Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

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

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DrDtroit
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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby DrDtroit » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:50 am

Not having went to many of the events (Basically only the rave), I can't comment on them, btu I will say that this was the best year I've had here.

Cons:
Registration, naturally. It's a pretty bad problem, but if it's a mechanical failure then of course there's going to be problems.

Pros:
Elevators were plentiful and easy to get on and off. Compared to the first year at the Ren Cen, it was like being able to just stroll between areas in a video game.
Increased space due to the Cobo being added. Made everything feel SO much less cramped. It was a shame that it split up the con so that randomly running into cosplayers was a little harder, but it's a small nit not even worth picking.
The attendees were as lively as ever, and that's what really made this con for me. Everyone was doing their damndest to have fun, and it seemed to rub off on everyone, at least thats how it seemed.
Dealers Room/AA was so roomy, as well. Having all that extra space to move around, I never really felt rushed like I had before in regards to being able to look at a table and decide if I REALLY want something or not.

Also, to everyone pulling the "IT'S DETROIT" card: If you think this is "ghetto" Detroit, then you've obviously no idea what a ghetto is. I've been coming up to this area for around a decade for Tigers games and WWE events and I've never had more than a homeless man ask for change. Of course, you have to be as street smart as you do at any other city, but you can't mark that against Detroit any more than anywhere else. And if you think the walk was long between the buildings, you should have been there for Wrestlemania 23. We had roughly a 20 minute walk either way because every parking lot was filled to the brim. I'm not saying you shouldn't be on your toes, but to complain about moving between buildings when most other huge cons do the same thing just because South Park told you Detroit was bad isn't exactly reasonable. Heck, on that walk a group of cosplayers were invited randomly into someone's wedding photo by the Joe Louis fist. People are as friendly as anywhere else, too. Don't assume everyone's out to get you, but be aware of anyone suspicious.

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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby thatsme2 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:39 am

Sorry my original screen name got deactivated :skeptical: for some reason

DrDetroit

Well I have helped Detroit Police on special events, yes they will ask other cities to send Officers to assist, and can tell you from having witnessed it that REAL CRIME does occur downtown. This whole I've been there so I have street cred crap is what ends up getting a young kids or people not accustomed to Detroit hurt.

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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby Medieval » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:44 am

thatsme2 wrote:Sorry my original screen name got deactivated :skeptical: for some reason


User log says you changed the email address associated with the account and need to revalidate it.
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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby DrDtroit » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:48 am

thatsme2 wrote:Sorry my original screen name got deactivated :skeptical: for some reason

DrDetroit

Well I have helped Detroit Police on special events, yes they will ask other cities to send Officers to assist, and can tell you from having witnessed it that REAL CRIME does occur downtown. This whole I've been there so I have street cred crap is what ends up getting a young kids or people not accustomed to Detroit hurt.



REAL CRIME occurs everywhere. Even in our sleepy little village there ends up being a murder or two. Downtown Detroit still isn't some kind of jungle where rapists and murderers run rampant, but just an average "good area" of a large city. It's not about having street cred, it's about making people realize that yes, while they might be in an area that's more dangerous than what they themselves are used to, it's not much more dangerous than any other big city area. This whole being afraid of Downtown Detroit because it's part of Detroit is like assuming that all of Chicago is like the south side. Yeah, if you go into the bad areas it won't be pretty, but that's true everywhere. Just pay attention to where you are and what you're doing and generally people won't mess with you (and if you think someone is wanting to start something, try and get away from them to a populated area or near a cop). That's not street cred, that's common sense and simple experience. Believe me, if I was trying to be some big shot "IVE BEEN THROUGH DETROIT FEAR ME" guy, I'd be claiming harder streets than Beaubien. I'm just sick and tired of every year hearing several people get scared witless because they hear the word "Detroit" and imagine a scenario from Fallout.

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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby Chamelion » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:36 am

Weighing in on this whole Detroit issue.

Youmacon would not willingly place itself in the middle of a 'warzone' or dangerous area; it chose the safest area of Detroit to reside in; and for those who claim the dangers of Detroit fail to understand that dangers can happen anywhere; anytime, for any reason.. the best way to avoid danger is to be educated and aware of your surroundings. 1. Don't travel alone, or if you must, walk near another group going; 2. Keep your eyes and ears open to everything going on around you *(stay off your cell phone for one). 3. Dont talk to strangers that are not recognizable as part of the convention. 4. Stay on the path directly between Ren and Cobo.

I heard rumor of a mugging...those happen everywhere; put 12,000 people in a four square block for four days and the percentages of something happening do go up; but 'Detroit' isn't the reason.. it could happen anywhere. Put a convention in a small town; same deal would occur.

I live in a town where I will take a walk anytime day or night, by myself, anywhere in the entire town and feel absolutely safe. I also pay attention to my surroundings when I walk, just in case.

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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby Blazegryph » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:23 pm

Hi Medieval, let me start out by saying thanks for replying to my concerns and suggestions. You've brought up some issues I was not aware of and the insider insight is appreciated.

In regards to the Cobo space rental, it does make sense to keep the 24 hour programming in the RenCen in that case, and I think that nighttime programming that's in the same building as many of the attendees' rooms is a plus for sure. I figure from all the feedback that the signage will be improved next year, so hopefully traffic to Cobo will increase as well. As far as walk length goes, I was going off of what customers were saying when I was asking how their weekend was going, since I never had the opportunity to leave the Alley/Cobo or go anywhere near the RenCen since staff had my Artist badge ready for pickup right at Cobo (that I was really impressed with!). I'm a fast walker, and could likely complete the trip in a shorter time frame as you did. That being said though, people are still being vocal about it, but as we agreed the Pass + PeopleMover badge could be a solution. (Regarding safety, I found that Detroit was more empty than it was shifty)

I'm pretty shocked that Cobo would demand that much of Youmacon's ticket sales. Do you know if that would apply to badge pickup as well? I don't think I've ever heard of a venue doing that but to be fair I've never asked. I feel like I would know about it if Anime North was charged such a fee for the Toronto Congress Centre, but I may be misinformed. I'll have to check it out and see if that charge was set up and/or if they found a workaround. As far as Artist Alley positioning goes, if registration cannot be put in Cobo, Alley should be in front of the dealers as previously mentioned. However, would there be room in the RenCen to house AA if some RenCen (daytime, not 24 hour nighttime) events were shuffled around to Cobo? If enough artists were interested in an extended-hours Alley, there's another idea to consider.

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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby AlgusUnderdunk » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:37 pm

Yui wrote:Dude, thanks for future considerations. I have to admit that when we finally made it back from final deliberations with the masq awards in tow, I was stunned and confused that we hadn't even walked into the right room based on what was being said. And I would have immediately walked back out if I wasn't supposed to be there. O_o;; So, that was a very hard stage to follow and kinda flustered many of the judges.

I think next half time show, perhaps all we need do is park The Chair. ^_-
(In all seriousness, though, some possible more-related HT options include showing video from previous years' masq skits. Also, many other conventions I've helped with set up live performance reprises from currently non-competing cosplay groups and/or have cosplay speakers point out some costume/photo/skit tips.)


Heh, ay, again, sorry about that. I think you walked in on the punchline which sounds EXTREMELY bad out of context. The main gag was supposed to be the idea of people sending crudely drawn tallywhackers to one another via Spike's ...magic-letter-sendy-fire-breath-thingy-power. Originally I'd planned a different bit to follow that bit which would've swung the mood back around, but the timing was a bit off so I ended on that particular bit instead. Ah well, next time Gadget.
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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby Kagthul » Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:18 am

Blazegryph wrote:I'm pretty shocked that Cobo would demand that much of Youmacon's ticket sales. Do you know if that would apply to badge pickup as well? I don't think I've ever heard of a venue doing that but to be fair I've never asked. I feel like I would know about it if Anime North was charged such a fee for the Toronto Congress Centre, but I may be misinformed. I'll have to check it out and see if that charge was set up and/or if they found a workaround.


Different cities, and most importantly, different countries. It all depends on what Union(s) run the building (if any at all) in question. In the US, a lot of convention spaces are heavily unionized; the unions have a lot of intractable rules designed to "protect" union jobs. (In most cases, they end up discouraging use of the facility in question and may even cost jobs) It would also depend on the contract the Union has with said convention center; if it is in their contract that they get a piece of sales, that's the end of it.

Cobo being city-owned, and Detroit being the heart of the remaining blue-collar organized labor movement in the US, the Unions probably have a pretty posh contract with Cobo. (I know the percentage of ticket sales issue is because of part of the union contracts.) Other cities (like Chicago, where ACEN is) have an entirely different setup, maybe even different or no unions in the building, etc.

Michigan isn't, unfortunately, blessed with a lot of useable social-convention compatible convention space, and what there is of it is heavily unionized.
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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby brands01 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:51 pm

Kagthul wrote:
Blazegryph wrote:I'm pretty shocked that Cobo would demand that much of Youmacon's ticket sales. Do you know if that would apply to badge pickup as well? I don't think I've ever heard of a venue doing that but to be fair I've never asked. I feel like I would know about it if Anime North was charged such a fee for the Toronto Congress Centre, but I may be misinformed. I'll have to check it out and see if that charge was set up and/or if they found a workaround.


Different cities, and most importantly, different countries. It all depends on what Union(s) run the building (if any at all) in question. In the US, a lot of convention spaces are heavily unionized; the unions have a lot of intractable rules designed to "protect" union jobs. (In most cases, they end up discouraging use of the facility in question and may even cost jobs) It would also depend on the contract the Union has with said convention center; if it is in their contract that they get a piece of sales, that's the end of it.

Cobo being city-owned, and Detroit being the heart of the remaining blue-collar organized labor movement in the US, the Unions probably have a pretty posh contract with Cobo. (I know the percentage of ticket sales issue is because of part of the union contracts.) Other cities (like Chicago, where ACEN is) have an entirely different setup, maybe even different or no unions in the building, etc.

Michigan isn't, unfortunately, blessed with a lot of useable social-convention compatible convention space, and what there is of it is heavily unionized.


I need to clear up some misconceptions here about what happens at convention centers.

First of all, the fee charged for ticket sales is tacked on by the venue, not the union. Most conventions don't sell tickets, they sell memberships, so Cobo shouldn't be taking a cut. This is not a union issue.

Second, other than setting up the rooms with tables and chairs, there wasn't much union involvement at Cobo. Some conventions centers don't allow the vendors to bring in their merchandise themselves unless you can carry it in. If you need to bring your stuff in on a dolly or a cart, you have to hire the union to do it. Most places don't let you use the facility's carts to move your stuff. At Cobo, we were able to borrow carts to bring our stuff in at no charge.

Third, I don't know what "useable social-convention compatible convention space" is or how its any different than any other kind of convention space, but Michigan has as much as any other city I've been to, and I've been to plenty in all areas of the US and Canada, and I see no extra union involvement than in most other places. Its about average. The places that have more union involvement are usually much bigger conventions, and it helps keep things orderly. The big events that don't have the unions involved turn into a big mess due to mismanagement. One con took us 5 hours after we were packed up to get our truck in to load out, causing us to spend another night in a hotel because we were too tired to drive home. I would have rather paid the union than the flea bag hotel.

So enough of the union bashing.

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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby Kagthul » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:08 am

brands01 wrote:
Kagthul wrote:
Blazegryph wrote:I'm pretty shocked that Cobo would demand that much of Youmacon's ticket sales. Do you know if that would apply to badge pickup as well? I don't think I've ever heard of a venue doing that but to be fair I've never asked. I feel like I would know about it if Anime North was charged such a fee for the Toronto Congress Centre, but I may be misinformed. I'll have to check it out and see if that charge was set up and/or if they found a workaround.


Different cities, and most importantly, different countries. It all depends on what Union(s) run the building (if any at all) in question. In the US, a lot of convention spaces are heavily unionized; the unions have a lot of intractable rules designed to "protect" union jobs. (In most cases, they end up discouraging use of the facility in question and may even cost jobs) It would also depend on the contract the Union has with said convention center; if it is in their contract that they get a piece of sales, that's the end of it.

Cobo being city-owned, and Detroit being the heart of the remaining blue-collar organized labor movement in the US, the Unions probably have a pretty posh contract with Cobo. (I know the percentage of ticket sales issue is because of part of the union contracts.) Other cities (like Chicago, where ACEN is) have an entirely different setup, maybe even different or no unions in the building, etc.

Michigan isn't, unfortunately, blessed with a lot of useable social-convention compatible convention space, and what there is of it is heavily unionized.


I need to clear up some misconceptions here about what happens at convention centers.


This should be interesting.

First of all, the fee charged for ticket sales is tacked on by the venue, not the union. Most conventions don't sell tickets, they sell memberships, so Cobo shouldn't be taking a cut. This is not a union issue.


In this case, it is. It is a fee levied if you sell admission to the event and dont use the union ticket sellers. It's really great how you're "clearing up misconceptions"... and seemingly have no earthly idea what you're talking about. The total percentage that would have been taken if reg had been at Cobo was almost 30%. The *convention centers'* (Cobo) was only ~25% of that number, so, roughly 8% of each badge - the rest goes to the union because the con isn't using their ticket sellers, the same way the convention has to pay a fee to the union if they so much as move a table instead of having the union do it. I'm glad you're clearing things up though. (As it happens, i know the convention chairs have negotiated with Cobo about waiving Cobo's part of the fee and are contacting the Union to see what can be worked out, so if negotiations go well, Reg may end up there after all.)

Second, other than setting up the rooms with tables and chairs, there wasn't much union involvement at Cobo. Some conventions centers don't allow the vendors to bring in their merchandise themselves unless you can carry it in.


Oddly enough, Cobo has that rule.

If you need to bring your stuff in on a dolly or a cart, you have to hire the union to do it. Most places don't let you use the facility's carts to move your stuff. At Cobo, we were able to borrow carts to bring our stuff in at no charge.


Then good for you catching a dockmaster who didnt seem to care; we had to pay the union both ways to move equipment in and out of the YBO room, and were not allowed to touch it once it was boxed up. We couldnt load their dollys, couldnt touch the dolly before or after it had been loaded, and couldnt unload it at the dock - the Union had to do it. When we tried to help expedite, we were told in no uncertain terms we'd be incurring penalties if we so much as touched anything.

Third, I don't know what "useable social-convention compatible convention space" is or how its any different than any other kind of convention space


Convention space with attatched hotel(s). Social conventions are different than expos. Conventions dont close, and by their 24 hour nature promote social activity and interaction. Expos close and everyone goes home. The fact that you dont know comprehend the difference speaks volumes about your massive experience.

, but Michigan has as much as any other city I've been to, and I've been to plenty in all areas of the US and Canada,


So you've apparently never attended a convention in:
Boston
Atlanta
New York
Chicago
L.A.
San Francisco
Seattle

All of which have vastly more convention space than Detroit, both of the expo-only variety AND with connected hotels. The "core trio" of hotels that Dragon*Con takes place in (Hyatt Regency, Mariott, and Hilton) have more convention space than all of Metro detroit (the Hyatt alone has nearly as much space as all of Cobo); and those three venues are all connected via skyway, making them essentially one giant venue. Chicago has a smilar setup, only the hotels in question are also attached to a large convention center as well.

Edit: Add Milwaukee to that list, as well; was just there looking at the venue for Anime Milwaukee, and it puts Cobo to shame and is attached to several hotels.

and I see no extra union involvement than in most other places. Its about average. The places that have more union involvement are usually much bigger conventions, and it helps keep things orderly. The big events that don't have the unions involved turn into a big mess due to mismanagement. One con took us 5 hours after we were packed up to get our truck in to load out, causing us to spend another night in a hotel because we were too tired to drive home. I would have rather paid the union than the flea bag hotel.

So enough of the union bashing.


I wasnt bashing. I was explaining.

So, thanks for "clearing up" those "misconceptions".
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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby Medieval » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:59 am

Lets not turn this into a flame war here. As it is now, its already getting a bit too flamish for my sensibilities.

I'd rather not have to temp lock this thread while telling all parties involved to play nice especially as it is our official feed back thread.
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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby pyrrhicvictini » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:16 am

I'm really sorry to be a butt, however, can there be any compromise with the large complaints about Youmacon this year? (Such as, days at Cobo, nights at RenCen or something?)

Things are wrong. This is the feedback thread. Is this thread here for the con to take criticism, or argue with it? :C A lot of the wide-spread complaints are being knocked-down, as if Youma can't do anything. I realize the wristbands are decided by the hotel, but there are other issues, such as scheduling, & distance between Cobo & Rencen (added with this - the fact that it's scheduled at a time when the weather could be much colder, & a people-mover broke down once due to the amount of attendees on it.)

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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby Darkenadel » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:25 pm

I thought I would put in my two cents towards the union carrying thing. I work for the vendor that had the big wooden shelves and the trading cards. (I was the girl who could also take money, as there were only two of us that you could pay) Because we were so big and there were only four of us, one of the union guys helped us out carrying things and our big wooden shelves. At the end of the con, because again, we have so much stuff, 5 of the guys came and helped. One even brought a fork lift and flats and the other 3 helped me load the truck. They handed me the boxes and I arranged them. We decided to do it that way because when they tried putting the boxes down themselves they kept not following the pattern in order to keep them from falling over.

The only reason they did it from what I understood is because they couldn't start cleaning up the COBO till we left and they wanted to get home. From what I have heard, the guy I worked for didn't have to pay.

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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby Blazegryph » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:56 pm

As said before, I understand the points that Medieval brought up, as well as those brought up by other staff. However I also 100% agree with pyrrhicvictini. Points are being knocked down throughout this thread, but I think these things are just part of a convention growing (growing pains, if you will). Maybe ticket price will have to increase a little, maybe programming will be shifted around some, but if it allows Youmacon to grow and run super smoothly, is it not worth it?

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Re: Youmacon 2012 Official Feedback

Postby MugzieIsGir » Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:40 pm

Oh the disappointment that was this years Youma. The Cobo split up... I didn't like the idea, I spent a lot of my time traveling between RenCen and Cobo. I missed a lot of panels that I wanted to go to... (and trust me, there weren't that many I wanted to see this year) because of it. AND WHY did you hide the Artist Alley behind the dealers room?! They need a place that gets a lot of traffic where people can see them. I'm so glad I didn't get a table this year... I might have been pissed.

And then I felt bad for the venders because they couldn't sell food this year thanks to this choice to stick them in Cobo. Cobo would have charged them double the price to sell food. So that meant, no pocky, no ramune, no panda cookies... NOTHING. That made me disappointed even more to find out that I wasn't even going to get any melon bread.

Just didn't feel the same this year. But I one thing I did like about this year, the way they arranged the line for the Masquerade. It was awesome despite the fact I didn't have a good time this year.

AND PLEASE START MAILING OUT THE BADGES, WE CAN PAY A LITTLE EXTRA FOR POSTAGE... THE PRE-REG LINE WAS LONGER THAN THE REG LINE. Which was cool because for once I didn't pre-reg.
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