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Unread 11-02-2012, 05:03 PM   #31
Jia Jem
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"I bought a Saturday badge for $25... I tried to get into the dance that night and couldn't because I needed a Sunday badge since it was after midnight. Seriously?"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that illegal? The event technically started on Saturday. How would you get a Sunday badge at midnight?

Does that mean since I bought a ticket for an 11:30pm movie, they're going to kick me out after the previews because now it's the next day? All my whut.
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Unread 11-02-2012, 05:09 PM   #32
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Pretty hilarious that they apparently are banned from hosting another con at the Hilton. And by "hilarious," I mean "awesome."
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Unread 11-02-2012, 05:18 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelbabycakes View Post
The con has been running for longer than two years...it's been going since at least 2009. While, it's still fairly new, it is unacceptable to place anyone in this mess. I read a lot about the conditions...which seemed bad, but the photos prove more than words could ever say. This is just disgusting. It apparently happened last year as well, but I've read that they did not alert the AA or vendors that the conditions were the exact same until they all arrived. I do not know whose fault that was...hotel or head of the con, but either way, they should have considered finding another space for the vendors and artists. Part of being in charge of a con is to be able to think on your feet and be a problem solver. If you knew this didn't solve the problem last year, how would you even think it could slide another year? It's just sad. This con should really think more and find a better location before they decide to continue. I've seen photos of cons that took place in an open parking lot with canopies and tents...those at least looked better and cleaner than this, not to mention safer. How horrible.
My apologies if I didn't know how long this convention has been running. I never heard of it till I read this post and someone said it was the convention's second year.
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Unread 11-02-2012, 05:22 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jia Jem View Post
"I bought a Saturday badge for $25... I tried to get into the dance that night and couldn't because I needed a Sunday badge since it was after midnight. Seriously?"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that illegal? The event technically started on Saturday. How would you get a Sunday badge at midnight?

Does that mean since I bought a ticket for an 11:30pm movie, they're going to kick me out after the previews because now it's the next day? All my whut.
Uh...what the heck? That's insane.

Also, they wanted a "spooky" location? What is spooky about a daylight parking garage with bright blue buckets everywhere? The location isn't spooky by any stretch of the imagination. It's disgusting and unsanitary. The fact is they knew the location was like this and chose it on purpose. That's what that statement says. I don't understand why it is so hard for them to admit this wasn't the best choice and they did not take some things into consideration. I also don't get why it is so hard to apologize for all the ruined merchandise and unhappy artists, etc. Baffles me.

Last edited by angelbabycakes : 11-02-2012 at 05:26 PM.
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Unread 11-02-2012, 05:36 PM   #35
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The location is scary in an I'm-going-to-get-cancer-and-die-from-all-this-mold-if-the-cold-doesn't-kill-me-first kind of way, which I don't think would be the kind of creepy they claim to have been going for.
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Unread 11-02-2012, 05:40 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jia Jem View Post
"I bought a Saturday badge for $25... I tried to get into the dance that night and couldn't because I needed a Sunday badge since it was after midnight. Seriously?"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that illegal? The event technically started on Saturday. How would you get a Sunday badge at midnight?

Does that mean since I bought a ticket for an 11:30pm movie, they're going to kick me out after the previews because now it's the next day? All my whut.
If I can sneak a nitpick in here, the dance (assuming this is the Dance! Dance! Dance! event) started at 12:30 AM Sunday morning. So half an hour after midnight.
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Unread 11-02-2012, 05:51 PM   #37
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Everyone has already said what needed to be said.

The only thing I'm realizing seeing those pictures of buckets on ceilings is that I've never looked at the ceilings at conventions. Guess I need to start if I want to avoid take a bucket of water on the head.

I wonder if it's the convention staff that realized the place was run down and put the buckets there as emergency prevention or if the owners did so.
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Unread 11-02-2012, 06:45 PM   #38
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That update - wow. Just, wow.

I'm seriously boggled that that WASN'T a last resort and they purposefully chose that space. I staffed a con for a while (during years when we were REALLY growing) and every time we needed more space our thoughts were "What other venues have more space?" or "Can we shuffle our room usage around a little?" or even "What if we cap attendance?" The idea of putting any part of the con in a PARKING STRUCTURE never even crossed anyone's minds.

I also can't believe the hotel let them do this - it's a lawsuit waiting to happen. Just, wow.
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Unread 11-02-2012, 07:51 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanarcah View Post
If I can sneak a nitpick in here, the dance (assuming this is the Dance! Dance! Dance! event) started at 12:30 AM Sunday morning. So half an hour after midnight.
Thanks for clarifying. I wonder if they had a booth there to sell Sunday badges. Was there a previous event in that space that made them start on Sunday?
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Last edited by Jia Jem : 11-02-2012 at 07:54 PM.
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Unread 11-02-2012, 11:56 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noize View Post
My apologies if I didn't know how long this convention has been running. I never heard of it till I read this post and someone said it was the convention's second year.
Oh, no apologies needed. I was simply stating for clarification. Hope I didn't come across as rude.

As far as the buckets go, it's been stated that the buckets were there last year. I don't know if that's true or not, as this isn't a con I've ever attended. If it's true, the buckets don't seem to be a last minute prevention measure...however, if they weren't there last year, then it's possible staff used them in hopes of avoiding a worse situation.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 12:58 AM   #41
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We've been to Aki Con as vendors for several years and our last year we were shoved into one of the halls of the Hilton. Booth size was not as stated, about 1/2 smaller. We worked with it, the hotel staff was actually very nice. Great breakfast, spacious room. The convention volunteers tried, I mean from what we dealt with they really tried, but many of them were very young, as in 16- young with no adult supervision which is a big no-no in WA state. Like hosting after hours events or 24hr spaces like the manga library. If I'd been a parent or guardian, that alone would have been an automatic ban. That was our last year at Aki and we only came back because our booth was comped due to the Everett location's parking garage debacle the previous year I like to call "Dungeon Con."

Poorly lit, very cold, drafty, hard to get to underground garage. Our booth had the misfortune of being right next to the air shaft. Many of us myself included got sick. There were no carpets, drapes, etc, in fact barely any markers to delineate booth spaces. Other vendors were even stealing ours and other fellow vendors' chairs, wtf? Again, the hotel staff were very nice to us and seemed genuinely happy to have the event there. Much of the con staff very young...Anyway, parking garage con is nothing new for Aki. The last year, 2010, it also rained and I remember many attendees including us running across the causeway to get to the Hilton's garage. I can see why it was a deterrent for many. My husband even offered to get the car and pick me up at the lobby door, lol. As a long time convention attendee and vendor, (10+years) I really wanted to enjoy the smaller size and community of Aki but each year was more disappointing than the last. Talk about logistical problems. Many of the staffers are good people and work very hard to make that convention fun and well run but the issues are systemic and go to the top.
Prior, we actually vended at Kumoricon the first year it was in DT Portland and the booths were located in the underground parking garage. It was not ideal, either. There was no carpet on the concrete but there were at least poles and drapes separating the booths and much better if not ideally lit. Nor was it drafty outdoor cold. For other reasons, we have also chosen not to return there, either. Which is unfortunate because it was a lot of fun, especially the 21+ after hours Karaoke Bar with actual Bar, nothing fancy but it was nice to have a space for older folks. Also, the staff running it were awesome and incredibly patient.

Unless the convention runners create some drastic change rather than placing blame on attendees/artists/vendors/everyone but themselves, it will continue to create many unhappy people. Threatening to abolish AA due to complaints (by basically blaming "hard to please" artists) is quite childish and another move to further push away responsibility. Also, many of the responses from Aki reps. run into each other and contradict their reasons for the vendor/AA location. Much of the actual frustration I believe is that the vendors and artists were not forewarned of the conditions nor had any say in at least to dress appropriately, etc. That was a breach of trust and then trying to justify it as a Halloween theme is ludicrous. Instead, Aki staff claim there is some kind of conspiracy among vendors and other local area cons that are keeping Aki down. Uh no. These other events have their issues, too but for the most part have never suffered from the kind of trials we went through. We've vended volunteer/for profit/big/small events and rarely if ever did we experience something like this. It was more than just a lapse in communication. This was full on denial.

I think it also takes a huge advantage of the many attendees who pay and show up to have a great time. It's irresponsible and disrespectful.

We thought about vending this year but considering our past experience coupled with cost/profit margin/what's my time worth we chose to not apply. Suffice it to say, I'm relieved that we weren't there.

Last edited by ssmitty : 11-03-2012 at 01:06 AM.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 10:11 PM   #42
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Food should not be allowed anywhere near that area.
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Unread 11-04-2012, 12:56 AM   #43
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I went to Aki-Con in '09 as a guest. I forgave a lot of their errors (like having AA on tiny tables in the hall) as them being a second-year con. And while the photo room was cute, I couldn't help but wonder why they weren't giving that space to the artists. Sad to see that this didn't change. :-/

Aki-con taught me what NOT to do at a con, both as a guest and an attendee. I now apply all the lessons learnt that year to my current con staffing experiences.
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Unread 11-16-2012, 05:58 PM   #44
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I was there, and... I dunno.
I think it was tasteless to put it in a parking garage, but it's receiving A LOT of hate for it. I haven't heard of anybody getting their costume ruined because of it... But I could be wrong.
It didn't bother me much, really. I guess it's because I didn't spend much time in there..
It wasn't a good idea, but it wasn't like it was in this disgusting, dirty venue that was hazardous for everyone's health. It was just a parking garage.

My opinion, anyway.
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Unread 12-02-2012, 02:30 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyItsSasuke View Post
I was there, and... I dunno.
I think it was tasteless to put it in a parking garage, but it's receiving A LOT of hate for it. I haven't heard of anybody getting their costume ruined because of it... But I could be wrong.
It didn't bother me much, really. I guess it's because I didn't spend much time in there..
It wasn't a good idea, but it wasn't like it was in this disgusting, dirty venue that was hazardous for everyone's health. It was just a parking garage.

My opinion, anyway.
And you are entitled to your opinion.

I think the problem really was also that we were unprepared. It's important to remember that AkiCon not only did not tell us we would be in a parking garage, but also, when we asked about the artist alley location, they were doing on they could to hide it.

Because of this, almost all of us came under dressed and unprepared. I packed my clothes with plans of being inside the hotel, and instead, I was in the cold. I had a coat, but my clothes under that were meant to be indoors.

I was freezing, and I became very sick.
The kerosene heating also gave me a headache, and the mess of extension chord wasn't the best thing.

They've been very rude to us. They refuse to acknowledge that they did anything wrong in putting us in there, and instead say the artists are just complaining.

No matter your stance on how bad the garage itself was, the behavior of the Pelhams is just unacceptable.
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