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

#211 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 03:52 PM

View Postmyrla, on 01 May 2012 - 12:16 PM, said:

I didn't see Special Needs until after my badge was gotten. I didn't want to lose my place in line when so many were piling up.

That's why we have a location in Registration. If you have a disability, you can get your badge with us, and get your special access pass at the same time. Next year, please come see us first.



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#212 User is offline   myrla 

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:27 PM

View PostSmokey, on 01 May 2012 - 03:52 PM, said:

That's why we have a location in Registration. If you have a disability, you can get your badge with us, and get your special access pass at the same time. Next year, please come see us first.


I was a panelist, so my badge was in a different locale. a friend works for special needs and said "after you get your badge, come see me near registration" so I did. I'm not entirely sure how you could have helped me when someone who works at SN was in touch with me regarding getting the pass.

Communication lacking, sadly, again, i guess.

hopefully next year (if i return) i will not be on crutches or have wrecked my car a month before ACen.
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#213 User is offline   woozle 

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 05:59 PM

not sure if this is what people were talking about with locations of photoshoots, but they were labeled on the list of photoshoots in the program as "Camera 1, 2, etc.", so you could look up that location (by the camera number) on the map of the convention center.

This post has been edited by woozle: 01 May 2012 - 08:46 PM


#214 User is offline   Hoshigumo 

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 06:00 PM

View PostKristov, on 01 May 2012 - 04:20 AM, said:

Overall the Con went rather well I thought, with a few hiccups.

1) Prop/costume rules not followed. Not trying to be a jerk here, but rules stated a prop gun can't be black, EVEN with an orange tip. I spent time and money making my prop blue instead of keeping it the original black. Once I got there, it seemed nearly every single prop gun was black. Straight out of he box, with magazine in it, airsoft gun. Please don't post rules about props unless they are to be enforced.
*Gun props must have a blaze orange tip, and are required to be sufficiently unrealistic that a person must be able to tell that the prop is not real from across a room.(Transparent, flat image on cardboard, futuristic/unrealistic, blue rubber training props etc.)

After double checking this, I suppose black is allowed, but still seems a bit hard to tell across from the room, especially in a holster covering the tip...


Double-check the props thread, but I'm pretty sure I was told that black is too realistic a color, even with an orange tip. And I too saw MANY military-type cosplay with one or more black airsoft-type guns. I was told those were cery definitely not allowed, nor was the little cap gun I had asked about altering to conform to standard. In the end, I didn't bring any prop for my cosplay. The rules were too much of a hassle, and apparently, not even enforced.
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#215 User is offline   DJFLuFFKiNS 

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 06:01 PM

View PostZSchleicher, on 01 May 2012 - 12:33 PM, said:

^ This, except this won't necessarily be my last one... Although I sure felt close to it at the end of the weekend. My first time going to this convention was back in 2003, when I was a really stupid, geeky kid getting ready to get out of high school. I'd never attended a convention before that time, so I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was actually so excited to be there, that I explored every place that I could with some sort of interest... Even if the panels didn't grasp me (and they never will, sorry), something else did.

The one thing that I, too, noticed about recent years (2008-present) is the social hierarchy that seems to plague this entire convention. In my first year, being very socially awkward and shy, I was able to actually TALK with a bunch of people waiting in line for Duel Jewel. And not feel... Any anxiety? It was like a blessing that punched all of my social problems away into deep space, while for once in my life, I became chatter-head. I'm still really good friends with one of them to this day, but other than that... I feel the elitist vibe 100%. Like if you're not cosplaying, you just get strange looks from people that don't even want to have anything to do with you.

My view might be slightly different than this poster's, but does anyone else feel the same...? It seems like making new friends without having to use the forums/Facebook/Twitter for a "meetup" place is long dead in the digital age. And to me, that's sad, because it takes all the fun out of adventuring and meeting new people. Kind of like an RPG. I can adapt to other issues the con has, and that's fine. No one can be 100% perfect; it's easily understandable with thousands in attendance. Just socially, it's like you're in high school again, only this time nerds snub nerds.


I will say one thing about this trend, mainly because it's something I've noticed since I entered the anime con scene over 10 years ago. The biggest difference is the fact that back in the day, the fandom consisted of people who were more socially outcast and they came to cons to find people who they could get along with and share common interests. In the last decade anime/manga has become more mainstream, and more accepted. Those who were "outcast" found themselves amongst like minded individuals in their everyday lives. This evolves the social aspect of the traditional congoer into a someone who isn't an outcast, and the social cliques and hierarchies that many people were excluded from to begin with.

I will say that I have changed a lot since high school. ACen was a huge part of it. But I've had to adapt my social constructs to something different then what I had adapted 8 years ago. The fandom has changed and it's hard to say whether it's better or not. It used to be that you could connect just on the geekiness alone, now when you're at the con, geekiness is implied, now you need to show what else you've got. So the real question is, what's next? Maybe this social evolution is cyclical... Maybe people will once again connect on what we have in common instead of shunning what we don't have in common.
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#216 User is offline   Amazonia 

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 06:03 PM

View PostLina, on 29 April 2012 - 03:52 PM, said:

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.


View PostAphex, on 29 April 2012 - 06:44 PM, said:

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.


View PostATICE, on 29 April 2012 - 09:04 PM, said:

Agreed with Lina that the one IRT member (I guess her name was Amazon?) was like "I am about to ruin your day." How about... you don't and you continue the freaking line."


Hey all, it's Amazon here. Sorry I ruffled feathers with the announcements, but I was trying to soften the blow a bit. It can be hard to hear bad news, and I don't really like delivering it, but when it comes to cutting lines, it wasn't my call. If Guest Relations tells me there are only 50 people allowed to get autographs, I get to be the envoy. If I was told I could let more people back there I would've, but once the time is up, no more autographs. You run the risk of disappointment either way, but I think the idea here was to not get people's hopes up by letting them in, only to have 100+ angry fans who didn't get autographs while the handlers are trying to escort the guest out. Any ideas on what would've been better to hear?

As far as the single file request, it had more to do with counting out people while moving down a line instead of trying to separate and move down while I counted. Plus, it reduced the number of "no no, these are just my friends, they're not getting autographs", so I didn't miscount and could therefore let more people in.

View Postmadhattr999, on 30 April 2012 - 11:52 AM, said:

(Autograph Line Stuff)

(To start, I'm not staff or anything. These are simply my opinions/insights/suggestions as an attendee who has gone to 30-40 conventions.)

The policy they used for the autograph sessions was based on what you're suggesting here (a general pre-line). I found it to be extremely organised, reasonable, efficient, and generally fair. However, I do agree that is unfair to tell people things will work one way (in the program guide), and have things work another way in actuality.

So I think they should take the 30 minute rule out of the list of policies.

To give people some perspective, let me explain my thoughts on autograph line policies:

Guest A can provide X number of autographs per hour (and lets assume each session is an hour for simplicity). Ultimately for the popular guests, there are thousands of fans who want autographs. And that number would go up even higher if the autographs were more easy to obtain (example below).

Chris Sabat can provide 50 autographs in an hour.
There are probably 10 fans who would wait 120 minutes for an autograph.
There are probably 50 fans who would wait 60 minutes for an autograph.
There are probably 200 fans who would wait 30 minutes for an autograph.
There are probably 2000 fans who would wait 1 minute for an autograph.

So it should be apparent to everyone that the demand for the autographs are much higher than the supply of autographs, and therefore, many people will simply not be able to get an autograph. The question becomes: How will people be selected to receive an autograph? There are a few ways to determine this.

1. based upon a commodity for each fan: time spent waiting (the standard), or money (which nobody really wants, but is used for celebrities).
2. random lottery.
3. some weighted combination of the above.

What ACEN has in its guidelines is #3. What was actually used this year was #1. Let's go back to the example.

This is what actually occured for Chris' autograph session (numbers approximate):

Chris can sign 50 autographs in an hour. 10 fans waited 120 minutes, 50 fans waited 60 minutes, 200 fans came at the 30 minute mark. The line was cut off at 50 people, so the 10 fans who waited the longest got autographs, and 40 of the 50 fans who waited 60 minutes got autographs (basically by lottery of arrival time).

This is what would have happened if staff had followed the policy in the guidebook:

Chris can sign 50 autographs in an hour. 10 fans loiter around the autograph area for 90 minutes, 50 fans loiter around the autograph area for 30 minutes, 200 fans don't loiter and show up at the 30 minute mark. Everyone rushes to get in the newly forming autograph line. Now there are 260 fans trying to get into a line for 50 people, and its basically a lottery of who is closest to the start of the line when the line is called So you might think that there is a 50/260 chance to get an autograph (which is not really that good a chance). Except that the people willing to wait longest, were closer to the autograph area, and thus, probably had a better chance in the lottery.

Now seeing what happened and comparing to what could/should have happened, there are two topics to debate.

#1. Logistics.

We'll start with logistics. What is the reasonable distance that you can keep away, someone who is willing to wait longer than the prescribed time? There are dealer booths all around the autograph area. What is to stop them from standing there for 2 hours? Do you use an entirely different building for autographs and not let anyone in it? How do you prevent running to the autograph area at the prescribed time? You can stop one person from running, but it is much harder to stop and discipline 50 people. And ultimately, the people willing to wait longer will have an advantage in the lottery component of an autograph system. That brings me to #2.

#2. Fairness.

First, I pose the question: Who deserves an autograph more? Someone willing to wait 120 minutes for an autograph, or someone only willing to wait 60 minutes? Even leaving that question aside, and sticking with a 30 minute wait-time restriction, I would propose that it is next to impossible to provide a FAIR lottery component of the autograph session based on limited wait-time. The only thing that would be a truly fair lottery would be to use a ticket system (which is a viable option, but has its own logistical problems).

And so in conclusion, I would recommend that ACEN either throw out the 30 minute wait-limit altogether and base autograph lines on who is willing to wait the longest, or to switch to a ticket system. This was a very long ramble, but hopefully I provided some insight to a few people in the very least.

(As an aside, I think there are issues with doing a ticket system. The main issue is that people will get tickets who don't really care whether they get an autograph or not, simply because it does not cost them any time or money. At the same time, there are die-hard fans who are desperate to meet their favourite guest who may not get to do so, because of someone who doesn't really care taking up their spot.)



You sir, are amazingly awesome. If you don't mind, I'm going to take this to my higher ups at the next meeting. You've got some really good ideas here, and I think they deserve to be heard by the right ears.

View PostSprinklePuff, on 30 April 2012 - 03:51 PM, said:

Here are my thoughts on this year. First of all, let me start with some positives even though this is the gripe thread:

Positives for IRT Staff

In general I have more gripes than positives in regards to IRT, but I just wanted to say that someone needs to give "Amazon" one million dollars. She was incredible. Many people around me in line referred to her as "the competent IRT girl." She was knowledgable, when she didn't know something she made an effort to find the information, and she enforced the rules. Seriously, give this girl an award. Another great IRT member was, I believe, "Rice" or "Rice Cooker?" I don't recall - he was missing his name tag. But on Sunday, when a huge line started forming at around 8:00am to get into the dealer's room because Travis was signing at 10, he was forcing people who for some reason thought that GIANT line magically didn't apply to them to stop hovering as close as possible to the dealer's room entrance and get in the back of the line where they belonged. Amazon later showed up to help as well. THANK YOU. There was another older IRT member who was great, but sadly, I don't remember his name.

2. Please buy some decent megaphones. Having them simply shout at a line of 100+ people does not work. I rarely could hear anything IRT announced while we were in lines for things like the LM.C concert. Some IRT members, like Amazon, made their announcement multiple times while moving down the line because of this, but most didn't. Megaphones aren't that expensive. You need them for a con of this size.

5. The autograph lines. Oh my God, the autograph lines. What did you guys DO? Seriously, this was one of the worst situations I've ever seen at a convention. The lines were so bad this year I can't even...I don't even know what to say. The method of having one giant general line that you would later split was awful. We were getting in people's way and blocking areas in the vendor's room, and everyone seemed confused. I stopped counting how many people came up to me or someone near me to ask, "what line is this?" "What do you mean this is a GENERAL autograph line? Whose autograph is it for?" Etc.

10. Don't schedule a signing at 10am ever again, please. And if you do, you NEED to let people into the vendor's room early to line up.



Whew! A lot to address. First off, thank you. I did my best and tried to keep everything running smoothly, but there were some bumps in the road. Glad to know it wasn't bad for everyone. I was in charge of all lines in the convention center, so it was a bit chaotic on Saturday with a reg line to Balmoral and autograph lines that were becoming a fire hazard. Add in some incidents that kept me from going back to autographs to keep a mess from being prevented... hoo, doggies. I had an interesting day!Posted Image

I would love a megaphone, but I think it might be more difficult coming across as pleasant at god knows how many decibels, and at the end of the day, we're really just customer service and the bearers of bad news (Bad prop! No zip-tie! etc etc.).

Having the generalized line worked decently on Friday, but with all the insanity of Saturday, we never got a chance to even examine if it was a viable solution to an underlying issue. I hate the fact that so many people waited in lines for hours, only to be told that they weren't going to make the cut. Hopefully next year we'll get a better system going from the get go, but I hope it didn't ruin the con in the mean time. Any ideas on what to do would be super helpful! Posted Image

On the 10am autograph signing, I pray to whatever gods there are that doesn't happen again. I toyed with the idea of letting people in early, but realized there would be no way to monitor theft issues if someone decided to nab something on the way to the bathroom, and I didn't have enough ops to escort anyone that had to step out for whatever reason.


All in all, keep the gripes coming! The only way to improve is to see what you did wrong, so this is a good way for me to see how I did. Thanks in advance for all the constructive criticism!

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#217 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 06:49 PM

Saying, "I have some bad/unfortunate news" is tons better than saying you are going to ruin peoples' days. I understand that it wasn't your call on any of this, but saying you are going to ruin someone's day is not nice at all. I appreciate you being kind about our criticism.
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#218 User is offline   Firak 

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 06:58 PM

View Postmyrla, on 01 May 2012 - 04:27 PM, said:

I was a panelist, so my badge was in a different locale. a friend works for special needs and said "after you get your badge, come see me near registration" so I did. I'm not entirely sure how you could have helped me when someone who works at SN was in touch with me regarding getting the pass.

Communication lacking, sadly, again, i guess.

hopefully next year (if i return) i will not be on crutches or have wrecked my car a month before ACen.


Special Needs might have had you jump the line if you had trouble waiting in it due to medical complications. Not sure if it would have helped much since only 5 people were in front of you and it took a couple hours which probably means that something was up with the system or printers and it had to be resolved.

This post has been edited by Firak: 01 May 2012 - 07:02 PM

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#219 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:31 PM

View PostFirak, on 01 May 2012 - 06:58 PM, said:

Special Needs might have had you jump the line if you had trouble waiting in it due to medical complications. Not sure if it would have helped much since only 5 people were in front of you and it took a couple hours which probably means that something was up with the system or printers and it had to be resolved.

That's correct. We find solutions, and if none are available, we'll create one. If your badge was only available at another location, I would have gone over there and picked it up for you myself if that would have saved you from having to stand there when it was so difficult. I've been on those things a couple of times myself, so I know exactly what you were going through.

And that goes for everyone. Attendee, panelist, guest, even staff. If you've got an ongoing disability, or just got that cast on a couple of days ago, write me. My addy is in my .sig and on the site's Contact Us list. We'll do everything within reason to help keep it from slowing you down.
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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:47 PM

View PostDJFLuFFKiNS, on 01 May 2012 - 06:01 PM, said:

I will say one thing about this trend, mainly because it's something I've noticed since I entered the anime con scene over 10 years ago. The biggest difference is the fact that back in the day, the fandom consisted of people who were more socially outcast and they came to cons to find people who they could get along with and share common interests. In the last decade anime/manga has become more mainstream, and more accepted. Those who were "outcast" found themselves amongst like minded individuals in their everyday lives. This evolves the social aspect of the traditional congoer into a someone who isn't an outcast, and the social cliques and hierarchies that many people were excluded from to begin with.

I will say that I have changed a lot since high school. ACen was a huge part of it. But I've had to adapt my social constructs to something different then what I had adapted 8 years ago. The fandom has changed and it's hard to say whether it's better or not. It used to be that you could connect just on the geekiness alone, now when you're at the con, geekiness is implied, now you need to show what else you've got. So the real question is, what's next? Maybe this social evolution is cyclical... Maybe people will once again connect on what we have in common instead of shunning what we don't have in common.


That is an interesting point you bring up about how before, con-goers were more "outcast" and thus would have been more open to meeting more people at cons.

I also have thought that back then, online communication and social networking existed, but were nowhere near as prevalent as they were today. So people still had to socialize in person or at least on the phone more often. This necessitated closer friendships with the fellow gamers and anime fans you were lucky enough to know in person. I still remember a time when people moved away for college, they gave out a mailing address to write letters to, and that was that. Nowadays they're never more than a few clicks away with any device with internet access. So I suppose the necessity to network in-person to find others with common interests has diminished.

I realize this may sound a bit like "get off my lawn". But ACEN definitely played a big role in helping me grow up. Through ACEN, I made some lifelong friends, and learned a lot of new things about myself and the world. In the end I suppose I couldn't have asked for more.

My previous post may have come off as nothing more than a rant, however this social evolution isn't the only reason I'm moving on from ACEN. I've also had to adapt to changing conditions in life, and decided it's time to see what else is out there.

But wherever I go, I'd love to meet people like those I met at ACEN long ago.

#221 User is offline   Fate Averruncus 

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:55 PM

I have the same complaint that many other people on this thread have had--the timing. I didn't run into this very much, as many of the panels I wished to attend were where and when they were supposed to be, but I saw way too many unannounced schedule changes to not complain about it. So many panels were randomly moved, and on more than one occasion, it wasn't on the slip I was given when I picked up my program guide. I've heard all future changes were only announced on the Guidebook app, which isn't right, IMO. Not everyone has an iphone, or similar device (if Guidebook is on other phones). Or can afford one, or even wants one. Changes should have been announced through other means. It's not fair to those of us who don't have an iphone. We have no means of finding out changes, and either miss events we're really looking forward to, or stand way longer than we should. Or we get to look silly by being in an empty room where a panel was supposed to be, but suddenly isn't. Updates through the website, or in person would have been fine. Please do this in the future, along with Guidebook.

I only just heard about this, but I'm also dissatisfied with the Masquerade being cancelled in favor of the Soap Bubble. The Masquerade is a huge part of any anime con, and is something that many cosplayers worked months to prepare for. It wasn't fair to them to cancel something they prepared for in favor of a DANCE. This just shows the shifting focus away from anime to just being a raver con, which really saddens me. I don't want to ever see ACen turn into something like The Reactor, or just become another in general geek con. ACen is called ANIME Central. Not Raver Central. The focus should be on anime. If anything, the Soap Bubble should have been cancelled as a result of that fire alarm. (BTW, I hope the jerk who pulled(I'm assuming it was pulled) was caught and fined. ACen shouldn't pay for a stupid prank that MAY have not even been done by a congoer.) I hope this dance over something anime related is something that is never done again.

I also didn't like the focus on dances and fashion this year verses anime related main programming. There were THREE dances. We don't need THREE dances. ONE was enough. And many of the Japanese guests that we did have were for fashion. There was only 1 Japanese industry guest this year, and it shouldn't be that way. I mean, Nabeshin is great and all, but I wanted to see other industry guests, too. There shouldn't be 3 fashion related guests, and only 1 industry guest. The amount of fashion related guests, and dances also shows the shift I'm afraid of.

Another gripe I had was the room the Ren Faire was given was too small. The book may have said something about that this was intentional(I don't remember), but there seemed to be a lot of people who wanted to attend their panels and couldn't due to the small room.

Even though I did have many complains, and I still fear for the future of ACen, I did have a good time, and do plan on attending next year. But I hope that what I complained about is dealt with.

This post has been edited by Fate Averruncus: 01 May 2012 - 08:55 PM

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#222 User is offline   Amazonia 

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:19 PM

View PostLina, on 01 May 2012 - 06:49 PM, said:

Saying, "I have some bad/unfortunate news" is tons better than saying you are going to ruin peoples' days. I understand that it wasn't your call on any of this, but saying you are going to ruin someone's day is not nice at all. I appreciate you being kind about our criticism.


Thank you for the response! By nature I'm kind of a goofy, awkward 6'5 chick with a propensity towards trying to laugh something off versus being super serious, but if that situation calls for more of a professional approach, I'm more than happy to take it. Like I said earlier, the only way to get better is to know what you did wrong so you can fix it, so hopefully next year I'll be more aware of how to handle tense situations like these! I think I read you won't be attending next year, but I won't be slacking just because you won't be there to watch :). Thank you again for helping me out!

- Amazon
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#223 User is offline   ATICE 

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:52 PM

@madhattr999: The thing about the autographs though.. it shouldn't be a lottery thing. It's easy. Everyone gets 1 whole minute with the guest. Have your stuff signed, get a quick photo, thank the guest, and leave. How hard is this? I waited in line for 30 minutes at one point, and the line barely even moved once! Autographs should be limited to a minute and then an IRT member directs the person getting the autograph to the exit signs to get out of the backroom. THIS IS EASY AND EVERYONE SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET AN AUTOGRAPH THIS WAY. I'm not saying to rudely tell an attendee to leave, but there should be a sign saying "Each attendee is granted 1 minute with the guests". You have no idea how much time & energy this would save.



#224 User is offline   Emberlynn 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:16 AM

View PostWashu Takahashi, on 01 May 2012 - 09:38 AM, said:

The models were not picked by Acen, they were picked by the designers. We models were lucky enough that the designers didn't bring in their own professional models, and gave us a chance to be on stage promoting their lines. I heard Sixh models didn't get anything out of the deal, but H&A models got a 10% discount on clothing :3 And I thought you had to be a paying Acen attendee to be a model anyways. But that's all besides the point, as the models were working for the designers, NOT Acen, therefore Acen owes nothing to the models. (And I'm saying this as one of the models who would have loved a discounted/free ticket. But really, they owe us nothing)


I know people who specifically applied ... who wanted to come JUST to model - but once they got to the con - decided they wanted to wander around a bit. like the panelists being comped, I think there should have been some provision for this. not that it's expected - it just would have been nice. and as far as I know, that being an attendee didn't apply to several models I knew who applied and were accepted by the labels who hadn't planned on coming to the con originally.

However - I would suppose at what point do you 'not' comp people. so I understand your point as well.
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#225 User is offline   JediNight 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:58 AM

View PostOathThe1st, on 30 April 2012 - 11:01 PM, said:

Minor complaint, also, but would it be too much to ask for food that's actually affordable and not a mile away? At an event like that, it is important for people to keep hydrated and nourished. They can't do that if they can't afford to eat. Food in Disney World is cheaper.


Unfortunately, I don't forsee any help coming for that issue. Things like business/union contracts stipulate that no outside food can be offered in an official capacity. That included Exhibitors AND things as simple as passing out candy/drinks at fan panels.

Since food offerings within walking distance are sparse, it would be in your best interests to make arrangements for your own food if you find the offerings/prices in the area are too expensive for your budget. Depending on the hotel, there are a lot of food options you can prepare that aren't bad for you, and either don't require keeping, or can be prepared with minimal effort and kept in the ice container, etc. I suggest reading the advice in that regard in the Acen Discussion forum stickied threads.

This post has been edited by JediNight: 02 May 2012 - 04:51 AM


#226 User is offline   Kristov 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:35 AM

View PostHoshigumo, on 01 May 2012 - 06:00 PM, said:

Double-check the props thread, but I'm pretty sure I was told that black is too realistic a color, even with an orange tip. And I too saw MANY military-type cosplay with one or more black airsoft-type guns. I was told those were cery definitely not allowed, nor was the little cap gun I had asked about altering to conform to standard. In the end, I didn't bring any prop for my cosplay. The rules were too much of a hassle, and apparently, not even enforced.



I was told the same thing, black is too realistic, and after spending around $20 and around 2 weeks of safety modifications (ie removal of internals) sanding, priming, and painting, I'm rather displeased I spent that time and money just to adhere to a rule that, apparently, nobody cared about. Not to mention spending half hour at the con getting it checked out (half hour as the guy had a hard time finding the "official" zip tie). Hell, I could have walked in with my real pistol and nobody would have given it a second look.

Next year, PLEASE, PLEASE, check props. I saw several people buy an airsoft from a dealer and throw it straight into their holster, mag included.

I ask that the rules either be enforced or removed. No scratch that, I BEG the powers that be, to have the rules followed, or remove the seemingly useless rule(s).

On another note, every IRT person I ran into was very kind, and patient, even when random jerk blamed him for the elevator rules. For that one IRT member, I once again apologize for that asshat being rude to you, and I sincerely hope the rest of your con (remainder of Saturday and Sunday) went well.

#227 User is offline   SaphiraRaworth 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:38 AM

Can we get a description of the IRT member and a time possibly? We would love to be able to identify them so you can thank the right person.
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#228 User is offline   Sarahlicious 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:59 AM

View PostKristov, on 02 May 2012 - 02:35 AM, said:

I was told the same thing, black is too realistic, and after spending around $20 and around 2 weeks of safety modifications (ie removal of internals) sanding, priming, and painting, I'm rather displeased I spent that time and money just to adhere to a rule that, apparently, nobody cared about. Not to mention spending half hour at the con getting it checked out (half hour as the guy had a hard time finding the "official" zip tie). Hell, I could have walked in with my real pistol and nobody would have given it a second look.

Next year, PLEASE, PLEASE, check props. I saw several people buy an airsoft from a dealer and throw it straight into their holster, mag included.

I ask that the rules either be enforced or removed. No scratch that, I BEG the powers that be, to have the rules followed, or remove the seemingly useless rule(s).

On another note, every IRT person I ran into was very kind, and patient, even when random jerk blamed him for the elevator rules. For that one IRT member, I once again apologize for that asshat being rude to you, and I sincerely hope the rest of your con (remainder of Saturday and Sunday) went well.


This makes NO sense to me what-so-ever. You can't bring an airsoft gun in on your own.. But you can buy one while you're there? Personally I don't see an issue with the airsoft guns so long as they're checked and ammo-less. The rules did not say anything about gun props not being allowed to be black, and mine was. It was a $7 gun from Meyer spray-painted black with a relatively large orange tip (hence making it "unrealistic") To me if there is a big deal about guns looking too real, then the color black needs to be called out specifically as a banned color in the rules. If airsoft guns are trully an issue- then why were they being sold (along with live steel blades) in the dealers room???
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#229 User is offline   Washu Takahashi 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:49 AM

View PostEmberlynn, on 02 May 2012 - 12:16 AM, said:

I know people who specifically applied ... who wanted to come JUST to model - but once they got to the con - decided they wanted to wander around a bit. like the panelists being comped, I think there should have been some provision for this. not that it's expected - it just would have been nice. and as far as I know, that being an attendee didn't apply to several models I knew who applied and were accepted by the labels who hadn't planned on coming to the con originally.

However - I would suppose at what point do you 'not' comp people. so I understand your point as well.

I agree with you. I already had a full weekend badge ordered at the time I applied to model, but being comped for that would have been great. It would have been a nice benefit, but not one they would be required to give. Still, something to think about for next year Acen if you have any more fashion shows! Toss in a free badge for the day if at all possible ^^

This post has been edited by Washu Takahashi: 02 May 2012 - 06:49 AM

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#230 User is offline   Valkyrie 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:54 AM

The reason why airsofts and blades are sold, while having provisions against them in our rules, is because the vendors who sell them have the clearance to do so...namely from Rosemont itself. That's why we have that rule that purchased live steel must remain in secured packaging.

That being said, I'm sorry about the lack of enforcement on airsofts. I know a good deal of you are unhappy about this (and believe me, I don't blame you at all - my husband has airsofts he'd like to bring, but doesn't because of me and the risk of being noticed by RPD). I won't make excuses...we should have been at the top of our game with that. We'll work on trying to be clearer about that rule in the future.

Another good catch is those ops who advised about the Special Needs booth. Some special/mefical needs aren't readily apparent (for instance, early stages of pregnancy), but it's a good idea to be ready to recommend that booth at a moment's notice.
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#231 User is offline   Oyuki 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:22 AM

Other than the fire alarm, why were the Masquerade skits cancelled? Couldn't the Soap Bubble have been delayed? It was delayed an hour anyway from what I hear.
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#232 User is offline   Oyuki 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:38 AM

View PostChunlichan, on 01 May 2012 - 03:37 PM, said:


-The masq. being cut short. I have no words. Totally unfair to everyone who worked their butts off to make their costumes/write their skits. I mean, c'mon-can't the soap bubble spare 90mins? It ran until 5:30 am, for crying out loud!


Seriously, I want to know who made the Masquerade staff make that announcement to cancel the skits.
I want to know what sort of outlandish reasoning led to an awful decision.
I didn't even wait in line for Soap Bubble, just went in later and still had a good time.
As mentioned earlier, the Masquerade should be the main event that others are scheduled around. There should be NO changes to that particular slot once hard-copies are printed regardless of the Guidebook app's "availability."
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#233 User is offline   Dark Kanine 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:43 AM

Just a little side note that I came to experience, is that I was cosplaying as Ellis from Left 4 Dead 2 and whoever didn't noticed gave me strange looks like I wasn't cosplaying, that was basic con goers, the venders noticed right off the bat and asked to take a photo and was interactive with me. I was very pleased with that the venders were super nice to me.
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#234 User is offline   Jguy 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:49 AM

Hi all,

RE: The Masquerade.

Discussions about why that was cancelled and plans for next year can be found here: http://www.acen.org/...asquerade-2012/

Thanks!
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#235 User is offline   SprinklePuff 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:34 AM

View PostATICE, on 01 May 2012 - 11:52 PM, said:

@madhattr999: The thing about the autographs though.. it shouldn't be a lottery thing. It's easy. Everyone gets 1 whole minute with the guest. Have your stuff signed, get a quick photo, thank the guest, and leave. How hard is this? I waited in line for 30 minutes at one point, and the line barely even moved once! Autographs should be limited to a minute and then an IRT member directs the person getting the autograph to the exit signs to get out of the backroom. THIS IS EASY AND EVERYONE SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET AN AUTOGRAPH THIS WAY. I'm not saying to rudely tell an attendee to leave, but there should be a sign saying "Each attendee is granted 1 minute with the guests". You have no idea how much time & energy this would save.



I agree. A raffle system would be horrible, and chances are if it's used I won't even bother coming to Acen again, because guests are my main draw, and if there's only a slight chance I'll get an autograph because it's a RAFFLE, nope. Won't go.

Someone really needed to tell Vic to speed things up. I know the guy is super nice (and therein lies the problem) but did an IRT staff member at any point just politely say, "Vic, you have a HUGE line outside. HUGE. If you could just say hello, sign something, and take a photo, that would be great. If you take time to do more, a lot of people are going to walk away very disappointed."

I got into his line on both Sat and Sun. Couldn't get his autograph either time.

I think that both an autograph and photo should always be allowed, btw (unless the guest refuses to do it...like a Japanese musical guest or something). With Travis we were told no photos, and a LOT of people were upset. I've been waiting around 3 years to see him. I was getting that photo! ROFL. Most people snuck photos anyway. They just leaned forward at the table so they'd be in the frame (instead of Travis getting up to stand next to them) while their friend took the photo. Whenever Travis noticed a photo being taken he would always look into the camera and smile, so that was nice.

PS: Amazon, just wanted to say again you were GREAT. I never heard anyone at the con who had an issue with you or what you said. Actually, a few times when we were in line for autographs and you weren't there, people were like, "where is that tall girl? I wish she was here so we knew what the heck was going on."

As for letting people in early and theft issues, was there no spare IRT person who could have escorted us to the autograph session and watched us? And if necessary, that spare IRT person could also escort one or two people at a time to the bathroom while another stood at the head of the autograph line?

This post has been edited by SprinklePuff: 02 May 2012 - 08:35 AM

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#236 User is offline   madhattr999 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:38 AM

View PostATICE, on 01 May 2012 - 11:52 PM, said:

@madhattr999: The thing about the autographs though.. it shouldn't be a lottery thing. It's easy. Everyone gets 1 whole minute with the guest. Have your stuff signed, get a quick photo, thank the guest, and leave. How hard is this? I waited in line for 30 minutes at one point, and the line barely even moved once! Autographs should be limited to a minute and then an IRT member directs the person getting the autograph to the exit signs to get out of the backroom. THIS IS EASY AND EVERYONE SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET AN AUTOGRAPH THIS WAY. I'm not saying to rudely tell an attendee to leave, but there should be a sign saying "Each attendee is granted 1 minute with the guests". You have no idea how much time & energy this would save.



I was not truly suggesting a lottery/ticket system. I was suggesting that limiting the wait-time is a very poor way to handle logistics/procedure, and I'm glad that it was not enforced this year. People can say "i don't want to wait an hour for an autograph", but many more people ARE willing to wait that long, and they probably deserve an autograph more than people who will not wait.

I agree with the general spirit of what you're saying regarding time spent in contact with the guest. Attendees shouldn't take more than a minute of the guest's time (and from the lines I was in, most did not take more than a minute). But then you continued with "everyone should be able to get an autograph"... And that is simply not possible. There are THOUSANDS of people who want an autograph from a guest, and unfortunately, there are not THOUSANDS of minutes for each guest to provide autographs. Demand will never be met.

So ultimately, some attendees will receive autographs, and some will not. It is ACEN's policy that will influence (in varying degrees) who those attendees are. No policy can allow Chris Sabat (or whichever guest) to sign 2000 autographs in an hour. It's an impossibility.

In my opinion, the policy should be as follows:

1. x autographs guaranteed (between 50 and 100)

2. if the cap is met, no posed photos or voice clip requests

3. keep contact under 1 minute (no item limit as long as they stay under 1 minute in length)

4. no restrictions to when attendees can line up (and have a plan on how to deal with the lines.. this year's lines were handled exceptionally well)

This post has been edited by madhattr999: 02 May 2012 - 08:44 AM


#237 User is offline   SprinklePuff 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:44 AM

View Postmadhattr999, on 02 May 2012 - 08:38 AM, said:

I agree with the general spirit of what you're saying. Attendees shouldn't take more than a minute of the guest's time (and from the lines I was in, most did not take more than a minute). But then you continued with "everyone should be able to get an autograph"... And that is simply not possible. There are THOUSANDS of people who want an autograph from a guest, and unfortunately, there are not THOUSANDS of minutes for each guest to provide autographs. Demand will never be met.

So ultimately, some attendees will receive autographs, and some will not. It is ACEN's policy that will influence (in varying degrees) who those attendees are. No policy can allow Chris Sabat (or whichever guest) to sign 2000 autographs in an hour. It's an impossibility.


Perhaps if he had said, "everyone deserves a CHANCE to get an autograph," that would be better. So, a lottery system would blow because it's pure luck. Whereas a hand stamp system would be awesome.
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#238 User is offline   madhattr999 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:45 AM

View PostSprinklePuff, on 02 May 2012 - 08:44 AM, said:

Perhaps if he had said, "everyone deserves a CHANCE to get an autograph," that would be better. So, a lottery system would blow because it's pure luck. Whereas a hand stamp system would be awesome.


i appended stuff to my post.. please re-read :)

Also, I've never considered the hand-stamp system, and in particular, its ability to prevent loitering.. From what I read, it has potential, but I do not have any experience and do not know whether it would be effective. I agree it is something worth considering.

This post has been edited by madhattr999: 02 May 2012 - 08:46 AM


#239 User is offline   SprinklePuff 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:55 AM

View Postmadhattr999, on 02 May 2012 - 08:45 AM, said:

i appended stuff to my post.. please re-read :)

Also, I've never considered the hand-stamp system, and in particular, its ability to prevent loitering.. From what I read, it has potential, but I do not have any experience and do not know whether it would be effective. I agree it is something worth considering.


I do NOT think letting people start ligning up whenever they want is a good thing. It just encourages unecessary 4-5 hour waits because some fans are nuts. Also, like I said earlier, I think photos should always be allowed. They take MAYBE 20-30 seconds to do, and most fans look forward to having a photo with their favorite VAs. Whereas things like voice recordings and whatnot take much longer. That type of thing should be nixed ASAP. As should the 2 minute declarations of love.

As for this year's lines being handled well... I think we attended a different con. ROFL. All I heard were complaints, people were crying, no one had any idea what line was for who, why there was a so-called "general" line, etc. Worst autograph situation ever. Last year' Acen was much better, both with lines and the AMOUNT of guests in each room. I was able to easily get all my autographs in 1-2 days because each session had multiple VAs instead of just one.
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#240 User is offline   madhattr999 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:07 AM

View PostSprinklePuff, on 02 May 2012 - 08:55 AM, said:

I do NOT think letting people start ligning up whenever they want is a good thing. It just encourages unecessary 4-5 hour waits because some fans are nuts.


The problem with preventing people from lining up is that it does not solve the underlining issue. And that is that people are willing to wait that long, whether they are discouraged from doing so or not. They will just stand around at the closest dealer's booth to the autograph line until they are allowed to line up. Shooing people away is not effective. Personally, I won't wait any longer than an hour for any guest, and I choose not to get Vic's autograph, because I think other people who wait longer deserve it more.

View PostSprinklePuff, on 02 May 2012 - 08:55 AM, said:

Also, like I said earlier, I think photos should always be allowed. They take MAYBE 20-30 seconds to do, and most fans look forward to having a photo with their favorite VAs. Whereas things like voice recordings and whatnot take much longer. That type of thing should be nixed ASAP. As should the 2 minute declarations of love.


I think posed photos take longer than you would expect. But if they could realistically be done in 20-30 seconds, then I would concede the point. (And I agree about no voice recordings or other lengthy interactions).

View PostSprinklePuff, on 02 May 2012 - 08:55 AM, said:

As for this year's lines being handled well... I think we attended a different con. ROFL. All I heard were complaints, people were crying, no one had any idea what line was for who, why there was a so-called "general" line, etc. Worst autograph situation ever. Last year' Acen was much better, both with lines and the AMOUNT of guests in each room. I was able to easily get all my autographs in 1-2 days because each session had multiple VAs instead of just one.


I truly believe that in order to take feedback objectively, you need to separate the emotion that occurs from failing to receive an autograph, from the actual process of the autograph lines and how they were handled. The process of pulling out specific guest lines from the general autograph line was very streamlined in my opinion. And from what I saw (I lined up for 4-5 guests), the staff were generally educated as to what was going on, and so were the attendees. Each time someone came up and asked people around me, it only took a matter of seconds to explain to them why there was only one line, or why people were being moved to a new line.

I did recall one case where some people were turned away after being allowed in the session, and I agree that should generally be avoided (or at least, the attendee needs to be warned that that is a possibility).

Comparing autograph handling of the last 3 years, I would say that this year was the best. I think when you compare with previous years or other cons, you need to put aside the fact of how many autographs you personally were able to receive, because that isn't the point.

This post has been edited by madhattr999: 02 May 2012 - 09:08 AM


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