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The Official Celebration Horror Stories... post/complain here.

Discussion in 'Star Wars Celebrations' started by sonofsidds, Apr 22, 2005.

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  1. Go-Mer-Tonic

    Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 1999
    Hear Hear.

    Your focus determines your reality.

    When I signed up for the 501st party on Saturday, I had no idea that proceeds were going to such a noble cause.

    When I heard about Kisses for Katie, I just teared right up. One of the many times over the course of the convention where I had to wipe my eyes, simply because I was so moved by the collective compassion of all the SW fans from all over the world.

    I was amazed how smoothley all the lines went as long as they were. The line to get into the C at C party was done without any ropes or dividers, and everyone managed to pull it off without any problems.

    While no longer at the end of the new version of ROTJ, I think the old Ewok song really sums up what Star Wars is all about.

    Celebrating the Love.

    This convention rekindled my faith in mankind.
     
  2. ardavenport

    ardavenport Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2004
    I don't have any bad horror stories because I'd pre-planned ahead of time to skip all the big-name guest events, where I knew the worst lines would be. I wasn't interested in the store, so I never got near that either.

    But the long lines to get in....that's just unacceptable. There ARE large trade shows out there that you have to pay to get into and they manage to get things going without leaving most of the attendees outside waiting to get in for hours.
     
  3. Qonas

    Qonas Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 12, 2003
    I have basically the same story as most other people. On Thursday, us members of the R2-Detroit fanforce group lined up in the fan club line for early entry. We were up on the platform right next to the steps. The line starts moving, and we get in. Immediately, those of us concerning about getting the Vader figures out of the way make a beeline for the store. We end up at the end of the roped-off line area inside the store itself, and proceed to endure the most painful, boring, insipid, and downright anger-inducing 8 hours of my life. Because of GenCon's complete inability to run a frickin' gift store, I missed the interview with Ian MacDiarmid. Because of GenCon's stupidity, hunger gnawed at me for most of the day as people were not allowed to leave the line to go grab food and when a vendor cart was finally brought in, it was brought to only one quadrant of the various lines and cashiers. Because of GenCon's idiocy, the Vader figures did not sell out and now the supposed C3 exclusive will now be available to those who could not make the trip. Because of GenCon, the figure I own now has less value because they can be simply bought by the general public.

    Thanks GenCon.
     
  4. JediEd

    JediEd Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Star Wars fans have been Gen-Conned. Prior to Celebration Three I had high hopes that lessons had been learned from the ill-planned disaster of gridlock known as Celebration Two. First, it was obvious from the experience of C-2 that the ENTIRE facility would be needed--including the stadium. Why was the entire convention center not rented FROM THE BEGINNING? It is no excuse that the stadium could not be had late in the game. Forethought would have mandated that even if George Lucas had not come, some big name would attend, and stadium seating would be needed to seat tens of thousands. Moreover, under-the-stadium passages could have been used for pre-admission lines OUT OF THE WEATHER. It seems obvious that the complex must have a professionsal management staff that handles large crowds on a regular basis. Why was their expertise in crowd management not utilized? Surely we will not hear an excuse that Gen-Con could not afford to rent the stadium or hire professional planners when the event raked in millions. Who at Gen-Con will take credit for brilliant idea that ten of thousands of fans should be forced into a virtual, single-file line and made to enter the event through one door! Has any reader of this commentary ever attended even a church social where the entire group was force-marched through one opening, let alone an event of tens of thousands? This absurdity created a huge artificial bottleneck and forced people to stand in the rain and cold for hours when utilization of existing multiple entrances and hallways could have avoided the entire problem. The one-entrance approach also negated the promise to fan club members that they be admitted one hour before the general public. Gen-Con's "planners" created massive lines who were exposed to the elements with no available food, water or facilities (not even the infamous portajohns). Even small children, persons with health conditions and elderly persons were forced to suffer these conditions. Their only hope for relief was to reach the end of the infamous line. Gen-Con knew the numbers because they had the registration figures (one could tell because of the length of the railings they erected). Yet Gen-Con's Big Brains could not conceive of any alternative plans for easier access to the convention center. Who at Gen-Con will accept a gold medal for planning to serve tens of thousands of fans at the store with 20-30 untrained clerks? Gen-Con had to know that this was a guarantee for disaster. It simply was impossible to serve a huge body of customers with so few clerks. Did anyone crunch the numbers in advance? 30,000 plus divided by 30 clerks multiplied by 5-10 minutes per sale is how much? Someone made a fortune on exclusive product sales into the millions of dollars, but an experienced and adequate sales staff with sufficient cash registers could not have been hired? Give me a break! And what major domo conceived of the "hunt-and-search for the order" method used, something right out of the mom and pop store days. Surely a consultant from Wal-Mart of elsewhere could have been hired to install efficiencies, but I suppose this might have cut into someone's profit margin. Gen-Con's genius for organization robbed the fans of hours of precious time that could have been used enjoying the convention and robbed many fans of ever buying even one exclusive product. Large conventions have been common in this country for a long time. Properly run, they can be truly enjoyable. The key is professional planning and organization. In this regard, Gen-Con, like Jar-Jar, is clueless.
     
  5. ben_ethus

    ben_ethus Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 17, 2001
    Greetings, blokes.

    The one and only bad thing that happened that I can really complain about was that on the second day while waiting in line outside in the pouring rain, my digital camera got soaked inside the bookbag we had it in, completely ruining it, preventing me from scoring any pictures of the entire convention.

    If only we'd had an umbrella... :(

    Sad that my camera is now broken,
    Yours Truly

     
  6. Elysia

    Elysia Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Nov 19, 2001
    First of all I want to say hello to all the great people I met. I went to C2, my first con ever.

    This time I volunteered for Official Pix and a few hours at the Fan Force table. I had a blast doing that and told Anne I wished I had volunteered for more.

    I did not get to everything I wanted to, but went to some things that I was surprised and happy with.

    Did notice that with the Fan Club Lounge, no one was there to check for "fan club only" people and anyone was going in.

    I was also in the Droid Hunt and thanks to the 501st for a fun time. Who could of known how many people would be involved in it?

    I seem to remember at C2, that they had a table outside of the store selling figures for cash only. I have to agree the store could of been handled a little better.

    So as I told some of my new friends, 5 days of from work and surrounded by Star Wars - what could be better.
     
  7. Arsinoe

    Arsinoe Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 24, 1999
    First off...the Store. I think the only way this could have been improved was with the sale of the Vader figures with your ticket at the point of purchase - then claiming your figures when you picked up your badge. That method might have been much easier on everyone.

    As for everything else...I am a member of the Rebel Legion and was a costumed volunteer at C3. Even though I got to deal with my fair share of grumpy people in the lines, I got more nice words than nasty ones. I had some wonderful conversations with people all over the convention as I worked lines, guarded doors or loaded rooms. And yes, I worked the Lucas lines too. I was in my full Jedi costume - wool robe included. Sometimes I was out in the rain, other times under the Hyatt overhang. I ended up smelling like a wet dog by the end of it all. At least I was warmer than the poor 501st guys in their buckets.

    Another potential horror story that had a happy ending... Friday morning after the RL photo out in the rain but before the main con opened I had lost the small bag I carried my id/money/inhaler in. I was unsuccessfully scrambling to locate a locker for the rest of my stuff before my shift started. But some absolutely wonderful person found the bag and handed it in to the volunteer both. Many grateful thanks to who ever my rescuer was!
     
  8. queenseamstress

    queenseamstress TFN Costumes Staff star 3 VIP

    Registered:
    Jan 30, 2002
    One of the reasons there was no one checking lanyards at the fan club lounge like there was at CII was because of the small amount of volunteers vs the enormous crowds. Volunteers and 501st were placed at more important places such as guarding the archives doors, and ushering events with celebrities.
     
  9. BobaChris12

    BobaChris12 NE RSA & North Ridge VP star 9 Manager

    Registered:
    Aug 30, 2002
    The lanyard idea was a joke, as were the friends and family passes. What benefit did you have to lining up, and getting in an hour early. Anyone could get in even without the lanyard. The only concern from the people at the doors was that you had a badge!

    The temps at the CIII store were horrible. Enough people have already expressed their feelings on the matter and I agree 100%. Perhaps more registers and more runners would have eliminated some of the stress as would pre-orders from badge holders.

    I can't complain about seeing George. We decided to go in later because everyone wanted to get in to see him. As we walked inthe door at 10am, we were handed wrist bands to see him.

    Here is an idea for anyone who wants to pose in their costume and those who want to take pictures....DON'T STOP IN THE MIDDLE. There were ample places that were set back that would be better for everyone to keep the flow going and give you room to get your pictures.
     
  10. Azeem

    Azeem TFN Staff, Manager Emeritus star 4 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 12, 1999
    Come back for GenCon Indy in August. You'll see the kind of convention that GenCon runs when it makes the decisions.

    GenCon did make some mistakes but the planning, organization, and results are the exact same as Celebration I and II. I would look at the common involvement in all three cons.
     
  11. Skywalk272

    Skywalk272 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 16, 2000
    Arisino,

    Were you the blond Jedi Walking up and don the seating rows at the shows? Looking like you were seriously expecting some pesky Sith to try somehthing if that was you :)

    think the only way this could have been improved was with the sale of the Vader figures with your ticket at the point of purchase - then claiming your figures when you picked up your badge. That method might have been much easier on everyone.

    Great Idea..I kind of assumed this is how it would be, but it was not. I figured I didn't get one because I was late and didnt bother, but it turned out that it was a thorn in everyone's side.

     
  12. Ewok_Commando

    Ewok_Commando Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 28, 2004
    I didn't really understand the lines waiting to get into the convention. Just go at 9 or 10 through the skywalk entrance and you just walk right in. You don't even have to go outside if you park in the Circle City Mall parking garage or stay in one of the nearby, connected hotels.
     
  13. Iwakura

    Iwakura Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 2, 2001
    the problems that arose for me were more because of the weather. i hated the store line and what not and i even opted out of george lucas to wait in it (i feel like it was kind of crazy to do that, but can't change it now, so oh well).

    the weather really brought me down. i didn't pack a winter coat since i'm only one state away from indiana and it was 80 degrees last week. so that made me not want to walk around at night and see what everyone was up to. so other than the actual con events, i didn't really do anything (save for sun. night when i went out to dinner w/ a friend and walked around since it got a little warmer). my poor friend was so cold in line sat. morning she was about to cry. i started to get a sore throat on saturday night at c @ c3 and woke up w/ a horrible cold on sunday morning.
     
  14. jediseanUF

    jediseanUF Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Mar 2, 2005
    A couple of lowlights

    Rain on Fri, nothing anyone could do about it, but hey how about opening up the doors a couple of min early when you see inclement weather coming.

    Line jumper at the entrance after waiting in the rain. Biker scout at the door just shrugged and the people did not even bother checking badges as people came in.

    C3 store- Never went the direct line, got lucky in the re-order line and scored 2 vaders from the register next to it.

    Gen Con goon at the store on fri saying "we screwed up, we thought only 7000 people would try and buy stuff"...how idiotic do you have to be?

    The fact that the exhibitors and VIPs got their stuff early and in more quantity. I was having a real problem with the markups at the exhibitor hall, and the fact that these same people could go in early to stock up is really kind of a slap in the face to the fans.

    Azeem...I have never been to Gen Con, but my understanding is that the crowd dynamics are very different, much more room space for games where people are playing, not as much wandering and buying. Also the commone element in all 3 celebrations is GREED.

    Gen con had ample chances to pre plan this party better, from limiting the intial sales, to planning more inventory, to hiring more security and experienced workers. But instead they relied on over worked and undertrained volunteers, crammed as many people as they could under existing laws for fire safety, and decieded to underorder merchandise to make sure that they sold everything and did not have any losses on inventory, even if it meant unhappy fans. They are a business and are supposed to make money, but if this is the way they are making their money we should defintely make it known that we do not appreciate being used like this
     
  15. queenseamstress

    queenseamstress TFN Costumes Staff star 3 VIP

    Registered:
    Jan 30, 2002
    I stated my thoughts as a volunteer at CIII in my earlier posts. All I have to add is that if everyone was so concerned over the fact that there needed to be more lines opened, and more volunteers working the store-as short handed as we were all you needed to do was go up the the Volunteer area and sign up. We could have used you.

     
  16. spooky-kid

    spooky-kid Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 17, 2003
    to many people, they shouldn't have sold more than 20,000 passes. lines lines lines...

    it should've been 5 or 6 days. So much I didn't get to do.
     
  17. Leia214

    Leia214 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Oct 24, 2004
    My biggest complaint would be the nastiness of some people in the autograph hall while I was working. While doing crowd control and trying to keep people in order near Matthew Woods and Ray Park, people were just downright ugly with their comments to me. I volunteered my time as a fan and did not expect fellow "fans" (I am ashamed to call them that now) to be so mean.
     
  18. royalguard96

    royalguard96 Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 13, 2001
    I liked the 5-6 day suggestion.

    There were so many great panels and presentations, packing them into a short period of time can create logistical issues.

    For example, I wanted to attend a collecting panel at the exact same time as Jake Lloyd was in one of the ballrooms. It could be any two events, really. Now what are you supposed to do? And the length of the lines inherently cut down on the total number of events you could attend.

    Have the same number of total events, say, 25, for example. Instead of cramming 25 events into 4 days, spread them over 5 or 6 days. Stagger the times for when each event would be in the same venue, to allow people going from one thing to another more easily.

    Also, allow more people into more entrance doors. This would immediately improve the bottleneck situation that clogs up the lines.

    And for the love of all that is good and holy......USE THE RCA DOME if an event is ever in Indy again. If the new football stadium goes through, the convention center is supposed to expand into the space currently occupied by the RCA Dome, or so I heard. This would help as well.
     
  19. carmenite42

    carmenite42 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 21, 2003
    [blockquote][link=http://boards.theforce.net/user.asp?usr=royalguard96]royalguard96[/link] posted on 4/26/05 7:36am There were so many great panels and presentations, packing them into a short period of time can create logistical issues.

    For example, I wanted to attend a collecting panel at the exact same time as Jake Lloyd was in one of the ballrooms. It could be any two events, really. Now what are you supposed to do? And the length of the lines inherently cut down on the total number of events you could attend.

    Have the same number of total events, say, 25, for example. Instead of cramming 25 events into 4 days, spread them over 5 or 6 days. Stagger the times for when each event would be in the same venue, to allow people going from one thing to another more easily.

    Also, allow more people into more entrance doors. This would immediately improve the bottleneck situation that clogs up the lines.
    [hr][/blockquote]

    The problem with that is that if there are fewer programs going on at a time, there are more people attending each of them. They HAVE to have them overlapping, because if they don't there'd be way too many people trying to attend each, and then not everyone would be able to get in.

    Lets say half of the people attending the Jake Lloyd panel wanted to attend the collecting one as well, and visa versa. That'd mean that there would have been 50% more people in each, and to get in you'd have to get in line earlier and wait longer, which people would be complaining about.

    They did what they had to do in order to make things work.>
     
  20. Ewok_Commando

    Ewok_Commando Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 28, 2004
    [blockquote]And for the love of all that is good and holy......USE THE RCA DOME if an event is ever in Indy again. If the new football stadium goes through, the convention center is supposed to expand into the space currently occupied by the RCA Dome, or so I heard. This would help as well.
    [/blockquote]

    If the new convention center and stadium deal goes through soon, it's unlikely that, if Celebration IV is held in 2007, it will be in Indianapolis, as the site would be in the middle of massive construction.

    If the stadium/convention center expansion begins within the next year, I'd doubt everything would be finished before early 2008. However, there's still a lot of political wrangling to be done to get the new stadium deal, so who knows IF or WHEN construction might begin.
     
  21. queenseamstress

    queenseamstress TFN Costumes Staff star 3 VIP

    Registered:
    Jan 30, 2002
    Yes, having more lines open WOULD have helped with the bottlenecking situation-but then that goes right back to me saying that there were tens of thousands of people, and only about 400 volunteers.

    They spread us out as best as they could. If they opened another line-then they would have to have taken someone out of crowd control, someone off of a door that needed to be guarded like for a celebrity panel, someone OUT OF THE STORE or other areas. If I could have split myself in two and opened another line for you all, or worked as extra help in the store to appease everyone I would have. But-I am only one person. As were all the volunteers.

    I think all of the volunteers did a wonderful job given what we had to work with.
     
  22. Schoolgirl_Bounty

    Schoolgirl_Bounty Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Okay, I couldn't get in to the Celebration @ celebration, but that's not the point... My fiancee and I met up with some fans outside the celebration store, and were talking about how stupid it was when the C3 store closed when it came to capacaty... Not quite a smart move...

    One of my friends had told me that the dealers were allowed to go in before it opened, and buy as many as they wanted, due to the fact that they weren't marking their badges...

    All of a sudden, a guy with a box of eight figures, a sandtrooper box, and some other things walks up to us and says that he'll sell the figures to us for Fifty dollars each.... Come on! We know they are orignally worth fifteen! Then, he goes on and says "I have to be careful how many I take back on the plane with me, I already have four cases. They're all going up on Ebay."

    Excuse me?!

    Whose idea was it to let the dealer's have their way with the figures, and not give the fans a fair chance?

    Did anybody else have that problem?
     
  23. FateNaberrie

    FateNaberrie Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 31, 2000
    For example, I wanted to attend a collecting panel at the exact same time as Jake Lloyd was in one of the ballrooms. It could be any two events, really. Now what are you supposed to do? And the length of the lines inherently cut down on the total number of events you could attend.

    Have the same number of total events, say, 25, for example. Instead of cramming 25 events into 4 days, spread them over 5 or 6 days. Stagger the times for when each event would be in the same venue, to allow people going from one thing to another more easily.


    Everyone has different interests. I don't think it's possible to plan an event where no one has to decide between one thing and something else at the same time. I agree that stretching it out over a couple more days would solve the line situation in the things like SW in 30 or the ROTS Spectacular (which I saw twice in 90 minutes by the way, including both line waits. So it was a matter of going at the right time). But I don't think solving that minor problem is worth spreading it out over a whole week. There are people who aren't going to want to miss a second and will be 'forced' to miss 3 or 4 days of work just to go to the whole Con, I think 4 days is a good amount.
     
  24. jedi_blynnj

    jedi_blynnj Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 5, 2002
    I agree with queenseamstress. If you wanted more lines opened or more people stationed around, then you should have signed up to volunteer. Things of this magnitude are never going to run smoothly without volunteers.

    Even if Gen Con hired more temps at better pay, do you really think that it would help?! Have you ever been in a busy video store on a Saturday night and seen the lines there? I used to be a manager in one. It is hard to motivate employees that don't care. They are guaranteed their pay; they are not going to work any harder. Yes, there are the few that take pride in their work, but most do not.

    However, I do agree that fans/volunteers should have had first shot at the store and not the exhibitors/press, who just bought loads of stuff and then jacked up the prices.
     
  25. FateNaberrie

    FateNaberrie Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jan 31, 2000
    It is hard to motivate employees that don't care. They are guaranteed their pay; they are not going to work any harder. Yes, there are the few that take pride in their work, but most do not.



    Yeah, there was definitely an employee in our line who was running the Figure/Star Case only line who did not care at all. She wasn't punching badges because she didn't feel like it and when I tried to ask if we could buy something other than Figures in that line because she wasn't doing anything, she flipped out and started screaming about how poorly run it all was etc. I'm sure there were others like her who did their part to see that the Store ended up the way it did.
     
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