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Suggestions for ACen 2012 Have a solution to a problem from ACen 2011?

#1 User is offline   SRomo006 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 07:14 AM

This is gripes/suggestions for the next ACen. Help by suggesting ways to improve ACen. Constructive suggestions are always a help and welcome. Thought this should be a new topic instead of adding all suggestions from previous and current under one topic.

#2 User is offline   SRomo006 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 09:19 AM

Ok, here are my suggestions from 2011 observations (I am trying to keep cost and staffing limitations in mind):

  • Signage: MORE!! Things were not posted clearly or directing you where to go. I think large maps and schedules about poster board size in main areas (such as lobbies in the hotels, ends and middles of dealer/artist room, and any other high traffic area) would help especially with last minute changes. This could also help with lines for registration. Trying to prevent another linecon is a big goal. I think signs are a cheap way to help organization and requires little effort. Some of these could be arrows saying “reg line” or “prereg line” showing where the line should flow and start. I can share my ideas in more detail if wanted by any staff. Signs will also help people stay informed (both staff and guests).

  • ACen app: (just post with sticky for volunteers to work on for you) I think an app with at least day of con updates would be a great supplement to signs. This would help to keep everyone informed of last minute changes. Requirements for this can be gathered and worked on by a voulenteer. A great suggestion to the Computer Programming majors is to work on it as a final project. Any start is a great start to help all the volunteer staff at ACen. Posting this app request on the main page may get more visibility and better result. Headline such as, “ACen is looking for someone to develop a smartphone app” I think using the angle of a final project for school is a great angle for no cost.

  • Lines: I think having longer pre-reg line poles (such as was for day of reg where they were wrapped around inside) would help people feel as though it was not as long. Also with that many people for pre-reg, I think the booths should be at least doubled instead of just the two. There could be more done to help the pre-reg process just haven’t thought through it. For the day of reg I thought about self service booths such as they have at the Airport where you reg and pay with a touch screen or keyboard (this would be for credit only as cash would require a new expensive system) This would allow for more booths to be set up and a single staff member could monitor all of these. So this way more booths could be added without having to add more staff. I could help develop this process more if a staff member is interested in the idea.

  • Event Rooms: I think if Hall A was used for the concerts, masquerade, and dances (both fri and sat) this would almost eliminate lines due to the capacity of the room and allow time for setup (could set up band behind dj on stage or vice versa). If the Grand ballroom is 30,500 sqft and Hall A is 250,000 sqft. There would never be a capacity issue. Making the best use of this hall for the most popular events would be of great benefit to the whole con. It would make sure everyone got into the most popular main events and allow options to control pre-lineup lines. I have seen this done at other cons and it turned out great. Sure there is a little bit more cost, but this could in the long run cut down on the number of overall rooms rented, as the Grand Ballroom could be used for the more popular panels giving you 8 large rooms. No I didn’t forget about the dealer/artist room and registration. These could be in Hall F. The hall is an L shape making it perfect for reg to be in the section that is by the lobby. This can be split even more to have a lobby area in hall F separating the reg from the dealers/artists. I noticed a lot of extra space in Hall A behind Artists ally and Registration so the 30000 sqft less I don’t think would be an issue. This would allow for the Rosemont ballroom to be fully used for gaming. North Central in the Rosemont Ballroom of the Hyatt could be used as a bag check if no bags are allowed in the game room preventing any fire escape issues and adding convince for the con goers. This could be one staffer, they guests just may have to wait for the added convenience. This way less would have to be rented in branch hotels with smaller rooms. Making utilization of the bigger rooms. (With the amount of business brought in for the weekend this could be used as leverage to negotiate hours for the convention center if discussed with the tourism bureau.)

  • Cosplay meetups in the program book. Nuff said. This could be a separate schedule page(s) in the book from programming.

  • An order to panels and dealers in book: Alphabetical order to the dealers, artists, and panels would help find them in their respected sections.

  • Keeping STAFF informed and up to date: I know the staff works hard and it is hard to keep everyone up to date on changes. Frequent communication about what is going on to all staffers will help. For the events verbalizing your ideas for handling incidents (such as lines or what to do about running over time) should be communicated to all staff so they can send a correct message instead of not knowing what is going on. If it can be helped, the more processes and how-tos written down in “staff books” would help everyone deal with situations uniformly. Again everyone is a volunteer and not a professional at what they are helping out with, so to help them getting as much documented and worked out for a handout as possible is great. The more order to things and planning ahead that is done for “what to do in case of” situations will help even the newest volunteers get up to speed fast. Documentation can be handed down and updated every year to continually improve process and procedures. (Side Note: I also think the smartphone app would help staff members stay up to date also, plus smartphones can read QR codes if that is the direction ACen wants to go. Just like the forum account profiles can be created to allow the qr codes to be used by staff accounts.) EVERY staff member should have a program and any updates for the day when they start their shift. The more in the know the less confusion.

  • Document what works AND what doesn’t work: Documentation is golden. It gives the experiences and thoughts of the past. It can be improved and fine-tuned. It can help to create processes and organization to avoid past problems.


This was all meant to be as constructive as possible. I am more than happy to share any ideas to problems that the ACen staff may run into or have. I hope this ends up being of some help. I would like to see ACen experience continued growth and the staff to be able to handle any amount of growth to come leaving all with a pleasant experience and high anticipation for next year.

#3 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 09:34 AM

There is an ACen twitter account. I stopped getting their updates because I got sick of getting them at the con. lol

View PostFoolish Humon, on 13 June 2010 - 07:19 PM, said:

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

#4 User is offline   LeeOnami 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:47 AM

I suggest if you want no bags in the events/game room to have a bag check. It's more tan inconvenient especially for women to not have at least a purse. Imagine one of us may be on our period and can't carry anything for it because of the no bag policy. Not all of the con goers are staying right at the con. Inconvenience central! That's the only thing this year that really miffed me though.


Also I would suggest possibly having reasonably priced water bottles for purchase at the info desk at the Hyatt, just incase someone is dehydrated but not rich. Just an idea really.

#5 User is offline   aakachan 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:10 PM

View PostSRomo006, on 24 May 2011 - 09:19 AM, said:

Ok, here are my suggestions from 2011 observations (I am trying to keep cost and staffing limitations in mind):

[*]Cosplay meetups in the program book. Nuff said. This could be a separate schedule page(s) in the book from programming.


I completely agree! Last year the cosplay meetups were in the program - why not this year? We didn't get to see a single meetup, because we didn't know when & where they were.
...Doing my best to embarrass my kids.

#6 User is offline   aakachan 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:13 PM

Let the volunteers staffing the video rooms have some idea of what the shows are about.
More than once I asked a volunteer for a general summary of a series & they had no idea.
...Doing my best to embarrass my kids.

#7 User is offline   Mystline 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:25 PM

I'll just post what I posted in Gripes.

Gripes;

So much disorganization. Holy crap you guys.

1. I couldn't find anything and many things were moved, and almost all the staff members had no idea what I was talking about. - North Central? LOL WHO KNOWS!

2. Panels were cancelled or delayed. - I'm looking at you, FLOW concert. Nine hours of sound checking and you requested two more, AND GOT IT? The hell? Their concert was more than an hour too after it started. I was with the panelists of "Whose line it is anime?", they were pissed off and they deserved to be pissed off! Guests should not be allowed to change the entire schedule. It's completely unacceptable and "Whose line is it anime?" deserved better. Waaaaay better. They had to perform on the floor at first and almost everyone had to sit on the floor. :|

3. Policies and rules were changed at the last minute. - earlier this week I asked on here if bags and purses were allowed at the FLOW concert, I get to the FLOW concert and get told I can't bring it in? What? I was just told not even a week ago that it was allowed! Although now I'm glad I didn't go, because FLOW didn't deserve it.

4. Panelists - My friend was a panelist and got nearly no information about her panel. She didn't even get an email about her panel's time being switched.

5. Badges - Badges were lost, in the mail.

6. Information about guests and whatnot came at the very last minute. - It was April and there were barely any guests coming, the website was hardly updated. You only updated when someone on the forums complained.

7. Certain panels that nearly every con has weren't there. - Yaoi, yuri, shoujo-ai, and shounen-ai .... They were not there and I was disappointed. Overall I didn't like the panel programming much.

It was an average con overall.

ACen I love you. You're a great con, and the first con I've ever gone to. But Jesus Christ, I don't mean to be rude, I don't want to be rude, but get your crap together! I know you guys get a LOT of people a year, but that's no excuse to let so many things fall to crap! This isn't the first year either, ACen is notorious for it's disorganization.

This post has been edited by Mystline: 24 May 2011 - 12:26 PM


#8 User is offline   mordion 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:31 PM

I would REALLY like to see more than one dance each night. Either adding dances with different genres of music, or doing a simulcast of the main DJs would be good.

Also, I think there should be at least a few regular tables with chairs in the dome.
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#9 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:34 PM

View Postaakachan, on 24 May 2011 - 12:13 PM, said:

Let the volunteers staffing the video rooms have some idea of what the shows are about.
More than once I asked a volunteer for a general summary of a series & they had no idea.

I don't think that's entirely possible, but it does depend on how many volunteers they have and how long their shifts are. If they only have like 6 volunteers for the whole con, then it would be extremely hard for those to remember what the shows are about. Especially if they have long shifts, but it depends on how many anime are going on per shift. If their shifts contain one or two anime, then that's reasonable. I work Video Programming at YoumaCon and I can't recall if I have ever been asked what a show was about. I've been asked what show is playing, but not what it was been about. People just pop their heads in, if it looks interesting they stay, if it doesn't, they leave. I think it's almost a waste of time if hardly anyone asks.

@Mordion: I'm not staff, but I'm not sure how possible it would be because photoshoots go on in the dome and it's a high traffic area (long lines for late night panels i.e. Funimation Sneak Peak), but it could be possible if done right. I wouldn't have minded a table when my friends and I were waiting for an episode of Viper GTS to end so we could go in since it was full. We ended up sitting on the floor.

This post has been edited by Lina: 24 May 2011 - 12:37 PM

View PostFoolish Humon, on 13 June 2010 - 07:19 PM, said:

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

#10 User is offline   aakachan 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:43 PM

View PostLina, on 24 May 2011 - 12:34 PM, said:

I don't think that's entirely possible, but it does depend on how many volunteers they have and how long their shifts are. If they only have like 6 volunteers for the whole con, then it would be extremely hard for those to remember what the shows are about. Especially if they have long shifts, but it depends on how many anime are going on per shift. If their shifts contain one or two anime, then that's reasonable. I work Video Programming at YoumaCon and I can't recall if I have ever been asked what a show was about. I've been asked what show is playing, but not what it was been about. People just pop their heads in, if it looks interesting they stay, if it doesn't, they leave. I think it's almost a waste of time if hardly anyone asks.


If I'm there with my kids, I'd like to know *before* I pop my head what I might be seeing.
Give each volunteer a clipboard for his/her room. The clipboard would have a schedule & a brief summary of each series.
For example:
Saturday 10:40pm "Sacred Blacksmith 1-4" Subtitles 17+
(Rated TV MA; suitable for ages 16 and older: violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery, nudity, risqué humor)
"Cecily’s a blushing knight in shining armor. Unfortunately, it seems most battles end with her as the damsel in distress. Her lack of skill and distaste for violence make her an unlikely heroine – until the brooding blacksmith Luke comes to her aid, using his powerful magic to forge blades of supernatural strength. Cecily wields this sacred steel and charges forth to face a dangerous new threat; a cloaked fiend is unleashing demons upon the land, and though he lurks in shadows, the villain is much closer than Cecily can imagine." - cover description
...Doing my best to embarrass my kids.

#11 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:44 PM

View Postaakachan, on 24 May 2011 - 12:43 PM, said:

If I'm there with my kids, I'd like to know *before* I pop my head what I might be seeing.
Give each volunteer a clipboard for his/her room. The clipboard would have a schedule & a brief summary of each series.
For example:
Saturday 10:40pm "Sacred Blacksmith 1-4" Subtitles 17+
(Rated TV MA; suitable for ages 16 and older: violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery, nudity, risqué humor)
"Cecily’s a blushing knight in shining armor. Unfortunately, it seems most battles end with her as the damsel in distress. Her lack of skill and distaste for violence make her an unlikely heroine – until the brooding blacksmith Luke comes to her aid, using his powerful magic to forge blades of supernatural strength. Cecily wields this sacred steel and charges forth to face a dangerous new threat; a cloaked fiend is unleashing demons upon the land, and though he lurks in shadows, the villain is much closer than Cecily can imagine." - cover description

That would be possible. It sounded like you were expecting them to memorize all the summaries of the anime being shown.

View PostFoolish Humon, on 13 June 2010 - 07:19 PM, said:

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

#12 User is offline   frzndaqiri 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:59 PM

Quote

6. Information about guests and whatnot came at the very last minute. - It was April and there were barely any guests coming, the website was hardly updated. You only updated when someone on the forums complained.


As the Webmistress I wanted to address this comment. I do not often make it into the forums - and I assure you I don't update the site just when there are complaints here. I don't like not having content up in a timely fashion either - you shouldn't have to stalk the forums for that I agree.

That said - what DOES delay the information is that our website is considered the absolute official advertising space for our guests and as such their PR manager REQUIRES that we use their written content. (Rightly so, and an industry standard for all celebrities.) So while we can semi officially put on the forums that a guest is attending - we have to have specially approved text for the website itself when doing the full promo announcement. We are going to work harder next year to delicately request that information be finalized quicker but please understand there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes that affect it. :)
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#13 User is offline   JediNight 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 01:42 PM

Quote

An order to panels and dealers in book: Alphabetical order to the dealers, artists, and panels would help find them in their respected sections.


I don't know about the Dealers room listings, but the Panels were listed in Alphabetical order by day. Fri (A-Z), Sat (A-Z), etc.

#14 User is offline   Stormy-chan 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 01:48 PM

I will start off by saying I had a fun time this Acen, and personally did not have any staff issues :)

As for the panels -

1) I was a little annoyed that these were not planned out better. I had one panel "CLAMP" in the program list it was suppose to be at 12:30pm but in the description said 3pm. I glad I checked with a staffer earlier that morning because I would have been really upset if I missed it.

2) Please put popular panels in the bigger rooms!! The Sailor Moon Sailor Squares was cancelled, so I tried to go to the Sailor Moon Talk panel.... It was in such a small space that the 75+ people waiting would never all get to see it! Sailor Moon is such a popular anime to this day and should always be placed in a bigger space as this reflected. Suffice it to say I didnt get to see it :(

3) I thoroughly enjoyed the - why does my kid have cat ears and green hair :) That was fun to see how some parents do think of anime :)

4) Also loved the panels on prop making and cosplay making :)

5) Loved the Oregon Trail 18+ panel that was a riot!

I do hope all these panels can return for next year I enjoyed them lots! And for the ones I missed to scheduling errors, or poor panel room arranging please please try to arrange things with the popularity of said show or topic in mind!!

I look forward to next ACEN, and thanks for the great time!

#15 User is offline   OtakuAngelD 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 02:00 PM

Lines: Lines are unavoidable. I understand this. However, perhaps making it so that a line is a single file line would help with the overcrowding of things like hallways and sidewalks. When I passed by the lines to events such as the Soapbubble, there were people standing in the line shoulder to shoulder giving less room for those passing to move around them. Perhaps a way to make this happen would be to cordon off the areas that lines would form in. Like the little cue area in front of main programming. Tape off a section of the sidewalk. One side is for the line, the other side is for the foot traffic.
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#16 User is offline   Aphex 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 02:28 PM

Cosplay Meetup in the program book: I think it would be great if the cosplay meetups can be added into the program book. I was into going to some of the meetups but I had no idea where they were. I ended up only going to the Hetalia group but I highly suggest that you add it on.

This post has been edited by Aphex: 24 May 2011 - 02:29 PM


#17 User is offline   JujuFox 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 03:56 PM

I was in the Artist Alley this year(my second time), and after missing the past two years I was glad to be able to return! I had a good time overall, but there were a few things I'd like to bring up...

Artist Alley vs Vendors:
Why were the hours different and so long? I thought it was pretty odd that the Vendors closed at 6:30 and the Alley was open until 7. Also, by 6 we noticed a significant drop in shoppers on Friday and Sat. Maybe being open until 7 is a bit too long?

Table crowding(Artists):
Most of the tables seemed okay, but there was one with way too many people at their table blocking the exit. I know there isn't a good solution to this, but there should be a limit to how many people can be at one table. It wasn't a big problem, but every time someone had to get out they had to squeeze by and ask them to move.

Power Drop:
We paid for a power drop, but our table wasn't next to one. We had to run the extension cord we brought over to our table. I did like our table location, so I guess I shouldn't complain. I just didn't want to have to run a cable behind us where the other artists have to walk over it and could potentially trip on it.

AA/Art Show Photography:
Most people did ask me if they could photograph my products, but there were a few video taping, and taking pictures without permission. Thank you for putting up the signs, but perhaps they needed to be a bit more visible? I saw them on sitting on chairs, but to get noticed maybe eye level would help like on a stand/easel? Sometimes a cute character too can get them noticed better.

Unfortunately, being in the Alley means I don't have time to experience much of the con, so I don't have much else to comment on.

Things I appreciated were:
- Welcome letter from the Hyatt w/helpful info on it(like Chinese and Pizza Delivery) and their early check-out contest
- Parking, Room, and Breakfast Buffet discounts!
- Our great table location, and the very wide aisles!
- Hassle free badge pick-up on Thursday

This post has been edited by DavenEvanXaviour: 24 May 2011 - 03:57 PM

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#18 User is offline   JennifurAB 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 06:53 PM

This was my first year here at acen, so I can't compare it to other conventions, but I do have a few suggestions.

- Video content warnings: When one show in the viewing rooms ended, they never told us which video was playing next. Needless to say, my friend and I were rather surprised by the echii and graphic language in the next show, and made a hasty exit. Also, would it be possible to move the projectors? It was hard to see behind them, so I just stood at the back of the room to see the subtitles.

- Cosplay meetups: It would be nice if the guidebook had both meetup times and a map - since the con center didn't have wifi that worked for me, I had to wait for almost an hour to get the forum page with the maps to load on my slow old phone, as well as help some others find the schedule online.

- Phones: My phone service dropped many times on Friday (It happened to almost everyone I met with T-Mobile), so it would be nice to know the locations of pay phones or such. It would also be nice if in the anime screening areas, it was required to have your phone off or silent, like in a movie theatre.

- Lines: The staff seemed confused about when some of the lines started, and in the line for the masquerade, we switched from a line to a group of loiterers about 7 times.

- Masqurade: It needed more pasta.

- Dealers: It would be nice if the dealers were grouped by their wares. It seemed to be in random order (Doujins at one table, rave clothes on the next.)

Over all, no major gripes. It was pretty fun, and I can't wait for 2012!
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#19 User is offline   TwilightDucky 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 06:57 PM

hey acen,

my first issue was waiting in a 4 and a half hour line on friday to pick up a badge i had already paid for...normally i get my badge in the mail but this year i missed it and registered just a alittle to late for that...no biggy, i figured i would hafta wait in a line for pick up but NOTHTING could prepare me for what i saw lined up outside the con friday morning...when we got to the front of the line i could see why it took so long...the two volunteers were frantically trying to hand write out badges...and they never actually asked to see my paper work they just asked me for my badge name and had already begun writing my badge out before i pulled my confirmation sheet out just because i felt i should NOT because they asked to see it...the guy next to me who had just taken his badge and was about to walk away remarked about not having his paper work and that it woulda been smart to bring....or i guess not since it clearly didnt matter...i realize this is cause they were in a panic to get badges out as fast as they could because the line was BEYOND to long...but still if your badge system is so poor that your skipping confirmation as a step just to get the line to move faster...theres a problem...i cant help thinking that something went wrong this year with the badges? i can only hope it was a malfunction this year only and that its not always like that?? i feel a little jipped after waiting in that unexpectedly long line, in full costume, without having eaten before leaving because i hadnt expected the wait, i was to exhausted and hungry to even stay at the con and had to return to my hotel...i saw paramedics tending to someone who had fainted and several people looked more than a little ill....i think if anything needs to change next year its your badge system....i WILL be registering early this year so i get my badge in the mail....i never want to hafta stand in that line again....ever ;-; part of my gripe here is i just dont see how in the past 14 years of acen's you havent gotten a solid badge delivery or automated system yet? i realize its expensive and time consuming...but you cant have your con goers PASSING out cause your registration and pick up lines are unacceptably long....it kinda ruined this years acen for me sadly....i miss getting to go to the one thing i wanted to get to the most because of the line...very un happy...i dont see why if they were just hand writing badges with sharpie markers a few volunteers couldnt go down the line with a sharpie in hand and a box of blank badges?? they werent checking confirmation anyway and even if they were i can pull out my conf sheet just as easily in line as out of it, or maybe there just send to be more booths of people writting out th badges at the front of the line? why cant people print out their badges at home after the pay online like SO MANY OTHER CONS/CONCERTS/EVENTS??? i guess it could be a concern that its easy to make fake copies of print out badges and all that but it is also easy to have a friend who got their badge in the mail take it and make copies of it to...and i have never once had a staff person actually TAKE A HOLD of my badge to look at it... they just give it a glance....so if its counterfeit your worried about its no better how your doing things right now....i just really think the badge system and delivery needs to be re worked if at all possible! i know money and volunteers and time are all factors but theres got to be a better way ;-;


my second issue is with the masquerade costume contest ...i just wish that their was a 'separate' judging for the colossal cosplay like crazy awesome things being wheeled out onto stage that can barely walk or move in their 'outfit' major props to them but i've always wanted to sign up for the masquerade and havent because my really awesome replica of a character is gonna be judged against THAT!? i just dont see how its fair to judge an exact likeness and detailed costume with a giant robot or crazy engineered thing....wish they had separate contests or judging for the two 'types' of cosplay, one for colossal: novice and journeyman, and one for normal cosplay: novice and journeyman....? dont know if anyone has put that out their before but its always put me off from trying my hand at the contests...i make beautiful costumes...not awesomely engineered stage pieces...they are both great and should be judged separately i feel....

thats all for me, its just those two issues... :) otherwise i love you acen dont change!!...<3
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#20 User is offline   TwilightDucky 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 07:30 PM

View PostMystline, on 24 May 2011 - 12:25 PM, said:

I'll just post what I posted in Gripes.

Gripes;

So much disorganization. Holy crap you guys.

1. I couldn't find anything and many things were moved, and almost all the staff members had no idea what I was talking about. - North Central? LOL WHO KNOWS!

2. Panels were cancelled or delayed. - I'm looking at you, FLOW concert. Nine hours of sound checking and you requested two more, AND GOT IT? The hell? Their concert was more than an hour too after it started. I was with the panelists of "Whose line it is anime?", they were pissed off and they deserved to be pissed off! Guests should not be allowed to change the entire schedule. It's completely unacceptable and "Whose line is it anime?" deserved better. Waaaaay better. They had to perform on the floor at first and almost everyone had to sit on the floor. :|

3. Policies and rules were changed at the last minute. - earlier this week I asked on here if bags and purses were allowed at the FLOW concert, I get to the FLOW concert and get told I can't bring it in? What? I was just told not even a week ago that it was allowed! Although now I'm glad I didn't go, because FLOW didn't deserve it.

4. Panelists - My friend was a panelist and got nearly no information about her panel. She didn't even get an email about her panel's time being switched.

5. Badges - Badges were lost, in the mail.

6. Information about guests and whatnot came at the very last minute. - It was April and there were barely any guests coming, the website was hardly updated. You only updated when someone on the forums complained.

7. Certain panels that nearly every con has weren't there. - Yaoi, yuri, shoujo-ai, and shounen-ai .... They were not there and I was disappointed. Overall I didn't like the panel programming much.

It was an average con overall.

ACen I love you. You're a great con, and the first con I've ever gone to. But Jesus Christ, I don't mean to be rude, I don't want to be rude, but get your crap together! I know you guys get a LOT of people a year, but that's no excuse to let so many things fall to crap! This isn't the first year either, ACen is notorious for it's disorganization.


sadly i completely agree with you
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Ciel Phantomhive (black butler) 5% complete
Quarian (Mass Effect) 10% complete

"somethings i'll never know...and I had to let them go.."

#21 User is offline   Kasumisty 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 09:59 PM

My suggestion to improve the convention is to bring in some sort of professionals. Such as planners, or someone/some group that has experience running large conventions. I think a lot of the problems happening with the convention in recent years are due to it getting too big for the group of people who currently run the convention to easily handle. I think bringing in people or a company who are more experienced in running large events like this one could help a lot.
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#22 User is offline   davebb 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:38 PM

Kasumistry, not to put you down as that is a very logical comment, but MAPS who is the overseer of ACen is a non-profit, and all of the people within staff are volunteers. We are also not all just simple people, but many of us do have degrees and certifications in management and such. My certification/license is in medical and emergency management, which is why I decided to volunteer on the medical staff (EMRT). I also do IT for a living, but in the situation at hand, my skills of medical and management is much more enjoyable than the ones I do for a living which is IT. It is nice doing something else for a change, and I do get to interact with so many people. Though I'm not the financial officer so I can't quote how the money all goes, but the money that we take in goes towards the rental of the space, equipment, housing for like the guests and stuff. As I said don't quote me on where money call goes as that is the finance officer's job, but it's just a logical thought. I remember this discussion about bringing in professionals to be in IRT, but that would be a mess. Considering an off duty police officer if they are not volunteering will be getting paid time and a half.

As I said Kasumisty, it is a very valid argument, but a lot of the resources on planning does exist within our organization. Just a lot of SNAFUs come up out of no where and drag lots of planning/fixing into one area while another section starts having problems. Its a game of catch up on problems. But keep the ideas coming though. Thank you for your thoughts.

EDIT

Quote

i guess it could be a concern that its easy to make fake copies of print out badges and all that but it is also easy to have a friend who got their badge in the mail take it and make copies of it to...and i have never once had a staff person actually TAKE A HOLD of my badge to look at it... they just give it a glance....so if its counterfeit your worried about its no better how your doing things right now....i just really think the badge system and delivery needs to be re worked if at all possible! i know money and volunteers and time are all factors but theres got to be a better way ;-;


When it comes to own badge printing, we do have anti-counterfeit measures in place. The registration was reworked back after "LineCon" which was 2008. After attending since 2005 through 2007 then joining staff in 2008 I've seen many improvements in registration since then. It still is slow, but from the influx of people that is to be expected.
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#23 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:42 PM

What I don't get is how a 14 year old con is having consistent issues. It baffles my mind. :\

View PostFoolish Humon, on 13 June 2010 - 07:19 PM, said:

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

#24 User is offline   audaciouska241 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:44 PM

C2E2 had an app for their con, it was really helpful.

Also, put the photoshoot times into the program books.

That's all from me for now. :)

#25 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:50 PM

I think the biggest problem with having an app is that not everyone has smartphones.

View PostFoolish Humon, on 13 June 2010 - 07:19 PM, said:

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

#26 User is offline   KirbyFanOne 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 11:05 PM

There's very few gripes I have concerning the con overall. I was annoyed by lines taking up half of a sidewalk but whatever, that happens and is highly unavoidable.

However... the no bag policy at the game room...

Absolutely horrible idea

The look on my face when I discovered we could not have bags even checked or held for us was just strange. Despite the fact that for two years no one said a thing about my bag came as a shock to me. I know theft can happen but this was too drastic a measure. We had a group of friends who had to wait for us to play in there a bit before they got a chance because our hotel was not connected or close enough to the con. I think a bag check would be the best option.

This post has been edited by KirbyFanOne: 24 May 2011 - 11:08 PM

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#27 User is offline   Rakuen 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 11:21 PM

View PostLina, on 24 May 2011 - 10:42 PM, said:

What I don't get is how a 14 year old con is having consistent issues. It baffles my mind. :\

Whenever I'm fixing bugs in a program I'm working on, I have to constantly go back and run all the previous tests. It's because changing one thing can often undo or alter other fixes. It's a very easy oversight to make, and can cause you to enter a vicious cycle of changes. Acen seems to make a lot of changes across the departments every year. Some work well, some don't work, and some break things. The key to breaking free is to progress slowly. Unfortunately, the convention has plenty of time to make changes, but only get to put them into production once per year. Production is an entirely different ballgame from development.

Of course, this is just an explanation of how things work, it doesn't actually solve anything. :/

View PostLina, on 24 May 2011 - 10:50 PM, said:

I think the biggest problem with having an app is that not everyone has smartphones.

That is, in fact, not a problem at all. Not having a smartphone just means you can't take advantage of the feature. It doesn't mean you should deny everyone else that feature.
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#28 User is offline   STVO 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:58 AM

First I want to touch on the few things that have been suggested:

* Anime Central App: This would be wonderful! If I could program it myself, I totally would. Items such as schedules, maps, etc. would be on there. For those that don't have a smart phone, keep the paper programs but for us smart phone users, it would be a nice convenience. :)

* Bag Check-In at Game Rooms/Raves: For the raves it could be hectic due to the size of people, but it is entirely feasible. You can do one of two things: 1. Several stores in downtown Chicago create two marks (i.e. attach a paper penguin to the bag and give another penguin to the person that owns the particular bag.) 2. At some bars that do coat checks, you get a ticket for said coat/bag.

* Line: ACen I love you but come on!!! Whether it's the registration line or getting an autograph from a guest, something NEEDS to be done. Take a look at Wizard World and C2E2 (which has only been around for two years.) Pre-registration/registration are really easy to get done at both. Simply put, send a spy to one or both events, steal what they do and have ACen do the same. ;)

In all seriousness though, here's what I recommend, take the person's info but when you give a badge, perhaps I can suggest not to put so much emphasis on a nickname. I mean really, look at the other two said cons, they don't focus on that, why should ACen? Really, all that should happen is you get a code on the badge (maybe write said code on applicant's form) then let them go in? As for pre-registration, it's called that for a reason right? How about I suggest abolishing will call or "at con pick up" and just charge an increased rate to mail them out? Yeah, it might suck to have to pay more, but really, I'd rather pay the extra than having to wait 4 hours to get my badge after I pre-registered. Anyone disagree with that?

A different suggestion I have which I'd like to try to get into more detail another day are some more 18+/21+ social events. It can either be an event at one of the bars inside the Hyatt, either split the rooms for Soap Bubble or get a different venue for a different dance, or even a room where people can go to interact (and yes I already know of hotel parties but I mean officially sanctioned events, lol.) I love ACen, but I think something more in those lines would make the con even better. :) Also, some speed dating or "Anime Big Date" "Singled Out" wouldn't hurt. :D

All the minor gripes aside, I'd like to say that Anime Central is easily my favorite con of the three I go to. My reason is that it's the most welcoming in terms of friendly people, I think ACen has the best costumes, and with all the different buildings events are now held, it easily has an edge over the others.

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#29 User is offline   Unka Josh 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 04:29 AM

View PostJennifurAB, on 24 May 2011 - 06:53 PM, said:

This was my first year here at acen, so I can't compare it to other conventions, but I do have a few suggestions.

- Video content warnings: When one show in the viewing rooms ended, they never told us which video was playing next. Needless to say, my friend and I were rather surprised by the echii and graphic language in the next show, and made a hasty exit. Also, would it be possible to move the projectors? It was hard to see behind them, so I just stood at the back of the room to see the subtitles.



...Actually, in front of every single room was posted the entire schedule, including what show was coming up, including the rating. We can try to add content warnings, of course.

As for moving the projectors... I wish that we practically could. I'm aware that the subtitles can be very hard to read; unfortunately, we can only do so much with the height of the ceilings in the video rooms. We'll do our best, of course.
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#30 User is offline   Mystline 

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 05:44 AM

View Postfrzndaqiri, on 24 May 2011 - 12:59 PM, said:

As the Webmistress I wanted to address this comment. I do not often make it into the forums - and I assure you I don't update the site just when there are complaints here. I don't like not having content up in a timely fashion either - you shouldn't have to stalk the forums for that I agree.

That said - what DOES delay the information is that our website is considered the absolute official advertising space for our guests and as such their PR manager REQUIRES that we use their written content. (Rightly so, and an industry standard for all celebrities.) So while we can semi officially put on the forums that a guest is attending - we have to have specially approved text for the website itself when doing the full promo announcement. We are going to work harder next year to delicately request that information be finalized quicker but please understand there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes that affect it. :)

I understand, hopefully the information next year will be finalized quicker. It's really nerve wracking not getting any information about official news until really late!

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