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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 25668 times)

Luno

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #60 on: 26.08.2015, 18:04:01 »

Pheew... Where to start...

Looking here at the remains of my pocket-programme I have like 11 event's panels I marked myself for "ATTEND THIS" and I was in like 4... There was always so much awesome stuff going on everywhere, I'd like to have myself cloned to visit everything to greet everyone, to hang arround with... - you get the point.

Nevertheless I took myself some time and suited about ~ 1 hour a day or so. This year was the first time I took the chance and was at the Fursuit- lounge and I was like: "Wow these fans are great" - perfect for cooling down and the drinks also helped alot since I think fursuiting gets you dehydrated quite fast. After walking from the Lounge back to the hotel and jumping arround a bit in the lobby, I was like "Well, it is quite far from here to the fursuit lounge... damn" but a security-member showed me the little area where the lounge was last year (Yeah I know >read the conbook<- I did but I simply forgot this).
What I want to say with this is: realising you put this little area there for the suiters who where at the lobby shows how much planning and effort went into this all. Mystifur, you and your team did a great job!

Art Show: difficult to start with, since I did not register myself as a bidder. I enjoyed the variety and the skill of all the artists who participated and also the professional way the whole thing was managed. Also I am glad I got to sell some of my stuff there. People told me the place where my stuff was located was not optimal and I think that's quite right but I do also think that a better location/ light/ weather/ whatever would not have made any influence, since I got a big eyecatcher there and ceramics /figurines will always have the problem of the difficult transportation.
Speaking of transportation I just realised that the otter-figurine for the charity auction did not have any packaging included although I clicked "yes" in the google-doc. I am very sorry for that. During all that hurry I forgot to give you the box. I hope you somehow managed to wrap it anyway.

The charity team itself managed to pull alot of money out of my wallet. Bad for me good for the Wildtierhilfe Fiel so... not bad at all... :P You did a great job!

Artist Alley: I did not want to stay all day inside the dealers den and miss half of the con (therefore I did not register for it at all), so the artist alley was the perfect opportunity to sell some stuff and have time. I think I was there between 15:00 and 18:00 on saturday and actually I think it was quite good - not like everything sold out but people where interested and bought a few things. It felt a bit like dealers den - second choice but as I said that is quite fine. 'Just angry about myself that I was there just on saturday and not on the days before... When will cloning be legal?

The Dances are not my kind of event but you did a great job with the alternatives: The Karaoke sessions where great and the open stage itself was one of my favourites - highlight on saturday: Rhubarb, Eisfuchs, Fox-Amoore and (sorry I don't know your names drummer and accordeon-player) and their impro-concert: Awesome!
Question to Eisfuchs: Did you bring the instruments? Could everyone played with it? I was kinda afraid since some musicians don't like when you touch their stuff... Anyway I consider bringing my own guitar next year. :P

Last evening I was not at the DDP but at the Campfire which showed to be an awesome alternative to the noise music.

After all I'd just like to say that this con was   r e a l l y    a w e s o m e   and thank everone I met there as well as everyone I did not met, for making it awesome the way it was.
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ysegrim

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #61 on: 26.08.2015, 18:49:55 »

artshow:
- poor lightning
this was already said and I have read the answers already, still please try to improve if possible.
and who else found the lighting situation insufficient: Can you tell us when exactly you were visiting the Art Show? I am asking because, for technical reasons, for a short time on one day we had a different lighting situation than the rest of the time. We know already lighting at this specific time was not too good, we want to make sure people can at least live with what we had the rest of the time :)
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SiranaJHelena

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #62 on: 26.08.2015, 19:01:05 »

I visited the Art Show a few times, mostly at afternoon/evening except during the set up at thursday noon. Unfortunately I didn't pay attention to the light all the time. At the beginning it felt more like "something is bothering me about that but I can't name it" until someone mentioned the lighting. (I think that was friday.) Therefore I can't give you a clear and helpful answer. :(
« Last Edit: 26.08.2015, 19:05:00 by SiranaJHelena »
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Cheetah

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #63 on: 26.08.2015, 19:06:17 »

I like the idea to "Unite" the former Yugoslavian countries into one, but It would be nice to have each independent countries listed.
Language wise its not that close now than it was 20+ years ago.

*chuckles* Well the reason why there's even this choice (Former Yugoslavia) is that the country selector is basically a dump of ISO country codes, and it has some obsolete assignments in it :) But I noticed you are half right anyways ... we list Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegowina and Macedonia, but somehow the list is missing Montenegro and Serbia. I guess the list is a little too old - I agree we should update it.
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yours,

Cheetah

Cheetah

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #64 on: 26.08.2015, 19:14:46 »

-Lanyards: Would it be possible to get lanyards with break away buckles? This would really simplify putting on my badge while in fursuit. I could use my own but these obviously aren't official EF attendee/sponsor colored lanyards.

Just as a note - we had this for one year, and we got a flood of complaints that it was now far too easy to lose your badge - I guess you can't have the cake and eat it too :)
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yours,

Cheetah

Fafnir Kristensen

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #65 on: 26.08.2015, 20:48:10 »

and who else found the lighting situation insufficient: Can you tell us when exactly you were visiting the Art Show? I am asking because, for technical reasons, for a short time on one day we had a different lighting situation than the rest of the time. We know already lighting at this specific time was not too good, we want to make sure people can at least live with what we had the rest of the time :)
I visited the artshow several time between the 3 days, not just once.
please dont misunderstand me, Im not saying you did a bad job, Im saying quite several panel are not lighted correctly, due to the room lighting possibilities, but this made some of the art either hard or difficult to appreciate at their correct value or even not really noticeable, for example, some of the tables along the wall or several in the adult area.
but all this has already been discussed in previous feedback in this thread, thats why I didnt elaborate
« Last Edit: 26.08.2015, 20:50:04 by Fafnir Kristensen »
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Carenath

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #66 on: 26.08.2015, 21:02:15 »

This was my third EF and not my last, each time I have attended I have left for home with great memories and a good experience along with the minor downsides that failed to dent my enthusiasm for having a good time with a great group of people.

My first EF was also the last one held in Magdeburg, the city that introduced me to: A fantastic steakhouse with good beer, Jägerschnitzel, Currywurst, how to properly 'toast' by clinking the bottom of the glass and not breaking eye-contact and other fun things about Germany I never knew before. My second EF brought me to Berlin and to completely new experiences which were only improved upon many-fold this year.


I enjoyed my first EF though getting to and from Magdeburg proved to be a frustrating excercise with delayed trains and a missed return flight, yet for all that I couldn't help but discuss the good fun I had with two other friends who had never been to a furcon before - they came for EF 20 and enjoyed it so much they were with me again this year along with another friend from America who sadly could not stay for the whole event. My overall experiences have been very positive even with the occasional issues and problems, none of them were particularly unpleasant enough to ruin my fun or deter me from returning.

Getting there:
I would recommend trying to catch a flight into SXF, the train station is less than 300m away, the instructions on the website do assume a familiarity with how to find the correct train, I found the station signs confusing and a bit contradictory but I've yet to see any train station get this right so not a big deal overall.

Checkin & Registration:
The staff at reception are very helpful, my room wasn't ready but they were happy to hold onto my bags so I could come back later. Registration is also quick and smooth, it was nice to have Registration open on Tuesday morning so I could get that out of the way to save queuing later when more people would arrive, even upgrades to higher levels was straightforward and quickly done.

Elevators & Stairs:
With only two or three elevators for each wing, there are inevitably long queues and delays as the car stops at almost every floor, my only issue which I note has been addressed already is the lack of stairs forcing everyone to use the elevator when going up, this was at its worst during the arrivals and departures. Even if they can't unlock them to permit you to go up, is it permitted to use them for going down to the lobby?

Internet Access:
I think it's nice that the hotel provides us with "free" internet access but the hotspot system is not without a number of flaws. Moving from the "rooms" network to the regular network would require you to log back in, in some areas the network was completely unstable and unusable; connecting to the "rooms" network would work while the regular network would not get you a connection at all and in other areas it was the reverse. None of this was helped by a bad actor interfering with the WiFi! Highly recommended you stick with mobile data if you can, you can't get 4G on prepaid and it's a bit of a pain if you don't have a German address but I had the most reliable internet connection care of Telekom.de!

Food and Drink:
There are a few nice places within walking distance, but I found the Estrel-Stube restaurant to be quite reasonably priced and the staff there to be very helpful and friendly - the supervisor in particular. Good food, generous portions and nice beer all made for a good evening. While others didn't express the best view of the staff at the Atrium Bar, I always found them reasonably quick and quite friendly. I recall one of the wait staff asking me twice if I wanted anything to eat when I just needed to sit with a friend and chat over a drink, great service.

The Convention Itself:
What can I say that I haven't said already? I spent so much time moving between different groups of friends, that I didn't spend quite as much attending all the panels, but it's obvious that the programming team go to lengths to keep most of us happy with more things to do than hours in the day. My only comment is that there doesn't seem to be quite that many useful perks in paying for a Sponsors badge such as early access to the Dealers Den but that's also a minor thing, I'll be paying out for a Sponsors badge again regardless as overall I enjoy my time there and would like help keep it going year on year.
So a big thank you to the con staff and hotel for making this another fantastic year for my friends and I.

One last thing, and something of a tip for the Security section in the conbook. I had left my phone down as I went to go get some fresh air and realised my mistake, it had been handed into security but they had no idea who owned it. If you do own a Smartphone, make sure your name is programmed into the "Owner" information so that Security can identify who it belongs to when you come to claim it.

« Last Edit: 26.08.2015, 21:04:55 by Z.G.I.F »
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Sheena-Tiger

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #67 on: 26.08.2015, 21:48:00 »

One last thing, and something of a tip for the Security section in the conbook. I had left my phone down as I went to go get some fresh air and realised my mistake, it had been handed into security but they had no idea who owned it. If you do own a Smartphone, make sure your name is programmed into the "Owner" information so that Security can identify who it belongs to when you come to claim it.

Or make it very easy to recognize ^^
Unless someone removes it to own it for him/herself, I doubt there wil lbe any mistake with my actual hardshell as the picture on it is rather unique... and only furry-related if you know the connections.

ysegrim

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #68 on: 26.08.2015, 22:01:29 »

and who else found the lighting situation insufficient: Can you tell us when exactly you were visiting the Art Show? I am asking because, for technical reasons, for a short time on one day we had a different lighting situation than the rest of the time. We know already lighting at this specific time was not too good, we want to make sure people can at least live with what we had the rest of the time :)
I visited the artshow several time between the 3 days, not just once.
please dont misunderstand me, Im not saying you did a bad job, Im saying quite several panel are not lighted correctly, due to the room lighting possibilities, but this made some of the art either hard or difficult to appreciate at their correct value or even not really noticeable, for example, some of the tables along the wall or several in the adult area.
but all this has already been discussed in previous feedback in this thread, thats why I didnt elaborate
No, no, thanks for letting us know! I was just curious whether this was something we had already fixed (by fixing the technical problem I mentioned), or whether we still need to see whether there is an affordable way to improve the lightning situation. Seems it's the latter, but I can't promise anything :)
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Nathalias

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #69 on: 27.08.2015, 01:10:02 »

After my second EF I just have to write a few words here. I was having some great days like last year and I will definitly come back again. It is just like a step into that other world I ever dreamed of when I read the books and comics or watched the tv shows that got me into this ;-)

At first I want just to say thank you to the staff for the great work and to the other attendees for great time there.

It is just fun to watch the fursuiters in action in the hotel lobby, on the dance floor and on stage in the events. The Dance competition had some great performances and the game show was fun too. I hope I have my own suit till next year (pointing out to the person who knows... ;-)

Last years pawpet show was really great so I was a bit dissapointed that there would be none this year, but the swiss team did a great job. It wasn't that "epic" like Keepers of the Light but with a lot of humor. I really liked it.

With all that space available there where a lot of places to go to and with different things going on. A lot of Events and Panels at day and at the evening/night the campfire was good to relax, the open stage had some really cool events and the dance events where a good finisher of the day. Some special thanks to the DJ at saturday in ECC3, that was some really cool music.

The only thing I could criticize is that compared to last year the decoration was a bit "missing". The banners in the lobby where cool, but last year there was just more around that pointed out the theme. Like the police car in the chill out lounge and so on. And as others mentioned earlier the room for the queueing was really looking "empty", even with a lot of people in the queues (but having that space for the queues was a lot better than last year)
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Twillight

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #70 on: 27.08.2015, 03:04:47 »

I have nothing to complain about the EF21. It was great.
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SouthPaw

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #71 on: 27.08.2015, 03:16:27 »

Overall a great con, and it was nice to see the return of the fire pit, but I do have a few thoughts:

  • Badge Holders : To save having to punch holes in all the badges (which must take hours with other 2100 badges to print and punch), how about trialling the use of badge holders for next year? They could also be double-sided so folks can put their room key on the other side. Obviously this has a financial implication, and experience says that con budgets tend to run pretty close to the wire, but it's a thought.
  • Hotel Bookings : I missed out on a room at the Estrel this year as I was at work when reg opened. When I got home about three hours later, the hotel was already operating a waiting list. From speaking to others, rooms were freed up close to the con as people arranged room shares and cancelled duplicate bookings. Sadly this was too late for me, as I'd already booked elsewhere.
    Going forwards, I would suggest it may be necessary to follow Anthrocon's approach and charge for the first night's stay as a non-refundable deposit at the time of booking. Whilst this wouldn't solve the problem completely, it would hopefully discourage people from making "speculative" bookings just in case they can't find a share. On the plus side, staying elsewhere meant I was walking at least 1.6km a day, and that's without the walking around the Estrel.
  • Main Stage Queuing : Having the space between the Art Show/Fursuit Lounge and Main Stage for queuing for stage events was a great idea, but could have benefited from additional signage from the "Chillout Lounge" and both sets of doors from the lobby area being opened to make it more obvious.
  • Delays : Technical problems happen, but EF seems to have more than its fair share. Posting messages about delays on Twitter and the App is fine, but not everyone has data connectivity at con, and if you're half way along the queue you can't see the TV screen by the stage entrance. For next year, having Security (given they're in charge of Crowd Control) or someone from Programming or Ops going along the queue telling people about delays would help a great deal. When it gets to the point that the majority of main stage events at the con are delayed by at least thirty minutes, something has to give. One particular case being the Bandthro Concert, where I got fed up and left the queue 1 hour 15 minutes after the advertised seating time, as the start kept getting slipped in 15 minute increments with no sign of it starting.
  • Con Ops : As one of the two main "Customer Service" departments at the convention (the other being Security), I have to admit to finding it rather baffling that Ops is tucked away in a corner, and closes whilst events are still running. Whilst I don't think there would be any benefit to providing 24 hour Ops cover, I would certainly suggest it should open earlier and close later and have a dedicated "Front Desk" for fielding queries from attendees (with an intercom link to the "back office" for anything that needs referral elsewhere). Having said that, I realise that getting people to volunteer for Ops isn't the easiest of things to do!
Apologies for the rambling, but I find it best to write up things whilst they're still fresh in my mind...Now if you'll excuse me, by my reckoning I've got about 355 days in which to grow my hair long enough for a mullet so I'm on theme for EF22.
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Nathalias

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #72 on: 27.08.2015, 03:28:54 »

That delay issue is something that bothers me too... this year the only delay i was really affected was the bandthro concert and it was to my advantage since I was at the pawpet show first...

But I'm still thinking about it. How does other Events handle that? Do you need a really huge budget to handle that by using extremly expensive but good Equipment and professionals or where is the problem really?

It's not really a complaint, but I'm just wondering.
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Sheena-Tiger

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #73 on: 27.08.2015, 07:57:31 »

  • Badge Holders : To save having to punch holes in all the badges (which must take hours with other 2100 badges to print and punch), how about trialling the use of badge holders for next year? They could also be double-sided so folks can put their room key on the other side. Obviously this has a financial implication, and experience says that con budgets tend to run pretty close to the wire, but it's a thought.
I somehow doubt this will be considered all to much, not really thanks to the money-issue but take a look at your badge.
It has the same information on both sides so even if it flips around, and badges do that a lot, it always can be identified.
Uncle Kage mentions this even in some of his speeches as improvement he could not think of after being asked to do something against this issue of turning badges and EF introduced this solution the same year.

As Security doing duty at doors as well, it helped a great deal, especially at the Dealers Den.
You see attendees closing in, likely wanting to enter.
With your solution, we would have to stop most people just to have them turn their badge holder around, making the next people wait.
Without, you can already search for the badge, identify the design and colors on a distance and just let the person in.

So no... as Seccie I would clearly vote against that idea as it would make our work a bit more annoying for attendees.[/list]

Torajin

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Re: Feedback 2015
« Reply #74 on: 27.08.2015, 11:48:01 »

Really had a great time. Lots of friendly peoples, no drama. Perfect week :)

Here are the random thoughts:

The queues for the main events were a great improvement from last year. No chaos, everything was clear.
The only downside is that they felt boring in that empty, unanimated room.
The other queues I faced(charity and fursuit photoshoots) were not that annoying.

Registration was fast and without any issue (thank you for finding last year's photo for my fursuit badge)

The fursuit lounge, wow, that was a huge improvement. I mostly used it to cool off in front of those big fans, but it felt great. Even when everyone was gathering there before the parade, it didn't feel cramped as last year.

The hotel still was nice and the staff friendly. Good to have that part of the hotel available. There are a lot of stairs to get from the rooms to the fursuit lounge or the main stage, but there aren't many things we can do about it. I'll train myself to climb up and down stairs in fursuit :D
No issues with the elevator's speed but I was in wing 4, last floor. I guess it was the perfect spot :D
It was too hot(not in a good way) but it's only for a couple minutes a day so it's not a big deal.

I missed the PPS but undestand perfectly that the staff needs a break.
I'm more curious about the impossible fursuit charades. It was so much fun last year I'd be sad to see it go away for good T_T. Please, bring it back!

Fursuit photoshoots. I like those photos, they are wonderful memories but I didn't think there where that many people who couldn't get a slot. I'll skip it next year to allow others to have their chance. (unless there is a massive increase of availability)

Before the con, I didn't know what to expect from the GOH but they were a lot of fun. Hope to see them again!

The parade went smoothly. Great job. I just didn't notice after the photo where we were supposed to go so I went from my side(the stair near the bridge) straight back to the lounge. I just noticed when getting back to my room that the parade went another way. My fault for not studying the road beforehand :D
If you keep the idea of radio broadcast during the parade, can you link what we should buy for next time? (e.g. an amazon link)
 
There was a great improvement in both the fursuit game show and enter the arena. The settings, the quality, the preparation, the presentation, the contestants, everything seemed so much better! great job!
As already stated by others, it was not easy to see in the dance arena, even if I was in the second row. And there was a huge pillar between me and the screen. Bah, it was still great.

Opening and closing ceremonies still bring tears to my eyes. Keep them :)

Dance nights were funs. Especially the big blue dance for me. And the light effects... wow, just wow!
Too much smoke on the first night (the 80's). I could not see anything in suit but it was only that night. Also it takes a lot of work to avoid cameras but from the other point of view, it's fun to be able to watch it going on on TV when exhausted in the room.

Enjoyed the charity events. Can't wait to see the final amount collected.

As for the security, I didn't need them so that means they were doing a perfect job too.


A big thank you to all the staff and the attendees who made this week that wonderful!

See you next year!
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