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Gripes Got something you want fixed...

#451 User is offline   Awesome 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 05:49 AM

This was the worst ACEN I've ever been to. I've been going since 2006 and I'm thinking of not going ever again. Every panel I wanted to go to was moved or canceled at the last minute. And I thought people couldn't line up until 30 before a panel. Thanks to these to, I wasn't able to go to any panel this year. I spent 60 bucks to go the dealers room. Thanks alot ACEN.

#452 User is offline   sourstrawroxors 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:24 AM

View PostAwesome, on 23 May 2011 - 05:49 AM, said:

This was the worst ACEN I've ever been to. I've been going since 2006 and I'm thinking of not going ever again. Every panel I wanted to go to was moved or canceled at the last minute. And I thought people couldn't line up until 30 before a panel. Thanks to these to, I wasn't able to go to any panel this year. I spent 60 bucks to go the dealers room. Thanks alot ACEN.



I'm with you on the lines.. I'm an 8 year attendee (this one being my 8th in a row). Back when ACen did not get nearly this crowded so quickly, people used to line up an hour to two hours before a panel started. This was also before the Hyatt was remodeled and nobody really got in the way of anybody else by doing this. (I'll admit I was one of those fans who lined up super early). This year the only panel I got in line for an hour before it started was for Colleen Clinkenbeard. At this point, I didn't actually know there was a half-hour line-up policy. There were already a few people standing there, so we just followed suit. However, when we came back for J Michael Tatum's panel exactly half an hour before it was due to start the line was already stretching around the wall from the small ballrooms. I learned later that everybody was able to get into the room for the panel, but we were discouraged and didn't think we'd be able to so we just left. Once again, I stress that either con staff or IRT needs to monitoring these lines, especially for popular guests and autograph signings. (By the way, there was one con staffer who showed up while we waited for Colleen's panel and he came around maybe 15 to 20 minutes before it was due to start..and then he disappeared. Apart from that, there was nobody really monitoring what lines were where except for the poorly written out signs posted in front of the doors. Several people in our line had to direct other attendees to the correct doors they were looking for because the signs were nearly illegible)
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#453 User is offline   OtakuAngelD 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:30 AM

IRT issues.

People sitting in large groups on the sidewalk, obstructing the pathway and forcing us to walk in the streets. There was an IRT person there who yelled at us to "Walk on the Sidewalk". However, there was no way to walk on said sidewalk because there were people sitting on it. Don't yell at me. I would be happy to walk on the sidewalk if the people sitting there were made to move.

IRT yelling at non-offenders. I was in a line for Will Call on Thrusday. There was a large group in front of me, making a lot of noise. The IRT person went to the middle/back of the line and yelled at them to keep it down. However, they weren't the ones making the noise, it was the people in the front of the line. Adress the offenders instead of yelling at the people who aren't doing anything wrong.
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#454 User is offline   Rori 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:58 AM

View Postredx1, on 22 May 2011 - 10:56 PM, said:

I remember angry elevator lady quite well. She was basically thrown into the lion's den so I don't blame her for being a little harsh. She was trying to help, but her approach was a bit... abrasive.

The elevator situation is always a problem at the hotel. I would love to see a little more organization with the elevators, but I don't foresee it ever happening.


I figured as much. Like someone else said, there probably should have been at least one other IRT member there as well.

I would have probably been more understanding of her approach at the time if I had some kind of warning that reaction might happen if the elevator car went all the way to the bottom floor. Even if it was just a sign on the Lobby Level or notice in the program book... something to the effect of, "Riders on the Hyatt elevators that reach the Entry Level (bottom-most floor) MUST exit the elevator." Obviously, there would always be someone who never sees that message, but at least it could be used as reason for making everyone exit the elevator (a.k.a. "This is the posted rule").
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#455 User is offline   Jguy 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 08:23 AM

Mods,

Just a suggestion, but this topic originally dates back to 2009, and probably should have been archived right before the con.

Suggestion: Split off the topics relating to 2009 con-year, rename the topic and throw them somewhere for safe keeping. then, rename this topic to 'Gripes 2010' and keep it going.

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#456 User is offline   The Phantom Tapper 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 08:41 AM

I have a couple of suggestions/gripes

1: I know this has been said over and over but, panels that were moved or cancelled. Maybe you could put signs up on the rooms and in the convention center so people know and don't have to wait in line just to be told that the panel or event was moved to a different time/cancelled.

2: Autographs. I never knew when the autographs signings were or where they were at. I checked the program many times and couldn't find anything about them. Please add the times and places for these. If they were in the program this year then I guess I didn't look hard enough.

3: Drunk people. I am very cautious at the convention and am with a group of people at all times, knowing full well that there will be some people partying and getting drunk out of their minds. My friends and I did run into one drunk person at night and we had no idea how to handle the situation. Luckily we crossed the street and the person finally left. Is there any way the IRT deal with drunks?

Other than that I had a wonderful time, and I know the staff works very hard to try and make everyone happy. So thanks to the staff
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#457 User is offline   Hobbes 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:33 AM

Regarding all gripes about elevators: Please read both of these posts from different congoers about the state of elevators at the Hyatt, and please draw your own conclusions. Emphasis mine.

View Postsourstrawroxors, on 22 May 2011 - 11:07 PM, said:

SO-- my suggestion for this is to perhaps have TWO (not one) IRT members monitoring the general area to keep some kind of organization to the chaos. Allowing the way to be clear for elevator passengers to exit and then allowing those waiting *first* or who should take priority (i.e. E.M.R.T, IRT, or the disabled) to get on...and also *limiting* the amount of people per elevator.


View PostFullmetal_C, on 23 May 2011 - 01:25 AM, said:

It didn't help that one of the elevators didn't work this weekend but like mentioned earlier, people were riding the elevators from the lower floors up and then back down. I was on the 10th floor and so there were 2 staff members trying to keep things organized for people. I'll admit i was annoyed, i don't like people telling me when i can get on the elevator and one of the ladies weren't particularly friendly but it was fair for the people waiting for a longer than others, i got over it.

This post has been edited by Hobbes: 23 May 2011 - 09:40 AM

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#458 User is offline   TheRabbi 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:35 AM

It is with trepidation that I attempt a reply to the gripes that are appropriate to my areas on the day after con. However, I want to get replies, answers, and explanations out to the public as soon as possible. (Some IRT-related issues have been addressed by PM already.)

The lines didn't start a half-hour before like the policy said they should. There were already people lined up, and IRT wasn't clearing them out of the area.
These are both true. We did clear people out for the first line (I can't remember the event it was for, but it was before the concert) and start the lineup on time. However, the hotel's liaison to the convention met with us shortly after and asked us not to clear people out, as it was causing issues in other parts of the hotel. Thus, we had to make that change to our policy, but we couldn't really announce it, as there was no good place to do so.

The elevators had tons of people in them. They kept breaking. It was impossible to get anywhere on the elevators.
This is also true. People have suggested that we post IRT or other staff to regulate the flow of attendees onto the elevators. This would be a perfectly workable solution, if we had enough staff to do this; we simply don't. And while we push for more staff every year, the con doesn't necessarily have the resources to support that staff, which makes getting the staff increase difficult. We're in a tight spot here, and constructive suggestions that don't involve extra staff would be appreciated. I should also point out before others do that there are no less than 4 stairwells in the hotel that reach the atrium levels, and no less that 2 stairwells for the executive wing.

There were a lot of drunk people this year. Can't something be done about them?
ACen doesn't have a policy against congoers being drunk. We do have IRT to deal with belligerent drunks and to try to control the crowds, but we cannot prevent congoers from getting drunk, nor confine them to their rooms once they are. Trust me: I don't like walking around out there will all the drunks any more than most congoers, but we can't breathalyzer every congoer we come across and escort the ones that blow over a 0.08 to their rooms. Instead, we deal with ones that are actively causing safety issues.
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#459 User is offline   MOMO2 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:41 AM

This might have been said, but, one grip I have is that the photo shoots were not put into the information package and I made things difficult for me to get to places.
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#460 User is offline   orange-kun 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:11 AM

View PostUltra Yak, on 22 May 2011 - 10:23 PM, said:

What the F was UP with all the Disney Princess cosplay...i understand that people are free to cosplay as whatever they want, but this is an ANIME CONVENTION, as in FROM JAPAN...or influenced by Japan...there was even a staggering amount of the superheroes like Captain America and Deadpool, which admittedly was pretty entertaining, but that's a COMIC CON thing, NOT an ANIME thing...This was the first year of ACEN i actualy DID NOT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH NARUTO AND BLEACH FANS, but instead were overshadowed by the movie characters, superheroes, disney princesses, and VERY BAD CROSSPLAY...and on a side note, what's the big deal with Hetalia and Homestuck? I heard Hetalia was pretty decent, but i have never ONCE heard of an ANIME named Homestuck...Honestly the cosplay for Homestuck creeped me out and i could count a good 60 of them at the meet-up for it, which i ran into coming out of the side exit to the Hyatt. Don't get me wrong, there were good cosplays, but a good number of them were in the wrong con.

Another thing, and this bugs me every year, is that i notice a significant number of people coming for 1 reason, to get so smashed on alcohol and go to Soap Bubble..if you ask me, those people need to GET OUT!



well...if you go to some comicbook convention, you're bound to see anime cosplayers.
And you know, some people cosplay as internet memes. What is slightly weird to me is seeing those people with chains and collars and leashes and those mouth thingies. All that bdsm looking stuff. but to each his/her own.

But yeah there are a lot of people who just go to acen to get drunk and go to soap bubble. Last year, I remember hearing some random dudes asking con goers if they can buy their badges off them so that they can go to soap bubble.

#461 User is offline   GSDfan87 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:24 AM

This year was pretty good over all my gripes are similar to those already stated, but here it goes anyway.

1. Panel Schedule changes: I ran 2 panels this year (Pepakura and Halo(the late night one)) and my pepakura panel got switched times after the schedule was written. because of this only about 6 people showed up at the beginning. I waited a few minutes and got started, but then the panel was thrown into pretty much chaos. It was a workshop and I was trying to walk people through building a simple Pep model. But because of the time change people kept showing up in the middle and I would have to re-explain things. People were understanding, but it would have made life easier had people known about the change

2. Game tournies: I found the game tournements to be pretty unorganized (at least the one I tried to be in). Yeah there was a sign up sheet, but it was worthless. First half the people on the list didn't show (not staff or volunteers fault), but worse, was after the tournement had started 2 things happened. First the person in charge passed the bracket onto 1 of the players and then proceeded to join the tournment himself (not that big of an issue, but if you volunteer to run a tourney you shouldn't particpate, because it interferes with your job). Second, he began letting people join tournment after it had started. With that kind of structure it would have been better to just put a sign on the wall saying "Blah Blah Game at Blah Blah Time, come play".

#462 User is offline   GSDfan87 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:29 AM

View Postorange-kun, on 23 May 2011 - 10:11 AM, said:

well...if you go to some comicbook convention, you're bound to see anime cosplayers.
And you know, some people cosplay as internet memes. What is slightly weird to me is seeing those people with chains and collars and leashes and those mouth thingies. All that bdsm looking stuff. but to each his/her own.

But yeah there are a lot of people who just go to acen to get drunk and go to soap bubble. Last year, I remember hearing some random dudes asking con goers if they can buy their badges off them so that they can go to soap bubble.


The issue with people dressing up as anything is that if it isn't put into check the con will lose its identity as an anime con. If it keeps up at this rate they should call it Sci-Fi Central. Though I will have to give credit at least 99% of cosplays were from animated things this year. (No star trek and very little star wars)

I cosplay as an ODST which was american, until Halo Legends came out last year...

#463 User is offline   Gabichox 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:47 AM

View PostSongstressLenne, on 22 May 2011 - 11:10 PM, said:

I
My Gripe:
I was outside the video game room not even entering it, I was checking to see if I could find my DH since that was the around the area I was directed to go. I was barked at by a female for "NO BAGS!". It was on Saturday night roughly 6:45 p.m

I would appreciate in the future that whomever this was to please be a little kinder when enforcing a rule. It wasn't overly loud in the hallway but a "I'm sorry but no bags in here," would have been a better solution. As someone who was been helping attendees for the past three years even if you only have a few words to say, do you best to be as polite as possible.

I was very frightened by being barked at and left the area. I wish I could have seen her badge so I could have gotten her name.


THANK YOU!! This is the exact staff member that yelled at me too for even DARING to walk towards her with a bag. And to the person that replied to me saying to cut the IRT some slack, no.
They are the professionals that are giving a bad name to the con. I understand that some are extremely stressed but not everyone is going to spit and yell at them. I met some awesome IRT this weekend but most of them were complete... Well they werent the most swell of people. If you are going to volunteer, learn patience. Even if you arent paid, act professional. You represent the con and if you treat attendees like a pile of poo on the side of the street, expect people to react. IRT should be better trained and prepared to deal with crap. They should learn not to take it out on attendees that aren't out to get them.

Also about the dealers room closing, many people were confused. I have never seen it close that early. Even random people i met were confused. Better communication is all i ask for.

I also am agreeing with the fact that there were too many drunks this year. It felt too much like a frat party. I was harrased because i wouldn't hug people and touch them. The con reeked of weed and I was afraid to walk around at even 7-8pm. :/ can there be something done about it? It's ridiculous that all these party people have to ruin it for the rest of the con even before 10. It has never been this bad
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#464 User is offline   LC Asuka 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:51 AM

View PostGSDfan87, on 23 May 2011 - 10:29 AM, said:

The issue with people dressing up as anything is that if it isn't put into check the con will lose its identity as an anime con.

Back in 2008 my first cosplay ever was Iron Chef French....and although that is Japanese, it is very much not anime. But it didn't bother me one bit. Like it was mentioned before, every single convention that has congoers dressing up is going to have costumes that don't fit the theme. Personally, I'd rather see different genres over another horde of Yokos or Hetalia characters any day of the week.

My personal gripe is in regards to Panel Programming, specifically the more popular panels. If you have a large line for a panel, and you already know the maximum capacity of a room...please try and get the volunteers to take head counts of the line prior to opening the doors. That way, you'll have an idea as to when to cut the line off and people won't be needlessly waiting for a panel they won't be able to see. I bring this up as I tried to go to the Oregon Trail panel after my shift. About an equal number of people got into the panel as ones that didn't (myself int he latter category), and it would've been nice to know that we weren't getting in before waiting quite a while for no reason whatsoever.

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#465 User is offline   Rukariou 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 11:03 AM

View PostTheRabbi, on 23 May 2011 - 09:35 AM, said:

The elevators had tons of people in them. They kept breaking. It was impossible to get anywhere on the elevators.
This is also true. People have suggested that we post IRT or other staff to regulate the flow of attendees onto the elevators. This would be a perfectly workable solution, if we had enough staff to do this; we simply don't. And while we push for more staff every year, the con doesn't necessarily have the resources to support that staff, which makes getting the staff increase difficult. We're in a tight spot here, and constructive suggestions that don't involve extra staff would be appreciated. I should also point out before others do that there are no less than 4 stairwells in the hotel that reach the atrium levels, and no less that 2 stairwells for the executive wing.


Why not use volunteers then? I know other cons have them as elevator patrol, and it works for the most part. Sure some people are disrespectful and pull the "you're not staff" card, but at least some control is better than none at all.
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#466 User is offline   CloroxEnvy 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 11:06 AM

Elevators
This was already said but I feel I need to add my opinion in as well.

I know this isn't really a problem that the con can easily address, but both times I had to take an elevator it got stuck, one time for a long enough period of time that three people began hyperventilating and crying.

Staff tells us not to cram 'too many people' into the elevator. Someone brought up the fact that they weren't sure exactly what 'too many' is and when the excitement of the con rolls around 'too many' is too vague and people forget themselves. Can we put a general limit up on signs in front of each elevator that might encourage people to listen? (IE: Assuming that the elevator can handle around 1000lbs, no more than 7 (for a average weight of 140lbs) per elevator)

I think that just having something that sort of declares what the weight/person limit is OUTSIDE of the elevator will help. After everyone crams into the damn thing, it's hard enough just to press the buttons, let alone read what the weight limit is.

Assuming that people will opt to take the stairs isn't a good way to go about 'fixing' the problem, either. We're congoers. We've been waiting in lines, walking miles back and forth from cars, hotel rooms and con centers, most of us aren't in the best of shape and are probably wearing heavy costumes or toting tons of merch. Suggesting that we 'take the stairs' to a room on the 6th floor is not the best way to handle that situation.

Long story short, I know it's not the con's fault. It's our job, as congoers, to keep ourselves in line and use common sense. But honestly, when you have so many people and so much excitement going on, people tend to lose tons of common sense and self respect for themselves and others. And when you have thirty people in costumes, who've been walking around all day and just want to get to their rooms, all waiting 10+ minutes for an elevator, naturally you're going to lose even more common sense and common courtesy.

And end rant.

This post has been edited by CloroxEnvy: 23 May 2011 - 11:11 AM


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#467 User is offline   Onizel 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 11:12 AM

As this is my first ACen and I'm from out of the country, I don't have a lot to compare it to, but these are the things I think could have been done this weekend.

Thursday evening:
I think the staff did a good job considering the difficulties. No one was happy about having to wait all that time, but in the end, there wasn't much that could be done. Once the lines started moving, it was relatively painless.

Friday:
I came in with a friend on Friday morning, and we had no real issues then. One issue that popped up later in the day and recurred through the whole weekend was the elevators. I understand that a lot of people had issues with this, and I think that it was a good idea to have IRT on the top and bottom levels of the Hyatt on Sunday. I'm not entirely sure if this was occurring throughout the whole weekend or not, since I decided to take the stairs after midday Saturday, but if we could have this throughout the peak times (9:30 AMish 'til whenever it dies down), that would be great.

Saturday:
Two things. Soap Bubble and drunks/stoners.
I understand that Soap Bubble is a recurring event, and it's a big attraction to the event, but the amount of trouble it seems to cause makes me wonder if it is really worth it. I personally did not attend, but the lines to it were causing a lot of issues. Is there any way that it can be held in a location that's not as busy?
Drunk people were all over the place on Saturday night. I don't expect IRT to be able to find all of the drunken roamers, but the amount of times I saw people who seemed intoxicated harassing others was pretty bad, especially when other non-IRT people took steps to try and move the drunks on and were responded to aggressively. Next year, especially on Saturday night, it would be great if we could have IRT members in the four stairwells of the Hyatt (Just one or two in each. Noise carries well in them.), two patrolling the square walkway area on each floor as well as the ones on the lower levels. Of course, it all comes down to the amount of staff you have.

Sunday morning: A big thank you to the IRT members staked out at the entrance to the exhibit hall near the Expoteria. You guys organised those lines well.

As a fist 'big con' experience, I enjoyed it overall. I was impressed with the staff, especially the man on the elevator when it broke down. Thank you for being so kind to my friend who was shaken by the experience. IRT as a whole seemed to be pretty professional, and the interactions between EMRT and people were nothing short of fantastic.

EDIT: If possible, a sign outside the elevators reminding people that when the bell rings, it means that the elevator is telling us that it's exceeded the weight limit would be very much appreciated, as people seemed to think it meant about fifteen different things.

This post has been edited by Onizel: 23 May 2011 - 11:16 AM


#468 User is offline   Lord Seth 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 11:40 AM

Here's some of the issues I had with Anime Central. I did mention some of these to the people who were at the feedback panel (I talked to them afterwards), but this gives me a better opportunity to clarify my thoughts. If you're one of the people I talked to, consider this a more in-depth and better version of what I talked to you about. I'll leave out any issues that I don't think were directly or indirectly the fault of ACen itself.

Masquerade
The bulk of my comments are regarding the masquerade. Now, as a note, I wasn't there for the whole thing. Due to a mix-up on my part, I missed the first half-hour, and I only stayed there for about a half-hour until I left during the intermission. Therefore, I will readily admit that perhaps I would not have some of these complaints if I had gotten there earlier, though my issues seem to be things that I don't think would have been fixed under those circumstances.

First, I didn't really like the MCs. It's hard to put my finger on exactly what was wrong, unfortunately. Here's some guesses, however. A lot of the commentary didn't seem to have that much to do with the cosplay or the skits. Now I don't mind them occasionally doing their own thing, but to me the humor is best when it derives from what you just saw. They also didn't seem terribly lively about it. I have to wonder if part of the problem may have been that they were sitting down rather than standing up? The MCs at the previous masquerades I have seen were standing up while they were MCing, whereas at Anime Central they seemed to be sitting down. I don't know if the simple act of standing would have helped, but it does allow the MCs more freedom of movement and action, which may have felt less stagnant. I don't want to be too negative about them, however, so I should note a few things. They did still have some funny lines, and I remember little if any stammering or apparent uncertainties on what to say.

This is an issue it's difficult for me to provide suggestions for, as I don't necessarily know who would be available to be MCs next year who might do a better job. I thought the guys who ran the Midwest Karaoke Madness did a great job introducing songs and commenting on them after the fact. I'm not sure how well their skills at commenting on karaoke would translate to skills on MCing a masquerade, but they are possibilities.

But what may have been a further factor is that the skits I saw really weren't that interesting (at least to me), which may have given them less things to play off of. I actually heard a few remarks from people around me about how they weren't enjoying some of them. It's true I've only been to two masquerades before this one (Anime Milwaukee 2010 and Daisho Con 2010) but both of them entertained me more than Anime Central in their skits. I'm not entirely certain how conventions decide which entrants qualify for the actual masquerade, but Anime Central may need to reconsider its methods; Anime Milwaukee and Daisho Con, being smaller conventions, undoubtedly have a smaller pool of entrants to choose from in the first place. In other words, due to more entrants it should be easier to get a good batch, and the fact they didn't may indicate poor choices in deciding which people to go with.

I need to make this clear: There were good skits there that I enjoyed. I deliberately did not cite specific examples so people would not feel attacked. But it was a substantially lower percentage of skits that I enjoyed than the other masquerades I have been to.

For possibly some better thoughts on exactly why a fair amount of the skits weren't that interesting, you may want to check out this topic. I wasn't entirely certain exactly why I didn't find them interesting, but the reasons given there were probably contributory factors.

There also was a "running gag" of putting up random pasta-related pictures on the viewscreens. I'm not certain if this was going on before I came in or if it started when I did. Regardless, this could have theoretically been funny if done only a few times, but it was done over. And over. And over. And over. It was done after every other skit essentially. It ceased to be funny and each time made me think wearily "okay, they're going to show a pasta picture again, just show it and get on with it." I'm not sure whose idea it was (the MCs? The tech people?) but I found it really annoying. It also fit with the problem of "not having to do with the skits or costumes" that I mentioned earlier.

Shortly before I left, they went into the intermission and had two guys who were apparently MCs from last year come up as a special treat. Not having been at ACen last year, I can't comment on how they were there, but there was something about them this year that really rubbed me the wrong way. I'm not entirely certain what bugged me about them, but something did. This was when I left, at any rate.

I should mention that I may be in the minority on everything I just said. Part of the reason they kept up with the pasta thing seems to be that a lot of people in the audience were shouting at them to, and it seemed that people were laughing at what the MCs (current and past) were saying. Unfortunately, with a room as full as the masquerade, it only takes a small percentage laughing or shouting "pasta" to seem large, so I have difficulty determining whether my issues were just a minority opinion or if they were shared by many others.

Panels filling up
Now for the non-masquerade problems. The first issue is panels filling up and people not being able to get into them. Now, I understand Anime Central is a large convention and problems like this might be difficult to avoid. At the same time, however, I believe there were some panels that should have been put in larger rooms. The Mystery Science Hentai Theater 3000 panel had a huge line and a large portion of people in it didn't get in. A larger room could have helped this out. Maybe they didn't expect it to be so popular, but in order to combat this I would strongly suggest examining which panels were so filled up this year, and trying to use that information to better anticipate which ones need the larger rooms next year.

Handbook
I also had a few problems with the handbook. Unfortunately, I seem to have lost mine, so I'll have to give information from memory. Outside of a few minor typos that I think should have been caught, one issue I have is the way the schedule for Main Programming was done. I would have preferred it be in the same grid as the rest of the programming, but I suppose maybe it could not fit. Still, I don't think it was very close to the programming grid (meaning one has to flip constantly through pages to go from one to the other) and it would have been appreciated if it had been in its own grid to better visualize the schedule. The same could possibly be done with the viewings. They were all listed separately, but I have to wonder if it would have been possible to put them on a time grid (possibly a two-page one) that would allow easier visualization of when they were starting in comparison to each other, as well as not having to flip pages to see the times for other rooms.

On a more minor point, I believe that the convention map could have been improved in the following way: I wish the layout of the skybridge was better mapped. It didn't seem to really well indicate that the Hilton is accessible by the skybridge, the Doubletree is accessible IF someone has a key, and the Embassy doesn't seem to be directly accessible (though if you go all the way to a parking garage that's on the way to the Doubletree, you can walk down some stairs and cross the street to get to it). This would have explained how to get to the other locations better.

I also think the panel description section could have been done better. Some panel descriptions were actually missing, but I know from the feedback session that the staff were aware of this and were going to try to fix it next year. What did bother me was the arrangement. In my opinion, the simplest and easiest way to arrange panel descriptions is to simply put them all in alphabetical order. This makes it easy to see a panel on the grid, and then look it up.

I do appreciate that some people may prefer other ways to do it, such as dividing them by days and then arranging them alphabetically within those divisions. If that was necessary, however, I think the divisions by day should have been more clear. There were no headings saying when one day started and another ended, so one would have to search through the list to find when the alphabetical list "restarted" to find when the list for the next day started. Another issue is that the guest panels was separate from the "regular" panels, but it wasn't always clear in the grid which ones were the guest panels making it more frustrating to find it (with at least one panel I searched over and over and was unable to find its description, until I finally happened to spot it in the "guest panel" part, where I didn't think to look because I didn't think it was a guest panel).

As stated earlier, my preference would have been for it to all be alphabetical. But if the "divide by days, then subdivide alphabetically" is actually the more popular way to do it, then some large section headers would be much appreciated to make it easier to navigate. I also would prefer the guest panels not be separated. However, if it was absolutely necessary to do so, please do something in the grid section to indicate which panels fall into that category; bolding or some kind of mark would likely be sufficient.

Viewings
On one final, very minor note, I noticed that Evangelion 1.11 and Evangelion 2.22 were screenings, but both were the subbed versions rather than the dubbed. I personally would have greatly preferred to see dubbed versions. It is true that perhaps some people would have liked the subbed more, but Evangelion is a sufficiently popular franchise that I think the best way to handle it would have been to show a sub and a dub of both of the movies.

Positive things
I've been fairly negative this entire post so I should round out by saying some things I thought were done well. My issue with Evangelion aside, I think the viewings were run well and had a good selection, with a nice mix of them being subbed and dubbed. A nice touch in one case was after showing the first 13 episodes of Soul Eater, they had an "encore" of the first 3. As mentioned before, I liked the Midwest Karaoke Madness guys. The staff seemed fairly organized and friendly from my experiences. The dealer's room seemed reasonably organized as well.

This was my first Anime Central so I can't compare how it was to previous years. I will say that overall I did not have a bad time, but it also wasn't a convention I particularly liked either. Hopefully these issues can be addressed in future years.

This post has been edited by Lord Seth: 23 May 2011 - 11:46 AM


#469 User is offline   Mystline 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 12:15 PM

View PostGSDfan87, on 23 May 2011 - 10:29 AM, said:

The issue with people dressing up as anything is that if it isn't put into check the con will lose its identity as an anime con. If it keeps up at this rate they should call it Sci-Fi Central. Though I will have to give credit at least 99% of cosplays were from animated things this year. (No star trek and very little star wars)

I cosplay as an ODST which was american, until Halo Legends came out last year...

Cosplay = cosplay. What, do you want ACen to make a rule that all cosplay must be anime-related? Do you realize how stupid that sounds?

#470 User is offline   YoungBirdcall 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 12:19 PM

View PostGabichox, on 23 May 2011 - 10:47 AM, said:

I also am agreeing with the fact that there were too many drunks this year. It felt too much like a frat party. I was harassed because i wouldn't hug people and touch them. The con reeked of weed and I was afraid to walk around at even 7-8pm. :/ can there be something done about it? It's ridiculous that all these party people have to ruin it for the rest of the con even before 10. It has never been this bad


As has already been mentioned, nothing can be done about people drinking during the convention, unless an IRT member witnesses someone who is fall-down drunk and/or assaulting someone verbally or physically. Adults in America are allowed to drink alcohol; I'm sorry if people doing so ruins the convention for you. And saying that "the con reeked of weed" is a ridiculous statement.

I thought that the con was run well, and my only complaint is one that has already been stated many times: the Thursday badge-pick-up line.

This post has been edited by YoungBirdcall: 23 May 2011 - 12:23 PM

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#471 User is offline   Mega Man 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 12:37 PM

I was one of the panelists for the Oregon Trail panel and for starters, I would like to apologize that not everyone was able to make it in. I was under the impression that it was half an hour prior was when lining up can start, and for those that made it I hope had a good time.

But my biggest gripe involved the Flow concert. My friends and I got there at 4 to get in line for the concert, unaware that we were not able to line up until 5:30. Since there wasn't much else we wanted to do until the concert, we claimed a sectio nof wall near Main Programming. Around 4:45, there was a relativly long line forming and we were unintentionally at the front of it. When it got closer to the 5:30, there were 3 seperate lines to get in, and none of the IRT were able to tell us where the line was actually going to be. Eventually they combined the two inside lines for 15 minutes and then moved us all outside to that line. We eventually made it in and then unknowingly to the crowd, had an opening act. I am fine with opening acts, but it just felt like it went on forever. Flow didn't even start until 7:30. The concert itself was amazing but the ordeal to get there was just annoying.

Besides that, I wish there was a little better crowd control outside the hotel. It seemed to happen way to often when the crowd would have to stop because people would not get out of the way when waiting in line.

That is all.

#472 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 12:55 PM

RE: TheRabbi's wish for suggestions...

1. Regarding the Lines for pannels:...If there is issues with the hyatt, one suggestion would be to, at least a month before the con, talk with those in charge and explain acen's new policy, this way they too can maybe help enforce these rules. Another thing to maybe do, is to have a line created on the floor so that people know where to line up, and post a signs by the pannel room stating, "Pannel line ups start a half hour before pannel, if you are caught lineing up before this time you will be placed at the back of the line, no excpetions." This way it falls on the con goers, if they want to break the rules they need to have a form of consiquences.

2. Autograph rooms:...Suggestion here, same as above, in additon, ask to see if acen can set up fans in said areas to allow for circulation. Also maybe for those who do not wish to wait in line, a free pre signed picture of the actor or actress. It could help limit the number of people that want to have things done. For those who just wish to meet the person, maybe have a small meet and greet thing that lets the actor or actress talk to people casually, rather then a pannel like setting? Could that be of use?

3. Elevators...I agree with the person that said that there should be a note outside the elevators stating how many people can get on. Also there should be a note that the people nearest the elevator buttons need to ask others what floor they want off on, this will allow for people to ride without incident and make it easier to navigate. Voleenteers could work too.

Pluses:

1. The gentleman in the blue shirt on Saturday who announced the change for the Venture brothers pannel, thank you for being as loud and strong as you were. I was able to hear on the top of the dome and actually relayed the info to some con goers that wanted to go to the Venture brother's pannel, so thank you so much for that. I didn't get your name, but I'm so glad you projected as loudly as you did, and thank you to the line for behaving.

2. Hotel staff was excellent and friendly as were the staffers in IRT that I ran into. Thank you also to IRT and props for helping me out regarding the dome issue for a photoshoot I had.

3. Loved the set up this year but a lot to do.

Gripes:

Pannel book, as I understand Bertha broke down, understandable. Might suggest next year of maybe having some flashy people going around acting like announcers to others regarding changes in pannels sort of like town cryers. Could be fun for both them and the congoers.

Photoshoots, Put them in the book next time, please. It would help a lot and note what the shoot is going to be about. Other then that, good job guys.
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#473 User is offline   ShadowPriestess 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 01:10 PM

In the official schedule book we got when we arrived at ACEN, it didn't list the autograph sessions or the character gatherings. Me and my friends had to figure it all out and ask around a bunch of people to get answers. I don't know why those things weren't included in the official catalog as those things are the personal highlights of my time at ACEN.

SO PLEASE BRING THOSE BACK NEXT YEAR!!!
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Posted 23 May 2011 - 01:14 PM

@Lord Seth, regarding your complaints about the MC's:

You seriously think the MC's are going to be okay with standing for 2 hours? Seriously? Are you sure you only got there a half hour late? it started at 5 and ended at 7.

Also, I liked the MCs. They were funny, and considering the quality of the skits this year, they were doing the best they could (try looking up videos from our Masquerade in 2009; they're the same MC's, and they did a good job then too.)

As for your problem with the MC's from last year, you might want to do your research a little first. Those two happen to be fairly big-deal cosplayers here in the mid-west, especially at ACen since that's where they got started. That's why they brought them back this year and why there were so many fangirls cheering in the audience when they came out. My advice would be, from now on, before going to a convention's masquerade for the first time, watch the videos from the last year or two. They're on Youtube.

I will agree on the Pasta thing. Some of it was funny, but it got old really fast.
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Posted 23 May 2011 - 01:20 PM

My main comment is that the lines were awful, and confusing. I was trying to get in line for anime hell, and when I found a line I asked several people what it was for and got different answers. Some people thought it was for the dance and others for anime hell. Maybe some stantions with signs or something would help with that?
That and the lines were so long I ended up hardly going to any events. I wish there could be more than one dance going on per night or something so more people could get in. I really like to go to the Soap Bubble every year but I generally don't actually stay that long once I get in, so it's not worth it for me to wait in line for hours.

It also would have been nice to let people in the line/room know if the event is running behind schedule. I would probably not have waited as long as I did in line and in the room for Anime Hell to start if I knew it was running hours behind.

Another problem was that the cosplay gatherings were not printed/listed in the schedule. This would be very helpful, with a map showing each location. I couldn't print out a map ahead of time because my printer stopped working so I had trouble finding the photoshoots. I had several people ask me where the gathering was for the anime I was dressed up for on Sat. afternoon. I also talked to a bunch of Bioshock cosplayers on Friday and Sat. and I asked them if they were going to the shoot, and probably 80% of them did not know there was one.
I think a lot of people who did know about them were confused about the locations and may have missed a shoot because of it.
We also could not figure out where the first Bioshock meetup was supposed to be, and we ended up having a group of people in costume wandering around trying to figure it out-- none of them knew for sure where we were supposed to go! We finally picked a space near where we thought might be it, and just staying there instead.

This post has been edited by Kasumisty: 23 May 2011 - 01:31 PM

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#476 User is offline   skyrune83 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 01:24 PM

In general, things went smoother this year than last year for me personally. Here are my main complaints:

1.) The 2nd floor rooms in the Hilton are waaaaay too undersized for ACen panels. And the intensely hot hallway was very narrow with little room to line up for things. I was going to attend the "Cosplay for Fat People" panel, and I think the room was undersized by about 50 people, judging by the lines that did not make it inside the already full room. Also, not ACen's fault, but there's a door between the Hilton 2nd floor panel rooms and the Skywalk, but it is always locked. WTH? So you have to take 2 elevators to bypass the door. I would recommend using more rooms in the Hyatt, Embassy, or Doubletree. Or, what about those fancy rooms in the convention center? Rumor has it they are too expensive? If so, I'll pay more for registration, if that helps!

2.) The pre-registration line. I'll go easy on ACen because I heard about the computer/printer issues. It happens. But it still seems like the printed badges could have been organized better so staff didn't have to spend 5 minutes per person thumbing through badges. Were they sorted by the person's last name? That's the best way to sort them, I would think. Whatever you guys did in 2009 - do THAT again!

3.) As far as drunk people, is there something that ACen can do to mimimize the excessive number of room parties? I saw at least 3 advertised room parties where booze was explicitly stated to be included. Um, shouldn't this be an instant red flag to ACen or hotel staff security? It'd be nice if the congoers here could adopt the same concept of a "room party" that I've seen at several Wisconsin cons: snacks, soda, board games, friends, fun. Simple. But here, a room party means "let's get drunk, bother other rooms with our noise, then go back to the con and annoy people and break stuff."

But other than that, things did go pretty smoothly as far as ACen's contribution. I just need to work on my social skills... -_-

This post has been edited by skyrune83: 23 May 2011 - 01:29 PM

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#477 User is offline   Gabichox 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 01:27 PM

View PostYoungBirdcall, on 23 May 2011 - 12:19 PM, said:

And saying that "the con reeked of weed" a ridiculous statement.


Wow, really?
During the line for the soapbubble, multiple times when someone walked past there was a scent of weed following after. Around the front doors to the ballroom, I could smell it mixed in with cigarette smoke. I'd walk into an elevator and it smelled like weed. I'm sorry if you didn't smell it and consider my gripe invalid, but it's extremely rude of you to say that. My friends smelled it too so I'm not just spouting nonsense. Even those that are ok with drugs were put off by it. I understand there's not much you can do if they're smoking in their rooms but at least a warning or chastisement would suffice.
I didn't see that post stating there is nothing we could do about drunks until after I posted (I'm on a phone and can't scroll well) and I understand what Rabbi said. However, I do think there should be more IRT paying attention to the drunks and watching for potential hazards. The only thing they seemed keen on doing were warning people not to have bags and telling them to keep off of the sidewalks.
I have nothing against people drinking. I'm not 5. I understand that adults in America partake in adult beverages. But when they go crazy with it and harrass congoers, I have a problem. That's what ruined the con for me. Wouldn't that ruin it for you? If your friend or you were pestered by people to touch you or had people shouting in your ear because they're drunk? Guessssss it's just me.

I could've sworn there was a rule about free hugs signs. D: is there?

This post has been edited by Gabichox: 23 May 2011 - 01:32 PM

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#478 User is offline   rondo 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 01:38 PM

View PostTheRabbi, on 23 May 2011 - 09:35 AM, said:

The lines didn't start a half-hour before like the policy said they should. There were already people lined up, and IRT wasn't clearing them out of the area.
These are both true. We did clear people out for the first line (I can't remember the event it was for, but it was before the concert) and start the lineup on time. However, the hotel's liaison to the convention met with us shortly after and asked us not to clear people out, as it was causing issues in other parts of the hotel. Thus, we had to make that change to our policy, but we couldn't really announce it, as there was no good place to do so.


Well, we did encounter this very incident during the masquerade line and it was rather confusing to say the least. In a period of 30-40 minutes, we heard from an IRT individual that even though the line shouldn't have been started till 4pm that the line won't be broken up to being told we have to break up and come back at 4pm (with only a section of the line leaving and the ones behind us taking our place in line) then to finding out the line teardown order was backed off and (luckily) we were able to return to our original spot with no incident. I do feel sorry for some that didn't get situated back in line.

Ah, the lovely elevators. Unless I am supremely lucky, I only ever get to use them on Wednesday and Thursday. Weekend..forget about it. Sucks that this year, our room was on the scenic and lofty 7th floor. Not as bad as 8th, 9th, or 10th mind you but still. And we guessed wrong on which elevator would be the one shutdown for general use on Friday.

It does seem like the escalator survived the weekend this time.

#479 User is offline   ATICE 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 01:39 PM

I did forget to mention that, that yeah... There was a whole section by the parking lot by the restaurant for people to stand... instead they stood on the sidewalk and completely blocked it. I would suggest at least 1 or 2 IRT staff members be out there next time, because not everyone wants to walk in the muddy path on the side or in the street. I actually almost got shoved by someone being inconsiderate standing around with his friends... it's called move the heck out of the way! They're not supposed to be blocking the sidewalk. Not to mention the fact that that was how most people got to the photoshoot locations, and it was blocked by inconsiderate people who refused to move.


#480 User is offline   rondo 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 01:48 PM

As for the sidewalk, I'll focus on the Hyatt one.

If it isn't lines after lines of people, there are the groups who gather and kind of just hang out. I thought that maybe a little extra room could be corded off to give a some room just past the red line but the hotel/police may have issue with that so maybe that isn't possible.

With how the Hyatt is configured and the amount of people traversing the area, I just don't think it is possible to curtail spilling over onto the street. With groups, large cosplays, people stopping to take pictures, it is pretty much unavoidable. I remember feeling sorry for one IRT member who kept trying to keep people on the sidewalk with so-so success.

Getting a random thanks from an IRT member when I got onto the sidewalk without being told was a suprise.

This post has been edited by rondo: 23 May 2011 - 01:50 PM


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