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Kirarakim

Dragon Ball Tour Panel Cancelled

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This is the epitome of disorganization. On the schedule there was a Dragon Ball Tour panel from 4:30-5:30. No details were provided but it’s Dragon Ball so of course it’s popular. The room is literally full to capacity and it’s not a small room. We are waiting and waiting and nothing is happening. Staff tries their best to entertain with Fan Trivia. I just want to say this complaint is not directed at them. I know they tried their best. 

Finally 30 mins in with no one showing up and 30 mins left of the panel we are told oh this panel is cancelled. 

Dragon Ball is one of the biggest and most popular franchises and this is how Otakon handles it. This lack of communication and disorganization is a joke. 

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I heard about that. Sounds pretty crappy, but I wouldn't jump to blaming Otakon. It sounds more like the hose was a no call/no show.

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1 hour ago, homer_3 said:

I heard about that. Sounds pretty crappy, but I wouldn't jump to blaming Otakon. It sounds more like the hose was a no call/no show.

They said it was their fault on their Facebook page and it should have been removed from the schedule earlier but wasn’t so I can only take their word for it. No other details or explanation were provided though 

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19 hours ago, Kirarakim said:

They said it was their fault on their Facebook page and it should have been removed from the schedule earlier but wasn’t so I can only take their word for it. No other details or explanation were provided though 

In talking with the staff afterwards who were in the room and had to announce the cancellation, we got a little more info. According to that convo, the industry partner that was supposed to present ended up being unable to show, because they had to stay in the dealers room. The reason for that wasn't said, but it seemed to us from the conversation that this one wasn't on Otakon... (For the record -- I hope my saying that doesn't get any staff in trouble, because tbh it was very appreciated to hear atleast some part of a reason and for staff to be willing to talk to us when we are understandably upset.)

Then I later saw the FB statement, where Otakon took the blame for it. So that confused me... To be clear, I don't know enough details to say whether  that Industry partner no-showed as last minute as it seemed, or if they did tell someone sooner they couldn't do it and that communication just never got funneled to the proper people. But it was at least clear that the staff running the panel weren't told and found out same as those of us sitting there. So due to that (again this is conjecture on my part) I interpreted Otakon taking the blame on FB as them falling on their sword for that industry partner. From a PR perspective, I get why they can't very well publicly call them out,  as they need to retain that relationship and the power dynamics are not equal there. Otakon needs them to return, regardless.

Also for the record -- the staff who had to work that panel should be commended for the job they did. I work as a stage/production manager and in marketing, and I was sitting right upfront, so I picked up the signs of "something isn't right" pretty early on. I saw the staff go into immediate action -- some going to make contact and find out what was going on, while another jumped right in to organize an impromptu trivia q & a with the crowd. He kept things light and entertaining and kept ppl calm until staff could confirm what was happening. No sign of the stress or pressure I am sure he was feeling in the moment. Once staff returned with news and another took over the mic to announce the cancellation, he was appropriately apologetic. This staff was put in an impossible position -- again, whether due to a flat no show of the panel guest or due to colleagues never having informed them, I am not sure -- but regardless they dealt with it professionally. With grace and care despite the very difficult position they were put in. I know how thin a line making an announcement like that is to walk. And they stayed after to talk with anyone who asked to, though most ppl peaced out pretty quick. So anyway,  I hope that there is some internal recognition of those staff members!

The staff navigated this with grace despite some low behavior from attendees. Some left early, flicking off staff on the way out. The entire room boo'ed the guy who had the unfortunate task of messenger of the cancellation. I do get how mad everyone was, I was too -- but I do think we can be better than that!

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40 minutes ago, Suika07 said:

In talking with the staff afterwards who were in the room and had to announce the cancellation, we got a little more info. According to that convo, the industry partner that was supposed to present ended up being unable to show, because they had to stay in the dealers room. The reason for that wasn't said, but it seemed to us from the conversation that this one wasn't on Otakon... (For the record -- I hope my saying that doesn't get any staff in trouble, because tbh it was very appreciated to hear atleast some part of a reason and for staff to be willing to talk to us when we are understandably upset.)

Then I later saw the FB statement, where Otakon took the blame for it. So that confused me... To be clear, I don't know enough details to say whether  that Industry partner no-showed as last minute as it seemed, or if they did tell someone sooner they couldn't do it and that communication just never got funneled to the proper people. But it was at least clear that the staff running the panel weren't told and found out same as those of us sitting there. So due to that (again this is conjecture on my part) I interpreted Otakon taking the blame on FB as them falling on their sword for that industry partner. From a PR perspective, I get why they can't very well publicly call them out,  as they need to retain that relationship and the power dynamics are not equal there. Otakon needs them to return, regardless.

Also for the record -- the staff who had to work that panel should be commended for the job they did. I work as a stage/production manager and in marketing, and I was sitting right upfront, so I picked up the signs of "something isn't right" pretty early on. I saw the staff go into immediate action -- some going to make contact and find out what was going on, while another jumped right in to organize an impromptu trivia q & a with the crowd. He kept things light and entertaining and kept ppl calm until staff could confirm what was happening. No sign of the stress or pressure I am sure he was feeling in the moment. Once staff returned with news and another took over the mic to announce the cancellation, he was appropriately apologetic. This staff was put in an impossible position -- again, whether due to a flat no show of the panel guest or due to colleagues never having informed them, I am not sure -- but regardless they dealt with it professionally. With grace and care despite the very difficult position they were put in. I know how thin a line making an announcement like that is to walk. And they stayed after to talk with anyone who asked to, though most ppl peaced out pretty quick. So anyway,  I hope that there is some internal recognition of those staff members!

The staff navigated this with grace despite some low behavior from attendees. Some left early, flicking off staff on the way out. The entire room boo'ed the guy who had the unfortunate task of messenger of the cancellation. I do get how mad everyone was, I was too -- but I do think we can be better than that!

I disagree with you. It was absolutely Otakon's fault because they should have removed it from the schedule BEFORE the panel started not after people sat in there 30 mins and wasted their time. And that doesn't even count the time you took waiting before the panel officially started. Stuff happens but lack of communication is what is fault here not that the presenter was unable to present. You are saying you don't know if the presenter no-showed but then why would Otakon need to shoulder the blame. That makes  no sense and you are giving them the benefit of the doubt and being completely unfair to the Dragon Ball tour staff. Trust me if they don't want to burn bridges there are ways to do that without flat out saying yes it was our fault. If anything I give them credit for admitting that at least. And note there was another panel where the exact same thing happened (the Yuri on Ice panel discussed by a figure skater) but in that case it was clear the panelist no-showed. Here it is clear to me that Otakon knew this panel wasn't going to happen but never removed it from the schedule or let anyone know including the staff in the room. . 

 

And also I already said that I don't blame the staff that was in the room and I know they tried their best. Unfortunately no one came to that panel for a fan trivia contest. And note I was also in front. 

 

 

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When I went to the Music of Toonami panel the panelists didn't show up either,  but we didn't sit for 30 minutes before being told. Wonder what happened?

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17 hours ago, Kirarakim said:

I disagree with you. It was absolutely Otakon's fault because they should have removed it from the schedule BEFORE the panel started not after people sat in there 30 mins and wasted their time. And that doesn't even count the time you took waiting before the panel officially started. Stuff happens but lack of communication is what is fault here not that the presenter was unable to present. You are saying you don't know if the presenter no-showed but then why would Otakon need to shoulder the blame. That makes  no sense and you are giving them the benefit of the doubt and being completely unfair to the Dragon Ball tour staff. Trust me if they don't want to burn bridges there are ways to do that without flat out saying yes it was our fault. If anything I give them credit for admitting that at least. And note there was another panel where the exact same thing happened (the Yuri on Ice panel discussed by a figure skater) but in that case it was clear the panelist no-showed. Here it is clear to me that Otakon knew this panel wasn't going to happen but never removed it from the schedule or let anyone know including the staff in the room. . 

 

And also I already said that I don't blame the staff that was in the room and I know they tried their best. Unfortunately no one came to that panel for a fan trivia contest. And note I was also in front. 

 

 

I wasn't disagreeing with you that this was all still a major problem. You said no other details were given, so I was simply sharing the info that we got when we spoke with the staff of that panel. We stuck around to talk with them to get answers after most other ppl just stormed out.

The rest of my post about how well the staff of that room handled it wasn't directed at you. Was just sharing my own thoughts, and hoping Otakon staff sees and gives those staff members recognition for navigating a horrible situation with grace.

What I was saying was this -- when we discussed it further with staff while we were there, they told us the presenter was a no show and ended up having to stay in the dealer's room for some reason. That was prior to the fb post going up in which Otakon shouldered the blame.

So, yes, that is all a bit open to interpretation, because I atleast heard two different accounts -- 1 in person from staff and 1 from a public FB post.

As someone who works in event planning and PR, I can completely see why Otakon would not want to call out this Industry partner publicly. They need them, the power dynamic in their relationship is not equal. And if it was their fault, there is no good way to word it without it also doing the job of pointing blame,  no matter how nicely they try and word it. So, they were stuck between either pointing blame or taking the fall. I personally think that may be what happened here.

At the same time, as I said before, it is also possible that what that staff told me wasn't the whole story, and that when we spoke they did not yet know that someone else had been informed earlier, as the FB post claimed, and just never told the right ppl in time, including the staff from that room.

As you said, there were other panels where this happened, too. Some were clearly no-shows, (I went to the Funimation Favorites panel Friday and the same thing happened, no-show, they got held up and couldn't make it), and some were clearly schedule issues on Otakon (Todd Haberkorn's panel where he was never actually available at that time to begin with). Seeing what we saw, it is hard to say which one this was. But it struck me as more similar to the first, even in the moment.

Trust me, regardless of the reason this happened I was as disappointed as you were, considering it was the panel I scheduled everything else around for that whole day.

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I also think we can agree on the fact that scheduling issues in general were rampant this year, in a way they really haven't been before. So many panels were either cancelled or panelists no-showed. So there must have been a greater issue going on on Otakon's side, that much is clear. I knew about Funimation Favorites, the Yuri on Ice panel, and DBZ of course, but didn't know about Music of Toonami! Apparently there were a few others, too. 

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PPG the host of the Dragonball Super Regional seemed genuinely surprised when they couldn't start getting people into the gaming room for signups for the tournament until 10am. They pushed the regional tournament back by about 3 hours from the original plan because of that. Those tournaments run long, so getting started as soon as possible is generally the preferred strategy. Another thing you can add to the list of potential communication issues between parties.

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6 hours ago, Suika07 said:

I also think we can agree on the fact that scheduling issues in general were rampant this year, in a way they really haven't been before. So many panels were either cancelled or panelists no-showed. So there must have been a greater issue going on on Otakon's side, that much is clear. I knew about Funimation Favorites, the Yuri on Ice panel, and DBZ of course, but didn't know about Music of Toonami! Apparently there were a few others, too. 

Yeah definitely and I know not everything was Otakon’s fault but I feel things were worse because of lack of communication. I admit my con experience wasn’t the best this year and that probably colored the way I see things. It wasn’t just one thing but several things that I feel I lost precious time because I wasn’t told valuable information or the ones I did go to were cancelled so I barely got to go to any panels this year.  

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7 hours ago, Kirarakim said:

Yeah definitely and I know not everything was Otakon’s fault but I feel things were worse because of lack of communication. I admit my con experience wasn’t the best this year and that probably colored the way I see things. It wasn’t just one thing but several things that I feel I lost precious time because I wasn’t told valuable information or the ones I did go to were cancelled so I barely got to go to any panels this year.  

That's fair!

Yeah, if we had been informed sooner I would have been able to see other panels, or at least not be so stretched for finding solid time for the Dealer's Room. Instead I ended up not going to other panels I was interested in, in order to be sure I saw all of the Dealer's Room and Artist Alley. Could have used that time elsewhere!

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