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The Eva Monkey

Otakon 2010 Panel Feedback

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Hi everyone, just about to catch a good long sleep before I go back to "work work" again on Monday, but I thought it might be helpful to have a dedicated thread for panel feedback, because we had a lot of panels, and each panel has it's own subject and flavor, so it's a bit more diverse to provide feedback for than other areas of the con.

I'll be paying attention to the /index.php?showtopic=19486&hl=">main feedback thread, but having an in-depth thread will allow me to better provide you with some insight into panels from this year. If you want to give me a general overview, that's fine, but if you would like, please feel free to give me detailed feedback on which panels you liked, and which ones you felt might have been lacking.

I will appreciate any feedback you send to me, and I will follow up as much as I can.

If you have anything you feel might be sensitive, and would be better suited to a private discussion, please feel free to email me at:

panels2010@otakorp.org

Thanks guys, I hope you all enjoyed the panels offering this year. :D

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(posted in a couple places but, since you made this thread for panels...)

Thanks to everyone, staff, volunteers, etc., who gave up their time this weekend so we could all play and have so much fun.

Thanks to all the fans, Aaron, our staff and technical help, for letting us put on our panel, The Ten Funniest AMVs of All Time!

We packed the room Saturday morning. We were supposed to start at 10:30 but by 10:15 the room was full to capacity and we had several hundred people waiting outside. (No, really, I'm not exaggerating, there were more people waiting outside than there were in the filled room.) Thanks to a slightly early start and the buffer zone between our panel and the next, we were able to do a second show for another full room of people. My apologies to anyone who didn't get in. We will ask for a bigger room if we are able to present this again next year. If we are able to come back next year it will be with our sister panel, The Ten Best AMVs of All Time! A real treat for anyone that loves music and anime.

This was a great Otakon. Thanks everyone.

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Really the only issues we had were completely technical. We ran the Mega Man panel in Panel 6 on Saturday night, and the sound had a bad echo to it, especially to the videos we had. Also, the projector was right in our eyes, which made it hard to read our scripts or even look out at the attendees. XD Other than that, we were really thankful to the gofers who helped us control the massive line waiting outside. You guys were really awesome. :3

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The only thing I would do is try and plan out which rooms the panels are in better. I know Bad Anime Bad! had a huuuge line, and it was in the smallest panel room. I know it's hard to judge how much of a turnout a panel may get, but still.

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The handling of the panel lines was very very good. The staffers were loud and clear and reassured us that we would have a seat, especially during the stampede towards the Yugioh abridged panel on Sunday morning. They kept the lines moving and were very good at logistics this year. I especially enjoyed the Yugioh abridged panel, fan voiceover panel on sunday and Patrick Seitz in the Hilton on Friday.

My one complaint was the Fem/Feminism panel at 11 pm on Saturday. As guys, a buddy and I were curious to check it out. People packed into Panel 3 only to find out from a staffer that the panelists never showed up. Really that was the only disappointment of the week.

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I dropped a line to Meredith already. Probably should have sent it right to you, but I wasn't thinking hard enough at the time -- hadn't napped off the con yet. Anywho, I was generally happy with the panels I went to. I'm not sure how I feel about the 30 minute gaps, though. Imagine how many more panels could have happened if more time had been made available.

My other qualm is about space. In a perfect world, you would have every panel in a room the size of Panel 3. But you can't and I get that. However, some of the blockbuster panels (Bandai After Dark, Anime You Should Watch, Bad Anime Bad, etc.) were clearly in rooms too small for them. I know you get this all the time, and I know there are other things to consider, but just saying.

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We ran the Mega Man panel in Panel 6 on Saturday night, and the sound had a bad echo to it

Did the room have curtains along the walls to dampen reverberations? My guess is no. It was my understanding that they would. I had a panel myself over there last year, and was quite disappointed about the sound. It meant media was practically unpresentable. I'll see what happened to those curtains.

I know Bad Anime Bad! had a huuuge line, and it was in the smallest panel room. I know it's hard to judge how much of a turnout a panel may get, but still.

There were a few panels, (like Bad Anime, Touhou, 10 Funniest AMVs, etc) that I knew would have a large turnout, but simply could not fit them into a larger room. Scheduling was a unique challenge this year, and for a few panels, the choice was to either rescind a panel that we had confirmed, that panelists were putting time into, and were looking forward to giving, or running it to capacity and closing up. I think we chose the better option. We have some growing pains, and we try very hard to fit people in the right size rooms as best as possible. Also, I'd like to clarify that Bad Anime Bad, while in a smaller room, was not the smallest. It was in Panel 5, which seats 370. Here are the sizes, in order of approximate seating capacity:

Panel 4 - 165

Panel 1 - 200

Panel 5 - 370

Panel 2 - 580

Panel 6 - 680

Panel 3 - 1700 (zomg huge!)

Thanks guys. Keep it coming.

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+2 Comedy was great. They filled Panel 6 room. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. They really worked with the crowd. Some people even recognized them days after.

Having someone like Maruyama was great. Thank you for getting him! I am glad I got to thank him for undertaking Supernatural, which he was very excited about.

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Oh yeah, also, sound in the panel rooms. I was on a Panel in P4 and the sound in P5 was leaking through the wall behind us. It was getting a little distracting. I'm not sure what can be done about it. Maybe change the room layout so the stages aren't up against the walls of other panels back in the Hilton?

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My one complaint was the Fem/Feminism panel at 11 pm on Saturday. As guys, a buddy and I were curious to check it out. People packed into Panel 3 only to find out from a staffer that the panelists never showed up. Really that was the only disappointment of the week.

Unfortunately, every year, we have a few people who simply do not show up, and do not give us any heads up that they are not coming. It disappoints me personally, and I don't think it's fair to those whose panels didn't make it in, but could have, in these instances.

I heard however that once it was apparent that the panelists were no-show, Scott Melzer, our Fan Parody department head this year swooped in, managed to get Charles Dunbar, who was a panelist this year on several subjects (Hayao Miyazaki, Shinigami, Modern Mythology), as well as 1-2 others who were actively involved in academic study of anime and its fandom, and they performed an impromptu panel very similar in theme that was (as I understand it) very well received, and a good example of how sometimes organic spontaneity can be really special and memorable. So a very big thanks to Scott, Charles, and those one-two others who I unfortunately was unable to identify. Thanks guys.

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To echo (ew, bad pun) the comments about the acoustics, Awesomely Bad J-Music Videos had some rather distracting echo in Panel 5 as well.

On a more positive note, THANK YOU for running The 10 Funniest AMVs twice! Those of us at the back of the line were very grateful!

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I went to two, both on Sunday. The Hetalia World Summit Meeting in the Hilton at 9 AM to 10 AM was brilliant. Super entertaining. I didn't even know it was happening and I happened to pass by and heard it going on and quickly jumped right in the room. If whoever put that on is on this forum, I applaud you. Especially your America. Very good audience participation and awesome improv.

I also went to the Anime Musical panel. Pretty decent, but the only thing I could ask was to maybe turn the lights off or down around the projection screen...it was way too bright to see much of your videos. Although, I know maybe that wasn't possible so I won't complain against that too much. All in all, pretty good stuff.

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The panel I was most excited about was the Jpop/Kpop panel.

It was fun but...I left a little disappointed. I really hope this feedback gets to the panelists because I think it would really help them.

Obviously things got a little out of hand with this panel. I could see that you guys had other plans for the panel but you ran out of time. (I would have liked to see what those signs were for!) I've done a few panels before and I have some advice.

I would suggest that next time you guys plan out specifically what you are going to do. Write down what you want to say and pick your music videos before hand. Also, in order to get in everything, instead of showing the entire music video you should only show parts of the videos. Just to give people a sample of the song. They can go home and watch the whole thing on their own time. And, while it was funny, the 8 minute Super Junior Full House clip was a little much. There was a lot of "fangirling" and it really got in the way of the information that was supposed to be presented. Practice your panel before hand and time yourselves.

I was disappointed on how Kpop heavy it was. I felt like you guys really didn't give Jpop a chance. You all seemed like huge Super Junior and Kpop fans and I feel like that all got in the way of your panel. Personally, I'm not a big fan of Kpop and I knew some people at the panel who weren't really fans of Kpop either so we felt a little....dissappointed and left out. I felt like it was all Kpop. The Jpop videos were cut short, but we watched the complete videos for all of the Kpop ones. I know Kpop is ridiculously popular now, but some of us still prefer Jpop.

I did enjoy your dancing though. It was really good! You guys were really funny too.

I think that if you guys plan out your panel a little better you have the potential to have a really awesome panel!!

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The only panel we were able to get into was convenient Japan. Every other one had lines that wrapped making it next to impossible to get into unless you waited an hour prior. Was really rather disappointing

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I truly enjoyed being a panelist this year.

That being said, I had a very bad experience before my panel even started. I showed up 40 minutes early, knowing that there was a 30 minute clear period--I needed that clear period to test out a few videos for my panel on the big projector--while I thought that they would look okay, I had no idea until I could actually see them on the big screen.

Well to my surprise the panel ahead of me stated that they had "30 minutes buffer time" and proceeded to continue their panel 5...10...15 minutes late. The staff member was trying to get them to cut, and they eventually did, but it appeared that they simply didn't care that they were cutting into time that was needed for another panelist--and for the staff themselves to do a room clear. The room clear did not happen, and because of this, I had to test out my videos in front of people coming into my panel--while the attendies may not have thought it was unprofessional, I shouldn't have to test things out in a room full of people like that.

I suggest that other panelist be mindful of time--and while I know you may have more to present, just realize that it is rude and disrespectful to your fellow panelists to cut into their time. There were other things I found troubling with this situation in particular, but I'll email the panel staff privately to discuss this.

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My one complaint was the Fem/Feminism panel at 11 pm on Saturday. As guys, a buddy and I were curious to check it out. People packed into Panel 3 only to find out from a staffer that the panelists never showed up. Really that was the only disappointment of the week.

Unfortunately, every year, we have a few people who simply do not show up, and do not give us any heads up that they are not coming. It disappoints me personally, and I don't think it's fair to those whose panels didn't make it in, but could have, in these instances.

I heard however that once it was apparent that the panelists were no-show, Scott Melzer, our Fan Parody department head this year swooped in, managed to get Charles Dunbar, who was a panelist this year on several subjects (Hayao Miyazaki, Shinigami, Modern Mythology), as well as 1-2 others who were actively involved in academic study of anime and its fandom, and they performed an impromptu panel very similar in theme that was (as I understand it) very well received, and a good example of how sometimes organic spontaneity can be really special and memorable. So a very big thanks to Scott, Charles, and those one-two others who I unfortunately was unable to identify. Thanks guys.

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All the panels I went to this year were very much awesome just a few ones I need to say went above and beyond were Awesomely Bad J-Videos, Bad anime Bad!!, Your favorite video game charachter sucks, and of course Disorginization 13's spoiler the panel next year ( Guys if your reading this, I was the dude you called "Our offical Oneguy" ) If these people come back next year with new versions I will so be there~

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i enjoyed being a panelists despite all the stress.

most of the problems we had were our own- too much info in the slides and then it bwasnt clear who was reading what.

so that created alil chaos but apparently the audience found it funny aside from that.

there were a few problems that resulted from the con though. our panel was at 9 AM, we wanted to get there early so we could set up but parking issues had us there at 8:45. then we ran to one entrance and the staffer refused to let us in. we had to run all the way to the other end of the convention center to try the other entrance. on the way we asked another staffer to follow to make sure they let us in. he did but he kept stopping to talk to buddies on the way. and then when we got to said entrance the other staffer still made us wait another 5 minutes before she let us in. and then we had to run all the way back to where we would have been to get to panel ops and check in. by now it was 9AM exactly. our panel was in the hilton so we ran there and of course there were people already there. so it was embarrassing to have them watch my team and I set up and nurse my bleeding foot.

so then we were really rushed getting through the slide (we tried to hurry when the staffer signaled to start wrapping it up)

so alot of music clips that we wanted played didnt happen and some prizes questions too.

also , the projector changed our power points color. the background was suppossed to be red, but it showed up on the screen as yellow.

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Best Panel: AMV Hell 5: The Only Panel That Matters Ever

The crowd was in stitches the whole time, and everyone who was there had fun. The only complaint is there was not enough time! And even though I was one of the first fifty people inside, it was regretful that he had to start while people were filing in due to the time constraint.

Worst Panel: Learn to Play Go!

My friends and I walked in around the start of the panel, sat down, and waited about twenty minutes. Nobody said anything to the six of us. The panel should be renamed "Watch People Play Go".

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The Mahjong panel on Friday morning was a real treat and became quite full despite the early hour. The panelists were upbeat and funny, plus they were able to cram a lot of points about Mahjong into their one hour. This is really difficult considering the complexity of the game. Definitely hope to see them back next year!

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How To Rock The Rave - Best Panel/Workshop Ever. I want to thank DJ Scrimrock, Domkey, and the other instructors for doing it and here's hoping they do it again next year.

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Craziest Mecha Moments - I only got to see the last 15 minutes of this since there was some problem letting people into the convention center at 9AM on Friday. What I did see was pretty great, despite a technical glitch. Please give this guy a better time slot next year and an audio system that works.

Anime Cult Classics - Comedy genius. Anime produced by cults isn't something you hear about, and it's the perfect kind of oddball subject to have a fan panel on. Especially when most of the anime is so bad that it's mockable. It's educational AND fun.

Your Favorite Video Game Character Sucks 3: Tokyo Drift - I've been to their previous ones, and was almost disappointed that the actual content was cut short. But the game show was spectacular. Next year you might want to have one of those "Line ends here" people there an hour or two in advance, and some tape on the floor because man there were a lot of people queueing up beforehand.

The Miyazaki Panel - I didn't get to go to this one, but my friends really enjoyed the analysis of the fairy tale themes present in Miyazaki's works. One of my friends apparently left a few minutes in because the beginning of the panel was just the panelist gushing about Miyazaki though, so he should probably get to the point before going all fanboy. Give an overview of the panel's topics, then the gushing.

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That was Fanthropology not the Feminism panel.

My mistake, in my sleep deprived haze, I mistook one F-word for another. Wait... that came out wrong...

there were a few problems that resulted from the con though. our panel was at 9 AM

That seems to be a recurring theme. My understanding is that the BCC would be open to regular members starting at 8:30. I was in the building all three mornings before 8:30 to have Panel Ops up and running. I wish I/we had more control over how and when the building(s) open. Sometimes it works on paper, but not in practice. It's evident that for next year, either one of two things needs to happen. Either the building needs to open at 8:30 as advertised, or panels will start no earlier than 9:30. Hopefully the building times can be perfected, I'd rather not lose a half hour to an hour each morning in each room.

That being said, I had a very bad experience before my panel even started. I showed up 40 minutes early, knowing that there was a 30 minute clear period

I tried to make this as clear as possible to everyone, but perhaps I wasn't thorough. We don't do room clears, unless they are scheduled. We didn't have any scheduled room clears for panels, except for the 18+ panels for wrist band checks. The 30 minute buffer before your panel is not dedicated to your panel. It exists to allow enough time for the previous panel to promptly finish in the event it runs over a few minutes, get packed up, get out, and allow for the next people to get in, and get set up. I tried to make it clear that everyone was supposed to be prompt, and finish as close to the mark as possible, only running over to finish a final thought or to say "thanks for coming". There will always be people in the room. We can't clear every panel. It would also greatly upset our members. The buffer period is a safeguard, and it works most of the time. I don't know if you were a panelist back when we didn't have buffer, but I was, and I can assure you it was terrible.

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I was very delighted with many of the changes made to Otakon this year that made me happy, but there was something that really bugged me, and it just had to do with a panel. It's great that Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged Series got its own panel and everything, but earlier in the year, I was at the DBZ abridged series forums, and I was reading that they tried to have their own panel at Otakon, but they were declined. So my question is why does Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged series get one, but Team Four Star's DBZ Abridged doesn't get one? They are just as popular as Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged, so I don't really understand. I would of loved to see them at Otakon.

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I tried to make this as clear as possible to everyone, but perhaps I wasn't thorough. We don't do room clears, unless they are scheduled. We didn't have any scheduled room clears for panels, except for the 18+ panels for wrist band checks. The 30 minute buffer before your panel is not dedicated to your panel. It exists to allow enough time for the previous panel to promptly finish in the event it runs over a few minutes, get packed up, get out, and allow for the next people to get in, and get set up. I tried to make it clear that everyone was supposed to be prompt, and finish as close to the mark as possible, only running over to finish a final thought or to say "thanks for coming". There will always be people in the room. We can't clear every panel. It would also greatly upset our members. The buffer period is a safeguard, and it works most of the time. I don't know if you were a panelist back when we didn't have buffer, but I was, and I can assure you it was terrible.

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It's great that Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged Series got its own panel and everything, but earlier in the year, I was at the DBZ abridged series forums, and I was reading that they tried to have their own panel at Otakon, but they were declined. So my question is why does Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged series get one, but Team Four Star's DBZ Abridged doesn't get one? They are just as popular as Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged, so I don't really understand. I would of loved to see them at Otakon.

I can tell you that they did not apply this year. Every year, we receive many, many submissions, and we can't possibly accept everything. It may have been considered, and might not have made it in. If I recall correctly, panels were handled in more of a first come first serve basis last year, whereas this year, under my watch, I waited until everything was in, and then went through and compared, contrasted, and tried to pick the best of everything. Team Four Star should know that anyone is more than welcome to submit to us, and even if they don't get picked one year doesn't mean they won't be picked another year. Also, you should know, YTAS just barely made it in, and it was mainly due to the slot I had available. I simply had no one else who could feasibly fill the biggest room first thing on Sunday morning. My hope is that people would get up, go see YTAS, and then check out of their rooms at noon, and head home on a high note.

It was an 18+ panel. And while I can concede that the room clear maybe wasn't needed. If I misunderstood that's fine--I'll just know that for next time.

Yes, room clears MUST occur prior to 18+ programming. This is a legal liability thing. We do it to be thorough, to make sure that all minors have exited.

It bother me that they went 15 minutes over. Not 5, not 10, but 15, bordering on 20. They also expressed to me that they were 'sorry' but they had a lot more material to cover and would have continued if staff hadn't cut them off after the extra 15 minutes.

It was just a bad experience with some rude panelists. As my panel was the last of the night, I couldn't have extra time after my own panel--I was rushed to make sure I didn't start late. I just wish the staff had been more firm with the panelists that they needed to wrap up sooner.

I would appreciate it if you could drop me an email to remind me which panel you did, and I will speak to my staffers that oversaw your panel, as well as the previous one, and if I can corroborate your experience, I will make a note of it. I want to make sure my panelists are considerate to each other.

It's unfair to anyone to have a false start because someone else wanted to run a bit longer. All panels are supposed to run as close to the one hour mark as possible. If I could run my panel for exactly one hour, so can everyone else.

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Honestly, no complaints this year. I put on three panels, and all of the staff members were knowledgeable, on the ball, sociable, and awesome.

A couple of suggestions:

- As was said at the Feedback Panel, given that people aren't let into the convention center until 9am sharp, starting panels at 10am is ideal.

- Also said at the Feedback Panel, use Twitter or some other form of broadcast to 1) promote changes in the schedule, 2) announce room clears, and 3) announce filled rooms.

- If you're going to put gophers in a panel room, encourage them to come up to the front and introduce themselves to the panelists. I definitely could have used them for microphoning audience questions if I had known they were there.

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- Also said at the Feedback Panel, use Twitter or some other form of broadcast to 1) promote changes in the schedule, 2) announce room clears, and 3) announce filled rooms.

The reminder about the panel changes was Tweeted on both Friday and Saturday. I don't know if the timing, or nature of the tweeting was ideal, but I did make the effort, and I thank our tweet mistress Jen for making them quickly for us. The changes also appeared on the online schedule, which was on display at the info desks. I also had it on the BBS, on a errata page on the website, and available in hard copy at Panel Ops, a few people, including the info desk claimed a copy or two as well.

- If you're going to put gophers in a panel room, encourage them to come up to the front and introduce themselves to the panelists. I definitely could have used them for microphoning audience questions if I had known they were there.

We had a few coverage problems. There were a few occasions where we had no other choice but to send gophers solo. Usually they are just there to support Panels Staff. I'm sorry it wound up that way, I take full responsibility, and I'll make sure our staff complement is more robust and organized next year. I was working on a staff primer, to outline panels staff duties, which the gophers could feasibly have read and absorbed. Unfortunately I just ran out of time. I hope to develop it before next year's event.

Thanks for joining us again this year Alex, I heard people really enjoyed your panels.

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Every year, we receive many, many submissions, and we can't possibly accept everything. It may have been considered, and might not have made it in. If I recall correctly, panels were handled in more of a first come first serve basis last year, whereas this year, under my watch, I waited until everything was in, and then went through and compared, contrasted, and tried to pick the best of everything.

Actually, under my watch in 2009, I did much the same thing. There were certain panels applications that were accepted during the submission window due to their recurring and/or popular status but that was a very small number, somewhere around 10-20 or so IIRC. Once the panels submission window was closed, I sat down with my Lieutenant Bruce, and we spent at least an entire day going through each and every remaining submission picking the best and most relevant including vetting through past Con performances cited by applicants internet and youtube searches.

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I think panel operations was especially well-run this year--and I'm not just saying this because I personally know the head--and most of the panels were a good fit for their location. Out of the few events in actual panel rooms I was especially interested in attending this year, only one of them did not actually happen (and that was really due to the fault of a certain major event at around 2PM Saturday anyway).

But I do have to applaud the panelist for the "Podcasting for Fandom" panel for moving the venue to the out of the way Panel Ops room after the above mentioned event had concluded.

Overall, a well-handled operation with regard to panel programming...

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Worst Panel: Learn to Play Go!

My friends and I walked in around the start of the panel, sat down, and waited about twenty minutes. Nobody said anything to the six of us. The panel should be renamed "Watch People Play Go".

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I went to a few panels this year, so I'll address them in order:

Bending the Elements: Martial Arts in Avatar: The Last Airbender

Honestly, I thought this was a lost opportunity.

The panelist has both a martial arts background and also managed to study many of the different styles of martial arts displayed in the show. She also got unique access to Sifu Kisu, the martial arts coordinator for the show. I learned a couple of really neat tidbits (like all the swords in the show were modeled after real life swords) and that the Mantis Style that Toph uses were modeled after a truly gigantic man. The video bits were also very entertaining and interesting.

Unfortunately, the presentation got off to a very slow start and the presenter often seemed disorganized or nervous. During slides, she would often pause to take a moment to gather her thoughts, which killed the pace of the presentation. The overall view of martial arts also was muddled. I never did get a good explanation for what the difference was between Northern Style martial arts or Southern Style martial arts or external vs. internal. There wasn't much energy in what otherwise should be an exciting topic.

For something like martial arts, it's hard to visualize the movements except for either demonstrations or video. For Bua Gua, Mantis Style, Shaolin Long fist, the videos were excellent, especially for Bua Gua. That still meant that there weren't videos for either Tai Chi or Hung Gar. Likewise for the weapons section, where none of the differences between the weapons were mentioned nor any video shown for its use.

All in all, I thought there was a lot of promise in the panel, but the pacing needed work and the panel needed more polish. The presenter probably would work better as a Subject Matter Expert and have someone a little more experienced in public speaking keeping the panel moving and energetic.

Anime in Academia

Absolutely an awesome panel. I loved the setup with the moderator and the three experts sitting on the panel. Presentation was very informative and the experts all had unique and interesting points of view which they shared expertly. I learned a great deal. The moderator had a computer and was typing down the responses (including anime/manga recommendations) which was a GREAT idea.

Only issue is that the answers to the questioners were a little TOO indepth with answers, taking 5-10 minutes with each question, which really cut down on the number of questions that could be asked.

Top 10 Action Scenes in Asian Cinema

Engaging panelists who introduced each clip well and seemed to know a lot of information. The clips they showed were very wide-ranging in genre, which I appreciated, including several old school clips as well as some of the newer stuff. Overall, highly entertaining and exactly what I expected.

Only minor complaint is that they didn't show any Thai action clips.

Iron Editor

My first time going to see Iron Editor. Lots of clips and AMVs, which made the two hours go very quickly and entertainingly. Maybe a quick primer or demonstration on video editing would be useful, but otherwise the biggest surprise in the Con and I enjoyed it a lot.

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Panel: Greatest Action Scenes in Asian Cinema

Just wanted to say, as a first time panelist, that your Panel Ops were spot on for my presentation. When we arrived to set-up, we had some problems connecting our media box to the projector. Your staff and the eventual A/V tech, I'm sorry I do not recall your name, really saved the day. We had a great crowd and I was very happy to have a full room by the end of the presentation. I can't wait for applications to go up next year because I'm already prepping. Having been a regular attendee and a dealer in the past, being a panelist really changed my Otakon experience this year and I look forward to a continued collaboration in the future.

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Panels I enjoyed:

Dubs that Time Forgot: Had a really casual tone, let the material speak for itself, rather than inserting snide commentary. The nice thing about this panel was that casual anime fans and hardcore fans can enjoy it the same, which is the vibe I got from my friends who attended the panel as well. The clips selected were great (though it started off a little slow), and Mike Toole gives off this aura that he genuinely likes the stuff he pokes fun at, which makes for a fun panel.

10 Anime You've Never Heard of but Must See: This panel had a pretty high bar to clear because of the presenters who did a great job last year, but managed to surpass it. The combination of things that were bizarre, funny, or genuinely good made for a pace that kept audience interest, I think. The Anime World Order hosts always seem to do their research, stay informative, and reach pretty far into the sack of obscure anime to find something no one has heard of. My mouth was just hanging open at the Suntory penguin anime.

Anime in Academia: Panelists were very informative on a range of topics, I think there was a reasonable cross-section of backgrounds represented on stage. The resources provided were excellent, though an online list linking everything mentioned at the panel would have helped (it is only Monday, something along those lines may be forthcoming). There were a lot of people with questions, but I actually would have preferred less time for audience Q&A, and instead had the panelists go a little further into their work or comment on the work of others recently in the field. In any case, this was a great panel as well.

10 Best Action Scenes in Asian Cinema: This is another panel that managed to surpass the standards set by a different group of presenters last year. A lot of clips of varying degrees of obscurity, all very entertaining. They really seemed to know their stuff, pulling clips from a fairly diverse sampling of Asian movies from the past few decades.

Panels I thought could have been better:

Anime in Translation: With the given title, I'd have expected something a little different from a "Japanese 101" or "Learn Japanese" panel, but the translation dilemmas presented were a little basic for a panel like this. The time could have been taken for more pun translation/wordplay/figurative speech type issues, and there was a little of that, but I think this panel could have gone further than it did. That's really my only issue: the presenter herself spoke well, used clips effectively, and was well-prepared in general.

10 Saturn Games You Should Play: This panel had an actual Saturn, which was nice in that it allowed realtime gameplay to be showcased, but it really does interrupt the panel with frequent system resets and load times. The stated purpose of the panel was to highlight games that were 1) Obscure, 2) Weird/interesting, and 3) Fun to play. The games that followed were maybe one of the three. Twinkle Star Sprites and Magical Drop are a little mainstream to be featured in a panel. Some more preparation, content, and commentary would have been better-- there was a lot of players from the audience either flailing around in a game they'd never played, or an expert completely dominating some poor soul. The presenters who did this panel last year did a much better job.

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Every year, we receive many, many submissions, and we can't possibly accept everything. It may have been considered, and might not have made it in. If I recall correctly, panels were handled in more of a first come first serve basis last year, whereas this year, under my watch, I waited until everything was in, and then went through and compared, contrasted, and tried to pick the best of everything.

Actually, under my watch in 2009, I did much the same thing. There were certain panels applications that were accepted during the submission window due to their recurring and/or popular status but that was a very small number, somewhere around 10-20 or so IIRC. Once the panels submission window was closed, I sat down with my Lieutenant Bruce, and we spent at least an entire day going through each and every remaining submission picking the best and most relevant including vetting through past Con performances cited by applicants internet and youtube searches.

I stand corrected. Thanks for the info Andy. The only difference then is that I wanted to wait to have the whole picture before I approved anything.

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Also wanted to throw this out there: Awesome Bad J-Music Videos was amazing. I would love to get the full list of videos shown! The panelists were short, sweet, and to the point in between videos, and they had me laughing and cringing at nearly everything. Hopefully they come back next year, or at least some time soon!

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Anime in Translation: With the given title, I'd have expected something a little different from a "Japanese 101" or "Learn Japanese" panel, but the translation dilemmas presented were a little basic for a panel like this. The time could have been taken for more pun translation/wordplay/figurative speech type issues, and there was a little of that, but I think this panel could have gone further than it did. That's really my only issue: the presenter herself spoke well, used clips effectively, and was well-prepared in general.

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As I said on the general Otakon feedback thread:

~ I only went to a few panels (one of my friends and I managed to squeeze into the Touhou panel when the last five seats were announced). Neither of them were industry-related and they were fantastic. If I were to recommend keeping any panels for next year, they would be the Touhou Project panel and the Japanese Figures, Models, and Toy Collecting panel, as well as to recommend bringing in anything similar to them. Besides, their turn-outs were both very good and the people running them knew exactly what they were talking about, so why not? (NOTE: Knowing who is running a panel and/or if it was popular at another convention is good.)

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Hi. I was a part of a workshop (Mascot Cosplay 101 on Saturday, 5:30 - 7:30, and I apologize if I am combining workshops with panels, but I'm not sure where else to put this) and there's been a few things weighing on my mind about the con.

I just wanted to say: This was my first time doing anything for a convention (Panel/Workshop wise), and though I was only one of the three people who ran the workshop - and not even the main one at that! I was just there to explain handlers and be the one who went into the audience with examples and the like - I just wanted to thank the staff who worked tirelessly in Workshop 2. We had so much to carry into the con, and one of us was in full mascot suit. On top of it, we had people stopping us asking for a picture of our third in cosplay, to which the staff was more than willing to help us shoo the unfortunate person away and invite to them to join us at the workshop.

Thank you, Otakon Staff. The experience was wonderful. I cannot recommend this year enough to everyone, and I can't laud the staff properly, because I don't think they have created a word that would suffice.

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Marie, you reminded me that I forgot to thank the staff in my post! I agree though, the people helping me set up my computer were awesome and so friendly, and so were the people in Panel Ops when I checked in. Not sure if this is related, but the Otacafe staff was also really fun and friendly.

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10 Anime You've Never Heard Of But Must See & Bad Anime Bad were both excellent panels. Probably my favorite part of the con. Please put them in larger rooms next year.

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Hi,

I ran the Sailor Moon's Influence in Hentai- Filthy Edition Panel wanted to thank Aaron for the last minute chance to participate. It was really stressful putting a panel together in literally a weekend but I appreciate the shot at it considering how many other people applied. I would appreciate any feedback from you guys on how it went.

Also since my panel was so last minute I do want to make sure my co-runner Aisha Serrano will be getting her reimbursement since she had to pre-reg before the deadline. Is there any information on panel reimbursement yet? I only ask since I had a ton of problems last year from a super late reimbursement (I think we finally got it two - three months after con) to the first check not even being signed and having to be sent again. So sorry if it seems really quick but I'd like to remain on top of the ball this year. Thanks!!!

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Also wanted to throw this out there: Awesome Bad J-Music Videos was amazing. I would love to get the full list of videos shown! The panelists were short, sweet, and to the point in between videos, and they had me laughing and cringing at nearly everything. Hopefully they come back next year, or at least some time soon!

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Thank you so much, it's hearing things like this (aside from the horrified cringing and laughter from the audience in attendance) that make me love presenting this event! I'll be posting the list here within the next day or two, I had a list I put together of a somewhat order of showcase but as usual I deviated from it and I'm awaiting to go over things with my co-panelist to make sure we have the list accurate.

As for the panel itself, best and most professional time I've ever had getting setup! The staff did a great job with helping me set up and getting the crowd into the room with no problem and things started with no problems! I know i'm just echoing here, but I wish there was a way that more people could have been able to get into the room, I know there were a good number who got cut off at the door for the event.

Still, I can't say I was disappointed at all, to everyone in the audience a big thank you for having so much fun and making the panel wonderfully lively! A big thank you also to the older woman on the front row seat at the center aisle, whose expression of horror at most of the videos humored me to no end. ;)

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Also since my panel was so last minute I do want to make sure my co-runner Aisha Serrano will be getting her reimbursement since she had to pre-reg before the deadline.

I'm still in recovery mode. After I've had a couple of days to recover, I'll go through all of my waivers, feedback, emails, etc, and prepare a list of names for reimbursements. It won't be right away, but I will let people know when I'm done with my part of the process. After that is anyone's guess. Sometimes it takes a while.

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I don't think I went to a single bad panel this year. I did go to one that was billed as a panel but was not. The following were particularly good:

A Brief History of Anime - The presenter was knowledgable and polished

Anime Journalism - This was probably the panel where I learned the most. It was a more conversational panel, but listening to the panelists gave me a lot of insights into a field I know very little about, while showing me that it's not that difficult from my own chosen field. I wish it had been better attended. I have a hard time attributing this to the schedule change, though, as it appears the change was made after the schedule went to print, but before the start of the con. I input the online schedule into my phone 2 days prior, and I had the right time. I would be very happy to see this panel make a return.

Disorganization XIII's Spoiler the Panel - These guys are always hilarious, and I make a concerted effort to see them at every con where our paths cross. Definitely bring them back next year. I can honestly say they are one of only two 18+ panels I have cared about in my four years of attendance, and the only one I liked.

The Japanese Toy Collecting panel was OK, but could use some polish. The panelists started off just talking for a bit, and it took a good while for them to get back on topic. Why have slides and an outline if you're not going to use it. It was informative, but could have been better.

The following panel sucked: 10 Funniest AMVs of All Time, and not just because 7 of the ten AMVs weren't funny. It was NOT A PANEL. Two guys just played a countdown off of a DVD. No commentary, not info of why these 10 were rated the funniest by whoever made this decision. Awful. Clearly popular because the line was huge and it got run twice, but horrible. Again, NOT A PANEL.

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I was pleased with the turnout for the Japanese Wrestling panel. We have been used to doing evenings. I'm glad we had a packed room at 11AM on Friday.

I do think the 30 minutes between panels is a bit to much. I feel that 15 minutes should be enough time in between panels.

Panels that I enjoyed:

- The Gainax Panel - despite his other panelist missing due to travel arrangements and not having any video the panel was still really good.

- The Anime Opening and Ending Theme - This was a fun panel, I liked how the panelist would show the Japanese version and jump right into the American version

- Convenient Japan - good to hear how easy and convenient it is to get around Japan without any knowledge of the langauge

- Tea - loved how the panelist and his co-hosts provided samples to the crowd

Panels that I felt were lacking:

- J-Music for Dummies - I left after 30 minutes, the panelist started his panel by saying something to the effect he was tired and was just going to show music videos. Something like this should have been more geared toward a video room and not a panel. I earned nothing about any of the artist that were shown, felt like a waste of time to me.

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My panel experience was great, but I'd like to mention something about time.

Every year I request an hour and a half time slot for Spoiler: The Panel becuase its a panel that tends to run over, and every year I never seem to get it. Then, when we inevitably run over it becomes a clusterfuck to get the next panel started. I've been on the receiving end of this phenomenon too, crunching out prep time in to little more than a few minutes in front of an audience, and as such we at Disorganization XIII have been testing our video, sound, and tech setup the night before our performance just to be sure we are ready to go. We were just lucky that the staff that was handling our panel was a personal friend of ours and was nice enough to let us run 10 minutes over, while we still were able to get out in enough time to give 20 minutes to the panel following us, the Silent Hill panel. I hope they had enough time to set up. I couldn't be there for the beginning but I caught the end of it and it was pretty damn good, and they complimented our panel too so I have to say there's a lot of mutual panelist respect there :).

So I guess I have three recommendations to make an all involve making panel setup more variable.

1. Allow for variable panel times. Right now, you have a half hour set-up period between panels and hour panel slots which is OK. Your panel guidelines say you can run about 5 minutes over and we ran about 10 minutes over and even then when we were really trying to get out ASAP we had plenty of material left over that we did for fans in the hallway afterward. Simply allotting an hour and a half slot would have done the trick. It's not like there weren't other 2 hour slots on the program. Hell I went to a LOT of panels that could have used a half hour of those two hour slots that just weren't taken up.

2. Allow for variable panel setup times. I went to workshops that needed a lot of time to set up, and discussion panels that required no time to set up. We got to our panel room early but were done setting up in 5 minutes becuase we had already pre-tested our audio and video. That left 25+ minutes that really SHOULD have gone to the panel ahead of us but they had already left before we got there, causing yet another presenter to miss out on time that otherwise would just have been dead.

3. Allow panelists to choose between having a closed door setup or an open door setup. While we were setting up we had fans in the room, and that was just fine for us becuase we got to talk with them, be social, ramble on about our funny stories, and so on. However, other panels should be able to elect to have a closed door setup if say, they have to change into costume, or load up a powerpoint they don't want people seeing the slides of, and so forth. Really, the panelists should be the ones who have the final say in when doors get opened.

Other than that, I guess my other suggestion is to panelists themselves. Be prepared! I saw a lot of panels, a LOT of panels, that simply weren't ready even with the set-up time period. The time to check that the sound and video in your powerpoint presentations work is the night BEFORE your panel ... or heck perhaps 2 hours before your panel in the hotel room, not 30 minutes before you start the damn thing. You really have all the time in the world for this sorta stuff, and if it works in the hotel room it will work on the big screen. All you have to do otherwise is have a test image (to test your fullscreen boundaries) and a test sound file (to check volume levels) and you can crank out your panel setup in 5-10 minutes flat. Just helpful hints from a long time panel runner to the newbies out there.

Long story short, we all have to work together, both as staff, and as panelists to make sure we don't waste time, or create dead time that can be used by ourselves, the people before us, and the people after us. Because after all, it isn't us that that time belongs to. It's the fans'. Every minute wasted is another minute that fans don't get to see good panel material. Let's work to minimize that.

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Oh one more thing. A couple of our fans asked why we didn't just keep going when our time was cut like we have in years before. In previous years, our following acts were like an hour or so after us, so we had no problem just pushing over and having a blast. I want to make this clear to all our fans, the Silent Hill guys, and everyone other panelist. The jokes we made about "your half hour is mine bitch" and stuff like that, that's all for the lolz. That's all they are, jokes. We are a comedy panel, so we do what makes people laugh. Even though we said that, we were all actively checking our watches and looking over to our staffer to make sure to push only far enough so that our follow-up act could get on stage, hence why we got out with 20 minutes to spare. Still got the time-stamp on my cell-phone to prove it. No panelist should cut into another panelist's time so everyone make sure you get your asses out of there as a matter of respect and courtesy. What sort of example would we be setting if we took up another panel's allotted time.

So sorry fans, but we can't and won't push into another panel's slot, no matter what. We may put on a large "screw the rules" persona for the laughs, but we want everyone to get their 15 minutes of fame as much as anyone else does.

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