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Author Topic: Honest Opinion of EF 16  (Read 48798 times)

Schneelocke

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #75 on: 10.09.2010, 13:23:31 »

Since this is "honest feedback" and since there's been so much been posted in the way of criticism already, I'd just like to say: EF16 rocked, and all the staff members have every right to be damn proud of themselves, because they did a terrific job - for free, in their own spare time, for no other reason than that they love doing what they do. That's my honest feedback.

Here's to you! Thanks for another wonderful con.
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o'wolf

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #76 on: 10.09.2010, 13:26:45 »

Moderator's note: I split off the bickering about children of staff members being present. Any further comments on that topic (or the related forum moderation) will be deleted.
« Last Edit: 10.09.2010, 13:41:16 by o'wolf »
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Xaneorath

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #77 on: 10.09.2010, 13:52:11 »

I REALLY enjoyed this years EF, and want to thank the Orga for their hard work.
Why is that? Considering I went to it with various bad feelings, I was pretty surprised myself.
I got various personal stuff to take care lately, and at first I was like "oh, just perfect, an Anthromorphous Animal Convention without any nature around ..", considering nature and atmosphere being a very important part of the whole "Inner Animal"-idea. (Or furry character, if you prefer that one)
I really hated the last EF which was staged in a youth hostel in the middle of a city, and already feared for the worst. (Dont actually remember which it was ... ah, doesnt matter)
Yet, the convention was incredibly relaxing and inspiring for me.
Just because ... its not all as bad as we make it to be. ;)

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

As negative sidenotes ... hrm... actually I can only think of the camera-discussion. I too believe that it takes away a lot of comfort to be filmed all the time. But well, I have no intention to bring up yet another discussion about it. ^^
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Ravell

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #78 on: 10.09.2010, 15:01:55 »

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

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

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

As for the stairs, was great to have the option, but yeah, it could be tricky to find them on some floors. How about some simple signs near them so you can tell which door to take?
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Alpha_Ki

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #79 on: 10.09.2010, 15:23:13 »

* Den - very crowded. Could the Fursuit Lounge be divided so that half of it is art show and half the fursuiters lounge, with suitable separated path so suiters don't have to walk through the art show to get past? Then the Den could move to where the art show was.

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

But the Den-Team already has a solution for next year: We will split up Dealers Den and Artist Alley again and put them in two rooms next to each other. So the fursuiters can stay in that large room and the dens have more space and lockable doors. :)
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gaz_a

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #80 on: 10.09.2010, 16:43:13 »

Being charged for tap water was mind blowing to me. I have stayed in more then a few 4 star hotels and even 5 star hotels in the US and never once been charged for tap water.

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

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

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

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Drift

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #81 on: 10.09.2010, 17:14:14 »

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

Quote
In the UK in March of this year it became law that any licensed premises must provide free tap water on request.
As the matter of fact, in Germany bars/restaurants are obliged to sell at least one alcohol free drink that is cheaper than the cheapest alcoholic beverage.
(with ajusted amounts of course).
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Kimu

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #82 on: 10.09.2010, 21:55:10 »

I'll just be quick about it ;)

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

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

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

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Vector

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #83 on: 10.09.2010, 22:07:42 »

- lack of washing machines for normal prices - after 5 days of intensive suiting the fursuit just looks (and smells) awfull. And 50 euros for washing at the hotel, c'mon...
- a bit too short (make it a week?)

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

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

I think EF is long enough for attendees, fursuiters & con staff ! Everyone is exhausted at the end of the convention and not sure that the attendees could afford a whole week con.
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Colifox/Rizzorat

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #84 on: 10.09.2010, 23:02:29 »

Some general feedback points from myself based on what I have read and own observations:

1. Prices

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

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

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

2. Key cards/rooms/Housekeeping

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

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

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

3. Elevators

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

4. Hotel Staff

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

5. 'That Kid'

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

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

6. Fursuit lounge

OMG - Awesome.  Enough said.

7. Only negative comment

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

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

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

Colifox/Rizzorat
« Last Edit: 10.09.2010, 23:05:26 by Colifox »
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Dhary Montecore

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #85 on: 10.09.2010, 23:10:29 »

7. Only negative comment

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

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

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

Colifox/Rizzorat


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

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Mystifur

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #86 on: 10.09.2010, 23:23:00 »

- there was a slight lack of hanging racks with fans so it wasn't always possible to dry stuff (repair the broken fan or get 1 extra)

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

2) When you still feel the need to _demand_ changes: Think twice, if it actually is something that Eurofurence has influence on.
  • "The drinks were too expensive" ? Well, how exactly are we supposed to tell the hotel what prices to make.
  • "You should have informed me about XY ahead of time." Everyone of us can only work so much to the point we fall unconcious. Thus we channel information. You could have found all the information in the forum ahead of time, and on site in the conbook.
  • "The hotel staff was unfriendly !" Despite the fact that 95% of the attendees were very happy with the staff, Eurofurence is not the employer of the hotel staff. If EF-Staff is unfriendly, talk to us. If hotel staff in unfriendly, call for the hotel staff superior.

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

So, keep in mind we're volunteers making that happen. And how much of EF would actually be left, if at some point we all decided that doing so much wrong is no fun any more and stopped doing it.
« Last Edit: 11.09.2010, 01:44:15 by Cheetah »
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Dhary Montecore

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #87 on: 10.09.2010, 23:35:39 »

EF security note: The photo in the last post was done by the team lead for the Fursuits Support Team himself. ;D
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Skie

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #88 on: 10.09.2010, 23:51:51 »

Being charged for tap water was mind blowing to me. I have stayed in more then a few 4 star hotels and even 5 star hotels in the US and never once been charged for tap water.

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

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

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

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

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

BTW, water was free at the Ringberg :P

Anyway, this is mostly amuses me it reached Feedback.
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Cheetah

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #89 on: 11.09.2010, 01:39:53 »

Yes, Germany is weird like that :)

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