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Unread 01-05-2013, 08:52 PM   #1
Hime no Toki
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ALA 2013: Feedback Thread

This thread is for posting your thoughts/opinions on ALA 2012!

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 guests, convention space, food, dealer's room, attendees, and whatever else pertaining to this year's Anime LA!
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Unread 01-06-2013, 02:34 AM   #2
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I guess it was good. I didn't do too much this year as compared to last year in terms of hitting up any events so I can't say much. I know ALA is set to be at the LAX Marriott for the next several years, but it felt like that the con has already outgrown the hotel. That's just my two cents.
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Unread 01-06-2013, 06:08 PM   #3
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Everything at the con was amazing. I think that the hotel is starting to get a little bit too small feeling though since it's getting really cramped
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Unread 01-06-2013, 08:17 PM   #4
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I had a horrible experience this weekend, from almost being assaulted by the security guards to getting laughed at by the staff when I was crying, trying to get a refund for my badge since it was being taken away. Keep in mind that I'm a 4'11" girl, I really don't pose much of a threat. It makes me sad because I worked hard on my cosplay stuff and buying the badges and it was all for nothing.
Yeah.. this was my first time at ALA and my last, but this was just my experience. I'm glad everyone else had fun though.

I hope nothing like this ever happens to me again, I'm so scarred. But I would like an apology from the staff for treating me the way that they did..
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Unread 01-06-2013, 10:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by tsubomii View Post
I had a horrible experience this weekend, from almost being assaulted by the security guards to getting laughed at by the staff when I was crying, trying to get a refund for my badge since it was being taken away. Keep in mind that I'm a 4'11" girl, I really don't pose much of a threat. It makes me sad because I worked hard on my cosplay stuff and buying the badges and it was all for nothing.
Yeah.. this was my first time at ALA and my last, but this was just my experience. I'm glad everyone else had fun though.

I hope nothing like this ever happens to me again, I'm so scarred. But I would like an apology from the staff for treating me the way that they did..
I'm not Staff or anyway associated with ALA, but that just completely blows and I'm sorry that you had such a terrible time at your first ever con. I suggest giving it another shot next year. Chaz (Con Chair) reads these and I know he will take your post into consideration for making the con better next year.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 12:07 AM   #6
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I talked about this with my group and one thing we all agreed on would be to give artists the larger downstairs area and put the dealers in the smaller upstairs area (even if that means fewer dealers or smaller booths). None of us had much interest in the dealers hall, it seemed like pretty much the same subset of dealers from other larger cons, or past cons, perhaps some more unique/exclusive dealers would change that though. Some of us did spend a good amount of time in artists alley (commissions, etc.) The artists' alley room seemed kinda small, and their space was limited, a larger room could accommodate more artists given that artists alley fills up very quickly.

Also a swap meet like the one at PMX or Conji. We always find nice things there.

I can't really think of any complaints, just the suggestion above. It would be nice if it wasn't so crowded but it's not like they can make it any less popular than it already is.

I did like the free to use lights in the photo room, cosplay repair was helpful when I had to try to fix a diffuser/reflector, staff was always friendly, etc.

Last edited by Access : 01-07-2013 at 12:10 AM.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 11:05 AM   #7
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Tsubomii, that really sucks that you had a bad time. ALA is normally one of my favorite cons I go to. But this time ALA was way different than any other year, and I feel the changes were a bad thing.

One of my favorite reasons for going to ALA for the past 4 years now, is how open and welcoming the con is. You don't need a badge to enjoy most of the con (except the dealers hall and artist alley mostly). So I just come to ALA to cosplay, see friends, and I don't get a badge cause I don't really go into the places that need them. My friend came as the Nemo mermaid in the pool on Saturday, and we found out on our drive up there that you needed a badge to get onto the pool deck. We finally got there and the whole place had "Badge Area Only" signs all over the place, and badge checkers. And this was not why I go to ALA.

We were able to get down to the pool area eventually, but we were trapped there because of all the badge checkers, we were afraid of not being able to get back to the pool deck were our stuff was. I did hear it was because the con was getting to big for the hotel, and by having all the badge check areas it was to deter people who come and don't get a badge from staying. Which I would be very sad if they crack down even more next year.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 11:23 AM   #8
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I agree that ALA really should have a Swap meet.
Also glad to see staff checking badges at crucial points such as the pool deck to promote the growth of the con.
Artist Alley was great as always as well as dealers hall. Dealers hall was a little small and I have to wonder if only that limited space was given to them or if this can grow into a larger room.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 11:39 AM   #9
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Which I would be very sad if they crack down even more next year.
Are you seriously complaining that a downside of ALA this year is that it's harder for you and your friends to ghost the con? Seriously? You won't be finding much sympathy from me.

I had a great time at the con, but some parts of it felt disorganized. Some of the panels were packed with people and the masquerade didn't start until long after the scheduled time. That's just what I noticed and there could be more instances of disorganization. I want to echo the sentiments of other people and say that it's getting too big for the hotel, which makes me sad, because I love the small, welcoming feeling of ALA.

Last edited by vgc : 01-07-2013 at 11:50 AM. Reason: grammar
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Unread 01-07-2013, 11:43 AM   #10
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Are you seriously complaining that a downside of ALA this year is that it's harder for you and your friends to ghost the con? Seriously? You won't be finding much sympathy from me.

I want to echo the sentiments of other people and say that it's getting too big for the hotel, which makes me sad, because I love the small, welcoming feeling of ALA.
That's the thing, the con had such a welcoming feeling all the previous years by saying "Come, enjoy the con, but don't go into these few areas without a badge. Now you come and you need a badge to get everywhere. That's no longer very welcoming.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 11:59 AM   #11
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Now you come and you need a badge to get everywhere. That's no longer very welcoming.
I'm going to have to disagree with you there. Conventions, especially small ones, needs to make those badge sales. I have seen small "welcoming" conventions die after a couple of years because of people showing up without buying a badge. Conventions need to make money and it kind of boggles my mind that you're complaining about this when you and your friends have not contributed to ALA by buying a badge.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 12:10 PM   #12
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I'm going to have to disagree with you there. Conventions, especially small ones, needs to make those badge sales. I have seen small "welcoming" conventions die after a couple of years because of people showing up without buying a badge. Conventions need to make money and it kind of boggles my mind that you're complaining about this when you and your friends have not contributed to ALA by buying a badge.
I understand that cons need to make money with badge sales. But if you look at any big con, they still have tons of people that show up to them without buying a badge, just to cosplay. Enjoy the atmosphere of a con, and see friends. And ALA had a hotel that had a great place for cosplays to come and show off there cosplays against great backgrounds. And yes cons do need to make money. but one con I go to is AM2, which is a FREE con. This will be it's 3rd year, and the first time it is charging for the con. But you can still show up to the convention center, enjoy the atmosphere and show off your cosplays.

And don't believe that I never pay for badges. The first 2 out of 4 years at ALA I have, and every other con I go to I do buy a badge. And I go to a few cons each year.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 12:13 PM   #13
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That's the thing, the con had such a welcoming feeling all the previous years by saying "Come, enjoy the con, but don't go into these few areas without a badge. Now you come and you need a badge to get everywhere. That's no longer very welcoming.
I am staff but not in that department however,

You are getting it all wrong , the reason they have to control the pool area because last year that area became a fire hazzard and they have to make changes for this year to preserve the safety of the con goers and abide the rules of the hotel.

The hallway and outside area in the convention level was still pretty open .

And .... I know Chaz will check this feedback .

You guys have to be more specific and objective with what caused the negative feedbacks during the convention . Just say it as it happened.

This year what I really enjoyed the most is meeting up with the voice actors, director guests that I have met all throughout the years. The caliber of guest is strong this year and there were a lot of them and their panel was pretty fun .I talked to Chaz about it and got my answer.

I feel the masquerde actually was not far from their expected time frame of start and finish and I have been there in the past so I know. But that doesnt mean we are not going to improveor make changes to make it more effecient.

BUT.... I lost track of the Artist alley.

The Music area seem to get only a few audience , I wonder if there was a way to use the hotel monitor in the hallway to show who was playing in there.People are very visual, if they see an image of the band then it will get their attention.

Anyway ,I love the convention level of the hotel but thier lobby is so small. Everyone starts to hang there when its cold outside.

A big plus about being in a Hotel Convention center is the availability of WATER !!! I mean nice DRINKING WATER .with cups and ice and ....I love it !!!!
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Unread 01-07-2013, 12:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by iaShakezula View Post
wrong , the reason they have to control the pool area because last year that area became a fire hazard and they have to make changes for this year to preserve the safety of the con goers and abide the rules of the hotel.

The hallway and outside area in the convention level was still pretty open .
Thank you for the enlightenment on this. With how big the con is getting, and hear we became a fire hazard last year, I can understand why the badge control was initiated. It is more of a just a personal complaint since the Pool deck is my favorite area of the con. But I would never want the con to get shut down due to over crowding.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 12:34 PM   #15
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That's the thing, the con had such a welcoming feeling all the previous years by saying "Come, enjoy the con, but don't go into these few areas without a badge. Now you come and you need a badge to get everywhere. That's no longer very welcoming.
I think the thing is, they've come very close to the capacity of the hotel. The crowding, and I did see a sign on Saturday saying no more at-the-door badge sales. It's a responsibly run 501(c)(3) and all volunteer.
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