Anime Boston Feedback Thread for Panels and Events 2019

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Anime Boston Feedback Thread for Panels and Events 2019

Post by tehscribbles » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:02 am

Hi everyone!

Please post your feedback for panels or other programming events here. We already have a list of feedback going and new ideas for next year, but we would love to hear from you! If you are looking for personal feedback about your panels that you presented please feel free, you can make new topics if you wish.

If you have ideas and constructive feedback, please post here!

Don't forget that general feedback threads is here.
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Re: Anime Boston Feedback Thread for Panels and Events 2019

Post by dreiko » Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:34 pm

This is regarding the panel about Shonen Manga vs Superhero comics on Sunday.

My main complaint is a lack of desire for audience participation and a general seeming distaste/attitude of superiority towards the audience.

Whenever a question was asked, the moderator would put it before every single panelist instead of only allowing the panelists who had something meaningful to say to answer and moving on if none of the rest of them did. Multiple times, they would need to waste time and sit there to come up with something to say that sounds half-way coherent and even then it would be low level analysis that I am confident most people of the audience would also be capable of producing. Like Dimitri Maximof said; "the wise man speaks when he has something to say, the fool speaks when he has to say something".

Add to this the forbidding of audience commenting on what the panelists had to say (or sharing any facts and opinions that they might be overlooking) and overall the panel felt more like listening to a podcast. Self-absorbed, ignoring the people sitting there eager to engage with the concepts presented, as though they were faceless twitch-commenters, only caring about the opinions of the other panelists.

My advice would be to scrap the moderator role completely, have a shared set of questions that every panelist has in front of them (each reading one to the rest, sequentially) and discuss each question WITH the audience before moving on. It would be miles better to incorporate the audience that way than the anemic "questions only, no statements!" end-segment of the panel, which against treats the audience as children (there was one child I saw that left about 20 minutes in, so there's no excuses!) there to be educated and not of comparable (if not equal/superior) status to that of the panelists.

The only bright spot here was the Asian lady at the opposite end of the moderator who actually had things to say and didn't need to sit there umm-ing for 20 seconds when questions were thrust upon her. If she had been alone during the entire duration of the panel and just said the exact same things that she did and just ended the panel short it'd have been a better experience.

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Re: Anime Boston Feedback Thread for Panels and Events 2019

Post by H. Guderian » Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:38 pm

Panelist Room - Unannounced, again. I even looked for it on the map this year, and turns out I camped out nearby it to rest with some friends, and as we departed I saw the sign for it and poked my head in. Nowhere in the acceptance emails does it state we have such a room, and this has happened more than once. I remember mentioning it last year.

Thursday Pre-Reg - No one seemed to know where panelists signed in. While waiting for Customer Service I noticed a line near the merchandise booth had people with Panelist tags leaving it. So by accident I found out. I know last year this was the same setup, but also last year I think eventually a sign was put up to grab Panelist's attention. None of the other staff at registration seemed to know where to point Panelist, it seemed.

Check in...or not? - At Pre-reg I recalled I need to check in at Room 200. Last year, this was an exact repeat. So I made sure to ask. Do I need to check in at 200? Nope. Email said I must, but I took his word for it.

The tech staff up in the Foundations area were pretty nice overall. The elevator situation over there was modestly improved. I remember waiting to go up and a hotel staffer in a suit actually counted 10 people and brought them to use the Service Elevator. But this was the way up. Maybe, jsut maybe, we could improve on this.
Normally the Foundations Panels overlap.
But maybe during rush hour peaks you could have some of those let out at the exact same time and pre-arrange such an assist from the hotel Staff to get people going down. It is always discouraging to hear people not want to attend Foundation area panels because you can't escape. Many people try to find alternate stairways and intrude into Hotel Staff areas. So if Staff can sometimes make exceptions to bring people up, some creative scheduling could help alleviate congestion going back down.

If I think of more, I'll swing back around.

Oh and seems in the schedule mishaps I heard from another Panelist his age rating he thought he set his panel to was changed. An attendee said they were going to complain, as it was listed for All Age Groups, but even the tech staffer there on his sheet could see it was marked for Teen.

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Re: Anime Boston Feedback Thread for Panels and Events 2019

Post by Gabriel » Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:16 pm

I had so much fun! I as a panelist have no real feedback aside from an interaction with a staff member during my second panel.

As I was greeted by the tech and began setting up my equipment for LGBT+ Representation in Anime in 309, I was insistently offered written feedback on my content should I want it. While the staffer claimed they’d be “my opinions and mine alone,” I politely declined. As a panelist of more than a decade and having run this panel many times overt six years, I felt that I had prepared more than enough and provided enough relevant information to keep it both entertaining and interesting.

Sure enough, I did! My room was full and folx were turned away as I began to get underway. I proceeded to give my panel, take questions, and as the room emptied, I was once again approached by the tech person, whom I thanked for their assistance with setup. He then brushed that off and insisted I take a picture of his notes, which I reluctantly did. I apologized for running a bit short, and the tech staffer proceeded to launch into an abridged version of his notes on my panel, which he admitted later “wasn’t for him.” As an LGBT+ person, I have to take my audience into consideration, and if you don’t consider yourself someone who my panel is meant for, why would you provide notes? This of course I did not say - I excused myself to check in with Programming and let him have his say.

Is this sort of behavior normal for Tech? I am very confident in my ability to present and engage an audience, and I felt a little patronized having someone who, while I’m sure was well-intended, overstepped his role as a Tech staff member to provide “feedback” on my panel.

Other than that, Programming staff was wonderful as usual, and I loved having the discord for a resource for other panelists to ask questions me check in as needed!

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Re: Anime Boston Feedback Thread for Panels and Events 2019

Post by sam_animeherald » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:53 pm

Hi there! I co-hosted "From East To West: The Superheroes of Japan and America" on Saturday - to be honest, everything was perfect - we were able to set up early, and the staffers were incredibly helpful and patient while I got our presentation set up.

Ken Haley and I have been hosting this since 2013, and this was, without a doubt, one of my best experience as a panelist to date. Thanks for giving us the tools to put forth our best panel yet! :D

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Re: Anime Boston Feedback Thread for Panels and Events 2019

Post by H. Guderian » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:20 pm

I recalled normal Panelists were stricken from the Guidebook. First thing on Friday I looked up my paper schedule and found something interesting and wound up spending a lot of time flipping through the "Panel" pages to find only the Featured Panelists have anything to their names. I can understand wanting to cut down on the bulk of the Guidebook, but on the other hand it seems harder to advertise a panel. Featured Artists also exist, but many people will walk the Artist's Alley in totality as just a pure con routine. So excluding most artists makes sense. They get foot traffic. "Hey there's a Panel going on across the build/in the other building entire, what is it about?" If they're a paper guide user they actually have to walk over there an hour or two prior to read the video display's description, which I am not sure even happens that often anyways.

Though how do you compromise between cutting down on the size of the guidebook and still giving a shoutout to the distant panelists?

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Re: Anime Boston Feedback Thread for Panels and Events 2019

Post by Malak the Mad » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:54 pm

Greetings, All!

I'm Brian and I do a couple of little thingies at the con…namely "Totally Subversive 'Toons" and "Bad Anime, Bad!!". I've already posted a thread about the latter presentation (linked below), but here's a more appropriate place for my technical feedback.

Overall, everything went well. The room clears and fills I got to see were smooth. The Hall D audio/video staff were, as always, incredible! :D

The only technical hiccup that occurred was due to a bad HDMI cable as I was about to start my "Subversive 'Toons" presentation. At first, it looked like it might've been my adapter (Mid-2012 MacBook Pro using a Thunderbolt-to-HDMI adapter) which would've been very weird since I used that same rig at Katsucon two months previous and at a friend's house just a few weeks ago. However, upon plugging in a PC laptop, the same lack of signal to the A/V boards was apparent. So, we tried, a different HDMI cable going from my adapter to the board and all was working fine from there.

Kudos to the tech-staff, by the way. Everyone was quick to react to our little hiccup, both in getting an alternate laptop to test the signal chain, rustling up a new Thunderbolt adapter up to room 302/304 and then figuring out what the actual problem was. Even though the extra adapter and laptop weren't necessary, there was very little puttering around in confusion on anybody's part. Ultimately, I only lost about ten or fifteen minutes of my allotted hour-and-a-half, which ain't that bad. Besides, what's Friday at-con without at least one technical hiccup? ;)

So, in the realm of "constructive criticism", the on-the-spot room techs told me there had been some similar, if not identical, issues with their gear earlier. Assuming they have the time to do it in-between panels, a thorough check of the entire signal chain would be in order. That being said, I fully understand how an on-and-off malfunctioning cable can be a royal pain in the ass to diagnose and isolate. I've operated video rooms for other conventions and such things happen, especially when it's most inconvenient. :evil:

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Re: Anime Boston Feedback Thread for Panels and Events 2019

Post by tetsujin » Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:02 pm

H. Guderian wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:20 pm
I recalled normal Panelists were stricken from the Guidebook.
I didn't even make it onto the printed schedule - which wasn't too surprising given the timing with which I made it onto the schedule (and hopefully that was a result of me putting in my panel application at the last minute, rather than concern that my panel content might not be worth the schedule time) but it did worry me. There's few enough effective vectors for getting info about my panel out that losing one can be rather alarming.

Fortunately things seemed to work out OK. I guess people rely on the online info more these days. Hopefully nobody who wanted to see my panel missed out.

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Re: Anime Boston Feedback Thread for Panels and Events 2019

Post by H. Guderian » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:29 pm

Yeah, I can completely see the reason for saving the space, the guidebook is thick enough already and despite being in the Sheraton I got some good attendance in my panels despite the horror story that is the 5th floor elevators. I'm old fashioned so I do enjoy the utility of a paper guide, but then the question goes in the other direction, if people aren't using the physical guide/schedule what point do we cut them altogether?

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Re: Anime Boston Feedback Thread for Panels and Events 2019

Post by H. Guderian » Wed May 01, 2019 11:45 pm

I'll make a new post as the old one is now aged.

I noticed in the main feedback thread not more than one call for better paneling. And a frequent complaint is the abundance of 101/Intro panels. I think there are many merits to broad and appealing 101 panels. My Intro to Sakuga panel for instance deals with a different set of Animators every year, and I'm already looking out for ones for next year to feature. So I'm not against Intro/101 types, as I do those myself.

But I thought about it from their perspectives, instead of trying to just defend my own position. Surely there must be some merit to it? Why are there not enough In-Depth/Niche panels?

Frankly, people need to submit them, and then people need to attend them, but they either aren't being accepted, or aren't getting submitted at all! Intro/101 Panels are simply a safer submission. It'll ruffle the fewest feathers and get the most butts in the seat. No matter how niche I want to go, if no one will come, we all lose out.

What can be done, I was wondering?

1) Semi-official Tiers of Panelists. -
I saw a conversation about Tiered rankings for the Masquerade, and some wanted it applied to AMVs. And I support the idea of not doing that to AMVs. But maybe it can work for Paneling? I've been Paneling for AB for years and improved my topics and craft. Masquerade has Tiers. Maybe once a Panelist has gotten traction a Journeyman could have some sort of safety in their process. I don't want to say "Give them a timeslot for sure" but maybe all Applications marked with "Journeyman" or "Master" would get some feedback. Maybe just Amateur/Veteran. Though who wants to go see an Amateur Panel? Maybe just Normal and "Seasoned."

The key here is it would be unofficial separations just to provide feedback and guidance to those who have really found their footing.


1b) "Pro-Row Lite" Official separate group -

We have an Art Show, whose applications go up far later than Artist's Alley.
On top of that there is a Pro Row. And then on top of that are Featured Artists.

Pro-Row for Artists requires a more intricate submission process. but since a panelist can't interact with a crowd via a pre-recorded panel, I'm sure we could think of some other measurements. We already have Featured Panelists. AA's Pro-Row requires 3 years of establishment to even apply for it. After X amount of time/panels, a Panelist

1c) Foundation as an equivalent to the above Official split.
Could apply this to that existing system?

2) Depending on the Criteria used above, a submission process will be longer on the calender but not as much in man hours. The equivalent of Masters and Pro Row can submit first. And if they don't make it through and not very numerable, since they are valuable panelist, they can get some feedback. Then they can resubmit to enter the main pool, having been allowed to revise or not submit again.

We can also require higher tiers to have more material/stricter standards. If you want this 'extra chance' to make it in, pony up the details!
Also essential is to NOT cut off the pipeline of new talent. Not many people are great when they start. but we must always leave the door open for new panelists to fight their way up and hone their skills. I don't want to have a system to just award timeslots to veterans.

Seasoned panelists will get more chances, so early submissions can be a bit less mainstream, not to mention they can still submit the regular 'safe' content, and since there should be fewer people in the top categories it is easier on the staff than 'have each panel pre-submit a full recording' which will take eons to wade through. And most importantly we'll all be able to provide a better overall service to the attendees.

I had to rewrite this about 3 times, so it might not be as concise as I'd like it to be.

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Re: Anime Boston Feedback Thread for Panels and Events 2019

Post by thetoddfather » Fri May 03, 2019 2:23 pm

H. Guderian wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 11:45 pm
The key here is it would be unofficial separations just to provide feedback and guidance to those who have really found their footing.
I'd be a big fan of this myself but I don't know how much work it'd be for the panel crew to do post con.

I might also be useful to setup a panelist mentoring program for panelists who are looking for a peers opinion on how they are doing their presentation etc.

Another thing to look into is a moderator system to offer to host 'interesting' panel discussions with well known panelists. I.e. i'm sure there are 3 or 4 panelists who would be more than qualified to talk about any number of interesting anime trends or topics. This was pretty common at Sci-Fi cons back in the day, if you wanted to do a panel about x, you'd be grouped up with the other few people who also wanted to talk about it and they would send a moderator to make sure no one ran away with the discussion. Less educational more talk based. It might be a 'cheep' way to get extra quality panels without putting a ton of work into a presentation. I don't know why it fell out of favor at anime cons but might be worth trying.

Some examples that could be more discussion based:
  • Whats was great in anime last year
    What is great in manga right now
    Are Netflix and Amazon good for anime fans
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Re: Anime Boston Feedback Thread for Panels and Events 2019

Post by H. Guderian » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:31 am

Ah that's one thing I think of from time to time but forget to mention it, thank you.

Sometimes I'll submit a topic I'll think no one else is going to talk about. But I will know I am not the best at it. "Something better than nothing!" Turns out that's the year 4-5 people better than I have also applied for the same topic.

A solution on our ends is that Panelists can organize outside the con. But let's say 3 veteran panelists join forces and submit one, three person panel - and it just barely doesn't make it in, well there went three veteran voices. Submitting more, quality paneling with several guests becomes a risk. Unless you're truly Pro.

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