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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 61618 times)

gaz_a

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #75 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.

« Last Edit: 28.08.2014, 02:39:33 by gaz_a »
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MartinRJ

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #76 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!
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Fafnir Kristensen

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #77 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.
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Runo

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #78 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.
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Jorinda

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #79 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.
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Druon

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #80 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.
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Token

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #81 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
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Dhary Montecore

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #82 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
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MOW

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #83 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?
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Zestence

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #84 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.
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meo

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #85 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.
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Fafnir Kristensen

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #86 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 ? ;)
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aphinion

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #87 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
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timoran

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #88 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.
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Suran

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Re: EF20 feedback
« Reply #89 on: 31.08.2014, 08:56:46 »

Bridges between wings - they where locked on Saturday morning in level 1 but not on Friday evening.
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