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otoxo

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About otoxo

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  1. Ah, it was an industry autograph session. That's how they were able to do things like that. AFAIK Otakon has no control over the way industry signings are conducted. I personally wouldn't complain if Otakon decided to do paid signings like this but I vaguely recall reading or hearing someone from Otakon say that that's not the way they want to do things. Anyway, looks like the session was run smoothly and you had fun, so that's good.
  2. Sorry for not replying sooner. I only just saw your post. The point of the extended waiting space is to give people who want to arrive early and wait longer the opportunity to do so. That's all. It's not intended to set an expectation that everyone in line will get in. Anytime there's a line, there's always a chance that you won't make it in if you're not at the front. This extended waiting space isn't any different. I'm curious about the autograph session that you attended that required an invitation pass. How did that work? I've been to many other cons that have used various systems to organize autograph sessions with various degrees of success. Sometimes they use tickets effectively and sometimes they don't.
  3. otoxo

    Nobuo Uematsu at Otakon

    Aren't details about how many autograph sessions and people per session the guest is willing to do spelled out in their contract when signing them?
  4. That would make the most sense but we all know how parents can be... Otakon is just trying to cover its own butt. And yet it keep happening, which means the current procedure isn't working, which means it would be wise to change things up. Staff isn't being unreasonable, but it's the procedure that is bad. You don't know me. Don't presume you know what I would and wouldn't do. Telling people to "come back later" isn't a solution because, as it's already been discussed, it doesn't work. It has nothing to do with who proposed it. It's important to think about how different ideas could go wrong -- better now than at the actual event. When I post an idea, people find faults with it, and I do my best to respond. And I do the same for others' ideas. Don't take criticisms personally; we are all working toward the same goal here of having a well-run Otakon. Otakon doesn't need to devote "endless amounts of staffing and space resources" to have well-run autograph sessions. None of anyone's ideas calls for that. It's all about having a process that involves better organization and communication, not about involving more staffers. After a certain point, adding more staff won't accomplish anything anyway. Feel free to make your own proposals if you think my or others' ideas won't cut it. Ah, metal components. How do other cons with metal detectors handle this? I suggested metal detectors as a way to placate the complaints of the current basic bag check as useless. Perhaps a combination of that plus metal detectors would be better? I dunno. We wouldn't want to add something that would lengthen the security process too much, otherwise waiting becomes a huge issue. That's why I suggested metal detectors, which takes only a second to walk through. But then there's that issue with metal cosplay that you mentioned that we would need to think about how to deal with. But I think that the vast majority of attendees won't have that issue. I think I know the place you're talking about. Is it the same place where the Rainbow Tube is? We still haven't gotten an explanation from staff for why that was closed off. It is listed on the map, so I suspect that it was originally meant to be open, but for whatever reason ended up being closed. Letting people use it would have been helpful and prevent the need to backtrack. When I first arrived at the convention center, found myself repeatedly asking information desks in various places where the built-in water fountains were. But after spending some time there, I realized that they are always outside the restrooms. So look for the restrooms on the map and chances are there will be water fountains nearby too.
  5. That's for the staff to figure out. As it is, people are already crowding around the autograph area to form unofficial lines, so space is already being used anyway. That's entirely the fault and problem of the attendee, not the staff. If the autograph session you want to attend is at 3:00 pm and it's getting close to 2:00 pm, you better pay attention and get ready to move to the main waiting area in front of the autograph stage when called to do so. If you're dozing off and you miss out, too bad for you. As the staffer ushers the attendees in the extended waiting area to the main waiting area, the staffer sees people already in the main waiting area. The staffer tells those people to shoo and get behind the people who were in the extended waiting area. There, problem solved. And if the people who snuck into the main waiting area didn't know they were supposed to go to the extended waiting area first? Too bad for them. This is already what's happening, isn't it? People are loitering close to the autograph area in unofficial lines. No one is actually going to go too far away; they'll want to stay nearby, just in case those dreaded unofficial lines start forming. No kidding I'm concerned about my own schedule. Otakon is the largest convention that I attend that lacks a procedure for handling long autograph lines. ("Come back later" is not a solution.) And lines are already forming regardless of whether or not you think people can line up early. And if you think people aren't missing out, well, I dunno what to tell you... Nah, it's doable. There are other cons that use metal detectors. Most cosplay can fit through metal detectors. Not that I think metal detectors are required or even helpful, but their presence might allay the complainers who are saying that this year's basic bag check alone is pointless. As others have already said, it's tough to find a balance between security theater with a short wait time and genuinely helpful security procedure with a longer wait time. A combination of metal detectors plus the basic bag check is just one possibility. You're on the ball. And it's still great that you're chiming in even though you haven't waited in an autograph line in years. If someone who doesn't attend autograph sessions can read and understand what we are talking about, that shows that we are being clear with our explanations, so turning our ideas into instructions for the masses is a possibility. I support this. Anything that favors an official waiting area over unofficial lines is a-okay in my book. My only concern about this is that by limiting the line to 25-50 people, you are implicitly telling people that they must get there early to secure a spot. That's what ogul wants to avoid -- encouraging people to line up early. That's why in my idea, I intentionally don't mention any limit. Does this mean that the main waiting areas in front of the autograph stages would be eliminated? So attendee for every autograph session would be waiting together in one area? I don't think games are needed. People who choose to wait in lines know what they are getting into. But announcements would be helpful. To keep track of how many people are there for each autograph session, staffers could hand out tickets. Still, I can't help but feel that this idea adds lots of complexity to the waiting process and requires that staffers actively keep track of things that they otherwise wouldn't need to pay attention to. Are staffers able to handle this extra burden? It'd be great if they could, but it's up to them how involved they want to be in this waiting process. Gotcha. OtakuCop said that some guests request room clearings. If that's what keeps guests happy, then so be it. I saw some of this, but I also did see staffers tell attendees to move away. Staffers can't be everywhere, but I always appreciate it when they are around and are vocal about keeping the hallways clear. I think I read somewhere that the current ID check procedure is because Otakon relies on an insured third-party that is qualified to distinguish between fake and genuine IDs. Otakon staffers aren't able to do it themselves. Am I making this up?
  6. That's why I pointed out that the area for extended waiting would be official. Here's how it could work: Imagine there are autograph sessions at 3:00 for Guest A, 4:00 for Guest B, and 5:00 for Guest C. And imagine that a bunch of people, all interested in different autograph sessions, decide to go to the extended waiting space to line up early at 1:00. Imagine that there are other autograph sessions going on at the actual autographing areas that prevent lines from being formed there at the moment, hence the need for this extended waiting space. At 2:00, everyone in the line interested in Guest A would be ushered over from the waiting area to the front of Guest A's autograph stage in preparation for the 3:00 session. The other people who are not interested in Guest A would remain in the waiting area, in their original order in line. Then, at 3:00, everyone in the line interested in Guest B would be ushered over from the area to the front of Guest B's autograph stage. And so on. And yes, for the extended waiting space to be useful, there would need to be an orderly line, which means tape on the ground or rope lines are necessary. At least one staff member would be assigned to this area, to show people where to enter the space and to answer questions. I'm having some trouble picturing exactly the areas you are talking about because I don't remember the exact layout, but I might be thinking of the far side of AA, toward the rear and the upper-right side. I guess the space to the left of the autographs stages (that's where the loading docks are, right?) are okay too, but since you mentioned safety issues, it's better not to congregate there then. I'm definitely not talking about the space between the autographs stages and the AA tables. I agree that some open space there is needed so as not to crowd the tables. Anyway, thank you for looking into the possibility of using the space for new things. I hope you can try something out for next year. Is there a possibility of using walk-through metal detectors? Walking through one of those takes a second, and I do think that the brief bag check that was done this year combined with the metal detector would be useful.
  7. You keep talking about space, but you didn't even address my suggestion. There were wide open spaces in AA as large as the queuing area in the hallway outside Panel 7. I should have taken photos. So much empty space. In the Dealers Room too. It's just a matter of roping off the large unused area; then there would be no confusion about where to go or traffic problems. I hope you can test out my idea, even if only with a model. I think you'll like it, and you'll avoid complaints from people who miss out due to unofficial lines and such too. And you don't need to "encourage" people to line up as early as possible. Just make the space available and don't say anything else about it. I gave the example of how I waited hours in line at AX. And yet AX never once encouraged or even mentioned the need to line up early. They simply made the space available. Those who are interested will come early. Those who would rather take their chances will come later. Like I said before, everyone values their experience differently. This wouldn't happen if there were an official dedicated extended waiting space like I recommended.
  8. Thank you for the explanation. I didn't know about guests requesting room clears. I should have been more specific. I'm talking about how, for example, dealers can enter the building from the L street doors but not from the M street Metro stop door. It seems completely arbitrary where dealers can or can't get in from. Why's that? I think first come, first served is the most fair way for autographs to be given out. If someone really wants an autograph, they will dedicate the time to make sure they get it. I saw plenty of space for people to line up. Maybe not directly adjacent to a specific autograph line, but absolutely within eyesight of the autograph area. All you need is one large section for people to line up. Then, when it gets to within one hour of a certain autograph session, everyone who lined up early for that particular session can be ushered over to the the main waiting area in an orderly fashion. Call this the extended waiting area, rope off the area, put up a big sign, and there will be no traffic problems or confusion about it. As for having people "enjoying the rest of the con than spending longer than necessary in one of our line spaces," no offense but are you really in a position to tell people how to enjoy their time? Everyone values their experiences differently. I waited in line for 9 hours at AX for an autograph and I wouldn't have done it any other way. And I'm not the only one with this mindset.
  9. The Good The location: The Metro stop is right next to the building, and the Circulator stop is one block away. Amazingly convenient. Free Wi-Fi: Not only was Wi-Fi free, but it was also fast and available all throughout the venue rather than only in certain locations, so thank you for this. Air conditioning: Very comfortable. Please keep it as it is. Escalators: No breakdowns that I saw. Hooray! I personally don't have much else to say, but that's because almost everything ran so smoothly. So things were good in general. The Bad Autograph lines: There is more than enough room in AA to accommodate larger and/or multiple lines for autographs. There shouldn't be any reason to have to move lines around. If people want to arrive earlier than one hour prior to a certain autograph session, there is plenty of space to create another official section to accommodate these people. Pointless room clearing: In some cases, there was no reason to clear a room because there weren't even that many people waiting to enter the next panel. Please take a look at how many people are waiting and use good judgment when deciding whether or not a room clear is really necessary. "You Are Here": As already stated by many others, the maps need these labels. Use a Post-It note that's a different color than the rest of the map to make it stand out. Entrances for dealers: Why can dealers enter the building from some unmarked doors but not others? There's no rhyme or reason to this. Rainbow Tube: Why was this closed off? That's one less way to get around.
  10. otoxo

    I Have Not Received My Badge In the Mail!

    I haven't received an email with my tracking number and the Otakon website is currently down so I can't submit a help request. Should I be concerned?
  11. otoxo

    I Have Not Received My Badge In the Mail!

    I could have sworn that I read about this somewhere previously. I also recall reading that the badges will be mailed priority and will require a signature but I don't remember where I read that either. It was probably here that you read it: https://www.otakon.com/registration_updates.asp#Mail Hm, maybe. I see the bit about requiring a signature in there but nothing about priority shipping. It's possible that I'm thinking of a different con but I could have sworn that it was for Otakon. After submitting our registration order, do you remember seeing a message with an explanation of when/how badges would be shipped? Maybe that's what I'm thinking of.
  12. otoxo

    I Have Not Received My Badge In the Mail!

    I could have sworn that I read about this somewhere previously. I also recall reading that the badges will be mailed priority and will require a signature but I don't remember where I read that either.
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