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Messages - BenihimeSama

Hotel Name: Doubletree
Would You Book Next Year: Yes-If Clockwork Alchemy stays there

Away from the madness that was Fanime
Had Clockwork Alchemy adventures going on there
Free freaking cookies!
Free Wifi
Comfy Beds!
Easy check in and check out!

Because it's ten minutes away, I had to rely on the shuttles. Kind of a small pain, but the drivers were incredibly nice!
The shuttle wasn't 24 hours like they had said. So the communication kinda went to hell in a handbasket. But we can work on that.
Longest hallways ever. Ever. Yes I know it's not the hotel's fault, but it's a bitch if you've got a bunch of bags.
Parking wasn't cheap, but it was still better than most hotels!  
Food at the hotel isn't cheap, but you do at least get a decent amount of food for the price you pay. If you do breakfast, get the buffet, cause it's the best bang for your bucks, especially if you don't eat anymore during the day. (16 bucks including tax)

Special Notes to Share: I had heard bad things online, but overall, the hotel isn't as bad. Now keeping in mind, we got good deals with being a part of the Fanime block, but it was still a great hotel. If Clockwork Alchemy stays at the Doubletree next year, I will be hihgly considering staying here, as I prefer the smaller convention feel.
So as always we like to have a survey of where you stayed and what you liked and disliked!! Keep in mind that this will help us con-goers next year!

Please Use the following Format:

Hotel Name:
Would You Book Next Year:
Special Notes to Share:

Thanks all!
I did not get to attend your panels due to the fact that I was Panels staff and we were working all weekend long. But I did score a packet and I loved it! I had your packet from last year, and the expanded packet was definately a bonus! Thank you for taking the time to print out packets, it's great!
The Milinery Straw Panel was pretty awesome as well. We had so many new panels this year, it was good to see all of them be very positive! We are also pleased with the turnouts for Fanfiction Panels and Fennel's Late Night Dreamworld, which was a great panel about Pokemon.

Our Awesomely Bad J-Videos is a returning panel, methinks that you guys like bad things so much that we just have to keep em coming!

Keep the notes coming guys!
Panels and Workshops / Re: Geeky Networking 101
May 28, 2012, 12:56:49 AM
Greetings to all panel fans!

First of all we the panels staff wish to thank you for coming this weekend not only to the convention, but for being a part of our panels experience! We know this year was a little difficult for some and may have required a little more patience than normal. But your patience made our weekend and hopefully your weekend great!

This thread is to share any ideas and hopefully good reports to our team to help us improve in the future. We do want to note a few things:

1) We did our best to accomodate any issues with registration and picking up badges, but please understand that anything that had to do with registration is not our department. Please do not vent about registration issues here.

2) If there is a specific note you wish to leave for certain panels and they have a thread already, feel free to leave a message there as well, so that the panelists can get that feedback specifically as this will be mostly maintained by staff members.  

3) Clockwork Alchemy panels are totally welcome (and encouraged) to be highlighted here! If there was one you saw that you think we should add next year, let us know!!

4) We know that there were a few panels that were in such high demand that we could not seat everyone. We will be discussing options for next year for those special big panels.

5)  If you are a panelist and you have something you wish to address concerning your panel, please feel free to email us directly at so that we can address your issues in private.

6) Express your concerns, but don't be a jerk please? Thanks :D

Off you all go! And thanks again for coming to visit us in panels land! We look forward to seeing you next year!
So for those who play Pathfinder and/or Pathfinder Organized Society, and somehow, you didn't end up at KublaCon.. Do not fret, we are bringing some games to you! If you have never played Pathfinder Society, or Pathfinder in general, and want to get in on some gaming time, we will be there all weekend to get some time in!

Location: Gaming Hall or other spot depending on turnout!
Friday: TBA
Saturday: 8pm till we're done!
Sunday: TBA

New players and veterans are welcome! Questions or comments can be left here!
Name: BenihimeSama/Venus
FULL! Sorry!
Quote from: Wolftale on February 16, 2012, 10:18:42 PM
Something I noticed between a couple panels I went to... they were not well planned out, rambled a big chunk of the time, and had organizers who didn't control their crowd well. Personally I'd like when panels are submitting to submit a physical outline of what they plan to do instead of just stating an idea and assuming they have something more planned behind it when being accepted, at least then it's more assured they have a general idea of what they are talking about at the panel. I'd go as far to maybe even submitting a short video (when possible) of their panel, such as if someone is planning a panel to teach about making a costume they can submit a minute or so video of 1 part of their choice that would be in the panel.

I understand that might be a bit much to ask (you get the general idea of what that was going towards), but I'd rather panels be more structured after seeing some of them last year.. ^^;

We do the best we can about having panelists with structured panels,  but only a few times is it not the case. Some of the reasons being, that they are new panels, they may be long winded, or if it's their first time they may have never dealt with crowd control or other issues. I remember running a OHSHC panel two years ago, and although I had been doing panels for years at this point, it was really hard to keep the fangirl squeals down to a minimum.

You also have to keep in mind, that many panels are open forum, where everyone can come together and get just chat for an hour about something they all love. Which yes, may seem a little boring, but if you stick around you are always bound to learn something new. You gotta go into a panel with an open mind and willingness to learn something. If you just walk into the room, sit there for ten minutes and then leave, what's the point?
Hotel and Facilities / Re: Quick Hotel Question!
February 06, 2012, 11:03:31 AM
You need a credit card to hold the room, but you won't pay until you check in. But you may pay a penalty if you check-in late or cancel late.
Quote from: sayonararollingstar on February 02, 2012, 07:04:07 PM
Oh, man. I have a six hour class on friday and I might not be able to book at noon. Just wondering, how fast do the Hilton or Marriott sell out within the first hours or so? I hope they don't sell out as fast as the artist alley tables did. :C

Those two go really fast especially since they are the ones that are connected to the convention center. But a lot of the surrounding ones go a little slower. I'm more terrified that we are going to break the RSVP system on day one.

Oh BTW: There's nothing in the rules that say that you can't RSVP through your phones if you have internet, just make sure you have a CC either in memory on on hand to RSVP and you are done!
Wishing we could at least get a rate look.... So when you guys go live, we already know where to go. Although most of us already know.

I am wondering, if we are keeping the same hotels as last year? Since Clockwork Alchemy is at the Doubletree which was one of our back up hotels, it would be nice to have as an option.
Panels and Workshops / Re: Geeky Networking 101
December 27, 2011, 06:08:57 PM
In the past, I have done those panels as well. But right now, that panel is going under a very big overhaul and won't be re-released until 2013. But this panel will definitely be a great opening for going forward.
Panels and Workshops / Geeky Networking 101
December 21, 2011, 08:57:00 PM
Greetings Geeks!

Thanks for coming to my panel this weekend! A few after convention notes:

If you were a part of the panel and want to leave some info, please do so below! And if you are convention hopping this summer, these are a few of the conventions I plan on attending:

Kin-Yoobi Con in Hayward
PacifiCon (Gaming Edition) in Santa Clara
Big Bad Con in Oakland
Sac-Con in Sacramento

Again, I will be updating my blog: with new tour events and dates! If you want me to teach at your event, let me know also by emailing me at

Thanks and see you next year!

Venus De Coy
Event Host and Presenter!
So two years ago I stopped driving and took the Amtrak to and from the convention (I live in the Sacramento area) and I am happy to say, that Amtrak is so amazing! You can sit there, listen to music, get food, find con goers and just have loads of good times without utilizing your car or pay for insane parking!

The trick is, if you arrive on a Thurs or Friday, take the DASH Shuttle, it's free and it will drop you right in front of the Convention center. Now it doesn't work on Monday (Memorial Day) but you can easily take a taxi. But if you leave on Tuesday, you will have no problems getting to and from the convention center. If you aren't afraid to walk or have a ton of stuff to carry, then you should be just fine.

I've heard that Greyhound is great for those who from SoCal and trying to get up here, as they pretty much go everywhere needed. I myself have used them at another convention to great success also.
Quote from: Shi_Musouka on June 02, 2011, 08:46:47 PM

I know one of the panelists was really upset about his panel being cut short because of the delay from the Momoi Q&A. I don't remember who it was though. I just want you guys to keep that in mind that when a panel is significantly shortened in time than what was promised to them, some people will feel cheated out of what they opted for. I do not speak on behalf of any panelists, but I can understand how it would feel if that ever happened to me.

Thanks for your imput!

To clarify, yes this specific panel was indeed cut short, but we allowed the panelist an additional 15 minutes going into another panelist's panel to compensate. And the next panel was actually a Guest of Honor's panel as well. So the fact that he even allowed the panel to go over, was quite a surprise to us. Although we wished we could have avoided that, it was one of those situations that was out of our control.

We do like to remind our panelists and future panelists, that in your presentations, there should always be a little buffer time to compensate for setup and breakdown, and in the event of any technical difficulties. If your presentation is going to be an hour EXACTLY, please consider shortening your panel to 45-50 minutes so that you can accommodate any issues that may arise. Although I completely understand how frustrating that would be, but if the panelist was that upset, they are more than happy to speak with our department heads and we can do what we can to accommodate the request.
Hotel Name:St Claire!

Would You Book Next Year: Heck YAH!

Pros: I'm right in the center of all the convention fun stuff! If I step out, to my left I can go to the Fairmont Events, to my left and across the street I am open to the rest of the convention as well as the Civic Center

Cons: The bed is firm, and the pillows are too soft, but I brought my own pillow, so I was okay.

Special Notes to Share: IT HAD A FRIDGE AND IT WORKED!!! The internet is a little slow, but understandable that everyone was on it. What is also awesome is that the hotel holds your stuff when you check out, and they have seperate room that is locked for security! It's pretty awesome. The hotel is just everything I need and want in a convention hotel, I hope they keep the con rate at what they have, so next year I can book again!
So as always we like to have a survey of where you stayed and what you liked and disliked!! Keep in mind that this will help us con-goers next year!

Please Use the following Format:

Hotel Name:
Would You Book Next Year:
Special Notes to Share:

Thanks all!
Quote from: MikeTSA on May 31, 2011, 07:42:59 PM
Some thoughts here:

1) Did Stage Zero actually screen any of the "videos" submitted for the Panel Promotion segments? I know I walked by on Friday a few times during the supposed time slot for that, but never saw anything of the sort happen.

2) Schedule thing really hurt some of the panels. After talking with some of the people after one of the panels, they all said they had no idea the panel was even going on, and only found it by walking by. I know many panels still were jam packed, but I think the schedule issue hurt many panels' attendance.

3) After doing panels at Fanime for 3 years straight now, I have to wonder will you ever move fan panels outright into the con and out of the Marriott? It honestly feels like we're pushed out of the way. Most other cons put video rooms in the hotels, and put the live programming in the con.

4) While I realize in retrospect I did a poor job naming/describing two of my panels this year, I also wondered about being more descriptive on the website. Yes, I know the programming guide is limited to X characters for the title and description, but maybe allowing a "longer" description on the web site? When we're forced to truncate our descriptions/titles down, we sometimes accidentally cut out good info.

5) One personal gripe, which I should have been more vocal about when I spoke with the staff ahead of the con, was scheduling two similar panels back-to-back. The What's Wrong with Resident Evil panel drew a packed audience, but we got to less than half for the following Zelda panel. Some of the people who left that I saw the next day simply said it was a combination of being so late (next point) and having too similar panels like that. So I guess maybe next year try to also consider spacing out certain types of panels so they're not so close, and not putting popular ones at the same time, either.

6) I'm not convinced panels beyond 12am will work out at Fanime. It really seems like Fanime is a large, spacious con, and people are running around all day and get really worn out by night. Most people want to go to bed or chill in a comfortable, laid-back environment like the video rooms by midnight.  While the RE panel, and our neighboring Hetalia panel, were pretty packed at 12am, people in the audience afterwards asked why we selected to be so late at night. The 1am slot was just too late, too, for the other panel we did. I think either next year, panels should cut off at midnight, or allow 18+ panels to be a bit earlier ahead of the 10pm time Fanime wanted all the adult panels to take place after. Otherwise, probably going to give serious consideration to dropping the 18+ part of the "What's Wrong with" panel series we do (which we plan to do again next year).

7) Make sure panel tech stuff is setup properly between panels. When setting up for the RE panel, many of the cables were missing (under the table, disconnected) and the VGA chord was also hidden under some cloth. First time I ever encountered this. Granted, this was after an entire day's worth of panels, but it added a few mins to our setup time, and I almost made the staff run to panel ops to get tech support (which would have probably delayed the panel) before we discovered the chords.

Still looking forward to next year, but this year has taught me that I need to be more specific with requests on time spots and write better titles/descriptions to appeal to con goers (not Fanime's problem).

Thanks for your imput!

1) From what I am told, yes they do, but I am not sure if the time being given is the one being shown. But I know they are good about making announcements about panels and events going on at Stage Zero. We will work on improving that in the future.

2) Yes we know about the schedule snafus. Unfortunately, this was something we could not control at all. We will be forwarding this to other channels, and hopefully we can improve upon that. 

3) So about moving, the funny thing is that three years ago, we actually were in the Hilton (I did my first panels there myself!) and we moved from the SUPER small rooms there, to the Marriott and the video rooms were formerly there and moved to add more video rooms and expand our Karaoke department as well. Now yes, we are starting to show growing pains with bigger panels, but on average, we still aren't maxing out to the point where it is feasible to move all the panels into the convention site. But our goal is to possibly move some special events into the bigger rooms as well, but we ask all to be patient, as this does take some time.

4) About descriptions, we are only allotted a certain amount of characters on both the website and the printed works as well. This is more or less because we have to manage over 100 panels over four days. So we highly doubt the character limits are going to change. Please take this into account for next year's submission.

5 and 6) I also spoke about scheduling as well for panelists in the last post, but as a reminder, we have to go with not only what you request time-wise, but also any other special issues. I know for Gannon-Banned, because it was an 18+ panel, we automatically have to put it into the late slot, otherwise we would not be allowed to host it. Also, we want to have some late night programing, for those who want to check out some late night fun. This is also our cushion as well for panels that we cannot necessarily put into a day slot due to maxed out schedule or time requests either.

If you wish to make your panel more family friendly, that's perfectly fine it will not hinder your approval's process. But please understand that we have quite a lot of people to fit, and sometimes, the luck of the draw comes to pass. I have also done back to back panels, and I understand the frustration because one is full and the other one isn't. But we will work on improving that as well.

7) We shall forward an email to panelists next year to remind them to keep the cords that ARE NOT their's on the table. That has happened to many other panelists as well, not just your organization. Also it keeps our tech department from hating us all weekend as well.  :)

Thank you for your imput, we look forward to seeing you next year!
Quote from: Firefury Amahira on May 31, 2011, 06:42:47 PM
It'd be most helpful to newcomer panelists if the panel registration stuff mentions you can't get a 2 hour panel during the day. If we'd known that, we would have broken the fanfic workshop up into different 1 hour sessions instead!  :D

And seconded about the big noisy panels being next door to smaller, quieter ones. We had Banzai Arcade going next door to us for part of our panel, and it got a little annoying having to wait or try to talk over 300 people all yelling "MAXIMUM! BRIEFCASE! PUNCH!" repeatedly. (The fire alarm going off was more annoying, but I imagine the antics of stupid drunk idiots is well beyond the jurisdiction of the Panels Dept. ;) )

As for the panel registrations, I can understand why things were done the way they were this year with the gradual panel confirmations, but could we please next year give some priority to those who submit requests first? It was more than a little nerve-wracking putting in the request almost as soon as it opened and then not finding anything out until April as to whether or not we had a panel at all; we weren't planning on going if we didn't get the panel this year, and the hotel we had our eyes on had a discount rate that was non-refundable, so we couldn't make the reservations until we knew for sure we'd be going. This isn't going to be an issue for us personally next year- we will most definitely be coming back, but it could be a real headache for other newcomers.

Whining and suggestions aside, things were run really well, and my group really doesn't have anything to complain about; you guys were great. (And thanks again for letting us stash the fanfic workshop stuff at the panelist lounge Sunday evening; that helped us out a lot!)

Thanks for your imput!!

1) So here's the thing, being a panelist myself, I have done 2 hour panels during the day! But this year we had a very tight schedule to the point where we had an insanely long wait list. So we had to get in as much as possible. A lot two hour slots had to go into the PM so we could get them in, but we admit, nothing is perfect and we will work on it going forward.

2) We will also work on separating loud from quiet panels. We try to do the best we can, but scheduling sometimes leaves us very little room to adjust and compensate for noise. But we will try much harder! (And yes, the Fire Alarm was not our fault. Sorry.)

3) Concerning your hotel issue, I would HIGHLY recommend going though the Fanime hotel blocks. Mainly since you do not have to put any money down until you check in. If you need to cancel, you have time to do so without a penalty. (up to 72 hours before con) And if you can't go, you can always transfer the room to another person and still win. We will also recommend this for next year's panelists as well.

4)  Concerning the panel approvals, we actually do, take priority in timely submissions into approvals. But it's not just whether you can get in or not, we also have to take the times you request, what kind of turn out you have had in the past, and what other types of panels we also receive as well (GOH, repeat events, similiar topics, etc.). So there is a little more than just submitting on time, that we take into account when going through the approval process. We are however continuing on improving the process so please understand that it does take some time for us to go through everything and make a decision.

Hope that helps, thanks again for coming, and we look forward to seeing you next year!