Author Topic: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!  (Read 302882 times)

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Offline Bresslol

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Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« on: September 04, 2012, 09:46:38 pm »
Hi everyone!

Let's discuss what we liked and thought could be improved upon!

Keep it civil!


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Offline chanellelynn

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 09:49:33 pm »
I did notice that the lines this year were poorly managed. I know that it is hard to keep track and organize over 4000 people, but there must be a better way to fix the line problems.
Sadly this year I missed opening and closing ceremonies due to line issues.

Offline chelseahavoc

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 09:55:07 pm »
and i think lines need to be properly marked. i almost got in a line for something other then i wanted cuz i didnt know what it was for (and im sure people get tired of being asked what they are in line for)

also- i had a friend whose sword prop was almost taken away from him because he pulled it out of his sheath for a picture (it was made of wood). i've never heard of posing for photos being an issue before.... im not sure if it was the yojimbo getting confused or if it was us cosplayers not properly informed (either in the rules area or at the peace bond area)
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Offline DSaturn

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2012, 09:57:03 pm »
Fantastic job with placement... Switching Artist Alley and the Exhibitor's Hall was a genius move and worked out much better than last year.

The only complaint I really have is about the categories that were done for the Cosplay Contest. Because of how few people there were, it seemed like the judges were making up as many categories as they could just to give people awards. On the one hand, it does boost the self esteem of those who entered, but on the other hand, what's the point of entering something you worked that hard on if everybody is going to win.

The fact that it was done in categories was an amazing plus, though. I know the biggest issue some people were having the year before was that armor was being counting the same category as seaming work, and they two are totally different types of crafts, so this way was absolutely excellent.
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Offline Bresslol

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2012, 10:00:44 pm »
also- i had a friend whose sword prop was almost taken away from him because he pulled it out of his sheath for a picture (it was made of wood). i've never heard of posing for photos being an issue before.... im not sure if it was the yojimbo getting confused or if it was us cosplayers not properly informed (either in the rules area or at the peace bond area)

Policy goes as follows:
All bladed items must be kept in their sheaths at all times in the Convention Space. Weapons should never be waved around in a manner that may be construed as use of the weapon (this is considered brandishing).

I personally think this is a grey area; a wooden sword is obviously not a bladed weapon, but it was brandished. This is something that I'm sure the Yojimbo manager can weigh a decision on, and maybe something we can provide a smidge more clarification in the future.


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Offline chanellelynn

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2012, 10:05:15 pm »
Yes yes, totally agree with the exhibitors hall placement. The only issue I had with it was the lack of vendors.   At some point in the future it might be a good idea to have two different places for vendors to be at. Maybe categorize the more adult content in another part of the building than the general items. This would give us more options and section off many of the people who are confused where items are. The "Dungeon" aka the garage has a lot of room for plenty of vendors. The reg area is pretty empty by day 2 and can be moved to another room or even a booth for those who need to buy their badges on day 2-3. We all have seen the massive space that pre reg roped off, lets utilize that and figure out a way to create an effective line into their and not hinder the table top games area.

Offline Bresslol

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2012, 10:15:01 pm »
Yes yes, totally agree with the exhibitors hall placement. The only issue I had with it was the lack of vendors.   At some point in the future it might be a good idea to have two different places for vendors to be at. Maybe categorize the more adult content in another part of the building than the general items. This would give us more options and section off many of the people who are confused where items are. The "Dungeon" aka the garage has a lot of room for plenty of vendors. The reg area is pretty empty by day 2 and can be moved to another room or even a booth for those who need to buy their badges on day 2-3. We all have seen the massive space that pre reg roped off, lets utilize that and figure out a way to create an effective line into their and not hinder the table top games area.

While it's a great idea on paper, I'll tell you the reason why that will probably never happen:

Having the decorators (the folks who set up pipe and drape and carpet in the garage and in dealer's hall) stage something costs a pretty good amount of money. We pay for set up, and tear down, as well as rental of the equipment. What you are asking for us to do an additional setup and tear down in the middle of the convention. Not only would that cost us even more money, it'd mean having to re-stage registration, which would put more stress on that sub-department. it's easier and more cost efficient to not re-stage convention areas multiple times during the course of the convention.


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Offline veraca

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2012, 10:25:15 pm »
Whoa no... Please don't put the vendors back in the parking garage, Staff. Please, no. It was a hot chaotic mess when it was there in 07. It was dark and hard to see any of the items. However, putting the adult booths away from the others would detract from their potential sales because not all of the "adult booths" sell only adult materials. One of the booths I frequented looking at their wares and bought from was right across from an adult booth actually. And it seemed like a decent placement based on how many tables one vendor bought.
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Offline superjaz

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2012, 10:36:50 pm »
Yeah a friend who was a vendor the year it was in the garage said it was terrible in there, so hot.
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Offline medalis

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2012, 10:39:16 pm »
While I am fully aware that this is a anime convention, shouldn't the non-anime cosplayers have the right to be fairly judged with the rest of the cosplayers in the contest? Kumoricon is the best 'con I've been to for cosplay, because the Workmanship portion of the contest is so well run.
That being said, the judging and 'who won what' was terribly confusing; but that may simply be because it was very difficult to hear in the Green Room, particularily in the back.

Offline ichigo_m.

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2012, 10:47:36 pm »
I liked the dealers hall in the garage, but this other room works fine too. (:
I'd like to see a line of traffic set up in the dealers hall. People always try to go different directions and that ends up with a lot of people looking at the same dealer but trying to go opposite directions and such. It would just be a lot more organized with a flow of traffic in place.
I also agree with the lines thing. In 07 the lines went out the lobby and around to an empty lot next to the hotel. I think this may be a better place to loop the lines to. (:

Is there a costume repair area? I know many cons have those.  They would have hot glue guns, band aids, duct tape, etc. Tons of people break their costume or need band aids for blisters and the like and I think this would be a great addition to this wonderful con! (:

Some things I really loved this year was how nice everyone was. I didn't find one person who was mean or rude in anyway! :D
Also the park is always amazing! It's so nice that the con will be there again so we have access to this wonderful park! (:
Also! The pokemon people in gaming place were so nice and amazingly awesome! I'd love to have them (and the little girl champion) back again next year! (:
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Offline veraca

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2012, 10:50:36 pm »
Sakura Con had a costume repair room set up for most of the days, though they had limited hours. I don't know if the volunteers from that group were planning to come down and run one at Kumori Con, but it would be nice. My group had to find a sewing machine STAT Sunday morning.
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Offline Len-chan

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2012, 10:53:19 pm »
Sakura Con had a costume repair room set up for most of the days, though they had limited hours. I don't know if the volunteers from that group were planning to come down and run one at Kumori Con, but it would be nice. My group had to find a sewing machine STAT Sunday morning.

You know i relate to this i spent a bit of time repairing other peoples cosplays XD maybe i should see about doing a cosplay repair booth next year my one rant would have to be .....the elevators ...... omg i waited for like 15 minutes to go down like 5 floors XD should have walked but was with people who couldnt do stairs. Yes i know every con has to be like that with elevators but still...lol
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Offline EveofAbyss

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2012, 11:01:21 pm »
I actually think the elevators were running much more efficiently than in past years. There were still people blatantly disregarding the 8-person capacity rule, but the wait time for me was a breeze compared to other years and hotels.


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Offline veraca

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2012, 11:03:01 pm »
Speaking of stairs. On day 0 we had to take the elevator from Floor 2 to Floor 3 which seemed stupid cause we tried to go up the stairs but they were locked on Floor 3. I understand the idea of not letting people up unless they had a key, but it was faster to get to programming and operations via walking then waiting for the elevators.
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Offline princess_of_zeal

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2012, 11:23:48 pm »
Sakura Con had a costume repair room set up for most of the days, though they had limited hours. I don't know if the volunteers from that group were planning to come down and run one at Kumori Con, but it would be nice. My group had to find a sewing machine STAT Sunday morning.

You know i relate to this i spent a bit of time repairing other peoples cosplays XD maybe i should see about doing a cosplay repair booth next year

I also spent a bit of time helping people fix things.  Not complaining about helping but getting an actual booth might be helpful.  I was told that the info desk had a repair kit but I mean an actual area for repairs would be nice.

Offline Oni Kitsune

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2012, 11:55:55 pm »
Sakura Con had a costume repair room set up for most of the days, though they had limited hours. I don't know if the volunteers from that group were planning to come down and run one at Kumori Con, but it would be nice. My group had to find a sewing machine STAT Sunday morning.

You know i relate to this i spent a bit of time repairing other peoples cosplays XD maybe i should see about doing a cosplay repair booth next year

I also spent a bit of time helping people fix things.  Not complaining about helping but getting an actual booth might be helpful.  I was told that the info desk had a repair kit but I mean an actual area for repairs would be nice.

I would love to address this. There was in fact costume repair supplies offered to those that requested it, however due to spacial restraints we were unable to provide a separate area for this. A simple kit was available at the info booth and if any heavy fixes were needed a suitcase with more supplies was available at the Operations office. Unfortunately we did not advertise this very well and for that I apologize, but I did inform those I overheard needing them about such supplies.
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Offline Kimiski

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2012, 01:01:48 am »
Oh, I forgot a rant about the lines at Rant and Rave.

The same issues as people have mentioned- that some lines intertwined or people weren't sure where lines were, etc. Also, the rule for lining up 30 minutes before events didn't really pan out this year... I would leave an event and get there 30 mins before an event, and there would be a huge looping line already.

We definitely need more line management, but at the same time I know we are down on yogi. If we get more, or if we could, we need to station some staff to disperse lines from forming if we're going to stick to the 30 minute rule. It's not fair to tell con about the rule, then have someone trust it, then end up being in the back of a huge line by following the rule and not getting in the event. Maybe the rule can be different for main events vs regular panels? And well advertised before the convention as well.

Just like how we had signs up outside rooms about not lining up 30 minutes before an event, maybe we can get some signs up about where lines will start forming for certain events, possibly not put up till more nearing the time for line-up? I also miss the huge signs on a stick we had a couple years back saying "Start of line" and "end of line" so people could see where the line was. Maybe we can get those back and add what the line is for on the sign.

And definitely- keep us people at the info booth informed of lines and their locations so when attendees ask we can tell them.


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Offline DarkStar

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2012, 06:24:45 am »
Please don't put the vendors back in the parking garage, Staff. Please, no. It was a hot chaotic mess when it was there in 07. It was dark and hard to see any of the items.
Our Pipe & Drape contractor noted to me that the layout of the parking garage would allow for a temporary air conditioning system to be installed (toughest part is running the ducting). Sure it would be more $$ but there is a lot more space. Vendors could be provided with power outlets for lighting.
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Offline DarkStar

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2012, 06:26:50 am »
I would leave an event and get there 30 mins before an event, and there would be a huge looping line already.
For some reason, people love standing in lines! In Main Events, even though we had dedicated seating times for the large events, people still would start lining up early. We chalked it up to people loving to stand in lines! :D
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Offline DSaturn

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2012, 07:27:44 am »
My group got pretty lucky with lines this year, that I think that's mostly because three of us were on our fifth year... It was mainly the main events lines that there was worry about. We would walk by it an hour before seating or the start, then every 10-15 min after that until we saw that a line had formed. We try to abide by the 30min rule, but we knew from experience and didn't want to end up so far in the back we end up missing the event. So long as you watch your lines there's no issue... Unless you're in another event before hand.
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Offline @random

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2012, 09:29:08 am »
I did notice that the lines this year were poorly managed. I know that it is hard to keep track and organize over 4000 people, but there must be a better way to fix the line problems.
Sadly this year I missed opening and closing ceremonies due to line issues.

Probably the best way to fix line problems is to consider becoming a staffer. The yojimbo are frequently undermanned and overworked, and they would love the extra help.

also- i had a friend whose sword prop was almost taken away from him because he pulled it out of his sheath for a picture (it was made of wood). i've never heard of posing for photos being an issue before.... im not sure if it was the yojimbo getting confused or if it was us cosplayers not properly informed (either in the rules area or at the peace bond area)

Policy goes as follows:
All bladed items must be kept in their sheaths at all times in the Convention Space. Weapons should never be waved around in a manner that may be construed as use of the weapon (this is considered brandishing).

I personally think this is a grey area; a wooden sword is obviously not a bladed weapon, but it was brandished. This is something that I'm sure the Yojimbo manager can weigh a decision on, and maybe something we can provide a smidge more clarification in the future.

One thing worth noting on top of what Bresslol said: The yojimbo may ask you to take something out of convention space (i.e. back to your hotel room), but they should never take an item away. If they ask you to give up an item, please 1) ask to see their badge to make sure they really are staff, 2) get their name, and 3) come talk to someone in Operations - 'most any staffer can point you in the right direction.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 09:47:13 am by @random »
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Offline LtCommanderRichie

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2012, 11:04:43 am »
The only problem I had with this year was that I asked what the prize for Best in Show was this year at costume judging and I was told it was 2013 con badges as well as a few other things. When myself and bunny-jean won Best in Show we were given Joanns gift cards and the people at Operations didn't know what I was talking about when I asked about the badges.

Was this just a miscommunication?

Offline kalagei

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2012, 11:11:27 am »
Sakura Con had a costume repair room set up for most of the days, though they had limited hours. I don't know if the volunteers from that group were planning to come down and run one at Kumori Con, but it would be nice. My group had to find a sewing machine STAT Sunday morning.

You know i relate to this i spent a bit of time repairing other peoples cosplays XD maybe i should see about doing a cosplay repair booth next year

I also spent a bit of time helping people fix things.  Not complaining about helping but getting an actual booth might be helpful.  I was told that the info desk had a repair kit but I mean an actual area for repairs would be nice.

I would love to address this. There was in fact costume repair supplies offered to those that requested it, however due to spacial restraints we were unable to provide a separate area for this. A simple kit was available at the info booth and if any heavy fixes were needed a suitcase with more supplies was available at the Operations office. Unfortunately we did not advertise this very well and for that I apologize, but I did inform those I overheard needing them about such supplies.

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Offline Rathany

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2012, 11:13:14 am »
The only problem I had with this year was that I asked what the prize for Best in Show was this year at costume judging and I was told it was 2013 con badges as well as a few other things. When myself and bunny-jean won Best in Show we were given Joanns gift cards and the people at Operations didn't know what I was talking about when I asked about the badges.

Was this just a miscommunication?

Email Programming, they handle the contests and prizes.  If you are missing part of your prize they will handle it :)
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Offline FilkAeris

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2012, 11:19:08 am »
Speaking of stairs. On day 0 we had to take the elevator from Floor 2 to Floor 3 which seemed stupid cause we tried to go up the stairs but they were locked on Floor 3. I understand the idea of not letting people up unless they had a key, but it was faster to get to programming and operations via walking then waiting for the elevators.

This was really my only quibble with an otherwise 110% awesome con.  I ran or co-ran three different panels this year, and Programming and Ops were on the third floor.  Two of my panel rooms were missing equipment that I'd requested on the forms (the staff was super nice about getting the stuff to me once I asked - thanks, guys!).  However, with only half an hour to set up, I had to spend several nervous minutes waiting for the elevator simply to go up from the second to the third floor and ask them.  Since I wasn't staying in the Hilton and didn't have a guest keycard, the stairwell doors opening onto the third floor were locked - I could go down the stairs from third to second floor, but not exit the stairwell onto the third floor.

Since congoers can access the third floor via the elevator anyway, thereby nullifying the supposed "security benefits" of a locked stairwell door, would it be possible to speak to the hotel staff about leaving the third-floor stairwell doors (as well as any other floors hosting public events/staff rooms, depending on the 2013 layout) unlocked next year?  Not everybody is a panelist, but plenty of congoers are legitimately in a hurry for one reason or another.  It would be such a helpful way to smooth out the crowd flow and reduce elevator wait times...

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Offline Rathany

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2012, 11:28:10 am »
Speaking of stairs. On day 0 we had to take the elevator from Floor 2 to Floor 3 which seemed stupid cause we tried to go up the stairs but they were locked on Floor 3. I understand the idea of not letting people up unless they had a key, but it was faster to get to programming and operations via walking then waiting for the elevators.

This was really my only quibble with an otherwise 110% awesome con.  I ran or co-ran three different panels this year, and Programming and Ops were on the third floor.  Two of my panel rooms were missing equipment that I'd requested on the forms (the staff was super nice about getting the stuff to me once I asked - thanks, guys!).  However, with only half an hour to set up, I had to spend several nervous minutes waiting for the elevator simply to go up from the second to the third floor and ask them.  Since I wasn't staying in the Hilton and didn't have a guest keycard, the stairwell doors opening onto the third floor were locked - I could go down the stairs from third to second floor, but not exit the stairwell onto the third floor.


Perhaps panelists can call up to Prog at the Prog Booth next to Info Booth in the future?  There is a hotel phone at the current location.  The radios were a problem this year that was totally out of the con's hands, so trying to to hear details on those would have sucked.  But, Info Booth/Prog Booth has a clear line right behind them.  Perhaps that could become a thing? 
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Offline veraca

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2012, 11:37:48 am »
Please don't put the vendors back in the parking garage, Staff. Please, no. It was a hot chaotic mess when it was there in 07. It was dark and hard to see any of the items.
Our Pipe & Drape contractor noted to me that the layout of the parking garage would allow for a temporary air conditioning system to be installed (toughest part is running the ducting). Sure it would be more $$ but there is a lot more space. Vendors could be provided with power outlets for lighting.
It's not just a need for A/C. When it was there in 07 it was really dark and I recall having to go down literally every aisle and getting closer to the booths (waiting for more people to move) before I could see anything. Taller people won't see this issue, but I'm 5' tall and being unable to look from 20-30' away to see if the booth even has anything I'm looking for is inconvenient, especially when the issue could be resolved with better lighting, which doesn't exist in a parking garage.
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Offline veraca

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2012, 11:43:50 am »
Speaking of stairs. On day 0 we had to take the elevator from Floor 2 to Floor 3 which seemed stupid cause we tried to go up the stairs but they were locked on Floor 3. I understand the idea of not letting people up unless they had a key, but it was faster to get to programming and operations via walking then waiting for the elevators.

This was really my only quibble with an otherwise 110% awesome con.  I ran or co-ran three different panels this year, and Programming and Ops were on the third floor.  Two of my panel rooms were missing equipment that I'd requested on the forms (the staff was super nice about getting the stuff to me once I asked - thanks, guys!).  However, with only half an hour to set up, I had to spend several nervous minutes waiting for the elevator simply to go up from the second to the third floor and ask them.  Since I wasn't staying in the Hilton and didn't have a guest keycard, the stairwell doors opening onto the third floor were locked - I could go down the stairs from third to second floor, but not exit the stairwell onto the third floor.


Perhaps panelists can call up to Prog at the Prog Booth next to Info Booth in the future?  There is a hotel phone at the current location.  The radios were a problem this year that was totally out of the con's hands, so trying to to hear details on those would have sucked.  But, Info Booth/Prog Booth has a clear line right behind them.  Perhaps that could become a thing?  
Possibly, but I was not informed at all that I could use the hotel phone to call above (and what numbers the rooms were in). And if the panel I'm hosting is on Floor 2, it'd be easier to just go up there myself, rather then down to the Info Booth. Otherwise we're playing the game of "answer the phone~". It would also bring up the issue of not all panelists got a panelist badge this year. I kept my regular attendee badge and gave the panelist badge ('cause of the discount) to a friend of mine. I've never had issues in explaining I'm running a certain panel to someone, but with the onset of Panelist badges I could see that becoming a possible issue?

I'd also like to add... Was there a first aid station? I realize asking at the Info Booth would've helped me find one, but my Party needed bandaids constantly because of hangnails or our shoes. Luckily I always bring a small first aid box with me, but I don't recall seeing signs for one.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 12:07:13 pm by veraca »
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Offline Bresslol

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2012, 12:12:30 pm »
Speaking of stairs. On day 0 we had to take the elevator from Floor 2 to Floor 3 which seemed stupid cause we tried to go up the stairs but they were locked on Floor 3. I understand the idea of not letting people up unless they had a key, but it was faster to get to programming and operations via walking then waiting for the elevators.

This was really my only quibble with an otherwise 110% awesome con.  I ran or co-ran three different panels this year, and Programming and Ops were on the third floor.  Two of my panel rooms were missing equipment that I'd requested on the forms (the staff was super nice about getting the stuff to me once I asked - thanks, guys!).  However, with only half an hour to set up, I had to spend several nervous minutes waiting for the elevator simply to go up from the second to the third floor and ask them.  Since I wasn't staying in the Hilton and didn't have a guest keycard, the stairwell doors opening onto the third floor were locked - I could go down the stairs from third to second floor, but not exit the stairwell onto the third floor.


Perhaps panelists can call up to Prog at the Prog Booth next to Info Booth in the future?  There is a hotel phone at the current location.  The radios were a problem this year that was totally out of the con's hands, so trying to to hear details on those would have sucked.  But, Info Booth/Prog Booth has a clear line right behind them.  Perhaps that could become a thing? 

It's a good concept in theory, but I fear it could tie up Programming staff at con, and I don't know how the facility itself would feel about attendees using house phones.


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Offline Tankou001

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2012, 12:42:33 pm »
R.I.P. my armor.
The biggest rant and rave I could go into is that someone stole my armor as I went to grab a couple numbers and strike a pose. I won't bother going into it further as it was supposedly pretty big news day 3 already except that, of all places, I can't believe it was the safest place I thought I could be, Kumoricon, that someone would violate that kind of feeling and take my cosplay.
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Offline ObiJay

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #31 on: September 05, 2012, 12:47:55 pm »
I've got a few cons under my belt now as a vendor, and I remember talking to the folks in 07 about the garage as an AA/Dealer's hall. Hearing that A/C can be added does alleviate one problem, the horrendous heat they suffered. The other issue was credit cards. Those that did accept plastic back then had a heck of a time getting signals in the garage. Cell technology has gotten leaps and bounds better in 5 years, but even in the hotel I was having issues with my cellphone, so I imagine the garage is much worse. Now with so many people able to take a credit card using their cellphones and a Square reader, it could cause massive issues for them. Back in 07 I once spent about 15 minutes walking around with a vendor as she tried desperately to get a signal in the garage to complete my transaction. We had a lovely conversation, but I felt bad as she constantly apologized, while I apologized for not having cash on me.

Offline bunny_jean

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #32 on: September 05, 2012, 01:46:40 pm »
The only complaint I really have is about the categories that were done for the Cosplay Contest. Because of how few people there were, it seemed like the judges were making up as many categories as they could just to give people awards. On the one hand, it does boost the self esteem of those who entered, but on the other hand, what's the point of entering something you worked that hard on if everybody is going to win.

In previous years the categories at the Cosplay Contest were mostly determined by experience (novice, intermediate, journeyman, master), but this year there were just too few skits and the Workmanship novice category was taken over mostly by youths, which all by con rules get a prize. So the category thing really had more to do with who entered, not the judges trying to give everyone an award. Here's the breakdown for who originally signed up to be in the contest: https://www.kumoricon.org/forums/index.php?topic=17217.0 Just remember that a bunch of those people did not compete. :/

While I am fully aware that this is a anime convention, shouldn't the non-anime cosplayers have the right to be fairly judged with the rest of the cosplayers in the contest? Kumoricon is the best 'con I've been to for cosplay, because the Workmanship portion of the contest is so well run.
That being said, the judging and 'who won what' was terribly confusing; but that may simply be because it was very difficult to hear in the Green Room, particularily in the back.

It doesn't have to do with anime, it has to do with whether the game/cartoon/show/etc. comes from Japan or not. Long discussion of this here: https://www.kumoricon.org/forums/index.php?topic=16941.0 I don't think it's a good rule, but it's the rule Kumoricon has.
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Offline Rathany

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #33 on: September 05, 2012, 02:32:12 pm »
Speaking of stairs. On day 0 we had to take the elevator from Floor 2 to Floor 3 which seemed stupid cause we tried to go up the stairs but they were locked on Floor 3. I understand the idea of not letting people up unless they had a key, but it was faster to get to programming and operations via walking then waiting for the elevators.

This was really my only quibble with an otherwise 110% awesome con.  I ran or co-ran three different panels this year, and Programming and Ops were on the third floor.  Two of my panel rooms were missing equipment that I'd requested on the forms (the staff was super nice about getting the stuff to me once I asked - thanks, guys!).  However, with only half an hour to set up, I had to spend several nervous minutes waiting for the elevator simply to go up from the second to the third floor and ask them.  Since I wasn't staying in the Hilton and didn't have a guest keycard, the stairwell doors opening onto the third floor were locked - I could go down the stairs from third to second floor, but not exit the stairwell onto the third floor.


Perhaps panelists can call up to Prog at the Prog Booth next to Info Booth in the future?  There is a hotel phone at the current location.  The radios were a problem this year that was totally out of the con's hands, so trying to to hear details on those would have sucked.  But, Info Booth/Prog Booth has a clear line right behind them.  Perhaps that could become a thing? 

It's a good concept in theory, but I fear it could tie up Programming staff at con, and I don't know how the facility itself would feel about attendees using house phones.

I was thinking more that panelists could ask that a staffer at the booth use the phone right there to call up to the room.  It might not be feasible, just something to think about especially if the Nextel issue isn't resolved in time for the next con. 
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Offline DarkStar

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #34 on: September 05, 2012, 02:34:15 pm »
I've got a few cons under my belt now as a vendor, and I remember talking to the folks in 07 about the garage as an AA/Dealer's hall. Hearing that A/C can be added does alleviate one problem, the horrendous heat they suffered. The other issue was credit cards. Those that did accept plastic back then had a heck of a time getting signals in the garage. Cell technology has gotten leaps and bounds better in 5 years, but even in the hotel I was having issues with my cellphone, so I imagine the garage is much worse. Now with so many people able to take a credit card using their cellphones and a Square reader, it could cause massive issues for them. Back in 07 I once spent about 15 minutes walking around with a vendor as she tried desperately to get a signal in the garage to complete my transaction. We had a lovely conversation, but I felt bad as she constantly apologized, while I apologized for not having cash on me.
For what it's worth, T-Mobile has pretty good signal throughout the hotel, including the basement. AT&T has virtually zero signal in the basement and I was told that Sprint worked okay (I heard the Nextel walkie-talkies worked fine and they use the Sprint network).

Kumoricon should be able to set up a limited wifi access point for vendors that can contact payment processors only otherwise, that would probably resolve most of the concerns.
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Offline Rathany

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2012, 02:47:42 pm »
I've got a few cons under my belt now as a vendor, and I remember talking to the folks in 07 about the garage as an AA/Dealer's hall. Hearing that A/C can be added does alleviate one problem, the horrendous heat they suffered. The other issue was credit cards. Those that did accept plastic back then had a heck of a time getting signals in the garage. Cell technology has gotten leaps and bounds better in 5 years, but even in the hotel I was having issues with my cellphone, so I imagine the garage is much worse. Now with so many people able to take a credit card using their cellphones and a Square reader, it could cause massive issues for them. Back in 07 I once spent about 15 minutes walking around with a vendor as she tried desperately to get a signal in the garage to complete my transaction. We had a lovely conversation, but I felt bad as she constantly apologized, while I apologized for not having cash on me.
For what it's worth, T-Mobile has pretty good signal throughout the hotel, including the basement. AT&T has virtually zero signal in the basement and I was told that Sprint worked okay (I heard the Nextel walkie-talkies worked fine and they use the Sprint network).

Kumoricon should be able to set up a limited wifi access point for vendors that can contact payment processors only otherwise, that would probably resolve most of the concerns.

2007 Dealer's Hall was so bad that some vendors would not consider coming again even after we switched hotels.  If we found a way to fix the heat, air, lighting and security problems, we'd still need to talk some of the vendors into it. 

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Offline FilkAeris

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #36 on: September 05, 2012, 02:50:42 pm »
Speaking of stairs. On day 0 we had to take the elevator from Floor 2 to Floor 3 which seemed stupid cause we tried to go up the stairs but they were locked on Floor 3. I understand the idea of not letting people up unless they had a key, but it was faster to get to programming and operations via walking then waiting for the elevators.

This was really my only quibble with an otherwise 110% awesome con.  I ran or co-ran three different panels this year, and Programming and Ops were on the third floor.  Two of my panel rooms were missing equipment that I'd requested on the forms (the staff was super nice about getting the stuff to me once I asked - thanks, guys!).  However, with only half an hour to set up, I had to spend several nervous minutes waiting for the elevator simply to go up from the second to the third floor and ask them.  Since I wasn't staying in the Hilton and didn't have a guest keycard, the stairwell doors opening onto the third floor were locked - I could go down the stairs from third to second floor, but not exit the stairwell onto the third floor.


Perhaps panelists can call up to Prog at the Prog Booth next to Info Booth in the future?  There is a hotel phone at the current location.  The radios were a problem this year that was totally out of the con's hands, so trying to to hear details on those would have sucked.  But, Info Booth/Prog Booth has a clear line right behind them.  Perhaps that could become a thing? 

It's a good concept in theory, but I fear it could tie up Programming staff at con, and I don't know how the facility itself would feel about attendees using house phones.

I was thinking more that panelists could ask that a staffer at the booth use the phone right there to call up to the room.  It might not be feasible, just something to think about especially if the Nextel issue isn't resolved in time for the next con. 


The phone issue is a good one to discuss, but in the meantime, I really think the problem would be solved for most people by just unlocking the doors.  It isn't that long of a climb from the first or second floor to the third.   :)

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Offline JeffT

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #37 on: September 05, 2012, 02:53:26 pm »
For what it's worth, T-Mobile has pretty good signal throughout the hotel, including the basement. AT&T has virtually zero signal in the basement and I was told that Sprint worked okay (I heard the Nextel walkie-talkies worked fine and they use the Sprint network).

Nextel push-to-talk uses the iDEN network, which although owned by Sprint, is a physically separate network from the primary (CDMA) network that the vast majority of Sprint phones use. It only works in the basement because, I think, the hotel has repeaters for it. Also, the iDEN network is being shut down in less than a year.

Kumoricon should be able to set up a limited wifi access point for vendors that can contact payment processors only otherwise, that would probably resolve most of the concerns.

The problem is we need to provide connectivity to that wi-fi network, and that realistically means cellular again. We do run Ethernet up the stairs to the 3rd floor, but that still uses Clear on the 3rd floor which has similar spotty reception. Blanketing the entire exhibitors area might also need many access points. So no matter how it's done, there's some cost and difficulty.
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Offline VampireFangs103

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #38 on: September 05, 2012, 03:03:59 pm »
I don't really think this is a big enough deal to call a "rant", but I noticed some possible issues with the swag bags?

Mine barely had anything in it, other then the con guide, the pocket guide, magic cards, and the scavenger hunt thing. That's literally all I got in mine- I didn't even get the viewing room guide, which my friend DID get. After talking to a few of my friends, we all discovered that we seemed to all have gotten slightly different combinations of these things- or lack of, while some of my friends got extra such as ads and gaia promotions, etc.

Like I said, I don't want to make a big deal about swag bags, but I would have at least like to have gotten all of the things that were con related, such as the viewing room schedule. I know one friend didn't get any magic cards, so she was a bit disappointed. Any ideas what happened here? lol

Offline EveofAbyss

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #39 on: September 05, 2012, 03:08:50 pm »
The Magic cards seemed like a random little bonus goodie. I thought it was pretty fun finding out which of us in my group got the cards (oddly enough, it ended up that all the males got Magic cards, and none of the females did...arbitrary sexism? lol). I can see how that could be upsetting to some, but I wasn't expecting it, so to find them in there was just a pleasant surprise. I gave mine away (since I don't play), so not getting them wouldn't have bothered me...but like I said, I can see how the inconsistency could have been upsetting.

I put my vote towards more random goodies though. Makes things fun in my opinion.


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Offline princess_of_zeal

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #40 on: September 05, 2012, 03:10:58 pm »
The Magic cards seemed like a random little bonus goodie. I thought it was pretty fun finding out which of us in my group got the cards (oddly enough, it ended up that all the males got Magic cards, and none of the females did...arbitrary sexism? lol). I can see how that could be upsetting to some, but I wasn't expecting it, so to find them in there was just a pleasant surprise. I gave mine away (since I don't play), so not getting them wouldn't have bothered me...but like I said, I can see how the inconsistency could have been upsetting.

I put my vote towards more random goodies though. Makes things fun in my opinion.

I like random goodies too.  ^_^  (I gave mine to a friend too who was ecstatic)

Offline veraca

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #41 on: September 05, 2012, 03:11:57 pm »
Same could be said about the gaia bonus. Everyone in my Party have gaia accounts, but 2 of which don't care about the bonus from Gaia and weren't sure how to give the papers to people who would use them/want them.

I forget what we did with the magic cards but we were trying to pawn them off on each other lol
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Offline kalagei

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #42 on: September 05, 2012, 03:56:04 pm »
Speaking of stairs. On day 0 we had to take the elevator from Floor 2 to Floor 3 which seemed stupid cause we tried to go up the stairs but they were locked on Floor 3. I understand the idea of not letting people up unless they had a key, but it was faster to get to programming and operations via walking then waiting for the elevators.

This was really my only quibble with an otherwise 110% awesome con.  I ran or co-ran three different panels this year, and Programming and Ops were on the third floor.  Two of my panel rooms were missing equipment that I'd requested on the forms (the staff was super nice about getting the stuff to me once I asked - thanks, guys!).  However, with only half an hour to set up, I had to spend several nervous minutes waiting for the elevator simply to go up from the second to the third floor and ask them.  Since I wasn't staying in the Hilton and didn't have a guest keycard, the stairwell doors opening onto the third floor were locked - I could go down the stairs from third to second floor, but not exit the stairwell onto the third floor.


Perhaps panelists can call up to Prog at the Prog Booth next to Info Booth in the future?  There is a hotel phone at the current location.  The radios were a problem this year that was totally out of the con's hands, so trying to to hear details on those would have sucked.  But, Info Booth/Prog Booth has a clear line right behind them.  Perhaps that could become a thing? 

It's a good concept in theory, but I fear it could tie up Programming staff at con, and I don't know how the facility itself would feel about attendees using house phones.

I was thinking more that panelists could ask that a staffer at the booth use the phone right there to call up to the room.  It might not be feasible, just something to think about especially if the Nextel issue isn't resolved in time for the next con. 


This is a really good idea Rathany, even if the Push to Talk situation is much better next year, this could still solve a few problems, and heck it's never bad to have a back up.
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Offline Tsukinya

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #43 on: September 05, 2012, 04:46:29 pm »
I was staff for the first time this year, and for the most part, it was a great experience.  Everyone was really friendly and helpful, and I enjoyed the little perks that came along with staffing.

A few things:
1. I would have liked to be informed of what exactly all the staff perks were.  I waited in a line for about an hour before someone told me I didn't need to.
2. Con Suite was a bit inaccessible in the Red Lion.  First, few people could accurately direct me to the third floor; most simply told me there was no third floor.  It usually took a lot of extra time to duck down there (when I was starving), and it was terribly frustrating to find nothing left but rice and cheese.  I understand we have many more staff this year than was budgeted for, so hopefully this will be less of an issue next year :D
3. I didn't really know when or where I needed to be for certain tasks; I would have liked a bit more direction from my managers.  Again, I understand staff is constantly growing, and many are probably learning right with me.

Aside from that, lots of fun, and I'll staff again! :)

P.S. I'm really bothered by the stolen armor.  I, too, have always felt conspace to be a safe and respectful environment.  I can only hope it turns up soon.

Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #44 on: September 05, 2012, 04:55:16 pm »
2. Con Suite was a bit inaccessible in the Red Lion.  First, few people could accurately direct me to the third floor; most simply told me there was no third floor.  It usually took a lot of extra time to duck down there (when I was starving), and it was terribly frustrating to find nothing left but rice and cheese.  I understand we have many more staff this year than was budgeted for, so hopefully this will be less of an issue next year :D

Going along with this, I've noticed that in various years that I've staffed, the information on where EVERY staff-related office is doesn't get out to the group as a whole.  Though it could be argued that not everyone needs to know where every office is, there's no reason why they couldn't know, in the event that it is necessary.  Perhaps this info can be given to staff once they've picked up their badges...?

Something else that I'd like to bring up is this: during the first rave, when the EMT's were called, there were a few staff members keeping a clear path for them.  Two things: one, I've had some people, both attendees and fellow staff, who felt that the manner in which these few folks addressed the crowd was unprofessional and disrespectful; two, there was me, Chan_Highwind, and (as I understand it) at least two other staff members there, that could have been asked to help maintain the crowd rather than being herded off to the side like we were merely in the way - that's not very good teamwork, guys.
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Offline reppy

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #45 on: September 05, 2012, 05:41:23 pm »
I thought Artist's Alley was really awesome this year.  The selection was great.

Exhibitor's Hall . . . I dunno. I just wasn't feeling it this year. This may just be that my tastes are changing, and I don't really follow a lot of the new anime. ^^  It did seem a little overcrowded the first time I went in, although this did improve upon subsequent visits.  The one booth I really did want to check out, with all the plushies, was always crowded and in a very bad spot which caused more congestion.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 05:41:53 pm by reppy »

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Offline Kumi4eva

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #46 on: September 05, 2012, 06:12:55 pm »
Artists alley was amazing, so much room to walk in and you could clearly see everyone's art. I might be setting up a booth in the future and if its like this when I do, it would be amazing. Everything was so open and clean, it was just a great set up.

Exhibitors hall was... Not so amazing. Waaay too crowded, the entrance and exit was confusing, I started getting claustrophobic while in there and had a hell of a time finding my way out. I think this is something that needs a bit more work, maybe a more open space? It was really hot in the room too because it was so crowded. I was walking with a friend and her mother and kept getting cut off by people trying to hurry through, it was extremely frustrating when I had to walk around everything to catch them again.
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Offline VictorianMess

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #47 on: September 05, 2012, 07:04:49 pm »
I'm sure everyone noticed the lack of dealers this year. I was kind of let down since we had saved so much for it and couldn't find anything we really liked. Didn't like the set up either, Some booths were hard to get to. It was much better when the artist Alley was inside the Red Lion. The set up was annoying as well as how they set up the line up for the dealer's hall. I didn't like going into the hotel up to my room and have the staff members hassle us about the line when we were just going to our room.

Artist alley was good as always. Staff were friendly and nice, I didn't have any issues besides them freaking out when we were going near the line to enter the hotel to go to our room. It was kind that they (For the most part) kept a space for us to get into the hotel. I think it would be nice for the Red Lion to have some panels (Especially late night, 18+). The bags handed out during reg were awesome this year. My roomies loved their Magic cards.


So besides the line for the dealer's hall and the dealer's hall everything else was pretty good.
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Offline bunny_jean

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #48 on: September 05, 2012, 07:27:29 pm »
Yeah. The dealer's hall was better than last year, but still very lackluster. :/ I just don't understand why dealers have such a problem with the "heat in the hilton garage" from '07, yet they had the console gaming down there this year, and those create a lot of heat by themselves. Doesn't make sense to me. :/ I just don't think that these two hotels are right for Kumoricon. I remember back in '04 when it was at the Marriott, and I swear the dealers' hall was bigger for less than 1300 guests! >:(

But I'm with other people who say they have a hard time finding things they want to buy. There was a lot more I wanted to buy at Sakuracon, but I didn't have the money, so I made sure to have enough for Kcon, and didn't find anything I wanted. :/
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Offline Jamiche

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Re: Kumoricon 2012 Rants and Raves!
« Reply #49 on: September 05, 2012, 07:38:03 pm »
I just don't understand why dealers have such a problem with the "heat in the hilton garage" from '07, yet they had the console gaming down there this year, and those create a lot of heat by themselves. Doesn't make sense to me. :/

The difference is the pipe and drape.  Console gaming may produce more heat from the electronics, but there was nothing to block airflow, which pipe and drape does.  It was much more open than a crowded exhibitors hall would be, which is why we placed console and tabletop gaming down there.  Yes, the open space makes it feel like we are under-utilizing the space we have, but it comes down to comfort for our attendees and our vendors, who are stuck in the area for such a long time.

At this location, which is great in so many other ways, what to do with exhibitors hall is one issue we struggle with every year.
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