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Unread 01-29-2017, 09:09 PM   #1
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ALA Feedback Thread

What did everyone think of ALA this year?
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Unread 01-30-2017, 08:27 PM   #2
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This was my review on the facebook page. I'd really like it to be passed on to those who need to hear the feedback from the attendees, so I figure posting it here can't hurt:

As in the past when I have attended, I LOVED this convention. Seeing as my main interest in conventions is cosplaying, nerding out with friends and strangers who share my fandoms, and having a few activities or fun panels to pad the day, ALA is by far my favorite and the BEST con I can attend. Add to that the unique ribbon experience and you're golden. There was plenty of space at all gathering spots. Signs everywhere to help you find your way! Yay! Spent some time demoing a card game at the Tabletop Game Room in the Radisson (which seemed like avery nice hotel and i hope no inconsiderate attendees ruin the con's relationship with the hotel as I've seen happen at other cons). And 90% of the time, people are extremely nice, friendly and non judgemental. Now that it had moved to Ontario, I can see this con quickly outgrowing this beautiful (and convenient for me) location.

As for this year, 2017, I attended Friday and Saturday. Some attendees (more so on Saturday) are rather rude about getting ribbons. I never had to deal with them but I witnessed it. The swap meet was great, but I heard the sellers we overwhelmed and reported quite a bit of theft Thursday night and efforts from con staff to create order on Friday night seemed to be in vain. On their behalf, I'd suggest a new system be put in place to reduce theft and make the buying experience feel less like we are in the middle of a riot for the basic need items after an earthquake. I always felt this con was family friendly, however the amount of inappropriate material being sold in that tiny exhibit hall was shocking. Worse than that, I attended masquerade and while the actual show was great, the AMVs shown before hand were far from acceptable. I plan to bring my kids to this con in the future and I would be uncomfortable and upset with the obviously suggestive and inappropriate clips of girls eating an ice cream bar out of guys hands while on all fours in a public place or a shower door being pushed open to show two completely naked guys doing doggie style. The event was NOT specified as 18+. As a matter of fact, there was at least three or four children in the masquerade itself under age 10, and more who were under 18. Tadao even asked the audience who was under 18 after the Taiko drum performance at halftime and since I was in the process of leaving, I saw the 30 or so hands that went in the air, which doesn't account for the vast amount of people who left when halftime started. Besides that, I don't go to 18+ events despite being 29 myself because I find that crap distasteful and not something to take pride in. Everyone else is entitled to their own opinion, of course, but that is why events are labeled 18+. Similarly, at least three of the more crude curse words were present in the contestants songs at the lip sync battle, another non-18+ event.

I'm still giving this con review 5 stars. I LOVE ALA! But anyone attending should be aware that no matter what con you go to, their will always be rude attendees. And if you are bringing a minor or live by stricter standards, you need to be ready to leave a panel or event if it ends up being 18+ when not indicated.
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Unread 01-31-2017, 12:17 AM   #3
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Ah I just want to post about the video. The person that put the 18+ video was dealt with and even the staff were shocked. It seems it was an outside help and they thought it was funny without knowing it was a PG masquerade. As I was one of the contestants with small kids. ALA strives for their masquerade to stay PG and not go where it went. So please bring your kids.

My family did have a great time and overall i was not tired out and frustrated at all. Most everyone was friendly and all seem to have a great time.
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Unread 02-02-2017, 11:28 PM   #4
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Excellent Con like all the previous times I have gone, but it might need an attendance cap again because this was the second year in a row I had a gathering conflict with one of mine, and is already starting to feel overloaded at the new venue.
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Unread 02-04-2017, 01:05 AM   #5
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I really wish there was a better attempt at ALA staff to communicate with us about panels that are coming ahead of time. I learned, on Day 2 during my Steven Universe Gathering, that there was a Steven Universe Panel on Day 1 explaining why there were so many SU cosplayers Day 1, but my gathering had such a small turn out. If I had known about the Panel on Day 1, I would have scheduled my gathering for Day 1 instead of Day 2 so that I could have taken advantage of the amount of people already there for the panel. It's just a little frustrating to find out about this at the Con, you know?
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Unread 02-07-2017, 01:09 PM   #6
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As usual, ALA was awesome. The dealer hall/artist alley was great and had a nice selection. The cosplay photo room seemed to get pretty crowded, and I noticed there were sign ups to help with that but the set up for it was a bit confusing/unclear. My only complaint was that there was no con suite this year, but I suppose that's the downside to the con growing bigger. I understand if they can no longer afford snacks for that many attendees, it just makes me sad to see it go T~T
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Unread 02-07-2017, 07:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Meahow View Post
As usual, ALA was awesome. The dealer hall/artist alley was great and had a nice selection. The cosplay photo room seemed to get pretty crowded, and I noticed there were sign ups to help with that but the set up for it was a bit confusing/unclear. My only complaint was that there was no con suite this year, but I suppose that's the downside to the con growing bigger. I understand if they can no longer afford snacks for that many attendees, it just makes me sad to see it go T~T
Actually, the Blue Rose Cafe (which replaced the Con Suite space) was free food. I think it's a good idea... providing a reserve online or first come-first serve sit down space to sparse out the food at a more sedated pace- especially since Con Suite used to get swamped sometimes. They ran out of everything but water on Day 2 last year. I noticed the food quality was much better this time around too. I really enjoyed it! However, I do think this change should have been better communicated to attendees. Our group didn't realize any of this until another attendee told my friend on Sunday. I just assumed it would cost extra like the pop-up maid cafes I've seen at other conventions and the guidebook didn't specify enough to make us think otherwise.

As for the rest of the con... this is still my favorite con, hands down. I felt they really stepped up their game with panels this year (went to more this year than I have at past ALA's)- more variety with stuff that appeals not just younger fans, but older ones as well. I didn't really get into the ribbon station in the dealer's hall (aside from donating my own), but I can see how it might appeal/be helpful for people who are shy or just new to ribbon hunting. The two cosplay gatherings I went to (VLD and Disney) were great! The social environment is what I enjoy most about about this con and it's still going very strong on that front.
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Unread 02-08-2017, 10:52 PM   #8
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Did anyone take any pics, though? Here's mine: https://cospix.net/15173 A video is coming soon. It'll be displayed on that page.
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