Discussion in 'FanForce Conventions' started by Sebulba-X, May 13, 2002.
If WOTC does C3 in Indy, I probably won't attend.
I was just thinking ...........if they do have it at Indy again......when you come in everyday they should give you a colored ticket like they did with the concert and this way you cant buy anymore figures without those tickets? maybe that would help reduce lines?
I liked the color sheets of paper they gave us for the concert because at least while I stood in line I knew I was gauranteed a ticket.....maybe they will utilize more of that where the next one is.......
Indy as many problems as it may have had I still wouldnt mind having it there, it seems to be in a central location for alot of people to get to. City was clean and everyone I encountered there was very friendly. We stayed at the Omni and it was first rate! I would stay there again.
Did anyone think of having it in Canada for a change? Just an idea.
I also liked someone's suggestion of having it in San Diego. And Chicago has a HUGE convention center (it's the convention capitol of the America).
Yeah, Inday sounds great. I had an awesome time and it's the only place I can think of within 6 hours of me they'd hold it at . Some article said it's about within a days drive for most of the country. They had a lot of unused space and although it's kinda mean, limit ticket sales. But yeah, mostly what Carolyn said
I suggest having it in Pittsburgh:
I looked at some of the suggested sites. San Diego has a beautiful convention center but it isn't centrally located. Chicago's McCormick place is wonderful but lacks nearby hotels from what I could tell. Rosemont's Donald E Stephens Center is nice but doesn't look much larger than Indy and at least with Indy they're familiar with the territory. Pittsburg is nice but looks smaller than Indy and Denver looks about the same size.
The one Convention Center I really liked was the one in St. Louis. More centrally located than even Indy & lots of nearby hotels.
I'm not sure any of these would outweigh the benefit of planning a second convention where the planners are familiar with the area. That's got to be a big plus and let's face it, these guys need all the help they can get.
If Indy again, I wouldn't mind drive there, but they NEED TO hold the biggest events (Segamore Ballroom) in RCA DOME instead!!!!!
I also enjoyed Indy and its location is the main reason I decided to go to C2. The convention center was great, even if it wasn't used to its full potential. With some proper re-planning and a proper use of all the facilities available, particularly the dome, I think Indy will do just fine.
I call Kessel for the Wingate Inn!!
Indianapolis is a great city. I loved the downtown area. Plenty of big name restaurants and it had a very clean feel to it. The Convention Center was more than adequate if it had been utilized correctly. Unfortunately, with the "mini-marathon" or whatever it was taking up a ton of space, the Star Wars crowds were packed in we would have liked.
Carolyn had some great ideas especially about pre-convention merchandise (who really cares about exclusivity?!?) and show vouchers but it really came down to show schedules and crowd management: there wasn't any. With a building that the planners are familiar with, I really think that C3 will be a much better event. Friday I was miserable, Saturday I had a blast, and Sunday was icing on the cake.
Bring it on, guys.
"A special effect without a story is a very boring thing." --George Lucas, 1983
"It IS possible to screw these sort of things up." --George Lucas, 1999
Another thought - if tickets are used for autographs, it'd be that much easier for a scalper to say "I'll give you $20 for your ticket". How it was now, they would have to get you to wait in line, or else they wouldn't get your share. If there were tickets guaranteeing a figure, then the scalper wouldn't have to rush to the lines right away, as he would be guaranteed the figures.
Hopefully, if they have it in Indy again, they won't have it the same weekend as the mini-marathon. That tied up some hotel rooms and parking places.
I do believe that some of the international or coastal attendees would have liked an airport that offered more direct flights. But other than planning it around the "mini" might be the only other reason Indy isn't a good spot.
Not that I wouldn't midit being a little closer to home. Denver is not going to be an option, the city council would screw it up somehow for sure. Besides, none of the hotels are close enough, and there are no shuttles or light rail that could get you from the hotel center to the convention center. Once again, we fell victim to poor city planning in Denver.
St. Louis might not be a bad idea, I do believe they have better connectivity as far as flights go and it is actually closer to the center of the country (sorry Indy is still not the center). Kansas City would be dead center, but the airport is not the best.
Indy's good for me though, I just hope that WoTC doesn't have free reign w/ the event again. It worked much better as a joint venture. It was also a lot cheaper to get a quick bite to eat, since we had the triple threat (Taco Bell/KFC/Pizza Hut) right there. And since when do you have Coke at a Star Wars Event?
The town was great, and I loved your downtown. Let's just hope the organizers smarten up next time.
I haven't heard anyone mention the fact that they didn't use all of the convention center. I think they had more exhibit halls to open up like the one the store was in. If I'm wrong, please disregard my statement. If I'm right, then bring it on in Indy. Hell, let's have it at the 500. It's big enough and it's a historical site. Real close to the airport.
I know...wishfull thinking.
YAY!!! That would be wonderful!!!
Yes, they could have made better use of the space. But, I think Indy was a splendid location. I had to fly in from a small town in California! I EASILY got cheap tix on United airlines from my hometown of Palm Springs via Priceline.com. ($178 RT from a small airport!!!)...and I do stress on "EASILY".
Of course EVERYBODY wants it near them...though I've heard some people complain that they had to drive for a couple of hours, jeeez *rolls eyes* *giggles*
I found Indianapolis beautiful,clean and friendly and would return in a heartbeat, even if there wasn't a SW convention.
The whining I've heard is silly (generally around the net). Yes, the space could have been optimized, a few glitches here and there..but, didn't anyone figure that there would be a lot of people there???? I heard the lines were long for Denver so I planned on it. Did anyone ACTUALLY believe that WOTC would improve their performance??? LOL
Oh, well, there will always be people who will SO totally focus on the negative aspect of everything that they will never be satisfied.
I for one have focused on all the good that came out of it, the people I met, the stuff I brought home...one of a kind experiences that more than likely after 2005 will never happen again.
Extremely appreciative that I was fortunate enough in my life to be able to make the trip.
I would love for it to be in Indy again. It is a beautiful and clean city...not too big, not too small, and there were so many hotels and restaurants conveniently located. I'd really like to return, and now we all have a bit of a feel for the city too!
However, as plenty of others have suggested--I too think they should open up all/more of the ICC next time around. I do believe that I saw signs for some sort of "packet pick-up" or something for those in the mini-marathon down by the Jedi Starfighter.
Chicago is a beautiful area with great facilities for this style of event, but the only downside to this is it's expensive to stay, get a taxi, and may other things. The one downer my fiance said, that you have to pay for serperate parking beyond your hotel. Most hotels don't have much in the way of parking if any at all, downtown.
If it's held in Indy again, a suggestion is: Land in Cincinnati and drive the 1 and 15 to an hour half to downtown Indy, ditch your rental if you are staying close enough to the convention center. Friends of ours here in Cincy, their father had a non-stop flight from France, and then they drove up. It's an option. From CVG you just hit 275 to 74 west and drive it down in Indy.
When we were at David Prowse's table, he mention he and his wife flew into Cincinnati and then drove to Indy. I was thinkin' later, "If it's good enough for Vader! Hey why not!?"
"The whining I've heard is silly (generally around the net). Yes, the space could have been optimized, a few glitches here and there..but, didn't anyone figure that there would be a lot of people there????"
Obviously, WOTC didn't!
I also like to think of my complaints as constructive criticism as opposed to whining. If the only feedback that's out there is positive, then if I was running the event I wouldn't think I needed to make changes. I'm really interested in the feedback since I plan to write a detailed letter to Lucasarts & WOTC detailing my complaints and offering up solutions I've read on the net. I also will be including all the positive aspects myself and others have noted. I'm certainly hoping something positive will evolve from the negative but I won't view the experience thru rose colored glasses just because of my love of Star Wars. If I had planned that event I would have fired myself on Monday. I'm really interested in presell numbers. I asked one of the WOTC employees and was told they presold appx 18,000 tickets. Now would anyone think a venue which holds 3,000 people adequate for the major events (opening ceremony, concert, headliners)? Sure there were lots of other choices but am I the only person who thinks the majority of the attendees would want to attend these functions?
I guess the point I'm trying to make in a round about way is I think there is room for positive and negative comments and no person's opinion should be labeled silly.
Yes they should rent the dome out. Almost all of the people could fit in the dome for the opening cermonies, Carrie Fisher, Hayden Christensen, etc. No waiting in line for tickets or to get into the show.
Also the majority of the population of the USA is on the east coast. So having C3 in Indy is not a bad choice.
We drove, we did not stay right downtown so we had to drive into town every day and the parking was great. On friday we had to pay $8, but sat. & sun. we only paid $2 for all day. That is an unbelievably great rate. And there was plenty of parking all over, not just in the deck where we parked.
We did not eat in the convention center because of all the great places to eat were just out the door and a block over. The Hard Rock Cafe was on the sidewalk giving out 10% off cupons. So there were many options if you wanted them.
Same place, but more organization. If there were 30,000 people for C1 and 60,000 for C2 then expect up to 90,000 for C3. DON'T UNDERESTIMATE: THAT MAKES FOR POOR PLANING.
I don't think they should have necessarily used the dome. What they needed was MORE shows - the video footage shown at the opening ceremonies should have played more than once. Also, guests like Hayden should have done more than 2 shows a day - what they basically did all day was press junkets. They really weren't there for the fans, but for the press instead. I thought that was the big problem.
I again put in my support for St. Louis. The convention center is better. The ones in Chicago (Rosemont and McCormick) are probably too expensive for WOTC to rent.
But most of all, St. Louis has a better airport. I spoke to people in Indy that had to fly to Chicago and then drive to Indy. Even Prowse had this problem.
The drawback to St. Louis is that it doesn't have a fan organization like the Indy Knights.
Indy was a good location for cel 2. it wasnt the city fault that it was badly organized. The problem i forsee is that ep III is coming out
in late May 2005. Same time as even more Indy500
events. I do not think they have that much room.
Kansas City would not be a great choice either. I live in KC and the convention center is bigger but hotel space downtown is horrible. and the airport is 20 miles away.
I would vote for St. Louis. Big airport. hotels near convention center. And the convention center (if all used) could hold the crowds. Plus its a great city.
St. Louis would be an excellent choice for Celebration 3. I hope that Lucasfilm partners with better special events professionals than WotC for the next event because Celebration 2 was an endless chaos of long lines, mass confusion, and corporate greed -- as opposed to treating the fans with dignity and respect.
There is a strong Star Wars fan base in St. Louis. It's probably not as unified of a group as you will find in other cities, but there are tons of fans in bi-state area. For example, a sci-fi con in the St. Louis area back in 1996 was packed with people when Lucasfilm (Steve Sansweet) presented sneak peaks to the Special Editions.
St. Louis, the Gateway City, has:
1. Sizeable convention center
2. Many hotels, and more under construction
3. Central location
4. International airport
5. Good highway access
6. The Arch!
8. Metrolink light rail public transportation system from airport to major downtown attractions. This is a big selling point for transporting the masses of Star Wars fans to and from locations.
I'd go to Indy again. The city was a lot cleaner and friendlier then other cities I've been to. I felt pretty safe walking the streets at night. I've been to Conventions in Chicago and it is a pretty busy place. Rosemont is right next to O'Hare airport and quite a ways from downtown, so you can't do much there other then stay in the hotel or go to the convention center (yes I know that this is what most people will do all weekend anyway). I hear complaints about the food courts and service, but I managed to find a pretty lightly attended food court by the "Star Wars in 30 minutes" room. The prices and food selections were pretty good considering and at least you had other good food choices about a block to the north if you were willing to hike there.
I was very surprised at how easy it was to get into downtown Indy. My transit time with the rental car to and from the airport was only about 15 minutes. Plus, parking wasn't a problem.
Chicago is pretty crazy with traffic and it can be a little daunting for first timers. Kansas City is pretty traffic intensive too and things don't seem quite as friendly in Downtown KC either.
As for St. Louis, I can't really speak to that fact since I've never stayed in St. Louis. But I do now that traffic can be a major pain in the downtown areas as I go through there once a year on my way to Louisville, KY.
The only other possible area I can think of would be Dallas Texas, but hotels are expensive there and fire codes prevent having more then two people in standard hotel rooms. Indy gave the option for up to four room occupants in standard rooms.
Now, as for the flights issue, I think that isn't really a big deal. I had to use a connecting flight myself and I didn't have a problem. Granted direct flights can potentially be less, but I don't see that much of an advantage as even central hub airports don't have all incoming flights as direct flights and not a lot of airlines fly to hub airports either, unlike smaller airports that could have more different airlines coming to them (meaning potentially more competitive rates between rival airlines).
So, I think Indy is a good choice if they utilize the space of the convention center better and come up with a little better crowd organization (and communications etc.). I'd be happy to go there again. And if I stay at Courtyard by Marriot again, I want it known as Corellia this time.
CarolynNC, I met a Wizard at the con who said that "they" had no idea so many people would show up. Why not? It's a puzzle to me. I had a great time in Indy, but did not get to do everything I wanted. I had to choose on Sunday between sitting in line for Carrie Fisher's autograph for 6 hours or seeing her show. I chose her show (and I chose right, I believe!). But my copy of "Postcards" lays languishing on the bookshelf for her autograph until who knows when.
Constructive criticism? DON'T sell so many tickets. Our roommate from Denver said they stopped selling tix for Celeb I the day before. Was that done here? I'm not sure. If whoever is running the show wants to sell a zillion tickets, then they should provide appropiate show places. This isn't brain surgery!! Plan Ahead!!
I agree with those who suggest a better use of and more space In Indy. Also perselling tickets for the concert and autographs. I even agree with preselling most of the merchandise. I could have also done with out the hassel of the marathon.
I am how ever limited by distance. If it is further west than Indy I won't be able to attend. I figure if they move it they should continue to move east. I will still probable have a long drive, but I will still have a chance of attending it.
Wherever it's held, I promised myself that I would entend at all costs!
Will there be any more Celebrations after the third? I reaaally hope so because I don't think I will be able to attend Celebration III (unless i get a car.. yeah right)..