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

#91 User is offline   Voltaire30 

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 01:50 PM

I don't usually post in this part of the forums, but given the confusion I think I might be able to help.

Most proper bag checks and bag check rooms require a particular kind of insurance, and in certain places, permits and additional paperwork. Now I am not saying that other conventions that do bag checks aren't following the rules, but I am not saying they are. You would have to talk with them regarding their policies and legal compliance.
What I am saying is that it isn't just a logistical nightmare, but it also comes with certain other issues to consider.

For example, if an attendee leaves a bag with this "bag check room" and they come back and ask for it back. We give it back to them, but they claim their purse/wallet is missing (for this instance no purse/wallet was left in the bag). Even with signing certain types of paper and basically having our "behinds" covered legally, it doesn't stop said person from starting a lawsuit, screaming and making a scene, complaining on the forums, calling the cops, getting physically violet, etc.... Which I think we can all agree that wouldn't be a productive way to handle the issue (especially if there was no purse/wallet in the bag to begin with).

Now that instance may be a bit of an outlier, but given the damage that keeps happening to the hotel year after year, I honestly don't see it as an unrealistic possibility.
I am not saying that a bag check isn't something we consider every year, and something we have been reviewing constantly (most of us used to be attendees as well). We know the benefits it would provide for you (the attendee), and we have heard you loud and clear since the first time a bag check was suggested. It is just something thus far, that hasn't been a possibility.
I know people don't like hearing this particular answer to the question, but it is the best we can offer at this point. We've had some of our best minds on it though, so maybe next year, no one is making promises though.
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#92 User is offline   Nightshroud 

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 03:04 PM

My group and I had a few issues with a few things.

1. When we booked a room at the Hyatt nearly a year in advance, we did not know that there was a second Hyatt just one mile down the same street as the convention. We tried booking a room at what we thought was the hotel the convention was at, only to find out otherwise when we got there. My friend, who did the booking, booked the hotel through the A-Cen website and was a complete and total mess when he found out we were booked at the other Hyatt. If there is any way that could be made clear in the future, that would be great so other congoers (especially first time A-Cen people) don't have to go through the same trouble we did.

2. We were having a hard time with IRT. For example, when crossing the street from the convention center to the Hyatt, we were constantly told to get onto the sidewalk. While we would love to do so, it's very difficult to do so when there's a large crowd of people blocking the entire sidewalk, making it impossible to get onto.

3. The scheduling for panels was extraordinarily confusing. There was the schedule that was on the forums, and then there was the one that was in the book. I was seriously disappointed when I went on a half hour journey to locate the Mega Man panel on Sunday only to find out that there wasn't one when I finally found where it was located. It was listed in the book. I would think that whatever was in the book would be correct, but if someone doesn't check the forums, then how are they to know?
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#93 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 09:01 PM

Curious how are you guys going to get out information for people who don't post/go on the forums?

Expressing the issues with: Massive amount of signs that people say were ok because it was the 'end of the world', Dos and Don't at a Con, changes in panels, changes in photoshoot heads/times, Does and Don't with weapons, etc.

I thought about helping you guys out but wasn't sure what would be good and was worried about the whole 'free weekend,' requirement since I do work randomly. I might this year help with badges or something or another if I have the time.

For the bag issue, that is not going to be fixed anytime soon and it's going to have issues I guess.

Hoping next year has better Registration lines than the previous years. I wasn't here for 2009 but I remember a previous year had really bad lines too (5-12 hours,) compared to this year, so wondering what happened that it ended up being as bad as the past?
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#94 User is offline   mcmahden 

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 10:25 PM

I have one major complaint. The con didn't even begin and I was extremely irritated to find that the line to get badges was RIDICULOUSLY LONG AND STALLED. Why? I never found out why. But what's the worst part about it? The fact that NONE of the badges were organized by name. Why in God's name were we asked what our badge names were? There are thousands of people there! Why are you organizing...I'm sorry...throwing our badges in a PILE, searching for our NICKNAMES? Wow. Just...wow. What happened to everything being so organized? I could not believe that. And they were extremely slow at searching for badges. Like...people were unaware of what their job was. This really sounds bitchy but I was very turned off this year, and I'm probably not coming back. I'd rather save my money to go to Otakon every year.

#95 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 11:09 PM

View PostNightshroud, on 04 June 2011 - 03:04 PM, said:

My group and I had a few issues with a few things.

1. When we booked a room at the Hyatt nearly a year in advance, we did not know that there was a second Hyatt just one mile down the same street as the convention. We tried booking a room at what we thought was the hotel the convention was at, only to find out otherwise when we got there. My friend, who did the booking, booked the hotel through the A-Cen website and was a complete and total mess when he found out we were booked at the other Hyatt. If there is any way that could be made clear in the future, that would be great so other congoers (especially first time A-Cen people) don't have to go through the same trouble we did.

2. We were having a hard time with IRT. For example, when crossing the street from the convention center to the Hyatt, we were constantly told to get onto the sidewalk. While we would love to do so, it's very difficult to do so when there's a large crowd of people blocking the entire sidewalk, making it impossible to get onto.

3. The scheduling for panels was extraordinarily confusing. There was the schedule that was on the forums, and then there was the one that was in the book. I was seriously disappointed when I went on a half hour journey to locate the Mega Man panel on Sunday only to find out that there wasn't one when I finally found where it was located. It was listed in the book. I would think that whatever was in the book would be correct, but if someone doesn't check the forums, then how are they to know?


You can't even book close to a year prior to the con. You have to wait for the hotel block to open which I think wasn't until 5 or 6 months prior to the con. So, I don't know what your friend did because I know when my friends did it through the website, it was the right hotel. It had to have been something your friend did. Not trying to push the blame on them, but I don't know how they did that when it seems like everyone else booked at the right Hyatt. If you did it close to a year prior at the right Hyatt, you wouldn't have been able to book a room because the room block wasn't open.
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View PostFoolish Humon, on 13 June 2010 - 07:19 PM, said:

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#96 User is offline   Valkyrie 

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 07:58 AM

View PostNightshroud, on 04 June 2011 - 03:04 PM, said:

My group and I had a few issues with a few things.

1. When we booked a room at the Hyatt nearly a year in advance, we did not know that there was a second Hyatt just one mile down the same street as the convention. We tried booking a room at what we thought was the hotel the convention was at, only to find out otherwise when we got there. My friend, who did the booking, booked the hotel through the A-Cen website and was a complete and total mess when he found out we were booked at the other Hyatt. If there is any way that could be made clear in the future, that would be great so other congoers (especially first time A-Cen people) don't have to go through the same trouble we did.

2. We were having a hard time with IRT. For example, when crossing the street from the convention center to the Hyatt, we were constantly told to get onto the sidewalk. While we would love to do so, it's very difficult to do so when there's a large crowd of people blocking the entire sidewalk, making it impossible to get onto.

3. The scheduling for panels was extraordinarily confusing. There was the schedule that was on the forums, and then there was the one that was in the book. I was seriously disappointed when I went on a half hour journey to locate the Mega Man panel on Sunday only to find out that there wasn't one when I finally found where it was located. It was listed in the book. I would think that whatever was in the book would be correct, but if someone doesn't check the forums, then how are they to know?


1) Lina's right on that. There's no way to book a room for the ACen rooming block a year in advance, since we don't set those blocks up until about 6 months prior, give or take. As to how you guys got landed in the other Hyatt...not sure how that happened. Our site's gotten a revamp during the last year, so I don't know if the link for the hotel changed along with it. The current links for the Hyatt go straight to the Regency O'Hare section, and it's usually specified in posts around the site and forums that the blocks are at the Regency O'Hare - if I'm right, I think you guys somehow wound up at the Hyatt Rosemont further up on River Rd. (Might want to check with your friend as to how he booked the room, just to see where logistics went wrong.)

2) That's an issue that comes up year to year, and I apologize for that...(personal non-staff opinion here) I think that's something that needs touching on for next year's training/meetings, especially with the grand influx of attendees we had this year. The sidewalks are a popular place to hang out - the benches attract people, as well as the fact that smokers go out that way for their fixes - but you're right, it is difficult to stay on the sidewalk when people are mingling in packs. (I myself had issues with that on Friday night, and that was when my Dispatch crew was trying to head back to the hotel after the con center closed.) Let's see if we can do better on that next year! :)

3) Ohhhh the panel scheduling...oh the scheduling. Believe me when I say that was a headache for IRT, too. We usually encourage our ops to keep copies of the panel schedules on hand, but unfortunately, that plan fell victim to the printers coming up short. Plus, as much as we hope that those schedules will remain accurate for the duration of con, those schedules tend to change with or without notice. I'll stop there since I think the Panel Programming folks might be able to better answer that question.

View PostThe Fujoshi, on 04 June 2011 - 09:01 PM, said:

Curious how are you guys going to get out information for people who don't post/go on the forums?

Expressing the issues with: Massive amount of signs that people say were ok because it was the 'end of the world', Dos and Don't at a Con, changes in panels, changes in photoshoot heads/times, Does and Don't with weapons, etc.

I thought about helping you guys out but wasn't sure what would be good and was worried about the whole 'free weekend,' requirement since I do work randomly. I might this year help with badges or something or another if I have the time.

For the bag issue, that is not going to be fixed anytime soon and it's going to have issues I guess.

Hoping next year has better Registration lines than the previous years. I wasn't here for 2009 but I remember a previous year had really bad lines too (5-12 hours,) compared to this year, so wondering what happened that it ended up being as bad as the past?


Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot we can do beyond hope that attendees will visit the website/our Facebook and Twitter pages, sign up for our newsletters, and check for information and updates (even by word of mouth, if at all possible). And out of all the folks who come to the convention, we know there will be a good chunk who don't/can't do that, for whatever reason. But that's why we try to have resources available at con...it's just a matter of making sure those resources stay as accurate and updated as possible.

If you want to help out, please do! We have a Volunteer section for folks who want to help out a bit, but not the whole con. :)

Reg lines....see response below!


View Postmcmahden, on 04 June 2011 - 10:25 PM, said:

I have one major complaint. The con didn't even begin and I was extremely irritated to find that the line to get badges was RIDICULOUSLY LONG AND STALLED. Why? I never found out why. But what's the worst part about it? The fact that NONE of the badges were organized by name. Why in God's name were we asked what our badge names were? There are thousands of people there! Why are you organizing...I'm sorry...throwing our badges in a PILE, searching for our NICKNAMES? Wow. Just...wow. What happened to everything being so organized? I could not believe that. And they were extremely slow at searching for badges. Like...people were unaware of what their job was. This really sounds bitchy but I was very turned off this year, and I'm probably not coming back. I'd rather save my money to go to Otakon every year.


This one I'll leave for the Lords and Masters of Registration to answer. :) I agree that that situation was chaotic, and I have an idea of what happened, but the official word of that should come from them.
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#97 User is offline   Stormy-chan 

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 09:27 AM

I am curious why ACEN doesn't just state that there is NO BAG CHECK in the program book next to the the Main Programming events that don't allow bags???

I check my programming book and it doesn't let attendee's know that there is no bag check available. Seems like a simple enough addition for you to do and that way people who don't go to the forums will know this little fact. If it is stated in the book then attendees can plan ahead of time and take there stuff back to their rooms or cars before they line up for events. Everyone looks for the times of the main events in the book so just some extra typing next to those events, and in the descriptions of said events, and make it BOLD hopefully that should fix the issue of bags not allowed in certain main programming events and people cant say they were not informed in some way.

So one issue solved, now lets tackle the next one!

#98 User is offline   wolfedragon 

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 12:42 PM

View PostThe Fujoshi, on 04 June 2011 - 09:01 PM, said:


Hoping next year has better Registration lines than the previous years. I wasn't here for 2009 but I remember a previous year had really bad lines too (5-12 hours,) compared to this year, so wondering what happened that it ended up being as bad as the past?



View Postmcmahden, on 04 June 2011 - 10:25 PM, said:

I have one major complaint. The con didn't even begin and I was extremely irritated to find that the line to get badges was RIDICULOUSLY LONG AND STALLED. Why? I never found out why. But what's the worst part about it? The fact that NONE of the badges were organized by name. Why in God's name were we asked what our badge names were? There are thousands of people there! Why are you organizing...I'm sorry...throwing our badges in a PILE, searching for our NICKNAMES? Wow. Just...wow. What happened to everything being so organized? I could not believe that. And they were extremely slow at searching for badges. Like...people were unaware of what their job was. This really sounds bitchy but I was very turned off this year, and I'm probably not coming back. I'd rather save my money to go to Otakon every year.


Many of these concerns are addressed in this thread. We started discussing methods of improving Registration for next year during the convention and continue to do so. If you have any ideas, please share as we always like to hear new ideas! As Valkyrie said, we are always looking for more volunteers, so please let us know if you'd like to help :)

This post has been edited by wolfedragon: 05 June 2011 - 12:42 PM

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#99 User is offline   Kokoro 

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 02:00 PM

View PostStormy-chan, on 05 June 2011 - 09:27 AM, said:

I am curious why ACEN doesn't just state that there is NO BAG CHECK in the program book next to the the Main Programming events that don't allow bags???


THIS x 9000. Maybe then IRT would have believed me when I told them that bags were supposed to be allowed in the concerts. I could have just showed them the program book. <_<
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#100 User is offline   Pashy-chan 

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 11:52 AM

View PostValkyrie, on 05 June 2011 - 07:58 AM, said:

Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot we can do beyond hope that attendees will visit the website/our Facebook and Twitter pages, sign up for our newsletters, and check for information and updates (even by word of mouth, if at all possible). And out of all the folks who come to the convention, we know there will be a good chunk who don't/can't do that, for whatever reason. But that's why we try to have resources available at con...it's just a matter of making sure those resources stay as accurate and updated as possible.


When attendees don't check the official websites and what not.. that I understand, but one of the problems I've noticed is that alot of the information regarding the con this year could be found only on the forums, it was my biggest reason for joining the forums in the first place. And it's been said more than once.. This year, not only was any news posted on the forums prior to the website itself (in some cases, weeks prior..), but in addition to that, both the website and the actual programming booklet lacked certain rules, regulations, and even programming information.. Even I had trouble finding the cosplay photoshoot schedule promptly, and I log on pretty often.

Not only was there a lack of communication with staff (which has already been addressed), but it extended to the attendees as well due to the inaccessability of the information. Not everyone has a facebook, twitter, nor the time to search the forums and when attendees can't even refer to the official website for every rule, that's a problem, and this doesn't just go for the game room bag check, but the issue with the main programming line-up as well... Although I know the Hyatt intervened, it didn't surprise me when seeing the sheer madness during the FLOW concert line-up as practically no one knew about the new rule in the first place...

This post has been edited by Pashy-chan: 06 June 2011 - 11:54 AM

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 01:36 PM

The only big gripe I had was not enforcing the "you can't line up until 30 mins before ___ starts rule" It was posted all over the forums/website, and I thought it'd be followed. But there were lines EVERYWHERE insanely early. I remember at one point I was standing outside just taking a break for like 10-15 minutes, when all the sudden I notice I'm in line for the soap bubble somehow. It was a good THREE OR FOUR HOURS before the event was supposed to take place and there were already a good 50 some people in line. I wasn't going to wait in line for 3-4 hours (even though by sheer luck I'd gotten an amazing spot) so I left. I really liked the 30 minute rule, and hope it gets enforced next Acen.
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#102 User is offline   davebb 

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 02:58 PM

View PostStormy-chan, on 05 June 2011 - 09:27 AM, said:

I am curious why ACEN doesn't just state that there is NO BAG CHECK in the program book next to the the Main Programming events that don't allow bags???


I know the program book states in 2 locations that bags are not allowed in the concerts/dances sections. Once in the general rules about concerts/dances and once in the section for ADA and Special Needs for those with medical equipment. It might be a good idea to put across each event about no bags again and no bag checks are there. But after reading it in the convention rules section, not sure how many times we need to put it in there. That would be whomever makes the programs on where everything is at.

View PostNightshroud, on 04 June 2011 - 03:04 PM, said:

My group and I had a few issues with a few things.

1. When we booked a room at the Hyatt nearly a year in advance, we did not know that there was a second Hyatt just one mile down the same street as the convention. We tried booking a room at what we thought was the hotel the convention was at, only to find out otherwise when we got there. My friend, who did the booking, booked the hotel through the A-Cen website and was a complete and total mess when he found out we were booked at the other Hyatt. If there is any way that could be made clear in the future, that would be great so other congoers (especially first time A-Cen people) don't have to go through the same trouble we did.


I would advise checking with the hotel when you call and make your reservation that it is the correct address. Whenever I make a reservation for a hotel/motel I always ask them the address that I am talking to. Just to be safe. I've done this reserving for rooms at a motel out in Indiana for a large airsoft event. For the Hyatt that is connected to the Convention center I ask if this is the Hyatt on Bryn Mawr in Rosemont across from the Donald E Stephens Convention Center. Make sure to be very specific in the description. If they say otherwise start wondering if you are talking to the correct motel/hotel.


Quote

2. We were having a hard time with IRT. For example, when crossing the street from the convention center to the Hyatt, we were constantly told to get onto the sidewalk. While we would love to do so, it's very difficult to do so when there's a large crowd of people blocking the entire sidewalk, making it impossible to get onto.


Were you crossing at the crosswalks or just randomly crossing the street? I know Rosemont PS was out there directing traffic at the crosswalk for a good portion of the day through into the evening and night. IRT was trying to basically (I hate to use the term) cattle herd everyone onto the sidewalk as if they didn't see you cross the street because they were looking elsewhere, they probably thought you jumped out into the street. Not many of them do traffic control like I've done for over 12 years now, like having eyes not in the back of your head but on the side and the corners, too. I do admit the line issue for Main Programming needs to be re-evaluated how it will be handled for next year.


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#103 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 03:03 PM

View PostKokoro, on 05 June 2011 - 02:00 PM, said:

THIS x 9000. Maybe then IRT would have believed me when I told them that bags were supposed to be allowed in the concerts. I could have just showed them the program book. <_<



Ummm...it is the the program book under the rules on page four or five I think. In it it states that no bags are allowed in the main events. I'm not sure how else you would go about making this more visible other then putting it on every page?
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#104 User is offline   Kokoro 

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 04:14 PM

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 06 June 2011 - 03:03 PM, said:

Ummm...it is the the program book under the rules on page four or five I think. In it it states that no bags are allowed in the main events. I'm not sure how else you would go about making this more visible other then putting it on every page?


The program book stated NOWHERE that bags were not allowed in the CONCERTS (because they were allowed - IRT just didn't know, apparently). It states "no bags are permitted in the dances" on page 6, and "bags will not be allowed at dances and Video Gaming this year" on page 8. Because IRT/staff have such a massive issue with disseminating info about rules, etc, apparently, it'd be a good idea to add something like "NO BAGS ALLOWED, NO BAG CHECK" in bold letters next to certain events in the actual schedule. That would also be a helpful reminder to con-goers who may have only quickly skimmed the rules or, God forbid, didn't read them at all.
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#105 User is offline   JediNight 

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 03:39 AM

View PostValkyrie, on 05 June 2011 - 07:58 AM, said:

3) Ohhhh the panel scheduling...oh the scheduling. Believe me when I say that was a headache for IRT, too. We usually encourage our ops to keep copies of the panel schedules on hand, but unfortunately, that plan fell victim to the printers coming up short. Plus, as much as we hope that those schedules will remain accurate for the duration of con, those schedules tend to change with or without notice. I'll stop there since I think the Panel Programming folks might be able to better answer that question.

Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot we can do beyond hope that attendees will visit the website/our Facebook and Twitter pages, sign up for our newsletters, and check for information and updates (even by word of mouth, if at all possible). And out of all the folks who come to the convention, we know there will be a good chunk who don't/can't do that, for whatever reason. But that's why we try to have resources available at con...it's just a matter of making sure those resources stay as accurate and updated as possible.


(Panel Programming staff here)

As life tends to have happen sometimes, there was a confluence of events that helped contribute to the chaos with programming schedules this year. Without getting into gritty specifics, we are well aware of the shortfalls at the con the past year and brainstorming/discussions on how to improve communication and information accuracy has already been happening.

Discussions thus far have included: What to do about the schedule accuracy vs. at-con realities as far as the guidebook goes. Providing more schedule and other info available to mobile phones at-con (ideally with the ability to make real-time updates). Better utilizing things like Twitter for important programming updates. And more low-tech procedures to get important info to the Info Desks or on signs in places attendees are likely to pass by often.

Usual disclaimer: We'll do our best, but we can't guarantee anything, of course. Sometimes stuff we really wanted to make happen falls through due to real life, unforseen issues or liabilities, etc. If theres something you would really like to see happen -- volunteer to staff and let them know what you would like to make happen :)

Other ideas I need to submit yet include:
Possibility of recording some "visual walkthrough" videos to throw up on Youtube prior to the con once room layouts are finalized. That way people know what they are looking for before they arrive at the con. (Would also help staffers to be more helpful with random attendee questions)
Some type of "staff primer" sheet with basic info given to every staffer when they pick up their badge. That way at least simple questions like where the video rooms or information desk, etc. are located could be answered.

#106 User is offline   Stormy-chan 

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 08:02 AM

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 06 June 2011 - 03:03 PM, said:

Ummm...it is the the program book under the rules on page four or five I think. In it it states that no bags are allowed in the main events. I'm not sure how else you would go about making this more visible other then putting it on every page?



Okay but I am one who never reads that section honestly. Let's be real about it, it would make more sense to put it where everyone is looking, like main programming page and the schedule list. That way it is obvious to everyone and not hidden in or on a page majority of con goers never look at. Rules are great but for those who never worry about breaking them why look at them? They are the same every year *shrug* But that is me and my group with 10+ years of convention going at Acen and other ones.

#107 User is offline   JediNight 

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 02:38 PM

View PostStormy-chan, on 07 June 2011 - 08:02 AM, said:

Okay but I am one who never reads that section honestly. Let's be real about it, it would make more sense to put it where everyone is looking, like main programming page and the schedule list. That way it is obvious to everyone and not hidden in or on a page majority of con goers never look at. Rules are great but for those who never worry about breaking them why look at them? They are the same every year *shrug* But that is me and my group with 10+ years of convention going at Acen and other ones.


This is something that I want to stress (again) for next year -- we just can't realistically expect that most attendees are going to thoroughly read the program book, but they will still hold us accountable for the SNAFU that happens from it afterwards. More signage is needed for really important information.

#108 User is offline   Kokoro 

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 03:40 PM

View PostJediNight, on 07 June 2011 - 02:38 PM, said:

This is something that I want to stress (again) for next year -- we just can't realistically expect that most attendees are going to thoroughly read the program book, but they will still hold us accountable for the SNAFU that happens from it afterwards. More signage is needed for really important information.


It would also be great if IRT were actually familiar with the REALLY IMPORTANT information as well. If attendees are expected to know it, then I'm pretty sure every IRT and staff member should be too. And if they're not, they need to get someone who does know instead of shrugging or just saying, "I dunno."
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#109 User is offline   Valkyrie 

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 05:20 PM

I concur with that, Kokoro - you're absolutely right. IRT ops should know crucial information that attendees might need at any given time. We even tell ops "If you don't know, call Dispatch!" (Which includes me.) Now, I won't make excuses here. Everyone on IRT is told every year to study our department procedures - even for the stuff that we hope to every conceivable god WON'T happen. And every year, we have issues like yours where an op or three you might encounter may not have that answer. This is why we always make sure there is at least one radio to every pair/group, so that they can ask for information if they need it. This is all especially important for our first-year ops, some of whom may not study their IRT material or retain training info before going out on the floor.*

Now, that being said, sometimes there are wrinkles in the system that we don't have control over. Try as we might to stay on top of things, schedules change, logistics shift, and locations switch (and, unfortunately, sometimes ops may be lazy)...and we may not know any of this has occurred until the last minute, or worse, it's too late. It would be wonderful if we were kept on top of these changes as well, that's for certain - then that way we could ensure that we have accurate (as much so as possible) info in hand in case someone asks. The bag rule, for instance, for which I do apologize for the confusion that was caused.

*While I can, I'd like to mention one huge shift we, as a group, had to go through. Usually, Thursdays at con are slow, easygoing, and pretty quiet - this gives us a chance to ease into our Con Mode, and while we're at it, tutor our brand-new ops on what to do, what not to do, how to act, etc. This also gives us a chance to catch any mistakes early on and correct them accordingly, hopefully without much stress and frustration. We didn't get much of an opportunity to do that, however, as we had incidents occurring Thursday afternoon that typically don't happen until Friday PM. As a result, most of what we knew about how ACen flows was essentially thrown out the window, and we had to try to adapt accordingly as best we could, doing our collective best to keep focused and in the game. (Hence why I've joked that this ACen was "the demon lovechild spawn of Rosemary Rapture and Murphy S. Law - but still awesome.")

All in all, though, I do hope there were SOME positives to ACen, Kokoro, bag issues and confusion notwithstanding. :)

This post has been edited by Valkyrie: 07 June 2011 - 05:21 PM

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#110 User is offline   STVO 

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 04:32 PM

One random suggestion I just came up with can apply to panels or even autograph sessions. It's a possible money maker too. I haven't seen anyone suggest this yet, so I'm hoping I'm onto something, here we go...

You know when it's summer time and the family decides to go to Six Flags Great America to celebrate Independence Day and when you arrive, the lines to each of the ride is about an hour and a half wait each! Your kids are arguing with each other, your spouse is complaining at you for not going earlier, and the line is really getting you mad, what can you do? Buy a Line Pass!

Personally I would exclude it from registration but you can consider it (again, I think registration should just be fixed to the Wizard World/C2E2 methods.) I would make three classes of Line Pass:

* One Cut to the Front: This one could cost between $5-$10 and you can buy a couple different ones. Pretty much for each "Cut to the Front" you can go to any panel from the Masquerade, Soap Bubble, Hardcore Synergy, show an Acen staffer the pass and then turn it into the staff member at the front. Obviously it would work the same way where if 20 other people also bought this exclusive pass, you would get in line in appropriate orders but you all are apart of an "elite" line.

* Guest Cut Passes: For stars like voice actors, actors from Power Rangers, musicians, etc. It works just like "Cut to Front" pass but you can also offer an exclusive V.I.P. pass for the Guests who are willing to participate and attendees willing to pay. Something like eating dinner at one of the Hyatt restaurants or something similar in an exclusive area. In addition to the V.I.P. pass idea, pretty much there could also be one just to get you to the front that will get you towards the front and you can cash in like the previous idea. Whatever extras guests charge are not included.

* Ultimate ACen Attendee Package: This would be a new badge option (just make sure these get mailed out first!) This badge would cost more than other badges for registration but it would give you the best benefits. For those that are getting from pre-registration; if feasible, offer 1-day delivery. For both pre-reg and registered Ultimate Attendees purchasers: offer unlimited line cuts to both panels and celebrities, they can go to the V.I.P. events, and make it really shiny. :D

Does this idea have substance?
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#111 User is offline   keiichi969 

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 04:18 PM

As far as the fast pass went, they actually did something have like that. I and a few of my friends got some stuff at the MyDjSoBad booth on Friday, and the first like 100 people got tickets to get into hardcore synergy without waiting.

From what I gather, the promo was done by the MDSB guys, but it was a really cool idea. (oh man, Hardcore Synergy was awesome)




The problem arises when everyone buys fastpass badges.

The way it works at like, Disney, is they only sell X amount of fastpass tickets per attraction per timeslot. you show up at that time, and bypass the line.

it works for Disney because the attractions are in and out. people go in one side, and come out the other in after a period of time. So you can add in the additional fastpass holders to the flow of the crowd with little impact on the wait time for the ride.

the problem is there is no way to stagger the fastpasses for a single event like the bubble. I mean if you sold 1000 fast passes, and the hall only holds 3000, you've just reduced the number of non-fastpass attendees by 1000.


So Acen would need to balance the number of fastpasses vs the crowd in the bubble. the number of passes would be very small compared to total attendance.

This post has been edited by keiichi969: 12 June 2011 - 04:28 PM


#112 User is offline   davebb 

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 06:50 PM

I do like the BOLD FACE the sections of the program for things like bag policies and such. That is a good suggestion that department who handles the program might want to look into.
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#113 User is offline   chuck 

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 11:01 PM

I'm, sure its been said already but it would be nice to have all the times for the photo shoots him the program. b/c going to the hotel just to find them just takes up time :( Another thing would be with the bag's. I know a lot of ppl have shoes they bring with them so they can change them. so when we cant enter another room b/c we have them. who wants to go all the way back to there room. that would be a big help if you guys could bag check. one more thing :w00t: !!Make acen longer LOL!! ;) other than that you guys do a great job on keeping acen safe :thumbup: for family's and everyone. we all thank you for that

#114 User is offline   wizrow 

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 08:34 PM

This was my 6th ACEN and I generally don't have many problems. I actually have not seen this addressed yet.

Second Floor Hilton: Please don't use this area again. I understand that you want to get as many panels in as possible but having a room that only holds 50 - 75 people at a con of 20,000+ is absolutely horrible. If you didn't line up an hour early you were not getting into these panels. Combine this with narrow hallways and you have a real problem. 200 people sitting in 4 different lines on both sides of the hallway was a nightmare (not to mention it got extremely hot at times). The staff working this area were absolutely amazing and made the best of it. The area is just WAY too small to be used as it was last year.

Getting into panels by going to the panel before:
You know the problem: There are 2 panels one after the other in the same room. Do you have to leave the first panel to stand in line for the second or can you stay in the room during the change? The answer: Both apparently. I asked a staff member if we could stay in the room for both panels and was told it was ok. Then after the first panel ended they told us we had to leave. It wouldn't bother me either way. I honestly just want a clear answer going forward. I would suggest deciding on an answer and then putting it in the program book. Leave no room for any misunderstandings.

#115 User is offline   Kickastina 

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 09:26 PM

View PostWashu Takahashi, on 06 June 2011 - 01:36 PM, said:

The only big gripe I had was not enforcing the "you can't line up until 30 mins before ___ starts rule" It was posted all over the forums/website, and I thought it'd be followed. But there were lines EVERYWHERE insanely early. I remember at one point I was standing outside just taking a break for like 10-15 minutes, when all the sudden I notice I'm in line for the soap bubble somehow. It was a good THREE OR FOUR HOURS before the event was supposed to take place and there were already a good 50 some people in line. I wasn't going to wait in line for 3-4 hours (even though by sheer luck I'd gotten an amazing spot) so I left. I really liked the 30 minute rule, and hope it gets enforced next Acen.


I agree. It was heavily emphasized over the forums and website but never followed through. My main issue is that those who were reassured that they could get into the main programming without a 1/2 hr + wait, couldn't. I was looking forward to this policy being used, because I could of done more things. Hopefully, next ACen will actually enforce it.

It's been said, but some of the IRT not knowing details or even general information is another thing that could have been better.

The problem that finding out that panels, signings, etc were delayed or already occurred is an issue I hope can be fixed. Again it's been said but, while a lot was posted on the forums, the website was not updated. Then the week before ACen, a schedule was released on here saying to follow the online one and NOT the one issued out at the con itself. Which I thought was kind of, forgive me, stupid. All of those people who do not visit (or even know of) the forums miss out of all this information.

As for baggage check, I think it is a great idea. But I also understand that if it cannot be done...sigh.

I understand that ACen is a large con and that it takes A LOT of work and man-power, but it does need improvement. Don't get me wrong, I still love ACen very much and I appreciate all the work the staff does. :thumbup:

I don't know what else to really put here....
So have a nice day. ^^

#116 User is offline   Kokoro 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 04:48 PM

View PostKickastina, on 26 June 2011 - 09:26 PM, said:

It was heavily emphasized over the forums and website but never followed through. My main issue is that those who were reassured that they could get into the main programming without a 1/2 hr + wait, couldn't. I was looking forward to this policy being used, because I could of done more things. Hopefully, next ACen will actually enforce it.


Hahahaha! :lol:

Oh...wait. You were being serious.
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#117 User is offline   Valkyrie 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 09:16 PM

I know you're not happy with how things went this year, Kokoro (quite frankly, we all know at this point), but is it really necessary to be that snarky? Especially when there were those of us on staff breaking our backs, stressing ourselves to the point of snapping (figuratively and literally), getting sick, AND losing days of sleep in order to help make this con as fun as possible for everyone else, while trying to enforce rules with the numerous issues we had to cover?

You've made your point countless times. We've acknowledged it, and we plan to try to correct it as best as we can. Now it's your turn to help us help you by being mature and constructive.
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#118 User is offline   DJFLuFFKiNS 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 10:10 PM

Personally, the idea of having a special VIP pass to get you seating or into events has been done at any number of different events. Most of which are using it to get a quick buck out of it. While making money may be great, I'd much rather try and give everyone a fair chance to see what they came to see. If you saved up all year for your ACen badge and hotel, would you really want to get there and realize you need to throw down another 20$ to see what you want to see? That's my two cents. I'd much rather give people special chances to win premium seating (for free). :)
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#119 User is offline   tatterpillar 

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 12:09 PM

View PostDJFLuFFKiNS, on 27 June 2011 - 10:10 PM, said:

I'd much rather give people special chances to win premium seating (for free). :)

Agreed!

#120 User is offline   OtakuChica 

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 06:52 PM

I went to ACen for the first time this year and really enjoyed it. But there still was I few things that caused some inconvenience.

1. I only went on saturday, and when I looked online for a panel schedule so I could see what's going on ahead of time, saturday's wasn't on there. Friday's was. I was very confused. I recommend for people who only go one day, please post the schedule for that day.

2. Photoshoots and cosplay meetings. I hear fellow cosplayers saying about get-togethers for their anime they are cosplaying, but I didn't know whe or where any were. I would enjoy the most if the schedules of when/where cosplay shoots/meetings happen was included in the program guide.

3. I was very lost when I saw the way the vendor hall was set up. I'd see plushies all over in different places. I'd think it would be better to keep same items next to each other so that way you don't end up at the wrong end of the hall for a Soul Eater plushie when you're by the Ouran plushies.

4. Bags. If females are on their monthly gift, they should be able to keep their bags. Periods can get ugly. Or if someone has medication or an inhaler they need they should keep their bag.

5. Masquerade. What exactly is it? When I heard about it, it confused me. I heard different stories from different people. If you could explain more about it and they cosplays(I heard only people who MAKE their cosplay can enter) that would be so helpful!

6. Anime viewing. Please show both sub and dubbed for each anime if possible! All the animes I wanted to view I was able to view were in dub, and I prefer subbed versions thank you very much. I think I'm not the only one who felt this way. One example is Naruto Shippuden. It was only shown in dubbed, but most people perfer subbed. I think it's with most animes too. I think this would satisfy more con-goers.

I hope you can do your best to fix these problems and clear things up for everybody! Thanks a bunch!
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