Firstly, i'm writing this here in a new thread because i want to make sure everyone sees it. This is my thank you AND my own feedback as well as explanations to stuff that i've been hearing.
Again, i will not close the other thread, but i will link it in.
Earlier Feedback Thread
I can tell you guys already that there will be some changes - not necessarily to the sign up process, though we're looking into ways to make it work better - but changes there shall be, while some others are still being thought about.
that being said
[color:red]My Thank you [/color]
I'd like to say thank you for a great artists alley! while there were issues, most were minor and solvable. other issues were not brought to my attention till later, but then again, some of THOSE weren't exactly solvable at that point in time.
There were no complaints from attendees about the artists, although there was one accusation from someone and i can't recall if it was another artist or an attendee - and only two complaints from one artist about another.
I believe that this years newly revamped and implemented check in system went very well and managed to cut down the wait on Thursday and Friday SIGNIFICANTLY. It was certainly easier to find people and keep track of stuff.
I didn't see any unsteady displays - heard no complaints from anybody and in fact a great deal of you actually had your displays checked over with me first and i'm greatly appreciative of the care and concern and respect that all implies!
I'd like to thank you all for putting up with me in the time before the con as well. i tried to keep everyone as informed as possible, both on the website, the forums and through email.
I know that i lost patience a few times with people for being asked the same question over and over, when i thought i had answered it already. I know that sometimes i was so tired that i came across very blunt and abrupt, possibly rude. and a very small handful of times, i got very upset with a few of the emails i received from people who did NOT get in. and that may have affected how i answered things. My apologies.
Thanks for being so patient when we had sign up issues that were unprepared for. we had a new webmaster this year and that meant we had to rebuild the sign up process to a steadier and sturdier system that he understood and that took some time. at the same time, it was decided to integrate the sign up INTO the registration system and the people who do that for us did not understand completely what we wanted or needed. This caused a few problems, but we managed to get them all sorted out and we know how to fix them for next year.
Now, if you like, i'll address some of the concerns both you and i had at con.
[color:red]ANSWERS TO SOME OF YOUR FEEDBACK OR MY OWN AT CON OBSERVATIONS THAT MAY NEED SOME FEEDBACK:[/color]
On thursday night check in - there were many complaints of people not being allowed in at all, or not being checked against the list. You have cited that there needs to be better communications between the AA and the Hynes.
Actually...no. the Hynes may need to LISTEN better. but they may have also gotten confused by the actions of some artists.
i know everyone is willing and eager to get in, but in the email i sent everyone, i explained how to do the reg check in, and how to do AA check in and where to find the check in times and procedures in our FAQ.
That check in time for Thursday said 8PM. not 4pm or 5pm...I myself was willing to do a little leeway on that *IF* i was ready, but it was decided that to help get setup taken care of for the CON, the amount of traffic would be limited and therefore, the schedule would be stuck to (and i can understand why). so the hynes were told, no artists before a certain time. and i got many calls about artists trying to get in before the scheduled time.
with this in mind, it may have produced some confusion on the part of the Hynes staff with so many people trying to get in before the scheduled time, before we handed them a list at 7:30 of the people allowed in . Why they didn't just use the list, i don't know. and its not a communications issue on OUR end. this is something that will have to be passed on higher up to the facilities liaison to figure out what was going on and how it can be fixed.
Sunday Checkout -
AGAIN i have no idea what this was about. I checked with our staff and we had the building till 7pm.. But apparently it wasn't just artists not being allowed in, but people were being herded out before 4...i don't know what happened there, but again, as with the Thursday deal, this will have to go to the higher ups to look into.
Big Props - this was not an AA only problem. while walking through the hallways with my boss, a girl swung her weapon prop off her shoulder and smacked him on the shoulder. if he hadn't been so tall, it would have smacked him in the face.
Despite being mortified, she was still not paying attention to what she was doing when she entered the AA the day after and had to be talked to about it. She was not the only one we did so with.
it may not be feasible, but it may be worth looking into some sort of warning/strike policy. x amount of incidents and you lose your weapon/prop. But i can't promise anything. with such a big convention, it may produce more trouble than its worth, and i welcome any ideas you guys have as alternatives. as some say, the pics would be lame if we made them check their props in at the door.
as we said, photography that is not for or by the artists is expressly forbidden and is also posted in the program book. it is there because we both hoped people would listen and because when we stopped them, they couldn't say we'd just 'made it up on the spot'.
we COULD put it on a sign, along with all the rest of the rules, and be completely ignored. i watched that very fact as the opening hours for Friday HAD been attached to the sign RIGHT OUTSIDE THE DOOR and we still had to tell people to leave because we weren't open yet and answer their question of "when does this open". It's pretty much guaranteed that enough people don't read as to cause us all sorts of problems.
Sadly, this is going to happen. we did have wide rows 8-9 feet planned, but we also had like 17,ooo people (Not confirmed!!!) at the con. even without the backups for pictures, popular artists, or just plain idiots or ditherers, congestion will happen. and we did try to disperse people a few times. not get them out of the alley, but just to move a long a little more.
solutions for this MAY include
- [li]widening the traffic rows and shortening artist rows[/li][li]measuring each row at con to make sure it was done properly[/li][li]eliminating tables to make more room[/li][li]sending out congestion patrols[/li][li]some combination of the above.[/li]
apparently, there are some misconceptions of why you have a separate AA badge. There were complaints both at con and in the previous thread about the badge check.
the first correction is that that wasn't security. it was us. i asked my staff to trade off pulling a few random checks each day of the con.
[color:red]Because of squatters[/color]. and we caught more than one. to put it bluntly - do you really think its fair to yourself or others that people who did not pay what you did just sat down with their stuff and started to sell it? I'm sure you don't.
And yes, you may have been there all weekend BUT:
there are over 400 people in the alley ( i know i made that many badges PRE CON. that's not counting AT con). some of them are new faces. And some of MY staff aren't as familiar with all of your faces as i am starting to become. and not ALL of the faces that have become familiar over the years get a chance to return every year.
to which, the only resort is to check for official badges and if yours is not readily visible, you WILL be asked to show it.
this is why some of you were NOT bothered and some of you WERE bothered, or even bothered more than once. If your badge was visible, there was no issue, we noted it and moved on. you belonged there.
i hope that clears the confusion on the badge.
We have people limits at each table. we laxed on a few of them because i know sometimes the one person you had signed up for you won't be available to help and you might need another person.
but the limits were put into place because of abuses from previous years (try putting ten people behind a 4 foot space all at once and tell me how that works)
after the complaints this year, the limits already in place will become VERY strict. If artists cannot respect each other enough not to (personally or by allowing their friends) block the space behind the tables and cause issues and traffic hazards, then we'll just have to be more strict about it.
RULE CREATION: Every rule that comes about in the AA is because someone in the AA was disrespectful and completely uncaring of their fellow artists. i'm not blaming, or pointing but the easiest way to fix the problem, is to make sure it can't be a problem.
DOUBLE TABLES: if you want a table in the AA, you will not be allowed one in the Dealers room and vice versa. you get ONE table, NOT both. we found this out RIGHT before con, and the decision was made to let it slide since it was so close. but then it was discovered that the table in question was selling exactly the same thing in both locations. and yes, there were complaints from other artists. since space in both the AA and the dealers room are in high demand, it is not fair to allow this to happen.
i wrote this up earlier tonight and then read a bit from the other post before doing this one - from what i can tell, i am thinking of one set of people, and some of you are thinking of another set of people. again, you NEED to tell me of issues at CON or i can't handle them at all.
If there are any other issues i haven't explained or expressed knowledge about, please let me know. please leave names and finger pointing out of public forums and PT me separately.