The Eurofurence Forum

Eurofurence Information => Feedback => Topic started by: ANTIcarrot on 24.08.2014, 13:17:17

Title: EF20 feedback
Post by: ANTIcarrot on 24.08.2014, 13:17:17
Let the annual Hug Box an Complainathon commence! ;D


The good:
Much bigger hotel. Better food. Very nice decorations and even occasionally the ability to swing a cat without hitting five other cats. A left luggage ability for the Dealers Den and Art Show. Room for expansion, especially if/when the Estrel Tower is built. Shorter train journeys for those of us flying in. Reliable, if slow, wireless present through the hotel.

The Bad:
With the best will in the world, the Estrel is located in an area that simply isn't as nice as the center of Magnaburg. Lack of preventative maintenance on elevators is in no way our responsability. Being told the fire escape doors were alarmed when they weren't. The hotel locking the door between Wing 2, 3 & 4 and the only flight of stairs leaving to the lobby; because reasons presumably. Being charged for breakfast, but not learning it was available until Saturday. 'High speed internet' being very glitchy and limited to 3MBps in the lobby. It would be nice if the hotel did not invalidate our free wifi-tokens the moment we check out. The 4 hour delay for the pawpet show.  m( But meh. Par for the course for EF. My Sig is there for a reason. ;)

The Ugly:
However, speaking of the pawpet show... Sending the queue outside when you're next to some of the largest empty rooms in Berlin that aren't currently being used for anything else. Implying there might not be enough seating for everyone - especially given the Estrel's public capacities for this kind of thing, and how everyone seemed to fit in the end. Forcing people to queue next to the smoking area for three hours. Security failing to stop those two groups mixing.


A lot of this is new hotel teething problems, and probably won't happen again in the near future. Perhaps next we we could have a 'meet the hotel' section in the con book? For new visitors and second-timers alike. We should also know enough to put together a neighborhood map for those who want to venture out of the hotel. Nearest pharmacy for example.


The completely unacceptable!!!11!!!
Germanwings losing my suitcase. :'( And then not picking up their phone, answering their email or doing anything to contact me until it turned up Saturday just before the pawpet show; the miserable ########! But I do accept this was for the most part beyond the control of the con staff. ;)


The whimsical:
I couldn't help but notice that, with four 'wings', the Estrel is almost perfectly setup for some kind of Witchcraft and Wizardry theme. You know. Just saying...
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Tinka on 24.08.2014, 18:10:16
" Perhaps next we we could have a 'meet the hotel' section in the con book? For new visitors and second-timers alike."

This is a good idea and should be (will most likely be) included in the "Your first eurofurence/furry con panel"

"Sending the queue outside when..."

Queues are queues - you can't stop them, you can't ban them - "don't queue before 1900" - that worked well ;3

All you can do is to manage them and make them tolerable. I've patented the Tinka2000 queueing system for furrycons (1) everyone gets in the queue and is handed an A4 paper which they write their badge number on (2) everyone layes the A4-paper on the ground and goes to the bar until they announce the delays are over >;3 any takers?

"I couldn't help but notice that, with four 'wings', the Estrel is almost perfectly setup for some kind of Witchcraft and Wizardry theme"

more like the wings of a mental asylum >:P
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Suicune on 25.08.2014, 20:36:29
Since I wrote everything about that great hotel in another thread, I don't need to mention that here :)

I know everything is new, so everything can't be perfect.

So let's start with the good things:

- Something changed regarding GEMA, huh? There was so much good old music on the Fursuit friendly dance, had a lot of fun! :D
- I noticed much more female furs. Made me feel really comfortable :)
- Really nice dealers den. Bright and much room. Sadly I didn't find the time to visit the art show.
- Great idea to make that corner where I could leave my luggage in front of them and using the registration number for it. Would be nice to see that somewehre in the middle of the hotel if possible. Would reduce the stress on the elevators maybe. Maybe print buttons that people could put on their luggage :)
- The show I was visiting ran without any technical problems.
- The Pawpet show was great! ..and sad. ;__; - I want one of the posters! >.<
- Funny crime scene things here and there
- Orga, Security etc. always nice :)
- Nice that we could go outside in the fursuit lounge. Because of the opened doors it became quite cold at evening/night. I started freezing in the rooms next to it xD
- Plushie panel was funny again. But Redmoon: Why didin't you learn from last year? You know there are lots of lates! xD Especially so early in the morning x.x

Not good and not bad:

- Nice to move the Karaoke on that little stage, but a lot of people who wanted to visit it couldn't sit somewhere and barely see anything. Was it moved because of that privat -soon to be open for all- party in room Paris?
- The inflatable community gathering next to it was annoyed because of that party, so they closed the door. Because of that I didn't knew it was still running after karaoke (wanted to visit it once more), so I went back to my room..

Things that went wrong:

- My roomies T-Shirt size wasn't available anymore on the 2nd day. -> XXL
-You know.. waiting times, LONG waitung times. At every stage event I wanted to visit. It feels like I was waiting 1/4 of the time where I wasn't in my room. -_-
I don't remeber how much later the walk started, but it became really crowdy in from on the fursuit lounge, it was hard to get in and out there.
After waiting for 1hr for the concert I would have loved to see I left the line. And I was lining up earlier to get a good seat.. I wanted to visit the karaoke and Infla gathering too and not wasting the whole evening waiting.
And then.. Pawpetshow waiting. *sigh* Please, do that never ever like this again..
First you say next line up is at 19:00 (what wasn't held since people lined up earlier again..), then you put another delay and then another one on it.. What was it? 45Min and then 30Min?
Then came nothing for a long time and then the final 10 Minutes. Then we could go in at.. 21:40?
After a long time of 1 1/2 hrs you had the idea that people are maybe thirsty and bored. I myself got hungry and started freezing because I had to wait outside. I'm just glad I had my 3DS to keep me kinda busy.
Within that 2 1/2 (3 1/2) hrs wasted with waiting I could have had dinner and could have put on my suit what I rarely did because of a f- up own timetable partially thanks to delayed stuff.
I sadly had to skip the Big Blue Dance because it got too late since my roomie and me were travelling home on the next morning. Couldn't say goodbye to some friends who would have been there.

I would have loved explanations why all the different events were late. But there was none. There was not even a real excuse, just a "We are delayed again haha, sorry, thank you for you patience." and that is what annoyed me the most. I'm sorry, but taking everything  with humor stops working, especially after 2 1/2hrs with hurting feets and legs. Stones aren't really comfortable :D
From what I heard Sardyuon was late because something broke. The concert because of soundcheck.

For the next time if you know you will be late, please choose the hightest possible delay and don't make us queue up forever.

I look forward to the next EF and hope everything will work better :)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cyrilius on 25.08.2014, 20:40:37
Eurofurence was a blast once again. Even though I missed out a couple of the main events sadly, I still had the time of my life!

The hotel is interesting and even though there were a few problems, I think they will improve next year. Every hotel did, after they realized just with what they have to deal XD And the Estrel looks professional enough to adjust a few things ^^


The only thing that bothered me, was the way how the delay at the pawpet-show was handled over EF-Prime. Can't speak for the people in the queue as I don't know if they were better informed, but I think it's a bit rude to simply state "Show will start in 10 minutes" and after the timer reaches 1 minute, it was simply set back to +/-10 minutes... Somehow I don't think that anybody responsible really thought that it would really start in 1o minutes, as in the end it took about 2 hours... I think it would have been better to set it to a more realistic time... like for example one hour.

Time is a valuable thing, especially at the EF. Lots of things to do and if we would have known that it wouldn't take 12 minutes (and even though we expected it after several more delays, we still didn't want to risk missing the show in the end), we might have gone to the lobby to chat with people, go to one of the hotel-restaurant or maybe go fursuiting for another hour.


With that said, I want to thank everyone responsible for this great con once again. For me Eurofurence is still the most important event every year, easily beating Christmas, Easter and even the start of the next Game of Thrones season ^^

Also a special thanks to the whole fursuit-lounge team! You guys really rock. The lounge is already pretty professional and even during the more hectic times just before the walk or the photoshooting they always remained friendly and offered a helping hand.


All I can say is, I'm really looking forward to next year already... just after only a few hours of being at home ^^
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: SiranaJHelena on 25.08.2014, 20:59:20
Howdy!

Almost awake again, it's time for me to write some feedback, too. :)

EF20 was not my first Eurofurence but the first after we left Suhl. So I can't compare it to Magdeburg. Also I slept at home, so I can't criticise the room quality.

Location Berlin
As someone who lives in Berlin this new position made it possible for me to visit EF again. Money was one of the main reasons why I had to skip the EFs in Maritim, so I was glad to hear it is moving in the neighbourhood.
Unfortunately the Hotel is located in Neukölln, one of the quarters with a pretty high crime rate and although it fits the topic „CSI“, a less dangerous place would have been better for a convention. However, as far as I know nobody got hurt in one way or another, so maybe we're still a few streets away from the trouble.

Berlin as a whole is a pretty exciting city though there people are used to crazy things and which is offering many crazy stuff itself. Also: Stores which aren't closed 16'o clock are quite helpful. :)

Hotel
It is huge. Really huge. I like that. Also the Hotel Staff is totally awesome! I mean.. waiters wearing fursuits? What the heck? I'm really glad they enjoyed the con just as we did. ^^

The restaurants were quite expensive but I wouldn't be surprised if this was a condition for the low room fee and now where they can assess us a little bit better I'm sure they'll change that next year with some extra menues or so.

There are some negative things I'd like to mention though.
Although everything was very large, many places were obstructed by something. Of course the restaurants needed some tables and it is quite helpful if people aren't standing around holding lots of drinks, almost waiting to spill them. ;) However, with all the fursuits and normal visitors it was hard to find a good place to stand and just talk to someone without blocking someone's path.
Also in the part where the registration was located, there was this small stage in the center. What was that for? I really couldn't figure it out. There was some couches to sit on but I have the feeling it wouldn't have hurt to place them on the ground.

And last but not least: The temperature. Because of the temperatures outside I decided to travel to the hotel with three layers of clothing but I'd never have expected to keep them on when I'm there. Maybe it's just me but in my opinion it was way to cold in the main places. In the lobby you had the doors and additional cold air from the fursuit lounge. In the stage the ventilation overdid it and make me feel pretty uncomfortable.

Food
As already said, dining in the hotel 3 times a day would have made my wallet implode. The opportunities around are quite nice though. There are many restaurants and snack shops aside from McDonalds around which probably earned their monthly income in these few days. :D

Program
The workshops were really interesting and covered many different topics. Sometimes the rooms were too tiny but with 400 more people around than expected it stands to reason.
What bugged me was the schedule around the Group Photo. It was positioned shortly before/while the Dealer's Den was closed. Many artists and also staff people were simply too busy with that to get to the Group Photo in time. In the hours before the artists had to pick up unsold pictures and their money, customers had to pay their art, there was a charity concert right before that and – in theory – the Pawpet Show was about to start afterwards.
Maybe next year it's possible to place it somewhere else?

Art Show and Dealer's Den
The Art Show seemed to be small at first sight because the room itsself was even larger but it really takes time to enjoy it. The light was ok and the space between the panels pleasently wide. Some artists should overthink their definition of „adult“ and „clean“ again though. There had been a hand full pictures which would have fit better in the adult area and vice versa, both concerning blood and porn. ;)
The fursuit photoshoot right next to it was very unpleasing though because of this constantly flashing light you've seen as soon as you were looking in that direction. Please don't forget that this can be even cause medical problems for some people with e.g. migraine or epilepsy far away from just being annoyed. Please move that somewhere else or shield it from the Art Show.

I can't say much about the Dealer's Den as being neither seller nor customer this year. Leaving my bag outside wasn't such a problem for me. If you want a sketchbook signed or need money or whatever, it's easy to just take this out of the bag before you enter. In fact, I really liked the opportunity to left my bag outside as a person without a room. I always feel like an elefant when walking around with a heavy bag, ready to damage something.

I'm wondering if the fact that you have to go through the Dealer's Den to get to the Art Show might have influenced the visitor's decision about where to spend the money. Are there any statistics about that?

Pawpet Show
Best things first: The show was awesome! The main topic might be not entirely new but I really love what the PPS did with it. The puppets were outstanding! Although I will never stop loving Lionel, Poke and all the other cute handpuppet family members, they are too tiny and their actions too limited vor such a large audience and a huge stage. (Sorry pals!) This evolution of the „actors“ is really amazing and offers their players many new opportunities to act.
The music was underlining the play very well and the quality was really high on a scale from 1 to Fox Amoore.. :D

Although I don't want to start nagging now after I know what a hard fight you had to survive before and during the show there are some things I just have to criticise because I hope it helps you to know how to improve it next time.

First thing is the queue for obvious reasons. Eurofurence is no professional conference but a large convention of many talented people who just want to have some fun and the least I want to complain about are the people behind that show who are working their butts off to fix something in the last minute, get a new microphone out of thin air or improvise something McGuiver would be jealous about. If so I wouldn't have stayed in that stupid queue the whole time.

I think it was at EF14(?) where we had a similar delay and I did the same and although it was annoying, I could stand that because for the simple reason we were still standing in the lobby. Yeah, no roomparties for bullheads, no restaurant visits or other stuff but we still were part of the party. It was warm, we had fun anyway and it was easy to laugh about the delay.
This time was different and that's why I'm mentioning it at all: Except for the few people inside it was all but fun. After sunset it became cold pretty fast. It was boring. And from our position next to the main entrance near the end of the queue we could see where the party took place: Everythere else. Also we were standing right next to the smoking people. Not a very pleasant place.
Getting us water was a really nice gesture and surely helped many people who didn't have something to drink with them. Unfortunately we couldn't hear anything from the show Uncle Kage and AJA were doing next to the door where the queue came out but I don't want to blame them for their hartwarming efforts because they aren't able to clone themselves yet. ;)

It was no fun and if the queue doesn't take any other place next year, I won't wait, even if this means that I'm missing my first PPS since forever. I don't want to miss the party.

Beside complaining about „Shit happens“-issues I'd like to mention something else which made me not angry but sad. Although the show was really great I couldn't really get into it. The immersion didn't get me. I thought hard about the reason and I'm still not so sure about it. I think it was the result of many small things. As already said in the beginning, the stage was quite cold. Also the room wasn't completely dark. This doesn't hurt so much during Uncle Kages story hour or the auction but during the PPS it resulted in being permanently aware that this is just a stage and that I'm in a hotel at the con. During the PPS from EF13 I „was“ in Vegas, I tried to get into that goddamn cinema/theater and silently stand right next to the ritual at the end. This time I was sitting in front of the stage because the cold air, everything I saw in the dimmed light and the frustration of that queue-thing before.

Also – and I wouldn't wonder if I'm alone with this opinion now – I had the feeling the music between the scenes was 2-3 seconds too long so I started to look around. I really don't want to discuss about Fox Amoores music skills, they are awesome and the soundtrack is beautiful. But it didn't catch me enough to keep me focused for the whole duration. I know this „Old Scene – Recorded Explanations – Music – New Scene“ cycle isn't new and was already there in my all-time favorite but the music seemed to be more part of it, at EF13 e.g. part of the radio show. Also it wasn't pure instrumental and the lyrics were more than just supporting the topic (e.g. „Locking up the sun“ from Poets of the Fall). Instrumental music doesn't has this effect on me, no matter how epic it is. So I'm getting distracted more easily when it's more than just a few accords.

Wishes
The text is getting longer and longer, so I'm keeping this one short. As a result of this pros and cons there are just a few things:

1) More free space to be aside from the Artist's Lounge. Between lobby and Dealer's Den there have been many empty spaces. Put a few seats there, make it comfortable and I'm happy. Or at any other place. ^^
Additionally please put this useless mini-stage away in the lobby away.
2) Pleasent temperatures! Nobody would have expected August being like a second April but these things happen. Please make it warmer, at least the stage!
3) Rearrange that queue. There will always be queues, so please put it somewhere where it's more or less bearable to wait.

That's all, folks!
Oh, almost forgot:

THANKS FOR MAKING SUCH A GREAT CONVENTION!

Ok, now I'm done. ^^
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Schorse on 25.08.2014, 22:12:21
@Starfighter Suicune:
I accidently was given a shirt in XXL instead of XL. If I can get one in XL, your roomie could get mine.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: silverfoxwolf on 25.08.2014, 22:38:14
Generally I found things to be not all that bad and most of the issues beyond the control of the con or hotel staff. The lifts for example were failing a fair bit, but that's what happens when you suddenly expect them to deal with a lot more than they are normally expected to cope with. A few times though people did push up through to get in rather than waiting in a queue, however you cannot hold anyone except the individuals responsible for rude behaviour.

I didn't really get the mini stage as it would have been nicer to just have the open space, though it did get used for some events. I'd have suggested locating in in the glassed area on the way to the dealers den would have been a better choice to locate it. I suppose the idea was to create a social space to be used and it did seem to enjoy some success in that regard.

The suit lounge was nicely equipped to handle suiters, the usual problem of dryers being hogged and people not removing suits/paws/heads when dry. Another thing that is down to bad behaviour as opposed to fault of the convention.

I did encounter a problem of one of my cooling vests going missing, but would like to personally thank the security staff involved in that for doing their best to help with that. I would suggest that conops might be better if it had an open public desk all the time.

The only real problems I would like to raise are the fursuit photoshoot, delayed due to other events running late, but really we had no idea where we should meet or which way to face. We couldn't hear anything except when Codewolf shouted to tell us which way to look, thank you Code :) I'd have been facing the wrong way otherwise. I think really it was just down to a lack of clear information, so just something that could do with some posters in the lounge and such so the information is in more places. The other thing was the fursuit walk, nothing was wrong with the walk route itself it was more the waiting around and again lack of clear information on what was happening. Lots of milling around and being hot isn't that fun.

Overall things worked well, I was quite happy wandering around in my tshirts and suiting wasn't that problematic. It might be an idea if there was a schedule published for EF Prime, I really liked just watching some of the things going on and it was nice to be told about one of my own videos making it on there :)

Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: James The Dog on 26.08.2014, 00:51:42
Forcing people to queue next to the smoking area for three hours. Security failing to stop those two groups mixing.

In a similar vain, when it came to the group photo, however much I don't like taking my fursuit head off in public view, I had to because of people smoking and the smoke filling up the inside of my fursuit head... ugh. And similarly people smoking in the queue itself- when you're in a queue and someone lights up, it's not like you can move away easily, and if you get out the queue then you lose your place. Would it be too much to ask people not to smoke in either the queues or while waiting for the photo?

Another thing was the fursuit group photo- it was tweeted that it had been delayed to 22:20, so I suited up and headed down arrived about 5-10 minutes before then, but when I got there, it seemed the photo had already been taken and everyone had left to the fursuit lounge. And the fursuit friendly dance was advertised as starting straight after the photo, but it didn't begin until around 45 minutes later.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: BigBlueFox on 26.08.2014, 01:50:20
The only thing that bothered me, was the way how the delay at the pawpet-show was handled over EF-Prime. Can't speak for the people in the queue as I don't know if they were better informed, but I think it's a bit rude to simply state "Show will start in 10 minutes" and after the timer reaches 1 minute, it was simply set back to +/-10 minutes... Somehow I don't think that anybody responsible really thought that it would really start in 1o minutes, as in the end it took about 2 hours... I think it would have been better to set it to a more realistic time... like for example one hour.

Thanks for your feedback, but we strongly depend on statements by the stage and pawpet crew, and when all we get is a "It's done when it's done", we cannot do anything about it.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Zestence on 26.08.2014, 05:07:06
I'll try to keep this short.

Hotel
Hotel was nice enough, I do miss the disco-ball in the lobby though. Deposit charges during check-in came as a little bit of a surprise, as they wanted 600€ each from me and my roommate plus room at first. I did manage to negotiate the charges down after I explained my entire account doesn't even have that much money in it (and it's a debit card so it would have overdrawn my account immediately). In the end they took room+75€. This was not mentioned during registration I believe, or in the emails I got from the hotel. In Finland no hotel does this, and when I asked my bank a week before con they thought I was being scammed. No problems in the end, but a little forewarning would have been appreciated.

Staff/bars
Staff was helpful and polite, and the concierge service especially proved useful. I appreciated the gesture made during the opening ceremony by the hotel manager regarding next year, and I instantly felt welcome. Pricing at the bars was decent after EF-pricing came into effect and the service was great, though it was a little bit of a shame they seemed to close very early (private bar for the Saturday dance was a great idea). Not much to complain here, I just wished they could keep the bars open a little longer next year.

Food
Too expensive for everyday eating at the hotel with my budget, luckily enough there were "restaurants" and a Netto across the bridge. Which, conveniently....brings me to my biggest complaint this year...

Area
This is what I had the most problem with during EF. The immediate area around the hotel seems a "little" ghetto-ish, and I was really nervous about going outside to the store alone, especially later at night. We got harassed by local bums begging for money near the Netto, some locals stopped a car while we were outside suiting near the road and yelled....let's just say not particularly nice things out the windows, very loudly. I was never afraid around Magdeburg, but I wouldn't wonder around the Estrel at night without a decent sized group. This made finding alternate places to eat difficult, and I found myself hiding my badges under my shirt when I left the immediate surroundings of the hotel because I didn't feel safe.

All in all it was a good con. I had to miss the paw pet show because I didn't feel like wasting half a day standing in line, but I still got to see most stage events I wanted.
Big thanks to the fursuit lounge staff, it was a little crowded in there, but the private balcony was a nice touch.
Dances were great despite being slightly late ;), but I still managed to tire myself out.
Basically, assume that if I don't have anything to complain about it, I liked it or at least found it satisfactory.

And bring back 80s dance next year, all night, every night. That is all.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Jorinda on 26.08.2014, 10:16:46
I'll try to keep this short.
Me too, so I won't repeat stuff that has already been said. I guess we don't need another text about waiting lines.

Fursuit lounge
The fursuit lounge was organized very well. There were always full containers of different drinks, snacks, and cups. Everything was refilled rapidly.
I was surprised to find free head-dryer slots all the time. I had expected some waiting time for a free dryer at peak times, like just after the fursuit parade.
Also the separation between head-dryer and feet-dryer worked perfectly.

The only negative thing I can say about the fursuit lounge: It was awfully cold. The ventilation was great, but the cold air made people feel quite uncomfortable, even when changing from fursuit to normal clothes took only few minutes.
(On the other hand, the temperature kept people from lingering in the lounge and blocking it.)

About stairs/lifts:
Most has been said in previous posts. Just one small addition: There was the staircase from 1st floor to the lobby. Would it be possible to keep that one open all day? I had a hotel room in the first floor, and could have walked easily, but the doors were locked in the morning (because of breakfast, I guess).

About EF Prime:
Nice choice of videos between the events.
Sometimes there were techical issues such as beeping, no sound or stripes in the image. But those were fixed after the first or second day, if I remember correctly.

The main stage:

Nice idea to put up that dancing poles. But the aluminium caused dark stains on white fursuit paws.

The light during the dances was very nice.

Not sure if that was a general issue or I just had a seat right underneath a vent: I felt very cold during the Fursuit Gameshow. For other events such as Dance Contest and Fursuit-Friendly Dance, the temperature was good.


Fursuit Game Show
Nice creative games.
On the other hand... nice "creative" system of giving the points? I wasn't the only one who failed to understand how the points for the games were calculated. (Well, I won't complain, since my friends won, but still it seemed a bit illogical.)

The moderator seemed to be a bit confused and sometimes misinformed. He announced the winners, and then saw that there were more games to come. I don't know what happened there.
During the "How did this victim die?" game, some of the images were not shown on the screen.

All in all, the games were fun to watch, but lacked information for the audience at some points.

edit: One thing I really disliked: The charity thing in the pre-Games. I was in one of the last teams, and when we came to the lobby with the charity box, everyone greeted us with "Not again, I was asked for money 15 times in a row now." Annoying people isn't a great idea for charity.


The campfire
Big thank you for that! It was awesome. A nice place to sit and chat.


The environments
Well, I see that the con organisators couldn't influence that. Local people showed a wide variety from happy curiosity up to threats to beat fursuiters. But as far as I know, noone was really attacked.

There were some restaurants that were frequented by many furries. For example the "La Terrazza". Maybe they would be partners for a "Show you Badge"-thing next year?



Details and suggestions
Not sure if that would cause too much extra work: Would it be possible to offer con shirts in two colours? Standard black and one non-black colour? This year's brownish colour wasn't liked by everyone. (Well, of course we have the choice to just not get a conshirt if we dislike the colour.)

Maybe some finger posts pointing to the main event rooms? I know there was a plan in the conbook, but most people just carry the pocket guide, and many were searching for panel rooms during the first days.

For the Dealers Den: Someone could earn a fortune by selling punched pockets (http://www.tl-buerowelt.de/images/Bilder_1/ppl/p042/001/p042001a.jpg). Many artists offer unframed prints, postcards and similar stuff that would be easier to take home in a protecting pocket.





Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cyrilius on 26.08.2014, 11:07:10

Thanks for your feedback, but we strongly depend on statements by the stage and pawpet crew, and when all we get is a "It's done when it's done", we cannot do anything about it.

Ok, thanks for clarification then!

Redirecting that request for the future to the stage crew then. I think everybody can understand that the stage has to be ready and nobody wants to see a half-prepared show.

But if there are problems, it's better to state a realistic time and keep people informed.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Fafnir Kristensen on 26.08.2014, 11:21:26
summary:

I had one week of great fun :)
thanks to everyone who made it possible :)


in details:

location:

mmm, I miss the feeling we had in Magdeburg, where we were in the city center, near all the people and the life. I wonder why they built the Estrel so far from the center? maybe because the land was cheap, but still.
but there are enough supermarket around to accommodate for any needed "supply", and the ring train station is just around the corner, so it's not that bad.
anyway, we cant really move the hotel location


hotel:

the good:
- I like the new hotel, more space for everything is good.
- Breakfast is nice too, also I dont think I have seem that many people up so early before :D
- Reception/concierge/restaurant staff were very friendly and offered me excellent services.

the bad:
- stairs door locked... seriously, this has been the same problem in all the hotel we have been, why dont they put handle on both side of the doors ? also that would much alleviate the stress on the elevators.
- the bar...
the bar staff was either seriously overwhelmed or not happy, because the service there was not good: long waiting, sad faced waiter/waitress, and please, I order a black ice and they dont have any left? (it seems they were not making these live at the bar but only prepared big jerrycan somewhere else) so I order a Spooge Special and I get a glass completely full of ice and 5 sip of cocktail? I was not happy and never ordered another one).
also, the bar closed at 3am the evening of the pawpetshow/dance, WTF, seriously, thats completely retarded, the bar manager is really bad/clueless (please give me back André the hairless master of alcohol! that guy knew what he was doing).
even the small bar in the corner of the main stage room closed before the end of the dance (but kudo to the waiter who did the service, he was nice and did a good job)
- the wifi in the room (estrel-rooms network) is the absolute WORST i have ever experimented, it was just plain unusable. a 4 stars hotel should be ashamed for providing such low quality service :( :( :( .


dealers den:

the good:
- more space, can fit everyone inside, almost no queue! (but for the opening, but thats normal).

the less good:
- not really bad, but friends who were dealing in the first isle block near the entry where quite cramped and told me it would have been better with a bit more inner space, and when I see all the free space behind the larger tables near the window where almost nobody was, that should be easily possible without causing any flow problem.


artshow:

the good:
- more space
- the item deposal/pickup (at the entrance of the dealers den), excellent idea and it worked very well, please do it again.

the less good:
- lighting was so-so, I often had the lamps reflection in the art glass, making it difficult to really appreciate what I was looking at. though with the big ceiling, I understand it may be problematic to improve.
- I was a bit annoyed by the fursuite photoshooting flashing all the time. I understand you tried to use the space as much as possible, but next year please try to not put the two together in the same room.


the dances:

the good:
- I liked both dance, I had a lot of fun doing both till the end! big thanks to the DJs!

the less good:
- no more ears protection? If I remember correctly these were previously offered unofficially by one of the attendee, did this person not come this year or couldnt offer the service ? please let me know if thats the case next year, and I will try to provide boxes of theses.
I brought my own ears protection, so I was fine, but im pretty sure lots of people would have appreciated having some too.


pawpetshow wait:

the less good:
- making people wait outside of the hotel: really bad idea
- information was slow to come and when an announcement is done, it should get relayed along the queue.

the better:
- thanks to the person who thought about distributing drinks along the queue.


pawpetshow itself:

the good:
- interesting and complex story, nice music, nice props and fun special effects.

the less good:
- the actors voice volume were FAR TO FAINT! sometime I simply couldnt hear what they were saying. the music volume was, in comparison, too loud and covered the voices.
- in some scenes, the puppets were partly hidden by the front pieces of props, for example the scene in the swamp with the remains of the burned house, I had to look a the display to see the amulet part, otherwise it was not visible,
same problem in 2 or 3 more scenes.
for information I was in the exact middle of the chairs between the scene and the control booth.






Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Token on 26.08.2014, 15:18:26
The campfire
Big thank you for that! It was awesome. A nice place to sit and chat.

The environments
Well, I see that the con organisators couldn't influence that. Local people showed a wide variety from happy curiosity up to threats to beat fursuiters. But as far as I know, noone was really attacked.
Glad you enjoyed the campfire! :3

As for external people causing troubles: Luckily this happens extremely rarely. But still, this is one of our (security team) 'major' tasks… keeping all attendees safe from attacks. If you see some sec-people jumping out of every corner and running like stupid somewhere*, this is sometimes the reason. Even if you feel uncomfortable with some outsiders e.g. at the campfire because they look like trouble, go and tell a seccie! We are more than happy to keep a close eye on these and act if needed.

*That one early afternoon you might have seen us all running to the campfire - it was actually a false-alarm. %-)


the bad:
- stairs door locked... seriously, this has been the same problem in all the hotel we have been, why dont they put handle on both side of the doors ? also that would much alleviate the stress on the elevators.
And like every year, there are very strict fire protection rules that cannot be easily changed without getting into _MAJOR_(!!!) troubles. Like every year, we try to negotiate with the hotel and local authorities (yes, also police and firefighters) to sort out as many workarounds as possible. Please bear with us, please do not force-open the doors and please tell off/tell security any dick you find abusing/breaking the elevators.

artshow:
the less good:
- I was a bit annoyed by the fursuite photoshooting flashing all the time. I understand you tried to use the space as much as possible, but next year please try to not put the two together in the same room.
The fursuit photoshoot right next to it was very unpleasing though because of this constantly flashing light you've seen as soon as you were looking in that direction. Please don't forget that this can be even cause medical problems for some people with e.g. migraine or epilepsy far away from just being annoyed. Please move that somewhere else or shield it from the Art Show.
Yes, it was a technical issue that hardly anyone was happy about. And if it is remotely possible, we will not ever do this again. We have to work with what we get from the hotel.


- Great idea to make that corner where I could leave my luggage in front of them and using the registration number for it. Would be nice to see that somewehre in the middle of the hotel if possible. Would reduce the stress on the elevators maybe. Maybe print buttons that people could put on their luggage :)
Thank you, we are glad you liked it. But as for the idea to have to more central/running longer: Sorry, not possible. It already ate a huge amount of manpower. Basically we know how inconvenient the forbidden bags inside artshow/dealersden can be and thus tried to 'ease the pain' for those who do not read the conbook (and signs, and handhouts, and RoC…) and come to the artshow/dealersden with a bag or camera. :-)


Germanwings losing my suitcase. :'( And then not picking up their phone, answering their email or doing anything to contact me until it turned up Saturday just before the pawpet show; the miserable ########! But I do accept this was for the most part beyond the control of the con staff. ;)
Yes, we are really sorry that happened and are planning next year to handle the luggage-operations of the nearby airports ourselfs. We already negotiated contracts with most of the major airlines and will ramp up our security team accordingly. This should not happen again next year, please drop a note, if otherwise. :-)

Now in all seriousness, I am really sorry and can imagine how this can ruin the con experience quiet a bit. But that feedback should be left with your airline. *hugs*


Best wishes and more hugs,
Token
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Fafnir Kristensen on 26.08.2014, 15:50:40
And like every year, there are very strict fire protection rules that cannot be easily changed without getting into _MAJOR_(!!!) troubles. Like every year, we try to negotiate with the hotel and local authorities (yes, also police and firefighters) to sort out as many workarounds as possible. Please bear with us, please do not force-open the doors and please tell off/tell security any dick you find abusing/breaking the elevators.

a few questions about this: at the Maritime, on one side of the hotel, it was possible to open the door from both side, was this a very special case of that hotel? was it something which was specially arranged for us? what kind of regulation allowed that to be possible in the Maritime but may not be the same elsewhere?

I understand you may not have the answer for these questions, though I would be really interested to know the answers.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Schakaline on 26.08.2014, 16:10:23
a few questions about this: at the Maritime, on one side of the hotel, it was possible to open the door from both side, was this a very special case of that hotel? was it something which was specially arranged for us? what kind of regulation allowed that to be possible in the Maritime but may not be the same elsewhere?

Quite simple. The Maritim is built with indoor staircases (that's why they had those bigass fans in there) and the emergency doors there lead to the lobby and ultimately the main/rear entrances.

The Estrel is built with outdoor staircases, and hence the emergency doors on the ground floor lead outside, since it would make no sense to dump people from 13 floors up into a narrow hallway and have them scramble for the main exit.

So, blame the architect. :)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Quincy the Raccoon on 26.08.2014, 17:06:54


Quite simple. The Maritim is built with indoor staircases (that's why they had those bigass fans in there) and the emergency doors there lead to the lobby and ultimately the main/rear entrances.


I remember those... darn, those things were LOUD! (Maybe handy though for the fursuitlounge?  ;D Just kidding here...)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cheetah on 26.08.2014, 19:18:36
The only thing that bothered me, was the way how the delay at the pawpet-show was handled over EF-Prime. Can't speak for the people in the queue as I don't know if they were better informed, but I think it's a bit rude to simply state "Show will start in 10 minutes" and after the timer reaches 1 minute, it was simply set back to +/-10 minutes... Somehow I don't think that anybody responsible really thought that it would really start in 1o minutes, as in the end it took about 2 hours... I think it would have been better to set it to a more realistic time... like for example one hour.

Thanks for your feedback, but we strongly depend on statements by the stage and pawpet crew, and when all we get is a "It's done when it's done", we cannot do anything about it.

So, how long does it take to find all the easter eggs that mom has hidden in the guarden? It's not that we have that information, and don't give it to you. Some things are actually impossible to predict ... at least it's impossible to be more precise then "It'll take hours" or "It'll take minutes".  That is especially true for technical problems. If you fix one problem, and find another one, it'll take longer than you thought it would.

There's not that "one single thing" that went wrong with the pawpetshow this year. We'll do our homework and see what we can do to make those failures less likely the next time, but we can never be sure.  It's also not only the complexity of the show itself. We've had much simpler shows blow up in similar ways. Technically, this show was not more complex than last years.

But if your PC suddenly blows up at 3am during the dress rehearsal and takes 3 hours to fix ... how much do you add to your delay estimate?

*sigh*

All I can say that I'm sorry for the waiting, and that (like always) we'll do everything to prevent that from happening.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: nobs on 26.08.2014, 20:00:03
What really impressed me was the friendly professional service of the hotel from the first day. I experienced several other houses at several occasions when they were crowded (including the Maritim in the first year) that were absolutely not capable of handling a crowd of (paying!) people. The Estrel just did. This is amazing.

What I did not like was the sound quality of the stage events on EFprime. I guess this has been addressed often enough. I hope this can be fixed next year. If it helps I can offer my knowledge of electronics and some equipment.

And I hope we get a bigger main stage next year. After the opening ceremony I just didn't dare to queue another time there.

A small thing: Maybe we can arrange a simpler house keeping service the next time. I tried to address this, but the answer was basically "we have to keep your standard". This is really nice. But after 4 people "checking" the room and occupying it for more than 20min, we decided to "work around" and keeping the "do not disturb" sign on the door even when we left the room most of the time. It's really nice to have a tidy room, but you can also overdo it.

And another small thing. The "easy check-out" should be promoted the right time. Most people do not read all that stuff that is written in the hotel room. Most of it is advertising for pay-per-view or other boring stuff. Telling people in the check-out queue they should have used easy check-out is not very nice. And telling them it is "automatic" when they paid with credit card neither. Especially when you need the registration desk to leave the parking house...

So enough of the grouching: Great hotel, great event. I had my fun. Thanks to all the entire staff of EF and Estrel. CU next year.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Token on 26.08.2014, 20:08:44
A small thing: Maybe we can arrange a simpler house keeping service the next time. I tried to address this, but the answer was basically "we have to keep your standard". This is really nice. But after 4 people "checking" the room and occupying it for more than 20min, we decided to "work around" and keeping the "do not disturb" sign on the door even when we left the room most of the time. It's really nice to have a tidy room, but you can also overdo it.
If you left the "DnD"-Sign at the door for more than two days, they checked anyways. The way this was handled has been raised with the hotel, as some people felt somewhat uncomfortable. But at the same time you have to understand, that quiet a few of people treated the rooms/doors/whatnot in really bad ways.
I think this is one of the typical 'rough edges' that need to be worked out over the next years. I am sure they will improve. But at the same time, maybe raise the issue on-site next time with the hotel, suggesting a different time-slot or something like this. :-)


And another small thing. The "easy check-out" should be promoted the right time. Most people do not read all that stuff that is written in the hotel room. Most of it is advertising for pay-per-view or other boring stuff. Telling people in the check-out queue they should have used easy check-out is not very nice. And telling them it is "automatic" when they paid with credit card neither. Especially when you need the registration desk to leave the parking house...
Yes, I also did not know that until now, actually. :-P But should it be written into the conbook? Then, still, nobody would know this. xD Let us assume that it will spread by itself next year simply out of the convenience it brings. :-)

Best wishes,
Token
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Red-Claw on 26.08.2014, 20:20:40
Most of the things I have in mind about this years EF have already been said.

I'd just like to add something regarding the area surround the hotel and the locals:
From the experience I made the area is very hostile and unwelcoming. I've had locals insulting us, but I can deal with that. What I hadn't experienced until now was a physical attack. One early evening (around 7 p.m.) we were eating doner kebap right in front of little shop on the streets. Suddenly someone came up from behind and smacked my arm, supposedly trying to push the kebap I was holding into my face. Luckily it just scratched the side of my head, but my glasses were knocked off and left a little scratch next to my eye. Then the person yelled incomprehensible things, shattered a glass on the shop's wall and kicked some of the tables while running away. It all happened so fast that none of us could react or do something in time, that person was gone. I was lucky that nothing serious happened. Even my glasses survived without major damage. Heck, I suppose no one should leave the hotel alone. But things can happen to you even when in a group.

I know that this has nothing to do with Eurofurence, it's just a report I wanted to share. I loved the convention itself and had one of the best times in my life. :)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Suran on 26.08.2014, 20:36:50
brain dump initiated.....

First thing: Best Dead Dog party ever.
Including an improvised dance that easily rivaled an entire, smaller convention.


Navigation

Obviously the elevator situation needs improvement.
Especially OUR behavior in it that made security personel inside the elevators a necessity. :/
Any way of opening the connections between the hotel wings or (if at all possible) the stairs would be great.

The random distribution of panel rooms and missing context in the maps leading to them can be improved.
(So this map is of what wing? Where IS wing 3? How is this oriented regarding any kind of landmark?)


Food

The food was expensive and closing down at unreasonable times, given the usual schedule of an EF.
(No food after the PPS and beer only in the irregular bar on the dance floor.)
I hope the hotel learned a bit about our event. Breakfast also closed very early.
The menu of the italian restaurant was...extremely limited.
3 kinds of Pizza, no Calzone, no Lasagne.

The drinks where...okay. Quality seems to have been random. Not bad enough to reject them but not 4 star material either.

I missed the tomato soup for the english breakfast. (Got to like that stuff in the Hilton used by Confuzzled.)
Staff in the restaurants was also not as responsive and abundant as in the Hilton.

The opening times of the hotel restaurants where a mystery. Even the restaurant staff themself had to go and ask.
You basically found out if one of the restaurants was open for business by a waiter arriving or not after a certain time.
No other indication.


Prices

108eur for parking your car is a lot of money. Even for a hotel.
Removing all the parking ticket machines on the late departure day was...a problem.

Fursuiting

On the fursuit photo shoot I had a security guy guiding me through the crown on the way too the shoot.
(That was very much needed.) On the way back out that kind of help was aparently not possible.
Had a hard time finding my way and not destroying any art or atendees.
Luckily the way was free and visible during the fursuit parade. After the photoshoot I didn't expect this route
to be possible at all.

Dealers Den

It looked nice but not all dealers who registred right at the start getting a space was a disappointment.

Infrastructure

The power grid, cabling and ventilation is something that for the most part can not be improved but still should be mentioned.

Disassembling all parking ticket vending machines on the late departure day was extremely bad timing.

As for the waiting times... keep in ming that people behind the stage waited serveral hours longer and everything reasonable was done to avoid that situation. Something things just happen.

I liked having supermarket and food places nearby. Didn't expect that given the early descriptions of what to expect there.
Not getting any "10% off" like in Magdeburg is to be expected in a city the size of Berlin.

Hanging opportunities in the rooms where...very limited.
One of the 3 cabinets in our room was a fake. So there was space to hang 1 fursuit, 1 inner fursuit and 1 outfit for 2 guests with 3 fursuits, 6 outfits and actually even regular clothing.
I liked the large desks.
The random distribution of lights and light switches was...confusing.
Air conditoning was of...limited effect.
Sometimes they forgot to bring new towels after taking the old ones. Not acceptable in a 4 star hotel. Happened not just once.
(okay, fursuiters shower a lot more then businessmen I guess)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Tinka on 26.08.2014, 20:45:09
But if your PC suddenly blows up at 3am during the dress rehearsal and takes 3 hours to fix ... how much do you add to your delay estimate?

*sigh*

All I can say that I'm sorry for the waiting, and that (like always) we'll do everything to prevent that from happening.

*hugs* Any live event is subject to such delays - I've had military exercises 'bomb' for 12-24 hours because of supply/technical/vehicle/personnel issues - multiplied by conflicting schedules, weather effect, geographic distances. When you're in charge of something like that you just have to "improvise, adapt, overcome" and get it solved - when giving up is not an option. However you have to make compromises and the first thing you usually compromise is keeping the grunts waiting in the rain informed of your every trouble and intention. They'll just have to sit it out. In the military it's not a big deal, they're used to it. With a paying audience its a quite a different thing... your PR-department should have contingencies for such scenarios: like now you did with A.J.A fiddling to the crowd while the roach-man acted as a speaker stand (the only thing he's good for). 
 
For these reasons I have to say I quite enjoyed the queuing this year my spot being just next to the impromptu show ^^' We devised many ways to keep ourselves entertained while waiting with each incremental announcement of further delays being taken with great humor and more jokes. We even began to script a comedy routine or panel on 'how to queue at EF'- its written down on my phone. I'll have to polish it to see if it becomes something I could make a production out of for next EF - since I have a feeling it will be needed ;3

Sincerely "that fox guy" >:3
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Nimrais on 26.08.2014, 20:50:34
I'll keep it as short as possible ... :3

Positive:
- The hotel! So much space and the lobby has so many possibilities to sit down with people. I also like the dimmed light in the evening with the chains of lights in the trees.
- The hotel staff was so professional and friendly. A lot of staffers seemed to have an awesome time with us :)
- The breakfast buffet! It was so good to just go downstairs and have something proper to eat! They also constantly checked the buffet and refilled it.
- The conbook was really well made this year, definitely a highlight!
- The Dealers' Den is AWESOME! Large, light, soo much space! Also the DD team and the artshow team did an absolutely great job again this year.
- The food was really, really good even though the prices were quite high (the daily dish was a nice alternative though)
- Loved the café where you could get ice cream x3
- The artist hour in the Art Show is such a great idea (even though it's so much easier now for artists to visit the art show, since it's right next to the den)
- The showers worked perfectly compared to last year.
- The dance was really good with greeeaaat music. Heck, I even danced for the first time in my life this year.
- EF Prime is still awesome as ever.
- The extra bar at the dance was a good idea!
- The security team left a really good impression on me, they were always present and attentive.

Neutral/Negative:
- The Artist Lounge was so small :/ Every time I wanted to go there, it was crowded without any space left. I would've loved to spend more time with the people, but we mostly ended up in a room together with a few friends.
- It has been said so many times already ... but I've always looked forward to the dance on Saturday, it has been a major highlight for me since EF15. I know people already gave this critique and I'm very happy it even happened (Caida did an awesome job btw and we had lots of fun once it started), but the starting time of almost 3AM due to the PPS was a major downer for me and my friends (at some point you can't stay awake anymore and you have so little time for the event you looked forward to). I know that there were unavoidable problems, yes. It probably would be easier if the dance wouldn't depend on the PPS, but I guess this probably has to be, due to limited convention space.
- Sound problems of EF Prime, but I guess I don't have to mention it anymore ^^'
- For some reason we couldn't pay our parking tickets at the Estrel parking garage because the ticket machine was removed, so we had to pay at the registration desk where that huge check-out queue was. So we lost quite some time and had to pay more (though the hotel staff did their best to help us). Hopefully the machine will be back next year :)
- Roomservice kept checking the room so often, it started to get a bit annoying.
- The Dead Dog party felt a bit scattered, but I guess this is due to the hotel layout. I just loved the combination of the dance + bar at the Maritim. It felt so intimate and cozy. Guess you can't do anything about it, but I thought it doesn't hurt to mention :)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Suran on 26.08.2014, 20:50:37

Unfortunately the Hotel is located in Neukölln, one of the quarters with a pretty high crime rate and although it fits the topic „CSI“, a less dangerous place would have been better for a convention. However, as far as I know nobody got hurt in one way or another, so maybe we're still a few streets away from the trouble.

Quote from a much earlier EF:
"Don't go fursuiting in the woods. There are hunters."
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: SiranaJHelena on 26.08.2014, 20:59:14
Unfortunately the Hotel is located in Neukölln, one of the quarters with a pretty high crime rate and although it fits the topic „CSI“, a less dangerous place would have been better for a convention. However, as far as I know nobody got hurt in one way or another, so maybe we're still a few streets away from the trouble.
Quote from a much earlier EF:
"Don't go fursuiting in the woods. There are hunters."
I dimly remember. :D
Fursuiting in the woods is a little more special though than "eating something three steps away" like Red-Claw recounted...
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: nobs on 26.08.2014, 20:59:39
Especially OUR behavior in it that made security personel inside the elevators a necessity. :/

Well... When the sign says "14 people", I expect this to be correct even when the elevators are being used (not speaking of jumping or other stupid things here) ... I've heard the engines do overheat when being used sustained. This might be ok-ish in a apartment house, but is a bit strange in a hotel. But that was only a rumor. The hacker inside me suggested the "overload"-alarm not only be connected to the weight but also to the temperature to the engines. Give me a Kairan and a Riffuchs and a week of time and we fix that :)

Quote
108eur for parking your car is a lot of money. Even for a hotel.
Removing all the parking ticket machines on the late departure day was...a problem.

True. And they did not even have the (lame) "excuse" of the Maritim that this is not their parking house, so they can not give any discount. But unfortunately this gets more and more common in hotels.

Quote
Hanging opportunities in the rooms where...very limited.
One of the 3 cabinets in our room was a fake.

True. The cabinet space was very limited. I really wonder what is in the third one, some NSA-equipment? ;-)

Quote
Air conditoning was of...limited effect.

That was really very good in our room. The thermostat was off by about 5°C, but the power of the cooling was more than enough.

Quote
Sometimes they forgot to bring new towels after taking the old ones. Not acceptable in a 4 star hotel. Happened not just once.

Happened once and was corrected easily with the all-present house-keeping-service.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Suran on 26.08.2014, 21:03:44
Hanging opportunities in the rooms where...very limited.
One of the 3 cabinets in our room was a fake.

True. The cabinet space was very limited. I really wonder what is in the third one, some NSA-equipment? ;-)

Aparently a wall.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Hurga on 26.08.2014, 21:11:46
Obviously the elevator situation needs improvement.
Interesting - this isn't obvious for me. The elevators seeemed to work perfectly, I can't remember that I needed to wait for more than 3 minutes at any time, I remember only one that was broken. And I was very surprised about it.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cheetah on 26.08.2014, 21:22:40
Interesting - this isn't obvious for me. The elevators seeemed to work perfectly, I can't remember that I needed to wait for more than 3 minutes at any time, I remember only one that was broken. And I was very surprised about it.

The problem was mostly limited to Wing 2 ... management is very aware of the problems, and they promised to come up with a solution.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Suran on 26.08.2014, 21:23:25
Obviously the elevator situation needs improvement.
Interesting - this isn't obvious for me. The elevators seeemed to work perfectly, I can't remember that I needed to wait for more than 3 minutes at any time, I remember only one that was broken. And I was very surprised about it.

I experienced 2 broken elevators, was stuck in a third one and regularly had to wait.
That the 3 most stressed elevators are the only ones reaching the parking levels and you need to move from one elevator to another to reach a room in another block but II doesn't help.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: nobs on 26.08.2014, 21:42:56
Like in every decent 3D-mace there some hidden trails:

You can use the stair-houses to go down. In block 2 you can leave the stairs at -1, -2 and *tadaa* on +1. Outside breakfast time you head towards "Sauna", take a left turn and you are in "Orangerie" of the Lobby: Leaving block 2 with_out_ the use of elevators.

Then you can change between block 1 through 3. So with using the elevators at room "Paris" you can also get into block 2.

And finally you can switch between block 4 and 2 on levels +1 and +2.

So there are some tricks to reduce the load of the elevators of block 2 (that are closest to the registration which makes them kinda "popular").

Choose your trail, but choose wisely!

[edit: sometimes I wonder about myself...]
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: lynard on 26.08.2014, 22:15:35
Well, a new Convention, a new Year, a new Hotel. I was lucky that my Cocktails were ok (for my taste) though i had not that much - drank mostly beer. The Lift System could use some improvement. It was obvious that the Hotel Staff doesnt have such large groups like us in the house very often - though they handled it well. Wifi Access was ok - not the fastest one, but I had much much much worse on US Conventions.

---- from here on my personal comment
As usual when we move to a new Hotel there were technical difficulties. I expected them (been on enough convention so far - its always the same problem), just not the fact, that they would pile up _that_ high. Lots of staff people were stressed including myself, especially with this large number of visitors. I also know that waiting queues suck and that waiting is not a nice thing, especially when delay grows with more and more little catastrophes (technical problems, pc crash and so on - you name it; Murphys Law comes as many many little problems).

Personally I find it unfair and really demotivating to complain only about the waiting time of the pps show, as the concert of Fox Amoore was also delayed by at least 45 to 60 Minutes (can't remember it exactly by now) because of technical problems as well (which wasn't mentioned yet by anyone).
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Suran on 26.08.2014, 22:19:12
The doors between the blocks on level 1 are closed during the night and morning,
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Fineas on 26.08.2014, 22:22:42
Like in every decent 3D-mace there some hidden trails:

You can use the stair-houses to go down. In block 2 you can leave the stairs at -1, -2 and *tadaa* on +1. Outside breakfast time you head towards "Sauna", take a left turn and you are in "Orangerie" of the Lobby: Leaving block 2 with the use of elevators.

Then you can change between block 1 through 3. So with using the elevators at room "Paris" you can also get into block.

And finally you can switch between block 4 and 2 on levels +1 and +2.

So there are some tricks to reduce the load of the elevators of block 2 (that are closest to the registration which makes them kinda "popular").

Choose your trail, but choose wisely!

Pffff. I got stuck in the staircase at Wing 2. Level 0 and -1 both had either alarms or only knobs on the door.
I was so glad for my staff radio that I could call security, otherwise I would had been panicking pretty quick.

Still it was hotel staff that let me out when I knocked the door, they where quite surprised to find me >.<

Interesting - this isn't obvious for me. The elevators seeemed to work perfectly, I can't remember that I needed to wait for more than 3 minutes at any time, I remember only one that was broken. And I was very surprised about it.

The problem was mostly limited to Wing 2 ... management is very aware of the problems, and they promised to come up with a solution.

I can attest to that. Both elevators on Wing 3 no problems at all, but their where a lot of out of order signs on the Wing 2 elevators.
The elevators where very quick too, still I guess if you span one over 20 levels it tends to be a bit more prone to problems.

...Give me a Kairan and a Riffuchs and a week of time and we fix that :)

*Grins* Lend me ConOps, a budget and enough time we build you new elevators.
Get those 2 and double the budget a couple of times, we build you a new hotel.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Kinase on 26.08.2014, 22:28:51
My Feedback

THE HOTEL

Structure: I think people just need to get used to the new structure. Compared to the Maritim, being the hotel bigger, is quite more dispersive as well. It was difficult to find people, and I didn't like much was the distance between the center of the con from the dealer's den and the artshow. Unfortunately, I understand this was the only way to do it, since there was no other space available.


Drinks and food: That's the painful point. While I've really appreciated the included breakfast, which was really aboundant, I can0t unfortunately tell the same about the restaurants for the evening. Food was extremely expensive and wasn't worth the quality. Same applied to the drinks. (the Spooge special from last years really sucked there, since they used to prepare a big bottle of it before and then pour everything in your glass). Though, there are different solutions, which includes the "do not drink" and the "purchase it somewhere else")

Surroundings: It was really scary to walk around the place during evening/night.

THE ORGANIZATION:

Fursuit lounge: Flawless. Thanks a lot, Mistyfur and FL team!

Security: Flawless, thanks a lot!

Regarding security and Fursuit lounge, there's a small problem I've noticed. There were people carrying inside the lounge cameras and videocameras, especially gopros, and taking videos inside the lounge as well. I know it's not easy to notice that and check on everybody, but i'd like to let you know this happened.

Panel/event organization: Very good!

Fursuit gameshow: Awesome!

Pawpet show: pass. Nice story, very, very good puppets. too bad the dragon was used only during the initial scene. And thanks for finding a way to entertain us during the queue. (even if I was so far away i couldn't watch it.

overall:

Hotel: 6/10
Organization 8.5/10

Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: nobs on 26.08.2014, 22:32:27
Personally I find it unfair and really demotivating to complain only about the waiting time of the pps show, as the concert of Fox Amoore was also delayed by at least 45 to 60 Minutes (can't remember it exactly by now) because of technical problems as well (which wasn't mentioned yet by anyone).

Sorry but after an earth quake of Richter 8 the earlier one of Richter 5 is boring old news *gdr*

Seriously: The PPS has the highest expectations in different ways. Not only because of it itself, but also because of the dance after PPS. I really suggest that we should make better use of this huge convention center. What about an own stage for the PPS? Where only smaller events are also being held, that do not need a stage at all. So you can do the setup all the week before the show. And after the show you can leave the setup till the next morning and enjoy the last evening.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: SiranaJHelena on 26.08.2014, 22:34:08
Personally I find it unfair and really demotivating to complain only about the waiting time of the pps show, as the concert of Fox Amoore was also delayed by at least 45 to 60 Minutes (can't remember it exactly by now) because of technical problems as well (which wasn't mentioned yet by anyone).
As one person who complained about the PPS queue it's pretty simple to explain: I didn't visit any other stage event. I thought about it but in fact their queues scared me off. Also, although I really like Fox Amoores music, I'm not the person who sits quietly in the seat while music is played somewhere. I just feel too jiggly for that. Except Jazz. Because it's Jazz.

PPS: Is something very special I've waited many years to see it again.

And to clear it up again: I don't mind waiting 3 hours as long as I'm able to do it in a more comfortable place.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: nobs on 26.08.2014, 22:39:04
Pffff. I got stuck in the staircase at Wing 2. Level 0 and -1 both had either alarms or only knobs on the door.
I was so glad for my staff radio that I could call security, otherwise I would had been panicking pretty quick.
Still it was hotel staff that let me out when I knocked the door, they where quite surprised to find me >.<

The problem is: The stair houses are not meant to be used "normally". So they are not properly labeled. The stairs close to the elevator of block 2 are the ones that lead regularly to level +1, -1 and -2. In level -1 you are at this silent "chill out" lobby and you have the wide upstairs to the lobby.

Maybe there should be signs next year which stairs lead to where.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Fineas on 26.08.2014, 22:48:32
Pffff. I got stuck in the staircase at Wing 2. Level 0 and -1 both had either alarms or only knobs on the door.
I was so glad for my staff radio that I could call security, otherwise I would had been panicking pretty quick.
Still it was hotel staff that let me out when I knocked the door, they where quite surprised to find me >.<

The problem is: The stair houses are not meant to be used "normally". So they are not properly labeled. The stairs close to the elevator of block 2 are the ones that lead regularly to level +1, -1 and -2. In level -1 you are at this silent "chill out" lobby and you have the wide upstairs to the lobby.

Maybe there should be signs next year which stairs lead to where.

Yea... I blame no one, it was just a stupid fling from myself.
I thought... Damn those crowded elevators again... Lets take these staircases..... F********

Edit: Here I award this for the staircase entrances:
(http://cdn.meme.li/instances/500x/53802876.jpg)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Bezel on 26.08.2014, 23:02:26
Security: Flawless, thanks a lot!

Regarding security and Fursuit lounge, there's a small problem I've noticed. There were people carrying inside the lounge cameras and videocameras, especially gopros, and taking videos inside the lounge as well. I know it's not easy to notice that and check on everybody, but i'd like to let you know this happened.


Thanks for the compliment :)

Regarding videoing in the fursuit lounge, we do try and stop cameras going in but if anyone sees it happening, come and speak to one of the security personnel at the entrance to the lounge, and we'll have a little word with them...
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Dhary Montecore on 26.08.2014, 23:09:51
Security: Flawless, thanks a lot!

Regarding security and Fursuit lounge, there's a small problem I've noticed. There were people carrying inside the lounge cameras and videocameras, especially gopros, and taking videos inside the lounge as well. I know it's not easy to notice that and check on everybody, but i'd like to let you know this happened.

Thank you a lot for your feedback! We are already working on a solution to keep you even safer inside the headless area. :3
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Atkelar on 26.08.2014, 23:12:55
Fursuit Game Show
Nice creative games.
On the other hand... nice "creative" system of giving the points? I wasn't the only one who failed to understand how the points for the games were calculated. (Well, I won't complain, since my friends won, but still it seemed a bit illogical.)

The moderator seemed to be a bit confused and sometimes misinformed. He announced the winners, and then saw that there were more games to come. I don't know what happened there.
During the "How did this victim die?" game, some of the images were not shown on the screen.

All in all, the games were fun to watch, but lacked information for the audience at some points.

edit: One thing I really disliked: The charity thing in the pre-Games. I was in one of the last teams, and when we came to the lobby with the charity box, everyone greeted us with "Not again, I was asked for money 15 times in a row now." Annoying people isn't a great idea for charity.

The points awarded to each round are carefully crafted to avoid any tie at the end. Which is why they are uneven. Also games with more teams score more points... explaining that would have taken a tad bit too long, but we take your input and try to find a solution that is simple and works.

At least one time Aeto (the M.C.) turned to the wrong cue card... also noted, yes, that needs fixing.

The images not showing on the screen were technical difficulties - that's all I currently know about that.

Allow me a few comments about the charity game:
1.: it's completely optional. If your score with the other games is high enough, it doesn't do much to begin with.
2.: We had a cue because I don't want more than two teams collecting at any given time for the exact reason you mentioned.
3.: The teams collected over a time period of three hours... who spent three hours at the bar without moving? We assume that most people will pass through the lobby and get asked once or twice at the most.
4.: Along the same lines you would expect the amount of money to decline as time went by... but that isn't as it turned out in any year we did that game: the amount goes up and down without any recognizable pattern. I remember the hightest collected amount to be within the last few teams at least twice.

Still, thank you (and all the others) for participating and collecting 766 Euro for charity!
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Fineas on 27.08.2014, 00:13:51
Still, thank you (and all the others) for participating and collecting 766 Euro for charity!

On that note I am wondering how much we will get in total this year and if it will be an as big amount as last year :-3
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Lantha on 27.08.2014, 00:16:19
I have no complaints somebody else didn't mention yet. Yes, the elevators were slow (the famous wing 2, floor 13 m(), yes, there where delays, yes, the main stage is too small, yes, the lobby was crowded, yes, Estrel's bars and restaurants are expensive … I'd just like to emphasize that the con still was fun and enjoyable for me. I will attend next year if possible. Thank you for your effort @EF team (except Dingo, he was SO mean to me  :P )

- Lantha
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: o'wolf on 27.08.2014, 00:33:56
True. And they did not even have the (lame) "excuse" of the Maritim that this is not their parking house, so they can not give any discount. But unfortunately this gets more and more common in hotels.

AFAIK the Estrel parking garage is indeed operated by an external company, though this probably isn't very obvious.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cifer on 27.08.2014, 01:12:06
Most of the major points were already mentioned, so I'll keep it short:

1.) Wow! That was a wonderful first foray into the world of Eurofurence. Thanks to everyone who made it possible - convention staff, security, hotel staff and so on!

2.) Would it be possible to print the map of the Den on some posters and hang them inside the den? I found the map in the con book very helpful as I had only heard of many of the dealers before and wasn't able to match the names with the faces. For some reason, though, I rarely had the book with me while visiting the Den.

3.) I'd very much appreciate it if the chairs at the main stage were set in an overlapping pattern:
CCC
.CC
I'm not exactly small, but it seemed like there was always someone bigger sitting right in front of me. With the non-existant slope of the theater, I can only imagine what problems smaller people must have had.

4.) The app. I love the fact that there is an EF app, but at least the iOS version needs a little more work. The convention messages were generally cut off/didn't wrap, I have no idea how to make the app look for new messages and the event list had the lowest event hidden by the bottom bar. Additionally, events were only marked with a beginning, but not an end.
As for feature requests rather than bug fixes, I'd very much like it if the app acted as a calendar as well. Mark events you want to attend, then have the app notify you when they draw near - perhaps even push messages about delays and such.

5.) Did I mention I had an awesome time?

@Token
Quote
Thank you, we are glad you liked it. But as for the idea to have to more central/running longer: Sorry, not possible. It already ate a huge amount of manpower. Basically we know how inconvenient the forbidden bags inside artshow/dealersden can be and thus tried to 'ease the pain' for those who do not read the conbook (and signs, and handhouts, and RoC…) and come to the artshow/dealersden with a bag or camera. :-)
For the people who don't stay at the hotel, the problem is not so much analphabetism as simple impossibility - unless of course I go for the 90 minute drive home and back every time I want to visit the den/show. So I'd certainly be happy if you kept the storage option for next year as well.  ;)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Masada on 27.08.2014, 01:27:40
I just want to share the following:

In the fursuit lounge I saw someone blatantly stand up, take out his cellphone and started recording everything around him. Not a minute before, I was asked to put away my cellphone when I was just checking to see if I had a message.

The request to put it away was friendly and I complied. But to have someone stand up and be /care about it was awkward and I didn't know what to do with the situation. I guess mentioning it now is too late, but I feel like this should be addressed as a good concern for the future. I also heard about a photographer selling pics of people that were headless to a newssite, including me. I would love to know how that is possible, as he would have to have sneaked into the fursuit lounge. I didn't see the picture as it was removed, but I'm definitely not ok with this.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: BigBlueFox on 27.08.2014, 01:57:45
True. And they did not even have the (lame) "excuse" of the Maritim that this is not their parking house, so they can not give any discount. But unfortunately this gets more and more common in hotels.

AFAIK the Estrel parking garage is indeed operated by an external company, though this probably isn't very obvious.

This is a fact. Like at the Maritim, the Estrel does not operate the garage.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: ysegrim on 27.08.2014, 02:19:51
The images not showing on the screen were technical difficulties - that's all I currently know about that.

I have no idea what went wrong there. We are using a commercial software for show cues (the same as the pawpet show *cough*), the picture showed up during all tests right before the show, and it didn't show up during the show. Just this picture, and even when we restarted the cue. (I only remember one, though. Was there a second?) Any way, sorry about that, we'll think about a backup now that we know the software isn't reliable when it comes to pictures.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cookie on 27.08.2014, 02:27:26
The good:

Loved the food at breakfasts, so much choice, and the quality of the food was impeccable. Gonna miss this latte macchiato, i'm telling you!!!

Even at the lobby restaurant, everything was nice.
I ordered Kalte Mushi and they had to bring it from the bar -as it wasn't on the menu... but they did.. and with style (he handled the bottle like it was a precious red wine) and a smile!)
As for the price, 33 euros for 2 people -main course and dessert- in a 4 stars hotel restaurant IS reasonable.
(Of course it had to be a special occasion and not a daily fixture but as we shopped for groceries before going to the con... we didn't lacked food).

The lobby as great, the Dealer's Den far less cramped than in the previous years...and far better lit (which for me is not always a good thing, as i sell glowies ;) )

The staff was so friendly and smiling.. i still remember the first year at the Maritim, where they looked at us like we were a bunch of retarded weirdos.. Here they just smiled and were friendly, quite immediately.

For the last 2 days we lived 20 minutes away from the hotel at my cousin's place and we never had any issue walking that distance at night or during the day..
The only "local" guy who spoke to us in the street was to tell us he loved the way we were clothed and my green hair.

Never had any trouble with the elevators in Wing 4 (besides the "you have to stick your card to activate the lift" feature, which was apparently switched off after a day, to my relief).


The Bad:

The air in the rooms (and the hotel in general) was painfully dry.
By the second day i had throat issues (even after switching off the airco immediately upon arrival in the room) and the inside lining of my nose just kept splitting open due to dryness.
We had to run very hot showers with the door of the bathroom open and the light off (to avoid aeration to suck the steam out) to try to "moisturise" the atmosphere a bit, before going to bed.
(Coudn't leave the window open because we were on the construction site side.. far too noisy (they are working 24/24....) ).

The "art" in the hotel rooms was horrendous.. ranging from "meh" to downward creepy - crucified dolls, wolf/sheep hybrids.. etc...(solved the matter by putting a drape over ours). And i won't even mention the "Leda and the Swan" statue in neon near the campfire...

Our sketchbooks being stolen.

Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: meo on 27.08.2014, 03:00:36
Quote
4.) The app. I love the fact that there is an EF app, but at least the iOS version needs a little more work. The convention messages were generally cut off/didn't wrap, I have no idea how to make the app look for new messages and the event list had the lowest event hidden by the bottom bar. Additionally, events were only marked with a beginning, but not an end.
As for feature requests rather than bug fixes, I'd very much like it if the app acted as a calendar as well. Mark events you want to attend, then have the app notify you when they draw near - perhaps even push messages about delays and such.

Would you mind sending me screenshots of your problems? I wrote Traxswe mine and I am willing to Help him (without being a programmer but tester) to get this thing running better.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Vixus on 27.08.2014, 05:10:57
Big one: The cash machine ran out of money / went out of order way too soon.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: nobs on 27.08.2014, 06:37:51
Big one: The cash machine ran out of money / went out of order way too soon.

TODO: tell the Volksbank Berlin about the event in advance  ;D
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Fafnir Kristensen on 27.08.2014, 08:01:31
- no more ears protection? If I remember correctly these were previously offered unofficially by one of the attendee, did this person not come this year or couldnt offer the service ?

anyone know anything about this?
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Tillikum on 27.08.2014, 08:25:45
I also heard about a photographer selling pics of people that were headless to a newssite, including me. I would love to know how that is possible, as he would have to have sneaked into the fursuit lounge. I didn't see the picture as it was removed, but I'm definitely not ok with this.

The pictures where taken during the Lacy Photoshoot and have already been removed by the admin of the news site.


Also: Sorry about the low volume and the humming noise on EFprime. We are going to make sure this won't happen again next year ;)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Raider on 27.08.2014, 09:59:27

But to have someone stand up and be /care about it was awkward and I didn't know what to do with the situation.


If another person is making you feel uncomfortable, come and talk to Security in front of the Fursuit Lounge. Taking pictures inside the Fursuit Lounge is a big no-no.

- no more ears protection? If I remember correctly these were previously offered unofficially by one of the attendee, did this person not come this year or couldnt offer the service ?

anyone know anything about this?

Thygrrr brought them with him the last years. I do not know why he was not able to bring them this year, but I imagine that providing earplugs for about 2000 people would become quite expensive really fast.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Fafnir Kristensen on 27.08.2014, 10:10:25
Thygrrr brought them with him the last years. I do not know why he was not able to bring them this year, but I imagine that providing earplugs for about 2000 people would become quite expensive really fast.
I guess, though not everyone goes to the dances and some have their own earplugs, but I will see with him to manage something about this next year
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Druon on 27.08.2014, 10:50:03
Hey there,
I want to thank all people involved with preparing and running the convention for a job well done. All in all I had a great time and a much needed break from daily life. I met old friends and made some new ones and again I enjoyed how approachable everyone was, attendees, staff and guests of honor alike.
I try to not repeat to much of what was said already, just want to emphasize some points and offer personal impressions/observations.


Eurofurence App on Android:
Many thanks to Trax for a wonderful app. There was a lot of useful information in there, aside from the events themselves I am thinking especially about the maps and the guide for parking pace and restaurants/bars (along with opening hours in several cases ).
I hope something similar will be available for the next Eurofurence. There is some room for improvements, though:



Fursuit Gameshow:
I enjoyed this event much and tried to root for the teams I favored. I don't mind the chaos that usually goes with the show, it is part of the experience and usually for the most part rather amusing. But I have to agree with what someone else already mentioned:

The system for keeping the points this years was very unpleasant for the audience. It can very well be, that you have a rather refined system, but it was never explained properly and changes to the points and positions on the scoreboard where not emphasized. Also I think many would rather have a tie-breaker game than a score that is hard to follow. Just food for thought. ;)

From my point of view colored indicators or - even better - animated scoreboards would have gone a long way here. The little extra-time for showing the allocation of points among the teams shouldn't hurt the flow, as setting up the stage for the games usually took more time than the animated trailers.

Another observation: I don't know if it was an issue with the lighting or if the colored markers on the teams where simply too small, but it was not easy to identify the teams. Even the host had trouble telling blue from white. Maybe it can be improved with more vibrant colored armlets, larger/more colored identifiers or the use of symbols, rather than colors?


Impossible Fursuit Charades
A real gem, it was so much fun to watch and I loved how much teamwork our furs on stage showed. I failed miserably when it was my turn to guess, but then again it sometimes is impossible - though two or three people did the impossible and earned themselves some cookies. I hope this show will return next year and I will keep poking my friends to attend in order to draw a larger audience.


Lounge areas and restaurants:
I enjoyed having plenty of seats available this year to settle down to chill for a while or chat with friends. But I missed more secluded places. Almost everything was out in the open, with noise and movement going on from all sides. I wonder if there are possibilities to rearrange some of the lounge chairs and/or restaurant furniture in order to create more cozy zones.
On a positive note, I really enjoyed having that lounge stage in front of the Fursuit-Lounge. The elevated position and the setup of tables and seats there was much better than anywhere else in the hotel. Also a very good spot to just wind down and watch EF-Prime for a bit.


Security:
They did a great job on this year's convention. I liked that at all times there were some of them visible at the various big events and all over the lobby/atrium. Their outfit makes them easy to spot, too. Also thanks for providing  "American Beer" during the long time we had to queue for the PPS.


That's it for now. Thanks to all the helping paws behind the scenes. You have all been part of something great - something that will keep me going for quite a while. And I'll be back for another EF to recharge.  ;) 
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Token on 27.08.2014, 12:08:23
In the fursuit lounge I saw someone blatantly stand up, take out his cellphone and started recording everything around him. Not a minute before, I was asked to put away my cellphone when I was just checking to see if I had a message.

The request to put it away was friendly and I complied. But to have someone stand up and be /care about it was awkward and I didn't know what to do with the situation.
We are really sorry, this happened. I am not trying to come up with lame excuses, but to put things into perspective: I think the average sleeping-time for a seccie is around 3-4 hours a night. xD We try our best, despite a few people even being really upset toward us when we try to enforce the rules. But we are attendees like everyone else, just trying to make everyone of us enjoy the con to its full extend without ruining it for anyone else.

If you see something like this happening, please try to remember the person and immediately search for a seccie. We also try to take care of things in a polite and calm manner (as long as we do not get aggressions back, which rarely happens, but does :C ). In the rare case that you cannot find anyone, please go up to the person and ask him politely to stop immediately. You might even try to remember his name/number and note it down / bring it to conops or security(!), but please be friendly(!) and do _not_ argue. That is what we are there for. :-)

I guess mentioning it now is too late, but I feel like this should be addressed as a good concern for the future.
It depends. If you remember his name, or someone who knows him, or the images pop up somewhere, we might still be able to investigate this. Please drop a PM or an eMail to security@eurofurence.org and we will see what we can do!

I also heard about a photographer selling pics of people that were headless to a newssite, including me. I would love to know how that is possible, as he would have to have sneaked into the fursuit lounge. I didn't see the picture as it was removed, but I'm definitely not ok with this.
Usually our press team offers the photographers a bunch of press material and (controlled) exclusive interviews etc., *if* they register with our press team. Then they have a press-badge. There was this one reporter which intentionally did not do this and took these pictures without the staff knowing. As far as I know, press team is already at it and I know from a few taking legal steps against it. If you happen to be one of the persons on one of the pictures violating your personal rights, the press team can offer you advice on what you can do! Please PM or write to press team (I think press@eurofurence.org, please check).

Best wishes and hugs,
Token
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Kazzador on 27.08.2014, 12:34:12
A very big thanks to a Team that wasn´t mentioned once
The Medics

Thank you for keeping an eye on us 24/7


Also thank you to a Team that was mentioned quite often, but which can´t get thanked enough: the security Team
No matter how hard you work, you always stay friendly and competent



Now the Events I liked most:
The Karaoke (please try to get a Karaoke-Slot for every night next year :P)
The Charity-Poker-Tournament
The 80s Party


Thanks for an awesome con, guys!
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Masada on 27.08.2014, 12:50:44
We are really sorry, this happened. I am not trying to come up with lame excuses, but to put things into perspective: I think the average sleeping-time for a seccie is around 3-4 hours a night. xD We try our best, despite a few people even being really upset toward us when we try to enforce the rules. But we are attendees like everyone else, just trying to make everyone of us enjoy the con to its full extend without ruining it for anyone else.

If you see something like this happening, please try to remember the person and immediately search for a seccie. We also try to take care of things in a polite and calm manner (as long as we do not get aggressions back, which rarely happens, but does :C ). In the rare case that you cannot find anyone, please go up to the person and ask him politely to stop immediately. You might even try to remember his name/number and note it down / bring it to conops or security(!), but please be friendly(!) and do _not_ argue. That is what we are there for. :-)

I do appreciate the effort you guys put into it! But like I said, the situation was so cliche, it was awkward. I'll remember next time to point someone in his direction.

It depends. If you remember his name, or someone who knows him, or the images pop up somewhere, we might still be able to investigate this. Please drop a PM or an eMail to security@eurofurence.org and we will see what we can do!

Sadly, I don't know his name. If I see a picture of him, I might recognize him again. I don't want to turn this into a witch hunt though.

Usually our press team offers the photographers a bunch of press material and (controlled) exclusive interviews etc., *if* they register with our press team. Then they have a press-badge. There was this one reporter which intentionally did not do this and took these pictures without the staff knowing. As far as I know, press team is already at it and I know from a few taking legal steps against it. If you happen to be one of the persons on one of the pictures violating your personal rights, the press team can offer you advice on what you can do! Please PM or write to press team (I think press@eurofurence.org, please check).

Tilikum already mentioned the pictures were taken during the Lacy Fursuit Photo Shoot, which was a private affair, and have already been removed from the website. However, if they appear somewhere else online I will use this information. I cannot confirm that it was indeed me being in the pictures as they were removed after someone pointed them out to me. Nevertheless, should I still take contact with the press team for safety sake?

In any case, thanks for answering! You've been a big help! :)

_Masada
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: o'wolf on 27.08.2014, 14:35:46
I also heard about a photographer selling pics of people that were headless to a newssite, including me. I would love to know how that is possible, as he would have to have sneaked into the fursuit lounge. I didn't see the picture as it was removed, but I'm definitely not ok with this.

He didn't publish any photos from inside the fursuit lounge. (Unfortunately, he photographed one of our security members in front of the fursuit lounge without asking for permission. In fact, he didn't ask for permission to photograph anyone at all.)

I've provided more details about the incident and what you can do about it if you are affected at https://forum.eurofurence.org/index.php/topic,5704.msg55759.html#msg55759
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Flamian on 27.08.2014, 14:55:11
I would like to thank the EF team for organizing this year's EF ^^ I had a fun experience as a whole.

The big plus sides:
+ Hotel layout--I prefer to four different wings in contrast to the cathedral-lobby of Maritim. Some may disagree and are free to do so
+ Hotel Staff, especially bartenders were very kind to me
+ Hotel riverside terrace was good, (-Minus the swan-neon sign....not to my liking)
+ Close proximity to the Sonnenallee station

The only negative side
- The location of Estrel.....I kinda felt like I was walking on a shadow-covered neighbourhood, not to mention the sheer amount of low-quality small shops, low-quality bars and such. Sure, there were good establishments, like the Kebabhaus which probably made quite a bit of profit because of us. But I miss the chances of going out to an ACTUAL Bierhausen, having a large Berliner Kindl with currywurst and a steak and watch people come and go about their business....

---> I thought about a solution to this and I would like to make a suggestion: Gather some local volunteers who would be willing to take 10-15 people with the to more pleasant areas with more options for eating out. Likewise, this could also be used to guide fursuiters to more attractive locations, for example: Brandenburg Tor would be quite a pleasant location for a couple of photographs.

There were also small teething problems which are naturally occurring problems when a con of this size comes to the hotel for the first time. But they'll get solved eventually.

And finally, a big thank-you for all security members ^^ You took good care of us fursuiters especially ^^
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Masada on 27.08.2014, 15:22:58

He didn't publish any photos from inside the fursuit lounge. (Unfortunately, he photographed one of our security members in front of the fursuit lounge without asking for permission. In fact, he didn't ask for permission to photograph anyone at all.)

I've provided more details about the incident and what you can do about it if you are affected at https://forum.eurofurence.org/index.php/topic,5704.msg55759.html#msg55759

I dont' see any pictures of me out of suit, so for me it's fine and no further action should be taken. Apparently, the headless pics were taken at the Lacy Fursuit Photo Shoot, which was a private affair. I see a picture of Tifou without head at that exact photoshoot, which I was an organisor of. I will contact him about this.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: meo on 27.08.2014, 16:42:36
here you find every picture from that guy: http://www.gettyimages.de/Search/Search.aspx?EventId=508585277
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Santa fox on 27.08.2014, 17:32:07
I loved it, even though it was a new venue, and I missed the old place and especially the staff there. Found a nice place serving Currywurst, and with the owners of it seeming to be quite welcoming. Though, area around the hotel did seem a bit.. desolete, especially with the construction site and what I kinda felt weren't perhaps the best of neighbours.

Though, con itself was nice as always, especially liked all the TVs pointing out where stuff was, made it very easy to navigate around. Kudos to the song and drinks during the PPS queue, as well, made it feel like it was far, far shorter than it actually was.

Dealers den was way bigger and easier to find and navigate this time around, didn't feel quite as cramped as last year, same goes for the artshow.

As for the swan sculpture outside, I did find it quite funny and got quite a laugh from it :p

As usual, I am definately looking forward to next year, I am sure it'll be even better now that hotel staff and, perhaps, the people around the hotel know what to expect.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Twillight on 27.08.2014, 17:43:45
Für mich war die "Eurofurence 20" ein Meilenstein, da ich zum ersten Mal suiten konnte.  Es war einfach grandios!! Nächstes Jahr versuche ich mit allen Mitteln wieder dabei zu sein!!

For me, the "Eurofurence 20" was a milestone because I could suites for the first time. It was just terrific !! Next year I will try to be back by all means !!
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: tanor on 27.08.2014, 18:59:20
Hi,

well...I cannot say that much...simply because it would be quite a book full of positive things! And I only have some hours left to write this...

So many really nice people. So much fun. Even it was partly a "queue-con"...I'have had so much fun even at the queues.

Even the staff was nice all the time and ready to make fun of themselves.

Well...to all the staff of the Eurofurence: *bow* you all have done a great job! Thank you for making my first Eurofurence a very special one.


I guess it could have been even better, if I just weren't be too shy to speak to people. But I'll improve there...and it helped me, that I knew some people from some of the regular tables.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: nobs on 27.08.2014, 19:08:15
- no more ears protection? If I remember correctly these were previously offered unofficially by one of the attendee, did this person not come this year or couldnt offer the service ?

anyone know anything about this?

IIRC that was Thygrrr. As far as I know it was a personal service he paid from his personal money. I guess he decided that people should learn to take care for themselves?
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Skie on 27.08.2014, 21:54:31
I think it's been years since I wrote feedback.

Main Good Points

Main Concern: Hotel Space
The lobby is a cluttered clusterfuck basically. There's too many tables and chairs which belong to the bar, and basically no space at all. Especially at mornings when it's blocked for breakfast, and for fursuiters in general. I know it might be extra work for the hotel, but there's the whole second floor of tables and chairs that was always closed besides breakfast that might be used. Basically, socializing in this year was much more difficult.

Were there stairs to high floors? Why were connections between wings blocked? It just adds more elevator stress. There aren't walkways to every floor, but it could still help a little when you just want to visit another room.

Other Concerns
The dance contest ran very smoothly, but, I just don't get the placement of the judges. It's a failure Confuzzled done before and fixed. It basically makes the dancers dance to the judges since they are the front, and have their backs to the crowed. It would make more sense to sit the judges with the crowd (e.g. Confuzzled), or even just use the main stage for the dancing. I was also surprise there was no encore for the winner? I'm guessing time issue, but it's a big shame.

An Hinkley classic: The inconsistency of the bar food service. I'll avoid the complaint about tap water, which I never suffered from so badly in previous EF hotels, but I really hate the fact that you could order exactly the same thing twice, and get a completely different dish (e.g. amount of fries getting halved on the second day). That is not acceptable. I simply gave up on the bar food after a day. I'm guessing it's because the hotel didn't realize the amount of orders they would get, and struggled to supply.

General Recommendation
I think there should be an official dance on the middle day (Friday?), since there's always an impromptu dance anyway.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Hendriksen on 27.08.2014, 22:32:38
This was my first eurofurence and im certain that i will return!!


Good stuff:


- hotel staff: Really nice and friendly, I only saw one of them who didnt seem happy and by the end she smiled.

- The theme of the con: liked the idea, posters, baners, panels, decorations. It simply just worked.

- Work from all the volounteers and helpers: Did a good job and always there if you needed help and from what i could see did a really good job.

- Good variaty in different panels: a lot of good panels, with great hosts.

- The hotel wings: I liked that people were split to ease the stress on the elevators, at least they tried.

- The lobbies atmosphere: liked how it was built up like a market and it was central of everything.

- event locations: in general, the events were placed perfect, some areas were a bit small though.

- Dealers den: Great place, with a lot of Space and light. A lot of nice and friendly dealers who seemed to have more than enough Space for themself and their wares. Though it would be great to have more dealers, i liked it.

- Art auction/ charity auction: It just worked like a well oiled machine.

- The wardrobe NeXT to the dealers den.




Bad stuff:

- The lobby was to crowded: To many tables and chairs, it needed more room for suiters and non suiters. to walk around a socialise.

- Some of the panels were late and still setting up while half way through

- No stairs: I lived on 11 floor and what i remember most is waiting for the pawpet show and the elevators. Even though i lived almost on the top floor i would have liked to be able to walk up the stairs.

- Small panel rooms for some of the events: yeah some events were very crowded, would have been nice to have more room.

- Bottle necks in dealers den: Near the art auction it more than once ended in a huge mess of people going to and from. Could be changed by moving one of the rooms to another area so you dont have to go through another room to get to the other. Its not a huge problem though.

- Place of the hotel: The area around the hotel seemed a bit rough, though people were friendly enough.




And Skie, yes there were stairs all the way up, but you could only go Down...
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Ralesk on 27.08.2014, 22:37:37
Random collection of things without actually even reading the thread:
+ Thank you and fokken finally for the storage corner at the dealer's den! Coupled with the lifts being a total arse this was a life-saver feature. Thank you for listening to our (my) complaints about the lack of storage :)
+ Nice and pleasant hotel, absolutely wonderful breakfast, a good amount of lounge space
− Utterly shite lifts and not much of a way around them. I hope the stairs get opened next year (somehow) — must be totally annoying for people on the first floor to wait 30 minutes for something that can be done in one.
± Not entirely sure the location of the two artist lounges were the best. I guess it would be better if they could be closer to each other somehow, next year?
− Dead Dog Party doesn't really feel the same anymore — but I see it's a technical reason at least in part (no bar and lounging area in the designated dance room). But it also felt different because it was just a smaller continuation of the previous night's party: same kind of music for example.
+ The Pawpet Show was great. Loved the theme, loved the performance, understand the frustration of those in the queue (I guess we got lucky: came back too late from the Italians, had a bottle of wine in the Biergarten, and all of a sudden people were gone) but it was handled quite well by AJA and Kage from what I've seen of it.  They seem to work really well together, as seen on DDP day too.
± Location. Bit far from the lively parts of town, but not too far from civilisation. Can't really make my mind up about it — food sources and shopping places are within perfectly walkable distances.
− Location. Getting the city involved in our Fursuit Parade is one of the greatest — and imo most important — aspects of a fursuit walk. It is a real shame we don't have an opportunity to turn the town on its head like we had in Nürnberg and Magdeburg.
+ Totally loved Sardyuon's performance, he was a great choice for GoH for sure!
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Alpha_Ki on 27.08.2014, 23:32:30
Thank you for your feedback so far. New year, new hotel, new problems and less time.
I am very happy that the Dealers' Den was wide and bright. Plus the option for storing the luggage was great - thanks so much for the Security offering this service due to the limited time and people you had.

I'm wondering if the fact that you have to go through the Dealer's Den to get to the Art Show might have influenced the visitor's decision about where to spend the money. Are there any statistics about that?

This is a question only the atendees can answer. I doubt that we can offer proper statistics on this one; both went well from what I heared so far. :)

For the Dealers Den: Someone could earn a fortune by selling punched pockets. Many artists offer unframed prints, postcards and similar stuff that would be easier to take home in a protecting pocket.

Proper plastic bags are quite expensive for someone selling prints and sketches. You could have gotten one at the tables selling books. Most artists do put their prints in these protecting pockets but not every one. I will put this feedback on my list to the artists/dealers. Thanks for the advise. :)

the less good:
- not really bad, but friends who were dealing in the first isle block near the entry where quite cramped and told me it would have been better with a bit more inner space, and when I see all the free space behind the larger tables near the window where almost nobody was, that should be easily possible without causing any flow problem.

They never talked to me! When you mean the tables on the left wall when you entered the room - they had the chance to seperate, I had an extra table for at least two of the dealers but they prefered to arrange the way they did. So don't blame me for that. :)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: SouthPaw on 28.08.2014, 01:09:07
General Recommendation
I think there should be an official dance on the middle day (Friday?), since there's always an impromptu dance anyway.

DISCLAIMER: I am not EF staff. This is solely based on personal observations.

The trouble is that EF doesn't have a dedicated room to use for dances like ConFuzzled does, and this year there was a concert on Friday night, followed by 2's Rant, which would have meant such a dance starting at around midnight...which is far from ideal.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: gaz_a on 28.08.2014, 02:37:40
Pffff. I got stuck in the staircase at Wing 2. Level 0 and -1 both had either alarms or only knobs on the door.
I was so glad for my staff radio that I could call security, otherwise I would had been panicking pretty quick.

On Wing 2 you could definitely exit into a lower lobby area on the left, I think it was level -1, and then walk up the little stairwell into the main lobby, I did it many times.  The door ahead to the exit appeared to have an alarm.  On the Sunday I think I did see a man walk through the lower lobby, try an interior door then walk out the "alarmed" door and off outside, he might have been off-duty staff and used a key card though, I was in half a mind to tell security but he would have been long gone by the time anything was done.

This brings me to my next point - I'm quite sure that fire regulations don't prevent stairwell doors opening into guest floors, it will purely be for security reasons.  Given the area the hotel is in it makes sense to make it as difficult as possible for people outside to get to the guest rooms. With the current setup they need to use an elevator and go through the lobbies.   You could see that in the past they have had proper door handles on the outside but have been retro-fitted with fixed knobs.

Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: MartinRJ on 28.08.2014, 02:38:38
EF20 Paw Pet Show was really really 100 times better than any previous ones!
You *really* managed to keep the set-change-breaks short, and kept the audience entertained with a little underlying music and/or videos, that's a very big improvement!
A hundred thumbs-up from me! I was really impressed, thanks folks! That was a very professional gig. I don't mind the waiting time, and my partner and me just walked around in the lobby, met people and had fun, and went into the main stage last, after the queue finally started moving, since we were almost certain that there was more than enough room for all of us (and the staff even had an overflow-panelroom prepared with a live-stream of the show, just in case).
I think that the paw-pet-show-team extremely improved in a way that I'd never thought it was possible!

I even enjoyed the funny videos (hadn't seen them yet) during the big breaks, that was fun!
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Fafnir Kristensen on 28.08.2014, 08:11:27
I forgot to use the feedback form in the hotel directly (too busy packing, saying goodbuy, distributing chocolate) and sadly they dont have a dedicated email for that sort of thing, but im pretty sure any hotel related feedback can still be reported via their hotel@estrel.com email, which I will do and should have already instead of spaming this forum with things that are out of the EF staff domain of action.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Runo on 28.08.2014, 08:46:06
EF20 Paw Pet Show was really really 100 times better than any previous ones!
You *really* managed to keep the set-change-breaks short, and kept the audience entertained with a little underlying music and/or videos, that's a very big improvement!
A hundred thumbs-up from me! I was really impressed, thanks folks! That was a very professional gig. I don't mind the waiting time, and my partner and me just walked around in the lobby, met people and had fun, and went into the main stage last, after the queue finally started moving, since we were almost certain that there was more than enough room for all of us (and the staff even had an overflow-panelroom prepared with a live-stream of the show, just in case).
I think that the paw-pet-show-team extremely improved in a way that I'd never thought it was possible!

I even enjoyed the funny videos (hadn't seen them yet) during the big breaks, that was fun!

Thanks, feedback like this means a lot. It's what motivates us to forego sleep for weeks before (and on) the con, and put every waking minute into the preparation of the show.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Jorinda on 28.08.2014, 09:01:06
General Recommendation
I think there should be an official dance on the middle day (Friday?), since there's always an impromptu dance anyway.

DISCLAIMER: I am not EF staff. This is solely based on personal observations.

The trouble is that EF doesn't have a dedicated room to use for dances like ConFuzzled does, and this year there was a concert on Friday night, followed by 2's Rant, which would have meant such a dance starting at around midnight...which is far from ideal.
I agree, and I'd like to add:
There was a dance on wednesday (80s), thursday (Fursuit Friendly), saturday (BBF) and sunday (DDP). Adding one on friday would make that five dance nights in a row. That would be quite exhausting, and might even get boring.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Druon on 28.08.2014, 09:42:15
Quote
There was a dance on wednesday (80s), thursday (Fursuit Friendly), saturday (BBF) and sunday (DDP). Adding one on friday would make that five dance nights in a row. That would be quite exhausting, and might even get boring.

That is assuming that everyone attends every single dance. With 2000+ attendees there is quite some room for people to pick those dances they like best or that fit to whatever else they are doing on a certain day without leaving any of those events empty. Also it is a good chance for variety, different styles of music and all that, if we got the room and enough DJs to entertain us. :)


Quote
[...] feedback like this means a lot. It's what motivates us to forego sleep for weeks before (and on) the con, and put every waking minute into the preparation of the show.

I didn't mention it earlier, because I already twittered about how much I enjoyed the PPS, but just to chip in: It was a wonderful show and despite the delays I don't regret waiting for it. I like how the PPS evolved from little comedy gags to rather elaborate, epic stories over the years. And you still find moments to weave humor into it, even when the themes are more serious. The soundtrack was breathtaking and certain pieces really tugged at your emotions, like when River sang that song.
I thank everyone involved for the time put into that project and hope you will keep doing what you do for years to come. The only thing I would change is to consider giving the PPS an evening where there is no other event planned in the same location - maybe moving it from saturday to friday? You deserve to be celebrated and enjoy a show well done without the stress of another event waiting to be set up right away.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Token on 28.08.2014, 10:15:29
It depends. If you remember his name, or someone who knows him, or the images pop up somewhere, we might still be able to investigate this. Please drop a PM or an eMail to security@eurofurence.org and we will see what we can do!

Sadly, I don't know his name. If I see a picture of him, I might recognize him again. I don't want to turn this into a witch hunt though.

Even if the person who filmed is reading this, do not worry. We are not going to burn you on the campfire next year. ;-P It depends on how well the person cooperates - usually people just fail to see one of the (dozens of) signs and do not take pictures with ill intentions. So if the person contacts EF press (maybe shows the pictures that were taken, and what has been done with them so far), we can easily sort out things, give a little lesson on legal implications of the pictures pop up at the wrong places and then no serious harm done. Only keeping secret about it on purpose, lying, selling the pics or generally being a dick means campfi… erm, problems. :3

Best wishes,
Token
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Dhary Montecore on 28.08.2014, 11:33:37
On the Sunday I think I did see a man walk through the lower lobby, try an interior door then walk out the "alarmed" door and off outside, he might have been off-duty staff and used a key card though, I was in half a mind to tell security but he would have been long gone by the time anything was done.

Don't worry, this one is also the personnel entrance. If the guy had a key card he was off duty hotel staff. :3


This brings me to my next point - I'm quite sure that fire regulations don't prevent stairwell doors opening into guest floors, it will purely be for security reasons.  Given the area the hotel is in it makes sense to make it as difficult as possible for people outside to get to the guest rooms. With the current setup they need to use an elevator and go through the lobbies.   You could see that in the past they have had proper door handles on the outside but have been retro-fitted with fixed knobs.

Actually it IS forbidden by fire regulations. The problem is: If there is a fire alert and people from the upper floors run down the staircase but in their panic they take the exit onto another floor instead the exit, they might end up in a smoke filled corridor which can be very deadly very fast. That's why all emergency staircases only open up to a safe zone or to the fresh air.

Fitting doorhandles as we did in the last years in the Maritim is possible, but the hotel has to pay significantly higher insurance in such cases. It is a possibility we're looking into, but only one of many. We're working on it! :3
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: MOW on 29.08.2014, 01:59:16
Actually it IS forbidden by fire regulations. The problem is: If there is a fire alert and people from the upper floors run down the staircase but in their panic they take the exit onto another floor instead the exit, they might end up in a smoke filled corridor which can be very deadly very fast. That's why all emergency staircases only open up to a safe zone or to the fresh air.

I don't really get this .. doesn't that mean the staircase itself can become a death trap if the way out is blocked somehow?
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Zestence on 29.08.2014, 04:23:53
I don't really get this .. doesn't that mean the staircase itself can become a death trap if the way out is blocked somehow?

A fire escape stairwell is its own fire area, constructed with firewalls and fire proof or fire-resistant doors. It contains little to no burning material and typically has its own independent ventilation and/or gas purge system (such as the one we used for air conditioning at the Maritim  ;)). A properly built and used fire escape will last fire for hours without structural failure. However, this kind of division will only work if the area remains sealed off during a fire, and having the doors one way prevents people from accidentally exiting at the wrong floor possibly still above the burning area, or from opening doors to floors containing the actual fire, like Dhary already explained.

So you can always enter the staircase from your current floor in order to descent to the bottom floor for the emergency exit, but not the other way around. The odds of the stairwell itself being on fire or containing gas is low, though only if properly used.

I don't know if I can explain it any better, but it is safer the way it is and it will take a lot of convincing to allow any tampering.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: meo on 29.08.2014, 09:41:10
If we where on that Facebook thing, you would get a big thumbs up from me Zestence  ;D

I can understand it that peoples are a bit pissd by the "only elevators" Thing, and personally it wouldn't be a problem to got up or down two floors, BUT as the Estrel only has these fire-exit staircase, i would recommend (ex Firefigther in a small village) to let it the way it is.

Sorry guys but rather safe then sorry at this point. I don't want to imaging a worst case scenario including Fire and Furs there.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Fafnir Kristensen on 29.08.2014, 10:23:56
Sorry guys but rather safe then sorry at this point. I don't want to imaging a worst case scenario including Fire and Furs there.
Burned Furs ? ;)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: aphinion on 30.08.2014, 15:02:12
So many things have been said allready. So only write what I find worth mentioning and probably still fail to keep it short.

PPS:
God you guys rock. I have seen some of the pain you guys had to go through and I wasn't sure how this show will turn out. And you guys simply rocked it. The story was georgeous, I loved the atmossphere of that post-apocalyptic new-age, I loved the mixture of simple life, religion, pure science and high-tech. I loved the special effects and lights. Beautifully done! The backdrops and props were very well designed, too. And yes, the mixure between serious story telling and jokes were just perfect, too. I loved the characters of the protagonists. The sequences between the shows... such a great way to get more depth into the story and let the audience know things the protagonists have yet to discover. Singing a song to enter the deadly login-sequence? Epic. Just Epic. The animations and video sequences have been done extremely well, too.

In my opinion this years PPS is even more epic than EF14's dreamchaser. Good job, guys. Good job. Now go, get a life! *G*


A few other things:
Lobby: I loved this place. Tranquil, open, so much fun to socialize. I agree, less chairs and more sofas would make it even better.

Food: Awesome breakfast, way to expensive dinner. The hotel should do their maths if a cheaper price wouldn't lead to more profit, given more people would eat there.

Parking: 18€ per day? WTF. I parked my car 2 streets away for free. That also meant I could afford the expensive dinner with the saved money. Maybe the hotel or parking-lot-owner could do something here? Lots of free spaces left...

Dealers Den: Awesome. Bright, big and what a great atmosphere to shop and socialise. I loved this place.

Fursuit Lounge: Only guarded it. Still, such an awesome place - great service and one hell of an attentious Mystifur. I hardly saw him despite anything was always full and refreshed. Great job!

ConOps: Little critique means, you solved every desaster before it became visible. Awesome job, guys especially given your situation.

Room registration (Hotel): Here seems to be some room for improvement. Staff was nice and helpful but there were some major fuck-ups in the registration process. My roommate was paying and came 2 days late. Hotel deactivated my key card the first night because of that. I offered to pay the first days but they simlply reactivated it. Just to deactivate it again the next evening - when I was carrying a huge rare expensive inflatable around and suddenly didn't manage to get it into my room again. Then I could finally pay the first days as planned. This is one of the many fuck-ups that happened to people in the registration - the hotel should improve here.

Hotel staff: Friendly, attentious and furryfied within 2 days. Awesome.

Ok, thats my 2 cents. Great convention. I loved it. Will come back. Will bring plushies. And inflatables. And fun. Thank you all for making it the great adventure it was!

- aphinion
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: timoran on 31.08.2014, 06:32:50
Hotel issues:
Stairs locked - If anything can be done about it, get it fixed. But I get that there may be fire code issues at play (at least you have 1 year to get any changes to the stairs cleared). At least, make it possible to go down the stairs without sounding an alarm, and clearly indicate where that is possible so there will be fewer stops for people going down. However, the elevators are a different problem:

Elevators - The elevators were a problem not due to their design (3 per wing isn't bad) but because of these problems: Security was not enforcing the capacity (making sure that elevators not only didn't go up overloaded, but that they also were not being closed and going up UNDERloaded with people waiting to go up). Priority (disabled, fursuiter, food delivery) was not being enforced whatsoever and people were not doing it out of courtesy. People were very willing to cheat the queue to get on the elevator - is this a German thing? Do people in Germany think this is okay? So please set up a queue rope (with "wait here for next elevator" sign) in each elevator lobby and have a volunteer enforcing things when things are busy. Read this for lots of helpful tips: http://timoran.livejournal.com/291375.html

By the way, there's 6 elevators - 3 for low floors and 3 for high floors, for all 45 floors of the new Estrel tower that will be built. So you can expect elevators to be even worse there!

Bridges between wings - To the first poster who said they were locked, no they weren't :) But, I don't know why they felt the need to post signs saying they were closed, whether that was true or not. The only one that has reason to be closed is the one that enters the breakfast area during breakfast hours. (The bridges were on floors 1, 2, and between wing 1 and 2 only on 7 and 10.)

Room space - A lot of people couldn't stay in the Estrel due to the convention block not having the full capacity of rooms. Please extend to 100% during the nights EF is expected to consume 100%. Also please have a clear list of overflow hotels arranged, this year the announcement was "hotel is full, go find one on your own. Good luck." And please work with Estrel to allow triple and higher booking in large rooms (there is easily room for a third or sometimes even a fourth person in the deluxe rooms and suites sleeping on the sofa/floor/cot).

Lobby - Tables and chairs really blocked a lot of flow, especially during breakfast when they formed a Berlin Wall around the whole restaurant block making getting through the lobby very difficult. Is there any way to request the hotel go to the honor system for breakfast during EF rather than having the Berlin Wall and key card checkpoint?

Cold drink storage - The hotel was very territorial about their minibar. They promised to charge us for drinks that we didn't consume, if we moved the stuff out of the minibar and put it back at the end of our stay. Can you talk to the hotel about not being so strict about this? We should be able to use the minibar to store our own drinks and not be charged unless we opened the hotel's drinks. Forbidding storage in the minibar, AND forbidding minifridges of our own, is a greedy cash grab by the Estrel and does not make me want to purchase their drinks more as they may think, but has the opposite effect. The 5 euro fee to empty the fridge, while still a bit of a cash grab (most other hotels do this for no charge), would have been a tolerable option but the hotel only did it for a few rooms and then said no to anyone else requesting it.

Con issues:
Theme - The theme itself was OK, but the con didn't implement it as well as it could have. It wasn't heavily incorporated into the panels, it wasn't the same theme for the PPS (that just went with EF21's theme), the con-run fursuit photoshoot wasn't as detailed as past years, and there was no free-use photoshoot point like in past years (by the revolving door at the Maritim). You could argue the police cars were usable as props, but they didn't have backdrops and they had the no-touchy rope all around them. This was a major step back from previous EFs and something to put more thought into for next year (and next year's theme could make for some really good sets).

Main stage - Will need to move since the capacity of Estrel Hall was already not enough this year. Can we use Convention Hall A or CD for the main stage next year? The fursuit lounge could then be in B or the foyer where dealer's den was. What's left of Convention Hall I can go to dealers and art, or those things could move to Estrel Hall and its foyer. Worth noting that, apart from opening ceremony and PPS, the main stage could probably be cut in half for its other functions during the convention, so that makes more space available during the actual con.

Dealer's den - The layout was a bit odd, and it was hard to find my favorite artists - no map, no big signs with table number and artist on them.

Art show - Also needed to have signs with artist name on them and a map. Also, they closed the bid sticker registration over an hour before closing (for no good reason that I could see), which caused the artists and the convention's charity to receive less money because I could not bid on anything. So I hope the person who made that choice so he could do less work at the end of the day, is very proud of himself.

Panel room finding - Signs could have been better. For panel rooms on wing 3 floor 2 or 3, refer to them by the actual room number (e.g. 30241), don't call them Panel Room 4, etc.

Lobby group photo - Location was not clearly communicated, and the tables and chairs really got in the way.

Fursuit lounge - Didn't have much privacy from above, but if it gets moved like I suggested above that problem won't exist anymore.

The Android app - has some bugs and isn't updated by the con when it should be (e.g. delayed or moved events).

EF prime - Picture and sound quality were not very good. And, it seemed to be running in standard-def, even though the hotel TVs are high-def. I heard from some people that the internet streaming was better, but I never tried since I didn't expect any kind of streaming to work on the hotel's internet.

Things that went well:
Registration pickup for pre-reg - it was fast.

The PPS itself - once the show started everything was magnificent and the delays in between scenes were much shorter than last year.

Closeness of the con to the airport - pretty good (will be even better if the new airport ever gets finished). In the previous years I had to fly to Berlin and ride the train to Magdeburg. I would gladly do that again to have the con back in Magdeburg but this location is at least closer.

Closeness of shopping to the con - Fantastic! There are so many grocery stores right by the con, liquor shops, the King Doner and Sonnengarten Imbiss food shops which will be like Furnando's for EF. Sit-down dining outside the hotel isn't as close but there are good places after a bit more walking (Louis was good).

The hotel restaurants - were pretty good and had specials that weren't as high priced as the menu fare. Breakfast was good too.

Overall - I have to say I did like EF19 better than EF20, but EF20 was still very good. I think EF21 can be great again with some fixes.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Suran on 31.08.2014, 08:56:46
Bridges between wings - they where locked on Saturday morning in level 1 but not on Friday evening.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Schorse on 31.08.2014, 09:32:03
Dealer's den - The layout was a bit odd, and it was hard to find my favorite artists - no map, no big signs with table number and artist on them.

Art show - Also needed to have signs with artist name on them and a map. Also, they closed the bid sticker registration over an hour before closing (for no good reason that I could see), which caused the artists and the convention's charity to receive less money because I could not bid on anything. So I hope the person who made that choice so he could do less work at the end of the day, is very proud of himself.

Panel room finding - Signs could have been better. For panel rooms on wing 3 floor 2 or 3, refer to them by the actual room number (e.g. 30241), don't call them Panel Room 4, etc.

When you did register, they handed you that paper thing, called Con book.
It contains a map and list of the artists in the dealers den and the panels and artists at the art show.
And the hotel map shows the panel rooms with their name AND room number (except the first 3 which only have names).

The issue with the stairs and overbooking of the rooms were discussed so many times now.
It's like it is because of fire regulations!
Everyone is shocked when there's a new fire catastrophe in the news. Usually in a third or second world country. It usually happend because fire regulations didn't exist or have been ignored. And everyone says: "Luckily this won't happen here in my country." Why won't it happen here?
Because here, they ENFORCE these regulations!
And now everyone is complaining about it. m( m(
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Blacktail on 31.08.2014, 10:47:26
Quote
Art show - Also needed to have signs with artist name on them and a map. Also, they closed the bid sticker registration over an hour before closing (for no good reason that I could see), which caused the artists and the convention's charity to receive less money because I could not bid on anything. So I hope the person who made that choice so he could do less work at the end of the day, is very proud of himself.

Well the reasons for closing one hour before are simple Security reasons most people who register in that time are only bystanders and they can and make the room before the panels which are being closed crowded and people who wants to bid can´t get to the panels to bid (that´s our experience from earlier EFs)
also with the less work yes we only worked until 1am not like the previous EFs until 3am
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Suran on 31.08.2014, 10:54:23
I'd rather opt for artist name signs in the Dealers Den.
Not knowing the face I couldn't find a specific artist even after looking at all the badges and stuff as far as visible.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Carbine on 31.08.2014, 14:19:14
A lot has been said already so I will just add new things:

Would it be possible to have a list available of the news/press teams that are authorized to film and interview at the convention? It would be good to know what channels to check for items about the convention and it would make it easier to identify any "pirates" roaming around. I saw a video online that was filmed by Ruptly (Russia Today) on the web with a quite unflattering title. Considering the sentiments of RT I find it hard to imagine they had permission to film on the con floor. I do have to say that the media was generally very positive.

Another idea that popped up on my way home:
Maybe create an area or room were artists can display selected art to show the broader spectrum of the fandom to the press? I think it would be good to give the press a wider idea of what the fandom is about. Most of the news items generally focus on the suiters because the camera crews are banned from the dealers den and art show (for good reasons). Ofcourse the fursuiters are the most eyecatching and will get the general media attention but I think it is good to promote the art side of the fandom and also the artists themselves.

This was my first EF and I thoroughly enjoyed it! The Pawpet Show was impressive and the atmosphere in the hotel was great. Being this is such a large convention it was especially surprising that everybody was so open and accessable. I understand that some things didn't go as planned but that's always the case when moving to a new venue and considering the exploded attendee number you did great. I'm sure a lot of these issues will be ironed out next year. My hats off to the staff for taking the time to organize it all, I hope to be there again next year.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: o'wolf on 31.08.2014, 16:38:58
Would it be possible to have a list available of the news/press teams that are authorized to film and interview at the convention

Authorized media wears a Eurofurence press badge and usually has someone of the press team or security in tow escorting them.

RT Ruptly appeared on site two hours after I told them on the phone that they cannot film at EF. They went straight into the lobby and started recording, until stopped by security. I told them to leave the premises, but that they can film on the street under the condition that they are telling those they film who they are and asking them whether it is okay. As far as the photo shoot in the beer garden is concerned, they reportedly did NOT ask anyone there. Afterwards, they tried to sneak into the lobby again, but left when they were discovered by security. They pulled the same stunt at Anthrocon this year, by the way. With an even worse headline. So, next time you watch RT you know how they are working and what to think of it.

Regarding general press handling, thank you for your input. I already have some ideas what needs to improve and how and will see if I can include some of your suggestions. I'll get back to that in a few months, I don't have the energy right now.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Carbine on 31.08.2014, 17:00:00

RT Ruptly appeared on site two hours after I told them on the phone that they cannot film at EF. They went straight into the lobby and started recording, until stopped by security. I told them to leave the premises, but that they can film on the street under the condition that they are telling those they film who they are and asking them whether it is okay. As far as the photo shoot in the beer garden is concerned, they reportedly did NOT ask anyone there. Afterwards, they tried to sneak into the lobby again, but left when they were discovered by security. They pulled the same stunt at Anthrocon this year, by the way. With an even worse headline. So, next time you watch RT you know how they are working and what to think of it.

Thanks for the answer! I already thought these bastards had worked their way in illegally. I know that Ruptly has their headquarters in Berlin so this must have been like cake around the corner for them. Will keep an eye out for them next time.

Regarding general press handling, thank you for your input. I already have some ideas what needs to improve and how and will see if I can include some of your suggestions. I'll get back to that in a few months, I don't have the energy right now.

Good luck recharging your battery. I can imagine that as a staff member you must be exhausted. Thank you for taking the suggestion into consideration and for all the hard work you do for the convention!
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Fineas on 31.08.2014, 17:09:48
Would it be possible to have a list available of the news/press teams that are authorized to film and interview at the convention

Authorized media wears a Eurofurence press badge and usually has someone of the press team or security in tow escorting them.

RT Ruptly appeared on site two hours after I told them on the phone that they cannot film at EF. They went straight into the lobby and started recording, until stopped by security. I told them to leave the premises, but that they can film on the street under the condition that they are telling those they film who they are and asking them whether it is okay. As far as the photo shoot in the beer garden is concerned, they reportedly did NOT ask anyone there. Afterwards, they tried to sneak into the lobby again, but left when they were discovered by security. They pulled the same stunt at Anthrocon this year, by the way. With an even worse headline. So, next time you watch RT you know how they are working and what to think of it

I guess telling of reporters is always going to be a problem as they have an immunity to do their job.
Press have that special status, so telling them off kind of opens the door for them saying things like 'haaa, I knew they where up to something, lets rat them out'.

Would it help to have like... a counter press team? Just people with cameras and a microphone that go and ask pointed questions to them:
- Hi their, it seams you have been thrown out and here we find you sneaking in again. Have you a problem abiding simple requests?
- And here we have the Squable Papers that always look for the most drama. So whose lives are you attempting to defile today?
- So here they are, so many people having fun, and then these guys showed up. Hi their party crashers, what are you guys up to?

And just post the results on Youtube.
It's a risk, but when played right, maybe we can give them a negative name instead, making them think twice about trying to blacken our fandom.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Schorse on 31.08.2014, 17:42:42
Maybe a fursuiter should grease up his nose and give the camera an intense noose beep. ;D
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: RyanWuff on 31.08.2014, 18:15:58
Well, EF 20 was AMAZING. The hotel, the lot of possibilities to eat, the travel was not really complicated too to reach the hotel, and afterall to meet again with  old faces.
This year's EF gived (for me, but I think for  alot of other furs too) such memories, what makes me still cry from the laugh. And getting new friends, having fun... Its amazing.
The EF staff was really great, and as the hotel staff too. The pawpet show... together with the music, it was beautiful. The EF Prime: well, I was watching allways when I was in my room, but those tv-s and the remote controll -_- but the twitter message line was great :D
I loved the art-show and the dealers den too. Next year in fursuit I think I will collect even more memories :)
In my case, I dont really can say anything -negative- about the con. I really enjoyed it, Thank you guys :)

And only one thing, what I got in my head as idea: on the badge, instead of the name of the country (or next to it) where the fur came from, maybe it would be better a little flag? Like on the security guys. Maybe it would be easier to find out where the other guy came from, instead of the little letters. :3

Maybe a fursuiter should grease up his nose and give the camera an intense noose beep. ;D

If the cleaning process for the suit would be easier... but maybe a massive nose beep attack with 30+ suiters... x3
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Schorse on 31.08.2014, 18:26:04
Fursuit stampede!! ;D ;D
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: RyanWuff on 31.08.2014, 18:27:11
Fursuit stampede!! ;D ;D

Next year. We do it. Totally. XD :D
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Suicune on 31.08.2014, 20:49:22
The EF staff was really great, and as the hotel staff too. The pawpet show... together with the music, it was beautiful. The EF Prime: well, I was watching allways when I was in my room, but those tv-s and the remote controll -_- but the twitter message line was great :D

Oh, yours too? We were fighting with that thing. It didn't react or changed 3 channels at once. Argh!
And even turning that thing on and off... Ohwell, next time I will try to get a better working replacement.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: RyanWuff on 31.08.2014, 20:52:46
Oh, yours too? We were fighting with that thing. It didn't react or changed 3 channels at once. Argh!
And even turning that thing on and off... Ohwell, next time I will try to get a better working replacement.

Changing the channel on those things was a nightmare, thats true XD But the volume adjusting too, even it was too quiet, you press the button for a short second and from lvl 12 goes to lvl 20, and then naturally loud as the complete wing can hear it x3
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Schakaline on 31.08.2014, 21:03:33
Oh, yours too? We were fighting with that thing. It didn't react or changed 3 channels at once. Argh!
And even turning that thing on and off... Ohwell, next time I will try to get a better working replacement.

The TV actually worked fine once I unplugged and plugged the power cord back in, after which the unit reset itself when I tried to use it the next time. I guess their in-house entertainment system was just a bit overloaded, which made the TVs act up when they tried to get a network connection.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Kamuniak on 31.08.2014, 21:56:12
Nearly week after EF, what is in my mind now... Few suggestions also for the next year.

Hotel was actually better and cozier than I expected from hotels of that size. I liked that there was restaurants too. Even though maybe too expensive to be used every day, it was nice to have possibility to have real food quickly, without leaving the con site. And those ice creams! *noms* Breakfast was excellent! I ate so much every morning. I was a bit surprised though that there wasn't any safes in hotel rooms. And checking out was probably slowest check-out I've ever experienced in any hotel. And you saw that from the queues too.

Elevators in wing 2 were sometime nightmarish. At least it was possible to use stairs when going down, so you weren't stuck in your room. But few times when trying to get back to my room, I simply gave up getting elevator and tried my luck later. 10-15 minutes waiting wasn't rare, especially after some big event just finished. Suggestion, that may not be possible to arrange though: Since problem was apparently limited to wing 2, next year put everyone who have fursuits to wings 1, 3 and 4. Possibly reducing the stress from wing 2 elevators a bit, and on the other hand, giving faster elevators to those who most need them.

Queues to main stage event got quite long sometimes. Queues now continued outside and during late evenings it was getting quite chilly out there. Could the queues instead take turn to direction of rotunda? There was plenty of empty room and everyone in queue could be at least inside.

Maps in conbook were good as always. Same maps could have been copied to other places too. Small map of panel room locations in pocket schedule? Big print of dealers' locations in dealer's den entrance. Art show panel map on other side of bidding helper sheet would have been very useful too.

Generally EF was great event once again, just too short :D This felt busiest con where I've ever been. Far, far too many things to do and see during just 3 days. I wouldn't mind at all having one more day, without adding any new program. Giving one extra day for art show, putting PPS and BBD to separated days, less overlapping events and no need to start panels at 10. I know it may not be possible, but one can dream :)

Oh, and loved the music and "traditional lightning" in Furs back to 80s :) Also International snack exchange just feels to get better every year.

Last but definitely not least, my thanks to charity team, people from Stiftung FLEDERMAUS and Balduin for the bat feeding events! It was great to see real bat so close, touch it and get bat group photo with my plushie bats :)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Ralesk on 31.08.2014, 23:23:22
Panel room finding - Signs could have been better. For panel rooms on wing 3 floor 2 or 3, refer to them by the actual room number (e.g. 30241), don't call them Panel Room 4, etc.

When you did register, they handed you that paper thing, called Con book.
It contains a map and list of the artists in the dealers den and the panels and artists at the art show.
And the hotel map shows the panel rooms with their name AND room number (except the first 3 which only have names).

That's the point though: Maybe you read the con book, but mostly you just have the schedule leaflet with you during the day — there it makes no sense to refer to “Panel Room N”, because that's not an easy thing to search for; however if it said “Room 30241”, you'd know immediately, without having to consult your hash table friendly directions poster that was placed where you'd already know where you're going (the Wing 3 Floor 0 lift lobby), nor look back and forth between the Legend in the pocket schedule and the event you want to head to.  You'll notice that it fits the size constraints of the pocket schedule too.  On the other hand, I do understand that the numbers are quite a mouthful.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Elfasi on 31.08.2014, 23:36:20
So here's my feedback for EF20, divided into hotel stuff first, convention stuff second.

The hotel

The Estrel is a very impressive place, visually and functionally, yet it did prove to be a bit of a mixed bag.  But first, the positive aspects:

Alas, there were negatives too, some that EF and Estrel could work on together, some down to Estrel, and some outside anyone's control (but worth mentioning):

Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: karpour on 01.09.2014, 00:08:48
Panel room finding - Signs could have been better. For panel rooms on wing 3 floor 2 or 3, refer to them by the actual room number (e.g. 30241), don't call them Panel Room 4, etc.

When you did register, they handed you that paper thing, called Con book.
It contains a map and list of the artists in the dealers den and the panels and artists at the art show.
And the hotel map shows the panel rooms with their name AND room number (except the first 3 which only have names).

That's the point though: Maybe you read the con book, but mostly you just have the schedule leaflet with you during the day — there it makes no sense to refer to “Panel Room N”, because that's not an easy thing to search for; however if it said “Room 30241”, you'd know immediately, without having to consult your hash table friendly directions poster that was placed where you'd already know where you're going (the Wing 3 Floor 0 lift lobby), nor look back and forth between the Legend in the pocket schedule and the event you want to head to.  You'll notice that it fits the size constraints of the pocket schedule too.  On the other hand, I do understand that the numbers are quite a mouthful.

The pocket schedule had a list of panel room names and their corresponding room numbers printed on it.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Elfasi on 01.09.2014, 01:12:04
Eurofurence has grown by a really huge amount since I last went there in 2011.  Change is necessary but it's not always good.  As I felt nostalgia for the Ringberg in Suhl, I now find myself having nostalgia for the Maritim in Magdeburg.  But when a convention grows, you either keep up or get left behind.  A lot has changed, but I had a great deal of fun this year.  The efforts of the Eurofurence staff and volunteers cannot be overstated.  They put in crazy amounts of work, for no pay, just so we can have fun.  It's something I could never do, would never do, so I am always thankful for staff efforts in every convention I attend.  I think this year however, some of the Eurofurence staff reached breaking point, working too hard for too long, and some things have to change.  I'm sure when that change comes, every support will be given.

The Good


The Bad

In closing, Eurofurence was quite difference for me than it ever was, but I love being out in Europe, in Germany, and I loved the journey there (driving all the way from England).  The international crowd at Eurofurence can't be beaten, but Confuzzled is a strong contender now for the kind of memorable experience I crave.  The deciders are ultimately going to be who among my friends goes to which convention, and how convenient each one is to reach.  I will be back!
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Elfasi on 01.09.2014, 01:15:05
Oh yes, one last point.  The Eurofurence wall of memories, showing all the places in Germany (and beyond) it has been, with photographs pinned to it, will we see this again?  I wanted to photograph it, but being in the art show space meant this was a complete no-no.  Will photographs of it be made available?  I really liked it!
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Schorse on 01.09.2014, 02:05:48
Oh yes, one last point.  The Eurofurence wall of memories, showing all the places in Germany (and beyond) it has been, with photographs pinned to it, will we see this again?  I wanted to photograph it, but being in the art show space meant this was a complete no-no.  Will photographs of it be made available?  I really liked it!

Even when I did not attend most of these early cons (my first was EF14), it's very interesting to see these things from the past.
I've asked Tigerseye about the pawpets from the previous years. Since most of them (at least the main characters) have been saved, it would be awesome to have them displayed in a corner of the art show. :)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Runo on 01.09.2014, 08:49:58
I've asked Tigerseye about the pawpets from the previous years. Since most of them (at least the main characters) have been saved, it would be awesome to have them displayed in a corner of the art show. :)

Do you mean the old folkmanis puppets or the new rod puppets? Because the latter ones are always in use for the show – not necessarily all of them, but decisions on what puppet is used for some background role, etc, are ofen made quite late, so they can't be put away into the art show. Plus all PPS members' cars are so full usually that bringing additional stuff just wouldn't be possible ;)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Token on 01.09.2014, 12:07:34
[…] Stairs locked […] allow triple and higher booking in large rooms […]  extend to 100% […] overflow hotels

I do not want to sound like a broken record. :-) Schorse summed it up nicely: https://forum.eurofurence.org/index.php/topic,5707.msg56484.html#msg56484

And about the amount of rooms reserved for EF: We pay special prices for the rooms because there have been special contracts with the hotel. Renting space costs A LOT, and a rough over-estimation could very well lead to a financial disaster for Eurofurence e.V. and be very well the end of EF. Nobody really expected the 45% increase of attendees after all.

Not only the hotel but the whole area was something new to deal with. This includes restaurants and overflow hotels… which also had no idea what kind of people WE are. :-P It is not that easy to make special contracts with other facilities in this kind of situation. But expect this to improve… if not next year, certainly in the years after that.


[…] Is there any way to request the hotel go to the honor system for breakfast during EF rather than having the Berlin Wall and key card checkpoint?
[…] territorial about their minibar […] We should be able to use the minibar to store our own drinks

Honor system for breakfast? Ofcourse this would work… but then the regular breakfast would have double the price. No offence, but I think your view on things is a bit naive here.

And concerning the minibar: You are wrong, not all hotels allow emptying the minibar and those who do, often charge a fee. Their internal storage-room for minibar-stuff was simply overfilled after so many people requested it. I am sure something can be worked out in the next years. But this was the very first year for us and them!

Personally I think this postulating attitude of yours is almost a bit rude toward the hotel. You never booked a room with explicitly the option 'Have you own fridge there'.
Concerning own fridge-boxes: They did not forbid them per-se! It depends if they pull too much power and the safety labels/certificates of appliances. It was not only 'almost a bit rude' but downright STUPID what some people tried to run in their rooms!

Sometimes I get the feeling some people are really unworldly and have never been to a hotel before. <.<


[…]Main stage[…]
Capacity problems were due to the unexpected growth in attendees. These convetion-halls are *really* expensive and you have to see what you can do with the confee. Of course this will be improved next year… but again, this is not an easy task!

Dealer's den - The layout was a bit odd, and it was hard to find my favorite artists - no map, no big signs with table number and artist on them.
As other said, conbook. It was also available online (here in the forums). But having a printed map at the door would be helpful, that is right. AFAIK this was planned, but I am not sure why it failed. I am sure this will change next year. :-)

Art show - […] signs with artist name […] closed the bid sticker registration over an hour before closing (for no good reason that I could see), which caused the artists and the convention's charity to receive less money because I could not bid on anything. So I hope the person who made that choice so he could do less work at the end of the day, is very proud of himself.
Some artists share their own panels with other artists or have agents setting everything up for them. While every art piece is registered and it is not impossible to create a map, it is, again, quiet a not-so-easy task with all the last-minute changes by some artists etc.
I do not really see the issue with simply taking a walk around and giving every artist and picture a fair chance to impress and enchant you.

Concerning the closing: As one of the "person who made that choice", I am not 'proud' about having less work, I am 'happy' that it went relatively smoothly with only one broken picture-frame (and the picture itself not being harmed) and no massive crowd where anyone panicked or something else happened. Others already gave you a good answer *why* this is done (and had been done the last years).

I am honestly sorry if you failed to bid on something because you decided to register only on the last few minutes before closing. Please try to get your bid-sticker right after visiting the art-show for the first time next year to avoid something similar. And if you are looking for a special artist, ask the art-show reg-desk or even me if you see me around, and I will happily point you to the right panels :-)

Panel room finding - Signs could have been better. For panel rooms on wing 3 floor 2 or 3, refer to them by the actual room number (e.g. 30241), don't call them Panel Room 4, etc.
The small foldable handout did in fact have all the room-numbers for the panelsrooms in the black box on the front page. :-3

Lobby group photo - Location was not clearly communicated, and the tables and chairs really got in the way.
Someone correct me if I am mistaken, but there has not been an 'official' group-photo in the lobby. The group-photo was outside - as stated in the conbook.


So in general, I can only advice everyone to:
Read the Conbook!

:3

Best wishes,
Token
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Suran on 01.09.2014, 12:22:10
Lobby group photo - Location was not clearly communicated, and the tables and chairs really got in the way.
Someone correct me if I am mistaken, but there has not been an 'official' group-photo in the lobby. The group-photo was outside - as stated in the conbook.




For the fursuit group photo announced in the con book pretty much all suiters gathered in and before the Fursuit Lounge.
After a lot of waiting and even more confusion everyone was hearded to the lobby.
There was no communication at all.
After 20 minutes or so I actually managed to spot where the photographer was.
On one of bridges crossing the lobby.
There where the bar, serveral plants a great deal of other stuff in the way and I'm sure a lot of suiters can impossibly be seen on the photo.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Atkelar on 01.09.2014, 13:52:36
Lobby group photo - Location was not clearly communicated, and the tables and chairs really got in the way.
Someone correct me if I am mistaken, but there has not been an 'official' group-photo in the lobby. The group-photo was outside - as stated in the conbook.




For the fursuit group photo announced in the con book pretty much all suiters gathered in and before the Fursuit Lounge.
After a lot of waiting and even more confusion everyone was hearded to the lobby.
There was no communication at all.
After 20 minutes or so I actually managed to spot where the photographer was.
On one of bridges crossing the lobby.
There where the bar, serveral plants a great deal of other stuff in the way and I'm sure a lot of suiters can impossibly be seen on the photo.

As with most other mishaps, this one was related to several things coming together at the most unfortunate of times. The idea was to have that fursuit group picture close to the start of the fursuit friendly dance, which seems practical for the suiters... but unfortunately pushed the time to a rather late (and very, very dark) slot. The fact that my megaphone would only go "whee-o-whee-o" and no longer "talky-talky" didn't help with communication either.
And just to clarify: I was up on the service bridge, right under the roof for that picture where all the sound of hundrets of people talking came up and was reflected down again... trust me, I could hear even less of what was going on on the radio than you down there I assume :(
And with the new venue, there was quite a high bit of uncertainty about whether we would even have any of the group pictures at all until the very last moment.
Had we known that the weather was in fact as nice as it was, we would have scheduled that picture outside, same location as the regular group photo. But that still leaves the question of "when"? With the schedule becomming as tight as it was this year, there just is no way of avoiding any overlaps, and I'm not only talking about delays here.

As of now, I'm still working on the post-processing of the fusuit picture. Both of them should be available for public viewing soon.

TL;DR: Sorry for the communication issues... next year will be better.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: SeanC on 01.09.2014, 13:57:25
A big downside for me was missing the fursuit group photo.
The time kept getting pushed back and I was constantly hearing rumours of when it would happen, but no solid confirmation. Eventually, about 9:30pm I had to desuit out of exhaustion ( I'd been in suit about 5 hours at that stage, and was already a bit worn out from the parade earlier that day ).
I think the photo eventually happened about 10:30pm, in a crowded lobby where the daylight was long gone.
I think it should have been rescheduled for the next day, and maybe held ( weather permitting ) on the steps outside the hotel where the parade photos were taken.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Furvan on 01.09.2014, 14:10:07
I wonder was not the quite best fursuit group foto done at the arena outside at the fursuit parade so far ?
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Tekumseh on 01.09.2014, 14:19:19
Thanks Token, I really felt inclined to write something here, but you put it down much more polite :)

And one more "Team" which does not really get many thanks: the Board of Directors! Thank you for getting us this great venue, for pushing around numbers so long until they somehow fit, for taking the (financial) risk, for holding the team(s) together, for being crazy enough to pull this thing off!

(And for getting us at the DailyEF this fine printer this year, which had good printing quality and was fast and reliable and was available from day 1. And for funding our A3 project - we loved it (and apparently people did as well))
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Codewolf on 01.09.2014, 17:38:15
As a response to feedback about queues/queuing I will be posting a topic later tonight regarding this once I return home and have an actual keyboard to type on :)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Furvan on 01.09.2014, 17:53:54
The Good: Very nice new Hotel gives a good feeling...
The Bad: The surrounding of the Hotel is just scary!

The Good: Meet and talk to many good old friends
The Bad: Missed much poeple to meet and talk for new

The Good: Wonderfull PPS, Perfekt Team, Perfekt Show
The Bad: Preparing work for PPS eaten almost my whole Con
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: timoran on 02.09.2014, 02:06:03
Well the reasons for closing one hour before are simple Security reasons most people who register in that time are only bystanders

You don't know that - what you are saying to me is that I would not have been a serious bidder if you had sold me stickers. Yes?
Why would someone get stickers if they didn't intend to bid on something?
In any case, whatever your reasons, nowhere was this cut-off announced in advance.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cairyn on 02.09.2014, 09:31:21
You don't know that - what you are saying to me is that I would not have been a serious bidder if you had sold me stickers. Yes?

You may have noticed that the stickers are free. If someone has tried to sell you some, you have been scammed.

As for serious bidders: I have asked people year after year to bid early to express their interest in a piece of art and to "negotiate" a price through bidding. The Closing procedure has never been intended as a "pre-auction", but as a hopefully fair way to allow people a final check of their desired art (and their bids), and to prevent sniping as far as possible. Thats why we call last bids (last bids... not first bids) and close panel after panel.

Sadly, this intent has been largely ignored, with a high number of bidders who place their bid at the very last moment to get their piece as cheaply as possible (circumventing the price negotiation and aiming at the possibility that they are the only bidders present at the moment of closing). You can observe this tendency by visiting the art show at Friday opening, when only a minor number of bids have been placed (not bidding apparently as the attempt to prevent driving up the price early).

Bidding earlier (getting to the maximum price before closing) would not just prevent many of those last-minute bids and ease the crowding situation during Closing (because a bold offer deters competitors), it would also lead to fairer revenue for the artists (because the bidders have more time to decide, whereas time pressure during the Closing causes people to drop out earlier). If I remember correctly, you claimed earlier in this thread to support this cause.

Other conventions handle the closing differently, forcing bidders to drop the pen on the spot, or closing in a much more hurried manner hardly giving people time for a final offer. We have arrived at our manner of closing after careful consideration of available methods. Unfortunately, this also requires some strict rules in the process to prevent crowd incidents.

In any case, whatever your reasons, nowhere was this cut-off announced in advance.

Except in huge red letters on the flipchart sign directly in front of the art show registration.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cheetah on 02.09.2014, 09:51:17
Sadly, this intent has been largely ignored, with a high number of bidders who place their bid at the very last moment to get their piece as cheaply as possible

Ebay has taught people that sniping is the only way to get a good deal. Sad story :(
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Fafnir Kristensen on 02.09.2014, 10:08:27
You may have noticed that the stickers are free. If someone has tried to sell you some, you have been scammed.

As for serious bidders: I have asked people year after year to bid early to express their interest in a piece of art and to "negotiate" a price through bidding. The Closing procedure has never been intended as a "pre-auction", but as a hopefully fair way to allow people a final check of their desired art (and their bids), and to prevent sniping as far as possible. Thats why we call last bids (last bids... not first bids) and close panel after panel.

Sadly, this intent has been largely ignored, with a high number of bidders who place their bid at the very last moment to get their piece as cheaply as possible (circumventing the price negotiation and aiming at the possibility that they are the only bidders present at the moment of closing). You can observe this tendency by visiting the art show at Friday opening, when only a minor number of bids have been placed (not bidding apparently as the attempt to prevent driving up the price early).

Bidding earlier (getting to the maximum price before closing) would not just prevent many of those last-minute bids and ease the crowding situation during Closing (because a bold offer deters competitors), it would also lead to fairer revenue for the artists (because the bidders have more time to decide, whereas time pressure during the Closing causes people to drop out earlier). If I remember correctly, you claimed earlier in this thread to support this cause.

Other conventions handle the closing differently, forcing bidders to drop the pen on the spot, or closing in a much more hurried manner hardly giving people time for a final offer. We have arrived at our manner of closing after careful consideration of available methods. Unfortunately, this also requires some strict rules in the process to prevent crowd incidents.




mmm
I was in front of many panels at the closing (for reasons, I had bids there) and most stickers I have seen being put at that moment were duel bid between people. I have seen very few "scavengers" (fortunately for artists).
and the time pressure during the closing usually push people bidding more than they would have with a calm mind, I have observed that many many times.
also most people around panels are people being sure nobody else outbid them. bystanders stay a bit away of the crowd crush and are certainly not the ones staying in fronts of panels when the panels are getting closed.
you may also remember the number of bid was increased on the bid-sheet to prevent too many pieces to go to the voice auction because the voice auction was starting to take too much time.

I think you are diabolizing a bit the people bidding at the artshow :)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Tekumseh on 02.09.2014, 10:37:13
Well - I was security for Art Show Closing the last few years and experience was, that we had to stop people from entering the room because it was too crowded. This was to be prevented, if you want a fair closing, where every bidder can get in and check their bids. But with far more people at the con how can you do this? Security together with the art show crew came up with this preocedure: close bidder registration well before the closing (to allow preocessing of possible queue), allow only registered bidders into the room, form queues outside the show if room capacity is reached. All that was well announced.
And it was not because of lazyness of people - mind your tone when accusing those who work well into the night while you enjoy a drink at the bar!  >:(
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cairyn on 02.09.2014, 10:53:01
I am following the closing myself (obviously), and I cannot fully corroborate your observation. Bid sequences like 20, 40, 60, 80, 85 (the last coming from the closing) are rather common. The lack of bids on Thursday (which has the longer opening time by three hours) is a fact. Experiences from prior shows have led us to the current process, and fortunately it seems to work without larger issues. (Another thanks to Security here.)

Naturally, observation is partly personal, I can only speak about things people talk to me about (or which I get through either the art show program or the bidsheets), and it is hard to make a statistical analysis on an event that happens only once a year and is subjected to external influences. For the moment, I am pleased that no greater changes are necessary despite the longer opening, the number of new panels, and the rise in both exhibits and attendees.

(As for the number of bids to auction, yes, that was increased some years ago but has been kept stable since then. Not sure what you want to tell me there; there is no requirement to fill up the bidsheet during the bidding time or the closing?)

(And no, I am not demonizing anybody (reasonable behavior presumed); I can only appeal to bidders to bid early because we don't really want the Closing to be overrun to the point where we are brushing with safety regulations.)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Balto on 02.09.2014, 11:01:00
Well in total I have to say that this was the best EF I ever had. Alot  of fursuiting, nice people, in that point perfect.

- The Suiterlounge was big, just a little to cold sometimes and in the evening too dark at first, but that problem was quickly solved.

- The Stage infront of the Suiterlounge seemed to be a little bit missplaced, it took alot of space away. But the Karaoke night was nice to watch

- Hotel Staff was cool with us, nice, talked with us about the con, never have seen that myself before in other Hotels.

- Hotel rooms are nice and clean, with working showers and air condition, so absolutly no problems here.

- A few more clocks in the Hotel lobby would have been nice, especially for fursuiters its sometimes hard to get the time. Perhaps they could be placed in front of the sigrooms. just a thought of mine

- The breakfast was fantastic. Alot of food and coffee and everything. Fantastic

- The waiting times at the events, well thats part of the EF feeling. Just the one at the pawpet show was at last not funny anymore. It was great that the Staff was bringing free drinks after some time, thumbs up for that!
What I have heard it was clear that the delay would take at least three hours, why wasn't that announced?

- The theme of the show, well, I would have thought of something more mystical, but ok. You should really make funny stories again, they are much better in my eyes then this sometimes pretty sad themes. At least the Lovestory in this one was smaller then in the last Shows, what is really a good thing.

- The fursuit Group Photo, was in my eyes a complete disaster. should have been made somewhere else, there was no space for everyone, and I guess I am not the only one who never heard someone saying that the photo is about to be made or is done or something like that. Wasn't well organized this time

Can't wait for EF next year!
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Fafnir Kristensen on 02.09.2014, 11:34:22
I rarely bit the first day, it's more of a exploratory visit, where I take the time to enjoy the art and look at all the panels, taking note of what I find interesting, going with friends and commenting, etc.
second day is for bidding, where I come back to all the pieces which I sorted from my previous visit, I then bid and usually high.

about that, I would like to say to the person who passed after me on a panel and called my bid an "asshole bid" because it was high that many artists tend to set a lower initial price than what the art is really worth, as an incentive price to motivate possible buyer to place bid, meaning putting the lowest amount is not respectful of the artist work. now of course you may not have much money, but thats not an excuse to look down at an artist time and effort put on their work.

last day is for fight, before the closing for pieces Im not ready to go all the way, and at the closing for pieces I dont want to let go.

for me the current situation seems a good compromise between crowd management and bidder flexibility but I would certainly dislike more drastic/coercive measures
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Tsanawo on 02.09.2014, 11:47:14
What I have heard it was clear that the delay would take at least three hours, why wasn't that announced?
Because it wasn't clear that we were going to run into a 3 hour delay. If it would've been clear then we would've announced it beforehand.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: SiranaJHelena on 02.09.2014, 12:10:39
The information about the delay changed a lot and contradicted itself.
After we waited already 1-2 hours some people came along who said they were told to spread the information about a delay of 3 hours. We checked different other sources then (Prime TV, Staff members, BBFs twitter account) and got many other delay times from 1 hour to 5 hours.
I infered from that that nobody really knew.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Runo on 02.09.2014, 12:58:15
I think it would be cool if bids during closing had to be at least 20% of the current price, with a minimum of 10€.  8)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cheetah on 02.09.2014, 16:38:57
The information about the delay changed a lot and contradicted itself.
After we waited already 1-2 hours some people came along who said they were told to spread the information about a delay of 3 hours. We checked different other sources then (Prime TV, Staff members, BBFs twitter account) and got many other delay times from 1 hour to 5 hours.
I infered from that that nobody really knew.

The cause lies in the nature of the delays. For the last two hours, we were basically fixing and finishing things as fast as we could - but it wasn't one single thing that needed to be done, it was more like a list of a hundret little details, and when you're in this state, all you can say is the order of magnitude of the delay, especially if you discover new problems while fixing others. We knew it would be at least an hour - so that's what we communicated the day before. We did not expect three hours delay, otherwise we would have re-scheduled things more consistently. We were hit with many unexpected challanges. We will do our best to not let that happen again. My sincerest apologies.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Kamuniak on 02.09.2014, 19:38:29
As for serious bidders: I have asked people year after year to bid early to express their interest in a piece of art and to "negotiate" a price through bidding. The Closing procedure has never been intended as a "pre-auction", but as a hopefully fair way to allow people a final check of their desired art (and their bids), and to prevent sniping as far as possible. Thats why we call last bids (last bids... not first bids) and close panel after panel.

What if only people who have already set bids to certain art, would be allowed to add new bids to that piece when panel is closing? Then at least people have to register, actually go through the art and add bids to interesting pieces before closing. Instead of just coming to closing and start adding bids to any good deals.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Ralesk on 02.09.2014, 19:44:46
As for serious bidders: I have asked people year after year to bid early to express their interest in a piece of art and to "negotiate" a price through bidding. The Closing procedure has never been intended as a "pre-auction", but as a hopefully fair way to allow people a final check of their desired art (and their bids), and to prevent sniping as far as possible. Thats why we call last bids (last bids... not first bids) and close panel after panel.

What if only people who have already set bids to certain art, would be allowed to add new bids to that piece when panel is closing? Then at least people have to register, actually go through the art and add bids to interesting pieces before closing. Instead of just coming to closing and start adding bids to any good deals.


I'm not really sure about this.  On one hand, this helps artists sell stuff, they won't have to carry it back home, they'll get money for it, and — if the base price wasn't too low, which I understand sometimes is, to get people to bid easier —, they'll get a good amount of money.  On the other hand, people might just push the bid price further up just to make things worse for the actual people wanting to win the piece.  I'm not sure how common that really is — someone bidding on something they don't really want, just to make things worse for other bidders (and eventually better for the artist, again).
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Fafnir Kristensen on 02.09.2014, 19:48:37
  I'm not sure how common that really is — someone bidding on something they don't really want, just to make things worse for other bidders (and eventually better for the artist, again).
it's part of the deal: if you want something, you must accept to pay for it, even if someone pushed you higher, maybe it not cool nor nice, but thats how it is, and as you said, it's not bad for the artist.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cairyn on 02.09.2014, 20:07:09
for me the current situation seems a good compromise between crowd management and bidder flexibility but I would certainly dislike more drastic/coercive measures

I am trying to avoid measures that are not really necessary. Making changes right and left just for the sake of making changes is just confusing. I believe the current status works for now; if we encounter shifts in the status, we can still think about adjustments.

What if only people who have already set bids to certain art, would be allowed to add new bids to that piece when panel is closing?

That would be quite difficult to check: You'd have to read the bidsheet every time some new bid is placed, during the already hurried situation at closing, and decide whether a new bid is allowed. Like other ideas, this would only be possible if the whole bidding process is supported by automation.

I'm not sure how common that really is — someone bidding on something they don't really want, just to make things worse for other bidders (and eventually better for the artist, again).

Rather unlikely because whenever you bid on something, you run the risk of being the last bidder and must buy something you didn't really want.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Codewolf on 03.09.2014, 00:19:08
just a quick post about queuing: https://forum.eurofurence.org/index.php/topic,5794.0.html
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Bartimaeus on 03.09.2014, 07:10:03
[…] territorial about their minibar […] We should be able to use the minibar to store our own drinks
And concerning the minibar: You are wrong, not all hotels allow emptying the minibar and those who do, often charge a fee. Their internal storage-room for minibar-stuff was simply overfilled after so many people requested it. I am sure something can be worked out in the next years. But this was the very first year for us and them!

Does this minibar problem really exist?

I was also very concerned and surprised by this after reading the forum prior to EF. The problem seemed strange and illogical to me so I decided to check with the hotel staff and see how they would explain to me why I could not use a fridge in my room too cool my mineral water and such.

I went to this guy:
(http://s10.postimg.org/4ao6q227t/minibar.jpg)
And he told me it was OK to use the minibar fridge to cool my drinks. And it was OK to remove minibar contents as long as all the bottles were visible when they checked the minibar. So I put all the minibar contents RIGHT NEXT to the fridge and used it for my own beverages till the end of the convention.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Ralesk on 03.09.2014, 08:35:36
I asked the same in e-mail and was told differently: that they can't empty the minibar and I will have to pay for everything I remove — so we decided not to touch it at all.

That said the room was cool enough for our mineral water and coke, so in the end we didn't really need it anyway :)  Friends had a car coolbox + AC converter for the Snack Exchange stuff, and that thing wasn't deemed an issue either.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cheetah on 03.09.2014, 11:02:27
We talked about the minibar topic in our debriefing with the management. They were basically totally surprised by the amount of requests, and then again surprised by how our attendees would get creative to circumvent the posted rules. We all agreed that there will be a clear, pragmatic solution for the minibar problem next year.

(It will be something along the lines of "You are allowed to empty the minibar as long as all contents are lined up clearly visible next to it so housekeeping can check it at a glance" or something similar. We'll keep you updated when this becomes official.)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: BD on 03.09.2014, 11:28:26
I loved the marching band leading the fursuit parade, that was a brilliant idea. They were really good! I had a wonderful con despite the fact that Norwegian Air lost my baggage which included my fursuit body.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Ralesk on 03.09.2014, 12:45:05
I loved the marching band leading the fursuit parade, that was a brilliant idea. They were really good!

Absolutely! :)  That reminds me, there was a fursuiter with a trombone somewhere in the back third of the parade.  That was great as well.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Korrok on 03.09.2014, 12:50:06
My feedback is a bit late due to being busy rl! I will try to keep it short:

- Love the new hotel. I was never a big fan of the Maritim hotel for various reasons and I feel the Estrel is a massive improvement in terms of con space and social (foyer) space. Staff were very nice on the whole too.
- Not so keen on the new area. Felt rather unsafe, the little exploration we did further down the road (in the car) led us to not want to go wandering around it. Obv this is unavoidable due to the hotel's unique position as the largest con hotel in mainland Europe.
- To that end: it would be massively appreciated if next year we could have a feature in the con book or here on the forums etc about places to get food/supplies (e.g. drug store?) in the nearby area.
- Hotel food was nice but a bit too pricey for every day. Hotel breakfast is super and a very welcome upgrade.
- New Dealer's Den is beautifully light and was nice to work in. A great location!
- All the extra seating in the foyer/lobby etc was hugely appreciated.
- Bar prices and standards were a bit offputting.
- No issues with hotel check in or check out. It was very painless and friendly.
- Elevators - I agree with the person who suggested an actual little queueing barrier. It made me angry to see inconsiderate entitled assholes throw themselves to the front of the queue and push you aside to get in before you when you'd been waiting patiently. I don't think there's going to be any way around the heavy elevator traffic so this would at least make it more bearable.

- A random aside for other attendees of the con. PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE TO TAKE VIDEO/PICS OF A PERSON AFTER THEY MAKE IT CLEAR THEY DO NOT WANT TO BE IN SAID FILMING. I wish that was basic stuff and not something that needed said. -_-

On the very largest whole I thought the new hotel was fab and I am excited to see what EF does with the wonderful new space available to it! See you guys next year.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: SiranaJHelena on 03.09.2014, 21:51:26
The information about the delay changed a lot and contradicted itself.
After we waited already 1-2 hours some people came along who said they were told to spread the information about a delay of 3 hours. We checked different other sources then (Prime TV, Staff members, BBFs twitter account) and got many other delay times from 1 hour to 5 hours.
I infered from that that nobody really knew.

The cause lies in the nature of the delays. For the last two hours, we were basically fixing and finishing things as fast as we could - but it wasn't one single thing that needed to be done, it was more like a list of a hundret little details, and when you're in this state, all you can say is the order of magnitude of the delay, especially if you discover new problems while fixing others. We knew it would be at least an hour - so that's what we communicated the day before. We did not expect three hours delay, otherwise we would have re-scheduled things more consistently. We were hit with many unexpected challanges. We will do our best to not let that happen again. My sincerest apologies.
My apologies if it wasn't so clear but this post wasn't ment to be a critique. I just shared my experience with the communication about the delay to show that there was nothing clear about anything because.. well.. nobody really plans a delay. I know you had a lot of trouble backstage and I know you guys don't let us wait 3 hours in the cold because you'd like to have a five-cours-dinner and a bath before it starts. (Ok, you might like to, but you wouldn't let us wait for that. ;) )

I press thumbs for you that next year Murphy's law won't hit you so hard again, so you can actually enjoy the con yourself and have a great time!
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: BD on 03.09.2014, 22:59:28
Absolutely! :)  That reminds me, there was a fursuiter with a trombone somewhere in the back third of the parade.  That was great as well.

Yes, I met him too but didn't get his name. It must have been the same trombone-playing guy (how many trombones are there at a furry con?!) who joined us in the Sunday afternoon music jam which was a real blast, lots of people ended up joining in and singing along and generally making a joyful racket.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: DarkFoxDK on 04.09.2014, 14:57:52
Absolutely! :)  That reminds me, there was a fursuiter with a trombone somewhere in the back third of the parade.  That was great as well.

Yes, I met him too but didn't get his name. It must have been the same trombone-playing guy (how many trombones are there at a furry con?!) who joined us in the Sunday afternoon music jam which was a real blast, lots of people ended up joining in and singing along and generally making a joyful racket.

I seem to remember seeing Blaster Hedgie with a trombone at some point during the con, though I might be mistaken... o.o
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Mystifur on 04.09.2014, 15:31:20
In the fursuit lounge I saw someone blatantly stand up, take out his cellphone and started recording everything around him. Not a minute before, I was asked to put away my cellphone when I was just checking to see if I had a message.

The request to put it away was friendly and I complied. But to have someone stand up and be /care about it was awkward and I didn't know what to do with the situation. I guess mentioning it now is too late, but I feel like this should be addressed as a good concern for the future.
Most important thing first: We been saying this for years, we will be saying it again, and is written in bold letters on the sign at the lounge entry:
IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SUSPICOUS GOING ON IN THE LOUNGE, CONTACT EF SECURITY IMMEDIATELY. THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO DAYS LATER AFTER THE CONVENTION.

Photography is a reoccuring issue with the lounge and it mean walking a narrow line.
If we check people too stricly, we're called Lounge-Nazis that make everything so complicated and unfirendly. And really.. Security taking away peoples phones? I really don't want to see this.
If we rely more on peoples common sense, someone will sneak in a camera and take pics, until someone tells him to not do it.

(I take the priviledge to exclude myself from this rule. I, and I only, will occasionally take out my cam to take photos for EF internal documentation. But luckily people know who I am. )

Yes,we found one fursuiter posting a short video of himself on youtube, warned him to take it down immediately, and he instantly complied and begged pardon.


Quote
I also heard about a photographer selling pics of people that were headless to a newssite, including me. I would love to know how that is possible, as he would have to have sneaked into the fursuit lounge. I didn't see the picture as it was removed, but I'm definitely not ok with this.
The problem here starts with "I also heard.." and immediately goes into "how is that possible?"
I'd rather if people didn't listen to the rumor mill. Because it was NOT possible.

The true story:
There was a private Lacy-Fursuit-Photoshoot, that was not handled by EF, taken in a location that was not part of the EF convention location. The people running this shoot did allow a photographer in, who claimed to be taking pics only for himself. Pictures of this shooting ended up sold/published to the media yes. Feel free to take legal action against this photographer.
While EF-staff is very unhappy about this incident, and definately has this person on a blacklist now, it is not acceptable to blame us for that, because this was in no way an EF event, and not even on EF location.  :)


EDIT: I just realised this issue has wide been explained already, and feel stupid now :-) With doing all the stuff-stuff, and concrud, and travel, i'm a bit late with working through the forum.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Mystifur on 04.09.2014, 16:26:32
And here's a bit of knowledge for everyone who found that neon swan installation in the beergarden either amusing, or weird, or kinky, or startling:

It's neither of that, it is a depiction of acient greek mythology.
The swan is godfather Zeus. You can learn about it if you search for
Leda and the swan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leda_and_the_Swan
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: ysegrim on 04.09.2014, 17:42:37
Greek mythology is amusing, and weird, and kinky, and startling.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Schorse on 04.09.2014, 18:26:28
I prefer my big squeaky swan in the pool. :P
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Henrieke on 04.09.2014, 19:41:33
I will keep my feedback short (ha ha) since most things have already been mentioned multiple times, and Karpour will probably

I had such a fantastic con and I am very impressed with how smoothly everything ran. Remembering the first year at the Maritim, this first year at the Estrel really exceeded my expectations!

All things considered, I can only think of very few things that bothered me. Here are my only gripes that I think are worth mentioning:

- The Artist Lounge
It has been mentioned before, but the artist lounge is an extremely important aspect of the con to me. I'm sure there is a good reason why two seperate rooms were used, but I hope a way can be found to find a larger space next year. I loved the idea of one room being open all day, but in reality the real rush was in the evening, and this room was so remote that it wasn't used much during the day. Since in the evening not many panels are being held, would using a room like Paris be an option? Or alternatively, two smaller rooms, but definitely ones that are located next to eachother.
For many of the artists who work in the Dealers' Den at daytime, the evening in the artist lounge is really THE way to meet up with fellow artist to chat and/or exchange drawings. The rooms were crowded way over capacity in the evening (with people sitting on the floor), and I saw many artists stick in their heads around the corner only to leave again because it was too full. The 2nd room on the 3rd floor had additional problems as the windows couldn't be opened so there was barely any oxygen in there, and we had to gather seats and tables from other rooms/floors.
Free coffee like at previous cons is great, but all we really need are a lot of tables and chairs, and some light and air, if possible!

I'm making a big point of this because I can imagine this lounge problem is invisible to most of the non-artists, and the staffers who sadly don't have time to sit down for a sketch exchange.

- Hotel-related issues
These both have been mentioned before as well, but I hope (and I'm positive) that these can be negociated with the hotel. I understand that why multiple room-checks are being done though it also felt like overkill to me. Almost every single time I spent some in the room to rest or wash myself, I had hotel staff randomly open the door an come in without warning, several times at very awkward moments. Just a note for attendees: Use the chain lock at your door to prevent people from coming in if you want your privacy. Judging from how often I had people come in while I was in my room, I can only guess how many times the rooms get checked when I'm not there. On the other hand, on the first two days at the con we did not recieve room service at all. I'm pretty sure this was related with the hotel being overwhelmed by this massive convention at first.
My other gripe is the fact that the staircases were once again closed. We were in luck because for some reason they were open on the first floor (where our room was at) and the garage floor, so we often made use of the stairs. Newer attendees may not be aware but during the first years at the Maritim the staircases were closed as well for as far as I know, so I hope that once again we can convince the hotel to open them up. It would put ease on the elevators for the lower floors of the hotel, at least.
Last thing was more of a personal issue but I wonder if this happened to others as well..? Almost every single time we returned to our room it turned out that our key card wasn't working. It took us a day or two to figure out, but apparantly every single time we held either our phone, SLR or video camera within a few cm from the card, it got wiped. I think that in total we had our room key replaced about 15 times during the con. Luckily the hotel did this very quickly, but it became kind of a nuisance quite fast. Did anyone else have similar issues?

Other than those things, I only really have positive things to say! Here is a list, in no particular order:

Good things!
- I really loved the fursuit photoshoot and the way it was handled this year. Props to Atkelar and his team for doing such a great job on their first year! Nice bonus touches were the fact that you could immediately preview your photos after the shoot, and the nifty little tickets that were printed out to both remind you of your slot and grant you access. (Lo and behold! I did not forget about my slot! GASP!)
- I honestly didn't like the theme when it was first announced, but with all the creative effort the theming was actually tons of fun! I loved the tape pattern game, the cars, the banners, standees, conbook and all the other touches that put the theme together.
- BIG BIG thanks to Wolfy-Nail, Rotarr and Ekorren who spent the majority of Tuesday with helping to construct and paint the lottery booth, despite being attendees. I don't know how to thank you guys!
- The snack exchange was fun and tasty as always, thanks to everyone who brought things from their home countries to make this a success.
- The fursuit lounge was simply fantastic. And thanks for keeping a tiny version of it running during the Dead Dog party, I made good use of it!
- I love the big room the dealers' den is in, it's so nice to have daylight and a little more elbow room! Everything ran smoothly for as far as I could tell.
- Security did a great job as always. This con I only saw people in a positive mood and if there were any issues, they weren't noticable at all. The new outfits are a great way to make you visible, and I swear there must be ten clones of Dhary walking around because I saw him -everywhere-. Thanks for always being there to help.
- Registration was super smooth this year, with barely any waiting lines.
- The con book looks fantastic and super professional! I'm amazed at how it somehow gets better every year.
- I like that there are lots of places in the lobby to sit down and have a chat.
- BBF's segway contraption
- The breakfast buffeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttt. While I enjoyed eating cereals while watching EF prime each morning in the previous years, it's so awesome to be able to properly feed myself at the start of the con day. I'm sure eating well plus having unlimited fruit helped to prevent many cases of con crud. I know the buffet normally costs 18 euro per day so I really appreciate this being included. I'm also happy that it ran until almost 11, though I can imagine some of the party-animals missed out on breakfast that way...
- The Daily Eurofurence gets better every year as well. It's one of the things that really makes EF stand out from other cons to me, I love reading it in the morning (or late at night) and have kept a copy of each issue as a keepsake since its start in the Ringberg. It's definitely better than most other free 'newspapers' that are available in the morning!
- Special thanks to the Daily Eurofurence as well for having the guts to publish an article about women at the con, and the problems they face. I know you got some negative feedback on it but please know that it is very much appreciated by many!
- Airhorn Classics
- Con Ops was always friendly and helpful! Special thanks to Darkwing for being so helpful on the forums before the start of the con as well.
- The pawpet team did the impossible and put on a great show.
- All the charity people and especially Itchi and Ray Liehm: You work way too hard!! But it truly paid off, I'm so proud of how much money we raised! Thank you so much to everyone who donated or helped the charity in any other way.
- I only peeked in a bit, but the 80s dance looked really fun! Come back next year!
- The hotel staff was fun and friendly right from the start. Some of the waiters at the restaurant even told me how much they loved the con, and the manager told me she can't wait for next year, either. Thank you for recieving us with open arms and making the event fun for everyone.
- For being a fancy hotel, the restaurant prices weren't bad at all and the margerhita at the Italian was one of the best pizzas I ever had (twice). Tip, if one meal is big and expensive for you, just ask for an extra plate and share!
- I love that there are restaurants in the lobby area, so I can eat without missing out on the con action. I barely left the hotel at all.
- So many good panels this year! Almost too many! Maybe I'll bring back a cartoon art 101 for next year...
- Fursuit charades was super fun!
- The parade was nicer than I expected (I still remember standing still in the staircase for what felt like 20 minutes at the first year in the Maritim), and the brass band was a very nice touch! I hope they return next year!
- I really liked the Art Show this year, it was giant! I spent well over an hour browsing it, I think, and I didn't even check the adult section.
- The fact that the charity was for bats. BATSSSS. I got to pet a real bat. I am happy.
- So many great fursuiters, some doing amazing acting. You really make the con something to behold.
- The last evening where we did a shitty dance circle in the middle of the lobby like a bunch of drunks, despite all being sober.

That's all I can think of for now, though I'm sure there's more. What made the con truly special of course were the friends, old and new, I got to spend time with there. Thank you all for coming, some from very far away, and making it so great. See you next year :)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: BluePaw on 04.09.2014, 20:40:03
not many things already said.
but i do have some things still unsaid^^! :P

first topic FOOD: the food needs to be available for longer times.
the kitchens shut down at 2am, and after that it was close to impossible to get food.

and the positives:
the chicken from the BBQ-buffe served in restaurants instead was still the best I've ever tasted, and i told the waitress to tell the chef that as well!^^
the breakfast buffe was really nice! and especially the bacon!^^ the bacon also made a much needed salt intake!^^
and the staff was also awesome, both in terms of food and hotell-wise!^^

other topics:
the other side of the PPS queue, they did get entertainment out there after a while, that they even managed to get water out to anyone that needed it is just amazing.
and with the company of good friends it was still a pretty good time^^
could have needed some more chairs and other sorts of sitting places though!

the piano guy near the reception area evening times were a bit depressing and repetitive. and a lot of off-keys as well.
asked uncle kage how to handle it, and he just said, better to wait till next year and request them to just let him have the week off next year.
that or slip him some money to leave space for someone else for a while (fox amoore!) :P
so we didn't make more fuzz out of it then that. just worth noting to get some more entertaining entertainment :P

the elevators worked way much better at the new hotell compared to maritim!
(at least in wing 4)

now that was all i could come up with to say for now^^
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Bartimaeus on 05.09.2014, 00:10:06
Did you know it was possible to take pictures and/or video of the fursuit lounge from above :P
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: karpour on 05.09.2014, 00:50:15
Here's my feedback :)

Con Ops
Darkwing and everyone else at Conops did one hell of a great job! I bugged them a lot, and even when stressed, they always managed to help me out, both before and at the con, they really deserve a lot of credit for making this con run very smoothly! :)

Fursuit lounge
I'm pretty sure EF has the most amazing fursuit lounge of all cons ever thanks to a really dedicated and hard working team.

Charity
Well, this might be a bit biased as I am part of the charity team, but I'm really happy with how everything went :) Collecting donations was fun as always and I'm really happy we got this amazing spot for the charity lottery booth, it really put the charity in the spotlight of the con. Especially nonfurries who came to see the show got a good first impression, because the first thing they saw when coming in was the big charity booth, making clear that it is an important part of EF!
Also thanks to everyone who worked so hard on setting that thing up (my back still hurts when thinking about it!), namely Itchi, Henrieke, Ekorren, Ray Liehm, Rotarr and Wolfy-Nail :)

Impossible Fursuit Charades
Definitely one of my favorites of this EF! I've been hoping for this event ever since I saw it on a Megaplex livestream, and it was reaaally fun :) Only one little problem was that green text on blue background on the projection screens was very hard to read for the suiters, so next time please make the text really bold with lots of contrast!

Fursuit parade

The fursuit parade was great. Of course beating last year is hard and there were barely any locals watching, but it had a great spirit, and it was soooo big! As many people mentioned, the brass band was a super amazing idea and really created an awesome mood!

Breakfast Buffet
still drooling when I think about it!

Restaurants in the hotel
Super yummy food, very friendly service, prices were ok too :)

Dancefloor
Had lots of fun on the dancefloor again! Of course having the fursuit lounge right next to the dancefloor again also really helped!

Fursuit lounge
You guys really outdid yourselves again this year! I think even the little fursuit lounge at the dead dog party was better than most con's lounges :D

Pawpet show
You put on quite a show again this year! Sadly I got a huge headache so I had to go to my room and stuff myself with painkillers, but I saw most of it on EFPrime :)

Charity bat feeding
Great idea, tickets should've been more expensive though! ;) Totally cute bat!

Fursuit Photoshoot
I must say I was *very* impressed by the whole setup! The printed tickets for the photoshoot looked so professional, the "Berlin" scene was a great idea and the helpers did a great job posing us for some pretty funny photos :)

Furs back to the 80s

Sadly I was waaaay too tired from working all day on charity stuff, but I peeked in and loved it! :) Hopefully this is a thing to stay!

Fursuit friendly Dance
Suuuper awesome! Props to Ace for doing an amazing set, especially after the EF19 Dead Dog Party (aka the best Dead Dog Party I ever experienced). Perfect choice of music for bouncy suiters!

Big Blue Dance
I was *really* looking forward to hearing BBFs set with music from all previous sets, sadly that did not happen. The replacement DJ however also did a great job and I had some fun on the dancefloor :)

Art show
What can I say, great as always, simple bidding process, now I just have to make art for it sometime ;)

Dealers Den
Space at last! And lots of natural light too!

Conbook
Great layout, great content :)

Daily Eurofurence
Daily EF is just... wow.. it's amazing how it grew from what was probably a fun experiment to what it is today! I never missed an issue and I also like digging through my old issues :) It really is one of those things that makes EF better, and with EF getting bigger and bigger, there's lots of stuff to write about! Also respect for tackling the women at EF topic, great article!

Registration
Smoothest registration ever! Whatever you did to improve it, it worked, despite the loads of people!

Things to improve

Artist lounge
This was the only thing that really bugged me sadly. At previous EFs, we used to have amazing artist lounges with free drinks for artists even. Please realize that a good part of attendees really like the quiet and homely atmosphere of the artist lounge every night.
Having 2 of them is a really bad idea obviously, and both were too small, a lot of times there was absolutely no free space (and absolutely no fresh air).
At EF19 we finally had a great artist lounge with lots of space, so this was a big step back. Please please please put more priority on this and assign a very spacious room to the artist lounge next year!

Hotel room checks
I really disliked how often people were coming into the room unannounced. One time a guy in a suit knocked and immediatly came in while we were dressing on the bed. Due to the layout of most rooms, you can see everything on the mirror.
Next time we'll use the little chain lock on the door, but I'd appreciate giving me a second at least to reply.

Room Windows
I doubt this will ever change, but in the Maritim and the Ringberg we could open windows, which is a blessing for people with dust mite allergy, where airflow really makes things easier (No, having an AC helps nothing). For some reason the lock on the window in our room was broken so I left it open a few times, until a few panicked hotel employees noticed and hurried to our room, fearing I would jump out or something.
Obviously the windows are locked by the hotel so they can save some € on insurance, but it would be super nice to be able to open them!

Parking garage
Removing the ticket machines in the parking garage on the day everyone leaves was not exactly a brilliant idea, but I will just assume the hotel learned from it. They wanted to charge me 4€ because I was over an hour, but after some discussion they dropped it as obviously I only was over an hour because I had to wait in an awful long line of people with the same issue.


Ideas for next EF

Closing ceremonies
It would be nice to have a short closing ceremony again!

Disco Ball
Of course there were reasons there was no disco ball this EF, but if possible by any means, a disco ball would be amazing again!

Change seating in the lobby
If possible, maybe create a wider corridor to walk through when going from the convention center past the Atrium bar to the entrance

-----------------------------

After all, it was once again an amazing EF with loads of great memories and some new friends :) This has been my 8th EF, and thinking about every single of them gives me goosebumps, from all the amazing memories!
Thanks to everyone who makes this possible and see you next year!
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Akulatraxas on 05.09.2014, 03:27:19
Quote
Please please please put more priority on this and assign a very spacious room to the artist lounge next year!

Iam very sorry about that but we simply dont have / had. Nizza was the biggest Room available. (Second largest after Paris which cant be blocked every evening) so we came up with 2 lounges. I will stick to this plan if the Room situation stays as it is.

@Henrieke
The reason for this rooms: I wanted to try a "24/7 open Lounge" but knew that the room is to small in the evening. But closing the smaller room in the evening when the bigger one opens does not makes sense at all. So it just stays open. And in the times i visited both rooms where used / full.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: karpour on 05.09.2014, 11:38:16
I think sticking to this would be a very bad idea, there have been lots of issues with the artist lounge(s). Of course the lounges were used because there was simply no other place to draw, but often they were way too crowded. Also keep in mind that EF will continue to grow, so what has been packed this time will become even more packed next year.
I can't do much except urging you to not just ignore this issue.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cairyn on 05.09.2014, 12:06:54
I think sticking to this would be a very bad idea, there have been lots of issues with the artist lounge(s). Of course the lounges were used because there was simply no other place to draw, but often they were way too crowded. Also keep in mind that EF will continue to grow, so what has been packed this time will become even more packed next year.
I can't do much except urging you to not just ignore this issue.

I'm afraid it's not a matter of ignoring the issue, it's a question of what rooms are available at all (and which we will be able to afford), and what purpose we can assign to a room. Between these two factors, we need to find a compromise.

Oh yes, and some groups (like security) also have needs for the location of their rooms, so it's even more complicated.

There is already a huge internal thread probing possibilities for room usage, and it shows that the Estrel caters either to conferences with comparatively small panel rooms in the hotel itself, or to mass events with huge audiences and the appropriate hall size in the ECC. What we need are many rooms in between, which physically don't exist. So we have to make do with what can be implemented.

Clearly, a growing con would give us more room options to operate with. But that is a question of planning that is still in progress. I am pretty sure that better solutions will become available if not next year, then the year after that.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Akulatraxas on 05.09.2014, 12:11:35
The current plan is the best what you an do with the -current- room situation. Any other combination will lead to even less space.
I don't ignore the problem, I really do care about the Artists, but there is just nothing I can do about it right now.
Nizza has ~86m² . The 24/7 open Lounge has ~40m². Combines its more space than last year. (110m²)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cheetah on 05.09.2014, 12:55:21
The current plan is the best what you an do with the -current- room situation. Any other combination will lead to even less space.
I don't ignore the problem, I really do care about the Artists, but there is just nothing I can do about it right now.
Nizza has ~86m² . The 24/7 open Lounge has ~40m². Combines its more space than last year. (110m²)

To be clear, we are going to get more function space next year, but we're in negotiations, and I can't say how much it will be. Please stay tunes. (Aku: You posted some space requirements in the internal forum ... is extra space for the artist lounge already included in that? If no, can you please add it? This would be very helpful.)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Tinka on 05.09.2014, 15:56:13
Now that we're on the subject of space..

Bottlenecks:

There were major bottlenecks throughtout the convention at the Atrium: around the bar and by the fountain/pool? This was mostly due to the way the whole area was closely packed with tables and chairs for the restaurants and bars - leaving only a two-to-three people wide (two fursuiters max. wide) passage for 2000 attendees to move and hangaround. Anyone stopping around here to chat or a take picture of a fursuiter - or a fursuiter posing for a photo - would instantly stop all traffic flow through the whole Atrium. The only other passage being the even narrower corridor next to the Wing2 lifts and Ops...

I assume you have a plan to have a discussion with the hotel to rearrange the Atrium to create a bit more space for traffic - as well as plan for the 'hanging around' areas not to obstruct the traffic flow. I know a lot of people are wishing for more sofas everywhere to sit on - but I'm afraid if these are placed too close to passages and doors they will gather furballs who will then block everything. I know hanging around is important but so is getting to events in time.

Hopefully next year we'll have plenty of space and even perhaps a bar at the widely spaced conference center side where there is room galore >:3

Open Stage for impromtu live performances and fureoke:

I would have to say that fureoke was my favourite thing of EF20 (if it wasn't for the magnificent and moving PPS ^^'). The open stage was well placed but could've been even better as 360-degree stage with the extra fake wall removed. I know it was for lighting effects and projection but these could be achieved by suspending a separate screen in the air - visible from one side of the stage - while leaving the stage itself and the performers visible from anywhere in the Estrel Saal passage/foyer... Just an idea ^^'

PS: you wouldn't want to invite silverfox5231 to see the pawpetshow >:P http://ask.fm/Silverfox5213/answer/117999764926
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Akulatraxas on 05.09.2014, 16:58:53
To be clear, we are going to get more function space next year, but we're in negotiations, and I can't say how much it will be. Please stay tunes. (Aku: You posted some space requirements in the internal forum ... is extra space for the artist lounge already included in that? If no, can you please add it? This would be very helpful.)

It is IF we don't need to reserve the 150qm room for dances. If you tell me the deadline when you need to know this I try to include as much feedback into the estimate of room requirement as possible.

;

And of course, if I speak about the plans its based on the situation we have - If we can improve we will do. But I don't want to build up false hopes :) I just wanted to show that, in my opinion, we did most of the situation. But please, if somebody has a better idea - just tell :)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Reshi on 06.09.2014, 17:42:58
Now that I finally have time; I had great time at my very first EF (and first furry con for that matter) ! Pretty much all that I was gonna say has already been said in this thread but I'll point out some highlights of my personal experience.


Can't wait for next year ! ^^
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cookie on 06.09.2014, 18:45:35
Just to react to what was said about people entering the rooms.
Only once on the last day we had Room service knocking and carefully pushing the door slightly ajar...but they quickly closed it as soon as i answered "yes?"
When i went to the door, they apologized for disturbing us..as we were on our way out for breakfast anyway, we left the door open fir them yo clean the room.
They didn't bother us at all the other days.

Never had any troubles with the lifts either (wing 2), and most of the time they even were empty when arriving on our floor (6th).
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Blue Raptor on 06.09.2014, 23:08:21
Hotel: good.
Surroundings: OK (Not nice, but pretty much everything you needed at the shopping area behind the McD.)
Room (standard Block 2): OK.
Hotel Staff: really good.
Breakfast: really good.
Food: Mostly overpriced, cheap options were OK.
Drinks (Atrium bar): way overpriced, cocktails NOT OK.

For next time:
Stairs: Obviously the fire doors of the stairwells cannot be blocked in a open position as that would defy their purpose. Please try to find out though if it is allowed to install handles on the inside.
Hotel atrium: Pave over that fountain thing. It's ugly anyway. > >

Convention: great.
Fursuit lounge: All the accommodations it needed and lots of space and tables.
Events: great.
Dealers space and artshow: good amounts of space.
Music: Yeay rythm and dancable and growl along stuff and even 80s!
Registration: Smooth.
Security: Flawless, pro, and well recognizable with armband and flags.

Not so great and imo improveworthy points:
Long delays before events, many consecutive "xx more minutes" delays at Pawpet show, thus lots of time wasted waiting in line.
No bags in Dealer's den (Only because of adjacent Art show? Rather annoying.)
Panel rooms and Artist Lounge behind elevators between hotel rooms on floor 3 of a hotel wing.
Chaos at fursuit group photo. (When is it now? Where exactly in the lobby? Just following the others. Was it taken now? Everyone is leaving, so I guess so. Did anyone realize when it was taken? Noone I asked did. A small count-down would have been nice.)
Total hotel chaos at checkout on Monday. Will be better next time.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Codewolf on 07.09.2014, 01:35:19
Chaos at fursuit group photo. (When is it now? Where exactly in the lobby? Just following the others. Was it taken now? Everyone is leaving, so I guess so. Did anyone realize when it was taken? Noone I asked did. A small count-down would have been nice.)
apologies for this, the megaphone was bust and only did siren, admittedly whilst i have a very loud voice it only carries so far and fursuit heads dramatically decrease the range :)
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Atkelar on 07.09.2014, 03:09:58
apologies for this, the megaphone was bust and only did siren, admittedly whilst i have a very loud voice it only carries so far and fursuit heads dramatically decrease the range :)

*nods* - I did yell "CAN YOU HEAR ME" from the top of my lungs too... but the (relative) silence that responded clearly indicated a "no". And this was only one of the things going wrong here, it would fill a chapter in a comedy routine to list them all...
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Kamuniak on 07.09.2014, 22:58:30
- no more ears protection? If I remember correctly these were previously offered unofficially by one of the attendee, did this person not come this year or couldnt offer the service ?
anyone know anything about this?
IIRC that was Thygrrr. As far as I know it was a personal service he paid from his personal money. I guess he decided that people should learn to take care for themselves?

Whut? Last years those big boxes of ear protections at dance entrances were provided by regular member? I didn't know at all. I want here and now thank that person!

It would be great to have those again in future, maybe provided by Eurofurence itself this time :) Cheap but big favor for anyone who have forgot to buy own.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: nobs on 08.09.2014, 06:05:15
It would be great to have those again in future, maybe provided by Eurofurence itself this time :) Cheap but big favor for anyone who have forgot to buy own.

Maybe selling them for charity?
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Runo on 08.09.2014, 12:35:55
It would be great to have those again in future, maybe provided by Eurofurence itself this time :) Cheap but big favor for anyone who have forgot to buy own.

Maybe selling them for charity?

Selling protective gear isn't a good idea IMHO. Maybe a donation box next to it, but people shouldn't have to pass on protection just because they don't have money with them.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cheetah on 08.09.2014, 12:38:02
These things are dirt cheap ... if someone will volunteer to be responsible for it, I can promise we'll be able to afford it.
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Fafnir Kristensen on 08.09.2014, 14:00:25
These things are dirt cheap ... if someone will volunteer to be responsible for it, I can promise we'll be able to afford it.
I would gladly help with this, what would need to be done?
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Ralesk on 11.09.2014, 13:12:11
One thing I didn't notice being mentioned but I want to thank: the T-Shirt

Good quality, and finally something non-dark :)  I'm very happy with it!
Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Tes on 03.10.2014, 21:54:12
I finally get around to provide some EF20 feedback...

All  in all the Con was great and the Hotel good.

But with the latter I have 2 complaints:

1) The ridiculous prohibition of using your own electric cooler and the justification for banning it. I can understand, that they don't want any heating devices likes coffee makers or the like since those can run in the kilowatt range. But the typical electrical cooler uses a peltier element and maybe a fan, consuming something in the range of 60W. Compared to the hairdryer in the bathroom or even the room lighting and some laptops I have seen at work that's a not even worth mentioning. I seriously hope the Hotel doesn't try this again since it makes it impossible to take other prohibitions seriously.

2) If you tried to use one of those little 3G / WLAN routers or your smartphone as a WLAN AP in your room, you might have noticed that it didn't work very well, you got disconnected almost immediatly. This only started with the beginning of the Con, no problems were encounted before the con started (if you booked early arrival). It looked a suspiciously like a WLAN-Deauth-DOS-Attack if you have your phone directly next to the 3G/WLAN-Router and it can't establish a reliable connection. This attack works by spoofing the MAC address of your Router and sending a de-authentication packet which will disconnect your device from your AP.  Please tell the Hotel to not do that again, it might backfire. After all, it wasn't done before the Con started.



Title: Re: EF20 feedback
Post by: Cheetah on 04.10.2014, 14:58:23
I finally get around to provide some EF20 feedback...

Thanks for your feedback!

Quote
1) The ridiculous prohibition of using your own electric cooler and the justification for banning it. I can understand, that they don't want any heating devices likes coffee makers or the like since those can run in the kilowatt range. But the typical electrical cooler uses a peltier element and maybe a fan, consuming something in the range of 60W. Compared to the hairdryer in the bathroom or even the room lighting and some laptops I have seen at work that's a not even worth mentioning. I seriously hope the Hotel doesn't try this again since it makes it impossible to take other prohibitions seriously.

It's actually not specific to electric coolers - you are generally not allowed to use electrical appliances in your room that go beyond a laptop or a cell phone charger. Be it a cooler, a heater, a soldering iron, a sewing machine, a popcorn maker, or (*sigh*) an electric cotton candy machine. We've communicated the problem with them, and they made a few concessions, for example, allowing small fans for fursuit drying - we could convince them that the hygienic consequences of wet fursuits outweigh the fire hazard. But the appliance ban will stay in place, and I'm afraid there is nothing we can do about it. There will however be a way to officially use the minibar as a regular fridge (this time for everyone), which we are going to communicate when the time has come.

Quote
2) If you tried to use one of those little 3G / WLAN routers or your smartphone as a WLAN AP in your room, you might have noticed that it didn't work very well, you got disconnected almost immediatly. This only started with the beginning of the Con, no problems were encounted before the con started (if you booked early arrival). It looked a suspiciously like a WLAN-Deauth-DOS-Attack if you have your phone directly next to the 3G/WLAN-Router and it can't establish a reliable connection. This attack works by spoofing the MAC address of your Router and sending a de-authentication packet which will disconnect your device from your AP.  Please tell the Hotel to not do that again, it might backfire. After all, it wasn't done before the Con started.

I can assure you that no such thing was attempted. If you had problems like the ones you described, it was most likely a case of terribly congested WiFi spectrum - with both the hotels internal WiFi system and 2000 geeks with their own routers trying to fight for bandwidth. That being said, the solution they're using (courtesy of Cisco Systems) IS pretty hostile against competing networks. Not that it's programmed to actively attack anyone, but we (the staff) got a fair warning ahead of time, that to operate our own internal Staff WiFi, we would have to ask them to reserve channels for us.

We did, and it worked nicely. But since this is obviously not an option for everyone, and as it's unlikely they'll swap out their WiFi installation against any other type of system anytime soon, it's probably also one of those things we'll have to learn to live with.