Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Includes photos, reports, and suggestions from our eighth year.

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mgperkow
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Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby mgperkow » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:25 am

Here is the official feedback thread for Youmacon 2012. Hit us up with the good and the bad.

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Reg problems

Postby Himeno » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:24 pm

I got to Ren Cen this afternoon at 5:30, only to see the line wrapped around and tailing back into a foyer. I was told by staff to come back later as the line would then be mostly gone. After confirming that reg was to close at 10, I went back to meet my friend, get the hotel room sorted out and have dinner. When I get back at 9.30, I find that the line is still as long as it was at 6 and that the line had been cut off. I was told to leave and come back in the morning (where I could then wait 2+ hours before the line moved)

This is not acceptable for someone who has paid extra for a platinum badge and who is meant to be at Cobo in the morning to help an artist set up.
I saw someone enter the line at 6 only just receiving their badge at 9.30. This is indicative of a problem with registration both with not having enough staff on duty and delays in processing each person.


It was just as bad again this morning (fri). You opened both pre reg and on day at the same time, despite claims that pre reg would be open for an hour before on day. Then with the delays at pre reg due to a system that can't manage an event this size, the on day line was moving faster (on day reg was processing 5 people for every one pre reg). No platinum badge kits were set up, despite claims before the con they would be, leaving people with platinum badges to have to run all over the place to get the items in the 'kit' (while having no program books or maps to be able to even find those places).


You should move reg to cobo, get more space for reg, more booths and more staff. Program books should be at reg available to hand out when reg opens.
People who pay a premium to have priority access should get that access, while having their kits together ready to hand over.

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Feedback

Postby Shiroiyuki » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:16 am

I know you'll be having a panel on Sunday about this, but I won't be there so I decided to get a jump start on the process.

First of all, I'd like to say I did not pre-register. Couldn't afford it at the time for three people, plus all the travel expense and room/board, missing three days of work for everyone, etc., so we opted to just pay for the one day we would be attending and drive down early to register. We hail from all the way up in the Muskegon area (3+ hours away) and was dependent on having a schedule in advance in order to plan.

I would also like to point out that in no way do I wish to offend anyone by this feedback more than what is absolutely necessary. It is just my honest assessment of my experience. I'm not pointlessly "flaming" anyone or complaining without substance. Where service was lacking, I will not sugarcoat. I believe that this is the only way to improve.

I'm a newbie to Youmacon, mostly due to the distance involved, but I am not new to conventions in general. JAFAX, although 1/10th of Youmacon's scale and free, I consider a pretty good dip in the pond. Shuto, same thing.

--------------------------

So, that being said, my review:


I will start with the bad first, to get that out of the way.

The first issue I found with this convention was how long it took for the schedule to be available.

I know these kinds of events take a massive amount of planning...but some of us who do not live in the area also need some time ahead to know what to expect and what to aim for. I was just shooting blindly in picking Friday a month or two ago, not knowing what would be going on this day, in order to get everyone coordinated with requesting the day off from work, etc.. It would have been helpful to at least have some rough idea of what day would host what panel/event. I know you had to have some commitments solidified by then, at least enough to have a decent idea. It would have been helpful to know.

When the schedule finally did come out, I wasn't wholly disappointed (although the format made it hard to read for a newbie, just an FYI) in my choice. Friday/the middle day is usually a safe bet for any con. But there was absolutely no clarification on some of the (in my opinion) most important events of this day.

For instance, registration.

The process took about an hour, though we never actually had to stand in line.

It took an hour to find the registration table. I'm not exaggerating at all, unfortunately. No one knew where this was at. All the lines went to the pre-registration tables. We were literally directed and redirected several times all around Level 1-2, since no one knew. The strip of refreshments/tables had no idea. We were told a Red Shirt would know. Nope.

When we found, after circling the building several times, that it was only (maybe) twenty feet from the lobby where we originally entered and only ten/fifteen feet from your staff members that we initially asked, I felt very let down. I couldn't believe how little informed your people actually were and how much time we wasted on something that should have been streamlined. I had staff directing me AWAY from this location. Come on, Youmacon; something basic like this should have been universally known.

We had already spent four hours in the car (which wasn't in any way your fault), but to spend another hour finding out how to register put an immediate damper on the whole day.


Then when we finally found the table, the staff member in charge of registration was very rude to us. I know these are volunteers and are donating their time, etc., but if I'm going to shell out $30 for a badge I at least expect basic customer service skills. A greeting. A thank you.

Instead I got the worst kind of person for this. She was pushy and gruff, didn't acknowledge us until I greeted her, and -- even though there was no one behind us in the non-existent line -- she wouldn't even tolerate us putting on our badges or putting away our change for two seconds without telling us we couldn't stand there. And it wasn't a kind, "Oh I'm sorry, we need to leave space for the next registration." It was more in the vein of "Hey, you can't stand there. If you're done registering you have to leave." in a snatchy condescending tone.

I'm just like, seriously? I can't put away my $10 bill? I'm forced to try and hold onto a half done-up badge and clip, my purse, the receipt, and my money and walk through the congested hall (holding up my large heavy skirt to avoid having it stepped on) because I can't stand there for more than a moment to collect my things? Nice. Very accommodating. I felt my business was appreciated. Especially when she didn't thank us at all.

She also did not provide us with a program so we spent the next hour feeling very let down, lost, and underwhelmed, not knowing where to go or what was going on. We had nothing to explain what was available or what each panel was going to cover, and so we just sort of stood there feeling as if we wasted our money. For a while, walking aimlessly around a hall full of people standing in line to pre-register with nothing else going on, we felt we had just spent $30 for nothing.

If not for heading over to COBO, the day would not have been salvaged at all.

More on that later.

The next disappointment was the Cosplay Contest/Masquerade.

So....I guess the wording on the website (or perhaps lack there of) threw me, because the way I was reading it there was a sign up on Friday and Saturday....for a cosplay contest on both days. There wasn't anything even remotely close to explaining otherwise to me, or clarifying the process, or when the judging would ultimately take place.

It also didn't say that I had to be present for both days to participate.

Instead I get up to Level 4 (which took me forever since no one knew where the Cosplay sign-up was, including several staff members, table hosts -- including one right outside the stage area, and building staff) only to be disappointed to find that the competition is tomorrow, and since I live 3+ hours away and could only make it down for one day, I couldn't enter. That just made my night terrible. I had come to Youmacon with the Cosplay Contest in mind and my whole day (and several days/weeks before that in prepping) had revolved around it. I wish I would have known this ahead of time so I could have planned to come down for Saturday instead.

Perhaps you should clarify this in the future for those of us who haven't attended before :(. I felt that there was little to no organization and I was completely lost and let down. Even your staff had no idea what to do in my situation. It is rather hard to believe that I am unique in only spending one day at Youmacon and wishing to participate in this event.

Although I know that there are a TON of people to go through and you need a lot of time to see everyone, it makes no sense that there isn't some sort of system set up internally to remember those who go Friday, in the massive amount of costumes you see. How can you make a good, unbiased decision if you don't remember the specifics of the costume you see Friday, when you have everyone on Saturday fresh in your mind? Why not extend this system of accommodation to allow those not present Saturday a fair chance?

This is one Ciel who spent a hell of a lot of time on her costume, and couldn't even participate due to a miscommunication on your end, *sigh*.


Now on to some nice things, yay :) :

I did enjoy the Dealer's Hall greatly, although the layout was a little overwhelming at first. I couldn't remember where I had already ventured, so I ended up walking around a little more than I would have otherwise. But I figure this is fine since everything was very nicely laid out (as far as table planning goes) and interesting. I was great to see examples of booths.

It was fun! I got to see a lot of things I wouldn't have otherwise seen, including a lot of cute little plushies and key chains, some neat t-shirts, fans, Japanese decorations and ceramic ware, and a whole bunch of anime that I can't find anywhere else. Prices were high -- if not completely surprising -- but this was a special event and as such, I allowed as much indulgence as the old wallet would let me.


I also really loved to see so many people in cosplay
-- at JAFAX they dress up, too, but not to the sort of scale at Youmacon. It made me (in the biggest pink dress and crinoline petticoat ever) feel right at home, and I had so much fun going up and down the a hall just looking at everyone and everything. Overall the atmosphere was pleasant and a good breeding ground for this sort of thing. I love that we were encourage to express ourselves in this manner and that the Renaissance staff wasn't opposed to some very odd-looking (to non-anime fans) costumes. It felt like a specialty-focused Halloween party. I never felt more at ease in such a dramatic outfit, makeup, and wig. Awesome job.


I also appreciated all the free water stands. One thing I desperately needed all day was hydration. I mean, my dress alone weighed probably ten pounds...not to mention all the layers made it very hot to wear in an already warm environment. If not for the water I would have died, lol!

I also greatly appreciated the overall appearance of the main building. The Renaissance building was a great choice for something like this (although one can easily get lost in the crowd!). Everything is just so rich and beautiful, real high-class beauty, nothing cheap looking or misplaced. The main lobby off the valet strip was gorgeous. It made me feel very rich for the day. I appreciated the grandeur of the place. It was an interesting backdrop in itself.

You even had a Starbucks and food court right there at arm's length, nice and convenient. Coming from someone who struggled to find even a fraction of such services at JAFAX and coming up short. Things were definitely overpriced for what they were, but that isn't your fault so much as the location. Overall though, it made me definitely feel like I was doing something substantial, and not just meeting in the back of a card shop or cafeteria for some makeshift convention.

The escalators were also very appreciated, once I figured out how to maneuver them in my ball gown, lol. Made the long hikes upstairs convenient.

Regarding Cobo --

Not sure if I liked the walk over, although the location was nice and airy and large and not cramped. It wasn't too far to be excessive...but the fact that I had to cross traffic (and almost got run down twice, once when a **** in a Volvo went over the curb to make a right turn and almost wiped me out) without cross walks available, and walk out in public with people staring/walking around between buildings right in the heart of ghetto Detroit made me very uncomfortable. I had my fiance and my sister with me so I didn't have to hoof it alone, but still. I think the Renaissance Center is more than large enough to host both inside with everything else going on. It would have felt more organic to the convention having everything in one building.

In fact, this reason prevented me from returning to the Dealers Hall/AA once the sun set (before leaving), even though I had such a great time there and really, really wanted to go back. I just did not feel safe travelling.

I used to live in Madison Heights (the suburbs but close enough to be on guard in certain parts at night) so I'm used to the possible dangers...but I refused to walk the streets after dark. Nope, sorry. There were enough weirdoes walking around during broad daylight. And since parking was impossible, I couldn't even drive the car over to be a little more safe.


Overall (summary):

Although there were some aspects of Youmacon that I had a blast attending and made me happy, overall the sheer lack of coordination and communication, the completely useless staff members, and the disorganization of your events made this convention one I won't go out of my way to attend next year. My crew also feels the same way. This was my sister's first convention I think it turned her off from the whole thing altogether, which is an unfortunate side effect of poor operation/planning.

This disappoints me because I was so excited to finally go to Youmacon and have her go with. This was supposed to be the real deal, the biggest most elaborate convention in Michigan. The convention to which all other conventions in the area measure up to. Instead, it seemed underwhelming.

I spoke so highly of it to her that it made me look bad, and I felt obligated to apologize for making her come down with me. She is by no means an otaku. She barely just started getting into anime, and that transition was hard enough. Now she has this poor experience to blacken the genre.

Although I've personally never witnessed how you operated in years past, judging from all the great things I heard from those who had seen first hand (including several friends who are seasoned attendees), I feel like this year you uprooted the system completely. There's a saying that works well for this -- don't fix what isn't broken. This convention just seemed rushed or something. Definitely not worth the hefty price.

For everything involved and how much it cost me to attend, I would rather take a cut in quanity by going to JAFAX than suffer the lack of quality by spending so much money, just to feel cheated.


-----------------------------

Sorry guys :(. I know I was harsh, but it is how I truly feel. I do sincerely hope you can take some of this to heart in order to improve operations for future conventions and I hope you don't think I am just complaining to complain. Such is the nature of feedback; not all of it can be good. But I hope good will come of it.
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Re: Feedback

Postby Time Lady Katie » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:16 pm

I plan to depart before the feedback panel as well, but I wanted to sum up a lot of conversations I've had.

First, to the original post's concern about the general area, actually Hart Plaza and the riverfront is the nice part of Detorit. Which if it doesn't offer consolation certainly should terrify you about the other options. But there was a monorail that offered travel to Cobo.

As to my own Plus/Deltas; I want to second, fifth, and tenth the notion about staff this year. The volunteerism, particularly new faces, were massively impolite. When I went to collect the programs (issues I'm sure don't need mentioning), I was sent from Con Ops to Registration to collect programs for myself and my compatriots. I asked someone where to get them and he told me to wait in the Pre-Reg line. I'm a panelist, I had my badge hours before from Programming Ops. I showed him my badge. He said I need to wait in the line anyway. So I did. And a long time later I made it to the front of the line, asked about the programs, and was told "We don't do that here." I asked where to get them and was simply ignored, and the woman called "Next!" I will point out that Con Ops did eventually get me the programs I needed, but the level of rude, uninformed, and uncaring the volunteerism have had is awful. They seemed to not care about the con or congoers at all.

Given the lack of program guide, a good thing to have done would've been to put signage around to help address the problem, which would be a good idea regardless of guidebook issues simply because of the number of new attendees. "I feel like I paid a lot of money," is the thing I keep hearing from new people. It sounds like people were so bothered by how the experiment of this year had panned out, especially given the number of untested features this time 'round. And I don't think all of the problems' solutions are things that shouldn't have just been done anyway.

I realize that the con was scaled up pretty massively from last year, but I really wonder how many of the thousands of new people drawn in by this expansion will bother ever coming back. Youmacon is my con. It's the one I came to first, and regardless of other cons, regardless of other options in my life, I will always come here first. My current job is working on a political campaign and I sacrificed one really important weekend to be here. It means that much to me. I'm so sad that so many people now have such a negative view of Youmacon.

The atmosphere, the panels, the programming, the venue, the people all are unquestionably the best. I found another Yuru Yuri cosplayer for Sappho's sake! The tone of the comments that people are going to make are going to be negative, simply because this was such a disappointment compared to last year, and the hype for this year. We aren't content, but I really don't want people to think that I'm actually mad at Youma or anything. I still love this con more than anything else, and next November is already what I look forward to most in the next year.

But I just want you to learn from this.
Youma 2014 Cosplays:
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Re: Feedback

Postby Delevaine » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:59 pm

I don't know how many will comment on this, but trust me, you are not alone in your disappointment of this year and how things were ran/handled.

I had to explain how much my badges cost and how it worked with two youth. The woman serving me was nice, and I was simply the same. I just wondered how many were potentially overcharged or undercharged due to misinformation to those at the desk.

This is the first year I didn't attend a single panel. The schedule wouldn't show up on my phone so we had absolutely no clue what was going on, or when. We're sitting in the room and still have no clue.

I was not impressed by the cobo hall. I was expecting a happening place like it was here at the ren c@en last year. I am however extremely happy about the size, space, and isle space in the dealers room. It is a complete shame that cobo wouldn't allow fast food anime. We were extremely looking forward to stocking up on pocky.

The variety of guests was amazing.. but I really wonder if more was bit off than could be chewed. I miss the big schedule signs. Those would have been amazingly handy.

Now to see if we can figure out when the rave is gonna happen.
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Re: Feedback

Postby EdrickV » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:25 pm

The rave is at midnight, Con Ops outside the casual gaming room may still have programs left, and you may be able to buy Pocky in the Tabletop or casual video gaming rooms.
Youmacon 2012 Pictures: viewtopic.php?p=266173#p266173
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Re: Feedback

Postby FenRir TenHoor » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:33 pm

I am so very disappointed in this year's con. I came last year with a small group of friends and had a blast. This year seemed like such a let down. Not only was the schedule out so late, it continued to change even during the con, from event a is cancelled to event a is back on and extended (this maybe normal, but this is the first time i noticed something like this). And programs, my ****. no programs until late Friday afternoon. Then no maps in the programs, then the maps didn't even have everything in them (never noticed were it shows the panel rooms in cobo) After buying a 2 platinum badges ( one for me and one for my girlfriend) I feel like I was had, and I got the real Detroit treatment (mugged). I feel really let down that the best parts of my weekend will be spent in my hotel room. It seems that the people running this place don't know what they are doing(after eight years of con and fours of planning before that they should), they don't care any more, or that Youmacon has simply grown too large. Seriously I really don't feel that I will make a third trip across the state.
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Re: Feedback

Postby divinelychaotic » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:51 am

On Thursday, the pre-reg lines were ridiculously long and didn't move a foot for upwards of five minutes at a time. I waited in line for over three hours and it would have been nice to at least have a couple water stations set up along the way. I know people who got their badges on Friday in under twenty minutes. At least the person I talked to at the counter wasn't rude or anything (nor pleasant) like some others are saying.

What happened with the programs? This is the first year that I haven't gotten a program at the same time I got my badge. I didn't even get one at all except for the one I found on the floor on Friday at like 5pm. It was the first one I had seen and before that I started to wonder if they had even been printed at all. Then the program didn't even have a map of the building or Cobo so you were pretty lost the entire time unless you just wandered around for a long time, just hoping to stumble upon a place of interest.

Cobo was a maze with no guidance. When we first got to Cobo on Friday afternoon, we had no idea where to go. There wasn't a single sign anywhere from the people mover. We walked around trying to figure out where things were and tried following other groups of people doing the same and by the time we actually found the dealer's room it was fifteen minutes later. And I thought I read somewhere on here that there was going to be a discount on the people mover for this weekend? Didn't feel like there was to me.

Dealer's room/Artist's Alley were SO much better than last year. There was actually room to move and you didn't feel rushed at a table to get out of the way for other people to move. It was a little bit hard to tell where you were to know if you had been down a certain path yet or not, but at least there was room to look around to see what was familiar.

Game room felt huge this year, especially with the lack of DMG stage in the room (not talking about Battle Opera room). In some places it felt a little too empty while others felt too congested, such as the fighting areas. There was a crap ton of empty space between Halo and Rock Band that could have been used for a couple of the fighting games as there was always a crowd, so it would have been easier to maneuver in those certain areas. Did anyone even play Ghost Recon or Max Payne for more than five minutes? And of course, the issue that ALWAYS plagues the game room, sound. Rock Band could be heard anywhere in the room. No matter what I played, I couldn't hear what was going on because the tvs were either muted or RB just didn't care and was louder than everything else. Even on the off chance I was able to sit and play on the computers, I could hear RB through the headset. Headset wasn't too bad though, except it was a little uncomfortable unless you found that sweet spot for your ears. I definitely feel like the computers could have been moderated better though. I saw people standing around waiting for a computer for over an hour while I was doing other things but no one got up. I didn't even bother to try to play until Saturday at 4am. There were groups of people, 3+, who would just sit in League and spam queues as soon as their first, second, third game ended. That's pretty bull ****. I know that anyone who wanted to get on could tell the staff that someone was hogging a machine, but who wants to be THAT guy? It shouldn't come down to that anyway in my opinion. I know I posted about it in the tournaments thread in the gaming forum, but might as well post it here as well: I seriously believe that people who are hosting a tournament should not participate in the tournament. I don't know how the Gears tournament went down, nor do I care, but that could have caused a ton of problems and it's considered bad manners anyway. I hope next year has more than just fighting game and attendee-hosted tournaments, and not even just Halo, otherwise I most likely will not buy another badge.

Security was great from what I witnessed. There was an issue with some people I had just met that night and security escorted a girl around the Ren Cen for over an hour trying to find the suspects, which they did do. They were very nice and helpful, and obviously good at their job. It seemed like a wild goose chase that I thought they would abandon after a half hour, but they stuck with it and I'm very pleased with that. I thanked the security guy with long hair and shook his hand after it all and I wasn't even involved in any of it, I was just tagging along. If you're reading this at some point, again, good job and thank you.

This bit goes out to the attendees. How many times can you listen to Gangnam Style and not get sick of it? It's old as **** now and it's annoying to hear after hearing it over a thousand times. I was charging my phone outside the game room for twenty-five minutes and I heard the song in its entirety four times. Really? That's **** ridiculous. To top it off, I only saw one person the entire weekend actually doing the dance right (she was cute too, too bad I didn't say anything to her). Memes and popular things never die in this community (including the game, yes there were a couple people doing it this year). How many Slendermans (Slendermen?) must there be? I know I'm ranting at this point, but ****. I suspect in the coming days I'll get some heat for a couple of these comments here. Overall though, I didn't really experience any bad attendees, everyone was pretty nice and respectful, but that's only from the people I encountered.

This year seemed a lot worse than last year to be honest. And that's saying a lot coming from me considering there was a ton of drama between me and my friends that killed a lot moods. This year had very little hype, there was no energy or vibe like there was in previous years. It just seemed dull. Next year, the only reasons I would even CONSIDER attending are for console shooter tournaments or VERY specific friends from out of state attending, which they probably won't after I tell them about this year. This was my fifth Youma and it was the worst on the list. If I think of anything else, I'll either edit or make another post.
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Curse of 012

Postby ChippD » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:09 am

So this is my third youmacon, and for the entire weekend I've noticed a lot of things that have had people all up in a twitter. Now please note that I'm a loyal fan of Youma, and appreciate everything they do to make this con grow and flourish every year. As long as its going on, I'll try my best to come. But this year has had a lot of downs.

1. Armbands of Death. Is the Marriote trying to lose one it's biggest money makers of the year? They should realize that what they can't squeeze out of people room sharing, they'll still make off of all the other things people spend on. We cost a small fortune in fast food, alcohol, CVS supplies, and all the other ammeneties that Marriotte offers (and not cheaply). The only reason the con is even this big nis because of room sharing. I understand that last year's line cues were horrifying, but the fact is that the Marriote was booked solid. They couldn't have gotten anymore of us if they wanted.
2. Really unfriendly security guards (from the hotel itself, not our wonderful voulenteers)
yelling at people at night for grouping. A certain late night group got bullied out of the winter gardens for it. The King's Game has been a five year tradition with no incidents, no complaints, and has actually been met with a lot of laughs by the late night wanderers. To be yelled at, and not even asked politely to leave the Winter Garden balconies was a really unproffessional thing to do. I'v'e heard other stories of people being yelled at for lingering, or even just talking too loudly.
3. Internet fails: At least three of the panels I went to couldn't access the Marriote's internet, breaking their presentations.
4. Room Enforcements: On the elevator I've overhead that several people did actually get turfed out. Bad on Marriotte. Thats a wonderful way to lose clients Marriotte.
5. Unfortunate lack of schedules. Nobody to blame I'm sure, but I've heard a lot of people missed various panels out of confusion between waht was in Cob.Hall and the Center itself.
6. Conflicting panels: Again, just the nature of the beast, but I've heard a lot of people were unlucky to have several panels all happen at once, and having to make painful choices. My sympathies to you all.
7. Confusing overflow line: People in the preregister line when they should have just been in the normal line. Vice-versa.
8. Broken ATMs. I heard that for most of thurseday the BoA Atms were down. Dunno if its true.
9. Abysmal weather: its been colder than normal, and a lot of us are still recovering from last month's cold epidemics. I've heard photoshoots were more unpleasant than other years. It also was a pain traveling from the center to cobo and back again for people who didn't have access to the people mover.

So all in all my more extreme unhappiness comes from the unproffesional way The Marriotte decided to handle things. Youmacon staff had some unfortunate set backs that couldn't be helped, and were all just mishap or sacrfices needed to be made.

I hope next year turns out to be a little less frustrating. Post your grievances, or elevate our moods with things you thought were actually better this year?

I'll say that while I didn't aprove of the bands, it was nice to not have to wait 25-30 minutes to get up to my room.

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Re: Curse of 012

Postby divinelychaotic » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:37 am

1. 012. Nuff said.
2. Didn't need it's own thread here, use the feedback thread. Thankfully, this thread will likely be merged anyway.
3. Room stuffing is against hotel policy. Read this thread before saying anything about the hotel being bad for enforcing its rules: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12995
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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby ndeorrery » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:54 am

have a question / recommendation. Instead of doing a giant pre-register line, why not mail out pre-registered badges? I for one would be willing to pay extra, even, to avoid that line! Even having this as an option and not as a requirement of all purchased badges would be great. For example, at my university, we give students the options of having their parking permits mailed to them. They can also pick them up on campus. That way, people worried about loosing the badges or the badges getting lost can wait in pre-reg. A mailing option would be nice, however.

As for some good things, security and space issues have improved SO much over the past few years. I have attended every Youmacon yet and I am really happy with this Youmacon, by comparison to all the others. Staff were far more friendly and cohesive than at other times. There didn't appear to be any overly rude staff members at all.

One other thing-- the bracelets at the hotel. There are a lot of other ways that the same thing can be accomplished without requiring individuals to wear a paper band on their wrist. I got into an awkward situation where I literally just ran downstairs to grab a drink from a vending machine (I wasn't aware there was one on my floor, at the time) and, as I had just showered and taken off my then-destroyed paper bracelet, I was given the third degree. When I went to the front desk to get a new one, I was asked for my room number, my name, and my ID. The bellhop was kind enough to believe me when the name I said matched the one on the reservation, but this could've been seriously problematic for me had he decided not to be, as my ID was upstairs as well. The whole situation was just a little frustrating when, by comparison, I later heard from various people that some hotel employees gave them bracelets if they just asked for one, without even checking if they were with the hotel. Further, some people were never checked the entire weekend. I'm a little bugged that some people who didn't even stay with the hotel had an easier time getting to the guest room floors than the people who paid to stay there. In the future, if the Mariott continues this policy, there are way easier ways to enforce it. For instance, we all have badges. Why not give the hotel guests a different-type badge, or even a second badge signifying they're staying with the hotel? You could just keep it on the same lanyard as your con badge.
Last edited by ndeorrery on Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby cecilxl » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:09 am

I hated Cobo hall. Not just walking there back and forth was a pain and waste of time, but also just the building, it's nothing compared to Ren. The artist valley/dealer's room was nice, however everything was a let down.

This was a really horrible year to not have schedules ready with maps. Also the photoshoots schedule, some of the new shows like Kuroko No Basket and Magi had their own photoshoot time at the Ren, however there were like what, 5 cosplayers of each show? Bad choices :/ Photoshoots that were not at Area 1 - 3 were super confusing and even asking some of the staff they didn't know where Area 4 and 5 were. Took a while to figure Area 4 was at the church, but it would've been so much more helpful if there was a sign outside the church that said this place is a photoshoot place and what time was for each photoshoot.
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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby Himeno » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:24 pm

ndeorrery wrote:Instead of doing a giant pre-register line, why not mail out pre-registered badges? I for one would be willing to pay extra, even, to avoid that line!
Mailing out badges is a nightmare and is just asking for problems to happen.

They take many hours of time to prep each badge for mailing, a lot more time then needed normally, time which is better spent planning the con.
Mailing out will also (among others):
get lost or stolen in the mail.
get lost of forgotten by the attendee
Allows for fake badges to be made
still requires that you line up at the con regardless to collect program books, etc

Pre reg mail out has failed at every anime con I have ever seen or heard it tried at.

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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby cheesecake » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:35 pm

Bemani Invasion. That is all.

I did nothing for 2 days except stay in the game room and play my beloved Bemani :3. I never went to Cobo. I only went outside the game room to call people (too loud) and go to Mcdonald's once. Yes it was a blast. I will get a room next year if they are back again.

The Pre reg lines were too long (2+ hours) but I sort of expected that because of the new system. That is my only real complaint about the con this year.
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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby Amberspike-Sama » Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:30 pm

This was my fourth year at Youmacon, and I think it was the most poorly managed I've ever seen this con. Some of the issues have been brought up already, but here's the problems I personally encountered:

- The schedule situation. I am local to Michigan, so I don't have to plan far in advance when I'm wearing what, but having only about a week's notice wasn't ideal--and having to search through the forums to find some kind of photoshoot schedule was highly annoying. I'm not sure what was up with the guidebooks, but most people didn't seem to have them or to be aware of when the photoshoots were. I also took issue with the fact that the 'American Comics' shoot was apparently present on the schedule available on the General Cosplay forum and dropped from the list in the guidebook--I ended up having to organize a DC comics shoot with a few fellow Batman cosplayers simply by coming up with a time and running around Cobo and the Ren Cen and accosting whichever others I could find. A similar thing happened on Saturday with the Pokemon shoot--very few people knew about the Friday one, and it seems like the fans took the initiative to just create one. (And really, props to whoever else had to go through that effort. I really give you credit. xD)
- Registration. I was not pre-registered and don't know much about why that was so backed up, but I did end up in the pre-reg line for a time because no one seemed to be clear on just where the reg line was. A security guard actually ended up having to hunt down a staff member, find out what was going on and redirect myself and a couple other people to the reg line. It would have been nice had some additional staff actually been around to manage that, or if some signs at least had been put up.
- On the subject of signs, it was very difficult to navigate Cobo. I had only been there once previously and there was not adequate signage to help me find my way around. The staff were wholly unhelpful and seemed just as confused as to where things were as I was. I didn't mind that Cobo was used--it was nice having the Dealer's Room/Artist's Alley in a room that wasn't as claustrophobic, and the room used for the ball worked just fine--but finding things was kind of an ordeal. I also encountered a lot of cosplayers from out of state that were confused about just how to get to Cobo or get on the people mover in the first place, which was pretty disconcerting.

I did still have a lot of fun and got to do the shoots I wanted, but as far as the management of this con went, I can only describe it as incompetent. I dearly hope things will go more smoothly next year.
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