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 Post subject: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:21 pm 
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We hope everybody had a wonderful year at Geek.Kon.2012, but we're always looking for ways to improve. Please leave any feedback, positive or negative, on this thread.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:56 pm 
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Recycle bins! Please! For the love of everything, recycle bins! D: I had to *Shudder* throw away my miscellaneous drink bottles! :(

Also it seems like the LAN room wasn't ever fully set up? :s These are my only two complaints.

I had a major blast all weekend and will most definitely be attending next year. :) It was also super nice that there were tables with water in all of the big rooms. STAYIN' HYDRATED.


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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:09 am 
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My main complaint is the lack of a hang-out space on the first two days. I know that there wasn't much you could do about the lack of the atrium, but I kept on being told to move when I was trying to talk to people on the first couple days, but there was almost nowhere for us to move to. Other than that, I had a wonderful time.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:25 pm 
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Yes the wedding dug into the kon space but I personally have to give a huge THANKS to all attendees that rolled with the punches, and were, in my personal view, The most respectful group of kon goers I have encountered to this date this Geek Kon.
Note I hope all you fun loving geeks will come out next year. Then we can show how kick ass all you folk can be again.

Otown.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:42 pm 
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Thanks. We'll ask about recycling bins for next year and we won't have a wedding to deal with either. Granted, as John said, the hotel was very appreciative that both groups were able to coexist so peacefully.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:24 pm 
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In the viewing rooms and during the masquarade there were some people that made rude/annoying comments that I really think needed to be shut up (one guy in one of the video rooms was swearing, and someone kept shouting about vodka during the masquerade). I know staff can't be everywhere at once, but someone really should have told them to be quiet, and escorted them out of the room if they didn't listen. I'm there to watch the show, not listen other peoples' obnoxious comments.

The announcer and half time show for the masquerade were bad. The whole fail magician thing wasn't funny. Every time he asked if we wanted to see another trick, my friend and I screamed a mental NO! And the spell the Harry Potter spells, while they were acted out well, got really boring after the first five. Not everyone is a Harry Potter fan so you definately didn't need 15 or so. And it ended 45 min early, which may not sound like such a bad thing, but I told my ride to pick me up at 9:30 when the masquerade was supposed to be over. I live an hour away from the convention so if it was going to end earlier I would have liked to get home sooner, especially since I had to get up early the next morning. You had to know how many entries you had when you made the schedule, so I'm confused as to why there was so much extra time left unless a bunch of people didn't show up or something.

Also, the bathroom was nearly out of paper towels, and one of the stalls ran out of toilet paper.

On the positive side the dealer's room and voice actors were great. The video game room was really awesome as well. I also really liked the Full Metal Alchemist movie that was playing in the viewing room, even my friend who is a big fan hadn't seen that one before. And I liked that the places to pre-register for other cons were really easy to find. And the giant con schedules posted everywhere were a big help.

Another thing I really like about Geek.Kon, even though it's not directly convention related, is the forums. Staff are really quick to answer questions, and they never make you feel like you're bothering them (as has happened at other conventions). I also like how every intro post gets a response; it's a nice gesture that goes a long way.

I know I probably sound pretty pesimistic, but I didn't have these problems when I went to my last con. Granted some things are better here, (forums, dealers' room, and videogame room) but I still think there's room for improvement. I know I'm probably going to get bashed for posting this, but I felt it needed to be addressed.


Last edited by corrine on Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:37 pm 
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corrine wrote:
In the viewing rooms and during the masquarade there were some people that made rude/annoying comments that I really think needed to be shut up (one guy in one of the video rooms was swearing, and someone kept shouting about vodka during the masquerade). I know staff can't be everywhere at once, but someone really should have told them to be quiet, and if they didn't listen escort them out of the room. I'm there to watch the show, not listen other peoples' obnixious comments.

The announcer and half time show for the masquerade were bad. The whole fail magician thing wasn't funny. Every time he asked if we wanted to see another trick, my friend and I screamed a mental NO! And the spell the Harry Potter spells, while they were acted out well, got really boring after the first five. Not everyone is a Harry Potter fan so you definately didn't need 15 or so. And it ended 45 min early, which may not sound like such a bad thing, but I told my ride to pick me up at 9:30 when the masquerade was supposed to be over. I live an hour away from the convention so if it was going to end earlier I would have liked to get home sooner, especially since I had to get up early the next morning. You had to know how many entries you had when you made the schedule, so I'm confused as to why there was so much extra time left unless a bunch of people didn't show up or something.

Also, the bathroom was nearly out of paper towels, and one of the stalls ran out of toilet paper.

On the positive side the dealer's room and voice actors were great. The video game room was really awesome as well. I also reallt liked the Full Metal Alchemist movie that was playing in the viewing room, even my friend who is a big fan hadn't seen that one before. And I liked that the places to pre-register for other cons were really easy to find.

I know I probably sound pretty pesimistic, but I didn't have these problems when I went to my last con. Granted some things were better here (dealers' room and videogame room) but I still think there's room for improvement. I know I'm probably going to get bashed for posting this, but I felt it needed to be addressed.

If anyone tries to bash this I'll have to step in because I think anyone should the right to voice constructive criticism. Thank you for the feedback on the Dealer's Room. I and the others who worked on it were happy with the outcome. I'm going to try to get as many dealers to come back for next year, since everyone seemed to have a successful weekend this year.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:46 pm 
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Geek Kon is my favorite con! I really don't have too much to say about this year. Overall it seems not too different from previous years. No new downs or ups really.

I would say this year felt just a tad bit more boring then last year then last year but this could very easily just be my fault for personal panel preference or friends not meeting up with me when they should. I would say the only complaint is that it felt like all the good Saturday night stuff was smashed all together late at night and seemed some of it could have been spaced out a little more with less over-lap. Again though this may just be me being overly picky.

I didn't think the lack of the atrium was a big deal at first but then all Sunday when everybody was just hanging out there I realized not having it a big loss for such a social con. Like everyone else I know this was not the con's fault but I look forward to next year when this isn't a problem. Also I was looking forward to more table-top gaming this year and was saddened by the smaller room on Saturday.

Again overall I would give this year a pretty grade with the above feedback being only the most minor complaints. Can't really think about any new things the con should add or do differently to make next year even better. Even though the con just ended I am already excited to come back next year!

Oh ok one last thing. I felt like the dealers in the dealer's room didn't really have enough variety. Again probably not something the con has a whole lot of control over but still.


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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:32 pm 
Me and the group I was with didn't have a whole lot of fun at the panels we tried to attend.

An idea we tossed around to remedy this is to appoint some unfortunate soul to approve more than just a blurb of what the panel is about, like more of an actual outline submitted ahead of time and to maybe feel out how serious or articulate people are about the idea.

I know, I know, this is about fun and I'm not asking to make it too much of a burden on the speakers. But I think the panels needed to be prepared for better and to hold the speakers more accountable for their panel (like putting their name in the book alongside the description). The importance for this will grow as the convention keeps growing in size.


This year by far had probably the best behaved group of con-goers I have seen, ever. Almost kinda boring, though. (wedding didn't help, I know we had to be respectful, but that was no fun).

I was happy about the location of the viewing rooms, instead of being stuffed into a corner that so many people just didn't see last year.

The line for autographs was too long.
Saturday night was pulling in too many different directions.

I have some more management decision comments that may get misconstrued or aren't necessary to say publicly, so I don't feel like posting them. Sort of some behind the scenes drama, but it's important to talk about so it doesn't build resentment next year.


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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:19 pm 
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AlishaShatogi wrote:
Recycle bins! Please! For the love of everything, recycle bins! D: I had to *Shudder* throw away my miscellaneous drink bottles! :(


THIS!!!!!

Also, to address some above issues--I will let the masquerade director speak for herself, but I can tell you that because we take masquerade entries at con and the schedule is put together well before con, we do not, in fact, know how many entries there are when we put the schedule together. I'm sorry it ended early and you had to wait around. Masquerade staff will address all further concerns.

Regarding the autograph line. Again, I apologize. Because programming space was limited and because the VAs needed to do other panels and still have a break in their schedules, we could only schedule them for one group autograph signing on Saturday. We have a very hard time predicting the length of that line, and frankly, there's not much we can do to mitigate it. All I can do is thank those of you who waited patiently and rolled with the punches. Hopefully, in future years, we will have the capacity to break the VA signings up and have them sign individually, but the schedule this year did not allow for that.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:37 pm 
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As head of events, I need to thank everyone who had the patience to put up with the unexpectedly-long VA autograph line. I'm especially appreciative of the people who were willing to come back the next day for the impromptu session in the atrium (And the guests, of course! How amazing are they!?).

A lot of what has already been said are things I noticed as well and will be recommending to next year's head of events. Thanks for all your input.

Since I am transitioning back to the Costuming department, and since I have run the Masquerade in the past, I can speak to the length of time it gets in the program. It all boils down to the fact that we can never tell how many entries we will have. We have ranged anywhere from 20 to 40 participants in the past. And since we do at-con masquerade sign-up, we never know the number ahead of time. Rather than try to cram things in when the Masquerade runs long, it's generally best for everyone to just schedule an hour and a half and use up whatever of that time is needed. That way, we know that people won't miss their late-night panels and other fun unplanned.

Obviously, things don't always work out best for everyone, but your feedback helps us to make it best for as many people as we can. :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:53 pm 
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I've been coming to this con ever since it first began at the UW Humanities Building. I love Geek.Kon and always will.

However, I felt that this year was a bit more confused/less exciting. I don't know exactly why. Part of it was that there were a few people who I know from the con that I had a funny feeling wouldn't be there this year, and it turns out, they weren't. That's just my own personal problem, however.

As for the con itself, it was definitely different this year. I agree that Saturday night had a lot going on - too much perhaps. The lack of the atrium was one thing also. However, no one had control over this, the con and the wedding being on the same time worked out all right in general, and it has already been stated on this forum that it won't be happening next year.

The mixer was a disappointment. It was simply way too quiet. My understanding is that when the room was being cleared out in preparation for the mixer after panels had finished for the day, a Marriott staff person knocked over two of the speakers while stacking chairs. If that's true, Geek.Kon should talk to the Marriott about replacing the speakers.

One really big downer I have to call attention to. It seems to me that the LAN has gotten worse every year since 2009, at least. This year it seems like it never really got going at all. Even during tournaments hardly anyone seemed to be there. During non-tournament times, there were only five computers, and maybe five people in the room. I think something should be done to make the LAN better. I don't know what though.

Related to that point, I think the lack of Chief and Red this year really had a negative affect on things. Maybe I'm wrong. I realize that things with Chief are not so smooth, and I'm not trying to assign blame to anyone. However, it seemed like he used to do a lot for the video game room and the LAN. Same for Red. Having them absent seems to have taken a bit of a toll on things.

However, the video gam room was still quite good. I don't think it really suffered much without those two. So, maybe I'm proving my own previous point wrong; I don't know. :roll:

Another thing I found a bit problematic had to do with the viewings room. I've attended the Iron Butt Challenge for the last three years. Every year (this one was no exception) at least one of the films has had a nude/sex scene. If this kind of stuff is going to be in the films, the event should be 18+, or at very least, someone should announce that the film is not appropriate for kids. I realize that the Iron Butt Challenge is not the most family-friendly environment to begin with - considering the things the audience yells - but I think the things audience members say is on a different level than what's actually being shown on film. I don't know if the person on this forum who mentioned someone in the viewings room cursing was talking about me or not. :? However, if so, I still feel that cursing is not as objectionable as actual on screen porn.

On the other side of that, I feel that the LGBT panel doesn't really need to be an 18+ event. Although I was only there for part of it, I don't recall anything inappropriate being said. I realize that Geek.Kon may feel it's necessary to make this an 18+ thing because they don't want little kids going into it and then asking their parents weird questions and then the parents sending angry letters to Geek.Kon. However, it's just a thought.

I am really glad that Geek.Kon was able to get David Salo again this year. That man is truly awesome. If the entrance fee to Geek.Kon only allowed me to attend one of his lectures and nothing else, I think it would be worth it. On the topic of panels, I loved the one on Captain America. It was truly brilliant, and I don't think I'll ever feel the same way about Captain America, or comics again. I also really enjoyed the "Geeking out over cancelled shows" panel. For some reason, I always seem to enjoy the Sunday morning panels.

It may seem that I'm really ragging on the Kon big time. The truth is, I loved this year, and I think I may have actually had more fun this year than ever before, despite my general impression that it was somehow lacking.

Also, because I'm the one complaining about the LAN, I should offer to do something to fix the problem. If there's anything I can do to make the LAN better, I'd be glad to. I don't have any spare computers, but if there's something that can be done to bring the LAN back to the level it used to be at, I would be glad to do it. :mrgreen:
I've been thinking about joining staff already, since I don't get any sleep at the kon anyway... :D


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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:01 pm 
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I forgot to mention: Karaoke. Karaoke Saturdaynight/Sunday morning was AWESOME! Sarge is the man! I left at about 3:30am, and it was still going. I had felt a little depressed and lonely during the mixer, but when I got to karaoke, I had found where the party was at!


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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:04 pm 
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On the subject of recycling bins, I've been to more than one venue where I've seen those bins get emptied into the same bag as the garbage can next to them.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:48 pm 
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When it comes to the panels, the 18+ distinction is usually a request on the part of the panelists. With the LGBT panel, that was the case. The convention itself tries to maintain a PG-13 atmosphere and we assume that our panelists are aware of that. If they wish to branch out into more mature topics, we prefer to let them decide where their comfort level is, since they're the ones on display. We try to make everyone as comfortable as possible when it comes to maturity level.

As for the convention-run programming, such as Iron Butt, that is another matter entirely. I will make certain to pass your recommendations on to the Viewings department.

If you are interested in joining staff to help with the LAN, you would be most welcome at a meeting when our general meetings begin again in a few weeks. If you would like to find out the when and where, just PM me and I can reply.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:00 pm 
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particleman wrote:
On the subject of recycling bins, I've been to more than one venue where I've seen those bins get emptied into the same bag as the garbage can next to them.

... dafuq? :/ That's not cool. This is Madison we're talking about! D:<

I wonder if Waste Management does event stuff...

Docta Phreak wrote:
One really big downer I have to call attention to. It seems to me that the LAN has gotten worse every year since 2009, at least. This year it seems like it never really got going at all. Even during tournaments hardly anyone seemed to be there. During non-tournament times, there were only five computers, and maybe five people in the room. I think something should be done to make the LAN better. I don't know what though.

Re: LAN room. It never seemed fully set up (as I said), and also the room was basically stuffed in a corner away from the rest of the con, both of which probably contributed to the low turnout in there. Having it more centrally located would probably help things a lot! I would also happily volunteer to be a grunt on THURSDAY (so I wouldn't miss any con time :) ) to help set up. Five computers does not a LAN room make. :B I couldn't donate a computer but I could make a meager monetary donation as well as my time to help make this better!

whicker wrote:
Me and the group I was with didn't have a whole lot of fun at the panels we tried to attend.

An idea we tossed around to remedy this is to appoint some unfortunate soul to approve more than just a blurb of what the panel is about, like more of an actual outline submitted ahead of time and to maybe feel out how serious or articulate people are about the idea.

I would agree with this. Most of the panels I went to were pretty good but one in particular that I attended was... really not very well put together, even after the various technology snafus were dealt with. I'm not going to call them out but I was expecting something a little more... in-depth and cerebral? I dunno.

Panels I greatly enjoyed were all the ones run by MACS (I am seriously considering joining because I am a COSTUME NOOB and there was a lot of neat stuff), the Homestuck panel, and the panels done by the guests. (loved the Pokemon panel. :D)


Fun little anecdote: While hanging out with a bunch of other Homestucks on Saturday, waiting for our panel, one of the wedding party came up to us and said "I said that Geek.kon was going to be at the same time as the wedding but so-and-so didn't believe me, could I get a picture?" We all, of course, agreed. :) So yeah, really positive atmosphere between the con and the wedding, good times.


I just want to reiterate that I had an amazing time at Geek.kon, much better than I was expecting for my first con in 5 years. Thanks for the great time. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:50 pm 
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AlishaShatogi wrote:
Most of the panels I went to were pretty good but one in particular that I attended was... really not very well put together, even after the various technology snafus were dealt with. I'm not going to call them out but I was expecting something a little more... in-depth and cerebral? I dunno.


Oh I hope that wasn't MMO Worlds panel I was running with Ran-san and Matt Winchell. We do tend to ramble on about the biggest news while other topics get pushed off to the side. I noticed a few people came in and left after a few minutes, and I think that may have been due to the lack of conversation on Guild Wars 2. We were pretty into the whole City of Heroes being shut down and the prospects of Anarchy Online this year. I apologize if everything was disorganized and will try to stick to a more definite outline in the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:45 am 
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Romeomoon wrote:
AlishaShatogi wrote:
Most of the panels I went to were pretty good but one in particular that I attended was... really not very well put together, even after the various technology snafus were dealt with. I'm not going to call them out but I was expecting something a little more... in-depth and cerebral? I dunno.


Oh I hope that wasn't MMO Worlds panel I was running with Ran-san and Matt Winchell. We do tend to ramble on about the biggest news while other topics get pushed off to the side. I noticed a few people came in and left after a few minutes, and I think that may have been due to the lack of conversation on Guild Wars 2. We were pretty into the whole City of Heroes being shut down and the prospects of Anarchy Online this year. I apologize if everything was disorganized and will try to stick to a more definite outline in the future.


I missed sunday even though I really wanted to see that panel (curse you ironman triathlon!), but thanks for the support on the whole CoH thing. I'm pretty active about it because I love the community. (@Alisha Shatogi on Virtue! Also the same name on the official fora, the Titan Network forums, etc.) We are heroes! This is what we do.

Nah, it was the World Domination panel that was... kind of not interesting. >_>; said I wouldn't call em out but apparently I'm a liar and just did. :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:24 pm 
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AlishaShatogi wrote:
Nah, it was the World Domination panel that was... kind of not interesting. >_>; said I wouldn't call em out but apparently I'm a liar and just did. :oops:


Ah yes, that was my friend's panel. The technological issues never got resolved and she ended up having to present the panel without any of the notes/outline she prepared. Sorry you did not enjoy the panel! I agree with you that it was not a very well presented panel but I think 90% of it was due to the tech problems and 10% less-than-stellar preparation(memorizing the entire panel would be ideal but quite a lot to ask for).

As for the con itself, I have been coming back to this con ever since it got started because I've always liked how laid-back the staff at Geek Kon are in comparison to the other conventions I've attended (acen, otakon, etc). Granted, this con is much much smaller than the others I've listed but it is still very well-organized and have always been a fun time. The video games room is still the best!
I participated in the masquerade and my suggestion regarding that would be to not only provide us a video feed in the green room, but also an audio feed.
I think the con might want to consider booking the entire hotel for future dates so that things like overlapping with weddings will not occur ever again.


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 Post subject: Re: Convention Feedback
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:54 pm 
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Quote:
I participated in the masquerade and my suggestion regarding that would be to not only provide us a video feed in the green room, but also an audio feed.


This. I'm the costuming head and masquerade director so I'll be happy to explain what happened there. Last year, we could hear EVERYTHING that was said on the mainstage. This year, I found out after the masquerade from my tech crew that the hotel had apparently added sound proofing to the wall divides. This meant better acoustics on main stage, but meant that suddenly we could hear nothing in the greenroom.

I apologize for not being aware of that at the time. Next year I will make sure to include some way for our contestants to view and hear the masquerade and half-time show.

Quote:
The announcer and half time show for the masquerade were bad. The whole fail magician thing wasn't funny. Every time he asked if we wanted to see another trick, my friend and I screamed a mental NO! And the spell the Harry Potter spells, while they were acted out well, got really boring after the first five. Not everyone is a Harry Potter fan so you definately didn't need 15 or so. And it ended 45 min early, which may not sound like such a bad thing, but I told my ride to pick me up at 9:30 when the masquerade was supposed to be over. I live an hour away from the convention so if it was going to end earlier I would have liked to get home sooner, especially since I had to get up early the next morning. You had to know how many entries you had when you made the schedule, so I'm confused as to why there was so much extra time left unless a bunch of people didn't show up or something.


Thank you for your feedback on the host and the half-time show. Other people have already addressed the concern about it running short. We were accepting sign ups until noon on Saturday, so we had no idea how many entries we had or how long each entry would be until after tech rehearsals (an hour before the show!). As for the host and half-time show, I will be sure to pass that on to both parties. The host likes to do something with our theme each year, and this year's was magic so he thought "hey! bad magician!" I'm sorry if it was not as entertaining as we had hoped. As for the half-time show, this was the first time we have ever attempted a game-show format. We will definitely take the length of the skits critique into consideration for next year.

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