Discussion in 'FanForce Conventions' started by Sebulba-X, May 13, 2002.
Ooops.. double post..
-I hope people at WotC read this board and specifically this thread.
-I think the best choice is St. Louis, but frankly I'd go to C3 even if it were to be held on the North Pole. I do think that they should pick a new place, so that it will have been a different city each time. It will then also be more attractive for visitors from across the pond.
-I hope there will be a Celebration 4 - but not just for Star Wars...
Star Wars Celebration
Star Wars Celebration 2
Star Wars Celebration 3
Indiana Jones Celebration 4
But who knows? We may all have grandchildren by then.
Indianapolis is not the center of the geographical US, as was suggested earlier. It is pretty much the center of the population of the US. Most of the people are within a day's drive. (except you left-coasters. But, having been from CA, I understand your hesitance to leave that beautiful state!)Heck, if you can find I-70 or I-65, you have a straight shot into downtown Indy.
Severe study needs to be done regarding allocation of space in the Convention Center for CIII. Use the 61,000 seat RCA dome--god knows the Colts can't fill it. SOMEBODY should! And put video monitors in the hallways for those who do happen to be in line, so they can watch, live, what is going on elsewhere.
For those who don't live near us, our weekend weather has been crap except for CII weekend. You were blessed.
I like the presale autograph ticket idea. In fact, presell the "pulled" autographs, too. Anything to cut those lines down.
Someone suggested separate rooms for the big stars.. maybe, or just organize the setup better. That U-shaped area was a debacle. I know, I worked it. I felt the frustration of thousands of fans when they were told that the Fire Marshall ordered the lines capped. For the vast majority, though, the fans were very well behaved despite this and other situations, and must be commended for their patience.
Presell the "store" stuff. Mail people vouchers, and then have a special fulfillment area, where no money is taken, just vouchers.
Target the number of figures made to the maximum number of (per day)tickets that are going to be sold. Screw that "exclusive" figure BS. All that does is drives the secondary scalper market. My thought is, if you shell out $75 bucks for a three day pass, you should be GUARANTEED at least one figure, should you choose to purchase it. Same for the 1 day admission, 1 figure on arrival. 3day admission, 1 figure on arrival, and you can wait in line to buy the next two, one per day. Punch the badge, no errors. Simple math.
And those damn badges.. ok, they aren't holy relics. Punching a hole in them, if anything, will make them more valuable, because it will show that it was really used at the convention.
Just some thoughts. See you in '05!
Please please please
The people running that place were HORRIBLE.
The same organization will be running it wherever it moves to, won't they? If the Indy Knights hadn't been there to save the day, well, that would have been a mess!
C'mon Chewie, don't blame Indianapolis for the convention having problems.
My thought is, if you shell out $75 bucks for a three day pass, you should be GUARANTEED at least one figure, should you choose to purchase it. Same for the 1 day admission, 1 figure on arrival. 3day admission, 1 figure on arrival, and you can wait in line to buy the next two, one per day. Punch the badge, no errors. Simple math.
This has been suggested multiple times, but I see one problem with it:
People who purchase a 3 day pass will be able to buy one figure (using the badge-punching idea). On the other hand, those who only go for two days, could get two figures since they'd have a Friday pass and a Saturday pass (which isn't really fair for those who buy three-day passes). The only way to fix this would be to allow those with three-day passes three figures.
So.... why not create a Two Day Pass? Actually, two of them, one Friday/Saturday, and one Saturday/Sunday.
put a jawa on one, and a Tusken on the other, or something..
Jorg horders can be stopped.. sort of.
Or, how about this. Let people get the first one at $10 or whatever, and then, seeing their punched badges, sell subsequent ones for $50 each (and adding additional punches to their badges. Then we'd know who the "figure whores" are. That would certainly slow the scalpers, at least the amateurs.
The only good argument I've heard for bringing the convention center back to Indianapolis is because it's within a days drive of most of the population of the country. What should be considered though is how many people are going to attend. WoTC has got to consider that this may be the last Star Wars convention ever. And it will be just before Episode 3. With those two things in mine, they should look for the best convention center for the job. Pick the largest convention center you can find that has nearby hotels and is within a reasonable distance of an airport. I also keep hearing suggestions of cutting off ticket sales. Why do that? If they just based their decision on which convention center to have it at based on how many people they expect to attend, they wouldn't have a problem. I attend the San Diego Comic-Con every year and 50,000 people is nothing for that place. There's always plenty of room.
Someone else commented that there aren't any large fan organizations in St. Louis (?) like there are in Indy (Indy Knights). I just ask, so what? The fan organizations shouldn't need to be involved in any of the convention help whatsoever. This was a major problem in Indy. They were so understaffed that they had the 501st Legion and the Indy Knights helping with security (I got asked for my badge no less than 3 times Friday morning, twice by convention security and once by 501st. No offense, but 501st doesn't really have any business doing security) and organization. This is not meant as a dig to either organization, I just don't think WoTC should be depending on fan groups to help them organize a convention.
Anyway, and I may be biased, but I 2nd the comment that C3 should be brought to San Diego. Anywhere they have it, it's going to inconvenience some people, so why not bring it somewhere with space. San Diego's convention center exhibit hall(according to their website) is 10x larger than ICC (not including the dome, but according to ICC website, that only brings it up to about 90k sq ft vs 300k sq ft in San Diego). And (and this is from memory) they have at least 5 large entrances to the exhibit hall. Each entrance is usually manned by 2 or 3 convention staff. Of course, it won't matter where they bring it if it's just as understaffed as C2 was. We need the right center for the job, not just the one that is "within a days drive of most of the country".
One other suggestion (and there is nothing WoTC can do about this). DO NOT PUT MOVIE TICKETS ON SALE THE SAME DAY AS THE FIRST DAY OF THE CONVENTION. How many people couldn't get tickets to the midnight screening (where all the hardcore fans were gonna be) and had to wait for weekend tickets? I ended up only being able to get 1 for myself. I have promised my friends that I will be waiting in line for tickets for Episode 3 and I will get enough for everyone.
I would not mind it but they must promise to do a better job about a few things.(Lines, no info. ...)
Well, I just read (on this site, I believe) that only 27,000 people showed up for Celeb II. Now, I'm confused. Cause I had several people (one of them a Wizard) tell me that crowd control was a bit disorganized because building capacity had violated fire code, which was 55,000. Now, I know, this was third hand info at best, but 27,000! I swear there was more than that wrapped around the building. If there were really only 27,000 people there, then yes, open up the Dome, or let's go somewhere else!!
Ugh... if it's in Indy, I'll probably go again because I want to, but that place is NOT big enough! And with the Celebration being in May, the city's slamming for the Indy 500.
Chicago wouldn't be a bad choice, though it'd be expensive. But then, doesn't Wizards run their OWN convention there? Atlanta would also do well, the WCC is quite large. DragonCon takes place in a few large hotels DESIGNED to hold conventions. I'm not sure that they could quite handle Celebration II though unless they used the Apparel Mart as well.
The best place for it is probably San Diego. I mean come on, they handle the San Diego Comic Con, they have for years. They'd be great for it.
Before anyone says I'm biased on that, No I'm not. I'm on the opposite side of the country in Atlanta. (Therefore the Atlanta vote has a tiny bit of bias, but the real why's are more objective.)
I would love it if Celebration 3 was in Toronto. To involve the Canadian fans.
Couldn't you just see Darth Maul's face, projected on the Skydome,
or how about the Cn Tower being turned into a huge lightsaber.
The main reason my friend and I went was because Indy was so close (only a 3 1/2 hour drive). I found it very easy to get to our hotel (Courtyard by Marriott) and then get back onto the highway heading home. We will definitely go again if it's held in Indy. I thought the downtown seemed very clean and safe. Sure you had to wait in lines but what did you expect? Some people are always going to find something to complain about. Afterall, this was the world's largest Star Wars party! Have Celebration III in Indy!
I'd go to Indianapolis again..
I met some good, actually great people from Indianapolis itself..Aside from the whole experience of just going to SWC, I actually enjoyed my visit there..
Having things centrally located didn't hurt either..
But then again I'd go to the next SWC no matter where it ends up
I don't see the actual convention center size being a factor. It's how the space in (any) convention center is used.
From what I, personally, saw in Indy...the space was used very poorly. Don't believe me? Think back to the C2 Store...there was a lot of empty space in there.
San Diego may be huge, but will the space be used to its fullest potential? Will Indy's space be used to its fullest potential a 2nd time around?
In the end, it's all about planning and execution.
With the many things that Wizards of the Coast did bad in, I still think it was a great setup in Indy. I tink that they should have opened up the skywalks from the hotels, but the area was great.
Here's my vote for Indy. It's a great place for large crowds. As long as we can be in the Dome next time, as in "open up MORE space for the Celeb III"! What were the hosts thinking? "Oh, we will be having 27,000 (HA!) people in today, so let's just reserve a few rooms." Come on, guys!! Make Celeb III a great time, not a stressful one. After all, it's the last.
Who exactly should I try to contact to make a city recomendation to? I don't want to go out of my way to send a well thought out email that gets deleated as soon as it's read, so I'm not talking about a general email address or telephone phone number where trained monkeys are used in place of knowlegable people. If you know who to contact but don't want to post the information for all to see then please just PM me the info.
Actually they reported in one of our local Indy papers that attendance was at 100,000. No matter where C2 happened. If you expect 27,000 and get 100,000 you are looking at a fiasco. These were also the right around the numbers that wizards had been quoting me at the end of the weekend as well. All in all it sounds like most people had a really good experience. Hope to make it even better in 2005.
The fact that the attendance count at Celebration II keeps changing when mentioned from different sources -- THIS points to the foundational problem:
Wizards of the Coast and Lucasfilm DROPPED THE BALL with poor planning, poor training of staff, poor crowd control, poor use of space, and the GREEDY, UNSCRUPULOUS over-selling of event tickets.
WotC and LflmLtd. dropped the ball ON THE FANS.
I find it an insult that the Official SW Site and Wizards of the Coast CII site call the event a "success." I liked seeing the little I was able to see, and it was great to have lots of Star Wars "stuff" under one roof -- but I expected to receive that based on the high price, effort to drive there and money spent for lodging.
I DID NOT expect crowds way beyond fire-code limits, ticketed events limiting what I could see, confusing and hidden signage, an empty Fan Club lounge, scalper opportunities with exclusive figures (no organized way of selling them), and I could go on and on.
THEY FAILED. The Fans saved the day by tolerating this convention planning abuse and negligence. The fans saved CII, just like Luke saved Yavin IV from being destroyed by the Death Star.
I'd like to see Wizards of the Coast and Lucasfilm admit their failure and issue an apology -- and do something nice for the fans that doesn't steal more money from our empty pocketbooks after the "mass mugging" at Celebration II.
I hope that it will be then. Thats my senior year in high school. And thats only a cuople hours away from were I live !
Enough whining here...
I thought Indianapolis was a splendid location for CII-especially with the mass amount of nearby hotels and parking facilities-and all of the restaurants, movie theatres, clubs-lots of things to do after the convention and not as expensive as Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, etc.
All of the problems here-lines, action figures, etc. have NOTHING to do with it being in Indianapolis-and having it in the same place should make it much easier to plan out better-knowing what did and did not work before...
We stayed in a hotel about 12 minutes from the convention center for less than $80 a night with online reservations-our suite was bigger than my old apartment-we had a fireplace, freakin candy on our pillows...the event is what you make it. The worst crowds are going to be there on Saturday-so if you want an autograph or something with a long line-get it as early as possible on Friday...
We had a great time-and went expecting to stand in lines for certain events-there are tons of people wanting to see Carrie Fisher-the line won't be any shorter anywhere else. If you expect a line you are not disappointed. Good things come to those who wait.
The things I didn't like can easily be fixed with proper planning-they could have moved the store to a smaller place, or nixed it at all and sold it online with the lanyards and passes-and used the space to spread things out a bit.
The concert tickets could have been purchased online also from the store-instead of congesting the place up. We had a good attitude about it-we were laughing that the closer you got to the front of the line, the worse everyone smelled-ha ha ha!
The volunteers from Indy Knights and 501st did a great job-they took time out of their own agenda there to help with the doors and such. It was also great to meet so many of them at the Hyatt Friday night and toss back a few in the bar...
Go to any event this large and you will have lines, crowds, and high prices for a soda pop...changing it to your hometown isn't the solution-keeping what worked and changing the small details next time to make it more effective is.
I vote for Indy also.Great city,good location.
The problems with the convention were not unfixable;with better planning and managing of space,there's no reason why the ICC wouldn't be a good choice in 2005.
I hope it is in Indianapolis, I might actually be there in 2005.
I've never been able to go to a Celebration before.
One small detail they're going to have a hard time fixing (unless they open up the dome): the exhibit hall. It was to small to fit everything they were trying to fit into it. If they could expand it about another 20 ft, then it would be ok, but IMO, the exhibit hall was to small.
I don't suggest places just because they're in my hometown (otherwise I would've suggested Long Beach, even though it's probably to small). I suggest places based on experience, and in 5 years of going to the Comic-Con, I've only seen a bad crowd once. That was last year when they had several VERY popular events one after the other in the main hall. However, aside from that, San Diego can handle 30k people easily. I have heard that Indianapolis can handle it to, but the marathon was taking up some of the space. So the least they can do for next time is get it on a weekend when no one else will be there. That way we'll have it all to ourselves.