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Unread 01-29-2007, 02:45 AM   #1
Eurobeat King
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What did you think about ALA 2007?

Hey everyone,

Please post what you thought of ALA this year. Did you have a good time overall? If not, what do you think could've been done to improve it? And would you return next year to ALA 2008?

Picture-wise, I was happy with the pictures I was able to take this weekend, and it was good seeing friends and acquaintances, and new cosplayers, since I hadn't been to a So.CA con since AX & comic-con 2006. So it was fun seeing them again.
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Unread 01-29-2007, 02:52 AM   #2
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Lets put some happy thoughts into this thread, I already made my complaints about the staff in the other thread so time for something happy.

I actually liked the Con Suite and the Cosplay Repair stations. That's something you rarely come accross, especially for the cosplayers on the go and have emergencies. Food is definately a vital role for all attendees especially if funding is extremely tight. I managed to cut my food money spree because of the Con Suite and its definately something that should be looked up to for other conventions! =D

I enjoyed the scenes that I managed to get pictures from during several photo shoots. The backgrounds were really nice and I'm glad the spots that were selected for the gatherings. Definately A+ work!
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Unread 01-29-2007, 02:58 AM   #3
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We enjoyed ourselves this year. Not sure about 2008 yet, vacation pending. It's just that it's close to the New Year holiday. Yet, the future is still undecided.

We had a wonderful time performing at masquerade. Normally, we just take photos and video (or judge!), but we haven't done something like this since 2005. It was great to be on stage again. For the record, we were the Trapnest (Nana) group. ("Rock concert movement number one...") Many thanks to Bart Boy for videtaping the masquerade for us.

Masquerade was well organized and well planned out. Totally stress free, at least for us. Only bummer was the green room. Crowded. Tight space. Cold. The video feed didn't have sound, but I'm sure there's plenty room for improvement there. We highly encourage other anime conventions to use ICG guidelines. (Hey, Karisu! That's your cue!)

A more formal "final thought" will be posted on our con report. Please keep an eye out on the Photo Links thread.

Photographer Gathering 2007! Now that's what we call a gathering!
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Unread 01-29-2007, 03:09 AM   #4
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Always the asskicking con of all cons. ALA this year had the social friendly atmosphere I expected as always. Sure can't wait till 08.
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Unread 01-29-2007, 03:13 AM   #5
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It was the first time I went to ALA (strictly gone to comiccon and AX)...ITS SO TINYYYY!!!! XD Not that its a bad thing...I just thought it was kinda neat how everyone pretty much hung out with everyone since it was such a small crowd...it was a lot more personal than the bigger cons..

Ok, heres my angst...I got upset because we came up on friday afternoon and we were going to buy a one day pass for saturday and the staff wouldnt let us, they jsut kept egging us on to buy the full 40$ pass for a day and a half (since we could only stay through saturday), so I got mad at that. We also need newer anime!!! I saw dragonhalf which was a nice blast to the past, but I wanted to see stuff from 2006, not 2003 XP

Overall good time though!!!
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Unread 01-29-2007, 09:35 AM   #6
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Yeah, it was my first time at ALA too. XD I really enjoyed it despite it being so small in comparison to AX and Fanime, but I liked that closeness. I mean there wasn't a lot to do most of the time at least not things that interested me so much, so I'm glad I did quite a few cosplays, and met up with a bunch of new people too. And I met up with some other people I had met before at other cons too, so that made me super happy. XD;;;

But I thought everything was well done in terms of running the con. I loved the Con Suite, and thought that was pretty nice. The Cosplay Repair Station was pretty cool too, although I didn't use it my friend did so it was a nice thing to have. XD

Yeah, I was definitely satisfied with this con (not knowing what to expect at the beginning), and the friendly people there. So happy with it, I'm contemplating staffing next year and most likely will. ^^;;; But yeah thanks to Chaz and company for putting on such an awesome con.

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Unread 01-29-2007, 10:47 AM   #7
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I'd like to start this post with my deepest gratitude and thanks to Hazel Chaz for running ALA. Ever since the beginning in 2005, I have absolutely LOVED your convention. As a "veteran", I suppose you could say, of this con it is only natural that I would pre-register for 2007. I truly want to continue my support of ALA, but after the treatment I and many others I had witnessed received from some of your staff members... I must say that at this moment I don't even want to come back. The rude attitudes were never coming from Hazel Chaz, or any of the Cosplay Staff or Con Suite Staff, but the walk around Staff? I suppose? I'm not really sure what department they were a part of, but there really is no excuse for the way they were treating a lot of people.

I find it completely unacceptable when people are YELLING and talking down to others all over what more than likely was just a simple mistake. It's uncalled for and incredibly rude.

Unlike past ALAs, this year there were signs placed about the hallways as "No Picture Zones" to avoid any mass clumping congregation in the halls. That's quite understandable. However if someone is waiting, pressed up against the wall and in absolutely no way blocking anyone from passage, waiting for a friend who's grabbing something in their room.... well, I don't really see a problem there. But rules are rules. I didn't think it would be a problem, so perhaps it was just poor judgment on my part, but when one of the Staff members came up to me and SNAPPED at me for my honest mistake... I was appalled.

I work at a theme park. I've worked there for five years. There are days when our crowds are as high as 70,000 people if not more than. That is far more people than ALA will have. Yet if I'm walking around and I see someone sitting where they shouldn't be sitting, standing where they shouldn't be standing, even in the thickest, noisiest, most stressful environments ever AND I'm running late for my show, I never yell at them or act rudely. Instead I just go up to them and say, "Excuse me, I can't have you sitting/standing there. If you could please move I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks!". Maybe there's a lot on my mind, maybe I'm running late, maybe it's really stressful right now, but I will never be rude. Talking down to people, treating them like they are children (even if they are), is incredibly unprofessional.

That wasn't the only instance where there were attitude problems coming from Staff. Often when I was walking around the convention I would hear/see someone else being poorly treated and yelled at. There just is no excuse for that. I know there are the few people at these cons that act ridiculous and stupid, jumping around and making nuisances of themselves and being destructive and they probably deserve a little more firmer of a reprimand.... but myself as well as many others I had witnessed absolutely did not deserve what we had received.

Also there was an issue where I was being yelled at about my badge not being visible. As a cosplayer, I don't want my badge in my photos, but I NEVER come downstairs without it. I always have my badge on me, at all times. It's just cleverly hidden. Ask me nicely if I have it and can show you and I am more than happy to oblige. It is unfair that I was yelled and screamed at for not having it tattooed onto my forehead.

It's embarrassing to say how badly my feelings were hurt from this, but truthfully they were. At this point in time I don't even want to come back to ALA. I really want to because I really like Hazel Chaz and his convention, but unless there is some serious improvement on how Staff members are selected or how Staff members should handle people... I just simply can't go.

But so this response isn't all gripe, I really would like to say what an amazing Cosplay Staff this con had! Everyone at the masquerade was so helpful and nice and it created a great atmosphere. The masquerade was tons of fun!! As well as the Con Suite. Probably the best thing ever to come to an anime convention by far lol.

Last edited by Sana-chan : 01-29-2007 at 11:08 AM. Reason: forgot something lol
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Unread 01-29-2007, 11:17 AM   #8
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Gawd the staff was probably the only thing that bugged me, they were like parents!!! but atleast they made up for it with the consuite, i thought that was really nice. A place to chill, eat food, and chat! other than that i was really enjoying the staff, and atleast you were able to chat and chill with most of em like they were other attendees
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Unread 01-29-2007, 12:04 PM   #9
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Thumbs up

I have to thank Chaz and the rest of the video game room, and con suite/masq staff for their hospitality and with an awesome event, but I have to agree that the badge thing did bug me a bit, if you looked at most of the cosplayers carfully you could see them, but to have a badge glairing the camrea during a photoshoot is a huge no-no, and I'm sure even the most reveiling costumes have a good place to stash the badge untill needed.

I can understand the places where they do not want pictues taken, But I do wish they were better marked,instead of tape on the ground.

But again, I had a most wonderful time, everything was top notch, and ran smoothly.

The only other complant I have with the staff is the big box in the middle of our view of the masquerade, the one that was holding up the projector. about 20 people on the left side of the stage could not watch any of the masquerade as the box was obstructing our view entirly, and any request to move it was strictly swatted away by con staff who would not give a reson as to why.

A simple solution would be to move the projector down untill it was time to use it, but as we didn't want to cause a ruccuss we sat back and listoned to the masquerade instead.
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Unread 01-29-2007, 12:45 PM   #10
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I had a great time, got awesome pics which i will upload when i get home from school. But the staff ws so annoying they were always telling em to keep my badge visable and i found no where to clip it on my cosplays that would be ok, and this one fat guy in the staff would always yell at me about it he would walk by a group of people with their badges not showing and come single me out i hated him so much, oh and that's not the worse. When i was wearing my Etna cosplay one of them came up to me when i was on the PHONE (so i was busy) she interrupted my call to ask if i was wearing anything underneath my Etna costume in case of costume failure. At first I thought she better not be asking to look up my skirt or something. ANother thing i HATED about them was they would only let you take pic in certain areas, yeah i can see about blocking the hallways and stuff but i got yelled at when i was blocking nothing, the only things that block people are the fat staff, (did anyone else notice how fat tehy all were) they kept on walking into my wings and my spiked pigtails, it was so annoying my wings kept on falling off since they were only velcrowed on. Also the same person who kept on harassing me about my badge walked right in front of me when i was taking a pic, and he ignored me when i asked him to move, or he didnt hear me but it was kinda hard not to. Also when i was in the dealers hall there was a blockage and I was waiting to get by, and for people to move out of my way, and i was the one yelled at not them. Im still confused on that part. Ok I'm done with my rant.

Last edited by Fullmetal : 01-29-2007 at 12:48 PM. Reason: left something out
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Unread 01-29-2007, 12:57 PM   #11
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I had a great time at ALA, it was even better than last year! A few things tho, someone really needed to tell the staff to calm the hell down. If they bugged me one more time, I was going to staple my badge to my forehead, glue my shoes to my feet and cling to a tree so I didn't block any passageways. Then on Saturday night, I couldn't believe that the dance was postponed for TWO HOURS while the judging went on forever. I know we lost a lot of dancers that night because lord knew when that dance floor was going to open. When it finally did open, I loved the music that was played, and had a good time. Overall, my friends and I enjoyed ourselves.

Oh, and I'd like it if a string or something could be provided with the badge next year. I didn't have any real places to attatch it to myself this weekend...

Last edited by Michi : 01-29-2007 at 01:40 PM. Reason: merging a double post
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Unread 01-29-2007, 01:00 PM   #12
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Pros: Cosplay Staff at the Masquerade + Con Suite

Cons: Nazi Con Security

Everyone pretty much said what needed to be said so~

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Unread 01-29-2007, 01:08 PM   #13
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I personally did not have as many problems as many people had with the con, my biggest issues where mostly said. (Yelling staff members, honest mistakes, crowded halls, ect.) The sound system at the masq was annoying as well, one speaker would turn off and another would turn on, skits would be too loud, or too soft... All and all it was fun though. Even though I do love this con I probably won't be able to come next year, because of the date. It's so soon after Christmas and new years! My dad after hearing the days said we probably can't come. It's really a saddening thing. But now on to what I liked, the costume repair room! They helped me fix my keyblade when it broke! And my kunai too! The con suite, its so friendly in there! I had tons of fun sitting around swapping bad pick-up lines and silly stories. While eating cocktail wieners and drinking mountain dew. All and all I had tons of fun.
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Unread 01-29-2007, 01:17 PM   #14
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ALA is one of my favorite cons for three reasons: the con suite, the cosplay repair station, and the allowance of non manga/anime in the Masquerade. Though it says in the rules that is discouraged, it is still allowed, which makes me happy. All of these things help to create the convention's laid back, guest-friendly atmosphere.

This year, that atmosphere was non-existant due to the rude, inconsiderate "hallway patrol people" or whatever you want to call them. I actually thought that marking off designated walkways was a good idea. I agree that visible badges are important. But the con staff was completely out of line in the way they enforced these rules.

Instead of having people patrol everywhere, wouldn't it be possible to have people check badges at doorways of badge-only areas instead? It might be annoying the first few times con-goers passed through, but eventually, everyone would learn and simply pull the badges out as they were about to pass. Asking for badges to be visible during photoshoots? That just isn't acceptable.

The overcrowded walkway problem is a more confusing one, but I think things would have been improved greatly if the staffers had simply opted to be polite and professional instead of acting like exasperated parents. Hopefully this issue will go away next year in Burbank, because of the larger venue.

That said, the Masquerade was one of the best ones I've ever seen, the con suite and cosplay repair station were awesome, and I had a lot of fun with my friends. Because of that, and the great time I had at ALA in 2006, I still plan on attending ALA again. I hope that those in charge will consider our concerns about security.
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Last edited by LadyAmaryllis : 01-29-2007 at 01:26 PM.
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Unread 01-29-2007, 01:23 PM   #15
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Just like everyone else, the con staff was the one thing that bugged me. Last year, it was stalking me and my friend to our hotel room to make sure we had put our weapon props away, then refusing the let us out of the elevator until they had talked to us about WHY we couldn't have them. We're not idiots, you know.

This year, it was badges. Badges are hard to have out and not in way for photos. No one wants to take the time to take their badge off just to take a short picture for someone. It's lame. Every 5 steps we took, someone would be there hounding us about our badge. We weren't even allowed to stand in the hotel or walk to our car without one. But when masquerade came, no one checked our badges at all. What's up with that?

The "Head of Con Security" needed to take a chill pill too. We ended up next to her in our hotel room, so she immidiately took that as a sign that she had to harass us about every little thing. And she always had to tell us she was "head of con security" like it really mattered. It was the same lady from last year too who followed us to our room to make sure our props were put away.

I really like this con, but unless something is done about staff, I don't know if I want to return.
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