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Author Topic: How is simple communication hard?  (Read 13192 times)

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citrus

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How is simple communication hard?
« on: March 05, 2016, 11:46:10 PM »

Seriously I have dealt with the same abysmal communication from fanime for the past few years and it seems each year it only GETS WORSE! And without any objections or input from the staff that even operate the forums, I feel that they really don't care about the attendee's feedback at all. I don't even know WHAT fanime has improved during 2015 in my POV, other then slightly better guests and slightly better panels. And ever since being a forum member I have stated excessive amount of times the reason I go to Fanime was originally for the guests and panels. And I will also state the reason why I still go is because what else is there to do during the memorial weekend? Trust me if there was a convention I could go to by flying and that wouldn't have me get up early in the morning or be on the plane for 8-9 hours I would. I would gladly switch to animazement if I could but I can't due to personal life reasons plaguing me and the amount of work it takes to get to the east coast.

Fanime has tried to change things by changing the hotel registration and while it MIGHT have made things slightly easier, we STILL face the same crashes and the same problem that has been plaguing the convention for the past few years. And they also answered questions as to why Fanime 2012 was absolutely terrible. Even if some questions have been answered, that convention attendees have long asked Fanimecon. That, however does not improve the convention. The same complaints are still pouring and I see many angry attendees infuriated by Fanime's lack of communication.

No guests announcements, no event announcements, information that's been held back from us that would have been vital to know. Just EVERYTHING!!! I could state the reason why Fanime is getting so much backlash but most of you who follow social media would know. I am just plain SICK AND TIRED of the lack of communication from the staff. Even if they do answer they all sound like excuses. " The reason why a lot of announcements are late because we have a lot of "pending' announcements awaiting final confirmations. We dislike announcing things as late as we do but it is something outside of our control." Oh really? can you please state why this is out of your control? Fanime you have had 6 MONTHS to improve or change things but it's clear to me that you guys still refuse to listen! Without any input from you staff I just simply think it sounds like another excuse.

If there is one thing I can say is this. All of us attendees are paying customers, and we should be entitled to good customer service in which Fanime is CLEARLY NOT PROVIDING! Communication is a key aspect to customer service. This is one thing I do not understand about the convention. How hard is it for them to communicate and provide answers to attendees that have very important questions? How hard is it for the moderators to answers question or at least attempt to get more info, considering at ONE or some are here everyday. I paid 50-60$ for a badge in which I won't get a refund and while I have a hotel room. There is no reason for me to go if do not hear anything about guest announcements before the deadline of hotel cancellations which is the 29th of April. I already feel screwed over so I might as well cut my losses while I still can.

You can call me salty, hater or whatever but all I can say is I'm simply a forum member first and foremost and I am here to provoke conversation or at best. Get some information from the staff. So... I want to know what your guy's thoughts are on Fanime's communication.
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cutiebunny

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2016, 02:11:11 PM »

You answered the question yourself, citrus.  As long as people such as yourself keep paying to attend Fanime, there is no incentive for Fanime to improve upon anything.  And, as you also put it, the other option, which would require you to pay a couple hundred dollars and spend approximately 11 hours one way to attend Animazement, is not a viable solution for you and many others who might feel the same way.

Here's my advice to you - Animazement isn't going anywhere.  Just like Christmas falling on December 25th yearly, AZ always occurs Memorial Weekend.  Why not save the money that you would have used attending conventions that annoy you (I've seen you complain on the SacAnime and Anime Expo boards, when they existed) and go to Animazement instead next year?  Depending on how much you can put aside, you could even afford to fly First Class and thus not have to deal with those uncomfortable Economy seats.  Once you experience Animazement for yourself, you'll be better able to compare the conventions, and see if continuing to go to AZ works for you.  This would also give you less reason to write these posts as you'll be attending AZ and won't need to concern yourself with Fanime's issues.

As mentioned on other topics on this forum, the way I chose to deal with Fanime's severe problems is to simply attend Animazement that weekend instead.  Yeah, I'm paying an additional $800+ to attend Fanime, but I meet up with friends there and the convention gets a lot of Japanese guests that make the money that I spend to attend the convention worth it.  If Fanime can get its act together and return to the 2011 Fanime that I loved, I'll be more than happy to return.  But until then, I choose to speak with my money, and Fanime hasn't earned it.
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Amanojaku

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2016, 05:29:54 PM »

Same old tired, trite rant from citrus.  Do you copy/paste them from a saved .txt document from the last time you made a QQ post?
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citrus

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2016, 07:13:33 PM »

Same old tired, trite rant from citrus.  Do you copy/paste them from a saved .txt document from the last time you made a QQ post?

Same old, unsympathetic and cynical post from Amanojaku. Do you usually tend to antagonize all forum members like this? So long as I continue to attend the convention I have every right to complain or voice my concerns. I don't post or make new forums for the sake of trolling. You antagonizing me does nothing to contribute this forum or me but yourself, In which I assume you are only doing this for your own amusement. Have you even bother to read my thread post?

At least one of the forum members here is giving me valuable input without having to antagonize me. So I suggest you either make a post that will contribute or have some value of input. You are free to continue make antagonizing posts, in which sounds like you will.
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Nina Star 9

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2016, 09:19:16 PM »

The thing is...we're all mad about the same things you are. It's just that there's nothing really new to hash out right now. We've been over this.

Also, cutiebunny has some great suggestions and advice, as always. It really feels like complaining for the sake of complaining at this point. It's not that you don't have a right to complain, and you do, but it isn't productive. It's also not that no one else feels the same way...believe me, we do. It's that there's really not too much else to say anymore.

I'm waiting until the con actually does something for me to comment on before I make complaints. The lack of communication is infuriating, but it always has been, and angry rants on the forums really isn't going to do much of anything about it. Complaining about something specific to make my voice heard (such as complaining about the fact that the AA folks got shafted on hotel reg times)? Sure. But this kind of thread has been gone over so many times that there really isn't anything else to say.
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aetherltd

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2016, 11:36:14 PM »

Well, Fanime management has lots of ways to communicate. There are these forums, a Facebook page, and a Twitter feed. There's a "Registration & Hotel Support Center" now. There's a Fanime app for IOS, and one for Android, although neither seem to have been updated for 2016 yet. There's even a Fanime API. (What's that for, anyway?)

The distribution channels for info are in place. There just isn't much in them.


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Amanojaku

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2016, 12:58:56 PM »

Same old, unsympathetic and cynical post from Amanojaku. Do you usually tend to antagonize all forum members like this? So long as I continue to attend the convention I have every right to complain or voice my concerns. I don't post or make new forums for the sake of trolling. You antagonizing me does nothing to contribute this forum or me but yourself, In which I assume you are only doing this for your own amusement. Have you even bother to read my thread post?

At least one of the forum members here is giving me valuable input without having to antagonize me. So I suggest you either make a post that will contribute or have some value of input. You are free to continue make antagonizing posts, in which sounds like you will.
I don't think you know what cynical means. (oops, was that cynical of me?)

FanimeCon has its faults, we all know that, but have you ever considered expressing yourself intelligently or constructively?  Look at Nina Star 9, for example.  She offers a calm, level headed look at the issues, and has offered suggestions in the past.  You don't do any of that.  You should read your post again before hitting the post button.

But you're right, I have don't have sympathy for you.  I also don't feel that I antagonize anyone, although I am mildly amused that you feel antagonized by me pointing out the obvious: your posts (and yes, I've read plenty of them) are still the same rehashed pedantic rants by someone who is eternally negative and disgruntled.  They don't cover any new ground.  They're never constructive, and you accusing me of not adding any "value of input" to a topic is the textbook definition of "the pot calling the kettle black"

The fact is, your posts come off like a petulant child throwing a temper tantrum.  That is what I hear in my head as I read them.  You simply will never be satisfied.  I think once you come to that realization, you can probably move on and be a happier person.
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citrus

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2016, 02:50:35 PM »

Same old, unsympathetic and cynical post from Amanojaku. Do you usually tend to antagonize all forum members like this? So long as I continue to attend the convention I have every right to complain or voice my concerns. I don't post or make new forums for the sake of trolling. You antagonizing me does nothing to contribute this forum or me but yourself, In which I assume you are only doing this for your own amusement. Have you even bother to read my thread post?

At least one of the forum members here is giving me valuable input without having to antagonize me. So I suggest you either make a post that will contribute or have some value of input. You are free to continue make antagonizing posts, in which sounds like you will.
I don't think you know what cynical means. (oops, was that cynical of me?)

FanimeCon has its faults, we all know that, but have you ever considered expressing yourself intelligently or constructively?  Look at Nina Star 9, for example.  She offers a calm, level headed look at the issues, and has offered suggestions in the past.  You don't do any of that.  You should read your post again before hitting the post button.

But you're right, I have don't have sympathy for you.  I also don't feel that I antagonize anyone, although I am mildly amused that you feel antagonized by me pointing out the obvious: your posts (and yes, I've read plenty of them) are still the same rehashed pedantic rants by someone who is eternally negative and disgruntled.  They don't cover any new ground.  They're never constructive, and you accusing me of not adding any "value of input" to a topic is the textbook definition of "the pot calling the kettle black"

The fact is, your posts come off like a petulant child throwing a temper tantrum.  That is what I hear in my head as I read them.  You simply will never be satisfied.  I think once you come to that realization, you can probably move on and be a happier person.

Have I ever thought I expressed myself intelligently or constructively? I can try and do so the best of my ability and as much as I can. But many have already done that for me so there's nothing I can do to add that value whatsoever. Even If I do so it's been clearly shown that even those who have expressed themselves intelligently or constructively. it's been fallen on deaf ears. Whether or not I express it  intelligently or constructively I just don't see the point of doing so. All these angry "rants" you call them I do so is because I truly feel like it will accomplish something. I feel that by insulting the staff whether it be on facebook, twitter or any social media. It will provoke them and give some kind of answer eventually.

Given on how many angry attendees there are. Quite a few of them must be doing the same thing as I. Posting same angry rants or response. Given on how I see it. The con eventually will crack under the pressure from the amount of complaints or attacks and eventually give some kind answer. How long can the staff handle getting e-mails upon emails of angry complaints for long periods of time, without giving a response? With their stubborn nature of refusing to communicate or not taking feedback into our consideration? It does absolutely nothing for the staff but put pressure on them. And if they want to get away from that pressure they should do so by giving some kind of answer. But they haven't. It almost feels like the staff LIKES being pressured or making their attendees angry. With how bad communication is. This will only make the attendees angrier and not get anything done. Even if it's something along the lines of an apology like " We are very sorry for not getting back to any of your questions. You can rest assured, that we are working hard to solve the problem."

The point I'm trying to make here is that a very simple and assuring message or communication of some kind can relieve the pressure from Fanime and as well some of the anger the attendees I feel. No con is perfect and Fanime is no different. No matter what each con will have faults no matter what. I realize that. I been to a couple of other conventions in the past and I know how their structure works to some degree. They may have flaws but they are ones I can deal with and have a good time. Did I have have a good time at Fanime 2015? Yes, to some extents I have. But my experience could have been better. Deep down I still feel loyal to Fanime and I just want it to improve the best way I can. I fully admit I may have a weird or unproductive way of showing it. But I still like the convention. I just have a hard time moving on and letting go.

Eternally negative and disgruntled is your impression of me? Considering all else that's the impression you have of me and you will most likely always will have that impression of me. I've seen how you respond to all other forum members whether the complain or not and to say the least the comments or responses you make towards people to say the least will provoke some kind of negative response. " The fact is, your posts come off like a petulant child throwing a temper tantrum." If I come off like that so much tell me how to improve so that way I won't come off like that is. If your willing to invest time doing so. " You simply will never be satisfied.  I think once you come to that realization, you can probably move on and be a happier person." I argue that is not the case. I have been satisfied with Fanimecon during 2009-2011 but the past few years have change that for many reasons. Many and I mean many others said they same thing. If Fanime can continue to go back to 2011 they'll be happy to return. And while some haven't attend this convention in a few years they still come to the forums and chit-chat or help with others with reasons.

And yes I have read the many other people's suggestions and I do appreciate and acknowledge them. Most of them offer great advice and I have taken consideration into moving on. But so long as I continue to attend the con. I will continue to post and voice my concerns or complaints. And so far from what I've seen none of the staff have a problem with the actions or posts I make toward the forums. If they had a problem they would have already warned or banned me but they haven't. If you have a problem with my posts then tell me what I can do to be more productive or come off less of an unsavory character. And I'm not being sarcastic here. I have my reasons why I still attend the con and I have been trying to find another convention to attend to but due to various circumstances I'm still stuck with the convention for the time being. And like I said I'm still a forum member. I still have the rights to post or discuss things with other forum members and I do know that not all my posts have always been about complaints. I do not consider myself as a bad person. I'm just an angry attendee that's trying to find a satisfying solution to my problems with this con.

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Angelx624

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2016, 04:48:23 PM »

Amano has a point here. Your complaints are nothing but useless rants and they aren't constructive criticism at all. Fanime is not going to listen to useless rants like yours, so what's the point?? If you addressed the issues at hand in a more mature and understanding way, perhaps you'd have a better chance of getting your voice heard. Instead, I doubt hardly anyone is gonna read your posts thoroughly when they see that it's nothing but the same old same old. (To prove my point, yes, I actually read the post, and yup, same old same old.)

You want Fanime to hear you?? Contact them DIRECTLY yourself. Don't waste our time by making useless posts that Fanime might not even read unless you directly message them.
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TC_X0_Lt_0X

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2016, 06:43:39 PM »

Bare with me, I haven't slept for the better part of a day now, and haven't got much sleep at all for the last 2 or so weeks, so I might be a little incoherent.

An observation I have had over the years is, generally, people don't like to cater to the loud angry and disrespectful complainers/criticizers (unless they are forced to by someone above them), especially when they arent putting forward any constructive complaints/criticisms. At least not until they have a figurative mob coming for them, which while they do have a bit of outrage aimed at them right now, there isnt enough so to lead to that. For the most part the con is fine for many attendees each year, so us less something truely outrageous happens I doubt it will ever get to the point of torches and pitchforks.

Convention staff have had an issue with communication no doubt, but I wouldn't say they completely ignore everything either. Ill give them the benefit of the doubt with the hotel fiasco. They tried to do something to improve it, and did to a minor degree at least, but they did miss up by not communicating the importance of registration date. None the less I think they at least have seen from the past few years that there has been an issue with housing, so they are paying attention at least to a degree.

I think the biggest issue is that the vast majority of staff our volunteers working on the con on the side. They have lives and responsibilities that take precedence over the con. Actions by staff are going to resolve slowly, and communication between departments is going to be even more so.
I feel like the con has grown to big for it to retain its identity as a con 'for fans, by fans' and work completely effective. The things expected of a large con are a bit too difficult for a handful or volunteers to meet.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2016, 07:30:21 PM by TC_X0_Lt_0X »
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MyAlterEg0

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2016, 07:03:02 PM »

What's the point in announcing a guest then cancelling them or announcing that they cancel later?
I've gone to other conventions based on guests, the guest cancel, I don't get my refund and get stuck going....
You are either IN or OUT...and if you definitely need to see who's coming, wait...  if you are worried about booking a hotel, then realistically you were already in.

Haven't you noticed, one convention might announce a guest, then the anime convention right around the corner (*cough* or somewhere else in the state) books that guest right out from under the original con...?
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Imper1um

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2016, 11:43:45 AM »

Communication is a hard thing to figure out. You don't want to announce anything that isn't already pen to paper, because announcing cancellations sucks. It always hurts when I have to post to Facebook, "X panel has been cancelled due to the host cancelling the event." No one wants to hear what doesn't happen at the convention. Everyone wants to hear what good stuff is happening. In fact, despite the fact that the panels I had to announce cancellations for HolMat2015 were minor panels, people still responded to them more. People see that more. But, as a Panel Coordinator, I had a duty to keep my attendees informed as soon as I knew the information, because its their money, and I wanted them the maximum amount of time to be able to plan their time for the convention, and it was heavily appreciated.

If any Fanime staff is listening, I can tell you that the more you talk to your attendees, the more they appreciate you. I put myself heavily out there from October to December. I had people say some really bad things about cancellations, but, once I got to the convention, I got so many people going, "Thank you for keeping me informed." I never announced anything that didn't have ink to paper, and we timed most of the announcements, but we announced things very consistently, and very quickly. We kept everyone informed. The schedule changed, but people could plan two months before the convention on which panels they were going to go to, which times they were going to schedule their photoshoots, and when they were going to go to an event. We had a solid convention. Things did change, but that's unavoidable.

I wish I could help you all, but its a little late in the game for me to get in and help (if you need help in the first place). :P
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AngelWings

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2016, 11:21:54 PM »

Hi! I'm a staffer. I do not represent Fanime. This post is not necessarily directed at everyone on this thread, but it is at the very least the best I could do. I wish I could take off that hat to talk to you from my side of the curtain but it's more of less glued on so let me give this a shot and hopefully respect where the line is while still letting you know that I hear you.

To quote Imper1um "Communication is a hard thing to figure out."

Departments are separate and what I know in my department is different from what another staffer knows in their department. If you ever attend a staff meeting one of the first things you will hear is "If it's not your department don't talk about it." Technically I could be considered to be overstepping by responding to this thread at all, but again it depends on exactly where that line is. Is this a place where I can respond as a volunteer, attendee, and a person of the community? We will see.

There are things that as a staffer in a department I literally am not allowed to tell you. There has been information that I could not speak on until it was announced by social media at a time agreed on by Chair. It can be terribly frustrating not to be able to address things, but it is also something I agreed to when I joined staff. And I would not trade being a staff member for being able to talk to you about those things until I am allowed, if ever.

I can't say definitively why any information is withheld for longer then you would like, but I would hypothesize as to some potentials, maybe they don't have all the details ironed out and if they announced anything it would create a flood of questions that they don't yet have answers for, maybe there are legal reasons, maybe they want to release information in a particular order to try to make it as digestible as possible for fans (yes there are some people who do get confused, which is perfectly all right but it seems a reasonable thing to minimize), maybe it's something they don't even know about for sure until very last minute. And finally maybe they don't want to release the information until it's finalized to prevent the spread of misinformation.

This convention has several different departments which are part of different divisions which all operate under a chair and between these arms there are several different things that have to be discussed, finalized, ordered, clarified and agreed upon often communicating with each other. All of this functioning underneath (because I'm not sorry to admit I prioritize my life higher than this convention) other responsibilities and obligations of time.

I think it's perfectly reasonable to have expectations about an event you pay money to attend, but I do wonder at the method of trying to make your opinion heard. Yes some staffers read the forums, but honestly if you feel as passionately about this as you seem to email the department you don't think is giving you information or even better the Chair.

I know you are going to find this trite, but you should join staff. If you continue to want to attend this convention in hopes of improvement, but are consistently disappointed by it; joining staff will at least let you know where exactly you might want to address your complaints. No, you won't be able to join staff and immediately have a position where you can change things, but had you joined when you first realized there were things you disagreed with perhaps you would be in such a position now. At the very least you will gain information which is not so bad a thing to receive.

And in case you didn't know there is still plenty of time to join staff if you want to help. It might not be in the department you prefer or in the position you want but you would get an inside look at how the convention operates and be in a better position for next year.

I can honestly tell you that I joined staff to have something more to do at the convention, to learn about why and how things happened the way they do, and to have some sort of positive impact on the experience of the attendees. I believe that is the same reason that everyone joined staff, so while you are frustrated please realize that we are probably equally frustrated that we weren't able to meet your expectations.

Thank you for your time,

Arianna Gonzales

And as a reminder this is just the opinion of one person who loves this convention as much as I think you do, not Fanime as a whole.
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InsaneDavid

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2016, 12:06:27 PM »

Thank you for your comments, AngelWings.

If you ever attend a staff meeting one of the first things you will hear is "If it's not your department don't talk about it." Technically I could be considered to be overstepping by responding to this thread at all, but again it depends on exactly where that line is. Is this a place where I can respond as a volunteer, attendee, and a person of the community? We will see.

There are things that as a staffer in a department I literally am not allowed to tell you. There has been information that I could not speak on until it was announced by social media at a time agreed on by Chair. It can be terribly frustrating not to be able to address things, but it is also something I agreed to when I joined staff. And I would not trade being a staff member for being able to talk to you about those things until I am allowed, if ever.

Perhaps a communication liaison department is something that may be helpful, if not existing already?  A group of a few people that keep tabs on social media from the side of general con-goers and, acting as a separate entity from other Fanime departments, can act as a more immediate communication mouthpiece both between departments (all on the up and up at staff meetings) as well as between staff and general con-goers.  Not Public Relations or advertising or promotion or anything like that, just a few people that can filter through all the chatter and bring the most requested issues to all relevant staff departments, and then be given clear authorization by Chair as to what can be sent back down.
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Kyra_Maverick

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2016, 10:22:47 PM »

I think a big thing many people forget about when addressing Fanime's lack of communication is that Fanime is still a fan run event. Every member of staff is volunteering their time around work, school, family, friends, and any other hobbies they have to bring us this event every year.

Do I wish information can be decided upon and released at a faster rate? Absolutely! But I'm also positive that staff feel the same way. They also get frustrated at having to withhold information or just not having any information to share when so many con goers are biting at the bit for any scrap of info we can receive. Imagine having to deal with that sort of external pressure, with your only compensation being a sense of pride in what you helped pull off at the end of the year? It's not a task I would want to take on, and I greatly admire staffers who continually sign themselves up for this sort of hell every year.

A question that's been brought up before is: "Is Fanimecon getting too big to continue being a fan run con?" I for one enjoy Fanime's small con feel on a large scale and wonder how much of that would change if an outside company were brought in. Would any of Fanime's existing issues (mainly communication with attendees and artists) be resolved? Or would it just bring in new problems and new issues?
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InsaneDavid

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2016, 08:02:26 AM »

A question that's been brought up before is: "Is Fanimecon getting too big to continue being a fan run con?" I for one enjoy Fanime's small con feel on a large scale and wonder how much of that would change if an outside company were brought in. Would any of Fanime's existing issues (mainly communication with attendees and artists) be resolved? Or would it just bring in new problems and new issues?

Personally I like Fanime the way it is, and I agree with your comment of Fanime having a small con feel on a large scale.  The wheel doesn't need to be reinvented, this convention has something special that others don't have - I think that's why a lot of us go.

The real sticking points are few and far between.  Artist Alley vendors not having housing registration priority and being left in the dark is one of the big ones off the top of my head.  That's just not right.  There's no way that can be spun other than it was an oversight, a mistake, an error, an accident.  Take care of it and move on.  The issue arises when it doesn't seem like it's being addressed, even if it is behind closed doors.  It's also bad form to say, "Hey, we'll get back to you on that." and then go completely silent for months.  Being better about that, just a little, would go a long way to relieve a lot of stress on the attendee side.  However no one on staff should ever feel obligated to respond to pure and relentless "call you out" posts on social media, which is what this forum thread began as.
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Angelx624

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2016, 05:16:27 PM »

Kyra has a really good point. We have to remember that Fanime is run by fans, and they have other jobs and other priorities out there. And while some of us are complaining and annoyed by the lack of communication, what do you think the staff members and the Chair people are doing?? They aren't just sitting around thinking that everything's gonna magically be complete by the time con rolls around. No, they are most likely either tending to their families, at their other job that isn't Fanime-related, the list goes on. But they do what they can to make this convention still happen. Has there ever been a time where Fanime had to be cancelled? No. Then why are we complaining??
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phr34kish

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2016, 11:05:59 AM »

Kyra has a really good point. We have to remember that Fanime is run by fans, and they have other jobs and other priorities out there. And while some of us are complaining and annoyed by the lack of communication, what do you think the staff members and the Chair people are doing?? They aren't just sitting around thinking that everything's gonna magically be complete by the time con rolls around. No, they are most likely either tending to their families, at their other job that isn't Fanime-related, the list goes on. But they do what they can to make this convention still happen. Has there ever been a time where Fanime had to be cancelled? No. Then why are we complaining??

Because some of the very people they're not communicating with are the ones who are technically part of the convention. Artists have had nothing but silence since judging results came out and our supposed "pay or forfeit" date was supposed to be 3/31. There's NO information whatsoever on Artist Gallery. From my understanding the dealers are still waiting on packet information. We're less than 60 days out, and where's the professional registration? Or Press? No additional word on Swap Meet (and they do have a fairly regular presence here in the forums - kudos, seriously!!), the list continues.

"For Fans, By Fans" will only get you so far and there's only so much quarter we can afford them before it starts to have seriously negative repercussions.
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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2016, 01:30:52 PM »

I really like where this discussion has gone, and both the insider info and the suggestions, so thank you, everyone. (Also glad to see that I have a reputation for being level-headed!)

I'm in camp "this con can't keep hiding behind the 'by fans for fans' tagline and expect people to handwave away their problems because it's just fans running it." Not at this size of con. I feel like most other cons are also run by fans and don't have this big of an issue with communication. I'm also in camp "something needs to change," but I'm not sure what it is.

Love all the insider info about the departments, so thank you, AngelWings. It seems to be pretty much exactly as I imagined on the inside. I'm in agreement that there needs to be a way for communication to get to all the people who need it -- a social media liaison who can either address issues or direct them to the right place is a good place to start, but there also needs to be someone on the inside who can help departments talk to each other and get communication across lines. I understand that there will always be things that can't be disclosed to the public, but it seems like there's so much poor organization going on at this con that it makes it worse. I don't need guest announcements prematurely, but I do need things like the hotel booking system announced before pre-reg opens. Or AA folks getting communication on time. Or announcements about things like Swap Meet and Art Gallery and other departments that should be getting their registrations up around this time (or at least talking about them). Etc.

I think that bringing in an outside group to organize things and keep everything on track is a good idea, and it's certainly getting to that point. I think that I'd like to see a staff position that's basically the town crier be created first -- someone who can run between departments to make sure everything is running smoothly, that can help departments stay on top of their deadlines, and can help direct questions that arise on social media to the correct department. Someone with high-level access to information, who knows when and where to reveal and withhold information, but no actual power, just a communications lubricant. Hell, I'd volunteer for this myself if I wasn't busy with grad school.

I agree with InsaneDavid that the problem is less the lack of concrete information and more the perception that the issues aren't being addressed at all. This con is way more secretive than other cons I've attended, and seems to be less likely to own up to and address its mistakes. As I've said, things like guest announcements? Not really an issue. The perception that things aren't happening behind the scenes even though the con is in less than two months? Bigger issue. The fact that this has been going on for years and people have complained about it and nothing has changed, even though other cons tend to announce guests sooner? Even bigger issue.

Even announcements that the con is working on things and we can peek behind the curtain a little bit would be a much better situation than the silence we usually get. Artists not being able to hear back from AA about the payment deadline is a pretty clear example of this -- people have tried reaching out to the con, but haven't gotten anything back, and are frustrated by it. Even an announcement like "hey, sorry for the delays, we're working on it and we'll have the info out to you by [date]" would be better than nothing. Even something as minimal as "we see your problems and acknowledge them. We will get the information to you as soon as possible, and will work on addressing these problems in the future" (or, you know, less vague than that, since this is a catch-all potential tweet, not the exact thing I want to hear) would be better than silence. (Well, it's this con, so that kind of thing would likely make people angry because they /know/ that the con doesn't communicate...there needs to be a history of better communication in order for something that vague to be relevant.)

Yes, everyone is a volunteer, and yes, it's hard. You have to balance your personal life and the con. But if the amount of people who are working on it right now isn't enough, or if the process is too bureaucratic for decisions to be made efficiently, etc. etc., then something needs to change. More staff. Hire people if the con has to. Change the process. Do /something/. Because this can't continue if the con expects people to keep coming and paying for badges. (Or coming and providing content, like the AA folks.)
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Kyra_Maverick

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2016, 06:15:13 PM »

You can also put me in camp "Something Needs to Change", because as it is now, "Something" is clearly broken. Delays on announcing guests is minor, but may be the most obvious indicator that it's not all rainbows and kittens behind the curtain. I try to be very understanding to other priorites staff has because they are volunteers, but there is a limit. As understanding to delays as I am, I'm not going to pretend that everything is fine.

The idea of having a badge before being able to register for a hotel was something Fanime had wanted to impelment last year, and even announced, but was dropped. Setting it in place for this year was clearly on their mind and obviously should have been communicated with attendees before registration went up. Someone dropped the ball. The question is, what ball got dropped? Did no one even think that attendees would need this info? Or was it really implemented so last minute that we actually were notified as soon as it was possible?

The way artists are treated is not okay. To be nearly a week past the "pay or foreit" date with no word on when artists will actually be allowed to pay, is not okay. Artist's Alley takes up a large portion of avaliable floor space, so why do they not also get a large portion staff's time? To be left so completely in the dark, what else can they think besides "I must not be important to this con"?

What else can attendees think when left so completely in the dark besides "I must not be important to this con"?

"Something" needs to change.
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