Let me echo FanFicGuru by thanking Marisa and all Fanime staff involved in pulling off another great swap meet this year. It's hard to choose one part of Fanime that I look forward to the most, but it's easily up there at the top with the dealer's hall and musicfest for me. Now, on to my own comments and observations:
I can understand the complaints about the long wait on Thursday to get in, even if I didn't experience that wait myself. I was lucky to register at spot #8 for Thursday night, so I got in almost right away, even though I arrived after people had already started to work their way in. To play devil's advocate, I can see why they might need to keep the badges in alphabetical order - anyone who didn't show up on Thursday would have to have their badges sent back to the registration staff to be picked up like usual on Friday or Saturday. And as long as you know to look at the LAST name and not the first, it really shouldn't take all that long to flip through the badges. Conversely, couldn't something like the badges have been dealt with while
people were waiting in line?
Having said that, I don't really understand the point of having a start time of 8:00, which I was actually expecting, only to see the first 20 spots already being processed and let in at 6:02. I actually wouldn't mind longer swap meet times, without stepping on the feet and pissing off the people in the dealer's hall on Friday, but instead of getting there with plenty of time to get my forms out and compose myself, I wound up getting in about a dozen spots later than where I had registered. Again, I'm not really sure how I feel about this part, since longer swap meets are a good thing in my opinion, but it would suck for anyone who only
showed up an hour early.
2) Spot size on Friday - I understand you're wanting the most spaces possible. The small size on Friday didn't bother me. It was paying $20 for half the size of the spot I had on Thursday. For next year if you guys do half spots ONLY on Fridays please let us know in advance (unless I missed that somewhere?) and cost should only be $10 instead of $20.
Actually, spots were only 5'x10' both days this year. Like I posted a ways back, I'm surprised nobody else really said anything about this. I decided to hold off judgement until after swap meet so I can see how it actually worked out, and all in all, it wasn't horrible. I do have to admit I'm a little sore at the $20 cost for the "half space," since it seems like you're getting more people squeezed into the same size room, and we all have to pay the same as last year's larger space. Cost aside, I think it would have worked out better for the sellers to have a wider spot, rather than a deep one. It was difficult to interact with people interested when you couldn't reach them because of all the stuff between you. Not only that, but having wider spots that didn't stick out so far into the room would have eased the congestion of people, which was a problem on Friday. You had sellers sticking 10' out from the wall, then buyers three people deep, people trying to walk in both directions, and gamers trying to enjoy some eGaming goodness. Wider spots would mean fewer spaces along the walls, but don't you think you could fit another row or two of spots out in the "middle" of the floor?
And to just touch on some other line-related things, I too think that inspections can at least start while people are in line. When you've got a bunch of stuff to have opened up, looked at, and then stacked back up all while more people are coming in right behind you, it can be a pain. For me, getting to my spot after
I got my badge and payed my $20 was the most difficult part on Thursday. And if staffers are going to have reserved spots to sell anyway, why not have them processed even earlier than everyone else, not just at the "front" of the line. Either that, or have it done parallel to everyone else. If they're staff, I don't think you'd have to inspect their boxes as throughly or have the same problems with the badges. Give them some perks because they're staffing, but not at the cost of the paying attendees who wind up having to wait behind them.
Having said all that, I do hope that swap meet was as successful for everyone else as it was for me. Although I didn't sell quite as much as I would have liked, and didn't get a chance to shop with anyone else other than my neighbors because I went stag, I still had a blast, and wound up more than paying for my weekend with what I did sell. Fanime may still have Monday to go, but I'm already looking forward to seeing swap meet '12!