Posted 17 May 2013 - 05:15 PM
Hey, Luna. Thanks for the feedback. We're somewhat compressed on space due to wedding, prom, power convention and so forth going on in our area this year. Feedback honestly taken and we will do better for you next year. Sorry it's so cramped in there!
Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:19 PM
Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:38 PM
Posted 18 May 2013 - 12:54 AM
Acen 2014: 50s Sailor Mercury, Agent Simmons from S.H.I.E.L.D., Kim Possible, Ghostbuster, frazzled DH
Youmacon 2014: (tentative) Captain Marvelous, Agent Simmons?, Ace from Doctor Who?
Chicago TARDIS 2014: (tentative) Fourth Doctor, Ace
Member of Team GEEK for the Norridge/Harwood Heights Relay for Life! Please join us or donate!
Ninja on the Glomp Team! Member of the Crossplay Alliance! / My blog / My pictures! (Flickr)
Resident Ghostbusters, Doctor Who, Firefly, Quantum Leap, Transformers, Harry Potter, Highlander, Girl Genius, Super Sentai and Nerima Daikon Brothers obsessor!
Posted 18 May 2013 - 08:59 PM
Posted 19 May 2013 - 01:46 PM
kalafina : I was pretty happy that ACen finally had a guest large enough to use the Rosemont theatre. My husband was pretty happy because it was one of his favorite bands. we didn't know if we were going until kinda later on so we did not buy tickets ahead of time. Which actually turned out just peachy, I bought decent seats at 5pm on Friday. No line to purchase and the box office ladies were awesome. So I look at my seats and realize we are kinda close for this late on. Whatever. I'm happy. We go take our seats and think "maybe people are just running kinda late?". It was only about 40-60% full. I know it is kind of a confusing system but perhaps either allowing non con goers to purchase tickets for a higher price or selling the backest of back rows for low prices would have filled the place. I felt kinda sad that it was kinda empty. But still, Kalafina gave it their all and it was a great show.
Dances I know there's a select few on the forums that want Anime Hell back in main programming on friday nights and I have to agree. Everytime I passed the hardcore after opening it looked pretty empty. The Bubble line was insane. Usually by 1-2 the wait is 0-20 minutes . By the time we left the Hyatt the line was still wrapped around the building. Which leads me into....
More Adult Entertainment almost every 18+ panel was jam packed on saturday night. I know the number of panels was greatly increased this year but if we have the room for them, having more to chose from late at night will thin out more lines
Attendees I will say the property damage did not seem as bad this year. But there will still flowers trampled to death and large stones that had clearly been shoved into River Road or smashed on the sidewalk. I was very happy that the Hyatt's front door was kept smoke free but the new smoking area was kind of crazy. Far too many people, some of which were clearly giving the poor hyatt employees that were working out there a hard time. Come on , don't be that guy.
Posted 19 May 2013 - 02:22 PM
- The constant lines for the dealers room were ridiculous. I don't know if it's because there was only 2 doors open and IRT was cracking down on badges or what, but the area outside of the dealers felt so congested. Just what happened and why was there such a need for the lines?
- having gatherings just for the sake of gatherings was confusing. People would get to them and no one would be running them. So then it'd take another 5-10 minutes to get everything organized and someone would have to step up. I think that next time only people that put in a request for a time should be given a time.
-This isn't really ACen's fault per se, but the partying this year/hotel noise level was terrible and the fact that everyone thinks "oh just 5 ambulances were called? That's not too bad" is wrong. Guys, come on man. You aren't in cancun. You're at an anime convention.
There was also an influx of kids and family this year so seeing people get so smashed at 9pm and causing trouble for everyone else just pissed me off. I can't wait for prices to raise. ugh.
Other than that it was probably my best year for a purely ACen experience without guests or events. Great job for the staff and IRT for keeping things relatively smooth at the con.
Donald Duck - [Thursday]
Elf - Dragon's Crown [Friday]
Agnès Oblige!Freelancer - Bravely Default [Saturday]
Posted 19 May 2013 - 02:43 PM
Also, Saturday night in the Hyatt and people throwing paper planes off the upper balconies. That got really annoying.
Fri/Sat/Sun: Oerba Yun Fang
Percentage done: 0%
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" Adam Savage (Mythbusters)
Posted 19 May 2013 - 04:03 PM
I noticed a lot more kids and families this year which was really cool but I also saw (as usual) a bunch of underage drinking.
Would it be possible to get more Rosemont/Cook County police officers to patrol the hotel areas to help cut down on the underage drinking/excessive noise/other illegalities? I'm not talking about hotel rooms, but in hallways where I saw a lot of underage public intoxication.
Unrelated to any alcohol consumption: I knew a lot of people who had no idea where the water was this year, since they were usually down in the basement of the Hyatt. A few of my friends went into random panels, got water, then walked out because they didn't know where else to find it even asking a few IRT members where it was. I think it'd be a good suggestion to post where water is available in the guidebook/a sign/etc so people can find it.
This post has been edited by xSaria: 19 May 2013 - 04:06 PM
Posted 19 May 2013 - 05:04 PM
I agree that water seemed harder to find!
I herd staff citing the hotel being at fault for not having signs for the basement to improve passenger loading for the elevators by directing them upstairs. does ACen have no plotter/printer or some poster board and markers?
to go on the above for under aged drinking and the influx in families and younger visitors, this really needs to get addressed to keep new and young attendees coming back. your con won't grow without new people. since safety is always the number one priority, spend on resources to cover safety. I do agree the hallways became loitering grounds for drinking and public face-sucking. little more patrolling please.
my biggest gripe that has been growing:
guests!!!!!!!!!!!!!! holy mother of god, why does it take longer each year? there's no marketing excuse to get full-priced badges or excuse to say a con this big has ONE person handling guest relations. there's no excuse to have two listed in may and the last announcements three weeks before con. if this is truly the best you can do, fire your guest relations team.
I know that these people talk. if youre just mailing it in and treating them like crap, VAs will not return. one VA had to ask in the convention center where his hotel was. no handlers? last year one guest had arrived an hour before his panel and was too tired to run his panel. if you're paying them this much, can you treat them like it or at least respect them enough for a return in the future?
I'll gripe more at home. -trainpost2013 (yay wifi)
ACen 2014: Simpsons Stonecutter and Shiroe (Log Horizon)
Take about five dozen eggs...start puttin' 'em in a bowl...
Posted 19 May 2013 - 05:40 PM
My first and foremost gripe is that the panelist for Morning Yoga failed to show up. The IRT staff did a pretty good job canceling it 20 minutes after the start time, but there just seemed to be a lack of communication between the ACen staff and panelists, since I know a few other panels got canceled as well. I think there should be some sort of way to hold panelists more responsible; I would really like to know/see some sort of consequences since it's not fair to con-goers who plan their day around a certain panel, get up early, and/or wait in ridiculous lines.
As far as lines and the sheer number of people, oh Jesus, I was overwhelmed, especially since the Studio Ghibli panel line wrapped around three times for this fairly tiny room and the line for the exhibit hall was about two blocks long, but that's probably because I'm a newbie, hehe. But in all seriousness, I think there needs to be more preregistration. I saw a lot of people (mainly families) in the exhibit hall who were at ACen simply because it was something to do. If there was some sort of way to distinguish these people with those who are hardcore ACen people (i.e. preregistration/sign-ups for panels if possible, selling only one-day passes at the con and having everyone else preregister, price discriminating between people who just want to see the exhibit hall and people who do everything else), the lines might not be consuming the con, and it would be a better experience for everyone. At the very least, everyone, veterans, newbies, and locals looking to check it out should know what to expect (including space).
Other minor complaints/suggestions:
*Crystal Ball was fun, but I was not expecting a one-hour dance lesson. That should have been made clear and optional (lesson starts at this time, dance at this time). The line was also ridiculous. It took me twenty minutes to move maybe three spaces in the line because the people giving out tickets had to find everything, fill things out, etc.
* I think that the weapons and Hentai/Yaoi, 18+ stuff in the vendor hall/artist alley should have been grouped together on one specific, well-known, designated section. There were a lot of kids this year, and I know if I had a kid, I wouldn't want them to see most of that stuff.
Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:07 PM
I also ran into a couple really condescending IRT members this year. Most of them were perfectly fine, friendly, and helpful. But there were a couple that displayed an attitude that I'm surprised didn't lead to more problems (The occasion in particular I'm referring to was the member of IRT in charge of the line to the Sailormoon panel). People don't enjoy being talked down to like they are idiots. And the later in to the convention you get the more people you are going to get that are drunk, frusterated, or otherwise already irritated to a point where someone barking orders at them like their 3 years old is going to push the wrong button. I understand you have to be loud when the crowd is large and you need to repeat yourself many times, but that doesn't mean you need to treat them like children or cattle. Like I said, there was only one or two bad apples I saw in regards to this, but treating everyone with respect is one of those things that never hurts to mention/try to push to both attendees and staff.
Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:12 PM
Ignoring the fact I was wearing an artist badge, I assume everyone was using those little gaps to easily navigate the room and not crowd the tight corners. I was kind of annoyed he took the law into his own hands like that.
IRT were super cool and helpful, though. I actually felt a little embarrassed at how efficient and serious they were about the affair given that I mostly reported it because I was annoyed and just wanted to know if I was right to be annoyed about that or not.
Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:17 PM
My biggest gripe was an issue regarding a panel my friend runs and that I've been invited to co-run in the future, though. From what I understand she already got an apology from staff, but I still want to address it. My friend runs both the yuri panels, "Talk Yuri to Me" and "Lily Girls". Both were marked 18+ on the schedule. However, there was NO reason for Lily Girls to be 18+. There is a ton of safe for work yuri content, and there is a lot more to the fandom than sex. The person who runs it is a lesbian and I am bisexual, so it's just as much for the LGBT community aspect as it is the fandom aspect for it as well. According to my friend, she initially thought it was marked 18+ as a mistake, but upon contacting panel staff was informed that it was because anything discussing same sex relationships was marked 18+ "because some parents might not be okay with that content". That is outright homophobic and utterly not okay with me and I seriously hope this policy will be removed in the future. As it isn't illegal for minors to discuss same sex relationships in general, it should be [bigoted] parents' responsibilities to monitor this, not the con.
Honestly, though, this year was easily the best experience I've ever had at ACen. Aside from the Lily Girls situation I can't even think of any major complaints at all. I have way more positive to say than negative, and honestly, whatever happened differently this year from previous years that made this ACen so amazing, I hope it keeps happening.
This post has been edited by feuerwerke: 19 May 2013 - 07:23 PM
- Junko Enoshima
Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:39 PM
I noticed a lot of failed panels too.
Most of the time the people didn't show up [or they winged it]. For example, at the Resale to Runway panel, there were only 15 or so seats and the line just didn't make sense. Also, one of the girls ran off and took all the material with her leaving the supporting girl confused! Are these people penalized in any way for wasting everyone's time? This happened in 3 of the panels I went to and a few others my friends went to.
Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:53 PM
This post has been edited by rideamustang: 19 May 2013 - 07:53 PM
Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:54 PM
+ On Thursday, I went down to the Reg hall to pick up a program book and was told by IRT (they were very polite though!) to stand in one of the very long lines to get it (and several people did elect to stand in line and wait). I decided to just come back later, and was able to get the program book then. However, would it be possible to set up a "goodie bag" station in the lobby to head off some of these lines? Maybe even distribute some from the satellite Reg office in the Hyatt? Or maybe I should just resolve be more patient and come to the Reg Hall "late" to avoid the lines?
+ The line to get into the Exhibit Hall was getting pretty ridiculous because it was impossible to find where the end was. Today (Sunday) IRT did make a solid attempt though to rectify the situation and "untangle" the line. I guess one of the only things that could be done is to just nip it in the bud and have IRT guide the line formation a little more closely from the beginning? Or maybe just a "line starts here" type of sign would suffice?
+ The signs on a few of the panels I went to were wrong (example: panel was at the wrong time on the wrong day). I had to ask staff to find those panels' times/locations. Don't get me wrong, the staff was super helpful in figuring out where I should go, I just think the print-off signs need to be proofread more closely before being posted.
Overall though, great year!
Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:11 PM
MST3k Mike Nelson & Crow-Friday
Team Fortress 2 Medic-Saturday
Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:22 PM
ACen 2012: Saturday- Nice Holystone (Baccano) Sunday- Mario
ACen 2013: Friday: Yuki Cross white uniform (Vampire Knight) Saturday: Yuki Cross white uniform, Saturday evening: Nice Holystone? Sunday: Yuki Cross white uniform
ACen 2014: Saturday: Sophie Hatter (Howl's Moving Castle) Sunday: Sophie Hatter
Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:31 PM
1. Some of the staff were incredibly rude, look I understand staffing is hard at a convention I do it myself BUT if you lose patience and are ill and rude to con goers you will push the goers away and the con will be lost.
2. panels were harder to find this year then last year, I understand the space and such but even some staff had no clue where things were. (which is never good)
3. Photoshoots, I went to afew that were kinda left to do as you please or the person that was suppose to run them did not show up, never a good thing there.
4. Hotels (yes not your place to fix BUT) Hotel staff In the Hyatt, Embassy AND Hilton were rude, none helpful and such.
5. If a policy is different online then in book something is wrong! Maybe all things should match policy wise. (I.E. weapon size compared to persons size, I got told my badge would be revoked if my weapon did not collapse for the height it was WHEN online there is a different policy then in handbook for different heighted people, like us below 5 footers.)
6. RUDE STAFF!!!!! I was walking with my 1 year old in a STROLLER mind you, a stroller. He was dressed as Jack frost and did not have his shoes on, HE WAS IN A STROLLER! 3 staffers came up to me rudely saying " put shoes on your kid or leave the convention space now." This is never a good thing for staffers to do nor right way to be speaking. Also a child in a stroller, not getting out of stroller was that needed?
Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:46 PM
I think I know who youre talking about. I saw her today after leaving the embassy. She's gonna be ok I am glad the IRT came to my friend's aid when it happened.
MST3k Mike Nelson & Crow-Friday
Team Fortress 2 Medic-Saturday
Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:48 PM
1) Communication issues still exist between staff.
I understand that dealing with a large staff body and several departments means that communications won't be perfect, but the amount of wrong information I was given in only one day was just staggering. I only met a few staff members who when I asked them a question, rather than send me ping ponging around the con, up front told me "I don't know." Which I appreciated.
2) Guide Book errors.
I know that the print versions will contain errors (that is to be expected), but the app was shockingly inaccurate as well. The physical print versions also lacked a basic guests autographing schedule.
3) Panel Room set up on Sunday morning
Nobody from programming came to check in on me for my Sunday morning panel until after my panel time (~9:00 AM). Fortunately there were no issues tech wise, but there was no signage to indicate that my panel was in the room.
Beyond these and a few other minor issues, everything else seemed to run smoothly.
ACen 2009: Izumi Lio (Full Moon wo Sagashite)
ACen 2010: Izumi Lio, Lupin III (Second Series)
ACen 2011: Lupin III (Second Series, Castle of Cagliostro)
ACen 2012: Lupin III (planned), Reisen Udongein Inaba (planned)
Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:59 PM
I really liked the single exit and entrance for the exhibit hall, but my main problem was quickly getting in and out as an artist in the Artist Alley. I normally used the designated entrance, but there were times when I just had to run out really quick to the drinking fountain. I couldn't find any drinking fountains in the hall. IRT refused to let me use the designated exit to get back into the Alley. One day they did let me through the exit during set up hours, but they seemed pretty miffed at me. I did say pretty please! It was so crowed around the entrance on Saturday especially and most of the time I just needed to get some water and quickly get back to my table. AA/Vendors/Staff should have been allowed access to the hall no matter which doors. It doesn't make sense to me why people who are working in the hall had to use the designated entrance only and fight the crowds(both in the foyer and on the other side of the doors in the hall) to get back to their booth or table, especially when the exit was normally crowd-free and had two capable IRT people who could check badges.
Bottlenecking was bad against the walled side of the Alley. I blame the pillars mostly. Overall both the AA and Exhibitors' layouts were spacious, easy to navigate through, and hard to get lost in.
People were tearing down (AA/Exhibitors) before the hall closed. I was kinda shocked to see people were tearing down at 3:00 PM.
Most of the 18+ stuff was covered/secured/etc but I did see one nipple on a print in the Alley. Not sure why that artist didn't cover it up. Overall the atmosphere was very family friendly though.
For those people complaining about the Hyatt's noise levels... This year our room had a free pair of earplugs. I'm a light sleeper, and I forgot to bring a pair, so I was so grateful they provided those! I slept like a baby, and no amount of yelling and slamming doors bothered me. With a 24 hour con like this one should know that hotel noise is unavoidable, especially at the Hyatt.
Also, I noticed a lot more security and cops hanging about at night. This isn't a gripe, but I wanted to mention this. I wasn't up too late, but when I was out and about I didn't see people acting up. Maybe it was because of the visible police presence?
The hamster trail was once again partially broken. It was pretty nice(a/c units were blowing decently cold air) in the bridge over Bryn Mar, River Road, and in/above the convention center, but the Hyatt's portion felt as if it was blowing hot air. What is up with that? That hotel can surely afford to fix the a/c units.
Now time to visit the 2013 compliments thread!
Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:12 PM
-The different exhibit hall layout was a little difficult. On Sunday especially it was really jam-packed and there were traffic flow problems around Artist Alley.
-Sunday's line to get into the exhibit hall was an absolute beast! We got into it when it was pretty short, but a few minutes later I looked around and couldn't tell where the end was at all. It got better when IRT stepped in, though.
Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:23 PM
um pannel wise some of them were at odd times like I wanted to get to a pannel with Helen Mcarthy but got to none of them, and some of the stuff in the guidebook is not labled like the guest pannels, and talsman jauffre I got to one of his pannels on the adr experiance with the other directors but, did not get to get and autograph, which I kind of wanted as he is not just an anime voice actor but also a child actor.
the other things were just extenuating circumstances, I did most of the stuff I wanted to even though I had to cut out early from some to do the other, like the kalfina pannel it was nice to hear from them, but I had the blue ex photo shoot, and cutting out from the yukino concert to get ready for the masquarde, but that was a choice I made to do to entertain you all one last time as this was my last dance skit, I may do another but I am out of ideas for theams and characters at the moment, but I am thinking tiger and bunny might be on my list,
the price of food was expensive, and there did not seem to be as many little mini raves all over this year just the one in the lobby and one at the fountain of the convention center, and my wretched batteries in my camera they craped out on friday so I did not get all the really good costumes on saturday , as well as not as many big namers at the con this year, I like fashion but hmm four designers is alot.
signed jeremy manga1 the popping paladin.
Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:25 PM
Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:41 PM
Thursday was a little iffy on finding out where to get my Artist badges so we could set up my table. Last year, the Art Show/Exibition Hall badge booth was actually in the hall itself, and upon entering for the first time we got checked in by some IRT members (via a list). This year I was expecting the same, and when I asked IRT at the hall doors they weren't very informed on where Artists were supposed to go. Thankfully this was taken care of fairly quickly, but confusion in the meanwhile was pretty high.
I would have LOVED to see water coolers in the hall. I know Otakon had them in their dealer's room the last time I was there and as a congoer I really, really appreciated it as it helped me to stay properly hydrated. Now that I'm exclusively an artist (and more or less "trapped" in the hall all day), having a water source nearby would be amazing. I know I didn't drink nearly as much water as I should have.
Oh man, I agree on all these counts. I'm not sure what ACen could really do in this case to stop the bottlenecking--I liked this layout better than last year's, overall. It was much easier to navigate through. Traffic by my booth was absolutely fantastic this year too. I'm not sure if attendance numbers were just up overall, but foot traffic in the alley seemed way up.
This happened last year, too. I know a lot of folks were condensing their displays, which is fine, but people leaving before closing time brings down the rest of the alley.
Overall, this year was amazing. A friend of mine went to the Masquerade and reported only good things. IRT was generally great and most of my big negatives aren't even big at all. Thanks, guys!