Author Topic: How is YOUR Kumoricon?  (Read 8967 times)

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Offline CheshireStray

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #50 on: September 07, 2010, 01:12:10 pm »
Seeing as it was my first con, it may not be for me to judge, but i had an amazing time. I was worried due to rumors i had heard about the hotel staff at the Hilton (I guess they were ready for us this time ^~^) but they seemed to handle it OK, considering how many of us were there...
Like i said, it may just be because it's my first time at any con ever, but I honestly had one of the best weekends of my life 8D

Offline Negima

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #51 on: September 07, 2010, 01:37:13 pm »
I missed the past 3 years of KCon and I am happy to see what it has become while I've been away.  I didn't see anything like the things I heard about last year.  Yes there were some hiccups but the hotel and con staff seemed to work things out rather well.

Ugh Vancouver again? Isn't this suppose to be Portland's convention? What ever happened to having it at the double tree by lloyd center? I think that was one of the best venues out of all of them.
We're too big for them.  It was one of the best but it's too small for us now.  We'd probably have to cap attendance even more or reserve a few of the other hotels nearby which would be more expensive.

Offline Kimiski

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #52 on: September 07, 2010, 01:45:14 pm »
This was the best Kumoricon yet, for me.
I love you guys so much.  ;D


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Offline @random

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #53 on: September 07, 2010, 02:59:04 pm »
Well I just want to point out to you guys that it did not work, people were going in and out of the ballroom through that door all day every day.

I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the gaming entrance/exit fire code issue had anything to do with entering or exiting the ballroom level. AFAIK, only gaming was being counted at that exit. Entry to the ballroom level was simply a matter of checking whether they had a badge.

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Now if we want to talk about crazy.. reg lines are where it is at.  They looked like they were divided up but they still were super slow and unorganized when you got to the table.  Yoji were telling people who were pre registered to go to non role call, and then reg staff would get pissed at not having the info for them because that wasn't who they were suppose to deal with.  The line for registration didn't seem to be improved beyond handing out sign up sheets before they got to the desk.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean specifically about registration, though you absolutely have my sympathies that things went so far south. My understanding, and again I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong, is that reg was initially divided into one line for at-con registration (filling out forms and paying), and the other for will-call (picking up badges that were registered too late to mail out) and validation (getting stickers and holders for badges that had arrived by mail).

Personally, though, I don't understand why will-call wasn't in a different line from people who simply needed stickers - I think that may have been where things really started to go south. Validations took a fraction of the time, shouldn't have been in the same line, and made the line a whole lot longer than necessary. Some of the yojis who tried to correct it by sending validations forward through the line got yelled at, a different group started pulling the wrong people completely out of line and sending them to the wrong place, and things degenerated from there. If it weren't for whoever finally did countermand the initial orders and create a separate line for validations, and Ian who then burned through the validations like a madman, I think it would have gotten considerably worse.

(To Ian, and whoever that person is, thank you. <3 )

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I almost didn't come this year because I was so dissapointed with last year's con but this year's Kumoricon was way fun and I'm even more excited for next year.

We're glad you didn't give up - we're hoping to make next year even better without some of the limitations we had because of the contract. Ally's all over that one, so look forward to it.

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Do you guys post the rant and rave stuff? We had to leave after I spoke and I'm interested in reading the rest of it.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure we don't record it. Some things that came up from several different people: 1) Rave: The 180-degree turnaround in hotel staff interactions. 2) Rant: The registration wait times and confusion. 3) Rant: Need more staff and volunteers. 4) Both: Lots of different ideas for how to organize the cosplay contest, which got slightly borked by a swarm of last-minute entries.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay question if it moves to Vancover, WA then how would people without a car get to and from the convention? Does C-train bus run near the hotel? Mainly curious because I don't have any other transpertation then Tri-met to get around and walking. Why not have out at PDX if moving or is it set in stone? Anywho except for crazy 4 hour pre-reg line it was fun and loved taking a lot of pictures. :)

Sorry to hear about your lack of transportation, 'cause we do want everyone who wants to come to be able - that's the whole reason we wanted to move to a location with more room.  :-\

The bad news: It is set in stone, I'm pretty sure - they wouldn't have announced it unless we had already negotiated and finalized the contract.
The good news: When I went to C-Tran's website and entered both the 2010 location and the 2011 location, it gave a fifteen-minute route that dropped off pretty close to the hotels. For your specific case, you can go here and enter both your address and either 301 W 6th Street (the Hilton) or 100 Columbia Street (Red Lion). And for that matter, I'm sure that there'll be ride-sharing threads posted as we get closer to the con.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 04:11:06 pm by randompvg »
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Offline Darknight2433

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #54 on: September 07, 2010, 03:05:38 pm »
Oslap, [Edit by JeffT, administrator: Removed inappropriate language]!

I was so close all year to not going, but I had an amazing time! I thought everything was set up awesome for what we had to deal with (lack of room, small rooms, ect)

Oh my gosh the rave was hardcore, the hotel was awesome, people were great, bah just a fantastic year.

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« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 12:50:10 am by JeffT »

Offline oslapedo

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #55 on: September 07, 2010, 04:19:30 pm »
HAHAHAHA YOU.

As someone who had commuted often to and fro Vancouver and Portland it's very easy. There are buses that go from Vancouver to Portland, it's pretty simple if you just look up where the stops are. Also, the Vancouver Hilton is so close to the bridge by Portland, a very, very short trip.
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Offline CherryFrog

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #56 on: September 07, 2010, 07:49:17 pm »
It was my first ever con. :D It was AMAZING. My friend has been trying to get me to go since high school, so, this year, I saved just enough to come. :D

I can't wait 'til next year's convention! ^____^

Offline lychee-twist

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #57 on: September 07, 2010, 08:07:34 pm »
My convention, as with all Artist Alley ventures, was pretty mild. I did enjoy it, though. Jen, the head of AA, is as much of a sweetheart as she ever is, and I can only thank her more and more. I'm definitely trying for another table next year!

I'm very happy with the Kumoricon staff and the job they did. I'm so happy that we're out of the stuffy, stuck-up Hilton for sure. The K-Con staff really did a great job managing the amount of people and the stiff regulations set up. I think everything ran a lot smoother than last year.

The only thing that I thought needs work is counting people as they go in and out of somewhere. My friend and I left the ballroom from a side door with no one to count us. I told someone we left because my friend, a volunteer/yojimbo, had told me they had to count the people who left so they could let more people in. The issue was many people had left without their knowledge so people were waiting in line when they didn't have to.

I think the rules for the ball need to be laid out in the description of the event. Everyone at the ball did fine, I felt, but I wish the rules had been posted so that my dance with Princess Kakyuu hadn't been interrupted three times.

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Offline camname21

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #58 on: September 07, 2010, 08:37:35 pm »
I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the gaming entrance/exit fire code issue had anything to do with entering or exiting the ballroom level. AFAIK, only gaming was being counted at that exit. Entry to the ballroom level was simply a matter of checking whether they had a badge.
I'm assuming fire code says there needs to be 2 separate ways in/out, but I'm pretty sure they are not required to be one way only.  Which is what they were turned in to, even though the stairs never had a problem with too many people.


I got to the ball late, but I was vary disappointed with the fact that no area was marked as "wanting to be asked to dance" kind of thing.  I thought it was one of the things Host Club was going to do, but it didn't happen as far as I could see.  I also kinda forgot that the hosts had flowers or something, but I don't recall ever noticing them with the low lights.

The second biggest problem with con as a whole was probably the fact that I kept trying to go to panels and it not being the right one due to the fact that the pocket guide was not up to date.  This was a huge failure in my opinion.  With no updated version being handed out at info booth, every time you wanted to know if there was a fun panel to see you had to walk back to info booth and stare at the tv for two minutes waiting for it to refresh to check out the updated information.  True not a whole lot was changed, but for a 3 hour block of me looking for something to view I went into probably 4 different events where it was not the right time or the room was changed.

Offline BloodyWhisker

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #59 on: September 07, 2010, 08:57:48 pm »
This year the lines went back to what they were two years ago. They were long, slow, and a little bit too chaotic. At times it even got a tad too noisy for my taste.
It was disappointing that the Charity Auction and Shounen-Ai panel were at the same time, however, because I really wanted to go to both. I ended up going to the Charity Auction instead, but I'd love it if more fan-panels like that were at times other than times of big, awesome-sauce panels such as the Charity Auction..? Also the fact of how the Cat Ear making was at the same time of Opening Ceremony. I didn't mind that too much, though.
Some of the rooms for some panels were a bit oversized or a bit too small in my opinion. For example, the Hetalia World Conference room was much too small for how many fans were there for the panel. At first only one person couldn't get in, but then there was a only line of another 50 people who wanted in the panel who couldn't get in after we'd already met the max capacity of the room. I was one of the people who made it in, but there were plenty of others who wanted in as well.
For the Kumori ball, I thought it was a little disorganized. The dress code was a little difficult to find for most people. I had no problem since I already knew I was going in formal cosplay, but quite a few around me in the line had to go and change because they hadn't known that they had to be in formal wear. I think it should be made to be found in a better place for next year.
One last thing I want to bring up; the Rave. It was amazing music, amazing lights, amazing crowd.. but a little bit too hot even when it was hardly full at all in there. I guess it was sort of my fault for wearing thick-layered cosplay and should change that for next year, but maybe a small cool-off area with cheap little fans would be nice as well? Just to cool off and be out of the way of ravers.
Other than such, it was pretty well organized, well kept, and still had plenty of events to keep me busy for most of the day and most of the night.
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Offline JeffT

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #60 on: September 08, 2010, 12:41:28 am »
The second biggest problem with con as a whole was probably the fact that I kept trying to go to panels and it not being the right one due to the fact that the pocket guide was not up to date.  This was a huge failure in my opinion.  With no updated version being handed out at info booth, every time you wanted to know if there was a fun panel to see you had to walk back to info booth and stare at the tv for two minutes waiting for it to refresh to check out the updated information.  True not a whole lot was changed, but for a 3 hour block of me looking for something to view I went into probably 4 different events where it was not the right time or the room was changed.

The pocket guides have a three-week lead time, and there is no realistic way around this. All corrections had been posted on the web site, and all the ones that occurred prior to one week before the con were on the addendum sheet included in the bags. Sorry about the others. :( Due to the realities of printing, there's not a whole lot more that can be done. Unfortunately we can't print full new pocket guides right before the con.
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Offline Kimiski

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #61 on: September 08, 2010, 12:54:58 am »
Staff, I had an AMAZING Kumoricon this year!
For me, the lines went faster, they were placed nicely in accordance to layout of the hotel, events were amazing, hotel staff wasn't complete **** this time around, and the elevators being separated made things go so much faster.

The only small problems I had were the escalators being off (I understand why, but I was in pain all con long again) how we had to leave the gamers room to get back into the hotel (I didn't feel safe at night by myself doing this) and that there were not two separate lines for pre-reg check in... I thought those people I was told to pass were going to KILLL me Dx


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Offline @random

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #62 on: September 08, 2010, 11:34:38 am »
The second biggest problem with con as a whole was probably the fact that I kept trying to go to panels and it not being the right one due to the fact that the pocket guide was not up to date.  This was a huge failure in my opinion.  With no updated version being handed out at info booth, every time you wanted to know if there was a fun panel to see you had to walk back to info booth and stare at the tv for two minutes waiting for it to refresh to check out the updated information.  True not a whole lot was changed, but for a 3 hour block of me looking for something to view I went into probably 4 different events where it was not the right time or the room was changed.

The pocket guides have a three-week lead time, and there is no realistic way around this. All corrections had been posted on the web site, and all the ones that occurred prior to one week before the con were on the addendum sheet included in the bags. Sorry about the others. :( Due to the realities of printing, there's not a whole lot more that can be done. Unfortunately we can't print full new pocket guides right before the con.

Realities of printing con materials:
  • Cheap printers want a few weeks' lead time.
  • Expensive printers want a few days' lead time.
  • Con drama sometimes has as much as a few hours' lead time.  ::)
If you have any good suggestions for how to quickly and effectively spread word of changes, please let us know? We'd love to hear it, because we don't want you to miss your favorite panel any more than you do.

(Actually, this reminds me - we should probably resurrect the whiteboard for posting changes that aren't in the schedule.)
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Offline reppy

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #63 on: September 08, 2010, 11:56:12 am »
Does staff use a Twitter account to spread news about changes to the schedule?  How effective would it be?  It would be vitally important to have as many people as possible following the Twitter before or shortly after the con starts for it to be truly effective, though. ^^;

Either that, or just have a few guys walking around all day with a bullhorn making random announcements. xD

Edit: A more serious suggestion .. how about just having a small, single page schedule that is tossed into the bag?  How difficult would this be?  Say if you had it printed 5 days in advance of the con with any last minute changes.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 12:28:08 pm by reppy »

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Offline Rathany

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #64 on: September 08, 2010, 02:37:33 pm »
Does staff use a Twitter account to spread news about changes to the schedule?  How effective would it be?  It would be vitally important to have as many people as possible following the Twitter before or shortly after the con starts for it to be truly effective, though. ^^;

Either that, or just have a few guys walking around all day with a bullhorn making random announcements. xD

Edit: A more serious suggestion .. how about just having a small, single page schedule that is tossed into the bag?  How difficult would this be?  Say if you had it printed 5 days in advance of the con with any last minute changes.

Some cons use Twitter to great effect.  Our Twitter does not have many followers yet.  Though, if we have someone at info booth with access to the account who could be in charge of updates that could work out really good for us. 
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #65 on: September 08, 2010, 03:46:44 pm »
I got most of what I personally wanted out of this year's con:
All the new volunteers, staff, and panelists I had recruited for Creation Station this year were happy with me & with the CS.
All our new panel content that I had designed & commissioned was well-received and well-attended.
All our new panel content that others designed & performed was well-received and well-attended.
All the panels on which I was a panelist were well-received and well-attended.
Attendance was up at many of our panels, and enthusiasm was up at almost all of them.
Our CS Fanfic Contest included some amazing entries, and I got to meet or chat with everyone who entered.
Our CS Art Contest yielded some incredibly beautiful entries.
Our Adult Prog in the CS expanded.
All my cosplays were well-received.
My "Doctor Who" fanfic-song was well-received.
And an absolute highlight: Two former con chairs came to visit me, one to introduce me to his baby and one to bring me cosplays (including tentacles). A third former con chair sent me presents from overseas. We should all put more time into helping each other feel more appreciated and loved like that!
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Offline Kurohime

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #66 on: September 08, 2010, 04:35:54 pm »
Sakuracon had a very large board with the entire schedule posted on copy paper, on which changes were cut & pasted (and bolded?  I don't quite remember).  Low tech but highly effective. 

Also, each room should have a schedule posted, on which changes can be penned in bright colors. 

I seem to have had the convention everyone else complained of having last year.  Multiple problems stemmed from 3 and a half hours in the reg line, but I don't want to post at length right now. 

Offline JeffT

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #67 on: September 08, 2010, 05:11:39 pm »
We already post all schedule changes to www.kumoricon.org/schedule/ . This year, we did not receive word of any changes during the con (though this may be because the changes happens moments before the event), but a few did happen in the last few days. Agreed that extra signage for this would be a good idea.
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Offline TheBurningFist

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #68 on: September 08, 2010, 05:39:18 pm »
I had a wonderful first con ^^
I got a lot of inspiration, especially at Sonny's panels... they were also funny!
the drawing panels I when to were pretty cool but wheren't GREAT or anything I forgot a lot they said too...
it was pretty well organized, and I think I'm gonna be coming for years now

Offline camname21

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #69 on: September 08, 2010, 05:40:19 pm »
None of the problems finding the right place were in the revision paper given to us with the booklet, all the things I couldn't find must have been last minute changes.  Frustrating those changes were not at least posted on the doors, though I did see one door they took a random piece of paper and did post it outside the door.

Offline Eternal Yamcha

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #70 on: September 08, 2010, 10:24:36 pm »
Since it appears this is sorta the rant/rave thread...

Rants:
1. Registration - It was scheduled to end at 10:00pm on Friday Night. My group showed up a little after 9:00pm and we were told that we were not going to be allowed in the line. If that's the case, make sure to state that after a certain time, the line will be cut-off and that registration will end at approximately 10:00pm. There IS a difference between line cut-off and suspension of registration.

I also read that the registration was to begin at 7:00am on Saturday, yet it didn't until, I believe 7:20am - 7:30am, that's inexcusable. Everything should be ready by 6:45am (barring any REAL issues) and everyone running registration should be there at that time as well. Quit banking on people being understanding and thinking that the kindness of strangers will afford you some time, because at that point, you're simply taking advantage of people.

2. Tournaments - If you have the rules figured out post them at the event itself. I've been to numerous tournaments (specifically card gaming tournaments) and the rules were posted in plain view. I noticed a complete lack of posted rules at the events itself. I don't care if it's online or not; if you have them figured out, there's no excuse for not posting them at the event/site of the event itself. If you're "too busy" to take 20 seconds out to print at least ONE copy of the rules and post them at the event, then you're too busy to run the tournament, period. Should also be stated whether or not judge's rule is law... If it isn't, then the attendees can figure out that things will not change at all. If it is law, then the rules MUST be amended if/when something comes up that changes them.

I'd also say it'd be smart to have actual tournament entry forms. Nearly every tournament I've been in has required competitors to fill out official entry forms that get some basic information and ways to contact the competitor just in case. They also usually had a quick synopsis of the rules posted at the bottom of the forms. These are important in keeping organization of the tournament and that is the only way to guarantee that everyone knows the rules and that they have indeed agreed to them. If you're too busy to take 30 minutes out of your life over the course of 1+ month/s to come up with a simple entry form, then you're too busy to run the tournament.

3. Procrastination - It felt like things had been really thrown together in less than a month, yet again. I'll actually elaborate a bit more in the Raves section just below this point; but things still seemed rather hastily put together and it actually showed. This causes break downs in communication between virtually everyone and gives the event an amateurish feel. Make sure the people who are tasked with running the convention are keeping up on their responsibilities and if they're dragging their feet at all, vote someone else into their position. Staff members have voting rights, use them. There's always a disproportionate amount of luck when it comes to getting everything done and it's up to the event staff to mitigate that as much as possible.

I also want to add that next year, make sure information is solidified sooner than it was this year. It seemed as if guests weren't really figured out until a month or two before the event started. I wasn't even sure if I was going to go for more than a day until two days before Pre-Registration ended. Get that information situated and figured out sooner and post it faster next year.

Raves:
1. Lines/Crowds - I actually think that the lines were far better than they had been. Honestly? Keep this model and modify it when necessary at every other event. The lines didn't seem as long and the various places at the convention didn't feel nearly as crowded. The dealer's hall was great this year, perhaps the best I had seen it. Next year, learn the layout of the hotel/s early and figure out how to apply this model to it again. *Special Note* The head counts this year were fantastic!

2. Game Room - Open, fresh air, plenty of space? Best game room thus far. Try to mimic this if possible for next year; a place that offers plenty of room, plenty of ventilation and plenty of entertainment. Only beef is how far you had to walk to get back to the hotel itself... But I completely understand. If people were constantly going up and down the stairwell before gaming, it'd tax Yojimbo and it'd create a nasty bottleneck.

3. Table Top Gaming - Similar to the Game Room, perhaps the best we've had. It was open, somewhat easy to access and didn't feel completely disconnected from the convention. I'm confident that you guys can find a great place for it next year.

4. Yojimbo/Security - For being knowingly taxed, the Yoji's did a GREAT job this year, honestly. I didn't hear about too many issues that came up this year (though that may be from my lack of insider knowledge) and I really didn't hear too many convention goers complaining this year. Perhaps the smartest thing was making sure there was security for the Dealer's Hall. Hiring an outside security organization to keep watch was absolutely brilliant as it gives the dealers/exhibitors far more peace of mind and keeps the Yoji's from being stretched far too thin and worked to the nubs. You guys made it work!

5. Guests - I only say Tiffany Grant and Sonny Strait, but the convention would be completely idiotic not to try to get them to come back. Both gave plenty of face time to their fans this year and they seemed, to me at least, to genuinely care about the fan base. Sonny taking a booth was perhaps the greatest thing I've seen a guest do and I noted that Tiffany had multiple autograph sessions. To really drive this point home I'll say this; if Tiffany and Sonny come back next year, I'm about 95% certain I'll get a VIP Badge. The guests are, in my eyes, the greatest way to boost sales of the VIP Badge as those who purchase it get to spend far more time with them than anyone else.

Overall, KumoriCon 2010 was a far more cohesive effort than KumoriCon 2009. It's THAT kind of improvement that makes people happy to see and more likely to not only return, but return in larger numbers. Though I had personal issues this year that basically ruined the experience for me, I was glad to see things running better, from the eyes of an attendee, than they did last year.
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Offline Rathany

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #71 on: September 08, 2010, 10:45:49 pm »
Make sure the people who are tasked with running the convention are keeping up on their responsibilities and if they're dragging their feet at all, vote someone else into their position. Staff members have voting rights, use them.

Find us more people willing to volunteer to do exec level work at this con and we'll talk.  Actually, what this con really needs is more people willing to do manager level work so that the execs don't have to be their own managers in addition to doing exec work.  This is a chronically under-staffed con. 

Thrown together in the last month?  A huge amount of work goes into this convention all year long.  If we'd thrown this together in the last month things would have been horrible.  Even if we all worked at it full time like it was our day jobs, there is no way we could have pulled off putting together a con in a month. 

I appreciate your sentiment.  I had the same opinion before I joined staff.  Once I did, I realized that things were far different from what I thought and I was amazed at how much work the staff did. 
2003 - 2006 Kumoricon Attendee
2007 - Assistant Registration Manager - PreReg Side
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2009/2010 - Director of Relations
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2012 - herp derp

Offline Eternal Yamcha

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #72 on: September 09, 2010, 12:52:34 am »
I've been on staff I do believe 3 years now, have many friends that are current and former staff... Heck, I've even helped run mini-cons before. I realize that real life gets in the way, that toggling life with running a convention, especially one the size of KumoriCon can be difficult. I also know that there seems to be incredible amounts of down time... That more often than not, the final pieces don't fall into place until shortly before the con, during the con or never at all.

Finding people willing to do manager level work shouldn't be that hard. Ask those who are already offering to assist the convention, have shown the dedication and skills necessary to complete those tasks. If you need to, promote people to assist the directors. This may be a chronically understaffed convention... But this is a convention that has intelligent and capable people running it. Figure out a solution to it, you guys can do that.

Really, don't get what I said wrong. This is a labor of love effort and every year, people step up to the plate and hit it out of the park. I am FAR from the only person who will say, from the bottom of my heart, I absolutely appreciate everything that the staffers do and I thank you all immensely. But what I have seen over the years is that the areas that drag their feet a bit in getting things together (not a single person's fault 99% of the time) it's sort of obvious. I had a friend who had a badge before some of the staffers... There's really no reason for that. Last year, my fiance, a staffer, got her badge on Sunday night... Meanwhile I, a regular attendee (for the most part, volunteered during con), got my badge Friday night. Glad that attendees are getting their badges, but staffers NEED them just as much... Probably even more.

It's things like that that make things seem hasty. I realize many of the problems I cited are bound to happen, but not in the numbers that they show up in. Badge issues aren't a single year thing and something needs to be done to make your lives easier. There are plenty of amazing people working registration, but it starting 20 - 30 minutes late is a problem... That makes it harder on everyone. I realize that things happen and events and schedules are always changing, but posting preliminary schedules in advance might help people decide whether they want to come for one day, the entire weekend, not come or get a VIP badge. Same goes with special guests... I realize many of them are busy so I'm absolutely not faulting the convention for this... But if it's at all possible to secure them earlier than this year in the future would definitely help people make registration decisions... But it really wasn't until I found out that Tiffany Grant was coming that I made up my mind for sure that I was coming and I chatted with a few others that didn't register until they found out the same thing.

I genuinely appreciate the work that the staff puts in, don't get me wrong. If I didn't, I wouldn't have come to KumoriCon every year it's been in Portland. That's why I had a list of rant and raves; if I didn't care about the convention, I wouldn't have said anything... Instead, I would have shrugged and said "whatever, it sucks."

I am sincerely not trying to be provocative and I'll admit I'm very likely misinformed on some of the goings on of the convention. Correct or not, I am speaking from my point of view as an attendee this year... The knowledge of working for this convention in the years past and seeing some familiar issues pop up time and time again... And the experience of running some (yes, MUCH smaller) events. All of what I say is my opinion and I don't expect anyone to actually read what I have said and what I may or may not say in the future. Honestly, take it with a grain of salt if you so desire.

KumoriCon is constantly growing, evolving and adapting to different challenges and it must be doing things right as it keeps growing. Thank you all for all the effort you put into it because it does show.

Should note that I'm not interested in creating a back and forth that'll clog up this thread; as such, I'm not going to comment or respond on this particular subject within this thread. I've said what I needed to, stated that I don't want to start anything and that I honestly appreciate the effort put in by staff members. There's really nothing else I can say more about this.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 02:16:37 am by Eternal Yamcha »
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #73 on: September 09, 2010, 06:28:08 am »
Having been a Manager for several years now, I simultaneously echo what Rathany was saying and also add to it.

It is really easy to vastly underestimate how much work is incumbent upon someone in a titled position if you haven't been in one yourself. There are tremendous amounts of detail coordination, supply coordination, personnel coordination, scheduling coordination, time pressures. You  can end up feeling responsible for everything & everyone under you, and not necessarily clear on who or what your potential supports are. It can become really easy to feel underappreciated.

The work can be amazingly fun and rewarding, despite all the challenges. But props should be given to everyone who puts in the phenomenal amount of time, effort, money, sleep dep, and dedication that it takes to be an Exec, a Manager, even a Coordinator. These are all volunteer positions, and in tough economic times, committing to a huge array of meetings and responsibilities, especially if one does not live nearby, can really be formidable.

Every single Coordinator, Manager, & Exec deserves a ton of kudos & respect of all the efforts we have put in. Just as the con could not run at all without all of the amazing, wonderful, dedicated attendees, volunteers, panelists, and general staff, it could not run effectively, organizedly, professionally, smoothly without all of the amazing, wonderful, dedicated, and often very underappreciated Coordinators, Managers, & Execs.

Thank you to all of you. You're an inspiration. Love, Rem.
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).

Offline @random

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #74 on: September 09, 2010, 08:51:58 am »
I can understand where you're coming from, though indirectly, from having done management IRL. A lot of what seems like useless busy work to other people can be critical, and a lot of what seems like disorganization can be the best method of handling a situation that doesn't lend itself to traditional "control". And it can be grating to hear people offer opinions that we think are uninformed or just plain wrong.

But it would be a horrible mistake to discourage people from giving their honest impressions, whether we agree with them or not. Letting them speak their peace doesn't mean we're endorsing their opinion, and we need to know what kind of impression we give people. Not only that, but if we stop and listen, we might even find they have a point that needs to be addressed or a good idea on how something could be done better.

Putting the con leaders up on a pedestal does everyone a disservice, especially them. It encourages people to simply dump every problem on them instead of asking how they can help, or pointing out a way that their jobs could be made easier. We work a lot better as a team that can call each other out than we would as a set of autonomous autocracies who Shalt Not Offer Criticism, Constructive Or Otherwise. I hope we never do become the latter - I would much prefer that we stay the former.
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Offline Jaminos

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #75 on: September 09, 2010, 09:28:31 am »
This was my fourth Kumoricon. I had to say that this was the greatest of all of them all that I have went to at least. My group travel's in a pack of 5 but we added sixth for his first con. I can honestly say it is a life changing experience for him. This con thoroughly destroyed his Hinata complex and opened his eyes to a world of things he thought were myth. From my point of view alone, this is my second year in a row as VIP and it was so worth every penny. A great selection of voice actors (Even though I do miss Kirk) great panels, awesome con staff and just a fun atmosphere. I do not have many complaints. The speed dating was kinda a flop but I do not really blame anyone. It was kinda out of control as well. Some of the most fun I had was just wandering around the con cosplaying. I can not wait for kumoricon 2011!
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Kumoricon 2008
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Kumoricon 2009
Jaminos Talon (Mandalorian mercenery)
Kumoricon 2010
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #76 on: September 09, 2010, 09:45:42 am »
[snip] A lot of what seems like useless busy work to other people can be critical, and a lot of what seems like disorganization can be the best method of handling a situation that doesn't lend itself to traditional "control". [snip]
Very true. Thank you for those points.
Quote
But it would be a horrible mistake to discourage people from giving their honest impressions, whether we agree with them or not. Letting them speak their peace doesn't mean we're endorsing their opinion, and we need to know what kind of impression we give people. Not only that, but if we stop and listen, we might even find they have a point that needs to be addressed or a good idea on how something could be done better.
Absolutely. Agreed. IMHO, we should have a culture here that supports expression of respectful dissenting positions, and a culture of mutual support, so that when folks try to help each other, if they see each other overwhelmed or falling behind, they are not misread as overstepping, but as simply the norm of everyone acting as a team.
Quote
Putting the con leaders up on a pedestal does everyone a disservice, especially them. It encourages people to simply dump every problem on them instead of asking how they can help, or pointing out a way that their jobs could be made easier. We work a lot better as a team that can call each other out than we would as a set of autonomous autocracies who Shalt Not Offer Criticism, Constructive Or Otherwise. I hope we never do become the latter - I would much prefer that we stay the former.
Again, agreed. Thank you.
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).

Offline angel of music

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #77 on: September 10, 2010, 02:18:10 am »
my con was great! (especially since it was my first!)

the only issue i had was at the Kingdom Hearts PJ Panel. I couldnt understand why KH was put in such a small room after all the pushing Square Enix has been doign with it and especially with Birth by Sleep coming out this week. A bunch of us were disappointed at first when we thought we werent gonna be allowed in, but THANKS SO MUCH to the staff who decided to split the three hour panel in half so the rest of the KH fans could get in. I was so thrilled to get it! It was so much fun and a highlight for K-Con for me. :)

People were nice and the staff was so helpful in directing my direction-challenged self! xD

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Offline Mr. Bubble

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #78 on: September 11, 2010, 09:53:56 am »
Hi guys. I think this year was my 4th Kumoricon. Before I get into how my con was, let me state some things:

I haven't watched an anime series in over 4 or 5 years. I don't read manga. I don't like hentai.

Obviously, anime conventions, let alone Kumoricon, isn't geared for people like me.

But I enjoyed this year's con. I got my badge's worth and then some. Whenever I looked at the schedule booklet, there was usually at least 1 panel I was interested in attending which I did. I particularly enjoyed the voice actor and industry panels. If I had known the Kevin KcKeever panels were going to be so interesting, I would've tried to attend all of them. If there weren't any panels I was interested in, I'd simply visit the gaming room, go around and take pictures or cool down in one of the air conditioned viewing rooms.

This is repeating what other people said, but my biggest gripe was the pre-reg badge line. I had pre-reg'd me and my brother back in March and we did not get our badges in the mail. I pre-reg'd early so that we could avoid standing in line, but we were stuck in line for 2+ hours anyway (heard it was worse for others).

And as I said before, Kumoricon isn't geared towards people like me so I very much doubt the people in charge would care to hear what I have to say. But it would be nice if there some more vendors in the dealer's hall that carried more video game related merchandise.

All that being said, me and my brother are interested in volunteering/joining the staff for next year. Him more than me though.

Offline Rathany

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #79 on: September 11, 2010, 10:10:04 am »


And as I said before, Kumoricon isn't geared towards people like me so I very much doubt the people in charge would care to hear what I have to say. But it would be nice if there some more vendors in the dealer's hall that carried more video game related merchandise.

All that being said, me and my brother are interested in volunteering/joining the staff for next year. Him more than me though.

This con is for all who want to attend it.  I haven't seen much in the way of vendors who sell video game focused stuff around the con circuit.  I did try to bring in one gaming shirt vendor, but they weren't interested into coming to an anime con of our size, so far from their warehouse.  If you know of some good vendors send the info to relations@.  Keep in mind many video game vendors want to be at a different show on our weekend.
2003 - 2006 Kumoricon Attendee
2007 - Assistant Registration Manager - PreReg Side
2008 - Vice Chair
2009/2010 - Director of Relations
2011 - Return to Vice
2012 - herp derp

Offline @random

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #80 on: September 11, 2010, 11:36:37 am »
This is repeating what other people said, but my biggest gripe was the pre-reg badge line. I had pre-reg'd me and my brother back in March and we did not get our badges in the mail. I pre-reg'd early so that we could avoid standing in line, but we were stuck in line for 2+ hours anyway (heard it was worse for others).

And as I said before, Kumoricon isn't geared towards people like me so I very much doubt the people in charge would care to hear what I have to say. But it would be nice if there some more vendors in the dealer's hall that carried more video game related merchandise.

All that being said, me and my brother are interested in volunteering/joining the staff for next year. Him more than me though.

Like Rathany said: If you came, then we do care about what you have to say. We may not always agree about what the problems are, and there are never any guarantees that we can fix every problem, but we'll do our best. Often, the hardest part of fixing a problem is recognizing that we have it - and to that end it's important to tell us even if we've already heard about it before, so that we know the true scope of the problem.

We've already started discussing changes to fix some of the things that went wrong with pre-registration and registration, and the feedback we get from you guys helps us know what worked and what needs fixing. If nothing else, I hope that the difference between 2009 and 2010 shows that we'll take our lumps, learn from our mistakes, and do better next time.

Rathany already addressed your concerns about video game vendors far better than I could, so the only thing left to say is - if you guys do join up, welcome aboard! :) But fair warning... once you see how much more positive an experience it can be to both have fun and know you're helping others have fun, not to mention always having somewhere to go and something to do, you may never get away. A lot of our staffers have been with us for several years now. ;)

For staff, we've got plenty of meetings through the year (keep checking here for details) where you can find out who you want to work with. For volunteers, we'll try to have points of contact up as soon as we elect the new Board and they can choose who the points of contact will be, and of course you're always welcome to come join us at a meeting.
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Offline storkparanoia

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #81 on: September 13, 2010, 03:22:59 am »
this years con was the most disappointing one i've been to in a long time.  i felt like i was at the con it's first year it was functional.  the fact that you had to go to the info desk to get then anime list was horrible.  i wasn't able to plan my time in advance at all since there wasn't even anything online.  also the Karaoke room was loud and had no real point.  being in the anime viewing room next to it was terrible.  they also kept the volume down in that room so unless there were subs you didn't know what was happening half the time. 
i was very disappointed in the fact that there were only two anime viewing rooms.  that is one of my favorite things about con's.  having only two rooms limited what you could show.  because there was no live action room you had to play live action in one of the rooms part of the day.  making it so only one anime was playing.  then one of the rooms became an AMV room at night.  that again cut off how much anime could be playing.  then there's the fact that for the past 3 years you have played Bus Gamer's only 3 episodes.  it's a cool anime but i would like to see something new.  less Karaoke and more anime, also a live action room would have been nice.
I know i'm not alone in this but lines were not properly marked.  i waited for half an hour in the wrong registration line because it was the one i was told to stand in.
the way this con went i will have to think hard before i register of the next con.  i believe that if things don't get better, like a different venue.  Kumoricon will be over in a few years.

Offline AllyKat

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #82 on: September 13, 2010, 01:51:27 pm »
Thanks for your comments!

Rest assured, we do have a new venue, and it should provide us with much more wiggle room when it comes to programming. Due to the size of the convention compared to the size of the space we have had the past two years, we did have to sacrifice a lot in the ways of programming in order to accommodate the big draws. Our convention offerings have to mold to fit our audience, and that means that some years will have less of one thing than previous. I was sad to see two of our Viewing Rooms go as well, but it had to happen this year, hopefully we can have a better/bigger variety next year, we will just have to see what our Programming Director can come up with. In the end, that is always about space. If we give up something for another bit of programming, we are going to make people mad, but if we don't make concessions, then we are making other people angry... its a vicious cycle.

What we need is a million meeting rooms in a convention center with 3 hotels connected to it that'll give the space to us for FREEEEE! then we could run marathons of Anime. Give Karaoke it's own stage and floor away from everything else and like... 10 panel rooms and 2 Concerts and a dance, all running at the same time.. plus 24/7 cosplay chess and stuff... I dunno, that'd be pretty sweet.

What we get though seems to be either waay too much space for waay too much cost or not enough space for just the right cost. So we make do, I am sorry it didn't work out well for you, hopefully we can change that this coming year!

On the other problems, I can't really speak about the Registration lines, those are NEVER fun, at ANY convention.. it's the bane of the con-goer, that evil evil line... I hope we keep getting better and better and that we learn from our mistakes and grow. I know it's hard to sit and wait for us to grow into our larger convention size (it was so much easier when we were 2,000 people and 150 staff, I am sure) with less staff... but please bear with us, we will get it right, I'm sure of it!

But look forward to 2011! We are going to be in Vancouver this year and I am very excited about that! But, wait until the new Board of Directors has been chosen for details on this Awesomeness!

If there is anything else you wanted to chat about, let me know via PM or email (hotel@kumoricon.org) or you can reply here! either way I'll try and get back to you!

Thanks again,

Ally
2009 - Attendee
2010 - Facilities Liaison
2011 - Director of Publicity
2012 - Director of Publicity
2013 - Facilities Liaison
2014 - Vice Chair

Offline pyronine

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #83 on: September 13, 2010, 03:44:11 pm »




a million meeting rooms in a convention center with 3 hotels connected to it that'll give the space to us for FREEEEE! then we could run marathons of Anime. Give Karaoke it's own stage and floor away from everything else and like... 10 panel rooms and 2 Concerts and a dance, all running at the same time.. plus 24/7 cosplay chess and stuff...



WOW you Rock Ally, We can do that every year. See what happens when you get promoted at your real job. lol ;)   


naw... that would be awesome though.
=^_^=

Offline camname21

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #84 on: September 13, 2010, 04:37:29 pm »
OMG don't tease us, all we end up doing is thinking about it and getting disappointed when we remember we don't have all that :(

Offline BlackLaceAndPearl

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #85 on: September 13, 2010, 05:07:44 pm »
The con was amazing. It was my first, and I honestly can't think of a place I would have rather been. It was absolute heaven to meet people who were interested in the same things I am. And everyone was so nice. Waiting in line was more fun than it should be.  ;)
I can't wait for next year. I'm already dreaming up multiple cosplays.  ;)
Kumoricon 2011

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Offline Kurohime

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #86 on: September 13, 2010, 06:12:12 pm »
The viewing rooms did have a schedule posted.  It would have been nice to have it in the insert like in previous years, but viewing rooms are typically the last place I'll be during a convention anyway- too much other stuff to do.  

Looking very much forward to the new/old location.  Just as long as it doesn't rain!
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 06:12:25 pm by Kurohime »

Offline Mr. Bubble

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #87 on: September 13, 2010, 08:43:27 pm »
This con is for all who want to attend it.  I haven't seen much in the way of vendors who sell video game focused stuff around the con circuit.  I did try to bring in one gaming shirt vendor, but they weren't interested into coming to an anime con of our size, so far from their warehouse.  If you know of some good vendors send the info to relations@.  Keep in mind many video game vendors want to be at a different show on our weekend.

That's understandable and thanks for at least trying. The reason why I suggested it is because there's such a constant influence from titles like Mario, Zelda, Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts (what anime con doesn't?). I was thinking those kinds of mainstream merchandise could be better covered. I hope you see where I'm coming from.

But if there are no vendors available then there are no vendors available. I won't push this any further.

I will say that there was a decent number of Pokemon related stuff. And the vendor who had those shelf rows lined with artbooks had a surprisingly eclectic selection.

Offline Rathany

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Re: How is YOUR Kumoricon?
« Reply #88 on: September 14, 2010, 03:53:05 pm »
This con is for all who want to attend it.  I haven't seen much in the way of vendors who sell video game focused stuff around the con circuit.  I did try to bring in one gaming shirt vendor, but they weren't interested into coming to an anime con of our size, so far from their warehouse.  If you know of some good vendors send the info to relations@.  Keep in mind many video game vendors want to be at a different show on our weekend.

That's understandable and thanks for at least trying. The reason why I suggested it is because there's such a constant influence from titles like Mario, Zelda, Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts (what anime con doesn't?). I was thinking those kinds of mainstream merchandise could be better covered. I hope you see where I'm coming from.

But if there are no vendors available then there are no vendors available. I won't push this any further.

I will say that there was a decent number of Pokemon related stuff. And the vendor who had those shelf rows lined with artbooks had a surprisingly eclectic selection.

Yup, and much video game stuff falls under 'Japanese culture'.  But, if a vendor with merch like that can get into PAX, then they are going to choose PAX over us ;)
2003 - 2006 Kumoricon Attendee
2007 - Assistant Registration Manager - PreReg Side
2008 - Vice Chair
2009/2010 - Director of Relations
2011 - Return to Vice
2012 - herp derp