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Unscheduled room clears

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Otakon has always been less than perfect with this. It happens every year at least a few times on the schedule. Either its not specifically noted, a staff member clears the room out inappropriately, or otherwise.

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Yup this is a thing that happens frequently. It absolutely should not happen unless its on the schedule.

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Again? I've never personally encountered it but heard of it enough that it's troubling. Tbh if they're going to keep doing this might as well just make room clears mandatory. It's not ideal, and it's an idea I don't like, but at least then there's no confusion. 

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As I understand it, if the upcoming panel host requests a room clear it will happen even if it hasn't been scheduled. That's one possible reason for an unscheduled room clear.

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That's fair and makes sense. But they should probably then ask hosts ahead of time when they're compiling the schedule if they are going to want a room clear. 

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8 hours ago, Fadamor said:

As I understand it, if the upcoming panel host requests a room clear it will happen even if it hasn't been scheduled. That's one possible reason for an unscheduled room clear.

Why would they care to clear the room? Makes no sense to me, although I rarely attend any Panels.

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9 hours ago, Clutch said:

Why would they care to clear the room? Makes no sense to me, although I rarely attend any Panels.

You would have to ask the ones who did request a "clear". I, personally, have never run a panel.

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On 8/13/2018 at 6:04 AM, Fadamor said:

As I understand it, if the upcoming panel host requests a room clear it will happen even if it hasn't been scheduled. That's one possible reason for an unscheduled room clear.

As someone who does run fan panels, I am actually in favor of unscheduled room clears should they be both requested by the panelist and agreed upon by the staff charged with monitoring the room, based on the line to get in. However, fan panelists don't appear to be able to request that (I didn't go to the Aniplex panel but it sounds like maybe industry can?). If we COULD do that, then I would have requested one for my Anime's Craziest Deaths panel on Saturday night.

19 hours ago, Clutch said:

Why would they care to clear the room? Makes no sense to me, although I rarely attend any Panels.

My rationale is as follows: the people who follow the rules and wait in line, often for over an hour, should not be turned away because other people elected to camp out seats by sitting in on something which they may not even be interested or engaged in. Is this a problem for those who legitimately do wish to see multiple back to back events located in the same room? Yes it is, and I can see them being blindsided by being told this moments before their desired panel starts. Those fans would certainly not be happy and we'd hear all about it. But we have to also consider how hundreds of people lined up outside must feel to know that they waited all that time just to not get in.

From a logistics standpoint, the scheduled room clears are currently only placed for non-18+ to 18+ content, and those are blocked out for 30 minutes. But if you needed to do an unscheduled one for like to like (non-18+ to non-18+ or 18+ to 18+), then in my observation with regards to the fan panel rooms--so this may not be feasible for Main Events--the system that Otakon uses for 18+ wristbands in which you line up separately and get it done once rather than have a staffer check ID at the door works so quickly and efficiently that it doesn't appear to require any more time than the existing 15 minute buffer to have a room the size of say, Panel 1, be emptied and filled between events.

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4 hours ago, Daryl Surat said:

As someone who does run fan panels, I am actually in favor of unscheduled room clears should they be both requested by the panelist and agreed upon by the staff charged with monitoring the room, based on the line to get in. However, fan panelists don't appear to be able to request that (I didn't go to the Aniplex panel but it sounds like maybe industry can?). If we COULD do that, then I would have requested one for my Anime's Craziest Deaths panel on Saturday night.

My rationale is as follows: the people who follow the rules and wait in line, often for over an hour, should not be turned away because other people elected to camp out seats by sitting in on something which they may not even be interested or engaged in. Is this a problem for those who legitimately do wish to see multiple back to back events located in the same room? Yes it is, and I can see them being blindsided by being told this moments before their desired panel starts. Those fans would certainly not be happy and we'd hear all about it. But we have to also consider how hundreds of people lined up outside must feel to know that they waited all that time just to not get in.

From a logistics standpoint, the scheduled room clears are currently only placed for non-18+ to 18+ content, and those are blocked out for 30 minutes. But if you needed to do an unscheduled one for like to like (non-18+ to non-18+ or 18+ to 18+), then in my observation with regards to the fan panel rooms--so this may not be feasible for Main Events--the system that Otakon uses for 18+ wristbands in which you line up separately and get it done once rather than have a staffer check ID at the door works so quickly and efficiently that it doesn't appear to require any more time than the existing 15 minute buffer to have a room the size of say, Panel 1, be emptied and filled between events.

I don't think there should any unscheduled room clears. Either clear every room every time, or go by the scheduled room clears. Otakon should have been informed well in advance if a room clear is requested to put them on the schedule, so there is no need to perform them at random. When you are trying to plan your day anything unscheduled is going to wreak havoc. My 2 cents.

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If you clear the room every time its going to make people pick and choose what they want to go see. Do I go see event A at 1pm, or line up for event B in the same room at 2pm. Quite frankly, I don't think there should ever be a room clear. There's nothing stopping anyone "waiting in line" to claim an early seat by attending a panel that comes before what they'd line up to see. If there are extra seats available in the panel room while the line is forming, why not go inside and check it out?

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6 hours ago, Daryl Surat said:

If we COULD do that, then I would have requested one for my Anime's Craziest Deaths panel on Saturday night.

As a congoer who fills his schedule mostly with panels: I agree 100%, and think room clears would be good. I've sat in panels I didn't intend to go to -- and initially felt no interest in -- to go to one that I really wanted. Sometimes, I discovered a gem because of this. It's how I discovered Viga, and now I make a point of attending her stuff.

However, sometimes, I've felt that unquestionable awkwardness of sitting down for a panel I don't really care about... for an hour, because Otakon personnel told me if I waited in line, I might not get in because anyone would go. This is to say nothing of the times I've skipped something I wanted more. That said: the WEWC is a lot better on the space, and I've had fewer instances of feeling I needed to be in line an hour in advance for everything.

In short: I think if a panelist wants to do a room clear, they should get the option to. I see why Otakon can't schedule all of them and why not all panelists would, though.

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The standing policy was always NO unscheduled room clears. There have been several times when a room clear had been requested in advance but somehow this hadn't made it into the schedule, or where a guest/industry contact threatened to pull the content if we didn't give them time to test it by clearing the room first.  If we promised them one and it wasn't done, that's a potentially damaged relationship with industry. In my prior roles as head of guests/industry and head of programming, I did *everything* I could to avoid a room clear. But people mess up sometimes and then the people on hand have to make a call.

With loads of turnover in both our staff and industry this year, we may have lost either the situational memory or the established relationships with certain folks to ensure this almost never happened.

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4 hours ago, alabaster said:

The standing policy was always NO unscheduled room clears. There have been several times when a room clear had been requested in advance but somehow this hadn't made it into the schedule, or where a guest/industry contact threatened to pull the content if we didn't give them time to test it by clearing the room first.  If we promised them one and it wasn't done, that's a potentially damaged relationship with industry. In my prior roles as head of guests/industry and head of programming, I did *everything* I could to avoid a room clear. But people mess up sometimes and then the people on hand have to make a call.

With loads of turnover in both our staff and industry this year, we may have lost either the situational memory or the established relationships with certain folks to ensure this almost never happened.

That makes sense. I see what you mean; it sounds like it's, at times, making the best of a bad or confusing situation and needing to do so quickly.

Also, fantastic job with the Trigger panels if that was indeed you there!

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16 hours ago, texside said:

That makes sense. I see what you mean; it sounds like it's, at times, making the best of a bad or confusing situation and needing to do so quickly.

Also, fantastic job with the Trigger panels if that was indeed you there!

Yup! That was me, with the Trigger guys and the Hi Score Girl panel. (which I'm looking forward to quite a lot)

The thing that people don't sometimes get is that the call needs to be made very quickly in some cases, and it can take a long time to get hold of the right people -- who are often putting out other fires. Five minutes is forever when the issue comes up 10 minutes before start.

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4 hours ago, alabaster said:

Yup! That was me, with the Trigger guys and the Hi Score Girl panel. (which I'm looking forward to quite a lot)

The thing that people don't sometimes get is that the call needs to be made very quickly in some cases, and it can take a long time to get hold of the right people -- who are often putting out other fires. Five minutes is forever when the issue comes up 10 minutes before start.

Huzzah! I was at the quiz show one; I was the fella who mistakenly thought I was being pointed at and yelled an answer out. I still feel a little bad about that one. You did very good at both the Trigger ones!

And yeah, that makes a lot of sense -- I could see that taking a lot of tricky coordination, especially if people also start entering during the room clear.

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