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Unread 10-29-2010, 09:28 AM   #1
NiGHTmaren
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YoumaCon 2010 Feedback Thread

This thread is for posting your thoughts/opinions on YoumaCon 2010!

From your experience this year, what were the pros and cons? What were the highlights and lowlights? Would you return again next year?

Also, you can discuss the particulars of the convention, such as the events, panels, masquerade, dances, etc., as well as what you thought about the con and hotel staff, the hotel, convention space, food, dealer's room, attendees, and whatever else pertaining to YoumaCon!
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Unread 10-31-2010, 12:33 PM   #2
MercuryLampe
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It was AMAZING! My first con ever, and I loved it The only part I didn't like was when my friend and I were promised that everyone in line would get Vic Mignogna's autograph, and they let everyone in the middle rows go first, and they capped the line D< All we got was a picture because my friend who was lucky enough to get in line ushered us over so we got a group picture...

But yeah, I'm definitely going next year <3
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Unread 10-31-2010, 01:26 PM   #3
siuxsiu
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I thought this year was great, and I LOVED the new location. Very spacious and pretty! Everyone was having a good time, and every thing was organized and well run. I had a really good time this year! The Dealer's room got a little packed sometimes though. I wish the avenues in between the shops could have been a little wider. But over all, a great convention and I can't wait for next year!
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Unread 10-31-2010, 10:40 PM   #4
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It was a great experience for me overall, but let me toss in my 2 cents.

Ren Center - Gorgeous location with amazing architecture and a polite staff of workers. Filled with some very nice places for photos. However, this place is not built for anime cons. It's like 80% hallways. The place does have tons of spacious rooms for panels and the other huge events, but everything around it is a clusterfuck.

The way the volunteer security had to constantly yell at people to keep moving because most of the floors were consumed by lines was a good indicator that something wasn't working out.

Staff - Most everyone I ran into was awesome. Just about everyone I ran into was nice and didn't give me any trouble (possibly because I was armored head to toe..) In fact, the only time I got yelled at was by a random con-goer who seemed to be taking managing the con into her own hands.

I have been hearing unpleasant stories, though. My brother encountered a few aggressive staffers who decided their duty was to police to elevators by literally shoving people around and threatening to take badges. Other stories involved more poor line management with volunteers getting too big for their britches and thinking they had absolute power over attendees.

At one point I encountered a guy who told me he was a volunteer for a panel, but he had no idea what to do. At another point, I had a volunteer approach me and ask to sign off on his hours when I was just standing around minding my business. Seems like some of the volunteers need to be reigned in and probably given some means of identification to make them stick out more.

And.. Events - Everything ran smoothly as far as I could tell. Only a couple events ran long or started late, but I didn't attend that many panels either way.

I definitely want to come back next year, I just want things to be more organized. Hopefully the people running things took notes. This new location must have wreaked havoc for them.
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Unread 11-01-2010, 01:43 PM   #5
Aya Blue
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I thought there was a lot of nice programming, but I was positively dismayed by the congestion in the hallways. It was way too crowded, and navigating between events was awful, especially in costume. The Dealer Room and Artist Alley were crammed into spaces that weren't nearly adequate, for the shoppers or the artists. Snaking the line for main events through the hallways didn't help matters, either.

I expect the elevator situation to be poor at most conventions, but this one took the cake. And when the staffers started yelling at the "go up to go down" people, it really worsened the situation. Do you think I WANT to stay in a hot and smelly elevator for twenty minutes to go thirty floors? Of course not, but that's what everyone had to do.

I love YoumaCon and the Ren Cen *seemed* like an excellent choice, but I won't be returning until they change venues. Its a shame, because there are a lot of positives about this convention.
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Unread 11-01-2010, 03:03 PM   #6
Chibik3r0
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Elevator issues aside (and there were a lot of them), I enjoyed the new venue. I didn't have to go outside all weekend and I like having everything I need being self contained. I can't see the elevator issue improving itself as the con grows larger though...

One issue I found was poor planning in having con-ops, gaming, registration, and dealer's hall all at the same general location of the con. These seem to be some of the biggest attractions for a con and having it bottle-neck in the same location didn't seem like a smart idea as it was difficult to move around that area.

Dealer's room seemed to be lacking a bit... I only found one table that had a small collection of manga and it seemed to be mostly mainstream stuff, none of the lesser known titles.

As usual, Rogue and Flexei did a fantastic job at running the cosplay department! I always make sure to compete at Youmacon since everything runs smoothly and I've personally never encountered any issues.

Personally, had another fantastic year and am already looking forward to the next one!
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Unread 11-02-2010, 05:24 PM   #7
MagiusT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chibik3r0 View Post
As usual, Rogue and Flexei did a fantastic job at running the cosplay department! I always make sure to compete at Youmacon since everything runs smoothly and I've personally never encountered any issues.
I just want to clarify this part. We don't officially have a cosplay department. All of the precon cosplay decisions are done by Rogue and me, as I'm in charge of the whole shebang. At con, I have her pretty much make things run smoothly as I'm too busy elsewhere, and I definitely do not want to minimize the amount of work etc that her and Flexie do at the convention. In fact all my cosplay staff does inordinate amounts of work at the convention every year and I want to thank them for doing so. When the masquerade time rolls around, I'm not in the green room too much with you guys, because I'm downstairs in main programming making sure you get your live video feed, and that the room is ready for you with everything you need. This is one of the bonuses to having a vice-conchair of a convention in charge, I can and do make sure we have the prime time slot and space, as well as do not start until we have everything as ready as we can for you guys.
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Unread 11-04-2010, 12:26 AM   #8
Man in Red Hat
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Originally Posted by Aya Blue View Post
I love YoumaCon and the Ren Cen *seemed* like an excellent choice, but I won't be returning until they change venues. Its a shame, because there are a lot of positives about this convention.
I want to preempt this by saying I am not part of the staff.

Well, I don't know if you are on the youma forums, but this has been talked about extensively. With the size of Youmacon as it is (over 8k attendees this year), there is no where else to go in all of Michigan that is bigger and has connecting hotels (i.e. open 24/7 throughout the night). The Hyatt (aka the Fire Marshall), which I really enjoyed last year, would have shut the whole con down with the number of people this year.

So simply put, unless there is a new place built in Michigan, Youmacon is undoubtedly stuck there for a long time, unless it decides to move out of Michigan. Again, I'm not staff or anything, and this is all heresay, but many staffers on the official forums have said as much. Also, I think there is a contract for at least a couple more years at the Ren Center.

Sorry you won't be returning, but it seems you'll never return to a Youmacon again. You really should give them one more year to outgrow the pains of moving to a new place, as the staff is resolved to solving a lot of the issues this year (congestion, registration, etc).
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Unread 11-04-2010, 01:33 AM   #9
Aya Blue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Man in Red Hat View Post
Well, I don't know if you are on the youma forums, but this has been talked about extensively. With the size of Youmacon as it is (over 8k attendees this year), there is no where else to go in all of Michigan that is bigger and has connecting hotels (i.e. open 24/7 throughout the night). The Hyatt (aka the Fire Marshall), which I really enjoyed last year, would have shut the whole con down with the number of people this year.

So simply put, unless there is a new place built in Michigan, Youmacon is undoubtedly stuck there for a long time, unless it decides to move out of Michigan. Again, I'm not staff or anything, and this is all heresay, but many staffers on the official forums have said as much. Also, I think there is a contract for at least a couple more years at the Ren Center.
If that is the case (and I don't doubt your word) I hope that the convention staff is rethinking their layouts and considering a cap on admission. I think it ultimately comes down to utilizing only three relatively small floors, and that results in huge congregations of people.

I feel YoumaCon's pain because I'm part of a convention that is outgrowing all available venues as well. A lot of folks didn't have any problems with the congestion, so its just a personal gripe of mine. It IS possible that I won't be returning to Youma, at least for a year or two, but that's okay because I live in Ohio, home of the mid-sized anime con ^_^
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Unread 11-04-2010, 02:26 AM   #10
Man in Red Hat
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Well, from what is being said on the forums, the reason that everything was so congested was because the hotel people didn't give them a choice on where things would go. They simply were like 'Registration will be here, no matter what' and did not particularly believe the Youmacon staff about how many people would be attending. This is why everything was a cluster and congested.

The staff did say they got to talk to Mr. Marriot himself (who was there apparently) and he assured them that next year would be different (or something to that effect). It would be safe to assume that next year the hotel management will give more leeway to the staff since they have seen first hand how crazy it is. And that will lead to less congestion, better use of space, etc etc.

Once again this is all heresay but the official feedback thread on the Youmacon forums is almost 30 pages now and the staff have said things in it many times.

There simply is no good way to deal with the elevator situation though. That is going to happen when you have a low rise with 40 floors and a high rise with 75 floors and only like six elevators. Luckily I was on 10 and never once used the elevator until check out when I needed a bellhop with a cart. Many people are giving suggestions but I personally think the best thing to do is have Youmacon or hotel staff run the elevators, making sure people dont ride up to go down, throw parties in the elevators (or ride for fun), and give handicap people/elderly/etc people priority. But I don't know if it's even feasible. I know I would have been never in my room if I was above the fifteenth floor or so.

I go to Ohayocon every year as well (if that is the other con you are mentioning, I am between both cons by being near Toledo, OH), and I enjoy it.
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Unread 11-04-2010, 04:25 PM   #11
MagiusT
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Originally Posted by Man in Red Hat View Post
Well, from what is being said on the forums, the reason that everything was so congested was because the hotel people didn't give them a choice on where things would go. They simply were like 'Registration will be here, no matter what' and did not particularly believe the Youmacon staff about how many people would be attending. This is why everything was a cluster and congested.

The staff did say they got to talk to Mr. Marriot himself (who was there apparently) and he assured them that next year would be different (or something to that effect). It would be safe to assume that next year the hotel management will give more leeway to the staff since they have seen first hand how crazy it is. And that will lead to less congestion, better use of space, etc etc.
The above is pretty much correct. As we mentioned on our official forums, we will be overhauling reg (read: most likely moving it to some ballroom location). We still have spaces we did not use that are available to us for various things, so expect those to be tapped into next year. Elevators we mentioned as well, that we are already looking into some control for getting on them.
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Unread 11-07-2010, 02:57 AM   #12
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This year was great! I went to the one in 2006 when I was in my freshman year of high school, and I was so excited to see how much this convention has grown over the years! I really hope we end up in the RenCen again next year.
The biggest problems of mine were the elevators and the fact that CVS and the food courts weren't open long enough for me and my friends to have much of a food selection. I like Subway only so much. :/
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