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Posts posted by LittleHobbit13

  1. 9 hours ago, Clutch said:

    quick edit: Better signage at the security check-in would help get people through more quickly. Put up 3-4 static signs in the line path saying to put your electronics on a specific side, to make a gap when approaching the scanner, to hold your arms apart at the scan, and to approach the guard check if you get a red light. That would make the security check people a lot happier than having to repeat the information over and over and over.

    Fully support more signage, at the entrance and at main thoroughfares. I think it would both groups, staff and attendees alike.

  2. On 8/1/2022 at 4:56 PM, Attendee7000 said:

    I couldn't hear other rooms but I could hear what was going on in the hallways.

    Also stayed in the Renaissance, and concur on the noise. We actually had a group right outside our door at one point at like 1 in the morning, it was quite loud from inside our room. Didn't love it given the time of night, but at one point they suddenly stopped so I imagine another room must have said something to them. We've been in Renaissance each year since coming to DC and generally never have complaints (besides the sliding bathroom door, which like you I hate, lol). My only issue this year is that the room we ended up in had only a single semi-transparent shade to pull down over the window and we couldn't pull the curtain the length of the window, so we could still pretty clearly see all the city lights from outside at night when we were trying to sleep. We never had this experience before this year. Otherwise my friend and I have always found the hotel to be clean and comfortable, and the staff friendly and helpful.

  3. 6 minutes ago, CarolineAndJustine said:

    I have no idea how to fix it though since it's not feasible for the con to vet someone's entire presentation ahead of time. Maybe allow some kind of panelist feedback after the con from attendees so at least it can be brought to people's attention?

    Yeah, it's a difficult one to find a way to mitigate. Even as I request it, I genuinely don't expect the Otakon content team to be giving content that intense of a review with their limited time. I like your idea of some kind of post-content feedback feature. "Did the summary match the content, Y/N" would be easy enough to include with a handful of other questions.

    • Like 1
  4. Good: 

    • Covid protections. I'm glad that Otakon was firm about their Covid safety requirements. It made me feel safe in such an enormous crowd, and I hardly saw anyone flouting mask requirements. Between staff, vendors, and attendees, it really felt like everyone was on the same page about encouraging health safety at the convention.
    • Friday lines were so well organized. I remember thinking it was probably some of the smoothest lines I've ever seen from Otakon. Everything flowed, it was almost always clear where you needed to go (that one stairway by Downtown being closed off was a surprise), and the staff (center and convention alike) were all generally pleasant with attendees.
    • Having the checkpoint for the Marriot Marquis connection PAST the photoshoot rooms. Great change. It always annoyed me having the checkpoint by the escalators so you got stuck in a check-in line trying to get back to the main convention if you wanted to go to a photoshoot.
    • Seating for panels/workshops. Felt like the rooms were generally well-matched to the number of people who showed up, and staff was polite and organized about getting people into seats.
    • Pre-reg pick up at select hotels. I really great way to help alleviate some Thursday badge traffic! My only critique is that they only had badges, they did not have the booklets, but that was easy enough to remedy by visiting Badge Services on Friday.
    • Downtime seating. I've always felt the WEWCC was noticeably limited when it came to places where people could just sit and chill, which often leaves people sitting on the floor against walls. In the past I've seen more instances of people getting told they couldn't sit certain places even when they were out of the way, but I feel this year was more relaxed about letting people be as long as they weren't in the way. (Someone at Con Feedback suggested maybe moving autographs to another location for organization, and I think if that happens I would love to see some of that space in Dealer's go to more seating instead of filling it completely with additional vendors.)
    • Printing hall hours on the badge. I know it was primarily so nobody could say they had no idea Dealer's was closing at 6pm on Saturday (because it's definitely been open later in past years, I swear! lol) but it was actually really helpful for me. I always lose track of time, and it was way easier to just flip my badge over to see times then it was to get the Guidebook app open and flip through menus to find Hours of Operation.
    • The weather! Not that Otakon staff control this (that we know of🤔) but it was so nice to have an Otakon weekend where we weren't all drowning in our own sweat.



    • Downtown dining still closed. I weep.
    • Stairs by Downtown/Reg/Hall A were closed off. I don't recall them ever being closed off and it confused the hell out of people and also created bottlenecks for crowds now being forced to use a SINGLE area for changing levels. Need to have those open again next year.
    • Content summaries. There were several panels/workshops I attended that seemed like they were going to be about one thing but then ended up being not quite that in reality. I would love if there was a way to get some improved review of those summaries to make sure they remain accurate to the content in their quest to also be attention grabbing.
    • The Wifi. I work in IT, I know the limitations of wireless connections ("available seats" as someone at Feedback put it), but I felt bad because a number of vendors (especially in Artists) mentioned struggling to complete purchases for people because they could only take cash when they expected to have Wifi available to them for cards. 
    • Photoshoot crowds, conditionally. I know it's the job of the people hosting the photoshoots to organize the people who shows up, but I went to a couple of the bigger ones where a) the size of people who showed up just didn't fit the space, and b) there were people sitting up front who weren't even taking pictures, and people who were taking pictures got left to cram in the back struggling for clean shots without other people's arms or heads in the way. I would love if we could find a way to adjust for this, whether that's a periodic reminder from staff to make room for those actually taking pictures, or finding some slightly bigger spaces so people can spread out more. (I know some of it is tied to scheduling and the never-ending struggle to accurately guess which things need more space, which is why I said "conditionally".)



    Three words: Saturday crowd control.

    I understand it was due largely to drastically unexpected attendance numbers mixed with limited staff, but Saturday morning it was almost like Otakon staff had never seen a line in their lives (like at all, not just at Otakon). When I hopped in line that morning around 11-ish, the lines outside were utter chaos. There was initially no one with end-of-line signs. The line for people with badges somehow ended up in the middle of a folded line for people without badges, making it difficult to discern where the line was and to reach it. There was also some outreach group set up right next to the line adding to the confusion by greeting people and telling people to ask them if they had any questions without providing any context. More than one person asked them for information about the lines by mistake and then just obviously got turned away, which created visible frustration. I get in normal circumstances that's a good place to set up but these people really needed to read the room and realize they were adding to the chaos by confusing people who were looking for help. Some people tried to enter through the hotel entrance because the line was shorter, but quickly realized that line wasn't even moving at all. Just as the badged line hit the ramp for the building, it became apparent that part of the reason it was moving slowly was because people coming from across the street were just hopping in line right at the front instead of going to the back, and there were no staffers around to stop them. I paused to mention this to a staffer outside the doors -- that they could really use someone over there -- and as she gave me a flustered "we know, we know, thank you, we know" she looked liked she was about 2 seconds from a full-blow panic attack, like she was just not prepared for the stress of line/crowd control. The stress seemed to be the general mood of the few staffers I saw outside. 

    Crowd control inside was no better on Saturday. The entirety of those 40k people were getting funneled through the single set of escalators since the stairs near Downtown were blocked off. At one point there were so many people going up the escalator but not clearing the space that we got backed up and for a few seconds people were stuck on the escalator even after they'd reached the end and I was genuinely panicked that disaster was about to occur with people getting injured. The hallways on the lower level between Dealers and Artists was PACKED and so disorganized that people could barely move. Perhaps they were lost in the crowd as well, I couldn't more than one or two staffers around trying to get people sorted into directions in the hallways. Not nearly enough for that particular area. If there's going to be a single funnel going up and down, then that space needs extra staffing attention. Ideally staffing with loud voices. Groups of people (regular attendees, from what I could see of badges) also kept getting gestured to enter Dealers at Hall B instead of going all the way down to Hall C, and then seconds later other people who tried to enter there would get shouted at that they couldn't enter there. It was confusing. Otakon has been pretty good about trying to stay on top of lines in past years, which is why Saturday this year felt so atypically and excessively bad.


    Despite issues on Saturday, this was still overall another great Otakon. I had a ton of fun and an awesome weekend.


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