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Security Update

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:54 am
by Nenya
Hello everyone,

I know that there have been a lot of questions about the security plan for Anime Boston 2017, and that you’re eager to hear what we’ve been doing to address your concerns. I wanted to let you all know that work began immediately after Anime Boston 2016 ended, and we are now coming to a point where we can explain some of the changes in more detail. Here is an outline of what to expect:
  • We have doubled the number of security checkpoints to significantly increase throughput and cut down on wait times.
    The Hynes has taken attendee feedback into consideration and will be using only hand-held metal detector wands. They will not be using the pass-through metal detectors you saw last year.
  • There will be more cross-training between Anime Boston staff, Prudential staff, Hynes staff, and Sheraton staff to ensure better communication across the board.
  • The Dalton Street entrance will be open during peak times. These hours will be set and published in advance.
  • For our members with disabilities, we have put together a team of specialists to further assist those who might need help in regards to access to the Hynes and getting around the convention. More information on this team to follow. The Hynes is also committed to improving training and assistance in this area.
  • Our current plan is to have the Hall C/Sheraton doors open to all attendees during Artist’s Alley open hours. We have increased security checkpoints at this entrance to help with faster throughput. Please note that we will continue to monitor traffic in the Sheraton at this entrance to ensure we comply with fire safety regulations.
The Hynes is asking members to please consider the size of their bags as they pass through the security checkpoints. Bringing clear bags, bags with fewer pockets, and opening all pockets before reaching the checkpoint will get you inside faster. We urge members to take this into consideration as you plan your weekend.

There will be more information to follow, and I look forward to sharing it with you in the coming weeks. Thank you all for your patience as we go through this process and thank you for your commitment to helping us ensure a safer convention.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail us at ops@animeboston.com, or security@animeboston.com.

Thank you,

Re: Security Update

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:19 am
by Selestyl
Thank you for sharing all of this! I'm optimistic that this will be a good year, and I appreciate everyone's efforts in addressing last year's problems. Can't wait for AB2017!!

Re: Security Update

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:53 pm
by Mamacass
Thank you for the update! :-)

Re: Security Update

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:13 pm
by Master of NERV
Thanks so much for the update!

It's my sincere hope that we can all give NEAS the benefit of the doubt that last year's security issues can be solved or, at the very least, seriously reduced. I'm not ready to give up on AB, not by a long shot!

See you all in seven weeks! :D

Re: Security Update

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:54 pm
by H. Guderian
Hurray for the Dalton St Entrance!!

Re: Security Update

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:17 am
by royalbakaness
Thank you! I'm very hopeful for this year's security. You guys are great at keeping us up-to-date, and I greatly appreciate that!

Re: Security Update

Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:01 am
by Kalyoth
Thank you for this update! I have only one concern - the request for see through bags.

My belief is most attendees will either not learn of this request until they are actually picking up a badge at the con or already in line for entry. As has been more evident this year, the forums seem to be unusually quiet vs. past years for attendee traffic. I can almost count on my fingers the usual cast of posters (insert shameless plug for Swap Meet 2017 Thread here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=21155). I do not know if the other AB-related social media are as quiet. Anything we can do to advertise this & allow attendees advance prep time I believe would only benefit & help to lessen the impact of the process.

Where this is security-related, thus of logistical importance, is it possible to also send out an e-mail blast to all the preregistered attendees beyond attempts to reach them via forum/web posts? Maybe, even as a last chance effort, have a reusable AB-related clear bag available as part of the Merchandise Table in Registration (likely to be relevant moving forward) or free via sponsor (Bags are Retro now aren't they?)?

Just my thoughts ^^ Keep up all the Wonderful that AB did, does & will do!

Re: Security Update

Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:19 pm
by Nenie
My fingers are crossed!

Re: Security Update

Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:45 pm
by tetsujin
Kalyoth wrote:
Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:01 am
Thank you for this update! I have only one concern - the request for see through bags.

My belief is most attendees will either not learn of this request until they are actually picking up a badge at the con or already in line for entry.
Or they may not even want to bring see-through bags. After all, making things easier for security doesn't really help me get through security any faster. What helps is if the 200+ people ahead of me chose to make things easier for security. And it's really no one else's business what I'm carrying in my bag.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:23 pm
by ThestiasCosplay
tetsujin wrote:
Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:45 pm
Kalyoth wrote:
Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:01 am
Thank you for this update! I have only one concern - the request for see through bags.

My belief is most attendees will either not learn of this request until they are actually picking up a badge at the con or already in line for entry.
Or they may not even want to bring see-through bags. After all, making things easier for security doesn't really help me get through security any faster. What helps is if the 200+ people ahead of me chose to make things easier for security. And it's really no one else's business what I'm carrying in my bag.
I agree with the not wanting to bring see-through bags; I'm an intensely private person and though I'm not likely to have much more than my phone and my wallet, maybe some makeup for touch-ups, I still really don't want other people seeing what I have in my bag. A security guy is fine, but everyone? Especially not if I have like, feminine hygiene products in there. My things are my things and I really don't enjoy having a bunch of people looking at my things. Makes me anxious and antsy as hell.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:01 pm
by Faceman
Please be aware we are not requiring attendees to have clear bags. We completely understand everyone's desire for privacy.

It is only a suggestion. If you are comfortable with it, a clear bag will make it a bit faster for you to get through the bag check. In the same vein, a bag with fewer pockets will be faster to inspect than one with many pockets. And opening your bag's pockets before you get to the inspector helps get your bag ready.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:28 am
by RainbowSpeedos
This is a fantastic update! Im very excited about the trainings and extra staffed entrances!

Re: Security Update

Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:33 pm
by tomthumb
Thanks for the update.

Other events have mentioned clear backpacks. I look on the net for them. Has anyone seen a clear backpack for sale? Or are there security friendly backpacks?

Re: Security Update

Posted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:48 pm
by lawless
Perfect timing I mean last year they add an excess amount of metal detector stands and weapons seizure that some of the attendees were upset about it. Thus took longer to come in and longer lines. I mean last year I remember a female was stop by security to check her weapon prop, they deem it dangerous, and it was seized. She was really upset about it about because not only it was part of her costume but she complained others were allowed to have it and she ran away. She was caught and nearly arrested. I heard the reason why security was a bit excess in Anime Boston last year was the Pokemon championship gun seizure in 2015. The incident was prevent because they posted on Facebook about their plot and was captured before it happens. I understand the increasing security was justified, but it could been handled properly by warning us of the increasing security and metal detectors. In addition, seizing amount of prop weapons was unnecessary because it was needed for our cosplay. I just came from pax east and saw that the enforcers handle prop weapons professionally scrutinizing those acceptable and those not. No incident happen there at all. My advice, use common sense, we have prop weapons for our costume and they aren't meant to hurt people but to present our cosplay characters. Additionally, we should be vigilant of our safety, we need to be safe in order to have fun, or we will lose the popularity of being top 10 of anime conventions. I saw that we went from #6 to #8 of paid attendees, we should get it back to #5. Hope these changes improve our numbers and picture, for the greater good of Anime Boston. Thank You.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:42 am
by tomthumb
What bugs me about AB security is.... Disney World only does random checks with the arch type of metal detector. They do 100% bag checks. I would think Disney World would be a prime target for crazy people. Disney World has had some crazy people try to get in. They were all stopped at the gate.

It would be very bad for Disney World to have a terrorist event. In their busy season they are packed full of people. I would think what's good enough for Disney World would be good enough for Anime Boston.

Ok, I'm done with my rant.

I think Disney security was profiling me. I was there to take pictures, I was a male without any kids. I got picked twice to go thru the medal detector.

Update:
I retract my rant. :roll:

Disney World is working on tighter security in all parks and hotels. They have banded coolers, toy guns and large back packs from parks. The web is saying Disney Inc. is looking at ways to do 100% metal detectors, the Disney way. Too keep you smiling. They are pulling more customers to do spot checking with the arch metal detectors.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:26 am
by CJ Gren
tomthumb wrote:
Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:42 am
What bugs me about AB security is.... Disney World only does random checks with the arch type of metal detector. They do 100% bag checks. I would think Disney World would be a prime target for crazy people. Disney World has had some crazy people try to get in. They were all stopped at the gate.

It would be very bad for Disney World to have a terrorist event. In their busy season they are packed full of people. I would think what's good enough for Disney World would be good enough for Anime Boston.

Ok, I'm done with my rant.

I think Disney security was profiling me. I was there to take pictures, I was a male without any kids. I got picked twice to go thru the medal detector.
WDW is in the process of revamping all their park's entry points to require all patrons to go through metal detectors (if you were at Magic Kingdom at the end of last year, they were working on this by the ferry docks). Disneyland has already started this process including entry into their shopping district Downtown Disney. In the random selection process, I get pulled probably every other time I go to the parks, but I also only carry a small bag and am usually wearing a simple sundress.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:29 am
by tomthumb
CJ Gren wrote:
Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:26 am
WDW is in the process of revamping all their park's entry points to require all patrons to go through metal detectors
Ok, I retract my rant. :D

I guess the security clamp is being tighten everywhere. I'll be happy when they come out with the multi-pass with security clarence.

Thanks for the update.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:36 am
by Aidan2
tomthumb wrote:
Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:42 am
... I would think what's good enough for Disney World would be good enough for Anime Boston.
Trust me when i say you are not alone in those thoughts.

However you are mistaken to think that Anime Boston or NEAS is solely responsible for the increase in scrutiny or the entrance requirements for entering into the MCCA. We work with our partners in the MCCA, BPD, and several other agencies to create a safe environment, however Anime Boston is not given any final approval for any single measure that is done. We work to act as a champion for our attendees to ensure that they can have a safe, fun weekend, however if one of the overseeing agencies determine an action must be taken, then as an event we must assist in executing them to the best of our ability as the alternative is to not have an event.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:06 pm
by tomthumb
Aidan2 wrote:
Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:36 am
However you are mistaken to think that Anime Boston or NEAS is solely responsible for the increase in scrutiny or the entrance requirements
I understand AB is not in total control of security. There are many cooks in the security pie.

I do appreciate all the work AB staff puts in to make this a great event.

It's interesting Disney is adding metal detectors.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:11 pm
by Fetch
Hopefully the Security people will realize that having the security checkpoint for one of the entrances all the way inside the building is not actually a good idea. (Metal detectors for the Pru entrance were all the way down by the entrance to the Dealer's Room)

Since they are doing hand held metal detectors, that means they can scan people right as they come through the doors into the Hynes, thus giving all of us the space by the FedEx, instead of it being basically blocked off. (I'm sure the FedEx employees would also be happy not to see a wall of Security people in front of their window)

Re: Security Update

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:27 am
by Thrillho
"Clear Bag" policies have been gaining popularity in recent years to make security lines easier.

If you go to any event at Gillette Stadium, they have a clear bag policy:
http://www.gillettestadium.com/security-protocol
Bags of any kind except gallon sized clear freezer bags or authorized clear bags measuring 12" x 12" x 6" and women's wristlets or handheld wallets not to exceed 8" x 5" x 2.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:11 pm
by LadyTuesday
Any word on when the team for con-goers with disabilities will be making a statement?

Re: Security Update

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:08 pm
by spacebloomers
After the absolute disaster that was last year's security (2+ hours waiting outside just to get bags checked), i'm hopeful this year's will be better.

In the 9 years i've been going to AB i've never seen such lines, and i'll admit i almost skipped out this year for that reason alone. I'm honestly not surprised AB's popularity took a nosedive.

EDIT "poopy"? Really AB? For a convention with a hentai amv contest, you guys sure are hypocrites. Also retracting my statement about faith in AB.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:30 pm
by Fetch
spacebloomers wrote:
Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:08 pm
After the poopy that was last year's security (2+ hours waiting outside just to get bags checked), i'm hopeful this year's will be better.

In the 9 years i've been going to AB i've never seen such lines, and i'll admit i almost skipped out this year for that reason alone. I'm honestly not surprised AB's popularity took a nosedive, but hopefully this year is better? :) don't let me lose faith in you, AB!
9 years... If you are counting this year as your 9th, then that means you do not know the horror of 2008. 2008 is the reason there are separate seating tickets for 'main floor' and 'balcony' seating for the Masquerade. 2008 is why more and more people prereg and get their badge on the Thursday instead of waiting for the Friday.

I myself have been to every AB except 2004. 14 years.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:39 pm
by spacebloomers
Fetch wrote:
Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:30 pm
spacebloomers wrote:
Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:08 pm
After the poopy that was last year's security (2+ hours waiting outside just to get bags checked), i'm hopeful this year's will be better.

In the 9 years i've been going to AB i've never seen such lines, and i'll admit i almost skipped out this year for that reason alone. I'm honestly not surprised AB's popularity took a nosedive, but hopefully this year is better? :) don't let me lose faith in you, AB!
9 years. If you are counting this year as your 9th, then that means you do not know the horror of 2008. 2008 is the reason there are separate seating tickets for 'main floor' and 'balcony' seating for the Masquerade. 2008 is why more and more people prereg and get their badge on the Thursday instead of waiting for the Friday.
2010 was my first year. (I'm bad at math) This year is the first where i'm driving up early to pick up my badge (entirely due to what happened last year) i've been fortunate enought to have been warned beforehand about the great linecon debacle, and preregged every year i went, including this year.

This year is the first i'm bringing a prop weapon for my cosplay (a solid rubber fake gun and knife set) and i'm worried enough about those pieces of harmless plastic getting confiscated, let alone worrying whether i'll have to wait in the rain again :(

Re: Security Update

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:04 am
by Fetch
Make sure the 'gun' has a bright orange tip. If feasible, have the whole thing safety orange, as 'realistic toy guns' are prohibited in the City of Boston. Basically, if someone can't tell it's fake from 20 yards, it's not good.
Also, be sure to have a bag to carry weapon props while outside the convention center, for your own safety, as the Mundanes are very skittish beings who can suddenly become violent.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:21 am
by spacebloomers
Fetch wrote:
Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:04 am
Make sure the 'gun' has a bright orange tip. If feasible, have the whole thing safety orange, as 'realistic toy guns' are prohibited in the City of Boston. Basically, if someone can't tell it's fake from 20 yards, it's not good.
Also, be sure to have a bag to carry weapon props while outside the convention center, for your own safety, as the Mundanes are very skittish beings who can suddenly become violent.
It does. The whole latter half of the muzzle is bright orange. And i plan on bringing everything in a bag, but may paint the "knife" and the black parts of the "gun" police blue, if only to ease my own anxiety about them being rejected, haha

Re: Security Update

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:08 pm
by Elli21486
Oh boy, searching up clear bags and I found this... Clear Backpack at Staples

Anyway, I recently just purchased a new backpack to reduce the amount of pockets of years past. Prior, I was using a multi-purpose laptop bag with about 9+ pockets. On top of that, I had a smaller camera bag within the larger bag that had to be taken out at the security checkpoint. The new backpack, although slightly smaller, reduces the amount of pockets to about 6 pockets and since it's specially designed for cameras, I can eliminate the smaller bag completely.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:01 pm
by FiretoIce
This is my first year going to Anime Boston.
I've heard tons of props were confiscated and security was very strict.
Were they also strict on cosplays and nonweapon props?

I've only heard horror stories and now the too-late-to-make-changes pre-con anxiety is rising. Any tips/hints/suggestions?
Besides clear bags, if a bag at all, what would you guys suggest?

Re: Security Update

Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:07 am
by tomthumb
[ NBC NEWS] "Replica handguns are now banned in public spaces in Boston, and anyone caught will have to pick up their confiscated weapon at a police station. Offenders under 18 will have their parents contacted." The news is dated NOV 2015

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/dan ... ic-n460211
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nati ... /75487896/

AB stuff cannot approve any prop.

I am not a lawyer. I would assume if you carry a prop firearm in an box or suitcase, so the public cannot see it, you should be OK. Carrying it in a gun case may not be a good idea. Unless you have a Massachusetts Firearms Identification Card (FID)

The mall area in the Hynes Convention complex would be public space. You would have to contact Hynes Security to ask what is the policy in the mall during AB 2017. I would think keeping the firearm out of pubic view would be OK. For AB 2016 there were people with prop firearms in the mall, in public view.

AB stuff should be able to verify if inside the Hynes Convention hall is private space. I would think it would be private space. So prop firearms would be OK. Still need the orange tip.

In theory, a toy, replica firearm, or prop, with a orange cap or end of the barrel orange would be exempt from the ban. The police need to be able to see the orange from a distance. With the orange tip barrel it would still be best to keep the firearm out of public view in public spaces.

I love cosplayer with BIG rifles. I will be sad if none shows up this years. :(

This is the world we now live in. :|

Re: Security Update

Posted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:59 pm
by spacebloomers
tomthumb wrote:
Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:07 am
[ NBC NEWS] "Replica handguns are now banned in public spaces in Boston, and anyone caught will have to pick up their confiscated weapon at a police station. Offenders under 18 will have their parents contacted." The news is dated NOV 2015

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/dan ... ic-n460211
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nati ... /75487896/

AB stuff cannot approve any prop.

I am not a lawyer. I would assume if you carry a prop firearm in an box or suitcase, so the public cannot see it, you should be OK. Carrying it in a gun case may not be a good idea. Unless you have a Massachusetts Firearms Identification Card (FID)

The mall area in the Hynes Convention complex would be public space. You would have to contact Hynes Security to ask what is the policy in the mall during AB 2017. I would think keeping the firearm out of pubic view would be OK. For AB 2016 there were people with prop firearms in the mall, in public view.

AB stuff should be able to verify if inside the Hynes Convention hall is private space. I would think it would be private space. So prop firearms would be OK. Still need the orange tip.

In theory, a toy, replica firearm, or prop, with a orange cap or end of the barrel orange would be exempt from the ban. The police need to be able to see the orange from a distance. With the orange tip barrel it would still be best to keep the firearm out of public view in public spaces.

I love cosplayer with BIG rifles. I will be sad if none shows up this years. :(

This is the world we now live in. :|
In theory. I mean, I totally understand the need to protect the general public from the evil menace that is gun-shaped sandwiches/clouds/pieces of plastic, but honestly, next year they'll be padding the walls with bubble wrap at this rate.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:40 am
by tomthumb
spacebloomers wrote:
Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:59 pm
In theory. I mean, I totally understand the need to protect the general public from the evil menace that is gun-shaped sandwiches/clouds/pieces of plastic, but honestly, next year they'll be padding the walls with bubble wrap at this rate.
The issues is keeping people safe. Some kids have done dumb things like pointing a laser tag gun or realistic firearm at police, at night, with poor lighting. It has not gone well for the kids.

If your carrying a prop firearm and a police officer says something to you. DO NOT RUN!!! Stop and talk to the police officer. DO NOT point the prop at the police officer. They are not out to get you. They want to keep you safe. Be calm, polite, tell them your in costume (they may not know what cosplay is) going to Amine Boston. If your from out of state, tell them your from out of state. The worst thing that will happen is they will confiscate your prop. From want I read your prop will be at the local police station. Ask which one. I have the impression you can get it back. I don't know how.

What is more serious is selling what would be considered a replica firearm. If you make prop firearms, it may be best not to sell them when in Boston.

People are on edge about seeing people with a firearm. If you have a realistic looking prop firearm, it may be best to keep it covered until you get to the security check point.

Be safe, use your common sense.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:56 am
by tomthumb
Dear AB Executives

On the Amine Boston web site > Home > Convention Info > Convention Policies > Prohibited Items > Weapons, including: > Knives, firearms, and other weapons as described in the Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269, Section 10.

The link takes you to a page that is all lawyer speak. It covers a lot more than prop firearms. Hurts my brain to read it. :shock:

Would it be possible to get a lawyer to volunteer their time for a good cause, Amine Boston. To translate the part about replica firearms in to english? With the Boston ban on replica firearm it would be helpful to have a section on the ban. Whats OK, whats not OK. Something the average person could understand.

I know your busy. I know it's a little late for a request like this. :D

Are there any lawyers on the forum?

Re: Security Update

Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:20 am
by QQ
What's the policy on smartphones and other things in your pockets like keys and wallet? Can I leave them in my pocket? If I have to take everything out of my pockets maybe it's better to put my smartphone in a ziplock bag. I prefer not to have security actually touch my phone screen because of germs. Will getting the Eastsport® Clear Backpack from Staples help me with my concerns? http://www.staples.com/Eastsport-Clear- ... 93971BJBLK

Re: Security Update

Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:34 am
by tomthumb
QQ wrote:
Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:20 am
Will getting the Eastsport® Clear Backpack from Staples help me with my concerns? http://www.staples.com/Eastsport-Clear- ... 93971BJBLK
I have been looking for clear backpack. Thanks for the info.

Re: Security Update

Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:47 pm
by Old_School_Anime_Lover02
so i'm a bit confused (it might be due to lack of sleep and early morning work) but wasn't dultan street supposed to be for the disabled people only? I don't really mind sharing the AA (that's all fine and good) but where do we go to avoid the crowds to get away? i mean it's super nice that there's going to be people who are helping us and such, but the only "help" i'd need is to avoid waiting out in the cold and such.....the disabled interence saved my life more then once last year

Re: Security Update

Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:53 pm
by Nemra
when the AA/Sheraton entrance was shut down last year, we only allowed panelists, staff and those with their accessibility sticker through but we've never had an exclusive accessibility entrance.