Celebration 3: Indianapolis 2005(?)

Discussion in 'FanForce Conventions' started by Sebulba-X, May 13, 2002.

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  1. Sebulba-X •X C2 C3 MW RSA•

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2000
    star 6
    From the Indianapolis Star: Click here or read below.

    DOWNTOWN DIGEST: DANA KNIGHT

    Lucasfilm may team up with city again


    May 13, 2002

    It could be a convention sequel.

    Organizers behind the scenes of the largest officially sanctioned "Star Wars" fan gathering in the world -- held in Downtown Indianapolis two weekends ago -- are considering a repeat in 2005.

    That's the year George Lucas' "Star Wars: Episode III" (full title not determined) is due to be released on May 25.

    "They're looking to come back. They've already asked us to keep those dates open," said Robert Bedell, president and chief executive officer of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association.

    "Star Wars" Celebration II, which wrapped up May 5, celebrated the 25th anniversary of the original "Star Wars" movie and this week's release of "Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones."

    Indianapolis got the nod as the Celebration II site because of its central location, large convention center and thriving Downtown area, according to Lucasfilm Ltd. officials who organized the event.

    When something is a success, why not go for a repeat?
  2. autographjeff Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2001
    star 1
    That is just what we need... back in Indi with maybe 50,000 + people and WOTC gets 2 ballrooms that seat maybe 5000 people... for all the guests to speak at... they will screw that one up for sure just like C2...
  3. buzz57 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2002
    star 1
    It would be great, but they would have to resolve alot of problems. 1. The seating capacities, so everyone could see what they want to see. 2.Eliminate the total chaos that was at the one before.
  4. buzz57 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2002
    star 1
    Maybe they could open up the Hoosier Dome for bigger activities. It would eliminate the crowd overflow.
  5. DarthBarbieDoll Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2002
    star 1
    I totally agree that the major presentations such as opening ceremonies and maybe a couple of the big sessions should definitely be held in the dome. No one should be turned away from Opening ceremonies.. I mean, we all want to be there and should be able to attend.
  6. Tobey-Wan FanForce CR Northwest Ohio

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2001
    star 9
    That would remove location from my decision to attend the next one. The only left would be who's running the show...
  7. Sebulba-X •X C2 C3 MW RSA•

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2000
    star 6
    Not that anyone would listen, but I think pushing the exhibtors into the ball rooms and setting up one massive stage for everyone to attend any actor related panel, opening ceremony, etc. would solve most of the problems. Setting up such a stage in the Dome itself should be considered. I've attended Concerts & basketball games there and while the sound sucks (that's why sound engineers get paid the big bucks to overcome), seating/lines wouldn't be an issue.
  8. Rainsonglta Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2002
    Since I am a professional meeting planner the disaster of Celebration II really bugged me. There are so many things that they did do right, but so many more that they did wrong.

    Indianapolis, no offense, is a poor choice. Location, difficult to get to. Facilities, not large enough to hold everyone.

    Consider McCormick Place in Chicago. It is centrally located and easy to get to, plus there are other things to do after the show closes.

    Not only that but Chicago has actually two convention centers.

    Another choice is Washington DC.

    Too bad, no one will really listen, but I would be willing to run the entire event. Hey I do this for a living.
  9. royalguard96 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 5
    IMO, I think that would be a great choice. Speaking selfishly, it's an ideal location (Detroit is 5 hours away) and Wizards would have the experience of C2 to help decide how things should be organized for C3. You can walk the ballrooms as much as you want, until you see the crowds in the area, it's tough to predict what to put where. Now, they have tnagible evidence to work from to decide how to better deal with lines in that patricular facility, and what events worked best in different locations. I would be very happy if C3 was in Indy again. Easy downtown to navigate and plenty to do. If they do have it there again, it's almost a MUST that they find a way to utilize the RCA Dome in some fashion. I hope it works out that we're all back there in 3 years time.
  10. strawbary Syracuse CR, RSA Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2002
    star 5
    I think Indianapolis is a great choice for the third since they already experience it first hand and can try to correct the problems with crowds from C2.

    There has been soo many great suggestions on these boards how to make the third better let all hope George or WOTC read a bit and use some of the ideas!

    I know I will be there for the third and would be MORE than happy to help work the event!!!

    Count me in wherever it is!!!!

    ;)
    Strawbary
  11. skywalker8 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 1998
    I think Indianapolis was a decent choice, but I think there are better options.

    -It obviously needs to be in the middle of the US. If it would be on one of the coast, it would be unfair to those having to travel from the opposite coast.

    -Texas would be good... but they already have so many conventions. I do believe they have good facilities though

    -I think the reason that WOTC picked Indianapolis is because it was the cheapest.

    -Chicago is the best place, location-wise and space-wise. They have the biggest convention center there. The only problem: VERY expensive to rent the convention center.

    -My suggestion is St. Louis. Yes, I live there, but consider the following:

    1. It could use the tourism even more than Indianapolis or Chicago. That means government subsidies could significantly lower the rent.
    2. It's very mid-America, and location-wise the second best place after Chicago.
    3. The convention center is a lot bigger than the one in Indianapolis.
    4. The airport in Indianapolis isn't very good. A lot of people had transfers. Again, Chicago's O'Hare Airport would have been the best, but St. Louis's Lambert Airport is also good - and a lot better than the one in Indy.


    My first choice would be Chicago, because they have the best facilities, second choice St. Louis, third choice Indianapolis.
  12. LukeSolo2003 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2002
    star 1
    Only people from Detroit can understand and appreciate how truly nice Indianapolis is.
    Until you've had to deal with the utter mess that is Detroit, you guys don't have a clue as to how successful C-2 was in Indy. No matter what you do, there will be lines and crowds at a SW event. When you have 50,000 + people in one place, there are gonna be crowds, plain & simple. Get over it. I planned my weekend out and I got to see just about everything I wanted. Indy is a beautiful town and very easy to navigate through, and most of all, NO TRAFFIC! That alone will keep me campaigning for C-3 to be there.
    The only intelligent comment I've heard here so far is opening up the Dome for the opening ceremonies and maybe some other big activities. That's all I can see as an improvement because I did miss that because of the lines. And I'm tired of people complaining about WOTC. They did a fantastic job and their staff was wonderful under the circumstances. Great people to deal with. STOP THE WHINING PLEASE! You are the same people who think we should be living in a perfect, pretty world. It's not going to happen.
  13. CarolynNC Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2002
    star 3
    SWC3 in Indy? Hummm, well maybe. Travel was a pain because I couldn't get a direct flight. I did like the convenient hotels but believe there are other venues where this would work. The major plus is they now should know what worked and what didn't so they should be able to plan better but I'm not sure if I have faith in them. If they go this route they really must rent the entire convention center including the RCA dome. C2 looked wonderful on paper but just didn't pan out. I didn't expect to do everything but I did expect to do more than stand in lines all day.

    My constructive criticism (whining to others :D ):

    Admission packet to include pass, pre-ordered (and paid) tickets (concert, opening ceremony, etc), pre-paid voucher for special figure, hotel info, local area information.

    Hire more event staff. Don't depend on volunteers. The volunteers did a great job and could still be put to great use but ultimately the paid staff should be taking care of business.

    I think the biggest lines were for the Sagamore Ballroom seminars, the store (caused by the figure), the concert tickets, the autographs, for food, and entrance to the Convention Center. If you could alleviate some of the congestion of those lines I don't think everyone would spend their whole weekend in frustrating lines.

    Use the RCA Dome for an opening extravaganza each day. Include the performers everyone wants to see and who draw the most attendance. Tickets should be included with admission packet when you buy your pass. To keep from having people line up you could preassign seats just like sporting events. Earliest purchasers get best seats.

    Exclusive figure - pre-paid token or voucher included in admission packet. Pick up at several designated places but not in the store.

    Concert - pre-paid tickets with seat assignments. It's ridiculous to stand in line hours for tickets and then again for concert seating. Needs a larger venue. Something visual to add to the experience like movie clips from all the films.

    Use the upstairs rooms for events with shorter lines. Put the autograph area upstairs with room for the Celebrity break room and an organized line queue(not in the hall!). Use the other areas for ongoing events (Art Show; Diorama, RPGA & TCG Gaming, Archive exhibit, etc) which don't generate long lines. (I had so much trouble getting upstairs because of the lines I missed the fan club tables, R2D2 builders & the seminars in Naboo.)

    Food - There weren't enough food vendors but if everyone wasn't standing in line they could easily eat at one of the surrounding hotels or at the mall.

    More than one entrance into the Convention Center. There has to be a better way to let people enter.

    Spread out the exhibit hall. You couldn't turn around in there and it was very difficult to stop and look at something at a booth without getting pushed and shoved. I vote for two of the action figure boxes. What a terrific idea!

    Before I commit I want to hear what they'll do to make it better.

    Carolyn
  14. jedilona Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2000
    star 4
    I totally agree!!
    Well said CarolynNC..
    I'd also add a way to get the autograph vouchers ealier(if they are planning on having that at the next one)
    I like the idea of paying for things in advance and having vochers and such, it actually helps plan the trip better at least for me personally..
    It should definitely help with organization.
  15. DonC Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2001
    star 4
    I'm not opposed to Indy again, but I think everybody will agree, they need to improve their crowd control practices and get a bigger room for the more popular events. I've been to WizardWorld Chicago, a comic convention, at the Rosemont convention center, and I think if they got the whole building it would be a good spot. There are plenty of hotels, most aren't that expensive, and it's by the airport. The only problem is the lack of parking for people only going one day. You're always seeing people walking huge distances to their cars.
  16. DarthBrian Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2002
    star 4
    C3 should be held in San Diego.
    It's just as hard for me to get to Indianapolis as it would be for people on the east coast to get to San Diego. So who cares about that.
    Secondly, the San Diego Convention Center is huuuuuuuuuge. You have to see it to believe it. Last year, before it expanded, it could hold 50,000 people easily. With the expansion, there is plenty of room. And the exhibition hall itself is huuuuuuuuuuge. And plenty of space to handle long lines.
    Anybody who's seen the San Diego Convention Center will agree with me.
  17. k3po Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2001
    star 6
    Hey, Denver is expanding our Convention Center, bring it back here.
  18. MOJEDI Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2002
    I'm all for Indy next time.
    I'm also for no whining.

    Utilize the Dome. Please.

    Dump the Store, and use that space for something else. Fanclub members who have purchased passes could just order their stuff in advance, and have it delivered a week or two IN ADVANCE of the event. This way, we all get the stuff we want and Wizards isn't stuck with leftover inventory. I don't have to stand in line, and I don't have to lug the bag around all day. They can still put limits on action figures, etc., just like they did on the fanclub lanyards. They could also have some tables set up to sell stuff, like they did the programs.

    Hopefully, the organizers have gained some knowledge from Indy and will put it to better use.

    Chicago - too hard to navigate, too expensive.
    St Louis - I don't know. I live there. Could be a possibility.
    What about Kansas City? What's that like?

    Indy was great.
  19. snap-hiss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2001
    star 5
    Indy sounds great for C3. I loved the location and really enjoyed the drive.


    !snap
  20. Silmarillion Manager Emerita/Ex RSA

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 1999
    star 6
  21. YodaJeff Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2001
    star 7
    Indy wasn't too bad of a drive from Michigan, so I can't complain about that.

    Also, since I think Wizards is holding another yearly convention there, they should be able to work out some of the bugs in time for C3. They also should use the dome.

    Using a ticket to guarantee a C2 figure would only work if:
    1. They limited the tickets to only the first X amount of people in line.
    2. They limited the convention center to X amount of people per day.
    3. This would allow those who are going for three days to get three figures. Which is fair, if you consider that people with a Friday pass and a Saturday pass could get three (using the punching a hole in the pass idea).
  22. GullyFoyle Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2002
    star 1
    The advantage that Indy has over Chicago is immediate access, compact downtown, no traffic.

    True, Chicago's convention center could probably handle a larger crowd, but it's not as connected as the Indy Convention Center-- I mean, the entire downtown is connected by a skywalk.
    People complained about the food service at the convention center when in fact it's redundant-- why eat at the convention center when you can walk over to the beautiful Circle Center Mall, which is connected via skywalk? Or when you can step outside and have within 100 yards of you dozens of fantastic restaurants? Those kinds of options are hard to find in a major city.
  23. BYOB_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2000
    star 5
    Yep... Definitely not going back...
  24. Doright Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 1999
    star 5
    I would go back. As long as they limited tickets this time or make things so more people can get in. Any problems I had with the convention had nothing to do with Indy. Indy was a very nice town.
  25. LovelyLotus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 3
    My only nit pick was the sellers area. It would have been nice to have made the isle bigger, and more venders with StarWars T-shirts. I only found two booths with StarWars Shirts, and they both got attacked and sold out very quickly. Moderate price venders would be nice too. Half of them I couldn't afford to buy anything from.

    The biggest room to get into was the Exhibit room which was always packed enlessly with a huge number of more fans than it should be been able to hold! It has so much in it, that it was cool, but the room itself has little things that could have been moved into a hall, or a room on it's own, with other exhibits. The Hasbro booth was so huge, it squished everything else, into corners, and made it hard move around. Autographs should have had a room of their own, or split into group of five with well, marked signs. Also more voucher sellers for Autographs. Three wasn't enough. I was lucky to get my vouchers the first day, and get my signatures the first day.

    I would move vendors into a private area that is well spaced out, at least 7-10 people wide, for a place to stand in front of the booth, and coming and going traffic. Plus those with young folks in strollers, and in wheel chairs.

    I like Indianpolis. It was a city that was friendly, make me feel safe, and comfterable walking the streets at night and linning up early in the morning. The costs of everything beyond the convention walls were fair and greatly moderate. The parking underground was amazing! Not to mention the park over top the parking. It made a great place to get away from the crowd.

    I would attend again in Indy for sure, not because it's easy to drive to, but just because my experiance was a really good one. My fiance and I had a great time!
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