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Suggestions for C3 -- NO WHINING

Discussion in 'FanForce Conventions' started by MOJEDI, May 7, 2002.

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    MOJEDI Jedi Youngling

    Jan 1, 2002
    ALLOW PREORDERS. Preorder your intended purchases in advance. You preorder your stuff, WOTC sends you a voucher.(They can surely figure out a way to handle it.)You are guaranteed that all the items you want will be available. Go to the store and pick up your stuff, and yes, you only get two J. Sacul action figures or whatever. No preorder, no voucher, no action figure.
    (No cheating, no long lines. Too bad for you dealers.)This would also help Wizards get an idea of how much stuff they need to order from their vendors. (They are still trying to unload some of C1 stuff that the other guys over-ordered.)

    Sign up in advance. You want to go to the Opening Ceremonies? See Carrie Fisher? OK, Wizards, next time, ask us in advance and let us sign up and send me a ticket that guarantees entry instead of making us wait in line to see if it's our lucky day. Or be smart and assume that EVERYONE wants to go to the Opening Ceremonies and and ensure that there is enough room for all of us. Utilize the big stadium room if you have to. Charge more if necessary. Yes, there will still be some lines -- but only for good seating. If it takes too long to seat 30 thousand people, put us in a big area where we can just stand.

    Assume that EVERYONE wants to see the props. Anybody been to the Magic of Myth? You get tickets in advance for a specific time. 30 minutes in line, max. Let us sign up in advance, or even at C3 for a specific time for entry.

    Sell three day passes only. Better yet, make it a four day con. Members only. Too bad for the locals and their baby strollers. Sell fewer passes, charge more.

    Other ideas?

  2. Hoth_pants

    Hoth_pants Jedi Youngling star 1

    Sep 10, 2001
    wow, you are solution oriented, this is great. I'll make some suggestions when i have more time, but was so glad to see NO WHINING I had to post, all the other threads are inundated by the official pi$$-and-moan-about-everything club.
  3. RishOutfield

    RishOutfield Jedi Youngling

    Feb 21, 2002
    You're right, there's been far too much whining. Sure there was a lot that didn't go right, but hey, I count myself supremely blessed to have been able to attend.

    As far as the next one goes, they need to continue with the improvements over the '99 Celebration, and fix the problems they saw with this one. Certainly they couldn't have forseen them until they happened (unless Yoda works for Wizards of the Coast).

    One thing, though: I think they should have gone longer on Sunday. It didn't even feel like a full day, you know? Perhaps a fourth day would be better, or maybe just a couple more hours each day, to give everybody more choices. Also, on the really big shows (Carrie Fisher, Opening Ceremonies, Hayden, the surprise visit by Peter Cushing, etc.), they need to schedule multiple shows, like they did with the McCallum Extravaganza, to give everyone a chance to see the shows they wanted.
  4. DEWGOD01

    DEWGOD01 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Mar 30, 2002
    Suggestions for C3, well to begin with I think a fourth day would have litterally killed me. Only getting 9 hours of sleep total from Thursday till Sunday made me sick as a dog. But, that's not whining because I loved every minute, every line and every new person I got a chance to bounce various Star Wars topics off of. As far a changing stuff for C3, I believe the lines should be handled like they do in a Fry's Electronics. If you don't have one near by and have no idea what I'm talking about I'll explain. You have one long line everyone stands in (nothing new there as you can see) but instead of having individual secondary lines you have a row of cashiers with one person at the head of the line directing traffic. Give all the cashiers a sign or a flag to wave when the person they are helping is done and gone. When a flag is waved the person in charge of the line sends the next person to that cashier. Then we don't have the problem of the shortest line taking 45 minutes because the person in front of it doesn't know what they want. I would like to suggest limit the passes, but even for the fans unless it's by the fans it's all about money and they will never do that. Better displays of signs and directions to where lines are formed and more barriers between lines would be excellent. And one more small suggestion would be to have a sign out in front of the store with a list of stuff that is sold out so people don't have to wait in line for three hours just to be told that it's not in stock. It seemed alot of the stuff that turned out to be good ideas were a stopgap to the overwhelming number of people. Reservation tickets for the concert were a great idea but should have been instituted in the beginning, thus limiting the number of people in the hall that held not only the Concert Tickets, but Carrie Fisher and the Store as well. But beyond that I think the only other thing would be either making the security people better informed as to what is going on or making more information kiosks available for people to ask questions.

    P.S. - My friend just suggested them having an idea of how many seats are in each venue and then capping the line off after that number is reached, but that would also fall under ticket distribution I believe but something that I think should be mentioned.
  5. ObiWanJane

    ObiWanJane Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 19, 1999
    A punch card system would help reduce problems associated with the action figure fiasco. Hearing stories about how people got right back in line to buy two more figures (over and over) really piss me off! Punching someone's bagde for each purchase would help -- or perhaps a hand stamp would be better (since you could always use someone else's badge to go back and buy more figures). But just enforcing the rules would have been nice at C2, huh?

    If they expected 14,000 at C1 and got 40,000 -- wouldn't you want to plan for A LOT MORE PEOPLE at C2? If you think 40,000 might come, plan for 60,000 to be safe.

    And yes, this was supposed to be for THE FANS. Funny, it didn't feel like that to me.
  6. Bruno_Fett

    Bruno_Fett Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 31, 2002
    Ok, I vote for MOJEDI to organize CIII rather than WOTC!!!

    Seriously this is the forum I have been waiting to get going, There is another thread about contacting WOTC with greivances, thats good, BUT we need to offer possible and realistic solutions to the problems that we in the treanches saw at CII.

    The whole pre-selling tickets to events is the best idea I have heard yet. Not on a first come first serve basis like things turned into upsairs. I only made it upstairs to the concert on saturday night the whole weekend. Why? Cause I had a ticket to it! They dont have to wait to pre-sell tix at the con either. That way if they sell out they can add another show with the same actors.

    Video monitors, another great idea through out the center. I stood in line for 8 hours to see Carrie, now I am not complaining at all that was nothing just to see her beautiful smile live and up close. However, I could have easily watched the entire 6 hours of Star Wars in Pop Culture during that time instead of staring at the empty Fan Club Lounge across the hall. I know monitors spread out through out the con would create other traffic problems, and I am sure as far as closed-circuiting events as they are happening creates concerns for the "no-Photo" rules these are just suggestions.

    My final idea, make CIII a full week. Yes I felt I should have been carted out on a stretcher by sunday afternoon, but hey its Star Wars and I cant get enough of it.
  7. aaron011

    aaron011 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Mar 31, 2002
    I agree with everything mojedi said except one.

    "Sell three day passes only. Better yet, make it a four day con. Members only. Too bad for the locals and their baby strollers. "

    I am a local here in Indy and not a fan club member. To say that I couldn't come to a celebration because I'm not a fan club member would've really pissed me off. What was it that being a fan club member got you at C2? Not much. Most of the money spent at C2 was by your average JOE. That was apparent with how many people attended.

    I had a great time ; got 2 figures ; saw Rick Spec ; and saw Warrick Davis. I only had a Sat pass. Yes it was crowded and everyone didn't get what they wanted, but whose fault is that?

    Here's some suggestions.

    More convention space; More activities ; More days; More signs; Just More!!! Not less. Celebration, not private party. A lot of good being a fan club member was, huh?
  8. Fluke_Groundrunner

    Fluke_Groundrunner Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 1, 2001
    I think they could use the space better next time. For example, if they know there is going to be a long line for something, rope off a designated line about 5 feet wide and put a sign on the rope every 20 feet that says the event name, "Celebration Store". This will keep the middle of the hallway open for people to walk along without having to stop and ask what each line is for. Now that I think about it, they should hold the autograph section in a room that is connected to the outside. That way, people could line up on the sidewalks and not cramp the convention center waiting for an autograph. Once they get into the room and get their autographs, they could go straight into the convention center.
  9. mgibson

    mgibson Jedi Youngling star 1

    Apr 10, 2002
    FANTASTIC board. Everything discussed above was gone over by our little group during the entire weekend. In defense of C2, Saturday was a marketedly better experience than Friday...where I was about to go mad with frustration...and Sunday was pure gravy. I definitely got my money's worth but there is scads of room for improvement. Here are my suggestions:

    1) Employ a knowledgable staff! NO ONE that I spoke with knew anything about the show, schedule, guests, nada. Even if the staff didn't know the answer to a question, they should know where to direct people to get the answer. Staffers didn't even have copies of the schedule in their pocket. Sheesh.

    2) Employ EFFECTIVE crowd management people. Most of the problem with the lines is that the sheep (me included) were allowed to make up the lines themselves and they went everywhere. This was the case both inside and out. Crowd management staffers should have grabbed the bull by the horns and directed traffic instead of standing there doing nothing except looking tough. I found MYSELF directing traffic when I was in a line running perpendicular to the top of the staircase.

    3) Hold the big events in a larger venue. The bloody RCA Dome stood empty when it could have been a fantastic opening ceremony/McCallum spectacular venue. The main ballroom was fine for some events but woefully inadequate for the biggies. The acoustics were horrible for the 25th Anniversary concert...but at least I got in after two hours in line.

    4) Stagger the events better and allow for multiple viewings. Denver was wet and miserable but if I didn't get to see something on Friday, I was able to catch it on Saturday or even Sunday. I know that with some guests this isn't possible due to time constraints but most of the guests at C2 were there the entire weekend. I missed out on the "Archeology" show with David Reynolds because there ended up only being ONE show after the web site listed two. ARGH!

    5) Better sign design. Did ANYONE find the signage easy to read? Or even to find? Wow.

    6) Own up to responsibilities. The fan club lounge was promoted to feature food, drinks, video, etc. We got an empty room instead. If WOTC is going to offer up something to the fan club members, then they need to live up to their end of the bargain. On a similar note...

    7) Feature REAL fan club benefits. An hour early? How about an entire day to ourselves? If WOTC isn't going to feature a membership kit, they could at least make the $30 membership fee WORTH SOMETHING. Besides, no one at the entrance was checking for fan club lanyards and no one even questioned me about getting my lanyard after only stating that I was a member.

    8) Check passes at the door. After waiting 90 minutes to get in to the building, we shouldn't have to wait AGAIN while troopers in helmets they can't see out of check passes a second time! ARGH!

    9) Merchandise vouchers. I can't believe that this won't be instituted at C3. The C2 store was an absolute joke and a real headache-inducer for those that only wanted a t-shirt. Doll sales should have been a wholly separate enterprise from everything else from what I saw and heard about it. Along with this, if fans wanted merchandise and it was gone they then had to pitch in an additional 15%. Gimme a break.

    10) BETTER MERCHANDISE. A velcro-backed hat with an IRON-ON PATCH for $18?!? Most of the product had no date or location to mark the event! Where is the embroidery?!? And those polos were the cheapest JCPenney brands I've ever seen. Bloody extortion. Who the hell designs these things?

    11) REAL digital film presentations. Did anyone catch the movie screenings on Friday or Saturday night? Banding and ghosting were all over those films and I only saw TPM...I can only imagine what the VHS copies looked like. This was hilarious considering that Rick was preaching the benefits of digital systems in movie houses.

    12) Better trooper manners. I know it was in the spirit of the films...but if I got told to "move along" one more time that w
  10. ObiWanJane

    ObiWanJane Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 19, 1999
    I see a lot of people suggesting using the RCA Dome -- but I'm not convinced that's run by the same people. I dunno, maybe it is. But imagine having to clean that place after three days of us (and baby strollers)?! And there could be liability issues about that venue we don't know about.

    Still, the exhibitors' area could have been spaced out more to make for wider aisles. I thought I'd suffocate! Bleh!

  11. craigrr

    craigrr Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 8, 1999
    My only suggestions are to allow order forms for the merch. The black shirt I wanted sold out by around 2pm on Friday, at least in XL and XXL. That was the one I really wanted. That and the 25th Anniversary poster were my 2 real big wants. Missed out on both. If I'd know the poster was a limited edition items, I'd have gone to the store much earlier. The other thing is only sell so many passes. Have a cut off date say 3 or 4 weeks before with a limited number available at the door each day.

    One other thing, get rid of the toy scalpers altogether. Allow the official liscencees to sell stuff, but either get rid of the other vendors completely or at least put them in a seperate hall.
  12. RocketX

    RocketX Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jan 24, 2002
    Organizers need some help with managing large crowds. Wizardworld, HeroCon, DragonCon, and Fan Fair all do good jobs with managing large numbers of people. Prior to Celebration 3 they need to contact someone professional and get some hints and organization.

    Hours. 10am to 6pm seems short. I think the lines could have been alleviated if the day was stretched out more, like 9 to 9. Amen to the idea of a day for fan club members only! How about FanForce members only!

    T-shirt booths needed to be all over the Convention center instead of just one area.

    Wanting everyone to go in one door. They would only open 3 of the 6 doors on the 500 ballroom. Why? You can only go in one way, open all 7 doors. When we saw Rick McKellum a lady was almost trampled cause everyone rushed the single open door.

    Entry. I bought my ticket months in advance, why are we all waiting in a single line outside? There are doors all over the Convention center open them all. Check tickets as you enter the show or dealer hall.

    Exhibit hall. Way too small. There were 3 other halls as large as the 1 the dealers were in. Open it up and make extremely wide isles. People were shoplifting from the Suncoast booth so bad that they had to close the isle behind their area.

    Tickets/Will call area. Why did they not use the Colts ticket booth? It is designed for lots of people. That would have kept that large crowd out of the main area.

    Signage. I was lost most of the time.

    The Good (Do not change anything!)
    Speakers. WOW! They were all great.

    The digital theater presentations of the movies and previews.

    Exhibit hall. It was nice to see a good variety of different dealers.

    The 501st. They were friendly and helpful, even after they took the brunt from angry fans because of the incompatance of organizers.

    Freebies. Wow, what a haul of stuff. From posters to hats. All the free books from Suncoast was?(just kidding)

    Overall, I had a good time, but there were problems. I hope they can overcome some of these issues and keep having shows. Unfortunately, I think they will ignore the concerns, have C3 and be done with it. Anyone remember the big Star trek conventions Paramount use to sponsor?

    I second the nomination for MOJEDI to organize the next one!!

  13. MaximusVader

    MaximusVader Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 16, 2001
    It all boils down to one thing...RESPECT.

    I saw little to no respect for the fans displayed by the Wizards staff or the staff of the convention center. Too many times I saw or heard of situations where fans were disregarded and ignored when serious concerns were being voiced. I didn't ask one question all weekend that got a satisfactory answer. And nine times out of ten any answer that I did get was either barked at me or thrown off in a nonchalant manner. The people working the C2 autograph booth were a joke. More than once I saw the actor's agents out there managing the lines that were out of control. Where were the people from C2? I did see a couple of people on Sunday that claimed to work for Ben from C2, but they were both out of their minds trying to figure out how to handle the situations with the different lines. They came up with a number system that ended up pissing off more people than helped.

    But again...respect. To WotC, we should be looked at more than just fans. We should be regarded as consumers. Customers purchasing their products and services. But too many times during the weekend I felt that because the product/service that was being purchased was Star Wars, the attitude was that there will always be someone there to take the place of anyone who got fed up with the treatment. From a customer service standpoint, that is just sickening.

    And that is why you NEED to let WotC and LFL know how you feel. Threads such as this are well and good. But if you are just talking to eachother and not getting these things voiced to the people in a position to change them, then what is the point? Anyone with eyes, ears or any other senses could tell what the problems with Celebration II were. After reading this board the past 24 hours, the same things are coming up again, again, and again. And any of those problems can be solved by WotC learning that we as fans will not stand for this kind of treatment.

    Everyone had fun at the Celebration. At one time or another during this past weekend, no matter how pissed you may have been at any one aspect of the organization of WotC, you had to admit that you were impressed by this or that item at the event. So a good event was "planned". WotC simply dropped the ball in the execution department. And unfortunately, they stepped on a lot of emotions in the process.

    Let them know how you feel. We all already know.
  14. ElegantWeapon

    ElegantWeapon Jedi Youngling star 1

    Nov 27, 2001
    In response to Maximus, I emailed the event customer service people of WotC. Their email is on the celebration II website. I never got a response, but what could it hurt?
    I gave them my view of what was good and not so good for C2.
  15. Mirax H

    Mirax H TFN Costumes Staff star 3 VIP

    Aug 16, 1999
    This is a great thread. I want to write a nice letter to Wizards first and thank them for a great weekend. Then after all the complainers have written to them just to complain, I'd like to write a nice letter with constructive criticism with real solutions. There are some great ones here:

    I heard the punch card idea at convention to prevent people from getting more figures than allowed.

    Video screens to show the talks that you can't get into or while waiting in line for something else is great.

    The RCA dome should be used if financially feasable to house the big star presentations. Then Sagamore could have been used instead of Ballroom 500 for those events.

    They needed lines roped off with more barricades like at Disney World so they could tell where the front and where the back of the line was.

    Presell the events rather than having to stand in line with the hopes of getting in and have assigned seating rather than general admission would have eliminated 90% of the lines.

    A cut off date for registration, not selling tickets on site. Just way too many people.

    Utilize the 3 other exhibit halls they had. Could have put the autograph area in one of them, had a second store in another, and food stands in the third.

    I don't think another day would have done it cause they would have just sold that many more tickets unless they again limited the numbers of people and then kept repeating the presentations.

    The Hasbro area could have had 3 of those boxes that were the same to get your pic taken in as an action figure.

    The only thing I didn't have to wait for which surprised the heck out of me is the women's bathroom! That's a first at such a big event. Everyone was too busy standing in line everywhere else.
  16. DerthNader

    DerthNader Jedi Knight star 5

    Feb 25, 2001
    I have one very constructive suggestion...

    Don't hold a third convention.
  17. MaximusVader

    MaximusVader Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 16, 2001
    You're going to write WotC and THANK them?

    If there is anyone to thank for the weekend, I would thank either George Lucas, any of the actors or behind the scenes people that showed up, or any of your fellow fans like the 501st that really made the weekend great in the face of all of the CRAP that was WotC's fault. The only thing I thank WotC for is letting me know that I don't need to be a fan club member to enjoy the privledges of membership next time around.

    Maybe I should write them a thank you on that one.
  18. Bruno_Fett

    Bruno_Fett Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 31, 2002
    "I'd like to write a nice letter with constructive criticism with real solutions" Great Comment! This is the only way we (as fans) can have any real say. For me, the good far outweighed the bad, it wasnt a perfect weekend, but I had the time of my life regardless. And that will definitely be a large part of my letter to WOTC, followed by concerns, and then possible suggestions.

    I have heard numerous mentions from people as to using the RCA dome. Bad idea, first off I dont think the Colts would like us trapsing all over their turf. If more room was needed, there was plenty. Just take out your little convention map and look at the large area with the big X through it just to the left of the exhibit area. those are exhibit halls A, B, and C (about the same square footage as the RCA Dome if the map is to scale). The facilities didnt need more room, WOTC was just too cheap to rent it out, or perhaps there was something else going on there we were unaware of.

    just my 2 cents
  19. DarthBrian

    DarthBrian Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 9, 2002
    I suggest holding it in a place that can hold 50,000+ people: San Diego Convention Center.
    It's huuuuuuuuuuuuuge!!!
  20. Sabersparx

    Sabersparx Jedi Youngling star 1

    May 7, 2002
    Maybe they can get C3 RIGHT.

    C1- Rain
    C2- BS
    C3- ?

    C2 was awesome though. I loved every bit of it. It was too unorganized though, and most of the celebs I met were very stubborn and acted like they weren't having fun. The only people there that showed me respect was Rick McCallum, Nick Gillard, and Hayden. Everyone else, including Billy Dee and Carrie Fisher, just acted like they were like on thier monthly period or something. Carrie Fisher acted like a total b*tch.

    Maybe at C3, the celebs will respect thier fans and at least act happy.

    I lost respect for about 10 actors/actresses I used to really like. Bonnie Piesse and Warwick Davis were really nice to me, as well. But that was the extent of 'niceness.' Even most of the fans there acted mean.

    Where's the love people?
  21. tionnesharp

    tionnesharp Jedi Youngling star 1

    Feb 25, 2002
    If you're going to add a fourth day, why not make it the afternoon and evening before. Every other convention I've been to does this. It allows most people to register then and get down to business the next day. No waiting around. And if there's any fan club business or other organizational items to be settled, it's done and over with before the real fun begins!
  22. CreatureCreator

    CreatureCreator Jedi Youngling star 2

    Mar 31, 2001
    Here's my 2 cents worth:

    1. I like the idea already posted about having Member presale. This would eliminate half the crowd and insure that members actually get a benefit. Then everybody else would have to fight crowds for items. If we had the store out of the way, we could then concentrate on the shows.

    2. Have Member's only shows first for the suspected HOT TICKETS. In other words, there would be 1 - 2 intro shows where you had to have a lanyard, one or 2 digital shows requiring lanyards, etc. Each member would receive one ticket for each hot show and be able to attend with ticket and lanyard. Non-members would have to wait until we got done. That's fair because we paid the $30 for the benefit and we would have our timetable laid out for us.

    3. SIGNS, SIGNS, SIGNS. Everything should be clearly labelled. I heard horror stories about people waiting in the wrong lines or going to the wrong places. Also, I agree that very few knew what was up. I heard that WOTC turned down the event coordinator for the Indiana convention Center. You really need somebody who knows how to handle huge events running something like this.

    4. Star Wars Only vendors. How many people came to the Celebration to buy a Batleth? Plus, if the special figures, etc. showed up in the booth, automatic ejection from the show. I heard that WOTC sent flyers to everybody to sell space. What a load.

    5. The Autographs should all be handled by pre-order. One of the coolest things about Celebration 1 was that you never knew who you'd run into walking around. I met Warwick Davis, Jake Lloyd, Ahmed Best, Ray Park, Rick McCallum, Doug CHiang, and practically everybody else becuase they were walking around in the crowd like the rest of us. I got a bunch of autographs as well without having to pay $15 each for them. Not that I begrudge them the mony, but it looked like a prison ward with people visiting the prisoners and you hardly ever saw anybody on the floor.

    6. It would've been nice to have a PA system that announced upcoming events on the hour or something like that.
  23. MOJEDI

    MOJEDI Jedi Youngling

    Jan 1, 2002
    First of all, I think that Wizards did a pretty good job, and it was not my intention to put them down in any way. The purpose of this forum is not to criticize Wizards, but to help them make it better for all of us next we ALL get that action figure and the XL t-shirt we wanted so badly.

    My idea of eliminating the one-day passes was a bad one. Sorry, aaron011, I agree with your comment.

    Make it a 4 day con. Sell three day passes, but you can use them only three of the four days. This would knock out about 20% of the crowd on any given day.

    Put the autograph area in a more dignified location. The celebs should have been in a nicer area with carpeting and softer lighting, instead of the concrete floor. This could have accounted for the few instances of grumpiness.

    Pretape or tape and reshow some of the presentations, and show them continuously in a separate room. Could Rick's Spectacular have been shown like this? I don't know, we did not get in.

    Have the big headliners early in the morning so the time in line is shorter. OR, better yet, seat people an hour early and run some other tapes. Entertain us while we wait. The Sagamore was empty Sunday morning with Nick Gillard's presentation because we were all in line for Carrie.

    Keep the Archive room open later (till 10:00?)

    More ideas anyone?
  24. MOJEDI

    MOJEDI Jedi Youngling

    Jan 1, 2002
  25. Kenneth-Morgan

    Kenneth-Morgan Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jul 6, 2000
    I'd like to offer two suggestions, both related to lines:

    First, set up signs indicating what each line is for. More than once, I got on line only to find out it wasn't the line I wanted. If not signs, perhaps a staff member going by every few minutes telling everyone, "This is the line for (fill in the blank)."

    Second, set up a policy as to when a line for a specific event may form. Something like, "The line for (fill in the blank) will begin forming one hour before the event begins." That way, attendees don't have to fell they need to get in line three hours before an event in order to ensure attendance.

    I have other idea, but those are the two main ones. Actually, things weren't all that bad. I've seen worse.

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