Policy Changes

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Pf. D
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by Pf. D » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:14 pm

On the subject of the ticket limit, I think it prudent to note that the limitation of 2/day only seems as bad and unfair as it does because there is quite a wealth of guests that AB brings in each year. With upwards of like 15 guests a year (in total) BUT a limit of only 2 (very difficult to acquire) autograph tickets AND potential schedule conflicts it's practically impossible for people to get in to see all the people they would like to.

And yes, there is still the possibility to get a signature in the dealers room but this process is also difficult what with the lines and cut off times and the cost of the signings and such.

This is particularly a problem with guests who rarely attend AB or are attending for the first time in a long time and fans are desperate to get their autographs but fail due to this decidedly inconvenient approach (inconvenient for us as congoers who want autographs, I'm sure somewhat helpful for everyone else)

For example, last year it was impossible with my schedule to catch Johnny Yong Bosch in the dealers room, and I didn't make the cut for the plain free signing, but in my determination and desperation to see one of my top VA faves (who hadn't been to AB in like 10 or something years) I lined up for the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure group signing and made. This would be a grand accomplishment except that I am not a JJBA fan and while the autograph itself is important to me, it's themed-ness bothers me greatly.

(Though now that I reread, this may be a comment on the hardships of getting con autographs as a whole and less a comment on this new policy. Or rather that this new policy only makes the original issues for congoers much more difficult *shrugs*)

That being said, is there some better ratio (of max tix to guests) that could be implemented in the future?

Also, I'm wondering why the information on how you will be tracking the acquisition of tickets is not available for disclosure?? *shrugs*
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by eternaltorture » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:43 pm

Thrillho wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:52 am
If a con is charging you a "registration fee" to get autographs, then they aren't really free are they?

What cons do you go to that also provide free guest autographs?
Going by that logic, maybe AB and all the other cons need to stop calling them "free autograph sessions" lol

Anyways, keep in mind that I'm talking specifically about Japanese guest autographs..
The other cons I go to, I only needed to pay the registration fee.. I didn't have to pay an autograph fee on top of it

These are the cons I went to where I got free autographs:

Animazement, Fanime, Anime Expo, AnimeNEXT, Kumoricon, Anime Matsuri, Sakura-con, AnimeFest, Anime Central, Kawaii Kon
AnimeNYC - It's a new convention but they have a solid autograph policy. Ticket distribution at 8am, 2 tickets each and we can go back in line for more. I got 4 tickets on both Saturday and Sunday.


I know Anime Boston has their free autograph sessions as well but 2 tickets a day is too little for the amount of guests they have. It's unfair for the fans of American guests.
I'm just glad I'm only interested in the Japanese guests so I only miss out on 1 guest autograph unless Hideyuki Tomioka and Katsuyuki Sumizawa are signing autographs together... which I really hope is the case :)

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Re: Policy Changes

Post by eternaltorture » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:16 pm

BasharOfTheAges wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:19 am
It's worth noting, the con isn't charging anything for autographs. If a guest is selling autographs in the dealers room, they're choosing to do it themselves.
Thanks for the info. I don't mind giving him some extra income then, hopefully he's getting paid a decent amount for his appearance at AB.

Mirotic wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:59 am
Not staff
As stated above Yuji Moto will have a free autograph session and a dealers room table.
Paid autographs have a huge range depending on the person and their team. From experience, you can expect them to be listed anywhere from $15-$100 dollars. Though most fall inbetween those numbers.
I will most likely not be attending his free session since the other 7 Japanese guests won't be at the dealer's room and I need to get theirs.
Those prices make me nauseous though lol I might have to reconsider the amount of items I was planning on bringing to his session.. and to Kazuki Yao's.. :(

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Re: Policy Changes

Post by Faceman » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:28 am

I'd just like to expand a bit on what other Anime Boston staff members have said about the changes to the Autograph Policy.

These changes did not come out of the blue, but rather were born out of necessity. Our Autograph System had remained mostly unchanged since we were only a 7,500 person convention. Now we are more than triple that size and the constraints of the previous system weren't working.

One of the biggest issues that forced this change were the session autograph lines themselves. Previously only the first 100 people were guaranteed an autograph, but others would still wait in line hoping to get in before the session was over. This lead to extremely long lines down the length of the Sheraton 3rd floor. It caused traffic flow issues and was becoming a fire hazard. We had to eliminate the extreme lines or face harsher penalties from our facility partners. No one wants to hear "The Fire Marshall just arrived," on a Saturday afternoon.

Related to that, many attendees would wait for hours (between milling about before the line started, and then actually being in line) hoping to get an autograph. And undoubtedly many would not make it in before the session was over. This lead to people being disappointed and upset that their time spent in line was wasted. With this ticketing system, you know well in advance whether you will be getting a free autograph or not. This frees you up to do any of the other three dozen things going on at that time.

As for limiting to 2 tickets a day, yes, it means that you couldn't get 5 free autographs in a day. But consider it this way: it also means someone else can't get 5 autographs a day. In the end it gives you a better shot of getting some free autograph sessions yourself. If we didn't have a limit, there'd be a real chance that the same 100 or so people could get all of the free autograph sessions and that'd be that. With over 25,000 people attending Anime Boston, it would be an extremely small percentage. This opens it up a bit to spread the wealth, so to speak. You may have to make hard choices about which free guest autographs you'd like, or compromise based on who is still available. But that would be a better scenario than being turned away completely and not getting any free autographs.

And again, as stated, many guests will do paid autograph sessions at their space in the Dealers' Room. The honest truth is that this practice is becoming more standard for all fan-conventions (anime, comics, scifi, etc). But we retain our free sessions because it is part of our culture at Anime Boston and it helps set us apart from other conventions. But there's no way to get every single person into those free sessions who would like to. We have to have a cut-off somewhere, and this was the best method we could figure out for now.

This is a new policy and implementation. We're all aware it won't be 100% perfect the first time. But we will see what worked and what didn't work and adjust things going forward. We're committed to always improving the Anime Boston experience. And we appreciate all of your understanding and patience as we work towards that goal.
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by Thrillho » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:49 am

eternaltorture wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:43 pm
Going by that logic, maybe AB and all the other cons need to stop calling them "free autograph sessions" lol

Anyways, keep in mind that I'm talking specifically about Japanese guest autographs..
The other cons I go to, I only needed to pay the registration fee.. I didn't have to pay an autograph fee on top of it
It wasn't clear to me that you were referring to the registration for the con itself, that's all. :)
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by AnimeFan90 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:04 pm

Faceman wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:28 am
I'd just like to expand a bit on what other Anime Boston staff members have said about the changes to the Autograph Policy.

These changes did not come out of the blue, but rather were born out of necessity. Our Autograph System had remained mostly unchanged since we were only a 7,500 person convention. Now we are more than triple that size and the constraints of the previous system weren't working.

One of the biggest issues that forced this change were the session autograph lines themselves. Previously only the first 100 people were guaranteed an autograph, but others would still wait in line hoping to get in before the session was over. This lead to extremely long lines down the length of the Sheraton 3rd floor. It caused traffic flow issues and was becoming a fire hazard. We had to eliminate the extreme lines or face harsher penalties from our facility partners. No one wants to hear "The Fire Marshall just arrived," on a Saturday afternoon.

Related to that, many attendees would wait for hours (between milling about before the line started, and then actually being in line) hoping to get an autograph. And undoubtedly many would not make it in before the session was over. This lead to people being disappointed and upset that their time spent in line was wasted. With this ticketing system, you know well in advance whether you will be getting a free autograph or not. This frees you up to do any of the other three dozen things going on at that time.

As for limiting to 2 tickets a day, yes, it means that you couldn't get 5 free autographs in a day. But consider it this way: it also means someone else can't get 5 autographs a day. In the end it gives you a better shot of getting some free autograph sessions yourself. If we didn't have a limit, there'd be a real chance that the same 100 or so people could get all of the free autograph sessions and that'd be that. With over 25,000 people attending Anime Boston, it would be an extremely small percentage. This opens it up a bit to spread the wealth, so to speak. You may have to make hard choices about which free guest autographs you'd like, or compromise based on who is still available. But that would be a better scenario than being turned away completely and not getting any free autographs.

And again, as stated, many guests will do paid autograph sessions at their space in the Dealers' Room. The honest truth is that this practice is becoming more standard for all fan-conventions (anime, comics, scifi, etc). But we retain our free sessions because it is part of our culture at Anime Boston and it helps set us apart from other conventions. But there's no way to get every single person into those free sessions who would like to. We have to have a cut-off somewhere, and this was the best method we could figure out for now.

This is a new policy and implementation. We're all aware it won't be 100% perfect the first time. But we will see what worked and what didn't work and adjust things going forward. We're committed to always improving the Anime Boston experience. And we appreciate all of your understanding and patience as we work towards that goal.
Don't take this the wrong way, I understand you are doing your best, but you must know that this is going to be a disaster. There is no way it won't be, since everyone will be crowding to get tickets in the same location. Plus, there is no guarantee which guests will be doing extra signings in the dealers room. I would not have been this upset about this had this been announced a few months ago, not less than a month out. By then you had already announced most of guests, then dropped this bombshell. I am sure that it was not intended, but it feels like you were waiting for most people to already preorder their tickets so by the time you announced this they were stuck with unrefundable tickets. I am not accusing you of this, but it certainly feels that way. Personally, I think that if you going to be implementing such a radical change in policy this year, you should also offer people a refund if they no longer want to come because of your change in policy. That, in my opinion, would be fair given the situation.

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Re: Policy Changes

Post by Mirotic » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:32 pm

Faceman wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:28 am
One of the biggest issues that forced this change were the session autograph lines themselves. Previously only the first 100 people were guaranteed an autograph, but others would still wait in line hoping to get in before the session was over. This lead to extremely long lines down the length of the Sheraton 3rd floor. It caused traffic flow issues and was becoming a fire hazard. We had to eliminate the extreme lines or face harsher penalties from our facility partners. No one wants to hear "The Fire Marshall just arrived," on a Saturday afternoon.

Related to that, many attendees would wait for hours (between milling about before the line started, and then actually being in line) hoping to get an autograph. And undoubtedly many would not make it in before the session was over. This lead to people being disappointed and upset that their time spent in line was wasted. With this ticketing system, you know well in advance whether you will be getting a free autograph or not. This frees you up to do any of the other three dozen things going on at that time.

As for limiting to 2 tickets a day, yes, it means that you couldn't get 5 free autographs in a day. But consider it this way: it also means someone else can't get 5 autographs a day. In the end it gives you a better shot of getting some free autograph sessions yourself. If we didn't have a limit, there'd be a real chance that the same 100 or so people could get all of the free autograph sessions and that'd be that. With over 25,000 people attending Anime Boston, it would be an extremely small percentage. This opens it up a bit to spread the wealth, so to speak. You may have to make hard choices about which free guest autographs you'd like, or compromise based on who is still available. But that would be a better scenario than being turned away completely and not getting any free autographs.

And again, as stated, many guests will do paid autograph sessions at their space in the Dealers' Room. The honest truth is that this practice is becoming more standard for all fan-conventions (anime, comics, scifi, etc). But we retain our free sessions because it is part of our culture at Anime Boston and it helps set us apart from other conventions. But there's no way to get every single person into those free sessions who would like to. We have to have a cut-off somewhere, and this was the best method we could figure out for now.

This is a new policy and implementation. We're all aware it won't be 100% perfect the first time. But we will see what worked and what didn't work and adjust things going forward. We're committed to always improving the Anime Boston experience. And we appreciate all of your understanding and patience as we work towards that goal.
These reasons are why I think the new policy deserves a chance. May the ticket pick up time need tweaking? Sure. But anyone who has ever lined up for an autograph and didn't get one knows how busted the old system was.

There was always a "don't line up more than 1 hour/30 minutes" in advance rule, but no one would follow it. This meant if you actually followed the rules, often times you'd miss out on your autograph. I would wait until I was allowed to line up then head over to the autograph area in the Sheraton, only to face a line of 150+ people already. These lines were a major fire hazard and staff were always a wee bit more...crazy? (understandably so) because of the mess. Even if the staff running the session did not allow people to "line up" they would still loiter in that area (still a ton of people, still a small space, still a fire hazard).

I remember one year my sister was super excited to get a VA's autograph, as he was in one of her favorite anime. A bunch of people had formed a line way before the allowed time. Needless to say, she didn't get the autograph. But the worst part was the people two spots ahead did get to go in, and they were loudly talking about how they were getting this VA's autograph for the 5th time.

This policy will be good because it will really make some people think "okay, whose autograph do I really want?" instead of just spending all day loitering the Sheraton halls to get a spot in line for every single autograph session (cutting off others chances for even one autograph for the whole weekend, and probably just selling their autographed stuff on eBay. Sigh.). It just evens the playing field a bit and allows more of the 30,000 attendees a chance at an autograph.

TL;DR: As someone who has been burned more than once and someone who has many friends who I have seen burned by the old system, I think this new system deserves a chance.
AnimeFan90 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:04 pm
I am sure that it was not intended, but it feels like you were waiting for most people to already preorder their tickets so by the time you announced this they were stuck with unrefundable tickets.
Not to butt in (I'm not staff) however even with the old policy you were never guaranteed any autographs with your registration. The con itself is way, way more than just autograph sessions. If you were only going to AB for autographs, maybe this year you can explore some of the other awesome programming AB has to offer while getting tickets for a few autographs and not having to wait in line! This could be a really good thing, we just need to give it a chance.
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by Rosedust » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:02 pm

Mirotic wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:32 pm
Faceman wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:28 am
One of the biggest issues that forced this change were the session autograph lines themselves. Previously only the first 100 people were guaranteed an autograph, but others would still wait in line hoping to get in before the session was over. This lead to extremely long lines down the length of the Sheraton 3rd floor. It caused traffic flow issues and was becoming a fire hazard. We had to eliminate the extreme lines or face harsher penalties from our facility partners. No one wants to hear "The Fire Marshall just arrived," on a Saturday afternoon.

Related to that, many attendees would wait for hours (between milling about before the line started, and then actually being in line) hoping to get an autograph. And undoubtedly many would not make it in before the session was over. This lead to people being disappointed and upset that their time spent in line was wasted. With this ticketing system, you know well in advance whether you will be getting a free autograph or not. This frees you up to do any of the other three dozen things going on at that time.

As for limiting to 2 tickets a day, yes, it means that you couldn't get 5 free autographs in a day. But consider it this way: it also means someone else can't get 5 autographs a day. In the end it gives you a better shot of getting some free autograph sessions yourself. If we didn't have a limit, there'd be a real chance that the same 100 or so people could get all of the free autograph sessions and that'd be that. With over 25,000 people attending Anime Boston, it would be an extremely small percentage. This opens it up a bit to spread the wealth, so to speak. You may have to make hard choices about which free guest autographs you'd like, or compromise based on who is still available. But that would be a better scenario than being turned away completely and not getting any free autographs.

And again, as stated, many guests will do paid autograph sessions at their space in the Dealers' Room. The honest truth is that this practice is becoming more standard for all fan-conventions (anime, comics, scifi, etc). But we retain our free sessions because it is part of our culture at Anime Boston and it helps set us apart from other conventions. But there's no way to get every single person into those free sessions who would like to. We have to have a cut-off somewhere, and this was the best method we could figure out for now.

This is a new policy and implementation. We're all aware it won't be 100% perfect the first time. But we will see what worked and what didn't work and adjust things going forward. We're committed to always improving the Anime Boston experience. And we appreciate all of your understanding and patience as we work towards that goal.
These reasons are why I think the new policy deserves a chance. May the ticket pick up time need tweaking? Sure. But anyone who has ever lined up for an autograph and didn't get one knows how busted the old system was.

There was always a "don't line up more than 1 hour/30 minutes" in advance rule, but no one would follow it. This meant if you actually followed the rules, often times you'd miss out on your autograph. I would wait until I was allowed to line up then head over to the autograph area in the Sheraton, only to face a line of 150+ people already. These lines were a major fire hazard and staff were always a wee bit more...crazy? (understandably so) because of the mess. Even if the staff running the session did not allow people to "line up" they would still loiter in that area (still a ton of people, still a small space, still a fire hazard).

I remember one year my sister was super excited to get a VA's autograph, as he was in one of her favorite anime. A bunch of people had formed a line way before the allowed time. Needless to say, she didn't get the autograph. But the worst part was the people two spots ahead did get to go in, and they were loudly talking about how they were getting this VA's autograph for the 5th time.

This policy will be good because it will really make some people think "okay, whose autograph do I really want?" instead of just spending all day loitering the Sheraton halls to get a spot in line for every single autograph session (cutting off others chances for even one autograph for the whole weekend, and probably just selling their autographed stuff on eBay. Sigh.). It just evens the playing field a bit and allows more of the 30,000 attendees a chance at an autograph.

TL;DR: As someone who has been burned more than once and someone who has many friends who I have seen burned by the old system, I think this new system deserves a chance.
AnimeFan90 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:04 pm
I am sure that it was not intended, but it feels like you were waiting for most people to already preorder their tickets so by the time you announced this they were stuck with unrefundable tickets.
Not to butt in (I'm not staff) however even with the old policy you were never guaranteed any autographs with your registration. The con itself is way, way more than just autograph sessions. If you were only going to AB for autographs, maybe this year you can explore some of the other awesome programming AB has to offer while getting tickets for a few autographs and not having to wait in line! This could be a really good thing, we just need to give it a chance.
I was also burned for the exact same reason, which is why I'm quite pleased to try this new system out. Every autograph I tried to get was impossible because even if I showed up at the allowed time there were already hundreds of people crowding around the area. Its not fair that I should have to loiter around a single room all day and not enjoy my convention just to get an autograph because everyone else wants to be greedy about it.

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Re: Policy Changes

Post by Painted_Outlaw » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:52 pm

Dang, I had a post here all ready to go but Mirotic said pretty much everything that I would've said anyways. Funny how that works. :lol:
I'll just comment on some points I agree with:'
Mirotic wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:32 pm
These lines were a major fire hazard and staff were always a wee bit more...crazy? (understandably so) because of the mess. Even if the staff running the session did not allow people to "line up" they would still loiter in that area (still a ton of people, still a small space, still a fire hazard).
Yeah, if it's a choice between keeping people safe and making weird ticket times, I'm glad AB went with the latter. A minor inconvenience is nothing compared to waking up in the hospital with third-degree burns because 50k people wanted to go see, I dunno, Noriaki Sugiyama.
Mirotic wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:32 pm
I remember one year my sister was super excited to get a VA's autograph, as he was in one of her favorite anime. A bunch of people had formed a line way before the allowed time. Needless to say, she didn't get the autograph. But the worst part was the people two spots ahead did get to go in, and they were loudly talking about how they were getting this VA's autograph for the 5th time.
There was one time I was leaving a cosplay shoot and I thought I had enough time to get to Monica Rial's autograph session only to get there and hear that it was capped already. I made do with going to her panel later that day but it was still just like "Oh....".
Mirotic wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:32 pm
AnimeFan90 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:04 pm
I am sure that it was not intended, but it feels like you were waiting for most people to already preorder their tickets so by the time you announced this they were stuck with unrefundable tickets.
Not to butt in (I'm not staff) however even with the old policy you were never guaranteed any autographs with your registration. The con itself is way, way more than just autograph sessions. If you were only going to AB for autographs, maybe this year you can explore some of the other awesome programming AB has to offer while getting tickets for a few autographs and not having to wait in line! This could be a really good thing, we just need to give it a chance.
Definitely. Anime Boston is a buffet of various aspects from cosplay to gaming to con gaming to panels both Guest and fan-related, Dealer's Room, Art and yes, autographs. If you only stick to what's on one plate, you'll really be missing out.
Attendee since 2010, panelist since 2016.
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by eternaltorture » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:55 pm

loklore wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:55 am
eternaltorture wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:19 pm
I just realized that some Japanese guests might only have 1 free session and if more than 2 of them are on the same day, that means I miss out on 1 (or more). :cry: :cry:

I would appreciate if you guys can let me know if all or most of the Japanese guests will be signing at the dealer's room. So far, I know that Kazuki Yao will due to LadyLark's post.
I am most interested in Yuji Muto, Katsuyuki Sumizawa, Michihiko Suwa and Kaoru Wada. Thank you.
Yuji Muto will also have a spot in the Dealers Room and will have 1 free autograph session.

The other guests that you mentioned are currently scheduled to each have at least 2 free autograph sessions during the weekend.
I don't see 2 sessions under Kaoru Wada's name unless he is part of the Autographs with Inuyasha Creators?

If he is, can I have him sign a non Inuyasha related item during the Inuyasha session?

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Re: Policy Changes

Post by Pf. D » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:11 am

eternaltorture wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:55 pm
loklore wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:55 am
eternaltorture wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:19 pm
I just realized that some Japanese guests might only have 1 free session and if more than 2 of them are on the same day, that means I miss out on 1 (or more). :cry: :cry:

I would appreciate if you guys can let me know if all or most of the Japanese guests will be signing at the dealer's room. So far, I know that Kazuki Yao will due to LadyLark's post.
I am most interested in Yuji Muto, Katsuyuki Sumizawa, Michihiko Suwa and Kaoru Wada. Thank you.
Yuji Muto will also have a spot in the Dealers Room and will have 1 free autograph session.

The other guests that you mentioned are currently scheduled to each have at least 2 free autograph sessions during the weekend.
I don't see 2 sessions under Kaoru Wada's name unless he is part of the Autographs with Inuyasha Creators?

If he is, can I have him sign a non Inuyasha related item during the Inuyasha session?
Not staff but iirc, in themed autograph sessions (such as the Inuyasha creators session and the My Hero Academia cast session) you are only allowed a signature on items relevant to the theme or on the autographs page in the Anime Boston program booklet.

(At least that's how it worked last year)
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by loklore » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:37 pm

Pf. D wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:11 am
eternaltorture wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:55 pm
I don't see 2 sessions under Kaoru Wada's name unless he is part of the Autographs with Inuyasha Creators?

If he is, can I have him sign a non Inuyasha related item during the Inuyasha session?
Not staff but iirc, in themed autograph sessions (such as the Inuyasha creators session and the My Hero Academia cast session) you are only allowed a signature on items relevant to the theme or on the autographs page in the Anime Boston program booklet.

(At least that's how it worked last year)
In this case year, none of the autograph sessions are industry sponsored so you can bring any one item you wish the guest to sign. In this case, as it is a group session, you can bring one different item for each guest or have them all sign the same item.
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by eternaltorture » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:44 pm

loklore wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:37 pm

In this case year, none of the autograph sessions are industry sponsored so you can bring any one item you wish the guest to sign. In this case, as it is a group session, you can bring one different item for each guest or have them all sign the same item.
Awesome!
And if we don't have an item, will you guys be providing us with Inuyasha posters or we have to resort to using the AB program book? (Asking this for a friend)


@Pf. D, Thanks for the input! I'm glad it'll be different this year :)

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Re: Policy Changes

Post by loklore » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:10 pm

eternaltorture wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:44 pm
Awesome!
And if we don't have an item, will you guys be providing us with Inuyasha posters or we have to resort to using the AB program book? (Asking this for a friend)


@Pf. D, Thanks for the input! I'm glad it'll be different this year :)
We currently cannot provide posters. I recommend bringing the program book. We usually have a few available just in case, but I wouldn't count on those.
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by Nemra » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:15 pm

loklore wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:37 pm
Pf. D wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:11 am
eternaltorture wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:55 pm
I don't see 2 sessions under Kaoru Wada's name unless he is part of the Autographs with Inuyasha Creators?

If he is, can I have him sign a non Inuyasha related item during the Inuyasha session?
Not staff but iirc, in themed autograph sessions (such as the Inuyasha creators session and the My Hero Academia cast session) you are only allowed a signature on items relevant to the theme or on the autographs page in the Anime Boston program booklet.

(At least that's how it worked last year)
In this case year, none of the autograph sessions are industry sponsored so you can bring any one item you wish the guest to sign. In this case, as it is a group session, you can bring one different item for each guest or have them all sign the same item.
To make sure this is clear, it still has to be official merch that the guest has worked in, not just any item
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by diamosaurrr » Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:18 am

I saw a question asked in a Facebook group concerning the ticket session. Your policy says that you'll start giving out autograph tickets at 7am each day. But is there a policy about when we can line up for them?

I know everyone commuting to the con fears the worst that people staying at the hotels will already be camping the ballroom at 5am or 6am (maybe even earlier). Is there a rule preventing this? Does the same rule for autograph sessions themselves apply to the ticket session (that people can't start lining up until 30 minutes prior to sessions)?

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Re: Policy Changes

Post by loklore » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:43 am

diamosaurrr wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:18 am
I saw a question asked in a Facebook group concerning the ticket session. Your policy says that you'll start giving out autograph tickets at 7am each day. But is there a policy about when we can line up for them?

I know everyone commuting to the con fears the worst that people staying at the hotels will already be camping the ballroom at 5am or 6am (maybe even earlier). Is there a rule preventing this? Does the same rule for autograph sessions themselves apply to the ticket session (that people can't start lining up until 30 minutes prior to sessions)?
There is no rule about the camping the ballroom. The ballroom will open at 6am for lining up. There will be seating in the ballroom but it will be organized in order of people coming in. Please follow the directions of security and autograph staff as you come in. Please have your badge ready, or if you have pre-registered and not picked up your badge yet, please have a PRINTED copy of your pre-registration along with photo ID.
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by runicmagitek » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:40 am

loklore wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:43 am
There is no rule about the camping the ballroom. The ballroom will open at 6am for lining up. There will be seating in the ballroom but it will be organized in order of people coming in. Please follow the directions of security and autograph staff as you come in. Please have your badge ready, or if you have pre-registered and not picked up your badge yet, please have a PRINTED copy of your pre-registration along with photo ID.
I was really hoping this wouldn't be the case. It feels like instead of people crowding the Sheraton halls on the third floor, they'll be crowding outside the ballroom all night/morning. I'll be in the Sheraton, but I don't want to be up before 6am unless I'm going to work. If I hadn't skimmed through this forum post, I wouldn't have known lining up was allowed for 6am and would have strolled down at 7am and probably missed out on tickets. This is really unfortunate. Thankfully, the only two people I want to see are also in the dealer's room, so I'll do that. The money will be worth it for more sleep and way less of a headache at this rate.
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by Kanechan » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:14 pm

I'm rather leery of the hours for opening the ballroom too. I commute via the T on all three days, and I've learned that the first Blue Line train from Wonderland (where I get on) leaves at around 5:20 AM on Friday and Saturday mornings, but not until closer to 6:00 AM (when the ballroom opens) on Sunday morning. Thus I might miss out on tickets to any or all of the sessions I want to go to, especially on Sunday. The whole issue of the timing of things seriously needs to be revised if they intend to do this in the future.
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by Pf. D » Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:05 pm

Kanechan wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:14 pm
I'm rather leery of the hours for opening the ballroom too. I commute via the T on all three days, and I've learned that the first Blue Line train from Wonderland (where I get on) leaves at around 5:20 AM on Friday and Saturday mornings, but not until closer to 6:00 AM (when the ballroom opens) on Sunday morning. Thus I might miss out on tickets to any or all of the sessions I want to go to, especially on Sunday. The whole issue of the timing of things seriously needs to be revised if they intend to do this in the future.
runicmagitek wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:40 am
loklore wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:43 am
There is no rule about the camping the ballroom. The ballroom will open at 6am for lining up. There will be seating in the ballroom but it will be organized in order of people coming in. Please follow the directions of security and autograph staff as you come in. Please have your badge ready, or if you have pre-registered and not picked up your badge yet, please have a PRINTED copy of your pre-registration along with photo ID.
I was really hoping this wouldn't be the case. It feels like instead of people crowding the Sheraton halls on the third floor, they'll be crowding outside the ballroom all night/morning. I'll be in the Sheraton, but I don't want to be up before 6am unless I'm going to work. If I hadn't skimmed through this forum post, I wouldn't have known lining up was allowed for 6am and would have strolled down at 7am and probably missed out on tickets. This is really unfortunate. Thankfully, the only two people I want to see are also in the dealer's room, so I'll do that. The money will be worth it for more sleep and way less of a headache at this rate.
As mentioned earlier it's not a very courteous policy in the case of commuters in general and hopefully they'll consider us a little more in the future.
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by icyfox22 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:58 am

I've been following this thread for about a week now, and I'm somewhat glad I did. When the policy change was announced, I was given the impression that the doors would open at 7AM when ticketing began. If I hadn't been following this then I would have never known that doors open at 6AM.

That being said, I am likewise disheartened to know there is nothing stopping people from camping out all night to get a good spot in line. Again, when the policy change was announced it seemed as if this was meant to STOP people from camping and give everyone a better chance to get autographs. Now it just seem that it's been shifted to an early time and larger location to better accommodate those that want to wait hours for the lines to open.

I won't be commuting, but I also don't want to feel like I have to wake up at 3AM (as this will severely cut into my sleep and I want to enjoy being awake for the majority of the con) to get in line for a ticket since I truly don't want to pay for an autograph in the dealer's room assuming the VAs I want to meet are even doing that. Considering one of them only has a session on Friday, that means I have one shot at that autograph.

I just don't understand what is stopping someone from getting their badge at, say, 8PM and then setting up shop outside the ballroom all night.

I want to be optimistic and give this a chance, but it still seems like the issue hasn't truly been resolved. People are still going to show up literal hours before opening to get tickets and nothing is stopping them from doing so. I've lost out on autographs time and again for this same reason and I'm getting the feeling that this year may not be so different.

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Re: Policy Changes

Post by Nemra » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:06 am

hi everyone,

You've all touched on great points that i'd like to address but first I want to clarify that the tickets are still only being handed out at 7am not 6am. Doors will open as a form of line management so that it does not clog the hallway and merge into the registration line, not to start giving the session tickets out. This will still be no different than if you went down at 7am and found a line. The only difference here is that it will be inside a room.

On the point of it being already filled when someone gets there, while it is true that the line could be big, please keep in mind that everyone is limited to two session tickets a day which means the sessions you want to go to will be more widely available. Unless it is a particularly hugely popular guest, there is still a good chance for you to get those tickets as everyone's priorities will be different for who they want to get
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by icyfox22 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:34 am

I have another question, and I'm sure there's nothing that can really be done about it. Say someone wants to see 4 VAs in one day. Can't they then have a friend get 2 tickets while they get the other 2 and then they end up with tickets to 4 sessions?

I get that the whole purpose of the limit is to force people to pick and choose but it'd also be really simple to just use someone else for more tickets. Is there some type of system in effect to help deter this?

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Re: Policy Changes

Post by diamosaurrr » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:17 am

I'm not sure if this has already been answered yet or if you unable to disclose this information. But how exactly will the lining process work for autograph ticketing?

Will there be multiple lines to pick up a ticket for each session (meaning one would have to line up for Steve Blum session tickets, and then go through another line for Yuji Muto tickets)?

Or will there be one major line where a person can pick up both of their tickets at once when they reach the front? Or will a person have to go through the major line twice to get both of their tickets?

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Re: Policy Changes

Post by 1Imsrhaje » Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:21 pm

I just created an account just to voice my opinion regarding this new change.

While I agree there were issues before, at least anyone had a chance and if you were determined, chances were you were able to get it (it worked for me for the 2 times I wanted one and I got both of them). I am local, I take the T to get around the city, I am also a worker with an age higher than the average crowd of this con, nothing wrong with this, but what I am trying to say, I don't think it is fair for me, to wake-up at the latest at 5am and see if I am lucky to get at least one ticket. Let's be honest, people are going to start lining up before time and let's be completely honest, those staying at the Sheraton/nearby hotels are going to be the ones with the better chance to get them. It takes me ~30 mins to get to the Hynes stop and weekends early trains are even slower. And for a con that nothing happens until 9am or so... I would have dead time.

My main issue with the old system is there were at least 2 areas were people could take notice and rapidly starting lining up when it was time. If there was only one area, that would have been fine. This is what happened last year with Robbie Daymond; people were waiting in 2 different areas and I almost didn't get it, even though I thought I was in based on the amount of people around me.

I am not complaining about the ticketing system, I am complaining about the timing. I know most likely was selected to avoid crazy crowds but it didn't take in consideration those taking the T.

And the guests I am mostly interested, they are not having tables in the Exhibit Halls so don't say that.

Hopefully this will re-analyzed for next year. For this year, at least there is no one I am completely excited and I am glad I got Robbie's and Yoko Shimomura.

Thanks.

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Re: Policy Changes

Post by SM1 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:20 pm

I think the only way to truly eliminate the early lineup issue would be to randomize who gets autograph tickets. That would involve tacking it onto the pre-registration system, +/- the remaining tickets being "raffled off" (for free - lol) during the con.
However:
A) That's a non-trivial change to how the ticketing system works.
B) Lottery systems are annoying to many people.
C) If you add a checkbox at prereg that says "want autographs?" a bunch of people will check it and then not show up even if they win the autograph lottery.

There aren't any great solutions, unfortunately. 4 hour lines are not good solutions. 600 people in 4 hour lines are even worse. Mailing out tickets before hand leads to scalping. Etc. etc.

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Re: Policy Changes

Post by 1Imsrhaje » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:16 am

For me, it would make me happy if all the guests have tables to sell photos/autographs. Not everyone do and that is my issue with this new policy, 7am is just not going to cut it out for me because of transportation. Keep the free ones and do whatever you want but also have everyone to offer them for a rate. I understand the Hynes is very crowded but maybe using the Sheraton/Hilton/Hynes as a combo will greatly help with this situation. I really can't see why a guest will turn down to earn some extra money if they have the time.

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Re: Policy Changes

Post by loklore » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:47 pm

diamosaurrr wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:17 am
I'm not sure if this has already been answered yet or if you unable to disclose this information. But how exactly will the lining process work for autograph ticketing?

Will there be multiple lines to pick up a ticket for each session (meaning one would have to line up for Steve Blum session tickets, and then go through another line for Yuji Muto tickets)?

Or will there be one major line where a person can pick up both of their tickets at once when they reach the front? Or will a person have to go through the major line twice to get both of their tickets?
The line in the ballroom is the main line. We will have several tables in the room once ticket pickup begins so attendees will be directed to each one (kind of like registration). As each attendee comes to a table, they would indicate which two sessions they will want and will be given those tickets. When any sessions run out, it will be posted.
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by Thrillho » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:13 am

So, FWIW, the AB Facebook page posted at 8:30 AM on Friday that the only sessions that ran out of tickets at that point were Steve Blum and J Michael Tatum.

So, I'd like to ask some people that were there this morning about their experiences. What time did your arrive? How long did you wait in line? How quickly did the Blum and Tatum tickets run out?

Seems like if, 90 minutes in, only two sessions ran out of tickets, that's not bad.
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Re: Policy Changes

Post by draft37 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:21 pm

Thrillho wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:13 am
So, FWIW, the AB Facebook page posted at 8:30 AM on Friday that the only sessions that ran out of tickets at that point were Steve Blum and J Michael Tatum.

So, I'd like to ask some people that were there this morning about their experiences. What time did your arrive? How long did you wait in line? How quickly did the Blum and Tatum tickets run out?

Seems like if, 90 minutes in, only two sessions ran out of tickets, that's not bad.
I arrived at the Saturday autograph ticket distribution right at opening (7:00AM):
  • There were about 200 people in front of me in line
  • There were about 100 people behind me in line after I left
  • Only one session was sold out of regular tickets by the time I got to make my ticket selection (My Hero Academia Cast) and even then, overflow tickets were still available at least
  • The earliest someone started lining up outside the room was apparently at 4:40AM (based on a post in one of the unofficial AB Facebook groups)
Ticket distribution itself was extremely organized:
  • It was in a large room in the Sheraton near registration with chairs, so you could basically nap until your row got called.
  • 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
  • It looked like they were going to use the screens in the room to note which tickets they had sold out of.
Going to get the autographs themselves:
  • The volunteers were well organized and vigilant in making sure you had a ticket before proceeding into the majority of the autograph area to begin with.
  • There was a reminder to have the item you wanted to get signed ready once you entered the signing room roughly every ten minutes
  • I had my ticket checked by at least two/three different volunteers
  • There was a limit of one item to get signed (granted, that may have just been due to the overflow line for the guest or how the guest's contract was structured)
  • Otherwise, it was identical to the old autograph set up
Suggestions:
  • Have the tickets specifically say '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
  • Having some sort of sign or marker identifying 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.
  • It would also be beneficial if there could be a screen or board near the autograph area listing the following:
    • 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)
Overall, I was extremely impressed with AB's execution of the new policy and hope that people were respectful to the volunteers when they had to explain the new policy to people

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