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Somebody

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #140 on: May 31, 2012, 01:10:10 PM »

I'm not sure if Gaming Staff comments go here, but I had one tiny thing to mention.
Monday when the staff closed gaming, I completely missed the warning calls over the loudspeakers, so that's my fault. The music to the game I was playing was terribly loud and knowing time was nearing up, I probably should have stepped away and asked (not to mention my friends who were sitting nearby should have come and gotten me off when they heard it). However, when staff came and surrounded my game to escort me out, I didn't know what was going on until one of them started yelling and snarling at me. I completely understand that he was doing this to get my attention and not be rude or harsh, but it scared the living daylights out of me! I scrambled off the machine and tried to grab my stuff as quickly as I could, but almost dropped my phone and bag as we were what felt more like chased than escorted out.

Is there any other way they could bring a halt to the game? If I had seen him stick his hands in front of the screen or his face moreso in front of me rather than just around the sides I feel I would have noticed him sooner and left. Because he was standing on the side out of my direct eyesight, I thought he was just my friend taking photos again- I wasn't trying to be difficult or ignore him!  :-[
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Siddy

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #141 on: May 31, 2012, 02:38:42 PM »

Comments: I was happy to see the pocket schedule return this year. It was very difficult to find anything last year without it, causing some of the panels to go unnoticed. The entertainment panels put on by the con were entertaining, though not as many as there were last year IIRC. It's easy for me to say that I had a great time while I was there; however, what bothered me the most was the mishap at the pre-registration line for Thursday. It's not cool that some of us get there as early as 11a-1p and have to wait even longer due to an issue, but I understand that it can't always be helped. I heard various rumors as to the reason for the delay that lasted over an hour, such as a database problem or an angry attendee trying to pick up their badge. If anyone can dispel those rumors, it would be appreciated.

Thoughts: What I also found interesting was that the line to purchase passes for the convention was shorter than the pre-registration line at times, though it could have been coincidence on my part. I thought the point of registering early was to avoid the line, as well as the price increase. What would be required to mail passes to people that pre-registered? Or what would be required to allow for temporary/permanent passes, possibly with a barcode system, to be printed out at home? It may or may not be within the con's budget, but I'm curious as to what it would entail.

Another thing that I find interesting is the lack of whichever theme the convention chooses, and it's a little disappointing to not see the con be more active with it. If there is going to be a theme, wouldn't it be fun to have events and more decorations related to the theme? Since the theme was high-school sports, couldn't there have been morning and afternoon exercises in the front of the convention center, 100-meter dash on the lower floor, or possibly some cosplay dodgeball in one of the satellite halls (with signed waivers of course)?

Anyways, despite what happened, I look forward to next year's convention.
tl;dr: Good pocket guides, lines were long, needed more sports theme.
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keitoghostie

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #142 on: May 31, 2012, 03:10:46 PM »

Pros:
- Mai Aizawa as a guest
- The dealers' hall, gaming hall, and artist alley were the most organized and lively in all 6 years I've gone
- The "walking info desk" volunteers were wonderful and very helpful!
- There was a local sandwich shop that gave me and my group a 10% discount on our food for having Fanime badges - I don't know how much say anyone had in informing local businesses of the convention but it definitely was a positive part of my convention experience

Cons:
- Hallways and walkways were crowded even on "quieter" days like Friday and Monday
- Schedule not being out until just barely before the convention
- As many others have said, the registration lines, PARTICULARLY the lack of air circulation in the zig-zag part of the pre-registration line - I'd totally suggest putting up a couple fans to just move the air around because it got pretty stuffy when I wasn't near the hallway (this was around 3-5pm on Friday)
However I have to say the pre-reg line was structured in a wonderful, Disneyland-esque way that made me think I was closer than I was (which was a nice morale boost!)

Also re: badges/registration, what's the merit of having personalized badges?
When I went to WonderCon in 2011, the process was very streamlined since the only distinction was by badge type and there wasn't any actual registration - I'm wondering if that'd be beneficial for Fanime.

Ska_Kitti

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #143 on: May 31, 2012, 03:56:20 PM »

I'm not sure if Gaming Staff comments go here, but I had one tiny thing to mention.
Monday when the staff closed gaming, I completely missed the warning calls over the loudspeakers, so that's my fault. The music to the game I was playing was terribly loud and knowing time was nearing up, I probably should have stepped away and asked (not to mention my friends who were sitting nearby should have come and gotten me off when they heard it). However, when staff came and surrounded my game to escort me out, I didn't know what was going on until one of them started yelling and snarling at me. I completely understand that he was doing this to get my attention and not be rude or harsh, but it scared the living daylights out of me! I scrambled off the machine and tried to grab my stuff as quickly as I could, but almost dropped my phone and bag as we were what felt more like chased than escorted out.

Is there any other way they could bring a halt to the game? If I had seen him stick his hands in front of the screen or his face moreso in front of me rather than just around the sides I feel I would have noticed him sooner and left. Because he was standing on the side out of my direct eyesight, I thought he was just my friend taking photos again- I wasn't trying to be difficult or ignore him!  :-[

Hihi, Gaming Hall Manager here. I remember giving out specific reminders to those throughout the hall. I was the voice calling out the members and staff over the loudspeaker throughout con. If you have a specific description of the person/people who were acting out while we were escorting others out, then please PM me their descriptions so I can take care of them myself. There is no way I or my staff are allowed to touch any of the arcade cabinets; only our Arcade vendor are allowed to touch the machines as far as powering down or performing maintenance.
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chifunii

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #144 on: May 31, 2012, 04:21:46 PM »

Still wondering whatever became of the Nightmare/Megumi merchandise. Did it ever actually go on sale?

So here's the story with that...
Other than being announced at MusicFest like it was a passing thought, there was probably only one staff member at the entire convention who knew WHEN and WHERE this was happening. I had to google and tumblr my butt off looking for anyone who knew, and it turns out I ran into the ONLY PERSON who asked that one staff member (after questioning many other people and waiting a long time) online. I asked her where, and it was actually at the autographs room on Sunday after the last autograph session. So in approximation, this was around 6pm (and I heard it was supposed to go until 9pm). But because, you know, nobody knew about this, that girl and I were the only people there--Probably for the entire 3 hours the staff guy was there at the table he set up with all the goods.

Saadfaceee. I'm sure there would've been more people had people known when and where to look. :/

I had to leave, but it seems like the girl I met with ended up having a short talk with the staff member, and she will be taking orders, I believe, in cooperation with the staff guy, for those goods that were available Sunday night. Whether or not it is just Nightmare goods or not, I am not sure. Though, if there is interest, I can find out and post here.
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SweetNiar

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #145 on: May 31, 2012, 04:50:38 PM »

-Lastly, why aren't anyone following the arrows on the floor in the main convention lobby?  It's not that hard.  The mass chaos of crowds going on was overwhelming and it happens every year.  Maybe a few volunteers in that area for traffic control would help!

Thank You!! XD I was wondering the same thing how empty this year those walk way lines were and why no one wanted to use them.  There was so much room.  Maybe a sudden allergy or disgust toward arrows??
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Gunbuster

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #146 on: May 31, 2012, 05:36:19 PM »

Still wondering whatever became of the Nightmare/Megumi merchandise. Did it ever actually go on sale?

So here's the story with that...
Other than being announced at MusicFest like it was a passing thought, there was probably only one staff member at the entire convention who knew WHEN and WHERE this was happening. I had to google and tumblr my butt off looking for anyone who knew, and it turns out I ran into the ONLY PERSON who asked that one staff member (after questioning many other people and waiting a long time) online. I asked her where, and it was actually at the autographs room on Sunday after the last autograph session. So in approximation, this was around 6pm (and I heard it was supposed to go until 9pm). But because, you know, nobody knew about this, that girl and I were the only people there--Probably for the entire 3 hours the staff guy was there at the table he set up with all the goods.

Saadfaceee. I'm sure there would've been more people had people known when and where to look. :/

I had to leave, but it seems like the girl I met with ended up having a short talk with the staff member, and she will be taking orders, I believe, in cooperation with the staff guy, for those goods that were available Sunday night. Whether or not it is just Nightmare goods or not, I am not sure. Though, if there is interest, I can find out and post here.


Thanks! To think I was actually there around an hour before. I even asked about it and was told I complained too much. I'd definitely love some info on order information if that includes the Megumi stuff.
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UminoJenia

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #147 on: May 31, 2012, 08:08:24 PM »

Also re: badges/registration, what's the merit of having personalized badges?
When I went to WonderCon in 2011, the process was very streamlined since the only distinction was by badge type and there wasn't any actual registration - I'm wondering if that'd be beneficial for Fanime.
[/quote]


I totally agree with this suggestion - having just a plain badge (no 'personal' or 'fan' name or even badge #) would reduce the long lines, the constant problem of losing someone's badge, or having to print out and bring the verification letter/post card - You could still have a nice design and the date/year on the badge, but it would still be a generic style for a 3-day pass  or a 1-day pass.

I also think it's time for the organizers to hire some professional event coordinators to help them with next year's convention - the pros can certainly guide the staff with much better strategy on how to be better organized AND help train the 'volunteers' (aka the younger folks) - teach them to be more responsible and attentive to the attendees and not spend time on their smartphones or talking to their friends when a fan is asking a question or needs help - you gotta be responsible, volunteers, and realize this is a type of job training for the 'real world' when you actually get paid to work - No excuse for you to NOT know what's going on at Fanime - no  more "I don't know" or "go ask that guy" responses -- You are representing the Fanime family, so show some good work ethics and do your best - and don't volunteer just to get a free badge or free hotel room!!
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 08:26:18 PM by UminoJenia »
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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #148 on: May 31, 2012, 08:47:16 PM »

Speed dating event was very poorly run and unorganized.

People that were accepted and registered ahead of time were not accepted or allowed in because the people in charge were letting walk-ins take the spots.

In my case I was not let in because my name was not on the list, yet I received an email saying I got in and I want to thank the event staff for wasting my time.  ;)
http://imgur.com/lBQ3n

Edit: And yes, we were there on time.


Just to clarify and explain the course of events that transcended on Friday night...
We did register people who were accepted in their specific time slots (those who received a congratulatory email) on Friday. Many pre-registered people came and some did not, consequently forfeited their spot by tardiness or absence. In the email we did say to come 10 minutes before the event- meaning 7:50PM. We, the Staff, did not let walk-ins register until 5-10 minutes after 8PM (and we did this for every event, waiting 5-10 minutes after the hour). Meaning if you came late, did not come forward, and register at 7:50PM, then you lost your spot. We even waited until after 8PM to ensure that all pre-registered, confirmed members were in the event first. We apologize if you were confused or not registered first, but I remember that day, walking up and down the line, asking for confirmed pre-registered Speed Dating attendees to come to the front to be enrolled first.

We will appreciate and consider all feedback into account to improve Speed Dating next year. We will email out Confirmed Congratulatory acceptance emails and emails for people who did not receive a time slot next year to address any confusions.
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meowrei

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #149 on: May 31, 2012, 08:56:24 PM »

Also re: badges/registration, what's the merit of having personalized badges?
When I went to WonderCon in 2011, the process was very streamlined since the only distinction was by badge type and there wasn't any actual registration - I'm wondering if that'd be beneficial for Fanime.


I totally agree with this suggestion - having just a plain badge (no 'personal' or 'fan' name or even badge #) would reduce the long lines, the constant problem of losing someone's badge, or having to print out and bring the verification letter/post card - You could still have a nice design and the date/year on the badge, but it would still be a generic style for a 3-day pass  or a 1-day pass.

[/quote]

WonderCon (ComicCon) does require pre-reg to have a print-out and depending on when you arrive, the lines can be quite long. Plus unlike Fanime, WonderCon (ComicCon) does not allow a group leader to pick up badges for others.   <== Looking at an old email, they did let me be group leader for others.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 09:06:25 PM by meowrei »
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chifunii

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #150 on: May 31, 2012, 09:06:44 PM »

teach them to be more responsible and attentive to the attendees and not spend time on their smartphones or talking to their friends when a fan is asking a question or needs help - you gotta be responsible, volunteers, and realize this is a type of job training for the 'real world' when you actually get paid to work - No excuse for you to NOT know what's going on at Fanime - no  more "I don't know" or "go ask that guy" responses -- You are representing the Fanime family, so show some good work ethics and do your best - and don't volunteer just to get a free badge or free hotel room!!

Dunno about the rest of the suggestions UminoJ made, but for this ^, yes like yes like forever yes. Is it so hard to go find me an answer? You working for Fanime (as staff or volunteer) sets you up for an onslaught of questions about con, 90% of which you won't know the answer to. But as part of the inner workings of Fanime...at least try to be mildly helpful. ><;


edit: not to say that there weren't totally spectacular, applause-worth staff members and volunteers. There were. Just saying there were quite a few that weren't.
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cottoncandymuffin

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #151 on: May 31, 2012, 09:10:23 PM »

This is a small issue, but I don't know if it was addressed earlier: I was volunteering for registration lines and a LOT of people registering at-con couldn't seem to figure out the difference between the registration and the payment line. Maybe it could be a little clearer next year so that those waiting for their friends/family to finish don't accidentally wait inside the registration room (and annoy the staff inside)?

Also, in general, instead of mailing out badges, can we simply expand the number registration booths (which might require moving to another location) so that even if the line is long, it would move super fast? I was lucky and only waited 2 hours Friday afternoon for mine, but I know for others they weren't so lucky :\

On a positive note, Artist Alley and Dealers Hall was absolutely amazing! I think I circled it a few times each day because I couldn't pick what I wanted to buy (without blowing my budget)! xD And the Swap Meet and pocket schedules were totally awesome :D Love that Swap Meet was expanded to the Fairmont ^^
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cottoncandymuffin

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #152 on: May 31, 2012, 09:18:27 PM »

teach them to be more responsible and attentive to the attendees and not spend time on their smartphones or talking to their friends when a fan is asking a question or needs help - you gotta be responsible, volunteers, and realize this is a type of job training for the 'real world' when you actually get paid to work - No excuse for you to NOT know what's going on at Fanime - no  more "I don't know" or "go ask that guy" responses -- You are representing the Fanime family, so show some good work ethics and do your best - and don't volunteer just to get a free badge or free hotel room!!

Dunno about the rest of the suggestions UminoJ made, but for this ^, yes like yes like forever yes. Is it so hard to go find me an answer? You working for Fanime (as staff or volunteer) sets you up for an onslaught of questions about con, 90% of which you won't know the answer to. But as part of the inner workings of Fanime...at least try to be mildly helpful. ><;

edit: not to say that there weren't totally spectacular, applause-worth staff members and volunteers. There were. Just saying there were quite a few that weren't.
As a volunteer, I think this isn't so much of the volunteer's problem, but more of the staff's because they never really tell us these kinds of things until it's too late :( I had to redirect a lot of people to a staffer because I honestly couldn't answer their question.They might assume that people would ask either a staffer or go to the info desk since there's a difference between the two (and staff sounds more official I guess xP).

This might take a bit of time, but maybe when people sign up to volunteer they can give us a booklet or something of common questions that people may ask (ex: what to do if I lost a badge -- I got this one asked a few times)? Volunteers don't get any training beforehand, so it would probably help at least a bit ;)
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 09:51:37 PM by cottoncandymuffin »
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Aelia

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #153 on: May 31, 2012, 09:33:29 PM »

This might take a bit of time, but maybe when people sign up to volunteer they can give us a booklet or something of common questions that people may ask (ex: what to do about lost badges -- I got this one asked a few times)? Volunteers don't get any training beforehand, so it would probably help at least a bit ;)
I was going to make an "If ___ then ___" cheat sheet for my staff. It might be worth passing along to volunteers. I'll talk to them and see if we can't have something setup for next year.
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chifunii

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #154 on: May 31, 2012, 09:45:09 PM »

As a volunteer, I think this isn't so much of the volunteer's problem, but more of the staff's because they never really tell us these kinds of things until it's too late :( I had to redirect a lot of people to a staffer because I honestly couldn't answer their question.They might assume that people would ask either a staffer or go to the info desk since there's a difference between the two (and staff sounds more official I guess xP).

This might take a bit of time, but maybe when people sign up to volunteer they can give us a booklet or something of common questions that people may ask (ex: what to do about lost badges -- I got this one asked a few times)? Volunteers don't get any training beforehand, so it would probably help at least a bit ;)

I gotta agree with you here...so I take back some of what I said.
Usually if I have a question/problem, I go looking for staff anyway, so it's not so much as the volunteers saying "go talk to that guy", but rather, other staff directing to other staff.

If it's circumstantial (like the reg line opening or closing at noon disparity), then it makes sense to get the higher ups to make a decision about stuff, but if it's something with a direct answer (ex. about lost badges...or where the registration line is...or where the B&W ball is this year, etc.) I'd like to get a little more direct help.
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Michi

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #155 on: May 31, 2012, 09:53:51 PM »

I would gladly pay extra to get my badge mailed. I waited about 3 1/2 hours for my pre-reg badge on Friday afternoon, nearly missing swap meet deadline as a seller. If I didn't have friends on staff to contact about my situation while I was in line, I would have been screwed.

But worse than that? Last year, my boyfriend had to wait a couple of hours for his badge when he arrived Saturday afternoon. I was upset, but hey, it was the afternoon on Saturday and registration was busy. This year, he got in line at 10:30 am and did not have his badge until AFTER 3 pm. He was ONLY getting a ONE DAY Saturday badge. That is nearly 5 hours of programming time he missed on his only day at the con because of a registration line. I felt like he should have been comped a full weekend badge at that point, or given a discount. Seriously.

If absolutely nothing else is changed to registration, please make a separate one day badge line. If this doesn't happen I'll just pay extra to get him a full weekend badge and pick it up for him as a group thing. It's just ridiculous how much he had to miss. Thank goodness the con is 24 hours and we could still do things like video rooms at 11 pm.

That said, there definitely needs to be more space dedicated to registration. 4 booths that could handle 8 guests at a time with pre-reg is not nearly enough. Maybe have special reg lines at each hotel? Mail out? Attach with hotel check-in? Something, please!

Those lines really put a damper on my weekend. But I still adore that the con is 24 hours, loved the new swap meet area (especially since my room was booked at the Fairmont), and was very happy to see the return of pocket schedules. As for that last one, I even have a smart phone now this year but still definitely preferred the paper booklet!
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Maskenlav

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #156 on: May 31, 2012, 10:33:16 PM »

I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this earlier, but it regards the registration rates. I don't want to have to pay around $60 for access to the same areas as someone without a badge can go to; which is about everywhere else: like outside the convention center, most of the ground and main floors of the convention center. With a badge, you can access the dealers room, panels, artist alley, video rooms, dance, and main events. But the majority of FanimeCon happenings occur in the general public where you don't need a badge to access. What can justify $60 registration value, versus where I can experience it for free and no one can notice? Of course I pre-register and attend FanimeCon for the last 12 years because I support everything the convention and the staff goes through and the fandom of otaku-dom and gamers.
Maybe better enforcement of badges and actual boundaries of events?


DUDE I WAS THINKING OF THIS! Paying to go see free games/artists/events for $50+ is so trucking wierd. I guess thats just the way fanime exists. Pay to see free things???
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Tsu

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #157 on: June 01, 2012, 12:41:57 AM »

The Good:

-Pocket Schedules! I'm so glad to see these back. It made things much easier to find, though the format was a little difficult at times.

-The Dealer's Room and the Arcade seemed to be pretty good this year.


The Bad (though I will mention some good aspects):

-Registration. It's been said over and over again, but I don't care- I stood in it, so I'm going to complain about it. I stood in line on Friday to get my badge for just over 3 hours. While the line seemed to be moving more than it did last year on Thursday, it was MUCH longer. Thankfully the people in line that I encountered seemed well behaved and friendly (unlike last year, with a lot of line-cutting going on) but otherwise it was terrible. We missed screenings we wanted to see, barely got in to the dealer's room for 15 minutes before it closed. Like others have said, I would gladly pay a fee to have my badge sent to me OR to have the equipment improved/staff increased/whatever in order for the lines to be shorter and the technology more modern. I will note that once we got inside the registration area that the people there were really nice and extremely efficient. I'd barely handed over my paper and ID before my group's badges were handed over. It startled me how fast it was!

-Schedule mishaps/changes/access. The online/mobile schedule was said to be the most up to date, current schedule available, except that no links were made on the main fanime website to the schedule! And my phone didn't send me to the mobile site. So I had to go back to my room, find the programming books and look to see if there was a website listed for it. There was. But that's goofy. How hard would've it been to put up a news post saying "Here's the mobile schedule/online schedule!" on the main page, or twitter, or facebook, or SOMETHING? :/

Additionally, there were schedule mishaps that bothered the heck out of me. The programming booklet said that the FMV Awards were going to be at 5 pm, but the full information book (what's it called? the pretty big one that came in our bag) said 2 pm. I get the impression that the schedule was changed somewhere in development, but having the two official schedule/informational things say two different things was irritating. (Thankfully the coordinators were awesome and personally emailed me when I asked to inform me of the change.)

-Traffic/crowding. I personally think the lanes near Stage Zero do a great job- I remember the clusterblargh that was there in the years before those lanes, but the overall crowding around Stage Zero is dreadful. Can something be done to move the crowd to either side, at least? Sometimes during the big events it would be pushing back all the way into the lanes and make it almost impossible to get around.

-Pre-Reg. In the mini-schedule it listed pre-reg as STARTING at Noon. My plan was to swing by on the way back from the arcade, only to have the loudspeaker come on and inform us AT Noon that pre-reg had closed. This was extremely frustrating.

Overall, I think if big changes are made to the schedule, I think they should be posted on the main page- or a link should be on the main page with all changes attached to it. When I did finally find the mobile schedule I noticed that it listed some changes, but not all- such as pre-reg and the FMVs. One can't always make it to the info desk, especially when it's right next to the huge crowd that is Stage Zero.

Overall:

I will most likely return to Fanime next year. I'm a fan of the con overall, but this year was definitely a disappointment. I sincerely hope something is done to provide relief to the lines next year. I was relieved to hear that other conventions have found ways to alleviate the length and time spent in the lines, because I'm sure Fanime can follow suit. Also, I know that our complaints are always listened to and usually acted upon, so I hope that this upcoming year is no exception.
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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #158 on: June 01, 2012, 12:46:24 AM »

Having read the entire topic to ensure that no one else has touched on exactly what I want to touch on, I have decided to go ahead and make this post. Before I begin:

 - Please understand that while I was incredibly frustrated with my experience, I was not angry. The two are entirely different things.
 - I have been attending and working conventions for twenty four years. That's since I was 16. You can do the math.
 - What I am about to write is an attempt to help and improve a bad situation that will only get worse if left unchecked. Please, Fanime Staff, understand that "it's always been done this way" does not mean that it's the best way. If a method is broken, the proper solution is to mend it, and perhaps even replace it, not let it continue to be broken.
 - I mentioned some of these things on Friday after picking up my (replacement) badges to a lady who identified herself as the "person in charge" of the registration team. I did not get her name. I want to say she was polite, courteous, and professional. It was clear to me that she was stressed and worried about the situation of registration as a whole. It is because of the concern she showed that I am writing this.

I want to help you make next year better. I believe that you can do this, and I wouldn't give your convention my money if I didn't.

Okay. Let's get to it.

Fanime Pre-Registration Is Broken

There is no simpler way to put it. This is not an accusation. It is a statement of fact. As well as my own experience (which I will discuss shortly), I heard repeatedly, throughout the weekend, that many artists, swap meet sellers, and the like (at least one dealer was saying similar things - I'm not aware of the state of dealer reg), were forced to wait through the pre-reg line. Artists having to go through the pre-reg line? They've got sales to make. They can't afford that wait. Swap meeters? Well, okay, they're technically con-goers, but they're also there to make money. This is a symptom of the sickness, which is:

 - The method by which you distribute badges is flawed. Currently, we get into line, wait, get to a small series of booths, and give someone our ID. They then check our ID against the database, find our member number, and tell it to another person, who goes to a series of tables and proceed to hunt and peck through piles of badges to find those numbers. This takes unnecessary time and energy, and is inefficient. It adds time to the process, and requires more resources than it should.

How Do You Fix This?

Many suggestions have been made. I'd like to repeat the concept of charging an additional fee (I would suggest no more than $5, or no one will use it) for pre-convention mailing. I have heard the "none of our staff wants to stuff envelopes" counter-argument, and to that I say: Bollocks. Working at a convention means you frequently have to do something you "don't want" to do, but you do anyway because you're there to help. I apologize if I sound brusque, but that answer is simply short-sighted and is not in the best interests of your attendees. I have stuffed envelopes for more conventions than I care to count, and been happy to do it, because it cut down the at-con registration lines, it made our attendees happy, and gave us more cash-flow to work with. But let's for a moment not deal with that, and deal with a method of on-site resolution.

 - Assign multiple dedicated booths and sites for pre-registration. Nearly every other convention I have ever worked has had pre-reg broken out into sections, as follows:
   * Dealers - All Dealers confirm registration at the entrance to Dealers Hall.
   * Artists - All Artists confirm registration at the entrance to the Artists Hall.
   * Groups - All Group Registrations queue at the dedicated Group Registration table.
   * Everyone Else - Assign five tables/booths/kiosks/what-have-you, broken out alphabetically (A-E, F-J, K-O, P-T, U-Z)

  At ALL tables, provide ALL appropriate badges (so table A-E would have all badges for that grouping), and assign two staff members. One staffer checks registration details, the other sorts and slip-covers the attendee's badge(s), then hands them their packet. If and when one table runs out of badges to hand out, those staffers move to the table with the most registrations remaining to disburse. This method has been implemented at nearly every convention I have worked at, and it has worked marvelously. Dealers get their registrations quickly, Artists get right in to set up their tables, and everyone's happy.

  I realize this will require a complete reworking of how you're doing things now. It will require 16 staff members to pull off properly. But it will cut time-in-line, frustration, and your overall pre-reg difficulties in half, if not more.

Further registration thoughts:

 *Confusion on where badges were to be picked up* - When I finally got to the head of the line, I found out that my badges had been shipped to Clockwork Alchemy. This was especially confusing because my registration confirmation e-mail (received on May 22) instructed me to pick up my badges at Fanime itself. When I got to the head of the Fanime pre-reg line, I was met with confusion by the staff and roughly ten minutes of waiting while the issue was sorted out. The official Fanime communication told me to pick my badges up at Fanime, and apparently my badges were shipped to the sister-convention, and no one could explain why. I would later find out from the various con-goers I spoke to throughout the weekend that this was more common than I'd like to have thought. I was able to hop a shuttle bus and grab my real badges (And thank you to the reg staff for getting me some replacements - I dutifully left those at the CA reg desk, so as not to abuse the system) in roughly 20 minutes once the issue was discovered, but it shouldn't have happened in the first place.

 *On-Site registration is unnecessarily complex and tedious* - People registering on-site should have the option of getting a single-day wristband for a single-day price. Simple, quick, painless. Use a different color for different days to avoid people gaming the system. Attendees wishing to attend for more than one day can therefore be funneled into a separate line in which they can provide further personal details (name, fan-name, etc). One-day attendees should be able to sign up for convention-related communications at their discretion. It should not be mandatory. Provide the one-day con-goers with a simple pay-and-play solution, and you'll make many people very happy.

 *Minors need to be clearly marked as such* - I realize that Fanime is a dry convention, but frankly, I have seen more intoxicated minors in the past two years than I care to think about. I have attended and worked several conventions where "Minor Markers" were placed onto badges or wristbands so as to be clearly visible and unable to be removed without destroying or damaging the badge. These markers assist staff in keeping an eye on attendees and helping keep the convention out of any legal entanglements. There are other advantages to these markers, which should be clear to anyone with a few moments of thought.

Non-Registration thoughts:

 *Please send out progress reports* - The only reason I knew about Clockwork Alchemy was because I followed a link on your home page. The only reason I knew about any of the events I attended was because of those same links. If Fanime had a regular progress report sent out via e-mail (Again, I do not know why you buck the trend that so many other conventions follow), containing information on events, guests, schedule changes, and the like, you'd see event attendance go up, you'd have happier attendees and a greater participation rate.

 *Please Patrol the floors more frequently, and do something about traffic blockages* - More than once, the upper concourse between the Artists Alley, Dealers Entrance, and Gaming/Maid Cafe areas was blocked off by people having impromptu dance-battles, DJ sessions, or other general tomfoolery. These create fire hazards and safety code violations, and can get Fanime some serious guff from the authorities. Put simply, they need to be stopped - or at least corralled into their own, more open and accessible, areas. I'm not against people having fun - I go to conventions to have fun! - but when people are unable to safely and freely move between function rooms because the only space to do so is a ten-foot wide partition of the concourse, because the other thirty feet are blocked off by a throng of people watching a dance battle... something is very wrong.

 *Open both doors for Dealers and Gaming to all traffic* - The excuse I hear every Fanime as to why the doors are single-direction traffic only is that it's a "Fire Code" issue. This is simply not true. If it is, then the San Jose Fire Code has changed since the last convention I worked in the McEnery Convention Center - and further, it changes depending on whether or not Fanime is at the site. Honestly, the only reason to have the one-way doors is traffic control, and we all can see this. Traffic control is fine, but please, call it what it is, and don't blame the civic codes. However, having both doors to the Artists Alley bidirectional this year not only reduced congestion, but it enabled people with large or difficult costumes to more easily get in to the function room without added walking distance (as has been mentioned before).

 *Hire security staff that are actually security trained* - I don't know if you do currently, but please hire people for security that actually have their valid, current guard cards. You will be happy you did, and you will have far fewer "communication issues" with your security staff.

The Good Stuff

I'm not all gloom and doom (although I hope my criticism is seen as constructive!). I particularly enjoyed the panels I got to (the cosplay armor panel especially), and I was glad to see the roving info desk out and about. Artists Alley was pretty fabulous, and although Dealers was exceptionally muggy and humid (what was up with that?), it was full of awesome. I'm especially grateful for the snack bar being open in Dealers, as it kept me on my feet for quite some time when I needed it.

The staff at Info Desk, and the staffers in the Dealers and Artists were very courteous and polite, and pretty much every time I needed help, there was someone nearby to point me in the right direction.

Clockwork Alchemy needed more promotion, but was fun and I was quite pleased with it as a freshman effort. I'd like to see it return.

That's about all I have to say. I hope it's been useful.

Thank you. :)
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 12:52:13 AM by Chronopunk »
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spycker

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Re: FanimeCon 2012 Feedback
« Reply #159 on: June 01, 2012, 12:52:00 AM »

It was good but it needs more tweaking! Where was I able to find the " combat with weapons teaching ? " and " how to make your own armor ? " Ive looked throughout the book numerous times and couldnt find nothing! For next year can we please seperate the kids and the older people from the raves? I wouldnt be happy to be grinded up against with a minor, im not saying it happend im just saying since im 24. overall, fix your systems and mark down where this and that is going to be located! thanks!
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