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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 (Many points)  (Read 1337 times)

Rishary

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EF24 Feedback (Many points)
« on: 31.08.2018, 20:44:47 »

EDIT: The polls in this thread were removed due to suspected manipulation, answer the polls in the SFW EF24 telegram group instead (Search there for #EF24Feedback, poke me on telegram @Rishary if you need help finding them)

Another year of amazing experiences and unforgettable adventures is behind us. Many aspects this year left a positive mark on me (Smooth handling of the AC issues early on, food trucks, generally no/short delays, even greater dance variety than usual). I would like to thank everyone that helps bringing this incredible convention to life year after year. Still, I do have a few points which I believe are worthy of discussion in order to make the next years even better for everyone involved.
I’m aware that some of these points were raised and discussed before but I feel that they are still as relevant as ever.

Pawpet show
Every year I stand stunned by the amount of talent poured into this production, it is truly awe-inspiring. However there are two points regarding the show which I would like to bring:
  • The overall length - It is simply too mentally exhausting to watch such a show for 3.5 hours (not including delays / queueing). This leads to getting bored during the occasional slow moving scenes and missing key details which hampers the overall ability to enjoy the show. I would like to see the general opinion regarding this so please answer THIS poll. EDIT: Poll removed due to suspected manipulation, answer the poll in the SFW EF24 telegram group instead!

    Common arguments and my responses:
    “It’s just another panel, if you don’t like it - don’t attend”
    This would only be relevant if the majority of the show’s audience prefers to watch a show with the current 3.5 hour, three-act format rather than a shorter two-act one. Hence the poll.

    “The performers put their heart and soul into this show, they deserve the more time to have their fun”
    If the mindset of the show’s production is to maximize the enjoyment of the performers first and the audience only second, there is no reason to even collect feedback from non-performers, just let the show’s crew do what they want (please confirm if this is indeed the mindset).

  • The long transitions - Listening to such musical breaks between the scenes is not fun. I understand that some of the scenes require a long time to set up, but having more impressive scenes at the expense of long transition times between them - isn’t a good tradeoff in my opinion. Either consider setup time when designing the scenes and make them less demanding if necessary, or find a better way to fill the transition (More dialog? Recorded story progressing animations?).

Early dealer’s den access for (super) sponsors.
Simply put, this goes against what I perceive as the general mindset behind having sponsors in the first place. When someone sponsors, they should be doing that because they want to first and foremost support the con, not because they want to buy extra benefits and help the con only as a side effect.
I imagine that quite a few people that can’t afford to super sponsor would happily queue up long before the den is open just for a commission from their favorite artist. In other words, early access is just commission tax and I would like to know if it indeed helps the con at all so please answer THIS poll. EDIT: Poll removed due to suspected manipulation, answer the poll in the SFW EF24 telegram group instead!
Another thing to mention is that people can simply ask a friend of theirs that does super-sponsor to get the early slot for them, completely missing the point of “Getting more people to super sponsor”.
By the way, it is worth noting that the other additional gifts and perks are great.

Common arguments and my responses:
“Without this, we will lose too many sponsors and the cost of the con will increase”
Could be, which is why I opened the poll.

“If they can afford commissions they can afford to (super) sponsor”
First, this might not even be true considering the 160€ super sponsor fee can be more than triple the cost of a commission. Second, even if it was true, not everyone would agree to pay 200€ for a 50€ commission even if they could afford it (even more so if most of the money doesn’t go to their said favorite artist).

“Just commission said artist outside of the con”
A lot of artists very rarely (if at all) have slots available online so this isn’t really an option. If it was an option, then the early access benefit would be diminished anyway and wouldn’t single-handedly get people to sponsor.

“You are just upset because you can’t afford it”
I’m upset that I even have to bring this up as I did hear this. No, I can easily afford it and would happily super-sponsor the con as soon as the early access is revoked.

Feedback session
I was extremely satisfied to see a timeslot dedicated to this important subject this year. My satisfaction, however, was short-lived and sadly disappeared without a trace after spending 5 minutes in the session which sadly turned out to be a just a session with one guy that writes our feedback, which is pretty much the same as writing it here or in an email. I expected a bigger session with relevant people from different departments that could participate in live discussions and answer questions regarding the points that the attendees brought.

Water availability
As a non-suiter (working on fixing that :) ), getting water to drink is way more tedious than it should be. My options were:
a. Drink at a bathroom and settle for warm water.
b. Wait in a long queue at a bar just for water or ice.
c. Carry a bottle around everywhere.
I have done all three of these and can’t say I was happy with any of them (for obvious reasons, I hope).
Would it be possible to have extra water coolers around the con, or readily available water pitchers at the bar?
This was especially relevant for people at the club stage who had to go down and back up for any options that isn’t c (even fursuiters!).

Main bar service
(Note: I have later learned that you could also order most things at the other bar across the lobby. If more people did that it might have solved this point completely).
This might be only my perspective, but I felt that the people working at the main bar were slacking off and provided poor service that only passes as acceptable by furries. There were times where there was only one bartender on the entire bar which resulted in an extremely long queue. It took me almost 30 minutes to order a hamburger and then 30 minutes for it to arrive. This would not be acceptable if this was a business convention.


« Last Edit: 01.09.2018, 16:21:56 by Rishary »
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Cifer

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Re: EF24 Feedback (Many points)
« Reply #1 on: 31.08.2018, 22:58:09 »

Quote
Early dealer’s den access for (super) sponsors.
To my knowledge, the basic idea was that these are people who are helping to keep the con capable of sustaining the more elaborate events and as a token of gratitude, they get stuff like some alone time in the dealer's den or priority seating in stage events. While I don't know about your experiences, I haven't heard of artists being completely sold out within the sponsor time - most that I know were definitely still taking commissions at least on Friday. So in the end, the sponsors get the same stuff everyone else is getting, just with a little more comfort.
« Last Edit: 31.08.2018, 23:02:25 by Cifer »
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MOW

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Re: EF24 Feedback (Many points)
« Reply #2 on: 01.09.2018, 00:03:44 »

Quote
Early dealer’s den access for (super) sponsors.
To my knowledge, the basic idea was that these are people who are helping to keep the con capable of sustaining the more elaborate events and as a token of gratitude, they get stuff like some alone time in the dealer's den or priority seating in stage events.

The idea is that early access doesn't take anything from EF's budget, unlike sponsors' gifts, nor does it require significant other ressources like supersponsor-only panels. So it gives people some value without taking away from the actual sponsored amount.
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Rishary

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Re: EF24 Feedback (Many points)
« Reply #3 on: 01.09.2018, 12:27:14 »

The idea is that early access doesn't take anything from EF's budget, unlike sponsors' gifts, nor does it require significant other ressources like supersponsor-only panels. So it gives people some value without taking away from the actual sponsored amount.

Just because it doesn't cost anything to the con doesn't mean it's a fair perk, especially if it doesn't actually increase sponsorship (hence the poll).
If it indeed doesn't increase it, then all it does is cause unfairness towards people that can't afford it, especially newcomers who are unlikely to sponsor on their first con and can't get a commission from their favorite artist even though they are willing to queue up hours before time.
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o'wolf

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Re: EF24 Feedback (Many points)
« Reply #4 on: 01.09.2018, 13:31:46 »

Regarding the long time between scenes of the pawpet show: it's a valid complaint and we apologize for that. They were way too long, indeed. We've already isolated one major factor that lead to it and will improve our processes to avoid at least that one in the future. We'll continue to evaluate where else we can cut down setup times as well.
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Is it that things really change? Or does the outside rearrange?
Is perception genuine? Or does truth lie deep beneath the skin?
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JayDJ

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Re: EF24 Feedback (Many points)
« Reply #5 on: 01.09.2018, 14:39:15 »

While I don't know about your experiences, I haven't heard of artists being completely sold out within the sponsor time - most that I know were definitely still taking commissions at least on Friday. So in the end, the sponsors get the same stuff everyone else is getting, just with a little more comfort.
Same - I did supersponsor this year (which was also my first year at EF) and didn't go to the Dealers' Den during early access, but at every artist I scouted for commissions, they were still open on the Friday. So if the artists aren't completely selling out their commission slots during early access, I don't see why this perk is a problem. Alternatively, what would you suggest instead?
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Yep, worse than the widows and orphans I drowned.

Rishary

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Re: EF24 Feedback (Many points)
« Reply #6 on: 01.09.2018, 14:50:54 »

While I don't know about your experiences, I haven't heard of artists being completely sold out within the sponsor time - most that I know were definitely still taking commissions at least on Friday. So in the end, the sponsors get the same stuff everyone else is getting, just with a little more comfort.
Same - I did supersponsor this year (which was also my first year at EF) and didn't go to the Dealers' Den during early access, but at every artist I scouted for commissions, they were still open on the Friday. So if the artists aren't completely selling out their commission slots during early access, I don't see why this perk is a problem. Alternatively, what would you suggest instead?

Sometimes the artists are indeed still open for commissions after the early access period but I have been to quite a few cons where this wasn't the case. My suggestion is simply removing this perk without replacing it with something else as I don't feel that it would affect sponsorship amount. (Currently the poll shows it, but we need more votes).
« Last Edit: 01.09.2018, 14:54:09 by Rishary »
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meo

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Re: EF24 Feedback (Many points)
« Reply #7 on: 01.09.2018, 15:00:56 »

Personaly speaking: I think the whole Dealers Den thing is part of the believe on missing something out. I know for a fact that some artists give out commission slots not as a bulk but on a daily basis so everyone has a chance. Also, it is way more relaxed in the den after the initial run. I would love to see a better management by the artists on whom they are giving commission slots, but on the other hand it is still their business.

I will however still stay in the lobby and ask the artists I like via social media if they have a slot then waiting in line...
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Rishary

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Re: EF24 Feedback (Many points)
« Reply #8 on: 01.09.2018, 15:04:34 »

Personaly speaking: I think the whole Dealers Den thing is part of the believe on missing something out. I know for a fact that some artists give out commission slots not as a bulk but on a daily basis so everyone has a chance. Also, it is way more relaxed in the den after the initial run. I would love to see a better management by the artists on whom they are giving commission slots, but on the other hand it is still their business.

I will however still stay in the lobby and ask the artists I like via social media if they have a slot then waiting in line...

So, if it is possible to still get commissions without missing out even without super sponsoring on later days or via social media, that would mean that this perk isn't really a perk is it? That is, it wouldn't cause people to super sponsor if they wouldn't otherwise which again means it can be safely removed.
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Kulze

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Re: EF24 Feedback (Many points)
« Reply #9 on: 01.09.2018, 15:20:54 »

So, if it is possible to still get commissions without missing out even without super sponsoring on later days or via social media, that would mean that this perk isn't really a perk is it? That is, it wouldn't cause people to super sponsor if they wouldn't otherwise which again means it can be safely removed.

It definitely is a perk, nothing can be said against that, and it's one which is a large reason as to why people take Supersponsor as well. Also, depending on the artist, not everyone was booked out for commissions after the Supersponsor and Sponsor rush. Some reserved some spaces for normal attendees, but that's the choice of the relevant artists personally. Vader-san was one such example, he had a specific amount reserved for the specific opening times to give everybody a chance.

Also, the Supersonsor entry doesn't only concern commissions, it also does with liquors, books, shirts, basically everything. It's not 'pay extra for a 50€ commission' but a 'pay extra for whatever you like to buy' thing.
The same could be said about Supersponsor seating then. If the mindset is not to offer any 'unfair advantages' to them, those would've to go as well, same with the specific presents. Though they are paid for with the price, it's still something that only Sponsors and Supersponsors can get. My reason for being a Supersponsor is simple, or rather my 2 reasons. Number 1: Aid the con without putting personal work into it, I want to enjoy the time and not work. And 2: I'm small, I need a seat in a good place or things like the Pawpetshow will just be useless to me.

So, take away this 'unfair bonus' and half the reason would be gone for me already. While all the mentioned points are definitely relevant, sane arguments and absolutely understandable, how many people would just Sponsor or Supersonsor out of the good of their hearts?
It would be significantly less, meaning significantly less spending money for EF and therefore a lower quality con. I have to say, I rather see the unfairness of it (easy to say since I am a Supersponsor since 8 years now in the row) then having it change to a festival of 'early arrival only' events, where I have to queue up for hours to see a single panel, missing out on all the other things on the side. That would happen with the pawpetshow, the dealer's den, Kage's show and some others, meaning instead of enjoying the con, we would have more of a 'enjoying the line' like so many other big conventions have problems with. And if that should ever happen in the future, well... then I wouldn't aid the con personally anymore aswell, simply because the enjoyment would be missing for me.
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Cifer

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Re: EF24 Feedback (Many points)
« Reply #10 on: 01.09.2018, 15:29:07 »

Personaly speaking: I think the whole Dealers Den thing is part of the believe on missing something out. I know for a fact that some artists give out commission slots not as a bulk but on a daily basis so everyone has a chance. Also, it is way more relaxed in the den after the initial run. I would love to see a better management by the artists on whom they are giving commission slots, but on the other hand it is still their business.

I will however still stay in the lobby and ask the artists I like via social media if they have a slot then waiting in line...

So, if it is possible to still get commissions without missing out even without super sponsoring on later days or via social media, that would mean that this perk isn't really a perk is it? That is, it wouldn't cause people to super sponsor if they wouldn't otherwise which again means it can be safely removed.
The perk part is the fact that they get to enjoy the Dealer's Den first, with less queue time outside, less crowd inside and while the air is still breathable. At least that's why I was slightly envious of them, but hey - they pay for my con events, so good for them. I can live with waiting a little more. I can live with getting the "worse" spots at the main stage - after all, that's what the two ginormous screens are for. And I would have loved to go to Convention War Stories, but so far, there's always been a clip of it on Youtube sooner or later.
I think the organizers have struck a good balance between giving out a nice perk that doesn't cost them anything to provide and not unduly disadvantaging the rest of the con-goers.
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Rishary

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Re: EF24 Feedback (Many points)
« Reply #11 on: 01.09.2018, 15:52:39 »

The difference between the early access perk and the priority seating is that you can still watch the shows from the standard seating places quite well. Once the commissions/unique items are gone then they are gone, you can't get them so the analogy is weak in my opinion.

To put it simple, let's say there is an item that is limited enough to be sold out during early access I have two options, no middle grounds:
a. Pay the extra 150 euro to get it (Or get someone else that paid to do it for me)
b. Not get it, even if I'm willing to queue up for 2 hours.
This isn't true for the show events as I can still get good seating and view it perfectly fine by simply standing in queue.

And again, we don't even know if this perk even leads to more sponsorship at the con.
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Futeko

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Re: EF24 Feedback (Many points)
« Reply #12 on: 01.09.2018, 16:15:18 »

Please also don't disregard the fact that having three distinct opening times means less queuing and a more comfortable experience for everyone.
I believe there were times in the past where security had to stop people at the entrance, only allowing one person in when one person came out, because the Den was simply too crowded. This system greatly alleviates this with minimal cost to all parties involved.

To come back to your original reason: have you ever been in a situation where the artist you wanted to commission was closed by the time the DD opened up for regular attendees? Because from what I'm reading here, this is rarely if ever the case. Some artists even put safeguards in place to prevent this.
I thus fail to see the rationale behind the call to remove this perk, and even moreso the rationale behind choosing explicitly NOT to sponsor the con as long as that perk is there.

And finally: I believe that perk was not put in place as a way to motivate people to sponsor the con. It's simply a way to give back to the people that participate in allowing the con to happen in the first place. If that in turn attracts more sponsorship, then great! If not, it doesn't matter because that's not its goal in the first place.
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Rishary

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Re: EF24 Feedback (Many points)
« Reply #13 on: 01.09.2018, 16:26:32 »

About distinct opening items resulting in less queuing - True, but this would happen naturally as people who don't want to snatch hard to get items would simply come back later instead of go as soon as possible.

About missing unique items - It would have happened to me if I didn't send a friend to get me the unique items that I wanted.

I would like to be proven wrong on the following statement - Early access can cause certain people to be upset while simultaneously not helping the con get more sponsors.
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Nosnibor

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Re: EF24 Feedback (Many points)
« Reply #14 on: 01.09.2018, 16:28:34 »

The perk part is the fact that they get to enjoy the Dealer's Den first, with less queue time outside, less crowd inside and while the air is still breathable.
This.
How about having sponsor/supersponsor hours on Friday? Then the sponsors could still enjoy the less crowded Den, and everybody afraid to miss anything can queue all they want on Thursday.
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