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2012 Gripes thread Post what you want fixed in ACen here!

#1 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 03:52 PM

This year was not that great. I enjoyed being with friends and chatting with guests when I saw them around the con, but there were some things that really made me mad.

The lines for autographs was one of the biggest issues I had. I went to check out Chris Sabat's line about 45 minutes before it started and they had already capped the line. WHAT THE HECK!? What happened to the "No lining up 'til 30 minutes before" rule? Did all rules just go out the window and ended up being a free-for-all? I was so mad because that was his only autograph session besides the two Panty and Stockings ones that were P&S merch only. It wasn't just Chris Sabat's line. It was all of them.

I didn't like that IRT member, Amazon, started off saying, "I'm going to make your day worse" or something along those lines before telling us that we had to leave because the autograph session was full. I don't know if she was trying to be funny, but it wasn't and annoyed me. It's not a huge deal, but it wasn't nice.

The other big issue I had was being lied to about certain guests being at ACen. A DH told me, the Sunday before the con, that some of the cast and producers from Monsuno were going to be running the Monsuno panel. I was so excited and expressed my happiness on facebook. 2 days later one of the cast members commented on my status that they weren't going to be there because ACen never set it up with them. My heart was crushed because I was so excited to meet them and see one of them again. I don't know what happened in those two days, but it was very frustrating to hear they were going to be there and then be told by one of the guests themselves they weren't going to be there. It would have been worse was I not friends with one of them and known ahead of time. I still went to the panel to see if something had gotten worked out, but no. They ended up cancelling the panel.

I also don't like that ACen relied on the guidebook too much as a way to let people know about changes. I do not have a smart phone and I don't want to have to go to customer service every 10 minutes to see if anything changed since it seemed to be updated quite frequently. I missed out on Travis Willingham's autograph on Saturday because I didn't know about the schedule change. An IRT member told me that it was changed when he asked who I was waiting for. He also told me to get a smart phone if I want to keep up to date with changes which I felt was rude to say.

I didn't like that the Liberty Room was closed way before it was supposed to be closed. I won a contest for two free badges and I ended up waiting over 30 minutes in a somewhat short line of people because I was told to wait in Will Call because they were having some difficulties. I was not happy.

Overall, this con was meh. I won't be coming back unless ACen makes some huge changes.

This post has been edited by Lina: 29 April 2012 - 03:57 PM

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#2 User is offline   Siren Noel 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 04:07 PM

I gotta hand it to all the staff at ACen and hotels. They have patience and usually quite a bit of courtesy.

However. Lines. I realize there are loads of people at ACen. But figure out a new method for lines. I am sorry to say I am not clever enough to suggest a new method to anyone. However, I notice that lines are always and most likely always will be the biggest gripe of all.


Also, people partying in the HALLWAYS OF THE HOTEL. Not just the Hyatt. Have some respect for other guests in the hotel who are not obsessed with shinigami, samurai, and madoka magica whats-its-face. Sorry to come across as crass, but I have had it with most people. I do not want to generalize all of ACen goers to be disrespectful, filthy, and rude. But it's coming close to that. I noticed also, damages to the garden areas around the Hyatt and Convention Center, litter up the wazoo (ALL the litter noticed was ACen related) This is ridiculous. Be mature in the aspect of respect. There are pilots, flight crew, business men and women and other guests at all of the surrounding hotels who put up with this nonsense. Get a grip. Either, we can start a how-to manual of how to NOT be an absolute ruffian (I said it.) and we can all be taught like children on how to behave, or, it can be spread far and wide, that all of this is UNACCEPTABLE. Also, people walking IN the busy streets of Chicago, and again, partying in the hallways or in hotel rooms, but at a horribly outrageous volume. This is disgusting behavior. Have fun, but within reason. You aren't an animal. I may never return. I'm one person. So that is certainly no serious threat, but I am ashamed to even be a part of the ACen scene when I see this.

The fire alarm incident. Dunno who did it. Dunno why. Sorry to say, I can only assume (like EVERY year) the incident was caused by an idiot. It takes an effort to set the alarm off. So none of this "accident" nonsense will suffice for me. Luckily, the evacuation/etc. was handled well. Thanks to clear headed staff and emergency personnel.

IRT and ACen customer service staff, merchants and vendors, etc. were amazing as always and really put on an amazing event for us all to enjoy. You all have my sincerest thanks.

Alright. /EndRant.

#3 User is offline   sailormoon846212 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 04:53 PM

Okay, I had a nice time this year, although there were a few things that bugged me.

1. Program Book- I was pretty mad when this one panel that I wanted to attend in the program schedule did not match up with the panel description found a few pages later. Basically it was listed on the schedule as 11am-12:00pm in the description page, but on the schedule was listed at 11 p.m, okay major confusion or what? Also there was this other panel "Tea Cups and Puzzles: A Professor Layton Panel" that was scheduled for Saturday that I wanted to see, but was not actually happening and had me all confused, cause i took the time to see this panel and it ruined my day of planning. Please Acen all I ask is that the schedule be matched and corresponds correctly throughout the whole book.

2. Guidebook- Okay, at first I was excited when this came out and started planning my trip early. However when I arrived at the con and double checked the program guide, I was disappointed to find that most of the panels on my planner did not match up with the program guide. I felt like the constant updating in which I hear was going on all weekend was quite annoying. I ask that is guidebook returns next year, please have the schedule times correct and posted only once without constantly changing, so as to not confuse people.

3. Contest- Okay, I was confused at the mystery puzzle contest for the raffle of the free badge for 2013. I read about it online and was excited to try and participate. However, I could not find any of the riddles. Was this contest cancelled? I had a real hard time finding them, maybe next time this happens have a example of what the question looks like or hints to where they might be located.

Pros-
1. Badge- I was happy at buying my badge online and have it arriving at my house in little as 2 weeks. I thought that was very awesome and saved me the trouble of having to stand inline to buy a badge which I head were terrible, although what can you do? A lot of people show up to the convention every year. Although maybe it would be nice for when ordering badges online, to have the single day badge option? I noticed a lot of other conventions have this option online and wondered why doesn't Acen? I know not everybody wants to attend all three days, but it might help the decrease in line if you could have that option.

Overall- I would give the con a A-. The biggest gripe being the constant schedule change, please consider fixing for next year, although I did like how you guys gave a extra list of panels that were cancelled, that was pretty cool. This does not affect my decision to attend the following years, cause I will always be a fan. :thumbup:

#4 User is offline   akarikairi 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 04:59 PM

I'll start off by being positive: the panels I did get to go to were a lot of fun. The game room was fun. I enjoyed my photo shoot gathering. I met a lot of new people and had an overall good time.

My main gripe, and I'm sure I am not alone, was all the things that got pushed back several hours. Supposedly the Video Game Orchestra was supposed to start at 2pm (they even made an announcement saying it was going to be earlier than scheduled), we waited in line for about an hour, maybe hour and a half, and they then announced it probably wasn't going to start til 4:30. I couldn't wait that long because I had my photo shoot at 5. Which is why it kind of sucked, because people plan their days around the schedule, so when things run late, it kind of creates a schedule conflict.

Secondly...Hardcore Synergy. I'm not as disappointed as probably the DJs were to have to wait around for nearly 4 hours. It was supposed to start at 9, and I heard it didn't even start til around 1am (I saw it last year, so I wasn't too terribly disappointed I didn't get to go this year).

It just seemed like the bigger events planned weren't very well organized. Might be good to try to have staff training like a month or two in advance to work out any kinks that might happen during the con, and to prevent this kind of disorganization in the future.

No hard feeling though. I still plan on coming back next year for more anime goodness :)

#5 User is offline   Miyu-chan 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 05:23 PM

I definitely agree with Lina on the line and guest issues! The exact same thing happened with me for Chris Sabat as well! He actually made the comment when I was up having him sign my wallscroll that this was one of the conventions at which he's signed the least autographs. However, when I went to see Eyeshine Saturday morning, that went rather smoothly. I didn't expect to get in very easy, but due to the short like they sent me right in. The only thing I can think of to fix this is to possibly give the guests more time. I understand this will be hard to work out but I don;t see how else this could be avoided. That, or just avoid having guest panels around the same times as their signings. Then, they'll be able to have more time to autograph and still be able to go to their panel.
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#6 User is offline   OtakuAngelD 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 05:41 PM

The cancelation of the Masq. This is the ONE time that people work hard for. They bring out their best stuff and work on skits for a long time. Then because things were "running late" and due to the fire drill, they canceled the Masc and only had the walk-ons. We, who left early on Sunday don't even know who won...if anyone. And why was it canceled...Because they didn't want the Soap Bubble to start late.

Basically, my gripe is this. They cancled COSPLAY for a dance. I thought we were an ANIME CONVENTION.
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#7 User is offline   Shukumei 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:03 PM

I also agree with Lina about the lines. That is really my main complaint. My friend and I know how crazy lines can get, and the FMA panel was the only thing we wanted to do today before we left, so we arrived two hours early. While talking with a staffer, she politely asked that we show up thirty minutes before the panel started to get in line and she confirmed that they would be enforcing that rule. Trying to be good congoers, we busied ourselves in another panel and periodically checked in the hall to make sure others weren't lining up already. My friend saw a line forming, and the staffer told her it was for a different panel. When it was forty-five minutes until the start, we left the panel to line up and the line was already wrapped down the hall, and past the escalators, and continuing to grow. Although we were incredibly disheartened, we were lucky enough to get into the panel.

I saw this same thing Saturday while relaxing in the panels hall in the Hyatt. A girl was incredibly early for the (I think) Chris Sabat panel, and after maybe half an hour a few other people came to wait too. It wasn't long before that when a staffer came to tell them to come back thirty minutes before the panel. Not ten minutes after that, a whole group came to wait along the wall. When they were asked if they were waiting a panel, the group jokingly said that they just happened to be "relaxing" outside the room of said panel. A little bit after, the girl from before came back and asked if they were waiting for it; she looked obviously heartbroken, and I felt so bad for her.

My point (tl;dr): the thirty minute line up rule is ridiculous and impossible to enforce. The staffers were only doing their jobs (I had no issues with any staffers), and as someone who worked for IRT last year, I understand how difficult staffing can be. But the system is incredibly flawed. In a nut shell, it condones bad behavior, and punishes those who try to follow the rules. Even when my friend and I were trying to obey the rules, we still showed up fifteen minutes before we were "supposed" to. I urge, implore, and beg higher ups to come up with a different system.
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#8 User is offline   chompzie 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:08 PM

The constant changing around/canceling of panels was a little annoying. I get that things have to change and be canceled sometimes but from my own experience and other things I heard from other people, there was a lot of switching around of times.

The Anime Bingo being canceled was a big disappointment for me, as was Hardcore Synergy being basically 4 hours late. That was my group's plan for the Friday night, to go to Hardcore Synergy... and we didn't get to go, obviously.

The fire alarm incident... really hope they figure out who did that and make them pay the fine. We had just gotten our pizza from Giordano's (expensive!) and ended up not being able to eat the second pizza because it got too cold and we had no way of heating it up (yeah yeah I get you can eat it cold but not many people in our group like cold pizza).

The Soap Bubble... really, really disappointed in the music being played.

I didn't know the Masquerade was canceled because of the Fire Alarm/Soap Bubble combo but that really stinks. I don't know what else they could have done, but I know those people spend a lot of time and money and to have their opportunity to show off their skits and stuff taken away just really stinks. :(

I had no issue with any lines. It is a line-con, after all.
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#9 User is offline   animefan1977 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:12 PM

I too was also thwarted by the cancellation of Anime Bingo. My fiance and I were unfamiliar with the location of the Medallion room at the DT and sort of darted back and forth on the ground floor then when we found it, alas, the panel was cancelled.

My only suggestion would be to put a sign up of some sort down in the DT lobby so folks wouldn't have to make their way up to that room to find out something up there is cancelled.

This is in no way Acen's fault but the Perler Bead Fun panelists never showed up for their panel. I dunno what was up with that.

I was one of the people that left the VGO line Fri but I won't complain too much, since I was able to see them on Sun.

Other than that I spent way too much money and had a good time. LOL

#10 User is offline   EGA_Loli 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:13 PM

Seven years I've been coming to ACEN, since 2005 (very first con ever, in fact).

ACEN 2012 is my last one. Lot of fond memories over the years but I guess all good things must come to an end.

I'll start off by saying the time I spent at ACEN this weekend was overall still a good experience. Reunited with some old friends, met some cool new people, got to see a childhood hero play live and give a panel, and heard some great music spun by awesome DJ's.

But something that's bugged me for a while is the changed overall social environment and how a seemingly old timer like me can no longer relate to it.

What do I mean by that? Well, I suppose one might only understand if they've been going to ACEN or anime cons in general for as long as I have or longer. But basically (and I don't mean this as an attack on anyone in particular), I think that the social atmosphere and current generation has moved in a direction that I feel does not live up to the ACEN of yore, the times I absolutely enjoyed ACEN and looked forward to this time of year.

To give some examples, back in ACEN 2005 I was mesmerized by how chill a lot of people were and all the things there was to do; a world beyond the confines of suburban high school. I felt I could go up to anyone and strike up a simple conversation, and plenty of people were interested in meeting someone like me: a naive, foolish high school student who was way too into video games and anime. Heck, people complemented my shirt of all things. I was asking all sorts of people for pictures. And the people of partying age back then? I looked up to them and hoped I could be as cool and be able to have fun like that when I came of age.

Well, now I am that age, and wonder if those fascinations were misguided.

This year? I try and strike up a conversation in a line and the other person clearly isn't interested beyond reading the program guide, and nobody else in proximity of me cares enough either to do the same. People just don't seem as laid back or willing to venture outside their own circles. Some are too wrapped up in certain activities to notice that there's all sorts of people with similar interests present. I don't even care enough to bring my camera to take pictures. It really is quite depressing. While I'm sure many of you can provide all sorts of counter examples to my gripes from this year, I still feel that what I experienced this year and recent years is closer to the norm and not the exception.

Any issues with delays, lines, or any other gripes typically made of ACEN? I personally could forgive all of that, if it weren't for the status quo of social interaction.

Maybe this "golden age" of ACEN never existed and what fascinated me back then was just a statistical anomaly. Maybe I've just changed too much as a person. Maybe I'm the odd one out and am doing everyone a favor by retiring from ACEN.

I realize that this isn't an issue that will just magically go away after I make this post, and that realistically there's very little that any one person can do about it. All I can really do is hope someone reads and understands what I have to say.

A lot of great people have chosen to move on, and now it's time for me to follow in their footsteps.

Thanks, and peace out.

#11 User is offline   The Phantom Tapper 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:16 PM

View PostOtakuAngelD, on 29 April 2012 - 05:41 PM, said:

The cancelation of the Masq. This is the ONE time that people work hard for. They bring out their best stuff and work on skits for a long time. Then because things were "running late" and due to the fire drill, they canceled the Masc and only had the walk-ons. We, who left early on Sunday don't even know who won...if anyone. And why was it canceled...Because they didn't want the Soap Bubble to start late.

Basically, my gripe is this. They cancled COSPLAY for a dance. I thought we were an ANIME CONVENTION.


This was my only grip this year. My friends and I love going to the masquerade and it is usually the highlight of our evening. When we came back in after the fire drill we asked an IRT if the masquerade was still happening. The IRT said yes and to follow the line. Turned out the line was for the soap bubble and that the masquerade got cancelled. I felt that some of the IRT's were misinformed after the whole fire drill frenzy. So not only were my friends and I disappointed about the cancellation of the masq. but I felt bad for all the people who worked so hard on their skits this year. We didn't even make it INTO the masq. before the fire drill which really aggravated us.

Anywho that's my spiel, I just wish that ALL the IRT's were more up to date on lines, panels, time changes and such. Other than this I had a wonderful time and thought that staff did an excellent job this go around (minus the fire drill incident)
ACen 2011: Friday- Maka (Soul Eater) Saturday- Belle, yellow gown (Beauty and the Beast) Sunday- Katara or Maka
ACen 2012: Saturday- Nice Holystone (Baccano) Sunday- Mario

ACen 2013: Friday: Yuki Cross white uniform (Vampire Knight) Saturday: Yuki Cross white uniform, Saturday evening: Nice Holystone? Sunday: Yuki Cross white uniform
ACen 2014: Saturday: Sophie Hatter (Howl's Moving Castle) Sunday: Sophie Hatter

#12 User is offline   ☆ MV 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:19 PM

My only gripes had to do with everything in main programming pushed back on Friday. Especially the LM.C concert. Although it's not the con's fault that I had to get out of line to go home because my brother(my ride home) had to get home to get ready for work, I wish that the concert would have started when it was supposed to start because I wanted nothing more than to see them this year and I was incredibly upset about it :( Not to mention before the con I was told the line started at 6 PM, and the concert began at 7, but when I got there, the line sign said line at 7 and concert at 8, and then it just went on and on and I heard from one of my friends who was able to stay for the concert that apparently they weren't even let in until 10. :/

Other than that, I kind of confused with the LM.C autograph/photo session line on Saturday. At first we were told that if you wanted both an autograph and a picture, you stay in one line, but if you only wanted a picture, you get in the other line, but then when we got closer to the autograph area, we were told we had to get autographs first and then get in the picture line D: It didn't really make a difference for me, and I was very happy with how quickly the lines moved once we got going, but I hope that the line situation there is a little bit clearer because quite a few people were asking each other what was going on with the lines.

And also, photo gatherings. :/ The Friday Persona/SMT shoot was supposed to be in one of the Loading Docks, but the Bleach shoot went over and didn't leave whatsoever so we had to move and barely had enough space to get pictures of everyone :( Even when the shoot ended the same Bleach group was there and it kind of made it hard for other gatherings because it took time to direct everyone elsewhere :/

However, I was VERY pleased with picking up my badge at will call at the con on Thursday! It took less than five minutes for me and my bro to get our badges and program books and everything went smoothly. This, and the fact that most, if not all the events I wanted to attend on Saturday were pretty much completely on time, definitely made the con for me. I'm very excited about going next year and hope that the problems with Main Programming go a lot smoother in 2013 so that more people can get to their events, that the events start on time, and that there are a lot less headaches overall. :)
ACen 2014
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#13 User is offline   Dropsylou 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:29 PM

The IRT "Kira" was in the elevator Sunday morning allowing people to "go up to go down". When I said that I thought that wasn't allowed, he said "This is Acen, of course you're going to need to do that if you want to get anywhere." It's because of these IRT that the elevators aren't working.

It seems that most attendees(or who I experienced) are immature, pushing and shoving, trying to get on the elevator before people get off. Although the policy on elevators this year is a small step forward, I think it's time to start enforcing a line policy to get on the elevator at the lobby level.

#14 User is offline   Tombolo 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:35 PM

I loved the con, but I did have one major, overarching gripe: changes, and lack of communication about them.

Twice I queued up for a panel that wasn't happening at that time- both were rescheduled, but I only heard about one rescheduling by overhearing somebody, and the other by bumping into the guy running it. At one panel, IRT didn't seem to know what was going on and thought the panelists were no-shows...there was a long line waiting until a quarter past, when we were told the panel was cancelled. People are complaining about the guidebook app, but I didn't even know there was one. There was lots of shuffling around of photoshoots, too, but that's more understandable due to the weather.

...which is also a minor gripe of mine. I feel like it was too early in the year. ACen shouldn't be cold, y'know?
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#15 User is offline   Aphex 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:44 PM

Pros:
The good thing is, we manage to get the gathering schedule into the program book since so many people last year complained that they should add the schedule into the book (I was one of them). Good job guys!

I'm also glad I bought my badge ahead of time. I saw how long that line was and I was glad that I wasn't in that line.

I'm a invisible/shy person so sometimes, I don't get a lot of pictures. This year, I've got so many pictures I don't even know how many people asked me if they can have my picture. That was my biggest achievement for a while. XD

I got my CD signed by LM.C

Cons:
I also agree with Lina. That IRT member, Amazon, we did not get into a good relationship... She yelled as us for like 5 minuets telling us to get into a single line or else she'd kick us out of the line for both the LM.C and Vic autograph. If she thought it was just a joke, I really just wanted to replace her with someone else.

The Guidebook, okay lets be honest to all of the iPod touch and iPhone users (I have both): We were all grateful that there was an app for Acen. I was going to use the Guidebook app for the panels I wanted to go to until one of my family members get her iPhone 4s stolen so I had to give her my phone and now I'm using my crappy phone. Since a lot of the panels and gatherings have either been canceled or moved, I'm glad I didn't bring either of my two precious items.

Also, this still concerns me but why was Acen held on April this year? I always loved the idea of Acen being held in May because that is the day when it's just beautiful outside. This year: Rain, chilly like hell and it was just disgusting.

Seriously people, go do your little rave parties somewhere else. I was trying to go to a panel but seriously, take it somewhere else. I ended up not going so I was a bit dissapointed. I'm planning on staying at a hotel two years from now but I don't know up to this point because I don't want to be hearing Katy Perry all night. (I think her songs are good but hearing them on the radio everyday can get really annoying)

So for my ACen 2012 experience: B-

I'm sorry but I don't think I'll be attending next year. But hopefully, I'll be attending in ACen 2014. Reasons?
4 years of an anime convention is enough for me. I like anime but I need a break.
I'm staying away from rave parties for now on.
I'm need to focus on school for now on. SATs, ACTs, applying for college and so on...
If I need to waste money next year, I'd waste it on my fabric for designing clothes and gas.

#16 User is offline   vortia 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:58 PM

Wow, didn't realise they cancelled the Masquerade, that's mad terrible!

My major complaint was simply the lack of any major Japanese Anime Industry Guests. With all due respect to Mr. Shinichi Watanabe, he's become a regular con attendee, and this year's failure to secure any other industry guests was a major let down, and the culmination of a trend of declining quality of industry guests over several years. There were times past when Acen got all the big names of the anime industry. This year, my wife and I were really the only members of our circle of friends who attended, primarily because everyone else was turned off by the lack of Japanese anime guests. If Acen can't secure some form of industry personality, be they director, manga-ka, producer, character designer, or seiyuu for next year, we likely won't do much more than show up to shop one day in 2013.

#17 User is offline   Sarahlicious 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:00 PM

I'm just going to be repeating a lot of what other people have said but, The constant changes were bad. I think what would have made it easier to bare is if clear communication was present (which it was not) There really needs to be true facilitation of the lines for the panels. I found myself having to ask two or three separate people in the SAME line "What are you waiting for" and usually their answers were completely different. Most of the programming I attended began 30-45 mins late. This is really frustrating because there is so much going on that I wanted to attend this weekend, so trying to plan out the day was pretty much impossible because of all of the delays.

Canceling the last, and most important part of the masquerade for a dance is absolutely absurd, and my heart truly goes out to those who had skits this year that worked very hard on them and didn't get to perform. What I do not understand is why we were told several times by IRT while waiting in line that we would be let in only to be left high and dry. Here is where communication comes in again. Let us know why things are running late, why we cannot go in, and do not tell us we will be let in and then not do it. The fire alarm going off was a huge bummer and most of us nearly got trampled by people running for the lives to get back inside. After 15 years you would think that IRT would know to carry Megaphones when they are trying to talk to large groups at once. There will always be the dimwits who cannot shut up and feel like yelling "Penis" after being told to be quiet is cool.
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#18 User is offline   JimTacticZ 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:31 PM

My only gripe about the whole con was not the line, it wasn't the lack of sync with the guidebook, and it wasn't the fact that the staff weren't updated.

The gripe I have was simply the fact that it seemed that the registration staff was not trained well! I got my badge on Thursday and I paid the full $60 no problem seeing as I planned to go to the con Friday - Sunday. My cousin didn't get to my place till Friday night so I was expecting him to come to the con with me on Saturday + Sunday. He is 12 years old and I remember correctly that the official site's registration page it said the child badge for ages 6-12 is $15. The staff was going to charge him $60 for both days. I questioned them about it and they said that he is considered an adult. His birthday is May-4th-1999 he is 12yrs old obviously, I hope they don't give me bs like "Oh we round it". So he got charged $35 instead of the original $15 and he didn't get to attend Acen on Sunday which means I had to stay home because I didn't want to leave him alone at my house while I go off and have fun. I'm pretty sure that when the site says (6-12) = $15 it means AGE 12 IS INCLUDED in there! The reg staff even went on to say "Yay you are an adult at ACEN now" What jerks. I'm going to order online from now on because some reg staff obviously don't know what they are doing.
ACen 2009 - No cosplay
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#19 User is offline   char99char 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:34 PM

I do more wandering than anything at the con so did not have an issue with start times or room changes.

My complaint - and this is directed at the hotel - is lack of food at a decent price. Sandwiches at the two restaurants in the Hyatt were $15 minimum. The coffee shop at the Hyatt was run down to tuna sandwiches when I checked. Food at the convention center was available limited hours.

#20 User is offline   Doggeh 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:53 PM

This year, for me, was probably the best con I've ever been to. I had a blast.

For starters - bravo to the IRT for manning the elevators all weekend. I had a room in the executive wing but a friend of mine was on the 10th floor and I spent quite a bit of time in her room. I've never had a better experience with these elevators at peak hours of the day. It ran so smoothly. Well done guys!

The fire alarm went pretty smoothly as well. I'm a little annoyed to have missed the last few minutes of the Hetalia Ask a Nation panel I was in but that was almost beyond anyones control. Situation was handled well though and its unfortunate that the actions of stupid attendees ruin things for everyone else at the con. Kind of a bummer the masquerade was cancelled, if I were attending I'd be upset to say the least...that used to be a favorite of mine.

Attended Hardcore Synergy this year and it was AWESOME. Though I only stayed for an hour, I had a blast. Far tops the Soap Bubble now in my book.

I think my worst experience for the weekend was Anime Hell. I love this event and look forward to it every year but the line was out of control. Staff was trying really hard to enforce the "no lining up till 30 minutes beforehand" rule at this event but my friends and I were a bit skeptical. We waited around, keeping an eye on the area for at least an hour before hand. Slowly others started to do the same and we were instructed to move away from the wall to make room for people walking...we were all hearded into the middle of the hallway....which just felt like more of a hazard anyway. After 10 minutes of everyone standing around we were told to line up and it was all down hill from there. It was a rush to see who could get to the front first. My friends and I were shoved and separated and the line for Anime Hell was more like a mob. Perhaps next year push that 30 minute line up time to an hour?

Also...why one screen for Anime Hell?!

Overall I had a great con. The Anime Hell and fire alarm were just minor set backs and provide some good stories for me to tell to all those who missed out on all the fun. I'm looking forward to next year already!
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#21 User is offline   JujuFox 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:58 PM

I hardly have any gripes! This ACen was pretty awesome. :3

The major problem I had was with people hanging out by the stairwell and making all sorts of noise(talking, yelling, laughing, blowing a horn of some sort). This was in the Hyatt on the Lobby level rooms of one of the corners with the stairwells. Last year I didn't have this problem at all and we were in the same kind of room one level up, but in a different corner. The Hyatt did put in their letter to guests that after 11 it needs to be quiet by the rooms, but who can enforce that? IRT? Hotel staff?

I would have told them to clear out, but it was 4 am and I was not willing to get out of bed.

This might just be a case of people not realizing that some people have to be up early to work at the con... or not caring... or being drunk. Not sure if anything can be done about this with IRT patrols?
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#22 User is offline   Wingy Baby 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:00 PM

View PostShukumei, on 29 April 2012 - 06:03 PM, said:

I also agree with Lina about the lines. That is really my main complaint. My friend and I know how crazy lines can get, and the FMA panel was the only thing we wanted to do today before we left, so we arrived two hours early. While talking with a staffer, she politely asked that we show up thirty minutes before the panel started to get in line and she confirmed that they would be enforcing that rule. Trying to be good congoers, we busied ourselves in another panel and periodically checked in the hall to make sure others weren't lining up already. My friend saw a line forming, and the staffer told her it was for a different panel. When it was forty-five minutes until the start, we left the panel to line up and the line was already wrapped down the hall, and past the escalators, and continuing to grow. Although we were incredibly disheartened, we were lucky enough to get into the panel.



Oh hey, that staffer was probably me!
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#23 User is offline   magishine 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:03 PM

I enjoyed the convention quite thoroughly. No real complaints
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Unknown. Probably only going for a day in 2015

#24 User is offline   linlindesu 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:05 PM

oh god, where to begin.

well, friday I don't know what happened and I do not care who's fault it was. Had the concerts or the hardcore been scheduled at two different rooms altogether, the issue would have been avoided. So in the future please keep the hardcore in one of the smaller ballrooms.

There were around 10 IRT standing to block the Grand Ballroom area of the line. I kindly asked one where to line up. His response was
"ugh... outside?"
"could you please show me that line?"
no answer.
so we made the outside line with the help of the ONLY helpful IRT I encountered, Blink.
Give Blink a medal Acen organizers and screen your macho frat boy IRT. Those jerks did nothing while this poor girl dealt with the most violent obnoxious drunks but could do pretty much nothin as she was actually monitoring a line while the 10 IRT boozos stood inside doing a 4 man (tops) job.


I've been going to the hardcore all 5 years and this year was TERRIBLE. The turn out was not the usual crowd, a lot of "omigawd a rave !!!" types. screaming a "this is bull crap" chant, 12 year olds in very little tulle skirts, and I pissed off party guys because I refused to high five them ( I told them I was sick and they insult me... okie dokie...). The MCs at the hardcore ruined the music. Saying F**k does not tickle my fancy and being an all ages event? Tone it down. I'm sorry mydjsobad but I even left early and missed the god of hardcore ( m-project) because I will be damned if they ruined his music as well.

I am angry with staff and organizers. Station a staff to one area and make them know that area. I heard "I have no idea" way too many times. Listen, I know you all volunteer but that means DOING a job and doing it WELL. Not just being a zombie all day and using that you were a zombie all day yesterday as an excuse.

An idea was posted about a 24/7 IRT/ EMRT booth by all the hotels. You needed one this year. There was a very vicious fight in the embassy parking/skywalk area last night.

I'm hoping for more japanese industry guests next year or I won't get a badge. I'll give the embassy money and stay the weekend to hang out with friends but I'm not giving Acen money unless they can actually perform.

Also, this is a gripe to attendees.
Seriously, why are you going here to destroy and litter.
The skywalk last night was filthy. There was visible damage to the walls. This.Is. Disgusting
I don;t care if you drink or smoke, but nearly burning people with your cigarettes while drunk in a main walkway? Swearing like a manic and being clearly drunk OUTSIDE the hotel. Acen, you can do something. all you have to do is SAY you'll call the cops and they will hide! Why do you guys let this behavior slide?
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Elrond's angry face when the hobbits crash the party
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#25 User is offline   JujuFox 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:15 PM

View Postlinlindesu, on 29 April 2012 - 08:05 PM, said:

Also, this is a gripe to attendees.
Seriously, why are you going here to destroy and litter.
The skywalk last night was filthy. There was visible damage to the walls. This.Is. Disgusting

I used the skywalk on Thursday afternoon since we came early to set up, and the damage on the walls was already there. It really wasn't the con-goers! There were big pieces of drywall flaking off onto the floors for some odd reason. I don't know whose job it is to clean the skywalks, but they were like that before ACen started. Maybe not as dirty, but certainly not clean and with damaged walls.

EDIT: My husband noticed on Friday the damaged walls had gotten worse, but like I said they were already crumbling off before the con. He said there may have been two new spots that got busted, but I wasn't paying that much attention to the walls after we had noticed and commented on them on Thursday.

This post has been edited by DavenEvanXaviour: 29 April 2012 - 08:17 PM

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#26 User is offline   Menchi 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:23 PM

End of an era for me as well, saying farewell to ACen and never coming back (I know there are some really cool people that are Suzaku'ing ACen from within to try to change some of the crappy structure and general issues, but UNTIL it stops being "Raver-con" nothing is going to change). I honestly think they should just have a Rave-con type separate event and attempt to Lelouche ACen back to its former glory. Like I said in another thread I've been in attendance since 2003 and have seen a lot of ups. Initially I thought there was no way ACen could get better and they kept impressing me. Now I can't imagine it getting worse and they continue to show me otherwise. Once again there are some really awesome people on ACen staff that I highly respect. But they can't transform the system.

View Postvortia, on 29 April 2012 - 06:58 PM, said:

Wow, didn't realise they cancelled the Masquerade, that's mad terrible!


Again, I was Okabe on Friday and basically to this all I have to say is *mad scientist laugh*. It's basically "lolACen" at this point. When staff (not IRT who are not walking guidebooks and shouldn't be treated as such, I'm referring to actual staff) themselves didn't know about schedule changes or where an autograph session that was happening (hint: next door) that was completely changed and not reflected on paper or in the program book, my friend circles' running joke was "sasuga ni ACen!" (that's ACen for you!) Or when the masquerade incident happened...hey they pushed back Hardcore synergy by two hours and those are actual Japanese DJs. They couldn't do the same to Soap Bubble because "oh no, our main event consisting of mostly DJs unrelated to Japanese/Anime culture (except for this year, kors k I think?)" and allow the Masquerade to run. Just as Haruki Murakami reflects on Japan in his novel Underground, similarly [ACen] had no back up plan in the case of emergencies or other circumstances that made them run around with their heads cut off. Yes the actual evacuation and reorganization was handled very well, however the actions taken were rash and unjustified. Everything Friday was delayed by like two hours, and even so, stuff actually still happened despite the delay. But they could not afford to delay the Soap Bubble.

Quote

My major complaint was simply the lack of any major Japanese Anime Industry Guests. With all due respect to Mr. Shinichi Watanabe, he's become a regular con attendee, and this year's failure to secure any other industry guests was a major let down, and the culmination of a trend of declining quality of industry guests over several years.


You know I would have agreed with you before the con, and let me tell you right off the bat, the primary reason I go to cons is to see International Guests and Concerts. It ranks higher than random encounters, cosplay, shopping in that order. Here's my con story:

1) Masashi Hamauzu was the focal guest of the con for me, as the other limited Japanese guests did not particularly interest me. Went to line up for VGO and Imeruat, waited for 40 minutes since they said in the dealers' room that the concert would start like an hour early. Then after waiting in line they say "oops, we're pushing it an hour past the SCHEDULED time" Okay we leave the line and come back. COncert was awesome, and as a huge surprise (not really if I had researched Imeruat which I had not) Mitsuto Suzuki composer of FFXIII-2 was in attendance as well.

2) Then they announce a Meet and Greet schedule and room change. The M&G is to occur now right after the concert, in a room different from the one listed. We go to the room and line up even though the sign says some different panel is to occur there. 10 mins later a staffer comes down with a handwritten sheet of paper that has "Imeruat M&G" written and posts it up by the door. "Sasuga ni ACen" Needless to say there were like 20 people in the room which was AWESOME for me since my friends and I got awesome seating for the panel and it was a great setting to ask a lot of questions of very talented Japanese VG composers.

3) At the concert and panel they announce a schedule change for the Autograph session, saying it would be Saturday afternoon instead. Just for the heck of it, we went Saturday morning because our smartphone-owning friend said it still showed up on Guidebook. There were 20 people tops at the session to see Masashi Hamauzu and Mitsuto Suzuki... Which again was awesome because they had some technical difficulties securing a booth with the Dealers' Room staff to sell their CDs (not the awesome part) so they allowed people to re-line up once they were able to actually buy the Imeruat CD (which is sweet btw).

4) They of course DID also have the re-scheduled VGO signing at the new 3:30 timeslot, which also no one knew about so there were like 20 people in line. Got to talk with the whole group who are extremely cool people and even take group pictures. Pretty much could guarantee that at an East Coast con this wouldn't happen, but due to misinformation or lack of information coupled with the downward spiral of decreasing true anime and game fandom of attendees, made such things possible. I won't complain.

5) Yet another panel was held in the Hyatt basement called "Music of Final Fantasy". Here, thanks to the wording of the title, there was a decent crowd and line. The organization of the line on the otherhand...since the panel was right across from the game room, the line formed a horseshoe and went out the door. But people would just go to the end of the "horseshoe" and crowd. Sadly though we tried to tell people where the end of the line was, pretty much IRT did not really enforce line policies (well line policies in general... lol) But that's a minor gripe.

6) Concert Sunday was of equal awesomesauce. They announced signings and merch right across from the main Info booth next to the Main Ballroom, but apparently this was news to IRT and staff who couldn' control what turned into like two separate lines going in opposite directions. It was pretty "on the fly" but out of respect for the artists I'm pretty glad that today's more "open" signing had a decent attendance.

So in short, I completely agree with you about the lack of Japanese guests. I follow seiyuu a lot and the lack of seiyuu was disappointing. I would have liked to see LM.C but I had to choose with my time. However despite the lack of international guests I have to give a pat on the back to whoever got Hamauzu-sensei (which in one of the panels Nakama-san from VGO said it was something he'd envisioned as well after meeting Hamauzu-sensei at Distant Worlds, so props to getting VGO as well). I made the best of it nonetheless since the guests that did come were pretty cool.

#27 User is offline   gavv 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:28 PM

View PostDoggeh, on 29 April 2012 - 07:53 PM, said:

This year, for me, was probably the best con I've ever been to. I had a blast.

For starters - bravo to the IRT for manning the elevators all weekend. I had a room in the executive wing but a friend of mine was on the 10th floor and I spent quite a bit of time in her room. I've never had a better experience with these elevators at peak hours of the day. It ran so smoothly. Well done guys!

The fire alarm went pretty smoothly as well. I'm a little annoyed to have missed the last few minutes of the Hetalia Ask a Nation panel I was in but that was almost beyond anyones control. Situation was handled well though and its unfortunate that the actions of stupid attendees ruin things for everyone else at the con. Kind of a bummer the masquerade was cancelled, if I were attending I'd be upset to say the least...that used to be a favorite of mine.

Attended Hardcore Synergy this year and it was AWESOME. Though I only stayed for an hour, I had a blast. Far tops the Soap Bubble now in my book.

I think my worst experience for the weekend was Anime Hell. I love this event and look forward to it every year but the line was out of control. Staff was trying really hard to enforce the "no lining up till 30 minutes beforehand" rule at this event but my friends and I were a bit skeptical. We waited around, keeping an eye on the area for at least an hour before hand. Slowly others started to do the same and we were instructed to move away from the wall to make room for people walking...we were all hearded into the middle of the hallway....which just felt like more of a hazard anyway. After 10 minutes of everyone standing around we were told to line up and it was all down hill from there. It was a rush to see who could get to the front first. My friends and I were shoved and separated and the line for Anime Hell was more like a mob. Perhaps next year push that 30 minute line up time to an hour?

Also...why one screen for Anime Hell?!

Overall I had a great con. The Anime Hell and fire alarm were just minor set backs and provide some good stories for me to tell to all those who missed out on all the fun. I'm looking forward to next year already!



I was extremely disappointed in what I was given for Anime Hell, not only the smaller room (despite being consistently one of the biggest events period. I've looked in on pretty much all the band concerts acen's ever hosted and not any one of them came close to half the crowd hell gets, even huge draws like the pillows, etc. They try to claim better #s for concerts, but they're claiming to count turnover of people... Well, if people walk in and out of a concert in 5 minutes, why the heck does that count more than an event where there's hardly any turnover *BECAUSE NO ONE WANTS TO LEAVE*.), but the set up in the room was lousy with even admitted by them 'B equipment'. The sound system was horrendous with only the single screen.

i'm not very happy. it's a good way to kill an event by making it harder/impossible for those who enjoy it to go see it.

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#28 User is offline   linlindesu 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:32 PM

View PostDavenEvanXaviour, on 29 April 2012 - 08:15 PM, said:

I used the skywalk on Thursday afternoon since we came early to set up, and the damage on the walls was already there. It really wasn't the con-goers! There were big pieces of drywall flaking off onto the floors for some odd reason. I don't know whose job it is to clean the skywalks, but they were like that before ACen started. Maybe not as dirty, but certainly not clean and with damaged walls.

EDIT: My husband noticed on Friday the damaged walls had gotten worse, but like I said they were already crumbling off before the con. He said there may have been two new spots that got busted, but I wasn't paying that much attention to the walls after we had noticed and commented on them on Thursday.

There were also program guides scattered everywhere. It was careless and disgusting.
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

#29 User is offline   The Commodore 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:32 PM

The delay for the LM.C concert was pretty ridiculous. I understand that things run over, but 3 hours behind schedule was pretty nuts (and I'm sure the DJs and attendees who were excited for hardcore synergy didn't appreciate the delay either). The concert was still a really good time though!
That, and an IRT gave me major sass when I asked her if the line was for the LM.C concert and if it ended outside. I just asked a simple question and really did not appreciate the sarcastic tone she took with me.

A major gripe this year was people being extremely oblivious. If you're going to stop and take a photo or look at something, LOOK AROUND YOU. People were taking photos in the skywalk, on the narrow sidewalks, in front of the escalators and in other high traffic areas. This seemed to be more of a problem than I have noticed in the past. Please, just take a quick look around and make sure you're not stopping abruptly 2 feet in front of the person behind you to take a photo, etc.

WTF was up with parking this year at the Hyatt? I'm not going to get too deep into this since I'm sure most people know what I'm talking about, but it was just an annoying mess, and being told I wasn't allowed to park there, which I've done for the past 2 years after a stressful drive really pissed me off, and ended in me running into that damn pole behind the gate. Not a good start to the weekend.

I still overall had a great weekend and there were many more positives than negatives!

This post has been edited by The Commodore: 29 April 2012 - 08:33 PM

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#30 User is offline   Ashori 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:34 PM

Overall, I enjoyed my time at the con. However, yes, there was definitely room to improve.

My main gripe is the last-minute changes to the panels. Sadly, due to them, two of the panels I really wanted to attend (Copyright 101 and Are You Smarter Than An Otaku?) were either changed to a time when I wasn't at the con or outright cancelled, but I didn't know to the last second. Sadly, it made my Friday extremely boring. Technically, my Saturday was even boring after my own panel, which I was glad wasn't affected outside of colliding with the Funimation Industry Panel during its last half-hour.

Plus, same as the year before, the lack in enforcing the 30-minute line up rule for Main Programming and Autograph lines. When my group made it down for Anime Hell, even though we were about seven minutes or so early for the 30-minute line up, we were already seeing an "unofficial" line forming past the bathrooms going down near the Grand Ballroom. Of course, the "two people from the wall" thing also wasn't very settling when we were allowed to get into an official line, considering my friend's claustrophobia and my subtle fear of germs. >.>

EDIT: I also admit, I do have gripes about some of the attendees this year. There was definitely a lot more trash around the con this year, which while expected to happen with being such a huge con with a lot of people, there's a limit to how much is tolerable and how much passes the border of disgusting. Also, the many groups I've seen of attendees walking around obviously drunk or just overall acting rude and disturbing towards others wasn't pleasant. Of course, I've only ran into a few people like that (like seven or eight), but still, I really don't see the need to blatantly act like a jerk.

This post has been edited by Ashori: 29 April 2012 - 09:02 PM

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