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Pilot Program Feedback

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A big thank you to everyone who attended Otakon 2014! 

 

As many of you are aware, Member Services launched two Pilot Programs:  Virtual Info Desk & Otakon Cosplay Coordination (Photoshoots)

 

Virtual Info Desk was staffed by a team of ninjas who were chained to a desk to answer your questions via Tweet, Text or Email.   If you interacted with them, how was the experience?   How was the response time?  Would you like to see this program continue?

 

Otakon Cosplay Coordination was a team that scheduled photoshoots that would be run by the cosplay community.  The goal was to prevent conflicts, keep traffic flowing, and help make the shoots easier to find.  Behind the scenes, we worked with Panels, Workshops, Guests, Industry, and Access Control to help prevent programming conflicts.    Did you like the change?  How were the staff at the shoot?  Would you like to see this program continue?

 

We've gotten some feedback, but I'd like to try to collate it all into one place.

 

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Otakon Cosplay Coordination was a team that scheduled photoshoots that would be run by the cosplay community.  The goal was to prevent conflicts, keep traffic flowing, and help make the shoots easier to find.  Behind the scenes, we worked with Panels, Workshops, Guests, Industry, and Access Control to help prevent programming conflicts.    Did you like the change?  How were the staff at the shoot?  Would you like to see this program continue?

 

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I didn't participate in any "official" photoshoots or need to use the virtual info desk, but I'm glad both of these things were there.  The scheduled photoshoots seemed to keep the crowding down in popular areas where multiple photoshoots would try and set themselves up in the past.  It also made it easier for smaller groups to set up meeting places that didn't interfere with large photoshoots.  

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Virtual Info Desk was very helpful. I used it several times over the weekend. The response time was slightly on the slow side, but not overly so, and it was understandable given how many other people must have been using it. I think it was a great addition to the con's services.

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I liked the concept of the virtual info desk though I did not have need to use it myself.

 

The scheduled photoshoots were a nice innovation as it made them easier to find for the cosplay photo-takers in my group.  However, I do wonder about how some of the photoshoots got onto the schedule as they didn't have much in the way of participants, particularly the High School DxD one (which was tragic).  During the time that I was at it, I only saw 5 cosplayers for it in the photoshoot.  Props to those 5 for making the shoot happen though.

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During my Roving, it seems like the Photoshoot at the Charles street lobby (fountian) for LoL moved to the skybridge with the large open area.  Wasn't sure if this was at the spur of the moment, but there was a few confused LoL cosplayers who didn't know where the rest of the people went.   Maybe this could be turned into a new Photoshoot location since it seems to be a fairly popular spot over the weekend when i walked down that direction.

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For the League of Legends shoot, it had to get moved because one of the glass bottles on one of the LoL cosplayers costumes fell and shattered on the tile.  The group needed to move so that the BCC could get in and clean it up.   It is not planned for Otakon to take over that shoot area, but it was the closest place we could move people to rather than having to cancel the shoot.   It was an unusual situation that our OCC head and the shoot Host worked together with in order to make happen.

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Virtual Info Desk: I used this twice, and thought that it works well for a system.  It wasn't quite rapid enough for it to be useful if I was actively looking for something (like a panel, workshop, etc), but it was definitely fast enough for me to ask about things while in my hotel room, or sitting in line, etc.  I was a bit confused about whether the questions they could answer were limited to where/when things were, or if I could ask about whether or not lines were closed, rooms were full, etc. I'm sure that would be difficult to have staff communication at a level where that information is readily available but...I'm not certain.

 

Otakon Cosplay Coordination: I didn't participate as a cosplayer, but I thought the shoots that I went to see/photograph were well run.  I loved that they were on the schedule and relatively easy to find.  The only problem was that the panels scheduled at night were difficult to photograph because the lighting situation in the BCC is really so-so...but I guess there will inevitably be at least a few groups that have to be later in the evening to prevent conflicts.

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About how long of a response time did you have?  We tried to keep it under 5 minutes (because typing and verification of information), but some cases took longer because we had to radio/call other departments for the answer.  

 

In general most questions were okay.  Things VID couldn't really answer are "Where is the closest ATM?" and "Where's the bathroom?" because they don't know your location and thus have no frame of reference.   VID also can't approve props or anything of that nature, because all props/weapons have to receive final approval in person from Access Control.  If VID couldn't answer a question, they would say so and give the reason why.

 

I do know that the VID information ninjas really enjoyed helping our members out and even enjoyed answering some of the more facetious questions.

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About how long of a response time did you have?  We tried to keep it under 5 minutes (because typing and verification of information), but some cases took longer because we had to radio/call other departments for the answer.  

 

In general most questions were okay.  Things VID couldn't really answer are "Where is the closest ATM?" and "Where's the bathroom?" because they don't know your location and thus have no frame of reference.   VID also can't approve props or anything of that nature, because all props/weapons have to receive final approval in person from Access Control.  If VID couldn't answer a question, they would say so and give the reason why.

 

I do know that the VID information ninjas really enjoyed helping our members out and even enjoyed answering some of the more facetious questions.

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Everytime i went to the BCC for something my cell reception would nose dive and would be horrific. So data service on sprint was kinda non existent. When i was back up in the VID room being a ninja it was a whole lot better. 

 

Some of the messages i sent to people went through several times despite me only sending it once. Good to hear you guys like the service. :)

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I had 3-4 bars the entire time on virgin mobile.

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On Thursday I had response times of 9 minutes and 14 minutes.

On Friday I had a response time of 15 minutes for my one question.

On Saturday I had response times of 18 minutes and then 6 minutes after I sent another message to follow up for confirmation on my question.

None of what I asked was immediately urgent, so it wasn't an overly long wait. But quite a bit more than five minutes in most instances.

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I didn't take advantage of the Virtual Info Desk, but the Cosplay Coordination was a wonderful addition to my Otakon experience. I feel like it made it easier not only for cosplayers to come together and organize more effectively, but it let a ton of people who otherwise wouldn't know about the photoshoots come and take pictures. As a result, there are tons more pictures floating around the Internet and cosplayers are getting tons more exposure than normal! Also, having Staff moderate these shoots and the times at which they took place was also an enormous help and really gave each shoot that nice "Otakon Official" feel to it. Please bring it back next year!

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