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Unread 11-03-2011, 07:12 PM   #1
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Youmacon 2011: Feedback Thread

So Youmacon is over, what did you think? What was the good, the bad, the ugly, or the so-so? Was your experience positive or negative? What did you think of the guests, events, dealer's room, hotel, convention venue, or anything else having to do with Youmacon 2011?

Here's your place to voice your opinion. Please remember to keep things respectful!

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Unread 11-05-2011, 07:02 PM   #2
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Friday only: I was confused when i got there, There was no signs when i entered the hotel. Every event i went to, was full. When i went to find the autograph room, no were in the booklet they gave to you said were to find it. I went online on my phone and found an "updated" one. When i got to the room at the right time, no one was there. I asked about it and anyone who worked there couldn't tell me a thing. They all pointed to the packet that was no use to me.
Overall: i shouldn't bother buying a pass because i didnt even get a chance to use it. So disappointing.
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Unread 11-06-2011, 05:09 AM   #3
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I didn't stay at the hotel this year because I live nearby - but I see the hotel actually did something about the elevator traffic! They restricted what floors you could get on and limited it to people going to the rooms only (the con is on levels 1 - 4). They set up a roped off line and had someone posted at the elevators so it wasn't a big mob fighting to get in when the doors opened. I don't know how the trips down the elevator worked but overall it seemed like an improvement.
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Unread 11-06-2011, 07:46 PM   #4
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Oh man, the elevators were VASTLY improved over last year. I wish every con would enforce them this way. So much love for the RenCen staff for doing this. The registration was also vastly improved. Last year it was like 2 hours in line to pick up a badge, this year I went looking for the pre-reg line and couldn't find it. Why? Because there was no line! And although the line for at-con reg was long and snaked around everywhere, my girlfriend got through it in under half an hour Friday afternoon. Not bad at all!

What was bad in equal amounts to the good above - the extremely limited panel space (we could barely get into any unless we wanted to arrive at least an hour early and just sit there), as well as extremely limited space for lines FOR the panels. There were lines snaking all over those narrow walkways, sometimes on both sides, which meant if even one person stopped to take a picture, no one could get through.

I think I'm looking forward to the "expansion pack" mentioned on the back of the booklet. =) I mean, clearly Youma learned from last year's registration and elevator fiascos and improved upon their methods, so I'm pretty sure they'll handle this problem too.
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Unread 11-06-2011, 09:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Andrea View Post
What was bad in equal amounts to the good above - the extremely limited panel space (we could barely get into any unless we wanted to arrive at least an hour early and just sit there), as well as extremely limited space for lines FOR the panels. There were lines snaking all over those narrow walkways, sometimes on both sides, which meant if even one person stopped to take a picture, no one could get through.
I agree, those bridges and walkways on the upper floors were so crowded at times, I nearly thought someone would fall over the edge. This was my first Youmacon, and what I've gathered is that it's a very VERTICAL convention, which isn't necessarily bad, but it meant getting anywhere required shuffling through several bottlenecked areas. We "ran the gauntlet" every time we wanted to get somewhere.

As far as positives, I was very happy with all the stuff I bought in the dealers room. It may be indicative of most american cons (up until now, I've only been to Canadian ones) but I found some fantastic deals.
The artist alley had a lot of cool stuff too, and I liked the many places to go and hang out. The crowd at this con was also very friendly.
Negative aspects include the crowdedness, the dealer's room didn't sell pretty much any manga, which was surprising, and the panels and general programming wasn't too stellar. I mean, to me, it was kind of a boring schedule, but to each his own.

Would I go back? I think definately. I still had such a blast, and met some cool people. Staying in Detroit also went better than expected; we were expecting it to be a rough city, but it was not too bad going back and forth between con and hotel, and just about everyone we interacted with was nice.
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Unread 11-06-2011, 10:33 PM   #6
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I didn't get a badge so I can't offer much of value to the con itself unfortunately, but I will comment on things I noted over the weekend.

Good things:
-This was my first time at Youma, so everything was new to me. I LOVE the area, and RenCen is very interesting. I've never been to a con in a hotel/con center like it before.
-The elevator organization...holy cow. For a building that had 70 floors, I did not expect it to be the most organized hotel elevator experience I've ever had! We were on floor 53 and never had to wait long for an elevator in either direction, until check-out time today, of course. I was completely floored by this (ba-dum-ching!). My experience is mostly with OhayoCon and ACen, so anyone who has frequented those two cons will know why this was the most amazing thing ever to me, haha.
-Security seemed fairly lax, though I'm not sure if this is actually a good or bad thing. Good that I didn't see any crazy power-tripping staff like I'm used to seeing at cons, but bad because sometimes people were doing stupid things in the hallways (like fighting with plastic swords and bumping into people, etc.) without anyone to tell them to knock it off.

Bad things:
-As was already mentioned, it was VERY crowded - more crowded than I can recall experiencing at a con before. It seemed like no matter where you went, you couldn't get into an area that wasn't packed with people. I heard Youma is planning to move to a different location, and if that's true, I hope the decision was made with the crowding in mind!
-The artist alley seemed...surprisingly small! Disappointingly small, really. And the way it was set up made it nearly impossible to roam through. I found myself paying more attention to where I was standing/people around me/people moving through than I did to the artwork. I realize RenCen is basically a giant circle on every floor, so there must not have been a good, open floor to place them without tucking them into a room, but if there was some way to make that more efficient, that would be nice.
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Unread 11-07-2011, 11:07 PM   #7
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My only complaint is the Saturday night line for the Rave. We got in line early, were patient, and stood where we were supposed to. The actual line started at the Ballroom door, then went along the Artist Alley wall, not down the center hall. People starting lining up in the center hall as well and cut in front of the actual line. Staff didn't do anything about this, and it was hard to tell who was in what line when they got to the front. Long story short - we moved about three feet in 30 minutes after the rave started.

I think the line needs to be roped off for at least the first 100 feet or so, to establish that there's an actual line. Maybe have a couple signs pointing where to go (it's one of the main events after all) and even just two extra people on line control to handle the back of line and making sure people aren't forming new ones...
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Unread 11-08-2011, 10:07 AM   #8
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First time ever attending a con outside of Canada and I must say it had a lot of good things going for it. As mentioned above, the elevator situation was handled very well. I've been to so many cons where you need to go up in order to go down every single day. They had some amazing and entertaining guests, their panels were worth the time spent in line waiting. The pre-reg price was reasonable; I also had no trouble getting my badge on Friday, the line was non existent for that.

That being said, there are also areas that need improvement.

- Line control! Limited space and crowding became an issue when lines were being formed. There was also limited line control the entire weekend. No one knew where one line began and another ended.

- Signs! Dear GOD! Even one sign at the entrance indicating were to go for the con would have been nice. First time there and I got turned around so much since it seemed as if the signs were non existent.

- Program schedule. For next year they could include a program schedule that is not attached to the booklet. It's not necessary, but it does make things more practical and easier to carry around than a booklet that doesn't fold too well.

- Keep staff informed! So many staff members were left out of the loop, they had no idea what was going on. Please keep the staff better informed so that they can better handle the crowds and events.
(waiting in line for an event that started an hour and a half late with no info for the delay tends to become irritating - now imagine the reaction my friends and I had when con staff were asking us what the line was for!)

- Weapons check. This should have been obvious. I even saw a couple of guys with metal swords unsheathed.

I realize that some things would be beyond the control of the con (noticed signs saying not to put up signs on the walls), but there are always solutions to any problem. Would I go again? I think I'll give this con another shot. After that; well, we'll see.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 10:07 PM   #9
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Honestly, this was my first Youmacon- the people were phenomenal, but I honestly don't know if I'm actually going to buy a ticket next year.
:\ My friend and I could not get into a SINGLE panel. (well save for the viewing of Deadman Wonderland on Saturday night/Sunday morning at 1 to 2 am right before the daylight savings time hit, but that was due to most people having passes out and gone to bed xD).
Just wondering if that was due to the size of the actual convention center vs the rest of the hotel. I heard on Saturday that it was estimated that 12k were there this year (can anyone confirm that? ), and to the point of seeing people wait in lines for maybe 1 to 2 hours to get into panels and get turned down at the door because a hall can only fit 50 to 100 people seemed kinda silly and ridiculous to me...
It be nice if the Ren. opened up some more rooms for the actual convention, rather than only floors 3, 4, and 5, but I digress, that might just be due to the layout of the building.
(btw point me in the direction of the person whom designed the layout, because i feel like I want to smack him with a mallet >[ had to get lost a total of 3 times before I could get my barrings right lol. And when I went to ask for directions from the staff, they kinda wigged out, got all wide eyed and went all like "OMG CRAZY PERSON, DONT COME DOWN THIS WAY" but forced a smile in the process xD;;; )

Dealers room was okay. The actual dealers always seem to bring the same merchandise with them to every con, as far as what's 'in style' or 'popular' but that's how they make money x3;; - though it was an awesome surprise to see Mookie and Arda Wigs there! <3 so can't complain about that.

Artist Alley had a VERY nice variety of items, styles, and artists, and I got a couple of things that were useful and pretty to look at :3

But other than that, kinda pointless in getting a ticket to the actual con xD; its free to walk around in costume and take pictures of people (which is what I ended up doing, that and hanging out with friends), and going to the dealers room and artist's alley - in a sense, its kinda like paying money to do nothing but spend money... yeah kinda lame.

Make it bigger if you can to compensate for the size of people, please <3

*Also, I think con goers need to boycott the McDonald's in the Cafe area of the Ren. Talk about bad service.... Those workers were seriously SCREAMING at kids, who were simply waiting in line trying to order. (to what I saw, no one was being routy or anything, just the workers. >>) The fact that they took down the dollar menu kinda p*ssed me off too. I mean, I know the anime / cosplaying community is a bunch of weirdos, but we're still human. Its not like we bite or anything :\
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