Kalyoth wrote: ↑
Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:45 am
I have to say - I would hope for a complete review & addressing of the entire Autograph policy, proceedures & staffing for next year.
I, too, notice the same issue with autographs each year. I usually have just one guest I really go for (like, in 2015, it was the Godzilla gents, and in 2012 it was Haruko Momoi, and this year it was Puffy-- missed the cutoff Friday, but I got in Saturday!!) so I plan ahead and am very attentive, but it's the same deal every time-- I show up about an hour before the line officially opens to see a swarm of other people like me, clutching the same kind of goodies for the same guest, hanging around. The staff tell us that we're not allowed to line up yet, so we scatter... sort of. Most folks hang around the vicinity, playing 3DS or checking their phones, walking down the hall... but just far enough away so they can still see/hear the area, just in case the line suddenly opens.
And then, maybe the "official" half hour before the posted time, or maybe earlier depending on how big that ever-expanding swarm is, a staffer will abruptly announce that the lineup is open, and people RUN chaotically to get into formation. It's frenetic and kind of funny, but I can really understand the frustration of the folks who try to be good and come back at 12:01 for the 12:00pm line, only to find there's already 100+ people ahead of them.
I reckon the only solution is to make the lines officially open earlier, but maybe there's not enough space? I actually really like the 3rd floor layout, and the system of "line up in auxiliary queue room--->walk over to main queue room--->walk into autograph suite and meet guest!!" It just feels like maybe there aren't enough queue rooms to go around? Otakon and AX have their autograph queues in larger, more open areas, but they have problems too (AX has huge, poorly-marked lines next to each other, Otakon has plenty of space but a single entry point for all autograph lines that's perpetally clogged, etc.) I'm generally kinda OK with the current system, but would be all for it if the staff could figure out a fix...
As for general feedback from a longtime attendee, speaker, and friend of the con:
-Security lines owned. Efficient and lightning-quick! I hate the security theatre and find it largely pointless, but if the MCCA and the con's insurers deem it necessary, this is the way to do it. The security contractors manning the tables/wands were generally much nicer and more relaxed this year, too.
-Guest selection was top notch. Great mix of crowd-pleasing North American guests, exciting insiders from Japan, and kickin rad musical acts. After I missed them in NYC in 2010, I figured I'd never get to see Puffy again, so their performance in particular felt like a real gift to me
-BIG HUGE PROPS for splitting Constitution into two rooms. That room has traditionally been for guest focus panels, and I rarely saw it even half full in previous years. The two separate rooms feel like the PERFECT size for the midsized panels.
-In general, having a lot of programming in the Sheraton was great. I'm more of a 'watch Japanese guests discuss their craft' kind of attendee, and the Sheraton's ambiance was well-suited to that. The Hynes is better for the huge expo halls, gaming areas, and mammoth FUN TIME panels. I do wish there was an accessible staircase to the small panel rooms up on the 5th floor - I saw a couple of great presentations there, but had to do some waiting for the elevators.
Overall, a particularly great year for me, at what's always been a fun con. It feels like the crummy weather put a damper on walk-in crowds, though. While it was nice to have the extra elbow room, I hope the con wasn't hurt too badly by this!! Can't wait for next year, guys-- you killed it!!