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

#91 User is offline   solanis 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:33 AM

Complaints about other con-goers not being friendly enough to you? That is completely ridiculous. You aren't owed a friendly response from a stranger every time you approach one. I don't like being approached or touched by strangers, and that probably goes for most people at the con. Acen isn't meant to be your special place where inappropriate social behavior is acceptable, just for the weekend. There are tons of legit complaints here, but this one isn't among them.

For the most part, the problems with Acen can probably be summed up as: the con has been growing extremely quickly over the past 4-5 years, but the infrastructure and organization of the con for the most part hasn't kept up. You can't run a 20k+ convention like a 10k+ convention.

#92 User is offline   Sergenthalo 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:35 AM

So most things have already been said, but here are mine.

1. The TTG area was a disgrace. This thread discusses the schedule for the MTG events. None of it was followed, and after my final discussion with TTG event staff, they told me that the schedule was leaked and wasn't official. None of that was relayed to con goers and I feel it was a just a cop-out for their lack of effort. Rumor is that the person that run TTG years prior isn't there any more. They should get him back. One big reason that the MTG draft didn't happen was because the staff members couldn't get enough product. How is that possible? I could walk down to one of the LGSs and buy boxes of cards. This event is planned much ahead of time, you should be able to order enough cards. People use the defense of "well it's a free draft", well not really when I pay an entrance fee. Some people go to different panels or attend the dances. Those aren't "free" dances and panels, so why is an event that is advertised to guests considered "free".

2. The lines weren't coordinated. One example was that we stood in one line for the Oregon Trail panel which was being setup by a staff member. Then twenty minutes later a staff member comes up to us, asking what we were waiting for. He tells us that this isn't the Oregon Trail line and we had to all walk over to the new line and go to the back. We were all able to get in though.

3. There are too many children that aren't accompanied by an adult. ACen's policy includes a section about children. Anyone who is a minor should be with an adult. From the rules page - "or a means of location/communication" is not enough at an event with this many people. If I was a parent, I would never let my children go here without me. Any event that is past curfew, should check ID and badge. I saw too many underage people here late at night.

Here are my suggestions to the above problems:

1. This goes with mostly every aspect of the con, but the schedule should be the same between the Forum, Website, GuideBook app (which was really nice), and the handouts at the convention. Changes should be announced via the GuideBook App, a page on the ACen.org Website (could just be a Twitter feed), Twitter, and via information desk. Also all staffers should have some avenue of receiving this information (twitter?).

2. Instead of this "no line before 30 min rule" you should start scheduling the lines into the convention. You should also have at least one staff member running each line (more staff for the larger events). So say some screening of an anime starts at 10 PM. This information should also be available: Location, When the line starts, Seats Available.

3. Get rid of this "or a means of location/communication". ACen shouldn't be a daycare. Require that a parent or guardian be with any minor (even 15, 16, and 17 year olds). Bryn Mawr Ave was literally a car port for parents to drop their children off. This was happening all throughout the day and night. Attendees should have their badge and ID checked when entering the Hyatt or any other con areas. If a minor is without an adult, they should just be told tough crap and asked to leave the con area. It's too much of a responsibility and risk for ACen to be in charge of all these children. Have certain areas of the con designated as entrances and certain areas designated as exits, ID checks at the entrances. I don't know how many people actually staff ACen, but this has really become an issue and staff should be expanded utilized properly to enforce not only the local curfew, but also the rules of the convention. There is just too much crazy going on and hopefully having children supervised would help.

4. You should consider getting rid of Soap Bubble. It's literally just an excuse to have a ton of drunk people grope other people. If you are going to have Japanese bands and music artists, that's great. Maybe have seats and a small area for people to stand so it doesn't encourage rape in the middle of a crowd of people. I'm not a girl, I'm a 6'1" large man and even I think this is a problem. This "rave" mentality is not good for the con and it really encourages the poor behavior I've noticed getting more prevalent over the past few years.

5. Make it clear to cos players that their badges need to be visible at all times. It was pretty annoying having to wait for a crossdresser to dig through the ruffles of his dress to find a badge under the frills of his panties.

Otherwise, I appreciate the effort people put into organizing this, but I'll probably pass on ACen from now on. Thanks for the memories but after the fiasco that the TTG area was in regards to MTG, I'm done.
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#93 User is offline   madhattr999 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:52 AM

View PostNiroz51, on 30 April 2012 - 01:23 AM, said:

The line rule was totally NOT enforced whatsoever! Instead people started what they called a 'pre-line' at 4-something when we were 'allowed' to line up for the LM.C concert at 7:00. I talked to one women who told me about the rule and assured me it was being enforced this year. Already having heard about the inefficiency of lines I got anxious and checked the line to find it was already super long at 5:00. I went up to the IRT members to ask what the heck was going on (Including the women who initially reassured me of the line rule) and they advised me to disregard the 'pre-line' and that since it wasn't a real line at 7:59 (show got pushed back to 8)if I decided to just walk to the front of all of them to get into the actual line there was nothing they could do about it. This news got around fast and thus two lines formed on either side of the walkway. This resulted in death glares and such. However when it was time to officially line up IRT named Paladin went against what the other IRT members intended when people in the pre-line complained and without announcing it the line up, sneakily tried to lead it into the 'actual' line. Luckily my friend saw them whispering and we were quick on the draw.

Don't get me wrong, a part of guilty me felt super bad for being so cut-throat but this system kind of set the grounds for that. It doesn't solve the problem if anything it just creates tension between the people lining up. I know the people in the pre-line were waiting a long time but myself and all the others in the opposite line felt equally as wronged simply because we were doing what we were supposed to and in the end got screwed for following the rules because others disregarded them or they weren't enforced.


(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.)

This post has been edited by madhattr999: 30 April 2012 - 12:03 PM


#94 User is offline   JujuFox 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:58 AM

View PostEkqo, on 30 April 2012 - 11:20 AM, said:

I was in the Bandai booth and there were several IRT taking descriptions of someone (someone wearing something green?). I don't know what happened though, whether it was theft or not.

I know for a fact that they were looking for certain people because of a possible theft issue I had. Not based on badges though, but if someone else had reported a theft they may have been checking badges for that member.

Also, I had a lost minor come up to my booth and I told her to go to guest services since I couldn't leave and escort her myself. They may have been checking badges to find her parents, or find her.

There could have been a number of reasons to check badges going in and out, and it may be an inconvenience for you, but for someone else who is lost or separated or stealing it is a valid reason to check all the badges going in and out.
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#95 User is offline   madhattr999 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:01 PM

View PostDavenEvanXaviour, on 30 April 2012 - 11:58 AM, said:

I know for a fact that they were looking for certain people because of a possible theft issue I had. Not based on badges though, but if someone else had reported a theft they may have been checking badges for that member.

Also, I had a lost minor come up to my booth and I told her to go to guest services since I couldn't leave and escort her myself. They may have been checking badges to find her parents, or find her.

There could have been a number of reasons to check badges going in and out, and it may be an inconvenience for you, but for someone else who is lost or separated or stealing it is a valid reason to check all the badges going in and out.


The real reason might be to prevent badge sharing. Some groups might buy 2 badges for 5 people. A and B go in. A gives badge to B. B leaves with 2 badges. B gives A's badge to C. B and C go in. Repeat. Checking badges on the way out can catch this scheme.

This post has been edited by madhattr999: 30 April 2012 - 12:01 PM


#96 User is offline   Sarahlicious 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:03 PM

View Postsolanis, on 30 April 2012 - 11:33 AM, said:

Complaints about other con-goers not being friendly enough to you? That is completely ridiculous. You aren't owed a friendly response from a stranger every time you approach one. I don't like being approached or touched by strangers, and that probably goes for most people at the con. Acen isn't meant to be your special place where inappropriate social behavior is acceptable, just for the weekend.


Preach on. As I said in another thread, my husband has had 5 sugurys done on his back and had several people come up behind him and shove things into his back because his cosplay was Ezio from Assassins Creed. Its just so rude that people think they dont have to respect personal boundaries because its ACen. Not everyone enjoys random hugs/touching or conversation and they are entitled to that.
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#97 User is offline   Khaoticfolks 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:08 PM

As far as the badge checking, I was also told by a staffer (one I was surprised was a little more in the loop than others) they had counterfeiting issues.
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#98 User is offline   STVO 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:17 PM

For most part I was very pleased with ACen, but that doesn't mean it didn't have it's hiccups:

* The cap for Chris Sabat was sad. I've not read this whole thread yet, so maybe a reason has popped up and I'll edit my post later, but hearing only 50 people can do it was disappointing. I did meet Vic Mignona randomly in the hotel and I didn't have to wait Ina long line to meet him, so that makes up somewhat. Not sure what the hate for him is (he's stealing our womenz???) but he was a kind and down to earth dude!

* This and the next few complaints might be for the people running the panels themselves, but I will include them anyway. First one, I miss Midwest Karaoke Madness doing the Karaoke panels. I have absolutely nothing against the people who ran them this year and I'm sorry if I may offend, but this group's layout and line up was amazing (I didn't attend Sunday, can't judge their group.) I understand you guys want to stick to the true message of the convention (anime, video games, etc.) but in the end in MY PERSONAL OPINION these conventions while are about anime the true spirit of the con lays in the laughs, the friends, and the fun of the convention! Admittedly I was only at the karaoke briefly (only peaked my head in Friday, was briefly there Saturday looking at a song list) to me the environment didn't have the enthusiastic crowd it had last year. Whether the groups want to agree or not, I think they should offer the Best of Both Worlds (not the Hannah Montana song) by offering video game, anime, and popular American songs. I'm not a good singer and it may sound funny if I botch Japanese lyrics, but I personally prefer to be somewhat familiar with the song. If Midwest Karaoke won't return next year, I just make this request to whatever group who runs it next year should consider.

* While I had lots of fun at the Crystal Ball, maybe I'd suggest the DJ include more ball room music and work on his song list selection. Anytime me, my date, or anyone had a request he'd say "I don't have it" or "I'll have to look for it." Main reason I complain about the ball room music not being there is I went to the Waltz workshop, took a dance lesson in my town, and had some friend's teach me, I did it for the event! Lol. And to Bloo, if you're reading, how am I going to instruct the Urkel Dance WITHOUT THE SONG?!?' ;D

* I would like both the console and arcade rooms back together or at the very least in the same facility. I'd prefer Hyatt, but whatever hotel would be fine with me, just as long as the gaming is together. Perhaps I can suggest the Hyatt basement has 4 rooms together of the video game console room, the tabletop RPGs/board games room, BattleTech, and then arcade games, or some type of variation?

Other than this stuff, some IRT (not all) trying to act like Mr. Toughguys, and some disorganization of certain events, I had a wonderful, eventful, and pleasant time.
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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:17 PM

View Postsolanis, on 29 April 2012 - 11:55 PM, said:

The indie lolita fashion show was given a panel room that was WAY too small. The line for the show snaked all the way from the door down through the hall and to the escalators. Literally hundreds of people were turned away because the panel room was so small. Next year, the show needs a MUCH bigger room!


A billion times THIS^

I felt so bad that there were so many people that wanted to attend but with such a small room we had to send away a lot of people. Next year please accommodate the show with a much larger room. As a model in the show it felt like there were cameras and people right on top of us. @__@ But a HUGE thanks to the IRT guy who helped us with 'backstage' issues. You were a hero, sir. Thanks so much! Even with 30 min to get done with an hour panel, we rocked that out. We had to skip Q&A because of this and of course the fire alarm.

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:19 PM

View PostSarahlicious, on 30 April 2012 - 12:03 PM, said:

Preach on. As I said in another thread, my husband has had 5 sugurys done on his back and had several people come up behind him and shove things into his back because his cosplay was Ezio from Assassins Creed. Its just so rude that people think they dont have to respect personal boundaries because its ACen. Not everyone enjoys random hugs/touching or conversation and they are entitled to that.

I am so sorry. Last year my boyfriend crashed his motorcycle a few days before C2E2 and he was in no shape to go, but he went for me. He had to walk very slowly because his body was stiff. He does regret not getting a weelchair. Anyways, people were so rude and kept bumping into him and not even trying to walk around or avoid hitting us. I always make an effort to go around so I don't bump into people, even when I'm in a rush, because it's rude.
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#101 User is offline   A True Elsewhere 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:26 PM

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 30 April 2012 - 10:58 AM, said:

Some suggestions to help out the issues.

1. Lines: this gets a section onto itself. Lets's break them down by sections.

  • Popular Event Lines: to start with for popular events (Concerts, panels that will get a lot of people, etc) I think a hand stamp policy is in order. What is a hand stamp policy you may ask, well it's quite simple. Four IRT or Staff members stand where the enterence to the line starts, here they have a stamp that has a number on it, and the stamps can change, (if not a number then an animal. People that come up to form a line get their hands stamped and then they have to leave. No loitering or you get an ex in marker on your hand that means you can not get in the event, period. It's simple and effiencet. You'll have less people lining up to early because they know that they can go to the front because of the stamps. You let people know when they come over, for example: Dog stamp is first in line, or row one. Cat stamp is section two, bird is section three, and so on. No arguing or anything.

  • Panel Lines: I like the idea of a taped off section for panels, and rope it off. tie a string around a small stand, or two chairs, and people have to line up single file. The arrow says which way you can come in, then, like at rides, you have the staffer, direct the people out, and escort the people in. Again simple and easy to teach.

  • Rave Lines: You want people to hug the wall, quickest way to do this...set up a paramiter. again, rope off area outside. Single file, and have a megaphone, also maybe it's time to change where the raves are being held. Rather then in the grand ball room at the Hyatt, how about the larger ball room at the hilton? I think that's bigger then the one there and also might make the linesn easier to control?

  • Registration lines: Again tape off, and make people in single file or use the stamp policy as above. Maybe have an app for people that only buy single badges where they can fill it out before they get in line and then fast track them?

  • All other lines: Break the Autograph lines into parts. Again this is where the Stamps come in. Group one, group two, etc, this way people can line up. or move the autographs away from the dealers room and to another place where control can be done. Don't have a cap, but rather again use the stamps. First fifty people get to come to session one, second group get in session two.


All of these are excellent suggestions. I'm thinking I'll print this off, save it, and read it aloud at an Anime Milwaukee staff meeting. Do I have your permission, DarkSpellmaster?



Quote

For IRT best way is to give them a drilling sitiuation, and based on their reaction to very harsh things, see where their frustration level is, based on that, then you can figure out where to place the person. Tell them not to joke, make it very clear that they are there to serve the customers, and that under no circumstances can they make jokes that can be seen as threatening or offensive. Reward those who do good, and those that do not, then set up a system where they need to make up for their behavior.


This is what I was talking about when I mentioned "customer service classes." These classes would involve these sorts of exercises and other teachings. I am willing to help Acen with this - I have to train a MUCH SMALLER staff of 25 people or so for the Hoshi no Yume Maid Cafe, but at least I have experience? xD

Quote

Cosplay, maybe if the brand is popular, it's time to actually you know, split up the shoot. More then one My little pony with smaller groups. Also again heads must learn to control the people there. What I'm going to do with mine is that if you want in on the shoot, you have to sign up and read some rules, such as, "If you harrass anyone before, during or after the shoot, you are no longer welcome at the shoot." Etc.

In regards to litter, do what disney does. They looked into how far someone is willing to carry trash. Test it out maybe a week before or more then a week before and set up trashbins around for people to throw out. Also helps to have it where guests can report to someone about the garbage on tables.


Excellent ideas. Thank you, DarkSpellmaster!
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#102 User is offline   mentokjebus 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:28 PM

The Crystal Ball was a joke. That was less a formal ball and more a mini rave. The music was techno/dubstep/top 40.

I emailed them, "Would school uniforms that have blazers and slacks (Ouran HS, Clannad, Melancholy etc) be acceptable in the ball?"

They responded, "As to your attire question, I do have to inform you that school uniforms are not considered as acceptable formal attire for the dance."

Yet there were loads of school outfits allowed in. That could have been me dammit lol!

They should not charge money for that event, especially if they don't at least cater it.

If Acen organizers want to see how a cosplay ball is done right, they should check out Anime Weekend Atlanta's formal ball.

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:43 PM

Just wondering, is there a room as big as the Hyatt Grand Ballroom that we can move the soap bubble or masquerade to? I mean since both events are the 2 biggest out of the con and with many years of time scheduling conflicts, I thought perhaps if masquerade is running late, soap bubble can start already in another location without having to wait for the masquerade to clear out.
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#104 User is offline   brandysaur 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:46 PM

View Postmentokjebus, on 30 April 2012 - 12:28 PM, said:

The Crystal Ball was a joke. That was less a formal ball and more a mini rave. The music was techno/dubstep/top 40.
...

They should not charge money for that event, especially if they don't at least cater it.

If Acen organizers want to see how a cosplay ball is done right, they should check out Anime Weekend Atlanta's formal ball.


This a million times. The event was a joke and poorly run. It should have been free.
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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:55 PM

View PostA True Elsewhere, on 30 April 2012 - 10:06 AM, said:

The panel lines, and the mess-up with the LM.C/Eyeshine concerts. Really? Really? You didn't know about the stage setup beforehand? Couldn't you have gone over this in the morning at LEAST? Better communication between guests and Acen staff please. That being said, if there is indeed good communication between Acen guest relations staff and guests (as I'm sure there is) please, please, PLEASE COMMUNICATE EFFICIENTLY WITH OTHER ACEN STAFF IN PROPER FORMAT. The delayed stage set-up and therefore miscommunication with the Eyeshine/LM.C concerts was, in short, RIDICULOUS. I'm sure this opinion is shared by many congoers.

I'd just like to say there was NO time in the morning for going over setup. Friday Sixh models had the stage from 7:30am until around 1pm. And Saturday Hangry&Angry and Angelic Pretty had to share the stage from 7am until 2pm. As a model for H&A, I can say that trying to get ready and practice while having to share the stage was hell. Our prep time was cut short by the AP band practicing -_- But I agree that it would have been nice if they could have gone over those things earlier in the week, though that might not have been possible with the guests schedules.
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#106 User is offline   STVO 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:59 PM

View Postbrandysaur, on 30 April 2012 - 12:46 PM, said:

This a million times. The event was a joke and poorly run. It should have been free.



While I had fun, I do agree. Nothing particular justified the price as Hardcore Synergy and Soap Bubble are free events too. Sure we got a gift bag (it's ok I suppose but I'm not using any of the items, lol). According to a friend who went to this event a couple of years ago said they had a violin player?

The reasons I had fun I suppose was they let me dress as TwoFace, I was with an awesome group, and it was more fun than my prom was, lol.
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#107 User is offline   Krystal 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 01:00 PM

View PostLina, on 29 April 2012 - 10:17 PM, said:

Another gripe I had was IRT checking badges when LEAVING the Exhibit Hall. Why the heck did they need to check our badges when leaving? We had them when we came in, we are more than likely to have them when we leave. All it did was cause congestion.



I was staring to faint because I was wearing a six pound wig, and my boyfriend was carrying me out of the dealers room to get some water and lie down. Our badges were tucked away at the bottom of our bag because people kept asking us to remove them for pictures.

We were not allowed to leave the exhibit hall until he got the badges, while in the meantime I basically crupled to the floor in the wing of the Expoteria. I'm glad to know that IRT members are so compassionate.
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#108 User is offline   Catwho 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 01:19 PM

Here's my Pros and Cons:

I was doing my FF MMORPG panel in the Doubletree when the fire alarm incident happened in the Hyatt. I didn't even find out about it until afterward when we were eating dinner at the Doubletree's restaurant and learned about the incident from fellow diners. So, there's an advantage to spreading out big events from hotels other than the Hyatt and ACEN might do well to considering utilizing the other hotels for big events that butt up against each other. Keep the Main Programming events at the Hyatt, but put the dances and other stuff in other hotels. That way, if the Masquerade has to run long, it won't ruin the other things.

I had no problems picking up my panelist badge on Friday morning, but my co-panelist reported major issues. So whatever it was got resolved within an hour of it happening, but really, after all these years, panelist badges shouldn't cause any problems, even minor ones.

Lost and Found: Pick one place and stick with it. A friend lost her cell phone on Friday night and went on an epic quest on Saturday to determine where Lost and Found had moved to. She eventually got her phone back, but it took four hours of wandering around between various places...

Panels too late: I was a pinch hitter for How Not To Write a Lemon, but because the panel was scheduled for 12:45 AM on Friday, we had much lower attendance than previous years. I think that the latest any panel (that isn't a rave/dance/concert) should be scheduled is 11:30 PM, even the "adult content" ones. By 2AM the panelists were dead tired and very silly.

Another Pro: We managed to fill up all but 15 minutes of our marathon 3 hour FF MMORPG panel. Our staff/volunteer guy (don't know his name) was very polite and helpful, and when we were taking our break asked us how things were going. I want to give a big +1 to that dude as he took care of us :) I wish all the panel volunteers were that nice and helpful!

This post has been edited by Catwho: 30 April 2012 - 02:59 PM

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#109 User is offline   Outsane! 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 01:37 PM

I love ACen. It's a special place in my heart. I go to one real con a year, and this is the one I always prefer. I had such a great time and met so many wonderful people that I made a lot of friends. I don't want to sound like a Negative Nancy or anything, but most of my problems came from IRT this year. My roommate was a staffer for IRT and even she was not impressed with the performance this year.

The main issue I had was regarding the weapons policy. My boyfriend had to get his gun checked because even though it was clearly a toy (it lit up and made sound effects and about three inches of orange tip on the barrel) we still wanted to ensure he could carry it around. A stormtrooper with a spear adorned with Ewok heads was in front of us. It was a few inches taller than he, and according to IRT code, weapons cannot be taller than the carrier unless it can be dismantled. The person at the IRT desk said, "Well, technically it's taller than you, but I'll give you a break this time." But when it was our turn to step up, they didn't hesitate to immediately tell my boyfriend that he had to take it back to our room. They didn't even give him a reason until we asked, just shooed us away to make room for others. They were blatantly rude and dismissive. We wanted to know what we could do to fix it, but they wouldn't listen until we pressed.

They told us it either had to be clear (which even then that was a controversy amongst some IRT members, according to a number of people whom I spoke to) or painted a ridiculous color.

Anyone can paint a real gun a ridiculous color - just because it's bright orange doesn't mean it's fake.

What got me angrier more than anything was that later that day, we saw people walking around the con with the exact same model and type of gun that my boyfriend was told to leave in the room. They were walking around the convention center and the Hyatt. The inconsistency was ridiculous. We returned later that day and it was approved immediately. The person at the weapons check desk was confused as to why it was banned in the first place and my boyfriend was allowed to carry it around for the rest of the con - no one else bugged him about it, not even the police officers. They are trained professionals, they know what a gun looks like.

I'm just baffled by the lack of communication within the ranks of IRT in cases such as what is acceptable and what is not. One person says it's fine, another person cuts off the tag and tells you to take it back. I just wish that no one made exceptions and that it was always consistent.

Also, I wish that the communication after the fire drill was made more apparent. For example, I had no idea what was going to happen to the panels that got interrupted. Where they canceled or was everything going to be pushed back? I loved the organization and calmness of the situation, but the aftermath was a little confusing. A number of staff members that I asked had no idea either, so maybe address that.
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#110 User is offline   Catmato 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:10 PM

I dressed as a character from Katawa Shoujo, and was looking for a cosplay meetup for it. Since it's still fairly new (and arguably unrelated) there was no meetup for KS specifically, but after a search of the forums, I discovered it was being lumped in the the H-Anime/Games shoot. I don't really understand why it was combined with that shoot.

On Saturday night, the Madoka cosplay shoot in the dome ran over its time limit (11:00pm - 11:30pm). The H-Anime/Game shoot that was supposed to be after it (11:30pm - 12:00am) simply never happened. When the Madoka crowd cleared out around 11:40, there was no apparent staff member to try to organize anything like the other shoots I saw. After everyone milling about for a while, the Catherine/Persona shoot eventually started a few minutes early. I only met one other cosplayer there from KS who also had to search the forums to determine when the meetup was supposed to happen.

I guess I'm just asking for a little more transparency on "grouped" events like this, and to stick to the provided schedules.

#111 User is offline   Oyuki 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:13 PM

An IRT missed our floor twice but that annoyed my friend more and made me giggle inside. Had we gotten off on our floor at the proper time though, other people would have been able to take their turn on the elevator. Not that big of a deal, there wasn't a huge queue for the Hyatt elevators at the time anyway.

The couple I'm friends with were told it that a panel full after the people in front of them were let in. They saw people leave that panel's room and still weren't let in. How does that work?

This post has been edited by Oyuki: 30 April 2012 - 02:15 PM

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#112 User is offline   montoya 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:14 PM

This is my 4th ACen and my 2nd one attending panels (so please, feel free to correct me if I get something wrong on the basis of my inexperience). I felt the panel programming was just atrocious and inconsistent. I recall my friends and I going to go attend the Academy of Horror panels and being told by the staff member sitting at the door that "both panels have been canceled" and that "it was only updated on the App".

Please, please, please don't assume everyone owns a Smartphone. And even if the creation of the App was to make programming smoother, it seemed just catastrophic.

The lines were also awful. I remember lining up for the Madoka panel and...no one knew which line was which. And there were some people just sorta sitting around doing nothing? I think it needs to be enforced that public hotel spaces are not a location for you and your friends to sit around. Seriously.

I also noticed the absurd amount of drunk people. Let me just clear one thing up. I don't mind if you're drunk at ACen. Some of us are adults, we're allowed to do so. But if you know you can't handle yourself in a respectful manner than maybe it's a good idea to not drink. If you know you vomit a lot, stay in your room so you have a place to vomit. If you know you pass out, stay in your room so you won't pass out in the streets. This has been reiterated tons and tons of times by other people in this thread but the party atmosphere needs to be toned down. There needs to be a culture of respect created at ACen. Stop touching people without their permission, don't trash hotel rooms, don't throw wild parties in a hotel hallway---these are basic behavioral standards, I think we can do this.

This isn't quite a gripe so much as an interesting observation, but did anyone else notice an increase of vendors charging tax?
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#113 User is offline   madhattr999 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:14 PM

View PostCatmato, on 30 April 2012 - 02:10 PM, said:

I dressed as a character from Katawa Shoujo, and was looking for a cosplay meetup for it. Since it's still fairly new (and arguably unrelated) there was no meetup for KS specifically, but after a search of the forums, I discovered it was being lumped in the the H-Anime/Games shoot. I don't really understand why it was combined with that shoot.

On Saturday night, the Madoka cosplay shoot in the dome ran over its time limit (11:00pm - 11:30pm). The H-Anime/Game shoot that was supposed to be after it (11:30pm - 12:00am) simply never happened. When the Madoka crowd cleared out around 11:40, there was no apparent staff member to try to organize anything like the other shoots I saw. After everyone milling about for a while, the Catherine/Persona shoot eventually started a few minutes early. I only met one other cosplayer there from KS who also had to search the forums to determine when the meetup was supposed to happen.

I guess I'm just asking for a little more transparency on "grouped" events like this, and to stick to the provided schedules.


Photoshoots aren't staffed. They are generally run by someone in the photoshoot. Though, it would be nice if the long-running photoshoots moved off to the side for the next photoshoot to congregate. The same thing happened for Haruhi Suzumiya shoot because the Black Butler shoot went over by 10-15 minutes.

This post has been edited by madhattr999: 30 April 2012 - 02:15 PM


#114 User is offline   Oyuki 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:20 PM

View Postmontoya, on 30 April 2012 - 02:14 PM, said:



Please, please, please don't assume everyone owns a Smartphone. And even if the creation of the App was to make programming smoother, it seemed just catastrophic.



I had an iTouch on me and it was a pretty cool app to have. But without wi-fi, I wouldn't know about any of the changes. I don't think there should have been any changes anyway except photo gatherings because of weather and the panels that took place during/around the time of the fire alarm.

The app was a cool idea, but there are people like myself who don't care for smartphones because data plans seem unnecessary. It shouldn't have been a voucher for scheduling leniency.
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#115 User is offline   Chiitect88 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:25 PM

View PostOutsane!, on 30 April 2012 - 01:37 PM, said:

I love ACen. It's a special place in my heart. I go to one real con a year, and this is the one I always prefer. I had such a great time and met so many wonderful people that I made a lot of friends. I don't want to sound like a Negative Nancy or anything, but most of my problems came from IRT this year. My roommate was a staffer for IRT and even she was not impressed with the performance this year.

The main issue I had was regarding the weapons policy. My boyfriend had to get his gun checked because even though it was clearly a toy (it lit up and made sound effects and about three inches of orange tip on the barrel) we still wanted to ensure he could carry it around. A stormtrooper with a spear adorned with Ewok heads was in front of us. It was a few inches taller than he, and according to IRT code, weapons cannot be taller than the carrier unless it can be dismantled. The person at the IRT desk said, "Well, technically it's taller than you, but I'll give you a break this time." But when it was our turn to step up, they didn't hesitate to immediately tell my boyfriend that he had to take it back to our room. They didn't even give him a reason until we asked, just shooed us away to make room for others. They were blatantly rude and dismissive. We wanted to know what we could do to fix it, but they wouldn't listen until we pressed.

They told us it either had to be clear (which even then that was a controversy amongst some IRT members, according to a number of people whom I spoke to) or painted a ridiculous color.

Anyone can paint a real gun a ridiculous color - just because it's bright orange doesn't mean it's fake.

What got me angrier more than anything was that later that day, we saw people walking around the con with the exact same model and type of gun that my boyfriend was told to leave in the room. They were walking around the convention center and the Hyatt. The inconsistency was ridiculous. We returned later that day and it was approved immediately. The person at the weapons check desk was confused as to why it was banned in the first place and my boyfriend was allowed to carry it around for the rest of the con - no one else bugged him about it, not even the police officers. They are trained professionals, they know what a gun looks like.

I'm just baffled by the lack of communication within the ranks of IRT in cases such as what is acceptable and what is not. One person says it's fine, another person cuts off the tag and tells you to take it back. I just wish that no one made exceptions and that it was always consistent.

Also, I wish that the communication after the fire drill was made more apparent. For example, I had no idea what was going to happen to the panels that got interrupted. Where they canceled or was everything going to be pushed back? I loved the organization and calmness of the situation, but the aftermath was a little confusing. A number of staff members that I asked had no idea either, so maybe address that.


Outsane!

I was one of the many IRT members patrolling the Hyatt both this year and last year. I'm sorry you encountered other con-goers with the same prop as you ,however, I must ask did they have a marker on the prop signifying Prop Check cleared the prop? If not then IRT may not have seen and/or noticed the prop when they passed by. Please help us out and inform them that they should seek out prop check! =D

To save yourself from future inconvenience please make sure you actually read the entire text of the ACen rules posted on the main page under the policy drop-down.

It is stated there, that a gun prop is NOT ALLOWED if it...

Is a real firearm, or realistic replica firearm.
~ 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.)

Is fire-able. Fireable missiles/projectiles may not be carried on your person. Projectile firing toys must be unloaded. Bows and crossbows must be unstrung or strung with loose material like yarn.
Has a laser dot/laser pointer.

Please keep in mind that these rules are more strict compared to past years because they are dictated by the ROSEMONT PD.

RPD will most likely allow you to walk past with them because they rely on IRT to police the convention props.

Statements such as "The police let me walk past" or "It has an orange tip" are not a guarantee that your gun prop will be cleared.
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#116 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:37 PM

View Postmadhattr999, on 30 April 2012 - 02:14 PM, said:

Photoshoots aren't staffed. They are generally run by someone in the photoshoot. Though, it would be nice if the long-running photoshoots moved off to the side for the next photoshoot to congregate. The same thing happened for Haruhi Suzumiya shoot because the Black Butler shoot went over by 10-15 minutes.


I think they should have like a 10-15 minute break in between the photoshoots just in case there are photoshoots that go over.
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View PostFoolish Humon, on 13 June 2010 - 07:19 PM, said:

Ladies ladies ladies, if you find a man whose only concern about a woman is her breast size, he just may be dumb enough to believe you if you say you have Ds when you have Bs. :thumbup:

#117 User is offline   Perfumer Ko 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:52 PM

View PostCatmato, on 30 April 2012 - 02:10 PM, said:

I dressed as a character from Katawa Shoujo, and was looking for a cosplay meetup for it. Since it's still fairly new (and arguably unrelated) there was no meetup for KS specifically, but after a search of the forums, I discovered it was being lumped in the the H-Anime/Games shoot. I don't really understand why it was combined with that shoot.



You know it is an H-game right? :P

#118 User is offline   CurseOfTheLeek 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:11 PM

I would really like for IRT to start educating cosplayers on how to safely carry their props. Carrying a sword or similar prop (or wearing 12" Homestuck horns that jut out of your temple at a 90 degree angle) is unsafe. I had to duck too many times to avoid being hit in the head by somebody's prop. At one point I had to physically block somebody's prop from hitting me in the face, and THEY were upset that I touched it.
This should be a rule listed in the ACen policies. Furthermore, IRT should stop cosplayers they see doing this and show them how to hold their prop in front of them, parallel to their body if possible. I know there's a rule for cosplay extending 6" from the body, but this rule should apply to props while a person is walking around (i.e., when you've removed yourself from the flow of traffic, and are posing for a photo, you are more than welcome to extend your 4' sword 3' from your body).
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#119 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:25 PM

View PostCurseOfTheLeek, on 30 April 2012 - 03:11 PM, said:

I would really like for IRT to start educating cosplayers on how to safely carry their props. Carrying a sword or similar prop (or wearing 12" Homestuck horns that jut out of your temple at a 90 degree angle) is unsafe. I had to duck too many times to avoid being hit in the head by somebody's prop. At one point I had to physically block somebody's prop from hitting me in the face, and THEY were upset that I touched it.
This should be a rule listed in the ACen policies. Furthermore, IRT should stop cosplayers they see doing this and show them how to hold their prop in front of them, parallel to their body if possible. I know there's a rule for cosplay extending 6" from the body, but this rule should apply to props while a person is walking around (i.e., when you've removed yourself from the flow of traffic, and are posing for a photo, you are more than welcome to extend your 4' sword 3' from your body).

I agree with this. I was standing in line behind a cosplayer with a guiter on their back and I was hit in the head with the neck of the guitar when he moved. I kept having to move out of the way because of it. Eventually I just sat down. I should have said something, but oh well. I didn't get hurt.
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View PostFoolish Humon, on 13 June 2010 - 07:19 PM, said:

Ladies ladies ladies, if you find a man whose only concern about a woman is her breast size, he just may be dumb enough to believe you if you say you have Ds when you have Bs. :thumbup:

#120 User is offline   JediNight 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:28 PM

View PostVoxx, on 30 April 2012 - 12:17 PM, said:

A billion times THIS^

I felt so bad that there were so many people that wanted to attend but with such a small room we had to send away a lot of people. Next year please accommodate the show with a much larger room. As a model in the show it felt like there were cameras and people right on top of us. @__@ But a HUGE thanks to the IRT guy who helped us with 'backstage' issues. You were a hero, sir. Thanks so much! Even with 30 min to get done with an hour panel, we rocked that out. We had to skip Q&A because of this and of course the fire alarm.



We do our best to meet the varying needs of panelists when creating the schedule. Sometimes events end up being more popular than expected, or scheduling conflicts arise, etc. Room placement was also based on the application's stated attendance, but I think some panelists didn't understand what was being asked exactly. So for next year we'll be reviewing the panel application to improve clarity.

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