Official Youmacon 2014 Feedback thread.

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

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Neophoton
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Re: Official Youmacon 2014 Feedback thread.

Postby Neophoton » Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:08 pm

Agreed on the forums, namely for the video game section. Questions were being posted and nobody was answering anything for the Pokemon tournament regarding a proper ruleset -- There was a fan-made set that was posted, but a mod just blanked it out completely and gave us nothing to work with while not responding to anything. Actually, I don't think anyone even verified any questions for the other tournaments either. I highly suggest getting more active staff on the forums since some of us were popping questions well over a month in advance with no answers.

It didn't help when the TO never showed up at the actual (Pokemon) tournament, so I'd say try to find better means of organizing that stuff and verifying TOs will be there at their schedule tournaments. I, and plenty of other people sat around for a good 30 minutes waiting on it to start in the gaming room just because TO never bothered to show up.

Aside from that, the panels seemed kinda few in numbers compared to last year.

Otherwise, lines were handled very well and the dealer's room was also very organized.

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Re: Official Youmacon 2014 Feedback thread.

Postby toristapes » Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:15 pm

ObeyLynn wrote:I was really happy with it, since it was my first con. I was just dissapointed that with all their fighting video games there wasn't Soul Calibur at all, :( as big as it is.


They had it on Friday! They had Soul Calibur V for a few hours. I was SO disappointed when I showed up on Saturday to play in my Tira cosplay and it was replaced.

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Re: Official Youmacon 2014 Feedback thread.

Postby drizleo » Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:09 pm

My official complaint for right now is the handling of the Sunday Steve Blum line and how it was capped

I paid for plat( which if you do the math is basically the amount of 2-3 3 day badges/ x amount of 1 day badges) to get the early access to autographs like JYB and Blums and many other guest who were new( to my 3 years in visiting youmacon)/ returning in youmacons 10 years.

To learn that I nor any other plat badge holders that were getting there around 9:45-10:00 AM couldn't get in line because a line filled with a mixure of few plats/ 3 Days/ and here's the kicker 1 DAY badges had those spots was kinda a slap in the face to us. I mean what was the point of issuing out an equal amount of plat badges to the number of 3 day badges if 1. 1 day badge holders were able to take advantage of capped lines Now if someone would've took the time to make a post on social media about the line cap for blum I wouldn't even had been mad because someone couldn't be mad about something that's fair game/fair play via social media. ( ex for those who don't understand what I'm saying http://prntscr.com/52rkek)

Other complaints: Saturday in how the Line for Todd/JYB/Patrick was operated
The lady who was helping run the line was very tactful in how she operated it. in a sense that she neglected to see where the plat line ended and when she started pulling out people who wanted to see just one person She instantly pulled out 3 Days and in turn made the plat line EVEN longer then when called out about it it was like she forgot the plat line was even that long "Oh we've never had this many plats in a line before whoops"
Also There was a group of bleach cosplayers whom I'll consider very rude as well. They decided to take up a good 10-15 minutes of JYB's time to present him with something. Where was the staffer to prevent that from happening? Heck Who would even do that considering there's other people who wants to get his autograph. So thanks to that when the rest of the plats( and 3 days who managed to get in due to the screw up) got to JYB the autograph limit went from 2 to 1 because (which is totally understandable and not his fault because a youmacon staffer should've prevented the bleach group from doing what they did) Jyb had to be at the sailor moon panel it just feels like plats got screwed over and this whole Equal amount pre-reg thing that went on leading up to youmacon

The AoT Panel that went on at the same time as the TFS+18 panel
Apparently that AoT 18+ Panel Wasn't suppose to be 18+ and The Guest(Whom confirmed this at Brads Q&A) said she had emailed them Prior to the convention even starting and said No she didn't want it to be 18+ because SHE knew there was nothing really 18+ and also knew there was younger people who wanted to come to that panel.

All in all It seems like the Dedicated Staff members who manage to juggle getting Youmacon ready and working a 9-5 or even 9-7 to make a normal living have to deal with the complaining because the ones "who just signed up for the free entry" decided to go all Dash-con on us

Dealers room was great found a lot of new and rare figures Even if the amount of taxes charges ( was totally wrong)
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Re: Official Youmacon 2014 Feedback thread.

Postby Bootlegspiderman » Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:10 pm

I enjoyed myself but here's a few things I have an issue with:

Having to carry around my ID to every 18+ event, even though it is painfully obvious I am not 17. which is why I didn't attend the panels because it wasn't worth the identity theft. If I have to show ID to register then I should have a colored badge illustrating that I am an adult. Carrying around personal information, while wearing a custom makes it too easy to loose it or have it stolen. The worse that could happen is an id swap, which is a petty considering its on par with a kid sneaking into a rate r movie.

Game room sucked...it sucked hard.

And last, as I entered the closing ceremonies I couldn't help but feel unappreciated as an attendee. They spent an hour and a half patting each other on the back and honoring guest. I know this may come off inconsiderate of the hard work of volunteers and guest but it's not an honor for us to be graced by their presence. They should feel honored that we, the attendees value them enough to keep them relevant. The closing ceremonies should be one big thank you to the attendees. Not just because we keep the con profitable and people employed but more importantly because the people that attend these events are awesome people. I did not attend one panel and completely had a ball hanging out with cool people. When the con was first envisioned, it was these people it catered to and these awesome people that kept it going,that saved our money all year to stay at an over priced hotel, just for three days to let our inner awesome shine with others like us.

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Re: Official Youmacon 2014 Feedback thread.

Postby Donovon2001 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:39 pm

I'd like to file a complaint about Youmacon.

My complaint is that it doesn't last long enough.

First night away from Youmacon is always the saddest.
Did everyone have a good year?

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Re: Official Youmacon 2014 Feedback thread.

Postby Kasrkraw » Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:51 pm

My biggest complaint? The con is too **** far away.

Onto some serious feedback...

Schedules
The lack of, rather. Where were they guys? We couldn't find any print versions and digital copies of the schedule went up really, really late. I know that most people have access to the internet on their phones these days, but some physical schedules would have been very useful, even if they were just posted and not distributed to con-goers.

EDIT:

Forum and related
Keep this up to date in the future please.
"Your response has been recorded. Thank you for filling out the Youmacon 2012 feedback form. We hope to see you next year!"
^ and update all of your forms, pages, etc.

That's all really for Youmacon in particular.
I wish that Youmacon also had some sort of guide for hotel selection as well as information regarding interesting restaurants, locations, etc. in the area. Having family in the area I knew of many good restaurants so I could lead my group of people to them, but I heard a lot of complaints about limited food (such as the expensive slop found in the Food Court) and was wondering why people simply didn't take the people mover or walk to another part of the city where there are plenty of restaurants with better food for less money.
Last edited by Kasrkraw on Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Official Youmacon 2014 Feedback thread.

Postby Sally » Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:53 pm

Bootlegspiderman wrote:I enjoyed myself but here's a few things I have an issue with:

Having to carry around my ID to every 18+ event, even though it is painfully obvious I am not 17. which is why I didn't attend the panels because it wasn't worth the identity theft. If I have to show ID to register then I should have a colored badge illustrating that I am an adult. Carrying around personal information, while wearing a custom makes it too easy to loose it or have it stolen. The worse that could happen is an id swap, which is a petty considering its on par with a kid sneaking into a rate r movie.


It's actually Michigan law that if people are hosting an event that requires people to be legal adults to attend, they have to show a government photo ID.

If you want to complain about it in the hopes that something will get done about it, complain about it to a state representative, not Youmacon.

I carry my ID around me all the time - in my purse, in a bag, in my pocket, whatever. If I get in some sort of accident and I need to be identified, my ID is right there. I even carried around my health insurance card, just in case. If you want to keep your ID safe while you're in cosplay, either attach pockets to your costume (not always possible, but it's still a suggestion), or carry a bag with you. If you keep your bag on you and watch it like a hawk, which I am used to doing since I have a near-paranoia of my stuff getting stolen, then you'll be fine.

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Re: Official Youmacon 2014 Feedback thread.

Postby NIQ9 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:00 pm

I spent most of my time at the con in the arcade gaming room. I have no issues with that room at all, really. I tried to enter the console room a few times and literally every time I did, it was beyond crowded. Meanwhile, the tabletop room next door had a ton of vacant space. I think next year, the console room should take up both of the Ontario rooms and tabletop should be moved to a smaller room elsewhere. The arcade games being in a separate room was nice. That room was the perfect size.

And yeah, you can't just show up to a Pokemon tournament without knowing what the rules are. A VGC team might not work/be legal in a Smogon OU match. Pokemon teams take time to make. There could have been better communication for that.

Also, more people should enter the DDR tournament next year :P

@Bemani Invasion: Maybe hold a SDVX tournament next year too. That could be fun!

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Re: Official Youmacon 2014 Feedback thread.

Postby ECIII » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:21 pm

This was my first year, and i had a blast, it was sooooo much fun. Definitly coming back next year for sure. :bow:

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Re: Official Youmacon 2014 Feedback thread.

Postby ketchupgirl » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:22 pm

The graphic design this year was weak. What was that poor excuse for a program? No schedule or even cover art? Also, I missed having the panel descriptions. They could have at least been on a page attached to the print-out schedule.

I also wish there had been more panels. While the half-hour gaps were convenient, I felt like 90 minutes was too much for some of the panels and I missed the huge selection of panels at past cons. Panels are the main reason I go to conventions to begin with.

And about the ID thing: the way they did it at Collosalcon was that if you wanted, you could take your photo ID up to a table (close to registration with no line) and once they checked that, you'd get a wristband proving you were 18. Less hassle at the door, and ofc if you didn't want to ruin your cosplay with a neon green bracelet you could still go the normal photo ID route. I liked this system a lot. (Then again, this was in Ohio and I don't know if Michigan law would allow this.)

Still a great convention though. I'll definitely be returning next year!

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Re: Official Youmacon 2014 Feedback thread.

Postby Thirroxin » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:57 pm

Registration - Fine, just as any other year except now we are carded to prove age? Heavily inconvenient seeing as my wife lives 7 hours away in Canada and did not have her passport on her. Other then that, patience is the name of the game. Standard stuff.

Pamphlet - Looked rushed. No schedule, it had to be attached to another sheet which contained numerous panel names cut-off from full title. New Youmacon book was a terrible failure. Previous years nailed it.

Panels - The gap between panels was nice, but it really limited the number of panels available. For the best I would have to say.

Identification - This one was an annoyance. Never have we been ID'd to enter a panel before, yet this year we tried to enter a panel by Ken Pontac and were not able to enter because my wife did not have her passport with her (since in previous years it was a non issue). Our fault for not carrying it for an "in-case" scenario, but also ridiculous in my eyes seeing as I got her INTO the con by signing a consent form.

Game Room - This one gets worse and worse every year. Multiple problems here. The casual gaming experience is part of the con, and now it is overrun by hardcore gamers yelling at each other in tournaments held ALL WEEKEND LONG. Say for example I wanted to play a casual game of Smash Brothers with my friend (which we did attempt to do). First, you have to fight through the narrow hallway leading to the game room to then only be blocked my a colossal entity of others blocking every pathway in sight. Now you have to fight tooth and nail (arguably for dear life) to make your way to a console that is available with said game to have one of three events happen....

1) Tournament in progress. Gaming option is void.

2) Other casual players take control of the console and have never learned the "sharing" lesson in childhood.
or
3) You DO get a chance to play said game after an hour of fighting to stay standing, however, having learned the "sharing" lesson as child, I now pass my controller to someone else to repeat these options yet again.

The only thing I can say here is to either get more consoles in a larger room, or make a separate game room for all the tournament attendees to go.

Dealer's Room - Good as usual.

Autographs - This was a heavy failure. I now have to wait in the same line as anyone who wants to see another (or all other) people offering autographs. Platimum badges go first and play 21 questions with each and every panel member, and then all the people in front of me do the same. I waited for 2 hours to get a signature from Ken Pontac, when he was the ONLY person in the con i wanted it from simply because 4 other people offered autographs first. 50% of the time Ken was alone and messing around in downtime while everyone chatted the other attendees ears off. Failure.... failure... failure...

All in all, previous years were far better in organization in every aspect. :?

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Re: Official Youmacon 2014 Feedback thread.

Postby roxii » Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:35 pm

This was my 2nd Youmacon, and I had a ton of fun. Some of my comments -

Panels - The gap was nice, but I really missed the variety of panels available. Panels are the main reasons I go to cons, and I was only interested in a couple of them this year. I wish that the panel descriptions were in the schedule book, or at least on the schedule print-out. Also, lines were pretty disorganized (in Cobo). I had to keep asking people if I was in the correct line.

Dealers/Artist Alley - The vendors area was spaced out nicely, and many were suuuper nice! Artist Alley was very cramped though.

Autographs - Lines were pretty bad. I had no idea where to line up, and had to ask people, who weren't completely sure themselves. On Saturday, I was also lined up a half-hour early for the JYB/Haberkorn/Glass/Seitz/etc session and the line was capped. I realize that I probably should have got there earlier, but I was standing in line for 20 minutes before a staff-member told us it was capped.


I am wondering if it is possible to just have all of the panels in Cobo, and everything else in Ren Cen? The gap could then be shorter (maybe 10-15 minutes), and maybe the people mover wouldn't be as crowded. I honestly have no idea, but the whole situation with panels was disappointing.

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Re: Official Youmacon 2014 Feedback thread.

Postby Jennifer337 » Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:06 am

This was my 6th year at Youmacon and I had a great time, with very few issues.

As far as good things go, registration went smoothly, and I thought the dealers/artist alley was excellent. Going back and forth between the Cobo and RenCen was no problem at all, and overall the Marriott elevators weren't too much of a pain (except for Sunday morning, but what's new?) I liked the 30 minutes between panels as I didn't have to rush from one to the other, however it didn't seem to stop things from starting late - two panels I went to still started 20+ minutes late. But everything I attended was very enjoyable.

I'm not sure how I feel about all panels being an hour and a half long now. Weren't they all originally an hour, with the exception of larger events? I think the hour and a half worked well for some (guests panels and events mostly), but everything being that long plus the new half hour between them made the schedule look very bare. Photoshoots were a bit of a mess too due to the whole official vs unofficial photoshoot list, I usually go to a bunch of them (I'm a photographer) but only went to two this year due to not knowing which ones would have a large turnout. I was also sad about the Final Fantasy shoots being late at night Friday, I've gone to them every year but had to miss them this year because I was at the concert. Really not into the idea of photoshoots running until midnight.

The guidebook confused me. While the separate schedule was nice, I didn't understand why it wasn't in the book itself as well. And no panel descriptions whatsoever? Even if you looked at the online schedule, only a portion of the events had any kind of description. I imagine having no summary of what panels are about can be confusing to people new to the con and in general, because sometimes the titles really aren't enough. Oh, and people really shouldn't be told to "just look at the online schedule" (which I heard a lot) when they already have (or should have) a physical copy. Attendees shouldn't have to look at multiple versions of a schedule to get the info they need, everything should be included in the book.

One last thing that bothered me, was seeing hungry guests. One panel I attended started twenty minutes late due to the guests having to rush to get food beforehand, because they apparently hadn't been given time earlier to eat. The next day I went to a panel that was supposed to feature about six guests, but three of them left after about 15 minutes to get food and never returned, and a fourth one spent much of the panel eating in the corner of the room and not participating in the discussion. I don't blame them because they need to eat, but it concerned me a bit.
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Re: Official Youmacon 2014 Feedback thread.

Postby Time Lady Katie » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:15 am

I have been going to Youmacon for five years and have run fairly popular panels for three. I also plan to, after Wednesday, do a write-up for the Lily Girls website about the convention which may cover a few of these topics in brief so if you'd like to think of it that way, this is me giving Youma fair chance to comment on any point raised herein.

TL;DR Pros: Cooldown time between panels, Lauren is awesome, panel runtime was convenient (for my programming)
TL;DR Cons: Obvious scheduling problems are obvious, official photoshoot a bit mistreated by the con, fewer panel options in general, very "one size fits all" approach to panel programming, staff ignored the forums


I could rant at length about the scheduling problems, but they all stem from the panel scheduling delays - hence two photoshoot lists, hence weird official photoshoot times, hence no physical schedule, hence the TVs by the elevators using outdated information, hence, hence, hence - but it really is the most important thing the convention needs to address next year.

Another stumble that needs mention is this: the Final Fantasy VII+ shoot was utterly ignored by staff, who literally ran a panel line through the middle of the shoot. Twice. It was a MASSIVE insult to cosplayers to be deprioritized so extremely that the con literally preferred a line to a photoshoot, one that was put in a place that was predictably inconvenient. There's a lot of arguments to make about the official and unofficial schedules' pros and cons, but I ran an unofficial shoot and I didn't put it somewhere where I was certain to create conflicts.

I don't think all panels need the hour and a half, but mine certainly benefited greatly form the extra time. Atelier Juu and Katie, Lily Girls and Talk Yuri all had enough content to fill the additional half hour and I know from attendance that She's my Waifu did as well. I'd broadly categorize this as a positive change, but would suggest going forward just making the runtime of panels in increments of half an hour rather than full hours. It seemed the hour-and-a-half was applied rather uniformly, a situation I'd probably attribute to the aforementioned scheduling hiccup-turned-faceplant, while I believe that some panels are best at one or two hours. Though, again, the new runtime length worked wonders for me.

Another thing I have to say is that the half-hour "cooldown" between panels is a form of truly inspired magic that I previously thought unattainable. Set-up was actually convenient, I wasn't ever delayed by a previous panelist, and I was able to have a casual and relaxing tear-down as well. Seriously, pats on the back to everyone involved in that decision. Hands down this is the best change Youmacon has made over last year.

That did contribute to less overall panel programming than in years past. I feel pretty elite to have gotten decent rooms this year, but it seems like getting a panel at all was tougher. Certain things excluded, and I'm sure you probably already are aware of a bit of a wreck of a panel that I'm thinking of, the people running stuff this year seemed to be the top-tier of panelists. Which is cool, but I remember when that wasn't me, so I feel a little bad that the process is much more competitive than it used to be. I think allowing people to tailor their runtime more closely to their panel might alleviate that somewhat, and so is the trend of expanding Thursday programming, but is gaining more meeting rooms in Cobo prohibitively difficult? We seemed to move a lot of the convention's focus back to RenCen this year and I'm wondering if that was intentional? Just some questions that might help us continue expanding live events.

Guests and dealers are the bones of a con, but it's photoshoots and panels that are the flesh and muscles. We fill things out, and while the guests and dealers draw people in, I argue that we are what lingers after the convention is over. Time is the greatest commodity for a con, but if we can find other ways to expand the draw-in without reducing the breadth of panels, that's a good avenue.

There was also some real problems with communication, particularly on the forums. I remember once posting "Why have the forums at all if you don't intend to use them, Youma?" It seems almost all convention communications were handled predominantly on Facebook. I honestly joined the unofficial group because of the perception that staff had jumped ship on the forum altogether! Facebook is a convenient avenue to reach audiences and I'm as guilty of neglecting my website in favor of my panel group's Facebook page too, but the difference is I don't have a forum. Ostensibly, this should be the preferred point of contact, or at the very least an effective one. Otherwise, it has stopped serving its purpose. If staff isn't frequenting this place it should be noted to be 'no longer supported' or in some other way advise posters here that the con has stopped listening. Otherwise, it's important when moving forward to rededicate at least some attention back here.

Also I have to give you all credit for dealing with our - especially my - annoyances. Things were falling apart and we were panicking and, yes, Youma probably deserved a lot of the flack it got from us before the doors opened. A lot of those complaints were serious, and still are important issues the convention has to address. But I know of a certain other major midwestern convention that has revoked my badge for being critical of their staff in the past year, but despite some, at times serious, arguments over the validity of concerns people were expressing Youma's staff remained helpful, courteous and responsive in other areas. There was not a shred of the petty grudges that I've seen other cons hold or the random abuses of power I've seen other staffs execute. It'd have been easier to deny my panels because I'm annoying and you don't want to deal with me, but Youma was too professional for that. Special shout-out to Lauren on this particular; you're a champion and I swear you're probably the reason this year and last year had live events that functioned at all. Things were tough, but you're the person I trust most to make it all come together.


One last point, not about the con but about an argument raised here in this thread.
In re: identification: I run an 18+ panel and I like knowing my audience is getting carded. Yes, it slows the line down. Yes, it isn't convenient. Yes, as an attendee it's an annoyance. Yes, costumes never have pockets. I know all these things. But I can't run the panel I want to run unless I know, know, you're all able to actually be there. This isn't an area where we can wink and nod and pretend it's okay, this is something where if you get in and aren't 18 it's gotta be you doing something illegal and not me. And if one person gets carded, everyone has to. Those are the breaks. It isn't just a matter of state law, though that's part of it, it's a matter of my ability to do my job as a panelist.
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Re: Official Youmacon 2014 Feedback thread.

Postby Melima331 » Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:17 am

Thirroxin wrote:
Game Room - This one gets worse and worse every year. Multiple problems here. The casual gaming experience is part of the con, and now it is overrun by hardcore gamers yelling at each other in tournaments held ALL WEEKEND LONG. Say for example I wanted to play a casual game of Smash Brothers with my friend (which we did attempt to do). First, you have to fight through the narrow hallway leading to the game room to then only be blocked my a colossal entity of others blocking every pathway in sight. Now you have to fight tooth and nail (arguably for dear life) to make your way to a console that is available with said game to have one of three events happen....

1) Tournament in progress. Gaming option is void.

2) Other casual players take control of the console and have never learned the "sharing" lesson in childhood.
or
3) You DO get a chance to play said game after an hour of fighting to stay standing, however, having learned the "sharing" lesson as child, I now pass my controller to someone else to repeat these options yet again.

The only thing I can say here is to either get more consoles in a larger room, or make a separate game room for all the tournament attendees to go.
:?


I totally agree with people hogging the games, especially fighting games. I know it's not the con's fault for rude people, but I've noticed an increase in this in the last few years. The basic rule for fighting games is the losing player gives their controller to someone waiting in line. It's always been that way in arcades. However, people will sit and play the games for hours and not switch. I know they saw us standing there, but continued to ignore us. I am not an aggressive person, so I didn't want to force my way in there, but people should at least have the common courtesy to ask someone standing in a line behind them. Although I've noticed this increase in rude people everywhere, not just the con, which is sad....
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