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Proz
07-31-2011, 05:19 PM
Before, During, After. You know we want to hear all of it.

Just a big reminder because I have a feeling this will be a big issue:

We are not going to be at the Marriott anymore. We are picking up nearly double the space at the Convention Center & Grand Hyatt.

We were aware after SJ:3 that we've outgrown the Marriott and already did something about it. :)

Patches
08-02-2011, 12:21 AM
So is calling the SJ4 staff awesome feedback or a comment?

Proz
08-02-2011, 03:06 PM
So is calling the SJ4 staff awesome feedback or a comment?

Comments are appreciated too :)

Darth Sebastian
08-05-2011, 08:08 AM
Then let me say that the registration staff were especially nice and helpful last night.

RadElectropow
08-05-2011, 03:08 PM
RegStaff and Volunteers did do a great job last night.

Thank you for putting the snacks vendor in the Dealer Room and not the gaming room this year. Also have an Enter and Exit door is awesome.

Nagasama
08-05-2011, 10:21 PM
Ok. Friday night concerts running late.

I do not know what the issue was as im just a guest, but this throws my entire convention experience off.

One of the main reasons for coming this year was to see Kai n concert, but I could not stay too late, due to transportation issues.

The, delay with the performers made it so that me seeing the performance I came for was impossible.

Basically its like you buy a ticket to see something, and a performer arrives late, and screws everyone.

I mean what gives, was a band late, was staff late in setting up?

Totakeke
08-06-2011, 01:34 AM
Sorry for the delays. Truly sorry. We did our best to hurry and get everything ready. I litterally carried a heavy ass amp with all my might and energy from the basement around to the elevator and back around to the main events room to get things ready. I know its a bummer, but we did our best to get it done and I hope our efforts pleased a few at least.

Again, I'm sorry I couldn't have helped more to get it ready on time, but the team as a whole did their best to get it ready. Trust me when I say it isn't easy to set up the sound for live bands.

Nagasama
08-06-2011, 08:36 AM
Just a suggestion, but, wouldn't it be a good idea to try and find some volunteers on the muscle side of things to help out, or, maybe setup in advance?

The main ballroom/stage is huge, i can't imagine that what was used there prior to the first act could have precluded some of the first act's stuff being setup beforehand.

Cantu
08-06-2011, 08:57 PM
This was my first convention (celebrated as a late birthday). I cannot be happier how Friday morning went. The staff and volunteers handled all questions politely and the attendees were surprisingly respectful. I will go again next year, but within a group. I wonder if she'll be there...

randomizer9
08-06-2011, 11:30 PM
As far as the concerts running late; the sound was not set up on time which pushed everything back. We weren't able to even start sound check until well after the time we were supposed to start our performance. I have been hearing about various sound problems throughout the other performances, though, which is unfortunate, if its true.

Overall, I would have to say things are going well, but y'all are definitely going to need bigger panel rooms next year, the current rooms filled up way too quickly which made for lots of sad pandas that couldn't get in.

I am manning a table in Con Alley this year, and so I have a few observations about that area:

Between the usual crowd and the long lines for certain events, things get pretty packed here, which is expected, but it doesn't help when we have tables with DJ Hero setups and people doing card tricks which attract crowds and clog up the walkways even more. I'm all for finding creative ways to draw attention to one's table, but there should probably be some limits in the interest of keeping traffic flowing.
Also, there are zero to no security/volunteers keeping an eye on this area, so Con Alley became the place for people to goof around before the rave. It's 1130 as I type this, and earlier we had people running around, sleeping under tables and doing other stuff I believe is frowned upon at this con. It wasn't until people started lining up for the rave that folks started behaving themselves.

Then there's the 'street artist' guy doing caricatures which has me slightly irked.

Those quibbles aside, San Japan 4TW has been an awesomeburger covered in awesomesauce, as usual, and I will be a sad panda when its all over.

Sai-co
08-07-2011, 02:10 AM
Okay, We definitely need Egoraptor back next year. Also, his Egoraptor Live! panel should be one of the very last panels so that it can run as long as people are interested. We filled the room and everyone was sad to have to clear out for H-Fest. So yea, Please do that?

Also, HAWP may live in Texas. You should look into getting them to come. Anthony Burch works at Gearbox and their HQ is in Texas so, yea, they hopefully live in state. :D

Eli LoonSong
08-07-2011, 02:22 AM
I'll get one big, glaring thing out of the way: whoever provides the "yuri" obviously doesn't know what yuri means. A good number of people left the panel Friday night because the DVDs we'd been given were just straight-up hentai. :confused:

On to good things:

Almost all of the staff was very kind and helpful Friday/Saturday:biggrin:; there was a little grumpiness from the volunteers working late at night, but nothing that ruined the night for me. The volunteers working during the autograph signing today were insanely patient despite having to stand there for hours!

I'm VERY happy there was a snack table set up. I didn't feel like I had to walk all the way out of the con just to munch on something.

One thing I must ask: was it made very clear in the hotel/mall that there was a convention going on? I almost felt bad for the "normal" folk because they seemed so damn confused about what was going on...:rolleyes:

Darth Sebastian
08-07-2011, 11:23 AM
I gotta say, this con ran as smooth as a baby's bottom. The staff were super-nice, even really with their strict warnings. Did they receive an enormous crapload of pressure from the fire marshals?

I've sworn off anime conventions from here on out, but I gotta say, you guys did a great job.

Fynn
08-07-2011, 06:25 PM
I have to say that I am very excited to see how San Japan will be next year at the convention center! I am hoping to see more dealers, artists, panels, everything with all that space we'll have!

My only real feedback is about the dealers! I don't know if they read this, but hopefully they will. While I am not entirely disappointed with the dealer room, I want to see a better variety next year! My first con I went to, the first table by the entrance was FILLED with JRock/JPop CDs/Anime/Game Soundtracks. I would love to see dealers selling a good selection of CDs! Hopefully next year with more dealers will mean a better variety of things. A lot of the tables had the same stuff, so I felt there wasn't really much to pick from. Also would mind seeing merch from older anime like Wolf's Rain, Sailor Moon, .hack, etc (anime we watched when we first got into anime, basically). A lot of the merch this year catered to Hetalia fan base, which is disappointing. I know it sells, but I would like to see other stuff as well since I'm not in Hetalia. Would love to see more Sgt. Frog merch as well. :cool:


Also, I just remembered something. Hetalia fans with flag poles. STOP SWINGING YOUR FLAG POLES AROUND! I almost got hit several times in the face by some Italy because she couldn't keep her flag still while waiting in line (and continued to play fight with a Growlithe gijinka). Next time I will be more vocal about it. :mad:

minimoni96
08-07-2011, 06:41 PM
i really loved it. it was my first san japan, and all the people were extremely friendly.

however, there was only one thing that bothered me, and it was the elevators. me and my mom were checking out of the hotel, and we were waiting 15-20 minutes just to get an elevator that wasn't crowded. finally, we had enough and we ended up getting into the service elevators that the maids and room service people use.

but other than that one problem we had to face, i had fun and i'd love to come again next year. ^^

kyon5
08-07-2011, 07:07 PM
I loved the convention this year. I had fun and was glad on the variety of stuff we got to do upon getting there and that people were making sure the lines were set up properly.
Though despite having fun and what not I do have a few complaints. For one(This isn't anyone's fault... but a suggestion for next year) I think that there should be more Touhou related merchandise and Light novels in the dealer room. My friend was looking for certain Touhou characters, but upon going through the merchandise he wasn't able to find what he was looking for. He was looking for a Sakuya Plushie, but found no plushies of Touhou characters. He was only able to find the figurines, but that was anywhere from $80-150 and he didn't have the money to buy stuff for his friends from that. Also they should add Light novels to where their selling manga since both are commonly sought after.
Another problem I saw was not enough room to fit everyone in for the cosplay show. One of the biggest events at the convention and what most people had wanted to see. Also it wasn't good how easily everything became a fire hazard, but luckly the staff was able to assist with that and keep everything in line.
I hope San Japan 5 is great next year and anyone who finished reading this... Thank you for giving me your time(Also sorry if I have a lot of grammar mistakes.)

Ps: Also would be nice to see Shinichi Watanabe Return again next year.

GazeAddict
08-07-2011, 07:23 PM
This was my 4th time to San Japan! And traveled another 4 hours! Overall, Saturday was FUN!!! It was the only day I could go to...

Fridaywas pretty troublesome...first of all my family and I had to wait nearly an Hour for our room which was reserved 6 months in advance...Not sure if it was because of the population of the con or if it was just the Hotel workers...And also the parking lot was COMPLETLY full for the Marriot Hotel...and we had to park across the street...Was it also from the HUGE amount of visitors this year? But despite these issues...I saw some really awesome cosplayers walking around while I was waiting! So I was able to get some great photos! :biggrin:

Saturday Started off really great! The Staff and Volunteers were very nice and helpful in the Registration Room! The Dealers Room was full, as always, and had some really cute and interesting things...but the only thing I would love to see more of is J-Rock/J-Pop CD's! My sister and I did run into a few problems though...we lined up for the Autograph session but weren't able to attend the session because the line was so long and so was the Kingdom Hearts Fan Panel! And I really wanted to meet some of the Actors and attend the Kingdom Hearts Fan Panel...:( I really hope there will be enough room at the next con...

But I was able to get over 100 pictures of cosplayers and some videos!!! By having these I will always remember this con as an adventure! :)

Ceeney
08-07-2011, 07:33 PM
I definitely wanted to point out that the volunteers and staff at San Japan are some of the nicest and most helpful i've ever seen. At a few other cons i've been to (noticably A-Kon for some reason) some of the staff have been downright rude or sarcastic with me for no reason, but one of the things i've really noticed about San Japan is that everyone seems to keep their temper down and act very professionally despite the stress. Being strict and being rude can be two entirely different things, and everyone at San Japan seemed to keep everything in line without being disrespectful, and I really, really appreciate it!

amara
08-07-2011, 07:44 PM
This is a personal preference, but there were few panels for me to visit that I hadn't experience in the previous two years at the con (specifically cosplay related). However, the hotel was nice, and the con was as good as always. There were a few growing pains, but what con doesn't have those?

Totakeke
08-07-2011, 07:45 PM
Aww thanks, as a volunteer, I know they will all be greatful to read the nice compliments.

I think the issues with room capacity should be better with next year at the new venue.

The dealers sell what they sell. I would love to see a larger selection of j-rock cds, video games and Gundam merch. Hopefully they can read this and know what to stock up on.

I must add, I am very happy to have worked with many fine volunteers and the staff were very nice to me and everyone pulled together and worked hard. I actually was told to go find things to do because people were doing their jobs and had a good bit of everything taken care. There weren't many slackers, even though I did feel as if I could have done more, everyone did their fair share.

KotORBF2Revan
08-07-2011, 08:55 PM
I had a good time at San Japan. :) It was my first year going to San Japan, so I wasn't entirely sure to expect, but most of it was great.

However, I do have a couple complaints...

1. Like most of the people here, I would like to see more variation in the Dealer's room.
2. I personally felt like there really wasn't much for the under-17 crowd on Saturday night, but then again on Friday I wouldn't have noticed whether or not there was much for the under-17 people because I was focusing on the masquerade, as opposed to Saturday where I originally planned on karaoke but got bored of it quickly...

However, the good definitely outweighed the bad at this convention, and I plan to return next year. :)

MissPriss868
08-07-2011, 10:17 PM
This was also my very first con and I have to say I was super pleased at the even! While I couldn't attend much of the panels (due to being in the World Summit event which was still totally awesome!) I enjoyed a lot of what I saw and could do! Only two small complaints though.
1. Pre-registration lines. I was just a bit confused as to why that line went slower than the registration line (and a tad bit frustrated too).
2. Elevators, mainly due to how long it took to get one going up to the rooms sometimes.

Other than that, I had a great time and loved San Japan! I hope to see many of the people I met net year ^_^

MaggieTheCat
08-07-2011, 10:23 PM
I am speaking from the perspective of an artist from Artist Alley, not a general con-goer.

San Japan was great this year for us. I mean, really great. We did really, really well last year, especially considering SJ:3 was our first time vending at an anime convention. This year, we had a 60% increase in sales compared to last year, which is mighty impressive. My table was PACKED all day Friday and Saturday and most of the day Sunday. I barely had time to go to the bathroom, let alone see the rest of the con. I'm not complaining, since this was great for business.

All the volunteers I met were really nice. Friday and Saturday there were a few who stopped by periodically to ask if we needed anything, and they brought us lemonade and refilled out water bottles. We didn't see any on Sunday but that's okay, we may have just missed them since we didn't get to our table till around 11am.

I especially want to thank the two volunteers who helped us break down Sunday afternoon. I knew we were supposed to be out of there by 6 and was a little worried that we were not going to make it, since it was just my husband and I and we had a LOT of stuff. But two volunteers helped us break down our displays and haul everything downstairs, which was a tremendous help. I don't know their names, but if you guys are reading this, thank you again from Studio Sweet.

The line for the cosplay contest Saturday evening did block our table for a little while, but it wasn't as bad as it was last year (and we were in the same location as we were last year.) Even with the line blocking us off, we still had a little bit of traffic come through. I'm eager to see the layout of the AA next year in the new location.

One small suggestion I will make, is to maybe send a generic email to the artists a week or so before the con with all the standard info and reminders. On Thursday night when I was standing in line waiting to check in, a lot of the artists were surprised when check-in started at 8 instead of 9. Originally I believe check-in was going to be at 9 and it got changed somewhat last minute. I knew it was going to be at 8 because I lurk on the starcrossd.net boards, and I know that the time was changed in the FAQ, but a lot of the artists either don't visit those board or didn't check the FAQ right before showing up and so they didn't know about the time change. Also, a lot of them didn't realize that we were going to need to present our sales tax IDs during check-in. Even I was guilty of this one, but I do remember reading about it somewhere, either in the FAQ or during registration. But, registration was so long ago that I forgot, plus, since I entered my tax ID number when I registered, I didn't think I'd need my actual form until I started selling on Friday. Sending an email with reminders like this right before the con would be super-helpful and appreciated.

All in all, this was a great con (our best, sales-wise, BY FAR.) I really enjoyed meeting everyone who came by my booth and didn't have any trouble with anyone. I don't think we had anything swiped, I haven't noticed anything missing. Can't wait for SJ5.

Pedxing
08-07-2011, 10:41 PM
Feedback from me well all and all it was really good and everything was very convenient and ran smoothly and can't wait for next year but I sadly have only 1 complaint and I know there is not must the con can do about it but here it goes. Some times just walking around the stench of nerd sweat is just undying like I know that its the person fault but I think the con can help if in each of the bags you get at the beginning carry a small thing of deodorant or have fer-breeze ninjas running around spraying because that smell was unbearable at times. That is my only complaint of the con other then that amazing and can't wait til next year. :biggrin:

Totakeke
08-07-2011, 10:58 PM
Maggie, that was me that helped you(green tank top guy)

I am glad to be of assistance, not sure on the other fellow, but he did a great deed too.

skytherine
08-07-2011, 11:03 PM
I had a Really good time this year, This has been my Forth time at San-Japan.

I noticed at times that some of the safety staff appeared a little obnoxious to some guest when correcting actions; "No one's perfect". Rules were held and I saw no incidents exceeding to were someone was kicked out or local Marriott Hotel security had to come in.

The Pre-registration line was a little long but it went smooth.

I think there were signs that San-Japan needed to move out soon with the Friday dealer room line, and the cosplay line. After seeing the cosplay line pass the area were the Maid Cafe was; going all the way towards the panel rooms, is a Magical sign ^_^

Artist Gallery was really nice. I picked up some art work as well as commissions I had done. I didn't go into the dealers room much as I have way to much stuff and this year my theme was "Love you Artist" ^_^

I'll admit I was a little nervous about going to the Maid Cafe, My friend convinced me into checking it out. At first when I read about it I was like "oh man, all these rules and elegance guidelines to follow by -_-", but it was awesome! The staff was very nice and chill and I learned a thing or two about making perfect tea. ^_^

San-Japan, to me feels like a second home. I only hope as it grows that it still has that "Home feel to it".

Mr. Leon

Ceeney
08-07-2011, 11:14 PM
One small suggestion I will make, is to maybe send a generic email to the artists a week or so before the con with all the standard info and reminders. On Thursday night when I was standing in line waiting to check in, a lot of the artists were surprised when check-in started at 8 instead of 9. Originally I believe check-in was going to be at 9 and it got changed somewhat last minute. I knew it was going to be at 8 because I lurk on the starcrossd.net boards, and I know that the time was changed in the FAQ, but a lot of the artists either don't visit those board or didn't check the FAQ right before showing up and so they didn't know about the time change. Also, a lot of them didn't realize that we were going to need to present our sales tax IDs during check-in. Even I was guilty of this one, but I do remember reading about it somewhere, either in the FAQ or during registration. But, registration was so long ago that I forgot, plus, since I entered my tax ID number when I registered, I didn't think I'd need my actual form until I started selling on Friday. Sending an email with reminders like this right before the con would be super-helpful and appreciated.


This would have been helpful, I had no idea the check-in time was moved until now! And luckily I just happened to grab my tax ID for no reason before I left, but I didn't know for sure I needed it.Although the check-in time wasn't a problem since I got there early though, and I have no complaints at all about my table ~

alycan16
08-07-2011, 11:16 PM
the con over all was really good, just had some problems
- it had said that gold passes and silver passes would be allowed 30min early to main events, but staff said silver only had a 15min early access. that was kinda a bummber because we puchase the silver with the idea of having the 30min early access to not have to wait in line.
- people playing on the elevator. this got really annoying sometimes, like tea parties in the elevator, jumping and screaming, and farting T_T. i understand everyone goes to the convention to have fun because i do to, but the elevator is not a theme park ride. there were times when people were just riding the elevator up and down for fun and taking up space in the already crowded elevator. this was just a real downer for my group and myself. i really think we need elevator staff support for next year if it is possible.
like i said everything else was good, i hope there will be a bigger dealer room and artist alley.

Raishiroi
08-08-2011, 02:33 AM
To Proz and the rest of the SJ staff,

I would like to thank all of you for everything that you did to make this con work as well as it did. You had some truly amazing events and guests at this con and I was thrilled to be able to participate in the activities and events that you set up.

I have many good things to say about this con. The guests that you brought to this convention were all wonderful selections, and I hope that we are able to bring even more exciting guests to our beloved con next year. Additionally, the production values on the cosplay show were incredible! I could not believe that this was the same room from last year. It was the most professionally produced cosplay show that I have seen in my years as a con attendee. I can only hope that with a larger venue next year, that we will be able to accommodate more guests into the show at once, as I know that my finance and I lined up 30 mins before the start of the show and had to wait for about 45 minutes before enough people left for us to have a seat inside to watch the show.

Another big praise that I have for the con is how nice it was to have registration, the info desk, and the safety desk all within a reasonable distance of one another. At another con that I went to, they have info and registration in one building, but safety was in another building located in a small hallway near one of the entrances to the dealer room and artist alley, which made it very difficult to get your weapons checked. So thank you for having the three most important parts of the con altogether in one area. This is one thing I would please ask you to keep for SJ:5.

However, there were a couple of problems that I was hoping could somehow be fixed for next year. Aside from the overcrowding of events (which should be resolved by our larger venue), I was wondering if there would be some way to spread out the events more and have more events on Sunday? It just seemed like all the major events were crammed into Friday and Saturday, with hardly anything left over for Sunday. My fiancee and I both work during the week and are only able to attend on the two weekend days, and by the time we arrived on Saturday, it felt like the con was almost completely over because we had missed some of the major events that we had planned on attending (cosplay chess and Nabeshin autograph session) because they were both scheduled one of top of the other on Saturday morning.

Overall we were happy with the con, and I'm excited to see what changes having a larger venue with the HBG Center will bring!

Azalia
08-08-2011, 02:35 AM
i really loved it. it was my first san japan, and all the people were extremely friendly.

however, there was only one thing that bothered me, and it was the elevators. me and my mom were checking out of the hotel, and we were waiting 15-20 minutes just to get an elevator that wasn't crowded. finally, we had enough and we ended up getting into the service elevators that the maids and room service people use.

but other than that one problem we had to face, i had fun and i'd love to come again next year. ^^



2. Elevators, mainly due to how long it took to get one going up to the rooms sometimes.

The thing with the elevators, people were having elevator parties on them. It's not anyone's fault except the dummies that were doing it. What I suggest to the con staff is to monitor the elevators next year. A few friends and I were sitting outside the elevators, and the elevator party people were stopping at EVERY floor.

People don't have elevator parties, it's a safety hazard, time consuming, and overall stupid.

Azalia
08-08-2011, 03:11 AM
I had a very great time at San Japan this year. Last year I had said I wouldn't come back, but this year was the best by far. The volunteers, hotel staff, con staff, and police officers were very helpful, and friendly. It was a lot more organized then last year!

There were a few bumps, like the elevators (but I've discussed that already) also about the elevators, could there be some kind of Proper Way to Use an Elevator thing? There are a few people that seem to don't understand that when an elevator is at capacity, that it's at capacity. >.< There was a scary moment for me where the elevator started ringing, and I had to get off at the next floor (plus I'm slightly claustrophobic, and I absolutely hate elevators)

One thing that irked me was that in one of the lines they told us we could not sit down. I was wearing some boots, and I was standing in like for over an hour. There were a few people like me who were in cosplay, and their feet were killing them as well. I'd like to ask that next year, if there wouldn't be a problem of course, that we at least are able to sit on the floor. I know it's a lot to ask because it's a safety hazard, and you guys already spoil us as it is! xD A volunteer kindly gave me her seat though, and if she reads this thank you very much

Another bump was that a few of the panels we were turned away, but I figured that that will be solved next year when we're some place bigger!

Everything else was amazing! The cosplay show was handled ALOT better then last year, and there weren't too many mishaps! I love you guys! Thanks for providing me, and many of us with a wonderful con experience! Sorry if I'm nagging, but the elevators freak me out xD My makeshift cosplay group are already planning for next year! I can't wait!!!

Rai Kamishiro
08-08-2011, 04:27 AM
Hey, this is Rai Kamishiro.
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who showed up to the show, even with the delays. You guys really made this a special concert for me, and I hope you all enjoyed the show. To the people who couldn't make it, I'm very sorry that you missed the show, and hopefully I'll be back again some day.

My personal feedback, aside from the set up delays, I feel like the sound setup for the concerts could be improved, as apparently the monitors on the left went off line during the concert, and I had difficulty hearing things on stage. Also my set list was a little scrambled, so a bit more organization would have been nice.

That being said, the staff of San Japan were all amazingly helpful and nice, all of the attendees we met were incredibly friendly and nice. Thanks for all the memories San Japan, and I hope we will be able to come back again some day soon!

FatalFramed
08-08-2011, 04:38 AM
I'll say again, EGORAPTOR NEEDS TO COME BACK! His panels were fun, ESPECIALLY the art session + questions and trivia on Saturday night. He and his crew made me and a friend's night a hellova lot better for us, considering we didn't get to go to the cosplay show. I also liked how the volunteers were. PLEASE keep them like that (or at least similar to). Everybody generally was friendly, which was a plus for me. The Game room had a great adequate size with breathing space. The music game room was so small that I felt like an outcast walking into a small town saloon. *n* I absolutely loved how you guys kept water around for parched con-goers. Definitely helped guys like me that needed a sip in a pinch. Security was conveniently located! I was quite shocked. I came to the third floor and was politely pointed to the right direction for prop check. Lines were ridiculously long for some panels and the such , BUT I'm glad you guys took the proper precautions to keep everybody in line and not too much in the way for other con-goers not in line; definitely pro. All in all, this con was beastly. I'm extremely stoked for next year with its new location. ÔuÔ

minimoni96
08-08-2011, 07:52 AM
What I suggest to the con staff is to monitor the elevators next year. A few friends and I were sitting outside the elevators, and the elevator party people were stopping at EVERY floor.

i agree with this.

zenb
08-08-2011, 08:58 AM
- it had said that gold passes and silver passes would be allowed 30min early to main events, but staff said silver only had a 15min early access. that was kinda a bummber because we puchase the silver with the idea of having the 30min early access to not have to wait in line.


me and my bf got there like at 7:08 and asked if they had called silver and gold badges yet since they were already letting ppl in when we got there, we showed them that we had silver badges and they let us in right then and there...we sat in the 4th row and there were ppl in front of us with silver badges...so maybe it was just who you asked.....?

SilverTehWolf
08-08-2011, 12:22 PM
This was my first year and it was pretty awesome! Glad your moving it, because on saturday it was so hard 2 get through all the crowds and such.
Loved it! Can't wait to go back next year!

Big Boss
08-08-2011, 01:14 PM
Thank you very much everyone for the feedback you have been giving us, keep it coming!

I've been noticing some common complaints, and would like to help address some of them. I know most of them will be fixed with our larger venue next year, but there are a few things I would like to say as a Director for the convention.

On the subject of dealers, we do our best to get as many dealers as we can into our room. I know sometimes there will certainly be a lot of repeat merchandise at different dealer tables, as these are likely the things that dealers know full well will be profitable for their table. The dealers choose what they wish to sell themselves. As a business coming away with profit is priority one, which will often account for a lot of repeat merchandise at different booths. Dealers most certainly do their best to stock up on things con attendees would love to purchase, but it is impossible to accurately guess what each person in upwards of 7,000 people will want to buy.

Hopefully next year we will be able to book many more dealers into our dealer's hall, which should provide our attendees with so much more to choose from. Keep a look out for updates as they come!

Yes, those elevators. It was very obvious to everyone that we SWIFTLY had the Mariott bursting at the seams with how many con-goers were moving in the halls. We on the staff did our absolute best to make such a crowded scene as manageable as possible for all in attendance, but even we cannot be everywhere at once. Playing on elevators is always a big issue in conventions, and can really hold up everyone's attempts at moving up and downstairs in the hotel. Please, if you ever bear witness to things like that happening, inform our staff so that we might have a chance at breaking up such elevator parties and get things moving again.

Next year we will be in a much bigger and much more accommodating venue considering our rapid growth! Don't worry, we aren't satisfied with the convention yet. As you've come to expect from us we are always working and striving to out do ourselves every single year...even if it kills us. I don't think we will ever let ourselves be satisfied with where we are at, because we simply love the sound of our attendees being amazed by their convention experience. Well, I can't speak for everyone on staff...but I certainly know I enjoy it.

As said, thank you so very much for all of the feedback so far. Keep posting your feedback, as it is your feelings on your experiences that will help us to continue to polish this convention experience to a mirror shine. Never ever stop telling us what we could do better, as the Bald One feeds upon your feedback.

Huh...maybe that's why it's called feedback.

Mister Hat and Clogs
08-08-2011, 01:55 PM
Enjoyed SJ:4TW

I echo all the positive comments people are making. The buzzkill for me is panels. If there are three panels you want to attend consecutively, it ain't happening. You have to line up early for the 2nd panel, missing the 1st panel, and by the time the 2nd panel completes, no way you'll get into the 3rd. Or line-up early for the 1st, miss the 2nd panel, but maybe get to the 3rd. Too much waiting w/o the guarantee you'll actually get in.

Here's my suggestion... VMworld (big software conference) usually has 10 to 14,000 attendees. You register for it and build your schedule online in advanced. This allows people to get a guaranteed spot at the panels they want. If there's a massive wait list (when popular panels quickly fill up), then VMworld can adjust and move the panel to a larger room to accommodate the crowd. You build your schedule online, when you get to the panel, there's two lines- one for registered & one for non-registered. Your badge is scanned & if you're registered, you're allowed in. After 10 minutes, if space is available, non-registered attendees (for that specific panel) are allowed in.

Such a system would greatly benefit San Japan & allow for more overall awesomeness as attendees would be able attend the panels they want.

My 2 cents. Props to Proz & the rest of the staff. Couldn't believe the crowd on Sunday. Seems like San Japan could last an entire week.

Malreyn
08-08-2011, 03:32 PM
I have to agree with Alycan16. I felt cheated that I bought silver passes for myself and two friends, with the website and programs saying that gold and silver passes got into main events and the dealer room 30 minutes before regular passes, and suddenly I have staff and volunteers telling me that Silver has to wait 15 minutes after Gold. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed San Japan and plan on going again next year, and I do appreciate everything the staff and volunteers had to put up with, but early access was one of the reasons I bought the silver passes. If it's going to get stolen away from me like that, you're discouraging me from spending the extra money.

Looking forward to next year though.

AngelHalo
08-08-2011, 04:33 PM
This was my first time I went to San Japan, and thanks to Game Over Videogames, I learned about this the week before I left to a different con. A couple weeks later, there I was, and now here I am, and how am I now? Satisfied. Very satisfied. Going to a convention with me and my friend was really fun, and the fact that it is so close to us in distance made this more convenient for us to go.

There are plenty of enjoyable moments. While this was not that big of a convention for me, it was certainly fun to attend. I went to a few panels and the people I liked the most was the kind lady that ran the Ace Attorney, How to run a panel, and the Ouran Hall Club panels. I also checked out the Egoraptor Live panel with a lot of memorable moments. Super Sentai and Steampunk 101 were also fun to attend to. Watching Sunday Morning Cartoons briefly was fun to do. The overall exploration of the convention was really fun as we all saw some very entertaining and creative cosplays, with no troubles from any body and everyone looked like they were having fun. The rave was also pretty cool, though I wish I knew how to dance. I am feeling very inspired to run my own panel some day. I have also made some friends, had fun talks with them and even had fun interacting with the staff.

Although I must admit some negative points of the convention. I can understand that the panelists, staff, and volunteers need more time to set up, but I feel that the schedules were a little too cramped, because either they did not have enough time to set up the equipment, or they were not well prepared to get the panel going. Me and my friend originally intended to go to the Slashed panel, especially since a group of our friends actually did a video talking about bad fan-fiction and lamp-shading it, but even as the panel started, it took about a half hour for it to set up even further. I am not sure if it was due to technical difficulties, but it went on longer than it needed to be, having the both of us leave. In fact, I have noticed that a couple of panels were having difficulties, either due to the panelists not showing up, not being prepared, or to equipment issues. So some panels I had to skip because of that as I wanted to better use my time. I also had a difficult time finding what I wanted to purchase at the dealers room, but that's trivial.

But the problems are only behind the stage as the fun still stands out, bright and tall. I do intend to go to the convention again next year, and I hope that it will be even better than this year. Who knows? I may even look into arranging my own panel for fun.

kateyene
08-08-2011, 06:01 PM
I had a few concerns about SJ:4TW-

*People walking around with alcohol- When we first arrived on friday in the morning to get our badges, there were a couple of guys that had an open case of beer, drinking it. I know they were there for SJ cause they had a badge and were talking about cosplay. This needs to be stopped cause there are a lot of minors and such at a convention as this and this is very dangerous to allow.

*People cutting in line-I am not talking about Gold/Silver badges, there were quite a lot of people who just cut in line in front of people who were standing in line for more than an hour.

*Long lines-There were huge lines for some of the events/panels and even the registration. I didn't remember the lines being that long last year, so I hope moving to the convention center will be a lot of help in this matter.

*Weapons check-I think for this next SJ that you have the Registration and Safety Check, as soon as you enter the building cause I noticed a lot of people with weapons,etc. that didn't have the safety orange tape. Also there were a lot of people who were swinging the items around when walking that could hurt someone, please have security watch out for these types of people for next time.

*Panels/Events-Instead of having events back-to-back, try scheduling some preparation time for them, at least fifteen minutes or so, that way they can have things set up before letting people in.


There were some things I liked-

*Egoraptor- He is a must have for next SJ. He was so great and funny, I would love to see him return next time.

*Artist Alley- I loved all the artists that came this time. They were all incredibly nice and helpful and since we will have more room next SJ, could we see more artists available next time too?

*Game Room- The game room was okay, but I wished they had more controllers cause they had lots of systems, but not a lot of controllers for people who wished to play. I liked Para Para Paradise, and I hope it will be there next year too.

RedeadDie
08-08-2011, 06:38 PM
I went to a few panels and the people I liked the most was the kind lady that ran the Ace Attorney, How to run a panel, and the Ouran Hall Club panels.I think I may cry, thank you very much for your kind words. I was trying to be a kind lady despite rushing about to and fro. Again, thank you and I'm glad you came to the panels!

kite
08-08-2011, 07:54 PM
This was my fourth year at SJ and it is my second favorite year, pretty much every kink from last year was worked out and this year SJ was wonderfully run. I only have two complaints, one is the lack of variety in the dealer's room, i know this year there were more dealers than last year but somehow it felt less than the sum of its parts. second, every panel i went to on satuday started late, so i hope something can be done so that panels start on time more. i have to stress that i liked how the majority of the best panels were on friday and saturday, since those are the most important days and would like it if things stayed that way, since my complaint from last year was that there were not enough fun panels on friday and saturday, this year was utterly perfect.

SweetlyDemented
08-08-2011, 08:24 PM
San Japan was a blast! Had sooo much fun. Most things seemed to run smoothly, but I do have a few suggestions...

Please make Pre-regs your priority when getting people registered. At one point on Friday morning the Pre-Reg line was twice as long as the normal Reg line and moving exceedingly slow compared to the normal Reg. My friend even said, "It's like a big middle finger to everyone that signed up months in advance!" I think a faster-moving line should be in order for those of us who decided to register early.

Like other people have already mentioned, it'd be nice to bring more variety into the Dealers' Room. Oh and bring Egoraptor back! He was so nice and friendly... <3

Also, how about putting the Weapons Check near Registration? Might kill two birds with one stone to have people register and get their props checked right after before proceeding to enjoy the con.

Other than that, I can't think of anything else to suggest. Again, had an awesome time this year and will definitely be back for more next year!

happygoldfish
08-08-2011, 10:43 PM
This is mostly me rambling, I know some of these things can't be helped, but I want to mention them just as a note anyway:


Please make Pre-regs your priority when getting people registered. At one point on Friday morning the Pre-Reg line was twice as long as the normal Reg line and moving exceedingly slow compared to the normal Reg. My friend even said, "It's like a big middle finger to everyone that signed up months in advance!" I think a faster-moving line should be in order for those of us who decided to register early.


This. I had the same experience. Got there early and saw no one in the normal reg. line, and the pre-reg line wrapped all kinds of crazy around the halls. Not a big complaint, but I just thought it should be mentioned in anticipation of next year.

The giant sign boards with the schedule of the day were awesome. Do this again. I used them multiple times throughout the weekend.

I applaud the people who ran the Art Show/Auction. They put up with all the crazy questions I had to ask, so yeah, you guys were awesome.

I have already voiced my opinions on the masquerade in it's own thread, but I will just say here that I did really enjoy it, and I do hope we can have a much larger room for next year.

Dealer's Room. I thought it was a big improvement to have the entrance in the front this year rather than on the side in the hall(although I know it sucked for some of the Artist's tables :( ).

Is there any way we could have a vendor selling food late into the night? It was impossible to get food after the cosplay show Saturday night (the Denny's had a 2 hour wait), and the Starbuck's cafe was sold out. The little snack bar on the 2nd floor had already closed, as did the pizza delivery places. My group gave up at one point and we went back to our room to order room service but it had shutdown too. I know this one is partly our fault for not having food stocked up in the room or something, but it would be nice for those like us who had gotten out late from some of the events.

The group of girls who danced at half-time during the cosplay show. They were adorable, and I did enjoy their dances, but it went on a wee bit long I though? I was in a VERY uncomfortable costume, with no where to sit, no water, and it seemed like it went on for ages. I really don't want to sound mean or anything, I did enjoy them, but I was dying (yes I know, it's my own fault for wearing the costume), but maybe dial back the performance time next year? Again, no offense intended.

The only other thing was with the con-goers. I had a ton of people totally run over me throughout the weekend. No apology, nothing. Like getting hit by a friggin' linebacker. They were horsing around and having fun, which is cool, but please, watch what you're doing.

All in all though, I had a blast, and San Japan is still my favorite con; and certainly the best run one. And really the only one that I feel really listens to it's attendees, so I thank you guys all so much! ^.^

Jrex
08-08-2011, 10:50 PM
Honestly, there were only a few issues I had.
First was the lights at the cosplay show!! dude, at first it was just something to deal with, but then about 10 min later it got very irritating and eventually gave me a headache :/
Second was the two people in a group and the third to the back??? Ok really SJ?! I went to the con in a group of three and when we went to an event, they told us that if we had a 3rd party member that they had to be sent to the back of the line?!?! We were lucky enough where we wound up standing next to another group with an odd number so it would be "2 people side by side" most of the time, but I did wind up next to one guy who was sent to the end of the line b/c his group was an odd number. He was at the very front and got sent WAY back. This makes NO SENSE!
If you are the 3rd person and then get sent to the back, your going to be by yourself at the end. A line will form behind you, and then you will have to be sent to the back AGAIN! This OBVIOUSLY had to be a rule that some volunteers misunderstood b/c I honestly dont know how that could have possibly been a real rule.
Other then that, BIG improvement from last year.
Oh, and please add more to the gaming room AND A BIGGER ROOM FOR THE AWESOME GUEST IMPROV :biggrin:

Patches
08-08-2011, 11:02 PM
I wanted to apologize for being rude to people who were waiting in line for the cosplay show. I was the loud mouth safety guy with the ductape roll yelling at people to stand 2by2 and not to sit down. I really hated having to be a arse to some people but a few people wouldn't listen at all.. i was also the guy during the autographs that was saying "single file means one in front of the other NOT one beside each other." the line was horrifyingly long. Second for everyone who didn't give me trouble about your weapons being checked i thank you. I'm sorry to those who weren't told where to go but every time i saw a weapon i checked if it was checked in and gave them directions.

TheFlyingGuillotine
08-08-2011, 11:51 PM
As a few other people have already stated, the pre-reg lines on Friday morning were very long and moved much slower than at door registration, which to me makes no sense.

Also, during the evenings of the con, a group of friends and I noticed a lot of people wandering around the artist alley and con grounds without a pass. They were going past security many times, so I think that con security should keep a closer eye out for people going through the con without badges, not just for the Dealer's Room and panels.

And as a few people have mentioned, some panels were crowded, but since we're getting more room next year, I don't think that is going to be a major problem in the future.

I do think that lines could be improved upon, because for the main shows on Saturday, the lines were blocking a lot of Artist Alley tables and overall were taking up a lot of walking space.

Despite those things, the con ran smoothly as usual, and I don't have any real complaints.

Orim Katsu
08-08-2011, 11:52 PM
As a volunteer that was helping with registration, I wish to say thanks for all the kind words and support. We do hope to make next year go faster and smoother, if that is even possible. It was wonderful to work for you all, a lot of you were VERY polite. Being my first anime convention, I was awestruck by it. And I do look forward to do this again, and again, again, and again, again, and again, and so on.

randomizer9
08-09-2011, 12:22 AM
Oh yeah, I haven't heard anyone mention this, but the Guidebook app REALLY came in handy during the show, especially since paper schedules were pretty hard to come by.

I agree with the "panel schedules are too tight" sentiment; panels should be DONE 5 minutes before the hour is up. As someone who has done a few, I will say it is easy to lose track of time especially when you're answering questions near the end. The volunteer should pop their head in and yell "TIME!" at that point.

kite
08-09-2011, 01:00 AM
i would just like to add that the fact that u included the schedule book with the bag was deftly done, keep up the good work

amara
08-09-2011, 01:14 AM
I agree with the "panel schedules are too tight" sentiment; panels should be DONE 5 minutes before the hour is up. As someone who has done a few, I will say it is easy to lose track of time especially when you're answering questions near the end. The volunteer should pop their head in and yell "TIME!" at that point.

At the AMM panel on Friday we had a volunteer popping their head in about 15 minutes early asking us to finish up soon, so I think that was occurring with some panels. (We did finish up 10 minutes early because we had people walking though our room trying to set up for whatever the next panel was.)

If there could be a built in cushion between panels, that would be lovely. It's rather mystifying to have people trying to set up for the next one when we're trying to run a panel. Also, I understand the need to clear a room, but we ended early specifically with the reason to talk to our volunteers and people in the crowd.

However, Jay, I will state that you did your best with the schedule, and I appreciate having the hour to get our volunteers ready. It really helped this year. Thank you for being fantastic and letting us run the panel year.

Also, whoever was the poor volunteer stuck with us, you were fantastic, amazing and I'm sorry for the insanity we put you through, along with the info desk staff. You guys were awesome.

BaronPablo
08-09-2011, 01:25 AM
As a staff member, this was an amazingly well-run convention and it was a pleasure working with y'all. From my perspective, I can really only complain about the sheer rudeness of the "Green Shirts" (Safety) throughout the convention and actually had younger people actually come and tell me crying about experiences such as being yelled at for leaning against a wall near the elevators, having their props broken by belligerent security members and being harassed for standing to talk to artists. Please, people, tone it down. It's one thing to be an awesome security force and it's another when someone comes up to me and compares y'all to the Gestapo. I defended the Green Shirts, but really, it's getting pretty hard to do so.

Otherwise, excellent con and I'm glad we're moving next year to a way larger location. It was definitely a pleasure working with all of you as Steampunk Coordinator and I hope to bring more awesome Steampunk events, guests and panels to San Japan!

Azalia
08-09-2011, 01:43 AM
Oh yeah, I haven't heard anyone mention this, but the Guidebook app REALLY came in handy during the show, especially since paper schedules were pretty hard to come by.


I agree with this! I was able to make it to many panels because of this. I miss the Ouran event though (My wig was incredibly tangled, and I was exhausted. I wish ya'll had put it on Saturday.) *cries tears of sadness and angst* I love the Ouran event btw, it's been going on since the second SJ, and I've gone to all of them except this year. >.> I hope to attend the Ouran Event many years to come!


I wanted to apologize for being rude to people who were waiting in line for the cosplay show. I was the loud mouth safety guy with the ductape roll yelling at people to stand 2by2 and not to sit down. I really hated having to be a arse to some people but a few people wouldn't listen at all.. i was also the guy during the autographs that was saying "single file means one in front of the other NOT one beside each other." the line was horrifyingly long. Second for everyone who didn't give me trouble about your weapons being checked i thank you. I'm sorry to those who weren't told where to go but every time i saw a weapon i checked if it was checked in and gave them directions.

My poor feeet *whines* lol But seriously, I understand why we couldn't sit down. It is a safety hazard. Like I commented before, maybe next year, if we are going to be in line for over an hour, maybe the staff can provide us with a place to sit. Hopefully no one ruins it for everyone and we can't sit down. Boots are a big part of cosplay, but most boots aren't made for standing in a very long time xD Thanks for being safety though! There are numerous jerks that ya'll have to deal with, and I appreciate that ya'll keep us safe!

KittyAnne7152
08-09-2011, 01:50 AM
I loved that Guidebook app. I loved it so much. I even did everything on my to do list. I felt like such a boss.
Anyways, this is just a place holder I suppose, until I edit with my actual feedback. Still recovering a bit, I got sick on Sunday.
Edit:
And here I go!

I actually didn't attend any panels except the ones I was hosting, helping to host, participating in, etc. but I could tell overcrowding in the panel rooms was a huge issue just from that. Glad that there will be more space next year. Proz, I would like to thank you for being a superhero at the Cosplay Dating Game. I know you definitely could not help the a/c being shut off at midnight in that room, and having that window open definitely made things more bearable.

Registration line was long, but at least when I was in it, it went fast. It was wrapped all the way around the hallway, and my friends and I were upset, thinking that we'd be there for hours, but we actually only were there about 20 minutes. We even got into the registration room before people who had gotten onto the end of the much shorter on- site registration line.

Safety people, I had both positive and negative interactions with. On the positive side, the safety guy who asked me to move the Doctor Who photoshoot (and not because we were blocking a fire exit, which was a first for me, but because we were apparently "blocking business" to that little shop in the lobby. I hadn't seen anyone go there all weekend, as it was a bit out of the way and hidden, but whatever, it's beside the point) was very polite to us, and the guys checking my Objection! sign were cool. They made sure the prop was marked in such a way that when I held it for photos, the tape would be hidden. They were also very impressed with my friend's con safe foam baseball bat that seriously looked like wood. However, I also witnessed safety being not so nice to a friend of mine who was sitting on one of the stools in the lobby, with her shoes dangling from her feet. She didn't even get a "ma'am, could you please keep you shoes on at all times?" warning, she just got straight up shouted at and threatened with having her badge taken away, and considering her shoes were right there and she obviously wasn't intending to be walking around without them on, I think that was a wee bit out of order.

All in all, a lot of the issues I had I knew would be automatically fixed next year by the larger venue. I had a great time, and I can't wait to come back again next year!

Proz
08-09-2011, 01:54 AM
Fridaywas pretty troublesome...first of all my family and I had to wait nearly an Hour for our room which was reserved 6 months in advance...Not sure if it was because of the population of the con or if it was just the Hotel workers...And also the parking lot was COMPLETLY full for the Marriot Hotel...

Between us and people who are normally there, we nearly sold out the hotel.

Proz
08-09-2011, 02:07 AM
like i said everything else was good, i hope there will be a bigger dealer room and artist alley.

It will be a reasonable increase. But don't expect a huge increase because we do have to keep an interest of dealers/artists as having too many of them hurts all of them when it comes to sales.

skytherine
08-09-2011, 04:08 AM
The Guidebook app. was a huge plus. Over the years I would just carry the paper, not having a brief intro on the panel. The booklet has the info but flipping through the pages to see whats what can be a little tedious

I loved how the app. had info and the option for an alarm setting. Also the little pics with some of the descriptions was cool.

ErazDod
08-09-2011, 11:10 AM
I also think the Guidebook app was a major plus for this year, I hope you guys use it next year. It really made getting around to all the panels I wanted to see a whole lot easier ^^

Sai-co
08-09-2011, 11:24 AM
I know that as staff I don't want to complain about Safety, they are some of the people that help the most. But they can also be some of the people that hurt the most. I see so many complaints and have seen first hand Safety Volunteers being downright horrible people. It's hard to judge how a volunteer is going to handle the power of getting a security position. I'm not sure if people are just chosen for this position out of our volunteer pool or if they are interviewed first. If they aren't however, maybe that should start happening. Just a little extra time to do interviews may cut back on the people who are being rude just because they have a lime green shirt? If we already do this, then all I can say is that I apologize for anyone who was mistreated this con, and I hope things improve next year having a larger space.

cat-chan
08-09-2011, 11:41 AM
Is there any way we could have a vendor selling food late into the night? It was impossible to get food after the cosplay show Saturday night (the Denny's had a 2 hour wait), and the Starbuck's cafe was sold out. The little snack bar on the 2nd floor had already closed, as did the pizza delivery places. My group gave up at one point and we went back to our room to order room service but it had shutdown too. I know this one is partly our fault for not having food stocked up in the room or something, but it would be nice for those like us who had gotten out late from some of the events.




Just for your information for next year, there is a 24hr Mexican restaurant on the riverwalk called Original (or something...the original) I was in the same boat, after the contest and changing it was midnight before I could look for dinner. My group got lucky and just kind of stumbled upon it trying to find a pizza place we had looked up on a phone (which I don't think existed). There was 0 wait and we had a party of 7.

zenb
08-09-2011, 11:56 AM
somebody mentioned this before but i also felt like everything was squeezed into saturday

amara
08-09-2011, 12:02 PM
somebody mentioned this before but i also felt like everything was squeezed into saturday

Devil's advocate here, but when Saturday is such a high traffic time, the con probably wants to entertain what was likely the largest crowd during that time. Sunday, most people are sleeping in or moving out that they have their higher traffic panels later in the afternoon. I mean, I understand the logic behind how the panels were scheduled.

Next year there will probably be more space for more panels, so that will help spread out the crowds a little. Also, it's up to people to help create and lead more interesting panels. With that in mind, I'm trying to come up with a few more proposals for next year if I'm able to attend.

zenb
08-09-2011, 12:16 PM
Devil's advocate here, but when Saturday is such a high traffic time, the con probably wants to entertain what was likely the largest crowd during that time. Sunday, most people are sleeping in or moving out that they have their higher traffic panels later in the afternoon. I mean, I understand the logic behind how the panels were scheduled.

Next year there will probably be more space for more panels, so that will help spread out the crowds a little. Also, it's up to people to help create and lead more interesting panels. With that in mind, I'm trying to come up with a few more proposals for next year if I'm able to attend.

thats was i was thinking as well but not every good panel needs to be squeezed into saturday i had wished cosplay chess was on sunday like last year. I missed it this year cuz i was helping tampopo with her panel. Not complaining it was very fun to help by walking around the convention yelling...well not yelling but saying out loud "learn how to make riceballs conference room 15" i would also like to run something next year :D but still on the fence about it.

amara
08-09-2011, 12:26 PM
thats was i was thinking as well but not every good panel needs to be squeezed into saturday i had wished cosplay chess was on sunday like last year. I missed it this year cuz i was helping tampopo with her panel. Not complaining it was very fun to help by walking around the convention yelling...well not yelling but saying out loud "learn how to make riceballs conference room 15" i would also like to run something next year :D but still on the fence about it.

Running a panel is a mix of utter terror and sheer fun. You spend a few hours beforehand going, oh god will anyone show up?, oh god, will I fail miserably?, let this just be decent. And when you start running the panel, interacting with the crowd and having fun, it's so much fun. People coming up after, talking about enjoying the panel is one of the best feelings ever.

I run recruiting events with major companies for my department, so I have developed a sense for this stuff, but it's always good to have a buddy helping out and to bounce off of. They can pick up the slack or see that something isn't working out and steer you back on track. I'm normally very shy and quiet, but when it comes to a crowd or event, I can work it like no other.

I understand the panel frustration. I did spend a lot of time on Sunday wandering around before I left because I had nothing to do. I just took that as a call to look into running more panels because I am insane.

zenb
08-09-2011, 12:36 PM
Running a panel is a mix of utter terror and sheer fun. You spend a few hours beforehand going, oh god will anyone show up?, oh god, will I fail miserably?, let this just be decent. And when you start running the panel, interacting with the crowd and having fun, it's so much fun. People coming up after, talking about enjoying the panel is one of the best feelings ever.

I run recruiting events with major companies for my department, so I have developed a sense for this stuff, but it's always good to have a buddy helping out and to bounce off of. They can pick up the slack or see that something isn't working out and steer you back on track. I'm normally very shy and quiet, but when it comes to a crowd or event, I can work it like no other.

I understand the panel frustration. I did spend a lot of time on Sunday wandering around before I left because I had nothing to do. I just took that as a call to look into running more panels because I am insane.

XD you make it sound like so much fun

SonicRenegade84
08-09-2011, 12:38 PM
Running a panel is a mix of utter terror and sheer fun. You spend a few hours beforehand going, oh god will anyone show up?, oh god, will I fail miserably?, let this just be decent. And when you start running the panel, interacting with the crowd and having fun, it's so much fun. People coming up after, talking about enjoying the panel is one of the best feelings ever.

I run recruiting events with major companies for my department, so I have developed a sense for this stuff, but it's always good to have a buddy helping out and to bounce off of. They can pick up the slack or see that something isn't working out and steer you back on track. I'm normally very shy and quiet, but when it comes to a crowd or event, I can work it like no other.

I understand the panel frustration. I did spend a lot of time on Sunday wandering around before I left because I had nothing to do. I just took that as a call to look into running more panels because I am insane.

I know how you two feel. When I first ran my panel, I was nervous as heck. I kept thinking "Oh god, what's gonna happen? What kind of people are we gonna get?" then when it started, and thanks to my so-called "natural talent of improv", I just went with it and it turned out great. I think as long as you have a panel where people can be interactive with it, then you're good to go.

KittyAnne7152
08-09-2011, 12:42 PM
Is there any way we could have a vendor selling food late into the night? It was impossible to get food after the cosplay show Saturday night (the Denny's had a 2 hour wait), and the Starbuck's cafe was sold out. The little snack bar on the 2nd floor had already closed, as did the pizza delivery places. My group gave up at one point and we went back to our room to order room service but it had shutdown too. I know this one is partly our fault for not having food stocked up in the room or something, but it would be nice for those like us who had gotten out late from some of the events.

Oooh, this. I wasn't able to eat anything until past midnight on Saturday (besides a poptart, not exactly a filling or nutritious dinner) due to my scheduling, and by that time my roomates had eaten and were kind of zonked from a busy Saturday. I didn't want them to have to wait for me eating food, but my hands were shaking at that point and I really needed to eat. Blitz and I ended up going to Denny's, but like Happy mentions, there was a two hour wait for food, and I'm pretty sure my two other room mates thought we had died. We finally got back to the room at about 2am. My waitress was super, super nice though, she kept on bringing my Sprite refills in increasingly bigger cups, and she was super sweet to me and Blitz.
But yeah. Late night eating options, even just a list of places open 24/7 in the program, would be great.

amara
08-09-2011, 12:45 PM
XD you make it sound like so much fun

On a scale of things running a panel is so much more fun than running a dinner with a CIO from a well known tech company speaking. But it truly is fun. If you ever want to talk about panels or need someone to help with one, PM me.

zenb
08-09-2011, 12:47 PM
On a scale of things running a panel is so much more fun than running a dinner with a CIO from a well known tech company speaking. But it truly is fun. If you ever want to talk about panels or need someone to help with one, PM me.

:D cool thanks

ChibiBritt
08-09-2011, 01:16 PM
I know Mu Epsilon Kappa was specifically asked to try and have some good programming for Sunday since everyone seemed to want it.

We had the All-Star Concert, which really was an experiment from day one. We ended up filling half the Main Prog. room! More than we were expecting for an 11am concert on Sunday! The performers were just excited as can be to have an audience. And that audience was super awesome!


We also had Iron Cosplay on Sunday at like 2pm. We normally never hold a panel that late on a Sunday since by that point most cons are nearly dead. We were completely taken by surprise by the long line awaiting us when the panel began! The room was much too small for the event, but all of you stuck through it! The teams were amazing! I mean it was hard to judge! We wished we had prizes for all of the teams...we really really did. It's been a long time where we had so many fantastic cosplays...and all were made from random scraps and odds and ends!



At least now we know Sunday will still be a pretty strong day for panels if needed. We did our best to try and spread things out, so hopefully we can go the same again next year.

Digital_Assassin
08-09-2011, 01:33 PM
I only had two complaints:

1: There was no sparring room for Sleeping Samurai. Last year there was a separate room where people could try out weapons, practice and work out strategy, try it out, or just play. This year it was notably absent.

2: The game room was weak. There should be dedicated stations set up to each game, and the consoles should be put in a lock box to prevent theft. This way, you have the sections broken out for Smash Bros, MvC, SF4, Mario Kart, Mortal Kombat, music games, etc in a particular area, and keep it consistent. This year, the stations kept changing, and there were too few machines, or you'd find a machine, and there were no games in the system to play. This could definitely be better organized.

permafrost
08-09-2011, 02:00 PM
This is mostly a holding place until I can collect my thoughts and will be edited a lot~

Most of my complaints are related to the space which I understand was not something San Japan could change. Hopefully, there will be enough space next year. Just letting you know that I understand this ahead of time and am including these complaints so that the staff can get an estimate of how much space is needed next year.

Friday:
-Friday morning was a bit of a rough time for me for reasons only slightly controllable by the con. There was some confusion about where the Ouran signup table was, and I had to wait a half hour awkwardly next to the scented soaps to be assigned a table. However, once the lady in charge arrived, I was given a table with supreme promptness and was also given assistance in moving my sign, decorations, etc. Tl;dr = Waiting was bad, but the help was excellent
-This is partially a note to the con and partially a note to people with tables in Con Alley. PLEASE DO NOT HAVE BLARING MUSIC! The Omnicon (I think this was who it was) had a DJ Hero game set up that blasted music so loud that I had to shout to be heard. This made it difficult to explain the event and attract people to our table. If there could be some sort of noise rule...? I don't want to ax music altogether, but maybe a limit. For example, if my normal speaking voice can't be heard by someone 1 foot away from me, your music is too loud. Tl;dr = Please turn down your music at your table :(
-I absolutely loved the ParaPara panel/event~ After the mess of my morning, going to the social room and learning to dance to upbeat music brought my energy up so so so much. Please keep coming to SJ! I was showing the moves I learned to my friends and family all weekend. I was super sad that I couldn’t stay for the whole thing :C. Tl;dr = ParaPara was awesome! Come back again!
-Like last year, I found the Dancing tutorial very informative and used my moves out on the dance floor. My only problem was that I couldn’t attend the entire thing.
-I know I have mentioned this in another board, but it could bear repeating. To the dark-haired lady who brought us lemonade at our table: THANK YOU SO MUCH~ It really improved the mood of me and my frazzled friends. It (both the act and the lemonade) was super sweet, and we all really appreciated it. Tl;dr = Con Alley volunteers are awesome and considerate!
-Even though I haven't played the games, I enjoyed the Ace Attorney panel. The only thing I would ask as an improvement is maybe a mic for the audience members who ask questions? I had to sit in the back because of my decoration bin and couldn't hear a lot of the questions :(. Or maybe repeat the questions before answering? But overall I thought it was really fun, with my favorite part being the outfit switch. Tl;dr = Ace Attorney is fun but would be better if I could hear the audience questions.
-As for the Masquerade itself, I know this has been said again and again but this is a very important issue! THE MASQUERADE NEEDS MORE SPACE!!! I know it was moved to a bigger room, but I still ended up waiting a very long time in line. By the time I got into the room, my feet were dying a slow painful death. Standing in 4 inch heels for an hour is not fun :(. The “wall flowers” people were getting mad at were probably people who just got in and wanted to take a seat after waiting for so long. Despite the pain, I did dance for a good 40 min (with only a quick 3 min sit down). As for the music selection, I like the slower dances more than the fast ones, but I felt there was a good variety of music. That one faster song allowed for a very fun conga line. My highlight of the dance was seeing Jack Skellington dance in that amazing costume. Tl;dr = Masq needs a bigger space, I like slower songs but the selection was pretty good, yay Jack Skellington.


Saturday:
-The onsite registration line was nice and short when I arrived at approx 9:15 AM with my younger brother. The volunteer who gave him his badge was efficient and informative. In total it took less than 15 minutes to wait in line, receive the badge, and grab his bag of stuff. Note: perhaps at the Safety Desk make programs available as well as the paper schedules. Tl;dr = morning registration was wonderful, perhaps put programs at Safety Desk as well.
-I did not go to the Fanfiction panel, but one of my friends did. She told me all sorts of nice things about it so I just wanted to let whoever ran that know that she enjoyed the panel.
-The Cosplay Show…well, I’m going to break this down into 3 parts.

The line. Just…the line. I am so glad I left the AMV thing when I did because the lining up for the cosplay show started promptly at 6:00 or 6:30 (I can’t remember which one but it started promptly!). It was chaos. The green shirt pretty much said “Go!” and the people milling about raced into line. I’m lucky I got into line where and when I did orz. Other people might complain about the constant reminders from Safety, but I thankful. It kept the hall space mostly clear and ensured that people would have a difficult time cutting in line, though I did get some megaphone shouting in my ear :(. Please watch where you point those things. My complaints are with the large steam punk group in front of us who wanted us to move back. Constantly. NEWSFLASH! I CAN’T MOVE BACK UNTIL THE PEOPLE BEHIND ME TAKE A FEW STEPS BACK! DON’T JUST START WALKING BACKWARDS! ALL YOU DO IS SQUISH PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOWHERE TO GO! However, Safety helped take care of this by asking the people at the end of the line to back up and eventually we got a teensy bit more room. I think we were let in a little late but it has been my experience that this is just what happens for the cosplay show so whatever. Tl;dr = The starting of the line was chaos, I was okay with 2 by 2 reminders, don't just start backing up, watch where you point the megaphone
The seating/waiting to start. Props to those involved in seating. I was not shouted at to run to my seat, indoor voices were used, no one bullied my friends/family as we switched our line order a bit, etc. The stage looked incredible. I loved the projection and how you tried to keep the waiting audience entertained by showing us the judges, panning out to the audience, etc. I was okay with the roaming lights, though I didn’t like them directly shining in my face. And speaking of directly shining in my face…I despised the bright flashing lights. They hurt my eyes and really made me want to just get up and leave the show. If you were trying to condition us to clap when they flashed, you failed because I had to keep my hands occupied covering my face :/ Please don’t use those lights again. Seriously. Just don’t. Tl;dr = the stage looked super quality, I wasn’t shouted at, NEVER HAVE THOSE BRIGHT FLASHING LIGHTs EVER EVER AGAIN
The show. Was it just me or did all the costumes this year step it up? Because I was very impressed with all the cosplays. A lot of the Novice cosplays looked like they could be Open or Journeyman or something else really good. Props to everyone who participated! This was my favorite Cosplay Show to date. I loved the addition of the kids cosplay category :).I thought the opening bit with the guy from the Gear Project dragged on a little bit, but I assume this was so that sound and the contestants could finish setting up so whatever. I really liked the MC; she was darling. Don’t worry that the audience might not have gotten some of your nerdier jokes because in my group was a guy who got 90% and he assured me you were very clever. Speaking of the audience, I was very disappointed in my fellow attendees. There was nowhere near the amount of noise there should have been for all those amazing (or not) cosplays :/ . I near about lost my voice trying to keep the room from having dead silence. Please guys, at least clap when a person gets on and off the stage. Also, I think someone dropped the ball when it came to making the stage accessible. Why wasn’t there a ramp? I felt so bad for the cosplayer in the wheelchair and the amazing Dalek who couldn’t get up on stage to show off all their hard work! I mean, guys…guys, even the less than spectacular Ikkicon show had a ramp. Very disappointed. The skits were also the best I’ve seen in my time (since 1.5) at San Japan. Where did all of you come from? I loved the dance and the drama skits. That Princess Tutu was amazing! Both Open skits were super quality as well. Tl;dr = Best Cosplay show yet, amazing cosplays/skits, stage looked very professional, SHOULD HAVE HAD A RAMP, audience was not loud enough

-Dating Game was fantastic, as it is every year. There were bumps with the sound and the A/C, but Proz himself came to help out. I think the Spotlight Bachelorette was my favorite round :). My favorite spotlight contestant was Sailor Mars because she worked it with the paltry answers she received from her bachelorettes. Suggestion for improvement: in the audience round, please introduce the spotlight and the contestants or have them introduce themselves. By the end, I worked out who they were but it would have been nice to have context for their answers. Tl;dr = Yay Proz for helping with the tech difficulties, boo hotel for turning off the A/C, introduce the audience round plz


Sunday:
-Sunday was the date of my event, the Ouran High School Host Club Event. I was both surprised and pleased with the turnout this year. I didn’t think we’d get so many people on a Sunday, but you dudes (well, mostly dudettes) proved us wrong. Thank you to everyone who participated and thank you to everyone who helped with the event. I want to give a super huge shout out to Joey who was the Safety person assigned to the Social Room during our event. He was on top of things from the moment we started setting up at 10 AM. After he grasped our sticker timing, he was instrumental in coming up with our two line sticker or no sticker system. When we wanted water, he convened with the hotel staff to get us nice plastic cups, those fancy silver pitchers, and a water cooler of our own. When we needed a trashcan for said cups, he got us a trash can. Also, a big thank you to all the hotel staff who helped us make the event possible! They kept our big bucket of ice filled and our trash can empty. For all of you in the last session who sat along the outside, Joey is the reason you were able to come in at all. I was going to cut it off and just have the tables filled, but he was a sweetheart and suggested that we allow you guys in to watch, if not to participate.

Sigh
08-09-2011, 04:14 PM
This year was definitely fun. Volunteers were awesome, registration was easy and fast(though we did arrive a bit late Friday so I can't speak for those that were in the lines). Again with the costly contest line, smart idea with the tape! No repeats of last year >.< I was really surprised with the volunteers this year overall. Thanks guys!

I'm SO happy hearing about the convention being moved to the convention center next year. There were lines everywhere I turned :( I wanted to go to the sushi and tea tasting panel more than some others but was bummed when I went early to count that people in line were already exceeding 30 and 40 people. Next time I'm hoping the limit for panels like those won't be so limited! There are thousands of people attending and it doesn't seem fair to only have less than 100 experience these panels. I'd even understand charging a dollar or two for the people walking in for help with supplies needed to give something to everyone(Sorry but I'm overexcited when it comes to sushi! ;n;). There were few panels we were able to attend because we just didn't want to waste time with lines. We went all the years before to San Japan and lines weren't NEARLY as hectic expect the costly contest line(And thanks to the volunteers who kept clearing out a forming line for the costly contest nearly 3/4 hours before the cosplay contest. That made me less nervous about if I was able to even get a spot in that event). I guess we were just plain surprised with the lines this year compared to last though I'm certainly happy to see this con continuing to grow so much each year.

As for panels themselves, I've been to San Japan all four years and saw not much of a mix up in panel options though there are reoccurring panels that were just as enjoyable the second time around. Maybe just more variety? Also add some spice into Sunday. I was shocked at seeing so many people still down about the con and giving something for them to do would just be nice. As for me, there was nothing interesting left to see so I left early Sunday. Even some games would do it in like in the main event room. I remember the first year of San Japan we played all sorts of group games and loved it and miss it.

LOVED the snack section on the 2nd floor. Convenient :D Also, were the water tanks really Ozarka water or tap water? I think it's just me since I drink bottled waters 24/7, but it tasted like tap water to me(which i hate sorry) and couldn't down much of the water to keep me hydrated. Guess that just teaches me to bring a crate of water with me next time.

I'm looking forward to next year and the new and bigger place! Gah, already too excited.

mr12345
08-09-2011, 05:12 PM
*Game Room- The game room was okay, but I wished they had more controllers cause they had lots of systems, but not a lot of controllers for people who wished to play. I liked Para Para Paradise, and I hope it will be there next year too.

You are correct, and it cant be denied. as for the only solution is to get more controllers. guess san japan will see what can be done about this.



2: The game room was weak. There should be dedicated stations set up to each game, and the consoles should be put in a lock box to prevent theft. This way, you have the sections broken out for Smash Bros, MvC, SF4, Mario Kart, Mortal Kombat, music games, etc in a particular area, and keep it consistent. This year, the stations kept changing, and there were too few machines, or you'd find a machine, and there were no games in the system to play. This could definitely be better organized.

Game room weak? yes i agree not one of my best creations. Solutions? it is work in progress. Theft? yeah that is a risk, good idea on the lock boxes. changing stations? this was necessary to make scheduled tournaments go by quicker this will almost always happen as result.

Good observations guys, We will see what the future will bring :D

Siobhan
08-09-2011, 06:39 PM
-I know I have mentioned this in another board, but it could bear repeating. To the dark-haired lady who brought us lemonade at our table: THANK YOU SO MUCH~ It really improved the mood of me and my frazzled friends. It (both the act and the lemonade) was super sweet, and we all really appreciated it. Tl;dr = Con Alley volunteers are awesome and considerate!

You! I saw your post on another board (I forget which one). My best friend and I were two of the artist alley volunteers (she's the long-haired Asian one, I'm the short-haired not-Asian one). Whichever of us you're talking about, thank you so much! There was a survey for some of the artists (not everyone got one because there weren't very many) and someone commented that we were their fav part of the con. That kind of thing made us both feel really good, thank you so much for your kind words!

Kuri
08-09-2011, 07:18 PM
I'm SO happy hearing about the convention being moved to the convention center next year. There were lines everywhere I turned :( I wanted to go to the sushi and tea tasting panel more than some others but was bummed when I went early to count that people in line were already exceeding 30 and 40 people. Next time I'm hoping the limit for panels like those won't be so limited! There are thousands of people attending and it doesn't seem fair to only have less than 100 experience these panels. I'd even understand charging a dollar or two for the people walking in for help with supplies needed to give something to everyone(Sorry but I'm overexcited when it comes to sushi! ;n;). There were few panels we were able to attend because we just didn't want to waste time with lines. We went all the years before to San Japan and lines weren't NEARLY as hectic expect the costly contest line(And thanks to the volunteers who kept clearing out a forming line for the costly contest nearly 3/4 hours before the cosplay contest. That made me less nervous about if I was able to even get a spot in that event). I guess we were just plain surprised with the lines this year compared to last though I'm certainly happy to see this con continuing to grow so much each year.

As for panels themselves, I've been to San Japan all four years and saw not much of a mix up in panel options though there are reoccurring panels that were just as enjoyable the second time around. Maybe just more variety? Also add some spice into Sunday. I was shocked at seeing so many people still down about the con and giving something for them to do would just be nice. As for me, there was nothing interesting left to see so I left early Sunday. Even some games would do it in like in the main event room. I remember the first year of San Japan we played all sorts of group games and loved it and miss it.

LOVED the snack section on the 2nd floor. Convenient :D Also, were the water tanks really Ozarka water or tap water? I think it's just me since I drink bottled waters 24/7, but it tasted like tap water to me(which i hate sorry) and couldn't down much of the water to keep me hydrated. Guess that just teaches me to bring a crate of water with me next time.
As far as room sizes go for next year, most of the panel rooms in the Hyatt will have a max capacity between 50 and 100, so not really much of a change there - hopefully there will be that buffer between panels to allow people to go to more than one that they want to go to, and the best way to get into a panel you REALLY want to is to line up early and just bear with the wait.

As far as more variety in the paneling goes, that's really up to YOU (not just you, but everyone attending San Japan). This is a fan-run convention, and it takes a fan to make a panel. If you'd like to host a panel, or have a suggestion you'd like to see become a panel, post it up once the section opens up, and see if someone bites.

As far as 'tasty water' goes, I suggest bringing Mio, or some other water additive to make it more enjoyable, or just bottled water. ;D

Thank you for all the feedback - we can't make the convention run better without it.

BleachAnimeFreak1980
08-09-2011, 08:15 PM
The convention was awesome as usual. However, I don't know if anyone has brought this up yet or not, but the one thing I could have seen improvement with was the length of time given for the Guest Improv. I think it could have done with a longer period of time. It was one of the funniest events at the con. Most of us if not all, were a bit disappointed with how short it was. Maybe, try making it longer around an hour and half or something. The guests and audience were getting kinda rushed along towards the end. Otherwise it was a great con! Keep up the great work.

happygoldfish
08-09-2011, 09:08 PM
Just for your information for next year, there is a 24hr Mexican restaurant on the riverwalk called Original (or something...the original) I was in the same boat, after the contest and changing it was midnight before I could look for dinner. My group got lucky and just kind of stumbled upon it trying to find a pizza place we had looked up on a phone (which I don't think existed). There was 0 wait and we had a party of 7.

Wow, you guys did get lucky, we figured everything on the Riverwalk would be closed. Guess we should have tried that then; we ended up eating a bag of cheetos XD Thank goodness even later that night a friend of ours' Mom had Lunchables squirreled away and we had those. I've never been so happy to see pizza lunchables in my life.

thegearproject
08-09-2011, 09:42 PM
The show. Was it just me or did all the costumes this year step it up? Because I was very impressed with all the cosplays. A lot of the Novice cosplays looked like they could be Open or Journeyman or something else really good. Props to everyone who participated! This was my favorite Cosplay Show to date. I loved the addition of the kids cosplay category :).I thought the opening bit with the guy from the Gear Project dragged on a little bit, but I assume this was so that sound and the contestants could finish setting up so whatever. I really liked the MC; she was darling. Don’t worry that the audience might not have gotten some of your nerdier jokes because in my group was a guy who got 90% and he assured me you were very clever. Speaking of the audience, I was very disappointed in my fellow attendees. There was nowhere near the amount of noise there should have been for all those amazing (or not) cosplays :/ . I near about lost my voice trying to keep the room from having dead silence. Please guys, at least clap when a person gets on and off the stage. Also, I think someone dropped the ball when it came to making the stage accessible. Why wasn’t there a ramp? I felt so bad for the cosplayer in the wheelchair and the amazing Dalek who couldn’t get up on stage to show off all their hard work! I mean, guys…guys, even the less than spectacular Ikkicon show had a ramp. Very disappointed. The skits were also the best I’ve seen in my time (since 1.5) at San Japan. Where did all of you come from? I loved the dance and the drama skits. That Princess Tutu was amazing! Both Open skits were super quality as well. Tl;dr = Best Cosplay show yet, amazing cosplays/skits, stage looked very professional, SHOULD HAVE HAD A RAMP, audience was not loud enough


I definitely felt that this was probably our best year for overall competition level. I feel that people view our show as a Big Deal in the competition circuits and come prepared for that. Makes me smile.

re: The Ramp. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW BADLY I WANTED ONE. Sadly, the hotel apparently... didn't have one? That was what I was told. And to be honest, I think that's BS as it kind of violates the ADA. That being said, new hotel next year, hopefully won't be a problem.

Digital_Assassin
08-09-2011, 09:56 PM
Game room weak? yes i agree not one of my best creations. Solutions? it is work in progress. Theft? yeah that is a risk, good idea on the lock boxes. changing stations? this was necessary to make scheduled tournaments go by quicker this will almost always happen as result.

Good observations guys, We will see what the future will bring :D

I liked the way it went in the game room a little better last year. I think the biggest thing will be the bigger venue. This will at least give a chance to allow for more stations, and dedicate them. But I can complain, or I can help do something about it. Let me know if you need help with next years event.

permafrost
08-09-2011, 10:39 PM
You! I saw your post on another board (I forget which one). My best friend and I were two of the artist alley volunteers (she's the long-haired Asian one, I'm the short-haired not-Asian one). Whichever of us you're talking about, thank you so much! There was a survey for some of the artists (not everyone got one because there weren't very many) and someone commented that we were their fav part of the con. That kind of thing made us both feel really good, thank you so much for your kind words!

You were the one with short hair? Well then, thank you~

porkchops_and_applesause
08-09-2011, 11:17 PM
Is there any way we could have a vendor selling food late into the night? It was impossible to get food after the cosplay show Saturday night (the Denny's had a 2 hour wait), and the Starbuck's cafe was sold out. The little snack bar on the 2nd floor had already closed, as did the pizza delivery places. My group gave up at one point and we went back to our room to order room service but it had shutdown too. I know this one is partly our fault for not having food stocked up in the room or something, but it would be nice for those like us who had gotten out late from some of the events.



That one you can blame the hotel for. I had proposed my work to be a food vendor for SJ and was informed that the hotel would not allow the sale of outside food. Maybe if were all good boys and girls next years location will allow this *fingers crossed*

I also saw a comment about Game room and Controllers and I am just too Darn lazy to find it:
As a former Game room volunteer *for the lovely Mr.12345 no less* I know that ALL of the equipment for gameroom is donated or brought by the Game room staff. Like from their own living rooms. So they have a sort of limited supply as to what they can provide you guys with. So just keep that in mind when you dont have a controller in your hand while your watching someone else play.

I really dont have any actual feedback since I was locked away in con suite the whole weekend feeding people..

Pika-Neko
08-09-2011, 11:18 PM
San-Japan was amazing as usual. I had alot of fun cosplaying with my friends and being part of panels. Thankyou everyone who showed up to Cosplay Group 101, Asian Horror Panel, or Kamina's guide to manliness. You guys were all super amazing! =) The only sucky part was the slow elevators and of course the fact that both my panels ran late Saturday night. =( Asian Horror was due to technical difficulties but Jay and the volunteers were so helpfull, and the two girls who lent us their labtop and jump drives were amazing. Thanks so much for saving my panel! Next year I'm putting my clips on my partners computer. She has a pc so it should work just fine. Kamina's guide to manliness ran late due to us being led to believe that the panel before us was running late. It turns out that the ppl before us had been gone for quite awhile, but although it was late everyone stuck by us and we had an awesome time. Thankyou so much to Proz for being epic and helping us out. You are amazing! Truly Truly Amazing! =) That's really all I have to say though. I'm excited for next year. =)

Proz
08-09-2011, 11:34 PM
Also, during the evenings of the con, a group of friends and I noticed a lot of people wandering around the artist alley and con grounds without a pass. They were going past security many times, so I think that con security should keep a closer eye out for people going through the con without badges, not just for the Dealer's Room and panels.

You weren't required to have a pass to walk around Artist Alley or the main floor with a pass and artists much prefer this as they'll get sales from people who stumble upon the convention.

Next year, passes will be required in order to enter the Convention Center and will be enforced.


As for panels themselves, I've been to San Japan all four years and saw not much of a mix up in panel options though there are reoccurring panels that were just as enjoyable the second time around. Maybe just more variety? Also add some spice into Sunday. I was shocked at seeing so many people still down about the con and giving something for them to do would just be nice. As for me, there was nothing interesting left to see so I left early Sunday. Even some games would do it in like in the main event room. I remember the first year of San Japan we played all sorts of group games and loved it and miss it.

This has been discussed multiple times, this comes up every year, and reiterated multiple times:

1) A vast majority of our panels are run by fans. We open up for submissions and give people 6-8 months to submit their panels. We approve the ones that show that they're organized. We don't accept submissions that seem like an idea scribbled on a piece of paper.

We are open to new ideas but people have to put in initiative to make it happen. We can't just shake a variety tree of ideas to make them fall.

2) When asked on panel slot time, a vast majority want their panels on Friday evening or any time Saturday. Very rarely do panelists want their panels on Sunday.


I also think the Guidebook app was a major plus for this year, I hope you guys use it next year. It really made getting around to all the panels I wanted to see a whole lot easier ^^

Definitely plan to bring it back. We actually had to throw away over half of the printed schedules because not that many were picked up. The large schedules probably helped too.

comter
08-10-2011, 01:36 AM
We can't just shake a variety tree of ideas to make them fall.

Don't lie..I've seen the tree. It exists. The only problem is that when you shake it, ideas don't fall out, otaku do. >_>'

-the purring dork

Eddo
08-10-2011, 01:41 AM
Definitely plan to bring it back. We actually had to throw away over half of the printed schedules because not that many were picked up. The large schedules probably helped too.

I felt so so bad.. I kept putting out schedules but the HUGE schedule, The program book schedule and mobile app were just so good they were not needed..

And I seriously hope you recycled them.......If not next year I will personally see to it all paper "trash" from Info Desk is recycled.

comter
08-10-2011, 03:42 AM
I've divided this up into a few different sections:

Praise

Then let me say that the registration staff were especially nice and helpful last night.

RegStaff and Volunteers did do a great job last night.

Saturday Started off really great! The Staff and Volunteers were very nice and helpful in the Registration Room!
Thank you so much. I love to hear when we're doing great and you're loving how regIT works and how we run Registration.


Registration & Safety

Another big praise that I have for the con is how nice it was to have registration, the info desk, and the safety desk all within a reasonable distance of one another. At another con that I went to, they have info and registration in one building, but safety was in another building located in a small hallway near one of the entrances to the dealer room and artist alley, which made it very difficult to get your weapons checked. So thank you for having the three most important parts of the con altogether in one area. This is one thing I would please ask you to keep for SJ:5.

Also, how about putting the Weapons Check near Registration? Might kill two birds with one stone to have people register and get their props checked right after before proceeding to enjoy the con.

Weapons check-I think for this next SJ that you have the Registration and Safety Check, as soon as you enter the building cause I noticed a lot of people with weapons,etc. that didn't have the safety orange tape. Also there were a lot of people who were swinging the items around when walking that could hurt someone, please have security watch out for these types of people for next time.
This is a bit of a space issue but does make sense. The idea would be to post 1-3 Safety Staff (that can make weapon check judgement calls) at the Registration area to handle weapon checks at Registration. We'll look into this next year.


Long Line But Moved Smoothly/Quickly

Registration line was long, but at least when I was in it, it went fast. It was wrapped all the way around the hallway, and my friends and I were upset, thinking that we'd be there for hours, but we actually only were there about 20 minutes. We even got into the registration room before people who had gotten onto the end of the much shorter on- site registration line.

The Pre-registration line was a little long but it went smooth.
Even if there is a long line, so long as your wait time was short, we still chalk that up in the "success" category. We've never been afraid of a long line, so long as the average wait time in that long line is kept around 15-20 minutes, aka, keep the line moving quickly and everyone is happy. We try to balance the handling of Pre-Reg/Online Reg and On-Site Reg based on how many stations we can setup and how many people are available to work those stations. After one line has been worn down, I move some people back over to handle the other line and so on.


Pre-Reg Moved Slower Than On-Site

1. Pre-registration lines. I was just a bit confused as to why that line went slower than the registration line (and a tad bit frustrated too).

Please make Pre-regs your priority when getting people registered. At one point on Friday morning the Pre-Reg line was twice as long as the normal Reg line and moving exceedingly slow compared to the normal Reg. My friend even said, "It's like a big middle finger to everyone that signed up months in advance!" I think a faster-moving line should be in order for those of us who decided to register early.

This. I had the same experience. Got there early and saw no one in the normal reg. line, and the pre-reg line wrapped all kinds of crazy around the halls. Not a big complaint, but I just thought it should be mentioned in anticipation of next year.

As a few other people have already stated, the pre-reg lines on Friday morning were very long and moved much slower than at door registration, which to me makes no sense.
There's actually a very logical reason for the Pre-Registration line moving slower than the On-Site line: pre-printed badges. There were close to 2000 Pre-Regs this year and I underestimated how long it would take to thumb through 300 badges of attendees who's last name started with S, especially when they were only half sorted from the printers. Eventually we figured out that one person should look up the Pre-Reg and then someone else should actually find the badge. By comparison, On-Site Reg is relatively quicker ("What badges do you want? That'll be $XX. Here's your badges."). Once we got the Pre-Reg line under control on Friday, there were no further delays the rest of the convention.

Next year we're working on something very special that should completely obliterate this problem and make getting your Pre-Registration badge (once you're at the table) take about 15-30 seconds, tops. We're very excited about it. Oh, and did I mention, it will be fully automated? *spoilers* >_>


Individual Responses

Saturday: -The onsite registration line was nice and short when I arrived at approx 9:15 AM with my younger brother. The volunteer who gave him his badge was efficient and informative. In total it took less than 15 minutes to wait in line, receive the badge, and grab his bag of stuff. Note: perhaps at the Safety Desk make programs available as well as the paper schedules. Tl;dr = morning registration was wonderful, perhaps put programs at Safety Desk as well.
On Saturday we opened at 8:30am and were done with the opening rush (everyone that had lined up before we opened) by 9am and it was no small line that was out there Saturday morning. Our target is 15 minutes or less and I'm glad to know that we were able meet that target with you.


Long lines-There were huge lines for some of the events/panels and even the registration. I didn't remember the lines being that long last year, so I hope moving to the convention center will be a lot of help in this matter.
It was odd seeing such a large line for Registration this year and part of that was due to the hallway space that we were using for the line (which made the hallway seem really squished) but you guys stuck it out and helped us keep the hallway clear. Thank you.


Here's my suggestion... VMworld (big software conference) usually has 10 to 14,000 attendees. You register for it and build your schedule online in advanced. This allows people to get a guaranteed spot at the panels they want. If there's a massive wait list (when popular panels quickly fill up), then VMworld can adjust and move the panel to a larger room to accommodate the crowd. You build your schedule online, when you get to the panel, there's two lines- one for registered & one for non-registered. Your badge is scanned & if you're registered, you're allowed in. After 10 minutes, if space is available, non-registered attendees (for that specific panel) are allowed in.
We would love to be able to do this and I have been giving thought to a Panel Registration setup but the logistics and practicality of deploying this at the convention are still being worked on.



As a volunteer that was helping with registration, I wish to say thanks for all the kind words and support. We do hope to make next year go faster and smoother, if that is even possible. It was wonderful to work for you all, a lot of you were VERY polite. Being my first anime convention, I was awestruck by it. And I do look forward to do this again, and again, again, and again, again, and again, and so on.
I would like to take a moment here to thank all of the people that were working for and with regIT at Registration this year. They did an amazing and tireless job making sure that each and every attendee got to experience and enjoy the convention as quickly as possible. Thank you all.

-the purring dork

MeWindyCharms
08-10-2011, 11:27 AM
The huge "S" and "J" on either side of the cosplay show?

SWAG.

YaoixYuri18
08-10-2011, 02:03 PM
Friday - EPIC FUN! The only complanit I have was about finding the "Regular RegIT" line, another than that it was smooth sailing. The autograph line for Brad Swaile, J. Michael Tatum, and Caitlin Glass was crazzyy! I hope all those people who were turnt away got a chance to get an autograph from them. I didn't get to make to all the panels that wanted to go to, but maybe next I will.

Saturday - FUN! I took my little sister with me, it was her first time at a anime convention. Was again it was hard to figure out what line was for "Regular RegIT."
I believe the at the door regit/pre-regit line was combined because beside there was a line for a panel. Of course the line for the Poke-Battle Live was long, but I'm a patient person unlike my lil sis. Next, me went to the Kingdom Hearts panel. The line was ridiculously long, in fact the capacity had already been capped off. People were willing to wait to if people would leave. I had more of a problem with the voluteers "green shirts" it got really annoying when they were yelling "stay against the walls!" or "don't block the doorway!" Even if one person just slighty moved away from the way they got yelled at. I was just about ready to chew them out, but I had my sister with me and didn't want to get kicked out of the convention. To end with this the volunteers on Friday were nicer than the ones on Saturnday, thats just my opinon. I know they were doing their jobs, but it could be done a nicer way.

Sunday- Bittersweet! It was sad that it was the last day of San Japan. Bought were things from the AA and Dearlers Room. I went to 3 or 4 of the panels. It was to great meet everyone at the San Japan Forum Panel. I felt sorry for the person, (sorry but I forgot her name) that ran the Super Sentai (Not just Japanese Power Rangers) panel. There was a large group that was being rude and annoying. I'm surprised she didn't just kick them out.

Overall San Japan was crazy, amazing, wild, and loads of FUN!!
Can't wait for next year!! :eek:

Proz
08-10-2011, 02:11 PM
Next year we're working on something very special that should completely obliterate this problem and make getting your Pre-Registration badge (once you're at the table) take about 15-30 seconds, tops. We're very excited about it. Oh, and did I mention, it will be fully automated? *spoilers* >_>

Even I don't know this unless you're alluding to our discussions that we had last month.

Darth Sebastian
08-10-2011, 02:19 PM
Even I don't know this unless you're eluding to our discussions that we had last month.

My good man, I believe you were looking for 'alluding.'

kenwa
08-10-2011, 02:46 PM
My good man, I believe you were looking for 'alluding.'

I've been meaning to point that out to him for months. Drives me batty every time I see it right before I start laughing about what concept might be being eluded which makes me forget to say anything.

For other concepts in this thread:

Regarding pre-registration I can tell you how Detour does it. There is virtually no wait there. It requires only bodies and pre-planning.

Regarding elevators:

You can protect yourself on Sunday between 10:30 and noon by getting out of your room early (before 10 AM). Get luggage down to your car on Saturday night. Be prepared to take stairs if you have to. If several thousand people all try to go to the first floor between 11 and noon then most will have a very bad experience. This also usually applies to some time on Saturday at every convention, usually around cosplay or a concert.

If you are an ****** and are staying on a mid-level or lower floor, stop riding the elevator up when you intend to go down. You are completely busting the already inefficient elevator programming and screwing things up for everyone else. Other conventions in Texas have an "institutional memory" among attendees that getting on an "up" elevator from the sixth floor in a 30-floor hotel is a smart way to go downstairs. They are wrong. The correct answer if you can't wait is "stairs". Every year I see attendees at AnimeFest do this, and the down elevator usually shows up within two minutes of this stupid act.

The only way that conventions can fix elevator problems in a 40+ floor hotel like we'll be in next year is to allocate 20+ people to manage lines at the first floor and the top floor, and to also assign riders to each elevator to hit the button for the top floor and force everyone off there to make them get in the line to go down. It certainly works, but it is annoying. Better behavior would be a better solution.

Proz
08-10-2011, 02:58 PM
The only way that conventions can fix elevator problems in a 40+ floor hotel like we'll be in next year is to allocate 20+ people to manage lines at the first floor and the top floor, and to also assign riders to each elevator to hit the button for the top floor and force everyone off there to make them get in the line to go down. It certainly works, but it is annoying. Better behavior would be a better solution.

Next year is actually 15 floors for regular sleeping rooms but only 6 elevators total. 1-4 can be accessed by two sets of elevators but the condos/suites are on 20-24 (AFAIK).

cat-chan
08-10-2011, 02:59 PM
If you are an ****** and are staying on a mid-level or lower floor, stop riding the elevator up when you intend to go down. You are completely busting the already inefficient elevator programming and screwing things up for everyone else. Other conventions in Texas have an "institutional memory" among attendees that getting on an "up" elevator from the sixth floor in a 30-floor hotel is a smart way to go downstairs. They are wrong. The correct answer if you can't wait is "stairs". Every year I see attendees at AnimeFest do this, and the down elevator usually shows up within two minutes of this stupid act.



This forever! It happened nearly every time I tried to get on the elevator, it was especially bad when people would get on at floor three trying to go to their room but the elevator was going all the way to floor one.

I also had a problem with people "cutting" in front of me when waiting for an elevator. General etiquette dictates you allow the person that has been waiting longest on first. Apparently a lot of attendees missed that memo.

ErazDod
08-10-2011, 03:01 PM
Actually, one thing I didn't really appreciate concerned the Sleeping Samurai room. I told the people running it that I didn't know the rules, and so the coaches/managers/whatever you call them decided to explain the rules, only they used me as a test dummy to show what parts of your body you can and couldn't hit. Getting hit over and over again didn't hurt much, but it was still a bit uncool of them, in my opinion, to choose a random person out of the audience that had never done Sleeping Samurai before instead of someone that had been more experienced at it.
This didn't ruin my entire experience at Sleeping Samurai though, but I just think that if they do examples of what parts of the body you can and can't hit, they ought to do it on someone that they know is okay with being whacked with a sword repeatedly, instead of a 'lucky' member of the audience.

comter
08-10-2011, 03:15 PM
Regarding pre-registration I can tell you how Detour does it. There is virtually no wait there.
First off, *points at Anime Detour's numbers (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Anime_Detour#Event_History)*. When San Japan was that size, we only had about 1,000-1,100 Pre-Registration (plus I've been adding to that number with Online Registrations since we were that size) and we had virtually no wait either.

It requires only bodies and pre-planning.
Secondly, I don't agree with the concept that all that has to be done is throw more bodies at a problem and it will be magically solved (even with pre-planning). That's part of the reason that I work on regIT: if the system supporting all the bodies isn't honed and streamlined then it takes a very disproportionate number of bodies to handle the same amount of attendees.

But I'm always interested in hearing how another event handled their Registration. You can PM me or just reply to this thread.

-the purring dork

FaeandMerfolk
08-10-2011, 03:20 PM
This forever! It happened nearly every time I tried to get on the elevator, it was especially bad when people would get on at floor three trying to go to their room but the elevator was going all the way to floor one.

I also had a problem with people "cutting" in front of me when waiting for an elevator. General etiquette dictates you allow the person that has been waiting longest on first. Apparently a lot of attendees missed that memo.

I had this problem as well and it was part of the reason our cafe started late on Saturday. I needed to run to my room for an emergency and could not get on an elevator because no matter how long I waited, people would jump in front of me. It also happened as we were lugging heavy stuff and dead on our feet from working almost 10 hours straight in the cafe room serving.

It's just rude and has nothing to do with the con or hotel, but the rudeness of children who don't understand common courtesy.

kenwa
08-10-2011, 03:26 PM
First off, *points at Anime Detour's numbers (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Anime_Detour#Event_History)*. When San Japan was that size, we only had about 1,000-1,100 Pre-Registration (plus I've been adding to that number with Online Registrations since we were that size) and we had virtually no wait either.
Detour's registration is capped at around 4500 due to hotel space. They are 100% pre-registered. You can't get a registration at the con. It's been this way for years, with only the location and cap changing. It's a Minneapolis problem. Imagine San Japan still at the El Tropicano. That's Detour.


Secondly, I don't agree with the concept that all that has to be done is throw more bodies at a problem and it will be magically solved (even with pre-planning). That's part of the reason that I work on regIT: if the system supporting all the bodies isn't honed and streamlined then it takes a very disproportionate number of bodies to handle the same amount of attendees.

But I'm always interested in hearing how another event handled their Registration. You can PM me or just reply to this thread.

-the purring dork
Every registration is confirmed with a registration number. There are multiple tables separated by section of alphabet for last name. (ABC, DEF, etc.). There are 3 people at each table. Two are processing names and registration numbers from a list and having the person getting the badge sign for it. The third is looking up the badge for that name.

Every badge comes from these tables except guests (including staff). There is effectively no line. Ever.

thephoenix
08-10-2011, 03:31 PM
I know some cons have you print a pre-reg receipt, and have a barcode to scan. They scan the barcode when you get to the front, if everything checks out fine (which is automated) then it marks that badge off and they give you a badge, some times going through a printer that prints your name for you. You can get your badges and be on your way in under a minute.

comter
08-10-2011, 03:45 PM
Detour's registration is capped at around 4500 due to hotel space. They are 100% pre-registered. You can't get a registration at the con. It's been this way for years, with only the location and cap changing. It's a Minneapolis problem. Imagine San Japan still at the El Tropicano. That's Detour.

Every registration is confirmed with a registration number. There are multiple tables separated by section of alphabet for last name. (ABC, DEF, etc.). There are 3 people at each table. Two are processing names and registration numbers from a list and having the person getting the badge sign for it. The third is looking up the badge for that name.

Every badge comes from these tables except guests (including staff). There is effectively no line. Ever.
Their organization greatly helps their line but I think what helps more is the fact that they aren't having to deal with On-Site Registration. If I could of moved all 10 of my people that I had this year to only handle Pre-Registration/Online Registration, then I too would of not had any line ever but otherwise it's all a balancing game.

I do believe they have figured out the most optimal way to handle ~4,500 Pre-Registrations (separating by alphabet and having "teams" handle each section). Their registration number is the same as my Confirmation number and I use a barcoded Confirmation email (and barcode scanners) to look it all up. The only real improvements I could see would be investing in some more hardware (not sure if they are paper or electronic lists and possibly some on-demand badge printing). I do give them props for figuring out their current setup (some conventions never do).

-the purring dork

kenwa
08-10-2011, 10:34 PM
I have to admit... Detour's is the only reg line I go through... ever. Except SXSW, which was also pretty freaking easy.

At Detour I was irritated to find out that my manager didn't have my badge and I'd have to go through a line to get it... then I was weirded out by no line. Don't know if my input is useful at all or not, but I was indeed impressed.

kite
08-11-2011, 01:37 AM
i know this prob isnt possible but is there any way that the DJs that are brought to the con could be open to music request? i know its prob hard bc too many people have different taste and would want a lot of different music but could it also be possible for Proz to list the DJs he is considering and have people vote on a specific DJ?

ChibiBritt
08-11-2011, 09:23 AM
i know this prob isnt possible but is there any way that the DJs that are brought to the con could be open to music request? i know its prob hard bc too many people have different taste and would want a lot of different music but could it also be possible for Proz to list the DJs he is considering and have people vote on a specific DJ?

I know when DJ Jinnai was invited he had a request thread up ahead of time. Aside from that, you won't see it that often :(

shinigamiriku
08-11-2011, 11:12 AM
Now this might get a friend mad at me but...

I think the How to Fan and Con Survival just need to be combined into one. As a person who has sat in on it for two years now, a lot of the information is the same. What if the time was extended and just have it all together?

Anime Dating Game - TO MUCH TIME. the rounds seemed to go on forever and that was without the sound issues. The only round that was really awesome was the Doctor who person. And Im there every year and i have never seen so many people leave. In a positive note, I loved how some people moved pass the electrical sound issues and kept things moving. Perhaps make shorter rounds and add more people, make the spotlight contestant actually from the audience instead of one of the copanelist. (just an idea)

Die you did pretty awesome with all the panels, just saying. Perhaps read from the lists just a little less and involve the audience a little more in the other panels.

Now onto other issues

Safety people- Please chill. I only had one issue which was on the second floor by the escalators but wasnt in the way at all. Some one had stopped us for photos so we moved way out of the way yet were still told that we couldnt do that at all and we needed to move. Apparently we couldnt move far enough away and continued to get yelled at. Yes you need to be loud and keep things controlled but help us out by at least telling us where exactly we can go so you dont have to worry about us anymore.

In that note Id like to thank the person at the door for Kamen Rider Fan Panel as well as the staff member that was inside. You guys were awesome!

RedeadDie
08-11-2011, 11:38 AM
Now this might get a friend mad at me but...

I think the How to Fan and Con Survival just need to be combined into one. As a person who has sat in on it for two years now, a lot of the information is the same. What if the time was extended and just have it all together?

Anime Dating Game - TO MUCH TIME. the rounds seemed to go on forever and that was without the sound issues. The only round that was really awesome was the Doctor who person. And Im there every year and i have never seen so many people leave. In a positive note, I loved how some people moved pass the electrical sound issues and kept things moving. Perhaps make shorter rounds and add more people, make the spotlight contestant actually from the audience instead of one of the copanelist. (just an idea)

Die you did pretty awesome with all the panels, just saying. Perhaps read from the lists just a little less and involve the audience a little more in the other panels.I originally wanted only about thirty minutes each for the Con Survival and How to Fan since they relate a lot to each other. Had to drag it out a bit for each panel to fill in the time. I'm hoping next time for the times for these two panels to be cut in half.

The only reason we used the co-host as a spotlight is because the spotlight didn't have a chance to win a prize this year. Next year spotlight and the contestant picked by the spotlight will both get a prize. So therefore we'll choose the spotlight contestant for the audience member round out of the audience next time.

Yeah, next year the rounds will be shorter. I asked the Marty Mcfly round and the first round to drag out for time due to the fact that there were issues I was trying to solve with the man at the door (he was of no help) and trying to get the room aired out/tech problems fixed.

The introductions we are keeping though, sorry.

EDIT: Also would like to mention, this panel is more of a show panel than an interactive panel. This is why we want sign-ups ahead of time. There was one time where half of the show was picking random audience members (Not at SJ) and it turned rather dull/ugly. So this is why we do ahead of time sign-ups. The audience member round is the more interactive part.

thephoenix
08-11-2011, 12:56 PM
Also would like to mention, this panel is more of a show panel than an interactive panel. This is why we want sign-ups ahead of time.

It wont matter when people sign up, if they dont have their character down well enough, they are bad at improvisation and timing, and are just flat out not entertaining, you could have them sign up 3 years in advance and the panel will still have boring rounds. It's an entertainment panel, one that focuses heavily on improvisation in character, and sadly a lot of people don't seem to be able to do that well enough to keep things interesting. Pre-screening wouldn't hurt but just going off of early sign-ups will only lock in a gamble.

RedeadDie
08-11-2011, 02:35 PM
It wont matter when people sign up, if they dont have their character down well enough, they are bad at improvisation and timing, and are just flat out not entertaining, you could have them sign up 3 years in advance and the panel will still have boring rounds. It's an entertainment panel, one that focuses heavily on improvisation in character, and sadly a lot of people don't seem to be able to do that well enough to keep things interesting. Pre-screening wouldn't hurt but just going off of early sign-ups will only lock in a gamble.Almost all of the spotlight people I knew personally/have seen in action when it comes to improv before. Watching the videos back, I think all the spotlights and plenty of the contestants did an amazing job. I think this was one of the better times we had excellent contestants that stayed in character.

I believe the only issue was that the rounds had too much time each. Doesn't matter how good you are, people have short attention spans. Again, I think the contestants did amazingly well, so do not put down their performances. If you believe you can do better, sign up yourself. Also, I have a question for you, were you there to view the contestant rounds personally?

Again, I'm not saying that the Cosplay Dating Game was the most amazing this year, there are a lot of things that're planned to be changed/fixed. I actually wished it had gone better tech wise and shortening rounds wise. (Also, the AC turning off wasn't good either considering how many people we had in there.)

SquidgyGal
08-11-2011, 04:07 PM
Almost all of the spotlight people I knew personally/have seen in action when it comes to improv before. Watching the videos back, I think all the spotlights and plenty of the contestants did an amazing job. I think this was one of the better times we had excellent contestants that stayed in character.

I believe the only issue was that the rounds had too much time each. Doesn't matter how good you are, people have short attention spans. Again, I think the contestants did amazingly well, so do not put down their performances. If you believe you can do better, sign up yourself. Also, I have a question for you, were you there to view the contestant rounds personally?

Again, I'm not saying that the Cosplay Dating Game was the most amazing this year, there are a lot of things that're planned to be changed/fixed. I actually wished it had gone better tech wise and shortening rounds wise. (Also, the AC turning off wasn't good either considering how many people we had in there.)

Seconded!

I was the Sailor Mars at the Dating Game (whoever gave me the lovely compliment earlier, thank you!!! Made my day! :D)

As an actor (MFA, holla!), improvisation is a very hard thing to get right, let alone entertain with it. Being fast on your feet is one thing, but making people laugh and keeping a scene up is another. It's hard to play off people you don't know, let alone can't see. And whoever said it earlier (apologies) is correct; if you don't know your character, it's not going to be as awesome as the audience hopes you will be.

As for the techinical difficulties, I think they were handled wonderfully. In a show, you gotta roll with it. So yeah, things run a little too long, or people get moved a round and it messes with the energy, but that's the live theatre experience for you! It didn't shut down, people kept going, and the show (for the most) was successful.

Azalia
08-11-2011, 04:22 PM
Wow, you guys did get lucky, we figured everything on the Riverwalk would be closed. Guess we should have tried that then; we ended up eating a bag of cheetos XD Thank goodness even later that night a friend of ours' Mom had Lunchables squirreled away and we had those. I've never been so happy to see pizza lunchables in my life.

sorry for butting in, but I actually work downtown (Ripley's Believe it or Not! lol), and Friday's and Saturday's are party nights for all the partiers, there should be quite a few restaurants open down on the riverwalk. Alcohol doesn't stop selling till 2am, so there should be a few open that late! The suggestion about having a list of 24 hour restaurants next year is an awesome idea and I second it!

shinigamiriku
08-11-2011, 10:26 PM
What I meant was maybe make it one unified panel for How to Fan and Con survival. I mean its all important and its all really part of surviving the con. That way you can make it an hour or so and not have to repeat something in the other one or try to drag things out...Its just an idea.

The Dating game- by dragging it out it caused a lot of people to lose interest though, you said yourself at the how host a panel panel that you need to make sure you have your audiences attention. Perhaps theres a way to come up with a back up plan for if anything like this happened again? Though i would like to say Good idea by handing things out though.

Introductions are fine Btw. How ever I might DA note you about an idea.

Also the whole trying to engage your people in a panel was the other panels not the dating game one. Just wanted to clear that up.


I originally wanted only about thirty minutes each for the Con Survival and How to Fan since they relate a lot to each other. Had to drag it out a bit for each panel to fill in the time. I'm hoping next time for the times for these two panels to be cut in half.

The only reason we used the co-host as a spotlight is because the spotlight didn't have a chance to win a prize this year. Next year spotlight and the contestant picked by the spotlight will both get a prize. So therefore we'll choose the spotlight contestant for the audience member round out of the audience next time.

Yeah, next year the rounds will be shorter. I asked the Marty Mcfly round and the first round to drag out for time due to the fact that there were issues I was trying to solve with the man at the door (he was of no help) and trying to get the room aired out/tech problems fixed.

The introductions we are keeping though, sorry.

EDIT: Also would like to mention, this panel is more of a show panel than an interactive panel. This is why we want sign-ups ahead of time. There was one time where half of the show was picking random audience members (Not at SJ) and it turned rather dull/ugly. So this is why we do ahead of time sign-ups. The audience member round is the more interactive part.

RedeadDie
08-12-2011, 12:46 AM
Thanks for the feedback. It'll be taken into consideration.

mr12345
08-12-2011, 01:21 AM
I liked the way it went in the game room a little better last year.

Oh yeah? cool please tell me more about this, could you do a comparison if you remember? i am intrigued


Let me know if you need help with next years event.
What kind of Help are you offerin?

Buster
08-12-2011, 02:37 AM
unce unce unce unce. :tongue:;):biggrin:

kenwa
08-12-2011, 11:42 PM
The convention was awesome as usual. However, I don't know if anyone has brought this up yet or not, but the one thing I could have seen improvement with was the length of time given for the Guest Improv. I think it could have done with a longer period of time. It was one of the funniest events at the con. Most of us if not all, were a bit disappointed with how short it was. Maybe, try making it longer around an hour and half or something. The guests and audience were getting kinda rushed along towards the end. Otherwise it was a great con! Keep up the great work.

This was due to delays clearing the room from the previous event and getting everyone seated. Chris plans his structures so the whole thing runs about 50-55 minutes, and he doesn't want to go longer.

There is feedback at all my cons that improv should be longer. The reason for this is that it begins and ends with structures that are consistently hilarious. You are supposed to leave wanting more, right after seeing the best it was going to get. He knows many (many) more structures, but they are pretty involved and not easily accessible to casual improv fans.

Also, regarding another person's feedback, yes, next year the room will be bigger for it. I hope several times bigger. When I approved the schedule for the guests I was completely unaware that Panel 1 only had 48 seats. By the time I spotted it, the only place to move it with more room to was Panel 2, which had around 80.

Rassilon
08-13-2011, 12:29 AM
I hope someday that all people--dedicated or casual cosplayers--who are interested in running their own cosplay-related panel will be able to do so without fearing judgment from others.

In my opinion, SJ is for the fans, by the fans. I appreciate it. Amongst the throng of cookie-cutter anime conventions, this one stands out by giving fans that freedom.

Please, don't take away that freedom.

Jay
08-13-2011, 12:53 AM
I hope someday that all people--dedicated or casual cosplayers--who are interested in running their own cosplay-related panel will be able to do so without fearing judgment from others.

In my opinion, SJ is for the fans, by the fans. I appreciate it. Amongst the throng of cookie-cutter anime conventions, this one stands out by giving fans that freedom.

Please, don't take away that freedom.

As long as I am involved, you have no worry about that freedom going anywhere. Im big on freedom and respect.
SJ is a anime con that accepts everyone, and im going to strive to have something for everyone.

Big Boss
08-13-2011, 01:19 AM
I hope someday that all people--dedicated or casual cosplayers--who are interested in running their own cosplay-related panel will be able to do so without fearing judgment from others.

In my opinion, SJ is for the fans, by the fans. I appreciate it. Amongst the throng of cookie-cutter anime conventions, this one stands out by giving fans that freedom.

Please, don't take away that freedom.

As Jay said, we on the Events team are not allowing that freedom to go anywhere. This is a convention BY the con-goer, FOR the con-goer and we most certainly will continue to do our best to cram as much awesome fan-made stuff into the convention.

We want your panels...we NEED your panels. We want everyone to have a good time and put on good shows. Of course it's hard to cram EVERYTHING into a 3-day span of time but we will still be doing our best to do so.

Thanks again for all the feedback, please keep it coming! Don't be afraid to speak up if you have something to say!

amara
08-13-2011, 11:05 AM
I hope someday that all people--dedicated or casual cosplayers--who are interested in running their own cosplay-related panel will be able to do so without fearing judgment from others.

I had a discussion this weekend with my partner who is a costume design major, and we were talking about how we wished there had been millinery classes when we were starting, along with a few other. She would be qualified to give them, and if there was subtle convincing, I might be able to convince her to do so.

The thing is, gauging interest in this type of thing is precarious, and convincing someone who doesn't work for the con, but is, by my standards, an accomplished cosplayer, to run panels like this. I'll work on talking to her about this, because she knows her stuff, and while I would love to keep hogging her advice to myself, other people deserve to hear out her experience.

Honestly, I'll try and see what I can get her to agree to.

SonicRenegade84
08-13-2011, 11:34 AM
The one thing I kind of had a problem with (and once again, it was thanks to my room that kind of put this theory into my head), and that was about 20-25% of the con-goers only being there for Friday and Saturday night's rave. I'm sorry, but when I expect to go to a con, I expect cosplayers, not people wearing surgical masks.

I don't want to be the bad guy here, but if you're coming to an anime convention, at least know your stuff besides coming here just to get high on ecstasy and dance under bright lights and dance music.

RedeadDie
08-13-2011, 11:57 AM
As Jay said, we on the Events team are not allowing that freedom to go anywhere. This is a convention BY the con-goer, FOR the con-goer and we most certainly will continue to do our best to cram as much awesome fan-made stuff into the convention.

We want your panels...we NEED your panels. We want everyone to have a good time and put on good shows. Of course it's hard to cram EVERYTHING into a 3-day span of time but we will still be doing our best to do so.

Thanks again for all the feedback, please keep it coming! Don't be afraid to speak up if you have something to say!She's more specifically talking about cosplay-related panels. Quite a few of people we know have been too afraid to enter in their cosplay-related panels because they feel harsh judgement from others. A lot of good cosplayers have plenty they want to share, but feel they'll be shot down for trying to apply for a cosplay-related panel.

I guess our question is, does this freedom apply to those who are applying for cosplay-related panels?


The thing is, gauging interest in this type of thing is precarious, and convincing someone who doesn't work for the con, but is, by my standards, an accomplished cosplayer, to run panels like this. I'll work on talking to her about this, because she knows her stuff, and while I would love to keep hogging her advice to myself, other people deserve to hear out her experience. I'd love to see and hear a panel from someone like your friend. I hope she'll apply for a cosplay type panel and she is approved!

Proz
08-13-2011, 12:05 PM
She's more specifically talking about cosplay-related panels. Quite a few of people we know have been too afraid to enter in their cosplay-related panels because they feel harsh judgement from others. A lot of good cosplayers have plenty they want to share, but feel they'll be shot down for trying to apply for a cosplay related panel.

Events is the ones who reviews cosplay panel submissions, not the cosplay dept.

Best way to get approved? A good writeup and show initiative.

We want everyone to submit but if you don't submit, you can't take the first step.

FYI: We are going to drop 1 panel room next year. This is being done so that all rooms can be larger capacity. The trade-off is that most panel rooms will be able to fit around 100-130 instead of just 50-80 and the 2nd largest room besides Main Events will be able to fit around 500-700 people.

RedeadDie
08-13-2011, 12:06 PM
Thank you very much Proz! Now I can tell others they should have no fear.

amara
08-13-2011, 12:33 PM
I'd love to see and hear a panel from someone like your friend. I hope she'll apply for a cosplay type panel and she is approved!

I'll talk to her. We'll see if she agrees to it. It'll just be another in a long line of things she can blame on me. :)

thegearproject
08-14-2011, 10:33 AM
I feel I should clarify something.

My, personal not professional, issue with some of the cosplay panels that were approved this year isn't because I didn't like the individuals running it or felt they weren't qualified or any kind of judging. I want to kill that rumor right now. That is not the issue and it's extremely unfair to us to imply that it was.

The issue I had, personal not professional, is we had some fan-run panels that were essentially teaching the same thing as another one of the official guest-run panels. I, personally, feel there is little point in having more than one panel for the same topic, especially when it comes to cosplay. This is something I intend to speak with Jay about soon.

Just, please, don't assume you're being judged. You're not. It's purely a logistics matter.

kyle
08-14-2011, 10:54 AM
The one thing I kind of had a problem with (and once again, it was thanks to my room that kind of put this theory into my head), and that was about 20-25% of the con-goers only being there for Friday and Saturday night's rave. I'm sorry, but when I expect to go to a con, I expect cosplayers, not people wearing surgical masks.

I don't want to be the bad guy here, but if you're coming to an anime convention, at least know your stuff besides coming here just to get high on ecstasy and dance under bright lights and dance music.

This is a Texas convention and those are known to be "party conventions" in the anime convention community. If those people are willing to pay for a day or weekend badge just for the dances, then let them do it as long as they aren't caught breaking the rules (like bringing drugs). Often these people have an interest in what the convention is about too. I know a group of bored Plano residents that started going to A-kon just for the dances and room parties, but as the years went on they started getting more and more into the other aspects of the convention and would even participate in the cosplay contests with fantastic costumes from "casual" series like Speed Racer or Batman. They also often spend money and support the dealers and artists as well.

tl;dr The dances are just as important of draw as guests, panels, and vendors. Conventions often get repeat attendees, and even staff from people just attending the dance one year. I know I always go to as many dances as I can when they have them at conventions.

Rassilon
08-14-2011, 01:24 PM
The issue I had, personal not professional, is we had some fan-run panels that were essentially teaching the same thing as another one of the official guest-run panels. I, personally, feel there is little point in having more than one panel for the same topic, especially when it comes to cosplay. This is something I intend to speak with Jay about soon.

And by that logic, why don't we all put the voice actors into one panel? Certainly, this will save the convention space, time, and go over what is needed to be covered by the voice actors in one place at the same time. Same goes for improv shows. Surely, we will save more time by cramming all of them into one single event. How about How to Start a Webcomic, the Webcomic Industry, and Self-Publishing? Those all pretty much fall into the same category and certainly a good host will be able to hit the finer points within a one-hour time frame.

My point is, unless you are Jesus Christ in the flesh, you cannot cover everything there needs to be covered in one panel with a one to two hour time limit. You can try. You can try your darnedest. For one, I am appreciative of the many different variety of panels. A panel on thrifting and cosplaying? Genius. Cosplaying on a budget? Heck yeah, brilliant. I am always budgeting my cosplay and would love to learn a tip or two. Character representation while cosplaying? This is a must for many people who dress up and attend conventions. To have a panel that goes further into such topic and does not just skim over it, that is amazing and I adore the panelist's drive to make this a lengthy topic.

Plus, I love having a different view from different people when it comes to cosplay. One panelist's opinion may be accepted by the majority, but there will always be that select few who do not sit well with it. It's fact.

amara
08-14-2011, 05:53 PM
To tag onto the previous commenter, I want to add, these official cosplay panels are being taught by the same people for two years in a row. Not to say I don't like these cosplay guests because I do, but there is no variety in the guests or the panels. What needs to be looked at is variety with the official cosplay panels. If you want to keep the same cosplay guests, do it, but change up what they are talking about panel-wise. I also recommend adding onto your cosplay guest list, new blood will equal new opinions in panels. There needs to be some variety somewhere.

cat-chan
08-15-2011, 10:13 AM
And by that logic, why don't we all put the voice actors into one panel? Certainly, this will save the convention space, time, and go over what is needed to be covered by the voice actors in one place at the same time. Same goes for improv shows. Surely, we will save more time by cramming all of them into one single event. How about How to Start a Webcomic, the Webcomic Industry, and Self-Publishing? Those all pretty much fall into the same category and certainly a good host will be able to hit the finer points within a one-hour time frame.

My point is, unless you are Jesus Christ in the flesh, you cannot cover everything there needs to be covered in one panel with a one to two hour time limit. You can try. You can try your darnedest. For one, I am appreciative of the many different variety of panels. A panel on thrifting and cosplaying? Genius. Cosplaying on a budget? Heck yeah, brilliant. I am always budgeting my cosplay and would love to learn a tip or two. Character representation while cosplaying? This is a must for many people who dress up and attend conventions. To have a panel that goes further into such topic and does not just skim over it, that is amazing and I adore the panelist's drive to make this a lengthy topic.

Plus, I love having a different view from different people when it comes to cosplay. One panelist's opinion may be accepted by the majority, but there will always be that select few who do not sit well with it. It's fact.

I believe the gearproject was just trying to say there was no point in having two panels that cover the same information. When you submit a panel for San Japan (and most other conventions) you have to do a write up of what you plan to cover. If your list of things to cover mirrors the list of things a cosplay guest's panel plans to cover then it might be turned down, the same way if two con-goers both submitted similar panels it would be more than likely events would just select one panelist.

ChibiBritt
08-15-2011, 11:29 AM
I believe the gearproject was just trying to say there was no point in having two panels that cover the same information. When you submit a panel for San Japan (and most other conventions) you have to do a write up of what you plan to cover. If your list of things to cover mirrors the list of things a cosplay guest's panel plans to cover then it might be turned down, the same way if two con-goers both submitted similar panels it would be more than likely events would just select one panelist.


From what I recall all panelists had to write out everything Jay needed to know about each panel. This included a detailed description. It's possible that panels with similar content just posted different panel descriptions that didn't make it clear that they were covering basically the same info. Since a lot of panelists don't have the info to contact other panelists, then the issue of same content is just how things go. I don't think panelists go out of their way cover info another panelist is doing. They simply don't know.

cat-chan
08-15-2011, 11:59 AM
From what I recall all panelists had to write out everything Jay needed to know about each panel. This included a detailed description. It's possible that panels with similar content just posted different panel descriptions that didn't make it clear that they were covering basically the same info. Since a lot of panelists don't have the info to contact other panelists, then the issue of same content is just how things go. I don't think panelists go out of their way cover info another panelist is doing. They simply don't know.

I think you misunderstood me. I was saying that if someone submits a panel that is covering essentially the same thing as a guest's panel then it is a possibility it will be turned down because the cosplay director/events director doesn't want repeat content. I don't think they do either, but it is something that can happen.

RedeadDie
08-15-2011, 12:20 PM
I believe the point Rassilon was trying to get across that there was cosplay panels that only briefly mentioned or went over some things, but didn't dwell deeper into it. I rather see a panel that dwells deeper into a certain few things that were mentioned, than just briefly goes into it in a "catch-all" cosplay panel.

It's cosplay, it's a subject where things that were said by others will be repeated here and there, that's a given. However, we just don't like seeing cosplay panel ideas thrown out the window because "it's covered" when it really is just briefly gone over and not discussed more in depth.

As for doubling up panels, I entered a panel called "Cosplay to Runway" this year and it was approved. What was also approved was a "Careers in Cosplay" panel. I read the description for the other panel and I noticed how similar it was to mine. That's when I notified Jay, that the two panels were too similar and asked for him to pull mine. I even had to call a costumer/fashion instructor I invited to help host the panel and told her the panel was off because I didn't want the issue of too similar panels.

So yes, we do know the difference between "same panels" and panels that just mention the same things here and there.

Kuri
08-15-2011, 10:18 PM
Heck, if someone submits a panel that is VERY similar to one decided on later that will be hosted by a guest, they should be able to appear in the panel as a co-host, to incorporate different takes on the subject at hand. What a brilliant idea!

RedeadDie
08-16-2011, 11:13 AM
That sounds like a good idea as well.

Sylph
08-16-2011, 12:37 PM
Overall, San-Japan was pretty fun. I'm very glad there will be a move to a bigger space, because the spacing was the one big issue we had, but it was indeed a big issue.
I thought I would share one of our experiences though. Firstly, we pretty much attended this con because Bryan Massey was there. So we were super-stoked about going to That MANime show, a panel Saturday night with just J. Michael Tatum and Bryan Massey. I believe the panel started at 10. Voice Actors Unplugged was going on at 9, so we decided we would pop into that panel before going to get in line for That MANime show. So we get to the room for VA Unplugged, and the room is at capacity and there's a giant line waiting to get in as people leave. We wait in this line for a little while, then decide that we're clearly not going to get in, so we should just head to get in line for the other panel so that we can have good seats. We go stand in line at the other panel room-we are now first in line and super excited. A few minutes later the volunteer sitting at the door asks us if we're in line for That MANime show. We say yes and he tells us that it's been combined with VA Unplugged. We are understandably confused, so we head back to the other line and ask the volunteer at the door there if we are in fact in the right place. He says that he hasn't heard anything about that, but he will find out for us. After talking to a couple other staff members and waiting a few minutes a staff member comes up and tells us that That MANime show has in fact been canceled. That was extremely disappointing, partially because we were really looking forward to the panel, but also because if we had known that then we would have actually attended VA UNplugged, but because of that whole mess we missed both panels. Let me say that all of the staff members and volunteers who we talked to were extremely polite and helpful, and we were really impressed by them, but overall we were really disappointed. I know that stuff happens and sometimes cancellations can't be helped, but surely something about that situation could have been handled better.

DezzyDiamond
08-16-2011, 12:57 PM
my only issue was that the closing ceremonies was not in a large enough room

Proz
08-16-2011, 01:36 PM
my only issue was that the closing ceremonies was not in a large enough room

This frustrated me too. When we signed the original contract we were told that we had to vacate the room which Main Events was assigned by 12pm Sunday. We didn't learn until weeks before the convention that we could have had Main Events up until 6pm. It was too late to move it as I had already worked it out with all lighting & sound contractors along with to vacate by 12pm and had already finalized the schedule so closing ceremonies was set.

Next year's Main Events will be far larger so it won't be an issue.

Bri-Chan
08-17-2011, 12:49 AM
A few minutes later the volunteer sitting at the door asks us if we're in line for That MANime show. We say yes and he tells us that it's been combined with VA Unplugged. We are understandably confused, so we head back to the other line and ask the volunteer at the door there if we are in fact in the right place. He says that he hasn't heard anything about that, but he will find out for us. After talking to a couple other staff members and waiting a few minutes a staff member comes up and tells us that That MANime show has in fact been canceled.

I'm sorry I didn't come by sooner, but I am glad that I at least got to tell the people that were waiting that the guests for that panel joined with the other voice actor panel at the time. I took down the sign as soon as I saw it and informed the volunteer at the doorway about the change.

Big Boss
08-21-2011, 12:11 AM
Overall, San-Japan was pretty fun. I'm very glad there will be a move to a bigger space, because the spacing was the one big issue we had, but it was indeed a big issue.
I thought I would share one of our experiences though. Firstly, we pretty much attended this con because Bryan Massey was there. So we were super-stoked about going to That MANime show, a panel Saturday night with just J. Michael Tatum and Bryan Massey. I believe the panel started at 10. Voice Actors Unplugged was going on at 9, so we decided we would pop into that panel before going to get in line for That MANime show. So we get to the room for VA Unplugged, and the room is at capacity and there's a giant line waiting to get in as people leave. We wait in this line for a little while, then decide that we're clearly not going to get in, so we should just head to get in line for the other panel so that we can have good seats. We go stand in line at the other panel room-we are now first in line and super excited. A few minutes later the volunteer sitting at the door asks us if we're in line for That MANime show. We say yes and he tells us that it's been combined with VA Unplugged. We are understandably confused, so we head back to the other line and ask the volunteer at the door there if we are in fact in the right place. He says that he hasn't heard anything about that, but he will find out for us. After talking to a couple other staff members and waiting a few minutes a staff member comes up and tells us that That MANime show has in fact been canceled. That was extremely disappointing, partially because we were really looking forward to the panel, but also because if we had known that then we would have actually attended VA UNplugged, but because of that whole mess we missed both panels. Let me say that all of the staff members and volunteers who we talked to were extremely polite and helpful, and we were really impressed by them, but overall we were really disappointed. I know that stuff happens and sometimes cancellations can't be helped, but surely something about that situation could have been handled better.

I had to approve the cancellation of this panel, and let me first say how absolutely sorry I am about that entire mess. I knew it was going to disappoint a lot of people, but for the most part the fact that this panel was put in for cancellation was a bit out of my hands and it had to be done.

Cancelling panels is not something we on the events staff EVER WANT OT HAVE TO DO. Caps for srs. Really, if it comes to that point it is something that we are intensely frustrated to have to do...but sometimes it just has to be done. I do apologize wholeheartedly...and rest assured that I am taking measures to make sure that next year something like this will absolutely NOT need to happen again. I don't want to ever have to put our attendees in that kind of situation...especially since any panel we have will likely have a large group of people very excited to see it. Disappointing our attendees just...well...it hurts me inside. The Dude cannot abide.

I will be working my booty off with Jay in planning for next year to make sure this kind of thing never has to happen again. Of course there will always be craziness on the field of battle, and I can't GUARANTEE that this will never happen...but I will work really hard to reduce the chances of such a thing happening again. I don't like disappointed faces.

Proz
08-23-2011, 04:07 PM
Also, HAWP may live in Texas. You should look into getting them to come. Anthony Burch works at Gearbox and their HQ is in Texas so, yea, they hopefully live in state. :D

I like HAWP but digging further into it, HAWP is not based in Texas. The episodes are shot in Arizona (Ash's dad place). Anthony is employed by Gearbox but it was not specified if he moved to Dallas.

Bri-Chan
08-24-2011, 02:47 AM
I'm not sure about Ashly Burch, but Anthony Burch and his wife live in Texas, Dave.
I just looked it up on twitter (@reverendanthony (http://twitter.com/#!/reverendanthony) and @aedavis (http://twitter.com/#!/aedavis)).

docsven
08-28-2011, 08:59 AM
I gotta say, this con ran as smooth as a baby's bottom. The staff were super-nice, even really with their strict warnings. Did they receive an enormous crapload of pressure from the fire marshals?

I've sworn off anime conventions from here on out, but I gotta say, you guys did a great job.

Hey Darth hope you come back to our show tho and we did get some pressure from the FM's but nothing we could not handle with the proper planning and details that Proz brought to the table. We had to be strict in some areas and with the noise level and crowd it was VERY easy to misunderstand out tone and think we were being mean and yelling at you. For that we apologize as Safety. With the new location we will have a more manageable area and noise area as well.

We had no fines or issues with the level of help we had with YOU the congoers this year and we look forward to helping as Safety in the future. Once again sorry for any misunderstandings we might have had.

As a side note to hit all the posts on any Safety Staff that got out of hand of hand or bad mannered, we did take many bad volunteers out of the job and remove them form staff. They will not be around next year to make problems. We did our best to handle them as fast as possible and we did miss some so we will work harder to improve that area next year.

Thanks./DOC

docsven
08-28-2011, 09:07 AM
I definitely wanted to point out that the volunteers and staff at San Japan are some of the nicest and most helpful i've ever seen. At a few other cons i've been to (noticably A-Kon for some reason) some of the staff have been downright rude or sarcastic with me for no reason, but one of the things i've really noticed about San Japan is that everyone seems to keep their temper down and act very professionally despite the stress. Being strict and being rude can be two entirely different things, and everyone at San Japan seemed to keep everything in line without being disrespectful, and I really, really appreciate it!

Thank you very much for those words. We appr it./DOC

docsven
08-28-2011, 09:08 AM
I had a good time at San Japan. :) It was my first year going to San Japan, so I wasn't entirely sure to expect, but most of it was great.

However, I do have a couple complaints...

1. Like most of the people here, I would like to see more variation in the Dealer's room.
2. I personally felt like there really wasn't much for the under-17 crowd on Saturday night, but then again on Friday I wouldn't have noticed whether or not there was much for the under-17 people because I was focusing on the masquerade, as opposed to Saturday where I originally planned on karaoke but got bored of it quickly...

However, the good definitely outweighed the bad at this convention, and I plan to return next year. :)

I do agree with you about the under 17 content on the busy nights. Any suggestions on what you would like to see?

docsven
08-28-2011, 09:11 AM
The thing with the elevators, people were having elevator parties on them. It's not anyone's fault except the dummies that were doing it. What I suggest to the con staff is to monitor the elevators next year. A few friends and I were sitting outside the elevators, and the elevator party people were stopping at EVERY floor.

People don't have elevator parties, it's a safety hazard, time consuming, and overall stupid.

I am sorry to you and all the other posts about the elevators and the problems they had this year. Being Hotel property and not an area we have as San Japan on the actual leases we CANNOT go into them as Safety volunteer staff and do anything except call the Hotel Security and have our Police Officers go for us. We got a few problems taken care of and we missed a few.

Sorry for ANY inconvenience you might have had this year and we hope you come back next year./DOC

docsven
08-28-2011, 09:13 AM
I had a very great time at San Japan this year. Last year I had said I wouldn't come back, but this year was the best by far. The volunteers, hotel staff, con staff, and police officers were very helpful, and friendly. It was a lot more organized then last year!

There were a few bumps, like the elevators (but I've discussed that already) also about the elevators, could there be some kind of Proper Way to Use an Elevator thing? There are a few people that seem to don't understand that when an elevator is at capacity, that it's at capacity. >.< There was a scary moment for me where the elevator started ringing, and I had to get off at the next floor (plus I'm slightly claustrophobic, and I absolutely hate elevators)

One thing that irked me was that in one of the lines they told us we could not sit down. I was wearing some boots, and I was standing in like for over an hour. There were a few people like me who were in cosplay, and their feet were killing them as well. I'd like to ask that next year, if there wouldn't be a problem of course, that we at least are able to sit on the floor. I know it's a lot to ask because it's a safety hazard, and you guys already spoil us as it is! xD A volunteer kindly gave me her seat though, and if she reads this thank you very much

Another bump was that a few of the panels we were turned away, but I figured that that will be solved next year when we're some place bigger!

Everything else was amazing! The cosplay show was handled ALOT better then last year, and there weren't too many mishaps! I love you guys! Thanks for providing me, and many of us with a wonderful con experience! Sorry if I'm nagging, but the elevators freak me out xD My makeshift cosplay group are already planning for next year! I can't wait!!!

I agree about the no seating for the lines and I feel I missed that personally. I plan on asking Proz and ALL of my staff about ideas and suggestions to do something better about that next year. While we cannot provide seats for all the attendees MAYBE we can come up with a better solution. If you have any ideas PLEASE post. Again I apologize for any problems you might have had./DOC

docsven
08-28-2011, 09:14 AM
I'll say again, EGORAPTOR NEEDS TO COME BACK! His panels were fun, ESPECIALLY the art session + questions and trivia on Saturday night. He and his crew made me and a friend's night a hellova lot better for us, considering we didn't get to go to the cosplay show. I also liked how the volunteers were. PLEASE keep them like that (or at least similar to). Everybody generally was friendly, which was a plus for me. The Game room had a great adequate size with breathing space. The music game room was so small that I felt like an outcast walking into a small town saloon. *n* I absolutely loved how you guys kept water around for parched con-goers. Definitely helped guys like me that needed a sip in a pinch. Security was conveniently located! I was quite shocked. I came to the third floor and was politely pointed to the right direction for prop check. Lines were ridiculously long for some panels and the such , BUT I'm glad you guys took the proper precautions to keep everybody in line and not too much in the way for other con-goers not in line; definitely pro. All in all, this con was beastly. I'm extremely stoked for next year with its new location. ÔuÔ

Thanks for that feedback and we appr it alot. Also just to add to it YES they need to come back.lol./DOC

docsven
08-28-2011, 09:14 AM
i agree with this.

We will try harder on this next year./DOC

docsven
08-28-2011, 09:18 AM
I had a few concerns about SJ:4TW-

*People walking around with alcohol- When we first arrived on friday in the morning to get our badges, there were a couple of guys that had an open case of beer, drinking it. I know they were there for SJ cause they had a badge and were talking about cosplay. This needs to be stopped cause there are a lot of minors and such at a convention as this and this is very dangerous to allow.

*People cutting in line-I am not talking about Gold/Silver badges, there were quite a lot of people who just cut in line in front of people who were standing in line for more than an hour.

*Long lines-There were huge lines for some of the events/panels and even the registration. I didn't remember the lines being that long last year, so I hope moving to the convention center will be a lot of help in this matter.

*Weapons check-I think for this next SJ that you have the Registration and Safety Check, as soon as you enter the building cause I noticed a lot of people with weapons,etc. that didn't have the safety orange tape. Also there were a lot of people who were swinging the items around when walking that could hurt someone, please have security watch out for these types of people for next time.

*Panels/Events-Instead of having events back-to-back, try scheduling some preparation time for them, at least fifteen minutes or so, that way they can have things set up before letting people in.


There were some things I liked-

*Egoraptor- He is a must have for next SJ. He was so great and funny, I would love to see him return next time.

*Artist Alley- I loved all the artists that came this time. They were all incredibly nice and helpful and since we will have more room next SJ, could we see more artists available next time too?

*Game Room- The game room was okay, but I wished they had more controllers cause they had lots of systems, but not a lot of controllers for people who wished to play. I liked Para Para Paradise, and I hope it will be there next year too.

Great feedback! I wanted to Thank you for it and add that the alcohol situation was covered as fast as we could catch it. We had rovers walking around and since it was a hotel and had bars some guests of the hotels would just come off the elevator and wander around looking. We then had to ask them to leave. If a con goer had alcohol that was a different story we had to pull their badges for breaking those rules. We will have more areas that will be safer next year in the new location.

Thanks again for that great feedback./DOC

docsven
08-28-2011, 09:22 AM
As a staff member, this was an amazingly well-run convention and it was a pleasure working with y'all. From my perspective, I can really only complain about the sheer rudeness of the "Green Shirts" (Safety) throughout the convention and actually had younger people actually come and tell me crying about experiences such as being yelled at for leaning against a wall near the elevators, having their props broken by belligerent security members and being harassed for standing to talk to artists. Please, people, tone it down. It's one thing to be an awesome security force and it's another when someone comes up to me and compares y'all to the Gestapo. I defended the Green Shirts, but really, it's getting pretty hard to do so.

Otherwise, excellent con and I'm glad we're moving next year to a way larger location. It was definitely a pleasure working with all of you as Steampunk Coordinator and I hope to bring more awesome Steampunk events, guests and panels to San Japan!

Sorry for the bad experiences form my staff. I can say we got rid of a few Safety members for crossing some lines, but I did not get a report of any props broken by staff. Please PM me with details so I can take care of this. Also we do have a problem with being easily misunderstood as we try to enforce the rules by having to raise our voices over the crowd so people think we are yelling at them AND we have a few bad apples that make a problem for us. They are quickly relocated or dismissed entirely.

Sorry there were a few bad instances to bring it all down. Next year will be better./DOC

docsven
08-28-2011, 09:25 AM
I agree with this! I was able to make it to many panels because of this. I miss the Ouran event though (My wig was incredibly tangled, and I was exhausted. I wish ya'll had put it on Saturday.) *cries tears of sadness and angst* I love the Ouran event btw, it's been going on since the second SJ, and I've gone to all of them except this year. >.> I hope to attend the Ouran Event many years to come!



My poor feeet *whines* lol But seriously, I understand why we couldn't sit down. It is a safety hazard. Like I commented before, maybe next year, if we are going to be in line for over an hour, maybe the staff can provide us with a place to sit. Hopefully no one ruins it for everyone and we can't sit down. Boots are a big part of cosplay, but most boots aren't made for standing in a very long time xD Thanks for being safety though! There are numerous jerks that ya'll have to deal with, and I appreciate that ya'll keep us safe!

There were areas you could have sat down but not in front of fire exits and other bad locations where there was a huge crowd gathering. We had to make sure we could keep so many feet wide in each area per Fire Marshal requests. Most groups that were moved from seating were just told to get against the wall and not sit in a bunch five or so in a circle like most people were doing.

We missed a few things with some volunteers getting some bad orders and had to fix a few things late after they already told a few people to stand and for that I apologize personally. Next year we will have MORE room for all in the halls and line areas./DOC

docsven
08-28-2011, 09:28 AM
I know that as staff I don't want to complain about Safety, they are some of the people that help the most. But they can also be some of the people that hurt the most. I see so many complaints and have seen first hand Safety Volunteers being downright horrible people. It's hard to judge how a volunteer is going to handle the power of getting a security position. I'm not sure if people are just chosen for this position out of our volunteer pool or if they are interviewed first. If they aren't however, maybe that should start happening. Just a little extra time to do interviews may cut back on the people who are being rude just because they have a lime green shirt? If we already do this, then all I can say is that I apologize for anyone who was mistreated this con, and I hope things improve next year having a larger space.

We operate on a open volunteer basis and also we get a few bad apples. ALSO that being said we did cut a few for behavior this year and the problem will get better. Thanks for your feedback and it is very much appreciated. I hope you will be with us next year./DOC

docsven
08-28-2011, 09:30 AM
This is mostly a holding place until I can collect my thoughts and will be edited a lot~

Most of my complaints are related to the space which I understand was not something San Japan could change. Hopefully, there will be enough space next year. Just letting you know that I understand this ahead of time and am including these complaints so that the staff can get an estimate of how much space is needed next year.

Friday:
-Friday morning was a bit of a rough time for me for reasons only slightly controllable by the con. There was some confusion about where the Ouran signup table was, and I had to wait a half hour awkwardly next to the scented soaps to be assigned a table. However, once the lady in charge arrived, I was given a table with supreme promptness and was also given assistance in moving my sign, decorations, etc. Tl;dr = Waiting was bad, but the help was excellent
-This is partially a note to the con and partially a note to people with tables in Con Alley. PLEASE DO NOT HAVE BLARING MUSIC! The Omnicon (I think this was who it was) had a DJ Hero game set up that blasted music so loud that I had to shout to be heard. This made it difficult to explain the event and attract people to our table. If there could be some sort of noise rule...? I don't want to ax music altogether, but maybe a limit. For example, if my normal speaking voice can't be heard by someone 1 foot away from me, your music is too loud. Tl;dr = Please turn down your music at your table :(
-I absolutely loved the ParaPara panel/event~ After the mess of my morning, going to the social room and learning to dance to upbeat music brought my energy up so so so much. Please keep coming to SJ! I was showing the moves I learned to my friends and family all weekend. I was super sad that I couldn’t stay for the whole thing :C. Tl;dr = ParaPara was awesome! Come back again!
-Like last year, I found the Dancing tutorial very informative and used my moves out on the dance floor. My only problem was that I couldn’t attend the entire thing.
-I know I have mentioned this in another board, but it could bear repeating. To the dark-haired lady who brought us lemonade at our table: THANK YOU SO MUCH~ It really improved the mood of me and my frazzled friends. It (both the act and the lemonade) was super sweet, and we all really appreciated it. Tl;dr = Con Alley volunteers are awesome and considerate!
-Even though I haven't played the games, I enjoyed the Ace Attorney panel. The only thing I would ask as an improvement is maybe a mic for the audience members who ask questions? I had to sit in the back because of my decoration bin and couldn't hear a lot of the questions :(. Or maybe repeat the questions before answering? But overall I thought it was really fun, with my favorite part being the outfit switch. Tl;dr = Ace Attorney is fun but would be better if I could hear the audience questions.
-As for the Masquerade itself, I know this has been said again and again but this is a very important issue! THE MASQUERADE NEEDS MORE SPACE!!! I know it was moved to a bigger room, but I still ended up waiting a very long time in line. By the time I got into the room, my feet were dying a slow painful death. Standing in 4 inch heels for an hour is not fun :(. The “wall flowers” people were getting mad at were probably people who just got in and wanted to take a seat after waiting for so long. Despite the pain, I did dance for a good 40 min (with only a quick 3 min sit down). As for the music selection, I like the slower dances more than the fast ones, but I felt there was a good variety of music. That one faster song allowed for a very fun conga line. My highlight of the dance was seeing Jack Skellington dance in that amazing costume. Tl;dr = Masq needs a bigger space, I like slower songs but the selection was pretty good, yay Jack Skellington.


Saturday:
-The onsite registration line was nice and short when I arrived at approx 9:15 AM with my younger brother. The volunteer who gave him his badge was efficient and informative. In total it took less than 15 minutes to wait in line, receive the badge, and grab his bag of stuff. Note: perhaps at the Safety Desk make programs available as well as the paper schedules. Tl;dr = morning registration was wonderful, perhaps put programs at Safety Desk as well.
-I did not go to the Fanfiction panel, but one of my friends did. She told me all sorts of nice things about it so I just wanted to let whoever ran that know that she enjoyed the panel.
-The Cosplay Show…well, I’m going to break this down into 3 parts.

The line. Just…the line. I am so glad I left the AMV thing when I did because the lining up for the cosplay show started promptly at 6:00 or 6:30 (I can’t remember which one but it started promptly!). It was chaos. The green shirt pretty much said “Go!” and the people milling about raced into line. I’m lucky I got into line where and when I did orz. Other people might complain about the constant reminders from Safety, but I thankful. It kept the hall space mostly clear and ensured that people would have a difficult time cutting in line, though I did get some megaphone shouting in my ear :(. Please watch where you point those things. My complaints are with the large steam punk group in front of us who wanted us to move back. Constantly. NEWSFLASH! I CAN’T MOVE BACK UNTIL THE PEOPLE BEHIND ME TAKE A FEW STEPS BACK! DON’T JUST START WALKING BACKWARDS! ALL YOU DO IS SQUISH PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOWHERE TO GO! However, Safety helped take care of this by asking the people at the end of the line to back up and eventually we got a teensy bit more room. I think we were let in a little late but it has been my experience that this is just what happens for the cosplay show so whatever. Tl;dr = The starting of the line was chaos, I was okay with 2 by 2 reminders, don't just start backing up, watch where you point the megaphone
The seating/waiting to start. Props to those involved in seating. I was not shouted at to run to my seat, indoor voices were used, no one bullied my friends/family as we switched our line order a bit, etc. The stage looked incredible. I loved the projection and how you tried to keep the waiting audience entertained by showing us the judges, panning out to the audience, etc. I was okay with the roaming lights, though I didn’t like them directly shining in my face. And speaking of directly shining in my face…I despised the bright flashing lights. They hurt my eyes and really made me want to just get up and leave the show. If you were trying to condition us to clap when they flashed, you failed because I had to keep my hands occupied covering my face :/ Please don’t use those lights again. Seriously. Just don’t. Tl;dr = the stage looked super quality, I wasn’t shouted at, NEVER HAVE THOSE BRIGHT FLASHING LIGHTs EVER EVER AGAIN
The show. Was it just me or did all the costumes this year step it up? Because I was very impressed with all the cosplays. A lot of the Novice cosplays looked like they could be Open or Journeyman or something else really good. Props to everyone who participated! This was my favorite Cosplay Show to date. I loved the addition of the kids cosplay category :).I thought the opening bit with the guy from the Gear Project dragged on a little bit, but I assume this was so that sound and the contestants could finish setting up so whatever. I really liked the MC; she was darling. Don’t worry that the audience might not have gotten some of your nerdier jokes because in my group was a guy who got 90% and he assured me you were very clever. Speaking of the audience, I was very disappointed in my fellow attendees. There was nowhere near the amount of noise there should have been for all those amazing (or not) cosplays :/ . I near about lost my voice trying to keep the room from having dead silence. Please guys, at least clap when a person gets on and off the stage. Also, I think someone dropped the ball when it came to making the stage accessible. Why wasn’t there a ramp? I felt so bad for the cosplayer in the wheelchair and the amazing Dalek who couldn’t get up on stage to show off all their hard work! I mean, guys…guys, even the less than spectacular Ikkicon show had a ramp. Very disappointed. The skits were also the best I’ve seen in my time (since 1.5) at San Japan. Where did all of you come from? I loved the dance and the drama skits. That Princess Tutu was amazing! Both Open skits were super quality as well. Tl;dr = Best Cosplay show yet, amazing cosplays/skits, stage looked very professional, SHOULD HAVE HAD A RAMP, audience was not loud enough

-Dating Game was fantastic, as it is every year. There were bumps with the sound and the A/C, but Proz himself came to help out. I think the Spotlight Bachelorette was my favorite round :). My favorite spotlight contestant was Sailor Mars because she worked it with the paltry answers she received from her bachelorettes. Suggestion for improvement: in the audience round, please introduce the spotlight and the contestants or have them introduce themselves. By the end, I worked out who they were but it would have been nice to have context for their answers. Tl;dr = Yay Proz for helping with the tech difficulties, boo hotel for turning off the A/C, introduce the audience round plz


Sunday:
-Sunday was the date of my event, the Ouran High School Host Club Event. I was both surprised and pleased with the turnout this year. I didn’t think we’d get so many people on a Sunday, but you dudes (well, mostly dudettes) proved us wrong. Thank you to everyone who participated and thank you to everyone who helped with the event. I want to give a super huge shout out to Joey who was the Safety person assigned to the Social Room during our event. He was on top of things from the moment we started setting up at 10 AM. After he grasped our sticker timing, he was instrumental in coming up with our two line sticker or no sticker system. When we wanted water, he convened with the hotel staff to get us nice plastic cups, those fancy silver pitchers, and a water cooler of our own. When we needed a trashcan for said cups, he got us a trash can. Also, a big thank you to all the hotel staff who helped us make the event possible! They kept our big bucket of ice filled and our trash can empty. For all of you in the last session who sat along the outside, Joey is the reason you were able to come in at all. I was going to cut it off and just have the tables filled, but he was a sweetheart and suggested that we allow you guys in to watch, if not to participate.

I am sorry you had some issues with us and I apologize for that. Great feedback and YES we will look into ALL you suggested for Safety. I like the program idea and the 2x2 was a bad idea. Next year we will do better. Thanks./DOC

docsven
08-28-2011, 09:33 AM
I definitely felt that this was probably our best year for overall competition level. I feel that people view our show as a Big Deal in the competition circuits and come prepared for that. Makes me smile.

re: The Ramp. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW BADLY I WANTED ONE. Sadly, the hotel apparently... didn't have one? That was what I was told. And to be honest, I think that's BS as it kind of violates the ADA. That being said, new hotel next year, hopefully won't be a problem.

I agree on the ramp. I went around and gave my card to MANY people with wheelchairs and special needs to make sure they were head of the line for events to make it easier for them. I was so proud of the attendees as no one complained about this and supported it! I hope that helped a bit in this and I even tried to get some back elevator access for some.

Thanks for the attention you brought to this issue about the ramp and next year we will have all of these for our friends with special needs./DOC

docsven
08-28-2011, 09:43 AM
First off, *points at Anime Detour's numbers (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Anime_Detour#Event_History)*. When San Japan was that size, we only had about 1,000-1,100 Pre-Registration (plus I've been adding to that number with Online Registrations since we were that size) and we had virtually no wait either.

Secondly, I don't agree with the concept that all that has to be done is throw more bodies at a problem and it will be magically solved (even with pre-planning). That's part of the reason that I work on regIT: if the system supporting all the bodies isn't honed and streamlined then it takes a very disproportionate number of bodies to handle the same amount of attendees.

But I'm always interested in hearing how another event handled their Registration. You can PM me or just reply to this thread.

-the purring dork

:biggrin:

docsven
08-28-2011, 09:47 AM
my only issue was that the closing ceremonies was not in a large enough room

I agree and there was a very logical reason why it had to be that way. I am so sorry folks I had to turn some people away and I hope you will keep in mind Proz wanted a larger space. Next year we will have it./DOC

docsven
08-28-2011, 09:52 AM
Folks thank you for being so polite in your feedback even when you wanted to blast us. I will make some very needed changes next year and some staff will not be coming back. I plan on handling it directly and with the new Safety Team next year we will restructure and bring a better team for you in the new location.

I am sorry for any misunderstandings and inconveniences. Any thing else you need please do not hesitate to PM me and I will respond as fast as I can. I work a few jobs and travel quite a bit so please do not misunderstand the delay.

Any lost and found issues please PM me or contact the Hotel directly.

Please let me know the good we did as well if you want and we will continue that.

Thanks to my staff and my close friends for helping us make Proz have a successful show./DOC:biggrin:

Farasha
08-29-2011, 12:28 PM
I agree on the ramp. I went around and gave my card to MANY people with wheelchairs and special needs to make sure they were head of the line for events to make it easier for them. I was so proud of the attendees as no one complained about this and supported it! I hope that helped a bit in this and I even tried to get some back elevator access for some.

Thanks for the attention you brought to this issue about the ramp and next year we will have all of these for our friends with special needs./DOC

Yeah... I think I asked ten or fifteen people about getting a ramp for cosplayers who needed one, and every time the answer was "The hotel doesn't have one," which sounded very wrong to me because of the aforementioned ADA laws. Next year I'm going to start working on that the minute I hit the convention on Thursday night.

docsven
08-29-2011, 11:53 PM
Yeah... I think I asked ten or fifteen people about getting a ramp for cosplayers who needed one, and every time the answer was "The hotel doesn't have one," which sounded very wrong to me because of the aforementioned ADA laws. Next year I'm going to start working on that the minute I hit the convention on Thursday night.

No. Come straight to the Safety Desk and we will work on that for you. I had no idea one was needed for that particular portion of SJ4 and would have gotten one. I could have lined one up very easily and I will say I am sorry for you not having one. I feel we dropped the ball on you.

SO I hope you will accept my apology as I did not even know it was needed. NEXT year we can make sure this never happens again./DOC