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Unread 08-14-2012, 02:11 PM   #61
Scorpion89
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Originally Posted by Kiba the Levite View Post
I just finished putting my reply but..... CON JAIL?!? ARE YOU SERIOUS?! Otakon, WHAT THE HELL!!!!
They don't have a Con Jail they have a room where folks go to talk about what is wrong with out all the shooting in public some folks just want to try and cause a scene.

Bottom line is this their are correct ways to deal with issue and then their are incorrect ways you decide which is better for a staff person getting screamed at.
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Unread 08-14-2012, 03:11 PM   #62
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Ive gone for several years now, and only on my first year did I have a run in with the staff.

I was carrying around my steampunk gear, which is mostly metal and wood. The staff very courteously asked me and a few others to have our weapons checked. We obliged and went on our way through the labyrinth of hallways to the area where they were checking weapons.

We being steampunk folk, are very courteous by nature and were very willing to fix our props in order to carry them around. The staff actually THANKED us for being as well manner about it as we were. They had been having issues with people complaining and screaming at them for asking to check props and whatnot all day.

So all in all, if you've run into con staff that may or may not have an attitude, remember that they are dealing with 30+ thousand people and trying to enforce very basic rules. If you are well mannered in dealing with them, you will more than likely get the same treatment back
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Unread 08-17-2012, 06:08 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Scorpion89 View Post
I just love how everyone is complaining about how Otakon is run,

1) The Staff isn't payed for none of them end of discussion

2) As far as I know I have never heard any senior staff person say they are just like SDCC/AX and DragonCon all of those Cons have something called a Trade Show which helps bring in guest, Otakorp made the decision long time ago not to have trade shows.

3) Otakorp has stated a few years ago that they will not have an attendance cap

4) Some of you need to understand this very simple idea Otakon is ran by Otakorp which is 501c3 educational non-profit there bylaws are very strict on what they can and can't do. I suggest all of you go and read them they are on the Otakon Website.

5) As for the whole 18+ stuff every con has now started to have both artist and dealers either hide or not bring them. Reason being the average age group right now for Con-Goers is 15-17.

6) As for everyone complaining about the whole $5 dollar increase in this years pass get over it please it's not like they raised by $20-30 like other Big Cons have.
Otakon has paid and non-paid staff.

Otakon needs an attendance cap, it seems their main goal is not the comfort of their guest but how many clicks can they get at the door to make a bigger attendance tally at the end.

And that increase was added twice in the past two years. it was 50/55 then 60/65 now its 70. The price is not worth the cramped conditions, the rudeness of some staff when its very well not needed, and the overall feeling of discomfort.

My two cents, after hearing how artists were treated in the AA this year and how mysef, personally, as a cosplayer and attendee since '08 was treated when I encountered a couple of staff members I have no intentions of every coming back as an attendee unless asked so by a close friend of mine.

However, I did meet a LOT of lovely people in the photo suite that seems to be mostly separate but still attached to the con staffing/con. A couple of the convention center staff [not otakorp related] and the two ladies staffing the front door to the game room, aside from this I had a terrible time AT con and feel my 70$ would of better been spent else where.
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Unread 08-17-2012, 07:00 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro Akemi View Post
Otakon has paid and non-paid staff.

And that increase was added twice in the past two years. it was 50/55 then 60/65 now its 70. The price is not worth the cramped conditions, the rudeness of some staff when its very well not needed, and the overall feeling of discomfort.
Otakon does not have paid staff. We have paid vendors/contractors, but no paid staff. Anyone wearing the black "staff" shirt is a volunteer. People like the lawyers, accountants, Hargrove (decorators,) DSL (A/V,) Umbrella Technical Services (Contractor,) CES/BCC Staff (Security), Centerplate (food,) etc.. are not staff. You can find a complete list of the contractors/vendors at the back of the program guide, but staff are not paid. Trust me, I'm a department head who is dating another department head, if someone on staff was getting paid, we'd know, but we're all volunteer. The Board of Directors and heads for other events (IE: Matsuri, Music Fest) are also entirely volunteers.

As for the price increase, it was increased in 2010 and again in 2012, so while that's technically two calendar years, that's 3 con years. As far as cramped conditions et al, I think all cons our size have to suffer from the same problem. There's only so much physical space we can put things into though. That's not to say we're not looking at other options and doing space reallocations every year, but we can't pull function space out of a magic hat.
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Unread 08-17-2012, 09:55 PM   #65
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otakon total estimated membership for 2012 was 32,000 if it really is as bad as you think it is then why would people go?

i've been to otakon since 07 and it's is a great con. i don't know much about the rules of the artists ally but MOST of the staff are helpful and kind of course there's going to be a hand full of staff who are rude but that's probably b/c of stress

Otakon is usually understaffed so everyone has to run around to keep things organized the staff try their best to provide new activities, lots of voice actors, musical guests, etc. each year and keep the con running smoothly and if you bring up some issue you've encountered at otakon and post it on the bbs an otakon staff will address it and fix it for next year

ALOT of people who complain about otakon either complain about 1) long lines or 2) it being expensive but. . .

for the long lines you have to expect it, otakon is the LARGEST con on the east coast. Don't underestimate the membership count easiest way to avoid long reg lines is to pre reg and pick it up on thursday. the thursday line goes pretty fast. other long lines for say autographs from famous voice actors, again you have to expect it, if you're not prepared and dedicated to wait in line 2 hours pior to the start of autographs you will most likely not get that autograph and the only person you should blame is yourself b/c the staff work extremely hard for the con goers and that famous person can only sign so many pieces of whatever before their hand goes numb

and for otakon being expensive 1) we're in a recession 2) to get famous voice actors and musical guests like aya hirano, home made kazoku, etc. you have to a spend crap load of money to fly them over, performance fees, hotels, etc. it's not like money grows on trees also note that all otakon staff are VOLUNTEERS so the reg money you pay doesn't go to staff they go to renting the venue, the arena, guests, equipment, security, etc. and 3) between a small con that keeps the membership rate low but doesn't expand, doesn't invite many voice actors, doesn't have much going on, and doesn't improve for next year and a bigger con that although costs more it allows for expansion, lots of guests, and does improve activities, panels, etc. for the next year, which would you choose?

really if you just go to otakon's bbs you'd find so much more reliable information from actual con goers than exaggerated rumors from people who didn't go b/c of said rumors

Last edited by devilgirl32 : 08-17-2012 at 10:01 PM.
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Unread 08-18-2012, 12:29 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn Twilight View Post
I can understand what you mean, original poster.

I was treated poorly and even taken to "con jail" due to a misunderstanding, where they treated me even worse.

lololol I was also taken to Con Jail........ I didn't realize people were calling it that. I was nicknaming it Principle's Office.

Anyway, I was cosplaying a Phoenix Wright character so I was carrying an 'Objection' sign. I was aware of the no sign policy but I considered my sign to be a prop. Oh, but random staffer didnt........ "YOU! Follow me!!" was how I was taken into Con Jail.

Inside jail the guy checking signs also considered my sign to be a prop so I was given an OK.

Sure that staffer was rude, but it wasnt a big enough deal for me to freak out about. i wasnt gonna take her name, report her, and waste more of my time. Sometimes when these things happen, just brush it off and enjoy he rest of your con...... cause who knows, maybe she only got 3 hours of sleep and had to do some stupid task, like watching over that retarded dealers room line friday morning..........
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Unread 08-28-2012, 11:26 PM   #67
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The only real problem I had at Otakon this year was with the WEATHER. 2011 and 2012 have been WAY hotter than the last times I attended (2008 and 2009.) Thanks to the weather, everyone is packed into the convention center to avoid the heat and it makes manuevering a little more difficult during the day.

To me, con staff was invisible for the most part. Then again, like Eurobeat King I'm there for the cosplay. To take pictures and get my picture taken. When I need a break there's always the Game Room or I'll stroll through Artists Alley. No panels, no Masquerade. I don't do lines if I can help it.
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Unread 08-29-2012, 07:53 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by J Ryoga View Post
No panels, no Masquerade. I don't do lines if I can help it.
Part of the reason the Masquerade was moved to the 1st Mariner Arena was to give everyone the opportunity to see it. You can easily get a seat without waiting in a line, and no one gets turned away due to capacity issues.

With that said, apparently seating was a bit slower this year... something I'll have to figure out for next year.
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Unread 11-30-2012, 08:35 AM   #69
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I have been going to Otakon for 12 years but next Otakon will be my 11th straight year attending it. Not only Otakon is 15-30 minutes away from where I live but whenever I read news about my favorite voice actors and/or gaming tournaments that interests me I decided to go. Also most of my friends that I met whether through my fighting game or any cosplay meetups or somewhere else most likely show up and it was the only time I get to see most of them since I couldn't find time to meet them outside of cons.

After next Otakon, I will be taking a break from this con. This doesn't mean I will quit conventions for good but I am going to start going to smaller conventions and depending on funds, I will go to one big con outside Maryland.
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Unread 12-04-2012, 09:12 AM   #70
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Honestly, I go to Otakon every year because I love it. I don't attend panels or anything, so the only line that I ever deal with is the pre-reg pickup line. That honestly has gotten SO much better over the past few years and moves very quickly now. Granted, I always go Thursday so I can pick up my badge so the line doesn't take that long.

Otakon Staff:

I haven't had ANY problem with the Otakon staff. In fact, this past Otakon was the first time I've actually had a staff member ask if I had my prop checked. I was pleasantly surprised that the staff actually tries to keep up with prop checks as best they can. I mean...Otakon is a very large con (not as large as AX or D*Con of course, but still really large), so you can't expect them to be PERFECT. You can only monitor 30,000+ people so well with only so many people volunteering for staff a year.

I have also NEVER met a rude staff member. In fact, any staff member I have encountered has been nothing but nice. They ask for a picture, talk about the series I'm cosplaying from or the character, etc...

Organization:

Otakon can only be so organized. The only thing I was really annoyed with was when we were going to meet Jason David Frank. At a convention, I only check Facebook so much. I'm busy having fun and I don't want to pay all of this money to keep staring at my phone for the duration of the con to keep up with Facebook. So, we went to the Dealer's Room on Sunday to meet Jason David Frank. We stood there for about twenty minutes when finally a staff member came over and told us where his autograph was moved to, and that someone SHOULD have been there directing people. Seriously? My sister really wanted to meet Jason David Frank and we missed his autograph session. Granted, I wasn't upset that much since I figured I will have other opportunities to meet him...but still. They SHOULD have had someone directing people there, especially since there was a nice little line forming -_-

Artists' Alley:

I don't sell art, so I don't know the rules and regulations. However, I would imagine that the rules they have are there for a reason. I would imagine a lot of artists want to get a table at Otakon because it's a great way to make a fantastic profit since so many people attend. The non-refundable rule does seem a little shady to me, but I guess I can understand since Otakon is like a business, if you reserve a table but can't attend YOU withheld that table from another artists that WOULD be attending and making money. However, I would hope that Otakon would be able to refund if you cancelled in a reasonable time and/or had a really valid excuse.

Weather:

I honestly don't want to hear anyone complaining about the weather. The convention is during the HOTTEST month of the year (or around it). You can check the weather yourself so you can dress yourself appropriately while you are in line to get your badge and to bring adequate water. Otakon doesn't control the weather, nor can they control how you line up to get your badge. I would imagine that they don't rent out the ENTIRE convention center for Thursday because that would probably cost a LOT of money just for people to pick up their pre-reg badge. I mean, they could possibly have other things to do at the convention on Thursday that may attract more people, but the last time they tried a four-day con...it didn't work out that well. So of course you have to wait outside to get your badge. As for the Friday line...again, you have to wait outside to get your badge because having a line inside would just be awful. It's up to the attendees to dress appropriately and bring enough water while waiting for their badge, so anyone who complains needs to seriously learn how to check the weather before waiting in line. It sounds rude, but I honestly don't see any room for complaining when Otakon isn't at fault for it.


Overall, I really enjoy Otakon and find it to be a fantastic convention.
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Unread 12-04-2012, 10:13 AM   #71
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I have the same general feelings as Ithlia. Otakon is a big con and there's only so much they can do.

That doesn't mean I don't have my own complaints of course; but the good outweighs the bad and until that stops being the case, I'll continue going.

My biggest complaints are staff/venue related. I don't claim to know how everything works, but I am starting to agree with people who think there should be an attendance cap if they plan on staying at the BCC; it just gets too crowded to handle sometimes. I had a few very miserable moments this year in concerns of overcrowding and the heat that went along with that inside the building. (I'm aware it's gonna be hot regardless since its the summer and there's a ton of overheated bodies in one place but I don't ever remember it being that bad inside the convention center. I won't ever complain about the weather as Otakon can't change that and people should know what they're getting into before going; look at the weather channel people. But it shouldn't be hotter inside than it is outside.)

And yes, I ran into a few rude staffers, as I have every year. They're probably super stressed, I'm sure; but that's no reason to be rude to attendees who paid to be there just like others did. If they wanna check my weapon or prop they could politely ask rather than snap at me. And nobody said you could put your hands on me or the people I'm with. That's uncalled for. Or, if a hallway is crowded and moving slowly; don't shout at me as soon as you focus on a single person, I'm stuck in the traffic and can't move around any better than the people around me.

These are small complaints in the grand scheme of things, and most definitely I ran into more friendly staffers than rude ones, but it does leave a sour taste in my mouth. Ultimately though, I'm still gonna go to this con; these little things aren't a big enough deal yet to merit me not going; it's a big even for me and I go to socialize. (I very rarely go to panels or signings; I mostly go for the large group of friends I meet there every year.)

Maybe these little things are worth looking into; I'd hazard to say just addressing those little problems would make attendees much happier.
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Unread 12-13-2012, 02:31 PM   #72
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And yes, I ran into a few rude staffers, as I have every year. They're probably super stressed, I'm sure; but that's no reason to be rude to attendees who paid to be there just like others did. If they wanna check my weapon or prop they could politely ask rather than snap at me. And nobody said you could put your hands on me or the people I'm with. That's uncalled for. Or, if a hallway is crowded and moving slowly; don't shout at me as soon as you focus on a single person, I'm stuck in the traffic and can't move around any better than the people around me.
Firstly, I want to apologize that you had a "rude" experience with staff. As for the shouting, typically that is so everyone can hear the staffer trying to direct traffic, but sometimes yes, we need to learn better how to properly "be heard loudly" and again, I'm sorry you felt it was directed at you.
Secondly, if a staffer put their hands on you while doing a check, or in general if this occurs, please report this. All staffers have their names on their badges. Get their name. If you cannot get their name, get as best a description as possible of them and where this occurred, and please come to Con Ops and we will address it the best we can.
If you don't report these things until later and with little to no detail, it is very hard for our Chief Of Staff to address these things and for anything to be done without knowing as much fact as possible.
Please never feel like you cannot ask to speak to the appropriate staff at con when you have an issue with staff, etc.
And please feel free to sign up on Otakon's BBS if you have more questions specific to Otakon and want an actual staff answer, we will do the best we can to answer and address issues.


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Unread 01-09-2013, 05:20 PM   #73
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I like Otakon. I've only gone twice (these past two years), but I like it. I have never had a run-in with any staffer besides the one time I parked myself in a corner near a door that people weren't supposed to use, but I wasn't trying to use the door and all they said was that I couldn't use it. And I didn't, I just sat there putting on makeup.
And in my opinion, if you're doing something and am reprimanded for it by a staffer, then you were either doing something that deserved it or doing something that looked like it deserved it.

But anyway, I go because I like to meet people and make new friends. I like to see old friends that I don't often see. I like having an opportunity to look pretty or badass or cute.
The only thing I don't like is the entrance/exit system for the Artist's Alley and Dealer's Room........and I get lost every time I go in there.
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Unread 01-14-2013, 11:14 AM   #74
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Otakon is not always the most well managed convention, but I do not think they knew Otakon would grow to 30,000 people. As for Staff, they can get rude, but if you know the rules, yourself, you can basically boss them around.
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Unread 01-15-2013, 04:39 AM   #75
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I have only been to Otakon twice, but whenever I had a question or needed directions, I was always given a response in a friendly manner or was directed to someone who could help me. I arrived thursday evening in 2012 right after the huge thunderstorm and I got my badge within 10 minutes.

I have to say, I do question why it is necessary to have like 10 million badge checks, even for when you are leaving the artist alley. Either way, i think that a lot of the time, people dramaticize their stories because they are getting more upset over something that really wasnt a big deal. As for reports of staff "yelling" or being curt, you encounter that at any big con, because, hey, that staffer probably had to say "dont stand in the middle of the hall" to 75 other people before he/she said it to you.
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