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Unread 05-25-2012, 06:53 PM   #1
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Animazement 2012: Feedback Thread

This thread is for posting your thoughts/opinions on Animazement 2012!

From your experience this year, what were the pros and cons? What were the highlights and lowlights? Would you return again next year?

Also, you can discuss the particulars of the convention, such as the events, panels, masquerade, dances, etc., as well as what you thought about the con and hotel staff, the hotel, convention space, food, dealer's room, attendees, and whatever else pertaining to this year's Animazement!

Remember to make your commentary polite and keep things civil!
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Unread 05-27-2012, 09:56 PM   #2
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Only con I can think of, and it's really more humorous than anything, is the overzealous use of Peace Binding, the intention is good but peace binding a leek? I'd like to know what happened in previous Animazements that prompted this
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Unread 05-27-2012, 10:18 PM   #3
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I'd say the biggest lowlight was the power outage at the hotels Saturday night. Zing!

In all seriousness the announcement system in the con center stinks, can't hear anything half the time. A little more organization with the pre-reg line (thursday) would also be nice. Inside the building it was divided into lines by last name, which is a great way to do it. But outside it was just one long winding nonsensical line and a staff member was literally just walking by asking for last names and skipping people ahead based on their letters.....wouldn't it be easier to relocate the pre-reg area so you can use different doors, put the name signs above the doors and and have multiple lines?

as for the peacebinding mentioned above - I heard the girl behind me in line was told she had to have her umbrella peace binded. Luckily the staff member at the table knew the policy and told her there was no need for that. I couldn't help but wonder if there was some misinformation among the staff.

Either way - no critical complaints. I had fun over all, never had a problem with a staff member or an event.
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Unread 05-28-2012, 12:10 AM   #4
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This was my first time at Animazement - me and 2 others drove 7 hours one way to attend. I do have several comments.

- There was too little space in Artist Alley between the tables and the wall/photo booth room. It made it very hard to get by.

-I LOVED the "YES" and "NO" signs to help direct traffic. I've never seen a convention do that before and I think it was very nice to help the flow of traffic continue fairly smooth.

- One cosplay panel was very misleading. I thought I was going into a panel on more advanced tips and techniques, and me and other people were let down when we saw it was just on basic techniques that could have been researched very easily online (and the head panelist said so herself!). She wasn't terrible, and she did seem to like what she did, but it didn't live up to many people's expectations. When I left the panel, I had a lady come out and approach ME because my comments during the panel impressed her more than the panelist.

I'm leaving out the name of the panel here for civility's sake, but if anyone on programming wishes to know I will be happy to let them know. My point is, I feel panelists should provide a clear intent and outline of their panels to avoid this situation.

- I didn't like that the con feedback panel was at 10 AM. I was commuting to the convention, and having been up late due to the rave, I wasn't able to attend to inform staff of my comments in person. Most conventions have their feedback panels later in the day Sunday, which would be nice.

- I feel the pricing scale for badges should be re-evaulated. While I enjoyed the con, I feel $60 for a weekend is a bit high given the size of the show and what it offered in comparison to what shows like Otakon offered when they were $60.


Overall I did have fun. I mostly came down to hang out with a friend from Raleigh. I would be open to coming back again because I feel the convention has a lot of potential, but I'm not sure if I would pay $60 since this year there was little that held interest for me on Friday.
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Unread 05-28-2012, 10:40 AM   #5
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-Security....... I felt that the security had no clue what the con allowed. I know a few people who were told they aren't allowed to be shirtless yet a few minutes later a few other guys are allowed in shirtless. I know this really made some people unhappy since it was part of their cosplay to be shirtless. They were pretty much trying to piece-tie any and everything people where holding in their hands. I saw them trying to get photographer's light stands to a girls plushie. I can honestly say those both are a first. I also had problems with them telling me I can't set up my light stand in places because it was "In the way", or "Blocking the flow of people". I never realized that corners had so much flow going to them. Must be pretty hip thing now at cons? I was only irritated by this as later in the day I would see other photographers posted in those spots and not being told to move.

-Organization of all the entry and exit points. It was very handy to have a flow of direction near all badge check points. Though I got there on Friday and didn't have to worry about the line, I felt they could have better organized the lines on Saturday.

-The sound system. I've never heard them use it for anything but I did notice in panels is lowered their volumes down everything it came on. Kinda ruins stuff when you are watching it on the screen and the volume drops low to the point you can't hear it.

-I just didn't see the price justified this weekend. If I could just have bought a Saturday badge, I would have. Compared to other cons in the price range, I would consider dropping this one off the list for one of those.

-Some panels descriptions and titles were off on some of them. I think things should be described a bit better. As well as the timing for the Feedback. I was too busy packing and getting things ready for check out time.

-The Blackout was inconvenient since I literally was about 20 seconds from being stuck on an elevator but that was more outside the control of the con.

Overall for my first AZ, I was impress and the new location was really nice. The con lived up to the hype or gossip people told me about. I am looking forward to possibly coming next year.
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Unread 05-29-2012, 11:26 AM   #6
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I second some of the previous comments about badge pricing. Also, it would have been helpful if photos of craftsmanship winners were posted on the giant screen the awards were announced so everyone could see what the judges were talking about. Some of the winners weren't present or had changed out of costume by then, so the audience couldn't see the entries. I'm not sure why they weren't, since the entries where photo 'd at prejudging.
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Unread 05-29-2012, 03:13 PM   #7
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security- yeah, I agree with Entrekin. Don't allow some shirtless guys, but allow girls to walk around in basically bikinis (*cough* not that I don't mind haha) but they should have a better definition of what is and what's not allowed for clothes and props.

cosplay showcase room- maybe I looked in it wrong, but how were we supposed to know who made them? What kind of awards were won in them?

Maybe it's just me and I've only been to AZ in 2010 and this year, but this is the only con where about 10-15% of cosplayers I run across seem perturbed or creeped out I ask for their picture. And trust me, it's not them being tired, I pretty much know the looks.
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Unread 05-30-2012, 08:50 PM   #8
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The Pro:
I enjoyed AZ this year. It was my first time doing craftsmanship here and I really liked how it was dealt with. After a horrific experience at AWA last year, I was extremely nervous about doing another contest. However, you were able to see the judges in a quiet, private area and the gentleman running it was very nice and helpful. Being as nervous about talking in front of people as I am, I liked the personal, private experience a lot. It really helped with my nerves. I still can't believe I won something for my pepper grinder! I am very, very grateful. I felt that all the people involved in the craftsmanship and masquerade portion of the con, from judging to getting the event sticker to line-up to the masquerade itself were very good at what they did (although I've very glad it wasn't horribly hot this year during masquerade line-up and that the door to the convention center was open so we could feel some cool air). I hope I am able to compete next year as well!

The Cons:
My only complaint about the masquerade line-up was that there wasn't much guarding of the line after we started filing in the convention center. There where two girls on the ballroom level that had not waited in line that cut in when the line went passed them. For those of us that were waiting an hour in advance, it was very rude.

Also, echoing the staff inconsistency... Some were great, like the guy guarding the entrance to the hotel for most of the weekend. He was amazing. But I had two major issues with the man guarding the main barrier from the registration area to the convention center two different days:

On Thursday around 8PM, I was trying to get to the dealer's room to get checked-in and get my dealer badge with the rest of my group. We couldn't fit all the people and the stuff in the van, so three of us were to walk. I had never been with a dealer's table before, so I didn't know the proper protocol. We went into the main entrance for the convention center and went to the man guarding the barrier into the convention proper. I very politely said "we are with a dealer in the dealer's room. We need to pick up our badges in the dealer's room, since they are dealer badges."

...this man SCREAMED at us the following, "I DON'T CARE WHO YOU SAY YOU ARE YOU ARE NOT GETTING THROUGH HERE WITHOUT A BADGE! YOU GO TALK TO THOSE PEOPLE!" to which he violently pointed at the peace bonding table with AZ staff. All three of us were flabbergasted. We went to the AZ staff and said the same thing and were told politely to go outside and that the entrance we had to take was "just around the corner." We went outside and... well... around the corner is down the street, across another street, down a long driveway, under the building... And, when we finally got to the dealer's room, they didn't even have our badges. There were supposed to be six or seven and they only had three. We had to wait until Friday, get our badges at the regular registration, then get one of the three who had dealer badges to escort us into the dealer's room to get the green sticker signifying them as dealer badges.

Then on Friday, I was walking around all day with my pepper grinder without incident. The nice man at the hotel entrance had no issue with it, nor did any of the AZ or convention center staff I ran into throughout the day at the barriers, dealer's room entrance, etc. However, after my craftsmanship judging, I went down the stairs by Con Ops, past the barrier there without incident, and went to the barrier at the other side of the entrance lobby. The same man was there as was Thursday that screamed at us. When he saw my grinder, he stopped me, said "Is that a prop?" then demanded I get it peace bonded before re-entering the convention center. I have no problem with peace bonding it, but his horrible attitude coupled with the fact it hadn't been an issue all day, even with the dealer's room, was irritating. I even saw a person with a FOAM MINECRAFT sword that got peace bonded, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was forced on him by the same guy.

So the tl;dr of this is... the AZ staff is fine, some inconsistencies, but nothing convention ruining. That one convention center staffer needs to be dealt with. If he was in such a sour mood on Thursday, then he obviously should not be guarding a main barrier.

I wish there had been card gaming. By going to AZ, my boyfriend and I missed Magic the Gathering Avacyn Restored Game Day. We were hoping there would be some tourny or something going on, but all we found were some people playing casual Magic in, what I now dub, the Greenhouse (the set of tables and chairs by the window walls on the second floor... go there mid-day and cook). There were certainly enough people playing casual to support something being run. I also saw a fair amount of Yu-Gi-Oh players that probably felt the same way.

And finally... I think we are to the point where elevators in the convention center need to be guarded by staff, at least in the evenings. Elevator parties should be an instant loss of a badge.
Story: When I was helping my sister get their sets from the masquerade down to the parking garage from the ballroom, we managed to break up an elevator party in the elevator by con ops, but the elevator we really needed (the one that takes you from ballroom to ground floor) was ridiculous. There were three boys eating pizza in it. Two of us managed to squeeze in with one set piece. The boys had pushed each button for each floor, so we went all the way up and started back down. While in the elevator, we tried to explain to them that, if they were just in the elevator to party, they needed to get off for people who needed to use the elevator. When it got back to the level with the rest of our group, these boys told them that they would "just have to wait." The elevator went down one more level and, when the doors opened, a girl screamed at us to get out because the power was going to go out. We got out and struggled the set piece down the stairs. The boys were standing at the elevator waiting to get back on.

tl;dr Elevator parties at not cool.

I did enjoy AZ a lot this year, but I feel that the negatives are things they really need to be addressed. I did not have any extremely negative experiences with AZ staff, so the problem does not lie there. I know others had issues with the elevator parties (I know I have every year since the move to the convention center) and I'm sure that, if that one staffer was so sour with us that we weren't alone. Still, I enjoy AZ and can't wait for next year!
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Unread 05-31-2012, 08:57 AM   #9
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This was my first AZ and I will probably not come again.

Issues:

1) Artist Alley was in a horrible place. There was no room between the booth and wall that it before very frustrating to have to push yourself against someone or the wall to just get by.

2) Don't tell male cosplayers to keep their shirt on when female cosplayers are wearing Lingerie. It's Hypocritical and Sexist. You rather see a half naked woman but not a man. Idiots.

3) Pre-Reg Line!!!! This I could write a novel of complaints. What the hell is the point of Pre-Reg if the people in the regular line are done an hour before you. I waited in line for almost two hours on Thursday to be stopped at the door because my last name was the wrong letter. What were they thinking???? This had to be one of the worst executed registration I have ever seen in my 10 years of cons. Don't make me wait in 80 degree weather for hours to just tell me that I have to wait longer because "W" was ahead of "G." I could vent more but I think I would actually start cursing out some people so you get the gist.

4) The convention center was just too small for all those people.

Like:

1) Lots of great food in the area. I was happy to see that there were a lot of affordable places to eat.

2) Great cosplayers. I always like seeing a great group of cosplayers get together. Well done to everyone.

3) Good Places for Photography - I'm a photographer so I was happy with the areas that I could take pics.



OVERALL RATING - 6/10

Sorry, but I don't think I will go again.
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Unread 05-31-2012, 12:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilith_Angel View Post
1) Artist Alley was in a horrible place. There was no room between the booth and wall that it before very frustrating to have to push yourself against someone or the wall to just get by.
Yeah, they set Artist Alley up differently this year. A big part of the problem was the door to the photo studio. This drove me up the wall because it was, after a fashion, my door, and I felt bad it was being such an annoyance. We needed somebody from the building to physically remove a bolt and spacer from the top so it would open all the way, which I assume is possible anyway, but nobody ever came.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilith_Angel View Post
4) The convention center was just too small for all those people.
Yeah it's funny because this is only what, their fourth year in the new convention center? I hope they're not outgrowing it* already...I rather like it! An overly-optimistic way to look at the higher ticket prices could be that they're gathering funds in advance of renting out more of the space next year, kind of like how gas prices reflect the NEXT load of gas a station buys, which is presumably/allegedly more expensive, not the current.

*In context, this means 'there's still plenty of convention center to rent, it's just too expensive', like that massive room next to the dealer room you can see from the photo studio. 'Outgrowing' the space means the con attendance is growing faster than their ability to expand in the center.
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Unread 05-31-2012, 11:32 PM   #11
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They are looking into moving Artist Alley into that big room next to dealer's hall. That will solve a lot of the crowding issues of that area. I think they always planned on that being a temporary space for AA but couldn't move into the bigger spot until they had more interest.
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Unread 06-01-2012, 01:30 AM   #12
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That would be great, I was just thinking about this comment from BoB where he addresses a suggestion that the big room be used for photo shoots. Meantime, if we show up to the room Thursday 51 weeks from now and the stupid door only opens halfway, somebody is getting on that (or I could just bring a socket set...?) Think that would help traffic down that whole corridor.
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Unread 06-03-2012, 03:38 AM   #13
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This was my third AZ,
And I probably will not be back for a fourth.


Pros
Security- there was a lot this year. I did not experience any rudeness. Hoever I agree with the other posts dealing with security.
Most of the con goers I met were really nice and helpful. There will always be rude con goers but I was glad to meet all the friendly cosplayers!
I really enjoyed Spike Spencers panel, it was the best panel I went to. The 18+ panels were nice, but perhaps they should be held in bigger rooms? Many of us got denied because there weren't any more seats.
I liked how the pre-reg line was handled this year. It went quicker than last year. I don't think the pre reg attendees should wait that long to receive a badge. I hope the system will be better in the future. I also agree on moving artist alley. It's stuffy down there.
The water coolers were very enjoyable. That may sound weird but the water was soo yummy and cold.

Cons
There seemed to be less panels this year. Does anyone know why? Also, I heard a lot of panels didn't get approved. One of the panels I attended had a very rude host. He kept making rude and immature comments. Quite a few of us left.
The communication between security and staff was unorganized. Some of the security people looked like they were in a daze.

Observations:
This is just a personal opinion/ observation, but some of the sellers in artist alley and the dealers room rubbed off to be a bit rude. What seller doesn't greet potential customers? I had this problem many times in the weekend while browsing.
I know in 2010 they had an announcer, I think he was really helpful and should return. Even though the sound system isn't that great, it helped with big events. I'm not sure the same thing happened this year.
I agree think guys should be able to be shirtless. It is not fair.
If girls can cosplay in overly sexy outfits and have both boob and butt cleavage, I expect to see sexy guys with abs.

Overall
Even though this is my hometown con, I won't be back until I hear about improvements. The 1 week pre-reg price also went up this year. I have no problem with that but the price is not worth some of the experiences.

Last edited by LoyanteKittay(3 : 06-03-2012 at 03:49 AM.
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Unread 06-25-2012, 08:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilith_Angel View Post
2) Don't tell male cosplayers to keep their shirt on when female cosplayers are wearing Lingerie. It's Hypocritical and Sexist. You rather see a half naked woman but not a man. Idiots.
Seriously?!! I got a picture of a guy who did a 300 cosplay and he was shirtless in my pictures and a few others. Aladdin also only had a small vest on. I wonder were they escorted out after the fact... Still, I had no idea!!
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Unread 07-03-2012, 02:31 AM   #15
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Well this would make my 3rd consecutive year at AZ.

I didn't really like that blackout either xD But it certainly started up conversations in the hotel! I'd more than likely try going next year, but I'm not so sure. I wish there were alot more panels to go to, though. I liked that we had professional cosplayers this year, although I was very upset that the male cosplayer could not attend his panel because he was judging something else, after I had waited for atleast 1/2 an hour to get there. >.<

To my knowledge, the staff had a pretty good attitude towards everyone. This binding thing is a whole knew thing I wasn't even aware of. I'm not sure how I would feel about going next year, though. The tickets get a little expensive. Though, hopefully next you we can have more panels. The artist alley is a little crowded, but..I generally always enjoy myself at AZ. Everyone was always willing to take pictures~

So, I may possibly be coming back next year - Depending on my schedule, and money.
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