Youmacon 2013 Official Feedback

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

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Himeno
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Re: Youmacon 2013 Official Feedback

Postby Himeno » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:46 pm

Medieval wrote:This exactly, keeping those rooms open after con just isn't feasable for us in tech, the venue already has the space sold to another event the following day so we have to have everything out of the space or face fines from the venue. Throw in having to work on the unions schedule in some parts and it gets even more time sensitive to be out by certain times.

I'd like to know why nothing, besides a couple of screenings, happens on Friday morning. Everything is set up on Thursday with much of the event space in use on Thursday night. Events start by 9am on Sat and Sun, why start at noon on Fri?

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Re: Youmacon 2013 Official Feedback

Postby Kagthul » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:51 pm

Himeno wrote:
Medieval wrote:This exactly, keeping those rooms open after con just isn't feasable for us in tech, the venue already has the space sold to another event the following day so we have to have everything out of the space or face fines from the venue. Throw in having to work on the unions schedule in some parts and it gets even more time sensitive to be out by certain times.

I'd like to know why nothing, besides a couple of screenings, happens on Friday morning. Everything is set up on Thursday with much of the event space in use on Thursday night. Events start by 9am on Sat and Sun, why start at noon on Fri?


Because that is when Reg opens. Thu is a "freebie" night, but programing on friday doesnt start until someone could actually have a badge.
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Re: Youmacon 2013 Official Feedback

Postby heavens-punisher » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:15 pm

the cobo staff was really nice and i loved how the registration went so fast. the dealers room again was very welcoming since it was so open and i loved how big the game room was.

what i didnt like was the panel timing. many times i seen staff stop the panel so they could start the next but then they would start the next panel 10-15 min late. perfect example was when D.C Douglas had his erotic wesker reading panel. They didnt hesitate to cut it off when the time was up but then they started the next panel which was voice actors after dark 20 min late which only gave them 40 min to do there thing. kinda unfair and a tad BS.

the autograph lines on saturday was total chaos. security let me a normal 3-day run the line and organize it. only then did staff step in once i had it organized :?

i know youma cant fix this but the DTP were totally rude. they forced many people out of the People mover and shouting to "go left" and such. i still have no idea what all that was about
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Re: Youmacon 2013 Official Feedback

Postby Kazuma » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:16 pm

Greetings to all. This year's youmacon was good this year with a few up's and down's (sorry if it's distorted).

I loved how fast how the pre reg line went this year but two down sides came with this.

1) The badge is generic, boring, and had no nick names or other distinctive features to help identify who's badge is who's, so if a badge gets swiped, you are out of luck. I had heard that the badges would be very hard to counterfeit/copy, but who needs to forge a badge when you can just swipe someone else's? Any badge that got lost or stolen could be easily clipped on and used by someone lucky enough find it, or nasty enough to take it and not give it back.

2) I almost got ****ed out of a platinum badge this year. My registration person tried to give me a 3 day badge and said that is what I was suppose to get, even though my confirmation email and QR code said otherwise, and I almost got ****ed out of my extra perks like my ticket to the maid café and t-shirt! Thank goodness for the Registration head who made sure me and my companion both got our vouchers (Thank you Greyshift!). Staff there need to be better informed, or at least pay a bit more attention to what they are doing, but I can't forgive the fact that he tried to give me a down grade from what I paid.

The people mover pass was great for 5 dollars. I was able to use the people mover all weekend, again three down sides to this though.

1) Crowds at the people mover was a bit much but I was able to make the best of this and still use it all weekend.

2) Homeless people trying to get money from people going to the people mover and pretty much making the situation there uncomfortable.

3) Some of the stops were unnecessarily long. Areas like Brick Town or the casino station seemed rather lengthy. I understand that this is not Youmacon's doing, but maybe a word with the DPM staff to let them know that most people who attend are either too young to gamble, or are more into the convention locations. The only people I saw get off or on at Greektown were either staying at that location, or going there to eat.

Panels were a love and hate relationship. On one hand I had a blast at the panels that I could make. The bad is that some of the people that were to run the panels did not show up, and internet access was restricted. The ugly was when panels got canceled or moved, I had no way to know. Without an android phone I did not know that panels were canceled or moved until I was at the site where it was to be held. My fault for not being technology advanced >:P

The Loverin Tamburin concert was amazing! I loved this group that youmacon has brought to us and hope that they bring them back next year as well.

The Dealers room was very big this year, great for packing in large crowds of people and a lot of variety of stuff to buy, but I did not really find much this year and did not spend a cent in the dealers room for a lack of interesting things to purchase. That, or anything good was out of my budget.

No matter what happens I look the other way and see the better side of youma (except the pre reg incident), I have been going to youma since 2006 and I want to continue to go back. I hope that my info was helpful and don't take my comments the wrong way I'm just speaking my mind is all.

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Re: Youmacon 2013 Official Feedback

Postby Midnight Raine » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:58 pm

I have to say that I was quite impressed by this year. I wasn't expecting much and I was pleasantly surprised. There were lots of great cosplays, people were friendly...

In terms of con operations, the panel stuff - badge pickup, tech, scheduling - was entirely seamless. I was a little irked that a good number of people were turned away from my panels, including a number of people already in the room who were asked to leave due to capacity restrictions; the panel room they gave me was unusually small, and I did indicate expected size on the application.

One part of Youmacon, that I've always enjoyed, remains; the generally laid-back security, focused on relevant issues. I didn't get any flak about my obviously-fake airsoft gun while doing my Leon cosplay, and my friend didn't get any lectures about his bat, either. Keep this up! Don't go down the path of a certain few other cons, getting uptight about every little thing; seems like some have lost a lot of attendees over that sort of thing.

That's all I have. Overall, good job.

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Re: Youmacon 2013 Official Feedback

Postby CR YeehawMcKickass » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:11 pm

Kagthul wrote:
Tecinus Cephias wrote:Snipped for readability.


to be clear: tech doesn't pack out on monday. They pack out sunday night. My Video gaming guys do the same - we were there (i had to get home to my kid, but members of my team) till 12am-1am 'monday' mornings getting out of there, because the hotel had another event planned for that room at 10am the next day. Trust me when i say, the departments have to tear down as quickly as possible.



I'm one of the Arcade vendors, and believe me we'd love nothing more than to not have to kick people having fun off of games. Unfortunately, arcade games can take a while to pack up and move down to the docks. Not to mention that four of the five groups that brought games have travel times of more than two hours (Kdog has about 2.5, Credits Remaining is 5-6 moving back to central time, Bemani Invasion drives 16, and Wedoca goes somewhere back south of the Mason-Dixon line). We also have work that needs to be done when we get back with unloading and either setting all the games back up or putting them into storage.

I can't speak for Alpha Amusements. They're relatively local to Detroit.


Also, we love the freebie night in gaming too.

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Re: Youmacon 2013 Official Feedback

Postby Himeno » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:46 am

Kagthul wrote:
Himeno wrote:
Medieval wrote:This exactly, keeping those rooms open after con just isn't feasable for us in tech, the venue already has the space sold to another event the following day so we have to have everything out of the space or face fines from the venue. Throw in having to work on the unions schedule in some parts and it gets even more time sensitive to be out by certain times.

I'd like to know why nothing, besides a couple of screenings, happens on Friday morning. Everything is set up on Thursday with much of the event space in use on Thursday night. Events start by 9am on Sat and Sun, why start at noon on Fri?


Because that is when Reg opens. Thu is a "freebie" night, but programing on friday doesnt start until someone could actually have a badge.

^^;; that's not an answer. Why does reg open so late.
At any rate, many people do have badges on Fri morning. Those able to pick them up on Thursday.

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Re: Youmacon 2013 Official Feedback

Postby Himeno » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:48 am

heavens-punisher wrote:i know youma cant fix this but the DTP were totally rude. they forced many people out of the People mover and shouting to "go left" and such. i still have no idea what all that was about
Because people don't know how to use it and kept trying to exit through the entrance (much like people not knowing how to use elevators).

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Re: Youmacon 2013 Official Feedback

Postby Kagthul » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:10 am

Himeno wrote:
Kagthul wrote:
Because that is when Reg opens. Thu is a "freebie" night, but programing on friday doesnt start until someone could actually have a badge.

^^;; that's not an answer.


Actually, that is an answer. It isn't one you like, but it IS the answer.

Why does reg open so late.


Your definition of "late" and mine are different, i guess. Ive been to about a dozen cons where reg doesn't open till 5ish on Friday. Noon seems pretty solid for me... and early. Anime cons are different, i guess, where a larger percentage of the attendance isnt tied up at a job or other responsibility, given the average age. Also, a lot of the reg *staffers* have jobs and cant get to the con super-early on friday either.

At any rate, many people do have badges on Fri morning. Those able to pick them up on Thursday.


Which amount to about ~15% of the total attendance... so even if EVERY pre-reg picked up their badge thursday, you expect the con to spend money and time on putting on content for less than 15% of the attendance. That's not terribly realistic....

but, i might add, there IS stuff to friday mornings... Video Gaming and Tabletop Gaming are open Thursday evening and dont close until Sunday.
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You should go there and check us out. Maybe say hi on the forums. Maybe convince other cons you go to that they need us. =)

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Re: Youmacon 2013 Official Feedback

Postby Caffeine » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:18 am

Third year attending, second with a platinum badge


Pros:

  • Registration MUCH better, still could have used some more booths, but its a vast improvement
  • Felt more connected this year
  • Panels and Game Room great as always
  • Had zero issues with the elevators this year
  • None of the wrist band garbage that happened last year

Cons:
  • No names/codes on badges, if I lose mine and someone does turn it in...how am I supposed to claim it?
  • While it felt more connected...its still disjointed, growing more and filling up more of the cobo will help make it feel like one big con than two
  • AA was half empty, did people not show up and fill all the spots? I know I had been considering getting a booth, but I avoided it due to AA being in the Cobo, and I know I'm not alone in that regard
  • Misprints in the con book, Friday photoshoots were off by one hour between the actual photoshoots page, and the time block in the scheduler
  • Trying to get to Cobo if you have any sort of bulky / delicate costume is very difficult, you either brave the weather or a crowded people mover

Suggestions
  • Why no panel space at the courtyard across the street? Ive heard a few rumors that amount to 'they want nothing to do with the con', someone should be contacting their corporate and waving money in their face. Fairly sure a regional GM could come down on the hotel management to get in on things.
  • I still miss the AA bazaar that the con used to have...I know the lower ring of the Ren Center is largely unused and owned by GM, have we tried contacting them to rent that space out for a 'craft show', I would think throughout the year that things do happen down there, and someone has to be in charge of it. I would love to see AA move back to the Ren Center and give that other Cobo space for more dealers.
  • More panels at Cobo during the day, less panels at cobo at night
  • More photoshoot listings, and areas, there are two nooks above the winter garden that work great for small shoots, and the entire lower ring has various areas that could be designated shoot space
  • Do the businesses in the Ren Center know there's a con going on? It just seemed like things were closing early some nights...maybe some more communication would help. I would think that if I owned something in the food court I'd try to stay open 24 hours for the con.
  • There needs to be some kind of 3DS / Pokemon tournament next year

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Re: Youmacon 2013 Official Feedback

Postby mgperkow » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:21 am

Caffeine wrote:[*]No names/codes on badges, if I lose mine and someone does turn it in...how am I supposed to claim it?

Exactly what some of us have been saying for more than a month. I think what happened, from what I understand, is that Registration wanted to respond to the ridiculously long wait times we experienced last year by "stripping down" the process to the point where only the essentials were left (which, from what I understand, does seem to have sped up the registration process considerably). That probably does leave some things to be worked back in for future Youmacons. However, I can't say with any authority just what changes will be made as I am not in any way responsible for Registration at Youmacon, but I do know that your sentiment is shared by many, both among the staff and among the attendees, and the convention management is aware.

Caffeine wrote:[*]I still miss the AA bazaar that the con used to have...I know the lower ring of the Ren Center is largely unused and owned by GM, have we tried contacting them to rent that space out for a 'craft show', I would think throughout the year that things do happen down there, and someone has to be in charge of it. I would love to see AA move back to the Ren Center and give that other Cobo space for more dealers.

Are you referring to the level that has the GM car displays and the food court? If so, I know we definitely can't put anything on that level. GM has made that very clear. If you mean the level above, with the glass walkway, there is not enough room to be putting tables there.

Caffeine wrote:[*]Do the businesses in the Ren Center know there's a con going on? It just seemed like things were closing early some nights...maybe some more communication would help. I would think that if I owned something in the food court I'd try to stay open 24 hours for the con.

Yep, in fact, the Marriott worked with the restaurants and businesses for us in advance to make them aware of how many people were coming, and most did extend their normal hours, particularly on Friday and Saturday. However, for whatever reason, it didn't amount to 24 hours of openness for any of them as far as I know. Perhaps they just don't have the workers to do it, considering that they don't normally run anywhere close to the kind of hours that most of them gave us over the weekend.

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Re: Youmacon 2013 Official Feedback

Postby ISOS_Duke » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:43 am

mgperkow wrote:
Caffeine wrote:[*]No names/codes on badges, if I lose mine and someone does turn it in...how am I supposed to claim it?

Exactly what some of us have been saying for more than a month. I think what happened, from what I understand, is that Registration wanted to respond to the ridiculously long wait times we experienced last year by "stripping down" the process to the point where only the essentials were left (which, from what I understand, does seem to have sped up the registration process considerably). That probably does leave some things to be worked back in for future Youmacons. However, I can't say with any authority just what changes will be made as I am not in any way responsible for Registration at Youmacon, but I do know that your sentiment is shared by many, both among the staff and among the attendees, and the convention management is aware.


Would it be possible to have a single line, maybe two for Platinum members and then 2+ lines for pre-reg 3-day members? From what I saw (though I don't know the actual numbers), there weren't really too, too many platinum members, or at least it seemed that the 3-day people out numbered them greatly. The pre-reg lines could be split booth-wise depending on what type of pass was pre-reg'd for and then from there, split alphabetically (whether with last names or names on cards) so that way each booth would have the named passes for people ready to go?
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Re: Youmacon 2013 Official Feedback

Postby nenasakuramoon » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:44 am

Youmacon this yer was ok! But for next year I would like to see Japanese food
Like lemon bread, pocky, ramune and stuff I miss that!
Some of the panels were confusing !

I think there should be more photo shoots

I had a little trouble with the people mover
There was a guy asking around for money and getting off
Right before the stop to either the ren cen and cobo

Other then that I like Youma
And am looking forward for next year!

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Re: Youmacon 2013 Official Feedback

Postby Caffeine » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:47 am

mgperkow wrote:I think what happened, from what I understand, is that Registration wanted to respond to the ridiculously long wait times we experienced last year by "stripping down" the process to the point where only the essentials were left (which, from what I understand, does seem to have sped up the registration process considerably).


Easy fix, just have a blank area on the badge and leave a table full of sharpies to the side, let us do it after we pick up.


mgperkow wrote:Are you referring to the level that has the GM car displays and the food court? If so, I know we definitely can't put anything on that level. GM has made that very clear. If you mean the level above, with the glass walkway, there is not enough room to be putting tables there.


Yea I meant the lowest level, I absolutely loved it when it was up on the 4th floor, but from what I gather the hotel didn't like it and I do remember it being incredibly crowded. I would think at the con continues to grow you could continue to pressure GM into letting you use the space. Very big difference in negotiating power from the <10,000 when the con was first at the Ren Center to now pushing 15,000+, that's another $250,000 to wave around assuming an average badge price of $50.

Nothing wrong with continuing to ask and if you get stone-walled, trying some manager higher up the food chain. I'm sure someone in GM would like the nice press associated with helping a home grown convention bring more money to Detroit.


mgperkow wrote:However, for whatever reason, it didn't amount to 24 hours of openness for any of them as far as I know. Perhaps they just don't have the workers to do it, considering that they don't normally run anywhere close to the kind of hours that most of them gave us over the weekend.


That's unfortunate, I would have thought at least one of them given enough time/planning could have figured out how to schedule being open 24 hours. Maybe next year try contacting one of them directly and asking if its possible to be open 24 hours. Best bet in my opinion would be McDonalds.

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Re: Youmacon 2013 Official Feedback

Postby mgperkow » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:58 am

Caffeine wrote:
mgperkow wrote:Are you referring to the level that has the GM car displays and the food court? If so, I know we definitely can't put anything on that level. GM has made that very clear. If you mean the level above, with the glass walkway, there is not enough room to be putting tables there.


Yea I meant the lowest level, I absolutely loved it when it was up on the 4th floor, but from what I gather the hotel didn't like it and I do remember it being incredibly crowded. I would think at the con continues to grow you could continue to pressure GM into letting you use the space. Very big difference in negotiating power from the <10,000 when the con was first at the Ren Center to now pushing 15,000+, that's another $250,000 to wave around assuming an average badge price of $50.

Nothing wrong with continuing to ask and if you get stone-walled, trying some manager higher up the food chain. I'm sure someone in GM would like the nice press associated with helping a home grown convention bring more money to Detroit.

Actually, we're just a drop in the bucket compared to the kinds of budgets GM works with. And believe me, that extra $250,000 goes pretty fast when you consider expenses like taking care of our increasing numbers of staff for the weekend and paying our own subcontractors to put on a bigger and bigger show, so we actually don't have a whole lot of it left to be spending on additional space or to use as "leverage." As far as press, there actually hasn't been nearly so much public attention given to Youmacon as you might think, despite our efforts. The City of Detroit hasn't shown much interest in us, nor has the state of Michigan, or even GM itself for the most part. The local news seems to do a piece or two on us most years recently, but that's about as much public attention as we are usually able to attract.


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