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Parking Question For both AA set-up on Thursday and throughout con

#1 User is offline   IcyPanther 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 07:14 PM

Hello everyone,
Now that I (think) I've gotten in to the AA, I'm starting to try and figure out all the other stuff, mainly parking.

EDIT: Thank you to the lovely Manifested Dreams for clearing some stuff up for me. It makes much more sense now, thank you!

So, as a recap for anyone else, who is a first time AA artist, here's what you need to know from what I've now learned:
1. It is advisable to set up your table on Thursday
2. You can drive your car up to, not into, the convention center to unload. There's a circle of sorts where you can drop off your stuff with a friend, park the car, and then come back and bring your supplies in.
3. Pack your supplies accordingly and in the least amount of trips possible. Utilize friends, carts, dollies, etc.
4. Most of the parking is through the hotels and is about $15 a day with a no in-out policy. There's a CTA lot about a half mile up the road for a somewhat more decent price.

I think that's about it.

If anyone who's been to Acen in the past has any helpful tips or tricks we'd love to hear them!




Thanks everyone!

This post has been edited by IcyPanther: 15 December 2011 - 07:52 PM

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#2 User is offline   Voltaire30 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 07:45 PM

View PostIcyPanther, on 13 December 2011 - 07:14 PM, said:

...
... On thursday night, when we are setting up our table, can we drive our cars right up to the convention center?
... If there is parking on Thursday night, will it cost money or is it free?
... can we leave our stuff at the AA overnight during the length of the con?
How much is parking during the duration of the con if you are not using buying a hotel room and using their lot?
Are there any free lots?
Is there a pass to use over the weekend to lower the cost?
About how far away from the convention center are the parking lots?
...


Yes, but people who drive in a car are treading on the thin line between being an Artist and an Exhibitor. It is something we do not suggest, as chances are you would be classified as an Exhibitor in future years.

It depends on what lot you park in.

Yes, we lock up the entire convention center after it closes, and we have IRT operatives monitoring the entire hall.

It depends on how much the lots are charging, since there are several different ones.

If there will be, it will be distributed via email to all of the Artists in the Alley

Not that I am aware of, but I just might not be aware.

It depends on which lots you park in. The Hyatt is of course right across the street, the convention center lot is right next to the center, the hilton / embassy / doubletree / other lot (name escapes me) is across the other street. I don't know all the regulations of those lots, so...
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#3 User is offline   IcyPanther 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 07:48 PM

View PostVoltaire30, on 13 December 2011 - 07:45 PM, said:

Yes, but people who drive in a car are treading on the thin line between being an Artist and an Exhibitor. It is something we do not suggest, as chances are you would be classified as an Exhibitor in future years.

It depends on what lot you park in.

Yes, we lock up the entire convention center after it closes, and we have IRT operatives monitoring the entire hall.

It depends on how much the lots are charging, since there are several different ones.

If there will be, it will be distributed via email to all of the Artists in the Alley

Not that I am aware of, but I just might not be aware.

It depends on which lots you park in. The Hyatt is of course right across the street, the convention center lot is right next to the center, the hilton / embassy / doubletree / other lot (name escapes me) is across the other street. I don't know all the regulations of those lots, so...



What exactly do you mean by if you drive in a car you're considerd an exhibitor? I'm not too far away from rosemont so I figured I'd just put my stuff in my car and drive in daily, rather than having to rent a hotel room. It's mostly just set-up materials (like crates for display, banner, an extra chair for myt able mates, etc.) that I'd be bringing in on the first trip. Just not sure how tha classifies me as a vendor rather than an artist.

Thanks for the other info though! Nice to know I dont' have to bring everything out every night =p

This post has been edited by IcyPanther: 13 December 2011 - 07:55 PM

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#4 User is offline   Voltaire30 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 08:03 PM

View PostVoltaire30, on 13 December 2011 - 07:45 PM, said:

Yes, but people who drive in a car are treading on the thin line between being an Artist and an Exhibitor. It is something we do not suggest, as chances are you would be classified as an Exhibitor in future years.



View PostIcyPanther, on 13 December 2011 - 07:48 PM, said:

What exactly do you mean by if you drive in a car you're considerd an exhibitor? I'm not too far away from rosemont so I figured I'd just put my stuff in my car and drive in daily, rather than having to rent a hotel room. It's mostly just set-up materials (like crates for display, banner, an extra chair for myt able mates, etc.) that I'd be bringing in on the first trip. Just not sure how tha classifies me as a vendor rather than an artist.


It is something we do not suggest, as chances are you would be classified as an Exhibitor in future years. This is due to the volume of materials and things that would be needed to be at your location. We have exhibitors that drive in their vehicles (regular cars - moving trucks) and unload them at their booth. To offer everything that is available to Artists that is available to the Exhibitors undermines the entire purpose of having an Exhibitor Hall. We aren't saying that people can't drive in their cars, but we do not advise driving in a vehicle. Karts, dollys, and / or studiomates are wonderful other options. XD
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#5 User is offline   IcyPanther 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 08:10 PM

View PostVoltaire30, on 13 December 2011 - 08:03 PM, said:

It is something we do not suggest, as chances are you would be classified as an Exhibitor in future years. This is due to the volume of materials and things that would be needed to be at your location. We have exhibitors that drive in their vehicles (regular cars - moving trucks) and unload them at their booth. To offer everything that is available to Artists that is available to the Exhibitors undermines the entire purpose of having an Exhibitor Hall. We aren't saying that people can't drive in their cars, but we do not advise driving in a vehicle. Karts, dollys, and / or studiomates are wonderful other options. XD


Okay, but you're not saying that you're considerd an exhibitior if you choose to not stay at the hotel, correct? Because if I'm less than 20 minutes away it's a waste of money to rent a room for a few nights. I don't mind if i have to walk in with my supplies, but just thought I'd ask since I know I'll have at least one chair and then the crates I mentioned for display purposes. It's all artwork -- prints, bookmarks, magnets, etc. -- so I"m pretty sure it's not exhibitor stuff.
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#6 User is offline   KnitChick 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 08:39 PM

I think what Voltaire is getting at is if you have too much stuff to wheel in on a dolly or wagon, you might be considered more of an exhibitor. You're perfectly welcome to drive to & from the con, but if you want to drive right up into the convention center to unload, that's crossing the line to exhibitor. I hope that clarifies things :)

As far as parking, the main parking lot is across the street behind the Embassy (there is the Hyatt lot but it's about equidistant and I *think* it's like $15 a day compared to $13 a day in the Convention Center).

As far as cheaper parking, alas, there really isn't any. Unfortunately Rosemont is an expensive town to park in.
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#7 User is offline   IcyPanther 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 08:44 PM

View PostKnitChick, on 13 December 2011 - 08:39 PM, said:

I think what Voltaire is getting at is if you have too much stuff to wheel in on a dolly or wagon, you might be considered more of an exhibitor. You're perfectly welcome to drive to & from the con, but if you want to drive right up into the convention center to unload, that's crossing the line to exhibitor. I hope that clarifies things :)

As far as parking, the main parking lot is across the street behind the Embassy (there is the Hyatt lot but it's about equidistant and I *think* it's like $15 a day compared to $13 a day in the Convention Center).

As far as cheaper parking, alas, there really isn't any. Unfortunately Rosemont is an expensive town to park in.


Okay, thanks Knitchick. I was getting confused by the fact it appeared I wasn't allowed to drive at all. Because that's justs being silly.
The reason I asked was because i'm most likely going to have a printer and an extra chair or two, plus some display crates and then of course all my art. All of that combined is rather heavy and awkward to carry, so that's why I was asking. I promise, I'm not hauling in a whole store or something =p
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#8 User is offline   FurGear 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 09:17 PM

I personally have a large display for my wings which can get to a span of 2 ft or more, plus my other items
I have a dolly to help and transport my things in my jeep from my home



Voltaire30
"Yes, but people who drive in a car are treading on the thin line between being an Artist and an Exhibitor. It is something we do not suggest, as chances are you would be classified as an Exhibitor in future years."

Thats just confusing so I cant drive my car to the con or i cant drive it to the center to help with getting things into the center?

I thought an artist meant that you make everything yourself nothing that's factory made, and its not a full time thing. Such as its not your main income.

#9 User is offline   IcyPanther 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 09:22 PM

View PostFurGear, on 13 December 2011 - 09:17 PM, said:

I personally have a large display for my wings which can get to a span of 2 ft or more, plus my other items
I have a dolly to help and transport my things in my jeep from my home



Voltaire30
"Yes, but people who drive in a car are treading on the thin line between being an Artist and an Exhibitor. It is something we do not suggest, as chances are you would be classified as an Exhibitor in future years."

Thats just confusing so I cant drive my car to the con or i cant drive it to the center to help with getting things into the center?

I thought an artist meant that you make everything yourself nothing that's factory made, and its not a full time thing. Such as its not your main income.


:D Glad I'm not the only one who was confused by that wording.

I've now learned there's a sort of circle area (by a fountain) that many people use as a drop-off as it's right by the AA. So long as you unload your car and drive away (you stay by stuff, a friend goes and parks car) you're fine. For those of us with displays (because we're trying to attract people over) we need that little extra help. So yay for cars, just not I guess like "into" the center or something =p
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#10 User is offline   Voltaire30 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 09:28 PM

View PostFurGear, on 13 December 2011 - 09:17 PM, said:

... so I cant drive my car to the con or i cant drive it to the center to help with getting things into the center? ...


I never said you can't drive your car to the convention, or drive it to the convention center. Driving into the convention center is something we never used to allow, because that was a perk only for Exhibitors. We decided to re-visit that decision a few years ago, based on a case by case basis, and then after that year, only if people really thought they needed it. This has been an issue between the definition of who is an Artist, and who is an Exhibitor, which isn't something that is helpful to either Artists or Exhibitors.

In an effort to dispel any misunderstandings my team and I will evaluate the decision to allow non-exhibitors entry into the hall via vehicle for subsequent years. That being said, this year will be the testing / review time period for us to evaluate how we should proceed next year regarding vehicle access in the hall for non-exhibitors.
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#11 User is offline   JujuFox 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 10:37 PM

The first time I was in the AA I parked in the Convention parking lot across the street. I hauled all my stuff across the walkway bridge.

Last year I parked at the hotel, since we were staying there and wanted in/out privileges, but we were advised that if we left we might not be able to get back in the lot since it fills up completely. Anyway we carried all our stuff from the lot across to the Convention hall. They open the loading doors for the exhibitors to drive into, so you can walk into there easy enough on Thursday.

I recommend setting up on Thursday afternoon. That way you can sorta get away with parking(standing with hazards on) on the side street to unload you stuff. You can't block anyone/thing, you have to be fast, and have someone else drive your car off after you pull all your stuff out. If you do this I suggest paying a few bucks for parking at the CTA lot down the street. I believe that is the cheapest parking you can find around the Convention Center.
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#12 User is offline   IcyPanther 

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 10:48 PM

View PostDavenEvanXaviour, on 13 December 2011 - 10:37 PM, said:

The first time I was in the AA I parked in the Convention parking lot across the street. I hauled all my stuff across the walkway bridge.

Last year I parked at the hotel, since we were staying there and wanted in/out privileges, but we were advised that if we left we might not be able to get back in the lot since it fills up completely. Anyway we carried all our stuff from the lot across to the Convention hall. They open the loading doors for the exhibitors to drive into, so you can walk into there easy enough on Thursday.

I recommend setting up on Thursday afternoon. That way you can sorta get away with parking(standing with hazards on) on the side street to unload you stuff. You can't block anyone/thing, you have to be fast, and have someone else drive your car off after you pull all your stuff out. If you do this I suggest paying a few bucks for parking at the CTA lot down the street. I believe that is the cheapest parking you can find around the Convention Center.


:D Thanks for the advice! Sounds just like packing up a dorm -- quickly in, quickly out and don't block anyone
How far away would you guestimate the CTA parking lot is? I don't mind hoofing it a bit, especially if it's cheaper.
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#13 User is offline   Christy 

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 09:59 AM

What Voltaire was saying is that only exhibitors are allowed to physically drive their car INTO the convention center. But you can use the convention center cul-de-sac for unloading, which is what we generally do every year.

SO - Time for the description of the annual Artist Alley Chinese Fire Drill!

Prep - Make sure that everything is packed compactly and in as few a containers as possible. Rolling carts are a good idea. When you load your car, make sure everything is easily accessable. (IE: Don't put your table gear under stuff that is not table gear so you don't have to dig or sort.) Finally, bring at least one friend. Designate one of you as driver and one a guard. Additional friends can act as haulers to help get everything to the AA quicker.

Drill Time - When you pull into the Rosemont Convention Center's cul-de-sac, pull over, put on your hazards and pop the trunk. Everybody in the car jumps out and unloads onto the sidwalk as quickly as possible. Keep everything stacked together, compactly and out of the street. Then the driver jumps back into the car and goes to park it while the guard stays behind and watches the stuff.

Check-In - If you have additonal people to act as haulers, they can gather up the stuff with the guard and go check in. If not, the guard waits with the stuff while the driver returns and then the two bring the stuff inside. If you're really good about packing, you should be able to get everything moved in one trip with the help you've brought. If not, then the guard remains with the stuff while the driver/haulers take loads inside. Never leave your gear unattended.

Once everything is at the table and set up, you can safely leave it there for the weekend - with the exception of the cash box which you should always take with you at the end of the day and any really valuable art supplies. We usually bring a bedsheet or extra table cloth to cover the booth at the end of the day.

For tear down, we do it in reverse. We pack everything up and then haul it to the sidewalk. Then the guard stays with the stuff while the driver fetches the car. Then everybody really quick throws everything into the car, jumps in and drives off.

Ta da!

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 10:16 AM

I want to see this a as an animation plz lol

This post has been edited by FurGear: 14 December 2011 - 10:16 AM


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Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:20 AM

View PostIcyPanther, on 13 December 2011 - 10:48 PM, said:

:D Thanks for the advice! Sounds just like packing up a dorm -- quickly in, quickly out and don't block anyoneHow far away would you guestimate the CTA parking lot is? I don't mind hoofing it a bit, especially if it's cheaper.

It is like a few blocks west. Look it up on google maps!

View PostFurGear, on 14 December 2011 - 10:16 AM, said:

I want to see this a as an animation plz lol

I've seen this before. If you pack everything up right this takes like 60 seconds do to.
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Posted 15 December 2011 - 04:30 PM

View PostDavenEvanXaviour, on 15 December 2011 - 11:20 AM, said:

It is like a few blocks west. Look it up on google maps!


North, actually. Just on the other side of the expressway. http://g.co/maps/rd6hq
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#17 User is offline   IcyPanther 

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 07:01 PM

Thanks everyone for the comments and the help! I guess I should have worded it more along the lines of -- can we drive our car up to the curb/street in front of the center rather than "to the center" because I guess it could sound like I wanted to drive my car inside of it...

So, pretty much we can drive up to that little cul-de-sac everyone mentioned, drop off our stuff witha friend, park, and then walk it in. Thank you very much again for all your help!

Can't wait to see you there!

Also, always willing to lend a hand if you don't have enough people (I'm bringing my sister and a friend) so if you need some help, just give a shout :)
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Posted 16 December 2011 - 12:36 AM

View PostIcyPanther, on 15 December 2011 - 07:01 PM, said:

....So, pretty much we can drive up to that little cul-de-sac everyone mentioned, drop off our stuff witha friend, park, and then walk it in...


I'm glad I wasn't the only one a bit confused about the driving situation! Being marked as an exhibitor just for wanting to drive your stuff up to the doors instead of carry it all over to the center (especially when you have bigger items or big displays) seemed a bit absurd to be, but it makes sense now that I know exhibitors can actually drive INTO the building.
Dropping off your stuff by the door makes way more sense. I was going to be so sad if I had to actually cart all of my stuff over on foot. x_x I have a 6' Charizard plush that would have warranted a trip all by himself... so YAY FOR CARS!

Thanks everyone for the clarification ^_^

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 10:07 AM

View PostGrimby, on 16 December 2011 - 12:36 AM, said:

I'm glad I wasn't the only one a bit confused about the driving situation! Being marked as an exhibitor just for wanting to drive your stuff up to the doors instead of carry it all over to the center (especially when you have bigger items or big displays) seemed a bit absurd to be, but it makes sense now that I know exhibitors can actually drive INTO the building.
Dropping off your stuff by the door makes way more sense. I was going to be so sad if I had to actually cart all of my stuff over on foot. x_x I have a 6' Charizard plush that would have warranted a trip all by himself... so YAY FOR CARS!

Thanks everyone for the clarification ^_^


Ohmygosh, that's huge!!!! @.@ Pretty awesome though :D And yeah, that definetley would have been a trip all on its own!
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Posted 16 December 2011 - 10:26 AM

View PostChristy, on 14 December 2011 - 09:59 AM, said:


SO - Time for the description of the annual Artist Alley Chinese Fire Drill!

Prep - Make sure that everything is packed compactly and in as few a containers as possible. Rolling carts are a good idea. When you load your car, make sure everything is easily accessable. (IE: Don't put your table gear under stuff that is not table gear so you don't have to dig or sort.) Finally, bring at least one friend. Designate one of you as driver and one a guard. Additional friends can act as haulers to help get everything to the AA quicker.

Drill Time - When you pull into the Rosemont Convention Center's cul-de-sac, pull over, put on your hazards and pop the trunk. Everybody in the car jumps out and unloads onto the sidwalk as quickly as possible. Keep everything stacked together, compactly and out of the street. Then the driver jumps back into the car and goes to park it while the guard stays behind and watches the stuff.

Check-In - If you have additonal people to act as haulers, they can gather up the stuff with the guard and go check in. If not, the guard waits with the stuff while the driver returns and then the two bring the stuff inside. If you're really good about packing, you should be able to get everything moved in one trip with the help you've brought. If not, then the guard remains with the stuff while the driver/haulers take loads inside. Never leave your gear unattended.

Once everything is at the table and set up, you can safely leave it there for the weekend - with the exception of the cash box which you should always take with you at the end of the day and any really valuable art supplies. We usually bring a bedsheet or extra table cloth to cover the booth at the end of the day.

For tear down, we do it in reverse. We pack everything up and then haul it to the sidewalk. Then the guard stays with the stuff while the driver fetches the car. Then everybody really quick throws everything into the car, jumps in and drives off.

Ta da!


this sounds like a pro, ppl

one thing to remember is there will be oh about 200 other ppl trying to do the same thing
this is why you must be quick and move your car/stuff asap
it may be a crazy time
but once your set up its smooth sailing

oh one more thing for new ppl
its rare for the loading doors to be open Friday and Saturday
so it may be hard to get things in and out then
want to learn about cosplay materials? click here->my youtube cosplay tips and tricks<-click here

#21 User is offline   IcyPanther 

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 10:29 AM

View PostMillions_Knives, on 16 December 2011 - 10:26 AM, said:

this sounds like a pro, ppl

one thing to remember is there will be oh about 200 other ppl trying to do the same thing
this is why you must be quick and move your car/stuff asap
it may be a crazy time
but once your set up its smooth sailing

oh one more thing for new ppl
its rare for the loading doors to be open Friday and Saturday
so it may be hard to get things in and out then


Definetely pro =p

One more question. I know we can set up Thursday, but what time on Thursday? I keep picturing the evening, but the afternoon would make much more sense. Does anyone know?
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#22 User is offline   JujuFox 

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 10:33 AM

View PostMillions_Knives, on 16 December 2011 - 10:26 AM, said:

this sounds like a pro, ppl

one thing to remember is there will be oh about 200 other ppl trying to do the same thing
this is why you must be quick and move your car/stuff asap
it may be a crazy time
but once your set up its smooth sailing

oh one more thing for new ppl
its rare for the loading doors to be open Friday and Saturday
so it may be hard to get things in and out then

Thursday is the only day this is really possible. Last year we were one of, or perhaps the first people to get our table completely set up and ready to go for Friday.

I would not attempt to try this on Friday as there is always a huge amount of people in the main entrance, the circle drive, down the street, etc.
Attending since 2005 ~ Artist Alley '06, '11, '12, '13, & '14

Cosplays 2014: Friday: Ness(female version) Saturday: Chell Sunday: Myself
Cosplays 2013: Friday: Major Motoko Kusanagi(picture) Saturday: Chell(picture) Sunday: Ness(picture)

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#23 User is offline   Millions_Knives 

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 10:48 AM

we had most of of the artist come in fri. morning
and ya its the hardest time the try to get in
pros come thur.

This post has been edited by Millions_Knives: 16 December 2011 - 10:49 AM

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#24 User is offline   littlemissysg 

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 03:57 PM

So when exactly can we come in on Thursday? And do we go through the same doors that the general public goes through? (where registration booths are and such). Just to clarify, we can leave all our work at the table?

I'm also confused with the power issue. Who do we pay for power and when?

CTA parking is usually $5. KEEP YOUR RECEIPT THAT YOU GET FOR YOUR PARKING SPACE. They sometimes have system screw ups that end up having you charged a $50 ticket later on if they think you didn't pay.

#25 User is offline   JujuFox 

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 04:16 PM

View Postlittlemissysg, on 16 December 2011 - 03:57 PM, said:

So when exactly can we come in on Thursday? And do we go through the same doors that the general public goes through? (where registration booths are and such). Just to clarify, we can leave all our work at the table?

I'm also confused with the power issue. Who do we pay for power and when?

CTA parking is usually $5. KEEP YOUR RECEIPT THAT YOU GET FOR YOUR PARKING SPACE. They sometimes have system screw ups that end up having you charged a $50 ticket later on if they think you didn't pay.

I don't remember the times for setup from last year, but you will get that information and the info for power and other services if you are accepted into the AA. They always send out that information to approved and paid AA people at the proper time.

You can enter through most all of the entryways(if they unlock them), although I recommend coming through the loading doors. You should be able to also get through the main entryway with the circle drive.

You can leave all your merchandise at the table(cover it at night with a large sheet), or come early during set up times and put it back up. AA badges are always able to enter early and leave later than the public hours, although I am not sure of the times since they have not posted that info yet.
Attending since 2005 ~ Artist Alley '06, '11, '12, '13, & '14

Cosplays 2014: Friday: Ness(female version) Saturday: Chell Sunday: Myself
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#26 User is offline   obakasan 

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 04:29 PM

Last year artists and vendors were allowed in Thursday noon and could stay until 7:00pm or so (times can vary between artists and vendors too), HOWEVER that was last year.

We (ACen) have to follow the rules, regulations, and guidelines as set out by the local Rosemont authorities, the Convention Center, and who knows who else. These things can and have changed from year to year. This includes setup hours, parking, and which doors we can use (and when). Some of this will not be set out until final contracts and agreements have been signed (and even then things can change).

About all I can say at this time is that we all have to wait until these things are decided, and that could be months away. Sorry.

The Exhibit Space DH or one of the AA/AS ADHs should be posting or emailing more details AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE. Please be patient.
:thumbup:

This post has been edited by obakasan: 16 December 2011 - 04:30 PM

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#27 User is offline   Millions_Knives 

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 04:29 PM

(edit: obakasan knows better than me)
the department head will have to give ya exact time Thur. you can come in
but you should be fine in the after noon Thur.
Its normally a far let hectic time than fri morning

there are truck size loading doors on the north side of the building on W. Bryn Mawr Ave. that will be open to let ppl set up

you may leave your goods at your table, there will be security, but you should still be careful
its been recommended you take you lockbox with you and cover and/or secure all your goods somehow

the power has changed this year
so check your contract about the details
then email the department head for more info
(i think hes the only one who knows all the details about the change)

This post has been edited by Millions_Knives: 16 December 2011 - 04:31 PM

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