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Suggestions for ACen 2012 Have a solution to a problem from ACen 2011?

#31 User is offline   tiarah 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 06:18 AM

View Postdavebb, on 24 May 2011 - 10:38 PM, said:

Kasumistry, not to put you down as that is a very logical comment, but MAPS who is the overseer of ACen is a non-profit, and all of the people within staff are volunteers. We are also not all just simple people, but many of us do have degrees and certifications in management and such. My certification/license is in medical and emergency management, which is why I decided to volunteer on the medical staff (EMRT). I also do IT for a living, but in the situation at hand, my skills of medical and management is much more enjoyable than the ones I do for a living which is IT. It is nice doing something else for a change, and I do get to interact with so many people. Though I'm not the financial officer so I can't quote how the money all goes, but the money that we take in goes towards the rental of the space, equipment, housing for like the guests and stuff. As I said don't quote me on where money call goes as that is the finance officer's job, but it's just a logical thought. I remember this discussion about bringing in professionals to be in IRT, but that would be a mess. Considering an off duty police officer if they are not volunteering will be getting paid time and a half.

As I said Kasumisty, it is a very valid argument, but a lot of the resources on planning does exist within our organization. Just a lot of SNAFUs come up out of no where and drag lots of planning/fixing into one area while another section starts having problems. Its a game of catch up on problems. But keep the ideas coming though. Thank you for your thoughts.


Actually, a 501©3 organization can have paid positions. Simply look at some of the biggest organizations today (red cross, churches, etc.).

#32 User is offline   SpicyNinjaCat 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:14 AM

View PostSTVO, on 25 May 2011 - 12:58 AM, said:


* Bag Check-In at Game Rooms/Raves: For the raves it could be hectic due to the size of people, but it is entirely feasible. You can do one of two things: 1. Several stores in downtown Chicago create two marks (i.e. attach a paper penguin to the bag and give another penguin to the person that owns the particular bag.) 2. At some bars that do coat checks, you get a ticket for said coat/bag.



I've seen this done at another con. A cheap/fast way to do this to is to use a pair of clothespins with two of the same numbers. One to attach to the bag and the other to give to the person checking it in.

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#33 User is offline   TwilightDucky 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 06:41 PM

View PostSTVO, on 25 May 2011 - 12:58 AM, said:



* Line: ACen I love you but come on!!! Whether it's the registration line or getting an autograph from a guest, something NEEDS to be done. Take a look at Wizard World and C2E2 (which has only been around for two years.) Pre-registration/registration are really easy to get done at both. Simply put, send a spy to one or both events, steal what they do and have ACen do the same. ;)

In all seriousness though, here's what I recommend, take the person's info but when you give a badge, perhaps I can suggest not to put so much emphasis on a nickname. I mean really, look at the other two said cons, they don't focus on that, why should ACen? Really, all that should happen is you get a code on the badge (maybe write said code on applicant's form) then let them go in? As for pre-registration, it's called that for a reason right? How about I suggest abolishing will call or "at con pick up" and just charge an increased rate to mail them out? Yeah, it might suck to have to pay more, but really, I'd rather pay the extra than having to wait 4 hours to get my badge after I pre-registered. Anyone disagree with that?



I completely agree, i would GLADLY pay more to get my badge mailed to me! i have read there forum posts about badge mailing and seen admins saying its just not possible because of (*insert a bunch of excuses here*)....so i'm sure they wont ever do that sadly...i wish they would just focus more time and energy on getting more badges mailed out and increasing the time u have to register for mail out badges...to justify it they could charge more and i would completely understand!...i just dont see how it can be so impossible to put them in the mail in a timely fashion right up to within a few weeks of the con, yes there will hafta be a cut off date...but Acen's cut off date is a little ridiculously early, I managed to seal and mail almost 300 wedding invitations in about 6 hours when i got married in 2008....and i dont think an acen badge and a wedding invite with the RSVP card and its envelope pre-stamped for return and the registry cards are much different in time and energy to mail so....i'm no math major but on average thats a little less than a badge in an envelope a minute....you can then dump them in the mail by the hundreds if not thousands?....so....even 3000 people registering at the last minute (lets say two weeks before the con) if just TWO people were doing all the packaging it would only take about 42 hours of those two weeks till con to mail them all out...and if you had more like 4-8 thats only 20-10 hours! and i'm sure there are more than 8 people involved in Acen able to mail out badges? never looked into it but i'm guessing acen calls for volunteers early in order to get things like badges sent out? if not then you should! :) maybe offer a free badge for early volunteer work that doesnt require you to volunteer at con cause your times already been paid in mailing and preparing badges? i'd be willing to do that! anyone else? like 6-10 hours spread out over a few weeks gets you a free badge? people could sign up for time slots to do it and then multiple people in those time slots could prepare and stuff badges? that way no one small group of people has to deal with it all? and lots of hands makes light work... now this all just guesses at averages and suggestions, i of course dont know how long it takes to put a badge in a plastic sheath and a lanyard into an envelope, but STIll...i cant help feeling like this ISNT impossible....? i know on average to get something in the mail from California to here in IL its about a week so at the farthest people would be able to get their badges in time if Acen was quick enough...i realize also that badges get lost in the mail and that when you cut it as close as two weeks there will be people who just dont get theirs in time...THEN have a line fore people who pre-registered but didnt receive a badge....i GUARANTEE it will be less than a 4.5 hour wait....i dont know its all just suggestion....
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#34 User is offline   JediNight 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 08:34 PM

View PostTwilightDucky, on 25 May 2011 - 06:41 PM, said:

I completely agree, i would GLADLY pay more to get my badge mailed to me! i have read there forum posts about badge mailing and seen admins saying its just not possible because of (*insert a bunch of excuses here*)....so i'm sure they wont ever do that sadly...i wish they would just focus more time and energy on getting more badges mailed out and increasing the time u have to register for mail out badges...to justify it they could charge more and i would completely understand!...i just dont see how it can be so impossible to put them in the mail in a timely fashion right up to within a few weeks of the con, yes there will hafta be a cut off date...but Acen's cut off date is a little ridiculously early, I managed to seal and mail almost 300 wedding invitations in about 6 hours when i got married in 2008....


You have to remember that these are all volunteer staff for this con. Every couple weeks they have people basically give up their weekend to mail out tons and tons of badges. Would you spend 20+ hrs on a weekend mailing out thousands of badges for no pay? Then come to the con to again work all day for the entire con? Everyone has jobs, school, etc. that they have to do besides this, and it also requires staffers that live close enough to the MAPS office to go do it. Some of us live 2+ hrs away so it's not really feasible.

I did hear that there were complications this year with the base badges from the printing firm though, that was the big cause of the delays with the badges. (They are going with a different company for next year)

#35 User is offline   JediNight 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 08:45 PM

View PostLina, on 24 May 2011 - 10:50 PM, said:

I think the biggest problem with having an app is that not everyone has smartphones.


The idea would be to have not only the smartphone apps, but also a web front-end to access the same info. I think the Twitter account could be used a lot more effectively next year. I think I only saw one message of schedule changes for the entire weekend, maybe two. I think we should make sure DHs or others have contact info for the people handling the Twitter updates so they can get important updates out. (Like the Linberg panel room) There should also be a board at each of the info booths posting these changes as well IMHO.

#36 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 08:54 PM

View PostJediNight, on 25 May 2011 - 08:45 PM, said:

The idea would be to have not only the smartphone apps, but also a web front-end to access the same info. I think the Twitter account could be used a lot more effectively next year. I think I only saw one message of schedule changes for the entire weekend, maybe two. I think we should make sure DHs or others have contact info for the people handling the Twitter updates so they can get important updates out. (Like the Linberg panel room) There should also be a board at each of the info booths posting these changes as well IMHO.

I definitely agree! I ended up stopping the twitter texts because I got annoyed with the useless updates.
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View PostFoolish Humon, on 13 June 2010 - 07:19 PM, said:

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

#37 User is offline   ATICE 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 09:40 PM

Hmm...

PHOTOSHOOTS
Have the final schedule for them a week before the convention is out. NO EXCUSES. Then, proceed to put them in the program book so we all know where they're at.
Also, no changing the times AT the convention. I unfortunately had this happen with a few photoshoots, because some ran over (timewise) others and I was pissed. I had at least 10-13 photoshoots on my list, and only went to 4 because of the last minute changes.
Show images of photoshoot locations on the program guide that way everyone knows where they are at.
Have these pages right before the panel programming part of the book.... or if you can, right after. lol.

DEALERS HALL
Needs to be open later.
I also noticed some vendors did NOT have Sunday sales... what gives? Anyone who comes should have sales on sundays. period. That's what we look forward to. I know it's less money for them, but they'll still make money friday and saturday too!

IRT
Actually... this sort of goes back to the photoshoot thing.
If we could have security/IRT/volunteers managing the photoshoots and their timings, that would be great.
I could understand how some photoshoots would run maybe 5-10 minutes over... but I waited 20 minutes and the previous one was still going on!? WTF!?

GUESTS
Guests we actually know would be nice... Like... I'm kind of weirded out that we had so many guests that we knew suggested and only like 1 of them were announced.
Also the lines for these and the locations need to be managed better.
I think having the autograph sessions at the Hyatt might be beneficial, especially since I heard of how hot it was back where they were signing.
Also, I arrived 30 minutes early to one of my signings and the guy told me she was no longer there....??? Uh... it didn't start for another 30 minutes... How could she not be there? Her name was already crossed off the list too as already being there... That's stupid...

This post has been edited by ATICE: 25 May 2011 - 09:42 PM



#38 User is offline   DJ F00P 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 09:41 PM

I'm reviving my idea that gained a bit of popularity last year.

Locker system.
Cmon... Itd be nice :D
But seriously, bags, at least for me, since I do not stay at the hyatt, have always been a problem for me. You can not have bags in certain places, however you can not set them down anywhere.
A locker system would be very beneficial and you can make it cost money, like a dollar or two a day. This way the con could make even more money!

#39 User is offline   frzndaqiri 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 10:28 PM

Quote

DEALERS HALL
Needs to be open later.


Unfortunately - this is not entirely up to us. The Convention Center has strict rules on when we can be open. Also it IS open 9 hours (and at least for myself, I get there an hour early, and take 30 min to pack up each day) so that's 10+ hour shifts, on your feet, doing sales... at some point they need to rest. :lol:
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#40 User is offline   DaphHime 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 10:38 PM

View PostSpicyNinjaCat, on 25 May 2011 - 07:14 AM, said:

I've seen this done at another con. A cheap/fast way to do this to is to use a pair of clothespins with two of the same numbers. One to attach to the bag and the other to give to the person checking it in.


I like this idea too. My school's book store does something similar. Done right it's very cheap and easy to do. And people can still take out and keep their money with them in the case of the game room.
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#41 User is offline   TwilightDucky 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 10:49 PM

View PostJediNight, on 25 May 2011 - 08:34 PM, said:

You have to remember that these are all volunteer staff for this con. Every couple weeks they have people basically give up their weekend to mail out tons and tons of badges. Would you spend 20+ hrs on a weekend mailing out thousands of badges for no pay? Then come to the con to again work all day for the entire con? Everyone has jobs, school, etc. that they have to do besides this, and it also requires staffers that live close enough to the MAPS office to go do it. Some of us live 2+ hrs away so it's not really feasible.

I did hear that there were complications this year with the base badges from the printing firm though, that was the big cause of the delays with the badges. (They are going with a different company for next year)

okay...not trying to sound rude but did you not read my whole post? i said i know its all volunteer based o.O and i suggested that they get a badge in return for their volunteer work (which is basically getting paid, its an incentive alot of con goers in the area would go for i feel) i also said that volunteers who do badges and early volunteer work WOULDN'T also have to work the con, but instead had already 'put in their hours' so to speak and their for could enjoy their free badge.. again not trying to sound rude just not sure if you read past the part of my post that you quoted cause i addressed pretty much everything you just said in it...i appreciate your telling me about the badge printing issue, that makes alot of sense and i do hope they go somewhere else next year :) it seemed like something had to have gone wrong cause everyone was panicy at the front of the line and i dont remember ever seeing a line quite like that at acen before...let alone standing in it U_U;
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#42 User is offline   okaonos 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 07:38 AM

View PostMystline, on 24 May 2011 - 12:25 PM, said:

I'll just post what I posted in Gripes.
5. Badges - Badges were lost, in the mail.


Unfortunately, once the badges leave us and enter the mail system, it's mostly out of our hands. We don't control the postal system and sometimes things can get lost along the way. But it was posted on the forums (and on the main page) that those who didn't receive their badge in the mail, there was a will-call booth for them to get another badge.

On this note, might I suggest adding a disclaimer for online registration next year? If someone orders their badge in the mail, their should be a notice about this problem that could potentially happen to them, and what to do if it happens.
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#43 User is offline   davebb 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 08:11 AM

View Posttiarah, on 25 May 2011 - 06:18 AM, said:

Actually, a 501©3 organization can have paid positions. Simply look at some of the biggest organizations today (red cross, churches, etc.).


True it can, but then that reduces money from other aspects like guests. I am referring to THIS THREAD. So money that can go towards improving the con itself, ends up repairing damages. I totally forgot about that in my first reply. I remember from years ago there were major issues back in 2008 (my first year).

ATICE said:

IRT
Actually... this sort of goes back to the photoshoot thing.
If we could have security/IRT/volunteers managing the photoshoots and their timings, that would be great.
I could understand how some photoshoots would run maybe 5-10 minutes over... but I waited 20 minutes and the previous one was still going on!? WTF!?


There is one problem is the IRT staff isn't sufficient to do all this. They get signups, then no shows. I'm not sure if those were no calls either, but a no show means you are down personnel. Then some need to work more than their one shift to cover, and then that has us EMRT put them down because they are exhausting themselves. It is a nice idea to have someone there at each site to keep the schedule running. Maybe y ou could volunteer with the volunteer department and help with that part of the con :) Or you can join staff and help out, too.
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#44 User is offline   Djm 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 08:25 AM

Just two things, really.

Panels and events get canceled. That happens, and I understand that. And during a convention, I understand that staffers are constantly going 300 MPH and in a panic.

Still, in 2011, it felt like ACen did a less-than-stellar job of getting the word out of changes quickly. Not including myself, I saw and read about more than a couple of people not finding out a panel was moved or canceled until they were standing in the line by themselves.

1. Youmacon has a mobile web site that is continually updated during their convention.
2. Twitter. Come on. Seriously. I didn't find out about ACen's Twitter page until about a week before the con. Did they plug it on the main page at all?
3. It's been mentioned already, but an ACen app (multi-platform) seems almost mandatory next year. Something that sends notifications to those that install it would be ideal.

Secondly, and again, I understand that this may not be in the con's control, but everything felt spread out much too far. Other conferences were going on, and I got that, but for one panel to be in the Double Tree and for a panel right after that that I want to go to to be in the Hyatt is a lot, even with the SkyWalk.

Overall, the con was fun, and I hope that this doesn't come off as whiny.

This post has been edited by Djm: 26 May 2011 - 08:33 AM

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#45 User is offline   okaonos 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 08:29 AM

View PostDjm, on 26 May 2011 - 08:25 AM, said:

Panels and events get canceled. That happens, and I understand that. And during a convention, I understand that staffers are constantly going 300 MPH and in a panic.

I noticed this too. Plus panels that weren't canceled, got delayed. Sometimes delays that were an hour or more. Surely there's something we can do to rectify or at least minimize this problem.
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#46 User is offline   Karmada 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:35 AM

I had a couple of suggestions I was thinking about as I was musing about my ACEN experience:

1.) Artist's Alley Layout - I've been in the Alley the better part of 6-7 years (I took last year off), and it seemed that how the tables were set up weren't very conducive to finding ANYTHING unless a booth had an extremely tall set up. I got lost several times just trying to find my OWN booth, let alone any booth where I saw artwork I had wanted. I also noticed that there was a pathway that literally led congoers PAST the alley and straight into the dealer hall (whereas other years they snaked through the alley). I just found it odd, is all.

I don't know if you guys control that set up or if you're at the mercy of the union staff that works the center.

Suggestions: Keep the tables all going the same direction? Like horizontal rows or vertical rows only, or make them in squares or whatever. I know there was a map in the guide, but it was hard to understand as it wasn't in alphabetical order, but by number of table, if I am remembering correctly.

2.) Pathways around the Hyatt - I don't really stay at the Hyatt anymore due to excessive traffic, crazy parties, etc. But when I DID have to go to the Hyatt, I found it very difficult to navigate outside, and getting shouted at to "Stay on the sidewalk". I would gladly have done so, if there was room. :(

Suggestions: Have designated lines marked out? Have them going through a different direction/part of the hotel? I'm not sure on how exactly it could be remedied, but it would probably make traversing that area a little smoother if the sidewalks were a bit more open.

3.) General Staff Confusion - the few times I asked staff about where something was, or how to get certain places and the like, I was greeted with a lot of blank stares and "I don't know, I'm just a grunt." I don't think I was asking strange questions per se, but I found it odd nobody seemed to know any of the general information.

Suggestion: Tape/Staple/Glue a program to volunteers/staff. At least that way, if they don't know the answer, they may know the guide better and can check to see where someone would need to go - and often times congoers forget their programs when walking around (I do, cause I leave it at my table or room D: )

I had an overall decent time at ACEN, I do hope to see improvements for next year, as I am already starting to plan out the next visit. :)

#47 User is offline   Digital Forte 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:57 AM

Bag Check for Game room or Rave sounds like A good idea until you have to work in bag check. I've volunteered at Anime Milwaukee and had to do their bag check. It very difficult to keep things in order. Especially if you have shifts of volunteers running it. People either start organizing things differently or not at all. It's very easy to lose things. Then there is the matter of people losing their claim tickets. And Anime Mke is a smaller convention. It shakes me to the core to imagine trying to pull this off for the Rave or soap Bubble. Thankfully I don't think we lost anything, but a clear system needs to be developed. Storage is the one problem we had. We thought coats and bags. But then it became bags of vendor merch, posters props, boxed swords etc etc.

I know this will get so flamed. Has an option for pre-reggers for buying a ticket to huge events for like $1 been explored? Then there would be no lines, and a small supplemental income to pay for the rental of these big rooms. The doors could be opened at event start for people without tickets to fill in any empty seats. I understand the Masquerade room held 2000 people, That take a nice chunk of exspenses of running that room.

This post has been edited by Digital Forte: 26 May 2011 - 10:00 AM


#48 User is offline   spcake 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 10:02 AM

View PostKarmada, on 26 May 2011 - 09:35 AM, said:

1.) Artist's Alley Layout - I also noticed that there was a pathway that literally led congoers PAST the alley and straight into the dealer hall (whereas other years they snaked through the alley). I just found it odd, is all.


Yeah, it would be better for the artists if there weren't giant gaping path ways that specifically led con goers away from their area. I noticed a smaller flow of foot traffic through the alley as well.

*The program book could always print artists in alphabetical order, even if they aren't set up that way in the alley. That would help people find specific studios. Instead it was a jumbled list. Also, the numbers on the table weren't very big for the artists to find themselves. How about writing the numbers on note cards or something, and leaving them on the table for the studios to find? Yes I realize that someone sneaky could switch them, it's only a rough suggestion.

*I liked that the Dealers Hall closed a little before the Alley. It gave Artists a chance to see more people/get more customers as they were flushed out of the Dealers Hall and towards the Alley. That was a brilliant move and of benefit to the artists. The Dealers Hall was open for what, 8 hours a day? It didn't hurt anyone that it closed a half an hour before the Alley. That part should stay how it is.

*Regarding Sunday sales. If you only go to the Dealers Hall on Sunday because you expect the dealers to give you great discounts on account of it being the last day of the convention, you will be sorely disappointed. Dealers have multiple conventions a year and don't need to give discounts on the last day of ACEN in order to get business. Unless it's a 'going out of business sale', tough luck. Asking a Dealer to give you a discount just because it's Sunday is pretty rude. They are at ACEN to make money, bottom line. Saying, "Sunday sales should be mandatory" is ridiculous. If some dealers want to give discounts on the last day of the con, good for them. But forcing dealers to cut their prices because it's Sunday? That's a terrible idea. Plenty of dealers already have grab bags and discounted merchandise (Wizzywig had $1 mystery figures for example).

*The situation with the artists badges/studio mates badges not always being ready. Why not have a small stack of artists badges (closely monitored) and fill them out yourself with a pen at the artists reg booth? Is there something I'm missing that would make this impossible? You don't even need a printer.

#49 User is offline   animedancer87 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 10:07 AM

Random question here that I just thought of: Are there large maps in each part of the convention? Because from what I've heard (since I couldn't attend this year), a lot of people were complaining about not knowing where things were even with the map on the programs. If there are--please disregard this post. If not, could there be a designated "you are here" sign in each room. Doesn't even have to be giant, just a decent-sized posted located by the main entryway of the room with the diagram blown up and the red "you are here" dot. That way, even if someone was still trying to place themselves in the area, they could easily cross-reference it with their personal schedule. Once again, this might already be done and I don't realize it...but figured I'd toss in my two cents.
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#50 User is offline   Miyu-chan 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 10:35 AM

The only gripe I have this year is Guests and Guest lines. Even though I liked the thought of having it in the exhibit hall, the line was held in between two vendors, and it was very bad placement. Also, I think the times for the lines to start needs to be listed, instead of the actual autograph time. Either that, or start the line at the actual listed time. Saturday I went to see J. Micheal Tatum about 30 minutes before the signing, and they said the line was closed off. I was lucky enough to make it to the Colleen and Cristina autograph line in time. But, Sunday I was almost denied of the J. Micheal Tatum line again. I was there almost an hour before it started! I know that there can only be a certain amount of time for the guests to sign, but maybe that time could be extended? There were a lot of attendees that weren't able to see any of the guests they wanted to.

Other than that, I have no complaints. Pumped for 2012 already! :D
Cosplay plans for ACen 2014:

????????

#51 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 10:38 AM

I had fun this year as usual but there was a LOT of big issues that was hard to ignore:

IRT/Registration misinformation/confusion/laziness/etc.

I love staff because I worked staff many times before in actual conventions and I know how you guys feel. But this year the IRT was lacking in safety/security/Like I care measures. Some of the Will Call people weren't called out of lines and added with the normal pre registration people, no distinction at all.

One of the people who I met the weekend past I inquired how long the lines were since it was mentioned on the forums that the system was 'better than last year,' since I waited three hours for a badge last year and I was curious if it improved on the 'six to twelve hour year.' They said they had to wait four-six hours for a Will call badge because they was at the back of the line, nobody went to the back of the line or called out the Will call people, and Registration members had to personally go all the way through the lines, shouting out the Will Call. There was enough IRT for someone in IRT to do this. I also heard from the same person, although I don't know if it's 100% true, that some of the IRT were goofing off and taking pictures and not doing their job, not really telling people that the system was down due to construction/wiring to the computers/etc.

Now I would have put this as a rumor but mentioned in gripes I had a similar problem with IRT concerning autographs. The guy didn't seem to care about helping me or made any motivation on helping me besides 'doing his job with little work as possible,' kinda thing. Also it seemed lax in terms of checking badges, checking weapons, getting people for signs, etc. compared to 2007-2008 years. I remember when IRT was everywhere and they randomly did checks on people.

Heard from someone from Registration that they had issues with IRT in general, from lack of help to how they had to assist some of the drunk people acting crazy when IRT was right there.

Disorganization

Stuff happens yes? But this year is the only year I have been to Acen that I didn't know where a lot of things were at and I couldn't find a lot of things. There was no meet up guide in the program book, it was actually taped on the information desk. Now everyone doesn't have a camera phone, like myself, so people like me would have to memorize this or hopefully have a piece of paper and pen, which would be hard considering the 'no bags in certain areas,' policy.

Also a lot of panels were changed or canceled and it wasn't known until the time of the panel. I found this odd that this happened to many panels instead of just one or two. Also the IRT/staff wasn't aware of a lot of things. Already mentioned in gripes about the Hetalia autographs.

Could you put forum met ups/information/concerns about drunk parties/etc. in the program book for the people who can't go to the forum or have internet access as well as photo taking/shoots/photo takers? I couldn't find three people and I asked around and nobody knew who I was talking about because I only knew their screen name. My phone was dead so I didn't have their number.

Bags/Bag check/etc.

Please do something about this instead of just saying no bags at all. I had a hard time carrying stuff around because a few areas said no bags and only my America outfit, I discovered, had pockets. Do a bag check at the door, something, anything. This is the only year this has been an issue. There has been theft in the past but the rate of people losing stuff would most likely go up. I know I lost a plush and I know a friend who lost a badge because she didn't have her bag with her and her string broke.

More eyes and ears

This is for staff and people in general. I try to report people with signs but by the time I find IRT the person is gone and I can't remember their badge name or they hide it on purpose. Also there was times that a guy threw stuff and the IRT was right there or didn't take better methods. Since my phone died I couldn't call the police but next year if I see someone getting molested/hit on/throw anything/etc. I am going to call the police and then find IRT. It's like I find IRT or security when I don't want to find them.

Most of the other issues were due to the mass amounts of people but that's with every con. You can't control if someone smokes in the room, smokes weed in the room, or breaks glass. Not everyone who goes to Acen goes on the forums.

This Acen was so so but I still had fun and grateful for another year.

This post has been edited by The Fujoshi: 26 May 2011 - 10:39 AM

ACen 2013 Cosplay:
Hero from SMT: DS2, Emmet/Kudari from Pokemon Black and White, Roppi Izaya from Durarara, Hitoshura human form from SMT.

All the random avatars this time are from LJ and I don't own any of them. Some of the avatars are credit to aristocracy, Taku ♫ arthursandwich, noxjustxnoin, imperial-code, dojicons, narrante, dino-cookie, shiroyuki_kun, takerzmuse, and ushitora_icons at LJ. I DON'T OWN ANY OF THE ICONS.


Currently into and playing: All Megaten games, Blazblue series, and P4MU. Waiting for: Pokemon BW2 and BB3.

#52 User is offline   Audri 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 10:58 AM

Overall ACEN staff does a great job with the hordes of attendees it gets every year. However a few tweaks are definetly needed.

Organize lines at panels - This ACEN seemed to be plagued with disorganazation in every line I waited in for a panel. The first occurance for this was at the witches Tea party friday night at the Hilton. I had just finished up my panel for Cosplay for fat people (I was the wallflower panelist not the main one) and as soon as it was over I went and got in line for the tea party where the front of the line was for our panel. When the panel before the tea party ended I went in and dropped off the items I had agreed to bring for the event and was rudely told by staff to get out. Sure no biggie and no offense taken there so I left. Once outside I found out they were allowing people to enter in another door so I went from first in line to barely making it in the panel at all, and people getting there ten minutes before hand getting in first. I know that kind off stuff happens but come on.

A pretty similar situation happned to a lesser degree at the Vocaloid 2.3 panel. Once again I get there nearly an hour early and get into the small formed line. The line had no organazation to it so it wrapped around the room like a spiral and ended in the middle of the room. Once again when the doors were opened the people there just before the panel were getting in before people who had waited for an hour or so.

It is easy to complain without a solution but I'm not going to do that. What I would suggest is that each "Security Guard" at the panel room be given a ring with numbers. As attendees come to get into line they get a number then informed where they need to be for the line. When the panel opens have the attendess then turn in the number card so that the guard can then use them for the next line that is starting to form.

The Soap bubble mess outside the Hyatt - Every year the same story, I leave the late panels and head back to the Hyatt. On my way there I have some con staff member screaming in my ear to walk on this imaginary sidewalk that does not exist because of the Soap bubble line. I totally understand that the staff is concerned about people getting hit by cars and such but first off I dont appreciate being yelled at and next I hated taking a huge dress through the gardens and grass and muddying it all up because I couldn't walk in the street and the soap bubble line took up the entire sidewalk. The solution for this yearly disaster is pretty easy... Section off a walkway in the roadway for attendess to traffic to and from the hotel. I'm sure the hotel would much rather have you do that then have hundreds of attendees tromping through the gardens like we were forced to this year.
2015: Kumano - Kantai Collection
2014: Should have cosplayed
2013: Hayate Yagami - Magical Lyrical Nanoha Force
2012: Featherine Augustus Aurora - Umineko No Naku Koro Ni
Ruko Yokune - Vippaloid
2011: Featherine Augustus Aurora - Umineko No Naku Koro Ni
2010: Eva-Beatrice - Umineko No Naku Koro Ni
2009: First ACen - No cosplay

#53 User is offline   Christy 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 11:35 AM

View Postspcake, on 26 May 2011 - 10:02 AM, said:

Yeah, it would be better for the artists if there weren't giant gaping path ways that specifically led con goers away from their area. I noticed a smaller flow of foot traffic through the alley as well.


Actually, they tried this one year and it blew. The main path to the dealer's room led right through the Artist Alley. We got great foot traffic but people who really didn't want to shop at the alley and intended to avoid us at all costs were racing through like maniacs and were essentially dragging the more casual shoppers with them and creating issues for those who really did want to stop and browse.

#54 User is offline   Kokoro 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 01:12 PM

View PostAudri, on 26 May 2011 - 10:58 AM, said:

Organize lines at panels


Yeah. Agreed. There was zero organization with the lines this year. I encountered a similar situation when there were 2 separate lines for the FLOW concert, unbeknownst to us. We specifically asked if we were supposed to line up inside, were told yes by two IRT guys, and then a little while after standing in line were told to move outside, where hundreds of people were lined up - surprise! We went from maybe about 10th in line to...I couldn't even guess. I was so upset I was almost in tears, because the concert was my main draw for the weekend, and I had busted my butt off to make sure I got a good spot.

IRT never knew where people were supposed to line up, WHEN they were supposed to line up, etc etc. Total disaster every time we lined up for an autograph session, panel, etc. Such a stressful weekend.

This post has been edited by Kokoro: 26 May 2011 - 01:13 PM

Rawr. ♥

#55 User is offline   ccaccus 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 02:28 PM

My biggest gripe this year didn't really have much to do with Acen itself. It was with McDonald's running out of stock. I emailed their corporate and made note that their manager has consistently failed to adequately keep stock and claimed it was a "surprise" that they had such a run. (I would have accepted this answer in 1998 or 1999). I mentioned that if I were manager, I would surely have marked my calendar to double or triple my stock so I wouldn't run out each year. They responded and said they would attempt to take appropriate action next year.

This is a double-edged sword, though. Since Acen doesn't have many food services (other than the $5 hot dogs and $4 nachos), is it possible to call local food venues and notify them that Rosemont's population is going to suddenly increase five-fold for the weekend?

#56 User is offline   JediNight 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 02:40 PM

That's unfortunate. Yeah I don't see why the McDonalds wouldn't know. Maybe they got a new manager and no bookwork was kept to remind him of the event. Since the convention center has events all the time, I can see where business might be a bit erratic. But with Acen having so many casual and younger attendees, I assume business is much higher there than say, some business professional convention on site another weekend.

I don't know if we do this or not -- but it might be a good idea for Acen to proactively send out an email or letter to some of the major businesses in the area reminding them. I know when I go to GenCon in Indianapolis, that lots of the area businesses have "Welcome GenCon attendees!" notices in their windows and/or have game-themed events or food specials.

#57 User is offline   ATICE 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 04:51 PM

View Postdavebb, on 26 May 2011 - 08:11 AM, said:

There is one problem is the IRT staff isn't sufficient to do all this. They get signups, then no shows. I'm not sure if those were no calls either, but a no show means you are down personnel. Then some need to work more than their one shift to cover, and then that has us EMRT put them down because they are exhausting themselves. It is a nice idea to have someone there at each site to keep the schedule running. Maybe y ou could volunteer with the volunteer department and help with that part of the con :) Or you can join staff and help out, too.

I just think that 2 staff members/IRT/whoever this should concern be out at the photoshoots... have a chair... Have some fun getting photoshoot pictures... whatever they want, but they should maintain the photoshoot times. I swear I saw one photoshoot run about an hour over the other. If you're just standing there talking, that's one thing. You can easily move to the side, but with this group they were still taking pictures... and I had seen them an hour earlier... like what the heck? You need someone out there managing these.


#58 User is offline   ATICE 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 05:01 PM

View PostKarmada, on 26 May 2011 - 09:35 AM, said:

3.) General Staff Confusion - the few times I asked staff about where something was, or how to get certain places and the like, I was greeted with a lot of blank stares and "I don't know, I'm just a grunt." I don't think I was asking strange questions per se, but I found it odd nobody seemed to know any of the general information.


I agree with this point 200%. No one on staff, especially IRT, knew where anything was...
Can especially IRT be filled in on locations, especially how to find panel rooms on the map and photoshoot locations? Thanks.

This post has been edited by ATICE: 26 May 2011 - 05:01 PM



#59 User is offline   ldychaos 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 05:09 PM

Chelsea Tessman, the Registration Department Head has addressed and explained many of the Registration concerns listed here at this link:
http://www.acen.org/...n-registration/

I can personally say that there were multiple people working on mailing the badges and we did send them out in a timely fashion. Unfortunately as stated before, we have no control over the post office. Management even went so far as to change which post office they dropped off at a couple of times. Hopefully next year, more people do choose mailing, as that will cut down badge pick and shorten people's wait time.
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#60 User is offline   LeenStar 

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 07:46 PM

Signs: I think signs will help a lot next year, especially because this year (2011) many of the panels and events got moved to other locations or delayed. Because it is impossible to update the programming books, I feel that having IRT members or signs on the doors, wall, etc will most likely help some of these issues. I don't know if this would be allowed, but maybe getting a huge bulletin board (not anything expensive, just something you can thumbtack signs and sheets to). You can place around 2-3 of these boards in different locations, especially the main areas where most people come in from (The Hyatt lobby, the Dealer's Ally, and the Convention/Registration area). I don't know.. this is just an idea. I guess what I'm trying to go for.. is kind of like the random directory boards that shopping malls have- there's only like 2-3 per mall but they help a lot) I understand the board may hard to find for some people, but if someone watches over it (updates it) and it is pretty sturdy, I'm sure it can help a lot of people out. It could be filled with signs like "Such panel is now in room blah blah" and so forth. Signs can also be helpful when it comes to lines, since I have read many people complain about the IRT members moving the lines, and not keeping enough order. A simple sign that says "The line starts against this wall" or "Line starts here" can make a small difference.

Twitter: I didn't turn on my Twitter on my phone this year, so I don't know how well the updates were. But I'm guessing someone can be in charge of updating if any event/panel/ or time gets changed, as well as responding to tweets of people who are lost or have questions.

Photoshoots: Please try your best to include them in the programming books! For the people who go to ACEN to take many pictures, it would be nice to know where all your favorite groups are located.

Bag rules: I think bags should be allowed back in the game rooms. I understand the issue with security, but even this year some people were allowed to go in with bags, and some were not (same with the Flow concert, some people were allowed cameras and phones, while some were not). Perhaps you lovely people can meet us congoers halfway, and allow us small bags/purses. I understand huge backpacks and luggage can be an issue and take up space, but I'm sure people can compromise small bags, especially because some people need to carry their phones, medicine, and other necessary stuff (yes, even female products). Some people were suggesting a bag check, which would take up a lot of time, but if needed, then go for it.

Cooperation from Con-goers: Let's face it, without IRT and the ACEN creators, we wouldn't have such a cool place to go to every year. I feel like these people do a lot, and they are willing to hear our suggestions. However, it is also on us to make our own experience better. That being said, there's a couple of things we can all do to make things a better: let's start off with not leaving garbage and mess everywhere we go. Also, if you see anyone acting dangerously or damaging property, call the IRT hotline or find an IRT member and report the issue. If you see someone who needs help, whether they are experiencing an emergency or are lost, try your best to help them out or lead them to an info desk. Last but not least, don't be rude to people at the con, or say/do things that might make other people uncomfortable. I read enough stories about people getting groped, bothered and had inappropriate encounters with others.



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