - assuming the rule stands as-is. I believe it will leave a lot of panelists questioning whether or not they'd want to come back if that happens to them.

3) If indeed this is to combat abuse, I personally think it's not a very good way to approach it. Ultimately you're punishing the people who put in many, many hours trying to put on a good show for the fans as well as the people who just sign up for a panel and not perform just so they can get a free badge. Wouldn't it make more sense to punish the abusers? It seems to me that if we promoted a culture of reporting these abusers and punishing them harshly it would deter other people from doing it in the future. For example, if you're caught ducking a panel, you have to pay full weekend price for this year's badge (and if you're not found current year, you can't purchase another badge until you pay up) and you can't participate in a panel for 3 years. To prevent false claims against panelists, say that anyone claiming a panelist didn't show has to grab a staffer and show notify them, at which point the staffer would go to the panel room and verify an infraction incurred.

Admittedly this doesn't resolve the issue of a panel being done by one person with one-to-two others just piggybacking for the free badge, but it's a step in the right direction I would think.

4) If this would be more of a funds issue, I'd certainly understand that. However, the fact that you say that the "head" panelist gets the free badge and the other co-panelists get the cold shoulder doesn't accurately reflect the nature of these panels. You could very easily have 2-3 people all putting equal work into a panel, and only the person who submits the panel gets the reward for it? That doesn't seem fair to me at all. It seems to me that if you pursue this route, you're only going to encourage people to stop working together as groups and instead go solo so they can get rewarded for all their work. This would lead to a huge drop-off in panel quality without a doubt.

If you're going to limit the comp badge output, then honestly you might as well just do away with them entirely. Skimming through the thread I've seen the idea of a discount tossed out, and I think that would be a better route. Instead of having a free badge, say for the first hour of programming in which a panelist participates knocks $10 off the roadshow rate, then each hour after that knocks off another $5-$10. This makes it more fair for all panelists involved and doesn't discourage people from working together in a panel group. Whether you work together in a group or you try to go solo, it's all the same, so there's really no reason why you shouldn't work in a group with your friends.
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Posted 15 May 2011 - 09:48 PM

Just want to chime in my two cents-

At the very least, please let panelists apply for exceptions to the rule this year. I'm a panelist on a one hour trivia panel, and since I was told (by my head panelist) that I'd get a free badge, I spent $70 on prize support. Both other panelists spent $50+ on prize support. We're not trying to free ride here- we were using the money we saved on badges to give stuff away to the audience. And all three of us put significant time and effort into the preparation for this panel.

If you guys do decide you want to stick with the rules as written, please at least create some sort of exemption application. Withdrawing most of our prize support will be a huge setback for our panel, so I'm hoping we can find a better resolution. I can produce a receipt of my panel's spending on prize support, if needed.

#20 User is offline   Zerox20 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 10:51 PM

We have updated the Q&A with the official statement this year for Panelist Badges. Please head over to that thread.
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#21 User is offline   therobd 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 11:06 PM

Thank you for doing the right thing concerning comped badges this year. Next year, please lay out the policy clearly with an example of how it works in practice. Also, please place it front and center and not hidden 3 pages down in the policy. That will alleviate any pains associated with the new policy.

Also, please make it clear exactly who is getting a comped badge when sending out panel confirmations. I feel like this could have been resolved if something had been mentioned in the confirmation e-mail. Had the policy stood, I would have had to investigate which of my panelists were getting the comped badges the policy said we were entitled to.

To summarize my requests:

1. Place the new badge policy front and center along with any other policies that may affect panelists financially.

2. Write out an example of how the policy works so there's no (or less) guessing as to what the language means.

3. Mention who is getting comped in the confirmation e-mail.

Thanks again for keeping us updated.

This post has been edited by therobd: 15 May 2011 - 11:08 PM


#22 User is offline   Rakuen 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 11:18 PM

View Postwrexness, on 15 May 2011 - 08:53 PM, said:

3) If indeed this is to combat abuse, I personally think it's not a very good way to approach it. Ultimately you're punishing the people who put in many, many hours trying to put on a good show for the fans as well as the people who just sign up for a panel and not perform just so they can get a free badge. Wouldn't it make more sense to punish the abusers? It seems to me that if we promoted a culture of reporting these abusers and punishing them harshly it would deter other people from doing it in the future. For example, if you're caught ducking a panel, you have to pay full weekend price for this year's badge (and if you're not found current year, you can't purchase another badge until you pay up) and you can't participate in a panel for 3 years. To prevent false claims against panelists, say that anyone claiming a panelist didn't show has to grab a staffer and show notify them, at which point the staffer would go to the panel room and verify an infraction incurred.

Admittedly this doesn't resolve the issue of a panel being done by one person with one-to-two others just piggybacking for the free badge, but it's a step in the right direction I would think.

I was going to type this, but you did it for me. This is exactly how abuse prevention should work, to a T. You could also add on top of it Otakon's policy of charging the first year you present a panel. Then once they've confirmed you've done it, they issue a chargeback that you'll get a few weeks later. Subsequent years you are not required to pay. It's simple. The collateral is up front, and once they know you're trustworthy, there's no need for the collateral.


As an additional point, a simple discount on badges isn't acceptable either. As it stands, a badge is $45~55. In the time it takes to put a decent panel together, you could make that much money at a job. That doesn't even include presenting the information. Yes, comped badges are a privilege, and not a right. But if the ultimate exchange rate is far less than minimum wage for hours of time devoted, then don't expect to see many panelists.

Quote

While I know Otakon is a much bigger convention but, I think they had panel applications open for only two weeks.

It was at least a month this year.
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#23 User is offline   Aonele 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 11:32 PM

guh, I don't really have any suggestions, since a lot of other folks have put in REALLY good suggestions already. I mostly agree with whoever suggested "comp 2 badges for 1 hour panels, one for the head panelist and the other for the co-panelist, and then add 1 comp badge per hour up to 3 hours"
I'd like to take this chance to say thank you for nullifying the policy for this year! I'm just feeling a lot better compared to before!
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#24 User is offline   The Ghost of Acen 

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 11:47 PM

Thank you for your hard work on reverting the rule for this year, we all really appreciate it. Even if I have to pay for part (or all of) my badge next year, I'll know way in advance, and I won't be surprised. I've stated a few suggestions above, and others have posted some good ones as well. I'll be sure to give more feedback when Acen is over.
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#25 User is offline   wrexness 

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 07:20 AM

View PostRakuen, on 15 May 2011 - 11:18 PM, said:

As an additional point, a simple discount on badges isn't acceptable either. As it stands, a badge is $45~55. In the time it takes to put a decent panel together, you could make that much money at a job. That doesn't even include presenting the information. Yes, comped badges are a privilege, and not a right. But if the ultimate exchange rate is far less than minimum wage for hours of time devoted, then don't expect to see many panelists.


It was at least a month this year.

Well as is the comp badge is a minimal incentive anyway. If you have the option of getting a roadshow badge, then that price is only $35 (this year) for the whole weekend which means your time put into it is worth even less. This is also why my suggestion used the roadshow rate as the baseline. I don't think it should be on ACen to compensate for the hours worked outside of the con, honestly. I personally have put probably a good 15-20 hours working on the slide show and cutting up videos for our panel, but that doesn't mean everyone else running a panel has. Others may have been reusing panels from previous years and made minor tweaks here or there but made no significant changes. Does that mean I should get a room for free while they just get a badge? Nah, of course not. From the con's perspective, I would think their concern really should only be the work you do publicly for presenting the panel itself.

And really, that's fine for me. You're absolutely correct that if you look at it from a cost-benefit standpoint that you're losing a lot of money through time spent with minimal tangible return. I'm not doing a panel because I want to be compensated for it; I'm doing it because Touhou is a subject I have a love for and would like to share that subject with others. At the same time, I definitely would need some kind of a reward for it too. If not, I'm paying full price for a badge, putting in X hours of work outside of the con, AND taking time out of my own con experience for ACen's benefit. A discounted badge would be sufficient for me, though obviously I can't speak for others. It's something that the Panel Staff is going to have to battle with, but I figure it can't hurt to throw out other suggestions. The one thing it seems we can all pretty much agree on (based on this thread) is that the one free badge for an entire group thing is not a good solution regardless of the motivations behind it. The more ideas that they have, the better.

* Edit * Now that I've gone through the Q&A thread, I will certainly say thanks for listening. It really does show that you guys are listening to your attendees and care about how we view the con. I'll probably add some more suggestions (not just for this particular policy but the Panel Programming in general) later on, but it certainly helps that you're at least recognizing that this is all a work in progress, and that you guys have to be more flexible as you phase-in these new changes. You very easily could've just said, "Well, you didn't understand our rules, and that's your fault, pay up at the at-door rate," but you didn't. I certainly appreciate it.

This post has been edited by wrexness: 16 May 2011 - 07:36 AM

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#26 User is offline   Rakuen 

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 05:13 PM

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I'm not doing a panel because I want to be compensated for it; I'm doing it because Touhou is a subject I have a love for and would like to share that subject with others. At the same time, I definitely would need some kind of a reward for it too.

Yeah, that's exactly it. If I didn't enjoy doing the panel, then I wouldn't do it. Panels are always better when the person running it is passionate about the subject and really wants to share that passion with others. At the same time, I can't justify doing it for free. Given that the e-mail sent out on the panel list was asking for people who dropped their panels to consider running them again, I'm sure there's a solid amount of people who agree with that sentiment. I doubt we're going to go back to three badges for one panel, but two badges an hour, maximum of four badges, would probably be sufficient and agreeable to most panelists and hopefully to the staff as well.

This post has been edited by Rakuen: 16 May 2011 - 05:21 PM

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#27 User is offline   NsomniacArtist 

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 10:45 AM

I have to say, this is my first time being the head of a panel, I wanted friends to help me with it two. Normally i have like 2-3 people but the policy totally derailed me. My friend and I spent like an hour reading over the restrictions placed on it, which should NOT be that difficult. So i didn't put my friends as co-panelists because it just wouldn't matter. To say i was not pleased at all, that i couldn't have my friends help me out and be somehow compensated for their time and effort in the panel. Now i'm out of luck and practically have to run it with just one friend of mine.

This whole policy is too stuck up in my opinion, making something that should be fun then not so much. It completely discourages people from wanting to be panelists at this con, which is sad cuz i really love Acen.

And I agree with what most people have already posted on the subject.

This post has been edited by NsomniacArtist: 17 May 2011 - 10:46 AM

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 06:43 PM

Thanks for cutting us a break this year!

As a follow-on from my last post, perhaps allow spending $50 on prize support as an alternative method for getting a 2nd or 3rd badge for a panel next year? It wouldn't be a bad idea to encourage panelists to pony up door prizes for their panels... You might even dramatically increase the attendance on less popular panels if they're giving away good stuff.

If you're afraid that panels will tag on 2nd or 3rd panelists no matter what on this, just make sure the minimum spending threshold is higher than the cost to buy a pass to ACEN and you shouldn't have a problem.

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 06:34 AM

Ditto on the thanks for cutting us a break this year.

I'd like to agree on the prize money deal. My group spent $50 on candy to toss out, in addition to the hours of work my co-panelists put into helping me gather the images and clips I needed for my panel. Granted, not everyone has a speaking role - but that isn't everyone's "thing", so everyone was utilized in different ways to put together the whole. I think the main thing that needs to be followed up on is NO comps for no-shows. It burns me that the rest of us who spent tons of time and effort and money on prizes are going to get ripped largely because of the loser-few who are abusing the system.

While I like having my three comps, I can understand if it were dropped for 2 for the first hour. It'd be nice if you still gave a break-rate discount for additional panelists - like 50% off anyone over the first 2.

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 10:01 PM

I am very grateful we were slapped with having to pay for my sister's badge unexpectedly at the convention.

I REALLY enjoy doing panels! I don't run a panel just for the badge, but I DO pick which conventions to attend largely based on being able to get a free badge. My first year I was a co-panelist, partly to get a free badge. But I enjoyed it so much I went on to create panels on topics I am passionate about. How much of an abuse is it to have a piggy-back panelist? Doing that is actually what sucked me in to creating my own!

My sister and I have each spent a great deal of time, working on our panels for months, borrowing books from the libraries, hunting online. I've put in 100+ hours working on panels. The $30-40 prereg cost we save isn't really that much.

I wonder how the cost of 300 comped badges is even a concern for a convention with 20,000 attendees. It seems a drop in the bucket insignificant next to the cost of the facilities. I suspect the extra complication of making various discount badge rates for co-panelists wouldn't be worth the effort. Acen would need add a new tracking system and pricing just get half the admission price from maybe 100 co-panelists...

But I definitely agree with punishing panelists who duck out of their panel! It's not only cheating the system, but it reflects badly on the convention and is a huge disappointment to the attendees. Definitely don't allow them to do a panel the next year, and it would be nice to charge them for their badge, if that can be pulled off.

So long as the policy is CLEAR, I completely agree with only 2 free badges per panel. Even if there are 3 or more people helping with a big panel, many groups run multiple panels and could assign different people as the lead panelist on different panels. This may help improve the quality by having different people focusing more on each panel. I also completely agree with having each person only be on 3-4 panels. I'd rather see BETTER panels than more panels.

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