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Eurobeat King
01-29-2007, 03:45 AM
Hey everyone,

Please post what you thought of ALA this year. Did you have a good time overall? If not, what do you think could've been done to improve it? And would you return next year to ALA 2008?

Picture-wise, I was happy with the pictures I was able to take this weekend, and it was good seeing friends and acquaintances, and new cosplayers, since I hadn't been to a So.CA con since AX & comic-con 2006. So it was fun seeing them again. :)

BART Boy
01-29-2007, 03:52 AM
Lets put some happy thoughts into this thread, I already made my complaints about the staff in the other thread so time for something happy.

I actually liked the Con Suite and the Cosplay Repair stations. That's something you rarely come accross, especially for the cosplayers on the go and have emergencies. Food is definately a vital role for all attendees especially if funding is extremely tight. I managed to cut my food money spree because of the Con Suite and its definately something that should be looked up to for other conventions! =D

I enjoyed the scenes that I managed to get pictures from during several photo shoots. The backgrounds were really nice and I'm glad the spots that were selected for the gatherings. Definately A+ work!

Travel-Valenti
01-29-2007, 03:58 AM
We enjoyed ourselves this year. Not sure about 2008 yet, vacation pending. It's just that it's close to the New Year holiday. Yet, the future is still undecided.

We had a wonderful time performing at masquerade. Normally, we just take photos and video (or judge!), but we haven't done something like this since 2005. It was great to be on stage again. For the record, we were the Trapnest (Nana) group. ("Rock concert movement number one...") Many thanks to Bart Boy for videtaping the masquerade for us.

Masquerade was well organized and well planned out. Totally stress free, at least for us. Only bummer was the green room. Crowded. Tight space. Cold. The video feed didn't have sound, but I'm sure there's plenty room for improvement there. We highly encourage other anime conventions to use ICG guidelines. (Hey, Karisu! That's your cue!)

A more formal "final thought" will be posted on our con report. Please keep an eye out on the Photo Links thread.

Photographer Gathering 2007! Now that's what we call a gathering!

daoutlaw
01-29-2007, 04:09 AM
Always the asskicking con of all cons. ALA this year had the social friendly atmosphere I expected as always. Sure can't wait till 08.

Reaver
01-29-2007, 04:13 AM
It was the first time I went to ALA (strictly gone to comiccon and AX)...ITS SO TINYYYY!!!! XD Not that its a bad thing...I just thought it was kinda neat how everyone pretty much hung out with everyone since it was such a small crowd...it was a lot more personal than the bigger cons..

Ok, heres my angst...I got upset because we came up on friday afternoon and we were going to buy a one day pass for saturday and the staff wouldnt let us, they jsut kept egging us on to buy the full 40$ pass for a day and a half (since we could only stay through saturday), so I got mad at that. We also need newer anime!!! I saw dragonhalf which was a nice blast to the past, but I wanted to see stuff from 2006, not 2003 XP

Overall good time though!!!

Milai Sapphire
01-29-2007, 10:35 AM
Yeah, it was my first time at ALA too. XD I really enjoyed it despite it being so small in comparison to AX and Fanime, but I liked that closeness. I mean there wasn't a lot to do most of the time at least not things that interested me so much, so I'm glad I did quite a few cosplays, and met up with a bunch of new people too. And I met up with some other people I had met before at other cons too, so that made me super happy. XD;;;

But I thought everything was well done in terms of running the con. I loved the Con Suite, and thought that was pretty nice. The Cosplay Repair Station was pretty cool too, although I didn't use it my friend did so it was a nice thing to have. XD

Yeah, I was definitely satisfied with this con (not knowing what to expect at the beginning), and the friendly people there. So happy with it, I'm contemplating staffing next year and most likely will. ^^;;; But yeah thanks to Chaz and company for putting on such an awesome con.

Sana-chan
01-29-2007, 11:47 AM
I'd like to start this post with my deepest gratitude and thanks to Hazel Chaz for running ALA. Ever since the beginning in 2005, I have absolutely LOVED your convention. As a "veteran", I suppose you could say, of this con it is only natural that I would pre-register for 2007. I truly want to continue my support of ALA, but after the treatment I and many others I had witnessed received from some of your staff members... I must say that at this moment I don't even want to come back. The rude attitudes were never coming from Hazel Chaz, or any of the Cosplay Staff or Con Suite Staff, but the walk around Staff? I suppose? I'm not really sure what department they were a part of, but there really is no excuse for the way they were treating a lot of people.

I find it completely unacceptable when people are YELLING and talking down to others all over what more than likely was just a simple mistake. It's uncalled for and incredibly rude.

Unlike past ALAs, this year there were signs placed about the hallways as "No Picture Zones" to avoid any mass clumping congregation in the halls. That's quite understandable. However if someone is waiting, pressed up against the wall and in absolutely no way blocking anyone from passage, waiting for a friend who's grabbing something in their room.... well, I don't really see a problem there. But rules are rules. I didn't think it would be a problem, so perhaps it was just poor judgment on my part, but when one of the Staff members came up to me and SNAPPED at me for my honest mistake... I was appalled.

I work at a theme park. I've worked there for five years. There are days when our crowds are as high as 70,000 people if not more than. That is far more people than ALA will have. Yet if I'm walking around and I see someone sitting where they shouldn't be sitting, standing where they shouldn't be standing, even in the thickest, noisiest, most stressful environments ever AND I'm running late for my show, I never yell at them or act rudely. Instead I just go up to them and say, "Excuse me, I can't have you sitting/standing there. If you could please move I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks!". Maybe there's a lot on my mind, maybe I'm running late, maybe it's really stressful right now, but I will never be rude. Talking down to people, treating them like they are children (even if they are), is incredibly unprofessional.

That wasn't the only instance where there were attitude problems coming from Staff. Often when I was walking around the convention I would hear/see someone else being poorly treated and yelled at. There just is no excuse for that. I know there are the few people at these cons that act ridiculous and stupid, jumping around and making nuisances of themselves and being destructive and they probably deserve a little more firmer of a reprimand.... but myself as well as many others I had witnessed absolutely did not deserve what we had received.

Also there was an issue where I was being yelled at about my badge not being visible. As a cosplayer, I don't want my badge in my photos, but I NEVER come downstairs without it. I always have my badge on me, at all times. It's just cleverly hidden. Ask me nicely if I have it and can show you and I am more than happy to oblige. It is unfair that I was yelled and screamed at for not having it tattooed onto my forehead.

It's embarrassing to say how badly my feelings were hurt from this, but truthfully they were. At this point in time I don't even want to come back to ALA. I really want to because I really like Hazel Chaz and his convention, but unless there is some serious improvement on how Staff members are selected or how Staff members should handle people... I just simply can't go.

But so this response isn't all gripe, I really would like to say what an amazing Cosplay Staff this con had! Everyone at the masquerade was so helpful and nice and it created a great atmosphere. The masquerade was tons of fun!! As well as the Con Suite. Probably the best thing ever to come to an anime convention by far lol.

Maguma
01-29-2007, 12:17 PM
Gawd the staff was probably the only thing that bugged me, they were like parents!!! but atleast they made up for it with the consuite, i thought that was really nice. A place to chill, eat food, and chat! other than that i was really enjoying the staff, and atleast you were able to chat and chill with most of em like they were other attendees

BrianAnim
01-29-2007, 01:04 PM
I have to thank Chaz and the rest of the video game room, and con suite/masq staff for their hospitality and with an awesome event, but I have to agree that the badge thing did bug me a bit, if you looked at most of the cosplayers carfully you could see them, but to have a badge glairing the camrea during a photoshoot is a huge no-no, and I'm sure even the most reveiling costumes have a good place to stash the badge untill needed.

I can understand the places where they do not want pictues taken, But I do wish they were better marked,instead of tape on the ground.

But again, I had a most wonderful time, everything was top notch, and ran smoothly.

The only other complant I have with the staff is the big box in the middle of our view of the masquerade, the one that was holding up the projector. about 20 people on the left side of the stage could not watch any of the masquerade as the box was obstructing our view entirly, and any request to move it was strictly swatted away by con staff who would not give a reson as to why.

A simple solution would be to move the projector down untill it was time to use it, but as we didn't want to cause a ruccuss we sat back and listoned to the masquerade instead.

Fullmetal
01-29-2007, 01:45 PM
I had a great time, got awesome pics which i will upload when i get home from school. But the staff ws so annoying they were always telling em to keep my badge visable and i found no where to clip it on my cosplays that would be ok, and this one fat guy in the staff would always yell at me about it he would walk by a group of people with their badges not showing and come single me out i hated him so much, oh and that's not the worse. When i was wearing my Etna cosplay one of them came up to me when i was on the PHONE (so i was busy) she interrupted my call to ask if i was wearing anything underneath my Etna costume in case of costume failure. At first I thought she better not be asking to look up my skirt or something. ANother thing i HATED about them was they would only let you take pic in certain areas, yeah i can see about blocking the hallways and stuff but i got yelled at when i was blocking nothing, the only things that block people are the fat staff, (did anyone else notice how fat tehy all were) they kept on walking into my wings and my spiked pigtails, it was so annoying my wings kept on falling off since they were only velcrowed on. Also the same person who kept on harassing me about my badge walked right in front of me when i was taking a pic, and he ignored me when i asked him to move, or he didnt hear me but it was kinda hard not to. Also when i was in the dealers hall there was a blockage and I was waiting to get by, and for people to move out of my way, and i was the one yelled at not them. Im still confused on that part. Ok I'm done with my rant.

Meanlilkitty
01-29-2007, 01:57 PM
I had a great time at ALA, it was even better than last year! A few things tho, someone really needed to tell the staff to calm the hell down. If they bugged me one more time, I was going to staple my badge to my forehead, glue my shoes to my feet and cling to a tree so I didn't block any passageways. Then on Saturday night, I couldn't believe that the dance was postponed for TWO HOURS while the judging went on forever. I know we lost a lot of dancers that night because lord knew when that dance floor was going to open. When it finally did open, I loved the music that was played, and had a good time. Overall, my friends and I enjoyed ourselves.

Oh, and I'd like it if a string or something could be provided with the badge next year. I didn't have any real places to attatch it to myself this weekend...

unlock
01-29-2007, 02:00 PM
Pros: Cosplay Staff at the Masquerade + Con Suite

Cons: Nazi Con Security

Everyone pretty much said what needed to be said so~

FlowerOfThCourt
01-29-2007, 02:08 PM
I personally did not have as many problems as many people had with the con, my biggest issues where mostly said. (Yelling staff members, honest mistakes, crowded halls, ect.) The sound system at the masq was annoying as well, one speaker would turn off and another would turn on, skits would be too loud, or too soft... All and all it was fun though. Even though I do love this con I probably won't be able to come next year, because of the date. It's so soon after Christmas and new years! My dad after hearing the days said we probably can't come. It's really a saddening thing. But now on to what I liked, the costume repair room! They helped me fix my keyblade when it broke! And my kunai too! The con suite, its so friendly in there! I had tons of fun sitting around swapping bad pick-up lines and silly stories. While eating cocktail wieners and drinking mountain dew. All and all I had tons of fun.

LadyAmaryllis
01-29-2007, 02:17 PM
ALA is one of my favorite cons for three reasons: the con suite, the cosplay repair station, and the allowance of non manga/anime in the Masquerade. Though it says in the rules that is discouraged, it is still allowed, which makes me happy. All of these things help to create the convention's laid back, guest-friendly atmosphere.

This year, that atmosphere was non-existant due to the rude, inconsiderate "hallway patrol people" or whatever you want to call them. I actually thought that marking off designated walkways was a good idea. I agree that visible badges are important. But the con staff was completely out of line in the way they enforced these rules.

Instead of having people patrol everywhere, wouldn't it be possible to have people check badges at doorways of badge-only areas instead? It might be annoying the first few times con-goers passed through, but eventually, everyone would learn and simply pull the badges out as they were about to pass. Asking for badges to be visible during photoshoots? That just isn't acceptable.

The overcrowded walkway problem is a more confusing one, but I think things would have been improved greatly if the staffers had simply opted to be polite and professional instead of acting like exasperated parents. Hopefully this issue will go away next year in Burbank, because of the larger venue.

That said, the Masquerade was one of the best ones I've ever seen, the con suite and cosplay repair station were awesome, and I had a lot of fun with my friends. Because of that, and the great time I had at ALA in 2006, I still plan on attending ALA again. I hope that those in charge will consider our concerns about security.

Kasui_Enoki
01-29-2007, 02:23 PM
Just like everyone else, the con staff was the one thing that bugged me. Last year, it was stalking me and my friend to our hotel room to make sure we had put our weapon props away, then refusing the let us out of the elevator until they had talked to us about WHY we couldn't have them. We're not idiots, you know.

This year, it was badges. Badges are hard to have out and not in way for photos. No one wants to take the time to take their badge off just to take a short picture for someone. It's lame. Every 5 steps we took, someone would be there hounding us about our badge. We weren't even allowed to stand in the hotel or walk to our car without one. But when masquerade came, no one checked our badges at all. What's up with that?

The "Head of Con Security" needed to take a chill pill too. We ended up next to her in our hotel room, so she immidiately took that as a sign that she had to harass us about every little thing. And she always had to tell us she was "head of con security" like it really mattered. It was the same lady from last year too who followed us to our room to make sure our props were put away.

I really like this con, but unless something is done about staff, I don't know if I want to return.

Sipo
01-29-2007, 02:35 PM
This was my first year attending, and what do I think of ALA? I think that I regret not going for more than just Friday! I had an absolute fabulous time meeting and chatting with people, taking photos, and snacking/eating!

Next year, I'll be there for sure, but this time, I am getting a room and staying the whole time!

As for the cons of this con...
STAFF! I feel like they were trying way too hard to be important. o_o

inuashley
01-29-2007, 02:54 PM
I'll start off with the positive aspects of this cons:

The game room staff were extremely responsible and helpful, as they made sure I got all my stuff that I donated back to me at the end of the con, and they even gave me a free figure ^^

The con suite staff were very nice and friendly, even at 12:30 in the morning ^^ I respect these people greatly for working so hard ^_^ They also told you NICELY that you couldn't take your pocky party food outside.

While the masquerade green room was cold and dripping water on us, the staff were quick to help hold our bags and badges for us. I especially likes the stage setup of curtains running behing the stage allowing for both side entrances.

For the negative aspects which some have been said before - The con staff walking the halls were extremely rude. On Sunday, my friend was holding me up about 4 inches of the ground for a quick picture, and this lady who was staffing came up to us and said that she couldn't pick me up because I might sue my friend if she dropped me. First of all, why would I sue my friend? Second, it was 4 inches, what could have happened even if I did fall? That said, she could have said it nicely, instead of yelling at us for what people do at many conventions.

I think that next year we need to find a place to hold gatherings/take pictures that is somewhat sheltered in case of the rain. My Gravitation group that was in the yaoi gathering had to move everyone to outside the lobby, where it was freezing and we were being rained on. Also, the Naruto gathering was kind of ruined because of that; I was only there for 5 minutes.

Overall, I had a nice time, but I felt that the atmosphere was restricted and people were upset because of that.

linkluver6
01-29-2007, 02:55 PM
my first time and I had a lot of problems the week before

but I had an absolute blast and am definitely happy for more room next year!
woot!

it was fun and I met some of the nicest people

the final fantasy gathering rocked my socks!:rockon:

Scruffy Rebel
01-29-2007, 02:56 PM
I had an incredibly enjoyable time with my friends...aside from lousy weather and even lousier treatment and behavior coming from con security. I have never seen such disappointing behavior in a group at a con before. I've never seen adults act like children so badly. I've never seen people be so rude before...until this weekend.

Being in a position of authority DOES NOT give you the right to, frankly, act like an ass to people who have paid money to be there. NO ONE is allowed to treat someone else with hostility from the get-go. If you're going to be in a position of authority than you need to know how to act properly. You need to know how to respect people and how to be nice. Being strict is one thing, and necessary after a certain point, but there was no strictness this past weekend, just incredible prejudices and appalling rudeness directed at people who have never caused a problem in their entire lives and were picked on for no good reason.

Horribly disappointing...and what's worse is seeing that my friends and I were not the only ones who were subjected to such awful behavior. I sincerely hope that this gets the attention it obviously needs or there are going to be a lot less people coming to ALA next time around because they were run off by rudeness.

~Scruffy

Michi
01-29-2007, 02:58 PM
Every 5 steps we took, someone would be there hounding us about our badge. We weren't even allowed to stand in the hotel or walk to our car without one. But when masquerade came, no one checked our badges at all. What's up with that?

This is a very good point. I felt like the only reason I bought a badge was to avoid being a target while walking around. I wasn't checked at the masquerade, the gaming room, and I don't think they even paid close attention at the dealer's room. Not to mention, this was when I actually had my badge out and ready rather than having to go get it or show that my boyfriend was holding it with my bag. Major events and facilities are the times you check and make sure people are registered, not when they're trying to walk from the lobby to their room through the hotel.

Friday night I was outside in the pool area, which I think is a rather public place, practicing for the masquerade with my group. We were in normal clothes and just going over the skit in a nice open area. A staff member walked up to me and seriously got in my face and snapped, "Can I see a badge?!" It was amazingly rude. While yes, at the time I did not have a badge on me, I don't think that meant I deserved being treated that way. Later that night, she and another staff member followed us down a hallway to make sure we were really leaving when we went out for food.
On Sunday, after checking-out and while carrying our bags to the car, we had one of the same staff members from Friday night come up and ask for badges. Seriously, after we've already packed up and we are obviously carrying luggage, why would we have badges out or even try to be entering events at that point? WE WERE LEAVING. Even when we told the staff member that we were indeed leaving, he once again followed us down the hall to make sure we were really going to the parking lot. No, I'm taking my luggage, wig head, and bags to the dealer's room. Seriously, what is the point of following us? Do we have no rights as guests of the hotel to be walking through said hotel to the parking lot without being supervised? It was ridiculous.

ALA was my boyfriend's first real convention, and I feel like the staff's treatment provided a really bad first impression of anime cons. Thankfully, when we were actually out and about doing the attendee thing on Saturday things turned out a lot better.

What was up with the harassment? I have been going to conventions for 8 years now and this is the worst I have ever been treated by staff. The superiority complex of some of the staff members caused a very stressful atmosphere, which was disappointing after how laid back ALA felt last year! I understand wanting to make sure nobody is in any places they shouldn't be, but talking down to us and acting like we're all going to cause trouble when we haven't done anything but try to get from point A to point B is not cool. There is still a lot I like about the con, but right now I am seriously considering not attending in 2008.

Solaria
01-29-2007, 03:56 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with every person here listing a complaint against the con staff. The staff in the con suite and repair station were fantastic as always. However, the rudeness of the security staff, or whatever the name of the department walking around checking badges and telling people to move every 5 seconds, was unbelievably appalling. They were rude to me, they were rude to my friends, and more than once I saw people reduced to tears after being yelled at for not wearing their badges on their costumes (even when I could clearly see it pinned to their bag or something similar). We were harassed for walking too slowly in the hallways (while walking at a normal pace), we were harassed for walking too quickly in the hallways, and once I was harassed for stopping in the hallways right after another staffer had stopped us to check my badge two seconds earlier and was walking away! We are paying attendees and we do NOT deserve to be treated that way.

Having worked in education, I understand the need to control large amounts of people and keep them organized. From doing so, I also understand just how important it is to not treat the people you want to listen to you as imbeciles. All you will do in that situation is breed resentment. I will not be surprised if many of my friends decide to boycott this convention next year solely because of the con staff. We have all been going since the first year and loved the laid-back attitude it had in the past two years. This year though, the con staff went too far in their enforcement and were uptight in areas they didn't need to be. I understand wanting to maintain crowd control and make sure that attendees aren't freeloading, but this year the staff definitely went overboard. I'd advise that you fix this problem because sooner or later, no one will want to go to a convention run by rude, overzealous security. The awesome attendees, the fun of collecting ribbons, the location or convenience, the draw of an "off-season" con... none of that will matter if we feel harassed the entire time. Ask politely to see badges at the door of events/the dealers hall/the con suite/etc, and lighten up in the general areas, especially when cosplayers are taking photos out of the way. Please do not underestimate the magnitude of this issue.

Maryssa
01-29-2007, 04:08 PM
I wasnt there long, but all I heard was people complaining about the badge thing. Not cool.

However, I must give props to the masquerade staff. Extremely well-run.

Ami Yuy
01-29-2007, 04:13 PM
Overall, I enjoyed hanging out with friends, but the con security staff were horrendous (hotel staff were fabulous) and does not encourage me into wanting to attend next year.

I don't mind if I'm asked in a badge-necessary area if I have it, but requiring me to show it AT ALL TIMES when in PUBLIC areas is a huge over-reaction.

Sure, ask me when entering the Dealer's Hall, panels, the masquerade, con suite, etc. but when I'm standing outside or in the lobby chatting with people, leave me alone.

Let me note though, as everyone else has, that we were never asked politely. Every "request" was a flat out order.

The worst time for us was when two of my friends were walking through a hallway in the hotel and stopped by a staffer and told to show them their badge, so they did, but then were told to NOT STOP IN THE HALLWAYS.

The worst for me personally was that I had my badge in my sweatshirt pocket, clipped so it was easy to pull out to present but not necessarily showing, why? I didn't want to lose it and have to pay for a replacement. Did that explanation get me anywhere with the staffer who circled around the public area harassing EVERYONE to have their badge out and visible? No. If they had provided lanyard or I hadn't forgotten mine at home, I would have gladly had it out around my neck, however they weren't provided and mine wasn't with me, so I had it secure in my pocket. If I have no other way to ensure it won't get LOST, then I will do what I need to do so.

Sadly it seems that the bad is over-taking the good. However I did enjoy myself, despite being cold and harassed, because I got to hang out with friends.

And a quote because it is exactly how I feel:
What was up with the harassment? I have been going to conventions for 8 years now and this is the worst I have ever been treated by staff. The superiority complex of some of the staff members caused a very stressful atmosphere, which was disappointing after how laid back ALA felt last year! I understand wanting to make sure nobody is in any places they shouldn't be, but talking down to us and acting like we're all going to cause trouble when we haven't done anything but try to get from point A to point B is not cool. There is still a lot I like about the con, but right now I am seriously considering not attending in 2008.

Destined2Rock
01-29-2007, 04:22 PM
This was my first trip to ALA, and I have to say that I was actually quite impressed.

I was very surprised to see how tiny the entire convention was, covering a very small area even counting the game room, con suite and dealers hall. It made finding people very easy though (i.e., certain cosplayers or other members of your group).

I didn't have a need or chance to use the emergency repair station, but when I saw it on the map I was quite amazed. That's such a good idea, and I believe that other cons should follow in ALA's footsteps and invest in one.

The con suite - oh god, the con suite. I had little to no money for food. My friend and I bought food on Friday night (Subway... mmm!), but the con suite was great for drinks because neither of us had water or soda. Sunday morning was the time I utilized the suite the most. I had stayed up all Saturday night putting finishing touches on outfits and accessories and had no time to eat, so at about noon I wandered to the con suite and found cereal, hard-boiled eggs, oatmeal, fruit... Such a large selection! It was really rejuvinating to have such an array of food, and of course I tipped. All the staff in there were so nice and never rude. When my friends and I were in the suite on Sunday we had to stand by the staff door because there were no seats but if a staff member needed to get in or out, they always asked very politely!

Unlike everybody else, I really didn't have a problem with the constaff, aside from Friday. I probably didn't get harrassed about my badge because I had it clipped on the bottom of my shirt. Still visible and possible to clip off for pics, but visible none-the-less. PinkHairedBaka was posing for pictures as Mello from DeathNote and he had toy guns with the tips spray-painted orange (the guns were black, so the orange was noticeable). Mr. Shirt basically called him over and out-stretched his hand saying, "Guns." in a very rude manner. We asked why and he said that the weapons policy exclusively prohibits guns from the convention. He eventually said that we could keep them if we didn't take them out anymore, to which we agreed. By the way, the weapons policy was very roundabout and didn't directly say that guns could not be used.

Question about the weapons policy - there were people who had sword replicas, and yet our guns were questioned? The part of the policy in question is thus: "Anime Los Angeles defines a weapon as any object designed to cause damage, or any replica of such an object, or any object that the Committee determines to pose a risk to the safety of others or to personal or hotel property" Are they saying that our toy guns are a risk to the safety of others? It also states that "no real or realistic projectile weapons may be carried anywhere within the convention except during the masquerade or specially approved events." But again, it was a toy. With orange tips. Who's to say that large chunks of plywood can't be used as a weapon? Honestly - wood hurts more than plastic does. *edit*: Weapons Policy (http://www.animelosangeles.org/anime-la/2007/ALA2007cosplay.htm)

The gameroom was a really nice touch, and I liked the tournaments they were holding, though I didn't participate in any myself. The dealer's hall had a very nice assortment of goods to choose from, and I was very impressed with the quality. Even though it was tiny, every time I went in there I found something new, so it never got boring.

I agree with inuashley about possibly finding an indoor picture gathering in case of rain. I know that many costumes and gatherings were ruined because of it.

Other than that, I had a really good time. It was a nice get-away and we will definitely be attending next year, despite the pre-con drama involving costumes. See you then!

mlarad
01-29-2007, 04:27 PM
I could say I agree with everyone about the staff or whatever department they were. This was the first time my friends and I attended anime LA and it wasn't a good impression at all. We usually attend the big cons like AX, fanime and comic con where there are thousands of people and everywhere is crowed but nobody threat you like that. The staff came over to your face to yelled at you about the badge or to move, they could asked in a good way but yelling at you? that is really rude. Also, what we were suppose to do if it was raining outside? we wanted to stay inside, taking pictures and having a good time but they would not let you stay anywhere for them you have to move from everywhere. They yelled at us a couple of times for reasons I don't think were enough to yelled at somebody and I saw people getting yelled at for nothing. Like when they came to the bleach gathering and told us that we needed to show our badge everyone was like what? I mean at a gathering? what is up with that you dont want your badge to be visible in the pictures.
I work with large amounts of people and that is not a kind of service that someone who is looking for having fun and have a good time with other people of the same interest is going to be willing to accept.

Overall this is a really good con because it has the con suite, good game room, dealer room, the masquerade was full of excellent entries, gatherings, they were really organized thing that not many cons have which is really good, cosplayers and non-cosplayers were friendly and awesome people. We had a great time at this con.

but if they don't do something about the staff I don't think that many people will want to come back.

BART Boy
01-29-2007, 04:44 PM
I guess after reading all of this, I actually have some thoughts I'd like to throw in as well that should definately be taken into high consideration.

Aside from the rude staffers asking for badges, as far as places to hang around, remember this is "Hotel" Property and is being rented out for the convention. I don't see why Con Staffers should have to bark out orders for people hanging out in the lobby to go somewhere else when its a open area dedicated to meet up with people, take pictures of cosplayers, etc etc. The hotel is open to the public for not just ALA attendees but to traveler's, flight crew (since this is next to a airport after all), and tourists.

Is it fair that we can't predict the weather and go somewhere else to take photos for cosplayers then suddenly be yelled out because its raining outside? No! It started raining and everybody had to make a dash indoors, where else were we suppose to go? The parking lot? I don't think so.

As a first timer here at this convention, this left not only bad impressions on people like myself but there is a possibility of law suits that could be filed for this con for harassment on attendees and poor judgment on the security. As I mentioned on the 2008 notes and I'll say it again, "I understand the fact that you want to make sure attendees do have badges and all but did the staff really have to give us a lecture about having our badges on our costumes at all times?"

As far as my concern, this is once again "Hotel" Property, they have every right to open certain areas so that their own customers can come in and enjoy their stay if they are not attending the convention. We are human beings and we do have feelings. Right now majority of our feelings show that we did not like the way the security was running their badge check system. If we have our badges and you ask for it, we show it to you, there's no problem. Everybody goes home happy and we don't have any problems.

Please really take the time and read all of this feedback clearly and you will see how many of us are not to pleased with the staffing. Thank you.

- BART

Okitasan
01-29-2007, 05:22 PM
I'm guessing the problem is because most of the security are just volunteers and people that aren't used to being in positions of authority. As soon as they are given some power they feel like they have to flex it all the time. I noticed it at Animagic 2004, but more specifically 2005 (the last one I will ever attend), and now sadly at Anime LA. It sort of reminds me of the Stanford prison experiment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment).

Anyway, I'm hoping since next year we'll be in a larger hotel the rules will be more lax.

Maguma
01-29-2007, 05:28 PM
Another thing that REALLY bugged me was main lobby Staff nagging us to get out of the way. I understand the whole traffic-ing the attendees to keep things clear but i mean Not many people were moving even when it was packed and I, along with so many others, easily maneuvered through the crowd.

Pretty Sammy
01-29-2007, 05:29 PM
I agree with what's been said, mostly.

I'll start out with positive stuff:

Tadao and Chaz, you guys are great and so much fun to be around! I loved Svetlana and was so happy to get an autograph from her. The cosplay staff was great, I was treated so kindly in the cosplay repair shop when my necklace was breaking. The gaming room was run extremely professionally, and the short time I spent in the video room was also enjoyable. (Yay for Slayers!)

Cosplay was so much fun and the Gothic Mad Tea Party was a blast! I LOVED it!

And now negative...

I agree with what's been said. My sister and I were literally harrassed by the hall-walking staff. These two girls stopped to take a quick picture of us and we started getting a lecture from the hall staff. It was embarrassing and horrible. I absolutely hated it and I feel really upset that a lot of really fun people might not be coming back because of those officious people wandering the halls. I mean, seriously, this guy chews these photographers out first and then turns to us and says, "That goes for you too!" as though we were eight years old. Seriously, it was horrible. That guy didn't see it, but, while my much nicer sister was apologizing, I was making a "get the hell away from me, man" face behind my back.

There are so many nice people who love ALA, Michi, Scruffy_rebel, Sana-chan, mlarad, and more, and I have to say that while I will attend next year (it was just too much fun to pass up!) I say that the staff needs to take a freakin' chill pill.

(That doesn't go for Gothic Mad Tea Party/Cosplay/Masquerade/Game Room staff! :D Hall staff = evil)

Oh, and the Pocky Party was ridiculous. My sister and my friends waited around an hour and a half for pocky for some ridiculous reason, and we were, once again, screamed at as though we were five.

CelestialAurora
01-29-2007, 06:04 PM
My friends and I were treated pretty badly by con staff at ALA last year so I was fully prepared to getting some bitching from them this year too. Last year, I asked if I could change my badge to one day instead of all days. The lady that was doing the registration stuff for me kept explaining to me that with the all day badge I'm able to go that day and come back for the next day. I tried explaining to her that I was only able to attend that day so it would be nice if I could get a $10 refund. But then, she just kept going on and on about how I can attend the whole weekend with the badge that I have. She was completely not listening to me at all! After a while, I just got frustrated and took the all weekend badge. And then at another point, we asked another staff member who was sitting down and making ribbons where LP5 was. He didn't even look up at us. He just quickly mumbled, "Over there," and pointed to the right. Yeah, like that really helps! *rolls eyes* Later on we asked the people in the costume repair station and they were much more helpful and friendly. And then, me and my other friend asked a staff member at the registration table for a pen to write with. And she got all protective of the pen and ask that we bring it back immediately. She said it in a mean tone too. Geez! It's a friggin' pen! You could buy like a pack of 100 pens at the 99 Cent Store! But, anyways, those are my complaints from last year.

This year, I was treated just as bad. Like, when I first arrived there and got my badge, I went immediately out to the brick stage for the Final Fantasy gathering. Unfortunately, it started raining and I was cosplaying as Lucrecia. So I basically had gravity defying hair which would die at the slightest touch of water. I decided to just stay indoors and watch the gathering until the rain stopped. I tried to make sure I wasn't blocking the doorway so I placed my whole body at the back of one side of the sliding doors and my head was just peeking out. This man who was a staff member came up behind me and told me not to block the doorway. So then I moved farther inside so that only my head from the eyes up were peeking out. And he still kept yelling at me for blocking the doorway and told me to move. Okay, about 4 inches of head peeking around the corner is not blocking the doorway! He kept harassing me about it so I just sucked it up and stood outside with my friends. And then there was this one lady who was leading this scavenger hunt group walking in front of us and started yelling at people to not take pictures in the hallway. So those couple of people started walking outside. We passed them but that lady went back and started harassing them again to not take pictures even though they were already walking.

Destined2Rock: Yeah, they were rude about guns last year too. It turns out that we're not allowed to bring any sort of gun-like weapon at all. And that even includes completely neon green water guns. The reason that one of the staff members gave me is because we're next to an airport. Okay, I understand if they're worried about guns that look realistic. But not even being able to hold a brightly colored Nerf gun is taking it waaaaay too far. Plus, I think the airport security can tell the difference between a real gun and a children's water gun.

I understand the importance of keeping the hallways clear and having your badge visible but ALA staff take it way too far. I felt like I was at school attempting to have fun with my friends while also keeping an eye out for teachers who would come and yell at us even though we weren't doing anything wrong. It would've been nice if the staff could've shown both con attendees and hotel guests more courtesy. The staff seemed to be more rude this year than last year. If they're going to keep this up, then I'm not sure if I'm going to ALA next year. It's not worth it to wake up at the crack of dawn, get dressed in cosplay, and end up just being harassed about sticking in one place for half a second.

Rogue Marvel
01-29-2007, 06:34 PM
I loved ALA this year. Even despite this badge nazi's

I lucky didn't have as much problems with staff as some people did because I was in civies most of the weekend with my badge out but I still had issues.

My best example is Friday afternoon I was in the lobby hanging out with a bunch of friends and all the chairs in the area were full so we found a nice out of the way area close to the chairs to sit down. I thought there might be an issues with staff but we were not blocking anything and several staff members walked by looked at us and said nothing. After siting and talking for about 15 minutes The chairs next to us cleared up, but we didn't really notice. Shortly after a staffer who had walked by and seen us before comes up to use and very rudely says "What's wrong, are the chairs not good enough for you guys?" We explained that they weren't open when we first arrived to which he responded "Well they are open now, so move." I understand asking us to move, but he didn't ask he ordered us and was very rude about it.

I also understand alot of the other staff treated people just as rudely and most of those staff people where older, so maybe they don't understand the importance of treating all attendees (even those younger then themselves) like adults and nice and fairly.

While its true that staff was very rude this year, I still highly encourage people to give ALA another shot next year, even if they were thinking of not going because of how they were treated. There is no way of knowing if they have changed without going and seeing for yourself and I have alot of faith that Chaz and other staffers will talk to the rude ones about how to treat attendees and cosplayers.

Of course if we don't hear any type of apologizes for the rude behavior (tight security is fine, rude behavior is not) then I completely agree with anyones decision to not come back. After all how can people come back and expect a con to have fixed a problem when the con doesn't admit it even had a problem to begin with.

starlet_flower
01-29-2007, 06:39 PM
i've attended this con since the beginning. con suite, costume repair station, and the masquerade staff were great as usual! we had food and hot tea in the green room which totally made up for the small fact that rain was dripping on us. and they were so helpful and friendly too!

now, the security staff, on the other hand...majorly RUDE! on friday, my shoe became untied so i stepped off to the side in the lobby where others were standing to lace it up again. and then one of the staffers started telling everyone not to clog up the paths and then told me to tie my shoe somewhere else. and then several people asked me and my boyfriend for pictures so we stopped to pose for them. again, we were rudely told not to block the doorway. this pretty much continued for the rest of the time. one of the staffers nearly ran me over while wheeling something on a small pushcart, while later, another asked me rudely to please walk faster. and might i add that i was wearing 5-inch heels at the time and my feet were starting to feel numb?

gosh, everything else was great, but the security staff patrolling the halls really need to lighten up!

linkluver6
01-29-2007, 06:45 PM
This year, I was treated just as bad. Like, when I first arrived there and got my badge, I went immediately out to the brick stage for the Final Fantasy gathering. Unfortunately, it started raining and I was cosplaying as Lucrecia. So I basically had gravity defying hair which would die at the slightest touch of water. I decided to just stay indoors and watch the gathering until the rain stopped. I tried to make sure I wasn't blocking the doorway so I placed my whole body at the back of one side of the sliding doors and my head was just peeking out. This man who was a staff member came up behind me and told me not to block the doorway. So then I moved farther inside so that only my head from the eyes up were peeking out. And he still kept yelling at me for blocking the doorway and told me to move. Okay, about 4 inches of head peeking around the corner is not blocking the doorway! He kept harassing me about it so I just sucked it up and stood outside with my friends. And then there was this one lady who was leading this scavenger hunt group walking in front of us and started yelling at people to not take pictures in the hallway. So those couple of people started walking outside. We passed them but that lady went back and started harassing them again to not take pictures even though they were already walking.



Are you serious?
Poor Lucrecia!
I felt terrible for you
I wanted you to be in the gathering but I understood about the weather
I was Tifa so I was okay about the rain but I could tell from your outfit
I mean you were wearing white!
however I didnt know you were treated so poorly for trying to watch!:mad:
I am sorry
but hey you looked awesome as Lucrecia:bigtu:


hey my friend fell asleep in the lobby
because we were there all night and had no hotel room
and he got in trouble for it
so we slept in the anime room
on sunday morning while they were playing
ENGLISH NARUTO
I actually thought it was kinda funny
ha ha believe it!

Arkadia
01-29-2007, 06:53 PM
Con Suite: Ala is the only con I've gone to that has offered this and it's truely wonderful. The staff in here were very accomodating and nice. This is one aspect of the con that hopefully will stay around.

Costume repair shop: Once again, another aspect to this con that I absolutely enjoy. I went in for a few safety pins and were quickly given them along with an offer of some chocolate. I've neevr had a bad experience with the staff here and am very grateful to have accomodations like that.

Masquerade: Although the awards were a bit delayed due to the printer (new printer next year!) that masq was very enjoyable to watch. Even with the large number of skits, there were barely and technical issues and the skits kept to a relatively good time frame.

I've gone to this con for all three years and truely hope that all the problems that happened this year will be aliviated by the next. I feel like a lot of the rude comments and harassment happened to cosplayers since we tend to be the most visible, so hopefully that won't happen again next year. I would really like to come back to ALA without feeling burdened with the prospect of being harassed.

Breeface
01-29-2007, 07:05 PM
This was my first time attending ALA.
Besides the staff rudeness as most people have mentioned I had a good time. All the people attending were really nice and the con had wonderful atmosphere. Made some more cosplay buddies x]
Sucky about Saturdays off and on rain and the chillyness of the nights though, really I am surprised I didn't get sick from standing out in the cold xD

My only huge complaint besides the rude staff is the fact that I had to pay 10 bucks for another sticker to be printed out for another badge since mine must have popped off during a gathering and I guess no one turned it in...I wouldn't have minded paying but I think 10 bucks is a bit much for a sticker slapped on a card... :/
Thought maybe I was just being a baby but most people agree'd that 10 bucks was a little much for a re-print of a badge D:

I may attened next year since it's going to be in a different location which will hopefully be a much more friendly one at that. :]

[edited to fix all my darn typos]

Captain Jack
01-29-2007, 07:07 PM
Alright, might as well throw in my two cents.

Some people here have complained about being yelled at or otherwise reprimanded for stopping in the halls to take a picture. I agree wholeheartedly that you should have been treated better in these situations. Even if you're doing something you aren't supposed to do, the staff member who catches you doing it should be a bit mroe mature about it.

On the other hand, if the sign says "No Photo Zone", then DON'T STOP FOR PHOTOS!!! It's really simple. I had people ask for my picture in "No Photo Zones" as well. You say "Sure, let's just step right over here" and go to the nearest photo-safe zone. It takes all of ten seconds. Read the damn sign, it makes everyone's life easier.

Badge Nazi's. Alright. I have no words in their defense. While not every staff member at this con is a Badge Nazi, it seems like all of the BN's are stuck in the places that don't require badges. The hotel lobby, the hotel hallways. Anyone who is staying in that hotel has every right to walk through the hotel to get to their car, get to a buddy's room, or get a cup of coffee from the cafe in the lobby. They don't need a badge to be there. AND, onlt cosplayers seem to be checked when in the lobby/hallways, because they're the only ones for certain that are attending the con. That's bull. Badge checks should be done within the doorways and rooms that are set aside for the con.

I actually - being technically con staff - had a complaint filed against me by some staff member, I won't name her, she knows who she is. She claimed that she had to ask me several times before would show her my badge, since I always have it easily accessible but never fully visible (and that's cuz I don't want it to fall off or get snatched, not just for photos) and said I gaver her attitude because I said "whatever" when she tried to lecture me AFTER the badge was out, and she only had to ask me ONCE.

For further reference, anybody who can honestly get to report that "Captain Jack gave me attitude" might as well get a Purple Heart. That means they're lucky to still be walking. And don't exaggerate to make your story sound dramatic. To that lady: you asked me once. I showed it to you. Don't go lying about it, that's very immature.

Final say: Great Con, crap staff. Improve the staff, or people wont attend the con. Most of the staff members have great people skills. Those who don't have said skills are the way they are because they've done NOTHING but staff cons, and have never developed those skills and take out their anger and lust for authority on people who are paying to be where they're at.

I'll be there next year. Hopefully certain staff members won't.

Neo_Serenity
01-29-2007, 07:18 PM
Hi all! Hall Cosplay Dept. here. I wanted to say that myself and my staff had a great time seeing all of your fantastic costumes! We can't wait for next year to see what all of you have in store. I'd also like to thank my staff (FER, Zach, Zory) for working hard to make sure we had good coverage. :)

As for myself, I had a very nice time! My feet are killing me today, and I'm sore from doing different poses, but it was all worth it. It was great to see so many old and new faces, and making new friends. There were a couple issues with our suite on Friday night that I was upset about, but the hotel manager managed to straighten them mostly out, and he was very nice about it, which made things a lot easier.

So on that note of being nice about things - I'm really bummed to hear that so many of you had a such a terrible time with the badge issues and problems with the staff working the hallways. There is never an excuse for rudeness and as many of you have stated, there is always a right way and a wrong way to go about asking for something (such as a badge). You get more flies with honey, I always say!

I missed the 'Bleach Gathering Annoucement' as I was running late for the gathering, but checked with one of my fellow staffers on the specs of that who was present at the gathering at the time. I agree, as cosplayers, we do not want to have our badges on us during photos, as we all know what a big no-no that is.

As someone who has complained about ill-treatment from another convention before, only to feel unheard and ignored, I can assure you that I have read through this thread, and will continue to listen to everything everyone has to say so I can go back and discuss it with Chaz. Know that there are other staff that have these same concerns as all of you, (me being on of them), that plan to discuss this with the people running the convention so this isn't a problem next year.

That being said, please, please come back and give the con another chance. This really is a great con, and the past two years have been more than excellent. This year boasted an awesome masquerade (which my group was thrilled to be a part of and took home a couple awards!), and I know next year's will be even better. We always have a con suite with yummy foods for when you need a snack, and a costume repair station for when you need help with that costume malfunction.

We have a new, bigger location next year, and lots of neat things already in the works. The new space will also be set up differently so that the insane problems with badge checking should be resolved. We have more hotel room spaces and more suite spaces for a great price! So please, do give the con another chance. We do want to see all of you again, and do appreciate your patronage to the con. :heart:

RivetSPOOn
01-29-2007, 07:38 PM
As a member of the ALA staff, I would like to apologize to anyone I was inadvertently rude to in regards to the hallway and/or outdoor walkway. My intention was not to offend any attendees, but to keep heavy traffic areas from becoming congested and/or blocked.

Thank you for your comments about needing better signage. The ALA staff has heard you, and come 2008 we will have more noticeable signs aside from blue tape marking off the areas we wish to keep clear.

I do understand that the cold and raining weather made taking photos outside a bit problematic, which we of the staff regrettably did not take into consideration when making the official photo areas. Again, we apologize for this over site and will correct it at ALA 2008.

LionBoogy
01-29-2007, 08:16 PM
ALA did not need more signage; staffers somehow found free time to make it crystal clear what to do at all times. Shouldn't they be doing other things like monitoring the Dealers Room for stolen items? Monitoring the Panel and Video Programming room for badges?
ALA did not need designated areas for photo usage, as crowds happen and eventually disperse. Traffic flow will learn to deal with these issues by themselves. That is human nature.

What ALA needs to repair is this paranoia that something might go wrong. I don't want to hear excuses about age gaps, how we walked through snow to enjoy a con, how we are volunteers, how we are a family-sized event in a tight-sized location, or how we sacrifice hours of commitment to serve a fine covention. If a staffer goes out of his or her way to bother an attendee or a random hotel guest, then that staffer needs to be immediately removed. I have seen many successful conventions witness these events and have taken immediate steps to do so.

People came to ALA based on reports and experience that it is a cool, laid-back, all-around chillaxin' vacation weekend. That was quickly replaced with unorthodox reprimands, removals, and constant verbage to identify your status at all times. Is that supposed to be fun? Where did my cool relaxing vacation go? How come I feel less secure being around a con security staffer? Shouldn't they be looking out for my interests?

Super No 1
01-29-2007, 08:17 PM
In all, I had a good time. It was a very productive convention for me. I wanted to use this con to see if I still had the desire to shoot cosplay and anime conventions. I haven't had a really productive con since Fanime in 2005 and was really losing my motivation to go to these events. But, after this con, I feel like I can still do it and that I still enjoy it. If it weren't for the rain, I could have really done a lot of work.

Masquerade was very good. I've been to this con for all three years and the level of cosplay has really gone up for this competition. I couldn't really see too much because the seating arrangement wasn't all that great, but it was a good competition with many really amazing costumes and performances.

I had a really good time hanging out again with my friends and colleagues. I haven't seen a lot of them since ALA 2. It's also nice to see this convention grow so that we have another anime and cosplay event in the Los Angeles area because we can always use more down here.

I guess I have to put my two cents worth about the Badge Nazi issue. I don't mind being asked to show my badge on occassion if it's not really visible. But I don't like to feel as if I'm being followed around and I don't like the same person asking me to show my badge every few minutes. With all of the camera gear that I carry around with me at a con, I expect people to at least remember me after you've seen me once... or twice... or even three times. I was also angered by overzealous badge checkers in the music room on Sunday when I staffer decided to announce to the whole room that he wanted to badge check the entire room. Somebody should have been doing that at the door. I also understand the need to keep that path open in the courtyard. However, I do not like a staffer sneaking up behind me and physically pulling me into the "safe zone". Unless, I'm doing something illegal, staffers should keep their hands to themselves. For a convention that takes pride in being fan-friendly, this convention needs to seriously re-evaluate it's badge enforcement methods because a lot of people are really angry about it. A lot of people have stated that here, but I hope that it doesn't discourage others from giving their opinions even if it's been said before. Let them hear it. We all know that the con chair reads this forum.

...and they threw out Kevin Lillard. Shame on them!!

I'll most likely be going again next year to try out the new venue, but if the staff rudeness continues, I won't be back in 2009. This would be a shame since this is the only SoCal convention that I go to where I have a lot of time to take photos.

Michi
01-29-2007, 08:47 PM
AND, onlt cosplayers seem to be checked when in the lobby/hallways, because they're the only ones for certain that are attending the con. That's bull.

I had the biggest issues with staff when out of costume, really, and so did my boyfriend. He got bothered for a badge when he was standing against a wall in the hallway waiting for me to exit the hotel bathroom. Seriously, it was just way out of hand.

Sonsko-chan
01-29-2007, 08:58 PM
Overall, I enjoyed going to ALA for a second time.

Like so many other people, I think the badge thing was a bit extreme. During the middle of a gathering, staff told cosplayers, who were in the photo area, that their badges needed to be visible. I mean, can't we have them out of sight during a gathering and make them visible after the pictures?

As for Con Suite, it was amazing. The food was varied over the three days and time of day. It was just as good, if not better, than last year's.

I missed Masq., because the room wasn't big enough. And I'd been really looking forward to cheering on/watching it and my friends. But I'm glad that next year's will be in a bigger room.

Also, the weather. I know that it can't be controlled, but for cosplayers, weather is major. I was wearing a skirt, shorts, and a dress over all three days and found it inconvienent. If it's at all possible, I think a covered area would be nice for gatherings.

I think I ended up attending more panels this year. The rooms they were in and their content pleased me. The beginning cosplay, con etiquette, and crossplay panels were actually informative. I enjoyed them.

The hallways were small, so I'm looking forward to bigger ones next year as well.

Overall, ALA is a very enjoyable con for me, because I get the time to spend with old and new friends, while not having to wait for hours to attend a single panel.

crimsonGOJYO
01-29-2007, 09:09 PM
Just like everybody else, I HATED THE CON STAFF.

I was in the middle of taking a picture, and the lady comes up and tells me I need my badge showing. SHE IS IN MY PICTURE NOW. How rude can you be?

I was yelled at for running in the hallway, understandable, but I was in a HUGE hurry, and it was more like fast walking. But that lady did not need to talk to me like I was her freakin' daughter. :\

I ended up being rude to them back because I noticed they were showing no respect to anybody else and normally, I am very sweet and nice. But I was going to show no respect to people who were rude to people who I feel very close to.

I love anime cons, and I love everybody there because I feel like we're our own little community and everybody understands each other's weirdness and it's cool. So, I felt like I had to stand up for some things that they said to me.

I had a big problem with one of the ladies talking to me like she was my mom and another guy talking as if he was in charge of me.

I loved ALA last year and the times I saw Hazel Chaz, he was being very sweet and stuff and I really like his dedication to this wonderful con, but if you have badge nazi's again, I am afraid I can't go again. I understand the use of seeing the badges, but there should have been areas where they NEED to be shown. But most of the people there cosplay, and the badges ruin pictures, and I didn't like how they hounded us.

Yeah, we're all a little weird, but we're people too and we want to be shown respect just like everybody else. And if these people don't wanna show me respect, that's fine.

Sonsko-chan
01-29-2007, 09:12 PM
Also, my friend and I were on our way to the front desk on Friday night. We were in PJs, without shoes AND our badges were upstairs. We get stopped and told we need to be wearing shoes. Although all we're doing is going to get toothbrushes. It's not like we were even going to the Rum Party. Plus, there was no real proof we were part of the con. While it's understandable, I don't see how it was reasonable.

~*Hikari*~
01-29-2007, 09:16 PM
This was my first time to ALA, but I have been to other cons. I have to admit, I found this con somewhat amusing and fun, but I have to say... the staff was pretty bad. I can't explain how many times I got yelled at for not having my badge visible. And I am also a cosplayer, so this pretty much annoyed me. Another thing was the "stay clear" path. I'm sorry, but that path was way too big to have a decent photoshoot. I swear, a person would be taking a picture of me and the staff would yell at the person because they might have been an inch or two inside the "stay clear" path. I did like the consuites, but they could have placed the artist's alley somewhere where it wasn't that tight? Well, all in all, I did have fun, even if I do have some grievances.

Jubei-chan
01-29-2007, 09:32 PM
I had a most awesome time at ALA. Seriously!! I was so sad to leave.

I was actually happy that there was an attempt to try and control the flow of traffic. I was mindful of not stopping for pictures in the hallways, and if I was in the lobby I tried to take a corner and not take up much room. Though I was several times asked to move along if I stopped for a split second to look behind me to see if my party was following close (I'm a fast walker). Fine. Thats ok. I suppose they were trying to stop impromptu cosplay gatherings from happening that would greatly clog traffic. And for the most part that wouldn't happen because they'd soon realize just how much room there Isn't in the lobby for a gathering. The con grew so much this year, and it showed. The lobby was clogged but with signs reminding people to keep moving I never had a problem getting held up behind people congregating. I was never harassed, I luckily came across the nice staff members.

As for the Bleach gatheirng. I was there for the announcement. Yeah, I understand that the con does not want "ghosts" and I went up to my room to retrieve my badge, but were the cosplayers then stood in a line so the non-badge holders could be picked out? No matter. But yelling a cosplay gathering isn't a wise idea. Granted you're trying to get our attention, but that was very rude.

The areas that badges were checked were outside, and to get into the dealers hall. I walked in and out of programming freely. Staffers or volunteers should be there isntead. Its my understanding that in Burbank (I'm there!!!) ALA will have its own building. There will be essentially minimal badge checks because Staff will control entry to the building to those with badges. I think the over cehcking will automatically decline next year for this new feature.

I'm so excited over next years location. AniMagic2004 (while a beautiful location) wasn't a anime con-go-er friendly location. Too many odd looks and rude comments from the general public. But thinking that the con area will be for con participants only is a very exciting new feature.

I LOVED the Masquerade. I loved it last year. I loved it still. I was very happy to participate.

And can I just say that I loved meeting Svetlana. Just a wonderful person and very fan friendly! I do hope she can find the time to come back and talk to us about DramaCon3 and ALA4! *^_^*

Thank you Chaz for putting on a great Convention. I met so many new people, speak face to face for the first time with old friends, and had just the best time with the best group of friends imaginable.

FullMetal Tora
01-29-2007, 09:39 PM
It was my first time at ALA, and it was pretty enjoyable overall, however i do agree with what most people have said before about some of the staff. And especially about badges. I think some people do not seem to understand:
BADGES RUIN PHOTOS! They look awful!
I understand the need to have them on us, but i do not understand why they must be "always visible." Firstly, why don't the staff try just more strcitly monitoring places where you actually NEED a badge to get in and maybe the front entrance. Also, if anyone were to ask me to show them my badge, i wouldn't mind in the least to pull it out and show it, but i do not take kindly to people snapping at me to have it visible. Personally, i don't like having it ruin the overall look of my costume. It's really, really irritating. Cosplayers work very hard to get every detail right. Badges are usually not intended as part of the costume. So, I say, one must always have the badge on hand, but it is simply impractical and annoying to have it where it's "visible at all times."
Also, and i know this is no one's fault, the rain made things really troublesome. The Naruto gathering was pretty much ruined because of it... :(
It may have helped, since i know the weather forecast did warn against rain, to have had a room cleared to accomodate gatherings indoors. After all, the area isn't known for its dry and sunny weather, especially in January. An indoor gathering room would have been smart.
Another quick note: The dealer hall... probably should've been in a bigger room... I don't know if the hotel simply didn't have enough room or what, but standing in the rain in line to get into the dealer room is not enjoyable.
Now for the positive things:
Con Suite was great! I forget to eat at cons, so that was very useful... and free! (because everyone knows cosplayers are often broke...)
The people were also great! Since it was a pretty small con, everyone was pretty close and i was very happy to see all my con buddies again.
The rocks/pond and all the other plants and rocks around the hotel were really great for photos (though the hotel staff kept getting on everyone's case to get off the rocks... grr...We were still able to get some really great shots though, especially in/around the pond-thingy)
As for next year, Burbank is a bit too far from where i live so i probably won't be able to go. However, if it were being held closer i definitely would've like to go back. Perhaps if it moves closer to me in future years... Untill then, my overall assesment was that it was pretty good, with some glitches here and there that are probably fixable.

Iloveknives
01-29-2007, 10:01 PM
I enjoyed it for the most part I love LOVED the costume repair center but with the staff they could have asked me NICER to please not take a picture in the lobby not YELL at me to get out of the way. I will go back for 08 but the con would be better if the staff didnt yell at everyone for making mistakes.

Captain Gundam
01-29-2007, 10:01 PM
i'll rant about the my complaints later on....

Overall it was a nice con. Has as fun as same as last year. I did enjoy the con suite, the game room and was nice taking pics. The Masq was fun and everyone at the con was very friendly (minus the rude con staff).

Akira-Kun
01-29-2007, 10:59 PM
Though this topic has been beaten to death already, I too want to add in: con security sucked.

After reading through this thread, it seems many people had a problem with security so at least I can rest assured it wasn't just us who experienced such poor treatment. I thought the way my friend and I were treated, makes me wonder if ALA even wanted (paying) people to attend their con in the first place. Con security was rude, seemed to be more interested in having a power trip than providing actual security, and like Lionel says, I actually felt less secure with them around.

The worst one was this overweight lady who kept on saying, "I'm the head of con security!". She accused my friend and I of hitting people and swinging our weapons around when we walked by her :mad:. As any cosplayer who makes their own props would know, hitting people and swinging your props around is the absolute last thing you would ever do, considering how much time and effort you put into making them. Also, our props are made out of insulator foam, they'd soon break if we engaged in such behavior so why on earth would we do such a thing to begin with? Hitting people you don't even know and who are not in costume to begin with?

Amazingly, we didn't get yelled at for our badges but maybe it's because we spent a lot of time trying to avoid con security (and that lady) than trying to enjoy ourselves. It was not fun at all, makes me wonder why ALA wasn't noticing this problem, and we even left early 'cause we simply weren't having a good time.

Please do something about this next year ALA. I wonder how many people will now reconsider going because of all the negative responses here.

Hazel Chaz
01-29-2007, 11:01 PM
This is my fault.

I would like to take a moment to publicly apologize for some of the decisions and policies that I put in place and my staff carried out. I'll explain how I came to make some of them, and how they turned out, and what I hope we can do differently next year.

First of all, the "no congregating zones." We designated certain areas as places that we really didn't want people to clump up and block, because we expected to get 1800 people filling up the place and didn't want to have an unsafe situation. We were extremely limited in how we could mark these areas, unfortunately, because the only thing we could use to tape things down was the blue painters tape, or to use freestanding signs.

Okay, that's simple enough, but how did it backfire on us? Because (as mentioned in some other posts) we were usually enforcing it with a "zero tolerance" approach. I apologize for that.

As most of you saw, we did have lots of crowds, but we didn't have the massive crush of people that we had last year. We had more people, but because we had use of the entire facility they were spread out. True, a certain amount of the lack-of-crowding is because of the strict move-it-along enforcement, but now that I can look back at the whole weekend I realize that we just didn't have the same density of crowding that we were remembering from last year.

It's been a puzzle to me, trying to figure out how that happened -- because mid-day Saturday last year we had the same amount of space -- but I think I've figured it out. The overcrowded conditions we had last year were primarily late-afternoon -- not mid-afternoon -- when we had to vacate the tower and gardens area. So from that point onward, last year, we were all crammed together in the main building; and that's what stuck in my memory. I took that memory, added 50% as a ballpark estimate for this year's crowds, and was freaking out as to how bad that would be -- and I didn't take into account the fact that we didn't have to leave the garden this year.

So the don't-stop-in-the-hallways rule -- as well as the rigid enforcement of it -- was a mistake. And it's a mistake I made. It all flows down from the top; if I tell all the rovers to say "have a nice day" every time they talk to another member, they'll do it. The buck stops here: this was my policy decision and my error. I am truly, deeply sorry for it.

Moving on to badge enforcement. Again this goes back to the "ohmigod we're going to be busting at the seams." As an aside here, I originally believed that we'd be in trouble if we went over 1600 but I was talked into setting the cap at 1800. It turns out that 1800 was correct, and we didn't bust out at the seams, but I was paranoid about the situation all through the year and up through Saturday evening.

Anyhow given that we wanted to have a handle on the maximum number of people we could have, I wanted our people to make extra-sure that we didn't have unbadged people -- and therefore people we hadn't included in our count -- coming in and crowding our facility. But what I lost sight of is the fact that the heavy-handed enforcement, intended to put a damper on the non-members, had a side effect of alienating many of the members.

It's a trade-off. You do one thing, and there's another thing that's a side effect. I chose poorly, and this is my fault. I am sorry about the excessively zealous enforcement.

(As an aside, I'd like to thank the people who have pointed out here that lanyards for the badges makes it easier for people in costumes to wear their badges. I try to make Anime Los Angeles a cosplay-friendly convention, but hadn't really made the connection until it was pointed out here in conjunction with the whole badge-checking issue. I'm looking into the cost for lanyards next year. Pick one: Plain ones, sponsored-by-some-company, Anime Los Angeles-logo lanyards, or who cares what they say?)

Onto attitude. Again, I was paranoid about our crowding situation, and overreacted. In this instance, I was concerned about whether we'd have enough people for crowd control, and we were recruiting rovers left and right. Some of them don't really have the mellow Anime Los Angeles flavor I'm looking for. (A few of you may remember our first year, when one young lady on our Ops team prompted a number of complaints, and you'll notice she wasn't back the next year.) In addition, as I've said, I was setting policy that more or less directly resulted in some of them being more forceful than they would have naturally been. These two factors resulted in too much unpleasantness, and I apologize for setting things up the way that I did.

Now, there were a few people that were horsing around, including sitting or standing on top of hotel tables for photos. We asked those people to get down, because (1) we don't want to have anything broken, and (2) a table indoors and a few lamps outdoors got broken last year, so we were extra-sensitive about it. Were our people too forceful in requesting them to get down? Quite possibly, if the rover I think was there made the, ahem, request. I am sorry about that; I don't want the ops staff to be rude to the other members.

A lot of this is going to be very different next year, in a larger facility with better access control options -- the "convention space" or "badge zone" will be a completely separate building, so having badge checking on the doors and just keeping our eyes open inside the building should make things a lot more like the mellow flavor I want us to have. But let me continue on with my reply to this year.

Weapons: Okay, maybe our weapons policy is due for a re-write. It basically boils down to this:

Rule 1, No guns, no fake guns, no real guns, nothing that actually shoots projectiles (no squirt guns), nothing that looks like it might be a real gun, and orange tips don't make a difference because they can be faked. We'll still be near an airport -- a busier one -- and we don't want something a cop might mistake for a gun and not an obvious prop. Plus we don't want people shooting things or people inside the facility.

Rule 2, everything else that can be construed as a weapon, don't wave it around, don't bump into people with it, and make sure nobody else is likely to grab it from you. "No brandishing."

Rule 3, Masquerade (and a few other special situations) can authorize temporary variations to these rules in carefully controlled situations.

We're probably going to want to add a rule covering photo ops; suggestions on how to word that are welcome.

Ah... what else? I'm probably missing a few other things that are my fault. All the unpleasantness is my fault. I'll figure out my other poor decisions and apologize for them as soon as I can clarify my thoughts on them. I haven't read the entire thread yet, only half of it; I just got home (Anaheim) from the hotel with my third truckload of stuff (which is the first truckload that was destined to come down here), and in a few minutes I'll be heading back out to get the last load; 27 heavy boxes of magazines that were delivered to the hotel too late to be stuffed into the reg bags. And for those who've heard, my mom's doing fine, they expect to release her from the hospital tomorrow morning.

I'll check back when I've caught my breath, but it might not be until tomorrow morning...

Chaz
chairman, Anime Los Angeles

KikyouLuver
01-29-2007, 11:12 PM
As much as i hate how far away the con was there wasnt much helping that. ~*Hikari*~ and i rhode up together both days and suffered the trip.

Overall it was very much worth it. I liked the con and enjoyed the people. Seeing all my old friend it was very nice to get to know people. I remember that ALA 2006 was my first cosplaying convention so it was my year annaversary and i was extatic about going and being able to say ive done if about a year. Meeting all the people and remeeting all the old. i believe lilneko chan was one of the people i met my first con. god i was nervous...i think ym exact comment to my friend FullMetal was "what are the look people give you" growing up in house hold of cheerleaders im used to being judged....but anyway it was my first year annaversary and i couldnt have been more happy that how the con went no matter how bad the weather was we all stuck it out and had fun.

Unless you start counting the fighting....i dont know how many times i saw people get into fights but i just wanted to sit down and cry over it...im too sensitive i know but cons are for fun...not fighting or glaring. I think InuAshley, ~*Hikari*~ and i discussed this well. anime conventions are definatly not a place to exchange hate or tones of voice. im not going to tell you example of the people i saw fighting but the onyl good fight i accepted was the debate pannel of FMA vs. Naruto....which if i may add was probably the best part of my whole experiance this year. Even though i left during the middle to go home i had so much fun at the pannel because it was friendly arguing. not hateful in anyway.

My next problem was with the security. yes i understand why we have it but i dont ever remember that much security last year. it just made moving difficult to do, definatly not easier which i get was their intention. (the rain didnt help either) but i believe enough of us have dissed the rude staff members so i will stop there and just say my last problem was the rain and how freaking sick i was. i came down with a fever when i got home sunday and i couldnt do my essay. which reminds me off to do it now....but anyway ill just leave it at

thankyou so much for everyone i met letting me hug you and take pictures with you and what not..even if we simply chatted i cant thank any of you enough for such the wonderful experiance i had getting to know you all....so see you all at fanime or AX im looking forward to it.

Ban
01-29-2007, 11:13 PM
My friends and I only went on Saturday, so I can't speak for the whole weekend, but our group had the same problems with the con security. Someone else mentioned in this thread that they felt as if they were buying their badge just to get the staff off of their back; I felt the exact same way.

There are ways to "herd" and keep the rules enforced and be polite at the same time. My friends and I went to the con suite on Saturday night after the masquerade, and it was very crowded. They checked us for badges, and since the room was so full, we were "herded". But they were so polite about it, and I never once felt pressured. They joked with us and offered us food, but at the same time, kept rules in order and kept us moving. THAT'S how the staff should have been. (Thank you, Con Suite! We all love you!)

Another huge complaint I have was the management of the line for the masquerade. We were ordered CONSTANTLY to keep the line doubled up (2 people hip-to-hip), and everytime someone was just inches away from the ordered limits, they were snapped at until they eventually found some way to pack themselves closer into everyone else. This was awful! Everyone was completely packed together, and there was literally nowhere to move. At one point, my arms were on my friend's foot, my hip was pressing against my friend's, and my legs were woven through my friend's arm and some guy's leg. I was stuffed into this random stranger next to me, and while he didn't creep me out or bother me in any way, that was WAY too close for someone I didn't know. There was no personal space to be had, and there was no where to move. Imagine keeping in one scrunched position for two hours...that's what we had to go through.

Friends, the masquerade, and the Con Suite kept me happy, but I seriously doubt I will be going again next year, unless it will be definitely known that there will be a vast improvement to the staff. I am 20, not 10. I am an adult, not a troublemaking reject of society. They need to treat us like we deserve to be treated.

Asuma'sFire
01-29-2007, 11:14 PM
I guess I should start on a positive note....Hazel Chaz thanks for putting on this convention for cosplayer to relieve them selves from major anxiety =) Seriously haha I waited for this con for a year after having a good one last year. On Friday night, needless to say me and my friend didn't see the sign and of course Chaz politely told us about the sign and it was much appriciated. Of course, now for the negative. By reading the past post, I totally agree with everyone that security was really outragous. It seriously felt like AX all over again with extremely rude and narrowminded staffers that distrupted the exciting atmosphere, I personally had an encounter with a staff member and was shocked by the treatment I was given. Overall I did enjoy this con, but this issue must be resolved. Possibly recuiting trained volunteers possibly have some in common with the convention goers or improve the quality in future cons.

KikyouLuver
01-29-2007, 11:14 PM
@Hazel_Chaz;

i forgive you, because i know it was only for our saftey and comfort....so no hard feelings felt here! and expect me there next year okay!

Asuma'sFire
01-29-2007, 11:19 PM
I think honestly...you shouldn't apoligize...they should. It's really not your fault, as you don't control the individual nature of each staff member. I know it's hard to control more than 1000+ people and a lil yelling may be needed, however they did in in an uncalled for extent.

Eurobeat King
01-29-2007, 11:23 PM
Hazel: If you were receiving complaints about the rudeness of the staff from convention attendees (cosplayers and non-cosplayers) on Friday, couldn't you have held a general staff meeting either late-night Friday or Saturday early-morning to quickly discuss those complaints and how to improve on it while the con was still on-going (2 days remaining) Someone told me that everytime they walked by con-ops, they overheard people complain about the staff's rudeness. So perhaps an emergency-type staff meeting in the early morning to assess the previous day's problems would help prevent (or lessen) these mistakes from happening. But it seemed that all 3 days mostly everyone there encountered rude staff/security.

Pretty Sammy
01-29-2007, 11:28 PM
This is my fault.


T____T Oh Chaz, you're such a nice person. It makes me guilty that I wrote my complaints... ;.;

I can understand what you're saying. You were afraid about overcrowding and it was a misconception based on last year. I agree with some that the staff members should have had a better attitude as well, and EB has a good point. Maybe late night staff meetings are a good idea. That way you can assess performance and improve the next day.

I'll be coming back to ALA. The good wholly outweighted the bad. I had a blast and was really sad to see it end. ALA 4 is where I'm going to be next year! In fact, I'm going to Pre-Reg this week for the $25 rate! And I truly believe that with all this feedback, it will get better next year. I think you'll be sure of that.

Much love,
Sammy

audioventchick
01-29-2007, 11:41 PM
I posted this in "Some notes" but I feel it's necessary to post here as well:

The attitude my friends and I received from some of the ALA staff was nothing short of rude and VERY unacceptable. It wasn't ALL of the staff, like the ones in front of the dealers hall and events who checked badges were fine and very nice. But to DEMAND badges in places where there were no badge requirements was stupid. And some notes, I would remove Katherine Thornton from the staff list if she's coming back next year, or from any other convention for that matter.

Grey Finch
01-29-2007, 11:44 PM
This was my first time attending ALA, and overall I was totally entertained and had an awesome time.

Yeah, there's the bit about the con security/hotel staff being overly harsh and harrassing people, and the whole waiting in line for the dealers room got kind of annoying... But everyone else was really nice and the cosplayers/photographers were all fun to talk with. The fact that there was a free food room that served cereal when the hotel was done with breakfast just about made my weekend. xD

There's one thing I kind of held a gripe about though. My friend's badge fell off her vest during a picture or something while we were walking around. When we went back up to the room, she noticed it so we went back down to get it reprinted. After doing a bit of a scavenger hunt for it, we came back and said no one had turned it in. So they printed it and charged us ten dollars. I can understand that it isn't their fault the badge was lost and all, but ten dollars. For two teenagers that don't have a job, that's a bit of a blow. I paid for her because she didn't have the money right then. So, I guess I'm upset because other cons that I've been to haven't charged us for lost badges (although I only lost mine once before) and ten bucks is rather steep to print out a new one... maybe I don't understand it. I dunno.

But that's all. ALA '07 was really very enjoyable overall, and I'd totally love to go next year granted my schedule is okay! (I'll be in college, so I can't make any official decisions yet) The 8 hour drive from Phoenix to Van Nuys was worth it for me! ^^

Eurobeat King
01-29-2007, 11:45 PM
Kevin Lillard posted his post-con thoughts from this past weekend on Fansview. You can check out what he said for ALA here:

http://www.fansview.com/2007/january2007/january2007notes.htm

BART Boy
01-29-2007, 11:46 PM
(As an aside, I'd like to thank the people who have pointed out here that lanyards for the badges makes it easier for people in costumes to wear their badges. I try to make Anime Los Angeles a cosplay-friendly convention, but hadn't really made the connection until it was pointed out here in conjunction with the whole badge-checking issue. I'm looking into the cost for lanyards next year. Pick one: Plain ones, sponsored-by-some-company, Anime Los Angeles-logo lanyards, or who cares what they say?)

Chaz after reading your entire post, I'm glad to hear how much of a impact that is being taken from this year and helping to improve next year. I did bring this up during closing ceremonies but there was something I forgot to mention.

As far as lanyards, if you use a generic ALA logo on the lanyards, whatever you don't use for that year, you can reuse them again the following year while ordering less to replenish possible attendee numbers. That way not only will you save money but you help yourselves save the time and money to make new designs for every year.

Thanks again for reading all the posts Chaz, I'm sure many attendees will be looking forward to next year! =D

- BART

Daosh R
01-29-2007, 11:46 PM
Well Chaz, first of all I just want to say that after reading this forum as well as my own Con experience that in regards to your response this is exactly what I Figured had happened.

In my own con experience this year the only time I felt slightly troubled is indeed the frequent badge and hallway problems--however, I remembered how last year was cramped it was at times and all the problems that year and I figured that this "toughened" response there was this year was a response to that.

I personally found the staff who did ask for my badge and such,not "mean" or even rude,but rather stern and enforcing of this new precaution.
I can see how some members might have felt this attitude as rude as you have stated because of the usual relaxed feeling of the con. I agree however also with you that this was a mistake do to the close, relaxed feeling this con is supposed to be about.

In closing I truly appreciate all the work you and your family and staff do to bring this wonderful con(which will still quite possibly be my favorite)to life.I look forward to the improvements next year and will be there for sure! ~Dash

AFadingDream
01-29-2007, 11:46 PM
The security was AWFUL, I'd like to leave *very* negative feedback on the "head of security" as she kept lovingly adressing herself "Katherine Thornton." She was incredibly rude to me and all of my friends, I know several people who would gladly say that they felt harassed by her. She would check your badge, and then come back not even a full minute later to ask you to look at it again, and then, when you got upset with her, she'd make threats because you gave her "attitude". If you read this Chaz, I'd really appreciate it if you or someone in the right position could evaluate whether she's the kind of person you want to have as Con security. She seemed like a greedy little child who was given too much power, and she abused it. She actually "ejected" me from the convention, even though I put my badge on as requested, just because I gave her some "attitude". (This was on sunday by the way, I have 4-5 witnesses who can vouch for me on this, I complied with the badge request, and she consitently harassed me.) My witnesses are Bart Boy, Audioventchick, StrongestShield, and my friend Anela, who's cosplay.com name I can't remember at the moment. I'm strongly looking to get enough people to complain about her specifically to see her removed from Staffing. She definetely does NOT have that friendly Anime LA feel you were talking about, Chaz. She never once asked us nicely to take off our badges, it was always something like "BADGE?!?!?! WHY ISN'T YOUR BADGE ON YOUR PERSON!?!?!?!? IT CAN'T BE IN YOUR BAG!!!!" Thank you, Any help on this would be appreciated, AND, if anybody else felt this way about her or the con security, please back me up on this so that we can put an end to people like her who ruin conventions for people like us who pay good money to go enjoy ourselves for the weekend.

Ellome
01-29-2007, 11:53 PM
I'll be returning next year. Though it's so much earlier than this year, I'm really curious about the new venue.

I absolutely loved ALA last year. I have an overall good impression of ALA this year. I wasn't personally harassed by staff about badges, even when I didn't have one, but so many around me did - whether they had them on them (and visible) or not. When someone's in a hurry almost running somewhere or obviously on the way to the parking lot, wouldn't a person put 2 & 2 together and think that perhaps they could be using their time to do something better? And what about the poor people who weren't congoers who were staying at that hotel? Were they pestered as well? As paying hotel patrons/customers, when inside the hotel itself, we should have been left alone. Just food for thought.

Masquerade was run EXCELLENTLY. The meeting was wonderful and very clear. I loved that we could walk around on the stage ahead of time to get a feel for it. The two guys who were doing signup were nice, obviously intelligent, and knew what they were doing. And masquerade started ON TIME. At first, they had asked later numbers to wait inside the back of the still-open restaurant, which was awkward and with only enough room for a few groups and photos, so most of us were stuck outside in the cold and being rained on, but there was enough room outside. Also, I know they were trying to get heaters to work out there that unfortunately didn't. But still, they were trying. The masquerade seemed to run smoothly (from backstage, at least) timing wise, and when we realized we were last, it didn't seem like we had waited forever - and we were entry number 41! There was a lot of room to wait off to the side, and run backstage for alternate entries, and I just really enjoyed myself :D

I did like the blue lines everywhere - and I LOVED the signs that told the times of the cosplay gatherings - they were big and bright and easy to understand, and I could access them whenever I wanted :D 'BADGE ZONE' and other signs were bright and easy to read - even without the gestapo enforcers. Bring those back next year, as well! :D

I'm looking forward to next year, and being able to do more with Hall Cosplay - unfortunately, sometimes when I saw great costumes, I had to run off somewhere because of unforseen circumstances (having to rerecord our entire 8 person two minute skit that had singing 8D) more times than expected, but there was lots of good things there. I had fun.

Indigo Dye
01-30-2007, 12:08 AM
This could have been one of the best cons for me yet, it was also an excellent way to start off the con season great! (aside from the con staff dramu and bull)
This being my first ALA ever, it was excellent!
Getting there was awesome and it was majorly easy to register, line was quick and badge service was awesome. I liked the Hotel also, it was very easy to maneuver around and get from place to place. I started to get kind of sick of the dealers hall line but that really wasn't there fault. (Huge turn out this year!!)

Some problems I had were with staffing, other than being a big combo breaker in conversations and butting in to everything with the same damn line set on repeat "Please have your badge visible at all time". God they were awful, I know a lot of people had this problem but their prop nagging was the worst. They made smart remarks, Shoved it in your face on how to hold it, and on one occasion this big dude up front was showing me how to hold it "Down by my side" or "Military Style" and he hits my Bloody stick on the almost cracking it in half and not even apologizing or noticing. I had to be real careful the rest of the day so it wouldn't break.

Another big funny part about the staff was their awkward entry into things, like at the Bleach Gathering one lady just comes out and says "PLEASE HAVE UR BADGES VISIBLE OR YOU WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE THE CON". Probably the funniest thing I had heard the whole day.

All in all seriously very glad I went.
I made a lot of new friends and have a lot of memories and pictures to cherish!

Thanks to everyone for just being there and making it great!

Velvy
01-30-2007, 12:10 AM
I have to concur with AFadingDream above. The head of con security did not display a particularly friendly manner.

If you are a member of the ALA staff and want serious examples of unfairness towards convention attendees --> keep reading.

I had been asked twice for a badge. I didn't have it on me at the time because I left my bag back at the karaoke room. Not only that, but my friend and I were *LEAVING* the convention-goers only area, briefly, but leaving nonetheless. We come back to the karaoke room, and I'm asked for my badge again. My friend leaves to go get her's, but I have mine to show. That should have been the end of it. Once you see my badge, you should know then and there that I'm a paying member, not a "ghost." But it didn't end there. I was called aside (RUDELY) by the head of con security. She told me I had to wait with her within her "line of sight" for my friend to arrive back. For what reason? According to her, it was because I'd been asked three times for a badge (DESPITE the fact that the third time I had my badge on me). Not only did I wait with her for maybe ten minutes (ten minutes I could've used to oh, I don't know, *enjoy* the convention?) but when I asked if I could talk to my friends (AFadingDream above, was one of them) who were NO LESS than six feet away, she refused to let me. A restriction on walking away from her a distance of six feet, within her line of sight I might add, is threatening the convention how? Ridiculous... My friend showed up not too long after however, and I had to hear the same lecture from her again. I shouldn't have to hear it twice. I shouldn't have to sit aside with her like a kindergardener in time out. Take a hint from every other convention - once you see a badge, that should be the end of it. DO NOT continue to harass the attendee. And I do judge it as harassment by her unfriendly tone of voice, overall demeanor, and the fact that I was limited on where I could stand / go / who I could talk to, preventing me from having fun, dampening my OWN attitude (and how can I not with such a restricted atmosphere), listening to her lecture on badges not once, but twice. It was unbelieveable. She did apologize, but even apologies can't cover up that attitude.

There were many obnoxious staffers. Another incident I can give (and others can vouch for) is Friday night when I was asked for a badge. I had been asked for a badge ONCE before, and I told the staffer earnestly that I didn't have one, and on top of that I was leaving the convention-goers only area. Well, I ended up coming back, and that same staffer told me to leave, along with everyone I was with. My friend (state_alchemist) tried to pull out his badge and the staffer stopped him saying, "I don't care about your badge." He turned to me specifically, "But SHE doesn't have one." So essentially what you're saying is it's all right if he doesn't have a badge, but for me to not have one it's not okay? That's called discrimination. Once we were out in the parking lot (which, the con security head informed me was out of their jurisdiction), we couldn't help but notice two convention staffers standing within the door way looking at us. My friend went over and asked them why they were just standing there. He came back and reported to us that the reason was because they were "waiting for us to leave." Waiting for us to leave what? The parking lot that doesn't belong to you? That we paid $8 for?

Certainly the convention had its positive aspects: the con suite, the smooth running of the masquerade (Mr. Shake Hands Man is the prime example of an excellent masquerade host), the cosplay repair station, but the bad outweighs the good. Getting PAID and being treated this way is one thing. But being treated this way and PAYING is another thing entirely.

crowbarzero
01-30-2007, 12:17 AM
Good:
Masquerade (dispite the pulled plug problem with the speakers).
Seeing people I rarely get a chance to see.
(didn't do much other than cosplay and chat with friends)

Bad:
Hotel staff
Not giving badges, etc. to staffers till next year

Edit: Adds to bad: I saw more 'yaoi' (or should I say yuri???) at this con than every AX and PMX put together that I've gone to in the past. Not exactly family friendly as was advertised (hence the bad).

aimee
01-30-2007, 12:27 AM
I have never felt so harrassed by convention staff EVER, (in particular I mean the badge-enforcement issue) and I'm not a convention newbie, and I was a paying 2-day badge owner WHO HAD HER BADGE WITH HER AT ALL TIMES, and not doing ANYTHING questionable. Just walking around, attending one panel, and taking some very staid photos.

instead of leaving the convention feeling like I had a fun, relaxing time, (which is what I was expecting from this con) I left feeling harrassed and angry. Con staff was extremely rude.

so basically, I paid $40 to go to the dealers room once, attend one panel, and to be yelled at. No thanks.

If this situation is not seriously remedied, I wont ever be returning.

kusogaki
01-30-2007, 12:41 AM
Despite the Nazisms and the rudeness from the staff, I still give them props for running the joint. I'm sure there was something else under all those uptight rules. Other than that, ALA was the best so far. I'd return.

Akira-Kun
01-30-2007, 12:42 AM
Last year at ALA '06, I literally walked around the entire con multiple times while holding my big Zabimaru prop in one hand and making videos with my camera in my other hand. I was never harassed even once so needless to say, I was very surprised at how things changed this year and I had such high hopes for it too.

This probably echoes what many others here are thinking: If Katherine Thornton (the head of con suckurity) returns as suckurity or even as any staff member period, I will not go. If I even go again to ALA that is.

DJ Zephyr
01-30-2007, 12:58 AM
Apparently I hear, that the Burbank Marriott's halls are HUGE, except for one main one that's sorta small...

Good:
-Gaming Room (Thanks Chris for the DDR! Thanks doormen for the "gamer" questions)
-The relocation of the Artist's Concourse/Dealer's Room to the other side of the hotel... (Chaz, ummm I think you thought it was going to be super crowded because of this... I felt a little choked there too)
-CON SUITE (W00t for not spending money on food! YAY!)

Bad:
-BNs... I don't need to say more...
-Sound system in Masq and Dance...
-Relocation of the Rum Party (It shrunk... BAD IDEA for the increase in games... Liar's Dice FTW)
-Apparently a friend's friend got an actual RUDE AWAKENING just for dozing off in the hotel lobby, Full feedback from walkie talkie to the ear... "We're not allowed to touch them" as the story went... (YES! I understand that you're not supposed to be sleeping in the lobby, but it was around 4-5 in the morning...!)

Nadeshiko
01-30-2007, 01:14 AM
In addition to what I liked, let's here it for rooms with food! I liked the con suite. I got my chocolate and pocky fix. I really enjoyed the ice cream. If I go on, I'll only get even more hungry. I loved the LosCon room. Let's bring in more themed rooms.

I loved the selection of programming. It was nice to see the creator of Drama Con. I've heard of the series, but now I want to get my hands on it. I'll hit up Borders sometime...The BMC panel about shopping in the fabric district was very helpful. I liked the doll panel.

Thanks to Koku and her friend for asking me to help judge Iron Cosplay! I'll be sure the scrap fabric will be useful for something...*cough*dollfieclothes*cough*

Serey-chan
01-30-2007, 01:15 AM
First off...

@Hazel Chaz: I'm very touched that you've accepted responsibility for the situation. I admire the fact that you aren't blaming someone else. However, you were the only staff member who didn't scream at me because I stopped moving in a hallway. It was at the beginning of the con, and you explained why we couldn't stop there, and everything was fine. I'm happy to apologize to a staffer who explains things to me.

When I get yelled at, I'll apologize too, but I won't just brush it off after the third or fourth time. I even saw cosplayers getting yelled at by the Badge Nazis. My poor sister (PrettySammy09) was wearing a strapless, floor-length dress with minimal decoration. Where is she going to clip a badge? Honestly, I'm 19 years old and (not to sound like a whiny young-adult) I felt like I was being treated like a rambunctious minor. At first, I thought the "Adult Supervision" ribbons were funny, but after being yelled at for the third or fourth time, it wasn't so funny anymore. I mean, Sammy already mentioned what happened to us when we were pair-cosplaying, but we were also yelled at before the Tea Party for no reason at all. We were standing at the back of the line, talking with some girls, and we noticed that the line had just vanished. So, we laughed about not paying attention and moved up. The staffer at the head of the line lectured us, saying that she had been calling for the line to move up and we didn't move. She made it seem like it was a disaster that we hadn't been paying attention, instructing us to go a certain way and talk to a specific person. When we finally made it to the Tea Party area, the line was still there! Nothing was wrong, no one was dead, it was fine!

Also, another major issue that I think should be addressed is as follows. During the dance on Saturday night, I got really sick and couldn't breathe very well. The staffer above helped me out of the room--which I appreciated whole-heartedly. There were two younger staffers who (I think) were on the Dance staff who helped me out as well. They were great. But, the two staffers who were supposed to keep an eye on me didn't really seem to care that I was sick, even though I mentioned that I could pass out. They were just screaming at people to stop running in the halls. When I could finally stand, I apologized for giving them trouble and I got: "If you start to feel hot, you should take off your hat. That helps." And not in a friendly-advice kind of way. In a, "I really don't want to deal with you again" way.

So Hazel Chaz, what this boils down to is that the staff needs some major work. Maybe an overhaul. Maybe a lesson in common courtesy. Honestly, if I were a more forceful person, I would have told off some of the con security members. But everyone else was just wonderful! The Dealer's Hall staff explained politely that they didn't expect a line and apologized for the inconvenience. The cosplay staff was great too! Maybe I'm biased because I got a couple hall awards, but they were always friendly, gave compliments, and overall preserved the fan-friendly atmosphere. I even gave one of them a hug. *^^* The Tea Party staff was awesome too! They let me and Sammy help them host, which was so much fun. I want another tea party!! ^o^/ The gaming staff was nice too! I wanted a Gamer ribbon, but all the games the head asked me about, I couldn't answer the questions! I was so embarrassed... but he gave me one anyway! I was seriously considering just walking away in defeat. ^^;; The Masquerade and AMV Contest were great too! I had to stand in the back during the Masquerade, but it was well worth it!

Also: loving the Hall Cosplay Awards. I'm a bit harsh on my cosplay/sewing abilities/getting up on stage skills, so it was really nice to get official compliments for something I worked hard on, but was too scared to present. And I totally understand the weapons policy. I'd rather not be shot because I have a plastic gun, thanks. o_o;;;

I have a couple suggestions though... could the screening listing include what's subbed and what's dubbed? Also, as Sammy mentioned, I waited for about an hour and a half for the Pocky party because (according to one staffer), "it's scheduled for after the masquerade, and the masquerade hasn't ended yet". I really think that events should have a set time--so that people who don't really care about the Masquerade and just want their Pocky, can get their Pocky! ^^ I think pretty much everything else has been addressed...

Oh! And I'm definitely coming back next year! I think that because small cons don't have a ton of stuff crammed in, there's more time for just plain hanging out with people you share interests with! I was so glad that I met so many awesome people, and saw those people again and again throughout the weekend! This was my first time at ALA and I LOVED IT!!! I'm coming back and bringing friends! It's nice that it's closer to the New Year--especially for those of us who are in school and don't want to think about doing homework on Sunday night/early Monday morning... XD Keep it closer to the New Year please! *^^*

Well, I suppose that wraps this up! Thanks again Hazel Chaz for a wonderful weekend--I truly enjoyed myself.

Nekoofdeath
01-30-2007, 01:18 AM
I too had issues with the hall staff. My friends and I had been walking around for hours, and every so often, we would sit in a corner that we designated as our space, and staff kept passing us, and none of them cared that we were sitting there (And one of the nicer ones gave me a hug <3) However, near the end of Sunday, we were yelled at by a Nazi to "GO SIT IN A SITTING ZONE!" Sitting zone? The few chairs that were here and there? So after that we had to go outside IN THE RAIN to sit down. Also, I had the "pleasure" of meeting the "Head of Con Security!" ,while I can understand that we had to put away our rubber kunai, whe did not have to yell at us like we were poking it in someones eye. Honestly we were sticking it in a PIKACHU PLUSHIE!
However, I do believe that because of the new location nest year there will not be as much strict security and I encourage everyone to give it another chance like I am. But, if the problems are not cleared up by 2008, I will not be going again. I think that seems fair.

Winter Divinity
01-30-2007, 01:40 AM
Everyone else had expressed their gripe against con security, but I'd like to share my personal experience.

My friend and her dad were paying guests of the hotel. Her dad was the one who reserved the hotel room under his name so that she could attend the convention. I did not stay at the hotel because I am a local but spent most of the time with her. We were both full-paying attendees to the con. Her dad was mostly there to take pictures for us. But apparently, according to staff members, anyone w/out a badge was not allowed to be in the hotel. Why is that?

Her dad was a hotel GUEST and was RUDELY treated for not having a badge. He was asked to leave the "badge only" zone. Even when we were walking through the halls to get to the parking lot we were hassled to show our badges. While taking pictures for me and my friend, he was harrassed by the same person no less. In the middle of taking our picture!

As a paying guest of the hotel, why is he not allow to be on the hotel grounds? Not once did he try to enter the dealer's room or video or anything like that. Nobody was trying to "ghost". Even at Anime Expo, security wasn't this ignorant or rude. If hotel guest are required to buy a badge for Anime LA just to be on the grounds of the hotel, then why not just charge that onto the hotel rate? If that were the case, they would have gladly paid. But since my friend's father had no intention or interest in going to con's activities, he felt no need to get a badge. He was simply there to watch over his daughter, which any responsible parent would do.

He is definitely not coming back, and my friend probably won't ever be able to attend another con again. As for me, the unprofessionalism displayed this year will prevent me from ever coming back. And I will make sure to let anyone I know about how I feel.

Chaz: I understand that you feel responsible for the actions of your staff, but that doesn't excuse their behavior. Paying $40 to go to a con only to be treated worst than dirt is not good business ethics. Just saying that it will be corrected next year is not enough convincing many to come back. In any case, I believe everyone deserves at least a partial refund of their money for the unjust treatment.

LionBoogy
01-30-2007, 02:09 AM
Miyori's post summed up the Catch 22 right there. How are you supposed to encourage a Family Friendly environment if all you end up doing is scaring away the families?

Av4rice
01-30-2007, 02:12 AM
But apparently, according to staff members, anyone w/out a badge was not allowed to be in the hotel. Why is that?

Well on the site it said "WE HAVE THE ENTIRE HOTEL !!" so I guess that's why. You're right that it should have been included in the room fee or something though. I know there were a bunch of people there on Sunday who were staying at the hotel but had nothing to do with the con.

I thought it was just me at first but it looks like a lot of these posts confirm my thoughts about the staff. This is my fourth con (and first Anime LA) and the patrolling staff this time was the most hostile by a considerable margin. To be fair, the registration staff was nicer and faster than any of the past cons I've been to.

So anyway at one point I was sitting in one of the large chairs in the lobby sharing it with my napping gf when a staffer condescendingly said "there's no sleeping allowed in the lobby" I seriously thought she was kidding and just trying to parody all the excessive scolding I'd been hearing all day. Even now I'm not entirely sure if she meant it or if she was even on staff because what the hell kind of rule is that? Besides, an L cosplayer was sleeping in there like all day Saturday and I even saw some registration staff dozing off near the end. Pretty bizarre.

As for the rest of the con, it was pretty decent. The hotel had nice rooms and shooting locations though the No Photo Zone hallway was annoying (I guess that'll be fixed next time). Seemed like I'd always pass something good when walking through and I'd have to turn around or hope I'd see them again later. The dealer room was of normal, good quality despite being small (another thing that I'm guessing will change next time). I kind of liked having the artist area right outside the dealer room because usually it's so far removed and I'm sure plenty of people don't check it out as much as a result. There was a good number of high-quality cosplay though overall I wasn't super busy shooting like I'm used to. I guess that's just another result of smaller overall size.

Not sure if I'd come back next time; I think mainly because I prefer them bigger. Since the venue change will increase the capacity, that might be incentive to go, though. As for the staff problems, they weren't bad enough to prevent me from returning.

Ami Yuy
01-30-2007, 02:16 AM
Chaz: I understand that you feel responsible for the actions of your staff, but that doesn't excuse their behavior.
Quoted for emphasis.

Regardless of the policy decisions you made, the staff still should have had the ability to be polite to the attendees when enforcing it. A few simple words thrown into each sentence would have made it not so near frustrating.

It is very nice to know that you have read and taken our issues to heart though and I hope our feedback will help with next year.

Merchant
01-30-2007, 02:49 AM
I had fun at Anime LA this year and met a lot of cool people. This was my first ALA and I must say it was worth the drive. I can agree with those who have gripes with the security wandering the halls because I did see a couple of instances in passing that security were not exactly using the most courteous methods of enforcement. To all of you who stood out in the rain, cold, etc to get into the dealer's room I give much due respect because I can definitely understand how miserable it must have been for you to be stuck out there, heck I was standing out there with you at times as well. But all in all I enjoyed being there and look forward to 2008 in Burbank.

And Chaz it was a pleasure meeting you and thank you again for being so accomodating and nice ^_^

Ninja_trainee
01-30-2007, 03:01 AM
A note on the weapon policy and my little problem...
Chaz, I have termendous faith in you, but the selection of staff this year wasn't the best.
Having a blade that's just a bit over 6ft tall is a DUH for me to be careful. I got lectured by my parents, my gf's parents, and I don't need staff to lecture me about it. And of all things, while inspecting my sword (which i didn't mind) the staff actually commented to me in front of my face that ALA should considered a height limit to made weapons.... seriously!? Even without a costume on, 80% of the people who saw the sword figured out which character it belongs to. A random person behind the staff heard them say the restristion idea, and he said, "But that's Sephiroth's sword. If anything, it should be bigger than the one he has." I took into account walking in a crowded area and the small hallways while I was making it, yet to be told that seemed awefully rude.
Again, the notation of badge check isn't that bad - and common in conventions, but to be rudely demanding us to present our badges versus asking us kindly is totally different. I only had one person ask me "may I please see your badge." once shown, the person replied, "thank you." ONE PERSON!
Not all staff people were terrible. The staffs in the Ops room were very nice. Oh! I don't know how things are selected or run, but if a person at Info desk doesn't know where I turn in a masquerade entry form when the bloody table was right across from the info desk station.... you got a problem Chaz.
I know Chaz you tried you best, and that's why I have faith in you and for a better 2008. I will still try my best to get people to make the trip.
Oddly enough, this is the first time I have ever gone to a convention and when I returned home, I still had at least $200 on me. The reason: I never went into the dealer room. I can't figure out why I didn't go in.......
*Oh! I know now. Every time I walked threw the door from the dealers room/Artist Alley to the line to wait to get into the Dealers hall, I was ask to present my badge. That's walking outside to get into the line, not the other way around.

fma_pwns_u
01-30-2007, 03:04 AM
ALA is my favorite con, by far, so I'll try not to be rude.
I didn't have any trouble with the staff personally, they all seemed really friendly.
Unfortunately, I saw other atendees, (particularily cosplayers at photoshoots, of all things) being hounded all day.
It was unfair to all of the attendees- not to mention the "Badge Nazis" could have been doing something alot more productive with their time.
My biggest complaints was how unorganized the Masquerade was.
The Green Room was crowded, uncomfortable, the live feed had no sound and was on too small of a screen for half of us to see, and a good amount of panels and other Masquerade related activites ran into each other or were postponed because of bad planning.
I also heard that a lot of people weren't even able to see the Masquerade, due to lack of space.
I'm sure the larger location in '08 will solve that issue, but it still doesn't ensure more effort from the staff.
Hopefully, next year more effort will be made on the staff's part to ensure no one is left running around, trying to get to everything mandatory on time.
All of that aside, I had a great time.
The con suite was even better this year, and the Pocky Party was one of my favorite things at the con.
Despite the fact it was crowded, the Dealer's Hall and Artist's Alley was great.
I'm really looking forward to next year, I hope ALA keeps improving!

Karisu-sama
01-30-2007, 03:15 AM
If y'all didn't stay for the traditional "Hiss and Purr" after the closing ceremonies, I would suggest that any complaints about the con please be addressed directly to the con chair as well, as he does seem to genuinely want to hear them, because feedback is necessary to him know what can be improved and changed to make the con better.

As for badge checkers, I fully understand the necessity, but I also see where a little Japanese-style politeness about the issue (apologize first, thank after, wait until after a photo is taken, etc.) would smooth a lot of the procedure of checking... ^^

Ninja_trainee
01-30-2007, 03:16 AM
My biggest complaints was how unorganized the Masquerade was.
The Green Room was crowded, uncomfortable, the live feed had no sound and was on too small of a screen for half of us to see, and a good amount of panels and other Masquerade related activites ran into each other or were postponed because of bad planning.

It was explain in the post masquerade meeting on Sunday that masquerade was set up for 20-30 entries with 70 members competition, which ended up turning into 40 entries with 116 members who showed up, so crowding did happen. Also, they didn't actually expect more than 2 large group. Taking all that into account, you can understand why it was crowded back there. Rain didn't help, and from my understanding, originally the green room was design to keep the wind away from us, not the rain. I don't know about the sound too much, since I can only judge by our skit since I did the audio, I would know how loud it can be, but also the TV went *poof* during our skit...

Kevin and Andy definitely heard and are aware of the complaints about the green room and such, and had said they will definitely take necessary steps to change it next year.

Infernoman
01-30-2007, 03:20 AM
Her dad was a hotel GUEST and was RUDELY treated for not having a badge. He was asked to leave the "badge only" zone. Even when we were walking through the halls to get to the parking lot we were hassled to show our badges. While taking pictures for me and my friend, he was harrassed by the same person no less. In the middle of taking our picture!

I have to agree with you entierly here...at certain points I just couldn't be in the hallway without being hassled so in order to have time to myself, I either went back to my car or inside one of the movie rooms when it was empty...at one point (like others have said) I realize they didn't check where badges SHOULD be needed...so to try this, I went around a few spots (artist alley and the arcade) and without badge no one noticed...but as I go through the hall THAT'S when I get noticed...I'd say more but everyone pretty much has had the same things happen...

Narniacat
01-30-2007, 03:43 AM
I had a pretty good time. I met people, I bought stuff, etc etc.

Bad stuff

When I was in the video room Saturday around midnight I had the pleasure of listening to an external soundtrack for the movie. Maybe next year the dance can be far away from the video room? The nifty modern beats didn't quite go with the 70's flick.

Also, I spent a lot of time in the artist area. Others have mentioned how it was cramped but the main problem I had was with the bands. It is cool that there were bands but maybe a sound proof room or something? I got to listen to the bands whether I wanted to or not.

End of bad stuff

I am looking forward to next year. I hope there are more video rooms and more just sitting areas. Even those of us wearing sneakers can get a bit foot sore after hours of walking/standing.

~E. Claire

“When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.” ~Emo Philips

fma_pwns_u
01-30-2007, 03:59 AM
Kevin and Andy definitely heard and are aware of the complaints about the green room and such, and had said they will definitely take necessary steps to change it next year.
That's exactly what I wanted to hear.
From my understanding, this thread is for giving your opinion on the con, whether it be good or bad, and help Chaz and the rest of the staff improve it to the best of their abilities.
So long as improvements keep being made, I'll definitely keep coming back.

Karisu-sama
01-30-2007, 04:52 AM
Here's another suggestion for y'all who have (legitimate, yes!) complaints about those certain badge-check volunteers who went over the line -

Volunteer to be staff yourselves, because you know you will be polite and not harass people or abuse your position. :)

Heck, I'd do it if I weren't already volunteering as Masq. staff - I've donated my entire Saturday to working for the con (and parts of Friday and Sunday as well), for 3 years running now.

If I didn't have faith in ALA's potential, I'd take my volunteer services elsewhere. But honestly, if you think a con can be worth it, it's also worth occasionally donating some of your own time to help make it all work nicely. Be a full part of the community, not just only a "guest at the party" every year.

Hazel Chaz
01-30-2007, 06:31 AM
It may have helped, since i know the weather forecast did warn against rain, to have had a room cleared to accomodate gatherings indoors. After all, the area isn't known for its dry and sunny weather, especially in January. An indoor gathering room would have been smart.

I love the idea, and I want to do it next year. A question for second-guessing this year: to do this, which room would you have cancelled everything in?

My own choice: Video 2, because it's too hard to keep two video programs going all night. In fact it got shut down Sunday, because there weren't any volunteers to keep it going, so I'm seriously considering one part-time video room next year.

Another quick note: The dealer hall... probably should've been in a bigger room... I don't know if the hotel simply didn't have enough room or what, but standing in the rain in line to get into the dealer room is not enjoyable.

Yes, as you've guessed, the hotel didn't have enough room. I should have sold fewer tables in there -- it was horrible, really, and as someone else has noticed the difference between the clearances in the dealers room and in the "keep clear" halls was laughable. I made the mistake of taking at face value the floorplan used by another convention in the same hotel, without taking into account the implications of our attendance being two or three times as large as that con enjoyed. To repeat a statement I made earlier, all of the unpleasantness is my fault. And most of it stems from poor decisions I made and had my staff implement.

I apologize for the cramped spaces in the dealers room. Next year we have much wider aisles planned in the dealers room. And the dealers spaces will be sold in units of floor space, not table tops, so it should be much less chaotic.

As for the rain: next year we have a big open space between one building and the next, comparable but wider than the width of the garden area this year. I'm going to look into renting some kind of long canopy to stretch from one building to the other so that if it rains there's a covered pathway. Anyone know a place in Burbank to rent this kind of thing?

As for next year, Burbank is a bit too far from where i live so i probably won't be able to go. However, if it were being held closer i definitely would've like to go back. Perhaps if it moves closer to me in future years...
I can't tell what the future may hold, but I expect it to stay in the L.A. area; it's not Anime Victorville, after all. :) Seriously, I'm already planning on implementing a permanent cap on members so that we can stay at the Burbank location as long as possible. Sorry!

I think honestly...you shouldn't apoligize...they should. It's really not your fault, as you don't control the individual nature of each staff member.
The buck stops here. I recruited the people, I gave them instructions, I set them loose. It's my responsibility, and I'm willing to admit that. To say "It's not my fault, it was the people working for me" would be a craven thing to do.

My job as chairman is to think of everything. To set policy, to pass messages between departments, to make sure the department heads are doing their jobs and help them when they need help. My actions set the tone for the staff's behavior, especially those that attend the meetings. Therefore you can see from that last line that the more people I recruit that don't attend any meetings, the more unpredictable the results -- but that very unpredictableness is something we can count on. Do you see where I'm coming from? I can't run from the results of the things I set in motion, even if I can't see what they're going to be.

Hazel: If you were receiving complaints about the rudeness of the staff from convention attendees (cosplayers and non-cosplayers) on Friday, couldn't you have held a general staff meeting either late-night Friday or Saturday early-morning to quickly discuss those complaints and how to improve on it while the con was still on-going (2 days remaining) Someone told me that everytime they walked by con-ops, they overheard people complain about the staff's rudeness. So perhaps an emergency-type staff meeting in the early morning to assess the previous day's problems would help prevent (or lessen) these mistakes from happening. But it seemed that all 3 days mostly everyone there encountered rude staff/security.
I was aware of one complaint on the sort of timely basis you're talking about. It appeared, at that time, to be someone feeling singled-out and harassed, and at that time it appeared that she might have overreacted. She told me she hadn't had any real meals at all -- living on the con suite -- and I convinced her a good solid dinner would be good for her (and I needed to eat, too). She ended up offering to pay for my hamburger at Beeps, which was startling to say the least given that twenty minutes before she seemed close to hysterics. I thought that everything was smoothed over at that point.

Later I ran into Lionel, who made some comments about his friends getting harassed at every convention they went to -- which, once again, didn't register to me as a complaint that would specifically apply to what was going on that day. (If it's at every convention, is it our fault or yours?)

I can see now -- looking back, I've got great hindsight -- that the clues were there in those early reports. But at the time the few incidents I'd heard about didn't add up to the pattern that would have made such a meeting helpful, and I felt somewhat helpless because I hadn't witnessed the incidents in question and was relying on "he said/she said" reports.

So again, it's my fault for not heeding the early warning signs.

Con Suite: Ala is the only con I've gone to that has offered this and it's truely wonderful. The staff in here were very accomodating and nice. This is one aspect of the con that hopefully will stay around.
It is my belief that the Con Suite is the heart of the convention, and that a con without a Con Suite is heartless. The Con Suite will never disappear. It will have to be scaled back next year -- we can't serve hot food, we can only serve "tear and pour" foods (tear open the bag and pour the contents into a serving bowl) -- but the room itself will be much, much bigger.

Costume repair shop: Once again, another aspect to this con that I absolutely enjoy. I went in for a few safety pins and were quickly given them along with an offer of some chocolate. I've neevr had a bad experience with the staff here and am very grateful to have accomodations like that.
Many thanks to Lana Bailey and Jess Miller from Costume College for helping out. Jess has already volunteered to take the lead on the Costume Repair Station next year, in fact. And my mom tells me that she spent the weekend sewing things for people and seemed quite happy about it. Guess she's found her little niche at the con... (Maria, my s'daughter, couldn't make it this year because she doesn't get weekends off at the Getty.)

Masquerade: Although the awards were a bit delayed due to the printer (new printer next year!) that masq was very enjoyable to watch. Even with the large number of skits, there were barely and technical issues and the skits kept to a relatively good time frame.
The masquerade was amazing, astonishing, and suspenseful too. (Every time a long sword came on stage, I found myself watching to see if they'd set the chandeliers swinging again...) I am awed and humbled that so many people worked so hard on their costumes and presentations just to show them at Anime Los Angeles.

By the way, I'm going to let next year's Masquerade director know that I give her full authority and approval to stop the show and bring up the lights if we get any more hecklers so we can toss them out.

My only huge complaint besides the rude staff is the fact that I had to pay 10 bucks for another sticker to be printed out for another badge since mine must have popped off during a gathering and I guess no one turned it in...I wouldn't have minded paying but I think 10 bucks is a bit much for a sticker slapped on a card... :/
Thought maybe I was just being a baby but most people agree'd that 10 bucks was a little much for a re-print of a badge D:
Well, it's not so much that it's a re-print of a badge, it's issuing another all-access pass. We had one incident (Harris!) of a lost badge where our Reg people spotted that badge turning up on someone else but didn't do anything about it and just informed me of the situation.

Anyhow the reason why we charge for replacing lost badges is to encourage people to keep better track of them, and because we don't want people "losing" them when they're really trying to pull a fast one on us. Mostly it's the former, which is why the replacement cost is so low; if we truly believed every lost badge was potentially someone committing a fraud, the cost would be much higher, perhaps even full rate. Compare to other conventions' policies when you get a chance...

Hmm. I think we've just found another compelling reason to make lanyards available next year.

[edited to fix all my darn typos]
You and me both, Breeface... :)

(For those keeping track of my movements -- got back to Anaheim about an hour ago with 600 lbs. of magazines in my truck. It's making it a bit hard to steer, but I have to go to work first thing in the morning so they'll have to stay there a little while longer. I'm hoping to get them into the Registration bags at a location convention real soon now...)

QueenoftheNorth
01-30-2007, 08:03 AM
The security this year was totally and completely dire. I pretty much walked around the whole con without my badge being clearly visible (i had it on my shirt under my jacket), and no one said a word to me, or the other two folks I was with, who also didn't have visible badges. I saw TONS of people getting harassed about it though. It seemed like they were targeting cosplayers, actually, which is retarded because badges basically ruin cosplay photos. They were being completely rude about it, too. Someone actually came up and interrupted a conversation I was having with someone to ask to see their badge. It wouldn't have been so bad if it were a polite inquiry about it, but it was more of a psychotic demand for it. On top of that the person I was talking to pointed out that my badge wasn't visible, and to that they crazed security personnel just responded with something along the lines of 'that's not what I'm asking you about don't try and change the subject. Where is your badge?!'
One lady seemed particularly crazy because at one point she actually 'ejected' my friends from the con (which I highly doubt she even had the authority to do) for not putting his badge on his costume. After very rudely demanding that his badge be visible at ALL times (which wasn't really plausible with his costume anyway) she left, returned in under a minute, pretty much yelled at him for not wearing a badge, then when he refused to put it on because she was being so rude about everything, she tried to pull him aside like he was a little kid to talk to him about his 'attitude'. I swore I thought she was going to try and put him in time out or something. What pissed me off the most about that was my friend was being really polite and calm and the security was just a raving loon.

Anele
01-30-2007, 11:04 AM
I'm sorry, but after the one-liner reply I got from the Chair in a message about all that follows in this post, I have to make it known, because mostly everyone was treated horribly by a good majority of this convention's staff, and I would like to be included in that crowd with my complaint (especially in the hopes of letting other cosplayers know so they can avoid a problem like mine, if one ever arose). If it involved only me, I would not have posted this, but it involved my good friends / roommates, too, and when you mess with my friends, you further mess with me.

Several weeks before the convention, I requested to have early check-in, so I can get ready before my 3 other roommates arrived; when I got there at 1 PM on Thursday, they did not have a room ready, so I had to find a place to put my [six pieces of] baggage. So, after I came back to the hotel at about 7 PM that night, I finally got a room... But the room, in addition to being about the size of a CLOSET, only consisted of one bed. When I reserved the room a long time ago, I had reserved a room with two double beds, because of my three other roommates (four people total). They spent about 15 minutes looking for another room for me (with the supervisor of the front desk looming over the guy helping me). They wanted to give me a room with two beds in a SMOKING section of the hotel, but I quickly refused. They finally found another room for me, a room which was exactly what I reserved...

Well, the room was fine, but the events of what happened after were not.
I went to dinner with a couple of friends, and during the last 5 minutes of it, I get a call from one of my cosplayer friends, and she tells me that her dad is looking for me, because there is something going on with my room. Confused, I asked her what was going on.

That's when I found out the hotel gave me the chair's room.

I hurry back to my room, because I was very afraid that the hotel was going to go into my room to remove all of my things (and with all of the fragile costume components spread out on the floor near the window of the room, I was even more scared). And that's where I found him. I guess he thought the person in the room was a non-con goer, and was relieved that it was me. I had explained to him what was going on, and with everything that already went on, I was going to break down at any moment. He hugged me, told me everything was okay, and went on his business, so I felt much better, because crisis was averted.

Turns out that no, nothing was okay.

Starting the morning after, he started to continually tell me that he wanted to switch rooms because he was "walking long distances too much". Trying to be nice, I told him I would talk with my roommates, which I did. But since my other roommates and I had a LOT of cosplay stuff (i.e. I had my Kimahri costume, and you could probably tell that thing was NOT easy to move around) and luggage, and since all four people in my room were already settled, it would have been a really big inconvenience for both parties to switch rooms. That, and it was NOT OUR FAULT THAT THE HOTEL PUT US THERE. But he continued to harrass us MULTIPLE TIMES (even coming to the ROOM to ask my roommates when I was gone), to the point where I actually went to the front desk to complain about this. Even the masquerade office room RIGHT NEXT DOOR was given to another person, and he could have gone to them, because they didn't check in until FRIDAY afternoon. But he did not. When he harrassed me again, I flat out told him no, and the very logical reasonings behind it.

And in addition, the hotel room we were in had plumbing problems, so we also saved him from that as well. (I won't go into other hotel problems)

Obviously he was NOT happy, especially what he did during the rest of the con.

After masquerade, and when I happily went back to the room with my awards and prize, he was in Con Ops right across the way. He thanked me for my three years of service as Cosplay Gathering Coordinator (I have been doing that ever since the con started, obviously), and I told him I was very happy to do it, and would love to do it next year.

Very abruptly, he dryly stated "No, we found someone else."

I was incredibly confused, also hurt, and just decided to turn around and walk into my room, not wanting my positive night to be destroyed.

Check-out day. After I went to check out at the front desk, I went to the information desk to put in my hours for my being the website designer, webmaster, and cosplay gathering list coordinator, so I could get my t-shirt and my badge for next year. When I finished filling out the form, he approached the desk. The person at the desk asked him to vouch for me that I did my 10+ hours of service, to which he remained silent for a moment.

"I'll think about it."

The person gave him a very confused look, asked again, and he gave the same answer. Meanwhile, I was standing there immensely confused, rather irritated, and hurt yet again, considering how much work I put in pre-con for his convention (which was a LOT more than 10 hours - if any of you have worked with web design / webmastery, you would know that first-hand).

Way to hold a grudge for something out of my control, Chaz, all the way until check-out day.

And what was the response he gave after all of this?

"What size t-shirt?"

A one-liner. I do not care about the t-shirt. What I DO care about is my friends and I getting a formal apology, and me getting what I monetarily deserve (staff hotel percentage reimbursement and a 2008 badge) for all the work I did.

If anything, I (or my roommates) should not have been subjected to this rather ill treatment for something that was not my / our fault to begin with. The hotel screwed both of us over, and yet I received the blame and the consequences for their actions. I think I very much deserve to be treated the right way, especially since I am (or was >_>) a staff member, and put in a lot of hours to make sure whatever I was in charge of worked smoothly and looked great for the convention appearance. And I tried to work with him, but despite my hardest efforts the odds were against me, and there was nothing I could do.

And yes, I realize that Chaz's mother is in the hospital, and I do wish her a speedy recovery, but something like this, which shouldn't have had to be subjected to ANY grudges in the first place, can be a quick fix if both parties would only listen to each other.

Thank you for reading.

Eurobeat King
01-30-2007, 11:18 AM
Later I ran into Lionel, who made some comments about his friends getting harassed at every convention they went to -- which, once again, didn't register to me as a complaint that would specifically apply to what was going on that day. (If it's at every convention, is it our fault or yours?)

Our cosplayer friends (Lionel's friends are mine as well) don't get harassed at "every convention" as they have fun at other cons they attend (AX, comic-con, etc.) and they usually don't have any problems with staff that they encounter at the con. If they do, it's certainly not as bad as what happened to them at ALA this past weekend if it drove them to tears and other emotional grief caused by the staff. So again, they don't get harassed at "every convention".. just Anime LA. So that technically would be your fault since it's your convention. I think it's admirable that you have apologized repeatedly for your staff's actions, but the damage has been done and our friends which your staff has hurt won't be returning next year to ALA.

Hazel Chaz
01-30-2007, 01:20 PM
Ok, heres my angst...I got upset because we came up on friday afternoon and we were going to buy a one day pass for saturday and the staff wouldnt let us, they jsut kept egging us on to buy the full 40$ pass for a day and a half (since we could only stay through saturday), so I got mad at that.
I apologize for that. They weren't set up to pre-sell a "tomorrow" one-day membership, so your choices were either to come back in the morning and pay then, or to pay Friday for the whole weekend.

We feared huge lines on Saturday. It turns out that opening at 8:00 am made a world of difference, and we had some lines but not the horrendous scene of last year.

Anyhow, due to many requests (such as your own), next year we'll be able to pre-sell single-day memberships. You'll still have to come back in the morning to actually pick it up, but at that point you'll be "pre-registered." If there is a pre-reg pick-up line, you'd go to that one, not the at-the-door line.

We also need newer anime!!! I saw dragonhalf which was a nice blast to the past, but I wanted to see stuff from 2006, not 2003 XP
I am always looking for someone interested in scheduling a variety of anime. Getting the anime DVDs isn't a problem, as Cinema Anime will loan us everything, and getting the permissions is a simple matter as long as it's not Disney-distributed. But the tough part is deciding what to show when, to make a nice variety to the mix. Wanna help?

Our cosplayer friends (Lionel's friends are mine as well) don't get harassed at "every convention" as they have fun at other cons they attend (AX, comic-con, etc.) and they usually don't have any problems with staff that they encounter at the con.
I'm just reporting what Lionel said when he was making his complaint. It's possible that I misinterpreted what he said, but it sounded to me like he was saying that they get some kind of grief from staff at every convention. So at the time he spoke to me, I didn't put the pieces together.

Turns out that no, nothing was okay.

Starting the morning after, he started to continually tell me that he wanted to switch rooms because he was "walking long distances too much". Trying to be nice, I told him I would talk with my roommates, which I did.
I asked you a couple of times; I'm sorry it seemed like continual harassment. I thought at one point there was a plan -- we would have found a way to get a fleet of carts and an army of volunteers and get your stuff moved -- and I was surprised when you told me that you didn't think it would be in your best interests to change rooms. Someone pointed out later I should have offered you an upgrade, to one of the large suite rooms, but those only have one bed; I don't know if that would have helped.

Elena, I apologize for telling you "let me think about it" regarding your t-shirt. I wanted a chance to cool down and not do anything rash, and when I reached that point -- some time after I learned I had to make another roundtrip, but before I got home and saw your message -- I'd come to the conclusion that you should get the t-shirt. When I got your message, I was tired of typing and just wanted to cut to the chase and go to bed.

And the gathering list is a separate issue, I'll talk to you later about that if you like.

When I was in the video room Saturday around midnight I had the pleasure of listening to an external soundtrack for the movie. Maybe next year the dance can be far away from the video room? The nifty modern beats didn't quite go with the 70's flick.

Also, I spent a lot of time in the artist area. Others have mentioned how it was cramped but the main problem I had was with the bands. It is cool that there were bands but maybe a sound proof room or something? I got to listen to the bands whether I wanted to or not.
How about I put it in a different building next year? We've got the East Tower and the Convention Center building; I'm thinking of putting the video room in the East Tower, along with Gaming and Con Suite.

Here's another suggestion for y'all who have (legitimate, yes!) complaints about those certain badge-check volunteers who went over the line -

Volunteer to be staff yourselves, because you know you will be polite and not harass people or abuse your position. :)

Heck, I'd do it if I weren't already volunteering as Masq. staff - I've donated my entire Saturday to working for the con (and parts of Friday and Sunday as well), for 3 years running now.

If I didn't have faith in ALA's potential, I'd take my volunteer services elsewhere. But honestly, if you think a con can be worth it, it's also worth occasionally donating some of your own time to help make it all work nicely. Be a full part of the community, not just only a "guest at the party" every year.
Thank you, I truly appreciate your service. And you raise an excellent point, because we pretty much need to double the size of our staff. We'll be recruiting everywhere we can.

I have to get into work, the ongoing story of "Where Chaz Went Wrong" will continue later....

Anele
01-30-2007, 02:45 PM
I asked you a couple of times; I'm sorry it seemed like continual harassment. I thought at one point there was a plan -- we would have found a way to get a fleet of carts and an army of volunteers and get your stuff moved -- and I was surprised when you told me that you didn't think it would be in your best interests to change rooms. Someone pointed out later I should have offered you an upgrade, to one of the large suite rooms, but those only have one bed; I don't know if that would have helped.

Elena, I apologize for telling you "let me think about it" regarding your t-shirt. I wanted a chance to cool down and not do anything rash, and when I reached that point -- some time after I learned I had to make another roundtrip, but before I got home and saw your message -- I'd come to the conclusion that you should get the t-shirt. When I got your message, I was tired of typing and just wanted to cut to the chase and go to bed.

And the gathering list is a separate issue, I'll talk to you later about that if you like.

Chaz... as I said earlier, this is not about a measly t-shirt. It's about person-to-person communication, and the way this was handled. I felt that because you did not move into the specific room you wanted, I suffered the consequences (i.e. taking the Cosplay Gathering Coordinator title away from me [that's what it felt like, anyways], not vouching for me to sign up for my staff badge next year, etc.). And every time you saw me in the halls, you asked me about the room situation, and that was more than "a couple of times". And the con-goer in the room RIGHT next door to mine and my roommates' room was not checked into until Friday evening, but yet you did nothing to try to check in there.

And for crying out loud, I heard you even shot my friends / roommates evil glares during the last day or two of the convention because we couldn't comply to your wishes without screwing things up for ourselves!

If this is going to turn into a ring-around-the-circle, I'm not going to deal with it. Just apologize to my roommates and I, and give me my staff reimbursement and my badge, and I'll be on my way. I'm not discussing this anymore here. Please PM me.

There were several distinct things awry with the convention this year, of which have already been stated. I hope that things are rectified in a good manner, and that those parties who had specifically insulted fellow con-goers are held accountable.

Hazel Chaz
01-30-2007, 03:58 PM
And for crying out loud, I heard you even shot my friends / roommates evil glares during the last day or two of the convention because we couldn't comply to your wishes without screwing things up for ourselves!
I don't remember glaring at anyone in particular. I apologize. I was probably thinking of some other situation, and glared at a number of people inadvertently. I'm sorry.

If this is going to turn into a ring-around-the-circle, I'm not going to deal with it. Just apologize to my roommates and I, and give me my staff reimbursement and my badge, and I'll be on my way. I'm not discussing this anymore here. Please PM me.
You brought this up publicly, I'm apologizing publicly. I'm sorry. I was wrong. I should not have asked you more than once to move, and I should have investigated the other rooms on the hall. We announced "will anyone swap rooms?" at the AMVs, but I didn't check on the possibility of your neighbors swapping. I was wrong to have been snippy to you on Sunday.

Regarding reimbursements, that's a treasurer issue; we'll get back to everyone on what we'll be reimbursing after we've settled the rest of the bills (especially the master account at the hotel). And pass-on memberships will be dealt with all at the same time as well.

didjiman
01-30-2007, 04:18 PM
We have known Chaz for a handful of years and he invited me and my wife as the fan guests of honor at ALA06 so take what I say with that as the background.

First of all, running a convention is lots of work and stressful (*). There is no excuse for any rude behavior of course, and least of all from the security staffers. Chaz apologized for it and while I do not speak for him, the odds of positive changes happening next year is very high. In fact, lets step back a bit and ask yourself when is the last time a con chair takes full responsibility as soon as the magnitude of the situation is known, and this early? The con ended on Sunday and on Monday he is firefighting.

And we should not forget that lots of things went well. When is the last time you went to a under 2000 anime con with a masquerade this well run and with this many high quality entries? If you look at the issues, the hotel physical size restrictions and the hotel staff's, ahem, competence, or lack thereof, were the root of many problems. The ones that Chaz are responsible for, he accepts the responsibility.

I don't think we can ask much more. Personally, I am shocked to hear that Kevin ran into trouble, and from the description, it definitely sounds like a case of abuse of power from the staffer's part.

Anele, I think it is wise of you to take the rest of the discussion offline, but just an observation: knowing Chaz, he saying "I think about it" probably means that he is trying to cool off and construct a better response some times later. Again, I do not and cannot speak for him but even things like "death glare" expression may just be he staring at things composing his thoughts. I think I know the expression you meant and I don't think it is done with malice intent. Heck, I have a very lazy left eye and people used to (may be they still do :-) ) think I was sneaky!!

I really think ALA is a good model to run an anime con. Consider giving Chaz and the other staffers a chance to do better next year.

Be well!

(*) An example is that due to unforeseen circumstances, we were hanging around in the hotel lobby until Sunday around 6PM. Have you ever wondered who took all those stuff out? You know, the left over food, the bins of cords, and, well, just stuff. Yup, I saw Chaz, Christian, Tadao and the other nameless staffers doing all these things. These people are at the highest level of the organization (Christian just chaired the WorldCon in 2006) and that plus $3.50 get them a cup of coffee. They don't just sit back and run the convention, they put it a lot of hard physical work in addition.

Anele
01-30-2007, 04:36 PM
We are done here, Mr. Didjiman, no worries. ^_^

And yes, I do greatly applaud how well masquerade was run. It's unfortunate that the hotel did not provide you with the ammenities they promised (heaters in green room, etc.), but things went really smoothly. Hats off to all the judges, masquerade staff, and yes, even fellow masquerade entrants! ^_^

Hazel Chaz
01-30-2007, 04:42 PM
Have you ever wondered who took all those stuff out? You know, the left over food, the bins of cords, and, well, just stuff. Yup, I saw Chaz, Christian, Tadao and the other nameless staffers doing all these things. These people are at the highest level of the organization (Christian just chaired the WorldCon in 2006) and that plus $3.50 get them a cup of coffee. They don't just sit back and run the convention, they put it a lot of hard physical work in addition.
Nameless? Oh, we have names -- they're printed right on our badges. :) I didn't take off my badge and ears until halfway through the post-con dinner.

My doctor's been after me to get at least half an hour of physical exercise, anything that will get my heart rate up, at least three times a week. I tell myself that my schlepping things at conventions counts as credit towards my being a lazy bum the rest of the year.

We got those ballrooms cleared out in about 4 hours. That was amazing. A lot of people helped -- it wasn't just senior staff -- it all went straight onto one truck or another, or in my room. There were about three pickup-truckloads of stuff stored in my room by Sunday night... good thing nobody but me was sleeping there that night, my wife had fled back home because she had to work at the library first thing in the morning. Stuff for the clubhouse was piled high on the bed, the back corner had mostly stuff for the shed, there were three loaded carts ready to be pulled out in the morning...

And I'll never give up schlepping, as long as I'm able. That's how I met my wife. I went to the volunteers desk at a convention at the Anaheim Marriott in 1989 ("Conosaurus"), said "send me where you need me, I can carry things" and they sent me to the loading lock to wait for the ice delivery. Meanwhile, the treasurer had told Lynn "We need someone reliable to get the receipt from the ice delivery." Seven years of friendship later we were married (poolside, at my older elder sister's house).

That convention's also where I first ran into headbands for the volunteers. But that's another story.

HybridTwist
01-30-2007, 05:57 PM
Well, I left my 2 cents in the ALA LJ community, but I'll sum it up here.

All in all, ALA this year was good (not great). The Security staff for this con could have been nicer to the people attending the con. I really have no problem when they were telling us to keep moving when we were in the hallways, they were kinda narrow. And being costume didn't make that any easier, lol. HOWEVER, the thing that bothered me was the badge thing.

And I can back AFadingDream and Velvy up on their posts. In the case of AFadingDream's case, I saw him get harassed a couple of times just because his badge his badge wasn't visible (same thing happened to me) and on Sunday, they did force him out of the con basically because he didn't have his badge "visible" (and he did have it with him). A simple way to solve this: Tell security to ask to see it and when they do, let the person be on there way. If they don't have it with them the for half the day, then that's where you can draw the line.

As for Velvy, if I remember correctly, she arrived at the con Friday AFTER the registration was closed. What does this mean, she couldn't pick up her badge that day. And she was getting harrassed constantly for this. And this did happen:

Well, I ended up coming back, and that same staffer told me to leave, along with everyone I was with. My friend (state_alchemist) tried to pull out his badge and the staffer stopped him saying, "I don't care about your badge." He turned to me specifically, "But SHE doesn't have one." So essentially what you're saying is it's all right if he doesn't have a badge, but for me to not have one it's not okay?

The only people that I can recall being really rude were Katherine Thornton (like everyone else said) and one security guy that seemed to be in his 30's or 40's (maybe older??). That guy seemed to be extremely rude from POV.


But everything else was great and I think your mom was the one that helped me sew something. I would have done it myself, but it seemed that she was working on the sewing machine and I had to get into my "old man" makeup on for my Auron costume. Tell her I said thank you, she's a lifesaver. Same goes for everyone else in that room. I'm looking forward to the next ALA con and hope the security issues will be dealt with.

(sorry for making this lengthy, wasn't really expecting to type this much. XD)

DJ_Venus
01-30-2007, 06:07 PM
I really loved ALA; Just about every aspect of it. I was really sick and PMSing the entire time, so that's saying alot! My first complaint is the Console Wars and Rum Party overlapping. I know so many people who were torn having to pick one or the other. And Moogle was picked to be auctioned off, but when he showed up, he was turned away. That was dissapointing. :( My other complaint is there wasn't a whole lot to do during the day. I had the hat booth in Artist's Concourse, so I was fairly occupied watching my/my sister's booth all day, but my group of friends kept wandering back to sit around by it, groaning that there was nothing to do.

I was shocked to hear that there was a problem with the staff. Anyone I'd talked to was super nice, and really cool (Example: Moogle, Zan, con suite staff in the game room ^_^) I had NOOO problems with security. It may have been because I had an assload of necklaces and two plushies hanging off them, but I actually forgot my badge in my room severall times and had waddled down through the crowds, hallways, and plopped into my spot in the Artist's concourse, noticing about a half hour later I didn't have my badge. I was never bugged to have it showing, nor did I see anyone bothered. So that complaint confuses me.

Tw33k and the saturday night dance was wonderful, and so was the room party he worked afterwards. I wish I could have enjoyed it more, but I ended up fighting with my boyfriend and hiding under a counter for three-four hours. x_x

I also loved how Cosplay Church was an official event there. The people who run it are so sweet :) Unfortunately I missed it due to packing up the room..
at mikomicon, it was only an unofficial in-their-hotel-room thing, so yeah. I'm happy about that. ^.^

And... I think thats all I have to say about it. I'll come back with an edit if I think of anything else. ^.^

LionBoogy
01-30-2007, 07:20 PM
One of the big rules of convention etiquette is the NO TOUCH RULE. This applies to staff, press, and attendees. With the exception of POLITELY shoulder tapping to get someone's attention, you DO NOT TOUCH the attendees. You do not yell at the attendees (unless it is a giggly happy yell). You JUST DON'T. A professional staffer should stand with his hands behind his back at all times and speak in a polite tone at all times. NEVER EVER let your inner self come out. When you wear the con staff badge, you represent the convention at all times.

I want to point out that I do in no way harbor any volatile competitiveness nor ill will towards Anime LA. I personally WANT IT TO SUCCEED. I WANT it to be a great convention and to be able to foster growth in the outskirts of the anime community. If you feel the need to step up and help Hazel out, then please do so, but I must reiterate that MORE staffing and attendance and location really doesn't play the major parts. It is all attitude. You come in with the notion that you are buying an resort vacation package labeled "ANIME LA, CALIFORNIA FUN IN THE SUN" and that's what you expect to get (even if it rains, haha). I sincerely hope the organizers of Anime LA keep that in mind for 2008 and 2009 and ongoing. Treat all your attendees like Guests of Honor, and you will reap incredible rewards. That is the secret to success. ^_^

Karisu-sama
01-30-2007, 08:24 PM
One of the big rules of convention etiquette is the NO TOUCH RULE. This applies to staff, press, and attendees. With the exception of POLITELY shoulder tapping to get someone's attention, you DO NOT TOUCH the attendees. You do not yell at the attendees (unless it is a giggly happy yell). You JUST DON'T. A professional staffer should stand with his hands behind his back at all times and speak in a polite tone at all times. NEVER EVER let your inner self come out. When you wear the con staff badge, you represent the convention at all times.

I totally agree with you, Lionel.

One of my friends had her costume opened and her badge taken out and clipped to her back by an over-aggressive staffer - THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE NO-NO. A staffer may request that the badge be displayed somewhere more visible, and make suggestions about where a more visible location might be, and even offer to help move it, but just grabbing like that is absolutely NOT acceptable.

And yes: staffers NEED to BE POLITE. Say "excuse me" beforehand. Say "thank you" afterward. Do not barge into a photoshoot and demand badge visibility.

It's a Japanese pop-culture con; more of a "Japanese politeness level" from staffers goes a long way - not just at ALA, but at ANY con. "Polite" can be just as firm as "abrupt", but is FAR more professional.

Hazel Chaz
01-30-2007, 09:15 PM
One of my friends had her costume opened and her badge taken out and clipped to her back by an over-aggressive staffer - THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE NO-NO. A staffer may request that the badge be displayed somewhere more visible, and make suggestions about where a more visible location might be, and even offer to help move it, but just grabbing like that is absolutely NOT acceptable.
If we can figure out who was doing that, it would be moderately helpful...

I also loved how Cosplay Church was an official event there. The people who run it are so sweet :) Unfortunately I missed it due to packing up the room..
at mikomicon, it was only an unofficial in-their-hotel-room thing, so yeah. I'm happy about that. ^.^
Oh yeah, we have a practice of making reasonable accommodations for people with religion. Sort of an analogy to ADA... Seriously, though, if someone wants to hold a public religious service at one of our conventions, we'd be delighted to find a place and time to put it in.

We had set the Masquerade Post-Mortem at 10 o'clock, which is why we slotted Cosplay Chuch to start afterward; next year we might consider putting the M.P.M. at 11 and having the church service, if any, run 9 to 11. (That also would have freed up an extra timeslot if we'd needed it.)

If someone wants to organize a minyan, or have any other kind of religious thing, let us know. We'll make an effort to make it work. Try to let us know at least a week ahead, okay?

And, if you're posting signs about anything, please use blue painters tape, and try to avoid painted or wallpapered surfaces if you can.

Akira-Kun
01-30-2007, 09:30 PM
Chaz, have you spoken to any of your staffers after the con about their behavior? Do any of them (especially in security) realize how many people here feel about about them?

Also, will any of these same staffers be staffing ALA next year?

Edit: Ah, nevermind, I saw your post in the ALA Notes thread.

Master Jedi
01-30-2007, 09:47 PM
My only coplaints.....The Con security Sucked bigtime! why harrass the cosplayers over and over again. I was asked repedetly to show my badge, step aside, move aside, no photo zone, no standing zone, no talking zone, WTF zone?? its a convention not a prison!!! we're sopposed to have fun!
I have heard way too many of my freinds saying if the policy doesn't change, they won't be coming back for 08'.
-Oh and why is ALA the only con not giving out Press passes or privedges to the people who cover the con for the benefit of the con and the cosplayers? - yes...I mean Press.
But for the most part it was fun, and nice to see everyone again.

Hazel Chaz
01-30-2007, 10:04 PM
-Oh and why is ALA the only con not giving out Press passes or privedges to the people who cover the con for the benefit of the con and the cosplayers? - yes...I mean Press.
Professional press don't require comps wherever they go, they pay their own way. And, if it's a real newspaper for example, their employer reimburses them. Oh, they'll take the free passes if they're being handed out, but they don't make a stink about it.

As an example, I'm reasonably confident that the MTV cameraman snuck past our radar by the simple expedient of paying for his membership. As near as we can tell, though, he didn't try to crash the Masquerade green room, so we don't have a problem with that.
EDIT: No, it wasn't him, but there was someone with professional-grade equipment who was covering "a young costume designer" at the convention. We told him the masquerade was off-limits, anyone else he needed to ask permission and get a video release form signed even if he didn't think he'd be using the footage.

I have yet to be convinced that there is any material value to giving away passes to everyone who can point to a website and say "I'm press." I'm always open to reasonable arguments, but considering that most coverage is going to be after the fact it's not likely to do much for our attendance numbers.

Av4rice
01-30-2007, 10:42 PM
You're right. Press might want priority in being able to cover certain things first/closer when available, but getting in for free is hardly a concern.

Super No 1
01-30-2007, 11:05 PM
I've been to too many cons where the free press pass priviledge is abused. There are cons where you need a press pass to do a good job. ALA is not one of those conventions. Anime LA is not that big of a convention and you can cover almost all of it with a regular badge.

Karisu-sama
01-30-2007, 11:22 PM
If we can figure out who was doing that, it would be moderately helpful...

I can see you've been communicating with her on LJ, so I believe you now have some info.... :)

LionBoogy
01-30-2007, 11:59 PM
I am used to paying my own way as Press because that's the way it has been for me many many years. I ALWAYS pay for my badge(s) and if the con offers Press badges or ribbons, I clearly mention that I also have pre-regged or paid for my badge. If I go to a con, I must support the con with my money.

Many times, cons insist on just giving me a free Press badge and I will totally accept. However, I do sneak into the end of Reg line and dutifully pay for a membership badge. :)

SumisuRin
01-31-2007, 12:29 AM
I've been reading everyone's rants about how badly they were treated by the con security staff at ALA this year. Boo for bad manners! I also read Chaz' response and commend him for assuming responsibility for the behavior of his staff. Kudo's to the chairman.

When I left the hotel on Monday morning, I was not a happy camper either, but it had nothing to do with my badge. Perhaps it was the 'volunteer' ribbon I wore or maybe it was the lanyard from a previous con that saved me, don't know. Having worked on major conventions before, I have the greatest admiration for anyone willing and able to bring together a mass of people with varied personalities and commonality of interests. It ain't easy folks!

I was impressed with ALA1 and I loved ALA2. I even passed out flyers at other cons to promote ALA3 (with some success, I might add). I'm sure many lessons were learned from previous years, but were overshadowed with new ones this year. I have no doubt Chaz will correct whatever happened with his staff, but I hope he treats these concerns with just as much vigor.

I was very disappointed with the Friday night dance, the DJ didn't seem to be interested in playing what members wanted or even playing music you could dance to. Saturday night wasn't much better except for the first set. I think it was DJ Lynx who played actual anime music. The dance floor was crowded throughout his entire set. Too bad it didn't stay that way.

I really couldn't enjoy the Rum Party because it was just too packed all the time. So I missed that event.

It was also disappointing that Kyle Hebert and PinkminLink weren't recognized more. Maybe that's the wrong phrase... They were recognized, but not advertised.

The panels I went to were really informative. It's boring to sit in a room listening to someone talk about some unique experience they had that will probably never happen to you. This year the discussions were most interesting. Maybe because the audience asked valid questions and received pertinent answers.

The staff and volunteers had a long weekend too and by Sunday, I'm sure they were all extremely tired and maybe a little edgy. Now that I have more knowledge about what was happening with some of the staff personnel, I have a much clearer understanding of the situation. Thanks to everyone who posted for helping me figure it out. Makes my gripes seem petty.

And that's all I have to say about that. Looking forward to ALA4

Christophe
01-31-2007, 02:53 AM
I wrote my thoughts on the ride back up to norcal, not knowing how wide the complaints ran... it seems like a lot of people felt the same way I did, but somehow I feel compelled to be heard anyway.

Before I continue, I want to mention that I've been a strong supporter of Anime LA in years past and have always recommended it glowingly to my friends, who attended primarily due to the positive buzz about it. Features such as the con suite, rum party, and costume repair station gave Anime LA a flavor of its own and brought something new to the landscape of the yearly con schedule. It became a con to look forward to - and a great one to kick off the year with.

This year, it all changed.

It was apparent even on Thursday that the con was preparing for crowd problems with the various "No Photo Zone" and "No Congregating" signs posted in high traffic areas. The membership cap had already been a well known measure of preparation for the crowds.

Anticipating a problem is good. However, even if you are prepared for a problem and try to take steps to remedy it, it does not necessarily solve the problem - and in this case its rude, tactless execution only served to make Anime LA 2007 a horrible and frustrating experience for many attendees.

I have never before experienced or witnessed so many cases of harassment, badgering, interruption, or being creeped out repeatedly by "con staff" at any event before. As if the unwarranted harassment wasn’t enough, it was the way in which it was done that made it especially angering. Staffers were snarky, abrasive, and downright rude. It seemed that doing ANYTHING social was criminalized and an excuse to be harassed. I was stopped from taking random pictures in a non-no photo zone with little traffic, interrupted several times for no reason ("you can’t talk here go somewhere else") and for badge checks when I kind of very obviously have a badge with ribbons hanging off my posterior. This also happened to me in the non "badge required" area in front of the Landings restaurant, by a snarky staffer who I noticed was constantly harassing me just for the sake of doing it, because she had already done so earlier. I made darn sure I took her name down, "(Name removed by request of person named)". I was not the only one who made observations that some attendees, especially cosplayers, were being singled out and repeatedly accosted at the whims of the unprofessionally behaving staffers.

I thought having signs to keep phototaking out of doorways was a good idea. But when this policy was extended to areas with no signs and anywhere comfortable to "hang out", it effectively outlawed random con phototaking and thus killed a huge part of the anime con spirit.

People see a cool cosplay, they want a picture. IT HAPPENS. You can't take away the spontaneous nature of this or force the cosplayers to move somewhere out of the way because most people DON’T want to be jerks and move people away from where they may be hanging out or away from where they are headed. I was actually told by a rude, snarky staffer ((Name removed by request of person named)) to take the cosplayers outside 80 feet away outside into the cold rainy weather ("look there’s a huge overhang!") for a spontaneous picture. Utterly ridiculous.

Its sometimes hard to ask for cosplayers to pose at all. People are shy on both sides of it. I took maybe 5 photos total this year, last year I had around 200. The situation at Anime LA destroyed any ability for me to enjoy the con either as a cosplayer or photographer.

People are going to run into people randomly at a con and talk. IT HAPPENS. Its WHY we go to cons - to see people we know and share good times together. Unless ALA organizers think were going to just be antisocial and sit in a viewing room all day. But NO. Having staffers literally interrupt people and break up their socializing is RUDE and DISRESPECTFUL. It makes you question why as a fan you and your friends are even there, and even moreso why you would support such an event.

These staffers... Where did these people come from and what were they told to do to be so entirely rude and condescending to us? They certainly aren't fellow fans and must have been told to treat us like prison inmates. Even beyond being harassed and approached, JUST THE FEELING OF CONSTANTLY BEING WATCHED made it feel sickening and shameful to even be at Anime LA 2007.

Despite all these actions by staff to badger the attendees, these did NOT remedy the intended problems. Traffic flow still stank. People still took pictures everywhere, and I’m glad they did, just to show that its a bad idea to try and stop it. All that was accomplished by the rude harassment of attendees was to offend us and make us wish we never came or tried to help.

You people like constructive criticism, well here it is. Here are my suggestions:

- NOT ALL STAFFERS were jerks. The gentleman who was directing traffic to lead the line in for the tea party on Sunday was superb. He gently stopped us and took the time to explain the situation, and did not yell or use an abrasive tone. After the line moved he THANKED US and allowed us to pass. This is the way to do it. Show us at least a little respect and it goes a long way.

- Guess what, Anime LA 2006 had the same crowd and traffic problems as 2007 without the condescending harassment. Guess which year was more enjoyable? If you find that your measures of crowd control are ineffective, DO NOT take it out on the attendees. We have brains and can gather that its not a good idea to slow traffic. The idea is this - if theres someone who doesn’t quite grasp the concept of keeping areas clear~ instead of interrupting/telling them photos arent allowed or to inconveniently go somewhere else, POLITELY say that photos ARE allowed and to please do finish, but to please help them with traffic flow and to try to stay out of high traffic areas if possible. They would then be mindful of the situation and try to help the staff rather than get pissed and be discouraged from ever taking pictures, posing, or cosplaying again.

To summarize, having crowds and slow traffic is annoying to fans, but understandable. Being mistreated and disrespected by staff and made to feel that its wrong to talk to friends or take pictures is downright UNACCEPTABLE. I would NEVER want my friends to have to put up with that kind of treatment, so you can be sure that myself and the others who have felt similarly will tell their friends who will tell their friends to stay away.

I got my prereg for next year anyway. I’m guessing it will be much less crowded, and not as a result of having more event space.

LionBoogy
01-31-2007, 03:05 AM
You know, I just HAVE to say some POSITIVE stuff about Anime LA 2007. Because I just do. ^_^

1. Masquerade: NICE. Really nice. ^_^ I am impressed that ALA managed to execute a fine event and inspire cosplayers to brave the cold and pull off many awesome skits. Kudos to the winners and the losers as well. It is not easy to get up on stage and entertain the crowd, so in that respect, you are all winners to me. The Masquerade staff did a really cool job. Keep all of them, and except for that dumb printer, don't change anything. ^_^

2. Con Suite: That's why I like the smaller cons. The Con Suites. They always rock. ^_^

3. Dealers Room: The dealer buddies I know had what I needed. I shopped, I bought, and I was satisfied. It's hard to satisfy me. hehe

4. Staffer grandma lady who was on the leftmost portion of the Registration Desk (at-con reg I think). She was REALLY NICE. She even exclaimed how sweet I was to pay for some friends of mine. I like that kind of staffer. Keep her. ^_^

5. Panels and Workshops and Musical Performances: I stopped in to take some pictures for con coverage and then listened in (as I usually do) to hear what fans have to discuss about current events particular to their panel topics. It's nice to see nothing has changed on that end. I like to keep my mind freshened with the spirit and knowledge of today's anime fans.

6. The LOS-Con room: I stopped in to explore what they have to offer over Thanksgiving Day weekend. I am really tempted to go now, because they are indeed presenting themselves as a really cool chillaxin' kinda con. And they were really complimentary to my cosplaying mother and daughter buddies too. Extra points right there.

7. ONE security staffer I did encounter, an asian dude who was moderating the outdoor line for Dealers Room on Sunday. He was really cool. He was pepped up, cracking jokes, and generally smiley happy during his entire shift. Keep him. ^_^

Anyway, that's all I have to say for now. ^_^

FaireGoddess
01-31-2007, 03:14 AM
We had set the Masquerade Post-Mortem at 10 o'clock, which is why we slotted Cosplay Chuch to start afterward; next year we might consider putting the M.P.M. at 11 and having the church service, if any, run 9 to 11. (That also would have freed up an extra timeslot if we'd needed it.)

I, for one, am wholly behind this idea, and was in fact going to request a later MPM meeting next year. ;)


I had a great time this year, either because of or despite the fact that I was at the Masq table most of the weekend. (I'm not sure which, seeing as most of the drama seemed to have happened away from the lobby.) Maybe the big green staff ribbon kept any haranguing away, or maybe it was the Chaz costume, but I didn't have any problems over the weekend.

I was frustrated with the hotel staff in relation to the con itself (it would have been nice if they had told us before Saturday that the heaters weren't working on the patio..), but it was overall a good experience. I'm really looking forward to next year, and plan to stay Sunday night to help wrap things up... and get some sleep. ;)

I also want to send out a huge Thank You to all the masquerade constestants for putting an incredible show on the stage. Without your talent, creativity, and sheer presence, we wouldn't have a show. I hope to see many of you back next year, as well as more newcomers! Our little con is a great place to try out your performance chops, as a crowd of a couple hundred is much less frightening than one of a couple thousand. XD!

But yes. This attendee cum staffer had a good time. :)

Hazel Chaz
01-31-2007, 03:18 AM
I was frustrated with the hotel staff in relation to the con itself (it would have been nice if they had told us before Saturday that the heaters weren't working on the patio..), but it was overall a good experience. I'm really looking forward to next year, and plan to stay Sunday night to help wrap things up... and get some sleep. ;)
I certainly wish they'd told us ahead of time that the heaters were broken, because we could have scrounged up some of our own. Or brought firewood and one of those potbelly chimney things. :)

I apologize to everyone who was stuck in the cold out on the patio. I had no idea. I'm so glad we'll be indoors next year.

RivetSPOOn
01-31-2007, 03:18 AM
I'm very sorry for all of the ... well, harrassment. There's not really any better word for it. The rudeness and snarkiness was not intended as policy; it simply became individual interpretation of enforcement. Sometimes known as a God complex, unfortunately. I want to thank you for the specific incidents and individuals in your post. They will be addressed.


I got my prereg for next year anyway. I’m guessing it will be much less crowded, and not as a result of having more event space.

Thank you for giving us a second chance. Attendance increase (or lack thereof) not withstanding, the venue is larger, not only in squarefootage but also in hallway width. Additionally, the main convention area is a separate building from the hotel, making badge nazism restricted to entryways to said building and programming rooms.

Again, I offer my sincerest apologies on behalf of ALA staff, as well as my thanks for not giving up on us just yet.

AgentSakur9
01-31-2007, 03:30 AM
I want to add something positive too.

I thought the Artists Concourse was awesome. Most of the time when major programming is over, so's the "Artist's Alley." At ALA, a lot of artists elected to stick around and finish up commissions well into the night, as they were given the opportunity to do so. I thought that was a nice touch.

Most of the sentiments that Lionel has brought up are said on my own site's report... as with most of the gripes. Being that said, I don't think the horse should be beaten further. Not to discourage people from voicing their opinion, I am just opting out of doing it here.

RivetSPOOn
01-31-2007, 03:44 AM
I thought the Artists Concourse was awesome. Most of the time when major programming is over, so's the "Artist's Alley." At ALA, a lot of artists elected to stick around and finish up commissions well into the night. I thought that was a nice touch.


Thank you for the feedback. ^_^ I would like to implement it next year as well, location permitting. It's something that the artists' enjoy, as they don't have to pack up and run to the hotel room to keep working. Or in some cases, run home... >>;;

Ms.Naru
01-31-2007, 03:50 AM
"As an example, I'm reasonably confident that the MTV cameraman snuck past our radar by the simple expedient of paying for his membership. As near as we can tell, though, he didn't try to crash the Masquerade green room, so we don't have a problem with that."


I'd like to correct this. I did not end up attending this event, therefore MTV did not attend or film at ALA.The cameraman and I ended up going down Highland Blvd. in Hollywood to film mid-afternoon Saturday. I'm not the kind to sneak past a con's radar when I've been informed that our presence filming Anime LA was not welcome.

BSaphire
01-31-2007, 10:44 AM
Hey there ALA Peeps! I'm sorry I didn't get to go this year! ^^(

There are some really cool pics out there though and thanks photogs for snapping them! I missed seeing so many of my SoCal friends and their new costumes!

Karisu: Hats Off to you for another great cosplay! You guys do it well and you ROCK! Between the cosplay and the con repair station the cospeeps are feeling the love cause a few that went (winners or not) said it was great and they would enter again! I told them you guys were on your game *giggles!

Chaz: Thanks for the Con Suite! Because of you the attendees were able to eat! I know how it is to spend tons to get to a con and not have much left to eat with. BTW... Ramen in a coffee pot is BAD! Tastes bad Smells bad and looks bad! Eat it dry if it is all you have! If you attend ALA they won't let you starve! The food is mostly good for you too!

I may attend next year, but with my con job *giggles I don't know for sure. I know that the next few weeks for your staff and you will be the three "R's": recuperation, regurgitation, and relaxation *LOL :P In the end I know your staff and you will make ALA 2008 better and will make changes where needed. Like you, SAC is going to a new venue and that will have many pros and a few cons too.

May ALA 2008 be the best one yet! & till next time...

Anime Corrupted wishes & Deviant Cosplaying dreams!!! ^^)
BSaphire

Michi
01-31-2007, 02:13 PM
I must say that despite my complaints regarding staff, I did enjoy the way the con was run. The con suite was indeed amazing and very much appreciated (my boyfriend and I loved the desserts being offered post-masq), despite problems the masquerade was run well, etc. I'd write more but I have to get back to work. :bigtu:

Captain Jack
01-31-2007, 05:02 PM
-Relocation of the Rum Party (It shrunk... BAD IDEA for the increase in games... Liar's Dice FTW)

I agree that the room wasn't as big as it should have been, but the reason we had to relocate to that room was because on Friday night, the hotel couldn't get us a bigger room any earlier than 10 o'clock or so, which meant the Rum Party wouldn't kickoff until after 11 P.M.

Hopefully we'll get a slightly bigger room next year, but I figured we did pretty good with what we had available. Glad you enjoyed Liar's Dice! It's definately here to stay.

audioventchick
01-31-2007, 07:31 PM
Now that I'm back at home, I can make a full post about what happened at ALA with the staff.

Good things about this convention:

~ Con Suite for the WIN. Great idea
~ No stopping in hallways, great to keep traffic moving

~~~~
And the badge situation.... which I hope is acted upon.

Now, as I remember, there were signs outside of certain areas that said BADGE AREA, and that's where people put on their bag. No other areas said we had to have badges, like in HALLWAYS or OUTSIDE. Everytime I was stopped outside the badge areas, staff would yell "BADGE" or "TAKE OUT YOUR BADGE" "PUT IT ON". Where was the politeness of the staff? Is it really that hard to add "please" "could you" "we'd like to see" and explain their reasoning instead of being blatently rude about it to everyone?

Moving aside from the badge thing for a minute, the "clear walkway" was a good idea. However my friends and I were barely standing outside of it, not on purpose. It was the very first day of the con in the morning, and a woman came out and YELLED at everyone off the bat and talked to us like we were 2, like we were purposefully standing in the middle of the walkway. Such rudeness isn't acceptable.

But back to the badges, I had one hell of an encounter with Katherine Thornton. If you couldn't tell by all the posts on here Chaz, she seemed to piss off a LOT of people with her child-like behavior and determination to get in the last word. After lecturing Velvy on her badge, she turned around and saw my friend AFadingDream and said "Where's your badge." It wasn't even a question, she said it so rude, like it was the greatest offense to her. After the whole staff talking to us like that, you can't blame us for giving her the same attitude back. He put on his badge. That should have been the end of it. Then she got 2 of her co-workers and stood 10 feet away from us, watching us and waiting for us to do something wrong. She was just staring at us, then comes over and wants to lecture him on his attitude problem. When he refused, she got more rude and sent someone to get his name, and then came back over AGAIN to harrass us some more. Yes, it was harrassment, as I said it should have been over when he put on his badge like she asked. Then we asked her to leave us alone, and she said "Do I have to eject you from this con?" and we said "No, we'll go, it's almost time to leave anyway", since it was 2:30 and the con ended at 4. So we left, and then she had hotel security follow us outside to make sure we left, even though we left on our own, she didn't even throw us out. I went to the bathroom before leaving and one of the guys she was talking to (the half-bald tall one) was standing outside the bathroom waiting for me to come out, which was creepy and not necessary. Then she stood outside and watched us leave, and the ironic thing was that she was talking to a group of people who half of them didn't have badges on. Isn't that odd? As we drove away, we had to stop and went to the bathroom on the other side since we had to pick stuff up from another car. As we went out, sure enough she sent security after us to make sure we left.

She was completely overdoing everything, abusing what power she had. She was rude and childish to so many people at this convention. I've never dealt with someone that rude in a very long time, and as staff who was so keen on attitudes, she should have applied it to herself. She needs to appologize to EVERYONE. She also needs a lecture, or she needs to leave the con staff, Chaz. Easy as that. And I don't plan on coming back next year if she is there.

Bubble872
01-31-2007, 07:48 PM
I too had issues with the hall staff. My friends and I had been walking around for hours, and every so often, we would sit in a corner that we designated as our space, and staff kept passing us, and none of them cared that we were sitting there (And one of the nicer ones gave me a hug <3) However, near the end of Sunday, we were yelled at by a Nazi to "GO SIT IN A SITTING ZONE!" Sitting zone? The few chairs that were here and there? So after that we had to go outside IN THE RAIN to sit down. Also, I had the "pleasure" of meeting the "Head of Con Security!" ,while I can understand that we had to put away our rubber kunai, whe did not have to yell at us like we were poking it in someones eye. Honestly we were sticking it in a PIKACHU PLUSHIE!
However, I do believe that because of the new location nest year there will not be as much strict security and I encourage everyone to give it another chance like I am. But, if the problems are not cleared up by 2008, I will not be going again. I think that seems fair.that poor pikachu plush, then again i was carrying it by its tail XD

Karisu-sama
01-31-2007, 08:15 PM
Now, as I remember, there were signs outside of certain areas that said BADGE AREA, and that's where people put on their bag. No other areas said we had to have badges, like in HALLWAYS or OUTSIDE.

The absolutely unjustified rudeness etc. having been already addressed in multiple areas/posts, I won't go over that again here. However I just want to address a point here:

At ANY convention, while people are in exclusive official convention space, they are normally expected to have a visible badge somewhere on their person or belongings so that it is obvious they paid for the right to be there. This is true for AX as well, and I've been stopped there more than once when my badge wasn't obvious.

Where there is "public space", such as Convention Centers walk-through areas (Conventions centers are often hosting multiple events), or lobbies of hotels that have regular guests as well as convention guests, badge checking is restricted to exclusive Convention-rented space.

At ALA, since as far as I've heard the con really did have the entire hotel blocked for the weekend (ALA staff may correct me if I'm wrong), there WAS no "public space" in which the general public might be expected to be wandering. Thus, a request for visible badges even in some hotel halls or the lobby, or courtyards and hotel gardens between facility buildings (where Con photoshoot gatherings were officially scheduled.) If it's "con space", it IS also "Badge Area", sign or no sign.

So, while there was clearly egregious uncalled-for behavior on the part of some of the security staffers which absolutely MUST be addressed (even my own daughter was hassled while working at her paid-for artist table, which she wouldn't be sitting behind if she weren't a paid member of the con), the basic concept for badges to remain fairly visible somewhere on one's person or carried belongings is not unreasonable or abnormal.

audioventchick
01-31-2007, 08:18 PM
So, while there was clearly egregious uncalled-for behavior on the part of some of the security staffers which absolutely MUST be addressed (even my own daughter was hassled while working at her paid-for artist table, which she wouldn't be sitting behind if she weren't a paid member of the con), the basic concept for badges to remain fairly visible somewhere on one's person or carried belongings is not unreasonable or abnormal.

Oh yeah, I understand that, but for them to be rude about it isn't right at all. What I'm trying to get at is that politeness makes a world of difference, yes? And yes other people have addressed it, but I feel I should share what happened to me as well.

Velvy
01-31-2007, 08:51 PM
What time did badge registration close? I arrived at 6pm and noted that it was closed then. If it closed very early, that should probably be changed for next year. Most of the events (masquerade, rum party, dance) that are expected to shuffle in the most people take place at night. Now, if someone arrives late and didn't get there in time for registration, that's fine (unless it ended abnormally early), but if registration were open a bit later, no one would have an excuse to not have a badge unless they arrived at an unreasonably late hour. I don't want to bring up other conventions as a comparison, but I never had a problem getting a badge even if I did arrive late.

Rogue Marvel
01-31-2007, 09:04 PM
Katherine Thornton posted an apologize on the ALA forums and LJ community.

I don't know if its exactly what people wanted but its something

http://www.animelosangeles.org/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=443

Karisu-sama
01-31-2007, 09:11 PM
What I'm trying to get at is that politeness makes a world of difference, yes?

Very much so indeed. :)

AFadingDream
01-31-2007, 09:14 PM
Katherine Thornton posted an apologize on the ALA forums and LJ community.

I don't know if its exactly what people wanted but its something

http://www.animelosangeles.org/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=443

Agreed, it's definetely something. But for someone like me ,who she ejected from the convention which I have paid money for three years in a row now, even with her apology, I won't be coming back unless she's long gone. An apology won't get my money back, unfortunately. BUT, I am happy she at least apologized.

Akira-Kun
01-31-2007, 10:22 PM
Agreed, it's definetely something. But for someone like me ,who she ejected from the convention which I have paid money for three years in a row now, even with her apology, I won't be coming back unless she's long gone. An apology won't get my money back, unfortunately. BUT, I am happy she at least apologized.

Yes, it is something and I have to admit, it does take a lot of nerve to apologize and admit you were wrong. I was actually wondering when/if she would write something like this.

Nonetheless though, she personally treated my friend and I (and many other people) like crap. It almost seemed to me she was enjoying herself too. I too will not go back to ALA and I suspect many people won't either. This year's ALA will probably be remembered, "as 'fan-friendly' as a prison" and "the only con that that threw out the Fan's View guy!" :lost:.

Kurai_811
01-31-2007, 11:36 PM
Oh my God have i wanted to do this since the con! *rant time, YAY!*
I havn't been able to post my own complaints for the entire con till now, I'll make this short for my own sake first though so I'll only byatch about one thing; the MASQUERADE.

The "Green room" was horrible beyond belief, it was crowded, it was loud, and it was freezing cold. Why was it cold? BECAUSE OVER HALF OF US WERE OUTSIDE! This was my first Masquerade (being in it anyway) and our skit actually won an award, that was cool, but being behind the scenes made it 98% NOT WORTH IT.
1: Even if you were able to see the TV casting the masquerade, you couldn't hear crap on it, ultimitly spoiling any skits anyone my have seen, ruined me seeing my friend's Akatsuki skit where i couldn't hear anything but "uhagalagatrhfuy" where all you can tell is that people are talking but no way can you make out what they're saying.

2: The Masquerade staff, when announcing something, should be given SOMETHING to talk with, (microphone, rolled up paper, something vocal inhancing) because over half the time they were saying something, none of us could hear.

3: Half of the entire Masquerade was outside in THE RAIN FREEZING OUR ASSES OFF while trying to watch eveyone else, this is the reason why I havn't posted my own complaints since after the Masqeurade, Sunday morning, I've felt like crap, running a fever, and been bed ridden since I got home, this is my first time back on the comp and I won't be for a while, not only that, but my two best friends got sick at the con as well, one of which was also in the Masquerade, naxt year guys, HAVE IT INDOORS!:mad:
It's not fun freezing for what, 2 and a half hours? >=(

4: One last rant about the Masquerade; no one told us we HAD to leave the room directly after our performance, I was told that I could go sit with my mom in the front row, but I didn't make my dicision till after I was in the lobby, when I whent back, to my "WTF" suprise, the doors were locked and could only be opened from the inside. it really sucked.

(now that I've remembered more stuff to yap about XD)

5: I was lucky enough never to of been harrassed for my badge; even with I HAD IT STUFFED DOWN MY POCKET (not showing at all) FOR A BOUT 2 HOURS, GOING BACK AND FORTH IN AND OUT OF ROOMS, NEVER TO BE ASKED FOR MY BADGE. Then to hear so many people, especially my friends, get constantly fot their badges, and photography, it was all unacceptable.

6: Photography; the ONE, ONE picture I took at ALA3 I got in troubble with staff for, for "being inside the blue lines" and blocking traffic" DURING A GATHERING?! WTF, that's ubsurd! best this was, THERE WAS NO ONE TO BLOCK!

7: Another staff problem; I was a volunteer for the second year in a row, my friend who was a staff member (not only in title, she actually did things) and my Staff member boss dude, (who I also took as a responsible Staff member/Adult) WERE DRINGKING FRIDAY NIGHT AND SHE GOT WASTED! What kind of staff does this, DURING THE CON! It's irrisponsible, reakless, and down right stupid. But the worst, was that my friend (who I'll leave un-named so far) she, is UNDER THE LEGAL AGE FOR ALCHOHOL USAGE. Not only that, but the "responsible Staff member," when I told him this, shurugged it off; "What did you want me to do?" hm, I don't know, NOT GIVE AN UNDERAGE ALCHOHOL ON THE JOB!? I was appoled.

That's all I can really remember in my state, I'll post again soon hopefully, all I can say is;

Congartulations ALA, you've f***ed up everything you had going for you. You harrassed and dissrespected your attendees, dissrespected ALL of your guests, you were THE MOST unorginized group I have ever seen, and you ruined a perfect convention. Please fire this lady who kept harrassing everyone, and make the masquerade indoors next time.

I know this is harsh, it was a horrible con, I will not lie. I will most likely not come next year, and if I do, I know one thing I'm goddamn sure of; I will NOT be working, it's not worth it. I feel sorry for people who;'s first con was this, it was crap. And now the staff is trying to blame everyone around them, one person posted some time ago that Chaz was "Admirabbly taking tha blame" this is BS, he's now forced too, that's why.

that was my con, now I'm going back to bed. I also didn't bother proof-reading this, so any typos and such, sorry.

audioventchick
02-01-2007, 12:23 AM
Katherine Thornton posted an apologize on the ALA forums and LJ community.

I don't know if its exactly what people wanted but its something

http://www.animelosangeles.org/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=443


Yeah I did see that, and agree with everyone else on the subject. I just hope she posted that because she felt it was right, instead of feeling forced to.

Rogue Marvel
02-01-2007, 12:27 AM
I'm sorry you had such a horrible time Kurai, especially with your first masq experience.

I can assure you that the green room problems with the cold and rain where not really the cons fault, but issues with space and broken promises from the hotel (like working heaters). The issues will be resolved next year with the new location.

The seating was again, a space issue. There was not enough seats for everyone inside. All the seats where full, they even gave up a lot of the reserved seats for staff and guests.

For the back stage stuff as a former coordinator and a participant in many masq I can tell you that rarely do the contestants get great sound back stage with the video feed (if they get a video feed at all) and rarely to staff have voice enhancing devises at their disposal. As a general rule they shouldn't need one or use one especially when the greenroom is so close to the stage (you don't want the people watching the show to hear them barking orders back stage do you?).


As far as everything else enough has been said except the staff drinking.

Sadly ALA is not the only con I have witnessed underage staff drinking at. and at this other con I saw it at the Con chair was the one getting the staff member drunk (it was to relax her all her hard work). However, I do not believe that Chaz is the type of chair to approve of that kind of behavior. IT sucks that the person you reported it to did nothing. If it was in fact another staff member supplying the booze to the underage girl I suggest you send Chaz a message telling him who both of them were so they can be reprehended for such behavior.

Michi
02-01-2007, 12:36 AM
At ALA, since as far as I've heard the con really did have the entire hotel blocked for the weekend (ALA staff may correct me if I'm wrong), there WAS no "public space" in which the general public might be expected to be wandering. Thus, a request for visible badges even in some hotel halls or the lobby, or courtyards and hotel gardens between facility buildings (where Con photoshoot gatherings were officially scheduled.) If it's "con space", it IS also "Badge Area", sign or no sign.

So, while there was clearly egregious uncalled-for behavior on the part of some of the security staffers which absolutely MUST be addressed (even my own daughter was hassled while working at her paid-for artist table, which she wouldn't be sitting behind if she weren't a paid member of the con), the basic concept for badges to remain fairly visible somewhere on one's person or carried belongings is not unreasonable or abnormal.

Even if the entire hotel was rented out (which I'm not sure if it was, since I'm hearing of other people staying there, etc), the staffers were going too far. Like on Sunday, when people were checking out, forcing them out of the hotel while they were just trying to leave because they had already packed their badges away. I just can't agree with that.

BoinkCoBoy
02-01-2007, 01:11 AM
Oh my God have i wanted to do this since the con! *rant time, YAY!*
I havn't been able to post my own complaints for the entire con till now, I'll make this short for my own sake first though so I'll only byatch about one thing; the MASQUERADE.

I'm sorry your experience was so miserable. Rogue Marvel has covered the situation fairly accurately.

The hotel screwed us on the green room space. The roof leaked and there was no heat. I would never have agreed to using that space had we known of those problems.

Because of the rain, we had to move photography across the courtyard into the green room, which ate up a third of our space.

I specifically asked if we could use the restaurant front doors after the restaurant closed and was told yes. The hotel screwed us again there when they insisted people go around through the rain after the show started.

This is the first year we've had any video feed at all to the green room. I'm sorry everyone couldn't see it.

In short, I'm sorry you were miserable, but there was absolutely nothing I could do to change things when it all happened. We did the best we could do under suddenly impossible circumstances.

Karisu-sama
02-01-2007, 02:33 AM
Even if the entire hotel was rented out (which I'm not sure if it was, since I'm hearing of other people staying there, etc), the staffers were going too far. Like on Sunday, when people were checking out, forcing them out of the hotel while they were just trying to leave because they had already packed their badges away. I just can't agree with that.

No dispute here. :/ Though I missed seeing a lot of Sunday afternoon anything due to a very un-planned trip to Valley Presbyterian Emergency Room (long story.)

didjiman
02-01-2007, 02:37 AM
...

The "Green room" was horrible beyond belief, it was crowded, it was loud, and it was freezing cold. Why was it cold? BECAUSE OVER HALF OF US WERE OUTSIDE! This was my first Masquerade (being in it anyway) and our skit actually won an award, that was cool, but being behind the scenes made it 98% NOT WORTH IT.
....

Well now... Consider there are ~40 entries and ~160 entrants in a small hotel with not enough room to seat the 1800+ members, the Masquerade staff did pretty darn well, all things considered. In fact, I have been going to conventions since the early 1980s and we average around 6-8 cons a year (you do the math :eek: ) and this is one of the best run masquerades I have seen. I would say that even if the masquerade directors are not practically family. Can it be better? Of course. With all these entries (40+ in a 1800 con!!!), they can use a Den mom system. We could use volunteers to keep the workmanship judging and the photography lines more organized and people properly accounted for (some reasons I missed the Link and Zelda entry. At least I have gotten similar pictures of them at AM).

But look at the things that they did right: it started more or less on time, the judging did as quickly as they could, the awards got printed out with the correct names. There were food and water. The ICG derived Guidelines made competitions more fair, and the leeway that the Masquerade Directors gave to the judges mean that Excellence were being rewarded. The workmanship judges gave everyone who wanted to be judged a good amount of time. The MC did a great job. I never did see the masquerade, being back there taking photos, but I didn't hear complaints about technical difficulties.

Most of the problems are really due to the small size of the facility and the hotel staff incompetence. The masquerade rooms will not a problem next year. The Burbank convention center is much larger. The Green Room will be a proper room I am sure. Lindsay will be using the same system for database and awards. I have high hope that next year would even be better.

Nekobo
02-01-2007, 02:45 AM
I'll toss in my 10 cents.

I was fortunate to not to have any negative encounters with the staff. Unfortunately, my friends did. Asuma'sFire and I arrived late Friday night around 10...and by then, correct me if I'm wrong, I believe registration was closed. He got reprimanded for not having a badge and was threatened to get kicked out. On Saturday, two of our friends checked out of the hotel and left the con early largely due to their disgust of a certain staffer that constantly harassed them over badges, their weapons, and standing around in the lobby. It was really troubling hearing that from them. I'm sorry to hear that so many people had such a bad experience with the con staff. There's simply no excuse for a con that claims it's for the fans to treat the fans like crap. I'm sure this sounds redundant by now, so anyways...

The con suite was awesome this year. It was much appreciated how it was constantly stocked with all sorts of food variety. I hope you guys can sustain it next year. It was also nice that the LP rooms were all placed in the same area of the hotel, too. It would also be nice if you could reserve some space for the folks performing in the masquerade, too...or provide a green room that with a bigger, raised TV so that everyone can actually see what's going on. It did suck having to stand beneath a leaky tent; I got a bit wet and it probably didn't help the cold that some of my club members had, too. As for the badge situation, I think they should only be checked for the LP rooms, the dealers hall, and whatever big event is occuring. Throughout my experiences with con, I've only had my badge checked under those circumstances. I don't see the point of being asked for a badge when wandering around the hallway. Some people were actually non attendees just passing through anyways.

I earnestly believe that Hazel Chaz will amend all these problems that were brought up. He wont' be making the same mistakes again, especially if this con is as important to him as I believe. The damage has been done and it'll take some time for healin up, but I do hope some of ya'll will change your mind about returning next year; it won't be the same without you guys. A new staff and a change of venue will certainly help. It's with that faith in him and his con that I'll preregistering for next year. Here's to a better ALA.

Don't let us down again.

squirrellyness
02-01-2007, 02:57 AM
i feel that all this complaining has gotten a bit extreme. i know full well that these complaints will be taken seriously and that there will be some changes for next year. This con is still young and is still learning through these experiences. This year has supposedly been a big one and i have total faith in Chaz as well as the rest of the staff that it will be fixed and wont happen again. Not all things are the staff's fault and that should be taken into account. Just because its easy to blame them doesn't mean its ok.
Also, i feel that a lof of these complaints have become amplified in the mind of some. i bet there are some that didn't automatically think of their complaint when thinking of the con. i know that myself included didn't really remember something until i have seen all of these and wondered "did i ever see it happen?"
So please .... try to remember how much fun you had at the con before you get sucked into forgetting all of that.

LadyAmaryllis
02-01-2007, 03:09 AM
i feel that all this complaining has gotten a bit extreme. i know full well that these complaints will be taken seriously and that there will be some changes for next year. This con is still young and is still learning through these experiences. This year has supposedly been a big one and i have total faith in Chaz as well as the rest of the staff that it will be fixed and wont happen again.

I agree. There were SO many positive things about this con, and this thread seems saturated with the bad. I suppose we need to talk about it to make sure things change, though.

Thank you to the con staffers of all sorts for listening to our concerns. I am so grateful that you are so willing to admit your mistakes and work constructively to make things better. Looking forward to next year!

FaireGoddess
02-01-2007, 03:10 AM
As Kevin and Didjiman have already said, we did the best we could under the circumstances. I'm reading all the feedback that's coming in from this year's show and taking notes, and I hope to address many, hopefully all, of the problems for next year's competition. The green room will be much larger and *indoors*, and I've got some ideas about green room organization and supervision. I would really love to get a Den Mom system going (responsible adults can and should PM me if you're interested in volunteering) to make sure everyone's needs are taken care of, including comfort, judging, photography, run order, and anything else that comes up. Some issues will have to be dealt with after I know exactly what facilities we'll be using, but they will be dealt with.

Kevin and Andy put in a lot of work to get the show running and running as smoothly as possible, and I think they deserve thanks and respect for that. For all the things that went wrong, we were ready to start before seating even began, 41 entries went across the stage in 90 minutes, and judging took less than an hour.. a feat indeed for those that remember ALA06. The masq is getting better and better, and I hope to continue the trend next year.

Any specific concerns or suggestions can be left on this thread and I'll probably see them, or you can PM them directly to me either on these boards or the ALA boards under the same name. I really want to make the ALA Masquerade the best show I can both to watch and participate in, and I appreciate any and all feedback. :)

Hakaider
02-01-2007, 03:12 AM
7: Another staff problem; I was a volunteer for the second year in a row, my friend who was a staff member (not only in title, she actually did things) and my Staff member boss dude, (who I also took as a responsible Staff member/Adult) WERE DRINGKING FRIDAY NIGHT AND SHE GOT WASTED! What kind of staff does this, DURING THE CON! It's irrisponsible, reakless, and down right stupid. But the worst, was that my friend (who I'll leave un-named so far) she, is UNDER THE LEGAL AGE FOR ALCHOHOL USAGE. Not only that, but the "responsible Staff member," when I told him this, shurugged it off; "What did you want me to do?" hm, I don't know, NOT GIVE AN UNDERAGE ALCHOHOL ON THE JOB!? I was appoled.

Wait a minute. Are you saying that your friend was given alcohol by an adult staffer? Do you know underage drinking is illegal and it IS a crime for an adult to give alcohol to a minor under California law?!

That's pretty serious stuff.

Had the adult staffer been caught giving out alcohol to a minor by the police, the Sheriffs or the Police could have easily shut down the convention and the organizers could have been held responsible for the adult staffer's actions. I doubt that the chairman would have condoned such an action, but he could have gotten into trouble for that particular adult staffer's actions since the minor was part of the con's staff. (If the head staffer in that particular department refuses to take action, you really should report it to the Chairman immediately, when it occurred.)

Did you get the name of that adult staffer ?

I highly recommend that you notify the chairman, Hazel Chaz regarding who the adult staffer was in private. You don't have to say who the name of the adult staffer was in public, but you really need to notify the chairman ASAP so he can look into the matter and investigate the adult staffer who were responsible for giving out alchohol to a minor and prevent this from occurring again next year.

If the charges were found to to be true, that adult staffer should have no business working at any con. (He's very lucky that someone didn't report him to the police that night.)


Excerpts from California Law...

CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION: ARTICLE 20: MISCELLANEOUS SUBJECTS

Excerpt from Section 22:D:

"The sale, furnishing, giving, or causing to be sold, furnished, or
giving away of any alcoholic beverage to any person under the age of
21 years is hereby prohibited, and no person shall sell, furnish,
give, or cause to be sold, furnished, or given away any alcoholic
beverage to any person under the age of 21 years, and no person under
the age of 21 years shall purchase any alcoholic beverage."


1) Codified Statute: Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code s. 25658

(a) * * * every person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to be sold, furnished, or given away, any alcoholic beverage to any person under the age of 21 years is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Karisu-sama
02-01-2007, 03:21 AM
The "Green room" was horrible beyond belief
I believe this is the hotel's fault, not the Masquerade Directors' or the Con's.

A NORMAL green room, which a majority of us on Masq. staff are all very used to and MUCH prefer, is:
1) indoors,
2) warm,
3) has food and water catered by the con (but THAT was there, wasn't it? I heard it was),
4) has good lighting for last-minute makeup work etc. (as a Workmanship judge the lighting issue was also a huge rant for me this year, but I know it's the hotel's fault)
5) large projection or multiple TVs with good speakers, and
6) people can hear staffers and close-circuit simulcast just fine without electronic aids.

I certainly expect better next year, as I am quite familiar with the Burbank hotel.

One last rant about the Masquerade; no one told us we HAD to leave the room directly after our performance, I was told that I could go sit with my mom in the front row, but I didn't make my dicision till after I was in the lobby, when I whent back, to my "WTF" suprise, the doors were locked and could only be opened from the inside. it really sucked.
You said it was your 1st Masquerade as a contestant, so unfortunately you probably didn't know the common non-audience-members side of the story; I guess you would have had to speak to a knowledgeable staffer to find out why the doors were closed...

Ballroom doors are typically not set by the hotel to open randomly from the outside during performances, especially when the event is at about legal capacity, for 2 reasons: 1) so as not to disrupt the event and more importantly, 2) so as not to allow random numbers of people to violate the Fire Code capacity laws.

You can go to all the other hotel-located Masquerades you like, but I cannot guarantee they will all have a better hotel-enforced door policy or special set-aside contestant seating any more than the 2007 ALA; in fact, if you assume your experience was atypical in those two aspects, I suggest you might expect to face some disappointment out there.

Also, please read this post about the ballroom capacity, as I don't feel like typing the long thing twice:
http://forums.cosplay.com/showthread.php?p=1712177#post1712177


my friend who was a staff member (not only in title, she actually did things) and my Staff member boss dude, (who I also took as a responsible Staff member/Adult) WERE DRINGKING FRIDAY NIGHT AND SHE GOT WASTED! What kind of staff does this, DURING THE CON! It's irrisponsible, reakless, and down right stupid. But the worst, was that my friend (who I'll leave un-named so far) she, is UNDER THE LEGAL AGE FOR ALCHOHOL USAGE. Not only that, but the "responsible Staff member," when I told him this, shurugged it off; "What did you want me to do?" hm, I don't know, NOT GIVE AN UNDERAGE ALCHOHOL ON THE JOB!? I was appoled.
...And YOU didn't call Hotel security, or the cops?? Why on EARTH not, may I ask??? *is utterly baffled, and as a parent of underage teens, astounded*

If this story is true, I would bet anything that NONE of this was known about or condoned in the least by the Con Chair or anyone on senior staff, and they would likely have been very grateful to you if you had taken stronger action on this immediately, instead of "talking to the perpetrator and getting a brush-off." *I* sure as hell would have, if I'D seen such a thing.

EDIT: reading Hakaider's post, I must agree with him - put your money where your mouth is, PLEASE. No one should be allowed to get away with that.

one person posted some time ago that Chaz was "Admirabbly taking tha blame" this is BS, he's now forced too, that's why.
Forced? Considering how other very high up staff at other Anime cons (some of them large and supposedly prestigious Cons) have instead felt completely free to pass the buck and blame the victims when things went horribly wrong and people were rightly ranting, I myself am amazed and very pleased at Chaz's very different responses so far.

tweetychick630
02-01-2007, 03:25 AM
i feel that all this complaining has gotten a bit extreme. i know full well that these complaints will be taken seriously and that there will be some changes for next year. This con is still young and is still learning through these experiences. This year has supposedly been a big one and i have total faith in Chaz as well as the rest of the staff that it will be fixed and wont happen again. Not all things are the staff's fault and that should be taken into account. Just because its easy to blame them doesn't mean its ok.
Also, i feel that a lof of these complaints have become amplified in the mind of some. i bet there are some that didn't automatically think of their complaint when thinking of the con. i know that myself included didn't really remember something until i have seen all of these and wondered "did i ever see it happen?"
So please .... try to remember how much fun you had at the con before you get sucked into forgetting all of that.

Coincidentally, that reminds me of one of my own experiences. Yes, a staffer didn't treat me with too much respect (yelling and whatnot), but I brushed it off, actually slightly disregarded what they were saying (because it was said with disrespect), and went on my way, and haven't really thought about it until now. So yeah, I think it is a good idea to remember that people are people, who make mistakes, and since not everybody was perfect this year, let's strive for a much better next year.

And because I don't think I've posted in this thread yet, I would like to add to the props for the Con Suite. It was everlastingly yummy, and the Pocky Party hosted in there was amazing, too. So much Pocky! Ironically, the people staffing/volunteering there were INCREDIBLY nice, as most of the people in our group had forgotten our badges in the bag that was stashed with Zelda during our Masquerade skit. They knew we had been in the Masquerade, and were amazingly understanding about it, for which I am forever grateful (it took quite a bit to find the girl in our group with the bag >_<, running around cons and all). They made sure they'd remember us so we wouldn't take advantage of them and come again for more Pocky, but didn't harass us about the lack of badges at all. You guys were the best!:bigcry:

Also, because I haven't heard too much mention of it, I liked the late night karaoke room. It was laid back, and so funny (there was a guy who filled in gaps and downtime, and he was hilarious! I talked to him later and he said he wasn't actually a staff - make him one! >_< I'm bad with names though....). They were flexible with song selections (go iPods!), and even though there was quite a wait, it was well worth it.

And for the Masquerade - I guess I didn't have it that bad, with 3-4 layers (two petticoats, dress, etc....), and I completely understand there was nothing anyone could do. The Masquerade staffers made it the best possible out of a bad situation, and hopping between the gaps and raindrops was kind of fun! And Kevin answered so many of my questions before and during the con when he could've easily brushed me aside, it was really nice to get that kind of interaction, which also really helped my group with our skit. It was a great first Masquerade for me, thanks so much:toothy: .

Karisu-sama
02-01-2007, 03:31 AM
Yo, people. So far we have one allegation of a staffer getting someone underage drunk.

This is a very, very serious charge.

To the person making this charge:
PLEASE PROVIDE EVIDENCE ASAP if it is true. (And the underage person is free to come in and make the accusation as well, because it will be the ADULT who is responsible; the underage person will almost certainly not be the one charged as far as I know.)

Bring on evidence - to the Con staff, who I'll bet will start investigating the moment they read this too, because they are not idiots who would condone any illegal behavior, because it not only endangers the Con but especially the Membership.

And since there may be a possible pending legal issue: more discussion of this by others, especially as it's still an allegation, is only furthering drama, guys.

Hazel Chaz
02-01-2007, 03:39 AM
Yo, people. So far we have one allegation of a staffer getting someone underage drunk.

This is a very serious charge.

PLEASE PROVIDE EVIDENCE ASAP IF NOT YESTERDAY if it is true. (And the underage person is free to come in and make the accusation as well, because it will be the ADULT who is responsible; the underage person will almost certainly not be the one charged as far as I know.)
To add to that -- send me a PM, or e-mail me, chair at animelosangeles dot org. Don't post the acccusations here.

scifichicx
02-01-2007, 03:40 AM
Forget it. I pull my comment, because I suck at conveying my point and I don't want to cause any more trouble. Carry on. Forget I was here. Sorry for any inconvienence. I really just want all resolved. :)

Christophe
02-01-2007, 03:42 AM
i these complaints have become amplified in the mind of some. i bet there are some that didn't automatically think of their complaint when thinking of the con. i know that myself included didn't really remember something until i have seen all of these and wondered "did i ever see it happen?"
So please .... try to remember how much fun you had at the con before you get sucked into forgetting all of that.

It was the opposite for me. I wrote my comments during my long car ride home, thinking I'd be only one of a few complainers, hoping my voice would be heard. The grating experience with staff STUCK with me and its all I could think about afterward because it was a con I was looking forward to and it was supposed to be FUN.

But it was absolutely not. I couldn't hang out with my friends and relax, I couldn't cosplay and have my picture taken as usual. I have been to 40-50 odd conventions in the past 7 years and NEVER had problems like I did at ALA 07. THERE WAS NO FUN. Every social aspect of the con like taking pictures and talking randomly to friends was criminalized. Not to mention the harassment and BEING WATCHED EVERY SECOND.

So YES, I absolutely remember the FUN I had at the con because it was totally absent!

When I got home and saw all the posts I was like... holy crap... what I had to complain about seemed to be trivial. I had no idea the problems were so widespread. If anything I was inclined to complain less since people had already stated some of my complaints.

I'm not getting sucked in, and those who took the time to post did so for good, individual reasons and are not jumping on some sort of hate bandwagon. I have a pretty high tolerance for con incompetence and negligence and this is the FIRST TIME I have ever felt so strongly to have posted complaints. Believe me I have better things to do with my time!

AFadingDream
02-01-2007, 03:48 AM
I would like to add the positive things I have to say also about the convention, I don't want anybody thinking I'm an ALA hater just because I was "ejected". I'll be back next year to give it another chance. The con suite is ALWAYS awesome, and I love that it exists even at Ani-magic and a few other cons, I've always thought it's awesome how Chaz has that going, it's a very nice feature! Also I agree with what Lionel said, the ladies who were running the registration table in the lobby were incredibly sweet, and very kind. They were genuinely happy to see our costumes and asked about them! I only have one more thought I'd like to share, some of you feel as though the complaining is getting to be "too much". You all know your fellow con goers, and know that they would only say these things if they were truly upset. It can be easy to think that this is getting out of hand when you were not kicked out of the convention -_-. Please be understanding of the people posting their concerns, I feel everyone is being very genuine with their complaints and that they're going about it in a positive way. We all want a great ALA right? I'm glad to see how many of us are coming together to voice our opinions and stick together. And, MUCH thanks to Chaz for constantly reading this thread and responding to all of us, he really is doing our best for us, I have faith in you Chaz.

Karisu-sama
02-01-2007, 03:50 AM
I have been to 40-50 odd conventions in the past 7 years and NEVER had problems like I did at ALA 07.
I've been to hundreds of conventions in the past 29 years, and sadly I HAVE seen stuff similar to this on rare occasions. However, I don't recall anyone before actually saying they'd work on trying to change it, so in light of reponses here, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for a better 2008...

audioventchick
02-01-2007, 04:01 AM
Agreed with AFadingDream. The ladies at the badge table were very nice. I had a great time at the con until the very last moments. As for taking the blame for everything Chaz, we (or at least I) know it all wasn't your fault. Sure, telling the staff to have positive attitudes could have made the world of difference, but their rude attitude was their decision. It's like a kid doing something bad and then blaming the parent..... the decision is made from the child, and they take it out. And for those who are complaining about too much staff complaining, you would feel the same way if you had a weekend filled with so much fun, and have it dampered by one person.

didjiman
02-01-2007, 04:02 AM
I've been to hundreds of conventions in the past 29 years, and sadly I HAVE seen stuff similar to this on rare occasions. However, I don't recall anyone before actually saying they'd work on trying to change it, so in light of reponses here, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for a better 2008...

Wow, I didn't know your parents were as enlightened as we are and took their kidz to cons before they turned one!
:toothy: :bigtu:

Narniacat
02-01-2007, 04:04 AM
I checked in friday 10min to 8 and whoever was working at the table... I LOVE YOU!! both of them were sooo nice and sweet and helpful. we had a mini problem with my bf's registration name and they found and fixed the problem and were nice the whole time.

<3

Karisu-sama
02-01-2007, 04:15 AM
Wow, I didn't know your parents were as enlightened as we are and took their kidz to cons before they turned one!
:toothy: :bigtu:
Why yes, as I'm still 29, and I'm sticking to that story... XD

Eurobeat King
02-01-2007, 04:18 AM
i feel that all this complaining has gotten a bit extreme. i know full well that these complaints will be taken seriously and that there will be some changes for next year. This con is still young and is still learning through these experiences. This year has supposedly been a big one and i have total faith in Chaz as well as the rest of the staff that it will be fixed and wont happen again. Not all things are the staff's fault and that should be taken into account. Just because its easy to blame them doesn't mean its ok.
Also, i feel that a lof of these complaints have become amplified in the mind of some. i bet there are some that didn't automatically think of their complaint when thinking of the con. i know that myself included didn't really remember something until i have seen all of these and wondered "did i ever see it happen?"
So please .... try to remember how much fun you had at the con before you get sucked into forgetting all of that.

I created this thread to ask what people thought about the con, and they are free to post whatever they wish to say: that includes the positives and the negatives about their ALA experiences. If someone has some good times to share and people to thank, they can do so. And if someone didn't enjoy their weekend, they can say what caused that. During the con you could see that staffers were bugging a lot of convention attendees, so complaints were surely going to be expressed after the con. From the posts, it seems that the negatives will outweigh the positives, but there are positives nonetheless.

squirrellyness
02-01-2007, 04:21 AM
I created this thread to ask what people thought about the con, and they are free to post whatever they wish to say: that includes the positives and the negatives about their ALA experiences. If someone has some good times to share and people to thank, they can do so. And if someone didn't enjoy their weekend, they can say what caused that. During the con you could see that staffers were bugging a lot of convention attendees, so complaints were surely going to be expressed after the con. From the posts, it seems that the negatives will outweigh the positives, but there are positives nonetheless.

im not saying they can't ... i am just stating my opinion as well. i only wished to remind people that there were good times too. i didn't mean to contradict what anyone else posted, just to add my own two cents in.

SumisuRin
02-01-2007, 04:42 AM
I, for one, am sick of hearing (reading) all the gripes! Yes, there were some good things at ALA3, but overall the convention sucked. Looking at every perspective - it was a lousey event. Administration screwed up with its bad pre-con preparations and last minute 'throw it together' attitude. There can be no doubt Execution/Implementation was hostile to the cons own interests with the badge police squads in full force. Operations was absolutely a joke leaving a single staff person in a room marked "OPS" doesn't quite cut it for convention oversight in my book. Guest relations stunk. What con in their right mind throws out a high powered member of the anime community, doesn't even recognize famous voice actors or cosplayers and shows old videos in the video rooms? Only at ALA3. Nope there's no amount of sweet talking that'll make me change my opinion of this con. It sucked all the way.

I'm not even going to touch on the 'apologies' because both Chaz and Kate were forced into making them. Chaz can be curt and even caustic at times, (I know I've been on the receiving end of that situation) frankly he has a lot more to lose if he didn't take the hit and make an apology. Kate on the other hand wrote a lot of empty patronizing junk disguised as an apology. Nope not changing my mind.

I really had a good time at ALA1 and ALA2, and I hope ALA4 is better, but I'm sticking with my opinion of ALA3.

LadyAmaryllis
02-01-2007, 05:10 AM
I, for one, am sick of hearing (reading) all the gripes! Yes, there were some good things at ALA3, but overall the convention sucked. Looking at every perspective - it was a lousey event.

Discussing it in an open forum like this helps the people in charge to pinpoint what went wrong and to make sure that they can avoid it next year. Ideally, the comments here will be constructive.

I'm not even going to touch on the 'apologies' because both Chaz and Kate were forced into making them. Chaz can be curt and even caustic at times, (I know I've been on the receiving end of that situation) frankly he has a lot more to lose if he didn't take the hit and make an apology. Kate on the other hand wrote a lot of empty patronizing junk disguised as an apology. Nope not changing my mind.


I'm not sure making this personal and attacking motives is the best option. ALA is a non profit con - everything they're doing is for us as much as it is for them. I don't think it's fair to dismiss their apologies. Without that, we wouldn't be moving forward to make positive changes.

Karisu-sama
02-01-2007, 05:30 AM
I'm not even going to touch on the 'apologies' because both Chaz and Kate were forced into making them.
Sa. I stand by what I've said - staffers at other cons don't appear to feel "forced" in the least into making any apologies whatsoever, no matter how many legit gripes people post about what happened.

And it's not impossible ALA Ops staff actually meant them. For what gain would they WANT to throw a sucky con? It's not an Industry con - no one's getting paid for running this con. What's the point of actually trying to give oneself a bad name by pissing off the fans?

Unforeseen things can happen, volunteers one thought one could trust can turn out to have friggin' god-complexes, etc. This is NOT in the least the first convention where I've seen it happen. The honorable thing for anyone in charge when such happens is obviously to apologize and make an effort to do better. Unless it proves to be a repeating, intentional pattern, it's worth some benefit of the doubt, at least IMO. YMMV.

SumisuRin
02-01-2007, 05:35 AM
I'm not sure making this personal and attacking motives is the best option. ALA is a non profit con - everything they're doing is for us as much as it is for them. I don't think it's fair to dismiss their apologies. Without that, we wouldn't be moving forward to make positive changes.[/QUOTE]

It's not personal. It's my concerted opinion, my first hand experience and my own educated knowledge of how conventions are put together, executed and successful. You don't think it's fair - fine! I'm not buying the 'suck up to the fans and maybe they'll come back apologies. Period.

SumisuRin
02-01-2007, 05:42 AM
And it's not impossible ALA Ops staff actually meant them. For what gain would they WANT to throw a sucky con? It's not an Industry con - no one's getting paid for running this con. What's the point of actually trying to give oneself a bad name by pissing off the fans?.

No one said it was intentional! You've made my point exactly - an apology had to be made in order to maintain the membership. I commend the Chairman for making the effort, but I also realize he was forced to do it.

Karisu-sama
02-01-2007, 05:44 AM
SumisuRin: others of us have plenty of first hand experience and educated knowledge of how by-fan-for-fan conventions are run, too, some of us decades' worth. As I said, though, YMMV - Your mileage may vary. You are certainly entitled to your opinion.

You've made my point exactly - an apology had to be made in order to maintain the membership.
Certainly an apology had to be made. However, I simply don't see where what I said proves your point.

When I screw up and make an apology for something I am responsible for, it's because I am actually sorry and ashamed it occurred at all, and it's because I didn't intend or possibly anticipate for the screw-up to happen, NOT because I was "forced to apologize". If I mean it from my heart, where's the "forced"? Therefore I will concede that it is possible that others are also capable of being sincerely sorry too, not as in "sorry we had to apologize".

Rogue Marvel
02-01-2007, 01:26 PM
What con in their right mind throws out a high powered member of the anime community, doesn't even recognize famous voice actors or cosplayers and shows old videos in the video rooms?

Since the other subjects have been touched on I will address the voice actors cosplayers compliant.

Anime LA is still a new and small con. It costs a lot of money to bring out and invite famous voice actors(flight, hotel, translators in some cases and so on. My understanding is as of right now ALA doesn't have a guest relations department for inviting and coordinating big guest (but they are look into it, possible for next year). They do indeed still have guests many of which come purely for the love of the con and the Fans, our Wonderful Toast Master and Mr Kyle Hubert are too examples of that.

As far as recognizing cosplayers, I think the Masquerade does a fine job of that. Again it takes a lot of to invite some big name cosplayer out to a con and its not like there weren't enough well known cosplayers at the con, or directly involved with the con and running panels.

I'm really not sure what you are complaining about. I thought ALA had a very good selection of guest (not just voice actors but manga artist too) and tons of events where known cosplayers were able to share there knowledge and work.

Do they need to fly someone in from out of state to qualify as recognizing famous voice actors and cosplayers?

HybridTwist
02-01-2007, 01:49 PM
I, for one, am sick of hearing (reading) all the gripes! Yes, there were some good things at ALA3, but overall the convention sucked. Looking at every perspective - it was a lousey event. Administration screwed up with its bad pre-con preparations and last minute 'throw it together' attitude. There can be no doubt Execution/Implementation was hostile to the cons own interests with the badge police squads in full force. Operations was absolutely a joke leaving a single staff person in a room marked "OPS" doesn't quite cut it for convention oversight in my book. Guest relations stunk. What con in their right mind throws out a high powered member of the anime community, doesn't even recognize famous voice actors or cosplayers and shows old videos in the video rooms? Only at ALA3. Nope there's no amount of sweet talking that'll make me change my opinion of this con. It sucked all the way.

I'm not even going to touch on the 'apologies' because both Chaz and Kate were forced into making them. Chaz can be curt and even caustic at times, (I know I've been on the receiving end of that situation) frankly he has a lot more to lose if he didn't take the hit and make an apology. Kate on the other hand wrote a lot of empty patronizing junk disguised as an apology. Nope not changing my mind.

I really had a good time at ALA1 and ALA2, and I hope ALA4 is better, but I'm sticking with my opinion of ALA3.

Ouch, you don't hold any punches, do you? You sound so angry, lol. Try to be a little bit more calm/composed when you want to write a complaint. That way people will take you more seriously and not think that you are making childish criticism remarks.

I have to agree that this ALA wasn't the best it could have been, but everything can't always be perfect (or close to being perfect). Also, Chaz and the head of security made their apologies and some people will accept those apologies, while others (like yourself) won't. Okay, we get that now, so let's just drop it there and leave it. Chaz knows now what needs to be changed (security and video room for example) and I have faith in him that he will change them and make them for the better.

I wish I could tell everyone else from now on to make all their posts in this thread to be positive experiences, but I'm realistic. I'm sure other people will want their voices heard about what they didn't like. But who knows.

Christophe
02-01-2007, 01:58 PM
Anime LA is still a new and small con. It costs a lot of money to bring out and invite famous voice actors(flight, hotel, translators in some cases and so on. My understanding is as of right now ALA doesn't have a guest relations department for inviting and coordinating big guest (but they are look into it, possible for next year). They do indeed still have guests many of which come purely for the love of the con and the Fans, our Wonderful Toast Master and Mr Kyle Hubert are too examples of that.

As far as recognizing cosplayers, I think the Masquerade does a fine job of that. Again it takes a lot of to invite some big name cosplayer out to a con and its not like there weren't enough well known cosplayers at the con, or directly involved with the con and running panels.

I'm really not sure what you are complaining about. I thought ALA had a very good selection of guest (not just voice actors but manga artist too) and tons of events where known cosplayers were able to share there knowledge and work.

Do they need to fly someone in from out of state to qualify as recognizing famous voice actors and cosplayers?


I think the point she was trying to make was that well known people who WERE at the con who had panels and programming such as Kyle Herbert and Spike Spencer were not listed as *guests of honor*, despite the fact that they are well known in anime con circles and usually have Guest of Honor status. People sometimes go to cons just to see these people, they are huge draws for our segment of the community, and to see them.... somewhat belittled like that doesn't really feel right.

Unless you looked at the schedule itself, there was no way to even know Kyle or Spike would be there, and there are some anime fans who would just shrug off a con that appeared to be void of anime guests. There were no recognizable anime-fandom names on the GOH roster EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE THERE and workin' it like the do for the other cons. Kind of a shame.

Maguma
02-01-2007, 02:01 PM
I think the point she was trying to make was that well known people who WERE at the con who had panels and programming such as Kyle Herbert and Spike Spencer were not listed as *guests of honor*, despite the fact that they are well known in anime con circles and usually have Guest of Honor status. People sometimes go to cons just to see these people, they are huge draws for our segment of the community, and to see them.... somewhat belittled like that doesn't really feel right.

Unless you looked at the schedule itself, there was no way to even know Kyle or Spike would be there, and there are some anime fans who would just shrug off a con that appeared to be void of anime guests. There were no recognizable anime-fandom names on the GOH roster EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE THERE and workin' it like the do for the other cons. Kind of a shame.

Yeah, since they also do have their busy schedules. I chat with Kyle sometimes on AIM and at times he's got a lot on his plate. So putting them down as a guest of honor is a bit deserved for someone who is working in the industry and is gunna help out the con. in one of our convos he even mentioned that he didn't mind that they listed him as a guest of honor but it still sounded like he was a bit, un easy that he didn't get a mention such as that but just that he was doing a panel. Do the ALA staff talk to the people they invite about what their status at the convention would be and see if it suits the invitee??

Anele
02-01-2007, 02:28 PM
Oh my God have i wanted to do this since the con! *rant time, YAY!*
I havn't been able to post my own complaints for the entire con till now, I'll make this short for my own sake first though so I'll only byatch about one thing; the MASQUERADE.

[etc. etc. etc. ...]

In response to Kurai_811's post:

Like Kevin said, I too am sorry you had such a bad experience with the masquerade. And everyone can voice their own opinions.

--But you have to take some things into account.

Most of what you stated and/or complained about things were things out of Kevin and Andy's (or any staffer for that matter) control. The hotel screwed up a MULTITUDE of things, and for that, no one should have to suffer the consequences of anything related to hotel-screw-up issues. The masquerade [or what I could see/hear backstage, anyways] was run incredibly well, even if the hotel was stupid in the fact that it did not tell any staff member AHEAD of time the heaters were broken (how funny the ALL of them seemed to be broken at once >_> thanks, hotel), or did not make one move to maybe place a tarp or something over the green room ceiling to prevent leaking from the rain. I mean, even though I really could only see blurs of people , I saw and heard that they were having fun, and by golly, the awards ceremony afterwards came earlier than last year! And there were a heck of a lot more people at that!

If anything, formal complaints should be made to the actual [I]hotel for the green room catastrophes. Andy and Kevin worked with what they were given, and they did a great job doing that, and whatever was in their power to do.

Rogue Marvel
02-01-2007, 02:31 PM
I talk to Kyle a lot during the Con myself (spike couldn't make it) and it had been my understanding that He came on his own accord the past two years. He lives very close and likes talking to fans so he just decided to come. I heard that last year the con found out last minute that he was planning to attend so they asked him to do a few panels.

I do understand that people could see not listing a them as a GOH can be seen as disrespectful but if the con didn't know they were coming till later (sometimes the books are made up long before the programing schedule is decided and printed) they might not have been able to list them.

Also on a side note a lot of cons do not list Voice actors as GOH but just guest, but thats just arguing semantics.

Hazel Chaz
02-01-2007, 02:59 PM
I think the point she was trying to make was that well known people who WERE at the con who had panels and programming such as Kyle Herbert and Spike Spencer were not listed as *guests of honor*, despite the fact that they are well known in anime con circles and usually have Guest of Honor status. People sometimes go to cons just to see these people, they are huge draws for our segment of the community, and to see them.... somewhat belittled like that doesn't really feel right.
We reserve the term Guest of Honor for the few that get the full red-carpet treatment: we pay for their transportation to the convention, we give them a hotel room, we give them some money for meals, and they're our "headliners."

Everyone else on the program are considered Program Participants, or Speakers, or small-g guests.

In the case of Kyle and company, I didn't ask for a list of names to start putting on our publicity early enough, so that would be my fault for not spotlighting them better. And I didn't keep on top of the bio-collecting end of things so we didn't have any kind of run-down on "who's who" like we did last year. Last year the pocket program had a bios section as well as the schedule, and I burned the midnight oil getting that ready in time; this year, I couldn't take it on but I didn't hand off the project to someone else soon enough.

For next year, we're working out a timetable of "get this part done by October, this stuff in November..." so I'm hoping we can do that part better.

...and shows old videos in the video rooms?
Funny, I had some people tell me that they were glad to see some of the old-school stuff that got them into anime fandom in the first place.

We try to show some old stuff and some new stuff, and mix it up a bit. We are certainly interested in finding someone who would like to take on the job of scheduling which anime to show when. Maybe even decide ahead of time which should be shown subtitled and which should be dubbed. The schedule this year was put together by my trying to merge a schedule Brett wrote up with some of the J-movies that James had clearances for. So there wasn't really one person putting the whole thing together.

...To put it another way: I'm looking for a volunteer who'll put together the perfect video room schedule, does that sound like something you'd like to do? Getting permissions isn't the problem; if it's been released on DVD, we can probably get permission to show it. Given that, here's the challenge: Pick them!

With all the complaints that came DURING the con on all 3 days, that should've given you the signal that there was a problem at the convention while it was happening, not after it was all over and then read about it on the forums. If any of these complaints were brought to your attention during the con, would you not have assessed that something wasn't going well and perhaps try to figure out how to fix it before the weekend ended?
Had I heard about "all the complaints that came DURING the con" in time, yes, of course I would have done something. I'm planning on having a team that's not part of any other department who will receive complaints so that if there's a trend we can spot it in time. After all, we could fix the problems in one area and have something ELSE go wrong, so I want to be able to head off unexpected problems when they come up.

I would like to add the positive things I have to say also about the convention, I don't want anybody thinking I'm an ALA hater just because I was "ejected". I'll be back next year to give it another chance.
Ejected? Hmmm. May I ask your name, please? (It's not Kevin Lillard, is it?) What was your badge number?

The con suite is ALWAYS awesome, and I love that it exists even at Ani-magic and a few other cons, I've always thought it's awesome how Chaz has that going, it's a very nice feature!
The "Con Suite at Ani-magic" is really just a promotional stunt -- I realized the concept was hard to get across to people who'd never seen one, so I figured I'd just put something together in my room. It's really an open room party. See also the "Loscon room" at this year's convention. At FanimeCon last year, I brought fixings for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bottled water out to the main concourse on Saturday night, because hardly anyone had stumbled onto our room upstairs.

Also I agree with what Lionel said, the ladies who were running the registration table in the lobby were incredibly sweet, and very kind. They were genuinely happy to see our costumes and asked about them!
Registration was headed up by my wife, Lynn Baden, and our treasurer, Elayne Pelz. It was their idea to open at 8:00 in the morning so that we wouldn't have long lines. Last year's line-up was a big, big factor in our planning...

Kurai_811
02-01-2007, 05:04 PM
I'm sorry your experience was so miserable. Rogue Marvel has covered the situation fairly accurately.

The hotel screwed us on the green room space. The roof leaked and there was no heat. I would never have agreed to using that space had we known of those problems.

Because of the rain, we had to move photography across the courtyard into the green room, which ate up a third of our space.

I specifically asked if we could use the restaurant front doors after the restaurant closed and was told yes. The hotel screwed us again there when they insisted people go around through the rain after the show started.

This is the first year we've had any video feed at all to the green room. I'm sorry everyone couldn't see it.

In short, I'm sorry you were miserable, but there was absolutely nothing I could do to change things when it all happened. We did the best we could do under suddenly impossible circumstances.

Thank you for being the ONLY person to explain to me the difficulties the Masquerade was going through, and not badgering me as if I knew from the start the hotel screwed everyone. No one told us that, so seriously, thank you. ^_^

As for Andy and Kevin, I NOT ONCE said ANYTHING was especially their fault, now did I!? I complained about what I didn't like, I'm not blaming them for the bad weather, or the leaks in the roof, or the heaters not working, I know damn well that's out of their control! And now that I understand and am aware of how the hotel screwed them over, all I can ask is if something was done or tried to get us in better conditions, that's all. Out of everything in the Green Room, most of which WAS out of their control that made it hell, I do agree that the Masquerade was run very well, and complimented them on it the next time I saw them. It was because of Kevin and Andy that it went so well, and my ONE and ONLY complaint about the Masqurade staff was that they needed a rolled up magazine or something so most of us could hear. That was the ONLY and minor complaint I had with them.

As for Staff Drinking, I will PM/or E-mail Chaz about it and move it from here.

- Kurai_811, Thanks BoinkCoBoy

Anele
02-01-2007, 06:16 PM
Thank you for being the ONLY person to explain to me the difficulties the Masquerade was going through, and not badgering me as if I knew from the start the hotel screwed everyone. No one told us that, so seriously, thank you. ^_^

As for Andy and Kevin, I NOT ONCE said ANYTHING was especially their fault, now did I!? I complained about what I didn't like, I'm not blaming them for the bad weather, or the leaks in the roof, or the heaters not working, I know damn well that's out of their control! And now that I understand and am aware of how the hotel screwed them over, all I can ask is if something was done or tried to get us in better conditions, that's all. Out of everything in the Green Room, most of which WAS out of their control that made it hell, I do agree that the Masquerade was run very well, and complimented them on it the next time I saw them. It was because of Kevin and Andy that it went so well, and my ONE and ONLY complaint about the Masqurade staff was that they needed a rolled up magazine or something so most of us could hear. That was the ONLY and minor complaint I had with them.

As for Staff Drinking, I will PM/or E-mail Chaz about it and move it from here.

- Kurai_811, Thanks BoinkCoBoy

Whoa, Kurai, I was just stating facts. I wasn't getting on your case for anything. o_O Take a breather, it's okay. *blinks*

Kurai_811
02-01-2007, 08:27 PM
Whoa, Kurai, I was just stating facts. I wasn't getting on your case for anything. o_O Take a breather, it's okay. *blinks*

It wasn't specifically directed at you, Anele, just everyone who did jump down my throat about how I blamed Kevin and Andy for everything, where if you re-read my post, I blamed them for nothing, the Masquerade was the best main event of the con. I didn't know, NONE of us knew that the hotel screwed the con over, I'm just making it clear, that's all.

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

This'll be my last post on the discussion of how crappy the con was, it's been a week already, it's not worth it, I recognize Staff are going to try their best to fix as many problems they possibly can for next year and I still MIGHT go, see how many steps I can take into the building before getting my badge revoked for some god knows why reason. lol You can call me what you want, you can brand me as you wish but I have stated my opinion and will forever stand by it because that is what I believe. Sad how so many people, including my closest friends, are frightened by staff members to post their opinions out of fear for being banned from forums and/or branded as a brat or bitch in the SoCal community, which I do not blame them for.

I'm looking forward as to what'll happen with the next ALA,

-Kurai_811

Hazel Chaz
02-01-2007, 09:28 PM
I'd like to correct this. I did not end up attending this event, therefore MTV did not attend or film at ALA.The cameraman and I ended up going down Highland Blvd. in Hollywood to film mid-afternoon Saturday. I'm not the kind to sneak past a con's radar when I've been informed that our presence filming Anime LA was not welcome.
My apologies. We had a guy come up with professional-grade equipment saying that he was filming a "young costume designer" who was attending the convention. We told him that the Masquerade was off-limits, but that the rule for videotaping in general was to ask permission and get a video release form signed.

It sounded suspiciously like your guy, which is why I posted the bit you're correcting me on. Thanks for the correction.

We had a number of video people at the con, and we're working out what our policy is going to be next year.

Thank you for the feedback. ^_^ I would like to implement it next year as well, location permitting. It's something that the artists' enjoy, as they don't have to pack up and run to the hotel room to keep working. Or in some cases, run home... >>;;
I'd just like to ask the artists to set up before the dealers room opens again so that we don't have them setting up while people are trying to get in. Apart from that, they can keep as early or late hours as they like. (How late? They can keep going while the dance is going on, if they feel like it.)

The place we're putting them in has an eastern exposure, so there's a lot of light in the afternoon, considering...

Hazel Chaz
02-02-2007, 12:21 AM
And, MUCH thanks to Chaz for constantly reading this thread and responding to all of us, he really is doing our best for us, I have faith in you Chaz.
Aw, gawrsh, you're making me blush. *stubs toe* I will admit that I'm re-reading the threads, over and over, and sometimes finding additional comment hooks.

Any new people we haven't heard from yet? Anybody see my post about the fairy godfather team on the other thread -- should I repeat it over here? Technically it's a "next year" item which is why I posted it in the 2008 topic.

P.S. apologies for the double post, I'd forgotten that I'd posted here less than 3 hours before.

didjiman
02-02-2007, 01:08 AM
Thank you for being the ONLY person to explain to me the difficulties the Masquerade was going through, and not badgering me as if I knew from the start the hotel screwed everyone. No one told us that, so seriously, thank you. ^_^

...
- Kurai_811, Thanks BoinkCoBoy

In case you didn't know, BoinkCoBoy is Kevin :-)

Things to consider is that Kevin and Andy are old time costumers themselves. They would be the last people wanting to screw costumers over. :)

Neo_Serenity
02-02-2007, 01:29 AM
...Sad how so many people, including my closest friends, are frightened by staff members to post their opinions out of fear for being banned from forums and/or branded as a brat or bitch in the SoCal community, which I do not blame them for.

I'm looking forward as to what'll happen with the next ALA,

-Kurai_811

I find your comment strange since so many people have felt perfectly comfortable posting their issues with the convention here, in public, on a widely read cosplay site. However, although I know other conventions have an underhanded policy of 'blacklisting', this convention is NOT one of them. I wouldn't be on staff here if it was, because I do not subscribe to that sort of behavior.

In addition, there are other avenues of getting a hold of Chaz that are not public, and if your friends that are concerned have anything significant to add to the concerns already listed, I encourage them to go ahead and contact him. One method is the PM here on c.c. He can also be PMd on the ALA boards at animelosangeles.org (go to forums).

Christophe
02-02-2007, 02:18 AM
I find your comment strange since so many people have felt perfectly comfortable posting their issues with the convention here, in public, on a widely read cosplay site. However, although I know other conventions have an underhanded policy of 'blacklisting', this convention is NOT one of them. I wouldn't be on staff here if it was, because I do not subscribe to that sort of behavior.

In addition, there are other avenues of getting a hold of Chaz that are not public, and if your friends that are concerned have anything significant to add to the concerns already listed, I encourage them to go ahead and contact him. One method is the PM here on c.c. He can also be PMd on the ALA boards at animelosangeles.org (go to forums).

She wasn't talking about here, she was talking about the ALA forums. People are afraid to post on the ALA forums because of the selective approval process and being outnumbered by staff. My posts were originally intended to go on those forums, but I was puzzled when I noticed there weren't very many negative posts. I then found this forum where everyone seemed to be talking and read how people had to wait to get approved for the ALA one. Even if other attendees agreed with me on that forum, they wouldn't be able to speak up since most people with issues don't have posting privileges there and are already able to speak their piece here on cosplay.com. The ALA board is mostly staffers and I've witnessed them mercilessly jump down the throat of those who posted negatives. Even if opinions and criticisms are well reasoned and constructive, it would be insane to jump into a fire like that.

Karisu-sama
02-02-2007, 02:39 AM
I thought the selective approval process was to try to keep out spammers and bots, not to "blacklist" people. A lot of the boards I've joined are doing that these days, and there are some insanely spammer/spambot-happy-days here when I wish Cosplay.com would do something along those lines too. :p

However, I haven't spent much time on the ALA boards at all, except to post in the thread about that "Sh***y Cosplayers" nonsense a while back. Has there been any complaints of the ALA forums actually deleting any posting of criticisms?

RivetSPOOn
02-02-2007, 02:48 AM
She wasn't talking about here, she was talking about the ALA forums. People are afraid to post on the ALA forums because of the selective approval process and being outnumbered by staff. My posts were originally intended to go on those forums, but I was puzzled when I noticed there weren't very many negative posts. I then found this forum where everyone seemed to be talking and read how people had to wait to get approved for the ALA one. Even if other attendees agreed with me on that forum, they wouldn't be able to speak up since most people with issues don't have posting privileges there and are already able to speak their piece here on cosplay.com. The ALA board is mostly staffers and I've witnessed them mercilessly jump down the throat of those who posted negatives. Even if opinions and criticisms are well reasoned and constructive, it would be insane to jump into a fire like that.

It's a valid concern for people to have. The approval process isn't so much selective as it is to weed out bots. Groups of people don't get approved right away, simply because of timing, not their names. Only the Admin may approve names, and right now that's Chaz, and as of right now he has a lot on his plate. Users will be approved as he gets to them.

I will make the point that some of the negative responses on the ALA forum are not constructive and are downright out of line (and are still up for all to see!). The forum is not our private sanctuary, though, and we do encourage people (once approved... >>;;;) to post their thoughts there where All of ALA staff can see them. As you've seen on the threads here, we do listen, and we do want to hear what we can do to improve our convention. The only difference is that the ALA forum is strictly about ALA, and your thoughts will not have to duke it out with the Full Metal Alchemist Gathering. :)

didjiman
02-02-2007, 07:00 AM
.... I then found this forum where everyone seemed to be talking and read how people had to wait to get approved for the ALA one. Even if other attendees agreed with me on that forum, they wouldn't be able to speak up since most people with issues don't have posting privileges there and are already able to speak their piece here on cosplay.com.....

Chris, I *tried* to run a forum for our product support and you would not believe how many spammers try to crash it. It takes a lot of effort to weed out spam bots. Admin has some magic up his sleeves for cosplay.com to run so smoothly.

Christophe
02-02-2007, 08:27 AM
It's a valid concern for people to have. The approval process isn't so much selective as it is to weed out bots. Groups of people don't get approved right away, simply because of timing, not their names. Only the Admin may approve names, and right now that's Chaz, and as of right now he has a lot on his plate. Users will be approved as he gets to them.

I read that elsewhere as well, that approval was delayed due to spam bot weeding. Although it should be noted that when my ALA forum account was approved some weeks ago, it took only 23 minutes to be approved. (I just checked the timestamps).

Whether the delays are intentional or not, its going to take some of the wind out of the sails of people who are lined up to vent about their bad experiences. Generally a forum only works when people are able to speak without having to wait or go through too much trouble to do so, and people are less inclined to do it if their peers aren't there to view what they say or help back them up.

The pattern is pretty easy to see from the activity here and on the various livejournals - thats where people are doing the talking, and its pretty quiet on the ALA forums. In any case, people have their places to talk and I was just stating the reason myself and others chose to post here instead of there.



I will make the point that some of the negative responses on the ALA forum are not constructive and are downright out of line (and are still up for all to see!). The forum is not our private sanctuary, though, and we do encourage people (once approved... >>;;;) to post their thoughts there where All of ALA staff can see them. As you've seen on the threads here, we do listen, and we do want to hear what we can do to improve our convention. The only difference is that the ALA forum is strictly about ALA, and your thoughts will not have to duke it out with the Full Metal Alchemist Gathering. :)

Well, a wrong and a wrong don't make a right, and adding another wrong to it en masse just makes it worse and seem like the ALA forums are a den of wolves. Isn't it a bit hypocritical to jump on someone for jumping on someone? Especially in a situation in which they are honestly upset about the things that happened... After witnessing and hearing some of the things going on this past weekend its not surprising that you're going to get people who are that upset and comments that are emotionally charged. Staff should be especially sensitive about that now and *even if the comments are out of line*, making others feel even more mistreated and attacking such an easy target just makes the apologies seem completely insincere. Not to mention scaring off people who may have had something constructive to say.

I do understand that you'd prefer constructive comments and truly appreciate the listening that you've done here. I just don't think people feel safe criticizing ALA on its own forum for the reasons stated earlier.

Hazel Chaz
02-02-2007, 02:29 PM
The following handles are awaiting approval on Anime Los Angeles's forums, either because they're very recent and I haven't gotten around to them, or because when I looked at the info for them it wasn't clear that they were real people.


username user_email user_interests
AlexBolduin farina@(domain) Sport
fseSUPra reg4@(domain)
Funny Muffins FunnyMuffins@(domain)
iFOUNTITff reg2@(domain)
Itachikun genesisdbzsite@(domain)
SigarNeu buka@(domain) newport cigarette
Sol Badguy honkeykong86@(domain)
Sydney2K wsantoso@(domain)
virusq virusq@(domain)
wewywuri 3@(domain) Internet


The ones with user_interests of "Sport" or "Internet" or "newport cigarette" are pretty obviously spambot signups. The funny upper-lowercase ones with "reg2" and "reg4" look suspicious, esp. considering they're at the same domain. (I've removed the domain names from this list, but I can see them when I look them up.)

The ones with the same username as their e-mail address are borderline.

Most of these I've sent e-mail asking "are you real?" Sometimes the e-mail bounces, which is a clear indication. I also put a "please tell us you're real" in the e-mail confirmation that goes out, and that helps too.

But if any of these are you -- tell me right away, I'll get you authorized in.

And no, I'm not censoring posts or signups. Hell, we left the shittycosplayers stuff up and that was months ago.

I just don't think people feel safe criticizing ALA on its own forum for the reasons stated earlier.
*Sigh* I set up a forum just for complaints. "Complaints and Suggestions" and I made it it the very first one, so people could see that we'd set up a place for them to post. See for yourself -- http://www.animelosangeles.org/bbs/

People are afraid to post on the ALA forums because of the selective approval process and being outnumbered by staff.
Outnumbered? Hardly. There are well over 500 people on the memberlist right now, and I assure you they're not all staff.

Maguma
02-02-2007, 03:04 PM
Outnumbered? Hardly. There are well over 500 people on the memberlist right now, and I assure you they're not all staff.

Yea but how many of them actually keep constant postings? most of the stuff i've seen on there are maybe a few posts from Inuashley, BrianAnim and the ALA staff

RivetSPOOn
02-02-2007, 03:14 PM
That's their prerogative. Once they're approved, they can post all they want, or all they don't want. And from the perspective of someone that would prefer to simply lurk, I can see both angles.

I can tell you that not all staff post on the forum, either. The attendee memberships all outweigh us.

Christophe
02-02-2007, 04:35 PM
And no, I'm not censoring posts or signups. Hell, we left the shittycosplayers stuff up and that was months ago.


*Sigh* I set up a forum just for complaints. "Complaints and Suggestions" and I made it it the very first one, so people could see that we'd set up a place for them to post. See for yourself -- http://www.animelosangeles.org/bbs/


Outnumbered? Hardly. There are well over 500 people on the memberlist right now, and I assure you they're not all staff.

*double sigh* Yes, I know about the complaints and suggestions thread, I saw it and was about to post there until I realized no one was posting there. I wondered why and then found literally hundreds of posts on cosplay.com and photographer/cosplayer livejournals. You know which ones I'm talking about.

People aren't going to want to take the extra trouble to sign up on another board to vent or complain, they're going to use what they already have to communicate. Also they'll speak frankly in places where their peers can hear them. No one wants to talk in a place where they have no friends, and even worse where there's potentially people who will flame them for saying something.

So, someone finally posts to the complaints board. It rubs staffers in the wrong way so multiple staffers gang up on her, she didn't have a chance. Granted, the tone of her post could have been more constructive but under these circumstances the people most likely to post are going to be the ones who are reacting to the way they've been treated and what they've witnessed and thats often going to be *emotionally charged*.

If you kick a dog, it may bite back. Its a natural reaction. You don't have to then shoot the dog in the head because it bit you. You can either be bigger than the problem and show some understanding or you can continue the cycle that was started by staffer's abrasiveness in the first place. The counter-reactions from staff aren't going to make others want to post, no matter how justified the reasons may be.

I never thought that complaints were being taken down or people were being censored. People just perceive that since its more trouble to sign up and wait for approval, that its not worth the trouble. They aren't even going to try, and will just talk it out here or on LJ.

These past posts I was merely stating what I observed as to the reasons there aren't more complaints on the ALA forums, and why people may still be afraid to do so. It will probably stay that way since people have found their places to speak, the ALA staff has themselves said they are aware of the complaints anyway.

didjiman
02-02-2007, 05:00 PM
...
These past posts I was merely stating what I observed as to the reasons there aren't more complaints on the ALA forums, and why people may still be afraid to do so. It will probably stay that way since people have found their places to speak, the ALA staff has themselves said they are aware of the complaints anyway.

Come on Chris, then why bring it up? As you said, the lack of posting in the first place was due to the approval process (likely exasperated by the spammer) and then since people find a their places to complain (i.e. here and on LJ), they have no need to go to the ALA forums. In fact, as you said, even if people can post to the ALA forums now it would be pointless as that just dilute and repeat the messages. What I am saying is this: you have some great constructive suggestions (e.g. don't assume cosplayers are ghosts and watching us all the time are creepy), what the ALA concom does is up to them, but bringing the fact the ALA forums weren't being used is just adding oil to the flames without serving any useful functions.

Oh, as for people's reactions. As you said, if you kick a dog, it will bite back. It works both ways. Obviously the staffers didn't realize the depth of the discontent (whether they should or not is another matter) so it's natural for them to be defensive too. Don't concentrate on what were said the first hours. The temper were flaring and all that. Look at the patterns NOW. Are people still being defensive and said that the complaints are illegitimate, or are they saying they want to fix things?

Now you may still disagree whether their proposed fixing is the right way to go. In that case, challenge them on their new proposals. What happened at ALA07 may suck in some aspects, but it's water under the bridge. The staffers said they want to change, then make sure that you put concrete proposals to act on.

Winter Divinity
02-02-2007, 05:11 PM
People aren't going to want to take the extra trouble to sign up on another board to vent or complain, they're going to use what they already have to communicate. Also they'll speak frankly in places where their peers can hear them. No one wants to talk in a place where they have no friends, and even worse where there's potentially people who will flame them for saying something.


Chris has a valid point. I don't want sign up at the ALA forums just to complain. I'd rather do where it is permissible and in a place where I know the members and they know me. Otherwise it would just seem like a random person stopped by the ALA forums just to make a complaint.

RivetSPOOn
02-02-2007, 05:25 PM
Chris has a valid point. I don't want sign up at the ALA forums just to complain. I'd rather do where it is permissible and in a place where I know the members and they know me. Otherwise it would just seem like a random person stopped by the ALA forums just to make a complaint.

If you do plan on returning to ALA08 (thankyouthankyouthankyou!), you are more than welcome to sign up (and get approved some day...) if merely to offer suggestions on things that you would like to see at the convention, such as specific anime videos, or guests, or panel topics, or anything of that sort. Heck, we even have a Rum Party forum. ^_^ Most of what we had at ALA so far is staff suggestions, and since we're all of such varying colors, it works out well enough. But we do want to know what you guys want, too. I for one am not into what's popular (Naruto, Final Fantasy...), and so my opinion on what's in programming will only make a select few happy. XD

Viewpoints from everywhere are desired. :) Don't be afraid of that, at least.

Christophe
02-02-2007, 06:56 PM
Come on Chris, then why bring it up? As you said, the lack of posting in the first place was due to the approval process (likely exasperated by the spammer) and then since people find a their places to complain (i.e. here and on LJ), they have no need to go to the ALA forums. In fact, as you said, even if people can post to the ALA forums now it would be pointless as that just dilute and repeat the messages. What I am saying is this: you have some great constructive suggestions (e.g. don't assume cosplayers are ghosts and watching us all the time are creepy), what the ALA concom does is up to them, but bringing the fact the ALA forums weren't being used is just adding oil to the flames without serving any useful functions.

Oh, as for people's reactions. As you said, if you kick a dog, it will bite back. It works both ways. Obviously the staffers didn't realize the depth of the discontent (whether they should or not is another matter) so it's natural for them to be defensive too. Don't concentrate on what were said the first hours. The temper were flaring and all that. Look at the patterns NOW. Are people still being defensive and said that the complaints are illegitimate, or are they saying they want to fix things?

Now you may still disagree whether their proposed fixing is the right way to go. In that case, challenge them on their new proposals. What happened at ALA07 may suck in some aspects, but it's water under the bridge. The staffers said they want to change, then make sure that you put concrete proposals to act on.

I didn't bring it up. Neo Serenity did not understand why Kurai811 would say something such as people being afraid to post their opinions and I was trying to help clarify why that was. Then RivetSPOOn taked about how some comments were out of line and I responded with my opinion. I agree that its pointless to continue talking about others not posting on ALA forums and sort of regret letting it go on like that. I'm not trying to stir up trouble, I'm sorry if that is how it came across. I want people to be free to state their opinions, negative or positive, wherever they deem best.

As for my own criticisms for what happened this year, I've said my piece and feel that I've been heard, and am satisfied with how staff replied to my concerns thus far. I'm looking forward to seeing how they will be handled next year.

Seeing how it unfolds on the forums however, is something of current interest, because it speaks of how ALA staff represents itself in handling the situation after the fact. If people criticize them on their forums and they get attacked in return, even if it is warranted, Im not sure I feel so good about that. It has to stop somewhere and I feel that staff should be mature enough to let it stop at them. If theres a flaming ranting person, why undo the apology and perpetuate the unpleasantness by flaming them back? Thats all I was trying to get at.

ZiggyB
02-02-2007, 08:40 PM
Alright folks I'm going to go ahead and request that you all remain on topic of what you thought of ALA, the convention itself.

If you are having trouble with their web site or online forums, that's really more of a technical support or policy issue with them and really shouldn't be addressed here on Cosplay.com.

So please continue with your discussions of the convention itself.

Thank you. :)

chibi_chan
02-03-2007, 08:55 PM
"When i was wearing my Etna cosplay one of them came up to me when i was on the PHONE (so i was busy) she interrupted my call to ask if i was wearing anything underneath my Etna costume in case of costume failure." ~Fullmetal

I was bothered about this as well, I was Steph. from Lazytown. I thought it was very odd that the staffers would ask such personal questions.
I also had a hard time with the badge issue. Being asked for my badge a few too many times and once it fell off my costume! SO put it on my bag and i was told it was to go on my costume, i rolled my eyes at them and walked off.
Also I was told no skipping, running or dancing in the halls O_o whats up with that?

ALSO like Kasui_Enoki, said i had a problem last year with weapons. I was the Seres Victoria from Hellsing with the 6'2 gun. A staffer told me a 101 reasons why it was a bad idea to bring that while i sat and waited for someone in my room to come and open the door, then they followed me and scolded me more about it. They made me feel so bad about bringing my gun i literally CRYED! and still they told me it was a bad idea and that i had to also change costumes. WHAT THE?
At least they made the weapon policy clear this year. But like Kasui_Enoki said "I really like this con, but unless something is done about staff, I don't know if I want to return."

BoinkCoBoy
02-03-2007, 11:30 PM
"When i was wearing my Etna cosplay one of them came up to me when i was on the PHONE (so i was busy) she interrupted my call to ask if i was wearing anything underneath my Etna costume in case of costume failure." ~Fullmetal

As someone who occasionally does barbarian costumes (the JungleBoy in my icon is a portrait of me in costume) and as someone who has organized many events and conventions, perhaps you would let me address that?

The decency laws regarding what is legal to wear in a given space can actually be quite complicated, and since the Airtel has a liquor license that covers the entire hotel, they are actually covered by even stricter ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control) rules. Had you had a "costume failure" a number of very unhappy things could have happened:

You could be arrested
The hotel could face fines/loss of its liquor license
The convention could be fined/shut down

Plus, of course, the risk of something unfortunate happening to you (or of unfortunate photos being taken that you could not control).

Since the hotel is so close to the airport, we had officials (usually fire department but could have been any public service office) checking in several times during the weekend.

On this particular item, I think you really need to cut ALA a little slack; they were just trying to make sure neither you, the hotel, nor the convention were at risk.

Maguma
02-04-2007, 09:07 AM
that sounds fair but maybe a rewording of the question would be nicer. To be honest being asked if there's anything under the costume sounds a bit creepy. Maybe just ask, is everything on your costume in top shape or all workin properly

RivetSPOOn
02-04-2007, 04:46 PM
I wasn't there, so I don't know how the question was phrased, nor who asked, nor the tone used. All of these are factors contributing to Creepiness. I will say that "is everything on your costume in top shape or all workin properly" would give me the willies. A probable response be, "Why? Did you do something to it?" XD

djtw33k
02-05-2007, 07:57 PM
I was very disappointed with the Friday night dance, the DJ didn't seem to be interested in playing what members wanted or even playing music you could dance to. Saturday night wasn't much better except for the first set. I think it was DJ Lynx who played actual anime music. The dance floor was crowded throughout his entire set. Too bad it didn't stay that way.


*raises hand...

I was actually the one who DJ'd on Saturday night's first set. Lynx set started when he played Butterfly.
I'm new here...but I also cosplay too...though people prolly don't realize mwahaha!

djtw33k
02-05-2007, 08:00 PM
Tw33k and the saturday night dance was wonderful, and so was the room party he worked afterwards. I wish I could have enjoyed it more, but I ended up fighting with my boyfriend and hiding under a counter for three-four hours. x_x

So that's what happened...
I'm glad that you enjoyed the dance and our room party. But that really sucked with what happened:lost:

Karisu-sama
02-06-2007, 03:58 AM
Chris, I *tried* to run a forum for our product support and you would not believe how many spammers try to crash it. It takes a lot of effort to weed out spam bots. Admin has some magic up his sleeves for cosplay.com to run so smoothly.

I'll also mention that for all of Admin's "helpful magic", all of us on Mod staff are still constantly and vigilantly dealing with a hella lot of spammers & spambots - they just mostly never get as far as you-all seeing their garbage these days. No kidding.