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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: EF24 Feedback (2018)  (Read 1246 times)

ANTIcarrot

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EF24 Feedback (2018)
« on: 31.08.2018, 02:07:44 »

A general feedback topic is probably a little late, but we've had one every year, so...

One thing I think might need to be looked at is convention space. We have had almost 50% growth since EF20, but It feels like we're not using much more space. Especially since EF21. Have we grown to the point where the Festival Centre/Halle 1/ or Halle 2 could be used/used better? I know due to a quirk of construction, Halle 1 is used for access to Saal 1 and the Club Stage. Could the headless lounge be moved in here? With a false wall to isolate it from access to the Club Stage? It's a bigger room, with more entrance and exit options, and would allow expansion of the dealers den - which quite frankly it kinda needs.

Other than the space issue the con seemed to go remarkably smoothly. Thanks to all the con staff for making this another great year.
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Suicune

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Re: EF24 Feedback (2018)
« Reply #1 on: 31.08.2018, 08:37:08 »

Got not much to complain on the con side, except that the parade was moved way too late. It was known that thursday would be a hot day like one week before, one day before anyway... Made me miss the photo because I didn't notice the time change.
And EF Prime was lagfest after 2 or 3 days in wing 1, floor 2.
Else, everything seemed to run smoothly, ignoring the delays of up to 1hr.
Say, why did A1 point at A5 and vice versa in the hallway between the stage and the fursuit lounge? :>
I like that we got another 2 or 3 huge fans. Having like 2 more for the dances would be nice though.

On the hotel side:
I like these new NFC cards of the hotel. No more fiddling the card out of my holder, except there would be 2 different ones in it for any reason. So much easier when I suit. Also the new door buttons to keep housekeeping outside are quite nice, don't need to use this doorsign anymore.
As an idea to not make the EF print custom NFC cards every con, maybe print custom cardholders? (People just shouldn't forget to give the cards back xD)

Somehow the hotel was unable to keep the baskets filled with bread somtimes? This was weird. I also don't understand why they put the ground floor next to the fountain ones away an hr before breakfast was finished on weekend. At least that's what it looked like from my position.

Cifer

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Re: EF24 Feedback (2018)
« Reply #2 on: 31.08.2018, 16:03:19 »

In general, the organizers seem to have managed the con well - apart from the permanent elevator problem, any crises were apparently handled before they could become critical and/or public (I know the defcon went down to 2 at least once, but I have no idea what happened). A big Thank You to everyone who helped to make this con happen!

That said, a feedback on the feedback gathering on Sunday perhaps: Blueberry absolutely did his best to note our wishes (even the crazy ones!). However, he sometimes seemed a little overwhelmed by translating, discussing and transcribing at the same time. The meeting had to switch to German a few times for clarification when he misunderstood things, thus excluding the international guests. I know there was a second person of con-ops in the room among the "audience" who seemed more fluent in English and helped to clarify misunderstandings a few times - the friendly guy with the fashionable no-hair cut. Perhaps it might be a good idea to conduct the panel with a pair of moderators in general, if the manpower can be spared.
« Last Edit: 31.08.2018, 23:25:24 by Cifer »
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meo

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Re: EF24 Feedback (2018)
« Reply #3 on: 01.09.2018, 15:17:29 »

Some quick feedback:
most of the negative feedback I got was already done in the feedback panel, thanks for that Blueberry  ;D (for example: no declaration of ingredients at the breakfast). While most of these are Hotel stuff and will be delt with by conops, here are some points that I want to address for EF:

Lack of Panelpreparations: I had at least 3 Panels where we needed to reorganize the chairs, and also at least 2 times there where no Audio equipment present. This is strange for me since all panel rooms have overhead speakers, why do we need separate ones?! :o
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Ziegenbock

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Re: EF24 Feedback (2018)
« Reply #4 on: 01.09.2018, 20:56:02 »

After a few days recovering from another brilliant con, here are a few general suggestions and observations from me.

  • Food trucks - more variety please. The trucks were a brilliant idea, and great when folks needed food in a pinch. There is certainly scope for more options and cuisines next year.
  • Have ushers selling drinks/sweets/snacks during queues. With multiple queues at various points throughout the con, I know a few furs would have appreciated (and indeed bought) some refreshments while they waited.
  • Have a Fursuit Team desk, in the Fursuit Lounge, where people can go with fursuit-related queries (for example, new suiters who may need help using the equipment). This desk can also have a lost-and-found, in case people's (expensive) fursuit parts and gear get moved around or misplaced.
  • Please advertise Registration opening times before the convention (ideally on the website and Twitter), and keep to them.
  • Art Show: Please make it clearer that, when an item goes to auction, the bidder number on the 'big list' (outside the art show) was the highest bidder in the regular art show, and not the outright winner. Maybe have one list for regular items, listed by 'winning bidder' in numerical order, and a separate list for auction items, listed by 'current high bidder' in numerical order.

Also echoing points which have been made elsewhere:
  • A registration system for the Artist Lounge and Alley. With demand for tables much higher than supply, there needs to be some regulation, to keep things fair for everyone, and give more artists a chance to use the Lounge (and stop people allegedly blocking tables with 'be right back' notices and not returning all day). We'd need to think how this'd work, but one option is to offer each table on a time slot (such as 4 hours or 6 hours). Keep a reserve list, and if a person needs to leave early, offer their table to the next person on the reserve list.
  • Drinking water for attendees. This will go a long way to keeping attendees healthy and hydrated (whether suiters or non-suiters). If there are concerns about plastic waste from used cups... encourage attendees to bring their own refillable bottles.
« Last Edit: 01.09.2018, 21:36:18 by Ziegenbock »
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Cifer

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Re: EF24 Feedback (2018)
« Reply #5 on: 01.09.2018, 21:34:35 »

Quote
- A registration system for the Artist Lounge and Alley. With demand for tables much higher than supply, there needs to be some regulation, to keep things fair for everyone, and give more artists a chance to use the Lounge (and stop people allegedly blocking tables with 'be right back' notices and not returning all day). We'd need to think how this'd work, but one option is to offer each table on a time slot (such as 4 hours or 6 hours). Keep a reserve list, and if a person needs to leave early, offer their table to the next person on the reserve list.
While I agree somewhat for the Artist Alley - it essentially turned into a second Dealer's Den with no oversight, but still people sitting there the whole day without leaving - I don't think I've ever seen the Artist Lounge really filled to capacity. It was sometimes cozy, but I always found a spot.
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Ziegenbock

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Re: EF24 Feedback (2018)
« Reply #6 on: 01.09.2018, 21:42:46 »

Quote
- A registration system for the Artist Lounge and Alley. With demand for tables much higher than supply, there needs to be some regulation, to keep things fair for everyone, and give more artists a chance to use the Lounge (and stop people allegedly blocking tables with 'be right back' notices and not returning all day). We'd need to think how this'd work, but one option is to offer each table on a time slot (such as 4 hours or 6 hours). Keep a reserve list, and if a person needs to leave early, offer their table to the next person on the reserve list.
While I agree somewhat for the Artist Alley - it essentially turned into a second Dealer's Den with no oversight, but still people sitting there the whole day without leaving - I don't think I've ever seen the Artist Lounge really filled to capacity. It was sometimes cozy, but I always found a spot.

With no or little oversight of these spaces, and seemingly no monitoring of their capacity, it's difficult to say how full it got. Indeed others (such as SiranaJHelena in the other thread) have stated that they struggled to find space (in fact Sirana said she never found a space).

However I think we're in agreement of the need for some regulation - to ensure fairness to all, if nothing else.
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Cifer

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Re: EF24 Feedback (2018)
« Reply #7 on: 01.09.2018, 22:06:48 »

Quote
- A registration system for the Artist Lounge and Alley. With demand for tables much higher than supply, there needs to be some regulation, to keep things fair for everyone, and give more artists a chance to use the Lounge (and stop people allegedly blocking tables with 'be right back' notices and not returning all day). We'd need to think how this'd work, but one option is to offer each table on a time slot (such as 4 hours or 6 hours). Keep a reserve list, and if a person needs to leave early, offer their table to the next person on the reserve list.
While I agree somewhat for the Artist Alley - it essentially turned into a second Dealer's Den with no oversight, but still people sitting there the whole day without leaving - I don't think I've ever seen the Artist Lounge really filled to capacity. It was sometimes cozy, but I always found a spot.

With no or little oversight of these spaces, and seemingly no monitoring of their capacity, it's difficult to say how full it got. Indeed others (such as SiranaJHelena in the other thread) have stated that they struggled to find space (in fact Sirana said she never found a space).

However I think we're in agreement of the need for some regulation - to ensure fairness to all, if nothing else.
With all due respect, I think you misread either Sirana's or my comment - she stated that she never found a space in the alley, not the quite appropriately sized lounge (and I know this because we usually went to the lounge together).

The alley could use some slight regulation though, on that we agree.
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SiranaJHelena

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Re: EF24 Feedback (2018)
« Reply #8 on: 01.09.2018, 22:20:40 »

Maybe I can clear that up. I didn't catch a table in the Artist Alley. The Artist Lounge was perfectly fine and even at the busiest hours there were always a few seats available. :)

Regarding to that I have another suggestion for EF 25: Artist Alley and Artist Lounge (and sometimes even the Art Show) are being mixed up by some attendees, especially the ones who aren't dealing them quite often, although they are totally different places. Maybe renaming them would help. (But that's just a little suggestion at the very lowest point of any priority list.)

Aside from that though I have a little request for the Art Show team. Would it be possible to give some information about unsold art? I'm not that popular, so standing in line to get my unsold art will be necessary anyway but especially when you have large pictures and no hotel room, it would be cool to know how much luggage you have to expect. I totally understand why the list hanging outside after the closing is arranged the way it is. But I'd really appreciate some kind of additional note that tells me what I have to pick up in the evening. That may be some sheet of paper on the wall, a short message in the app, a carrier pigeon or any other kind of note that doesn't require a lot of extra work. ^^
« Last Edit: 01.09.2018, 22:32:25 by SiranaJHelena »
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Ziegenbock

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Re: EF24 Feedback (2018)
« Reply #9 on: 01.09.2018, 22:53:54 »

Maybe I can clear that up. I didn't catch a table in the Artist Alley. The Artist Lounge was perfectly fine and even at the busiest hours there were always a few seats available. :)

Ah fair enough, clarification noted.
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Lazer_Hyena

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Re: EF24 Feedback (2018)
« Reply #10 on: 02.09.2018, 09:52:13 »

After a few days recovering from another brilliant con, here are a few general suggestions and observations from me.

  • Food trucks - more variety please. The trucks were a brilliant idea, and great when folks needed food in a pinch. There is certainly scope for more options and cuisines next year.
  • Have ushers selling drinks/sweets/snacks during queues. With multiple queues at various points throughout the con, I know a few furs would have appreciated (and indeed bought) some refreshments while they waited.
  • Have a Fursuit Team desk, in the Fursuit Lounge, where people can go with fursuit-related queries (for example, new suiters who may need help using the equipment). This desk can also have a lost-and-found, in case people's (expensive) fursuit parts and gear get moved around or misplaced.
  • Please advertise Registration opening times before the convention (ideally on the website and Twitter), and keep to them.
  • Art Show: Please make it clearer that, when an item goes to auction, the bidder number on the 'big list' (outside the art show) was the highest bidder in the regular art show, and not the outright winner. Maybe have one list for regular items, listed by 'winning bidder' in numerical order, and a separate list for auction items, listed by 'current high bidder' in numerical order.

Also echoing points which have been made elsewhere:
  • A registration system for the Artist Lounge and Alley. With demand for tables much higher than supply, there needs to be some regulation, to keep things fair for everyone, and give more artists a chance to use the Lounge (and stop people allegedly blocking tables with 'be right back' notices and not returning all day). We'd need to think how this'd work, but one option is to offer each table on a time slot (such as 4 hours or 6 hours). Keep a reserve list, and if a person needs to leave early, offer their table to the next person on the reserve list.
  • Drinking water for attendees. This will go a long way to keeping attendees healthy and hydrated (whether suiters or non-suiters). If there are concerns about plastic waste from used cups... encourage attendees to bring their own refillable bottles.


I agree with most of your points but I do not agree with time slots in the artist alley. If someone gets up at the crack of dawn to get a table and they want to work all day then that's their prerogative. What I think does need to happen is that we need a staff member with a table either in or just outside the alley to monitor the space. Every other con I've been to with an alley has this and has rules on how long you can leave your space, most being 15 minutes which gives artists time enough to go to the WC or find a snack and return.

Having time slots would suck because it means that everyone is going to try to queue for the best times in the alley and that people who got up early and got their table could be kicked out at prime times for business. I don't feel that people who are willing to get up early to get a table should be punished just because some people came later in the day and couldn't find a table. We all have the same opportunity to get up and get there early if we want a space.
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Cifer

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Re: EF24 Feedback (2018)
« Reply #11 on: 02.09.2018, 11:46:50 »

Quote
We all have the same opportunity to get up and get there early if we want a space.
We actually don't. For some, getting up and getting there early means taking an elevator. For others, it means taking public transportation halfway across the city.

That said, I think it depends on what we think the Artist Alley should accomplish. If it's somewhat of an overflow dealer's den so we can have x+12 instead of x pro artists sell stuff at the con, it's fine as it is. If we consider it an institution where as many artists as possible get a chance to sell stuff, an organized rotation might be better.
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Lazer_Hyena

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Re: EF24 Feedback (2018)
« Reply #12 on: 02.09.2018, 12:48:50 »

Quote
We all have the same opportunity to get up and get there early if we want a space.
We actually don't. For some, getting up and getting there early means taking an elevator. For others, it means taking public transportation halfway across the city.

That said, I think it depends on what we think the Artist Alley should accomplish. If it's somewhat of an overflow dealer's den so we can have x+12 instead of x pro artists sell stuff at the con, it's fine as it is. If we consider it an institution where as many artists as possible get a chance to sell stuff, an organized rotation might be better.

I didn't stay at the con hotel, I had to walk there every morning or take an Uber and still managed to get a table every day. :) Sure I sometimes got the crappiest table in the alley, but I still managed to get there and get one. Everyone DOES have the same opportunity to get up and get there in time to get a table. Do some of us have to get up earlier than others? Yes, of course, but if you know you need X amount of time to get to the hotel then you get up early enough to get there.

I've always seen artist alley set ups at other cons as first come, first served, not as a guaranteed place for as many artists as possible to get a chance to sell. I think if you want a guaranteed place to sell then you need to try to get a dealer's table, otherwise you take the chance that you won't get a table to sell at. That's the risk of the alley in my opinion.
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Cifer

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Re: EF24 Feedback (2018)
« Reply #13 on: 02.09.2018, 15:03:53 »

I didn't stay at the con hotel, I had to walk there every morning or take an Uber and still managed to get a table every day. :) Sure I sometimes got the crappiest table in the alley, but I still managed to get there and get one. Everyone DOES have the same opportunity to get up and get there in time to get a table. Do some of us have to get up earlier than others? Yes, of course, but if you know you need X amount of time to get to the hotel then you get up early enough to get there
If some people have to spend more effort to get there in time than others (in our case: 1 hour public transport or 44 € for a taxi), that doesn't seem like "the same opportunity" to me, no.

Quote
I've always seen artist alley set ups at other cons as first come, first served, not as a guaranteed place for as many artists as possible to get a chance to sell. I think if you want a guaranteed place to sell then you need to try to get a dealer's table, otherwise you take the chance that you won't get a table to sell at. That's the risk of the alley in my opinion.
The tables in the dealer's den are rather limited - that's why the Alley is needed in the first place. So no, trying to get into the dealer's den does not guarantee getting a table either.

But the relevant question for the organizers is indeed what they consider the point of the Alley to be - and how much effort they're willing to spend to make it achieve that point of course, since a more strongly moderated Alley would bind more resources.
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ANTIcarrot

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Re: EF24 Feedback (2018)
« Reply #14 on: 02.09.2018, 16:51:28 »

Given that the Estrel is okay with food trucks, and indicates in their terms and conditions that snackfood and bottled water is okay...

Would the convention staff consider asking the Estrel how they would view a professional water refill station.
http://www.eventwatersolutions.com/water-stations/
It looks like something like this could be located in the same area of the food trucks, and kept going 24/7. All you'd need from Estrel is effectively a place to plug in a water pipe and possibly some power.

I mean I know they might have had some concerns the first year, but they know we empty out the local cash machines, and buy a huge amount of alcohol from them, and bring in bottled water anyway (which they have said they're okay with.) We will probably fill most of their tower the first year it becomes available. They really should know us well enough to know that having a water refill option on site won't reduce our spending.

Plus something something doing good for the environment something.

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