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Author Topic: Honest Opinion of EF 16  (Read 46377 times)

TiGWolf

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Honest Opinion of EF 16
« on: 06.09.2010, 13:29:51 »

Please take the following as constructive criticism.

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

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

Points that were negative that I experience first hand:

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

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

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


And now the really big problem with the new location.

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

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

-TiGWolf
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Foxfur

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #1 on: 06.09.2010, 19:21:33 »

I very much agree with you!

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

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

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

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

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

 
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Jackrow

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #2 on: 07.09.2010, 02:14:10 »

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

At each night the Artist Lounge was a blast, sharing some of our knowledges between other artists was just made me feel I'm at home and relax in a bit more silent atmosphere, by the way the Do-It-Yourself desk was a good idea! :) I love drinking tea while I'm drawing. That room was so comfortable.
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Wulfie

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #3 on: 07.09.2010, 06:31:13 »

Please take the following as constructive criticism.
...

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

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

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

But I heard rumors, that the ringberg was the same at first EF. Maybe the good conditions come next year :)
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krakendwaggin

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #4 on: 07.09.2010, 08:00:19 »

This was my first (but not last) convention.

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

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

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

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


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

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

I enjoyed EF16, I've brought back so many good memories (and a lighter wallet!) and thusly you'll definitely see me at EF17.
« Last Edit: 07.09.2010, 08:09:53 by krakendwaggin »
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Andy the Squirrel

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #5 on: 07.09.2010, 09:10:16 »

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

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #6 on: 07.09.2010, 09:17:24 »

Food and Drink: It's a four star city centre hotel, and priced accordingly. It was done to death at the Feedback Session on Sunday, and the upshot was that: a) it was the first year we were there, and b) pricing is set centrally across the whole chain.

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

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

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

Cheers,

Southie
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Suran

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #7 on: 07.09.2010, 11:05:55 »

+ The room-keys where quite an improvement.
+ dealers den was much larger
+ the larger headless-area was just great
+ easier to find people in given the new hotel layout
+ more infrastructure in walking distance
+ more of an audience for outside suit-walks
+ early arrival and late departure left ample time to socialize
+ dealers den open the day after art auction
+ large rooms
+ wireless networking in function space
+ THE FURSUIT THEATER
- the Stage Fever this year
- neither fire nor steaks at the BBQ
- smaller pool/sauna area
- very expensive food and parking
- The delays
- microphone- and other sound- issues
- The electronic notice-board for anouncements came late.
- art sales was very slow
- voice auction took forever
- group-photos during the suitwalks took very long each time
- the elevators of cause (maybe point out the existance and placement of the stairs better)
- delays not announced hotel-wide
- some more pause between the events could prevent delays from spreading too far and give the staff more time to rest.
- art show was very spacious but there could have been much more art in there, given the space.
« Last Edit: 07.09.2010, 18:08:58 by Suran »
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Kisu

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #8 on: 07.09.2010, 11:14:20 »

- during stagefever the back stage was way too crowded and no monitor for the suiters

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


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

Big thanks from the panther
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Korrok

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #9 on: 07.09.2010, 12:04:52 »

My honest opinions for EF, which seemed to be shared by a lot of folks we talked to.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So yes, some positives and some negatives, I hope you'll take these views into account.
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djem

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #10 on: 07.09.2010, 13:01:26 »

I'm also gonna give me + and - point for this EF :

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

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

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

It's the first year at the Maritim, and I haven't see any big problem that couldn't be solved, and I will definitely be back next year !
« Last Edit: 07.09.2010, 13:06:19 by djem »
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Lweek

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #11 on: 07.09.2010, 13:13:35 »

CONS
Yes, prices in hotel was definitely too high and it is the major problem. Well, I don't care about how much hotel earn from us however I think if They want to raise their income They shall lower prices. It is simple economic math. If there will be a beer for 2.80EUR I'll buy maybe two or more for a day, with 4.50EUR for one beer I bought none. Still, it is not my business so I don't care BUT this had a very sad side effect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #12 on: 07.09.2010, 13:48:26 »

I hope I won't forget anything... so, from an artists's point of view:


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

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


All in all, EF is still an experience for me. A pleasant one, to it. So as far as I can afford it, I'll be going. It hasn't left me disappointed yet. But the downsides were a bit too apparent and turned out to be an annoyance when combined with the sky-high price.
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Flinty

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #13 on: 07.09.2010, 14:37:36 »

Ive not been to a huge number of cons, and this was my first EF and by far the biggest con I've been to so i've little to compare it too. But I suppose that will make this a more honest review of the con!

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

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

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

I had a whopping great load of PCD afterwards, thats how good a time I had! =P
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Fauho

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Re: Honest Opinion of EF 16
« Reply #14 on: 07.09.2010, 14:49:26 »

The hotel is build like many prisons in our country;

« Last Edit: 16.09.2010, 22:58:07 by Nightfox »
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