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otakuya

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2015, 06:55:31 PM »

Exhibitions
 - I know it's a convention and not a trade show, but the small industry presence and lack of exhibitions other than a sponsored panel seems to maintain a "small con" feel unless that's what you are going for.

I actually second this. I do want sponsors and industry presence from anime, distribution, video game, media, etc companies, so that Fanime becomes more than just a hangout. Fanime has grown up and shouldn't maintain the 'small con' feel anymore. Talk to people from Funimation, Sega, Capcom, Crunchyroll, Viz, Nintendo, YouTube, etc so that they can be part of this. More convention exclusives.


Also, have more of a promotion and marketing presence before the con. There are usually signs plastered over places like SF Japantown and libraries. The FanimeCon light rail was fun to see, but I don't think it helped with promotions. Which is why the industry presence is important, (example) where Sega can promote themselves being at Fanime with demos of their new game on Facebook and magazines. It fits the demographic they are going for.


With over 27,000 attendants, maybe also use a professional event planning company for issues like crowd control, signage, promotions, marketing, social and industry presence, and other things.


Take WWE Wrestlemania Axxess for example:
« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 07:03:49 PM by otakuya »
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Amarok

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2015, 10:40:05 PM »

Before I blast you guys with some negative feedback, I wanted to say that I absolutely had a fantastic time at Fanime this year! I can't wait to come back next year. My hat goes off to everybody for their hard work in making it happen, and I appreciate all the hours and effort that it took. My negative feedback is just because I feel Fanime suffers from some poor organizational problems that hurt its reputation and experience for attendees. Fixing some of these things would really help make it an even better con and one that people can look forward to not only for the fun, but for being well-organized and responsive.

Swap meet:
*Signs for swap meet at the convention center were vague/confusing. Would've helped a lot to have a clear indication of where it was and how to get there, especially considering signs for most other things were put right near where their events were.
*spread out the seller spots more? There was a lot of space in there not being used, and with the crowds of people looking at stuff, it was rough to get around at times.
*thumbs up to the bigger space and to getting people in there quickly after it opened. I don't know how it was on the seller end, but as a general attendee, I thought it seemed to be going really smoothly!

Guests:
*Better moderation/enforcement of policies and behavior in guest panels. Making it clear to attendees at start of Q+A panels what is and is not acceptable. (should be common sense, but didn't seem to be... :( )
*Putting guest panels in the larger panel rooms, especially if they are a popular guest.
*I really want to see more Japanese guests, but if it's going to be mostly Western guests, I'd at least love to see more who aren't related to dubs or localizations of things so people like myself who aren't interested in dubs can still have guests to look forward to. Youtubers/Let's Players are a great potential group of guests, for example.

Guides:
*Offer information on big events that aren't included in the time schedule more consistently and prominently. These seemed to be completely glossed over. Things like the swap meet, dance, casino night, cosplay spectacular, karaoke room, etc would be randomly mentioned in a small note somewhere, and that was it. Give them the space/mention they deserve in the pocket guide. These are major things, so why aren't they given any emphasis with their times and locations stated?
*don't force people to sign up for an account on some random site just so they can download the guidebook, if possible. The guidebook app is a great solution if the concern is that you need to be able to update it at the last minute.

Artist alley:
*please be more put together, on time, and transparent with registration for the artists. I saw a lot of people freaking out and stressed out by the poor timing and organization, and I think the guidelines for judging people's entries need to be made more clear.
*more helpful signs for where the entrance is, as it was out of the way and hard to find. Or use a more prominent door as the entrance instead of a side door way in the back.

Misc thumbs down:
*Cosplay hangout seemed kind of removed and maybe could've been in a more central location.
*Everything announced last minute, complete lack of updates until last couple of weeks before con, poor responses/lack of responses from Fanime staff regarding lots of things. It is really difficult to place any faith in the convention coming together when it seems like everything only gets finalized or announced at the last second, and the responses from Fanime never give good, factual information and just seem to be excuses or stock responses. I'm sure even if it's something unfortunate like a confession of something gone wrong, people would appreciate a genuine explanation rather than a, "When it's set in stone, you guys!" sort of line regarding concerns or questions.

Misc thumbs up:
*Registration is awesome now, keep it up. Going through the empty lines felt like doing a victory lap. :D
*Stage zero stuff was great and entertaining to watch when I was killing time. Nice variety!
*LOVED that gaming hall was open Thursday night.
*Nostalgia video room had a great selection.
*Dealer's room had a huge selection and was spread out enough that it wasn't crazy trying to walk through.
*A lot of the staff members at the con were really friendly and helpful.
*actual convention seemed to be running well despite the poor pre-con organization!
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trickstersgambit

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2015, 10:42:48 PM »

Registration:
  • Disabled attendees who are registering at con are supposedly supposed to be able to register at con on day zero. Unfortunately my disabled, missing a piece of muscle in his leg unable to do registration lines friend, was NOT allowed, and turned away day zero, then had to march through the line, and the day one large crowd, just to be able to get his badge.
  • Names for badges are a problem. People have been have been harrassed on facebook after con by way of people matching your badge to facebook accounts. Furthermore there have been issues with trans members of con not knowing or being able to put their preferred name and facing issues that way. General local consensus is that it would benefit the attendees and con in general to have legal names placed on the back of badges where they won't be displayed to the public.
  • Disabled registration??? Please??? see below

Accessibility:
  • Inability to access shuttles. The shuttle that was OK for disabled access didn't come around often enough to be used by disabled people wanting to get to the Fairmont or Double Tree portions of con. We request that this particular shuttle come around more often than a couple of times a day.
  • All the panels were too far away from the con proper for disabled people to be able to get there and be in line in time to attend the panel. It was unsafe, and took too long, for disabled con goers to be able to attend the panels they wanted to go to.
  • Artist alley/Dealers/Swap meet need to be accessible to people in chairs, or on canes. The lines were too long, there was too much crowding at table fronts, and people would cut in front of individuals in chairs to make it impossible for those in chairs to even SEE the content until monday, when things were starting to slow down. The only way my best friend could be able to go to dealers was when I brought him in on the staff hour monday, because it was either leave him at the door with no assistance, or bring him in with me.
  • An attendee told an individual in a chair that he should not be at the dance because he was a hazard. Excuse me, attendees do not have authority to police disabled people. (clarification: The individual was informed that he should not be able to be where people are moving around so much, implying the entire con, not just the dance)
  • The alcove outside in front of registration is a terrible location for meetups for people with physical disabilities. The request is that this not be used as a meetup location again, except for smaller meetups (perhaps 40).
  • General inability to navigate con, or access any of the attached hotel's elevators in a timely manner is a big problem.
  • Every year we have back and forth lines in front of a set of tables up against the railing with the glass under it. The lines are always clogged with people stopping to pick things up from the tables. On top of that there were a couple of instances of people hiding under the tables and popping out from under the tables to frighten people. I really don't think the tables should continue to be there in the coming year. They pose a number of hazards for everyone who attends, especially people with anxiety, or mobility issues.
  • A quiet place for the attendees who get overwhelmed, or sore, needs to be made available. A place away from children, or families, that isn't accessible to the general con.
  • Individuals who NEED to take their medications IMMEDIATELY should not be asked to go to bathrooms or back to their rooms. Often times their rooms are far from the concourse and they won't be able to make it back for things like pain medication, or insulin injections, or epinephrine, or other emergency medications (like emergency rescue medication for seizure medications.) None of us are taking medication because it's fun and we enjoy it. We're doing it to keep ourselves functional.
  • More areas for sitting. Ala has a 'bench contest'. They purchased slats and stands, and painted them, and hand them out to congoers, recycling them every year. Maybe we could do that? If not, generally more seating would be great.

Signage:
  • People don't always seem to be aware of the code of conduct, even though it's posted in the books we hand out to the attendees every year. Suggest perhaps posting code of conduct on signs at the front entrance of SJCC, registration, in the fairmont, and at the entrances to the concourse from the outsides, and from both hotels, so no one has any reason to complain when they get stopped by rovers for violating code of conduct. Suggestion also including images on the signs. Coordinate with accessibility.
  • Signs for areas where gathering and standing should be discouraged.
  • Signs on the non smoking areas
  • Large print signs regarding the fact that we are a dry con, please.
  • Signs for cosplay hangout/cosplay repair are very necessary

General:
  • Requesting manga hangout be moved to one of the halls to allow for the room to be used for panels again.
  • Request artist alley and dance to trade places.
  • More free water. it's too expensive and discourages hydration.

Mod edit: its called a dance
« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 06:23:00 PM by ewu »
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Sunara Ishi

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2015, 04:21:33 AM »


Edit:
I forgot about this one because I don't really attend it anymore... so mine is based off of past years and what I hear. From what I've heard, it hasn't changed.

Cosplay Spectacular
  • I never particularly cared for how skits and certain walk-ons were mixed. I think the ones showing off their costumes & singing should be part of a separate event. I'm talking the individual ones (not the group ones.) I used to go for the skits and only the skits. I'm ok with singing if it is part of a skit but I don't think they should allow "I think I can sing so I wanna show off" individuals. Honestly, they should be taking part in karaoke not masquerade. Or maybe Stage Zero.
  • At least make the costume thing a separate event... it doesn't do well on such as large stage and I think would do better in more of a cat-walk/fashion show setting. Have these people sign up for a "Cosplay Fashion show" instead. Plus, it gives you another event at fanime.
  • Judging: I have no first hand experience with this but I've heard judging is rigged & biased. I think it should either be done by an independent party or an audience vote. We don't need to know the results right away; the fact that they already know who won just shortly after the show ends just screams "fake." We the audience aren't dumb and know the results aren't true.
  • You know what... make the results a separate thing. If it isn't a audience vote, make it into a panel or event where it is one of those over the top judging shows. Where the judges have to explain what is great or bad about a skit.
Also, I don't think singing skits have been allowed since at least 2009 (I seem to recall some live audio in 2008?).  The rule's always been pre-recorded audio.  For some reason, even though it was explicitly against the rules, some skits were allowed to do so anyway. Don't ask me why.

On your judging suggestions though - As somebody who competes and does attend these things, I'm certain that what you hear about judging is hearsay.  There is a separate panel doing judging.  I have a lot of problems with Cosplay Spectacular this year, and the judging is not one of them. Masquerade staff does not judge these things - it's an outside panel, although they do often repeat (I think Wayne Kaa's local).  Wayne Kaa's from ACparadise, I believe, and he's been judging at least since 2009 when I was competing.  This year, the cosplay GOH was one of the judges (as it should be).  I don't have any issue with the panel.

Additionally, one reason judging doesn't take as long as you might expect is because all the workmanship judging is done outside of the main show.  It's not like the judges are doing their craftsmanship evaluation when the competitor is onstage.  If the judges have a sheet where they score performances as they perform, judging is a simple matter of tallying points.  And announcing in the same event makes sense because that way you have the competitors in their winning costumes for publicity photos.  And this is still a costume competition, even if skits are involved, so that part should absolutely not go away.
Wow... I think it has been longer than I thought since I last attended Masquerade. I must be basing things off stuff prior to 2009. -.-; The years have really flown by. I guess judging has maybe changed.
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AngelWings

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2015, 04:29:13 PM »

Registration:
  • Disabled attendees who are registering at con are supposedly supposed to be able to register at con on day zero. Unfortunately my disabled, missing a piece of muscle in his leg unable to do registration lines friend, was NOT allowed, and turned away day zero, then had to march through the line, and the day one large crowd, just to be able to get his badge.
  • Names for badges are a problem. People have been have been harrassed on facebook after con by way of people matching your badge to facebook accounts. Furthermore there have been issues with trans members of con not knowing or being able to put their preferred name and facing issues that way. General local consensus is that it would benefit the attendees and con in general to have legal names placed on the back of badges where they won't be displayed to the public.
  • Disabled registration??? Please??? see below

Hi.

At con reg- I answered this in the hotels and facilities post you made. I am curious about where this miscommunication occurred, would you happen to remember who told you it was possible to buy a badge at con on day zero? Or where you found that information?

Harassment-  One ways of ensuring your legal name is not a major focus is having a fan name. Not every attendee utilized this, but with a fan name your legal name is very small on the badge. This is still a concern and I will bring it to my head's attention. However there may be several issues regarding this.

Trans- We are a trans friendly convention! What this means is that a trans member may come to the special registration booth and we will have the legal name match their preferred name. Though we do require having the legal name on file. If they intend to preregister they may email us for directions. And while the registration faq online did reflect this we may reword it for clarity.
 
Thank you for your feedback
« Last Edit: June 04, 2015, 04:34:31 PM by AngelWings »
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AngelWings

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2015, 04:47:40 PM »


Registration/Website:
  • Require a user-generated password for registration accounts.

    Explanation:
    It is way, way too simple to figure out how to log into someone else's account when all that's required is an email and zip code. This is a big area of concern for privacy, since private information is stored in these accounts. Also, hotel reservations are kept under this account and can be changed by unauthorized people if a person were to want to, say, get back at another person or just to be malicious in general.


Hi

This is a concern and I will bring it to my head. Though it would be nice if Steve.Young still passes it along to webteam!

Thanks for your feedback
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AngelWings

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2015, 05:01:15 PM »

I volunteered a bit throughout the weekend, so I had a couple of ideas about things I had encountered during that.
  • Better Signs! A lot of the jobs listed were 'Door Guards' which basically just pointed people away from the wrong set of doors. Entrances were marked, but there were very few signs that said 'Exit only' or such.
  • For at-con registration, the receipt machines should be labeled to say that people need to tear down. I think 90% of the jams I fixed were because people tore the receipts the wrong way and made the machine jam for the next user. (I mentioned this to one of the staff but I didn't get the impression they really cared much.) Like it wouldn't even be hard, just print some labels and stick them on the machines.

Hi!
Thanks for volunteering at Reg we were happy to have you.

Signs- My head has already made a note of this in our department, but we are glad you mentioned it.

Data Entry Printer Jams- Thank you for your observation and I'm sorry you may have felt ignored.  I will bring this to my head's attention. [/list]
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trickstersgambit

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2015, 08:50:06 AM »

Registration:
  • Disabled attendees who are registering at con are supposedly supposed to be able to register at con on day zero. Unfortunately my disabled, missing a piece of muscle in his leg unable to do registration lines friend, was NOT allowed, and turned away day zero, then had to march through the line, and the day one large crowd, just to be able to get his badge.
  • Names for badges are a problem. People have been have been harrassed on facebook after con by way of people matching your badge to facebook accounts. Furthermore there have been issues with trans members of con not knowing or being able to put their preferred name and facing issues that way. General local consensus is that it would benefit the attendees and con in general to have legal names placed on the back of badges where they won't be displayed to the public.
  • Disabled registration??? Please??? see below

Hi.

At con reg- I answered this in the hotels and facilities post you made. I am curious about where this miscommunication occurred, would you happen to remember who told you it was possible to buy a badge at con on day zero? Or where you found that information?

Harassment-  One ways of ensuring your legal name is not a major focus is having a fan name. Not every attendee utilized this, but with a fan name your legal name is very small on the badge. This is still a concern and I will bring it to my head's attention. However there may be several issues regarding this.

Trans- We are a trans friendly convention! What this means is that a trans member may come to the special registration booth and we will have the legal name match their preferred name. Though we do require having the legal name on file. If they intend to preregister they may email us for directions. And while the registration faq online did reflect this we may reword it for clarity.
 
Thank you for your feedback
We don't know if the person who told the individual this was an attendee or staff. All we know is they were down near the registration lines while my roommate was trying to figure out if he could get his badge.

I think part of the problem arises when the words 'fan name' are used. One friend didn't input it so their fan name just came up as their legal first name and they spent most of con with their badge tucked into a pocket only pulling it out when they needed it because it was causing quite a bit of problems for them.

I'll pass that along though. We weren't aware that was a way you could do it, so for next year everyone will be made aware and no one will have to deal with that again, hopefully.
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hikanteki

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2015, 09:49:36 AM »

Great job Fanime! I’ve gone every year since 2010 and in my opinion this was one of the best run years (about on par with 2011.) I don’t have very many complaints and they’re all minor.

Registration: No complaints here! I’m glad that Fanime stuck with whatever worked in 2014, as getting through this quickly is the single most important factor for an across-the-board enjoyable con.

Dealers Hall/Artists Alley: No complaints here either. I liked the use of the new exhibit hall for Artist’s Alley. Both the Dealers and Artists rooms had perfect spacing.

Video Rooms:
  • The Asian Films room, which was one of my favorites in the past, was not well organized. There were no descriptions of any of the movies in the program book or on the schedule outside (except in some cases what was currently playing). Also many of them this year weren’t even films, they were multiple episodes of a series. With no clue what was playing, I skipped this room entirely this year.
  • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was scheduled from 9P-3A. It was more like 10:30P-2A, why only half the time?

MusicFest:
  • I LOVED Back-On and kudos for starting at exactly 7 PM!
  • But, why did the program say 7-9:30? The concert only lasted until 8:15.
  • Years past have had two bands...it was a little disappointing to only see one. But I understand that it probably had to do with availability and/or budget, and I’m just glad that the one band that showed up was AWESOME!

Panels:
  • Ai Nonaka’s Q&A was awesome, but the room was way too small. I lined up half an hour ahead of time and was one of the lucky ones who barely got in...whereas all other panels I went to that weekend I could walk right in and there were plenty of seats. Why was a panel with a voice actress as obviously popular as Ai Nonaka placed in one of the smallest rooms when there were plenty of bigger rooms available? Did her agency want to guarantee a full room?

Also, I’m wondering if it isn’t time to spin off Clockwork Alchemy to a separate organization/badge system/weekend...whether it’s true or not, there’s been the impression that CA is using up Fanime’s resources. It’s been a little disconcerting to see the CA portion of the website ready WAY before Fanime on the combined website. The AnimeCons people have disqualified Fanime from the most-attended cons list due to suspecting that Fanime shares attendance with CA. In any case, it does cut into the availability of hotels.
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kookiekween99

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2015, 10:41:37 AM »

Dance
- A friend of mine was working as a dealer, so his badge said something along the lines of "Toys Logic 8". He was not let into the dance because his badge didn't have his name on it. If that's the official policy, it should be communicated to dealers and their helpers that the badge they get from selling doesn't grant them as much access as an attendee badge.
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eHash

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2015, 11:37:14 AM »

Dance
- A friend of mine was working as a dealer, so his badge said something along the lines of "Toys Logic 8". He was not let into the dance because his badge didn't have his name on it. If that's the official policy, it should be communicated to dealers and their helpers that the badge they get from selling doesn't grant them as much access as an attendee badge.

There were a few dealers attempting to skip the line and enter through the exit.  This would not have been allowed, however if they waited in line, they should've been allowed in.  Do you know which rover or troubleshooter turned them away?
The line was closed off at 3:15 AM on Sat. due to an issue inside and 3:00 on Sunday because of capacity issues.
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Kyra_Maverick

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2015, 05:42:22 PM »

Great job this year everyone, I had a major blast!

Pros:
- Reg pick up. It's so great to quickly pick up your badge and guide and then check out the great restaurants and such in the area before the whole place gets mobbed.
 
- Swap Meet. Please keep this in South Hall. The location is spacious and the staff are fantastic.


Cons:
- Housing. Without exaggerating, I was on the phone for 5 hours trying to book my room this year. And I wasn't even able to get the room I was after.  Even the waitlist failed me this year. This experience was singlehandedly the worst FanimeCon experience I have had in my 10 years of attendance. Something needs to be done about that, either a different company that is better equipped to handle such and influx, or increased call center support from the current company.

- Online Reg. The website this year was a bit confusing. For those that were able to book a hotel online, they then had to purchase their registration even though we were told that wouldn't be in effect this year. Needing to be paid and registered to book a room can work, but we need to know that ahead of time. Also group registrations. I also had difficulty removing a member from my group and ultimately had to wait for the whole process to expire.

- Pocket Guide. I feel some vital info was missed in the pocket guide, like where Swap Meet and Masquerade was and times for both. These may have been in the guide book, but when you're out on the concourse the pocket guide is much more convenient

Video Room - Asian film room had a hard time playing the Kenshin movies. Either the file was corrupt or the computers just couldn't handle the bitrate and high action sequences turned into a mess.

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aetherltd

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #32 on: June 06, 2015, 12:42:10 AM »

Also, I’m wondering if it isn’t time to spin off Clockwork Alchemy to a separate organization/badge system/weekend...whether it’s true or not, there’s been the impression that CA is using up Fanime’s resources. It’s been a little disconcerting to see the CA portion of the website ready WAY before Fanime on the combined website. The AnimeCons people have disqualified Fanime from the most-attended cons list due to suspecting that Fanime shares attendance with CA. In any case, it does cut into the availability of hotels.
I've heard the opposite complaint. There are people who want combined Fanime/Clockwork Alchemy/BayCon registration.

Clockwork Alchemy has its own resources. Everyone, including the con chair, is unpaid. All those elaborate props are built by volunteers. After four years of CA, and some previous steampunk cons, we now have a lot of props. Many steampunks are makers, after all.  We have fun overdoing that. Our directional signs are antique lampposts. We have big clocks on tall posts. Our author's room has a (fake) fireplace and shelves of books.  The tea room has a large Tea Engine making boiling water.  I'm behind the Telegraph Office and its brass machinery. We don't get any funding from CA, just staff badges or volunteer hour credits. All this may give the impression that CA is draining Fanime's resources, but it's not. (I admit that we're trying to get the Fanime side to up their game on signs and ambiance.)

It's hard to tell about attendance. Some people registered for CA thinking that was needed for badge pickup at the Doubletree. It's not; anyone can pick up their badge at either location. Which con you register for just determines the badge artwork you get. So nobody really knows how many people went primarily to CA vs Fanime.

At CA, Friday was too empty but had full programming, Saturday was busy, and Sunday was busier. Some Fanime members complained that Fanime didn't have enough to do on Friday. Fanime members, please come over to CA on Friday. There's stuff to see and do. It's not overcrowded. We have tea. (And water. The Doubletree is really good about putting water dispensers all over the place. We had a least a dozen of them.)

Mixing Fanime and Clockwork Alchemy has its amusing moments.  CA had Congress of Vienna, a very good classical quintet (harp, violin, viola, flute, and lute) playing. They're all Sword Art Online cosplayers, with Asuna on the harp, mixing classical music with anime themes.
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Love Sign Master Spark

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2015, 09:42:31 PM »

Coming into Fanime, all that mattered was that it was close to where I lived and that it was a cosplay friendly environment.  With a vague idea of what to expect, I'm focusing on various things Fanime got right though a few quibbles will sneak in.

Cosplay Hangout: Love it and the intentions behind it.  Specific high points are the water station and knowing the room is there as a place to rest my feet and/or eat a takeout meal.  Winning something in the cosplay raffle was a bonus.

Badge: Reading about it online, I felt apprehension about my real name being on the badge.  When actually looking at it, felt batter about it.  I stuffed it in a bag, pulling it out only when entering places that required one for entry, and never got hassled about doing so.  Problem solved.  I trust the staff to not give me a hard time or do anything shady so the current system works well.

Maps: The ones in the larger guide really helped me find my way around.

Panels: Having all of them in a separate location felt organized.  The walk didn't feel too far though I'll admit to not considering how inconvenienced people with mobility limitations would be.  I did plan ahead to minimize the number of times I traveled between the convention center and the Fairmont.

Pocket Guide: I was happy to find the panel times there.  Had some difficulty reading print on the darker grey backgrounds.  Felt a bit odd seeing the times for private dance lessons and not finding the location in the guide.  ?

Gaming hall: 50 cents a credit for Strikers 1999 is a ripoff.  Greedy arcade vendors.

Props policy: Unusual testimonial here.  My cosplay included a broom (I have a heavy-duty broom from Home Depot for this purpose).  Feeling it would not meet peace bonding requirements, I left it at home.  In the end, I had a better experience having an extra hand free for the weekend even if my cosplay felt a little less complete.  One of those experiences that appeared negative on the surface ended up as a positive one.

Black and White Ball: Being able to stop by Idira's closet to check if my cosplay met the dress code I treat as a benefit. (wouldn't have been upset if it didn't)  As it did, I visited on impulse out of curiosity.  I appreciated how the music volume didn't hurt my ears. (seems small yet matters as I am protective of my hearing and stay out of places where I would likely damage it)  The callers were fantastic about creating an environment welcoming people who enjoy partner dances yet have more passion than technical skill.  Mixers that encourage changing partners is a practice that really appeals to me and would enjoy seeing that at other dance events.  I'm borrowing that idea for the future.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2015, 04:40:07 PM by Love Sign Master Spark »
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echoshadow

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2015, 02:06:27 AM »

Alright time for my feedback.

The good.
•Badge pick up.
•Black and White Ball.
•uh.....guess that's about it.

The bad

• The pocket guide.
Honestly I'm going to throw a few people under the bus for this. It was a huge cluster, things where all over the place. Major events there little 3 words on random pages. It looks like some ADHD had a major say on where things go. The entire time table system is just bad. While the online option was ok, I hated the fact it had sneaky ads. This wouldn't be much of an issue if Guidebook was used. 

• Complete lack of/interesting panels.
There where only about a couple hours of panels that where not the same stuff from the last 5 years.

• Deals hall.
 Some how it seems it is getting smaller every year. ( could be due to SJCC and their retarded union fees/policies )

•Music fest.
Seems like it's becoming musical guest and not much of a "fest".  (Kind of sad after reading that thread on how awesome music fest was with all those bands , and how it's low it's become) I say drop the music fest name and call it what it is. Feature musical act.

• Late info/late schedule.
Come on people. It's been 4 straight years. Time for change, obviously a lot of people worked very hard only to be bottle neck for weeks.  Come on, not like there's tons of stuff to put in.

• Video Rooms.
 (I know it's hard to compete with online sites) but, this year I had zero interest on anything video related.

•Artist Ally/ Swap meet.
I wanted to check it out but,
1. No clear map where it was nor the entrance was. 2. Pocket guide info was lacking.
So in spite I chose not to set a singe step in those. I did figure it out after a minute or two, but I shouldn't have to. I did see a correct sign for where the AA entrance was but it was on Saturday.

•Black and white ball.
The only thing that I would like to see more of is mixers and more "commercial" or radio hits songs being played. When downtown funk was played the whole dance floor was filled and was played twice, twice!. As much as I like anime/video game soundtracks, it's not that fun meant to dance too. You can't get that hype to dance from it.

•Also I would to add that body paint not be allowed. I had a green stain on my suit due to some one with body paint. I knew who it was and I avoided that person while dancing but guess it wasn't enough. Also seen some poor girls white dress with black and green smears on her back.

That's pretty much my key points. With that being said, this made the top boring con I have been too. All my time spent at Fanime was a total of 4 hours over the four days besides the black and white ball. If your not into cosplay there is jack-diddly to do at Fanime. 

Now to be brutally honest seems to me that Fanime should be a 3 day con. With little to nothing to offer on day 1 and 4 let's cut the fat and just focus on the 3 solid days worth. Let's face it Fanime can't put more content that is not cosplay related anymore. Having 4 days with little to do I rather spend my time and money somewhere else. And guess what? I did.  I was exploring downtown more than being at Fanime. I treated Fanime just like it says on it's FB page "as something to do" not as an event as it used to be. To that's a slap in the face to every staffer that put in long months into the con only to be labeled as such.

Just to add "why not go to Clockwork? Spend some time there?" To answer that, it's a complete and utter hassle to go to clockwork. You spend more time waiting for shuttles rather than enjoying Clockworks programing.
 I came to Fanime for it's anime/Japan pop culture. (What's left of it anyways) not to get hustled into going to Clockwork.   If I wanted to go to a steampunk con I would go. But not during the same time as Fanime. If the goal of clockwork was to make up for Fanime's lack of programing then it's a sad band aid. If not then I would like to see clockwork completely separate from Fanime and not share it's program guide, pocket schedule, and even the forums.

In the end Fanime lives up to its rep, the biggest hangout con on the west coast. If your looking to buy cool anime stuff, great panels, want to see great japanese/American guests, want to see japanese rock/pop bands/groups, then looks somewhere else. But if all you want is to cosplay, hang out at gatherings and care for little else, then this is the place for it. You don't really need to pay for it.
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aetherltd

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2015, 01:16:45 PM »

• Video Rooms.
 (I know it's hard to compete with online sites) but, this year I had zero interest on anything video related.
Someone talked about the history of Fanime on Stage Zero. In the early days, you had to go to an anime event to watch anime. That's what Fanime was originally for. That's over. Anything you could see in the video rooms you can probably get on your phone. There was even a late night Kill la Kill marathon on hotel cable during Fanime. (CA side video is worse; all of us have seen all the good steampunk movies.) Video at Fanime should be new stuff you can't see online. Contact the Cool Japan Fund (the government of Japan is funding anime promotion - really) and Daisuki.net; maybe they can help.

Quote
Just to add "why not go to Clockwork? Spend some time there?" To answer that, it's a complete and utter hassle to go to clockwork. You spend more time waiting for shuttles rather than enjoying Clockworks programing.

Shuttle history:
* 2012 - Huge luxury buses, mostly empty. Bus stop in front of convention center. Great service. Nobody at Fanime knew about Clockwork. 7 minutes, Fanime to CA.
* 2013 - Short buses from Corinthian Parking. Bus stop moved outside Hilton due to construction.Totally lost drivers trying to navigate using Google Maps printouts. Detours around Sharks Stadium. 1.5 hours, Fanime to CA.
* 2014 - Short buses from Corinthian Parking again. Drivers now less lost. Less direct route, convention center to Fairmont to freeway to CA. Shuttles heavily used. Long lines for shuttles. About 30-40 minutes, Fanime to CA.
* 2015 - Longer buses from Corinthian Parking. Drivers now know route. Good route and schedule info in pocket guide. Loop around Hilton and Fairmont adds about 10 minutes. Shuttles heavily used. Standees in buses not built for that. About 25 minutes, Fanime to CA.

25 minutes is too long. That needs to come down. The extra stop at the Fairmont, with the loop around the park, doubles the transit time. From the convention center it's easy to get to the freeway; then it's 5 minutes to the Doubletree. Few people get on at the Fairmont to go to CA anyway.
That will up the capacity, with buses making twice as many trips per hour. Get this right, and during peak periods, there's a bus every 6 minutes. (Round trip time 20 minutes, 3 buses.)

This is the era of frictionless transportation, like Uber. Waiting for the bus is so last-cen. Fanime buses should be as efficient as the Yamanote Line.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2015, 04:22:14 PM by aetherltd »
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Dajoo

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2015, 11:53:59 PM »

• Deals hall.
 Some how it seems it is getting smaller every year. ( could be due to SJCC and their retarded union fees/policies )

Actually in the three years I've been running it we've been continuously growing. The easiest way to show this is we used to be in just in Hall 2. Last year, '14 we broke through the wall. This year '15 we ran wall to wall side ways. Next year and, so forth is just more back fill.

Is there something lacking that you're looking for. I'm always trying to make the Hall more diverse to meet the needs of the attendees.
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Dracil

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2015, 12:12:07 PM »

Also, I’m wondering if it isn’t time to spin off Clockwork Alchemy to a separate organization/badge system/weekend...whether it’s true or not, there’s been the impression that CA is using up Fanime’s resources. It’s been a little disconcerting to see the CA portion of the website ready WAY before Fanime on the combined website. The AnimeCons people have disqualified Fanime from the most-attended cons list due to suspecting that Fanime shares attendance with CA. In any case, it does cut into the availability of hotels.
I've heard the opposite complaint. There are people who want combined Fanime/Clockwork Alchemy/BayCon registration.

Clockwork Alchemy has its own resources. Everyone, including the con chair, is unpaid. All those elaborate props are built by volunteers. After four years of CA, and some previous steampunk cons, we now have a lot of props. Many steampunks are makers, after all.  We have fun overdoing that. Our directional signs are antique lampposts. We have big clocks on tall posts. Our author's room has a (fake) fireplace and shelves of books.  The tea room has a large Tea Engine making boiling water.  I'm behind the Telegraph Office and its brass machinery. We don't get any funding from CA, just staff badges or volunteer hour credits. All this may give the impression that CA is draining Fanime's resources, but it's not. (I admit that we're trying to get the Fanime side to up their game on signs and ambiance.)

It's hard to tell about attendance. Some people registered for CA thinking that was needed for badge pickup at the Doubletree. It's not; anyone can pick up their badge at either location. Which con you register for just determines the badge artwork you get. So nobody really knows how many people went primarily to CA vs Fanime.

At CA, Friday was too empty but had full programming, Saturday was busy, and Sunday was busier. Some Fanime members complained that Fanime didn't have enough to do on Friday. Fanime members, please come over to CA on Friday. There's stuff to see and do. It's not overcrowded. We have tea. (And water. The Doubletree is really good about putting water dispensers all over the place. We had a least a dozen of them.)

Mixing Fanime and Clockwork Alchemy has its amusing moments.  CA had Congress of Vienna, a very good classical quintet (harp, violin, viola, flute, and lute) playing. They're all Sword Art Online cosplayers, with Asuna on the harp, mixing classical music with anime themes.

You all keep saying this, without addressing the fact that if you can't separate the attendee numbers, you can't allocate badge money properly, and thus there will *always* be a feeling that resource allocation is being leeched away from Fanime from those of us who have no desire to ever step into CA

Staff and whatever may be unpaid, but that's not the same as CA uses no money (renting rooms and whatnot also costs money, as well as any guests that get brought over)
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echoshadow

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #38 on: June 12, 2015, 12:32:34 AM »

Actually in the three years I've been running it we've been continuously growing. The easiest way to show this is we used to be in just in Hall 2. Last year, '14 we broke through the wall. This year '15 we ran wall to wall side ways. Next year and, so forth is just more back fill.

Is there something lacking that you're looking for. I'm always trying to make the Hall more diverse to meet the needs of the attendees.

Thanks for your response, but opening up the other hall was just common sense.  As much as I want to ask for specific vendors I don't. You have an ok diverse selection already I just want to see the entire hall packed.


You all keep saying this, without addressing the fact that if you can't separate the attendee numbers, you can't allocate badge money properly, and thus there will *always* be a feeling that resource allocation is being leeched away from Fanime from those of us who have no desire to ever step into CA

Staff and whatever may be unpaid, but that's not the same as CA uses no money (renting rooms and whatnot also costs money, as well as any guests that get brought over)
Agreed. As long as they share the same program/pocket guide I can't help but still think some of the money is being funneled to Clockwork. That some how raises the question with that money gone we only had one band play for one hour, and only a few Japanese guests.
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Takoyaki Sauce

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Re: Official Convention Feedback
« Reply #39 on: June 12, 2015, 05:58:01 AM »

Actually in the three years I've been running it we've been continuously growing. The easiest way to show this is we used to be in just in Hall 2. Last year, '14 we broke through the wall. This year '15 we ran wall to wall side ways. Next year and, so forth is just more back fill.

Is there something lacking that you're looking for. I'm always trying to make the Hall more diverse to meet the needs of the attendees.

Dealer's Hall looked awesome, I'm sure there is a reason it can't go all the way back (perhaps safety or number of booths for tax and sales codes).  Expansion is great!

You all keep saying this, without addressing the fact that if you can't separate the attendee numbers, you can't allocate badge money properly, and thus there will *always* be a feeling that resource allocation is being leeched away from Fanime from those of us who have no desire to ever step into CA

Staff and whatever may be unpaid, but that's not the same as CA uses no money (renting rooms and whatnot also costs money, as well as any guests that get brought over)

I think everyone is asking the wrong question;  The right question  is "Is Clockwork Alchemy really a separate sister convention? or is it really just a division of FanimeCon?"  which would then explain and justify why money is budgeted for (and not funneled to it).  Perhaps there is a separation to attract the older crowd (that has a higher spending demographic than FanimeCon attendees)?" 

It should be pointed out that if an attendee chose to purchase their badge through CA instead of FanimeCon (for whatever reason.."linecon*cough*) it would mean that they already directed their interest in putting money into CA.  I go for Fanime not CA so I didn't switch to reg at CA like is suggested by other posters in the forum. 

As a person who works with talent agencies I can offer this tidbit: In the last 5 years, the inflation in the price of top talent and the cost of transportation (especially for entourages) is greater than we have seen in the price of badges.  I'm not sure if this is the case for FanimeCon (maybe they were in the red, or maybe they couldn't book an artist <- this is the artist's choice as well), but the overall point is that people don't know what to expect for their money (or do they and they just aren't reminded that there are some pleasant surprises).  I'd like to see at least 2 musical guests (and not a DJ like some other cons), but providing this entertainment in the original cost of the badge seems like it's worth it rather than waiting in line and buying an additional ticket (like at other cons *AX*CoUgH).

I guess on a side note, if you were to look at the price of badges for AX at twice the cost of a FanimeCon Badge, you can't just expect half the offering.  With an attendance of 2x or 2.5x that of Fanime, the budget is exponentially larger.  However, I'll point out that at AX you also have pay for some of the special attractions (in general it's a just a different type of Con).  At SDCC, the huge celebrity draw, media and industry presence gave birth to the opportunity to show screeners and special previews, while "By Fans for Fans" indicates that it's more of a community based convention.  The physical increase in CA's attendance is perhaps a testimonial that the attendees have outgrown the current offering of FanimeCon by itself rather than the popularity of CA.  Not to sound like I don't appreciate the option of going to CA, but the point of it taking up half the Program Guide shows me that a heavy investment was made there.  Perhaps it's time someone offers an official explanation why (even if the answer is that only 1/3 of a CA badge goes to the costs of CA and 2/3 go to Fanime).

but then again....

Why does it seem like there are so many people "ghosting" on the concourse.  I realized this year that with the exception of MusicFest, panels,  the dances, and the Dealer's Hall and Artist's Alley (where I spent money to spend money), I didn't really need a badge (stage zero, video rooms, swap meet, maid cafe, and even gaming).  It's hard for me to believe any posted attendance number is anywhere close to accurate.  I see how hard my roommate works as a staffer so I'm willing to pay for my badge, but seeing the "ghosters" pisses me off more than the thought of part of my badge going to CA.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2015, 06:36:29 AM by Takoyaki Sauce »
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