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Eurofurence 25 "Fractures in Time" - Estrel Hotel Berlin, August 14-18, 2019Follow eurofurence on Twitter

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Author Topic: EF20 feedback  (Read 63245 times)

Schakaline

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #15 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. :)
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Quincy the Raccoon

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #16 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...)
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Cheetah

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #17 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.
« Last Edit: 26.08.2014, 19:27:09 by Cheetah »
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nobs

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #18 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.
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Token

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #19 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,
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Red-Claw

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #20 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. :)
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Suran

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #21 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)
« Last Edit: 27.08.2014, 07:31:12 by Suran »
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Tinka

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #22 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
« Last Edit: 26.08.2014, 20:48:40 by Tinka »
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Nimrais

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #23 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 :)
« Last Edit: 26.08.2014, 20:56:26 by Nimrais »
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Suran

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #24 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."
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SiranaJHelena

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #25 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...
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nobs

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #26 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.
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Suran

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #27 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.
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Hurga

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #28 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.
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Cheetah

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #29 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.
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