Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

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Kalyoth
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Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by Kalyoth » Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:13 am

Friends, Neighbors, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ears! - Please use this thread for all Autograph-related feedback discussions. TY
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Those who would stand against us,
All those who are fools,
By the power you and I possess,
Grant destruction equally upon them all!
GIGA SLAVE!"

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Re: Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by Pint_Sized25 » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:29 pm

I didnt think I would, but I honestly liked how the autographs were done this year. Got up early enough to get to Panel Grand with absolutely no trouble getting any of the autograph tickets I needed, and it was smooth sailing to meet the guests once the appropriate time for the session came. My only complaint was during Josh Grelle's Saturday autograph session, I had about 6 people cut me in line. I didnt particularly care cause we were all gonna get to meet him, but the large gap going around corners in the lines causes a lot of line cutting that I wish could be fixed. Cause it was very annoying to see so many people just jump in front of me without a care.
Aside from that, I hope the autograph tickets stay this way. It was super easy and efficient.

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Re: Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by draft37 » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:48 pm

First off, I would like to say that I was extremely impressed with how Anime Boston implemented the change in policy both before and during the convention.

For context, I went for a paid autograph on Friday, ticket distribution at Saturday at 7AM, and attended an autograph signing

Things I Really Liked
  • Ticket Distribution Process. There were two hundred people ahead of me in line on Saturday Morning, and at most I think I waited a half hour. Volunteers were super organized!
  • RemindersDuring ticket distribution, every ten minutes or so there was a reminder to have your ticket selection made BEFORE you got called up. They additionally encouraged having a backup ready in case one you really wanted sold out. During the line for the free signing, multiple times a volunteer came in advising to have the item you wanted signed ready to go, and that only one item could be signed
Suggestions
  • Place a screen or board incorporating key information near the autograph area
    1. Advising the new ticket policy
    • Where to pick up the tickets
    • Availability of said tickets
    • Additional times the guests will be signing throughout the con (Free and/or Paid)
  • Have the tickets specifically say whether they are 'regular' or 'overflow'. This was an issue at the Steve Blum signing as people in the second room were unsure which line to get into since there was confusion between a regular ticket and an overflow ticket
  • Have signage advising where the regular ticket line ends and the overflow line begins.
    This was an issue at the Steve Blum signing as people in the second room had to ask people what kind of ticket they had to make sure they got in the right line. I think I saw someone holding an impromptu overflow line on Sunday, so hopefully that will be a bit more of a permanent thing.
To those who think ticket distribution should be moved to a later time
  • Having arrived right at 7AM on Saturday, by the time I was able to receive tickets all but one signing still had tickets available (and even then, overflow tickets were still available)
  • Even if ticket distribution is not supposed to start until 8AM or later, people will still show up early regardless. Apparently someone showed up at 4:40AM on Saturday to get in line for ticket distribution even though the doors to the room did not open until 6AM.
  • Most guests do additional (albeit paid) signings Is it preferable to get an autograph for free? Absolutely! However, if you have conflicts regarding your transportation or other commitments (or simply dont want to get up for 7AM), I believe the majority of guests have paid signings during the con. Having gone to a paid and a free signing for the same guest, I got more time to interact with the guest when I paid versus when I went for a free autograph.

    Additionally - I think a lottery system or a system where you select tickets online when you register would cause even more conflicts and headaches than this revised system offers.

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Re: Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by animosc » Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:46 am

I don't have much to add to the autograph format discussion that hasn't already been said in the AB 2018 Feedback thread. As a whole, I'm very happy with this year's process and hope it doesn't change too much. It's a big, big improvement over previous years. As for changes, I pretty much agree with all of draft37's suggestions above.

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Re: Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by H. Guderian » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:24 pm

I see two sides to the conflict, there were many folks were concerns for their health, family and pets. The Commuters and sleepers who can't possibly in good judgment get to these. Then there's the early birds, who are a short walk or a mere elevator away. The Argument for living up at 6am for 7am tickets is that people don't want to miss the Con, proper. But to get home and get back for any commuter these people will have to give up on doing any late-night events.

The argument for 7am so far stands as "This setup currently works for me, so it has to be correct" as no matter where you move it you'll be blocking someone out.

Repeating my thoughts in the other thread, my solution would be to divide the tickets up into two uneven groups. So this year we had all the tickets distributed Saturday 7am (with people lining up earlier). Maybe set 25% of the tickets aside to be passed out Friday during the day. Then the remaining 75% can go to the early bird crew, which seems to work very well for those who have schedules that work for that. If Friday during the day is too late, many commuters probably would have no trouble coming in Thursday-day.

I feel this would enable Commuters, people of average or greater age, parents with young children, and various other groups to at least have a chance of getting a ticket, even if the pool is smaller.

I want the early morning crew to get them, as I used to line up for the Masquerade many many hours before it began back in the day, I know the appeal of camping out to stake a claim. But As I get older I notice how many other groups through no deficiency of character or merit are being denied things. I get this very dismissive feeling from Early-morning-only people. Should people hosting late Night events be expected to not sleep? What if they host two late night events? The very content people then do not want to miss is being impacted.

As to Lottery, I dislike the randomness, as I'd like to think some effort of mine could secure a highly desired ticket. The only reason it appeals is it may be the only way some groups even get a chance.

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Re: Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by eternaltorture » Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:53 am

Friday
12 autograph sessions
Only 2 sold out

Saturday
14 autograph sessions
Only 3 sold out

Sunday
5 autograph sessions
1 sold out

The current autograph policy is perfect, I don't think any changes need to be made except for moving the remaining tickets to the events ticket booth for distribution after 10am.
I don't see any problems with the time 7am either as there was still a lot of tickets remaining at 9:30am.
Last edited by eternaltorture on Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by H. Guderian » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:35 am

eternaltorture wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:53 am

The current autograph policy is perfect, I don't think any changes need to be made except for moving the remaining tickets to the events ticket booth for distribution after 10am.
Complaints addressed: Zero.

Once again this came down to. "I got mine." but with the added caveat that "only the most desired guests sold out." Once again, if you're going for the most popular person and have justifiable reasons for being unable to arrive early, you are denied a chance.

So since addressing my points is uncool I will return to address others. If out of 31 autograph sessions only 5 sold out is your criteria for justifying lines at 6am, then doesn't that mean they wouldn't have sold out no matter when the line started? I'm almost certainly this conversation was not sparked because people with other obligations were fighting to get the 2 tier guests that never sell out.

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Re: Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by BasharOfTheAges » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:27 am

- personal opinion - not that of AB staff -

Some points of note:

1) 15 years worth of the problematic policy of "you can"t line up before time X" was a driver for the change. Solutions that would require "you can't line up before time x" are not actually solutions.

2) Given #1, dedicated folks will line up early.

3) Given #1 and #2, lines will form regardless. The longer there are lines in high traffic areas when a lot of people are physically present at the con, the more problems will occur with line management, fire code concerns, forcing folks to miss actual programming to be in line, etc.


The current system isn't perfect, but it rewards personal sacrifice with results. No change to the start time will be an actual solution. People will still line up early and stay in line for longer. That buys you nothing.
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Re: Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by Nemra » Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:57 am

eternaltorture wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:53 am
Sunday
5 autograph sessions
0 sold out
1 was out
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Re: Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by Selestyl » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:44 pm

I loved this policy because I knew very early whether or not I was going to get a ticket. Though I was able to get a ticket, there were still many people ahead of us and I'm sure some of them had been there for hours already. This way, if I wouldn't have been able to get a ticket, I could be bummed for a while but ultimately go fill my time with something else. In previous years you needed to wait for hours and hours in a disorganized huddle to maybe get a ticket to go right just then, possibly wasting hours if I didn't get in. This let me plan my day and know whether or not I was getting an autograph.

Boyfriend and I were incredibly pleased with the system this year and we hope you keep it!
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Re: Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by H. Guderian » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:31 pm

I don't think 'Sacrifice' should be a major measurement. Some people can sacrifice big dollar totals. People who staff or attend late night events can 'sacrifice' the quality of their work throughout the con by getting no sleep.

I am a bit sad the many voices in the main feedback thread have already left us, and we're just left with me, who didn't even want any autographs this year, taking up their case. The whole reason we had to start this thread was because there were many voices upset about it.

And for those saying to hover around the dealer's room and pray there was organization to those signings, that was unreliable, even if they were paid.

Point #3 about people missing programming, the way I see it no matter where you put it someone has to write off part of the schedule they wouldn't get to attend. Sacrifice should get results. If you think about it, people that somehow have morning free time and have no other obligations at that time are sacrificing the least.

Last year wasn't there a Kiznaiver screening at 5:30am? I know someone that should have been commuting just bum around the area all night instead of getting proper sleep and food. But that had the excuse of being a simulcast straight from Japan. It was outside the con's power to do anything about that. "Only people with free time at or before 7am will get autographs from the most popular guests."

A good thing I can say is thankfully the ticketing was on Saturday. Imagine trying to fight rush hour on Friday morning to get a ticket. Overall i want early ticketing to remain, and my proposal from previous posts so far doesn't seem to need changes.

So i just went to check, the commuter rail doesn't even get to the Back Bay until 820am. Once again I call attention to the commuters.

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Re: Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by resressrs » Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:07 pm

I love the new autograph policy but can't get up early to get to the convention. I can't spend the night and love over an hour away from the con. To commute every single day at 5:30 am is near impossible if your ride won't get up until 6:30.

For commuters this policy is hard since the earliest time to get on the train is 7:00 making myself get there when the signings I want to get to be out.

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Re: Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by Mirotic » Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:33 pm

Although I got attacked in the other thread for a mere suggestion, I would like to say, again, that I enjoy this autograph system much more than the last one but think there could be improvements.

The biggest improvement I can see would be to place ticket registration online prior to the convention (much like formal ball tickets), then have con-goers pick them up at the registration tables.
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Re: Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by Kalyoth » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:41 pm

***Not Staff***

I will state this from how ticketing did occur this year: The tickets were only available on the day the session was held. Those who were already there or arrived during the session, were quite calm & civil. Splitting tickets across multiple days, in my opinion, would possibly encourage more openly aggressive people to vi for an even smaller availability. Not something we ever want to increase...I'm not in favor of changing it from this year as it did work for me.

To speak to the number of sessions that did or didn't sell out - I would surmise they were directly related to the limitation of 2 sessions per day. This increased significantly the availability of guests to more people overall. The fact that there was only interest enough to sell out a small number of sessions is not a failing of the convention or the caliber/popularity of the guest. It would be a failure of our community to not openly embrace all guests for taking the time to attend & be a part of the convention. It speaks to who we are as a community & where are limited interests lie.

I can state that I attended 4 sessions across Friday & Saturday. I wanted to attend a total of 10 sessions across the weekend. I also am not alone in this desire to attend more autograph sessions. It's our draw for attending, equal in passion as those who come exclusively for artist alley, dealer's room shopping, cosplay, panel hopping, attend musical events or just crowd watch. I like to meet as many guests as I can to thank them for their participation in an art form we all enjoy. I even served one an in-game arrest warrant for their illicit activities on their video gaming resume...was quite the topic of conversation that year.

The convention is a celebration of all aspects of the society. While the limitation helps to increase that availability, it also introduces a limitation where an attendee might have attended more than the two in a day, potentially leading to more sold out sessions. Perhaps, what can occur in the future, is the tickets left over at the end of the restricted distribution, as others have said, become available for distribution to all first come first serve, as of x time prior to their session, at a central location? It would also offer a place to offer tickets to other attendees for those with them suddenly not be available to attend the session (situations occur) maybe even offer a board at that location to post ticket swap offers?

Please keep all your ideas coming. Only way we can see change as a community, in any direction, is to propose them for consideration. Those who make decisions can only
"Thou who art darker than even darkness,
Thou who art deeper than even the night!
Thou, the Sea of Chaos, who drifts upon it,
Golden Lord of Darkness!
Hereby I call to thee,
Hereby I swear before thee!
Those who would stand against us,
All those who are fools,
By the power you and I possess,
Grant destruction equally upon them all!
GIGA SLAVE!"

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Re: Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by eternaltorture » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:26 am

Nemra wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:57 am
eternaltorture wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:53 am
Sunday
5 autograph sessions
0 sold out
1 was out
Thanks, I will edit it!

H. Guderian wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:35 am
eternaltorture wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:53 am

The current autograph policy is perfect, I don't think any changes need to be made except for moving the remaining tickets to the events ticket booth for distribution after 10am.
Complaints addressed: Zero.

Once again this came down to. "I got mine." but with the added caveat that "only the most desired guests sold out." Once again, if you're going for the most popular person and have justifiable reasons for being unable to arrive early, you are denied a chance.

So since addressing my points is uncool I will return to address others. If out of 31 autograph sessions only 5 sold out is your criteria for justifying lines at 6am, then doesn't that mean they wouldn't have sold out no matter when the line started? I'm almost certainly this conversation was not sparked because people with other obligations were fighting to get the 2 tier guests that never sell out.
???
I literally just copy-pasted my autograph opinion from the feedback thread to here. It is based on my experience getting autographs this year. Just because my comment was after yours doesn't mean I'm addressing your points.

Lines at 6am? When I came at 6, I was sent to the room and they distributed the tickets at 6:45ish since already ~90 people in the room then. If they move the time to a later hour, the early folks are still going to arrive before everyone else so yeah, the popular tickets are going to sell out no matter what time which is why I don't find 7am to be a problem.

I finally read the posts here and I will comment on your last post:
The whole reason we had to start this thread was because there were many voices upset about it.
Not many tbh, it was started because the feedback thread went off on a tangent after someone brought up the lottery suggestion.

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Re: Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by President Aria » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:59 am

Kalyoth wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:41 pm
The fact that there was only interest enough to sell out a small number of sessions is not a failing of the convention or the caliber/popularity of the guest. It would be a failure of our community to not openly embrace all guests for taking the time to attend & be a part of the convention. It speaks to who we are as a community & where are limited interests lie.

I'm not sure I get what you're saying there, so I don't think I totally agree with you. You later go on to say that you attended 4 sessions, but had there not been a limit to two tickets per day, with no option of picking up tickets for sessions that didn't "sell out" you would have gone to 10 sessions. That right there seems like a failing of the convention for not providing an option to let people attend autograph sessions that hadn't sold out. If you're only allowed a choice of two per day, then naturally you are going to make choices on who is your priority. It doesn't mean that you weren't interested in the guests that didn't get the turnout, just they weren't the top of your list. The fact that the only way to apparently get tickets was during that morning window might have turned off some people who were commuting in who couldn't get there in time and who otherwise would have gone to a session if tickets were available later on as you suggested on a first come first served basis.

I feel the autograph seekers have always been a relatively small, yet passionate group, so naturally if you essentially dilute the group by making them choose two per day, there will be less turnout at other sessions that they otherwise would have also gone to. I guess I feel the only failing on the part of the community is that it's never actually been that large. Just being able to go to unlimited sessions in the past made it seem that way since you had a lot of the same people attending.

In theory, I like the idea of limit of two tickets per day being allowed during that 7:30-9:30 pickup window. That gives more people a fair shot at getting an autograph than the old policy of "pretend you're just taking a break in the area and make a mad rush when they allow the official line" and it frees up much more of the con time too. However, after that, when everyone in that line has been taken care of, all remaining session tickets should be made available to whoever wants them, regardless of how many tickets that person already has. There will probably never be a policy that is universally declared as completely fair to everyone, but that seems at least close to the right direction in my opinion.

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Re: Autograph Format Constructive Discussions

Post by 1Imsrhaje » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:28 pm

All I want is that all the guests have tables in the dealers area. This year I almost missed Rachel Robinson since I didn't bother to do the ticketing, at the program her name wasn't listed so I assumed she wasn't going to offer them. Comes Saturday, and I see in Twitter she was going to have a table, saw this 1 hr before starting time. I didn't have my poster with me and I was waiting for Stephanie Sheh which was overlapping as well!

I tweeted to Rachel if she was having a table on Sunday and she said most likely no, even for this table she had issues. After I got Stephanie's I decided to leave it to faith, return to my condo, look for poster and go back to Boston (all of this while taking the T, we all know how reliable that is!). I made it 30 mins before she left but this was something shouldn't have happened.

I am not asking for X person will be signing Saturday at 3pm. All I want is to know X person will sign on Saturday and time will be notified later, if needed, through Social Media. I am very easy going.

Rachel was able to sign my epic 30th Final Fantasy poster--- along with Nobuo Uematsu, Yoko Shimomura, Arnie Roth, Troy Baker, Nolan North, Bryce Pappenbrook, Robbie Daymond and still waiting for 5 more signatures this year.

And for any unclaimed tickets, please offer them later in the day.

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