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Unread 02-18-2013, 08:15 AM   #1
Atrista
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Was this year the most awkward cross-booking of a con?

Anyone have any particularly interesting tales of this year's cross booking? Or awesome pictures of it?

Seems that convention spaces persist in cross booking cons with events that aren't exactly excited about sharing a space with us.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 09:18 AM   #2
kaligoddess
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I had no run ins with the actual attendees, but I was really pissed about being rerouted when trying to get from the Gaylord parking garage to the convention center.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 09:27 AM   #3
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For reference, this was my first time at Katsucon. In terms of attendee population, this is the third smallest con I've attended in the last five years.

I honestly do not mind the concept of cross-booking cons. In theory, it can become a good exchange of ideas and culture. Unfortunately, it did not work out so well this year.

The only things that directly impacted me was restrictions to the Gazebo area and entrances/exits closest to the parking garage. From what I personally saw, the BBYO staff and attendees had similar demeanors to our staff and attendees, for better or for worse. I cannot directly fault the BBYO attendees for anything without implicating Katsucon's attendees as well. My extreme displeasure is directed toward the BBYO administration.

There are many rumors floating around. Fortunately, I did not personally experience many of these things or I probably would have lost my temper. What I did see, though, were these things:

Exchange of ignorant insults and threats between attendees
Entrance/exits closest to parking garage blocked
Gazebo area initially blocked

What I've heard but did not see personally:

Fountain area initially blocked
Fist fight that involved a BBYO staff member
BBYO staff and attendees assaulting Katsucon attendees
Elevators initially blocked
Costume vandalism
Segregated restaurant seating
etc.

Again, I can only comment on what I saw myself. What irked me the most was definitely the blocking of the entrances/exits. It was ridiculously cold outside, but non-BBYO attendees were not able to walk directly to the parking garage without taking the long way around the hotel. BBYO attendees, on the other hand, did not have to brave the cold and were welcome to walk in and wander around Katsucon-designated areas despite their outside entrances being adjacent to each other. The Gazebo area partition was stupid. I believe this is what differentiates Katsucon's administrative staff with BBYO's: they treat people as people and not unwelcome company.

Overall, I had a good time at Katsucon and would be interested in attending again. The BBYO-related issues just left a bad taste in my mouth. That said, I welcome anyone from BBYO who displayed an interest in Katsucon to attend Katsucon and other related conventions. We welcome anyone and everyone to join our community regardless of race, religion, beliefs, or other affiliation.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 09:45 AM   #4
Atrista
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Yeah, I didn't go this year but my friends came back last night with some seriously ridiculous stories.

Last time I went to Katsu it was double booked with a black tie military order ball. I agree that double booking can sometimes be beneficial, but it can also create unnecessary tension between groups as well. I definitely wound up in an elevator, dressed like a ninja, next to a man in formal military dress who looked extremely uncomfortable. I did my best to engage him in normal adult conversation, but it didn't seem to help his impression of us much.

In fairness, having your black tie event share a space with much less formally attired guests is probably not the most pleasant of surprises. I've heard stories of some weddings cross-booked, and while I've heard most of the time it's fine I'm sure the brides had a moment or two of shock over it
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Unread 02-18-2013, 10:02 AM   #5
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Lets not put all of the blame on the BBYO attendees... I saw and heard so many Katsucon attendees making racist comments, planning to "mess with" the other convention goers. Everyone seemed to assume that the BBYO attendees were going to be some prudish, hyper conservative, sheltered kids, but they were just regular teens like many of the Katsucon attendees! Teens can be jerks, but it certainly wasn't so bad that they deserved the venom the Katsucon attendees gave them. I can't speak about all of the BBYO organizers, but all the chaperones I spoke to seemed to be plenty nice and had lovely things to say about my costumes!
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Unread 02-18-2013, 10:05 AM   #6
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I remember the military ball. It wasn't all so bad. Though I remember feeling extremely awkward since I was dressed in sailor-lolita and it looked like there were a lot of Navy officers. And one of the officers was talking on his cell phone as he passed me by saying with a silly grin, "I just saw a unicorn! " and was thoroughly enjoying the scenary.

Not sure if it was a Katsu, but I do also remember a con at the Gaylord that coincided with a Christian dating/relationship retreat. Other than their registration area, they were pretty low key, if I recall correctly. I think we just avoided each other but nothing was blocked off or anything.

This is actually the first cross-booking where I've heard of so many problems and miscommunications. I hope the person in charge of booking events at the Gaylord learns from this past situation and informs the event coordinators of each event of the other event as far in advance as possible who will hopefully flow down the info to the attendees. If things had been communicated clearly in advance, I think a lot of conflicts could have been avoided.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 10:06 AM   #7
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the thing that irritated me the most was that we werent allowed to go where they were, but they were allowed to go where we were. I think it was too much of an enforcement on us rather than on them.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 10:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaligoddess View Post
I had no run ins with the actual attendees, but I was really pissed about being rerouted when trying to get from the Gaylord parking garage to the convention center.
THIS.
I was so pissed when they started this. Friday was when the staffers from both cons were telling Katsucon attendees to go around. I didn't want to because I had been shooting all day and carrying all my gear and was after 11pm already so I just wanted to go home. So went to the front desk and speak to a manager. One of the assistant mangers came out, told her my complaint, and escorted me back up to the hallway right by the gazebo to let me though. She asked bbyo staffers why they weren't let Katsu people go thru to leave, however the BBYO staffers had switched from the time I was told I couldn't go through and coming back up with the assist. manager, so one of the young ladies standing there was saying they had been letting Katsu people thru. I also informed the assist. manager that they had been blocking people and leaving on the MD ballroom side. But either way I was let through, but then course Saturday comes and now they had hotel staff in suits blocking Katsucon people from going through the hallways to leave. So I did not enjoy walking around part of the hotel in the cold with lightstands and camera gear on my back.

The blocking and dividing on the gazebo was very stupid imo. I love how they went from roping it off, only letting people cut through it to get to the other side, and next day splitting the area in half. Someone clearly couldn't to a decision fast enough -___- Hopefully Katsucon and Gaylord will learn from this and schedule the con in a better and effective manner. Other than that, I personally had no issues with the other convention held there. I even saw a group of kids from the BBYO get into the katsucon spirit with wearing the Israeli flags on their backs like superheroes and headbands lol and a few with dual badges. However I did hear stories of cosplayers getting harassed, like someone apparently having skittles thrown at them, and one female cosplayer I talked with saying she was called a whore by BBYO kids though her outfit wasn't anywhere near revealing.

Besides all that I will definitely attend Katsucon again. Besides it being more local for me than Otakon the location is amazing and always enjoy doing photoshoots there.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 10:12 AM   #9
Atrista
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Quote:
Originally Posted by envirion View Post
Not sure if it was a Katsu, but I do also remember a con at the Gaylord that coincided with a Christian dating/relationship retreat. Other than their registration area, they were pretty low key, if I recall correctly. I think we just avoided each other but nothing was blocked off or anything.
Yeah, that was actually the same year as the military ball - but the retreat was all weekend. That didn't cause any issues, just got some looks. Not that we're not all pretty used to it, I'd wager
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Unread 02-18-2013, 10:34 AM   #10
envirion
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Originally Posted by Atrista View Post
Yeah, that was actually the same year as the military ball - but the retreat was all weekend. That didn't cause any issues, just got some looks. Not that we're not all pretty used to it, I'd wager
Ah. That's right! Thanks for the reminder. Looks aren't bad at all, considering it's pretty passive behavior and can easily be ignored.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 10:44 AM   #11
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Looks and comments are always expected even within our community. I expect that most frequent cosplayers have learned to cope with negative comments and stares.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 10:55 AM   #12
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(note I was a genderbent Shanks from One Piece. My stomach was showing, my top was low cut and I had a long black jacket that just laid over my shoulders.)

I unfortunately had a bad experience with the BBYO attendees on Friday. =( After a long day of walking around in heels and running from photoshoot to dealer's room and more, I took an elevator from the bottom floor(near where the dealers room was) up to the second floor, where the elevator let out in the reserved area the BBYO people were in. My feet were hurting so I was in no real rush to leave the area and just slowly made my way through the crowd, trying to not run into anyone. Then I head someone say "Get out of here!" and my jacket was taken off of me. I turned around, saw my jacket on the ground but couldn't tell who put it there. When i went to pick up my jacket, someone yelled "whore" and "slut". I ignored them, picked up my jacket and turned to walk away, but then the final thing. Someone said "stupid wig" and pulled at my HAIR(I wasn't wearing a wig) and I fell to the ground. Whoever did it ran off but a couple staff members came over,helped me up, apologized for everything and escorted me the rest of the way out.

It didn't give me a negative impression of the entire group or anything but it put me in a sour mood for a while. With any large group (including BBYO and Katsu) there are always gonna be some bad apples that just ruin the impression for everyone, I was just unlucky and stumbled across those bad apples *shrug* After that though, I had no problems with the group.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 11:03 AM   #13
Quinn The Spazz
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I must've gotten lucky, because the only remotely unfortunate experience I had was some slightly-horrified stares from BBYO passersby while my friend and I were taking This picture (I'm Kaito in this picture, with the blue hair.) Granted that's kind of understandable though, and I guess we're lucky they never actually said anything directly.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 11:09 AM   #14
tatooine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiro View Post
Looks and comments are always expected even within our community. I expect that most frequent cosplayers have learned to cope with negative comments and stares.
There's a huge difference between the looks and stares that come from people within the community ("wtf is that from?" "uhhh is that X from Y..." "oooooh snap that skirt is one shade off the reference image!") and those that come from people without a basic reference of the hobby.

But this was an astoundingly bad booking for several unique reasons:

- Teenagers are little shits. Katsu's always had the most trouble with small teenage sports groups, and this was the biggest influx of teenagers we've dealt with. Many of them were great (they all got a kick out of my lightsaber), but the more teenagers you've got, the more rotten eggs you've got.

- Teenagers need chaperoning and supervision. Adult business conference attendees, formal event attendees, and even uber-religious marriage retreat attendees are responsible for themselves. Their conferences take zero responsibility for them getting to bed on time, missing events, leaving the hotel, talking to attendees of other conventions, etc. BBYO kids needed to be corralled. If they shared with any adult convention, they would have been easy to corral: as the only teenagers, and probably the only people in casual dress. But Katsu has teenagers and people in casual dress, so the BBYOers did and could escape their chaperones by mingling with Katsugoers. I assume this is why BBYO was so draconian about "this is our area, stay out" -- it was to keep their kids from sneaking off. Unfortunately, that was the start of all of Katsugoers' space problems ("I can't go in the gazebo?" "I can't go through that door to my car?"), and that trickled down into general animosity. Neither group is bad. But the BBYO adults' (understandable) need to keep their kids in certain areas, and the resulting need to exclude congoers from those areas so the kids wouldn't run off, generated friction that led to hostility.

- We, Katsu attendees, didn't help: apparently some Katsugoers are anti-Semetic asses. Eff all of you who called those kids "the Jews" all weekend. You are terrible people, and part of the problem for everyone else. Also whoever started fistfights with the BBYOers, I hope you're banned from Katsucon.

tl;dr BBYO needs to share its convention spaces with adults so their kids can't escape into other hordes of teenagers, and Katsu needs to share its convention spaces with people who don't block off hallways.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 11:37 AM   #15
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While I never had any bad run-ins with the BBYO folks myself, I did hear a few horror stories about them ruining cosplays and being overall dicks. Also, them banning us Katsu people from using the gazebo for photos on Friday and making Katsugoers walk around the Gaylord just to get to the parking garage was complete BS. While it could've been a LOT worse, this cross-booking could have also been a lot better.
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