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Unread 09-06-2012, 03:14 AM   #31
Sinnocent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChibiBritt View Post
I can stand by my word about the judges. But I also said I can't speak for all of them. I won't claim to. I only know what and who I know. The ones I do know are very much qualified, even if you don't know or realize it.
Maybe you are referring to the Hall Cosplay judges? Because them I do not know, and have not seen any of their work. But based on what I said, the 3 that were judging the Cosplay Runway, I did look into, and I have seen their works, and they were in no way qualified, none of them met all (if any) of my requirements. Of course, that is purely my opinion, I'm sure there are a lot of people who think just anyone will do, or think that those things don't really matter, but from my perspective, what I mentioned is the definition of a qualified person, and those 3 weren't.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 09:07 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefinal View Post

I'm not opposed to having the Best in Show award again for Cosplay Skit competition, the only downside I continuously saw year after year is that it did not give the opportunity for those in a lower performance class to win, in fact they would rarely, sometimes never win anything. Thus be the only reason why the Grand Prize for each division is present.
Can you not have Best in Class + a Best in Show award? In my experience with other contests with class systems you compete against your division for the best in class titles but everyone is eligible for best in show. I have also seen lower classes pull the BIS title so it is not always biased to the highest class.

You can take a look at San Japan and Anime Matsuri's rules if you want some concrete examples, both of them have been running a class system for many years.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 09:20 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat-Chans View Post
Can you not have Best in Class + a Best in Show award? In my experience with other contests with class systems you compete against your division for the best in class titles but everyone is eligible for best in show. I have also seen lower classes pull the BIS title so it is not always biased to the highest class.

You can take a look at San Japan and Anime Matsuri's rules if you want some concrete examples, both of them have been running a class system for many years.
I'm not opposed to the idea what-so-ever. I'm just taking all of this information and writing it down to see what can be restructured and discuss with my Director.

Again, for all of those that have an issue with the Friday night Runway, please please go post on animefest.org on those forums!
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Unread 09-06-2012, 09:45 AM   #34
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Pros:
SPACE!!! Larger space! Granted this was only my second AFEST, I think that it was definitely an improvement of space from last year. This year I wasn’t constantly shimming between people to get to the other side of the con and so forth. The Sheraton was a nice choice into making the convention larger. I also loved the table set up on second floor. It’s nice to be able to sit and relax and not have to do it on the floor.

Artist alley – just awesome. Loved all the variety and how much space there was. I did feel bad for those on second floor stuck in the way back because I felt that they didn’t get enough traffic compared to those close to the escalators or downstairs. Overall, artist alley was awesome

Dealer’s Room – huge! Loved all the space there was for the vendors. So much elbow room was nice. Here too was a greater variety in vendors, I was glad not to run into the same all the time.

FOOD – Being in the Sheraton allowed for food variation yet again. This time I didn’t have to go searching or order food every night. Thank you Plaza!

Photoshoots – Granted I hear that most were at the Cancer Survivor Plaza. There are tons of new places to go. I think people just didn’t realize that there are actually tons of areas around the hotel they could host a gathering (it didn’t help that it was hot and most people wanted to stay in the shade or indoors). Most areas can hold a large gathering of people you just have to find them!! I went to several different areas for photoshoots (with a large number of people) and none of them were the same.

Security – thank you! OMGosh you have no idea. I thought security did a great job mainly because I had an incident with a very touchy con-goer. I was getting a photo with this con-goer and he placed his hands on my hips, it was severely awkward and rude. I asked for him to let go several times and he wouldn’t but security was right there told him to stop and escorted him away. To however those security men where THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Thank you so much for keeping a watchful eye like that it means so much!

Badges – Yes I do have cons about this as well but here are the pros about the badges. I liked the added security mainly because I heard tons of stories from the con staff of people forging passes. The size of the badge…okay I guess. Yes it was huge but it allowed for me to hold business cards from vendors/artist/photographers as well as my room key while I was in cosplay and couldn’t carry around my purse! ALSO with it being so large I wouldn’t lose the dang thing!

Cosplay Skit contest – I absolutely love the high quality competition that comes to AFEST. Definitely was a highlight event of the weekend. I just want to thank all the volunteers helping out the contestants too. A big thank you to MexicAnime, you were nice and very helpful!


Cons:
Registration/Badges – I came Thursday to get my badge, yes I had to wait awhile to get mine because the system wasn’t working. It seemed out of Afest’s hands because it was the internet they were having problems with (or at least that’s what we were told). I didn’t like where registration was, with it facing the doors didn’t allow for the large number of people to file through and lines of people would end up in front of the doors. We found out there were several lines for registration after waiting an hour in line and noticing people continually cut in line in front of others. Next time I suggest security personale to help file people into the correct lines and perhaps move the registration booth to the side to allow for more room and better flow.

Cosplay Runway – PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE move it to another day. You’d avoid so much drama with rushing of people. Moving to another day will allow for extended times for judging and hopefully better interaction with the contestants. Seriously, you simply CANNOT judge a group of four or more people in FIVE MINUTES!!! I can tell you about my own cosplay in five minutes. It was frustrating and infuriating to have to experience this a second time at the same convention (and with new judges)!!! Judges seemed uninterested and bored yet again. No questions besides “Tell me what you did?” My group made armor and the judges just seemed like they didn’t care at all. It was the first time any of us worked with the material and months of work went into making them and it seemed like they just stuck us in a corner not to give us a chance at all because they focused more on bigger displays of fabric cosplays. I honestly didn’t expect us to win anything, but it would have been nice to feel appreciated for the work we had done. This was definitely one of the worst experiences with judges I’ve had, and the worst was the previous year at this same convention. I understand that judging is different at every con but this was unacceptable.

Main Events – Room was too small for the amount of people that wanted to be in it(especially since you got rid of the registration cap). No water stations! OH gah WATERRRRRRRRRRR!!!! There were several of us in the Runway competition in layers of fabric and armor dying of heat and had to leave or stick by the doors to stay cool. Not cool Afest, water next time. During the Skit competition, I had a hard time hearing the skit audio or audio in general in the way back were us contestants sat.

Panels – I had no idea where they were. There were tons of panels I wanted to go to but I only knew the times and not the panel rooms. I HIGHLY recommend putting the times and rooms in the program book next time.

Cosplay Skit Contest –Coming from a group of people where we live in 3 different states to put on a horror/dramatic skit was definitely a risk. We knew that we would only be eligible for a few awards. I honestly have to say I was really bummed when we didn’t get anything in the end BUT I am really happy with all the winners, they definitely deserved what they got. I do have to agree with what most people had to say about differentiating the awards and adding a dramatic skit award (My only “con” about it was the award system). I was fine with the overall competition just it was a real let down in the end and I’ll stay humble about it.

Overall, I had a great time at the convention hanging out with friends and getting to go to a few photoshoots. But alas Afest, I’m skipping out next year to go to Dragon*con. Best of luck to you with your future conventions.
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Last edited by Adnarim : 09-06-2012 at 09:53 AM.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 09:57 AM   #35
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Honestly, I have very mixed feelings about Afest. This has *always* been my favorite con of the year and I look forward to it. However, this year... I wasn't impressed. I've been going to this con for 10+ years, and this was the worst year I've been to. However, let me explain.

Registration: As everyone has been saying, it was horrible. Not as bad as A-kon, but I'd expect a lot more from Afest. It's a smaller con and should have a better registration line setup. I waited for more than an hour on Friday and the line was only a few yards long. How did this happen? I have no idea. I just know that I was pretty pissed off when I finally got my badge. And the badge sucks. Too big. It covered up some intricate parts of my costume that I worked really hard on.

Panels: Some of them were really fun. However, some of them needed to be organized MUCH better. Like, the Anime Dating Game. I couldn't see the people in the game and I was only a few rows back. Also, before the con even started, there was an event called the Anime Maid Contest. Either it was canceled or the people at info didn't know anything. Either way, I didn't go and was extremely disappointed that I couldn't. Panels were only 50/50 for me.

Dealers Room/ Artist Alley: I actually enjoyed this. Good job.

Cosplay: Sigh. I'm not even going to elaborate on this. Everyone's comments are pretty much what I'm thinking. Just for future reference, audio was pretty bad. Please work on that next year.

Hotel: Wow. It was horrible. I love Starwood hotels and I got horrible service while I was here. The wait staff at restaurants, the room service, the info desk... No one seemed to care that I was their guest. But, for Afest, the bigger space was appreciated. At least I can say that.

So, my opinion is this: I will come back. But, this year wasn't that great for me. I'll hope that next year will be better, but, I can only cross my fingers. My final score for Afest? 50/50.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 11:11 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefinal View Post
I'm not opposed to the idea what-so-ever. I'm just taking all of this information and writing it down to see what can be restructured and discuss with my Director.

Again, for all of those that have an issue with the Friday night Runway, please please go post on animefest.org on those forums!
Awesome! Thank you for all your work on the cosplay events, I know some of these complaints are beyond your realm of control but I really appreciate how hard you work for us.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 11:30 AM   #37
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So, I had to log in. Just to comment on something.

Am I the ONLY person who knew where and when every panel started? o.O?
I know they didn't print a real schedule (They had a crappy list of the panels and their times, but not location), but am I like the only person who used their schedule online?
I found their online schedule days before the con, signed up for every panel I thought I'd enjoy (which was WAY more than I actually managed to attend. xD), and it then made me my own personal schedule, which I added to my phone calender.....so I had two copies of it.
Did no one else do this? Because a bunch of my group did.

I just would like to say that I loved that system. I thought it was great. But I think it would be better if you maybe made a phone app next year instead. Or at least fixed the whole "Refreshing the page after you signed up for each event." It made it hard to do on a phone. :/ But please don't get rid of that system, because it was awesome. At least all of us thought so in my group. xD

Other than that - I don't have much to add. As I thoroughly enjoyed myself and other the registration being kinda funky, I don't have many complaints.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 12:30 PM   #38
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Everything you have posted is why I thought the Cosplay Runway/Contest was weird!!!! I couldn't put my finger on it but you explained everything that I was thinking and couldn't figure out how to write in words! (words are evil)

Anyways,

brieka_gd
I didn't know they had an online schedule. I remember looking at the pdf version online but that didn't have times or locations on it either, just the descriptions of each panel. Besides there a lots of people who don't have access to the internet while at a con. Not everyone is going to think or want to get online while at a hotel (which you have to pay for internet) to find the schedule that the con should have printed out in the program.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 01:51 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikineko View Post
brieka_gd
I didn't know they had an online schedule. I remember looking at the pdf version online but that didn't have times or locations on it either, just the descriptions of each panel. Besides there a lots of people who don't have access to the internet while at a con. Not everyone is going to think or want to get online while at a hotel (which you have to pay for internet) to find the schedule that the con should have printed out in the program.
You have to pay for wireless. But a lot of people have smart phones that come with data. And while not everyone has a crap ton of data, it still doesn't take much to log into a site and look at a schedule.
But this is also why I suggest an app. Again, most everyone has a smart phone nowadays. Granted, I'm not saying these things should replace a hard copy of a schedule you hand out to attendees, oh no, you should ALWAYS have a hard copy of a schedule. I'm just baffled that no one knew there was an online schedule you could use. All I did was go to the website a few days before the con and BAM in my face, schedule. I never even saw a pdf version of it. Maybe I was just lucky? XD I don't know. But it was VERY useful. So maybe the website should have advertised this schedule more than they did so more people would have used it?
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Unread 09-06-2012, 05:23 PM   #40
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I tried to load panels on their website but got tired of how it was working. Click on a panel & it would restart the whole page & then you'd have to go way down the page to where you left off. Not user friendly at all for a 4 day con.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 07:27 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by thephoenix View Post
Panels that needed set-up time sometimes didn't get it so those panelists constantly were trying to kick the prior panel out early so they had time to set up. I believe that's why the Cosplay Dating Game had to end early.
The dating game actually ended up like that because someone [I believe it may have been a staff member, but don't quote me on that] told contestants beforehand that we had no events after us and could run as long as we wanted, then came back later after the first and second rounds took their time and were very entertaining, and then told us we had to end in 10 minutes or so because there was a premiere after us.

My only irritation concerning the whole thing was that someone accused me of "rigging" my round... **facepalm** I always sit on the end for a reason, so I have time to come up with witty answers. They assumed I had pre-planned everything so I'd be chosen.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 08:35 PM   #42
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Biggest complaint: What the hell was with the schedules. This was the first and only year that I have been to a con with the schedules that were printed in a small font, awkwardly folded and had little to no organization beyond the days and times that the panels were held.

Secondly, no cosplay chess? I was severly dissapointed. I would have gone to the cosplyer battle but I had no idea what it was ie: no good explaination on the schedule, so I missed out. Also, I was very dissapointed in the anime dating game and I don't think I was the only one. The whole room was pretty packed when we got there and before it ended, there was maybe 1/4 of the people left. Please be better organized next time and pick some... decent panelists.

Lastly: The dances were pretty lame until Sunday. That DJ rocked the house! Bring him back. Also, conga lines: super dangerous. I was almost mowed over several times. NO NO NO conga lines. Drunk people go to the dance and that is a very very bad idea.

Thank you guys. It was still a pretty good con. I was impressed that you guys kept the escalators going. Also, not good to have a wedding and a reunion during the con. Just kinda, disruptive to both parties. Not to mention the Michigan state guys kinda... threw a wrench in things all weekend.

The space needs some getting used to, so keep on chugging.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 09:51 PM   #43
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My first afest... Thoughts.

Registration was horrid. Over an hour with only 8 people in front of me... It didnt make sense.

Costume Contest Walkon (yes we did win best of show) was a bit disorganized with the whole waiting forever for the opening ceremonies, line up here, then there, then hurry up, then wait, then move... then wait some more.
Judging was different than most other contests I entered. Judges were waiting for me to show my work, instead of being proactive about it and ask the contestants questions. I sold myself well, and made sure I showed them everything I did (I also bring a full documented progress shot folder with notes to leave them just to make sure). If a shy cosplayer entered and didnt really push their work properly they could have gotten overlooked. As for their knowledge of costuming, I thought it was great. But encouraging them to get up from behind the table and check seems, see construction up close may help avoid people feeling like this. I do not want to have to take off costume pieces and put it on the table to make sure they see it properly.

As for the intermediate winner in a bikini, I looked closely at her armor, and then questioned her about it. It was hand sculpted, sanded to near perfection, then silicone molds were made of them, THEN casted those pieces really well. Plus a very clean paint job. It may not seem impressive to someone who has not learned the skill, but what she had was far superior than foam armor. I understand what went into it, its actually more impressive than my full set of armor that I entered with.


Hall judges were a lot more inquisitive about our costumes. I did not get to see much of what entered, so I can not comment on their decisions.


For the Skit contest there just were not enough awards. Fatal Frame was awesome, but so was Soul Eater and FFVI. The production value, performance and originality of all those skits was top notch. All could have won best of show/masters in any convention I have been to. I would have hated to be the judges in that situation. Heck me and my fiancee were arguing before the awards were announced about who should win.

END RANT...

I did have a great time though. Glad I went. Got a lot of great memories and got to chat with a lot of awesome people, many of whom are in this thread.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 10:05 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by negativedreamer View Post

As for the intermediate winner in a bikini, I looked closely at her armor, and then questioned her about it. It was hand sculpted, sanded to near perfection, then silicone molds were made of them, THEN casted those pieces really well. Plus a very clean paint job. It may not seem impressive to someone who has not learned the skill, but what she had was far superior than foam armor. I understand what went into it, its actually more impressive than my full set of armor that I entered with.
I have to agree with this in that it seems like people are always confused about why others won after every convention, no matter where the convention is. Sometimes when I'm watching a contest, I wonder myself, but then I realize that I'm not the person who judged all of the costumes. There were many details that I never saw. It can be really hurtful when someone reads on a forum that people say they didn't deserve to win. Also, one person's opinion of "amazing" is another person's opinion of "meh, average" and vice versa.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 11:02 PM   #45
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Wink had fun

This year was awesome, first time to anifest and I really liked it cannot wait till next year!

several awesome things happened such as finally getting the nerve to participate in panels and dance at the rave including getting up on the stage! (I am usually extremely shy) I adopted the very overused phrase you only live once.. I decided I had a horrible year leading up to this con and decided hell with it I am going all out, I met so many really cool people as well as hung out with a few that I had known for a while. The best part was finally attending a semi-formal ball and dancing with a friend I greatly cherish even if I did embarass myself with my clumsiness and being prone to talk to much lol.

overall it was worth everything!
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