A response to Friday Registration Waits

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Syagria
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A response to Friday Registration Waits

Post by Syagria » Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:17 pm

[quote=Koji Imate]
Another idea is to open Thursday registration to everyone. The con's starting to get really big now, and I think that opening Thursday registration to everyone would calm things down on Friday. I know it's a privilege for the people who pre-registered, and that it might cause a little more inconvenience for the staff on Thursday, but overall I think it would do more good than harm. I also know some people can't make it Thursday, but I also know that there are probably plenty of people who can, and would jump on the opportunity to pick up a badge Thursday, even if they hadn't pre-registered.
[/quote]

That's an idea. If nothing else, it would give the staff a chance to see how the system works Thursday night - how fast processing all of those people really is, for example. If it looks like there are bugs, or that things are running slowly, then it gives them a chance to retool things and try to improve the system before the big Friday rush hits.
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14: Death
13: Wonder Woman, Kitsune
12: Kyoshi Warrior Suki, Wonder Woman
11: Kyoshi Warrior Suki, Princess Eries Aston
10: Princess Eries Aston, Zatanna
09: Hermes (1st Place Intermediate), Lotis Master Alice Seno
08: Haruhara Haruko, Sumomo, Lotis Master Alice Seno
07: Haruhara Haruko, R. Dorothy Wayneright

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A response to Friday Registration Waits

Post by ang » Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:21 pm

And contrary to apparent popular belief....a lot of us ADULTS who WORK and don't live locally still make it on Thursday to pick up our badges.

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Post by Ianny » Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:53 pm

[quote=Ang]And contrary to apparent popular belief....a lot of us ADULTS who WORK and don't live locally still make it on Thursday to pick up our badges.[/quote]

Would you happen to have numbers on that, in comparison to people who could not get off Thursday, and came in on Friday, the day the actual convention begins? I believe we proved that the number of individuals who pick up on Thursday is severely dwarfed by those who do so on Friday and Saturday. If there was indeed 15,000 people at the con this weekend, I would love to be able to know just how many came on Thursday, when all there was to do was pick up the badge.

So please, elaborate on "a lot" if you can. I know what you're getting at, Ang, but please, understand that Thursday pickups are still in the minority.

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A response to Friday Registration Waits

Post by LizNeedsACharacter » Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:08 pm

There was a group of 20 of us that picked up Thursday night and I plan to do the same with my friends next year because it was only about an hour wait.
I'm SURE that after this year, there will be MANY MANY people with the same idea. I'm sure not all of them will be pre-registered either.

I'm sure they'll have numbers out on who came on Thursday.

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A response to Friday Registration Waits

Post by Super Hiyori Walker » Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:23 pm

Ang,

I totally disagree with your attitude towards angry folks from the line waiting fiasco on Friday. I took work off Friday as well as drive up Thursday night. My wife and I stayed at a family's place Friday night. I am glad we did because had we booked a hotel for Friday evening only (we did Sat) to be turned away after 6pm I would have been extremely pissed off to say the least. I would have felt like I wasted another $150 for the sake of convenience.

I don't blame any of the people venting here. They may be over to the top in some of their posts but frankly I wouldn't tell them to chill at all. Please... 6 to 10 hours? I've been to Otakon. 3 hours max wait and that had people lined up around the building. I am an adult that works and can easily understand people's frustrations. I've waited in line for hours but something like this is down right RIDICULOUS. I do understand that the Con volunteers/superiors did a good job making adjustments on the process once they realized the issue but when I hear stuff like the Con-chair being rude and not offering ANY sort of good will for the Friday crowds I have no sympathy for that person.

Think about how the REAL meat of AB runs Friday afternoon through Saturday evening. Sunday is just a wind down day. Basically the people that got on line Friday late morning did not enter until Friday evening. They basically lost an ENTIRE DAY instead of enjoying what AB had to offer. I was pissed that I missed the AMV viewing Friday night because I couldn't get in. Instead, the wife and I returned at 7:30am (got up at 5:30am to get ready and drive back into Boston Sat morning only to get into the actual con at 10:15am) so we only caught the tail end of the contest. We were already both pretty exhausted from a 3 hours wait in line. I can only imagine the 6-10 hour line-waiting folks.

FWIW, I usually pre-reg but not knowing if I could make it this year made it impossible to book ahead of time. I was a little surprised to hear pre-reg people turned away as well. WTF? Those folks should be refunded part of the money at the very least.

I know the AB staff will be looking into this for next year but everyone is free to vent after what happened. Just seeing the reg lines from the outside at 9pm at night as we walked around was crazy. Part of me was impressed with the turnout this year but part of me was extremely disappointed with the handling of the situation.

Frankly I was surprised there wasn't any rioting. I can almost guarantee that a 10 hour wait for folks missing something like a concert or ONGOING activity (and I DON'T mean for folks waiting for tix to a future concert) would incite a riot of some sort. I applaud the Con attendees who braved the line and didn't cause much trouble. You guys hung in there. Good for you! Saturday was a bit amusing as I read the writings on those orange stickered lines.

My favorite: "I was BORN on this line". HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

I wish the AB staff the best in solving this problem next year. I've been attending since '04 and am VERY impressed at the quality and growing attendance of the Con. I also would like to thank the majority of the volunteer staff for keeping a smile on your faces in light of the disgruntled crowds. I just hope that this experience does not adversely affect next year's attendance.


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A response to Friday Registration Waits

Post by wolverinegurl » Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:39 pm

i preresigstered with my anime club but my friend who goes to another school in my town dindt so ended up waiting 5 hours in line with her.She was pissed and she had a party to go to at 7 and so i did I!the funny thing was i was urging my mom to get their at 8 and leave at 7 so we could get their at at 8 but shes like why dont we leave at nine.the whole ride there they listen to me complain and aksed why dint i have more paintance? well my friend was the one complaining when she was in line for five hours.she only got to see the convention for 15 minutes T_T i felt bad for the seacurity guards at the convention everyone was yelling at them to do something but they really couldent and i knew one of the security guards (his name is joshua otherswise known as dash)and he used to go to my school and was in my anime club so i felt bad for him b/c he was problely getting yelled at.I understand why people might get mad and yell at them but thats unfair and mean b/c after all they did not really do anything,they were just doing their job!

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Post by Dok » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:00 pm

[quote=Ang]And contrary to apparent popular belief....a lot of us ADULTS who WORK and don't live locally still make it on Thursday to pick up our badges.[/quote]


Not everyone is as privileged as you, Ang. Think about that, huh?

Besides. Bad attitudes get things going-- you can't disagree with how ridiculous the lines were. You can't. You probably saw them. If not, then you don't really have a basis for your argument. People WERE waiting for up to or more than ten hours.

If the AB staff knows what they did wrong, it means they can try to do better next year. There's no reason to not critique how the con was run. This is how we have, you know, GOOD CONS.

I waited in line for two hours on Friday night. I got to the con at 7PM, shoved everything into the hotel room, got my artist alley stuff together because I figured four hours of just setting up and meeting up with friends would be worthwhile no matter what time it was.

We were appalled when we saw the line. We had pre-registered back whenever pre-registration had just gone up, and I had purchased the three-day AA table thing. So I was a little pissed. Yes I came late, but that was because of family issues, (along the vein of RELATIVES DYING?) and whatnot. So yeah.

By this time, the line was ONE LINE. We asked two security guards and four staffers where the hell the pre-reg and the at-con reg lines were.

Two hours in the ONE massive line (that the two had split into) went by, and in the middle, a staffer was walking by and reminding people to only pay with cash, not credit cards. We were like, "What if we're pre-registered?" and he flipped out. "YOU'RE PRE-REG?!" he cried, "HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WAITING IN LINE FOR????"

And he dragged us up through the crowd and we went through and got our badges in about two minutes.

It was kind of irritating, not necessarily for myself, but for the other people who may have been pre-reg and had no idea that there had been two separately lines.

Anyway, there's my beef.

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A response to Friday Registration Waits

Post by kellhound » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:07 pm

A 10 hour wait is ridiculously and there being so many people isn't a valid excuse. As people have posted Otakon's wait is never more than 3 hours and that is certainly bigger than Anime Boston. Hell, San Diego Comic Con (and Comic Con's anywhere else) has an hour wait max. And just looking at the numbers for the past several years, they should have expected such a large turn out. Next year some serious revisions and if they don't know how to handle that many people, get in touch with other cons (and not just anime cons, asking regular comic conventions how they run things would be a good plan too) or put a cap on registration and turn people away (at least then the angry people aren't wasting 10 hours of the day when they didn't get to see what it was they wanted at the con)

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Post by ang » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:25 pm

My main point of aggravation was hearing about the amount of people who shamelessly promoted that they cut in line, which I think is something that last I recall, we were told NOT to do in what? 3rd grade?

Don't get me wrong, I'd be pissed all to hell if I had to wait for 7 hours to get my badge, and I do applaud those with the patience and the optimism that made the best of it, but more often than not, I got the, "Well your husband is on staff, make him do something!" rap call from angry friends on line or just in general. Or getting yelled at a couple of times for walking by the line with my badge obviously in plain sight because, um...you have to in the convention center, and getting chided at for "teasing" those waiting.

Yes, that's right...it wasn't all roses on the other side of the fence as well.

...My husband was ART SHOW staff! It's not like he could have left the 3rd floor and ran down to pick a handful of people out of the line, bring them to the front and go, "These are my friends and they have to go through now!" I can see that going over just as well as the people cutting, no?

As for Thursdays, my previous post was sort of an angry retort to someone else in the thread who I think assumed I was some sort of smartassy teenager who cut school to get a shot an an early badge. This was the first year at AB in which I had to stand in line to get my badge behind a lot more than oh....5 people at 8pm Thursday night. I got pretty darn shocked when I saw the queue (albeit not quite what it was on Friday) and waited for a half hour to get my badge. That's when I knew that something was up. Next year, I'm sure the line will be longer. I understand that not everyone can get in on Thursday night, but the option is there, and I highly endorse it? How's that?

Also, blame it on the moon like we're doing in the artist thread over weird sales patterns, don't blame it on the staff for crying out loud. They did what they could under the circumstances at hand.

I just don't find repetitive postings in multiple threads across the board saying (and I paraphrase), "Anime Boston sucks because of lines and I'm never coming back!" necessary. I think everyone gets the point. And I think the staff are going to do whatever is humanly possible to make sure it doesn't happen again.

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Post by Dejana Talis » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:59 pm

I just hope they realize the self-serve terminals were a mistake and do NOT attempt to use them again, no matter how "fixed" they think the process is. I've seen statements around here that seem to indicate that may be what they're planning to do. This method was a mistake, plain and simple. A new tactic is needed for AB2009.

As I said to some friends over the weekend, when it comes to system design, never put your trust in the user. Some users are faster, some are slower, some have more trouble than others, and you don't know for sure how things will turn out until they get there. If you've got something that needs to be done at a certain level of accuracy, and in a certain amount of time, it needs to be done by staff, not attendees.

Back to the badge mailing suggestion... counterfeiting isn't the only concern. There's also a risk of badges not arriving in time or getting lost in the mail, not to mention the extra costs involved in sending them.

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Post by Aarana » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:01 pm

[quote=GirlNChainmail]
Something I don't understand is why can't Anime Boston MAIL OUT BADGES to people who prereg. No more missing half a day of already paid for vacation to pick up something you bought months ago. Then all the people who normally help us out are free to help non pre regs resulting in faster lines for them.[/quote]

I understand perfectly. The reason they do not send them out early is because badges can be copied, and handed out without being paid for. Thats why no con will send them out early. There was a con I heard about once where someone accidentally mailed them out, and there was a lot of opportunity to copy them and hand them out to anyone. I even hear stories about people who will pick up badges on Friday, hit the Kinko's and make more for their friends (not with Boston, since its a bit harder to copy than most). However, if the badges are handed out that early, that is more time to figure out how to copy the badge.

As for "Making people happy" vs "some people sneaking in" I hope this occurance is a one time thing. I hope they have learned from it and will improve the system next year. That being said, what would happen if the badge is mailed out, but you didn't get it? That would require a purchase of a completely seperate badge. Then, with all the fake badges that are being handed out, thats less money that is going to the AB staff to pay for said con. so when there is less revenue, and higher prices, you know what that does? Raise the badge rate. At which point there will be complaints about people sneaking in for free, while you are paying an arm and a leg. Just like there are complaints for the people that cut in line. It isn't fair to do something like that.

If I had to choose waiting in line, or paying for two badges and wait in line anyway? I would choose just waiting in line.

Seeing as how this is a very fixable mistake, I have high hopes for next year.

Though I do have to say Thursday is a perfect day to pick up the badge, avoid the line for yourself and make it that much shorter on Friday / Saturday

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Post by vicky » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:15 pm

I've read (okay, I've mostly skimmed) the replies to this thread and I'm...well, I don't know WHAT I am quite frankly. I guess I can say I'm a little confused as to what all of the bitching is for?

It's my understanding, which I heard from a good friend who heard directly from a con chair, that the lines were not Anime Boston's fault. May lightning strike me down if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that they had originally wanted to use the Sheraton, which became double booked and less than politely told AB at the very last minute, leaving them to do what they could. That same friend had to wait in line for over 3 hours, he had a table in the Artist Alley, and he had pre-registered. I kept him company though, and he had made friends with people in the line as they waited.

If ANYTHING I think everybody's idea and reaction to the staff is appalling. Prudential security were doing their job, the staff had to do what they had to do, and I think they did the absolute best they could have in the time and space given. That said, I actually applaud the staff for their efforts and offer condolences for any grief they got for the wait.

Yes, I was in the AA, yes, I pre-registered, and yes I got my badge on Thursday. I had a ten minute wait, tops, which could have been because I was there at the very last minute. The AA staff were great the whole weekend and any time I had to see the other staff or security, they were helpful and nice.

I guess I mostly don't see the point for complaining about something that the staff had almost no control over, if it is the Sheraton's fault or not. It's not as if the staff were doing this on purpose, I'm sure they wanted everybody to get through the lines as quickly as anyone else did and they probably felt more stress than anybody since they had to deal with impatient people who had been standing for numerous hours while they were hunched over computers for just as long and working to the best of their abilities. The best you might have to do is just see what it's like to be in their place before complaining about your wait, since they were doing most of the work in the first place.

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Post by ang » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:28 pm

[quote=Dejana Talis]I just hope they realize the self-serve terminals were a mistake and do NOT attempt to use them again, no matter how "fixed" they think the process is. I've seen statements around here that seem to indicate that may be what they're planning to do. This method was a mistake, plain and simple. A new tactic is needed for AB2009.

As I said to some friends over the weekend, when it comes to system design, never put your trust in the user. Some users are faster, some are slower, some have more trouble than others, and you don't know for sure how things will turn out until they get there. If you've got something that needs to be done at a certain level of accuracy, and in a certain amount of time, it needs to be done by staff, not attendees.

Back to the badge mailing suggestion... counterfeiting isn't the only concern. There's also a risk of badges not arriving in time or getting lost in the mail, not to mention the extra costs involved in sending them.[/quote]


Okay, I didn't know about the self-service terminals. When I went in on Thursday there were physical people at computers doing it. o.o

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Post by greentea_mochi » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:57 pm

[color:green]The reason most people are upset is because they genuinely like the con and feel betrayed by Anime Boston's lack of preparation.

Grow up.

Okay, so you had to wait in line for 10 hours. Only, you didn't, because you could have pre-registered in October and paid 35 for friday, saturday, and sunday. This would have enabled a quick pick up on thursday, cutting your line time by 9/10. But we'll ignore that.

No one made you stand in line for whatever x amount of hours you suffered through. You chose to stand there, and you probably didn't even ask how long the wait was. You could have taken responsibility and left if it was really that traumatic and inhumane. In fact, I have no idea why you would have done something so heinous, if it really bothered you as much as you said.

I think we need to remember how much Anime Boston has done for us, how large it really is, and how much work it needs to put out to entertain us. Running a con of that magnitude? Are you kidding me? It must be ridiculously difficult. Cut them some freakin slack-- I’d like to see you try to organize anything like AB.

Okay, so some people were rude to you. At a con, a friendly atmosphere required, and their policies probably weren’t all that amiable. I’m sure a few of you were ready to kill after waiting in line and then addressing a volunteer with an attitude. But you have to realize---they’d probably been getting crap all day. Is it their fault they were understaffed, a huge majority of people decided not to pre-reg, and some of their computers went down? They were under more stress than you, and as volunteers, they don’t have the authority to give you a discount. How do you want someone to act when you demand they do something they probably want to do but have no power to?

Okay. Anime Boston made a mistake. And considering how many flipping people were there, it’s not really all that surprising. Maybe next year you’ll either pre-reg, or volunteer, eh?

Quit complaining and better luck next year.[/color]

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Post by Dejana Talis » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:15 pm

[quote=vicky]
It's my understanding, which I heard from a good friend who heard directly from a con chair, that the lines were not Anime Boston's fault. [/quote]

If that really is the position of the chair, my opinion of AB has just slipped a bit.

Yes, cons are nonprofit. Yes, con staff is unpaid. But attendees are paying customers and we are entitled to our money's worth. Any way you slice it, that is what it comes down to. I am on staff myself at another con and I still cringe every time I see the "But they don't pay us to do this!" red herring being tossed around on any con's forum. Passing the buck and shifting the blame is not a good way to handle a situation.

Mistakes were made. The best course is to own up to them, accept them, and work on correcting them for next time.

As a disclaimer, I picked up my badge on Thursday, so I didn't experience the Line of Doom. But from everything I've been told (some of it from staffers), I understand the method of check-in being used on Friday was a handful of computers where attendees would enter their own information. That was a mistake, for reasons previously described, an error on the part of con staff, and should be accepted and discarded.

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Post by Jekka » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:22 pm

[quote=Dejana Talis][quote=vicky]
It's my understanding, which I heard from a good friend who heard directly from a con chair, that the lines were not Anime Boston's fault. [/quote]

If that really is the position of the chair, my opinion of AB has just slipped a bit. [/quote]

In any case, I think everybody has to wait until there are formal statements from both the con chair and the registration head. Hearsay is always a mistake to make opinions and judgments on, and no matter how good the friend and direct the quote, at the moment, this is hearsay.

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Post by Dejana Talis » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:28 pm

Definitely agreed and that's what I'm hoping.

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Post by vicky » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:52 pm

[quote=Dejana Talis][quote=vicky]
It's my understanding, which I heard from a good friend who heard directly from a con chair, that the lines were not Anime Boston's fault. [/quote]

If that really is the position of the chair, my opinion of AB has just slipped a bit. [/quote]

Wait, why?
Did you even read what I had said? The Sheraton literally gave them days to pull together what they had for this year, giving them little to no time to find a whole new way to get people through the registration line. The process last year with the Sheraton was seamless and they threw that all away and the staff had to make due. How does any of that even change the opinion of AB? I'm sure nobody can deny it made the con any less horrible, sure it's a shame that people may have missed certain events or spent a lot of time waiting in line, but it's not the end of the world.

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Post by Dejana Talis » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:54 pm

Did you read what I said? They tried a whole new method of registration this year. Not just the line-handling, the way registrations were actually processed.

Come to think of it...

[quote=vicky]The Sheraton literally gave them days to pull together what they had for this year, giving them little to no time to find a whole new way to get people through the registration line. The process last year with the Sheraton was seamless and they threw that all away and the staff had to make due. [/quote]

I fail to see how that could be possible. It's been announced on this forum for months that there would be no events taking place in the Sheraton this year. The Sheraton was not the con hotel. Why would they be planning to hold registration there?

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Post by Larielle » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:24 pm

Double post, please delete.

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Post by Larielle » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:26 pm

[quote=xxdivineknightxx][quote=Curly Eyebrow]
Yeah. Well. Some of us aren't douchebags and people like you made the wait longer for people who actually deserved to be up there.[/quote]

You call it being a deuchebag, I call it being smart. You waited 5 hours and I didn't, correct? Only laws I follow are the ten commandments, and I don't believe "thou shalt not cut in line" was one of them.[/quote]

Congratulations. Why weren't the 959,247,598,457,982,457 people behind you so clever?

P.S. "Love thy neighbor as thyself" is biggest one of the ten, ne? I love you so much I'm tempted to return the favor next year ;)

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Post by ochibicake » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:52 pm

You're an ass.

Lucky you, you waited for ten minutes. You didn't wait in a line for ten hours. You got to go to all the events on Friday you wanted to go to.

BUT SOME PEOPLE DIDN'T. They aren't happy about it, and they have a right to be upset. If you don't know anything about it, shut it.
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Post by vicky » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:19 pm

[quote=ochibicake]You're an ass.

Lucky you, you waited for ten minutes. You didn't wait in a line for ten hours. You got to go to all the events on Friday you wanted to go to.

BUT SOME PEOPLE DIDN'T. They aren't happy about it, and they have a right to be upset. If you don't know anything about it, shut it.[/quote]
Um, excuse me, but THAT'S a little uncalled for.

I've had to wait in lines for hours before. I don't go to events at conventions, I don't give a poopy about screenings or dubs or the dealer's room or voice actors or any of that. I go for the artist alley. Do you even know what I had to do when half of the people with me and my friends were in line? I was watching over three tables running back and forth trying to sort out sales and organize commissions while trying to find the time to get $60 worth of food to other people who needed it when I could barely sit down myself.

I UNDERSTAND HOW ANNOYING IT IS TO WAIT IN LINE. I'm human, I don't want to wait in line forever and I understand that people would be annoyed at having to wait for 10 hours and end up missing the things that they want to go to. I can see why there's frustration from people but what I DON'T understand is why people are finding the need to take it out on the staff and the convention itself for making them have to wait for so many hours when it IS NOT THE CONVENTION'S FAULT.

Do you people honestly think the convention itself wants to spite its members and make them miss the events they want to go to by purposely making them wait in line for 8 hours? Do you think the staff just sat around twiddling their thumbs and laughing at people as they waited and became impatient? Don't you guys realize that the staff are human too and worked harder than ever to make sure everybody was happy, yet people continue to bitch about the smallest things?

Yes, I consider myself lucky for not having to wait in line for so long because I easily could have been in that same situation. You know what, I'm sure if I had to wait for 5 hours Friday morning, I'd be as annoyed as anybody else. But, I'm not, and it's probably because I don't see the appeal of actual con events. I have to wait in line six hours means that's six less hours I could be making money at my Artist Alley table. I'd be annoyed at that too.

So I feel that an apology is necessary for offending people that DID have to wait, because I can imagine the frustration that you must have felt and there was no way you could have seen the events that you missed. I can relate to that and I would have been mad at anybody possible too which made the convention itself seem useless. Not everybody had the ability to get their badge Thursday night or even at a beneficial time.

TL;DR - Sorry to people that had to wait and thought it sucked; stop hating on the staff because they're only human too.

[quote]I fail to see how that could be possible. It's been announced on this forum for months that there would be no events taking place in the Sheraton this year. The Sheraton was not the con hotel. Why would they be planning to hold registration there?[/quote]
I can only think of two things :

1. It's closer, easy to access, and gave them a much more seamless setup last year because of the rooms available. People recognized that as the registration area, and those that weren't staying at the hotel wouldn't have to walk across the mall just to register then go all the way back to the convention center. You also obviously couldn't access the convention center without a badge, and with the room close to the entrance, it made the walk shorter. I'm sure they didn't have to rent out the entire hotel, they could have just rented the room, which is how they became double booked. They did say it wasn't the convention hotel but that doesn't mean it was completely off-limits.
I trust what my friend says and believe what he heard and has been passing on to others, so I have to reason to believe that anybody would be lying about this just to find a scapegoat.

2. They meant to say "Marriott" instead of "Sheraton".

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Post by minimerc » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:35 pm

Wow... so many posts here already.

1) Thank you AnimeBoston volunteers!!! A lot of people have said that they were not treated well by the volunteers, but I can't say I had the same experience. The volunteers on the line, thanks for the water. The volunteers in room 100, thanks for making my bag so quickly. It must have been scorching in that room for you.

2) The new system was a failure. Plain and simple. I was highly disappointed with how registration was taken care of. I came with 4 other friends and 4 out of the 5 of us pre-registered. We got to the convention at 1:30, saw the line and turned away. Our friend who did not pre-register decided he would get on line because it would take him longer to get his badge. The rest of us came back at 3:30 and then waited on the line until about 7:30-8:00pm. I was pissed.

But not as pissed as my friend who didn't preregister was. He didn't get his badge until 11:00pm and was forced to pay for the whole weekend when he was leaving in the middle of Saturday. There was no compensation offered to him or us.

3) Mailing badges would not be that bad of an idea. They mail much more important things like bus and plane tickets to people's houses without fear of them being counterfeited. Can't the badges also be counterfeited at the convention? People only take a quick glance at them anyway.
~minimerc

edit: o__O Why are we not allowed to complain again? Lucky people who could go on Thursday. I couldn't. We had already made our hotel reservations and we had school and work to go to. So please don't preach about getting there on Thursday. I have been to AB since it's first convention. I have never had this problem before. Who would have guessed this would happen? If the convention claims to be one of the biggest Cons in the East, then they should have been more prepared.

I am not saying anything bad about the staff that had to put up with registering people. They did the best they could. They even apologized to me when I entered the last room. I am mad at the people who planned the registration. I am mad that I paid for 3 days at the convention and only got 2 days out of it. I am mad that it was so unorganized. Before claiming to be one of the best conventions, AnimeBoston needs to first work on a few things.
~minimerc

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Post by xenocrisis0153 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:35 pm

[quote=vicky]I'm sure they didn't have to rent out the entire hotel, they could have just rented the room, which is how they became double booked. They did say it wasn't the convention hotel but that doesn't mean it was completely off-limits.[/quote]
just gonna step in here for a second since this is an Operations thing...

the Sheraton was booked for another event... an event that did take up a lot of their meeting space... hence why we were forced to hold the con on Easter this year. Of course we would have wanted to be in the Sheraton, but this year it just wasn't possible. In all our foreseeable future years, we do plan on having some events in the Sheraton... whether or not that's where Registration will be, that will be decided on a year-to-year basis.

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Post by JUNBAIT » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:48 pm

Its easier for you to just forget it when you wait ten minutes. Some people do work for a living and can't afford to take half of the week off for anime boston and can't show up for thursday pre-reg pickup. Nonetheless, both pre-reg and normal reg-lines had to wait for hours even if they thought they showed up early at 9am. Yeah, Staffers are human but so are the congoers who pay good money to attend. They need to get their complaint out and let the staff know what went wrong and what could be done better for next year. So, needless to say they don't need someone who stood in line for ten minutes to tell them that "it's life, get over it."

Now on to some constructive criticism...

First
Don't even try to tell me that AB was unprepared for the amount of people attending. Judging from the growth and experience of the past 5 years they should have been able to approximate the numbers roughly.

Second
5 computer terminals for thousands of attendee is not a reasonable at all. Bigger Cons have handled this in a more manageable time. I understand it was a new system and its bound to have kinks but there didn't really seem to be a back-up system. Even breaking out the pen and paper when it was obviously going downhill would have been a good plan b, yeah it would have taken more man-power to enter the data in to collect a statistic for the staff but it would have been faster for the people in the lines.

Third
Organization was found lacking. Staff didn't communicate well to each other and even less so with the volunteers. Communication with attendees were even worse. There was endless asnwers of "I don't know" which is not the right answer for someone whose waited half the day away. And worse, there seemed to be enough volunteers shuttling down the lines herding us to the walls but not enough to do anything efficient to speed the process.

Fourth
I'm glad that some staffers are taking responsibility and not making excuses.

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Post by Kiarrens » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:54 pm

[quote=Fetch]
Also, a large number of the Hynes security was treating AB attendees like they were inmates at Cedar Junction. Previous years, there were NEVER that many of the Hynes security roaming the halls. It felt wrong.

[/quote]
There should be a thread specifically for this, if there isn't already. They were like Nazis.
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The Anime Boston Masquerade Staff Creed: "It's our job to panic so you don't have to."

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Post by minimerc » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:03 am

Whoa... I have no complaints about the security guards. They were great to us. They even warned that we should bring food to wait on the pre-registration line.
~minimerc

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Post by Mandoric » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:31 am

[quote=Aarana]I understand perfectly. The reason they do not send them out early is because badges can be copied, and handed out without being paid for. Thats why no con will send them out early. [/quote]

AX has done it repeatedly in the past, though they're now moving to an airline-ticket-style system, and AWA did last year and will this year, just off the top of my head. With a Staples across the street, Thursday pickup, and a large portion of attendance not even showing up until Saturday, there's ample time to produce good-enough counterfeits anyway.

[quote=greentea_mochi]
No one made you stand in line for whatever x amount of hours you suffered through. You chose to stand there, and you probably didn't even ask how long the wait was.

...

I think we need to remember how much Anime Boston has done for us, how large it really is, and how much work it needs to put out to entertain us. Running a con of that magnitude? Are you kidding me? It must be ridiculously difficult. Cut them some freakin slack-- I’d like to see you try to organize anything like AB.[/quote]

Personally, I did manage to ask how long the line was---the answer was two hours at noon, two hours at 1PM, two hours at 3PM, two hours at 5PM, two hours at 7PM, and finally, correctly, two hours at 8PM.

Beyond that---I've both volunteered and staffed cons, albeit smaller, and I certainly understand that it's possible to frack up even through your best wishes. I don't blame the ground-level staffers at all. It's just disappointing that higher management was either unwilling to move to the registration system every other major con uses at a cost of, at worst, cancelling the 18+ panels or had signed a contract forbidding such a method, and didn't think to provision emergency-use equipment; and further that they were unwilling to sacrifice even a moderate cut in proceeds to ensure future goodwill. If attendance projection was 12,000 and 15,000 came instead, assuming about 9000 prereg, since walkin badges starded there, that's more than enough extra to knock every Friday walkin after the hell line down to $40 or $45, or provision water dispensers from the convention center for line use. Instead, the message was sent that goodwill is taken for granted.

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Post by nagash » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:49 am

Although neither the conchair nor head of reg have posted here on the forums they were both at the gripe session on Sunday and formal statements along with a speech were made addressing the reg line.
They explained what went wrong, what they did to try and fix it, and that they will be taking a very close look at it for 2009, and it was said in a very sincere and apologetic tone and it answered many of the questions people had about the problem, meaning they people in the panel didn't complain about that problem but instead complained about other issues that came up during the convention.

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Post by CapnSamwise » Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:29 am

[quote=Curly Eyebrow]However if this happens again, I won't be returning.[/quote]

Just a little note to everyone espousing this theory: In case you missed the MASSIVE LINES EVERYWHERE: you won't be missed.

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Post by Dejana Talis » Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:30 am

Oh yeah, that's a great reason to ignore problems. -_-

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Post by CapnSamwise » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:21 am

This isn't ignoring the problem, this is saying that your complaints are trivial when compared to the issue as a whole.

Of course, if you were SO HORRIBLY OFFENDED, you could try selling your pass back to someone in the line. There were hardly enough people to keep the line from devolving to one huge hate-filled orgy, you could have had a little auction before anyone even noticed the rise in the din of the hallway.

Do you think you are original in your complaints? Put up or shut up. Volunteer next year, be part of the solution, or go away.

Seriously, because I, frankly, am sick of hearing everyone complain, without any of them having the balls to strap on that ridiculous orange vest and tell people not to pee on each other.

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Post by Indremafan » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:29 am

[quote=Faye_Noire]This was before they started advertising on the T.[/quote]

what is the T?

~DJ Indrema

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Post by Dejana Talis » Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:45 am

[quote=CapnSamwise]This isn't ignoring the problem, this is saying that your complaints are trivial when compared to the issue as a whole.[/quote]

Your initial post seemed to indicate that because AB has plenty of attendees, if some people don't return because of this that's A-OK. And that's not a healthy outlook for any organization to have, I certainly hope the AB staff doesn't agree with you.

For the record, I picked up my badge on Thursday. I just sympathize with those who missed out on a third of the con due to the endless line.

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Post by Indremafan » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:08 am

[quote=Koji Imate]Another idea is to open Thursday registration to everyone.[/quote]

I really like this idea, and have wanted cons to do this for a long time now. It simply makes sense. The excuse ive always been told is "oh well we dont even have the money box open on thursday"

I know that this can be easily fixed by having the right staff member on duty.

~DJ Indrema

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Post by nagash » Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:20 am

[quote=DJ Indrema][quote=Faye_Noire]This was before they started advertising on the T.[/quote]

what is the T?

~DJ Indrema
[/quote]

The T is what those of us who live out here call the transit system (subway, buses, and even boats).
For example, for those of you who did take the T in, you probably took the green line to the Hynes and walked over the bridge to the convention center (and I can only imagine how easy that must've been this year where the Sox were not in town).

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Post by magicatt » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:18 am

I know I've heard a lot about issues with mailing badges, one of which was cost. I know that I would be willing to pay an extra dollar or two to have my badge mailed to me--a shipping and handling fee which would cover any associated cost. Perhaps they could consider having mailing badges as an option for the additional couple of dollars. It would certainly cut down on pre-reg line times.

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Post by chica77 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:43 am

I have been going to AB since it started and I noticed that something was wrong when I got there. I waited for about 6 hours in the reg line and my bf waited about 4 or 5 in the pre reg line. What I didnt get is that the pre reg is so 1) the admission is cheaper and 2) you barely have to wait when you get there. I dont understand why both lines were pretty much the same wait time.
And in repsonse to other posts, if they were to mail out the badges yes they can be copied, however when people at the con get the badges they never check the ids again so they can just switch with someone at the con. Its impossible to regulate the badges unless you check ids at every door.

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Post by Gollum » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:44 am

[quote=magicatt]I know I've heard a lot about issues with mailing badges, one of which was cost. I know that I would be willing to pay an extra dollar or two to have my badge mailed to me--a shipping and handling fee which would cover any associated cost. Perhaps they could consider having mailing badges as an option for the additional couple of dollars. It would certainly cut down on pre-reg line times.[/quote]

Some of the other problems though are concerns with counterfeiting and badges getting lost or delayed in the mail. I know that there have been cases at other cons where badges did not reach the attendees in time and caused a whole new set of headaches for the staff. I personally think that mailing them would be more trouble than it's worth and would rather just wait in line then have to worry about whether I will get it in time or will I have to go through a headache when I get to the con.

[quote=chica77]
And in repsonse to other posts, if they were to mail out the badges yes they can be copied, however when people at the con get the badges they never check the ids again so they can just switch with someone at the con. Its impossible to regulate the badges unless you check ids at every door.
[/quote]

True, but then you still only have one person at the con at a time, it's going to look suspicious if they hand the badge off in front of the person checking badges. If someone were to counterfeit the badge, then you are essentially getting multiple attendees for the price of 1.

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Post by marikotoeii » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:22 am

how do ou figure the con JUST realized they were going to have the sheraton? this has been a known fact for months as staff have said (there will be no anime boston events in the sheraton).

i think it might be time for AB stadd to become3 a bit more orgnaized, like make an otakorp, if you will, which is the group of people who run otakon.

organizationally i think it might need to be stepped up.. Maybe also limit how soon peoplel can get in line for main events. there were huge lins to do anything this year.. and it was rather daunting.. i think a lot of people wasted time waiting in lines when they could have / should have been enjoying the con.

Maybe AB needs to implement a ticketing system for main events like anime expo does.

i'm actually really interested in helping the con fix some issues, so i think if possible i will attend the open recruitment staff meeting to see if there is anyway to help.

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Post by ang » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:29 am

The NEAS IS the parent company that runs Anime Boston, much like Otakorp for Otakon.

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Post by Nina » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:41 am

It's true. The staff rarely checked badges. I recall mine being checked ONCE when I was walking into the Dealers Room. I'm not sure if that's such a good thing for the people who payed for their badge and waited 4+ hours in line for one.

I know my friends, family, and I waited for just about four hours in line. We met a group from New York who had waited 9+ hours in line. Although I know this is being said, I need to give my opinion.

It's not working.

Speaking for my group, we think that the staff needs to find a new way to do registration. The mail-in pre-reg badges idea would be a good idea, and it would help in more ways then one.

If they mailed in the badges, the pre-reg people wouldn't have to wait in line.

Without them in line, the at-con-reg people would have more computers open, making the line move much faster.

Now, I'm sorry, but some people are asthmatics (My friend Andrea). They can NOT stand for four hours in a dusty basement-like area with poor air quality. Which, to be truthful, was just like the place we had to wait in. She was having a hard time. And I, well, I was wearing high-heel boots. Hahaha. Not very comfortable.

However, on a brighter note, the staff tried (and failed) to make things a bit more comfortable for us. It's the thought that counts, but actions make a difference. Anyway, a staff member did come up to us and offer us a small plastic cup full of water. I appreciated that.

ALL IN ALL: A new system is DESPERATELY NEEDED! I don't care how they do it, I just want change.

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Post by Curly Eyebrow » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:42 am

[quote=greentea_mochi][color:green]The reason most people are upset is because they genuinely like the con and feel betrayed by Anime Boston's lack of preparation.

Grow up.

Okay, so you had to wait in line for 10 hours. Only, you didn't, because you could have pre-registered in October and paid 35 for friday, saturday, and sunday. This would have enabled a quick pick up on thursday, cutting your line time by 9/10. But we'll ignore that.

No one made you stand in line for whatever x amount of hours you suffered through. You chose to stand there, and you probably didn't even ask how long the wait was. You could have taken responsibility and left if it was really that traumatic and inhumane. In fact, I have no idea why you would have done something so heinous, if it really bothered you as much as you said.

I think we need to remember how much Anime Boston has done for us, how large it really is, and how much work it needs to put out to entertain us. Running a con of that magnitude? Are you kidding me? It must be ridiculously difficult. Cut them some freakin slack-- I’d like to see you try to organize anything like AB.

Okay, so some people were rude to you. At a con, a friendly atmosphere required, and their policies probably weren’t all that amiable. I’m sure a few of you were ready to kill after waiting in line and then addressing a volunteer with an attitude. But you have to realize---they’d probably been getting crap all day. Is it their fault they were understaffed, a huge majority of people decided not to pre-reg, and some of their computers went down? They were under more stress than you, and as volunteers, they don’t have the authority to give you a discount. How do you want someone to act when you demand they do something they probably want to do but have no power to?

Okay. Anime Boston made a mistake. And considering how many flipping people were there, it’s not really all that surprising. Maybe next year you’ll either pre-reg, or volunteer, eh?

Quit complaining and better luck next year.[/color][/quote]

Okay.

A) I didn't decide to go to Anime Boston until much later so pre-registration was not an option. Even if it was, a Thursday pick-up was also not an option because I go to college and have classes that I need to go to. And yes. I DID wait nine and a half hours.

B) You have no right to tell me not to complain as you did not wait in that line. I missed everything I wanted to go to on Friday because of their disorganization. Yes, I have been happy with Anime Boston in the past. However, this year, I was not. I don't see what is wrong with letting Anime Boston know of this year's disappointment as I spent so long standing in line.

C) I asked several times how long the wait would be and the staff met me with "an hour and a half" every time.

D) They were not under more stress than me. And I know they don't have the authority to give me a discount. That is why I spoke to the con-chair who was rude and very unhelpful to me.

E) I was looking forward to Anime Boston and after being told "an hour and a half" longer, I wasn't about to leave the line. And after 5-6 hours, I had been in line THAT long already, I wasn't about to give up.


Honestly. Don't tell me to quit complaining until you've waiting in an almost ten hours line and missed the events of an entire day.

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Post by CapnSamwise » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:34 am

[quote=Dejana Talis][quote=CapnSamwise]This isn't ignoring the problem, this is saying that your complaints are trivial when compared to the issue as a whole.[/quote]

Your initial post seemed to indicate that because AB has plenty of attendees, if some people don't return because of this that's A-OK. And that's not a healthy outlook for any organization to have, I certainly hope the AB staff doesn't agree with you.

For the record, I picked up my badge on Thursday. I just sympathize with those who missed out on a third of the con due to the endless line.[/quote]

That's pretty much exactly my point. If you're so horrified at the convention for allowing the lines to stretch on, well, then leave. Someone is ready and eager to take your place.

Is this a healthy outlook? Sure, why not? It takes more effort to please you than it does to regester another individual. Same goes to anyone else complaining.

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Post by Super Hiyori Walker » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:36 am

[quote=Curly Eyebrow]
Okay.

A) I didn't decide to go to Anime Boston until much later so pre-registration was not an option. Even if it was, a Thursday pick-up was also not an option because I go to college and have classes that I need to go to. And yes. I DID wait nine and a half hours.

B) You have no right to tell me not to complain as you did not wait in that line. I missed everything I wanted to go to on Friday because of their disorganization. Yes, I have been happy with Anime Boston in the past. However, this year, I was not. I don't see what is wrong with letting Anime Boston know of this year's disappointment as I spent so long standing in line.

C) I asked several times how long the wait would be and the staff met me with "an hour and a half" every time.

D) They were not under more stress than me. And I know they don't have the authority to give me a discount. That is why I spoke to the con-chair who was rude and very unhelpful to me.

E) I was looking forward to Anime Boston and after being told "an hour and a half" longer, I wasn't about to leave the line. And after 5-6 hours, I had been in line THAT long already, I wasn't about to give up.


Honestly. Don't tell me to quit complaining until you've waiting in an almost ten hours line and missed the events of an entire day.[/quote]

That's what got me too. I heard from a few other attendees about the 2 hour wait at different points. Once they hit the 4 hour mark they didn't want to give up either! I wonder how many would have walked away had they been told the ETA is 6-10 hours before getting the badge.

As pissed as I was about being turned away Friday evening I was spared the excessive wait so missing the AMV screening was all I missed. The part that got me more annoyed was missing most of the morning screening as well since registration took us 2+ hours (which I know was a far cry from 10 hours). However, I saw people that were turned away from Friday night on the line and they were trying to be as excited as possible even though I could see and hear the conversations of disappointment of missing Friday events.

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Post by Super Hiyori Walker » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:47 am

[quote=CapnSamwise]
That's pretty much exactly my point. If you're so horrified at the convention for allowing the lines to stretch on, well, then leave. Someone is ready and eager to take your place.

Is this a healthy outlook? Sure, why not? It takes more effort to please you than it does to regester another individual. Same goes to anyone else complaining.[/quote]

That's a piss-poor attitude. People here are venting. That's it. Better than violent actions or what not.

If people were told the lines are taking 6-10 hours UP FRONT then I bet plenty would walk off. However as people are HOPEFUL of waiting and waiting there will come a point where they will stay because the have NO CLUE how much longer the wait could be. This is the resulting aftermath. Angry people...and you can simply say F-off? Pathetic.

Granted some of the people may come off as immature (especially the line-cutters which I would personally drag out of line if I see one) but the ones that patiently waited that long have my complete sympathy.


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Post by TheNerdyFeminist » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:53 am

[quote=Faye_Noire]Except that they should have expected it. I've been attending AB since the first year. Last year there was about 12,000 people and we average about a 3,000 increase each year. This was before they started advertising on the T. They should have been prepared for the large increase in numbers. There really is no excuse for the poor preparation. [/quote]

Dear Lord, I almost went apeshit when I saw the advertisements on the T. The last thing Anime Boston needs is normal people flocking to the convention after seeing an advertisement promising dances, video games, and live music.

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Post by Super Hiyori Walker » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:02 pm

Well it looks like there is an official apology now. I know they will do better next year. I do want to thank the staff for doing their best after the situation occurred. I don't think many people were aware of the "good will offerings" listed in the apology though.

Formal Apology

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Post by Meph » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:04 pm

[quote=xxdivineknightxx][quote=eidna][quote=xxdivineknightxx][quote=Curly Eyebrow]
Yeah. Well. Some of us aren't douchebags and people like you made the wait longer for people who actually deserved to be up there.[/quote]

You call it being a deuchebag, I call it being smart. You waited 5 hours and I didn't, correct? Only laws I follow are the ten commandments, and I don't believe "thou shalt not cut in line" was one of them.[/quote]

You know, I hope they ban you and people like you. AB doesn't need douchebags who can't follow rules and simple common courtesy to others. [/quote]

lol. it's not against the law to cut in line. if something is not against the law, then a new law applies: don't get caught. you're just mad cuz you waited in line. even if they notice you cutting, all they can do is send you to the back of the line. might as well try, right? fact of the matter is that i would not have went to the con if i had to wait 10 hours in line, so i could have cared less whether or not i got caught. i'd say about 5 to 10% of the people there cut at least part of the line.[/quote]

I think you're a douchebag and I DIDN'T have to wait in that line. You said the only law you follow is the law of God, right? People PROVED you broke those laws so you changed your story to the law of legality in the USA. So... basically.... more commandment breaking... and ... you're being an ass. Nice :3

People aren't just mad that you cut because they were in line, they're mad because they happen to have more decency than to take the opportunity away from others. You are not a good person. You can say you're smart, but telling people here about this officially labels you as "Not Smart". So how about you either keep that to yourself next time or not do it?

Also, if you didn't want to go if you had to wait, why stop the people who ARE willing to wait from getting their badges? People were turned away because people like you cut in line and took their spots. If you didn't want to wait, you could've left and let someone else who was willing to wait have your spot. I know it's what I'd have done. You didn't care enough to wait, so you don't deserve your spot. That's just how it goes. The people who are willing to wait to enjoy the con are the people who really deserve to be in this.

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