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Otakon 2017: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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On 8/30/2017 at 10:58 PM, Kolbe Moss said:

Suggestion:

  • Not sure how relevant this is to Otakon, but I know for ArtScape in Baltimore they had some sort of partnership with Uber. I got an email from uber a week before and a few days before the weekend it took place, and they had designated pick-up and drop-off points where you would be able to easily get a driver. I don't believe there was a coupon code. In DC I'd guess more people are using public transportation, but it could be worth looking in to.

I drive for Uber in and around DC. The city's street layout is insane. I suppose back in the 1700's when the streets were originally laid out, things were more sedate considering you only had horses and carriages to deal with. With today's modern cars and (ugh!) massive SUVs, DC's streets are woefully small in most places.

Designating a pickup and/or drop off point near the WEWCC would result in a queue of cars waiting to get to their rider or waiting to get to the drop off point. It's better to spread these functions out along the block. Here's a couple suggestions from the driver's point of view to make the pickup smoother (these would apply to any of the ridesharing apps, not just Uber):

  1. Find a place where the driver can at least partially get their car out of the flow of traffic. DC drivers are notoriously snippy when someone is blocking their lane to do a pickup.
  2. Once you've used the app to request a ride, stay in that location (Unless you're using Uber Express Pool, see below). If the rider has location services turned off on their mobile device, the driver will have no idea where the rider has moved to.

In the case of Uber, there's three levels of basic service with the third level recently added:

UberX - The most expensive of the three. You get the driver and the car from pickup to drop off with no side trips to pick up pickup/drop off strangers .

Uber POOL - The mid-priced option. You will likely be sharing the vehicle with one or more strangers and may not be taken to your drop off first.

Uber Express POOL - The newest and cheapest option. I just found out about them this week when I started encountering them. Identical to Uber POOL EXCEPT: You may be directed by the app to walk to a specific pickup point and/or may be dropped off away from the desired destination and have to walk the rest of the way. These displaced pickup and drop off points seem to be decided on so that the driver doesn't have to do a lot of backtracking after the pickup/drop off.

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On 8/16/2017 at 10:11 PM, otoxo said:

This wouldn't happen if there were an official dedicated extended waiting space like I recommended.

It also occurs to me that making room for a "dedicated extended waiting space" can result in unreasonable expectations and subsequent disappointment. For example, Guest A has worked out with their management and with Otakorp that they will be available for autographs from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm on Saturday with a 2:00 pm hard cutoff due to signing fatigue. The standard area for the autograph lines can, say, fit roughly 120 con-goers before it is full. Assuming 20 seconds per signature for signing, fawning, pleasantries, etc., Guest A and their management has essentially agreed to perform 180 signatures in the allotted time frame. If the "dedicated extended waiting space" can also hold 120 con-goers, then filling it past halfway will mislead the people in the last half of the area that they will have a shot at an autograph. After all, "there's still plenty of space in the line."

Just my two-cents on the matter. I don't claim to be an expert on autograph sessions as I've only been in one actual autograph line and that one was metered by the guests via an invitation pass.

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Everybody that's going to post their review of 2017 seem to have done so, and I have to wonder how all the praises of "S P A A A C E ! !" look to the first-time attendees who only know Otakon at the WEWCC? What impressions did that leave in their minds about the Baltimore years?

image.png.62785dd0f512c0d1855256b89dd6f728.png

Yeah. That's about right. :D

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On 3/2/2018 at 1:37 PM, Fadamor said:

It also occurs to me that making room for a "dedicated extended waiting space" can result in unreasonable expectations and subsequent disappointment. For example, Guest A has worked out with their management and with Otakorp that they will be available for autographs from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm on Saturday with a 2:00 pm hard cutoff due to signing fatigue. The standard area for the autograph lines can, say, fit roughly 120 con-goers before it is full. Assuming 20 seconds per signature for signing, fawning, pleasantries, etc., Guest A and their management has essentially agreed to perform 180 signatures in the allotted time frame. If the "dedicated extended waiting space" can also hold 120 con-goers, then filling it past halfway will mislead the people in the last half of the area that they will have a shot at an autograph. After all, "there's still plenty of space in the line."

Just my two-cents on the matter. I don't claim to be an expert on autograph sessions as I've only been in one actual autograph line and that one was metered by the guests via an invitation pass.

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.

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3 hours ago, otoxo said:

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.

It was an autograph session down in the Dealer's Room. Purchase definitely was required but they didn't advertise that. Aniplex had brought over some people involved in making the initial SAO anime series and for those people who purchased the BluRay boxed set, an extra card was quietly put in the bag along with your purchase. When I looked at the card later, it was a pass to get into the autograph line on Saturday. The people signing were the Character Designer, Shingo Adachi, and the Sub-Character Designer, Tetsuya Kawakami. However,  a surprise third guest who wasn't announced on the pass was the Director, Tomohiko Itou.  As Aniplex controlled how many passes were given out, they knew exactly how many autographs to expect. The pass notes that the number of signings will be limited to 100 or one hour's time, whichever came first.

 

SAO Autograph Session Ticket.jpg

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1149682_577992422243025_1081524155_o.jpg

Edited by Fadamor

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23 hours ago, Fadamor said:

Aniplex had brought over some people

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.

Edited by otoxo

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