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Unread 01-07-2013, 12:50 PM   #16
iaShakezula
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I believe that is what I heard too

and you are welcome.

I love this convention and I will do my best to help Chaz and the con as much as I can so everyone feel the same way as I do.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 02:19 PM   #17
ScarletRhapsody
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I'll post my thoughts on the con report later on, but here's what' gets me.

Leading up to the con, ALA has made posts on Facebook about checking badges at all times. This doesn't surprise me though. However, it was still easy to sneak into badged areas. I didn't really see this enforced until Saturday morning / early afternoon. Even then, it was from the door from the Marriott lobby to the deck. I even caught eye of a tourist or two chillaxing by the pool.

What I'm trying to say is, if you keep saying you plan to check badges at the pool deck, follow through with it. Don't say one thing on Facebook and not completely follow through during con time.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 02:58 PM   #18
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I have to agree that the con is outgrowing the hotel. It seems more and more cramped every year, and is lessening my enjoyment each time. I love seeing that the con is growing, but not when you're rubbing elbows everywhere you go. That said, I still enjoyed it this year, and the staff was as friendly and helpful as ever. Generally. I noticed that there were a few bad apples in there (whose number also seems to grow), and it seems like some of them even ruined one of the previous poster's experience.

My biggest gripe though is the badge situation. I don't mind that there are so many restricted areas now. It's to be expected. However, I don't see the justification for the $50 price tag. I hate to compare ALA to anything, but Expo, a far larger convention, has a very similar price tag (at least before the spikes). The experiences are very different, of course, with ALA having that smaller and more personal feel. Nonetheless, it's still a significant cost, especially for many of the cosplayers who ONLY used it to get access to the pool. I'm not saying the price should be lowered, because I'm sure there's many reasons for the high price. What I do feel, though, is that there should be different kinds of badges offered for different people at different prices.

For instance, those who want the full experience will pay the full price. Cosplayers, however, can get a Cosplayer's badge that gives them access to only the pool, and perhaps Masquerade as well, for a reduced cost. Then, maybe there can also be badges for people who want access to just the Dealer's Hall and Artist Alley, also at a reduced cost. I know of many people who avoided ALA this year because they didn't want to pay the $50, and I'm sure having different options for the badges would lure them back.

So, in summary, I think a bigger venue and different options for badges would be nice.

What ALA did right is what ALA does right every year: awesome cosplay repair, places to sit and rest, free water, the con suite, helpful staff, and unobtrusive peace bonding.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 04:49 PM   #19
Access
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kresnik View Post
However, I don't see the justification for the $50 price tag. I hate to compare ALA to anything, but Expo, a far larger convention, has a very similar price tag (at least before the spikes). The experiences are very different, of course, with ALA having that smaller and more personal feel. Nonetheless, it's still a significant cost, especially for many of the cosplayers who ONLY used it to get access to the pool. I'm not saying the price should be lowered, because I'm sure there's many reasons for the high price. What I do feel, though, is that there should be different kinds of badges offered for different people at different prices.
Since it is a 501(c)(3), if you go to foundationcenter or guidestar you can look up all the financials, at the very end of this PDF link you can see the balance sheet that shows where the money is actually going.

for last year's con:
http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990...201206_990.pdf

for all of them:
http://990finder.foundationcenter.or...y=&action=Find

Though note that these numbers are for both cons (not just ALA).

One thing to add: I liked the night lighting on the patio and front of the pool deck, saw some photographers making good use of this.

Last edited by Access : 01-07-2013 at 05:55 PM.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 05:59 PM   #20
tipsd9video
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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 so sorry to hear all that D: This is my third ALA and I've never really had a negative experience.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 07:07 PM   #21
ScarletRhapsody
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I'll keep this short, but I really think the ALA website needs something like this:

http://2013.arisia.org/PartyHostingGuide
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Unread 01-07-2013, 07:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarletRhapsody View Post
I'll keep this short, but I really think the ALA website needs something like this:

http://2013.arisia.org/PartyHostingGuide
I have to agree with this. At this point, I'm really disappointed on the sheer volume of people who couldn't control themselves while drinking.

I hate to say this, but either con attendants need to learn to better control themselves with their liquor, or ALA is going to have to crack down on letting people drink at the con. There are people coming to ALA specifically to party and drink. Several see ALA as a party con first and an anime convention second.

I'm going to be pushing for better outline of rules when it comes to Alcohol at ALA. At least crack down more on people wandering with open alcohol and push for those who are hosting party to host a little restraint on what they let their party goers do.

I was approached by at least two people carrying kiddy buckets of alcohol(one said she walked right by security with her booze bucket and they said nothing), we had at least one possible drunk balcony jumper on Saturday(thankfully only from the second floor but still, out of line), and one drunk who was getting rowdy before Taco Party started(Thankfully it was handled quickly) I really don't have a problem with people drinking, I have a problem with people who have a lack of self control.

Also I would like to notate a couple issues I saw with the dealers hall.
1. A guy was able to get into the dealers hall with a loaded composite bow. I have absolutely no idea how he was even allowed into the hall with a composite bow in the first place since he should have been stopped at the door. But my coworker who was running the company booth was rightfully worried that somebody could be injured.

2. A dealer falsely accused a con attendant and friend of mine of shoplifting. It was proven to be false because the dealer accused my friend of stealing something the dealer didn't even have for sale. I also know because the item in question was purchased from another dealer that I had bought something from the day before. I already gave a heads up to staff working the dealers hall. I'm going to speak to my friend better to peg down which exhibitor it was. This irritates me because not only was it a friend, I also happen to exhibit at conventions and it reflects poorly on a con when exhibitors show such poor behavior.

I personally would recommend giving attendants a way to complain about exhibitors who are acting out of line or in the worse case, doing something illegal(and yes, this does happen and it has caused ill effect on other dealers because of it)

On the positive. I worked Taco Party this year and things went far better then last year. We opened on time, we had food ready to go, and we even had options for vegetarians. We did have issues(like the lack of paper plates for example), but I believe we'll be able to hammer them out for next year and keep improving the event.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 08:13 PM   #23
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For me, i thought it was absolutely amazing. I had so much fun and i honestly think its the best con i've ever been to. I loved the scavenger hunt that was so much fun. The dealers room was awesome. The place was big. And one of my favorite parts was the free photo studio. I was so excited because i've always wanted to do a photo shoot but i dont know how to get people to do that with me and i got to do it there and it was the best. I am incredibly excited for next year.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 08:25 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livengood View Post
2. A dealer falsely accused a con attendant and friend of mine of shoplifting. It was proven to be false because the dealer accused my friend of stealing something the dealer didn't even have for sale. I also know because the item in question was purchased from another dealer that I had bought something from the day before. I already gave a heads up to staff working the dealers hall. I'm going to speak to my friend better to peg down which exhibitor
If it is who I think it is, this guy (and his helpers) are known for this and should probably not be invited back. They act the same way at SDCC and some of the other cons, they are paranoid and keep accusing people from stealing from the booth, when in reality it is just that, people carrying around items that they purchased elsewhere.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 08:48 PM   #25
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I forgot to add this in my post that I had on the first page. My mom did complain (to me not any staff) that people were walking around the convention drinking downstairs and also walking around drunk. She loves ALA and loves the parents room but the drinking was over the top for her and I want her to continue to take me to this convention and not worry about people being intoxicated around her.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 09:22 PM   #26
tsubomii
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Originally Posted by El_Duque View Post
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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Originally Posted by tipsd9video View Post
I'm so sorry to hear all that D: This is my third ALA and I've never really had a negative experience.
Thank you, I appreciate it. I know specifically which staff member it was who was behind pretty much all of what happened to me and I have his contact info so that makes me feel better.

Yeah a lot of people I talked to say that ALA is their favorite con of the year because of the partying and the alcohol and I did have fun up until Friday night when all of that happened so I might try again next year, but I really don't want to run into the staff member and the security guards ever again.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 10:01 PM   #27
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Overall, the con was pretty good this year. I was stuck working in the Artist Alley for most of the con, but I still had a pretty good time. I met a lot of cool people and profits were okay. I do wish that we had more space in the AA, though. 3 feet of space is really cramped. If the tables were 8 feet instead and we could have 4 feet of space that would be a little better, but the ideal situation would be for us to have a bigger room, or maybe even split the AA into two rooms if need be to give us the space for full tables.

Also, I love how Conji has a swap meet. It would be kind of fun to have one at ALA. It's true that it would take profits away from us in the AA, but it's kind of fun to browse through none the less.

I am so happy that the pool area was less crowded this year. Last year, there were times when people were afraid of getting hurt or accidentally pushed into the pool because of how crowded it was. This time there was room to take nice pictures, using the landscaping in the pool area as backdrops.

More nighttime programming would be nice. If you don't want to drink or dance, there isn't that much to do. Maybe a nighttime studio Ghibli marathon or Rocky Horror showing would be cool. The Rum Party is great (but I staff it, so I'm biased), but I wish that there was more stuff going on during other nights as well.

I love that there is water everywhere so that we don't get dehydrated, but I wish that food was easier to come by. The con suite only serves light snacks and the hotel restaurants are restrictively expensive, so we have to leave the hotel to get food. It would be nice if there were a bunch of microwaves available to con-goers so that we could heat our own food. It would also be cool if the con suite stayed open later.

I love that there are so many good areas to hang out with people at the con. The lobby, the pool area, and the first floor seating areas are all great for that. I don't love how people think that it's okay to party in the hallways outside other people's hotel rooms. I especially hate it when people are doing this at 4 am when some of us are trying to sleep. Some signs stating that hallways outside hotel rooms are quiet areas at night would help, or maybe it would help if there were some staff members assigned to checking the halls periodically and shooing drunken people partying in their halls back into their hotel rooms. There's nothing wrong with room parties, but it's not cool to have a party going on in the hall outside other people's rooms in the early hours of the morning when some people need to sleep. The drinking and partying is starting to get a little out of hand at this con, since it's no longer being restricted to private hotel rooms.

Overall, though, this con is pretty good, but there are some issues keeping it from being a really great con.

Last edited by hippiewriter : 01-07-2013 at 10:13 PM.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 10:17 PM   #28
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This was my first full weekend at ALA and last year I was only there for Saturday during the day. overall great first year i loved it and defiantly plan on going back next year for the full weekend again.

the bad: Dealers hall was meh like 3-4 different sword shops and a few anime paraphernalia shops i typically dont buy much from the dealers hall but i was less likely to buy anything from the shops provided.

the dance I went on saturday night and when i walked in around midnight-ish they had stopped playing music to have some kind of weird dance off that lasted way too long definitely don't think that should have happened most people go to the dance to dance not watch these other guys have a break dancing jam session stopping everyone else music. this is actually my biggest complaint about the whole convention!!

couldnt buy my badge on thursday night. this is a minor complaint but i really wish i could have bought my badge then but meh.

i didn't notice anyone being drunk or too terribly outrageous but some people were being really obnoxious like the navi on Thursday night that wouldn't be quite for like 2 hours in the lobby, or the guys that decided to start fake fighting and wrestling in the middle of the hallway (ballroom level) on Saturday night. there were other instances like this but nothing i could not just ignore and walk by.

the good: I love love loved the dance, outside of the lame dance off. the DJ's were great and the lighting and room were great too.

registration was fast, woke up on friday went downstairs around 10 got my badge quickly even though the line was kinda long.

the photobooth was pretty cool to see i didnt get a chance to take advantage of it but i really like that it was there and know some friends that loved it and went.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 10:39 PM   #29
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Hi, just putting in a little bit of input for a few things. Sorry if I'm repeating.
I work Registration, and on Saturday con reached a full 4,500 people with badges. I'm assuming there's a leeway because of how aware con is that many people go in without a badge.
Also! On the issue of drunk people--the only room booze are allowed in is the Rum Party (at least, from my understanding), but con can't keep people who are ALREADY drunk from going anywhere. Just like you can't really keep a drunk person from walking down the street unless they're causing chaos and bothering people.
A few years back, ALA would make an announcement at the dance--which started much earlier--around 10 that all minors had to go back to their room because of the Curfew. But, I noticed they stopped this and instead just started the dance later. The idea is, that, all minors will be following the state Curfew and will be heading back to their rooms by 10, so the only people left are legal adults that could be around drunk people. Of course, it doesn't work out like this, but the con can't do anything. Not even a police officer can stop and ask to see your ID if they don't have a reason. So, basically, the con legally can't do anything about the drunk people as long as they aren't openly drinking things that are obviously alcohol on the con floors (which is only the bottom two.) If they have it in an unlabeled bottle, they can get away with it.
Again, this is just my take on it. I could be wrong. I may be Staff, but it's all volunteer work. I don't speak for the department I'm in.
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Unread 01-07-2013, 10:55 PM   #30
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This is my 3rd time attending! MY favorite so far! Worth the drive from north for ALA!

Starlight Ball: It was a lot much better ran than last year! Now they have all the songlist organized. But I think it still needs to double check if they're danceable and know what kind of dance do you use for the song.

Con Suite: Can't beat free food

Venue: Same old feel like every year.

Gameroom: Lack of variety and too crowded. Only played pachinko.

Running workshop and Panel:
My first time workshop for Ballroom Dance Lesson went really well! Had a group of people and we worked on steps and rhythm and the understanding of having fun! My other panel mostly focuses on building confidence, how to prepare for a formal ball, dance etiquette and some dance types.
The staff and the department got everything for what I need for my workshop and panel. Glad to get some help from the crowd too and very laid back! I'm doing this again!
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