The Eurofurence Forum

Eurofurence Information => Feedback => Topic started by: TiGWolf on 06.09.2010, 13:29:51

Title: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: TiGWolf on 06.09.2010, 13:29:51
Please take the following as constructive criticism.

It was great to see friends at Eurofurence once again. For some, this is the only time I get to see many of them. The dances were great and I got some good 1st Fursuiter view video ( short clip due out soon ). It was also great to meet some new people, but many friends did not make it for various reasons.

As for the location that EF has moved to, it has much to be improved upon. The up side to the new location is easy access to restaurants, snacks, drinks, and much cheaper alcohol.

Points that were negative that I experience first hand:

Parking prices at hotel!!  Though I am an ignorant American who does not know any other language but my own, I did not know until Eisbaer mentioned that parking was 18 / day +. I was glad he happened to mention it, and we moved the car the following morning.

Hotel Staff:  I totally understand that they were not "prepared" for how furries bestow themselves with one another, and perhaps EF Staff should had given them more information prior to our bombardment upon the hotel. Alcohol (especially Beer) prices were at a point of what I would have paid to help the hotel recoup some of their lost income with the bulk rate EF managed to contract. But.. with having the ability to walk across the street and pay ~50% less, I felt totally ripped off. The real insult, was that the hotel had a problem with people bringing in their own drinks (not just alcohol) to consume. 6.50 for a tall glass of coke is a bit much to swallow.

Hotel Layout:  The large open vertical space inside was interesting, but the physical layout of the lobby is not designed to handle such a large crowd. Poor seating availability, lots of glass (fursuiters & glass tables = bad idea). Luckily I do not think anyone went through any, but there were a few drinking glasses smashed. Dealers den was extremely cramped with artists & dealers being combined. I have heard rumors that will change, so we'll chalk that up to growing pains.


And now the really big problem with the new location.

It lacks uniqueness. Eurofurence felt like any "American" con, surrounded by concrete. That special feeling of being in a kind of fantasy is now gone. EF had it made at the Ringberg. The staff loved us dearly, and any time I talked to them, they wanted us to come back to party. They bent over backwards to accommodate our group. Alcohol was reasonable, parking was FREE, and the BBQ's were awesome. Yes it was a pain to get snacks/ drinks down in Shul for most, but I think that sacrifice for what we did have greatly outweighed that small inconvenience.

Bigger is not always better. Please don't turn it into an Anthrocon.

-TiGWolf
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Foxfur on 06.09.2010, 19:21:33
I very much agree with you!

It was a little awkward with one reg. line and a reception line afterwards. I really loved the key cards though. It was very handy with one key per person, that was also your badge.

I'd like to second you on the envronment. I missed the spirit, and the magic. None the less it was great to see friends again, and go fursuiting.

I think it was a great con still. Just a little too american. But comparing it to the Ringberg is also pretty tough. The Ringberg was something unique that I think no other convention had ever had before. We were a family. And it's hard to regain that. Especially at a new hotel where the staff has no idea what a furry convention is.

It was still funnier when there was limited space and you had to rush to get a spot. It was a challenge.

No offence to the EF team. They did a great job, and they put tons of effort into all of this! And now that everybody has a bit more experience with eachother (hotel and EF) I'm sure that next year will be superb!

 
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Jackrow on 07.09.2010, 02:14:10
It was my second furry convention I have been attended since the 15th EF which had really its own enviromental magic. Despite the fact I preferred the Ringberg a lot more than Maritim, this one proven to be also a nice one and I can't say anything bad about it either, however the elevators were crowded from many, many levels that I had to choose the stairs instead because I ran out of patience waiting for the elevator, at least it gave me some foot work. :)

At each night the Artist Lounge was a blast, sharing some of our knowledges between other artists was just made me feel I'm at home and relax in a bit more silent atmosphere, by the way the Do-It-Yourself desk was a good idea! :) I love drinking tea while I'm drawing. That room was so comfortable.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Wulfie on 07.09.2010, 06:31:13
Please take the following as constructive criticism.
...

I completely agree with you. The Ringberg Hotel was like "Wow, I'm home!" Maritim was more like a trade fair. No green, much concrete, and I always had the urge to follow my meetings and appointments :D

And this was my first EF (since EF 10) without typical and traditional barbecue :(

Prices were much to high - not only the rooms, but also food and drinks. It was good that there were bars, shopping malls and restaurants nearby.
The youth hostel nearby which costs only half the price of the maritim was just a stonethrow away.

But I heard rumors, that the ringberg was the same at first EF. Maybe the good conditions come next year :)
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: krakendwaggin on 07.09.2010, 08:00:19
This was my first (but not last) convention.

Overall I was pleased with the hotel and stuff but I do have minor complaints.

I think that during stage shows people should be able to leave but not come back in, I was busy packing and when a intermission came up I decided to go watch the Pawpet show 'live' as it where, in the stage one door was chosen so you could go in and out as pleased, so you have every fur and their friend coming and going as they please, nipping in and out during the show, going fetching currywurst beer and whatever. All it would've taken was one staff member going 'you can leave but you can't get back in until a intermission' because being at that back corner being blinded by the light every time the door opened, which was very often, distracted from the show.

Another thing was the dealers den was kinda small and as we furs ain't the slimmest bunch, it led to alot of 'bottlenecks' in there "oop, damn, we can't get up that way, lets go back and head round", I know others have said this, so i won't go on about it.

Oh and, just for some of you out there, SHOWER!, yeah I heard a rumour that some rooms had no hot water but it was a small minority, you can all still wash, I'm a big guy AND I also smoke, so naturally I can get abit whiffy, (whoever put up that 'Ordinary Smoker - Reekus Fumus' on the smokers lounge, you sir/madam are awesome), I was changing clothes at least twice a day and I was showering very frequently, most events don't start until midday, PLENTY of time for a shower!.
Just an observation, there was a horrific smell on the sixth floor, I'm not going to say much more, I think most people here could guess what that smell was...


But now onto positive things, I thought the roomcards were a excellent idea, I heard people had to keep getting them 'redone' but I never had a problem during the time I was there, the rooms for 'standard' quality were really nice, the tv channel was fantastic.

The constaff were always friendly, answering questions quickly and they were great to talk to, yeah I didn't talk much to the hotel staff but I did think that they didn't know what the heck they were in for!

I enjoyed EF16, I've brought back so many good memories (and a lighter wallet!) and thusly you'll definitely see me at EF17.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Andy the Squirrel on 07.09.2010, 09:10:16
I didn't mind the price of beer, but 6.50 for a tall glass of coke is just way too greedy.  The coffee being served in the lobby was weak, expensive and the cups too small.  Fortunately there was a mall across the road which had a supermarket and coffee shops.   I liked the layout of the hotel, the stage in particular was very impressive.  I did wonder if the hotel had ever had any kind of social event before, because it seemed about getting the most money out of business men who are putting everything on expenses.  I think they did their best to accommodate us.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: SouthPaw on 07.09.2010, 09:17:24
Food and Drink: It's a four star city centre hotel, and priced accordingly. It was done to death at the Feedback Session on Sunday, and the upshot was that: a) it was the first year we were there, and b) pricing is set centrally across the whole chain.

Keycards: Didn't have an issue myself, but anyone who did needs to remember to get ALL of the cards for their room recoded at the same time, or you'll just keep locking each other out.

As for myself, one thing I would say is that one of the "Stage Fever" skits had a strobe lighting effect with no prior warning, which could have caused problems for anyone with photo-sensitive epilepsy.

Other than that, EF16 raised the bar once again and I can't wait for next year.

Cheers,

Southie
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Suran on 07.09.2010, 11:05:55
+ The room-keys where quite an improvement.
+ dealers den was much larger
+ the larger headless-area was just great
+ easier to find people in given the new hotel layout
+ more infrastructure in walking distance
+ more of an audience for outside suit-walks
+ early arrival and late departure left ample time to socialize
+ dealers den open the day after art auction
+ large rooms
+ wireless networking in function space
+ THE FURSUIT THEATER
- the Stage Fever this year
- neither fire nor steaks at the BBQ
- smaller pool/sauna area
- very expensive food and parking
- The delays
- microphone- and other sound- issues
- The electronic notice-board for anouncements came late.
- art sales was very slow
- voice auction took forever
- group-photos during the suitwalks took very long each time
- the elevators of cause (maybe point out the existance and placement of the stairs better)
- delays not announced hotel-wide
- some more pause between the events could prevent delays from spreading too far and give the staff more time to rest.
- art show was very spacious but there could have been much more art in there, given the space.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Kisu on 07.09.2010, 11:14:20
- during stagefever the back stage was way too crowded and no monitor for the suiters

+ key cards were big plus! and did not blank out if you did not use the card on other doors than your own (as you should not)


The convention was one of my favorite ones, prices did not matter me that much as there was plenty of places to go eat instead :3

Big thanks from the panther
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Korrok on 07.09.2010, 12:04:52
My honest opinions for EF, which seemed to be shared by a lot of folks we talked to.

- The hotel was very nice. The rooms were really comfortable, spacious, and pleasant. The place looked good.

- However, social areas were awkward. The foyer wasn't really a good design for a real feel of gathering. The distance between the dealer's den, panel rooms etc and the main foyer was troublesome from a social point of view.

- The prices for the hotel bar were just too high. I really do hope they are adjusted next time, as it was again prohibitive to gathering and enjoying the social side when people just couldn't afford the prices. Many people said to just go out and buy booze from the supermarket. What use is that to the EF atmosphere? You can't drink it in the public spaces - is everyone just meant to vanish to rooms in small groups? That's typical of some other cons, but it's not what I associate with EF.

- Access to services nearby, restaurants, supermarkets etc etc was excellent and very convinient.

- Nearby restaurants were on the whole very good, with reasonable prices. The offers we got for being con attendees were super.

- Hotel staff seemed kinda hostile to some of the furry behaviour. I'm not criticising the hotel staff on this one - I can fully imagine that they were unprepared for shrieking, fursuiters and incessant yells of OI day and night. But if they remain unhappy with it, that will flow over onto the convention itself.

- Art show was large, spacious and well-lit.

- Delays in the programme should always be expected. However, being delayed by the amount they were, in many cases, was totally awful. Waiting for 3 hours for an artist art show payout on Saturday night utterly ruined my evening which was meant to be spent having fun with friends before going home early the next day. Payouts were around 12.30am instead of between 17.00-18.00, and really, that's just kinda crazy. I appreciate there were difficulties but really I'd liked to have seen the art show staff working on them instead of attending the Pawpet show - because it just ruined the evening for the artists.

- The Dealer's Den tables, you guessed it, were too small. It was very troublesome to be an artist left at one of the really narrow tables with almost no room to work on commissions.

- Ventilation in the Dealer's room was pretty bad, particularly on the first day and less so on the Saturday. The first day was really horrible and stuffy.

- And this one is for attendees rather than staff: WASH. On the Thursday in the dealer's den, just one day into the con, some people walked by my table absolutely stinking of sweat, or even worse, smelling very very strongly of urine. I cannot fathom why people would think this is okay. :S

So yes, some positives and some negatives, I hope you'll take these views into account.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: djem on 07.09.2010, 13:01:26
I'm also gonna give me + and - point for this EF :

+ The badge including key was really great ! Room key at the ringberg was really a pain in the ass !
+ Food choice, when at the ringberg you were almost forced to eat what the hotel was offering if you didin't want to drive 30mins, here at the Maritim you could get what ever you want in less then 10 mins walking.
+ Space ! Large fursuit longed, large artshow, large stage, just the dealers den was a bit small even if it was already way bigger then in the last year.
+ Even if the price were expensive for food and drink compare to the ringberg, they were all really tasty, and cocktail were really containing alcool :3
+ Ef is still a blast, the biggest European furry meeting :)

~ Room where okay, I would just not recommend the 3rd bed, for me they are equivalent to the ringberg.
~ Even if the elevators was sometimes long to come, I always used the stair to go down, a bit of exercise never have kill anyone.
~ The hotel staff was not really friendly, but perfectly doing there job.
~ For the first two day, I didn't like the general atmosphere of the con, but the night of the pawpet show and BBF dace did bring me back to what I like at EF !! I was really filling home again :)

- I didn't like the big chairs and glass table in the lobby, they were not offering enough sits, same for the big round table that were not offering any chairs. I would definitely prefer the normal table with bench like      the one at EF 14 and 15.
- I would also like a bit more light in the lobby during night, everything was a bit dark, just a few spots would do the job.
- The first day, I'm missing a night event, the BBQ was not really nice ( it was raining, no one fault ) but after 20H, nothing was going on.
- The fursuit parade at 12h was really hard, waking up and jump in suit is not really great ;D

It's the first year at the Maritim, and I haven't see any big problem that couldn't be solved, and I will definitely be back next year !
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Lweek on 07.09.2010, 13:13:35
CONS
Yes, prices in hotel was definitely too high and it is the major problem. Well, I don't care about how much hotel earn from us however I think if They want to raise their income They shall lower prices. It is simple economic math. If there will be a beer for 2.80EUR I'll buy maybe two or more for a day, with 4.50EUR for one beer I bought none. Still, it is not my business so I don't care BUT this had a very sad side effect.

Yep, the side effect of this was that many crowd just leaved to city or setup their private room party which made EF quite empty. This is bad effect for whole EF as well as for hotel. Not only once I walk lobby looking for someone familiar to me but without result. From what I've seen and discussed with others I wasn't the only person having this problem. Calling my friends using cell phone always when such thing happened is too expensive for foreigns and also pretty annoying. Personally I'm thinking about some kind of "Information system" to share informations about room party or so, but this is difficult. Not just because We all are just too lazy beings to add such informations to a system. :3

Yet another annoying thing is daily visit of room service even if there was red card hanging. It made me at least one stressful morning when I had to wake up too early in fact I went to the bed about 5am. Well, room service was kind and We didn't messy our room. We even leaved a small tip everyday, but I prefer if I have possibility to avoid room service to wake me up after party. xD

PROS
Idea using con badges as room keys is price less!! This is real advance in compare to Ringberg hotel where We had to look for our room mates almost everytime We want to go at room.

Also even if hotel staff was quite "serious looking", they didn't make any trouble even when happened something unappropriate. Yes this is definitely very same as first time at Ringberg hotel.

Bratwurst for 2EUR at lobby was a good choice when random hunger come out. xD

IDEAS
What about to switch head less lounge with dealers den, or share this room?

Next idea is that one with information panel for "lost souls" I already mentioned above. If hotel will lower prices, it will probably solve this problem but if not, it is good idea to create some kind of publicly accessible board. This board would be a web application accessible trough wifi or public terminal in lobby. You'll put your ID into it and You'll be able setup a room party and put Your friends in an invite list as well as list a roomparties You are invited in. Actually this room parties aren't only about drinking alcohol but they can have some "topic" and be publicly opened for every EF member which will create unique possibility to meet people of same interest. If You'll like this idea, I can personally create this app till next EF.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Changer the Elder on 07.09.2010, 13:48:26
I hope I won't forget anything... so, from an artists's point of view:


Pros:
+ Large and well-equipped stage - it really did show
+ Pawpet show - on par with my most favorite so far, Dreamcatchers. You did a great job this year, guys
+ Dealers' Den - I have no "previous year feedback", since this was my first time, but kudos to Alpha_Ki and Gyroplast for trying their best and working themselves out of their minds to accomodate all the dealers the best they could
+ ConOps and Staff - Generally extremely helpful, very friendly and doing their best to make the con an experience
+ Artist Lounge - finally a separate, quiet room!
+ Lobby - instead of having to crawl through a series of narrow hallways, the central lobby made it easy to find other people and access stage/artshow
+ Schwip Schwap - 'nuff said :3

Cons:
- The price - the most noted and probably the most notable. I kinda got used to the fact that my salary is nowhere near German league (in fact, the price of this year's con alone, without any additional expenses like food or travel, IS my whole salary), but even German furs were complaining and that, I believe, should mean something.
- Bigger hotel - somehow it felt like some of the upsides the con could have had were left unused. Of course, every new field needs some time to get used to, I'm merely noting that the difference was quite obvious
- Elevators - ugh. And here I was, thinking that the waiting for PawPet show is the longest... There was only one stairway working both ways and I only discovered it kinda by accident.
- Art Auction delay - I know it probably couldn't have been prevented and being an art-show helper, I know how and why it occured, but it was very, very, very unpleasant.
- Art show - simply TOO BIG. We had about 1000 pieces of art for about 1000 attendees. And the problem is, no one has profit out of that. I mean, unless you're Dark Natasha, Blotch or Tani Da Real, you can't make anything that would count as a profit out of that. I count among the fortunate few that were at least able to sell everything, but the money got extremely dissolved and spread out, only a little percentage of art made it to the Auction which (together with the delay) caused lower attendance, lots of sales "going to the bidsheet" and therefore, lower possible income for both artists and charity.
- Not optional room service - you know, it was kinda creepy to wake up and find a maid rummaging through your room.
- Consite itself - Ringberg location made it feel special. Concrete jungle made it feel... well, crowded. It had its upsides, for example the ease of access to local store, but again, if I weren't forced to "hunt" for food outside the hotel by its prices, it wouldn't have been necessary.
- Parking prices - made me travel by train. Have you ever tried to travel by train (four trains in fact) with about 20 kilograms of fragile art?! o.o


All in all, EF is still an experience for me. A pleasant one, to it. So as far as I can afford it, I'll be going. It hasn't left me disappointed yet. But the downsides were a bit too apparent and turned out to be an annoyance when combined with the sky-high price.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Flinty on 07.09.2010, 14:37:36
Ive not been to a huge number of cons, and this was my first EF and by far the biggest con I've been to so i've little to compare it too. But I suppose that will make this a more honest review of the con!

PROS
Space - The hotel was very large and suitable to accomodate us all and every event going on. Particularly the art auction and pawpet show, there were plenty of seats and no worry about having to stand up. Also, it made for a wonderfully spacious BBF Dance on the sunday. Probably only the dealers den was slightly cramped for space but still acceptable.
Rooms - Very tidy and spacious again. I may not have had a fursuit taking up the corner of the room, but there was amples of room in the wardrobes and drawers, and a great comfy bed. bathroom was lovely too.
Staff - Enough about the venue, now for the guys who made it happen. Just one word: wow! I dont know how a con that big can be organised and run so well. You guys are amazing!
Security - I wasnt aware of any bad cases they had to take care of, but regarding the smaller things like crowd control and regulating whether people were drinking drinks from outside the hotel or not was good to see and very friendly too.
Pawpet Show - I was very excited to watch this cause EF was where the show was originally born in... and i wasnt disappointed! Ive seen the fun confuzzled pawpet shows but EF is another league!

CONS
Price - Now i totally understand why it was so expensive: Maritim is a BUSINESS hotel, therefore its there to make money. However that didnt stop me gasping when my boyfriend had to pay €3 for a glass of TAP WATER!!! Fair enough the hotel needs to pay the water bill, but come on! Thank goodness Kaufland was nearby to lighten the blow.
Art Collection - The queue to pick up your art after the auction was unbelievably inefficient. I realise there was a problem and it got delayed, but thats not my point. There were affectively 3 queues - members, sponser and supersponsers all bottle necked into the same cash desk, made worse by very few runners collecting the art. I do realise the sponsers have paid more so they are entitled to privalidges, but not to the expense of us regular members. I heard one suggestion which would have overcome this issue much much better: have different collection times rather than separate queues. In the same way the supersponsers can go in the dealers den first, have the supersponsers go collect their art first, then perhaps 45 mins later the sponsers, then another 45 mins the rest of us can go. I think that would have relieved the pressure and time spent queuing.
Video Games - I only went to this event once throughout the con but it kinda fell flat on its face when i had arrived. Not only was one room inhabited by 1 single person, but they were playing with Guitar Hero with very little song choice because none of the material had been previously unlocked, and made worse by none of the downloadable material working. If a video game is going to be brought to a con it should have most the datat unlocked for the variety, and perhaps some member of staff attending to it to encourage moe people to play. I doubt a single one of the 'competitions' occurred throughout the con. If it were better advertised and coorinated then it may have been a better hit.

Right, now that Ive finished moaning, im gonna sign off saying despite the nagatives, I had a blast! Wanna know how much of a good time I had?

I had a whopping great load of PCD afterwards, thats how good a time I had! =P
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Fauho on 07.09.2010, 14:49:26
The hotel is build like many prisons in our country;

(http://collegehills.org/files/Photos/Children%27s%20Ministry/Class%20Page%20pictures/Kindergarten%20Class%20Picture%20001.jpg)
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: djem on 07.09.2010, 15:01:40
Quote
I heard one suggestion which would have overcome this issue much much better: have different collection times rather than separate queues. In the same way the supersponsers can go in the dealers den first, have the supersponsers go collect their art first, then perhaps 45 mins later the sponsers, then another 45 mins the rest of us can go. I think that would have relieved the pressure and time spent queuing.

That Idea combine with a delay could actualy make something funny  ;D
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Fauho on 07.09.2010, 15:12:06
+ The badge including key was really great ! Room key at the ringberg was really a pain in the ass !

Nonsense, the doors from the Ringberg could be opened with conbadge aswell.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Korrok on 07.09.2010, 15:35:38
+ The badge including key was really great ! Room key at the ringberg was really a pain in the ass !

Nonsense, the doors from the Ringberg could be opened with conbadge aswell.

Haha, that is true, someone opened mine with a con badge when all my roomies had disappeared late at night last year. :D
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: penpen on 07.09.2010, 16:17:38
i'm agreed with tigwolf about only one sentence

"but I think that sacrifice for what we did have greatly outweighed that small inconvenience."

it is that i'm thinking about this eurofurence.
yes it was more expensive, peoples are less nice.

but i think EF needed to change. Always the same thing, the same hostel the same place... and a little place where only the more quickly when registration open can come. Even is bigger doesn't mean better, it is selfish about those who can't come.

there some bad thing, some good thing, and i'm sure that lot of peoples enjoy this con, and now that we know this place , the next time will be better =^_^=

i'm sure that if all the last EF was in maritim , and the new one was in ringberg, it was be the same thing, some people were agree with some thing and desagree with other things.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Cairyn on 07.09.2010, 16:51:29
Art Collection - The queue to pick up your art after the auction was unbelievably inefficient. I realise there was a problem and it got delayed, but thats not my point. There were affectively 3 queues - members, sponser and supersponsers all bottle necked into the same cash desk, made worse by very few runners collecting the art. I do realise the sponsers have paid more so they are entitled to privalidges, but not to the expense of us regular members. I heard one suggestion which would have overcome this issue much much better: have different collection times rather than separate queues. In the same way the supersponsers can go in the dealers den first, have the supersponsers go collect their art first, then perhaps 45 mins later the sponsers, then another 45 mins the rest of us can go. I think that would have relieved the pressure and time spent queuing.

You are right, the separate lines thingie did not work out like we planned and turned into a cutting-queue item instead. That was not intended. Besides the initial delay, the separate lines were not properly announced on the outside; the list of winning bidders was not ready in time; there should have been more runners in the beginning.

After the data problem was solved and the second register opened, the queues were handled a lot quicker, which I take as a good sign. The total handling time for almost all sales (which went from 15:00 to about 18:30 instead of 14:00 to 17:00) was only half an hour longer than planned (I admit it's not a consolation for people who queued all that time).

Reducing waiting times therefore seems to be more an issue of guiding guests to a narrower timeslot. I actually like your idea, although I would choose a more neutral criterion for the slots... for example, by badge numbers. (We also definitely need a huge announcement monitor for the art show.)

I hope that we can overcome the recent issues in next year's sales and get back to a more efficient pickup.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Temjin on 07.09.2010, 17:34:30
Hello!

Just throwing my own opinions and experience into the mix of feedback.

Firstly (and it is important to say), I had a great time at my 2nd Eurofurence and arrived back into the UK feeling absolutely fantastic (and so knackered I tried to pay for a tram in Euros but still feeling fantastic). A break was exactly what I needed and EF was great. Even my partner whose first EF it was thought it was amazing.

I don't know how much personal time and stress folks like Cheetah endure organising a con of this magnitude for the benefit of everyone was else (I don't think I want to know!), but it was as ever appreciated so thank you.


Some good things. Horray!

Keycards
One key card for each person in a room. Perfect. Spot on. Yes.

Layout
I liked the large communal gathering in the centre of the hotel, made it (not to mention the ability to basically satellite observe the crowd below from the upper balconies) quite easy to spot and mingle with people.

Hotel Staff
I'm sure it was somewhat of a surreal experience at times for the staff of the hotel hosting their first furry con however they were professional and helpful, even to the point of sending a electrician to our room at 2am in the morning because the card-swipe reader on our door had broken.

Con Staff
Were helpful, had a good presence and diligent. Thank you very much for all your hard work and unslept hours in keeping the con running for all of us.


Some things to consider but also some ideas to help solve them! Horray!

Event types
This was only my second Eurofurence, but the first one I attended (14) had a more varied range of event topics. Casting my mind back there was a massage event, even a fencing / sword technique one for example and doing those things I found interesting because they weren't things I had ever done before. I realise it isn't up to the organisers to wave a magic wand and be able to offer events (it's all down to individuals coming forward able to teach / host them) but this year seemed to be a heavy emphasis on the writers / artist elements. Sometimes, although a topic might not be “furry” per-say it can be fun nonetheless and everyone can have a good time just there within the social con environment.

Event delays
This seemed to be somewhat rampant with the larger events. I won't pretend to know the reasons for it (I imagine being in a new venue can't have helped) but all the main stage events and the art purchase I attended seemed to get off to a rocky start.

Art Show Purchase
This process took a long long time and it wasn't helped by the lack of cash desks, collection runner staff and the way separate queues for sponsors and super-sponsors merely cut in front of the main body of people. I'm not trying to stir an argument about privileges and entitlements but because everyone filtered into the same cash desk the only privilege came at the direct expense of the majority of attendees having to wait longer – it might have been better had they fed into a sponsor only cash desk. Another solution could be just breaking the collection into different time slots, so collectors of panels 0-50 come at such a time and then collectors of panels 50-75 come at a different time (or super sponsors/ sponsors...etc) It's a bit like “virtual queueing” which you can get at theme parks and it helps. That way people have a time slot to aim for and can plan their day better opposed to just joining a queue with no idea how long it will take (still have no regrets waiting though - Fishing for the Stars is a wonderful piece <3).

Lifts / Stairs
With the way the hotel is laid out the lifts were obviously going to be constantly crammed, not ideal but that there is little that can be done about that without rebuilding the hotel. The stairwells however soon became a major point of confusion and at one point on Friday a group of us got trapped inside having been able to enter into a stairwell (there weren't any English signs on the door saying not to enter) but then finding it was like a evil geniuses trap and were unable to open any door back out. Luckily, we were let out before having to decide which of us would be eaten first however had more stairwells just generally been left open this would have alleviated a fair amount of lift waiting and people could have moved around more easily.

Dealers Den
I was going to say this was heaving on the first day of being opened, but that was the first day and afterwards it actually wasn't that bad. Saying that, with so many more rooms in the hotel if the artists / merchandise tables were to be split into different ones things could've been even better at opening.


So that's me done. Thanks for the great time folks, already massively looking forward to next year.  :)
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Temjin on 07.09.2010, 17:40:58
Art Collection - The queue to pick up your art after the auction was unbelievably inefficient. I realise there was a problem and it got delayed, but thats not my point. There were affectively 3 queues - members, sponser and supersponsers all bottle necked into the same cash desk, made worse by very few runners collecting the art. I do realise the sponsers have paid more so they are entitled to privalidges, but not to the expense of us regular members. I heard one suggestion which would have overcome this issue much much better: have different collection times rather than separate queues. In the same way the supersponsers can go in the dealers den first, have the supersponsers go collect their art first, then perhaps 45 mins later the sponsers, then another 45 mins the rest of us can go. I think that would have relieved the pressure and time spent queuing.

You are right, the separate lines thingie did not work out like we planned and turned into a cutting-queue item instead. That was not intended. Besides the initial delay, the separate lines were not properly announced on the outside; the list of winning bidders was not ready in time; there should have been more runners in the beginning.

After the data problem was solved and the second register opened, the queues were handled a lot quicker, which I take as a good sign. The total handling time for almost all sales (which went from 15:00 to about 18:30 instead of 14:00 to 17:00) was only half an hour longer than planned (I admit it's not a consolation for people who queued all that time).

Reducing waiting times therefore seems to be more an issue of guiding guests to a narrower timeslot. I actually like your idea, although I would choose a more neutral criterion for the slots... for example, by badge numbers. (We also definitely need a huge announcement monitor for the art show.)

I hope that we can overcome the recent issues in next year's sales and get back to a more efficient pickup.


Sorry, I posted my bit about the art queue without seeing this. Thankyou for looking at the feedback, I'm sure we can all help make this process work better next time. :)
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Vector on 07.09.2010, 19:29:31
Even is bigger doesn't mean better, it is selfish about those who can't come.

And I would say it's selfish for people who CAN'T afford the new venue, food & drinks.

I checked the prices online and I only saw that before in Saint Tropez, Ibiza or Monaco. Even in Paris, you won't pay 3€ for tap water or 6.50€ for a soft drink. That's crazy ! I don't know Magdeburg, but is that a very important place of interest or a major tourist attraction ? 

EF staff explained that the hotel can't change the prices because it's sets centrally across the whole chain so maybe the new venue wasn't a wise choice if EF staff was advised that no breathing space at all was available for the prices.

Affordable food/drinks from outside rhe hotel are not a viable solution, it will only leaves the convention hotel EMPTY. 

At the Ringberg, we stayed together the whole time, as a big family. That was the EF spirit.

The challenge is to find a large hotel in a remote location. I can't believe that the Ringberg is the only one in Germany.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Dhary Montecore on 07.09.2010, 20:10:38
I think that during stage shows people should be able to leave but not come back in, I was busy packing and when a intermission came up I decided to go watch the Pawpet show 'live' as it where, in the stage one door was chosen so you could go in and out as pleased, so you have every fur and their friend coming and going as they please, nipping in and out during the show, going fetching currywurst beer and whatever. All it would've taken was one staff member going 'you can leave but you can't get back in until a intermission' because being at that back corner being blinded by the light every time the door opened, which was very often, distracted from the show.

That was the reason why we put up the dividers later. We will try to improve on that issue further of course.

Another thing was the dealers den was kinda small and as we furs ain't the slimmest bunch, it led to alot of 'bottlenecks' in there "oop, damn, we can't get up that way, lets go back and head round", I know others have said this, so i won't go on about it.

This issue also will be solved as it now looks like we're going to split the den again like back in the Ringberg.

(whoever put up that 'Ordinary Smoker - Reekus Fumus' on the smokers lounge, you sir/madam are awesome)

*bows* Thank you :) I still try to get our board of directors to allow our security to have disinfectant sprayers with them :D

I didn't mind the price of beer, but 6.50 for a tall glass of coke is just way too greedy.  The coffee being served in the lobby was weak, expensive and the cups too small.  Fortunately there was a mall across the road which had a supermarket and coffee shops.   I liked the layout of the hotel, the stage in particular was very impressive.  I did wonder if the hotel had ever had any kind of social event before, because it seemed about getting the most money out of business men who are putting everything on expenses.  I think they did their best to accommodate us.

That's exactly the problem. They had no experience with an event like ours at all. SO they used the prices that were absolutely normal for a four star city hotel. On the last evening the started selling cocktails in 0,5 L glasses for just one euro more, effectively reducing the basic price a lot. Ladies and gentlefurs, please remember that this was a first time experience for the hotel with such an event and for us as staff with a hotel in the middle of a city. Rest assured that Nightfox, our vice-chairman and hotel negotiator will take every complaint about the prices serious and that there WILL be many improvements next year on that topic. Those of you who gone with us through the transition from youth-hostel to the ringberg sure remember that it was just the same where back there at the first year.

+ The room-keys where quite an improvement.
+ dealers den was much larger
+ the larger headless-area was just great
+ easier to find people in given the new hotel layout
+ more infrastructure in walking distance
+ more of an audience for outside suit-walks
+ early arrival and late departure left ample time to socialize
+ dealers den open the day after art auction
+ large rooms
+ wireless networking in function space
+ THE FURSUIT THEATER
- the Stage Fever this year
- neither fire nor steaks at the BBQ
- smaller pool/sauna area
- very expensive food and parking
- The delays
- microphone- and other sound- issues
- The electronic notice-board for anouncements came late.
- art sales was very slow
- voice auction took forever
- group-photos during the suitwalks took very long each time
- the elevators of cause (maybe point out the existance and placement of the stairs better)
- delays not announced hotel-wide
- some more pause between the events could prevent delays from spreading too far and give the staff more time to rest.
- art show was very spacious but there could have been much more art in there, given the space.

I KNEW it *sigh* Okay.
-The stage fever show was a blast compared to last years show. No more moderation in suit, a FANTASTIC stand-up show by mystifur!
-Pool/Sauna: Agreed
-Expensive food and parking: I sure looks like you never been to a four star hotel so let me tell you: That's normal
-The delays: Heh, would you like to pull up a line of stage shows with little crew, a whole new kind of stage, less equipment and wrong information about the hotel in advance, rendering every planning useless? Go ahead.
-Art-sales: True. There was a major problem with the database, slowing down the whole process.
-delays not announced: They WERE announced through the hotels PA and there's no other way to do that. But con-ops has already many improvements on that.
-pause between the events: Not possible. You sure don't think of the EF staff as that dense. Of course there WHERE much more pause as we knew there would be delays due to unforeseen events in the hotel but that still wasn't enough and our team made some mistakes too, slowing us down even further. But all of this will be solved with the experience gathered this year.
-more art in art-show: I can't speak for the artshow crew, but you FYI: The art-show crew already worked till they collapsed, missing all the event and they had to obey the fire regulations also.

A disclaimer to everyone: You all (hopefully) witnessed at EF that our staff is very friendly towards all our our dear guests. If you don't know the backgrounds, please just ignore my chilly attitude in commenting the last post.

- However, social areas were awkward. The foyer wasn't really a good design for a real feel of gathering. The distance between the dealer's den, panel rooms etc and the main foyer was troublesome from a social point of view.

Well, the distance at the Ringberg was even higher. But yes, I agree the overall design just feels different and bigger.

- The prices for the hotel bar were just too high. I really do hope they are adjusted next time, as it was again prohibitive to gathering and enjoying the social side when people just couldn't afford the prices. Many people said to just go out and buy booze from the supermarket. What use is that to the EF atmosphere? You can't drink it in the public spaces - is everyone just meant to vanish to rooms in small groups? That's typical of some other cons, but it's not what I associate with EF.

Like I stated before: Please be patient about that topic. That's a really difficult one, especially since the pricing is not really decided by the hotel itself since it's a hotels-chain (the Maritim) which has a common pricing-policy. We really take your opinion on that serious as the last thing we want is EF to become some sort of AC copy with many room partys  and less socializing and gathering.


- Hotel staff seemed kinda hostile to some of the furry behaviour. I'm not criticising the hotel staff on this one - I can fully imagine that they were unprepared for shrieking, fursuiters and incessant yells of OI day and night. But if they remain unhappy with it, that will flow over onto the convention itself.

Here again, please allow them time to adjust to our kind of lifestyle. The hotel liked us, really. But of course there are some of the personal who might not be comfortable with us, at least yet.

Thanks to all of you for your opinions, critique and ideas - we take all of it into account and try to improve ourself further. Please allow a few days for the staffers to rest for they nearly killed themselfs this year and need to regenerate now. So don't be upset if your post is not answered right away. :)
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Cairyn on 07.09.2010, 22:11:58
Sorry, I posted my bit about the art queue without seeing this. Thankyou for looking at the feedback, I'm sure we can all help make this process work better next time. :)

Sure, I read all the feedback and try to work around the issues; that's the least I can do. I am the first to admit that the separate lines did not work properly (my original idea required actual queues forming, not whole lines staying empty as it happened). We will discuss some possibility to give sponsors and supersponsors some extra benefit without increasing the waiting time for other guests too much. The extra register would have been a step, if it had been available from the beginning...

Regarding the idea of splitting pickup times, a split by panel would not be useful, since people may have bought art on more than one panel. Splitting by badge may work. How about the following:

"Art may be picked up at any time from 14:00 to 17:00. To optimize waiting time, however, we would ask you to queue for the sales from 14:00-15:00 if your badge number is between 1 and 300, from 15:00-16:00 if your badge number is between 301 and 600, and from 16:00-17:00 if your badge number is higher than 600."

Would that be helpful? How could sponsors and supersponsors benefit in this schema?
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Fangz on 07.09.2010, 22:17:03
The Con overall I think was pretty good and I had alot of fun.

Tho I had my issues with the new locations it had a few pros.
+Improved room space.
+Great headless area.
+Nice bar.
+Alot better made drinks in bar.

On the negative side there wa a few things I liked more at the ringberg as some details seems worse here than last few years.
-Little sitting space in lobby area.
-No decent outisde space :/ the BBQ at ringberg was one of my favurite events... it totaly sucked here both couse of space and less food and so on.
-Several room doors I tested including my own opened if ya hit on it sligthly with a paw... so no need for the keycards...
-Pool area was les impressive tho still fun xD
-Dealers den / artists was too cramed into a small space.
-General negative attitude from loacals, hotel staff and resturants and shops nearby.
-None anywhere ever knew english :/
-No outdoor bonfire *sadface*
-Noisy! damn I proably sleept 4 hours total whole convention as the design of the hotel with big open middle seems too amplify all noise from lobby too every room :S
-Fursuitwalk, not very good too little room for it imo.


Well thats the main thing I feel has improved and dropped with the hotel change, I personaly had a good time still.
Tho I feel it would been even better at previous hotel.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: MOW on 07.09.2010, 22:48:50
Regarding the idea of splitting pickup times, a split by panel would not be useful, since people may have bought art on more than one panel. Splitting by badge may work. How about the following:
"Art may be picked up at any time from 14:00 to 17:00. To optimize waiting time, however, we would ask you to queue for the sales from 14:00-15:00 if your badge number is between 1 and 300, from 15:00-16:00 if your badge number is between 301 and 600, and from 16:00-17:00 if your badge number is higher than 600."
Would that be helpful? How could sponsors and supersponsors benefit in this schema?

I think this is a bad idea as there are still events running during that time people might want to attend. I'd still prefer just putting a number dispenser up with some kind of displays which number is currently served so people can just get a number and check now and then without having to stand in the queue all the time.
For sponsors and supersponsors, I'd say they either get a different set of numbers or they are allowed to cut in even if they missed their original time slot.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: gaz_a on 07.09.2010, 23:23:12
Food and Drink: It's a four star city centre hotel, and priced accordingly. It was done to death at the Feedback Session on Sunday, and the upshot was that: a) it was the first year we were there, and b) pricing is set centrally across the whole chain.

Hopefully they might be able to make an exception for the convention next year, I'm sure the staff will be working on it.   I don't know what the usual prices are for German hotels but I've stayed at quite a few decent hotels worldwide and it was one of the more expensive ones.   Even tap water was charged for, although I managed to pursuade them to pour a few glasses free for the fursuiters during the dead dog.

Keycards: Didn't have an issue myself, but anyone who did needs to remember to get ALL of the cards for their room recoded at the same time, or you'll just keep locking each other out.

I had to have mine redone four or five times, a friend managed to get theirs written onto a standard hotel keycard but the desk staff refused to do that for me.   My roommate's continued working throughout.  (I will add that the card was never let anywhere near anything that could wipe it)

edit: I'll make this my only reply - basically I had an excellent time though, the hotel layout is far better than any of the big three US conventions, the rooms absolutely fine, plenty of cheap local restaurants and supermarkets.   I am probably an exception that I PREFER this year to Suhl.   The comparisons to a prison is utter rubbish, the tall central lobby looks great and it feels FAR better than a standard hotel with dingy maze of corridors.  The only downside is that it was quite noisy, the sound from the dances carried through the building, it was louder IN the rooms.



Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Cairyn on 07.09.2010, 23:28:05
Regarding the idea of splitting pickup times, a split by panel would not be useful, since people may have bought art on more than one panel. Splitting by badge may work. How about the following:
"Art may be picked up at any time from 14:00 to 17:00. To optimize waiting time, however, we would ask you to queue for the sales from 14:00-15:00 if your badge number is between 1 and 300, from 15:00-16:00 if your badge number is between 301 and 600, and from 16:00-17:00 if your badge number is higher than 600."
Would that be helpful? How could sponsors and supersponsors benefit in this schema?

I think this is a bad idea as there are still events running during that time people might want to attend. I'd still prefer just putting a number dispenser up with some kind of displays which number is currently served so people can just get a number and check now and then without having to stand in the queue all the time.
For sponsors and supersponsors, I'd say they either get a different set of numbers or they are allowed to cut in even if they missed their original time slot.

I do not intend to force people into a timeslot if they want to attend an event, I just want to guide them a little into slots to spread the queue. Of course we can use a number dispenser as well so people can wait elsewhere, but they would still have to check back often in time for their call.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: gaz_a on 07.09.2010, 23:37:33
Yet another annoying thing is daily visit of room service even if there was red card hanging. It made me at least one stressful morning when I had to wake up too early in fact I went to the bed about 5am. Well, room service was kind and We didn't messy our room. We even leaved a small tip everyday, but I prefer if I have possibility to avoid room service to wake me up after party. xD

They were doing their rounds as normal, they visited us while I or my roommate was in bed (we left the room by about 11am most days) but didn't come in when they realised we weren't up but I think it was serviced every day so they must have come back in the afternoon.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Raider on 07.09.2010, 23:41:26
In my opinion, EF has taken a big step away from what it used to be. This does not have to be a bad thing, it's just pretty different now. It's a gigantic, but somewhat anonymous party now. I hope adjusting the prices inside the hotel will get more people to stay in the public areas of the hotel instead of having to go into the city or getting privatly drunk in their rooms.
I really had a lot of fun this year, but I think I will miss the Ringberg. Almost everything on my mind has already been mentioned, so I will stick to the one thing that has annoyed me greatly.

The amout of people rummaging around the Big Blue Dance, taping the dancers to be the very first one to upload another video of people dancing on the con, seems to increase every year. This is annoying to me for two reasons:

1. This is (or at least used to be) a somewhat private event, meant for those people who sign up to actually visit the con. Sure, there are people taking pictures everywhere and I'm pretty sure I can be found in one of the countless image archives somewhere. Nevertheless - I do not wish to end up on YouTube, since I try to keep my private information (yes, this includes my face as well) of the internet as much as possible. It actually spoils a lot of the fun for me if I get the constant feeling to be watched by the whole world -- not for a moment, but forever.
2. Like in any club, if you have 30 people dancing and 60 people standing around and watching, it takes away a lot of the energy from the dancefloor. I think it's fine to stand at the side to have a drink, talk with your friends or just relax after getting all sweaty. Yet it is not OK to run around the dancefloor for an hour in circles, shoving your camera in everyones face. It's damn annoying, go away.


Regarding the tap water being charged for:
I had no problems getting free tap water for friends and myself multiple times during the dance. Seems to be luck, though.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: MOW on 07.09.2010, 23:43:42
Keycards: Didn't have an issue myself, but anyone who did needs to remember to get ALL of the cards for their room recoded at the same time, or you'll just keep locking each other out.
I had to have mine redone four or five times, a friend managed to get theirs written onto a standard hotel keycard but the desk staff refused to do that for me.   My roommate's continued working throughout.  (I will add that the card was never let anywhere near anything that could wipe it)

Mine had to be rewritten three times. Apparently it got wiped by the camera. After I stopped wearing the badge around my neck as well as the camera, I had no more problems.

Quote
The only downside is that it was quite noisy, the sound from the dances carried through the building, it was louder IN the rooms.

That was also the case in the Ringberg if your room happened to be on the wrong side (towards the convention space).

My room was in the east wing facing away from the stage area and I have to say it was VERY quiet for being in the middle of the city and all, even quieter than here at home.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: James The Dog on 07.09.2010, 23:49:54
I did enjoy the majority of the con, and don't really think I can say much that hasn't already been said, just a couple of minor things to get off my chest.

The prices. Obviously nothing the con could do about it, but as has been said, they were ridiculous, even by 4 star hotel standards. 2.90 for a tiny 200ml bottle of coke- when I can go to the supermarket and get a 1.5 litre bottle for 1.25, it's just not worth it at all. I'd also been under the impression from people who have attended in the past that the BBQ was included with the con, but we found out it was something like 9 euros for a burger, which is stupidly expensive, so we went to Pizza Hut and got a pizza and a large drink for less. I didn't actually buy anything from the hotel at all. The problem with that is it means I have to go up to my room every time I want a drink (and get stuck in the lift queue) and go out whenever I wanted a meal- you can't just sit around in the lobby or bar with friends.

And the other thing was the "yiffy guide to safe sex". This was the first thing I saw- it dropped out in front of me before I'd even opened the conbook. I don't have an issue with the idea of the leaflet itself, but the pictures on the top... no thanks. I don't want or need to see a picture of an erect cock to illustrate what the leaflet's trying to tell me. If I was going into the more adult areas of the art show, or looking in the porn artists folders in the dealers den I'd at least be prepared to see that sort of thing (and I know to avoid those things if I don't want to see it), but I certainly didn't expect to see it fall out of my conbook, so I wasn't prepared at all, and was actually quite shocked. I'm personally not comfortable with that sort of art, and even if I was, I just don't feel it's appropriate in that context- it's precisely the sort of thing people will leave on show in their rooms (meaning the cleaners likely saw loads of them) and I saw a few floating around the lobby too (where other hotel staff and members of the public could see it)- it's precisely the sort of thing which gives off a bad impression of the convention and our fandom. One of my friends, who was staying in another hotel, says he tore his up and threw it away to make sure the cleaners didn't see it, because he was quite horrified at the idea of them finding it, and I can only agree with him.

Apart from these things, I did have a good time and will hopefully be coming back next year.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Franni on 07.09.2010, 23:56:19
I can just say that this EF was the last one for me if prices are same or higher for EF 17. I think **** Hotel is unnecessary luxury for such con. EF has become something which is almost unbearable for me. i don't want to speak about prices in lobby etc. It was more likely scary. 4,50 Euros for beer, which tastes like bitter water...WTF? enough said.

there were longer delays than I had experienced in Ringberg hotel. Sorry but if artists must wait for their money at 1 AM, it's pretty annoying then...my mate could describe details.

And The fact that there were only about 850 people accommodated in hotel, which was designed for 1200, means just it was wrong choice. I miss good old Ringberg

I won't even consider my attendance at EF 17 until there is interesting theme such as Siberia, Japan or 60s / Hippies

Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Raider on 08.09.2010, 00:05:28
And the other thing was the "yiffy guide to safe sex". This was the first thing I saw- it dropped out in front of me before I'd even opened the conbook. I don't have an issue with the idea of the leaflet itself, but the pictures on the top... no thanks. I don't want or need to see a picture of an erect cock to illustrate what the leaflet's trying to tell me. [...]

I have to agree with you there. Maybe it is time to part with the tradition to put this leaflet in the conbook.
In the past years, where EF has been held at somewhat remote locations with few "regular" hotel guests and far less media interest, it was OK. It always seemed to me to be a little tongue-in-cheek, like a friendly little "Yeah, you may have sex here as well, we know... don't do anything stupid, mkay?"-reminder. Now, with the new location right in the middle of a big city, with media and regular guests running around the hotel, it seems... well, it seems to be a stupid thing to do. Media relations has been working hard - and successfully - to get the media to portray the fandom as a somewhat strange, but funny and friendly bunch. Now imagine someone finding the leaflet in the lobby.
In the Dealers Den, there was a sign to not let certain business cards fly around the hotel. This was perfectly reasonable -- and you're putting a leaflet containing porn into the conbook, where it falls out right in the lobby?
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Drift on 08.09.2010, 00:09:48
1. Hotel staff: The employees at the bar were fantastic! Always gave us free refills of nuts and crisps when we asked, joked around and were friendly. And the non-bar staff was not that bad either, I observed that especially the younger once always smiled and were amused about us rather than upset. Give them another year, let routine in furry handling kick in, and they will be great.

2. Prices: For beeing in a 4 Star Hotel in the middle of a city as big as Magedburg, I found the beer rather cheap. The rest was def. to expensive, but if you are to lazy to cross the road to get food and drink, you have to pay the prize!

3. Venue: Let's face it - the Rinberg IS to small to host an event as the EF has grown to. I did not see getting a place as a challenge last year, I saw it as a frustration, not beeing able to get a ticket 10 mins. after registration opened cause it was sold out. For that reason I am glad the EF moved. And finding a Hotel that is big enough AND has the beautifull sourroundings + cosyness of Ringberg? Good luck!

4. Room parties/Piano Bar: I spent loads of time in the Piano bar, and never found it to empty. Room parties will always occur, no matter the prices, you had those at Ringeberg as well. And if you use it only as a place to "Vorglühen" (drinking cheap beer from cans/bottles before the actual pubing) and thus going to the bar after, it is perfect.

5. Parking: Did not go into that subject as I came by train, but was there not park and ride somewhere in Margdeburg that was affordable?

6. Super Sponsor: My only negative point. I do not like the super sponsor system. I can understand that EF needs the money in order to keep the prices low. I also can understand that people who donate should be honored. But must it be in the way it was done?
To mention super sponsors in the con book, to give them some extra goodies and the one or other exclusive panel - fine. It feels like: you pay more, so you get more.
But extra queues, better seating, earlier admission to dealers den... is not right. It feels like: you pay more, you get better treatement.
Sorry, but it gave me - and other participants - the feeling of 1. and 2. class, which in my opinion should not be advocated on a furry event. I know that this subject is much about personal believes, but for me furries should share a certain amount of solidarity and equality rather than experience classification due to their income.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Runo on 08.09.2010, 00:52:23
I really love having the (super)sponsors financing part of my con attendance. No problem at all IMO to let them have a few benefits for that. If they were that important to me I'd sponsor myself (as I'll do again when my financial situation improves).

All in all I found the con absolutely great! There could be a little more cozy sitting-together-area in the lobby, if that is somehow possible, but it's okay as it is now, too. The more business-like hotel meant for a little cold athmosphere until about Friday evening IMO, but then it all started to come together, and I bet now that we know this place and they know us, everything will work out much better next year. I'm already looking forward to it!

Jojo
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Fangz on 08.09.2010, 01:04:41
the "yiffy guide to safe sex". This was the first thing I saw- it dropped out in front of me before I'd even opened the conbook. I don't have an issue with the idea of the leaflet itself, but the pictures on the top... no thanks. I don't want or need to see a picture of an erect cock to illustrate what the leaflet's trying to tell me. If I was going into the more adult areas of the art show, or looking in the porn artists folders in the dealers den I'd at least be prepared to see that sort of thing (and I know to avoid those things if I don't want to see it), but I certainly didn't expect to see it fall out of my conbook, so I wasn't prepared at all, and was actually quite shocked. I'm personally not comfortable with that sort of art, and even if I was, I just don't feel it's appropriate in that context- it's precisely the sort of thing people will leave on show in their rooms (meaning the cleaners likely saw loads of them) and I saw a few floating around the lobby too (where other hotel staff and members of the public could see it)- it's precisely the sort of thing which gives off a bad impression of the convention and our fandom. One of my friends, who was staying in another hotel, says he tore his up and threw it away to make sure the cleaners didn't see it, because he was quite horrified at the idea of them finding it, and I can only agree with him.

I personaly found that leaflet too be a verry funny and amuzing little detail a few years ago at the first EF I went too, and it still gives me a little giggle as it does look a little silly and cute.
It's extremely far from offensively pornographic or anything like that... turn on any random tv, any random cookie or juice comercial is more offensive than that.
So I really hope they keep that one. as for hotel staff I'm 100% sure they have all seen alot worse long before the furries came :P
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: cosmo on 08.09.2010, 01:31:29
6. Super Sponsor: ...earlier admission to dealers den... is not right. It feels like: you pay more, you get better treatement.
Sorry, but it gave me - and other participants - the feeling of 1. and 2. class, which in my opinion should not be advocated on a furry event. I know that this subject is much about personal believes, but for me furries should share a certain amount of solidarity and equality rather than experience classification due to their income.

I used the early Dealers' Den admission idea myself for the ConFuzzled den. For us it was as much about keeping sponsors happy as it was about getting the initial epic queue as short as possible in the simplest way possible since at the much smaller CF '09 it still took us 2 hours to get rid of the queue.
I don't know if this was part of the reasoning behind EF doing it, but I wouldn't mind betting it at least played a part.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Schakaline on 08.09.2010, 04:05:00

I hope that we can overcome the recent issues in next year's sales and get back to a more efficient pickup.


Do you have € 4,800 in your budget? :)
(http://www.mbelektronik.com/shop/contents/media/3800FixedLine.jpg)
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Cairyn on 08.09.2010, 09:19:16

I hope that we can overcome the recent issues in next year's sales and get back to a more efficient pickup.


Do you have € 4,800 in your budget? :)


Make it € 50 and we have a deal!

Naah... there must be a cheaper system... let's discuss this some more elsewhere.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Bigwig on 08.09.2010, 09:26:28
All it would've taken was one staff member going 'you can leave but you can't get back in until a intermission' because being at that back corner being blinded by the light every time the door opened, which was very often, distracted from the show.

Seems to me like the typical german call for overregulation. There were plenty of seats on the left side save from even noticing there were doors (of course you could not leave anytime during the show then, but why should one want to leave during the show...). I want to get out anytime but don't want to be interrupted from other wanting get in? Think of people being a tad late due to elevators missing 1/3 of the show if it was handled as you suggested. 10-12 min intermission was quite the minimum to reach your room and be back in time.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Fauho on 08.09.2010, 10:45:33
I personaly found that leaflet too be a verry funny and amuzing little detail a few years ago at the first EF I went too, and it still gives me a little giggle as it does look a little silly and cute.
It's extremely far from offensively pornographic or anything like that... turn on any random tv, any random cookie or juice comercial is more offensive than that.
So I really hope they keep that one. as for hotel staff I'm 100% sure they have all seen alot worse long before the furries came :P

Say wut?!? I NEVER saw a commercial that offensive, and I'm pretty sure the hotel staff NEVER has saw a thing like that.
I sure would love seeing you explain that to parents and their kids strolling around in the hotel lobby to see the fursuiters!
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Kamuniak on 08.09.2010, 11:37:50
Lots of things said and I try not to repeat. But I actually wrote about "Cozyness of Eurofurence" to my LJ last year. Since I still agree with myself ;) I quote:

I've heard many people saying that EF is best furry convention. But it is harder to say exact reason. I think that the location of EF have had big role in this. EF is held in the middle of the forest, away from "normal world". Even isolated location one might say.

But that's been so great about EF, its like jumping to another world. If you don't leave the hotel, you can live 4-6 days surrounded nothing but another furries. Lobby: furries. Restaurant: furries. Step outside: furries drawing animals to car parked outside :) EF has been only place where even shyest person like me can wear a tail, knowing that everyone around me totally understands.

I guess that for myself EF has been more than just convention last few years. It's been only place where I've managed to totally forget my work and my bit boring everyday life. It just doesn't happen during normal vacations.

But it is not same at the RBW. (I have nothing against RBW, great con, too bad I couldn't get there this year. But as mentioned above, RBW is only other con where I've been so I use it as an example.) RBW is in the middle of the big city. Some people like it that way though, there's lots of restaurants and bars and basicly everything just few minutes away. But when you step outside from hotel, or just to the hotel lobby, you are back in that normal world. Even it happens just shortly, its always there to remind you and break that furry feeling.

Now EF is moving to bigger hotel since Ringberg is simply too full. I hope EF still manage to keep that cozy furry atmosphere. It is not question of convention size anyway. It would have been nice to stay at the Ringberg but on the other hand, new location is always fresh and exciting. Who knows without trying, maybe its even better than previous one :)


Unfortunately that didn't happen. Even though EF was great con (thanks to staff) and it was really nice to see many old friends, I just didn't get that same "furry world" feeling I had previous years. Pity :(
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Cookie on 08.09.2010, 12:11:11
I sure would love seeing you explain that to parents and their kids strolling around in the hotel lobby to see the fursuiters!

What makes me cringe is that the kid that was at EF (the purple bunny girl- sorry, never got her name) must have received the exact same conbook as all of us.. i just HOPE they thought about removing that add in her conbook *shudders*...
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Fairlight on 08.09.2010, 12:18:10
The guide was not in her conbook. We're not that daft ^.^
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Cheetah on 08.09.2010, 18:41:37

What makes me cringe is that the kid that was at EF (the purple bunny girl- sorry, never got her name) must have received the exact same conbook as all of us.. i just HOPE they thought about removing that add in her conbook *shudders*...

You DO know she was with her parents (who are very nice and dependable people we personally know and trust for years btw) all the time, don't you? :)
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: drayygon on 08.09.2010, 22:50:04
Ok, time for Feedback, yay.

Drinks prices, done to death and such. It was a shock to see the prices BUT I knew as it was the first year the hotel would not have dropped prices for us lot. This may change next year, might not. Can only leave that to the talented EF Negotiator really.

The lifts were at times an annoyance, but I took the stairs down most times. Can't really change them so just gotta suck it up and deal with it.

The BBQ, ok first main critique here. The BBQ of the Ringberg worked in every sense of the word. All you can eat, set reasonable price etc. I personally do not think it would work again here at the Maritim, it didn't have that BBQ feel. They just served the food outside, it wasn't a BBQ in the end.

Art auction pick up, I think this could have gone quicker if the persons winning pieces were all put together. So the runner just went to the pile and not go searching the entire room for one or two pieces of art. The que system I didn't see in use by the time I came to collect my stuff, so can't comment on that.

The rooms were lovely as was how the hotel has it's conference space etc laid out, though the Dealer's Den might need moving as I found it kinda tight to get around as an attendee. More so when you got to account for your tail that's right behind you.

At looking at the events there was a nice spread, but sadly only 1 event per day grabbed me enough to attend (I actually forgot 2, curse you brain!) but the rest I felt weren't useful to me etc. I'm not a writer, major arty type, SL coder type etc. I did want to see Kage's Psuedoscience panel but the Motor meet was on and I was there taking photos, ogling cars and wishing I had one to show off.

To finish off, I really enjoyed the new location and the Convention was a blast, got to see new and old friends again nicely. Got to chat to some other people more and was pretty darn grateful for that, beginnings of further acquaintanceship/Friendship even, who knows aye. Being in the city was helpful, I was able to eat out a few times, get that joy I always have when you pass people and then hear their reaction from seeing a large dragon tail swaying behind me :)

All in all, a great Con once again guys and I hope I can attend again very soon.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: BluePaw on 08.09.2010, 23:54:14
well, I'll try to keep myself from repeating what others has said already, to much.

short note. high prices, yet thanks for allowing drinking on the room that i  remember being forbidden last year?

would be very nice to know you've noted the hotel to please learn to speak better English, it should not take 10min of conversation to get in to the receptions head "my room is number 380!" and then some more to get the actual message that "i need my room key remade".

bout the BBQ. needs a lot more info, what line goes were? i accidentally stood in the chicken-line, but way way to hungry to change it. i even managed to eat the things. I've never, ever tasted such dry and tasteless chicken before, and the rest neither looked fresh nor tasted it.
the hamburgers was exactly the same that you could get inside the con later, and i don't think they're supposed to taste sour? and try talking to them bout some fries to it? like last year was perfect.
also there needs more info on what bowl of red/yellow/white in the bowls are what?

also, for being such a big and fancy hotel, it was surprisingly cheap feeling bout it (and not the prices), like looking metal feeling plastic sort of way.
I heard more people had problems with the water, so had I, except that it switched between very hot and very cold. And I barely anything came out of the normal tap.
Also some remarks on the hygiene in the room. The shower-head, the sink, and inside of the cabins, just didn't look very nice. Yellow residues, spots and dust + Silverfish.

and then bout the random luck thing with the hotel-personal.
i could not get them to remove the items from my minibar, witch only took space in the room after I had moved it all out to be able to fit my breakfast/night-food, and half a pizza from pizza-hut. tho a friend managed to do it.
no free TAP-water here either, which i was not prepared for when i asked for it, since previous experiences with bars and pubs in general is that water is always free, even included ice and in most cases even some lemon-slices. that will say, not 3.10€.

Now what ”genius” came up with putting chilli-nuts on the pillow? Not myself, but lots of ppl really are allergic to nuts, and even more gets a really bad stomach from them. Regular chocolate or something lightly minty would be way preferable.

edit: adding to "genius", the thing bout turning off safterymeassures to the elevators?

I would've really appreciated the placement of more trashcans around the place. I don't like keeping trash in my pockets for nearest one, and I even more hate throwing it away somewhere else.

A suggestion from my side bout the art-show is that since it's confusing and I “lost myself” a few times, to add some sort of colors to the different group of panels, just a line of colored tape on bottom and top of each panel, cheap and very simple to be able to keep in mind what panels you've already looked at. Also being able to remember easier what you've looked at and not. And also try to keep it so that the numbers are more continuous. So that the first wall doesn't go “15-20” and the wall next to it says “80-86”, and then finding “21-26” in the other side of the room.

Then, to help the short said horribly stiff mood the hotel it self set, being a solid concrete block with golden edges. Is to put up more colors on the walls to. To cover the gray sterile look of it. Must not be intricate or such, just to be there to lighten up the mood a bit, like the lovely touch with the disco-ball and the huge EuroFurence banners.

And last but not least.
And then about the parking thing. Wow was I not ready for the price-tag on that one.
At least what was read on the sign on the way in to the parking was “18€/day 65€/week”, being 4 that shared the whole cost of everything with the car = awesome.
Except for the small detail bout the final cost of the parking still became all most 130€, even got a comment from the person behind us on his way out “that is way to expensive, you should go to the reception with this”. Well, we did not have the time for that, unfortunately.
So, please make all the parking signs way more clearer, and in English.
Think it's a bit late to call it in tho? and i don't know where the recite went.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Cairyn on 09.09.2010, 00:08:00
Art auction pick up, I think this could have gone quicker if the persons winning pieces were all put together. So the runner just went to the pile and not go searching the entire room for one or two pieces of art. The que system I didn't see in use by the time I came to collect my stuff, so can't comment on that.

But putting together the winning pieces would also take time (granted, not the attendees'...) and would require additional space to put the stacks (we were short on tables). Some cons do it that way, but simply having more runners seems to be a better solution than introducing a completely new step in the process.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: ysegrim on 09.09.2010, 00:15:27
Art auction pick up, I think this could have gone quicker if the persons winning pieces were all put together. So the runner just went to the pile and not go searching the entire room for one or two pieces of art. The que system I didn't see in use by the time I came to collect my stuff, so can't comment on that.

But putting together the winning pieces would also take time (granted, not the attendees'...) and would require additional space to put the stacks (we were short on tables). Some cons do it that way, but simply having more runners seems to be a better solution than introducing a completely new step in the process.

Besides, the number of attendees served per hour would not change at all -- critical path (speed limiting factor) was looking up the badge number, and the actual payment. In the very second the runner starts to fetch your art, the cashier already started to take care of the next attendee. So the actual time saved for each attendee would have been around 30 seconds, out of a 30 minutes wait. Nevertheless, we see that we need to significantly optimize art show pickup -- we are working on it. Thanks for your feedback!
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: drayygon on 09.09.2010, 00:33:35
Art auction pick up, I think this could have gone quicker if the persons winning pieces were all put together. So the runner just went to the pile and not go searching the entire room for one or two pieces of art. The que system I didn't see in use by the time I came to collect my stuff, so can't comment on that.

But putting together the winning pieces would also take time (granted, not the attendees'...) and would require additional space to put the stacks (we were short on tables). Some cons do it that way, but simply having more runners seems to be a better solution than introducing a completely new step in the process.

Besides, the number of attendees served per hour would not change at all -- critical path (speed limiting factor) was looking up the badge number, and the actual payment. In the very second the runner starts to fetch your art, the cashier already started to take care of the next attendee. So the actual time saved for each attendee would have been around 30 seconds, out of a 30 minutes wait. Nevertheless, we see that we need to significantly optimize art show pickup -- we are working on it. Thanks for your feedback!

Fully understand your views, and it does make sense too. Thanks for reading my feedback for sure :)
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: ANTIcarrot on 09.09.2010, 01:05:01
Some minor loose change:
*While I understand EF wants to reward sponsers, I found it frustrating to get to only find out long after the convention started how many things regular membership didn't cover. Though I've been busy the past few months and might have simply missed the announcements. Could this possibly be better advertised next year? Thinking of LSD & DOPE in particular, Could sponsers be given a half hour opertunity to get whatever seat they wanted, and then let the rest of us is?
*The two small panel rooms at the front of the hotel become almost unusable during the fursuit parade when every motorost on the road outside started to test their horn simultaniously. Just something to bare in mind for next year.
*One or two events were held up for lack of a data cable. Can panel organisers please remember to bring essential spares next time?
*Dark Natasha and Shinigamigirl were opposite each other in the dealers den this year. Both are popular artists and it made the issue of narrow isles worse. Given how furs tend to clump around popular artists, could high-throughput artists get a double wide isle nest year?
*While we were in a town centre, some things were still hard to find. Could you add locations of non-obvious essentials like the pharmacy/apothetek? That was a rather painful experience the first day.
*And another vote for removing that awful safe sex guide. Or alternatively add in some other guides, which also have nothing to do with the fandom. :)

And now some herasy...

The size of the room and stage the pawpet show were held in and on this year seemed to create some dificulties that DOPE and LSD hadn't encountered before. Dispite their best efforts I think there might be still have been some growing pains during the performance. I don't know if any of this affected other people, I can only speak for what I did and did not see.

Sadly, the biggest was the cave paintings. While I know these were hand painted by TaniDaReal, and therefore must have looked beautiful up close, from the back of the room, they looked about six inches high, and blurry. I found it very hard to see any detail. The video feed wasn't much better. While you had a better view, the camera had difficulty focusing, and never showed the whole picture. Without naration I would never have understood what I was looking at. If you are going to use illustrations as plot points in the future, could you please consider:
*Making them twice as big
*Filming them in advance under more ideal lighting conditions and angles.
*Use blue light sources in dark conditions carefully; especially when combined with fine detail. The human eye has difficulty focusing such.

It might also be time to start using makeup on the puppets; at least on the one off custom puppets. Furries like to give their characters facial markings for fun, but social animals have these for a reason. They magnify the location of the eyes, and general expression, and make it easier to track where an animal is looking. For the four core characters this wasn't a problem, but the lions and hyenas both had very dark fur, and at times the only reason I know who was talking was because the outline was moving.

Both are technical issues related to venue size. Or it could be both are related to me needing new glasses. As I said, I can only speak from personal experience.

[edit] Since Cheetah asked, from the first line of The Muppet Show. "It's time to put on makeup. It's time to light the lights..." (http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCAQtwIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DUh_aG5MzPVM&rct=j&q=the%20muppet%20show&ei=H0qLTNOFIsjm4gaViYSVCg&usg=AFQjCNER5ehTtE5IJGpalFjBZQM4d4CpVg&sig2=2J-4C3gCAIyXcDsX6fXWLw&cad=rja) Something which seemed appropiet given the multi tiered structure of the hotel. Or alternatively, from the dozens of fursuits which had highlights in their fur. You don't make a cheetah costume by sowing in hundreds of blackpatches, you use spotty fur or you 'paint' the spots on yourself. Which effectively amounts to makeup; whatever you want to call it.[/edit]
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Cheetah on 09.09.2010, 02:54:36
It might also be time to start using makeup on the puppets

Seriously, dude, what have you been smoking?
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Jet_der_hund on 09.09.2010, 02:57:15
I am sorry Dhary Montecore. While I agree that parking for 18 Euro a day is not out of line for a 4 star hotel in the US, heck I have seen it as high as $60 a day. Being charged for tap water was mind blowing to me. I have stayed in more then a few 4 star hotels and even 5 star hotels in the US and never once been charged for tap water. 6.50 for a coke... again mind blowing to me, the most I have seen at a 5 star US hotel was $3.50 for a small glass. This was no 5 star hotel, heck I have been to fancier 4 star.

As for delays I worked stage crew in the past, there will be delays and it does happen. How ever 1+ hour delays are really poor planing for understanding how long it takes to do a strike and cut over. I am sure that will be worked on for next year. (though it did happen some last year too)

Over all I actually liked the hotel, the staff seemed to warm up to the event as time went on and I think next year will be in full swing of it. The food near by was great! Quick run to the market for beer and water solved the hotel's high price problem (sorry that the hotel lost out money wise on that, but lower the price and i would have not needed to exit the hotel to buy beer, soda, and water).  Cheetah, the con staff was great! You have one amazing team and any con would be proud to have such a fine working staff. All my dealings with the staff was top end.

I dont feel the drive to come back as I had w/ Ringberg. But it was a good US style larger con and I very much enjoyed myself. I did enjoy waking around the city and seeing the sites. I just feel it lost the intimacy of the Ringberg.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: ysegrim on 09.09.2010, 08:34:48
Being charged for tap water was mind blowing to me. I have stayed in more then a few 4 star hotels and even 5 star hotels in the US and never once been charged for tap water.

Well, to me, as a German, it is mind blowing that people think they could go to a restaurant and expect to get a drink for free.
It is absolutely unusual to order tap water in a German restaurant except for taking medicines, or for your dog (and fursuits don't count :) ) and even in these cases, I see no reason for a restaurant not to charge you for service, the ice, cleaning, and basically for the time you are blocking their seats for paying customers. I am actually surprised that some people
managed to persuade some patrons ... Personally, I consider this to be begging. I agree, though, that 3.50 is way too much (and that I generally expect a glass of water to be included in certain items, like espresso.)
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: nifelan on 09.09.2010, 12:24:51
Being charged for tap water was mind blowing to me. I have stayed in more then a few 4 star hotels and even 5 star hotels in the US and never once been charged for tap water.

Well, to me, as a German, it is mind blowing that people think they could go to a restaurant and expect to get a drink for free.
It is absolutely unusual to order tap water in a German restaurant except for taking medicines, or for your dog (and fursuits don't count :) ) and even in these cases, I see no reason for a restaurant not to charge you for service, the ice, cleaning, and basically for the time you are blocking their seats for paying customers. I am actually surprised that some people
managed to persuade some patrons ... Personally, I consider this to be begging. I agree, though, that 3.50 is way too much (and that I generally expect a glass of water to be included in certain items, like espresso.)
Ordering tap water in Austria has been a thing I've known for years now and it wasn't a problem at the restaurants in Magdeburg either. Only the hotel decided to charge absurd amounts of money for a glass of f-in tap water.
I mean, if they charge like 50 cents for the glass, I'm okay with that - but having regular drinks cost LESS than plain tap water? Seriously.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Drift on 09.09.2010, 16:06:40
The hotel def. charges to much for tab water. But as we know that now, next year it should not be a problem to go to your room, take a glass from the mini bar and have a drink from yout tab in the bath room. For free! I actually filled my empty water bottle and carried it around in my back pack.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Mooie on 09.09.2010, 16:53:39
Not overly much to say, really.

Some things I personally found a bit towards the negative side:

And some more positive stuff:

Other than that - lovely con again.  Getting larger, though, so maybe is nearing when I might opt out, but that's not due to the con itself, rather the sheer amount of people.

I can also not see the problem with Zoe(?) being around.  She obviously loved the event and most loved having her around.  So, not an issue.  And for the morals?  Haha.  I shall probably not tell what I've grown up around, then.  So, nah.  Have a few more other kids her age around instead and it'd probably be even better.  Both people her own age and a theme she seems to love being involved in.

I also did not have any troubles with the hotel staff.  Probably it was a bit of a shock for them in the beginning, but they relaxed as the days passed. :-)  The mundanes were fun too, some more than the others.  Like the bloke and his boss who were sat in the Piano Bar as I recorded his boss nodding lots to himself.  Mmm.. poor drunk boss.  :P

Anyway, see you all, well, most of you anyway, next year!  Maybe even in suit... *hopes*
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: krakendwaggin on 09.09.2010, 18:48:14
(whoever put up that 'Ordinary Smoker - Reekus Fumus' on the smokers lounge, you sir/madam are awesome)

*bows* Thank you :) I still try to get our board of directors to allow our security to have disinfectant sprayers with them :D

(http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a349/krakendwaggin/EFsmokerssign.jpg)

Well I was saying that we felt like a zoo exibit when people went in there for a smoke, then the next day the sign appeared, it was awesome and raised a smile from everyone ^_^

I met so many awesome people in there, it better be back next year hehe.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Dhary Montecore on 09.09.2010, 18:50:59
Well I was saying that we felt like a zoo exibit when people went in there for a smoke, then the next day the sign appeared, it was awesome and raised a smile from everyone ^_^

I met so many awesome people in there, it better be back next year hehe.

Don't you worry, I will personally see that there'll be at least something like that again :3
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Onkel Kage on 09.09.2010, 18:53:33
I see a lot of people complaining that the "spirit" of the convention had somehow changed.  Please be reminded that it is not the hotel, the staff or the programming who make up the spirit of the convention.  It is the attendees themselves.  I don't think they changed at all, except for one thing:  this year I heard quite a lot of moaning about things that were either comically trivial, or were completely out of the control of the staff.

For a first-year-in-a-new-hotel convention I think that things went remarkably smoothly.  Not much happened that could not be attributed to "oh, so THAT'S how it works here" syndrome.  

I noticed that elevator etiquette has not really taken shape at EF since this is really the first year that it has been an issue.  There are a few things that everyone can do to alleviate the long wait-times:

1)  Do not push both elevator buttons, and likewise, do not get onto an up-moving elevator to move down, nor a down-moving elevator to move up.  It does not get you there any faster, and all it does is slow the entire process down.  If you push the down button and then ride the elevator up, the car is going to stop on your floor anyway on its way down, and that simply delays the trip.

2)  Figure out where the stairs are.  Yes, there was one set of stairs that could be accessed by key card at all levels (except, mysteriously, the 4th, which I think was an error on the hotel's part).  There were also stairs that went between the ground and "C" level, which brings me to another point:

3)  Do not get into an elevator to travel fewer than three floors away unless you are (a) elderly, (b) incapacitated, (c) burdened with heavy objects, or (d) American.

There was only one part of the convention that I really did not like.  I do not think that I shall be attending the feedback session next year.  Not that the staff did anything wrong -- I was instead angered by many of the complaints that I heard.

"The food was too expensive."  It was very cheap next door.  Take a walk.  It's not even raining.

"The hotel staff was rude."  Get the name of the staff member and then immediately tell the hotel manager.  He's in a much better position to do something about it five minutes after the fact than Cheetah is three days after the fact.

"The water temperature in my room did not work."  The last time I checked, Cheetah is not a plumber.  Nor is he an elevator repairman, an electrician, or a locksmith.  If you have an issue with the hotel, take it to the front desk.  Surprisingly enough, they have mechanisms in place to deal with such matters.

"How were we supposed to know about XXXX?"  Read the con book.  85% of the questions that begin with these words lie within those pages.

"The art auction was too long."  I'm sorry.  I tried my best.

"You should provide XXXX for us."  Please remember that XXXX does not grow on trees.  It must be purchased (or rented, or otherwise obtained) and once obtained, it must be stored, maintained and transported.  The return on investment must outweigh the cost of the item plus the cost of those three factors.

Running a convention is unimaginably hard work.  I can tell you that from experience.  These are people who are spending their own holiday time from work, putting in hundreds of hours of planning, suffering from stress that very often leads to nightmares, ulcers and elevated blood pressure (watch for blood vessels bursting in the sclera of the eyes), working themselves to the point of physical exhaustion and sometimes reduced to tears of frustration, and receiving no pay or substantial reward of any kind for the sole purpose of trying to make sure other people have a good time, who then must sit quietly and listen to "I don't think I'm coming back next year because the pillows here are too lumpy."  

So no, I will not be attending the feedback panel again, simply because it is getting too difficult to stop myself from leaping over the chairs and rearranging someone's face.

In my absence, please keep in mind this simple rule:  If you have a complaint, it is considered good form that it be followed immediately with suggestions for improvement.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: SouthPaw on 09.09.2010, 19:43:04
2)  Figure out where the stairs are.  Yes, there was one set of stairs that could be accessed by key card at all levels (except, mysteriously, the 4th, which I think was an error on the hotel's part).

Having done some investigation, it appears that the catch plate for the locking mechanism on the fourth floor was loose, so the door was catching against it.

And yeah, I forgot to mention that to the Front Desk...I fail.

Cheers,

Southie
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Cairyn on 09.09.2010, 20:25:30
"The art auction was too long."  I'm sorry.  I tried my best.

And we are very thankful for it. Who, if not you, would make the auction an evening event?

Most likely, we will go up to ten-bids-to-auction next year to lower the number of auction pieces, and make some restrictions on charity items to be auctioned off. It's just... too much.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: krakendwaggin on 09.09.2010, 21:07:10

2)  Figure out where the stairs are.  Yes, there was one set of stairs that could be accessed by key card at all levels (except, mysteriously, the 4th, which I think was an error on the hotel's part).  There were also stairs that went between the ground and "C" level, which brings me to another point:


With the exception of the stairs between Ground and 'C', finding the other stairs was a real challenge, I did go into a stairwell and ended up being unable to get anywhere, this was at the other end of the hotel, the 'main' staircase was tucked away in the corner and not signposted, but we did try to use them when we found them!.

Also Elevator Etiquette was absent, I don't care how long anyone has stood at the elevators for, if a 'suiter is waiting, let them in first, no matter what.

Setting off the weight alarm was quite funny though, rated for 13 people hrmm?, 8 furs and *BBZZZZT*, overloaded, that made me laugh!, stopping at floors "oh are you light enough?" *bbzzzt* "oh we're sorry try again next time!".
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Schakaline on 09.09.2010, 21:11:04

2)  Figure out where the stairs are.  Yes, there was one set of stairs that could be accessed by key card at all levels (except, mysteriously, the 4th, which I think was an error on the hotel's part).  There were also stairs that went between the ground and "C" level, which brings me to another point:


With the exception of the stairs between Ground and 'C', finding the other stairs was a real challenge, I did go into a stairwell and ended up being unable to get anywhere, this was at the other end of the hotel, the 'main' staircase was tucked away in the corner and not signposted, but we did try to use them when we found them!.


"Zu den Hoteletagen"? :P
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: krakendwaggin on 09.09.2010, 21:18:46
"Zu den Hoteletagen"? :P

I'm English!, yeah it says Germany that's cus I live here but meine deutsch ist kaput!
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Fangz on 09.09.2010, 21:46:23
Not overly much to say, really.

Some things I personally found a bit towards the negative side:
  • Lack of space for being simply social in.  Perhaps use one "function room" for that?  At least after the SIGs have ended.  The game rooms were brilliant in that sense.
...

And some more positive stuff:
  • Room keys.  Just lovely.  Even if I got a separate room key when I arrived, that was no problem changing it to my con badge.
...

I also did not have any troubles with the hotel staff.  Probably it was a bit of a shock for them in the beginning, but they relaxed as the days passed. :-)  The mundanes were fun too, some more than the others.  Like the bloke and his boss who were sat in the Piano Bar as I recorded his boss nodding lots to himself.  Mmm.. poor drunk boss.  :P

Anyway, see you all, well, most of you anyway, next year!  Maybe even in suit... *hopes*


I think I gotta agree one on point there, atlest thats what I think and all I talked too meant. They and me mainly complains about the lack of social space compare too at the ringberg, where there was a lobby with ALOT of seats and pawsome outdoor and bbq areas. I really hated the lobby area in this hotel, it does not seem suitable for sutch gatherings imo.

Also they keys was great, finnaly both of the roomies could have a kay! yay :P I forgot too mention it as I found the more funny method of juck  carefully hitting on the middle of the door that opened it without card :P

And the hotel staff seemed polite enough too me, didnt have any problems there either :) tho the rest of the city seemed too wanna set us on fire or something :P specialy ppl working in resturants nearby ^^ hehe[/list][/list]
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Drift on 09.09.2010, 22:07:17
Hm, I really liked the the lobby! The seats are sooooo confy! And watching: furries riding the elevator, getting stuck in it, suiters prouncing around the gallery, hotel staff expressions, artists working, people coming and going, no-furry-guests trying the best to blend in or to ignore, the reflection of the disco ball at the ceiling dancing around... Man, it was like sitting in a TV room watching 5 channels at the same time! 
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Xenofur on 09.09.2010, 22:17:33
So no, I will not be attending the feedback panel again, simply because it is getting too difficult to stop myself from leaping over the chairs and rearranging someone's face.
If that is the case then i will have to reconsider my attendance at the next EF.  >:(



Just kidding.  ;)

I was surprised they let the russian guy go on for so long in the first place and I'd like to say: Your presence was probably a big help to the staff up in front, precisely because you have a low bullshit threshold. Your action was the highlight there which showed what the overall opinion was, in contrast to the relatively few complaints of a few individuals.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: BluePaw on 09.09.2010, 22:59:59
2)  Figure out where the stairs are.  Yes, there was one set of stairs that could be accessed by key card at all levels (except, mysteriously, the 4th, which I think was an error on the hotel's part).  There were also stairs that went between the ground and "C" level, which brings me to another point:
as some has said
me and some friends did at some points realy try to use them when it was clearly vissible that the elevators would take way to long.
but for some reason we failed to open any door at all that wasn't on the compleatly wrong floor. a few was on lvl 2, i was on lvl 3, and some on lvl 4. we got out on lvl 5-6 tho, that would've needed the elevators anyway. and that at least was for the 2 staircases that we just found by accident.
probably the sollution to it would be to:
1. print out and put up some clearly marked out signs on were the stairs are, and what floor you're on (plz).
2. is to leave the doors open if possible. or ask the hotel (kindly) to do a maintinence-service of the locks a little bit before the con arrives?

allso, someone said earlier bout having to have their room-keys remade several times. and another said something bout "if you swipe them in the wrong door"? that might comply to the swipes in the staircases as well?
should be checked out.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Onkel Kage on 10.09.2010, 02:36:35
I was surprised they let the russian guy go on for so long in the first place and I'd like to say: Your presence was probably a big help to the staff up in front, precisely because you have a low bullshit threshold. Your action was the highlight there which showed what the overall opinion was, in contrast to the relatively few complaints of a few individuals.

Actually, I really ought to apologize to the staff for butting in.  It really wasn't my place.  I blame the wine.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Cheetah on 10.09.2010, 02:42:05
Actually, I really ought to apologize to the staff for butting in.  It really wasn't my place.  I blame the wine.

You can say all the things I sometimes can't say. Feel free to "butt in" with your opinion as much as you like :) And if you need something to blame, I'll get you as much wine as you need :)
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Korrok on 10.09.2010, 10:09:33

3)  Do not get into an elevator to travel fewer than three floors away unless you are (a) elderly, (b) incapacitated, (c) burdened with heavy objects, or (d) American.

Actually I got into a crowded elevator to travel 2 floors and heard grumbling about it. I'd like to point out, I have a (short-term I hope) severe back problem, which causes me a whole lot of pain while walking even a short distance, carrying etc. You generally cannot tell this just by looking at me, I am not technically incapacitated. So please, don't judge people on appearances and what you think they should be able to do.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Tungro on 10.09.2010, 12:26:01
The board of directors have overall say on pretty much everything. Their decision is not made based on who is in the clique (not click, it's from French) but based on the reasons behind it. The reasons were stated by Fairlight elsewhere in this thread and in other threads, and the decision made was made with lots of conditions such as the constant supervision of her. The fact the board knows Fairlight certainly helps, because they know that he is a dependable person who can be 100% trusted to take care of her and make sure she only sees what she should see. That's not being cliquey - that's evaluation of a person's abilities and responsibilities.

Nobody is doing this to demoralise anyone. You offered an opinion, you were told it was a board decision and it should be dropped, and you then accuse the board of bias and being cliquey. I'm sorry, but your comment was the first to turn it from genuine feedback into an attack.

In order to try and steer this back on track, here is some of my feedback.

* Hotel prices were ok, with the exception of the coke. People have mentioned it and laboured the point, but in essence, I would like to think that most people would prefer to pay the hotel for drinks than bring in their own, because they want the hotel to be pleased with the convention so that we can return. This would hold even if the hotel prices are more expensive. But if they are majorly more expensive, people won't pay for it. So no, I don't expect the hotel to charge supermarket prices. But I do expect a better balance between hotel markup and taking-the-mick prices.
* Hotel itself - I liked it. There were more nooks and crannies for people to hide in, which made socialising a little difficult if you were trying to track someone down. There are a number of people that have said to me post-EF that they never saw me once. But I do like the nearness of the SIG rooms to the foyer, as there was a decent amount of traffic flow as opposed to the Ringberg where it was all on a separate floor.
* Art show - all I want to say has been said elsewhere, so I won't mention it.
* Den - very crowded. Could the Fursuit Lounge be divided so that half of it is art show and half the fursuiters lounge, with suitable separated path so suiters don't have to walk through the art show to get past? Then the Den could move to where the art show was.
* Hotel rooms - nice and spacious. Not much to report other than spot on! Had some issues with the water flow in the shower causing it to be scalding one moment, freezing the next, but it was bearable. If I get that next year, I'll report it to the hotel so that something can be done about it. Own swipecards - a godsend! And the fact it was integrated with the EF badge was great too. If I wore a hat, I'd take it off to whoever came up with that idea.

All in all, I had a great time and am looking forward to next year's EF!
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Schneelocke on 10.09.2010, 13:23:31
Since this is "honest feedback" and since there's been so much been posted in the way of criticism already, I'd just like to say: EF16 rocked, and all the staff members have every right to be damn proud of themselves, because they did a terrific job - for free, in their own spare time, for no other reason than that they love doing what they do. That's my honest feedback.

Here's to you! Thanks for another wonderful con.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: o'wolf on 10.09.2010, 13:26:45
Moderator's note: I split off the bickering about children of staff members being present. Any further comments on that topic (or the related forum moderation) will be deleted.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Xaneorath on 10.09.2010, 13:52:11
I REALLY enjoyed this years EF, and want to thank the Orga for their hard work.
Why is that? Considering I went to it with various bad feelings, I was pretty surprised myself.
I got various personal stuff to take care lately, and at first I was like "oh, just perfect, an Anthromorphous Animal Convention without any nature around ..", considering nature and atmosphere being a very important part of the whole "Inner Animal"-idea. (Or furry character, if you prefer that one)
I really hated the last EF which was staged in a youth hostel in the middle of a city, and already feared for the worst. (Dont actually remember which it was ... ah, doesnt matter)
Yet, the convention was incredibly relaxing and inspiring for me.
Just because ... its not all as bad as we make it to be. ;)

Lets give some positive Feedback, considering all the bad stuff I can think of has already been said.
- The food and drinks was actually affordable. Not in the hotel but around. The Palazzo right next door had really great food for reasonable prices. Yummy, Milkshakes. ^^   Also there was a supermarket right around the corner, and the cocktail bar "One" which was really worthwhile to be at as well. Ok, people will split up a lot more, with the prices at the hotel as they were. But seriously? I hated the prices and selection at good old ringberg, if it was getting late and I wanted to get something to eat without having to drive down into the city. This time we got alternatives! Also I do think that there were enough people to meet and socialize with, considering we got this huge size, and there were furries walking around literaly everywhere.
- The times I had to wait for the elevators were actually quite rare and short. Of course there was a bit of waiting time involved.. but cmon, if you are in a hurry, take the stairway. I myself found it pretty interesting to see/meet other people in the elevator and being able to talk to them or think about them. Oh, that and one of my most inspiring moments actually took place in an elevator. ^^
- The form of the hotel ... I enjoyed it a lot and found it to be incredibly fitting. Nothing was as mentionable as to look down from a distance at the community we are part of and letting the thoughts flow.
- The dancefloor did seem a lot more "open" and inviting. I think the Maritim-Stage is a lot more suited for it than Ringberg ever was. But well, maybe thats just me.

As negative sidenotes ... hrm... actually I can only think of the camera-discussion. I too believe that it takes away a lot of comfort to be filmed all the time. But well, I have no intention to bring up yet another discussion about it. ^^
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Ravell on 10.09.2010, 15:01:55
Also Elevator Etiquette was absent, I don't care how long anyone has stood at the elevators for, if a 'suiter is waiting, let them in first, no matter what.

I don't think it was as bad as it could have been. I've been to conventions where it's been MUCH worse. The situation only got bad when one or more elevators broke, which obviously the staff can't do anything about. My biggest issue with Elevator Etiquette was when I had to move all my stuff to the car at the end of the con; people could see I was in the elevator with lots of stuff trying to get out, but instead of waiting decided to pile in anyway so now I couldn't get out.

Basicly, if you're annoyed the elevator is taking so long, don't take it out on those already on.

As for the stairs, was great to have the option, but yeah, it could be tricky to find them on some floors. How about some simple signs near them so you can tell which door to take?
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Alpha_Ki on 10.09.2010, 15:23:13
* Den - very crowded. Could the Fursuit Lounge be divided so that half of it is art show and half the fursuiters lounge, with suitable separated path so suiters don't have to walk through the art show to get past? Then the Den could move to where the art show was.

Nice suggestion, but both, artshow and dealers den, have to be locked down during the nights. Or we need more security to keep an eye on the stuff all around the clock.
Fursuit Lounge needs to be open all the time.

But the Den-Team already has a solution for next year: We will split up Dealers Den and Artist Alley again and put them in two rooms next to each other. So the fursuiters can stay in that large room and the dens have more space and lockable doors. :)
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: gaz_a on 10.09.2010, 16:43:13
Being charged for tap water was mind blowing to me. I have stayed in more then a few 4 star hotels and even 5 star hotels in the US and never once been charged for tap water.

Well, to me, as a German, it is mind blowing that people think they could go to a restaurant and expect to get a drink for free.
It is absolutely unusual to order tap water in a German restaurant except for taking medicines, or for your dog (and fursuits don't count :) ) and even in these cases, I see no reason for a restaurant not to charge you for service, the ice, cleaning, and basically for the time you are blocking their seats for paying customers. I am actually surprised that some people
managed to persuade some patrons ... Personally, I consider this to be begging. I agree, though, that 3.50 is way too much (and that I generally expect a glass of water to be included in certain items, like espresso.)

In most countries a restaurant will provide free water as a service to customers who do not want to drink alcohol.  In the US you get a glass of water as soon as you sit down, and it's refilled regularly.   In the UK in March of this year it became law that any licensed premises must provide free tap water on request.

In reality, very few people are going to walk in and demand just free water, drink it and then leave.  It is designed to ensure that people don't drink alcohol because it is cheaper than the alternatives, and so that people dilute their alcohol intake and don't get ill.

Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Drift on 10.09.2010, 17:14:14
Quote
In most countries a restaurant will provide free water as a service to customers who do not want to drink alcohol.  In the US you get a glass of water as soon as you sit down, and it's refilled regularly. 
Unfortunately not in Germany. The glas of free tap water is something I really miss when coming back from Italy, or the jug of water/caraffe d'eau in Irleand/France.

Quote
In the UK in March of this year it became law that any licensed premises must provide free tap water on request.
As the matter of fact, in Germany bars/restaurants are obliged to sell at least one alcohol free drink that is cheaper than the cheapest alcoholic beverage.
(with ajusted amounts of course).
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Kimu on 10.09.2010, 21:55:10
I'll just be quick about it ;)

Pros:
- very nice rooms
- large fursuit lounge
- parking with decent prices not far away
- shopping mall and restourants nearby
- keycards

Cons:
- too little space to sit/hang out in the main hall (get additional sofas or something temporary)
- extremly expensive drinks! I mena rly rly expensive, didn't bought anything from hotel! Also no free tap water?? For example they can charge everyone 5€ more and provide free water
- lack of washing machines for normal prices - after 5 days of intensive suiting the fursuit just looks (and smells) awfull. And 50 euros for washing at the hotel, c'mon...
- a bit too short (make it a week?)
- there was a slight lack of hanging racks with fans so it wasn't always possible to dry stuff (repair the broken fan or get 1 extra)
- fursuit games were not that good and performing on stage, why?, and the preliminary contest sucked. Why couldnt everyone join in the large hall and have fun together?

Ideas:
- organize more fursuiting in the streets like at the parade
- MORE music and dancing, doesn't have to be anything special, just more music
- free wifi untill the end of the con

Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Vector on 10.09.2010, 22:07:42
- lack of washing machines for normal prices - after 5 days of intensive suiting the fursuit just looks (and smells) awfull. And 50 euros for washing at the hotel, c'mon...
- a bit too short (make it a week?)

If you're coming to a furry con as a fursuiter, you should always bring with you a fan to dry your fursuit & lycras everytime you use them. Small fans that fit in a suitcase exist. ;)

And never ever forget a sanitizer like Febreze (the antibacterial one). Just spray your fursuit and put it in front of your fan. I never had a smell issue even after 2 weeks of convention & vacations with intensive fursuiting.

I think EF is long enough for attendees, fursuiters & con staff ! Everyone is exhausted at the end of the convention and not sure that the attendees could afford a whole week con.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Colifox/Rizzorat on 10.09.2010, 23:02:29
Some general feedback points from myself based on what I have read and own observations:

1. Prices

I am not going to grumble about prices - the reason being is I acknowledge the fact that I was in a 4* city centre hotel, and the drinks/meals were priced accordingly.  Also, following a conversation with several of the EF staff members, I was made aware that some of the prices had indeed already been lowered to accommodate the convention and comparatively to other hotels I have stayed in, or bars of the same calibre (posh upper class cocktail), they were priced reasonably.

As the Venue Liaison for ConFuzzled, I know of the headaches that come from trying to negotiate on lower prices and whilst it is obviously always our main aim to offer the cheapest prices as possible to our attendees, you have to acknowledge that the hotel is a business, and they are looking to make money and a turnover on their sales.  I cannot personally comment for Eurofurence, but I do know how XX amount of thousands of pounds the CF hotel have offered us in the way of a discount - and these costs need to be covered in wet/dry sales.   Perhaps it’s not unreasonable to ask people to consider that logic when complaining about costs.

In addition, there were dozens upon dozens of places to eat and drink out of the hotel.  I think people have lost touch with the fact that the convention hotel is just a hub.  You do not have to, nor would I encourage you, to stay there the entire time.  How many of you were visiting Germany for the first time?  You should have gone out into the town, enjoyed the culture, and taken in the architecture.  This is personal preference of course, but the main point is, there were PLENTY of options, and if you had groups of friends to socialise with, this should have in no way compromised your enjoyment or overall con experience by NOT being in the venue 24/7

2. Key cards/rooms/Housekeeping

Absolutely 100% perfect for me.  Again my own personal experience.  I can only assume people that ended up being locked out of their rooms because roommates had to have their cards re-swiped, in effect rendering any other magnetic cards for that room obsolete.  This again was something we suffered a lot of at ConFuzzled.

The rooms were spacious, everything was clean, everything worked, and I could not fault it on single bit.  So much so infact, I left a thank you note on my pillow the day I left, because I was simply that impressed.

I wasn’t personally disturbed by housekeeping once.  I put my 'Do not disturb' banner out on a nightly basis and was never bothered.  My roommate used the phone facility to call up more towels one afternoon, we had them within 2 minutes.  When we did leave the room, every day we came back to made beds, and folded sheets.  Perfect service!

3. Elevators

I am beginning to think I am the only person that feels the lifts at this hotel were infinitely easier to use, and more reliable, than those of the Ringburg.  I never queued more than about a minute anytime I tried to use one.   It amused me greatly how many people did congregate around the glass elevators and neglected the enclosed ones at the rear of the hotel.  My only annoyance was, and to echo Kage on this, people getting in the elevator for the sake of 1 floor - especially from ground to conference level.  There were stairs available.  If I can traverse them in fursuit, I am sure all others can also manage them, even if to simply speed up your own waiting time.

4. Hotel Staff

I heard rumours of rude staff, but didn’t once encounter it.  Infact, there was one girl in particular behind the bar whom I felt I had been rude to, apologised to her and she promptly laughed it off (assuming I was a drunk Brit no doubt) and was incredibly friendly.  I also noticed she was there EVERYDAY from 2pm till we were kicked out of the bar.  I was there every night at closing, sometimes it was as late as 6am.  Spare a thought for her, and the other bar staff, who worked those incredibly long hours to ensure we were served.

5. 'That Kid'

I will no doubt be biased here as I am incredibly close to and good friends with her parents, but can for that very reason assure everyone that she was not once left un-attended, and was always watched, if even sometimes from afar so as to allow her her own space and enjoyment of the convention.  In addition to this, as a social group of friends, there are several of us that are very close and almost if you will like an uncle to her.  I assure you again she was always under responsible and watchful eyes.

I do think some of the comments towards this situation have been of an attacking nature, and really should stop.  I can fully appreciate the comment stating that it seems to be flaunting the rules for this one individual however, I think given the sheer amount of hard work, time, money and effort Fairlight puts into the convention now, and over the years, this is a privilege he can be bestowed.  

6. Fursuit lounge

OMG - Awesome.  Enough said.

7. Only negative comment

The only one piece of negative feedback I have is regarding one individual member of Eurofurence staff on the security team.  This person was very forceful in pushing me in a direction towards the hotel right at the end of the fursuit parade when I was both tired, dehydrated, and extremely hot and sweaty.  I did mention this to two members of staff, and they did indeed correctly point out who I should raise the complaint too.  However, I decided not to carry this forward because I think all it came down to was inexperience on this individual’s part in knowing how to handle tired and thirsty fursuiters.  Also, I imagine he was actually trying to be helpful in steering me in the correct direction for my own safety, but did so in a less than pleasant way.

My feedback would be therefore, that anyone chaperoning the fursuit walk or acting as a guide needs better education how to act as a handler so as to avoid any discomfort on the fursuiters part.  He really was very pushy and hands on.

That’s it really.  There are lots more pros and cons I am sure I could go into, but all so trivial, they wouldn’t be worth mentioning.  I would however extend my gratitude towards ALL the con staff for making this a particularly enjoyable experience, and certainly the best one I have had since EF12, which was my first ever convention.  Thank you all! (sorry this was so long!)

Colifox/Rizzorat
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Dhary Montecore on 10.09.2010, 23:10:29
7. Only negative comment

The only one piece of negative feedback I have is regarding one individual member of Eurofurence staff on the security team.  This person was very forceful in pushing me in a direction towards the hotel right at the end of the fursuit parade when I was both tired, dehydrated, and extremely hot and sweaty.  I did mention this to two members of staff, and they did indeed correctly point out who I should raise the complaint too.  However, I decided not to carry this forward because I think all it came down to was inexperience on this individual’s part in knowing how to handle tired and thirsty fursuiters.  Also, I imagine he was actually trying to be helpful in steering me in the correct direction for my own safety, but did so in a less than pleasant way.

My feedback would be therefore, that anyone chaperoning the fursuit walk or acting as a guide needs better education how to act as a handler so as to avoid any discomfort on the fursuiters part.  He really was very pushy and hands on.

That’s it really.  There are lots more pros and cons I am sure I could go into, but all so trivial, they wouldn’t be worth mentioning.  I would however extend my gratitude towards ALL the con staff for making this a particularly enjoyable experience, and certainly the best one I have had since EF12, which was my first ever convention.  Thank you all! (sorry this was so long!)

Colifox/Rizzorat


Thank you for your feedback here. I promise I will personally see to it that the whole security team will be briefed more closely on that matter. Please accept my sincere apology in the name of that security member.

Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Mystifur on 10.09.2010, 23:23:00
- there was a slight lack of hanging racks with fans so it wasn't always possible to dry stuff (repair the broken fan or get 1 extra)

I have to second this. The Fursuit Lounge was terribly small and barely equipped.

How are we supposed to squeeze into a room that is just 450 m² big?  ???

And there where only 120 fursuit hanging spaces on the racks, not to mention that only 56 of them were hooked to the nowhere else to be found drying system. And you weren't even allowed to put your head on one of the 11 industrial blowers for drying it. Instead you had to use one of the 55 spaces on the actual head-dryer blowing system. :o

In no way are 9000 Watts of blower power sufficient for any fursuit lounge. Nor was the free and constant supply of 3 sorts of beverages and sweets.  ::)

Realy.. we need to work on this, folks.

(http://tigress.com/mystifur/ef16public/EF16_Lounge_Panorama.jpg)


Other than that, I really appreciated both: Everyones occasional 'thanks for all the work' and everyones constructive criticism. And we're already making plans on how to further improve our fursuit support.  ;D

And to everyone of you who feels that certain replies from staff members to your feedback may be a bit bitchy, I ask you to keep three things in mind:

1) Every single person of the planning staff puts several weekends, lots and lots of personal money, and even unpaid holidays into making this convention happen. They do not get any money for this, they even pay their confee, they do not get freebees. The ONLY single thing that keeps them doing this is seeing you guys enjoying the con and saying "Thank you".
That being said, we still want and need your feedback. But try to put it in friendly words and make suggestions on ho to improve things, instead of saying "That sucked, and you have to make it this way" because basically..no.. we don't have to. We're volunteers.

2) When you still feel the need to _demand_ changes: Think twice, if it actually is something that Eurofurence has influence on.

3) And lastly, and please don't get me wrong here, if we hear the same complaint for the 200th time, that is about something that we really have no influence on or can not be changed for practical reasons, we DO get annoyed, just like you would. We are just humans. And furries to make it worse. And for weeks of non profit volunteer work, all we get is "You do this wrong" over and over again.

So, keep in mind we're volunteers making that happen. And how much of EF would actually be left, if at some point we all decided that doing so much wrong is no fun any more and stopped doing it.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Dhary Montecore on 10.09.2010, 23:35:39
EF security note: The photo in the last post was done by the team lead for the Fursuits Support Team himself. ;D
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Skie on 10.09.2010, 23:51:51
Being charged for tap water was mind blowing to me. I have stayed in more then a few 4 star hotels and even 5 star hotels in the US and never once been charged for tap water.

Well, to me, as a German, it is mind blowing that people think they could go to a restaurant and expect to get a drink for free.
It is absolutely unusual to order tap water in a German restaurant except for taking medicines, or for your dog (and fursuits don't count :) ) and even in these cases, I see no reason for a restaurant not to charge you for service, the ice, cleaning, and basically for the time you are blocking their seats for paying customers. I am actually surprised that some people
managed to persuade some patrons ... Personally, I consider this to be begging. I agree, though, that 3.50 is way too much (and that I generally expect a glass of water to be included in certain items, like espresso.)

In most countries a restaurant will provide free water as a service to customers who do not want to drink alcohol.  In the US you get a glass of water as soon as you sit down, and it's refilled regularly.   In the UK in March of this year it became law that any licensed premises must provide free tap water on request.

In reality, very few people are going to walk in and demand just free water, drink it and then leave.  It is designed to ensure that people don't drink alcohol because it is cheaper than the alternatives, and so that people dilute their alcohol intake and don't get ill.

Yes, Germany is weird like that :)
In Israel you could always ask for free tap water as much as you want in a restaurant. After all you still pay for the food. And that's in a country that has water problems o.O

But hey, we also have service in every restaurant, something that Germany unfortunately lacks (no offense) and it's very rare there.

BTW, water was free at the Ringberg :P

Anyway, this is mostly amuses me it reached Feedback.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Cheetah on 11.09.2010, 01:39:53
Yes, Germany is weird like that :)

Just a little background on the "no free water" thing: From 1933 till 2001 there was a law in effect in Germany that made it illegal to add free givaways to any kind of purchase or give personal discounts. So giving you a free glass of water would have been illegal. I guess it made sense in 1933, but the world has change a lot since then :) But this law has been in effect for so long, it became a part of the culture. So even today for many store owners it still feels wrong to give you free refills, free water, or even negotiate an individual rebate. They grew up in a corporate environment where this used to be a taboo. Things like these need many years to get out of the system.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Skie on 11.09.2010, 02:39:31
Yes, Germany is weird like that :)

Just a little background on the "no free water" thing: From 1933 till 2001 there was a law in effect in Germany that made it illegal to add free givaways to any kind of purchase or give personal discounts. So giving you a free glass of water would have been illegal. I guess it made sense in 1933, but the world has change a lot since then :) But this law has been in effect for so long, it became a part of the culture. So even today for many store owners it still feels wrong to give you free refills, free water, or even negotiate an individual rebate. They grew up in a corporate environment where this used to be a taboo. Things like these need many years to get out of the system.

That's ok, cultures are different, I'm not really complaining :)
It's very interesting to know though.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: K.P. on 11.09.2010, 04:21:56
I was unfortunately unable to attend Eurofurence this year due to personal reasons.  I'm really sad that I could not make it (and hope to be back next year), but I have been watching and listening to the feedback with a great deal of interest.  If folks would permit me, I'd like to add a perspective that many people may not be able to see.

I staff multiple conventions in the US.  Of those, only one is in the same city/state in which I reside.  It's very difficult for convention staffers to anticipate every conceivable problem that can happen at a new venue when they are not able to be at the hotel/venue at a moment's notice for planning.  Moving to a new venue is never easy.  Every convention that I staff has gone through the moving process for one reason or another.  Whether it be growth, or loss of the facility, moving is painful for the staff because they need to build new relationships with new hotels and buildings.  At the same time, they can feel like they are losing close friends with the former hotel.  The very first time a furry convention moves to a new hotel, there is almost always a little "culture shock".  People need time to get to know us, and we need to get to know them.  So please, as much as folks may love the staff and layout of the Ringberg, give the Maritim and its staff a chance.  Let them get to know us and see what new kind of environment the Maritim can give us that will be different, but just as much fun.  (There were concerns about moving from the castle to the Ringberg, but it worked out just fine...give this new place a chance.)

The other thing that I believe the EF staff think you understand, so they don't say it outright, is that they know for many, this may be your ONLY real vacation of the year.  They truly want to make EF the very best convention experience that it can be.  They are setting up an event for you to be happy.  Of course they are looking for input, but also understand that there may be limitations that the convention and hotel staff is working under.  Many times, they have had to work behind the scenes to correct other issues so that really big problems are already solved when you arrive.  When providing feedback, I always think of it as offering suggestions that the staff can't see.  Once something has been brought to their attention, let them work on any possible solutions for the next year.

I know that the choice to relocate to the Maritim was not an easy decision.  But in the end, I know in my heart that the staff of Eurofurence made that decision for the true benefit of not only the convention, but for the attendees.  By all means, let them know what can be done to improve the experience.  But if it's been said a number of times, it really doesn't need to be repeated again.  I know all too well that hotel issues can be particularly troublesome, because there may be many things that cannot be changed because of hotel rules or limitations.  If there is something you think that could be implemented that would help all hotel guests while EF is there, by all means suggest it.  But be realistic with suggestions, and be receptive to any answers that the staff provides.  That's really the very best way to get a good dialogue going and make the convention really spectacular.

Just my 2 cents as someone who really loves EF and can't wait to come back. :)

KP
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Jaeger_Fuchs on 11.09.2010, 22:14:52
Thanks to the staff of EF-16 for all their hard work with the new venue. Its never easy making changes and I am sure with all the feedback that they have received, next year will be even better for those attending. Some of the highlights of the new location for me were sightseeing in Magdeburg and Berlin (easy train access), and of course the BBF fursuit dance. I got to meet some great new people and spend time with friends I only get to see once a year. There was a host of great places to eat in Magdeburg and I already miss many of the traditional German dishes and tall dark beers. Thanks to everyone who made my trip enjoyable!
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Blacktail on 12.09.2010, 14:30:15
Well for my first German furry con I had a blast.
I meet awesome people I could help out in the artshow with registration and had all in all a good time.
I found the hotelstaff friendly and when I had a question they answered it without a problem.
One morning I decided to get breakfast in the hotel and yes it wasn´t cheap but the girl behind the bar apologized a thousand times to me for the prices.
The conbadges as keycards where priceless.  ;)
The artshow was great (sorry for the delays at the end but we had softwareproblems and Cairyn suffered a mild shock when all happened at once so I can only apologize for it and hoping that next year it will be better)
The dealers den was quite crowded and a bit to small.
I enjoyed the Pawpet show (was my first, someone mentioned that the artshow staff was there and didn´t open the doors to sell the art and to my knowlegde I was the only one there, the others tryed to get some warm food after some days without proper feeding)
A little lokal map for us where some things are (needed a hour in the morning to find the Sparkasse)
All in all it was a good con and I will be back next year.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Suran on 12.09.2010, 16:22:18
The dealers den was quite crowded and a bit to small.

Well, it was the largest one we ever had.
Title: Honest Opinion of EF 16 - keep 1
Post by: gaz_a on 13.09.2010, 02:07:41
The fursuit lounge was in no way undersized, if there was a problem with drying space it was fursuiters who dump their heads on a fan outlet and go away leaving it there all night as some kind of permanent storage area.  It is a problem at all conventions, and perhaps the only solution is polite signs saying something like "Temporary drying space only, please remove your heads when they are dry.  Heads left longer than X hours will be moved to make room for other users"

I only ever left mine there for the time I was having a drink and talking, when I was done I changed out of my suit in my room and was completely dry every time I next went to wear it so I don't think there was even a need to leave suits there long-term.

Title: Honest Opinion of EF 16 - keep 1
Post by: nifelan on 13.09.2010, 02:18:49
Despite all the things that people complain about, I still had a blast - no sign of PCD, quite the contrary actually. I felt down before and now I feel rejuvenated!

Here's however a small note on how to increase the amount of perfection and quality of the pawpet show: consider the more extreme angles. I often saw a head, hand or nothing because the puppets were hidden behind some prop from my point of view (somewhere in the outer right middle).

Thanks to the screens however I was able to watch the show and see most things. If it weren't for the screens, I would have seen very little so thanks again for providing a live feed. But please, next time don't have those white things hanging from the ceiling during the pawpet show, I always had to look to the screen which was further away because that thing blocked my view ;)

So aside from putting me on the 6th floor (which is more the fault of the Maritim) and people not reading the conbook, I had a great and fun time. Despite my initial plans to save the money for something else, I'll definitely try to come to the next EF!
Also a great thumbs up to the con ops team, who were always eager to help.

So see ya next year (hopefully),
a rejuvenated unknown little Husky :)

P.S.: Thanks to all the people who made this con possible - that also includes every single sponsor and super sponsor.
Title: Honest Opinion of EF 16 - keep 1
Post by: Dhary Montecore on 13.09.2010, 02:22:06
Here's however a small note on how to increase the amount of perfection and quality of the pawpet show: consider the more extreme angles. I often saw a head, hand or nothing because the puppets were hidden behind some prop from my point of view (somewhere in the outer right middle).

Our PPS, Stage and Videocrews have already solved that problem for next year :)
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Cheetah on 13.09.2010, 02:34:11
Moderation Notice: Entire pointless argument about Kimu and the fursuit lounge moved to the trashcan forum (where you can still read them for reference, btw, if you're into that sort of pain). Further replies on that particular topic will be deleted without notice.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Keenora on 13.09.2010, 10:19:56
Well, so, after a week I finally revived ^^°
So, my feedback for the EF is actually very positive :) I am very happy about certain things, and of course, some things could be better, but well...its the first time there and I can remember the first time Ringberg and the first time Nürnberg aswell ;3
So, anyway, there are only two little thinsg, I already mentioned to some staff members. Its not that big problem but it would be awesome, if they can be changed next time. The fursuit lounge was really huge compared to last year o.O And for me was everything alright. Only at the last night there was a little thingy. I am a diabetic and the tea/sugar water there, was very sweet. The days before, there was the big normal water bottle, but not on the last night. I already heared, that these water barrels are unreasonable expensive. Maybe its possible for the next year ^^°
Another thing, which was kinda unplannable was, that the fursuit parade was nice, but the little sidestep through the dealersden and the stairs was not the perfect route ^^ And after the regular parade, 50% walked to the front and 50% to the back, where they kept going into the city. I felt a bit lost in the front, till someone told me, they are in the back o.o

So, basically those two things could need a bit improvment but thats it. For the rest of the con...well...only impossible things to mention, like better weather ^^° Or longer for at least 2 weeks...oh and 36 hours a day, so I can get sleep...maybe :P
So, anyway, thank you very much for the con. And thanks for the awesome and unaffordable work the staff members did! Great job guys :3
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Bostitch on 13.09.2010, 13:11:32
My first EF again since EFX, and first off, thanks to all the staff for a wonderful event, I hope I will be able to make it as a regular attendee in the future.

By page 7, almost everything has been said already (and I only read up to 3), but I'd just like to share my pov. I've been employed in F&B in various hotels in Amsterdam and Schiphol, and the prices which everyone is complaining about are indeed too high for a youth hostel crowd - but they are pretty standard prices for a business hotel, which is what we were staying at. I read in a reply that the staff will take it up with hotel management - and hats off to you if you are able to come to any agreement.
Our event was noticably a culture shock to the hotel staff (most of them took it in good stride), but their common (business)clients prefer the overpriced food and drinks to a 5 minute walk. If we're back next year, things will go much smoother I'm sure, and if we are able to fill the entire hotel, a deal might be struck on prices.

On the locals outside of the hotel - I know this has nothing to do with the con staff, but maybe as a general tip; in my experience the local's attitude and friendlyness was always consistent with age; under-35s always were friendly and spoke decent English, over-45s were often dour and refused to speak English. (And the over-60 ladies seemed to have a blast with the fursuiters) :p

Other feedback you've heard before: dealer's den was set up too narrow and ill-ventilated. Automatic locking out of rooms at 12:00 on sunday seemed a bit harsh with half the hotel checking out at once.
While conbadge and roomkey in one is a good idea, they are a bit vulnerable where the perforation is. Both me and my roommate lost our badge at some point because the perforation had given outand it just fell off the chain. Another friend managed to snap his in half, but I think he sat on it. :D
Maybe add both the chain and a clamp?

/nitpicking

Thanks again for a wonderful EF.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Weed on 13.09.2010, 13:51:32
Other feedback you've heard before: dealer's den was set up too narrow and ill-ventilated.

Oh trust me on this one, the Dealers' Den had MUCH more room (overall and between the tables) than it did at Ringberg (EF13 - 15)... :) However I do agree, the passages between the tables got stuffed very fast. Right now I can't come up with a working solution for this one, but there's still a year until EF17. Plenty of time.

While conbadge and roomkey in one is a good idea, they are a bit vulnerable where the perforation is. Both me and my roommate lost our badge at some point because the perforation had given outand it just fell off the chain. Another friend managed to snap his in half, but I think he sat on it. :D
Maybe add both the chain and a clamp?

It's not a good idea, it's a magnificently brilliant idea: Now attendees have to carry their badges around, otherwise they're locked out of their rooms *g* No but seriously, the room keycard-badge does have few security flaws that are simply impossible to fix, since they occur with ANY given room keycard in ANY given hotel. If you lose a keycard, anyone who finds it can enter your room. It's nothing EF can prevent really. However I'm curious, how exactly did you manage to break the perforation? I was dancing all night long during the Fursuit Dance & Big Blue Dance, as I did at EF14 and 15, and I've never experienced anything like that :P I can't really see it happening on a normal wear and tear.

Main Stage/Maritim Hall. When I got a sneak peek at them, I was absolutely mesmerized. Huge stage that took almost 30 seconds to walk across, room for practically everyone to sit in during the events, lighting and the A/V-setup at the back of the Hall. And a disco ball. An honest to god, bloody hell disco ball. And one in the main lobby as well, not forgetting the Eurofurence-banners. I really can't wait to see what you guys come up with for next year :D Great job!

- Weed
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Bostitch on 13.09.2010, 14:23:16
However I'm curious, how exactly did you manage to break the perforation? I was dancing all night long during the Fursuit Dance & Big Blue Dance, as I did at EF14 and 15, and I've never experienced anything like that :P I can't really see it happening on a normal wear and tear.
Maybe from taking it off and stuffing into a jacket pocket; I don't like dangly things around my neck, took it off most of the time I went outside the hotel.
That's why I'd prefer one of these (http://www.oppictures.com/singleimages/400/AVT75410_1_2.JPG) thingies, to hang it on my shirt.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Tsanawo on 13.09.2010, 14:47:58
About the badges: AFAIK there are dealers who sell clips to hang commissioned badges on in the dealers den.
It's the same guy who offers to laminate badges, BPython.

(https://www.datamanage.com/visitorPass/pictures/Strap%20Clip.jpg)
Get one of these (Universal usage across all EF's from now as long as they keep using the same perforate unit).
Very easy to obtain and attach if you do not wish to use your lanyard.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Korrok on 13.09.2010, 15:22:06
I also had these in the Dealer's Den. You can get them for a few euros for 50 of 'em on eBay, more for bulk. (not for the individual obviously, but if the con actually wanted to source them).
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Mystifur on 13.09.2010, 17:03:06
The fursuit lounge was really huge compared to last year o.O And for me was everything alright. Only at the last night there was a little thingy. I am a diabetic and the tea/sugar water there, was very sweet. The days before, there was the big normal water bottle, but not on the last night.

[...]

Another thing, which was kinda unplannable was, that the fursuit parade was nice, but the little sidestep through the dealersden and the stairs was not the perfect route ^^

Thank you for your feedback,
The diabetic issue was already brought to my attention. We will clearly mark our supplements in the future. However i have to wonder why there would have been no water. The single only chance to not have seen the water dispenser during the last night is, that you have been there WHILE it was taken to the kitchen to actually refill it.

As for stairs and fursuiters, we know since years, that they are not the ideal combination. After much thought Eurofurence decided to give priority to the parade walking through the dealers den anyways, because this is about the only time during the days when the dealers get to see any distraction and all the suiters.
To help the suiters deal with that, we announced twice in the Loiunge right before starting, that we will be taking the stairs up and down, and that whoever cannot or doesn't want to deal with that should be waiting in the lobby, because the parade will return to the same place after the detour.
Therefor the dealers den visit will remain being part of the parade.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Keenora on 13.09.2010, 21:13:28
Ok, I think thats a good reason. Then I would to mention, that the annoucments were too quietly. I stayed at the beginning of the parade and totally havn't recognized it. What about the little poster at the lounge? There was this "third-party" parade and they made a picture of the route aswell. Maybe we could do that for the main parade aswell...maybe it was made somewhere, but as such a hangout it would be much easier. Just an idea ^^
For the water thingy, well, as you recognized maybe in the morning, I was there till after the end ^^° And the barrel was gone for hours. Well, but maybe I really havn't noticed it later...was a hard night ;)
So, thank you very much for taking cognizance of my feedback :3 And thank you also for your awesome work...you were kinda dead while cleaning the lounge at sunday morning ;P
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Weed on 13.09.2010, 21:45:15
However I'm curious, how exactly did you manage to break the perforation? I was dancing all night long during the Fursuit Dance & Big Blue Dance, as I did at EF14 and 15, and I've never experienced anything like that :P I can't really see it happening on a normal wear and tear.
Maybe from taking it off and stuffing into a jacket pocket; I don't like dangly things around my neck, took it off most of the time I went outside the hotel.
That's why I'd prefer one of these (http://www.oppictures.com/singleimages/400/AVT75410_1_2.JPG) thingies, to hang it on my shirt.


Ahh, understandable. Those clips do look useful, I think I should grab one for my badges next year :P I had my mini-doughnut hanging from my old EF-laces. Didn't like extra-stuff hanging in my neck, so I tied it around my pant's belt buckle thing. Worked nicely enough.

- Weed
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Henrieke on 14.09.2010, 13:35:52
Hey!
I don't post on this forum much but I thought I'd give some honest feedback as well. I didn't really read the rest of the thread so sorry if I echo what has already been said.

Hotel/Location
Err, yes, ofcourse the hotel is not the Ringberg. It's the Maritim. While the environment and atmosphere at the Ringberg were simply fantastic, I really loved the Maritim as well! The giant lobby looked AWESOME, I took a lot of photos of just the hotel already. Props to whoever came up with the idea of hanging up the (beautiful!) banners and especially the DISCO BALL. Genius! I had a room on the 4th floor and I loved looking down and watching the people down in the lobby, the hotel literally feels very open.
As much as I loved the view from the Ringberg (and I do kind of miss having a large outside area that belongs to the hotel only), I do think the location itself is a big improvement. Getting food is just so much easier right now! I don't have a car myself so instead of having to drive all the way down to the supermarket, I could simply cross the street and there's a whole mall! That, plus the fact that there's loads of restaurants at walking distance, makes the location perfect for me. Not to mention Magdeburg is a beatiful city!

Hotel staff
The staff seemed fine to me, I even got to interact with quite a few of them while in suit.
Hey, imagine you work at a four star hotel, normally only filled with boring business men, and then you get THIS over your floor! I'd be pretty shocked frankly! I didn't have any troubles with room service, even though there were fursuit props spread all over the room. Apparantly some people got complaints, maybe they should consider cleaning up their room at least a BIT? These people try to do their work... and I think next year, when they know what to expect, it'll go a lot better. Though I honestly never had a single problem myself.

Fursuit lounge
This was the third big con I suited at and the so-manieth event, and I have to say this was the BEST fursuit lounge I've ever seen. I already thought the one from last year was fantastic but no, we get a GIANT BALLROOM! The fursuit lounge at FC was tiny compared to this. Enough fans, awesome suitracks and fursuit-head dryers, boards in front of the entrance giving you some privacy (for those who don't like taking their head off in public) chairs, snacks, different types of drinks, long and short straws; really, it was perfect. If I HAVE to think of any suggestions, then maybe placing a mirror somewhere would be nice, so you can see if you put your suit on right (and practise your doublebounce walk :P). Then again there were always plenty of people around who could check for me if everything looked okay, so it all worked out just fine.

Artist's lounge
Not too much to say about this. It was nice and large, and I enjoyed sitting there! I don't drink coffee myself but the free coffee was really appreciated by a lot of artists, especially at night :P

Dealer's Den
Having a big dealer's den is something I kinda missed at the Ringberg, so that has been solved! It was a bit cramped, but this is understandable considering the tables were free. However, several tables were empty a lot of the time (because of this I was able to take a table for half a day myself, even though I did not register for one). Because of that it felt more like an artist's alley than a dealer's den, and though it was nice for myself, maybe it's a bit unfair for the artists that registered early? Maybe it'd be nice to have one row of tables less, or to be more strict with the registering of tables and/or have an artist's alley elsewhere. These are just suggestions though, I can't really complain since at any other con you'd have to pay for your table and there are giant waiting lists or raffles for spaces at the artist's alley.

Art Show
The art show location was great!! Very large and very light. Hanging up my art was no problem and two friends who did have problems with their frames got plenty of help from the staff, and everything worked out.
I'm sure people mentioned it before but both the art pickup for bidders and money pickup for artists took very long. I was at both, for the art pickup I stood in line for 1,5 hour or so, and with the money pickup I even saw a poor artist who fell asleep in front of the door ;) I don't know exactly what caused this, but I hope it'll work out better next year. I can imagine why it takes very long, maybe it's possible to think of some way so people don't have to stand for so long. In any case, and I think a lot of people do not realise this; the art show at EF is completely FREE. At any other con you'd have to pay for both the panel, and a percentage of your art sales! (actually, I believe buyers also have to pay extra tax on top of their bid). Also since many cons pay out with checks you have to wait for your money even longer, and send in your forms via snailmail which also costs money. So keeping in mind the EF art show is free and done by volunteers, I'll gladly stand in line :)
Another thing I should mention is that the addition of the charity sheets was great. The charity panels have always been there, but donating a whole piece when I only have two or three paintings is just too much. This is a great solution and I hope many artists made use of it!

Events
I was so busy having fun that I didn't get to see a single panel, but I did get to see the pawpetshow and another stage act. The new main stage literally is a HUGE improvement. Both times I was at the Ringberg I had to sit on benches at all events which seriously hurt my back, and I could hardly see anything. The new stage is great! Comfy chaiiiirrrrrs!
There were some delays, but I'd be seriously disappointed if a furry con did NOT have delays, and keep in mind that this is still the first time for everything at the new hotel, so ofcourse things go wrong! It'll go more smoothly each year to come.

Fursuit games
I never did a event like this before, but I was told the games at EF were not harmful for your suit so I joined the pre-selections in a team with Titash. Those of you who know his and my suit can imagine we didn't join to win. The games were spread over the hotel which was a bit confusing at first (especially since I cannot wear glasses in suit, I couldn't read what was on the paper... I need Arial 40 B or something XD), but it gave everything a nice touch, since wandering through the hotel in search of the games felt pretty adventurous XD
The games were really fun, they were not hazardous for the suits but very challenging, and ofcourse in a padded suit with bad vision they're a lot harder to do than in a five-fingered partial. I couldn't even manage to hold the ball guns or shoe laces with my giant foam hands, so we just made a big game out of the games and it was hilarious! We won last place, hurray!
The best part was the bonus game, where you had to collect money from charity. Since we were pretty much the last team to do it pretty much everyone had already been robbed from their money by other suits, but Titash still managed to rid people of their euros by threatening them with his plunger :P In total the fursuit games brought up 670 euro this way, should do that again next year!

Fursuit parade
The fursuit parade inside was very slow but that was definitely because of the staircases. I didn't hear in advance where the route would be going, I also didn't know we would go outside afterwards, but thankfully people directed us the right way. The outside part was tons of fun, so many people watching! (Because of the article in Bild, I guess?) The outside part felt very well organized, all the suits could safely cross the street without a problem.

Con Book / EF newspaper
The conbook gets better every year! The newspaper is a great touch and was also better than before! I know plenty of people who worked hard on either of these, props to all of you! These are conbooks and newspapers I can take home and show off to my friends and family :)

Dead Dog Party/Piano bar
Wow, this was great :) I didn't sit in the piano bar before the dead dog party, and at other cons so far I was always kind of bored during these parties because it was just a dance (or smelled like swiss cheese). There was enough place to sit and I especially appreciated that there was music, but no REALLY LOUD music. I sat at the piano bar the whole evening talking to people (this was actually possible thanks to the not-super-loud music!) and having a massive art jam. I personally loved the cheesy music too. The fan on the small dancefloor was a nice touch for fursuiters. Later in the night the music got louder and more hardcore, but by that time I went to bed anyway. It was a great end of a great con :)
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Henrieke on 14.09.2010, 13:37:54
Ohhh how could I forget, the roomkeys! Roomkeys AND badges! PERFECT!!! Why don't other cons use this system as well?? Next year I want toony art on the badges though! ;D
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Onkel Kage on 14.09.2010, 14:03:40
Ohhh how could I forget, the roomkeys! Roomkeys AND badges! PERFECT!!! Why don't other cons use this system as well?? Next year I want toony art on the badges though! ;D

I think they should!  Although it requires a rather substantial investment in equipment.  They need a badge printer (and depending on size and registration system, two or even three), badge stock with magnetic strips, and a hotel that uses the standard CR-80 card size and is willing to work with them.

I briefly thought about it for Anthrocon but then realized that I have four hotels that use different key-card sizes, which would really muck things up.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Loewi on 14.09.2010, 14:06:50
Ohhh how could I forget, the roomkeys! Roomkeys AND badges! PERFECT!!! Why don't other cons use this system as well??

Thank you thank you thank you!:)

Next year I want toony art on the badges though! ;D

Is that an offer that we can ask you for conbadgedesign some following EF? ;P
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Henrieke on 14.09.2010, 14:18:25
I briefly thought about it for Anthrocon but then realized that I have four hotels that use different key-card sizes, which would really muck things up.
I can imagine that. The only US con I've been to is FC, and they use credit-card sized roomkeys, which also have customized art. I can imagine printing a few thousand roomkeys with the same picture on is is a lot cheaper than having a custom one for every attendee, but then again they do need to give everyone a badge with a custom sticker anyway, and they also offer free (credit card-sized) fursuit badges. I never even thought of combining them until EF!

Is that an offer that we can ask you for conbadgedesign some following EF? ;P
Oh heck yes! Anything you'd need me for, as long as I have SOME time on my hands I'd love to do it :)

Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Tioh on 14.09.2010, 19:36:33
I think moving Eurofurence to Magdeburg was the right decision. There were lots of things that would not have been possible otherwise. Just look at the space the fursuit-lounge, artshow and dealers den got.

I know of no other furry convention in the world that offered so many dryers for fursuits before:
(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y144/Tioh/EF_2010_05.jpg) (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y144/Tioh/EF_2010_04.jpg)
Thanks to everyone who helped building it so quickly.

The daily Eurofurence newsletter was very well received:
(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y144/Tioh/EF_2010_06.jpg)
Having those is also very helpfully if you want to explain what happens at a furry convention ... now I have to translate those for my mother. 

The pawpet-show moved me to tears:
(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y144/Tioh/EF_2010_17.jpg)

I couldn't take many photos at Kage vs. 2 - I was laughing too hard:
(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y144/Tioh/EF_2010_20-1.jpg)

It was fun to help at the fursuit-gameshow - sorry it took me so long to calculate the scores:
(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y144/Tioh/EF_2010_08.jpg) (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y144/Tioh/EF_2010_13.jpg)

Fursuit theater was very nice:
(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y144/Tioh/EF_2010_12.jpg)

I took a lot of fursuit-pictures:
(http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y144/Tioh/EF_2010_07.jpg) (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y144/Tioh/EF_2010_02.jpg)
A small selection of those is at http://media.furcon.de/Eurofurence/ef16/tn

The events at the Piano Bar were great - especially the death dog party (that worked much better when last year).

The hotel staff was very nice and it someone heard the cleaning ladies complaining - they had every right to do so (some fursuiters should learn that leaving wet toilet-paper everywhere in the room after drying a fursuit is not a good idea).

As a fursuiter the biggest improvement was having one room-key per person. Also the rooms were bigger - I had three fursuits with me and did not occupy all the space.

I spend less money on food when at EF 15 - there were a lot of good (and not expensive) restaurants in walking distance. I did pay a lot for parking, but that was my own choice (I was just too lazy to drive my car to a cheaper garage).

I think everything worked very well considering it was the first time in this hotel. The Eurofurence staff did a marvelous job. I'm very grateful for all the work the put into this convention.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: BigBlueFox on 14.09.2010, 21:23:04
EF 16 SUCKED!!

I brought four suits to EF, spent more time suiting than at any EF before.... NO PHOTOS!
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Fairlight on 14.09.2010, 21:26:14
BBF: Tell your alter egos to stop stealing people's camera's then ^.^
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Henrieke on 14.09.2010, 21:40:28
EF 16 SUCKED!!

I brought four suits to EF, spent more time suiting than at any EF before.... NO PHOTOS!

I know that Kougo has a nice photo of Bent-tail and Yotie, at least!!
Just wondering... did you wear the fox? I never even saw it IRL!
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: BigBlueFox on 14.09.2010, 21:45:45
EF 16 SUCKED!!

I brought four suits to EF, spent more time suiting than at any EF before.... NO PHOTOS!

I know that Kougo has a nice photo of Bent-tail and Yotie, at least!!
Just wondering... did you wear the fox? I never even saw it IRL!

The fox was too stinky and big-headed. He didn't get out. :)
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Suran on 14.09.2010, 22:03:52
Fursuit theater was very nice

Nice?
It was awesome!
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: JBadger on 14.09.2010, 23:33:23
Really I liked the driers a lot
Just small tweaks maybe to get even airflow out of all the holes (baffles) but that could drive a person crazy figuring out baffle size in the pipe flow.  Staff are crazy enough so what you have is good enough.

I think something like this could only be at EF sadly, Anthrocon has unions so the union would have to do that set up even if it was fan built.  And other cons well, not really needed to have so many.



I think moving Eurofurence to Magdeburg was the right decision. There were lots of things that would not have been possible otherwise. Just look at the space the fursuit-lounge, artshow and dealers den got.
.....
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Mystifur on 15.09.2010, 00:54:50
While airflow in the dryer pipes is indeed a science in itself, we found out that the system is selfregulating.  ;D

Suiters will automatically and always pick the exhausts with the most output.
By hanging their suit over it, they create a big amount of resistance to that exhaust,
thus redirecting more air to the other, still free spaces.

Yay for redneck science.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: CleanerWolf on 15.09.2010, 01:41:27
The amout of people rummaging around the Big Blue Dance, taping the dancers to be the very first one to upload another video of people dancing on the con, seems to increase every year. This is annoying to me for two reasons:

1. This is (or at least used to be) a somewhat private event, meant for those people who sign up to actually visit the con. Sure, there are people taking pictures everywhere and I'm pretty sure I can be found in one of the countless image archives somewhere. Nevertheless - I do not wish to end up on YouTube, since I try to keep my private information (yes, this includes my face as well) of the internet as much as possible. It actually spoils a lot of the fun for me if I get the constant feeling to be watched by the whole world -- not for a moment, but forever.
2. Like in any club, if you have 30 people dancing and 60 people standing around and watching, it takes away a lot of the energy from the dancefloor. I think it's fine to stand at the side to have a drink, talk with your friends or just relax after getting all sweaty. Yet it is not OK to run around the dancefloor for an hour in circles, shoving your camera in everyones face. It's damn annoying, go away.
I want to comment on that from both sides of view, because at this EF I was both - a passionate dancer and a camera nerd.

I really understand what you mean, I don't like to be photographed/filmed while dancing as well, because I know how ridicilous my movements are looking. On the other hand, I know that if I am dancing within a crowd of people, there is no way to keep me out while the whole crowd is getting filmed. Therefore I don't care much about people walking around the dancefloor, but what really pisses me of are those guys walking ON the dancefloor, holding their cameras directly into the dancer's faces and occupying space.

For me the dances at every EF are absolute highlights, I always try to enjoy the atmosphere, the energy, the harmony. This year I used my new equipment (DSLR on a "Schwebi" poor man's steadycam) to capture as much of this amazing party atmosphere as possible. Probably I exaggerated it a bit in all this excitement, but my intention was to get alot of material to choose from for the video I want to edit. I apologize for annoying some people, next time I will be more sensitive.
In the end, there is nothing to worry about, because I was focusing on fursuiters anyways and will try to keep out non-fursuiters as far as possible in the final edit. I am not sure about the way of distribution yet, but if I upload my video to youtube, I will configure the options for the video to not being displayed in the search results, therefore only people who know the direct link will be able to watch it. 

Back on topic, some feedback from me about EF16...

Everything that has to be said about the hotel has been said already, so I have nothing to add here.

My overall experience was very positive, there were only some little things to complain about, but nothing worth to be written down here.
Highlights for me were the "Streifen"-Premiere, the dances, Kage vs 2, the fursuit parade and of course the Pawpet Show.

The Pawpet Show had everything in it, that a good Pawpet Show needs. Again, there were funny and dramatic moments and I liked both of them. Highlights of this show were of course the sequence with those little yellow-helmet-critters blowing that snake out of their den and the amazing cave sequence with awesome lighting and rope stunts.

Next year I will be prepared better for the new location and the hotel staff will be prepared better for us, so I am looking forward to EF17 very optimistically.

Again, many thanx to the orga team, that did an incredible job 8)

Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Little Wolf on 15.09.2010, 17:01:31
Ok, I have thought long and hard about what I want to put here, but I am sure it will still come across as a ramble. I will do my best to keep this as polite and civil as I can, but I must confess I am not a happy bunny (er...wolf).
May I ask how many people who have posted complaints here have run or helped to run a convention? Having helped with comic/anime cons in the past, I can tell you that it is not a breeze. It is a mostly thankless job, but you do it because you love your hobby and want to make something amazing.

I was unable to attend Eurofurence this year, and I was so very gutted. I saw those pictures and video clips of that hotel and I was amazed! It must have taken the staff ages to find a hotel that would tick all the boxes and all some of you can do is complain. (Please note, I said "Some2 not "All").
Some of the things people are complaining about are, lets be honest here, petty. A lot of the stuff is actually nothing to do with the con staff and is more an issue with the hotel itself, but if you assert a little common sense I am sure you'll survive. Here are a few things I noticed coming up a lot:

Hotel Staff being rude.

When I attended my first fur meet, I was rather taken aback by the giant cartoon animals running around. Now, imagine that this is the first time you have ever even heard of Furry Fandom, and these strange people are running around your place of work. Cut them a little slack. I am sure by next year they will be more prepared. I can't imagine the staff at the Ringberg were accepting you with open arms the first year.

Lift/Stairs.

Would it kill you to use the stairs? Really? I was under the impression that fursuiters and those who have difficulty or cannot use the stairs had priority over the lifts? It really seems a silly thing to complain about.

Hotel prices.

As somebody pointed out (Sorry, I cannot remember your username) there was a Youth Hostel down the road from the hotel. If the rooms prices are not to your liking, no one is stopping you from staying at the Youth Hostel. As for prices of food and drink, well it is a four star hotel and in the middle of the city, so I was expecting those kind of prices. Go into any nice restaurant/hotel in London or Manchester and you'd expect to pay the same. I would perhaps understand the predicament if there was no where else to eat nearby, but from what i have been told the hotel was pretty much surrounded by supermarkets and cafes/resaurants. So where is the problem?

Lack of BBQ

I understand that this is a shame, but at least an effort was made to have something. They could quite easily have not bothered at all. And again, if you didn't like the food, there were plenty of other places to go.

Pool/Sauna too small.

Oh you poor baby... how tragic for you that the pool was too small. Come on, buck up for god's sake. You have access to a fecking pool and sauna! Yes the Ringberg's may have been bigger, but at least there was even one there to use at all.





The complaint that came up the most though, was that it's not the Ringberg. Of course it's not. I loved the Ringberg, it was a wonderful, beautiful hotel with wonderful surroundings. But it just got too small for us. If they had stayed at the Ringberg, loads of people would have missed out.
From the photos and videos I have seen, and what my friends who went to this year's EF have said, the Maritim looks like a stunner! Really, they couldn't have picked a better hotel, and I challenge you nay-sayers to try and find a hotel that covers all our needs and still stay within a reasonable budget. And to the person who said it looked like a prison...

Really? Don't be so silly.


Like I said, I didn't manage to make it this year. But I will not be letting the negative feedback written in this thread put me off. Now, I understand that I will have probably made a few enemies by what I have said here, but I really do not think that it is fair for Cheetah and his staff to have read all that. It is demoralising and if I were them I'd feel rather shit right now.

So, for the staff of Eurofurence. THANK YOU!

Thank you for year after year working your butts off to put together a fantastic convention for us. We all appreciate it, even though some of us do not show it. Your hard work and dedication shines through and I am so very much looking forward to next year.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Dhary Montecore on 15.09.2010, 17:53:10
Thank YOU, little wolf, for your kind words. I guess I speak for the whole staff when I say, that it's a really good feeling to see that our work is appreciated.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Little Wolf on 15.09.2010, 18:39:49
I just wanted you guys to know you're appreciated.

*Does the Waiting For EF 17 Dance*
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: gaz_a on 15.09.2010, 20:38:12
Ohhh how could I forget, the roomkeys! Roomkeys AND badges! PERFECT!!! Why don't other cons use this system as well?? Next year I want toony art on the badges though! ;D

The problem is that for some conventions the registration queue can get VERY long.  If you have arrived at the lobby tired, sweaty and with a large amount of luggage the last thing you want to do is find where to register (which can be some distance away) and queue for ages.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Loewi on 15.09.2010, 20:45:04
right, there were some queues, sorry for that.
we did underestimate the new situation that you have to come to us first to get to your room.
However, system for the next year will be the same i guess, but we will work at manpower and processes to shorten the registraiton process so that the queues wont be long next year hopefully.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: gaz_a on 15.09.2010, 22:31:05
right, there were some queues, sorry for that.
we did underestimate the new situation that you have to come to us first to get to your room.
However, system for the next year will be the same i guess, but we will work at manpower and processes to shorten the registraiton process so that the queues wont be long next year hopefully.

There was only a very short queue when I registered so I didn't have any problem with EF, just that some other conventions I have been to have have very long queues (I usually wait until the morning of the second day to register) so it wouldn't work well at those.

Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Suran on 16.09.2010, 07:45:32
I didn't have any problems either.
All the early-arrivals registred a day before. That already made the queue on the first day much shorter.
I don't think this needs much improvement a.t.m. . It is already much better then the early years.
(Anyone remember queuing in Nuremberg?)
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Loewi on 16.09.2010, 08:25:20
Thanks for the reply.
But indeed there were some queues this year which I didnt want to get that long. call me a perfectionist if you want. ;)
But overall this still was the first year in the new venue with a new system and we already know what to do next year.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Shay (Wolly) on 16.09.2010, 12:04:41
It’s been a while now… but I still feel like it was one hell of a con!
I’ll try to explain, keep it short and stick to what I’ve seen myself.

The Hotel
The Maritim in Magdeburg, situated near the main train station, I found to be roomy, clean and completely insecure in dealing with so many people that do so many (in the eyes of the staff) weird things. That takes some getting used to… and although I saw and heard some very unfriendly hotel-staffers, the majority of them were kind, intrigued and helpful.

The Rooms
The rooms in the hotel were spacious, clean and well kept. Enough space to put your clothing, junk and fursuit and it came with a mini-bar. It is a shame that the fridge was just a tad too small to stock it with your own drinks, but it’s one of those things that doesn’t really matter if you don’t spend all day in your room anyway.

Getting Around
To be honest I am not a big fan of Elevators. I don't have a phobia against them, I just don't like confined spaces much. The fact that I could use the stairs to go up, but not get through the door on the designated floor, kinda made me a sad pup, seeing that meant it was forced to use the flying coffins! Using those at peak times was a serious effort and with people being total retards at times with opening the door every time it was closing... didn't make it better. Its a point not much can be done against though, it comes down to common sense and with so many individuals, that might be too much to ask at times.

Housekeeping
Housekeeping was… weird! Day one they cleaned the entire room and as the con progressed they did less and less. Now, my room was full of stuff for the Fursuit Theater, but they didn’t empty the trash bin for at least two days, even when I put it smack in the middle of the room.  I guess they came in to make the beds and refresh the towels and then scooted out!

Pricing
The average price of a beverage or a snack was a bit on the high side, but seeing the Maritim is a 4 star hotel that caters not only to us congoers but to other hotel guests too, that isn’t that big of a surprise. I found that people complain about the pricing and while their arguments are true that it was a tad on the high side, there were enough options open to everyone to avoid those prices. I mean, no one forced us to eat at the restaurant… and thus I didn’t!

The surrounding area
One very appealing thing about the Maritim is the fact that it is literally surrounded by all sorts of restaurants, bars and stores! That makes it ideal to head out of the hotel once in a while and get some really good food or a well deserved drink after a day of partying or in my case socializing and fretting over a stage show. I found the little shopping center right in front of the hotel to be packed with stores that tickled my fancy, so to speak. The food was nicely priced and well prepared and you got more than your tummy full! The supermarket was also great as it allowed me to get some stuff they only sell in Germany, like awesome chocolate and… awesome chocolate! The little baker there served some very yummy breakfast as did the healthy fruit and yoghurt vendor!

Not overly far from the hotel was a sushi place we visited called Sushi Moon, that was ill prepared for the ransacking, loud and stampeding crowd that a furry gathering can produce. This made the staff rather rude and wished us to please take a hike, but given it was their first interaction with this horde of frenzied hungry furries, it is my belief that they didn’t really do such a bad job in the end. You try making all you can eat sushi for people that eat more on one night than they sell on an average week! The quality was very good for a town that has no real provisions for daily fresh fish… so kudos for that.

The Palazzo next to the hotel was very nice too. Although we had to wait quite a while for our Pizza, the quality was superb and the waiter was kind, helpful and even funny at times. The 10% discount was a nice touch, which I don’t know if the owner added himself or was actually talked about beforehand, but it made you feel less like a tourist and in some ways … it made you feel more like one!

Out of the hotel, to the right and crossing one street, we found the Ortega Steak house… I mean… wow! That food was really yummy and to top it off, really affordable! A full meal, mixed grill, side-dishes, sauce and drinks for 15 Euros… and the quality was awesome! The staff was friendly and helpful although that might have been because one of the waitresses rather fancied one of our party… dunno!

Events
This was my first year as EF staff, being the director of a stage event on Friday afternoon. It allowed me to witness firsthand how things are run behind the scenes. I could have only guessed before, but now I was pushed right smack into it and what I saw, awed me! This is in no means to suck up to anyone, but the sheer dedication that these people put into what they do to make their audience and visitors have an awesome time is just mind-blowing! I found that there were staffers up for two days in a row to make sure light got where it needed to go, that stage-staffers were building trusses and making things safe and that there were more than one staff members with double booked responsibility and that they actually managed to perform both tasks to the fullest of their devotion and care!

Yes… there were delays, but if you could have seen what I saw, the delays were peanuts to the delay there would have been if these people wouldn’t have given their all! I mean, they could have just said… not my problem… but everyone pitched in and took hold of any or all tasks that were left out for others to do. The EF staff is a team and what a team at that! I tip my hat to them and even though mistakes were made and tension might have risen once in a while, they got the job done.

Bannerbrawl
I noticed in the con-book that there was going to be a Bannerbrawl on Thursday and I just had to check it out for myself as the title kinda made it interesting. For a first time event, it was really entertaining and amusing. Two teams of artists that went head to head to create the most absurd pieces of art on two separate canvases… it was a pleasure to see! The hosts were at times funny at times… not so much so… but you can’t be funny 24 hours a day I guess or I might have missed some of the puns…  I sure as hell hope that they will do something like this, or the exact same thing for all I care, next year! I will most definitely watch it if they do!

Stagefever
The skit show Stagefever has always been close to me as I like to perform myself and this year I made sure I didn’t miss it! I started watching it at the stage at first, but when some things came up, I watched the middle on my room. The show was entertaining at times, with the host tying all the separate sketches together and doing a good job at that, but there were some sketches that made me facepalm or check with the person in the room with me, if it was just me that missed the whole meaning of the skit. It took me a while to realize though, that this is exactly the heart of Stagefever and that even though I might not have rejoiced at every skit, there will have been people that did. And that people were given a few minutes of stagetime to do what they thought would be cool to do and thus they did! For every one that complained about it and didn’t perform themselves, I just have to say… Put your money where your mouth is… and step on stage next year with a skit that you think would work! I give my kudos to the team for making it through, cause it was a good thing to see!

Pawpetshow
The last few years I have tried to watch the Pawpetshow, with EF13 being the first and the latter once I failed at seeing because of unfortunate events (such as tearing my hamstring and such). This year I managed to find a spot in the back and watch Cheetah at work, looking up at the stage to see what went on as well. The whole show was once epic undertaking, not just storywise or puppeteerwise, but also because of all the people that put so much hard work into it… working day and night even on condays to create props, puppets and setpieces. In the end the whole show was a roaring success and why not! It had everything that would make a good story even better. I can only find two downsides really… and that is hearing my own voice in the intermissions (I might do voice acting, but hearing my own voice makes me cringe)… and the overall length of the show. Three hours is a long time and even though there are two or three ten minute breaks, the chair I was sitting on at one time felt like it was becoming one with my ass! But nonetheless… an epic undertaking and a great show of craftsmanship and teamwork!

Dances
This was the first year for me that I didn’t attend any of the dances. I didn’t feel like suiting up much and the music could be heard outside of the rather warm room just fine. So it was a good compromise. I heard that people had a fun time and I witness it myself when I walked in on several occasions, but I guess the dances are so well thought of that it is hard not to enjoy them… unless of course you don’t like loud bouncy music!

Fursuit Theater
This year I was given the opportunity to host my own stage show which got dubbed Fursuit Theater and while I had a hard time envisioning what it would take to get it all done, I had a blast making it together with a team of dedicated and creative people! It took over six months of work, from writing the script to recording the voices, to sitting down and doing soundtracks, pacing and actual rehearsals. In the end, when push came to shove and we were on stage… we found out that no matter how much you prepare, things will always go wrong… and tons did go wrong… but when you hear the audience go wild at the final curtain call… something deep inside you crawls out and takes over… elation and relief… and to everyone that worked on the show and to everyone that came to watch us perform even though their art might be on the verge of being auctioned off… a big ass thank you!  Humbled to the fullest!

Overall
So… in hindsight… was this EF a step up or a step down from the years before? In all honesty, it is a step up! The venue of the Maritim might be new, the whole con might be smack in the middle of a city… but remember that the people that visit the con… make or break the con… and this year I made new friends again, I met up with old ones… and had a great time with those people close and dear to me! The con was a success in my eyes because I saw so many people have a tremendously great time! Of course things will go wrong… of course there will be complaints… but all in all… I think everyone that worked their asses off to make it happen again, put so much effort and energy into making it happen yet again, can be frigging proud of an achievement that borders on the insane! I dare anyone that thinks lightly about things or that think they can do better to compete with the work and effort that was put into making EF16 – Serengeti happen! I am certain you will come to the conclusion that these people once again made the impossible… possible!

I am severely looking forward to next year! With all its ups and downs, I am sure it will be a great week to spend with friends, like-minded people and loved ones! The minor glitches and errors that popped up will be dealt with I am sure!

Sorry for the wall of text ^^
Shay
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: karpour on 16.09.2010, 13:48:50
AMAZING! <- that would be my one-word review. I'll try to make it a bit longer though.
I don't get all the people picking on minor problems. If the fact that the Hotel is in the center of a city is such a big problem, there was noone forcing you to attend.

Hotel
Was 1A, big spacious lobby, the rooms were so nice! The hotel staff was superfriendly, roomservice was always up to interacting with suiters, people at reception had fun with everyone, I can't complain. Also they were always helpful when I needed something, but I guess that's something I can except from such a Hotel.

Location
Could hardly be any better! Lots of restaurants around, a mall, the train station, historic city center. I understand people missing the being-surrounded by forest on a mountain, but both has its upsides and downsides. Peoples reactions on the street were so great!

Organization
I was buffed out by how professional everything was organized, especially at the fursuit parade everyone did such a great job. Every single staff member did an amazing job and they deserve full credit :)

Pool
The pool seemed kinda undersized for such a big hotel, but that wasn no problem. I LOVED the free sauna and steamroom, It was very nice to relax for a few minutes and take a break from con-"stress"

Piano Bar
Before the con I was already looking forward to it. And it was exactly how I imagined.. well, even better!
Dear Staff: you did everything right. The music volume was just right so you could talk, but at times other people could dance. It was a great atmosphere and invited for nice socializing and artjams.

Artist lounge
Was great! Thanks for thinking of all the poor artists!

Con price
It was more expensive, but what people don't realize that we still paid hardly anything for the amazing con so many people created. It was worth every cent.

Anyway, dear EF Staff:
THANK YOU!
(and see you next year!)
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Pony on 16.09.2010, 14:15:14
I see a lot of people complaining that the "spirit" of the convention had somehow changed.  Please be reminded that it is not the hotel, the staff or the programming who make up the spirit of the convention.  It is the attendees themselves.
Hear hear!
Finally someone who speaks my mind exactly in the way as I do.
The attendees and the staff did an amazing job of making Eurofurence Eurofurence in my opinion.
Sure, the surroundings and hotel staff is all new and that didn't go unnoticed.
But my focus is always on the ball itself and thus I really haven't got anything to complain.
Again, I must agree with the following quote:

Quote
For a first-year-in-a-new-hotel convention I think that things went remarkably smoothly.  Not much happened that could not be attributed to "oh, so THAT'S how it works here" syndrome.  
Not that I had any doom scenarios in my head, but I was quite curious how the first time would progress in this new hotel with a new staff.
Although I heard about some minor drama incidents later on, I personally have not run into any kind of drama with anyone at all.
For me, it all went smoothly and as expected. I was really impressed by this regarding both the EF and the hotel staff.

Quote
Running a convention is unimaginably hard work.  I can tell you that from experience.  These are people who are spending their own holiday time from work, putting in hundreds of hours of planning, suffering from stress that very often leads to nightmares, ulcers and elevated blood pressure (watch for blood vessels bursting in the sclera of the eyes), working themselves to the point of physical exhaustion and sometimes reduced to tears of frustration, and receiving no pay or substantial reward of any kind for the sole purpose of trying to make sure other people have a good time, who then must sit quietly and listen to "I don't think I'm coming back next year because the pillows here are too lumpy."  
I can not even begin to find the words to express my sincere and genuine appreciation to all of EF staff other then get emotional and want to hug each of of them tightly for all what they did (and are about to do for EF 17.)
Although, I did manage to hug a few and even buy a drink or what not. It's the least I can do.
Seeing the stressy tweets of Cheetah -for example- not only before but also after the con really made me realize even more consciously how much energy this takes out of the involved people each year to make it all happen for us, the attendees.

So thank you, Eurofurence 16 staff. Thank you so much for doing this all for us!
I have full confidence in your guys each year no matter the circumstances and you definitely will see me again at Eurofurence 17.
Eurofurence is so good, that it has become the number one holiday event for me and nothing (including my work) will stop me from missing it for years to come.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: HobbesDawg on 17.09.2010, 01:19:00
I unfortunately didn't make it this year to EF. However, honestly, everything I've read here seems common to a new location (re: staff, and pricing) and gosh folks, from all I hear there were so many options for food, drink, etc near by that there's no reason to be overly chuffed about it.

Assuming all the cards continue fall right, I shall be there in 2011, and I have yet to have seen a comment in the feedback that would make me even double think about not going :)

PS: The Newspaper idea... I love this. It was one thing that made FC 2005 so much fun, opening the door each morning and finding the latest news, reviews and schedule for the upcoming day. I missed the idea at FC2009.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Fauho on 12.10.2010, 10:33:18
- the elevators of cause (maybe point out the existance and placement of the stairs better)

Well, I did seen furries who thought it was fun to -just before leaving the elevator- pressing all the buttons of all floors, making the elevator stop at every floor for nothing...
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: lockheed on 12.10.2010, 19:51:48
Well, this was my first real fur con ever and ... I Loved it!

Will definitely come again next year.

Thank you all! Visible and invisible staff (EF and hotel!) and all attendees!
Lockheed
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Onkel Kage on 14.10.2010, 23:39:17
Well, I did seen furries who thought it was fun to -just before leaving the elevator- pressing all the buttons of all floors, making the elevator stop at every floor for nothing...

This behavior would get someone banned for life from Anthrocon.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Jaryic on 15.10.2010, 16:41:11
Well, I did seen furries who thought it was fun to -just before leaving the elevator- pressing all the buttons of all floors, making the elevator stop at every floor for nothing...

This behavior would get someone banned for life from Anthrocon.


For years I vote for the possibility to deselect a floor you don't need to go to anymore by pushing the button in the elevator again!
(or at least I like to have the override key from the fire department. :P )

-Jar
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Fauho on 24.10.2010, 22:45:45
Well, I did seen furries who thought it was fun to -just before leaving the elevator- pressing all the buttons of all floors, making the elevator stop at every floor for nothing...

This behavior would get someone banned for life from Anthrocon.


For years I vote for the possibility to deselect a floor you don't need to go to anymore by pushing the button in the elevator again!
(or at least I like to have the override key from the fire department. :P )

-Jar

Well, this problem could easely been resolved I guess, elevators these days are controlled by microcomputers, shouldn't be hard to add a small program that deselects all selected floors when there is no weight (no passangers) in the elevator. Certainly when all floors are selected in just a few secs and no weight is inside this could be easely detected by the elevator's logic as an obvious act of sabotage.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Barney on 25.10.2010, 01:38:58
Well, this problem could easely been resolved I guess, elevators these days are controlled by microcomputers, shouldn't be hard to add a small program that deselects all selected floors when there is no weight (no passangers) in the elevator. Certainly when all floors are selected in just a few secs and no weight is inside this could be easely detected by the elevator's logic as an obvious act of sabotage.

As long as the elevators don't get as "smart" as in the movie "The Lift" I don't have a problem with that.
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: Xar on 25.10.2010, 18:33:48
Well, this problem could easely been resolved I guess, elevators these days are controlled by microcomputers, shouldn't be hard to add a small program that deselects all selected floors when there is no weight (no passangers) in the elevator. Certainly when all floors are selected in just a few secs and no weight is inside this could be easely detected by the elevator's logic as an obvious act of sabotage.

I think that such a system would either be (a) very frustrating for normal use, (b) very easy to work around or (c) not so trivial in its implementation.
And, if I have to be absolutely honest, I think that the guests you can usually find at the Maritim (i.e. when Eurofurence is not there) are not too keen on that kind of... "elevator humor", so from the hotel's perspective maybe it isn't really too big an issue :)

EDIT. oh, one thing I forgot.
Do you have € 4,800 in your budget? :)
(http://www.mbelektronik.com/shop/contents/media/3800FixedLine.jpg)
Do you need a thing like that? They're not really difficult to build...
Title: Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
Post by: GreyLion on 11.12.2010, 10:35:27
very big minus - hotel
cold, uncosy, too expensive bars, lobby like hall on railway station

plus - position
choice of other hotels nearby (as I used), other restaurants and shops near

result - atmosphere and socialisation with other was lost - will not come there again