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How can we save acen?

#1 User is offline   eat_me_for_I_am_peeps 

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 04:13 PM

I've seen a lot of stuff that people have been complaining about, and I've been trying to look past it for the last few years, but this year I saw how bad acen has become. My apologize for being kind of brief and undescriptive, as I
'm on my kindle ans it's hard to type. I just wanted to post this now so I didn't have to put it off and never post it. I love this con more then any other, and I want it to be back to where my friends are excited to go, not have my friends start to dwindle off going and having myself have to blind myself to the obvious problems. Do you guys think there would be any way to start bringing acen back to its full luster?
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#2 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 04:46 PM

More communication and organization within the Anime central organization

This would avoid problems like registration, since many of the issues are due to lack of communication and the staff not knowing what to do/how to do it/doing it in general.

Also there was times when I didn't see IRT or staff at all when someone or myself needed them.

Hire extra staff

I know this is an issue but Acen is growing too big. Extra security would help with things such as the fire alarm as well as the soapbubble/hardcore. Also last minute call offs/cuts.

Extra security/charge a cover fee for soapbubble/hardcore

This would cover any damage costs plus it would help in case some people without badges or some people who only come for this sneaking in.
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#3 User is offline   eat_me_for_I_am_peeps 

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 06:23 PM

Good plan, and what about the lack of anime related things? Bring in more anime booths? Unfortunatly nothing canbe done about the lack of Anime cosplayers :P
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#4 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 11:03 PM

View Posteat_me_for_I_am_peeps, on 28 May 2012 - 06:23 PM, said:

Good plan, and what about the lack of anime related things? Bring in more anime booths? Unfortunatly nothing canbe done about the lack of Anime cosplayers :P


Most stuff are fads, such as Homestruck and MLP and they will pass eventually. The best thing to do? Cosplay more anime/video game stuff yourself and not go into the fads. See too much Naruto? Do something from Please save my Earth or EVOL.
ACen 2013 Cosplay:
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All the random avatars this time are from LJ and I don't own any of them. Some of the avatars are credit to aristocracy, Taku ♫ arthursandwich, noxjustxnoin, imperial-code, dojicons, narrante, dino-cookie, shiroyuki_kun, takerzmuse, and ushitora_icons at LJ. I DON'T OWN ANY OF THE ICONS.


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#5 User is offline   eat_me_for_I_am_peeps 

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 11:24 PM

I'm currently all over soul eater and legend og zelda lol but I am guilty of cosplaying mlp .:P
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#6 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 11:44 PM

View Posteat_me_for_I_am_peeps, on 28 May 2012 - 11:24 PM, said:

I'm currently all over soul eater and legend og zelda lol but I am guilty of cosplaying mlp .:P


Hahah and then you wonder why there is so many people cosplaying it! Like you may think you're original cosplaying Naruto and you see 10-20 narutos and people from team 7

Or if you must cosplay it, do something that hasn't been done before ever and do your research. Such as if you are doing Hetalia do America from one specific scene, like his April fools version or his chesspiece version or his King version, or America cosplaying as Russia. Don't do original America and then cry when you see tons of them.
ACen 2013 Cosplay:
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All the random avatars this time are from LJ and I don't own any of them. Some of the avatars are credit to aristocracy, Taku ♫ arthursandwich, noxjustxnoin, imperial-code, dojicons, narrante, dino-cookie, shiroyuki_kun, takerzmuse, and ushitora_icons at LJ. I DON'T OWN ANY OF THE ICONS.


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#7 User is offline   eat_me_for_I_am_peeps 

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 12:17 AM

Well the mlp one I did was also going to be my outfit for the rave (dj pon3) so I guess that is a lil different lol And I didn't even think about how out of swing it would be until I saw hundreds of mlp cosplays, then felt bad :/
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#8 User is offline   STVO 

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 07:43 AM

Personally I don't think ACen needs to be "Saved" as it's a damned good convention as is. Can it be improved? Sure! Here's a few ideas I have.

1. Have a better time system in place for panels. Honestly this year was a major example. Again, while people on this forum usually point the finger directly at the Soap Bubble for cancelling the Masquerade, let's face it, besides the person who pulled the alarm, the other panels running late also had a major effect. Again, Masquerade was supposed to start at 4, why were people still in line at 6? I know the Masquerade has started late in the past, but 2-3 hours is pushing it and I think this year is just a wake up call that they need to work on this aspect.

2. I maybe Biased but, more ACen held events geared towards 18+ or 21+. The Soap Bubble and Hardcore Synergy are fun but one problem is that you do mix kids and adults together which can create some bad situations in this environment. Sure there are room parties too but I figure by having some publicly held events, it would allow more people of these age groups to interact more.

3. The Crystal Ball: Great idea on paper but the execution could have been so much more. I think making it work more like a ball and maybe hiring a band to perform at the event would help it greatly.

4. Since people are complaining not enough "anime" panels, maybe some more people can volunteer their fandoms and make some panels at ACen.

That's all I have for now.
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#9 User is offline   rondo 

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 07:46 AM

View PostThe Fujoshi, on 28 May 2012 - 04:46 PM, said:

More communication and organization within the Anime central organization

This would avoid problems like registration, since many of the issues are due to lack of communication and the staff not knowing what to do/how to do it/doing it in general.

Also there was times when I didn't see IRT or staff at all when someone or myself needed them.


The neverending issue.

#10 User is offline   eat_me_for_I_am_peeps 

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 08:49 AM

View PostSTVO, on 29 May 2012 - 07:43 AM, said:

Personally I don't think ACen needs to be "Saved" as it's a damned good convention as is. Can it be improved? Sure! Here's a few ideas I have.

1. Have a better time system in place for panels. Honestly this year was a major example. Again, while people on this forum usually point the finger directly at the Soap Bubble for cancelling the Masquerade, let's face it, besides the person who pulled the alarm, the other panels running late also had a major effect. Again, Masquerade was supposed to start at 4, why were people still in line at 6? I know the Masquerade has started late in the past, but 2-3 hours is pushing it and I think this year is just a wake up call that they need to work on this aspect.

2. I maybe Biased but, more ACen held events geared towards 18+ or 21+. The Soap Bubble and Hardcore Synergy are fun but one problem is that you do mix kids and adults together which can create some bad situations in this environment. Sure there are room parties too but I figure by having some publicly held events, it would allow more people of these age groups to interact more.

3. The Crystal Ball: Great idea on paper but the execution could have been so much more. I think making it work more like a ball and maybe hiring a band to perform at the event would help it greatly.

4. Since people are complaining not enough "anime" panels, maybe some more people can volunteer their fandoms and make some panels at ACen.

That's all I have for now.


Improved I suppose would be a better word. I really think the soap bubble should be taken out, even though I love it so dearly, because it causes more trouble then it's worth. Although having an age requirement might help. And can they ever get the stuff started on time? I mean this year was ridiculous.
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#11 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 12:05 PM

You know I might be the only one that agree to this, but I think the dances should be ID'ed like bars/clubs do. Like it should be 21+ instead of 18+ due to the mindset of society.
ACen 2013 Cosplay:
Hero from SMT: DS2, Emmet/Kudari from Pokemon Black and White, Roppi Izaya from Durarara, Hitoshura human form from SMT.

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


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Posted 02 June 2012 - 02:16 PM

I have a plan.

I will share it in the forthcoming weeks :).
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Posted 02 June 2012 - 04:14 PM

View PostSTVO, on 29 May 2012 - 07:43 AM, said:

Personally I don't think ACen needs to be "Saved" as it's a damned good convention as is. Can it be improved? Sure! Here's a few ideas I have.


4. Since people are complaining not enough "anime" panels, maybe some more people can volunteer their fandoms and make some panels at ACen.

That's all I have for now.


We had around 240 panels, where about 13-20 were not anime/convention related. It's actually pretty decent in my opinion BUT we will be trying for more anime specific panels since a lot were anime genre's. We will be posting that as long as the outline is good most (if not all) anime specific panels will be accepted to encourage more applications. They were all accepted last year (2012), it's that we need more applicants who go for anime specific panels.
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Posted 02 June 2012 - 07:01 PM

Bring back two panels. Otaku big date, and youre favorite anime sucks.
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#15 User is offline   eat_me_for_I_am_peeps 

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 07:58 PM

View PostThe Fujoshi, on 02 June 2012 - 12:05 PM, said:

You know I might be the only one that agree to this, but I think the dances should be ID'ed like bars/clubs do. Like it should be 21+ instead of 18+ due to the mindset of society.

Love this idea, especially since I'm 18 now XD but no I say this is needed
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#16 User is offline   opimus.rm 

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 08:02 PM

[quote name='Isamu' timestamp='1338685315' post='1083385']
Bring back two panels. Otaku big date, and youre favorite anime sucks.
[/q
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#17 User is offline   Voxx 

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 02:42 PM

*More variety of guests (manga-ka, bigger musical guests, other voice actors besides the *ahem* usual).

*Have the Soap Bubble all ages one night and then clear it out and have the rave 18+ or 21+ right after with checking ID's. The other nights can be focused on other main programming events.

*Nix the Crystal Ball. It just doesn't seem worth it to try again and staff can focus on other events.

*More signage. In the beginning/middle/end of lines stating whether or not bags/purses are allowed as well as other information.

*Again with more signage. Maybe have a message board where staff can write information about changed schedules with panels and whatnot for those that do not have smartphones. There was that huge markerboard in the hyatt where people could write things. Maybe make something like that for staff only. (keep the markers away from the board)

*If possible, have a staff member at each photoshoot location so they can help groups that are not so organized. This will help when the group leader decides to bail, or other issues happen in the group like if a group doesn't leave in time for the next one. Have the staffer equipped with a schedule. Oh and a list of alternative locations. Make sure each outside location has a designated spot somewhere inside and include it in the programming guide.

Just some suggestions :)

We really don't need a ton of threads like this :zombie: lol

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#18 User is offline   Voltaire30 

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 04:11 PM

We had a lot more signage this year, compared to last year (and others combined). Unfortunately a lot of them were damaged at the event, which may be why they were not as visible (because the damaged signs were removed when they were broken beyond repair). :(


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Posted 03 June 2012 - 07:25 PM

View PostThe Fujoshi, on 02 June 2012 - 12:05 PM, said:

You know I might be the only one that agree to this, but I think the dances should be ID'ed like bars/clubs do. Like it should be 21+ instead of 18+ due to the mindset of society.


I agree with you on this. I also think adding a slight cover charge for the dances would benefit the convention, if not just extra income for things like more IRT, but it may make less.. desirable attendees steer clear.
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#20 User is offline   Voxx 

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 11:03 PM

View PostSarahlicious, on 03 June 2012 - 07:25 PM, said:

I agree with you on this. I also think adding a slight cover charge for the dances would benefit the convention, if not just extra income for things like more IRT, but it may make less.. desirable attendees steer clear.


I don't understand how having a cover charge would help. Let's say you go out to a club with a cover charge. Those that just want to be a nuisance still pay the same amount and attend, regardless of the cost. This cover charge will probably steer away regular ACen attendees and attract those that just want to go to the dances. I do agree that there should be one all ages dance and then a 18/21+ dance afterwards.
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#21 User is offline   Agatha 

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 11:59 PM

While I have no idea whether it would work in this particular instance, a cover charge can help - there are people who simply aren't willing to pay in order to make trouble.

As an example, I went to university in Madison. For many years we had extremely out-of-control crowds descend upon State St. on Halloween - not only Madison residents, but college students from other states who traveled to Madison simply for the purpose of being drunk and disorderly (and occasionally rioting! What fun!) In order to fix it, the city turned Halloween into an official event and decided to charge people money in order to be on State St. on Halloween. They also included some structured activities, though at least when I was in school the main reason for attending was still getting as drunk as possible. Even then, disorderly behavior has sharply declined. The first year of the new policy, a lot of the people I spoke to said they weren't going because paying $5 to riot was ridiculous.

Of course, there are differences - here, people are already paying money for an ACen badge, and I believe in Madison the cover charge went with an increased law enforcement presence. However, (and I'm *not* saying that it's the solution here; I definitely don't know enough about ACen's operations to figure that out!) I think if you make it so that people have to invest something more into an event it can help to weed out those who are just in it to cause problems - they aren't committed enough to troublemaking to pay extra for it, when they could do it anywhere else for free.

#22 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 12:58 AM

View PostVoxx, on 03 June 2012 - 11:03 PM, said:

I don't understand how having a cover charge would help. Let's say you go out to a club with a cover charge. Those that just want to be a nuisance still pay the same amount and attend, regardless of the cost. This cover charge will probably steer away regular ACen attendees and attract those that just want to go to the dances. I do agree that there should be one all ages dance and then a 18/21+ dance afterwards.


Paying to get into the dance/hardcore is a double edge sword. People naturally want things that are free and it's been established in other threads that:

-Overworked IRT/lack of help has made the dances under watched. It's really easy to just come from no where and go inside to cause trouble. Evidence? I used to know people who had no badges and go into the soapbubble/hardcore easily and reported that there was a lack of security. I am friends with them no longer.

It will steer away both the normal ACen attendances as well as the trouble makers and free loaders.

-Paying to get in would help avoid some of the underage drunks/druggies as well as the cheapskates.

-If you want something bad enough then pay for it.

I rather had just a 18+/21+/30+ dance period and people end up being ID'ed for both or one. It's already been established that a lot of under age people are causing the problems or people between the ages of 19-29. I heard this not only from people working ACen but also some ex friends as well. The staff con horror stories -shivers-

And no I don't sneak in or recommend sneaking into the soap bubble without a badge. I always had a badge every year I went to ACen, come rain or shine.
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All the random avatars this time are from LJ and I don't own any of them. Some of the avatars are credit to aristocracy, Taku ♫ arthursandwich, noxjustxnoin, imperial-code, dojicons, narrante, dino-cookie, shiroyuki_kun, takerzmuse, and ushitora_icons at LJ. I DON'T OWN ANY OF THE ICONS.


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#23 User is offline   Ohki 

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:32 AM

I really don't think anything needs to be done to the raves. Anime cons aren't going to have strictly anime programming. That's just how it is now. So long as the anime related programming is still the majority, which it is, it's fine IMO.

ACen really needs to do better re; getting guests, though, IMO. More Japanese guests, more big names, announce them sooner, etc. It's kind of embarrassing how poor our guest list has been lately given how big of a con we are.
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#24 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:29 AM

View PostOhki, on 04 June 2012 - 09:32 AM, said:

I really don't think anything needs to be done to the raves. Anime cons aren't going to have strictly anime programming. That's just how it is now. So long as the anime related programming is still the majority, which it is, it's fine IMO.

ACen really needs to do better re; getting guests, though, IMO. More Japanese guests, more big names, announce them sooner, etc. It's kind of embarrassing how poor our guest list has been lately given how big of a con we are.


I was thinking that the raves/dances are starting to become a major issue for long time veterans and newer people if they have to point them out and there are constant complaints about it in the threads about "saving ACen," "Fixing ACen," etc.

I try to stay bias and appeal to two sides but people either go the route that they don't find the dances/raves an issue because they go to said rave/dances and don't want to put it down/have blinders on, or they don't go to said rave/dance recently or dealt with any of the issues directly so why is it a problem to them as long as people are having fun?

So I've been trying to give out solutions that could help reduce the people who are making it bad for other people for the raves/dances and come up with solutions than "Keep the raves," or "Eliminate the raves/dances," or "Combine them both."

I stay away from them due to con horror stories:

a 17 year old girl was almost assaulted because she was drunk from the rave/dance and her friends laughed at her and walked off, leaving her to fend for herself with some guys. Someone from staff helped her out, even held her hair back.

The person who was in the bathroom with his face in the urinal might or may not have other things happen to him because of the nature of his pants.

Girls being carried off to rooms and it's "quite ok," because it's a convention and rape doesn't happen in conventions.

For the guests I don't mind because it's better than nothing or better than reactor. Comparing guests from one convention to the other is kind of silly, since you have to consider the fact that the other conventions may have sponsors or may be "pimped out," which is why they can afford such pricy guests. Also it's due to disorganization of Anime midwest that we have a lack of guests as well as powers beyond their control. There's a ton of it at the convention and a ton of it in general from what I seen over the years. Constant long lines with no major change was the big hint there. My assumption is that if you have a long time or line issues after two-three years wouldn't you have a system to crack such an issue, instead of making guessing or making it worse or doing nothing at all but make excuses?

I say if you want more guests, then sign up for that part and try to make it happen. Unless you work in that department, most of the complaining or output would be tongue in cheek or taken with a grain of salt, since it's up to the person doing that department to do the final say so. If they were hiring for this position I would try to apply for it.

This post has been edited by The Fujoshi: 04 June 2012 - 10:37 AM

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

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


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

#25 User is offline   eat_me_for_I_am_peeps 

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 12:33 PM

So glad this thread has become so productive! :D Personally I loved the Crystsl Ball (lost who I was ment to reply to due to the kindle's lil screen) but we definatly needed a bsnd or a different dj, DJ Scottaconda is great, but not exactly for a formal event.
This was just the main thing I really wanted to reply to lol since either I agree with what was stated above or what I was going to say has been said, so I'll wait lol but I feel if the CBwas fixed up a bit and definatly advertised more it might bring in more people to it
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#26 User is offline   hydrageon123 

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:25 PM

another thing i noticed is that there weren't that many evangelion cosplayers at ACen which is just shocking. i cosplayed as shinji in his school uniform which went well. this years ACen overall was amazing. i met travis willingham at his panel and got him to say the tiny mini skirt line. and met vic mignogna while i was trying to find the arcade again. both were very nice people. and since i have autism i was able to prove that i can be more mature and more open to meeting new people as well. instead of doing things to people they don't like at the con, i just act mature and nice ask if they are having fun cosplaying as that character. but there were somethings i kinda found kinda annoying. first off the dc photo shoot was way too long. i had to wait a very long time just for the evangelion photo shoot to start but it was totally worth it. secondly, next years ACen if the days for the convention are on school days like thursday. that means saturday will be a very short day making friday longer. skipping school just to go to ACen just isn't worth it. however, this year the first day of the con was on friday which is perfect. that means saturday is a long day and sunday is short. so yeah.
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#27 User is offline   hydrageon123 

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:30 PM

they should also make it so people that just go to ACen just for the soap bubble have to pay for the convention just to go it. and make the masqurade a prority. the masquarade is what makes an anime convention an anime convention. getting rid of it is like saying we don't like cosplaying or anime. the soap buuble should also be made for 18+ or 21+ only just so that one incedent that happened this year will never happen ever again or just get rid of it instead so the masquarde can go on like normal

This post has been edited by hydrageon123: 13 June 2012 - 02:31 PM

I like to be called by the name Fer. as in Feraligatr

#28 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 03:54 PM

ACen's days of the week that it falls on are always going to be Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. With early registration open on Thursday so people can avoid the line on friday and not miss convention events.
People who go to the dances such as Soap Bubble or Underground Groove do need to pay for a convention badge to enter the dance just like any other attendee :)
I will mention to our photo shoot staff that they should be enforcing the photo shoots scheduled time and not letting them run long into other time slots.

Thank you for the Crystal Ball feedback, we will be looking into a band for next year along with other suggested changes. If you would like to discuss your suggestions or ideas with a manager feel free to email us at CrystalBall@ACen.org.
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#29 User is offline   eat_me_for_I_am_peeps 

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:15 PM

Thank you for the Crystal Ball feedback, we will be looking into a band for next year along with other suggested changes. If you would like to discuss your suggestions or ideas with a manager feel free to email us at CrystalBall@ACen.org.
[/quote]


awesome! This means I might be able to convince my boyfriend to go again x3
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#30 User is offline   SargentJY 

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:18 PM

Many have posted constructive suggestions here, so I will only address one thing I don't find mentioned that many times but still crucial.

That's the International Guest.

To me, one of the major attraction of an anime con is always its international guests, especially those from Japan, the motherland of anime, since it is relatively difficult for us to meet them in real life comparing to Japanese local fans(Hell, we don't even have Akiba here). However, for two consecutive years already, the guests of ACen aren't really satisfactory, which makes me quite confused since the research I made indicates ACen used to have really decent Japanese guests with an enough degree of popularity and significance to the industry. (Yoko Ishida, Chiwa Saito, Ken Akamatsu, just listing a few) Last year I still find it acceptable since we still have FLOW. However, this year, other than Nabeshin, there isn't any really legit Japanese "anime" guest.(of which I don't include visual kai, martial art, war literature or fashion design. Not that I dislike them or look down on these categories, but they just aren't that related to anime to my perspective) I thought Mr.Hamauzu would be a great guest for this year due to his contribution to FF series, but somehow I never find his activity in the schedule, either he never shows up, or the program books doesn't do its work. The rest of the international guests...well, as I an anime fan, I just don't feel the connection there. What only make me frustrated even more is when I continuously hear about other cons' guests. I guess I don't need to mention Anime Expo, which never failed to surprise me with their guest list. But Sakura Con has Urobuchi(Script of Fate/Zero and Madoka) and Masakazu Morita(Ichigo of Bleach), and Otakon has Ai Nonaka(Kyouko of Madoka) and Aya Hirano(Haruhi Suzumiya). All these figures are closely related to the most recent anime trend and thus can almost be a great marketing mechanism for ACen. This might sound lame and cliche, but if other cons can, why can't ACen? As the biggest con of US Midwest, are we really that inferior that we can't invite at least one awesome Japanese guest that can just bring us gasp when hearing the announcement, not just feeling frustrated from hearing the news that other cons have better guests?

Of course, I know it is financially difficult to invite a popular Japanese anime figures, not for mentioning the language gap involved during communication. However, considering the size of Anime Central, I always had faith it can pull of such a thing, especially when they can do so in the past. I don't know what's the main reason, but if budget is really the issue, why not just focus on one or two international guest, but ensure their relevance and significance to the anime industry. In fact, few weeks ago, I got a Twitter reply from a Japanese seiyu, Asakawa Yu(Tsukimi of Ever17, Rider of FSN), who told me she would be willing to come to Chicago if there is an invitation. Perhaps it is just a polite response from her, but if even I can receive such a positive response from a Japanese seiyu and establish such connection, I feel it should be way more easier for ACen to do so.(She also speaks Enlgish quite well, so see? You guys can even save the money of hiring translator!)It is not my point to complain about the guests themselves, since I think they did their best for their respective professional areas, but as an anime fan, I feel there are more to be done, and I really feel it is not that hard to pull off. Of course, even though I am not sure how much can be done, but if you need assistance or a helping hand for this category, I personally am willing to do so.
"Now Anime(Visual Novel) may still classed as the niche market these days...but it got such variety...such potential that I am sure will make to the mainstream one day."-ThatDudeInTheSuede

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