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Program Book Layout How do you want it?

#1 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 03:30 PM

We're asking you, our attendees, how you would like us to lay out the panels in the program book. There are so many possible ways to do it and we want to know what is best for you. These are the panel descriptions, not the schedule itself. I'll list a few possible ways, you can say OMG THAT'S AWESOME! Or give us your own ideas which we would love to hear!

Categories we are currently using are: (If you think any can be combined, or we're missing a category please let us know!)
  • Fan Panels
  • Gaming Panels (anime video games, halo, table top games, etc.)
  • Professional Panels (these are not done through attendee application. These are professional companies offering programming)
  • Industry Panels
  • Activity Panels (dancing, improv, etc)
  • Workshop Panels (crafts and how to’s)
  • Child 14 and under Panels
  • 18+ Panels
  • Guest Panels
  • Misc Panels (if it doesn’t fit elsewhere it goes here!)


1. Listed by day, by category with room and time listed in the panels description.
2. Listed by day, by time starting, with room and category in description.
3. Alphabetical order with date and time along with room listed in the description.
4. Listed in categories with date and time along with room in the description.

:excl: Rooms will now also include the room capacity so you know if your favorite work shop is only accepting 20 people you need to get there on time! Rooms will also no longer be referred to as panel room 1, salon 8, etc. We will be using the actual hotel room name.

We're looking forward to your feedback!
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#2 User is offline   Sayuri-chan 

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 05:38 PM

Could there possibly be a combination of option two and three? (I'm not sure if this was a typo or not, or if that was one of your original ideas.) Having it broken up by day is nice, and then time order. In the past we've had to look up the panel (which wasn't listed by time or even day order), and then look in the guide somewhere else for the timetable, and then find the time/place for the panel. If the layout is by day, people who are only coming on specific days won't get confused seeing panels that were for one day or another. If they are also by time, then someone can just flip the book open and see it's x:o'clock and there would be a list of all the panels/events starting at that time.

Thanks for asking for our input on this! :D
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#3 User is offline   Rori 

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 06:16 PM

I would probably prefer them listed by day, then alphabetically. I think if they are organized by time, its a little redundant of the typical "table" format. The table is way easier to skim for times.

Usually when I am looking through the book I start with the large table (to see what sounds interesting at the given time). Then I find the description to read more in detail about it. I don't really look at the descriptions first. Its just too much text...

Regardless of the format, I think a color/symbol combination for each "category" of panel would really help in skimming the descriptions. It looks like there might end up being more categories than easily discernible colors (hence why a symbol or shape would be needed too).
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#4 User is offline   Goldeneyeuro 

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:31 PM

I’d say if possible, go with a large grid and then list the panels alphabetically with details in the description, option 3. You can color-code the panels in the large grid to signify the panel type.

The way I see it is that people ask one of 4 questions:

1. What’s going on right now that I can go to? (look at the grid, details in the descriptions)
2. I want to go to (insert name of specific panel), when/where is it? (look at the grid)
3. I want to go to (insert specific type of panel), what are my options and when/where are they? (look at the grid which is color-coded, details in the description)
4. What is (insert name of specific panel) going to talk about? (look at the descriptions, and alphabetizing the panels helps)

If the grid will be too large to fit on the paper you’re using, then I’d say go with option 2 since you get a sense of chronology to help with the questions above. If you do go this route, then I’d say for each time slot, list out all the panels in each time slot alphabetically. And if possible, include an index at the back if you go this route.
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#5 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 09:17 PM

There is room for 3 columns of panels per page if we stick with the size of the book like last year. Issue is we don't have time slots like before, panels are no longer strictly an hour or two hours, they'll be increasing by 15 minutes so opening times are going to be staggered and all over the place.

It's sounding like color coding the categories, going by day in sections, and listing alphabetically or opening time is the favorite so far with room name and time listed in the description. Anyone have some pros and cons of these options?

thank you for the feedback so far! You guys rock :D
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#6 User is offline   OtakuAngelD 

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 10:24 PM

Just one thing...Photoshoots in the program. Time and place. It would be really nice to have instead of running all over everywhere hoping the day's shoots are posted and hoping you haven't missed yours already because you don't have internet/computer at your hotel.
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#7 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 01:08 AM

Panels doesn't handle photo shoots but I'll get this forwarded to them :)
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#8 User is offline   Zerox20 

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 01:14 AM

Please keep ideas flowing. One of the key feedbacks we have gotten is trying to find where things are in the Program Book. With some issues in past years we want to correct this with people not being able to find certain panels in the booklet and understanding our categories as well so they make sense to all!

No idea is not worth hearing. Thanks everyone!
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#9 User is offline   tsukeru 

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 02:19 PM

I do like the idea of them being organized as days/genres/location (where the panels are being held in what room/hotel, etc) if it would be possible, it would be amazing. It will be able to so much easier to find panels that I really want to go to. Also, please, please, please... make sure to include descriptions! I've been a panelist at many conventions where they don't include them for whatever reason, or even if they forgot to. As a panelist, this is one thing I get very annoyed about with conventions and convention planning. We take time out to write up those descriptions and when they don't get used - what is the point of it?

#10 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 04:05 PM

We always use the descriptions :) We hunt them down until every last one can be in the book (as long as the panel is official at the time of the books printing)
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#11 User is offline   Valkyrie 

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 05:57 PM

View PostBloo09, on 07 October 2011 - 09:17 PM, said:

It's sounding like color coding the categories, going by day in sections, and listing alphabetically or opening time is the favorite so far with room name and time listed in the description.


This, this, this. I can tell you right now, this would be a godsend to IRT ops who have this at their fingertips - especially since, in past years, we were at the mercy of panels switching, getting canceled, or worse, not being listed at all, and we usually had no idea when these changes took place.

Personally, between alphabetical or opening time, I prefer the latter. I would be open to the former, tho. ^^
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#12 User is offline   Zerox20 

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 09:56 AM

Okay so specific color coding for categories? That shouldn't be TOO much of a hassle to try to implement.
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#13 User is offline   obakasan 

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 03:48 PM

In the past when panels were broken into catagories, I noted there was often confusion due to some people (myself included) not knowing how a panel was "classified." And I heard compaints that it took too long to search through all the different catagory listings trying to find the panel they were looking for.

On the other hand I always liked having things like the "how to" cosplay panels grouped by "Type" so I could find them.

Those of us who have to watch our schedules may appreciate having the panels broken down by day and then by time first and formost. Color coding or the use of some sort of identifying symbol for differnt Types (how-to vs discussion for example) would be nice for further "sorting."

Of course one of my biggest problems when I was interested in multiple panels was that so often the panels were often scheduled at the same times... (just like prime time TV often is) waaaaaaaa! :angry:
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#14 User is offline   vika838 

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 07:45 PM

Not sure if this has been said yet, but I would recommend an accurate and comprehensive table of contents and possibly even an index in the back. That way there's a better way of finding what your looking for than flipping through and hoping to find the right page. And edit,edit, edit. Possibly have each department edit it's own descriptions multiple times before the final copy goes to print if this isn't done already. I live in library land, and I think this was the most frustrating thing I encountered last year was an ambiguous and inaccurate table of contents. I gave up using the program book as a result because it took to much time and effort to use.
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Posted 11 October 2011 - 02:26 PM

I have to agree with vika. I think an index would help but also grouping it first based on types of panels, then by alphabetical, and then by the rating of it. This way at a glance we can find what we want, also be able to locate it under the section, and finally find out if a person can or can not attend the panel.
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#16 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 03:31 PM

What do you mean by rating of it? The age group?

I will send your feedback on indexes and table of contents to our productions team. I only have say over panels few pages.
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#17 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 06:41 PM

View PostBloo09, on 11 October 2011 - 03:31 PM, said:

What do you mean by rating of it? The age group?

I will send your feedback on indexes and table of contents to our productions team. I only have say over panels few pages.


The Age group, I'm sorry if that was a bit confusing. Like for example you could have it where one section is based around the types of panels and then A to Z for the titles of the Panels, Or if you just wanted to find the 18 + panels you would have a section where the same panels were listed (minus discription and a note next to the title of the genre it's under so that people can read it) under the Age groups with the titles only listed again in A to Z.

This way if someone didn't know what sort of panel they wanted to go to, they could say, "I want to see a panel that's for everyone" they would look up that age group and see the list of the panels. Also if they look at the panels under genre they could see it that way too.
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#18 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 08:55 PM

Due to space/size issues we won't be able to list panels twice in both age and genre groups but 18+ and 14 and under panels will be noticeably marked by their names :)
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My private messages are now disabled. Between friend invite spam, and forum notices as a moderator I was missing panel related private messages. Please email us to contact panels, thank you!

#19 User is offline   Goldeneyeuro 

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 01:16 PM

About the 3-column layout on the program book from 2011: Would it take up more space if you switched to a 1-column layout and then just have the title of the panel at the left side of the page with the time and location on the right side for 2012? I notice that in the 3-column layout, just to display the title of the panel, time, and location, you're using up 3-4 lines worth of space. Also, since you split up the page into 3 columns, there are 2 small columns of unutilized space between the columns that are just there to separate them. A 1-column layout may better utilize this space.

Another thing I'd push for is in the listing: have distinct separators for Friday events, Saturday events, and Sunday events. Like an-across the page small banner or separators on the sides like you get in phone books. In the 2011 booklet, the events for all 3 days were thrown together into one giant lump, and even though they were sorted by date, you had to read a panel description in order to know whether you were looking in the Friday event section, the Saturday one, or the Sunday one. If it's separated better, it'd be easier since you'd only have to utilize a portion of the panel listings.
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#20 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 02:05 PM

Thank you for those suggestions. I'll look into the one column idea and see how that goes space wise.
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#21 User is offline   chainedbyroses 

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 12:56 AM

*late to the game~* I kinda always found it a little confusing to determine exactly when a panel I was looking forward to was happening. Maybe we could come up with a standard order of information for future uses, like they taught us in math classes for algebra, or the scientific method? Or like Library of Congress, or Dewey Decimal (albeit with less headache & numbers involved?) *nerdynerdyexcite* :D

Maybe something like......
DATE
- Time
- - Panel Names at (#TIME START), alphabetically
- Time
- - Panel Names at {#TIME START}, alphabetically


ie:
SATURDAY
** 2:00pm **
- - Generalized Anime/Manga Series Panel, [LOCATION], 2:00pm - 3:00pm
- - Generalized Culture/History Panel, [LOCATION], 2:15pm - 4:00pm
- - Generalized How-To Panel, [LOCATION], 2:30pm - 5:00pm

** 10:00pm **
- - 18+ Hentai panel you no can haz -- 18+ ONLY, [LOCATION], 10pm - 11pm
- - DANCE DANCE DANCE, Main Programming Ballroom, 10pm - ???:00am


(A graphical chart with panel types color-coded could work too -- like the above only in a chart & the descriptions could be on the other side/folded-out sides!)

......Or even just a list of panels by Day > Time would be good. (Descriptions could go on another page to economize the list's space on a single page! (ie, Page A could be Panel Listing; Page B could be Panel Descriptions -- kinda like they did within the printed TV Guide catalog the SunTimes used to have) ^^7

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#22 User is offline   MsLovelyCookie 

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 09:57 AM

^^^ That looks more easier to read since I am a visual person and by reading the other options I couldn't picture them well. When I had free time and I wanted to see what was available at 5pm and I had to use my badge to keep from wondering off of to the wrong times.

Maps- Have the layout of the hotels facing like, the mall map when entering the mall or an arrow of where to walk. The map of the Taste of Chicago was easy to read, just figuring what street we were on took seconds. While sitting on the lobby of the Double Tree I noticed people going the opposite directions. Not every one could see the sign that was slightly off to the side when one enters the building.

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#23 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:38 PM

View PostOtakuAngelD, on 07 October 2011 - 10:24 PM, said:

Just one thing...Photoshoots in the program. Time and place. It would be really nice to have instead of running all over everywhere hoping the day's shoots are posted and hoping you haven't missed yours already because you don't have internet/computer at your hotel.


This. I didn't have issues with the program book last year but would it be too hard to have a section or next to the panels about photoshoots that day? I remember one year the book had panels/photoshoots in a grid and listed by day/time.

Also I wouldn't mind seeing the color code or something extra like a symbol, etc. that this panel has autographs or additional info like last year on the sides.

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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.

#24 User is offline   Zerox20 

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 03:33 PM

View PostThe Fujoshi, on 26 October 2011 - 02:38 PM, said:

This. I didn't have issues with the program book last year but would it be too hard to have a section or next to the panels about photoshoots that day? I remember one year the book had panels/photoshoots in a grid and listed by day/time.

Also I wouldn't mind seeing the color code or something extra like a symbol, etc. that this panel has autographs or additional info like last year on the sides.

Thanks.


While we don't deal with photoshoot information directly we will ensure to relay that information to them and suggestions for the Program Book in relation to Photoshoot information.

This post has been edited by Zerox20: 26 October 2011 - 03:43 PM

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#25 User is offline   The Creeper 

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 11:42 PM

I choose go with option 2. I'd much rather prefer it if I knew what and when each panel was starting on its date and time rather then having it alphabetical. I mean, I have missed so many panels because I can't find the right page telling me where it starts because it goes through the alphabet and I end up missing stuff because of it. Letting us know when and what times from the get go makes things SO much easier. That's my vote anyway.
ACen 2013 Cosplays:
Van of the Dawn - Gun X Sword

Bloody Radditz - Dragon Ball Z

#26 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 07:44 PM

I'm liking number 2 so far from feedback and looking at it with my management team.

We can't do an hourly scheduling list because we are staggering the starting times so rarely is something going to start at the same time as another. Most are 15 minutes apart at least.

So just keeping them in order of start time list wise under which day it is seems like the best option atm. We will have categories to show which type of panel it is, the room, and age group listed in the description as well.
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#27 User is offline   Goldeneyeuro 

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 09:43 PM

I'm assuming that we're going to sort the events by start time since that seems to be the general consensus here.

If we can't split the daily events up by the hour since the start times are staggered, is there an way where you could divide up the day into sub-sections? Like have all events that start between midnight and 6 AM be under a banner with a sub-category of "(Insert day of the week) early morning", 6 AM-noon events be "(Insert day of the week) morning", noon-6 PM events be "(Insert day of the week) afternoon/early evening" and 6 PM-midnight be "(Insert day of the week) late evening/night"? Because even if you split up the events by day, looking at ALL the events for a day without them being split up even more still seems a bit overwhelming.
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Planned ACen 2K14 Cosplays:
Lavi (2nd outfit)- D. Gray Man, Lio Izumi- Full Moon wo Sagashite, Rei Ryugazaki (nightclub outfit)- Free!, Kamui Gakupo (Fate/Rebirth outfit)- Vocaloid

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#28 User is offline   Zerox20 

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 08:05 PM

Just to let everyone know we are still taking suggestions for the Program Book Layout, please keep the ideas coming.
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E: panelprogramming@ACen.org || Panel Programming FAQ

#29 User is offline   sailormoon846212 

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:28 AM

One thing that bugged me last year was a specific panel I wanted to go to had two different times scheduled. I got so confused by which time to go by that I gave up and skipped the panel all together. I don't know if that happened to anyone else, but I certainly was not pleased with that. :angry:

Also a suggestion; how about starting the first panel of the day at 11 a.m instead of 10 a.m? I just think for those who had to wait in that horrendous long line last year and wanted to go to the first panel that they really wanted to go to, but couldn't cause of the lines. Or do you think that will be a problem this year? The long lines? Cause for me I had to wait about 90 minutes to get through the line and get my badge even though I made sure to come early.

Also a category to use in the program book is "Game Shows". I noticed a lot of panels are about games and such to get more fans involved which is great IMO, but kinda hard to look up in the panel programming.

Thanks for asking about our opinions. Love ACEN! :clap:

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