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Posts posted by TsquareNinja

  1. Good
    - Cannot echo this enough but line control nailed it this year. Number wise it was the same as last year it didn't feel like it as we hardly spent any time just waiting in lines, they were constantly flowing. Opening more entrances and moving the reg line seemed to alleviate a lot of the choke points.
    - In my experience, I didn't have to wait to get into a lot of the panels I wanted to see, there were always a few empty seats I could slide into which was nice not having to wait in a huge line for them. The only one I couldn't get in to see was the Anime over 30 panel which was also the same time as 2 others I also wanted to see (got there too late to get a seat)
    - Food offerings this year seemed to be more plentiful and in more spaces. We didn't partake in any of it but I did notice more spots open and a self-serve kiosk on the way to the dealer hall
    - 15 min between panels built into the schedules was a great idea. I think they usually do this and I wish more cons did it. Helps us get time to set up our laptop, make sure sound is working, visuals are working, etc without cutting into our presentation time. We automatically account for 10 min or so for set up/break down during a panel but not everyone does or you get so invested in your topic you can run over time cutting into the next panel. Having that buffer gives some extra wiggle room.

    - Not enough communication on WWEC policies, mostly the cashless food stalls and the conflicting no outside food/no outside beverages enforcement. We were let in with personal Brita water bottles but the guy behind us was forced to toss his small half-eaten bag of pistachios. I understand not bringing in a whole pizza or fast food option but small snacks like granola bars or nuts. Seems like overkill esp given the weather and if people have medical issues where they can only have a certain food. Also saw others forced to toss disposable water bottles or take others back to their hotel rooms. Again, with the heat wave, you need SOME type of beverage unless you want otaku passing out from heat stroke. 
    -The cashless food stalls were another one. I had a heads up thanks to social media and people who attended Awesomecon but if Otakon could communicate those Center policies on their FAQs or somewhere like a reminder that would've helped a lot. Only saw a mention of it on twitter and facebook after it became a problem for people. I personally like cash to help with budgeting and use my card as a backup. There was a machine to add cash to your card for a fee at the Marriott tunnel. (reverse ATM style)
    - Inconsistent enforcement of the bag/food checks. Not an Otakon problem, but a security problem. We mostly use the Marriott Tunnel and I know it's luck of the draw who you get but in the morning most of the red-coated security didn't care to check our stuff and by afternoon they were making people empty their pockets. I think the scanner broke at one point so they had to hand-scan everyone causing backups. 

    -Line for Otakon Merch was the longest/busiest I've seen it. Everyone I interacted with staff wise were very helpful as well, if not overwhelmed. I loved all the options this year, feel it was some of the best stuff they've offered so far.  With so many options a poster, handout, or something would've been nice to help expedite the process of choosing what you wanted. That way as you waited in line you could decide what to get. The handout they did have was of the pin collecting. I saw several people grabbing those only to put them back after seeing it and most people I talked too didn't see the advert in the physical con book for merch. Opening more than 2 registers would be great as well and specifying they prefer cards over cash as only one register was taking cash.

    - I didn't experience it but my husband and several friends mentioned there was a huge line at the game room Friday when they tried to get to panel 1. Several photoshoots were waiting to get into the game room and it caused so much chaos, he turned around and left not even going to try and get into the panel. 
    - Panel communication. We love presenting at Otakon but this year didn't find out which panels were picked until about 2 weeks before the con. Some panels we never even heard back about their status but thanks to Otakon's Discord rep we were able to get some clarification on who to contact to sort it out. Maybe a sooner cut-off time is needed, and at least let people know at least a month before the con if their topic was picked or not.

  2. My husband and I are running a panel that was previously wait listed, Product Placement in Anime (July 7th we received an email saying due to another panel canceling, we were approved to present this one in its place). Since then we haven’t seen panels updated on the schedule, but I have seen autographs and photoshoots updated.

    We’ve reached out to Otakon though the contact us part of the website, Facebook and twitter to make sure our panel is still approved as its not showing on the schedule. Is there someone we can contact to make sure this panel is still approved? Or do we need to check with panel ops Thursday during badge pick up?

    (I know the schedule updates randomly. We just want to make sure we don’t miss our time slot.)

    Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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