News for 2018

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TheDeedlit
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News for 2018

Post by TheDeedlit » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:10 pm

As some of you may already be aware, Nikki O'Shea has stepped down as the head of Artist Alley. I will be trying to fill her very vast shoes, and because they are so very hard to fill, I would ask for your patience as much as possible as I learn how to run the alley. There are going to be as few changes as possible. I honestly believe that this wheel is not broken, so we are not fixing it.

As you may have seen on the front page, the dates are up for sign ups for the alley. I know we are a little bit late this year, but not terribly so. Table pricing will be the same as last year. If you have any questions you may email me at kathryn.lawton@animeboston.com
Kathy Lawton
Artist Alley Manager 2018
kathryn.lawton@animeboston.com

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Re: News for 2018

Post by Meloria » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:04 pm

Cross posted from AA 2018 Thread:

So Applications opened, three hours go by where people are literally afraid to go to the bathroom, and then a tweet goes out that the window won't open until after 6. I'm kind of curious how it is that people think this "random time on a certain date" and FCFS work for AA Applications for this event? I'm applying for the first time and was told this was going to be an utter nightmare. My question is, what do we as a community, have to do to convince AA runners and coordinators that this method REALLY just doesn't work. Crashing the site and a free for all just make everyone stressed and angry.

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Re: News for 2018

Post by studio-adhd » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:10 pm

I think that the application process should be like the process to get PAX East tickets when it goes live AT A SPECIFIED TIME we refresh and then get put in a virtual line. Something needs to change.

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Re: News for 2018

Post by Meloria » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:17 pm

TheDeedlit wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:10 pm
I honestly believe that this wheel is not broken, so we are not fixing it.
This is CLEARLY a broken system. I have never been so stressed by a show without even being accepted. From literally everyone I've spoken to in person and online, the system doesn't work. AB needs to listen to its artists. I'd love to see a lottery system or something because it not only would lower stress and anxiety about applications, but it would also make sure that each year is fair for people, not just those with flexible schedules and fast internet connections. Plus, this would allow for new blood to come into the community. Nothing is worse than a vendor room with the same old merchandise and artists year after year after year.

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Re: News for 2018

Post by suriyel » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:24 pm

Hello Kathy, thank you very much for manning the helm of this large ship. As I am sure this may be one of many messages to receive today, the day of signups, I too wanted to throw in my 2 cents in the event that it can sway some decision if enough people say the same.

Anime Boston is too big to do first come first serve. Not only that, but a signup at an undefined time? That is asking for trouble, and has proven it for the last 5 years. Years and years ago, it was okay, as it would still take at least 10 minutes for tables to sell out, and the signups would go live within 1 hour. It is now down to 7 seconds, hours long waits, and is an incredible stress and inconvenience to the artists that the alley is meant to support.

The signup method had been brought up NUMEROUS times in the past, and always received the same glib response that “well, no method will make everyone happy, so we are just going to stick with this.”

That is no longer acceptable.

That is the equivalent of having a group of starving people, some of whom want pizza, some want pasta, some want Italian, and determining that, well, since no matter where we go, some people will be unhappy, we aren’t going to go anywhere at all. But the thing is, this leaves no one happy. Same with first come first serve.

Today, hundreds and hundreds, probably more, sat and waited and refreshed the AB webpage for 3 hours straight, hoping to be able to sign up and be able to go on with our day. We were instead met with a tweet saying the servers were unstable, and to come back 3 hours later so we can again repeat the process, all of us wasting a day for this. This happens every year - how is it a surprise that people are swamping and completely crippling the servers? Why was this an issue at all and something that they didn’t prepare for?

Regardless of those answers, in the end they don't matter because a convention this size needs to upgrade their application process. Yes, many people will make a stink and argue over what the ‘best’ method is. Lottery, like Otakon and Sakura-con? (the latter which, incidentally, was FCFS until last year when they realized they had to update) A combination of Juried with lottery, like Katsucon or Anime Weekend Atlanta? Something in between?

I don’t know what that answer is, but the one we are using now isn’t it.
Last edited by suriyel on Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: News for 2018

Post by Meloria » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:28 pm

suriyel wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:24 pm
Hello Kathy, thank you very much for manning the helm of this large ship. As I am sure this may be one of many messages to receive today, the day of signups, I too wanted to throw in my 2 cents in the event that it can sway some decision if enough people say the same.

Anime Boston is too big to do first come first serve. Not only that, but a signup at an undefined time? That is asking for trouble, and has proven it for the last 5 years. Years and years ago, it was okay, as it would still take at least 10 minutes for tables to sell out, and the signups would go love within 1 hour. It is now down to 7 seconds, hours long waits, and is an incredible stress and inconvenience to the artists that the alley is meant to support.

The signup method had been brought up NUMEROUS times in the past, and always received the same glib response that “well, no method will make everyone happy, so we are just going to stick with this.”

That is no longer acceptable.

That is the equivalent of having a group of starving people, some of whom want pizza, some want pasta, some want Italian, and determining that, well, since no matter where we go, some people will be unhappy, we aren’t going to go anywhere at all. But the thing is, this leaves no one happy. Same with first come first serve.

Today, hundreds and hundreds, probably more, sat and waited and refreshed the AB webpage for 3 hours straight, hoping to be able to sign up and be able to go on with our day. We were instead met with a tweet saying the servers were unstable, and to come back 3 hours later so we can again repeat the process, all of us wasting a day for this. This happens every year - how is it a surprise that people are swamping and completely crippling the servers? Why was this an issue at all and something that they didn’t prepare for?

Regardless of those answers, in the end they don't matter because a convention this size needs to upgrade their application process. Yes, many people will make a stink and argue over what the ‘best’ method is. Lottery, like Otakon and Sakura-con? (the latter which, incidentally, was FCFS until last year when they realized they had to update) A combination of Juried with lottery, like Katsucon or Anime Weekend Atlanta? Something in between?

I don’t know what that answer is, but the one we are using now isn’t it.
All of this! It's my first year even attempting to get into AB and I'm already so flustered I might just say "screw it" and stick to all of the other local conventions since the rest of them have more logical and easily navigable applications and submissions.

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Re: News for 2018

Post by milimonster » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:33 pm

I can imagine it must be very tough and stressful to take over the artist alley job and immediately receive so much negative criticism, so thank you very much for being willing to take over the position! That said, I think the FCFS is clearly a very flawed, unnecessarily time consuming process, especially using the current Anime Boston website. Using an undisclosed time does not dissuade enough people, because everyone is so excited to be in your awesome show! So it just ends up being frustrating for artists. I believe adding the Pro Row was a step in the right direction for making sure the Artist Alley has consistent high profile artists while still allowing new artists to enter. I believe a lottery would still serve to keep the alley open to new and upcoming artists while eliminating the stress of the current process. I hope you take this advice into consideration and continue to run a wonderful artist alley.

Thank you and your team!

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Re: News for 2018

Post by Kino » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:50 pm

Unfortunately- it looks like the wheel truly is broken.
With a change of leadership there's a chance to change things for the better. Anime Boston has been a source of deep frustration for artists on the con circuit for years. I can see that there may be little incentive to change things, in fear of making things worse and angering the mob further, but any step forward is progress.
With today being yet another setback in a yearly tradition of server issues I hope that this could be a chance for a regroup. If not this one, next year please consider new options that are less troublesome. If not for the artists, at least for your poor web admins.

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Post by blackhawkaya » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:03 pm

Honestly, no system is perfect but one that keeps me from having to sit in front of my computer for hours refreshing the same page and stops extra stress is an excellent start.

My shop and I are frequent at ACEN which is just as large a con as you are in the midwest. And they used to do first come first serve as well and it was a nightmare, much like this is. But once they instituted the lottery everything was so much better. I don't have to rush to my computer and wait for hours and devote a whole day fighting with a server that can't handle this many people. I can come in at any time in a week period and drop my hat into the ring. And I'll find out eventually what happens but it's simple and easy.

There's nothing to be gained from FCFS. It's stressful for the website, for you guys and for us. Unless a queue system can be crafted I'd highly recommend a lottery. FCS only works if you're a tiny con. And you are far from such a thing. I assume it's too late to institute anything at this point but my hope is that you'd take everything everyone is saying here into consideration.

Thank you for all your hard work all the same!

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