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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: Feedback 2015  (Read 25694 times)

Cheetah

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #30 on: 25.08.2015, 21:02:24 »

Dog permit : some of my friends were really pissed off to see that some VIPs & people from staff were allowed to bring their dogs (although they're not obviously guide dogs for blind people). They were missing their dog and they had to find a solution to find a place and someone to take care of it during the convention.

On the human side, I can undersand where that frustration is coming from. On the other hand,  it's the same way how we sometimes make exceptions for staffers to the "no kids" rule if they're long time contributing members and we need them to run this gig, and we know them personally long enough to trust them not to abuse the privilege and not become a liability.

Being a long time contributing and hardworking staffer has very few privileges, but this is one that we sometimes grant. There was exactly one exception, and that won't likely change. Unless you're volunteering to run the art show :) I
« Last Edit: 25.08.2015, 21:20:40 by Cheetah »
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Cheetah

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #31 on: 25.08.2015, 21:05:59 »

Quote
- Moving the dead dog party back to Paris ? Having it in the club stage was nice, but made it far to reach with nothing in between the lobby and that room. Seems like people where all over the place with nothing really going on :)

You're right, but we had to vacate all conference rooms in the Estrel until Saturday Evening 22:00, some until Sunday Eveniong 22:00 because they were booked by some other party ... so we had to schedule it in the ECC where we could use rooms until Monday. So it was the best available compromise.
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Cheetah

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #32 on: 25.08.2015, 21:14:33 »

Room Access - If it is legally possible, can we please get the all the staircase doors unlocked, so we aren't forced to use the lifts? This would also allow those who need the lifts more (suiters and those with luggage) to use them without having to wait so long. Would also be some handy exercise!

We tried hard to negotiate this, but unfortunately it is not possible for legal and security reasons. Hotel security insists that you can't accidently depart at the wrong floor in an actual emergency, the only way MUST lead to the emergency exit.
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Atkelar

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #33 on: 25.08.2015, 21:33:22 »

Quote
I tryed 2 days in a raw to enter the fursuit photoshoot, and turned out the queu was insane. Maybee having a second stage for photo to double the amount of people able to take part would help a lot ?

We did discuss that option of a second set internally multiple times already. But unless we find a room that hosts us (unlikely) and get about double the budget (also unlikely) we don't even have to scout for suitable staff to handle the workload. We can think about *maybe* adding an hour or two on the opening times though. Also, having two sets with the same decoration is unlikely, so how would we put people into set 1 or set 2?

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Photoshoot - Better communication with the queue so people don't leave empty handed after waiting 30+ minutes. Having two separate lines for 10 and 20 minute slots would probably help with this, and perhaps some sort of "slots remaining" counter (manual or electronic) so furs who have no hope of getting a slot don't queue up and waste their time. It might be worth having separate quotas for 10 and 20 minute slots, and alternating between the lines. If the 20 minute line is empty and the quota not full, then the slot(s) can be split and taken by 2 furs in the 10 minute line, and vice versa.

Thank you for the input on the "slots remaining counter" - I'll consider something along these lines. However the amount cannot be 100% accurate since we are dealing with 10 or 15 minute slots here that are distributed upon demand. But I guess an estimated counter is better than none at all.

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Fursuit photoshoot : great idea of this QR code receipt. Too bad you can't choose the exact hour & time. Definitely nicer setup than EF20 and the headshoot idea is nice too ! Keep up the good work !
To allow more people to get a pic, would it be possible to allow photographers access outside of the photoshoot time slots?

Thanks! The praise for that goes out to Karpour, who poked me to add something like that. I really would love a smaller code but the printer quality isn't quite up to par and the density required for a (mostly) working appointment is insane...

The "outside the hours" is basically out of the question, I'm afraid. We need some time to do backups and ready the set/props for the next day. Also we are doing our staff group pictures as well as one or two "extras" for photoshoot staffers already. So there really isn't much time left. Also, the rented equipment would need supervision anyway...

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Group Photo : maybe having clear instructions from a megaphone from the ground would help next time.

We did have a megaphone... it was working this year too... but the distance proved a bit too far so nobody down there could hear it :( - we'll think about something for next year!

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Fursuit group photo : not a very good time there. People were stuck in a massive queue at the door not able to move or to have space to breathe. :/ 

This is already in the feedback queue of the stage/security departments - somehow nobody thought about the queue requirement.

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on the photoshoot: let's face it: there were ~1k suiters ... 6-10shoots can be handled per hour ... there are 3 days @ 8hrs each ... do the maths, folks, bearing in mind that the photo team is no less than heroic but also wants to see the con from another angle than a 50mm lens ...

Thanks for the feedback - oh, and we have a 24-105 lens ;)
We will never be able to squeeze all suiters that attend EF into the photoshoot. Which is why we would prefer to take suiters who didn't have a slot the year before. This is however a "soft" restriction, as a member of a group might have had a slot the year before and we don't want to split a group because of that. Only if *all* of the group had their pictures taken the year before we'd say: "Come back when the queue is gone". We did deny several persons who tried to sign up for a second picture to keep it fair. Sadly there is no 100% surefire way of detecting the "had a slot the year before" case. EF would need to have a permanent registration system for that. We can only guesstimate that and people might slip through.

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While the fursuit games were fun some games and judging criteria were on the weak side.

"Weak" as in...? The focus was on entertaining games - however it's next to impossible to predict which games will be fun when you have no idea who is going to play them. Even with incredibly funny TV gameshows, the humor is mostly from the people playing and not the games themself. Which is why we scout for fursuiters who can also act a bit during the preliminaries.

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the Fursuit Photoshoot VS The Fursuit Gameshow several times (I don't know if it is handled the way that participating ones from one Event can participate on the next installment of the other)

I wouldn't consider that a problem per se - the photoshoot was going on way longer and had plenty of other possible timeslots that didn't overlap. The preliminaries would only take 30-60 minutes of actual time (the timeframe in the schedule is for *all* the teams) and the show is only "blocking" qualified teams.

That being said: We did not expect that extreme increase in the photoshoot registrations - last year, the queues were only a few people long by the time the slots were gone. We *will* think of possible solutions, but as of yet I don't see any simple ones.
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ysegrim

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #34 on: 25.08.2015, 21:59:16 »

Putting on the "attendee" hat, I really liked that we were able to spread all over the hotel and CC for the Dead Dog party, so people spread out over all of the hotel and conference center. You never felt alone, but you could always get a seat somewhere.

And can I use the opportunity to say how much I loved the concept of having three stages (plus the extra PPS stage)? So great to have all the different kind of entertainment at any given time in the evening ... Jam Sessions, Big dancefloor, alternatives ... Thank you so much for making this possible! *




(Disclosure: While I'm part of the Stage Team, I could not claim any credit for almost all of them ... I'm saying this purely as attendee)
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draconigen

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #35 on: 25.08.2015, 22:11:24 »

Holy moly, that was a great con. Especially how smooth the hotel personnel was working with us this time, and how friendly they were. Conversations with the waitress at the Estrel Stube were part of the joy of eating there, next to the HUGE meals you get for your money.
Also, the hotel didn't say a thing when I picked up my sushi and pizza orders at the reception. Thanks for letting that slip, I guess. :)
Sound and light setup at the stage(s) were very good this time. The "as if they just pushed the Open Air button and left it like that" feeling didn't come up this time. Shame I didn't have much time nor energy to enjoy the dances. Will make sure to do so next year!
Oh, and one more thing that left an impression regarding security: Every single time a situation or person catched my eye that could possibly be in need of assistance, I shortly after noticed that a security guy was already there, standing anywhere nearby and observing the scene. Security was practically everwhere at any time they were needed, and really left the impression that the wellbeing of our attendees is secured. Very well done!

At the moment, I could only think of few things to improve:
  • Internet coverage. The hotel wifi was a pain to use, and almost never worked (this login page that would always ask you to choose a data plan would mostly throw me back to the same page; also, there's this certain danger of accidently clicking the wrong data choice...). Dealers in the D-Den didn't seem to have internet at all, which is kinda bad for them, I guess.
...and some minor things:
  • The way to the Art Show: Better close the door next to the stage, and open the door between D-Den and AS again. Walking that huge, undecorated and cold hall all the way over to the AS kinda felt like walking to the end of the world.
  • Personally, I imagined the Chillout Lounge to be more relaxed. There was enough space for that in the glass-roofed hall where the Fursuit Lounge was last year.
  • As much as I was looking forward to the charity photo shoot, I'd like us to reconsider if we want to do that ever again. The otter kinda seemed very unhappy about it.

I think there was one more thing that I needed to get off my mind, but I can't seem to find it in the chaos inside my head that EF has left. The more I'm done, the better the party obviously was! Will post again when it comes back.
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Tioh

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #36 on: 25.08.2015, 22:36:35 »

...

As the person directly responsible for the Charity Auction, I feel that I need to add my two cents here (I apologise if I repeat a few things that have already been said). The problem with the Charity Auction is that there is only a limited amount of time in which to sell the items, given the two hour timeslot and that the time has to be shared with the general Art Auction as well. Because of that, we can only accept a certain maximum number of items to Charity Auction, and sometimes this means that items have to be grouped together, in order to fit them in and to give them the best chance of raising as much money at Auction as possible. I did my best to let the donators know that their items may be grouped this way, and the donator of the bottles was informed that they were likely to be auctioned off together (along with the advertising panels that were also donated later). They made a natural set together, and it allowed more items to make it to Auction overall.
...
I found out at art show closing that my two puppet head-bases were bundled. Several people had asked me before EF if they could get one puppet head - nobody had asked for two - I had told everybody that there would be two individual pieces in the auction. After the auction I got all the complains from the bidders that only wanted one. Don't do that again without asking me.
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Ghostbear

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #37 on: 25.08.2015, 22:52:39 »

Heya Pinky and Ray Liehm...
I want to thank you for both your statements.
And I hope I could give some constructive feedback (it seemed that way, judging from both your answers) of things that might have gone wrong. Which totally can happen, we are human after all.
Uhm.
Sort of...
You know what I mean.  ;D

Also thank you for clearing up some things I really wasn't aware of.
Overall I totally loved the Charity events as a big whole thing and I'm so happy that I too could play my part in making them speechless again by donating, using the lottery, getting a sketch from Baseball (which was awesome by the way) and getting some items from the Amazon wishlist.
Thank you for providing that possibility to help.
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Sheena-Tiger

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #38 on: 25.08.2015, 23:08:36 »

At the moment, I could only think of few things to improve:
  • The way to the Art Show: Better close the door next to the stage, and open the door between D-Den and AS again. Walking that huge, undecorated and cold hall all the way over to the AS kinda felt like walking to the end of the world.

I would disagree on that point.
Last year, the traffic felt a lot higher and more annoying in the DD, especially up to the door leading to the Art Show and Photoshoot.
To lessen that traffic and sometimes forming queues at the entrance to the second room, it was divided.

And to be honest, while the extra way might not have been the best looking part of the convention, how often do you really need to visit the AS?
If enough people are interested in a certain object, it very likely will reach the bid-limit anyway and land in auction.
If there is not enough interest, visiting 2 or 3 times should be enough, especially if you show up before closing to maybe "safe" the bid in case someone else had placed a higher one.

Anyway, I guess the better solution would be to hopefully find a way to decorate the hall and not make it look so bleak. ^^

Cairyn

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #39 on: 25.08.2015, 23:13:55 »

The way to the Art Show: Better close the door next to the stage, and open the door between D-Den and AS again. Walking that huge, undecorated and cold hall all the way over to the AS kinda felt like walking to the end of the world.

On the other hand, the queueing space in Hall B proved invaluable. It might have been empty most of the time but there were times when the hall was full of people. I wouldn't know where else to put them. (We also do not have any space in the Art Show any more for people to queue.) Access to the Art Show through the Dealers' Den, as we did in 2014, is a practical, logistical, and security nightmare so this will not return.

I do agree that Hall B was not very pretty though. So much space should lead to some MAD DECORATIONZ opportunities.
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Angus

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #40 on: 25.08.2015, 23:39:08 »

... and finaly able to bring some lasers ! :D Hope you enjoyed all.

They were f*cking awesome. Please bring them next year again! They really helped to fill that large room.

Besides, I liked the overall stage concept. This thing really rocked and fitted perfectly to the convention theme. In total: Just wow!
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SiranaJHelena

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #41 on: 26.08.2015, 00:25:43 »

Concerning the Art Show Entrance, I strongly agree with Sheena and Cairyn. Making the door in the Dealer's Den the main entrance was (and probably would be again) a nightmare. The long way we had there now indeed had a lack of decoration or meaning so people might not feel so invited to walk there but on the other hand, how often do you really need to go there? From an artist's point of view it's also quite dangerous to drag large pieces of art through the crowded Den, what would probably be necessary during the Art Show closing.

I wondered though how the door placement did affect the buyers this year compared to last year. Did the possible Art Show bidders get "distracted" last year by all those shiny cool Dealer's Den things on there way to the Art Show or did they tend to save the money for the show? Now after a year without the necessity to visit both rooms to get to the Art Show, is it possible to tell that?

Maybe a nice compromise would be to simply open both doors though the one from this year should be clearly marked as main entrance but personally I would rather suggest to decorate it a bit or so.

What I rather like to criticise on the Art Show is the short amount of time it was actually opened. I know how tight the time table had been in the years where the auction was placed right before the PPS or a dance to offer a larger time frame - and how that led to terrible delays. (And as it seems while looking at the criticism about the charity auction the current time frame still is not enough for that.) However: With a set up taking place over two days (one afternoon-evening, one morning) and closing already on friday, there remains a large group of people that never even get a chance to have a look into the Art Show at all: Day visitors and people who can't manage to arrive before Friday evening/saturday because of their jobs. The Art Show has always been a large part of the Convention just as it has been a large part within the whole fandom and apart from making money either for the artists or with charity objects, it is not just a great way but often the only way to really see the pictures of your favorite artist or fursuit maker in HD, without watermarks on and not limited by the size and quality of your monitor. Please give it more time to entertain the guests with that. We're putting a large amount of work and energy in those pictures and the Dealer's Den can't compensate this (or vice versa) because a market place is something completely different than a gallery. Also the Art Show offers a good opportunity for artists without a DD table to present their art, may it be personally or even with an agent because they can't make it to the con at all.
I know arranging a time table is a very tricky thing but please please please think that over.

Another thing about the Art Show: Some panels (e.g. mine) were poorly lit while others had a perfect bright lighting that attracted people naturally. My "masterpiece" that year was a night scene with a strong contrast that looked completely dull because of that. It didn't sell, probably not only because of the lighting and its position but also because people just didn't like it (I guess), but in my opinion it would have a better chance to get actually noticed with a better lighting. (And same problem with the Charity panels that were in that corner, too.)

Apart from that, the management, communication and last but not least polite and patient behavior of the Art Show team was really amazing! (No, no sarcasm here. ;) ) You guys tried your best to handle every needs and questions in the best possible way. Thanks also to the little hard-working minions runners who helped out at the end of the show. The payout at the end was a bit delayed and slow but with those huge sums you have to deal with I'm happy if you rather take your time than messing this up in a hurry. *hugs to you* You guys are awesome!


I have another feedback/critique concerning the Art Show - and it goes directly to the ARTISTS:
1) If you can't manage to visit the con or bring art or have some space left, communicate that. At Thursday 12 o'clock when the Art Show opened up for the Sponsors the other 3 of 4 panels in my corner were EMPTY. Completely. Nobody knew why. If not some good soul would have hanged some charity objects there people would have barely noticed my pancel because it looked so empty. Thanks, dear charity art show person!
2) If you only got a table due to overbooking, move yourself into the Art Show shortly before the Set Up is done and ask if some panels are left. There would have been a few you would have been able to use - if you just would have showed up there in time. Later on it's not possible to move the pictures anymore because possible interested people might miss your artwork at the original table and then won't bid on it. Take care of your artwork, you can only win. :)

Sorry dear Art Show team for this huge Art Show "rant" but due to really bad personal time management I was missing a large part of the con so I can't really judge about the other parts. :/

The Artist's Lounge was great! So much space, so many funny people! Especially in less crowded situations it felt pretty cold in there though and some people might have actually became a cold afterwards because of that. Is there a way to rise the temperature in single rooms or would that have an impact to other rooms, too, that would need a much colder air?

The Artist's Alley got ignored by many people so this wasn't quite helpful but AlphaKi already stated in the Closing Ceremony that was a communication mistake with the hotel and there will be improvements next year.

The people on the bar were nice. 3,50 Euro for a coke seemed to be a bit crazy because you can get a 1,5-2l bottle of coke for this price on the next supermarket but of course you can't empty that bottle in the lounge, so the possibility to drink it in a more comfortable environment than your room is kind of part of the price, I guess. ^^

The elevator I was in was really overheated. Is it possible to improve the air conditioning there?

Apart from that, you guys were all so great and crazy and patient and heart warming and hard-working and funny, both attendees and staff! Although I didn't really had that much time at the consite, I don't want to miss a single minute. ^^

Ok, that's all folks!
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Cairyn

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #42 on: 26.08.2015, 01:29:25 »

I wondered though how the door placement did affect the buyers this year compared to last year. Did the possible Art Show bidders get "distracted" last year by all those shiny cool Dealer's Den things on there way to the Art Show or did they tend to save the money for the show? Now after a year without the necessity to visit both rooms to get to the Art Show, is it possible to tell that?

I haven't noticed a drop in bidders or bidding last year; this year has an increase in registered bidders again. Seems to follow the upward trend, but I did not make any real statistics to back it up with reliable numbers.

What I rather like to criticise on the Art Show is the short amount of time it was actually opened.

Personally I would love to offer longer opening times. However, we are boxed in by the overall length of the convention and the processes surrounding the Art Show. If we were just an exhibition, we could open Thursday early morning and have artists collect their art Saturday evening - but we do have the whole sales process that surrounds it, and which needs to be executed in a certain sequence (no auction before closing, no payout before sales, no sales before auction...).

Essentially, Saturday is completely taken up with the auction-sales-payout process. With the auction covering both regular and charity items, and being of sometimes unpredictable length, there need to be overflow times and breaks, and as this year shows, the scheduled times themselves may need to be longer too. So, there is simply no room left for a Saturday opening (as sad as this is for Saturday Day Pass owners), and Sunday is already needed for breakdown so no part of the process can be moved there.

Opening on Wednesday is also not possible since many artists only arrive on Wednesday or even Thursday morning, and we can't open while a majority of artists are still setting up - the danger of damages would be too high (not to mention the certainty of annoyances).

This leaves only Thursday and Friday for opening, which are both already covered for the most part. Closing should not interfere with major evening events either, so... no wiggle room left.

You may have noticed that we already added 2 hours of regular opening time to Thursday evening (until 20:00) to accomodate dealers that can now visit after the Dealers' Den closes.

Another thing about the Art Show: Some panels (e.g. mine) were poorly lit while others had a perfect bright lighting that attracted people naturally.

At the moment there are three light sources: The hall's light, the bleachers' rim light, and the additional lights that we set up because the hall's lighting is insufficient for an Art Show  ;D

This causes some inequalities in the lighting. I agree that it is not optimal (we will never have the same kind of overall lighting again that we had in Magdeburg) but for the front part I think the light is sufficient if all lights are switched on. We already got rid of the "wall panels" that we had last year by changing all wall-facing panels into full niches. Further additions to the lighting would be quite cost-intensive and cannot be covered at the moment.

The real pain point for me is the back part of the adult section (where we had the queueing area last year), which was really dark in comparison. Unfortunately additional lighting would disturb the Photoshoot's own lighting, so we had no extra light set up in that area. The black molton of the Photoshoot walls doesn't help the brightness either. Furthermore the panel setup in that area suffered from inferior panels that forced us to create one-panel niches.

A huge overbooking of Art Show panels forced us to set these up, but it really is not optimal. We will work on the lighting issues but it may take some drastic changes to find an effective solution.

Thanks for your positive view though, we are trying to improve on everything!
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Reshi

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #43 on: 26.08.2015, 03:40:22 »

Oh yeah, forgot to mentoin ! If the two people from Netherlands are reading this, thanks for keeping company for me and my roommate at 4am when we were waiting for the train (and hope you got to the Hostel safetly haha) ! I wish I got your names but I forgot to ask, I hope we can see each other next year !

BigBlueFox

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #44 on: 26.08.2015, 04:27:21 »


- EF Prime was good but it was spazzing out sometimes, but I see it has been discussed about already here ^^ But the playlist or whatever for the videos seemed to have very few different videos, as I would see the same ones all the time (I don't mind but seeing the same video three times in one hour was kinda annoying)

I'm actually curious to know which one that was, or which day. We had a total amount of more than 40 hours of individual programming this year (not counting the live shows), and the individual show was being rerun only two or three times during the entire 5 days.

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