How to make a better Celebration (as a fan)

Discussion in 'FanForce Conventions' started by Tremaniac, May 9, 2002.

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  1. Tremaniac Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 3
    I'm reading about peoples experiences here and I've realized something. I've overlooked all the bad things that may have come out of Celebration2. I had such a blast that nothing else mattered. I figure if the fine people of these boards are willing to listen, I'll pass along some pointers.
    1. Power in numbers. If you can, get a big group together, as the numbers game allows you to split your options better. While one person is getting autographs, you can be on line for tickets, or getting drinks, or waiting for an exhibit (hopefully one that's not mobbed, as a less than packed house accomidates all). My group broke down like this, and we came close to maximizing fun. Of course, no one can do everything, even a group of 12, but you can sure as heck try!
    2. Communications is key. The group is useless if you don't have a way of coordinating. After the travesty that was Denver, we decided early on in our planning stages that everyone needed a two way radio, to keep us up to date. The result was a vast improvement over last time, where we ended up scattering into the winds (or mud as the case was).
    3. To be a StarWars fan is to have almost limitless patience. I said it before, and I'll say it again. Knowing that certain events where going to be huge, you have to plan ahead of time to get to them. Our biggest triumph was the concert line, which, thanks to diligent waiting on our behalf, was an event all of us got to see. Other waiting periods included any Hayden show, The Fetts show, and the Store line.
    Optional advice, next time bring one of those cheapy folding stools and a book! I know I will be!
    4. Security may not know much, but it never hurts to ask. There were a few times security was very helpful while we were waiting in line. Be it as simplistic as which line was which to what the arrangement would be in Sagamore Ballroom for Saturday Night. This to me was another huge improvement over Denver, where security adopted an us vs them mentality from the beginning.
    5. Be reasonable with expectations. We all should've known going in that we COULD NOT see everything there was to see. I accepted that early, and highlighted on my program the stuff that was essential to me. Again, while I didn't catch everything, I still had a blast!
    6. When in doubt, get there early. My mentality for getting to Indy (we arrived Weds), and getting in line to get in (we ETAed the line friday morning around 7am) was simple. Get in early, do as much as humanly possible, and if things get hectic, take a break and come back later. After all, most hotels were within walking distance, as was the mall for people who's hotels weren't.
    7. Saturday is your Enemy. If something is set on Friday AND Saturday, forget Saturday and get to it early. In both Cons I and II Satuday was the busiest day, with what seemed like herds upon herds of people. All of them want the same thing you do. To see all the cool StarWars stuff! If something is set for all three days, see it Sunday, as that's usually the lightest crowd day. This isn't an exact science, but it held true this weekend.
    8. Event planners are human, prone to mistakes. So much of the blame is passed solely on WotC, which may or may not be true, but at least give credit for trying. The planners screwed things up so badly last time, mainly because they needed the con to be in thier home city. Since the only decent indoor Convention Center there was taken that weekend (the NRA show that was cancelled shortly before our arrival), we were stuck with what was left of an AirForce base. Just the fact that this place was indoors made it 20 times better IMHO.
    9. When possible, find alternative means of entertainment. Stuck in a line, see if the guys in front or back of you are up for polite chatting. Theorize, compare notes, swap recipes, whatever strikes your fancy, but always, ALWAYS respect a persons wishes to remain spoiler free. It's good karma. Got a camera, see if those nice people in cool costumes would be willing to have a pic taken (almost
  2. MrsStrahd Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2002
    star 1
    Might I add a suggestion? This may seem harsh, but if you come down with a contagious illness, please, don't go. It is not worth the risk of making hundreds of people sick. We came out of the celebration with a couple action figures, posters, patches, and some nasty colds. The baby included. (And there is nothing messier or more heartbreaking than a baby with a cold.)

  3. Meriwyn Former RSA

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2002
    star 4
    *raises hand* I got sick too.
  4. Darth_Glymmer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2002
    star 5
    It must have been going around because I got sick as well.
  5. Mirax H TFN Costumes Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 1999
    star 3
    Hubby and I are both coming down with something too, I figured I would due to lack of sleep and food.

    Those are all terrific suggestions and we adopted most of them with or group of 6. My husband even set me up for dissapointment but really the only thing I wanted to do but was unable was see Hayden and if I had really wanted to, I could have gotten in line. But there were other things I wanted to do rather than wait in line. But every major thing I wanted and wanted to see aside from that, I pretty much did. There is definitely strength in numbers. And patience is a virtue. I had nothing else I would rather be doing and SW is my passion so lines didn't bother me I was fully expecting them. Hubby got tierd of them but I'd have stood all day to see what I wanted to. One thing we'll do next time is all get 2 way radios. Our cell phones were terrible and didn't work most of the time.
  6. brokenyolk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2002
    star 2
    Sent an email off to WOTC yesterday outlining the problems I had with Celebration 2. I received this email today in response:

    ------------------------------

    Hello,

    First off, I want to thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback
    about the Star Wars Celebration. The feedback we get from attendees is vital in
    helping us evaluate how the show went and what kinds of improvements we can
    make. The staff has an after-show meeting in which we talk about everything that
    went right and wrong. Emails from attendees work well since we can print them
    out and share them with all the staff involved. Your points are valid and will
    be taken into consideration. Again, I appreciate your time.

    Thank you,

    Kristie Crawford

    Registration and Customer Service Manager

    -------------------------

    Anyone else receive this? I imagine it's just a form letter - but maybe they are willing to listen....

    Here's the email address if you don't already have it:

    evtcustserv@wizards.com
  7. Ep3Jedi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2002
    I received the EXACT same form letter from Wizards of the Coast. I specifically asked WoC for a personal reply, so it's ironic to see that they sent form letters to everyone who complained. I also asked them to forward my comments to Lucasfilm, who I also hold partially responsible.

    The people who sponsored this event are supposedly "experts" in the media and entertainment fields, and they have no execuses for the poor planning, inflated prices for EVERYTHING, and lack of accessibility for the fans (and SW Fan Club members). I did enjoy the few things I was able to do over the three days, but for what I paid, it was not worth it.

    I didn't have unrealistic expectations, but I did expect a more professional atmosphere and better access (large enough facilities) for the events. Lucasfilm, Wizards of the Coast, and C2 Autographs owe a MAJOR APOLOGY to everyone who attended and should offer a free rebate, movie tickets or something to compensate us.

    There is nothing worse than asking your fans to pay big bucks to celebrate your entertainment franchise and then taking advantage of them.

    For everyone who is saying how great Celebration II was...be honest. The experience of Star Wars activities and special guests was great, but that was A "GUARANTEED" GIVEN for the event. The overselling of tickets, poor and over-priced convention food, lack of figure selling rules, fan club snub, ridiculous ticket system, scandalously priced autographs, etc. -- these things were not expected by the fans and are inexecusable.

    The accountable parties (WoC, Lucasfilm, C2, etc.) need to communicate with everyone who attended and not just let this "blow over" and say "oh well." The event took advantage of fans and was an insult for the prices paid and effort to get (and stay) there. Period.
  8. Tremaniac Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 3
    Sadly, I've noticed some people catching a touch of Krytos. I would have to say that self quarentine would be very good to your fellow fans if you are sick. But I will say this much, at least this time out, IT'S NOT MY FAULT! I left NY with a clean bill of health!
  9. LadyAnakinSkywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2001
    star 4
    Well, I got sick and so did my father. We certainly thought it was from the fatigue, but obviously someone in the lines infected us all. ;)
  10. PadawanPadme Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Does anyone know how many people were in attendance for the weekend? ?[face_plain]
  11. zathraaas Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    Yes, our peak day, Saturday hit a little over 26,000. The daily average was a little over 24,000.

  12. Tremaniac Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 3
    I still didn't see this as being as big a letdown as the first one. I mean, sure not everyone got to do everything they wanted. And sure the price for passes was like double what it was last time. But overall I felt that because I was better prepared than last time, I ended up enjoying it more. Granted, this time I was also able to meet Rick McCallum, and last time all I got for my troubles was mud. I mean, who actually went to Indy expecting anything less than total Fandamonium? I guess my point is, we need to be better prepared as fans, then we can make our own luck when it comes to C3.
  13. TurtleK421 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2002
    A couple of comments from my point of view...

    It's really too bad that WOTC didn't/couldn't get halls A, B and C for the weekend, too. With those halls added, the archive exhibit, the art show and some of the other things that were set off into rooms scattered about the building would have allowed both more room and for more people to enjoy. Also please give us more than 10 feet for an aisle between dealers/exhibitors.

    A larger room for Trilogy in 30 Minutes. PLEASE!

    If WOTC is going to do C3 in Indy, please, please, please schedule it before the Indy 500 festivities start! Having the whole downtown shut off for a marathon on Saturday was a nightmare for many. I will add that have a line full of "geeks" heckling the athletes as they ran by was a wonderfully surreal moment!

    Instead of different color lanyards for members/non-members, how about different colored passes? Same designs but with different colored text and borders? And make it so that members have to pre-order to get their special pass.

    As for the figure problems, I have no ideas there. There are plenty of ways to handle it, but all that I can think of have ways to get around them as well...

    As far as the overpriced food, that's the convention center's doing... all of those concession stands were permenant fixtures of the building staffed by their people.

    Anybody got anything else to add?
  14. Mirax H TFN Costumes Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 1999
    star 3
    FREE BEER! That would certainly help :)
  15. Tremaniac Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 3
    Free Beer?!?!? Lets be rational. Do you think ANY city is ready for 60,000 trashed StarWars fans? I can see it now:
    1. Scattered Stormtrooper armor thrown about all over the downtown area.
    2. Anti Trek graffiti in the financial district.
    3. Overloaded hospitals filled with those who can't understand the Spoiler Free thing.
    4. Puke stained Wookie fur.
    5. The giant anti JarJar bonfire smack on the 50 yard line of the RCA dome.
    and
    6. The 50 foot statue raised in honor of everyones favorite hero, Vader!
  16. Mirax H TFN Costumes Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 1999
    star 3
    Now THAT sounds like a CELEBRATION to me!
  17. Tremaniac Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 3
    You know, you have a point.
  18. Mirax H TFN Costumes Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 1999
    star 3
    Maybe we should send this recomendation to WOTC!
  19. zathraaas Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    Free Beer... yeah, and you thought the Carrie Fisher line was long!!
  20. Tremaniac Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 3
    Actually, if possible, re config the water fountains to lite beer, and have staff walk around with the beer cases. Heck, give every StormTrooper a beer cap (can they get straws through the helmet? Or is that a mod that would have to be done?), and why not, even have non alocoholic for DDs and kids. Set up designated puking areas for amatures and let the party commence!
  21. vadersfist Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2001
    star 2
    Tremaniac... I believe I met you.

    Whatchoo look like??
  22. Tremaniac Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 3
    I was the guy with glasses. Strangely enough, I was the only person in my group to have them. I was also the guy who couldn't get Rancor Bait as my name on the fan force tag (Thanks Moff!!!). But seriously, I was like right behind you in the concert ticket line, I was there the whole time.
  23. vadersfist Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2001
    star 2
    Yeah, ok. Ball cap right?

    And what's the deal with "Rancor Bait"? Why couldn't you use it...?
  24. MrsStrahd Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2002
    star 1
    Another suggestion: bring your own food and drink. It's not just Celebration. *All* convention food is overpriced. While I was pleased to see that the price gouging for food wasn't as bad as at other conventions, I was nonetheless prepared with a stockpile of powerbars and bottled water.
  25. Tremaniac Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 3
    Yup, that was me sporting the Brooklyn Cyclones hat. I couldn't get the Rancor Bait moniker because El Moffo Grande insisted we use real names on the badges. What was he thinking?!?
    I wholeheartedly agree about the food and drink thing. The only reason I didn't was because alot of areas here have a ban on backpacks of any type, and security takes a dim view of bringing external food in (Both Yankee and Shea Stadium enforced). If C3 is anything like this one, I'll definately be bringing my own stash in. $2.50 for a soda, well, at least it was cheaper than going to a ballpark. Not by much though.
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