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

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

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  1. IowaSabre

    IowaSabre Jedi Youngling

    Apr 28, 2005
    Oh, By the way. I drove in from Iowa. I think the Indiana Convention Center is perfect for Star Wars Celebration IV (If it does happen) It's layout is perfect. All the problems arose due to mismanagement by GenCon.

    I stayed at the Hyatt. I paid the "Fan Club rate" of $98 a night which I still think was a bit high considering I could have driven a few blocks and stayed at Days Inn (Free parking) for $40 a night.

    Celebration at Celebration was worthless. Too many people, too many lines, $7 sandwiches and $3 beers? Not enough seats! They should have at least only sold enough tickets so that everyone could sit at a table. I paid $15 to stand in line again? They either oversold or somebody took their "Ticket" to Kinkos and made photocopies and sold the Hell out of them. But hey! I did get a nifty Darth Vader Straw and coaster!

    I had really wanted to attend the $75 a plate breakfast but it was sold out. "Celebration at Celebration" Should have been sold out too!
  2. UberFetus

    UberFetus Jedi Youngling

    Apr 27, 2005
    You should see prices in Canada for Cons of a similar nature (albeit much much smaller). And yes, poorly run by the organizers.

    Yes, the dedicated fans, who make their own costumes and the like, are the saving grace of any convention.

    I remember meeting a guy at C2 who had made his own Boba Fett costume that was perfect, even used real hair for the wookie scalps. Made to armour out of thin gauge aluminum I think. Guys like that do indeed make the show worthwhile.

    The digital footage was awesome. I forgot to go and see the dioramas - I remember they were impressive at C2, how were they this time?
  3. k3po

    k3po Jedi Knight star 6

    Mar 21, 2001
    Here is what I e-mailed Lindsay. I know its not her fault, but I just needed to voice a few things.

    Dear Lindsay,

    We had a great time at celebration 3, but GenCon really made a mess out of the event. That store situation was just insane. Why didn?t they have a cash only section so people could get their figure and get out of those lines? Why didn?t the store actually have more register's? I think there was only 4 in the section I was in and it took 3.5 hours to finally get to one. I was lucky, others waited for 7 hours. Personally, Gencon should have just allow people to order what they wanted online when they purchased their badge and what they ordered would be sent after the celebration. In this day of age, not sure why you guys wanted to have a store at an event as large as this.

    I do want to thank you though for the 2 wonderful Fan Club lanyards instead of that lame excuse of a string you gave to non-fan club members. Why do I thank you? Because I'm not a fan club member. I should have known Gencon would run things like they did if they cant even get a simple thing like fan club vs non-FC registers right on an order. At least the last two celebrations, they provided real lanyards to all and made the effort to make what you purchased look professional. I heard so many things positive about GenCon and how they won celebration 3. We had been promised that things would run better than the last two, but it seems GenCon just wanted to make money and just stick to the same old plan the other companies did before them. Again, I enjoyed my time and have a bunch of great memories, but GenCon gets a D- on this event.

    Glad this is the last official one as I wont be going to any others, especially if I hear GenCon is at the helm. Also, can you look into one of your event staff employee's. He is a gentleman with a grey beard. He didn?t get all huffy with me, but boy, talk about a rude individual to so many others. Wasn?t his job to keep things orderly, instead of upsetting so many people and creating more chaos's.

    Thanks for your time
  4. UberFetus

    UberFetus Jedi Youngling

    Apr 27, 2005
    I assume everyone has heard this info, but here goes anyway.

    The digital version of ROTS will be slightly different than the film version, possibly longer. Everyone probably has already heard about that, but just in case.
  5. BC_Eagles_67

    BC_Eagles_67 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jan 13, 2005
    Well that was a rude K3PO even IF you were disappointed by the actions of GenCon, an unprofessional email such as the one you sent will go unoticed. I'm glad you didn't speak for all of us that attended the convention, I guess I have to thank you for that, I wouldn't want to be associated with that email.

    QUIGONJINN02 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 29, 2003
    It seemed very professional to me. It wasn't overly rude nor was it sugar coated. Looks fine.
  7. ben_ethus

    ben_ethus Jedi Padawan star 4

    Dec 17, 2001
    Greetings, blokes.

    If that was an exact replica of the email that was sent, then it was laden with spelling/grammar errors. If only for that reason, I'd file it under "unprofessional."

    Spent too much time in upper-level English courses,
    Yours Truly
  8. k3po

    k3po Jedi Knight star 6

    Mar 21, 2001
    Well, if you didnt like my e-mail, o'well. Wasnt directed towards you in the first place.
  9. sithlard

    sithlard Jedi Youngling star 2

    Aug 13, 2004
    I seriously didn't have much of a problem with the Convention at all. There were problems, but I just chose not to participate in them (a.k.a. waiting in line 8 hours for the CIII store). I went where the problems weren't. Every line I was in moved really fast once the doors were open (to get into the Convention Center as well as any other event scheduled). I think part of the reason some people didn't have a good time was because they spent so many hours waiting for the store. I know that's not the sole thing wrong with the con, but for me it was. Everything else was awesome in my opinion.
  10. UberFetus

    UberFetus Jedi Youngling

    Apr 27, 2005
    Don't know why you're harping on K3PO, eagle. One of few people with the spine to voice their real opinion to GenCon, and not oh well, I didn't mind the lines and poor organization, and please can I have some more next time?

    But yes, there were many good aspects of the show as well.
  11. TahiriVeilaSolo69

    TahiriVeilaSolo69 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Sep 27, 2002
    other than my perv experience, i have no real complaints. I just want it to be somewhere bigger. I have claustraphobis issues and I was hyperventiling a couple of times
  12. Mauve

    Mauve Jedi Youngling

    Apr 29, 2005
    I have actually been to other cons run by Gencon in the past and they have gone very well. This was actually Lucas films show and they told everyone what to do and seemed to continually change their minds about how they wanted things arranged and did some changes at the last minute,including the lines. So if you want to blame someone then blame Lucas films.

    The store was shut down by the fire marshall for safety who was at the convention everyday. I know - I was in the line. If everyone got into the convention centre at the same time then he would have shut the whole con down and no-one would have been able to enjoy the show. Going to something this big and not expecting huge lines for everything is rather unrealistic.

    Most of the people who work at gaming and sci-fi conventions are volunteers who give of their own time because they are fans just like you and I so they are not experts at crowd control or customer relations. The people at the cash registers in the store were temps hired from local agencies not Gencon staff or Lucas staff. In fact I heard that quite a lot of the volunteers and paid staff ended up working 12- 16 hour days at Celebration to make the show happen.

    It is very easy to criticize when you have never worked at a con or at one this big.

    And as for the figures, you can blame George Lucas himself for creating the fervor over these "collectibles". Unfortunately I witnessed the greed of some people who were there just to buy stuff so that they could try to sell it on e-bay and make a profit.

    As far as the Lucas line up, no one told anyone to line up at midnight just as no one tells Star Wars fans to line up a month in advance for a movie by setting up camp on the sidewalk in front of a movie theatre.

    On a good note I did meet and hang out with a lot of people who had a great time and didn't just come to the show to buy stuff.

    I enjoyed roaming the exhibit hall, seeing the archives, watching the fan films, meeting some of the actors in the autograph hall and getting some great pics and going out partying at night. All in all I had a great and met some great people.

  13. queenseamstress

    queenseamstress TFN Costumes Staff star 3 VIP

    Jan 30, 2002

    I totally agree with your stance on the temps and volunteers.
    Most of the volunteers that I worked with (from 501st, Rebel Legion, and other fan organizations) worked very hard. What a lot of the fans don't realize-is that THEY were partially to blame for some of the situations that unfolded and that they then turn and complain about.
    We were very understaffed with volunteers the way things were already-but for most of us a 2 hour shift turned into a 3 or 4 hour one, and a 4 hour shift may have well ended up being a 6 hour one. That is just how understaffed we all were.
    As far as lining up for Lucas-this was the FANS idea. Just like waiting in line for a week to see the show.
    We were told on Friday afternoon and evening that it was circulating that fans were going to start lining up at midnight for the Lucas show-and a lot of us were asked to come in and help during the middle of the night, and at 5am for crowd control.
    This was on Friday night-when we were having our 501st/Fanforce party for the Kisses For Katie Fund and the celebrities. So-a lot of the volunteers and 501st had to leave so they could get 2-3 hours of sleep before getting up to deal with the crowds who decided they were going to start lining up.
    I am all for fan loyalty, and wanting to see a show-but those fans choice robbed the volunteers and Indiana 501st of most of the party THEY were hosting, and they now had to go on 2-3 hours of sleep after working all day Friday to do crowd control at 5am. This was on top of their already scheduled shifts for Saturday during the day.
    So-if some of the fans who were waiting for hours in the cold and rain thought the volunteers were not up to par for crowd control for the Lucas line-the fans IMHO should realize that they brought it on themselves.
  14. thatstarwarsgirl

    thatstarwarsgirl Jedi Youngling

    Apr 26, 2005
    You cannot blame the fans that lined up at midnight for Lucas. Again in a great display of misinformation and poor organization, some GenCon people and some volunteers (who I am sure were told by GenCon what to say) TOLD fans that the line will begin at midnight. So if you have 3 out of 5 "officials" telling you this, who do you believe?

    I'm sorry you didn't get any sleep (did nayone really sleep that weekend) but perhaps you want to direct your complaints to those in charge as they are the ones who let many fans know that the line began at midnight.

  15. arniewan

    arniewan Jedi Youngling

    Apr 26, 2005

    How dare you blame the fans for lining up at midnight when ALL official GenCon documentation stated that the line starts at midnight? I am truly sorry you missed your party but perhaps the blame should go to GenCon for having costumed volunteers run their security rather people who are actually qualified to do so. GenCon's utter lack of organization sent the fans into a panic. After seeing the store line, how could anyone NOT think that they needed to line up early in order to see Lucas? And then when one of your sisters in the 501st (I believe her name was Angela and she was from Phoenix) tells us the cops have been called it goes from a lack of organization to psychological warfare on the fans.

    Thank you for all of your hard work during the show. I'm sure there were long hours and many things that you would have liked to do that you couldn't because of your schedule. That said, you are a VOLUNTEER. You choose to work or not work. Perhaps if less of you skipped your charity party GenCon might have been forced to HIRE a qualified security force. C3 is not GenCon's gaming convention. You don't see babies with their grandparents at GenCon. What works at the August con clearly was ill suited for C3.

    I enjoyed the 20% of my time at C3 when I was not in a line. The other 80% has thoroughly disgusted and I can only pray the head of the fan club or Sansweet realizes what a horrible disaster this is both for public relations and fan sentiment. If there is a C4, I go in with very low expectations.

  16. queenseamstress

    queenseamstress TFN Costumes Staff star 3 VIP

    Jan 30, 2002
    I am not blaming the fans for the lack of security help and paid professionals hired by GenCon. That is not what I am saying at all. I do think GenCon should have had more people.
    What I AM saying is that the fans should not complain about a trooper "directing a line wrong" and things like that-because those who were there were on a total lack of sleep, and had been working all day and all night. Those volunteers should have been commended for not "bailing out" but instead doing their job.
    I do agree that there should have been more help, I never said otherwise. I am not making excuses for GenCon at all.
    What I AM saying, is that those who lined up by their own free will in the middle of the night in the rain, that it was their own choice. Noone made them stand there.

  17. skywalker_1982

    skywalker_1982 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Dec 25, 2004
    All this week there has been alot of arguments taking place on the boards to do with the figures and everything else related to C3 I know we are all annoyed and everything but people seem to be creating threads such as this one over in collecting to do with the figures they just need to stop cause it is winding everyone up the boards are supposed to be a friendly place where fans from across the world meet all we need is just one thread in the C3 boards controlled by an admin where people can voice there concerns then all these should just be piled into one formal email and a letter aswell that everyone agrees on and just send it to the ones responsable which are gencon and lucasfilm.

    We have got episode 3 out this month the final chapter so lets not just let this drag on and on
  18. k3po

    k3po Jedi Knight star 6

    Mar 21, 2001
    The volunteers are not to blame one bit. Anything that was wrong about C3 is and should be placed on GenCon's shoulders. That is why if everyone wants a C4 and they being Gencon runs it, they can do better than they did with all the suggestions and complaints. Let them know in a polite way what bothered you about C3. Constructive critisism is never a bad thing. My e-mail to Lindsay i think was very polite. i never attacked her or gencon. if I wanted to do that, i could have and dropped a few f-bombs but I didnt. i would rather them read my e-mail and maybe take some of what I mentioned into consideration for the next one.

    I'll bet anything though, that there will be a C4, but Gencon will not run it.
  19. Go-Mer-Tonic

    Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling star 6

    Aug 22, 1999
    Let's not just sit around and point fingers, there were a lot of factors that contributed to a few messed up situations. But the point is that despite the apparent over-reliance on non paid volenteers on Gen-Con's part, despite the thousands of fans who made getting a figure top on their list of things to do (I was one of them), despite the horrendous weather conditions, despite the greed of the occasional E-Bay exploiters...

    It was still one of the best times ever, just out of sheer will on our part. We didn't let these sorts of things ruin our good time, we embraced it and dealt with it, and made do.

    There are lessons to be learned, but I think it's amazing things went as well as they did given some of the circumstances.
  20. OBIX1

    OBIX1 Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Oct 7, 2002
    "It was still one of the best times ever, just out of sheer will on our part. We didn't let these sorts of things ruin our good time, we embraced it and dealt with it, and made do."

    Here here! =D= Even though I wasn't happy with all the lines and stuff too,I still had an awesome time! :D
  21. PlayzOboe

    PlayzOboe Jedi Youngling star 2

    Apr 8, 2005
    My horror stories are not GenCon's fault at all but here they are:

    I recently moved to the NYC area and I was flying out of LaGuardia...didn't know I had to call ahead to companies and reserve a parking space at the outside long term parking...showed up there and THERE WAS NO WHERE TO PARK!!!! I ended up parking in the daily lot (thankfully found a spot really quickly since my plane was gonna leave soon) and got in. Then I arrive at the airport...MY LUGGAGE HADN'T ARRIVED! They promised to send it to my hotel (Hyatt) for me. I got my ticket for the RL/501 etc party while I was waiting, met some really nice people, hung out wiht one of them for the weekend so that was a plus about it. My luggage FINALLY arrived around midnight (I came around 5p). My badge, my medication, my costume etc was in my luggage so I was in a near panic state until it arrived.

    I missed out on a lot of things because I have big problems with crowds, I was expecting these problems, but I wasn't expecting the lines and I really couldn't wait in them, I have a high functioning form of autism and being around THAT MUCH stuff is enoguh to REALLY throw me off and me waiting in line would NOT have been a pretty sight.

    On the up side, I got to perform in the costume cabaret eventhough my costume wasn't completely finished (I was the one who sang the Mozart aria for any of you that actually went...was kind of disappointed at the turnout). After spending WAY too much money, getting pushed and shoved around, etc I still had a good time.

  22. Mauve

    Mauve Jedi Youngling

    Apr 29, 2005
    I think running conventions in general is a bit like planning a wedding. No matter how much planning goes into it things never go off without a hitch (or two) LOL!

    In the long run I agree with what a few others here said and I am going to focus on the good things that happened like getting my pic taken with Jerome Blake!) and the fun that I did have.

    I am sure that LFL and Gencon would appreciate getting some constructive ideas and suggestions from fans who attended since we are the people that got affected the most by events at C3. Also telling them what we did like and what we would like to see at a possible C4 may make some things happen. :)

    After seeing the ROTS footage I am totally stoked to see the movie! :D
  23. Palevox

    Palevox Jedi Youngling

    May 3, 2005
    Hi, first post to this board- Long time Gen Con Senior Volunteer (13 yrs) I worked the Exhibit hall (D) for both SWC2 and 3. I am a fan- this is why I do this, so that I can try to give the kind of show I would like to attend. We all are- and to hear people spout off on something they know nothing about is very frustrating to someone who put in ridiculous hours (75.5) so you could all have a fun time. I have read how much some of you 'hate' Gen Con for messing this all up for you, and I have read how some of you said you had a great time...
    I am hoping to shed some light on some things here: Gen Con was hired by Lucasfilm to work operations for this show, period. It was not a Gen Con was a Lucas films event- and we were honored to help. The only repeated complaints I see (mostly) here are 'the lines' and the store...
    (I am glad no one hated the Exhibit hall :) )
    The store was hit by a ridiculous amount of people... there were safety risks and measures were taken....that is all. While frustrating, I can let you in on a little secret... a LOT of Star Wars fans showed up and got there before some of it got busy. This is also the answer for the lines complaints. (Sorry- my sarcasm took over, but it IS what happened)
    I think the best idea I have read so far was to provide the figure in a package with the badge... And the potential for a larger venue. To put one more thing to rest- The RCA dome was NOT availlable to us, so stop posting about it- we did try to get it.
    I have read a lot of complaints, and I have always believed that if you provide a possible solution to your complaint, it is more valid- Otherwise you are just whining.
    I have read that some people think the fans should have run it- guess what- we did. The 501st and the fan groups who pitched in were invaluable- are you saying someone who has a full-on Stormtrooper outfit ISN'T a fan!?!
    C'mon... Star Wars Fans were the heart of this show- and to hear people complain about it like this really makes me doubt if there is a 4, if it's even worth the grief for me to return.
    You can't please everyone, we know this, and even though some of you had a bad experience- let's look at a couple of things:
    This topic has about 200 posts (not bothering with repeats, just looking at total posts) and a conservitive estimate of attendance is, say 40,000? well, the math says that is .5% that was unhappy...
    Seems like a pretty good show to me... Even if 1000 people were unhappy, that is still only 2.5% and it seems that I haven't read that many (yet).
    The lines were miserable outside? Who asked you to wait overnight? Really? That was a conscious choice...we even spoke to the Indy police and arranged them to NOT disperse you, (as ids the law in Indy) a LOT of Gen Con staff stayed all night and all day on Saturday (after working all day Friday as well!) just to try to get the lines inside and warm- for a lineup that was formed by choice of the fans... some of the posts make Gen Con out to be inhuman and uncaring- let me tell you this, there is not a finer bunch of people I have the honor to know and work with. Period. I regard them all as extended family, so your attacks are really uneducated and uninformed. For shame- know that they are all fans too...They care more than you know (obviously). I realize my perspective is biased, as I was on the 'other side' of the fence- but some of your attacks have been unfounded, and it offends me personally.
    Mary Franklin and Steve Sandsweet(of Lucasfilm) did EVERYTHING they could to make fans feel welcome and to make us volunteers feel appreciated for our efforts- They were right there with us working hard to try to make this go well for everyone... and I personally want to thank the guy in Padawan costume (African-American, Short spiky black hair, Padawan braid, lightsaber- dressed in black) who stopped me in the Exhibit hall, on Saturday shook my hand and said 'Thank you for helping put this on, I'm having the best time!'... THAT is the reason I do this- and you hit me a
  24. k3po

    k3po Jedi Knight star 6

    Mar 21, 2001
    Welcome to this board. Good to hear someone on that other side. I don't think anyone is angry at all at the volunteers.
  25. Palevox

    Palevox Jedi Youngling

    May 3, 2005
    Thanks for the welcome! I have always been a Star Wars Fan, and it's nice to be a part of a community...
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