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Unread 01-11-2013, 07:10 PM   #91
TheCapt1701
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Originally Posted by Hazel Chaz View Post
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Originally Posted by Amethyst Nat View Post
-A lot of panels sounded fun, shame I only got to go to a couple of them. I guess the fact that they often start off schedule is good for those who are late, but tends to get disorganized..
We do try to start things on time; the only part we really have a great deal of control over is cutting people off when they run late. I was late to two of the things I was on, for example! We'll try to do better next time.
To clarify, does 'starting off schedule' refer to panels starting late or the timing at 15 minute marks? (ie: panel starting at 3:15 rather then at 3:00 for example)

Thanks,
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Unread 01-11-2013, 07:14 PM   #92
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There's a room that as you head towards artist alley, you see a piano in that room. I was wondering if there was something going on in that room.
Ah, that is actually a hallway that runs down the west side the of Meridian room. They park the piano at the end (by the doors) when not needed elsewhere. Sadly, it's not bigger on the inside.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 07:16 PM   #93
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Hi, Chaz. It was my first ALA, and I overall had a great time. So thanks for running an awesome event! You addressed a few of my own concerns in talking with other people, which I appreciate.

I did have a couple suggestions for Masquerade to fine-tune things a bit. Overall, my experience was fun, but I thought of a couple things to pass along to the Masquerade folks:

~On tech rehearsals, I never really got a straight answer as to whether costumes are required or simply recommended. It also didn't say anything in the paperwork I filled out. I wore my costume for rehearsal both to be safe and so I wouldn't be late to Workmanship judging, but could they clarify whether costumes are required for tech rehearsal?

~Halftime: It was likely just my nerves, but I felt like Halftime dragged on and got a bit tedious. Any chance of doing videos/slideshows of past Masquerade performers, to break up things a bit? I saw the cosplay videos from prior ALAs, and thought that was a nice touch.

Other than those things and what you've already addressed, I had no issues. Thanks, Chaz!
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Unread 01-11-2013, 07:38 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by DarkCloudInc View Post
Perhaps in front of the hotel where there is a drive way. There is enough room for two way traffic and seeing as how they max out on parking in the hotel structure very quickly, the space goes unused through the day especially in the night. Another potential spot would be to sacrifice two spots maybe even three spots of where the taxis are at.
That's valet and overflow parking. I doubt that the hotel would appreciate it unless they get a fee driving up the cost of food.

And I don't think the taxis want to sacrifice their business for a food truck either.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 10:46 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Angelic_Sabyne View Post
~On tech rehearsals, I never really got a straight answer as to whether costumes are required or simply recommended. It also didn't say anything in the paperwork I filled out. I wore my costume for rehearsal both to be safe and so I wouldn't be late to Workmanship judging, but could they clarify whether costumes are required for tech rehearsal?
I'm sorry I didn't make it clear, though I tried to if it was me answering. Costumes are not required for tech rehearsal, but I highly recommend bringing any large or cumbersome costume pieces (hoop skirts, wings, crazy shoes) as well as any props that need to be set, just so you aren't surprised and know how much room you take up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelic_Sabyne View Post
~Halftime: It was likely just my nerves, but I felt like Halftime dragged on and got a bit tedious. Any chance of doing videos/slideshows of past Masquerade performers, to break up things a bit? I saw the cosplay videos from prior ALAs, and thought that was a nice touch.
I try to mix it up every year, so that it's not the same halftime twice, and I make an effort to keep the show interesting. I'm always looking for new halftime entertainment, so if you (or anyone reading this) knows or is part of a group that would be interested in performing at the Masquerade, drop a line to masq(at)animelosangeles.org. I'm sorry that the halftime wound up running a little long - I forgot to divvy up prizes while the judges were deliberating, so I had to do it after the awards were printed and ready to go. I plan on having a better plan of attack for next year, and every year tends to be better than the previous. My goal is that you don't even notice that it's been an hour since the judges left, because you're enjoying the halftime show so much.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 10:47 PM   #96
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My only complaint was the masquerade. Me and my friends aren't entering it again.
We weren't upset with the judging when it happened but the anger came after she had multiple staff and judges come up saying that they wanted to give more and other awards to her but couldn't because they could only give them to beginners or something along those lines since they all said different things.

The fact that they would keep coming to apologize is ridiculous. Obviously something is wrong with the system with one person apologizing, but staff after staff is just bullshit.
After reading your post, I was appalled that such a thing could happen in my Green Room, much less coming from the mouths of the judges and staffers that I selected for the ALA Masquerade. After speaking with the judges and applying some powers of deduction, I think I have figured out what happened in the Green Room after the show.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 10:47 PM   #97
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(continued from post #96)

In addition to our regular judges (3 judges on the Presentation panel and 2 on the Workmanship panel), we had additional Guest judges giving out their own awards. The Costumers Guild West (CGW) sent a group with the intent of awarding a Costume College Scholarship (aka membership), and they went through the Green Room discussing workmanship with the contestants. As Shawn Crosby explained during the awards ceremony, their intent was to give their award to an up-and-coming cosplayer: someone who showed great promise, but still had much to learn and would benefit from the class-driven educational programming and atmosphere of Costume College.

Because I was not in the Green Room while they did their judging, I do not know if this was explained to the contestants in their one-on-ones; you can be sure that I am going to be speaking sternly to the CGW representatives if they decide to follow the same interview and award procedure at future ALA Masquerades (it was a very last minute addition to the show this year, so I was not adequately prepared). That said, it would make sense for those judges to have apologized, as their goal was to recognize potential, not maximum skill, and thus those more experienced costumers would not be the target recipients of their award.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 10:48 PM   #98
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(continued from post #97)

Please be assured that the CGW's and other guests' awards had *NO* influence on the ALA judging panels. The Costume College Scholarship winner was chosen independently, and even I did not know who won it until it was announced during the awards ceremony. (As I was with the judges through the entire judging process, I can assure you that that knowledge was not brought into the room, much less into the judges' decisions.) No entry was passed up for being too experienced, too awesome, or too well assembled in favor of recognizing a lesser entry. (If anything, I wish I could give every entry an award - I thought the show was *fantastic* this year, with excellent entry after excellent entry crossing the stage.) I stand by the awards that the ALA judges presented, and I know that much care and thought went into their deliberations.

I apologize for the manner in which our guest judges behaved, and I will make every effort to ensure that such miscommunications are avoided in the future. I would be more than happy to address individual concerns regarding the judging, either here or if you email me at masq2013(at)animelosangeles.org. The integrity of our competition is of utmost concern to me, and I don't want its reputation tarnished by a misunderstanding.

Thank you,
Lindsay Tallman
ALA Masquerade Director

(Sorry to break it up, but C.com won't let me post a long message. *shrug* At least I tricked it into posting this way.)
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Unread 01-11-2013, 11:39 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by DarkCloudInc View Post
That being said, I wonder if there's a way to get a food truck to come on by and feed the attendees.
I think it was my first year in 2011 that had it, but for one of the day there were sandwitches and sodas being sold on the ball room level. Though i don't know whom were doing that. (hope my memery not mixing thing up on me )

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Originally Posted by Hazel Chaz View Post
You picked up your badge at 7:43 pm. The program books were still being stuffed into goodie bags, about an hour or so later they had the bags out and you could pick one up. The pocket program (map + schedule) had been misplaced and didn't appear on the floor until Saturday.

That being said, one of the things we do is we print a giant blow-up of the schedule grid and post it on the wall at the west end of the foyer (just past the restrooms, Information Volunteers & Operations, and the Chairman's couch) so you can get a jump on seeing what's when. Although it's possible that it wasn't up on the wall quite that early!
Okay, yeah I figured since it was day 0 that things wont done, it was my first day 0 to any con so I wasn't to sure what to expect. But now i know for when i go next time XD Thanks for replaying back to me and even everyone!
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Unread 01-11-2013, 11:44 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Hazel Chaz View Post
Dude, WE'RE ALL THERE TO SEE OUR FRIENDS. That's why we're renting the hotel. The reason all of them are there is because the convention is there. It's not just a coincidence.

If you decide that being a part of the convention isn't worth it, then meet your friends at some other place or on some other day. There's 52 weeks until next year's convention, you have plenty of time to find them.

Decide if it's worth it to support the convention, or do something else with your time and money. Don't freeload off of our efforts by scamming your way around our badge-checkers.



We do the best we can to cover the badge-checking, without getting too annoying about it; and it's difficult as the crowds increase. We do our best. Next year we'll ask the hotel to help us with more of their security.

We also were trying to be accommodating of the occasional bewildered tourist who was just trying to get out to the pool.

Follow-through is certainly something we care about. And not just with the badge-checking, and people promising to be on staff. We had some people offer to do several panels, and then backed out at the last minute when we asked them to do one or two of the ones they offered. This is something I'm going to ask our appropriate departments to try to tighten up.



Wasn't Anime Expo $75 at the door last summer? And I doubt it'll go lower this year.

We do offer different badges at different prices, specifically we offer a one-day badge for $35. We also offer a pre-registration discount -- it's cheapest the earlier you sign up. There's a limit to how much we can cut costs, because we do have a lot of things that need to be paid for -- and with our membership cap (you'll recall we announced a cap in 2011 and 2012 too, but this is the first year we actually had to shut down Registration) that means the more we give away in discounts, the less money we can spend on making the convention wonderful.

If, however, you find it is too expensive for you to attend and have a good time, you might find your time and energy is better spent elsewhere, rather than pay money you don't feel you can afford.



Arisia's policy refers to open room parties, and closed parties. Anime Los Angeles does not have much if any in the way of open room parties. So far I think what our Operations crew is doing is fine, we just need them to do a little more patrolling and coordinating with the hotel especially regarding people being noisy on the upper floors, and any kind of smoking inside the hotel.



If people are noisy in the halls on the 2nd floor or above, please see if you can let our Ops people know.

The first floor is designated as the "noisy" floor -- if it's a problem, please come down to Ops and we'll give you earplugs.



While I'm pleased that they chose to be noisy in the lobby instead of in front of the hotel rooms, I'm not so happy about people blocking traffic. If you see that again, alerting our Ops team may help.



That's actually not quite correct, the "Rum Party" is actually a no-alcohol pirate event. But you're correct in that people who legally are allowed to drink can, in fact, drink in this hotel.



We are very concerned about the crowding. Too many people in the space also means it's harder to be consistent about badge-checking, to catch people bringing big weapons into the place, pickpockets and thieves take advantage of us -- We really need to have fewer people.



The crowds, the crowds. We need fewer people or a bigger space. We can't have a bigger space before 2016, so we'll have to deal with it.



I agree.



The first floor is the "noisy floor." When you reserve your room, send an e-mail to our "hotel2014 at animelosangeles.org" address and ask to be put on a quieter floor. There are a smaller number of rooms on 1 than on 2 through 5, so we like to just set them aside for people who can sleep through the rowdiness.

Or stop by Ops and we'll give you earplugs.



We've already got all the space. There's no more space to open up.
Only replying to my post. So...Is a badge cap a possibility?
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Unread 01-12-2013, 01:01 AM   #101
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This year's ALA was very mixed bag. I hosted panel at ALA, and once again, tech dept disappointed me. On the paper there were 3 hosts, and only 1 mic was provided. We received 2nd one halfway through the panel. Not only that, but the room was lacking in cable to hook up the laptop to the speaker, in order to utilize the sound system for presentation. So, I had to lean down the mic, which means techie had to volume up the mic, which also meant I couldn't speak close to mic without busting people's eardrums. The tech shenanigan delayed my panel for good 10 minutes too, also another disappointing part. HOWEVER, the tech people that were there were vigilant and very helpful to the end. So I'd say it went fairly well.

Also Chaz and Lindsay, check your pm. I sent you a message.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 01:38 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by FaireGoddess View Post
I'm sorry I didn't make it clear, though I tried to if it was me answering. Costumes are not required for tech rehearsal, but I highly recommend bringing any large or cumbersome costume pieces (hoop skirts, wings, crazy shoes) as well as any props that need to be set, just so you aren't surprised and know how much room you take up.



I try to mix it up every year, so that it's not the same halftime twice, and I make an effort to keep the show interesting. I'm always looking for new halftime entertainment, so if you (or anyone reading this) knows or is part of a group that would be interested in performing at the Masquerade, drop a line to masq(at)animelosangeles.org. I'm sorry that the halftime wound up running a little long - I forgot to divvy up prizes while the judges were deliberating, so I had to do it after the awards were printed and ready to go. I plan on having a better plan of attack for next year, and every year tends to be better than the previous. My goal is that you don't even notice that it's been an hour since the judges left, because you're enjoying the halftime show so much.
Thanks for the response, Lindsay.

I wish I could remember if you'd said anything about recommending props/costumes/etc. for tech rehearsal, but I really can't. In spite of a good night's sleep the night before, I was having major trouble waking up that morning, so it's entirely possible you might have mentioned it in passing, but it didn't register with me. (I literally did not start feeling 100% awake and ready until about 1:15 or so, when I was starting to get dressed for my tech rehearsal.) So that may be more me glossing over it than anything else.

As for Halftime, my nerves made it feel about 3x longer than it likely was. I was fine from before Masquerade started up until I was about to go on, then my nerves shot up to around a 7 or 8. It's ironic, because I used to not get jittery when I went onstage for a performance, but it made everything feel like it was happening much more slowly than it was. (I think there were several of us in the Green Room who looked at one another when we saw what time it was and went 'Wow, it's only 9? It feels much later'.) I may see if having my boyfriend bring me a soda or something and sit in the hall outside the Green Room or something during Halftime will help me calm down some for future Masquerades. So again, it's likely more me being jittery and finicky than anything that needed to be done.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 11:45 AM   #103
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Another piece of feedback since I know you guys have a mega meeting this weekend. I really feel ALA can do more with the annual theme. Like, this year's theme was Victorian Gothic and Lolita from what I understand...or how it was presented. Instead of just limiting it to one day, why not the whole weekend? A lot of cons in my area (ie: Another Anime Convention) have awesome theme integration .

With that said, the decorations department has A TON of creative minds in there. (IMO, it would make more sense to have a theme department). Like...post photos of Lolita coords / Lolita cosplay / Victorian themed cosplay. Perhaps highlight programming around theme? A video room that shows things like Gosick, Petite Cosette, etc? Maybe have a room that has different tables / tea part dioramas where cosplayers / lolitas can pose and photographers take pictures.

Integrating theme into the all day weekend is what will keep programming fresh. I'm not saying all programming should be "Best Practices in Making Big Butt Bows 101" yet, to highlight and integrate the theme more.
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Unread 01-12-2013, 09:32 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Hazel Chaz View Post
If people are noisy in the halls on the 2nd floor or above, please see if you can let our Ops people know.
Thanks, Chaz, I'll be sure to do that next year if its an issue again.


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It's always hard to strike the right balance. Bigger tables and 25% fewer artists? With the number of artists trying to get in, that would not go over well. Eliminate the dealers room (or cut it in half) and give AA more space? Eliminate AA (or cut it in half) and give Dealers more space? Each year we try to see if there's a better arrangement to how we use our rooms, and each year we have to make compromises to fit it all in.
I know it's hard with a growing convention in such a limited space. We appreciate your work in trying to figure this stuff out, even if we'll probably find things to complain about either way. XD
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Unread 01-13-2013, 01:48 AM   #105
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Only replying to my post. So...Is a badge cap a possibility?
We had a Saturday cap in 2011 and didn't hit it, we had a Saturday cap last year and just grazed it; our cap this year was hit and we loosened it a bit, and later regretted it.

We'll be making an official announcement online shortly.

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Originally Posted by ScarletRhapsody View Post
Another piece of feedback since I know you guys have a mega meeting this weekend. I really feel ALA can do more with the annual theme. Like, this year's theme was Victorian Gothic and Lolita from what I understand...or how it was presented. Instead of just limiting it to one day, why not the whole weekend? A lot of cons in my area (ie: Another Anime Convention) have awesome theme integration .
Thank you for the suggestion. We've deliberately had a "Sunday is XYZ day" theme for the last day, to try to give Sunday a little more pep.

Friday has the greatest number of things going on, Saturday has the Masquerade as the big event; the Sunday theme is something to make Sunday a little special with things that aren't happening Friday and Saturday. This year the big centerpiece to our Sunday theme was the Gothic Mad Tea Party.

Spreading it out over the full length of the convention would defeat the purpose.
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