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Are you considering this your last year at ACen? Just curious

Poll: Are you considering this your last year at ACen? (126 member(s) have cast votes)

Will this be your last year at ACen?

  1. Yes (13 votes [10.32%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.32%

  2. No (79 votes [62.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 62.70%

  3. Thinking about it (34 votes [26.98%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.98%

Vote

#31 User is offline   TheStrongJaeger 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 09:54 AM

I have always lived by the line "The world is what you make of it.", and as such to a large degree I feel that the Con is what you make of it. In my 10 years I have never at any point had nothing to do or had a bad time. Musical guest isn't someone I like? Good thing there are panels that sound interesting. Autograph line too long? I'll just play in an awesome video game tournament. Every year one facet of ACen may be lacking but that doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of other things to do that are done well. And this is all without mentioning the number one reason to go these conventions; the other fans. I can(and have, and will again) spend hours just walking around meeting cool people and having great conversations of getting into wacky hi-jinks. Sure late night might get a little "colorful" but that is every convention and is just another part of it to me.

Now if you go to conventions just for the sake of meeting guests then I can understand being disappointed, but at the same time I feel like you are missing out on 75% of the convention experience. Voicing opinions on what could be improved is great but I think far too many people focus on the negative and don't acknowledge the things that went well or what you had fun doing. I literally cannot imagine anyone showing up and having no fun at all over the 3 days.

So I've always had a great time and I will continue to have a great time, and I hope all of you guys do too.
All systems... GO!

#32 User is online   magishine 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 09:56 AM

I also don't have very deep roots with the con as my first was in 2009 but every single time I go it gets better. Does the lack of guest announcements bother me? Yes but I know it will be a fun con because (at least for me) the last con was fun. I don't buy my badge thinking "The guests better be good" although the guests are a huge plus. I go because I have fun with my friends there. Going to panels and generally doing dorky things. I know people that go for one reason or another but for me it's all about having a good time and until that changes. I'll be going to Acen for the foreseeable future. Haters need to stop hating. If you're not going to go to Acen, then don't go to Acen. It's as simple as that
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Unknown. Probably only going for a day in 2015

#33 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 09:59 AM

View Postlinlindesu, on 01 March 2012 - 02:46 AM, said:

But that's the reason this thread exists ! If people start voicing their opinions where the con heads can see them, maybe they'll really consider giving Acen an overhaul.

I wish I could tell the story of the maid cafe that became karaoke Acen 09 (?) just to show how acen department heads aren't always on top of things but that would be too much of a low blow...

It's ok Kaay I was just wondering why the usual funny replacement words didn't pop up. :x


Actually there have been other threads similar to this, such as the issue with the soap bubble and the drunk/rave goers, lack of IRT, badge prices, etc. so this hasn't not been brought up before.

Unlike many other conventions, Acen is a big con so it's hard to regulate and do everything, especially with people who say that they will be staff and quit at the last minute, people who don't pull their weight, what may have you. A lot of the bigger cons in other states have sponsors and paid work, unlike Acen, so most of it's help/etc. is coming from the con goers themselves and a lot of people have the attitude that "If it doesn't apply to me why should I care?" instead of the con as a whole.


Also the fandom issues; when I first starting going to Acen after college it wasn't so bad. It was just Sailor moon and some GW fans. Now you have Durarara, Hetalia, etc. and this newer generation of fans that are more crazy than the older ones back in the Thundercat/Toonami days. I mean I never had to deal with being tackled or worrying about other people being tackled back then compared to now.

So above all; it's a lot of the con goers fault in some of the issues, not all of them. Also the badge prices have not be directed straight from the prices of the crack dome or what may have you.

Kollision is out of state and I can't do out of state cons, but the first one might be do-able. The problem I have is that Acen is the closest convention to my house; it's a train ride away, and I don't have any friend that would drive me or help me with out of state cons, and I am paranoia with driving with people that I barely met. Also I get motion sickness so driving to California or another state is a big no no for me. Trains are even worse when I attempted to go to Ohio one by Amtrak :x

So I thought about just going to comic con or giving up anime conventions either this year or the next, since Acen is going up. I would staff myself but due to being sick so much and personal issues I haven't stepped up to the plate and I feel bad .__.
ACen 2013 Cosplay:
Hero from SMT: DS2, Emmet/Kudari from Pokemon Black and White, Roppi Izaya from Durarara, Hitoshura human form from SMT.

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


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#34 User is offline   FlyingElf 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:52 AM

View PostThe Fujoshi, on 01 March 2012 - 09:59 AM, said:

Actually there have been other threads similar to this, such as the issue with the soap bubble and the drunk/rave goers, lack of IRT, badge prices, etc. so this hasn't not been brought up before.

Unlike many other conventions, Acen is a big con so it's hard to regulate and do everything, especially with people who say that they will be staff and quit at the last minute, people who don't pull their weight, what may have you. A lot of the bigger cons in other states have sponsors and paid work, unlike Acen, so most of it's help/etc. is coming from the con goers themselves and a lot of people have the attitude that "If it doesn't apply to me why should I care?" instead of the con as a whole.


Also the fandom issues; when I first starting going to Acen after college it wasn't so bad. It was just Sailor moon and some GW fans. Now you have Durarara, Hetalia, etc. and this newer generation of fans that are more crazy than the older ones back in the Thundercat/Toonami days. I mean I never had to deal with being tackled or worrying about other people being tackled back then compared to now.

So above all; it's a lot of the con goers fault in some of the issues, not all of them. Also the badge prices have not be directed straight from the prices of the crack dome or what may have you.

Kollision is out of state and I can't do out of state cons, but the first one might be do-able. The problem I have is that Acen is the closest convention to my house; it's a train ride away, and I don't have any friend that would drive me or help me with out of state cons, and I am paranoia with driving with people that I barely met. Also I get motion sickness so driving to California or another state is a big no no for me. Trains are even worse when I attempted to go to Ohio one by Amtrak :x

So I thought about just going to comic con or giving up anime conventions either this year or the next, since Acen is going up. I would staff myself but due to being sick so much and personal issues I haven't stepped up to the plate and I feel bad .__.


Yes, being a big convention makes it harder to regulate as much stuff, but regulation is not always the answer. Plus, there are other cons who do a much better job than ACen has been doing recently. For example Lina has brought up Youmacon's recent announcement of guests despite being 8 months out. Were it a problem with all large cons, then I would be more inclined to agree.

I'm not sure I would necessarily agree with you on it being the attendee's fault. If the attendees are at fault for anything, its that they have overwhelming spoken that guests sell badges. So cons are forced to get bigger, more expensive guests which drives up the price of badges. I can cite to back this up, but they're largely unimportant. Other than that, I consider any other attendee related expense to be basically the same as any business that caters to the public. Anime fans are no better or worse in that respect.

I can also cite evidence that drunks don't cause any more damage than anyone else really if you want, though I doubt half of you would listen because its much easier to blame a group of people who do things you don't like. Hell I could probably even prove that cosplayers drive up the cost more than drunks do. Anyone wanna stop cosplay?
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#35 User is offline   linlindesu 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:05 AM

View PostThe Fujoshi, on 01 March 2012 - 09:59 AM, said:

Actually there have been other threads similar to this, such as the issue with the soap bubble and the drunk/rave goers, lack of IRT, badge prices, etc. so this hasn't not been brought up before.



The issues have been brought up but no one has made a point to say "hey, improve or I'm thinking about/ am leaving" . Which looking at the votes, most people are considering leaving the convention. Sometimes people need to just see straight up numbers to begin to really think about the problems at hand.
And very few threads are about the lack of organization at all.

Felf, I agree with you on con damage. It isn't always drunks. It is stupid people, it is people that were too liberal with body paint, it is unreported accidents. But the con chairs always say after the convention "look at the mess you have all made, now you are going to see another badge hike"

and heck, if they delivered guests I wouldn't mind the badge costing more and more.
but I've been sort of looking back at guests from much much early years. We used to get a mangaka almost every year until around 2008. :/

This year ... musical guests and that is all.
NOT EVEN THE DEJESUSES xDDD
2015 Cosplay
Elrond's angry face when the hobbits crash the party
Compa- hyperdimension nep nep
Kongou- Arpeggio of Blue Steel
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#36 User is offline   FlyingElf 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:24 AM

View Postlinlindesu, on 01 March 2012 - 11:05 AM, said:

The issues have been brought up but no one has made a point to say "hey, improve or I'm thinking about/ am leaving" . Which looking at the votes, most people are considering leaving the convention. Sometimes people need to just see straight up numbers to begin to really think about the problems at hand.
And very few threads are about the lack of organization at all.

Felf, I agree with you on con damage. It isn't always drunks. It is stupid people, it is people that were too liberal with body paint, it is unreported accidents. But the con chairs always say after the convention "look at the mess you have all made, now you are going to see another badge hike"

and heck, if they delivered guests I wouldn't mind the badge costing more and more.
but I've been sort of looking back at guests from much much early years. We used to get a mangaka almost every year until around 2008. :/

This year ... musical guests and that is all.
NOT EVEN THE DEJESUSES xDDD


Oh you're absolutely right on the guest thing. I was speaking in a more general sense. I have a pretty good idea of why the cost of ACen badges keep rising, but being that its a mix of speculation and inside info from talking to higher ups, I'd rather not post about it publicly.

And shhhh...You're taking my arguments if someone actually does take me up on the cosplayers v drunks, which one costs the con more, lol.
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#37 User is offline   Shinamura 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:25 AM

I like acen Why would I stop going?
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#38 User is offline   linlindesu 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:26 AM

I dunno man , I personally think having Avatar body paint and sitting on all the light colored couches in the Hyatt it a FANTASTIC idea. ( to felf )

To be more constructive, Pro Con Chart. Try to balance out my snark here.

Pro
Acen draws a large diverse audicence
Acen has a fantastic night life, 2 major dances which great djs, and fun room parties
Acen has a lot of very very good cosplay
Acen has an awesome variety of artists who are fantastic at their craft
Acen has tried very hard to improve their reg system over the years
Acen has a great selection in their viewing rooms


Con
Acen is very very very late with the guests this year
Acen is prone to a lot of damage which we are being told is driving up the badge price
Acen's guest list has been waning in the past 3-4 years
Acen has had whole departments go down due to lack of organization
Acen's badge price keeps going up despite not delivering anything more or really giving any legitimate reason.

This post has been edited by linlindesu: 01 March 2012 - 11:37 AM

2015 Cosplay
Elrond's angry face when the hobbits crash the party
Compa- hyperdimension nep nep
Kongou- Arpeggio of Blue Steel
Rise- Persona 4 Dancing all Night

#39 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:37 AM

View PostFlyingElf, on 01 March 2012 - 10:52 AM, said:

Yes, being a big convention makes it harder to regulate as much stuff, but regulation is not always the answer. Plus, there are other cons who do a much better job than ACen has been doing recently. For example Lina has brought up Youmacon's recent announcement of guests despite being 8 months out. Were it a problem with all large cons, then I would be more inclined to agree.

I'm not sure I would necessarily agree with you on it being the attendee's fault. If the attendees are at fault for anything, its that they have overwhelming spoken that guests sell badges. So cons are forced to get bigger, more expensive guests which drives up the price of badges. I can cite to back this up, but they're largely unimportant. Other than that, I consider any other attendee related expense to be basically the same as any business that caters to the public. Anime fans are no better or worse in that respect.

I can also cite evidence that drunks don't cause any more damage than anyone else really if you want, though I doubt half of you would listen because its much easier to blame a group of people who do things you don't like. Hell I could probably even prove that cosplayers drive up the cost more than drunks do. Anyone wanna stop cosplay?


Yep; stated how Cosplayers probably do drive up the damage/price than the drunks, in an indirect way, and that the badge prices are not from people being drunk or crashing said elevators. X3 I have no bias opinion about drunks in general, but I don't enjoy people who blame their stupidity on drinks in question, as a means of an excuse or a scapegoat, or say that's the only way to have fun, and bring their bias attitudes for the people who don't drink, since it's considered a norm.

Most of the staff from what I seen is either by the association (Midwest,) or are actual attendees, and usually new staff is done in a similar process. If Acen hired more paying staff, it might see a change in terms of regulations and organizations but I have no idea how this process works or if it would work in general.

What I do know is that some of the people I used to talk to that staffed in the pass would ditch at the last minute because they "were not getting paid and wanted to get extra cash for food/beer/etc." so I assumed that this might be a reason for lack of staff and many of the convention issues of Acen at the last minute, such as everything disorganized, lack of IRT in certain areas, overworked IRT, etc.

Working myself made me realize how stressful this could be and throw everything out of a loop, especially if you had a point to point/person to person schedule.

@linlindesu:

Actually people have said that they wouldn't go to Acen again after they seen how the convention was, first timers and old timers, from other threads, such as the Soapbubble issue one as well as how Acen changed after so many years.

To be honest I have no idea why the guest list is like that. My guesses were:

-Lack of funding/sponsors compared to other conventions around the same size, such as Youma

-Lack of staff organization

-Lack of information/last minute information

I've only been to two cons myself: Acen and the other Illinois party convention that was shut down unexpectedly.

This post has been edited by The Fujoshi: 01 March 2012 - 11:39 AM

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

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


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

#40 User is offline   TheStrongJaeger 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:43 AM

View PostThe Fujoshi, on 01 March 2012 - 11:37 AM, said:

I've only been to two cons myself: Acen and the other Illinois party convention that was shut down unexpectedly.


Ah The Reactor. Now that was a perfect example of how not to run a convention. ACen looks like Sunday School compared to Reactor.
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#41 User is offline   XenoBlade 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:46 AM

Im a man of facts of truth, if you have the evidence, ill defintely change my views, tho I do know idiot cosplayers are equal to blame. I think it is fair to say both are equal in damage.

Tho I hear more and more lots of immature party folk dont pay for rooms or badges, making stuff worse. (dont even contribute towards acen at all)

Not everyone can have responsible parties like yours elf. Lol
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Dragon Ball Z-Piccolo
Zero Escape 2: Virtue's Last Reward-Sigma
3rd cosplay:Either Zoro(One Piece),Sazh(Final Fantasy XIII), or Gintoki(Gintama).
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#42 User is offline   linlindesu 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:47 AM

View PostTheStrongJaeger, on 01 March 2012 - 11:43 AM, said:

Ah The Reactor. Now that was a perfect example of how not to run a convention. ACen looks like Sunday School compared to Reactor.

I remember a friend of mine going with her mother( she was 15 at the time). She wasn't allowed to go to any conventions forward after that XDD Was it felf or another regular that said "Reactor is not a convention, it is an experiment to see how much a group of anime fans can destroy a hotel in one weekend" . paraphrasing :x
2015 Cosplay
Elrond's angry face when the hobbits crash the party
Compa- hyperdimension nep nep
Kongou- Arpeggio of Blue Steel
Rise- Persona 4 Dancing all Night

#43 User is offline   LordCanti 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:53 AM

i really think that acen should start coming down harder on the ppl that are make things worse at acen instead of letting everyone take the blame :<
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#44 User is offline   FlyingElf 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:03 PM

Yeah, I didn't mean to target you specifically with the drunk comment. Its more of an annoyance that a lot of anime fans have a prejudice against people who drink in general. I also agree that being drunk is no excuse to act like a jerk. I find that most people don't do anything drunk that they wouldn't do sober. Being drunk just lowers your inhibitions typically. So usually when someone is a jerk while drunk, its just because they're a jerk. Good life lesson for everyone out there real quick, lol.

People not showing up for staffing is an issue, but there are things you can do to compensate and prepare for that. Many of which I have not seen ACen do in the past. And some things I have seen them do that are costing them good, veteran staffers.
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#45 User is offline   TheStrongJaeger 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:03 PM

View PostLordCanti, on 01 March 2012 - 11:53 AM, said:

i really think that acen should start coming down harder on the ppl that are make things worse at acen instead of letting everyone take the blame :<


That's a noble(albeit obvious) conclusion, but the problem is how do you identify who is making things worse? The person who cracked the dome was never identified(as far as I know) and most other problems specific people are not identified. And as stated before, it's not one group of people that are causing the problems. So rather than just stating the obvious of "come down on the bad people" how about suggesting how to do that?
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#46 User is offline   LordCanti 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:10 PM

could take the ppl that are exhibiting inappropriate behavior to the side before it gets out of hand. seeing the signs before they happen in just.
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#47 User is offline   linlindesu 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:15 PM

View PostTheStrongJaeger, on 01 March 2012 - 12:03 PM, said:

That's a noble(albeit obvious) conclusion, but the problem is how do you identify who is making things worse? The person who cracked the dome was never identified(as far as I know) and most other problems specific people are not identified. And as stated before, it's not one group of people that are causing the problems. So rather than just stating the obvious of "come down on the bad people" how about suggesting how to do that?

Maybe making the IRT hotline more avalible or advertised? I'm unsure of anywhere besides the program book that the number is given. Even making an IRT only twitter or having the number on the back of badges. Even perhaps having an IRT member stationed by all the hotels active at that time( little IRT stations with information and someone to answer any questions/ help resolve an issue) Telling people if they see something to say something. It may sound elementary but first time con goers or even those who aren't that familiar with the convention's set up could use the information.

As for some con damage, I remember the idea of a clean up crew being thrown around a year or so ago. If acen finds the staff, this would be a great idea to keeping the damage costs minimal ( though things like broken urinals and railings can't be helped).
2015 Cosplay
Elrond's angry face when the hobbits crash the party
Compa- hyperdimension nep nep
Kongou- Arpeggio of Blue Steel
Rise- Persona 4 Dancing all Night

#48 User is offline   TheStrongJaeger 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:22 PM

And I like all of your ideas linlindesu. It's funny that 3 years ago IRT was unbearable and you couldn't even walk without getting yelled at by one. Now it seems like a complete 180 and they aren't there enough. Hard to strike that balance.
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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:27 PM

Maybe. If my girlfriend wants to keep going for some reason after this year, I will accompany her. If I had to rank the overall quality of conventions that I've attended last year, it would be:

1. Kollision Con (#CLASS)
2. Youmacon (#swagg)
3. GeekKon (#swag)
4. Ramencon (#swell)
5. ACen (#worst; only ranked so high by default; if I went to any other cons last year, I'm confident that ACen would still come in last.)

What I like about it:

* I get to see some of my friends.

* The video gaming room is great if Zerst is running it.

* ... (I spent about a minute thinking of what to type here, nothing's coming to mind. Well, onto the 'cons' of this con~)

What I don't like about it:

*ACen is largely responsible for the downfall of the Spoony Bards by taking them out of their hallway environment, putting them onstage, and in turn causing it to go to their heads; overcrowded.

*Lack of well-known non-musical international guests and even well-known domestic guests.

* Increase of stories from people close to me stating that they've gotten physically ill due to mold in the rooms (not to be confused with the infamous Purple Hotel).

*Hyatt Regency O'Hare staff are rude and inconsiderate.

*The rooms aren't so great for the cost per night; A night at the lux Pheasant Run is $100, I believe. The Doubletree isn't much better, leaving the Embassy Suite the 'middle ground' of cost vs. being close to the location.

*To go into more detail on the badge prices vs. guests: ACen seems to think it's okay to charge as much as they do, as early as they do, without even announcing any 'big names.' When's the last time you were excited about guests at ACen? For me, it was 2007. Yasuhiro Nightow. That was it. Before that, it was Steven Blum, and I think more than just a few of us know the tale of how IRT upset him to the point of swearing he'd never go to ACen again. Meanwhile, Youmacon continued to consistently deliver voice actors, albeit English ones (inb4 "boo dubs," some of them are actually good, especially in recent years), who were at least very close to Steve Blum tier, if not equal with him, and all very polite. But hey, better go pre-reg as early as possible; ACen's guest list may have been taking the piss for five straight years now in the opinion of many, but THIS YEAR IS THE YEAR, RIGHT?!

*The amount of booze-guzzlers and obnoxious teeny boppers who attend solely for the Saturday night room parties-- many of which don't have badges-- is staggering.

*The 'rave', the Soap Bubble, is hardly worth attending anymore, at least within two hours of its doors opening; if one has any sort of need for oxygen, such a thing is a luxury in that festering hive of fanboy/fangirl funk. Hell, the health standards for the wastewater treatment plant I'm studying to work at call for more sanitary conditions and breathable air than that particular room at that particular time exhibits.

*No con suite, largely due to the Hyatt Regency O'Hare's greed. (They'd much rather you pay $toomuch for a ham-handedly thrown-together greaseburger in their "fine" dining room than score a handful of Cheetos and a small cup of Mountain Dew to help sustain your poor otaku self, courtesy of this once-generous convention)

*Can't buy Japanese snacks from the vendors for that same reason.

*Still no official plans on expanding properly into the Convention Center. If ACen could get just one guest that I care about (preferably Liam O'Brien or Laura Bailey, but I digress; I'd take ANYONE who's played even a minor role in ANYTHING that I own) AND fully expand into the supposedly too-expensive Convention Center, I'd gladly pay an extra $20 for my badge. (Say, $60-something at the start of pre-reg, or $80 at the door) Heck, just for the extra arm-space while walking around (if they expanded into said Center, thus dispersing the crowd a bit), I'd still pay $10-15 in addition to the currently overpriced badges.

*Despite IRT being polite, some staff have been quite rude, particularly last year and the year before. (Kudos to ACen for not appointing these clowns as IRT authority figures, I suppose?)

I'm sure there's a few more reasons which escape me at the moment, but I'll be nice and just let the less-memorable benefactors to ACen's five-year strain and downhill spiral of suckery remain unmemorable.

This post has been edited by Sir Viver: 01 March 2012 - 01:31 PM

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#50 User is offline   FlyingElf 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:27 PM

The problem with a clean up crew is that they still can't clean the rooms which is a large part of the cleaning cost. The overtime that the hotel has to pay the maids to clean up the large amount of trash caused often gets passed on to the con.

This is an area the attendees can help in though. Leave your garbage in a bag outside your room at check out. The front desk is more than happy to provide you with garbage bags to do so.
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#51 User is offline   linlindesu 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:31 PM

oh no, that sort of clean up crew. More like, if body paint got on a couch or if someone spilled something in the lobby they were like an on call sort of thing. A staff memeber had the idea a while back and I wondered if anything became of it.
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#52 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:32 PM

View PostFlyingElf, on 01 March 2012 - 12:03 PM, said:

Yeah, I didn't mean to target you specifically with the drunk comment. Its more of an annoyance that a lot of anime fans have a prejudice against people who drink in general. I also agree that being drunk is no excuse to act like a jerk. I find that most people don't do anything drunk that they wouldn't do sober. Being drunk just lowers your inhibitions typically. So usually when someone is a jerk while drunk, its just because they're a jerk. Good life lesson for everyone out there real quick, lol.

People not showing up for staffing is an issue, but there are things you can do to compensate and prepare for that. Many of which I have not seen ACen do in the past. And some things I have seen them do that are costing them good, veteran staffers.


Nah it's no problem. It's just something that would annoy me in general. I know people who drink and when I see people from Acen who say that they did something questionable because they were "drunk," is a pet peeve of mine.

@Lin: actually your ideas have been good so far and interesting. If it wasn't for personal issues I would try Youma and Kollision myself. But I know someone in Michigan that I'm trying to avoid right now....who does go there >_>;
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#53 User is offline   FlyingElf 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:40 PM

View PostThe Fujoshi, on 01 March 2012 - 12:32 PM, said:

Nah it's no problem. It's just something that would annoy me in general. I know people who drink and when I see people from Acen who say that they did something questionable because they were "drunk," is a pet peeve of mine.

@Lin: actually your ideas have been good so far and interesting. If it wasn't for personal issues I would try Youma and Kollision myself. But I know someone in Michigan that I'm trying to avoid right now....who does go there >_>;


Is it me? Are you trying to avoid me? I knew it...Was it the sitting outside your room at ACen serenading you at 4am? I knew that was going too far and maybe being a little too creepy, I'm sorry...
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#54 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:41 PM

View PostThe Fujoshi, on 01 March 2012 - 09:59 AM, said:

Actually there have been other threads similar to this, such as the issue with the soap bubble and the drunk/rave goers, lack of IRT, badge prices, etc. so this hasn't not been brought up before.

Unlike many other conventions, Acen is a big con so it's hard to regulate and do everything, especially with people who say that they will be staff and quit at the last minute, people who don't pull their weight, what may have you. A lot of the bigger cons in other states have sponsors and paid work, unlike Acen, so most of it's help/etc. is coming from the con goers themselves and a lot of people have the attitude that "If it doesn't apply to me why should I care?" instead of the con as a whole.


Also the fandom issues; when I first starting going to Acen after college it wasn't so bad. It was just Sailor moon and some GW fans. Now you have Durarara, Hetalia, etc. and this newer generation of fans that are more crazy than the older ones back in the Thundercat/Toonami days. I mean I never had to deal with being tackled or worrying about other people being tackled back then compared to now.

So above all; it's a lot of the con goers fault in some of the issues, not all of them. Also the badge prices have not be directed straight from the prices of the crack dome or what may have you.

Kollision is out of state and I can't do out of state cons, but the first one might be do-able. The problem I have is that Acen is the closest convention to my house; it's a train ride away, and I don't have any friend that would drive me or help me with out of state cons, and I am paranoia with driving with people that I barely met. Also I get motion sickness so driving to California or another state is a big no no for me. Trains are even worse when I attempted to go to Ohio one by Amtrak :x

So I thought about just going to comic con or giving up anime conventions either this year or the next, since Acen is going up. I would staff myself but due to being sick so much and personal issues I haven't stepped up to the plate and I feel bad .__.


Since when is Kollision out of state? It's here in Illinois. St. Charles to be exact.
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#55 User is offline   linlindesu 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:42 PM

View PostLina, on 01 March 2012 - 12:41 PM, said:

Since when is Kollision out of state? It's here in Illinois. St. Charles to be exact.

I miss when it was in teh Sburg. :< a few of my friends could even walk there XD
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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:44 PM

Big long late-to-the-game reply to FELF's posts, because I talk way to much and think I borked this word limit and can't add any more quotes or other people~~ 8D someone reply quick so i can post my other replies and talk moar holyhotcrabcakeswoo (If i sound cranky, my apologies - nada personal, my WT painkillers were juuust almost starting to kick in as I started typing, and being verbose it took 2 hrs to compile this thing, so my GRR ARRGH wears off at the end, promise :3)

View PostFlyingElf, on 01 March 2012 - 06:16 AM, said:

I'm just curious where people are getting that higher priced badges are related to hotel damage costs? Yes, that is some of the issue, but any large convention is going to have some damage to the hotel and the cost does have to be paid.

For this year? Well, we can start with the $75,000 dome smash, not including any other destruction of '11. Don't know many other conventions that routinely destroy the hotel door almost to a not-funny comical level, break down the elevators to complete non-functioning states, nor ever heard of others that have ripped urinals off walls, et al. The answer, as well, is to investigate and FIND the person(s) who broke it, then hold THEM responsible. ONE person paying nearly a 100k is almost a guarantee they won't be back next year to do it again (and I'd bet they'd learn their lesson too!). Same with the door-smasher, and the urinal-rippers. BUST them, FINE/PROSECUTE them, and stop making THE REST OF US suffer because a few duckheads can't behave in public. In regards to those things, there were tips, and in public parts of the hotel there are cameras, and the thing about police is they kind of investigate things for a living. Maybe make there more of an incentive for witnesses to report (badge discount? free swag? a personal thank you and hug?), or maybe ask hotel to keep staff in the bathrooms during the con (minimally, if not for that, because the ladies' room is out of buttwipe by 10am, and then every 20minutes thereafter! And not having point-and-shoot technology, that can make us some very cranky people. ><), and hotel security/RPD to work with IRT a little more integrated (IRT still isolates itself from the pack and can be hard to find, so network!). Frankly, just do SOMETHING, please? :/

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Typically your higher priced conventions come in the form of guests. Guests are expensive to fly out and put up. Especially if you are getting some from overseas.

Typically. Except that we don't HAVE guests. Really, ever, bar a handful that 1st year cons have easily and already trumped. This year, we have ONE guest. ONLY one guest. NOT a regular, attending guest - JUST the musical guest. We have ZERO GUESTS that are not playing an instrument for an hour set. ZERO. Zip. Zilch. Nada. That is disconcerting, at the very least. Especially as it's the 15th Anniversary this year.

The thing about negotiating.... you can offer things apart from "here's a 100k check, please love us T__T". Negotiate terms that work for everyone - hotel andairfare, especially internationally, is a given, yes, but that doesn't mean you have to fly the most expensive airline out there with diamonds in the glass (and if you have a guest who REALLY is particular on that matter, and YOU/WE are really adamant about wanting them, then you nut up and eat that one there). If a guest lives locally (Chicagoland/Great Lakes area), find out if driving in for a few hours is more appealing to them than flying for a weekend (espeially if it's a nice set of weather they'd like to spend with their kids instead of sit in a con center/hotel 3 days). If you have a guest that wants to X but can't Y, find a way to finagle something, find a way to make ACen appealing enough to accept that slight inconvenience -- have they always wanted to go on a tour of the city, maybe, or perhaps wanted to see the museums, or do ABC in Chicagoland? Offer it! Depending how it's done the con can do these things at no cost extra apart from time expended (museum passes, zoo trips, tours by residents who actually know the city from living there, etc). Barter worked for thousands of years, so there's no harm giving it a chance in the mix. Point being, negotiations are more than SHUTUPANDTAKEMYMONEY!.jpg, so be creative, be clever, and thus become awesome. Don't be afraid to try. The worst they can say is LOL NO. And we already have ZERO guests, so we really cannot do any worse than we currently are.

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The cost to rent out the convention center as well can be a factor in this as well depending on what kind of discount ACen gets on its spaced based on the number of hotel rooms they sell which likely also depends on the relationship between the Hyatt and convention center. Information I have no knowledge of.

Well, considering just how much of their stuff we manage to utterly annihilate EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR., one can imagine it'd not be much a stretch for them to say "kindly GTFO" once our contract/"lease" with them is up (if they don't, I'll be shocked, but maybe they've gotten Stockholm Syndrome over the years; who knows, right?). DES Center... as long as you pay, they won't care two T-Rex. Illinois offering discounts on anything that makes a massive profit is unheard of unless you are related to the person you are negotiating with, so us getting some kind of discount (especially with out destructoid reputation) is dubious at the very best. I'd be floored if they gave us any kind of break, really.

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You are also paying to have this con in Chicago. Chicago itself is an expensive city and luxury tax is very high there.

False. ACen is in Rosemont, IL. Rosemont is not part of Chicago and thus not subject to Chicago's taxes.

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Basically, there are numerous factors that go into choosing the cost of a convention, not withstanding what they may pay the various members of their planning committee. Cons are not strictly a volunteer run thing and some conventions like Youmacon and Colossalcon are even for profit events designed to make money.

All cons may not be volunteer-run, non-profit, but ACen is. No one is getting paid anything for this convention, as everyone is a volunteer. If finances are indeed so terrifying, have the legal team look into whether we, as a non-profit, can legally do partnerships/sponsorships. (Off the top of my head, Dr. Scholls would be win-win, as could any vendor of caffeinated eats/drinks. Or for that matter, GIORDANOS. They already might as well be a partner with us, the way we work them to the grave come contime! AND they'd get to have their fliers/posters all over, and everyone loves Chicago pizza!)

Frankly, if a con is this big and a volunteer-run, non-profit event, transparency should be the rule, not the exception. All everything should be posted -- number of volunteers had this year, number of people who signed up and never showed, total profits made from badges and swag, total costs of operating this year, total cost of damages and/or fines/addt'l fees, number of arrests, number of ambulances called, etc etc etc (I could so make a chart for this, yo. Seriously. Ask me.). If you will, a post-convention data crunch. A branch/measure of trust shown. Doing a basic number crunch with the limited information available publicly, the convention nets roughly 1M before costs. When you've got this much dinero about and everything is volunteer-run, it would be extremely irresponsible to not make public the breakdown. At the very least, it would let people be realistic with expectations. If say the DESC center is $700k for the weekend, the hotel negotiations are $200k and costs of printing, mailing, and swag production hit $50k, realizing there is only $50k left for guests and everything other department would put things into perspective. If we know /literally/ nothing, how can we be expected to see things in perspective? Doesn't make sense.

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As for the gripe issue, absolutely you have the right to express discontent with a product you are paying for. However, the most effective way of doing it is in a constructive manner. Writing a letter to the convention as a whole or posting on the forums can help as all cons should read their own forums for issues to address. If this were a post on facebook, I can see where not complaining to the appropriate sources would be a more valid argument. Though I suppose you could point out that this would be better suited on a more on topic forum.

LOL like they'll actually respond and do something? That's about as naive as assuming whatever party's elected in November will bring sweeping change and reform. Same crap, same/different faces. A lot of us here,r easonably concerned and upset, if given a chance, would definitely bring new life and change (and listen to people!!). Enough of us complaining here have been involved before, so maybe, maaaybe there's a small, teeny tiny, microscopic "Ralph Nader Gets Elected President" degree of chance they may let us have the torch for a trial year if we get loud and vocal enough. But I highly doubt it. In other news, Israel and Iran met up on the beach to cuddle and sing Kumbaya while making each other an "I'm sorry I've been such an butt" dinner. :/

Quote

As for my grand role? As some of you know, I had considered last year possibly my last year of ACen. After being treated poorly by both the convention and the hotel the last couple of years as well as having points of disagreement with how the convention is run as a whole. I have put such things aside and am going to return again this year, but further treatment along those lines can certainly push me over the edge. Already this year, I am returning far more because of friends like Isamu, SongstressLenne, KungpowKirby, and Junk pushing me to do so than any sense of obligation to the convention. Which is a shame as I have been a faithful attendee every year since 2003. Will this be my last year? Maybe, we'll see.

Oh, understood. What you say is what most of us are feeling. Left to my own devices, or having to pay full costs, I'd have long ago said Adios. But for me.... the one big social outing a year, the one guarantee to see some long-distance friends, the foolishly naive hope they'll somehow magically get better... I return like a bit of a fool, then spend the rest of the year writing resolutions, solutions, ideas, and just repeat the heartache over and over. Depending how this year rolls, I may just move on to other cons and helping Anime Midwest get started; heavens knows at the least I'd be able to warn them what /not/ to do in the long run. And frankly, it's a shame that it's come to this. ACen used to be my 2nd home. :/

View PostFlyingElf, on 01 March 2012 - 10:52 AM, said:

Yes, being a big convention makes it harder to regulate as much stuff, but regulation is not always the answer. Plus, there are other cons who do a much better job than ACen has been doing recently. For example Lina has brought up Youmacon's recent announcement of guests despite being 8 months out. Were it a problem with all large cons, then I would be more inclined to agree.

I'm not sure I would necessarily agree with you on it being the attendee's fault. If the attendees are at fault for anything, its that they have overwhelming spoken that guests sell badges. So cons are forced to get bigger, more expensive guests which drives up the price of badges. I can cite to back this up, but they're largely unimportant. Other than that, I consider any other attendee related expense to be basically the same as any business that caters to the public. Anime fans are no better or worse in that respect.

I can also cite evidence that drunks don't cause any more damage than anyone else really if you want, though I doubt half of you would listen because its much easier to blame a group of people who do things you don't like. Hell I could probably even prove that cosplayers drive up the cost more than drunks do. Anyone wanna stop cosplay?

1st paragraph: 100% agree. Especially when there are a vocal number of us who have been saying for /years/ now to plan in advance -- if you don't have time left to book for this year, just keep at it and request they come next year -- by a few weeks left to the con you know the next year's dates *in most cases*, and if you're desperate for this-year guests go call in every favor you've got, or call a few of the previous years' people and basically beg them to come (and if you need to make it sound awesome and not totally sad, present it like it was some big surprise omg pony!!11one! excite!!). If a start-up con can have 5+ guests already announced with basically the means of an anime club (okay, fine a little more than that), yet we, 15 years in, cannot get ANYONE.. well, Pathetic R Us.

2nd paragraph: hellk, we don't need a lot of big guests -- just even a few requested ones would make the majority of us happy (COUGH PROFESSOR OAAAAAAK COUGH). A big BIG guest sets a precedent for future cons, so going all out in an odd year might be a little crazy -- but for an anniversary or Clever-Play-On-Words-Or-Numbers year, try to get some stuff, yeah? ONE band, no guests, and not even a hint at someone they're trying to get is very sad panda. As for other factors raising badge price, I mention above other factors. The fact that we HAVE no guests kind of eliminates the cost of guests from the end cost there (ie, can't be charged for something at Walmart you didn't buy!).

3rd paragraph: While the frat party mentality of the con (or whatever moniker one chooses to give it) that's been growing expansively since '08 is a source of chaos (and thus, yes, broken things and well, chaos), you are right to assume that is not the only source. Not everyone who drinks pees off balconies or rips urinals off walls or picks fights. Hellk, when I drink I sit, tear paper, and make up pretentious-sounding words and call everyone b*tches...while I YMCA, no less, lmao. Regular/sober, sleep-exhausted people, unsupervised tweenagers given WAY too much soda and candy and pizza and loud music and did i say caffeinated soda feeding off each others' hype, as well as the few true trolls out there just to break things ... well, yeah ll of these people can break stuff. Anyone can break anything. Experience of the personal kind has shown me that any of the above can break things, though the most obnoxious, most out-of-control violations involved alcohol 2/3 times, and the last 1/3 was a situation escalating (out-of-control unsupervised tweens, as well as genuine accidents tie that slot in personal experience, though the law of averages I'm sure shows otherwise for others). As for cosplay costs: if indeed you refer to the Body Paint VS White Furniture, case in point there. I'm sure the Hyatt still has yet to forgive us that one... ._.);

* ALSO: if i missed any swear words feel free to call me a dinglewingle dimwit hydocodene cake. took two hours to type this with my wisdom tooth painkillers kicking in 2___@ * IF I COME OFF AS A RECTAL EXIT, I'LL EDIT TO MAKE LESS POOPLY ;A;
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#57 User is offline   -JUNK- 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:53 PM

This year will be my 5th year and every year I have attended SOMETHING has gone wrong and/or has made it to upset people as much that I hear about it. I'm a nobody compared to the con, and that is pretty bad. I know last year alot of people were disappointed with the registration staffers ditching their shifts from what I heard. And from what Lina brought up earlier I do agree Youma is a con I never attended but always look forward to it passing me by XD but yeah they have announced guest. While ACen is lacking on announcements..... But from what I heard last year someone cracked the dome glass and they had to cover it? Maybe thats why prices went up.... Im assuming that the glass for the dome is pretty $$$$. But I have been exploring other cons recently and their quite fun. I still say I got to ACen for the people and my friends but they're all planning on leaving the con so there would be no point for me to return?

On a Sidenote: Has anyone received their Badge? the con is in 2 months.... and thats alot of badges to ship out all at once...
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#58 User is offline   linlindesu 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:02 PM

^^^ (chained by roses) agreed with nearly everything besides Donald Stephen's and the Hyatt not wanting us back in the future after the terms expire ( let's face it, they still get money. lots and lots of money . lots and lots and lots of money) and the whole Rosemont being cheaper than Chicago thing. It may be , but not by much. The only way to really cut down the cost on an Illinois location would be to go out to the sticks ( southern, northern, or (gasp) western IL) but pretty sure no one wants to go out there. They fish. For fun. Everyday. "Our kind" might not be welcome xD

This post has been edited by linlindesu: 01 March 2012 - 01:03 PM

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#59 User is offline   chainedbyroses 

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:06 PM

View Postlinlindesu, on 01 March 2012 - 12:15 PM, said:

Maybe making the IRT hotline more avalible or advertised? I'm unsure of anywhere besides the program book that the number is given. Even making an IRT only twitter or having the number on the back of badges. Even perhaps having an IRT member stationed by all the hotels active at that time( little IRT stations with information and someone to answer any questions/ help resolve an issue) Telling people if they see something to say something. It may sound elementary but first time con goers or even those who aren't that familiar with the convention's set up could use the information.

As for some con damage, I remember the idea of a clean up crew being thrown around a year or so ago. If acen finds the staff, this would be a great idea to keeping the damage costs minimal ( though things like broken urinals and railings can't be helped).

The IRT number is in my signature since it was first announced. ^^7 EVERYONE COPY PASTA IT INTO THEIRS AND SPREAD THE WOOOORD <3

Also, for what it's worth, last year i made tons of mockup IF YOU SEE SOME THING, SAY SOMETHING! IRT HOTLINE (number) signs and printups. I was actually planning to take it upon my self to ask the hotel to allow me to hang them for con (since posting about it in the IRT threads for the longest times did jack squat). An IRT station (kinda likea desert outpost! :D), aside form the main off-to-the-sides HQ, would be excellent! Have a few around the con so there is ALWAS a spot one can find IRT if they need them (even if it's just a gopher with a walky able to call an IRT Op from HQ!). Even better? Have them have the giant SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING sign hanging there! It works surprisingly well on the CTA, which is a special boat of WTF special itself, so that should serve as definite proof we could do it successfully too.

As for hotel clean up crew, if the Hyatt would allow for it, hellk, I'd sign up to help them clean, simply out of respect for their cleaning service crew! Having been to college, and having had a group through an improtu party trashing my room before, I can definitely sympathize. It would save their crew time, the hotel money, and the convention some respect. Everyone wins there. :)


View Post-JUNK-, on 01 March 2012 - 12:53 PM, said:

This year will be my 5th year and every year I have attended SOMETHING has gone wrong and/or has made it to upset people as much that I hear about it. I'm a nobody compared to the con, and that is pretty bad. I know last year alot of people were disappointed with the registration staffers ditching their shifts from what I heard. And from what Lina brought up earlier I do agree Youma is a con I never attended but always look forward to it passing me by XD but yeah they have announced guest. While ACen is lacking on announcements..... But from what I heard last year someone cracked the dome glass and they had to cover it? Maybe thats why prices went up.... Im assuming that the glass for the dome is pretty $$$$. But I have been exploring other cons recently and their quite fun. I still say I got to ACen for the people and my friends but they're all planning on leaving the con so there would be no point for me to return?

On a Sidenote: Has anyone received their Badge? the con is in 2 months.... and thats alot of badges to ship out all at once...

Regarding badges, I cannot say -- I'm a panelist this year, so I have to pick mine up at con. I can ask a few friends who ordered theirs though & get back to you. As for the dome, one of the rooms over the dome threw a bottle & broke it (instant $75k right there, btw; saw the broken glass in the lobby there & was in staffer breakfast when we heard all about it... crazy stuff.). Logical arguments aside about finding the person(s) (as only some 12 rooms could have lobbed it where it was), that would be the simplest answer as to why, though we will never have that confirmed. As for people ditching, yeah, that was also a problem, though if I recall it was a chunk of IRT, not registration, that up and ditched. I would argue they should really look to other conventions for solutions to long-standiong problems (C2E2 had reg lines insanely long, but were cleared in literally under an hour -- THAT is something I'd love to see our Reg replicate!), though how they'd do that isn't my call. Returning wise, if you want to come but no one you know is coming, why not try volunteering? You'll see a whole 'nother side of the con that way, and you meet a lot of people, and can earn back your badge cost. And you get a ton more respect for those that do their parts right and work really hard. (Again, ADA you guys are amazing. <3 <3)
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Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:20 PM

When it comes to ACEN, it's IL's BIGGEST con. We're known as the Midwest's biggest convention. We have over 20,000 people that show up, and out of all those people there is bound to be THAT ONE GUY/GIRL that gets body paint everywhere, breaks glass when drunk or causes trouble. And I am 100% sure that those of us posting here are the responsible ones, the ones that are careful and do their best to throw responsible parties, and know how to have fun without burning the place down. But the problem is not everyone can. We cannot stop them unless we kick them out of the convention. I guess you could say IRT/staff/us con goers need to be more watchful of "THOSE destroyer people."

And here's another thing, badge prices might also be going up as inflation rises in the country. Things every year get more expensive, including ACEN badges, guests, cleaning hotels, employee wages and ACEN has to pay for all that, and as it gets higher and higher, it's harder to get awesome super cool things. And with us being non-for profit, that makes it even harder. In general a lot of non for profit organizations are struggling because of lack of funding. I would not be surprised if ACEN is struggling with funds as well. Now yeah some cons get "better" guests but some are corporate funded or they could be smaller. A smaller con doesn't need as much space for people which in a way makes things cheaper. KollisionCon was itty bitty, so it was cheaper. When it comes to other popular cons like Youmacon it's about 14,000 people at the most (thank you wiki and random forum posts guesstimating this number) ACEN as least 6,000+ more people than Youma--more people that can destroy a hotel, ruin things and cause chaos.

I understand people's frustrations with things, and especially as guests aren't announced either too but it's not like they are doing it on purpose--there has to be a reason. I said something along these lines in another thread but there is only so much you can do when it comes to guests because the entertainment industry is very strong. You don't do what they ask, you either don't get the guest or you get in trouble by the entertainment industry. *shiver* Sadly all we can do is wait because we could talk til we are blue in the face--and it's not going to make guests come any faster.

Some things are really hard to avoid, and the only way is through prevention--and I feel the only way that can happen is that people that care like us here posting do something by sending a message in someway. Either writing letters like it was suggested, boycotting as some people want to do already, or us posting on here spreading the word and causing the awareness of criticisms/disappointment we have as con goers . But there is only so much we can do because we can't control the entire ACEN population. I do like the solutions that Lin brought up like having the IRT hotline more accessible like on the back of badges and all which would be very handy if a bad situation occurs. I'm not sure if they do this already, but what about MAPS/ACEN holding fundraisers or something to grab more funds? I mean it's worth a shot if they don't do it already.
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