Official Youmacon 2010 Feedback Thread

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Re: Official Youmacon 2010 Feedback Thread

Postby The_Original_UberCuber » Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:46 pm

The layout of the Ren Cen isn't that confusing. The last time I ever was there was when I was three and I didn't have too much of a problem finding my way around after Thursday night.
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Re: Official Youmacon 2010 Feedback Thread

Postby dairylives » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:09 pm

The_Original_UberCuber wrote:The layout of the Ren Cen isn't that confusing. The last time I ever was there was when I was three and I didn't have too much of a problem finding my way around after Thursday night.


It isn't. But no matter what, youll see someone complaining that they had to figure something out themselves, no matter how obvious things are. Hell, you'll even see posts in this thread suggesting that Youmacon posts people on every floor by the elevators to make sure people know where they are.

I work at Henry Ford Museum, and people can't handle things without signs EVERYWHERE, or they can't cross the street without us walking them across. (yes, on big events, we have people to literally walk people across the streets, people are that dumb)

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Re: Official Youmacon 2010 Feedback Thread

Postby mgperkow » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:25 pm

I think the point has been made, and I feel I should warn the last handful of posters that we're edging precariously in the direction of flaming here, so please keep the tone of discussion civil.

Yes, I think the Ren Cen has a confusing layout if you're walking into it for the first time. However, I can tell you from my experience that you do get used to it. Just be patient and remember, it's all circles. :-) Also, I think most people agree that we at least need better signage, and some details of the program guide's maps need some improvement. Also, the hotel's staff and front desk knew where one could find Registration this year, and they'll likely know next year, whether it moves or not. I might also make the gentle suggestion of asking anyone you see who is already walking around with a Youmacon badge (staff or attendee) as they all likely know where to find Registration. And we tried to get information on the operating hours of the food court restaurants, but from what I understand, we couldn't get firm answers from most of them, and that was even when we asked them the day before the con started. We'll do everything we can to try to make things better, folks, just keep in mind that there are some things we can't do. Also, I don't mean any of this in a harsh tone, in case it somehow comes across that way (since that seems to be happening a lot in the feedback thread).

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Re: Official Youmacon 2010 Feedback Thread

Postby dairylives » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:29 pm

mgperkow wrote:I think the point has been made, and I feel I should warn the last handful of posters that we're edging precariously in the direction of flaming here, so please keep the tone of discussion civil.

Yes, I think the Ren Cen has a confusing layout if you're walking into it for the first time. However, I can tell you from my experience that you do get used to it. Just be patient and remember, it's all circles. :-) Also, I think most people agree that we at least need better signage, and some details of the program guide's maps need some improvement. Also, the hotel's staff and front desk knew where one could find Registration this year, and they'll likely know next year, whether it moves or not. I might also make the gentle suggestion of asking anyone you see who is already walking around with a Youmacon badge (staff or attendee) as they all likely know where to find Registration. And we tried to get information on the operating hours of the food court restaurants, but from what I understand, we couldn't get firm answers from most of them, and that was even when we asked them the day before the con started. We'll do everything we can to try to make things better, folks, just keep in mind that there are some things we can't do. Also, I don't mean any of this in a harsh tone, in case it somehow comes across that way (since that seems to be happening a lot in the feedback thread).


wait, what? exactly how am i flaming? I don't appreciate being singled out like this, especially when defending the con. Reading through this thread, youll find rude posts by staffers and volunteers, i don't particularly understand why I'm the one getting crap for responding to a silly comment with reason. I know some people may take common sense as rude, but that was never my intention.

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Re: Official Youmacon 2010 Feedback Thread

Postby ElysiumFields » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:35 pm

mgperkow wrote:I think the point has been made, and I feel I should warn the last handful of posters that we're edging precariously in the direction of flaming here, so please keep the tone of discussion civil.

Yes, I think the Ren Cen has a confusing layout if you're walking into it for the first time. However, I can tell you from my experience that you do get used to it. Just be patient and remember, it's all circles. :-) Also, I think most people agree that we at least need better signage, and some details of the program guide's maps need some improvement. Also, the hotel's staff and front desk knew where one could find Registration this year, and they'll likely know next year, whether it moves or not. I might also make the gentle suggestion of asking anyone you see who is already walking around with a Youmacon badge (staff or attendee) as they all likely know where to find Registration. And we tried to get information on the operating hours of the food court restaurants, but from what I understand, we couldn't get firm answers from most of them, and that was even when we asked them the day before the con started. We'll do everything we can to try to make things better, folks, just keep in mind that there are some things we can't do. Also, I don't mean any of this in a harsh tone, in case it somehow comes across that way (since that seems to be happening a lot in the feedback thread).


If it seemed I was, then I deeply apologize, I was just trying to say that it wasn't the staff's fault and trying to give suggestions for those who had trouble reading the maps.
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Re: Official Youmacon 2010 Feedback Thread

Postby mgperkow » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:39 pm

Relax, guys, I said we were heading that way. And I wasn't talking about only one poster (I was also referring to a few pages ago when it was starting to go that way as well). It's important that everyone get to speak his or her peace without having others respond with implications of lack of intelligence or what not. You can still make your comments, but please keep them constructive.

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Re: Official Youmacon 2010 Feedback Thread

Postby Knightmessenger » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:15 pm

I think it needed the space of the RenCen and it was nice to have the convention get big enough so that it could be in the D proper. (within Detroit city limits) But there's a lot of adjustments and room for improvement.

Registration line: took way too long. I remember getting my badge on Saturday in '08 and '09 at the Hyatt in about 15 minutes. I could not understand why it took so much longer this time. Worst of all, the registration line was in a narrow area on the upper floor where there was a lot of other stuff going on. This was too crowded. The Ren Cen building has a lot of unused space on the first or second floor. I know the convention might not have had access to those floors but it's a must to put the line out of the way where there's plenty of space with more rope line dividers and have at least 8 people to wait on registrants.
Also, even if badges are only required starting at 1pm on Friday, open the registration line at 10am.

Artists alley is another part that could be placed on a more expansive lower floor to spread out traffic.

Elevators: another problem. I don't really know what Youmacon can do about this but if there was some way to have the elevators automatically detect if they are full and then not stop until they reach the floors the people inside requested. Also, could it be set that some of them do not stop between the first 5 floors, like have some not go below 5 so they don't waste time carrying people who could take escalators instead.

Handicapped access: This is a big problem but mostly with the way the building was designed. First of all, is there anyway for someone in a wheelchair to get to the second floor of the RenCen (the one with the glass walkway, skywalk to Millender center and people mover access)? I don't think the elevators had a stop there. Ideally, GM would build 2 new sets of elevators just for traveling between the first 5 floors but I don't see that happening any time soon due to expense.
But I do think there needs to be serious consideration for more ways to go between the floors. Maybe some ramps (ADA slope) to go between floors could be added at some point in the near future. Again, I understand that would be probably too much to ask in time for next year but maybe it could be kept in mind as an eventual goal.

Cosplay shoots: hopefully the weather is nicer next year and the riverwalk is available to be used instead of the wintergarden. Wintergarden should be used as a bad weather location. That being said, the wintergarden should have a roped off arc or semi circle area to correspond to the photo areas so people posing get a better sense to stay in the middle and not block off pathways on the side.
And there should be more photoshoots scheduled. There was not a Legend of Zelda shoot, a Studio Ghibli shoot nor a Disney shoot.

Spoony Bards need a place to play with more room for people to watch than the Marriot lobby. It's a shame because they didn't have as much of a central location (like at the Hyatt) so they didn't play as much this year and only had time to do their regular stuff which I've heard many times before.

More signs and displays with maps all over the place. The name of each room like "Panel 2" should be in large print bold so that people aren't wandering around as much. More advance notice of the parking discounts or any other deals that will be offered.

The other thing would be to list off some of the restaurants in the downtown area in the youmacon booklet. Maybe for a small fee, they could even place an ad. Perhaps some of them would be willing to offer a discount to anyone with a con badge for the weekend.

Because my last thing was everybody in my group agreed that there was no time to just chill and relax. It always seemed like we had somewhere else to be and while I don't want to say the con should not have something interesting at all times, I really missed the lack of a hectic rush there was at the Dearborn location. I really wanted a chance to eat somewhere besides the food court and have plenty of time to take the People Mover to Greektown or somewhere else in the downtown area. We never really had the time.
Conversely, it seemed like a lot of the best events were scheduled at the same time. For example, I think Vic's panel and the Whose Line were both at 5pm Friday. Mario Party after Dark happened at the same time as Mystery Science Theater. Since MST4k is not an 18+ event, it could probably be bumped up to 11 pm. In past years it being so late didn't matter because of the extra hour from setting the clocks back.

Well, that's all I can think of at this time. Oh and try to get Youmacon listed in the usual Metro Detroit attractions books or other types of publications that promote stuff to do in the SE Michigan area.
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Re: Official Youmacon 2010 Feedback Thread

Postby Wings of Mana » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:24 pm

@Knightmessenger: All I can say regarding the food and getting people from the downtown area putting ads in the book is this: I'm not sure how well you know the area, but in my experience, most of the downtown area is just bars. Which would be unfair for those under the legal age, as they can't get into it :S. Maybe a discount with the volt or 42 degrees north? Since I know Andiamo had a discount this year and the food was absolutely delicious, if pricey.

Maybe they could try again to get a list of the food court hours and maybe even get them extended? That could always be an option. It seems unfair that the food court didn't let the staff know the hours even a day before the con...that's just irresponsible of the food court. But it's their loss of business...so they're the ones that miss out really...
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Re: Official Youmacon 2010 Feedback Thread

Postby EdrickV » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:36 pm

Wings of Mana wrote:@Knightmessenger: All I can say regarding the food and getting people from the downtown area putting ads in the book is this: I'm not sure how well you know the area, but in my experience, most of the downtown area is just bars. Which would be unfair for those under the legal age, as they can't get into it :S. Maybe a discount with the volt or 42 degrees north? Since I know Andiamo had a discount this year and the food was absolutely delicious, if pricey.

Maybe they could try again to get a list of the food court hours and maybe even get them extended? That could always be an option. It seems unfair that the food court didn't let the staff know the hours even a day before the con...that's just irresponsible of the food court. But it's their loss of business...so they're the ones that miss out really...


You can see the regular hours for all the various restaurants (and other businesses) on the GM Ren Cen website. As far as I know the Food Court places did not do any special hours for the convention, though I did hear that McDonalds tried to stay open late but the Ren Cen staff forced them to close up shop. The only store I know of that did any extended hours was Calumet Market & Spirits which stayed open till 10PM and had a sign saying that.

Was 42 Degrees North even open for regular business during the con? I know it was the site of the Maid Cafe and supposedly was going to be used for some other events.

Handicapped access: This is a big problem but mostly with the way the building was designed. First of all, is there anyway for someone in a wheelchair to get to the second floor of the RenCen (the one with the glass walkway, skywalk to Millender center and people mover access)? I don't think the elevators had a stop there. Ideally, GM would build 2 new sets of elevators just for traveling between the first 5 floors but I don't see that happening any time soon due to expense.
But I do think there needs to be serious consideration for more ways to go between the floors. Maybe some ramps (ADA slope) to go between floors could be added at some point in the near future. Again, I understand that would be probably too much to ask in time for next year but maybe it could be kept in mind as an eventual goal.


According to the Ren Cen maps on the website there are "Accessible Elevators" in or near the Winter Garden and in Tower 200. I remember seeing signs for one around tower 200, but since I was not handicapped I did not try using it. (I can't really say I did much on floor 2 either, most of my time outside the convention space proper was spent either in the Winter Garden or walking on level 1 to the food court.)

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Re: Official Youmacon 2010 Feedback Thread

Postby Wings of Mana » Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:18 pm

You can see the regular hours for all the various restaurants (and other businesses) on the GM Ren Cen website. As far as I know the Food Court places did not do any special hours for the convention, though I did hear that McDonalds tried to stay open late but the Ren Cen staff forced them to close up shop. The only store I know of that did any extended hours was Calumet Market & Spirits which stayed open till 10PM and had a sign saying that.

Was 42 Degrees North even open for regular business during the con? I know it was the site of the Maid Cafe and supposedly was going to be used for some other events.


Yes but that doesn't help anyone when you're actually at the convention. If the staff couldn't get a response on their actual hours I doubt there were any extensions. I meant for next year.

As for 42 Degrees North, I know it was open for sure, for breakfast. But aside from that, no idea.
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Re: Official Youmacon 2010 Feedback Thread

Postby Zrana » Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:39 pm

I'd like to repeat the need for the Panel room names to be a different more easily readable color on the schedule signs we had outside the room. Dark blue on dark/med gray? Baaaaaaad choice. White/Yellow/bright-orange/cyan/etc, all those would have been much better on the gray.

I'm hoping the hotel will be better about allowing signs in general. Easels to hold signs, maps and stair indicators like in 2009, etc.

Elevator patrol sounds like the hardest issue to remedy. It's looks like a manpower issue to me, and getting good manpower can be hard at times, I understand. Basically I think we need someone (2 someones, one for high rise, one for low rise) on floors 1, 3, 4, 5, encouraging people to only get on if the elevator is going in the direction they need, and pointing people to escalators/stairs if necessary. Oh, and floors 1(I think) and 3 pointing to the elevators in the hotel that went between those floors, to reduce people using the elevators to go between 1 and 3 and bogging up things for those trying to get to their rooms, or for those who can't use stairs/escalators. At least that's what my brain came up with. It was that or have an elevator operator in all 12 central elevators, but that's a bit much. Select limited con staff access to the staff elevators that I'm certain exist would probably help higher up staff that have guestNOW/equipmentNOW runs would probably also be awesome, I'm sure some staff really could have used it at times.

As for lines outside main events, use of tape on floor or something to indicate where the lines should be, same with autographs, some snake winding back and forthe stuff before things start overflowing into the center circle area. And hopefully allowing some (more) of Artist Alley to be on both sides of the wider circle area where some of the events line should have been.

I noticed the back wall in Panel 3 was a divider wall if I remember right. I swear it moved slightly on me. But I may be thinking of the side walls and remembering wrong. But if I'm NOT... does that mean the room could have been set a little deeper? Or was it something just blocking what looks like (on the hotel website) doors to a back wall service entrance?

As for the food court food hours: I'm guessing that as long as they are informed of our return next year and both their managers and the rencen remember how things went THIS year, they should hopefully be more forth coming with their hours for while we're there, and it not be some spontanious OHSHI--!! deal that it may have been this year. But I'll second that supplying hours of business of restaurants is far from typical for a con to be able to do. Usually a list of what's nearby supplied by the con-site is the best to wish for. (A list which may or may not make it into the program guide.) It's more common for cons that having just changed location as well.
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Re: Official Youmacon 2010 Feedback Thread

Postby youjik33 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:47 pm

I went to the food court at around 9:30 Saturday night out of curiosity, and the Subway was still open and the Burger King had closed fairly recently (there were still employees there cleaning up). So it seems some places did have extended hours.
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Re: Official Youmacon 2010 Feedback Thread

Postby The_Original_UberCuber » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:51 pm

Knightmessenger wrote:The other thing would be to list off some of the restaurants in the downtown area in the youmacon booklet. Maybe for a small fee, they could even place an ad. Perhaps some of them would be willing to offer a discount to anyone with a con badge for the weekend.



There kinda were restaurants listed (with hours too) in the Visit Detroit magazine thing given out with the orange/red bags...
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Re: Official Youmacon 2010 Feedback Thread

Postby shamrock2lilly » Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:16 pm

Zrana wrote:I'd like to repeat the need for the Panel room names to be a different more easily readable color on the schedule signs we had outside the room. Dark blue on dark/med gray? Baaaaaaad choice. White/Yellow/bright-orange/cyan/etc, all those would have been much better on the gray.

As for lines outside main events, use of tape on floor or something to indicate where the lines should be, same with autographs, some snake winding back and forthe stuff before things start overflowing into the center circle area. And hopefully allowing some (more) of Artist Alley to be on both sides of the wider circle area where some of the events line should have been.


Just wanted to touch on these two points. I completely agree with the first statement and have already made mention of it on the Live event reports since panels are kinda our main thing and I am sure it will be properly dealt with.

As for the second statement... O_O ... I like the idea of fixing the lines and yes there needs to be a system. However placing tape on the floor of a publicly used corporate landmark does not sound like it will go over well. I certainly do not want to be the one to ask the hotel for permission... they would not be pleased. The best I think we could work out would be those lovely bank line ribbons/dividers... but I don't think the hotel had enough to spare for lines of 200+ and if they did they certainly were not interested in sharing them with us. I do suggest that on larger panels the staff somehow discourage attendees from lining up to wait for 2 hours. My personal advice is to begin lining attendees up about 30 minutes prior to the panel doors opening. The main events really can't be helped there will always be a line... the best I think we can offer in those cases is to ask your patience and understanding as we try to get a firm hold on how to best approach the situation. I do not advise running the line through the artist alley or in front of other panels, but with the circular layout it is obvious that eventually the line will curve into another section. I believe the AA, Dealers room and registration should try to take one of the tower areas, would be cool to have a tower per department. Some were off limits and they are business spaces, but some seemed to have a large lobby space that may have proved to be more beneficial. Worth a look at least. I think that is all I wanted to say on these two things ^_^.

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Re: Official Youmacon 2010 Feedback Thread

Postby madhattr999 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:23 pm

shamrock2lilly wrote:I do suggest that on larger panels the staff somehow discourage attendees from lining up to wait for 2 hours. My personal advice is to begin lining attendees up about 30 minutes prior to the panel doors opening.


Speaking from experience, this is not a good idea. If you "disallow" lining up... instead of a line of people, you will have a "clump" of people. I guarantee it. I've been to several very large anime conventions, and I've seen this put into practice at one or two big ones. It is simply impossible to enforce, and the people who disobey most are rewarded the most. If you ban people from waiting in an area, they will wait just outside that area. If you ban people from that area, they will wait just outside THAT area. And the waiting won't be linear.


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