Last year was my first year at AMKE. I only went one day. This year I bought a 3-day badge (although I didn't go on Friday due to the weather!). The following are my pros and cons of the experience:
- Great guests! I was thrilled by the 3 VA's at the con this year (although I missed some of last year's guests).
- GREAT vendors! I loved the vendors, particularly Cartoon Passion, with his epic table of plushies. I felt there was a great variety of merchandise on sale.
- The hotel in general. I enjoyed the hotel environment (although I didn't stay there overnight) far more than UWM, and was very grateful for the super yummy $10 pizza special they were offering.
- The registration discount with a UWM ID. Yay for saving money! Thanks for that.
- The children's room. Thought that was an excellent idea. I personally didn't go to it (I'm 22 - haha), but still. Thumbs up.
- I had a great time, no matter what cons are listed below. What more can I say? Thanks for all the hard work. We appreciate it. It was a weekend to remember.
- Registration. Some of the people didn't fully understand how to use the registers. Also, the fact that credit cards would not be accepted was a big problem, imo. No one really uses checks anymore, and if they do, they often don't carry their check books on them. Credit cards either should have been accepted, or you should have mentioned they wouldn't be accepted beforehand. Also, if you can only take cash or check, you NEED NEED NEED to have change available right away. Expecting people to have both cash and EXACT cash is not a good thing. The presence of ATMs doesn't solve this issue.
- Over 18 badges??? Where? How? The schedule mentioned that you could get an 18+ badge, but I never heard any mention/offer of that! It was a bit tiresome to have to show ID for the "adult" stuff. I felt it would have been easier to get an 18+ stamp or something on your badge at registration by showing your ID ONCE.
- Panel scheduling. Some of the scheduling felt a little off. It really sucked that Monica and Chris had a panel scheduled at the same time as the cosplay contest.
- The issue of bags. Bags weren't allowed in the Rave. I didn't have a hotel room to store them in. What was I supposed to do with them? I ended up not attending the Rave.
- The low volume of the movies/shows playing in the video rooms. It was so hard to hear, even in the front rows.
- The rule of not saving spots at events. Why have this rule and not enforce it? People at the cosplay contest were practically saving whole rows. That rule may simply be too hard/frequently broken to enforce.
- Opening Ceremonies. Did not enjoy, unfortunately. I thought they would be more ceremonial in nature rather than just plain silly. I liked the brief history of the con (would have loved to see pics, though, especially from the first few years), but after that, not so much. What was with the whole retro thing? I didn't even realize that was the theme, or that the con EVER had themes. There's no sign of the theme being worked into the con, so I'm a little confused as to what purpose it served. Also, everyone knows what retro is, so that whole question thing was rather boring. When they brought the guests out (after embarassing issues with getting the tables and chairs out, and Monica having to share a mic with Chris), they seemed lost. Were they not instructed to do anything specific, like introduce themselves and the panels they would be doing? I left shortly after they all came on stage. All in all felt very unorganized.
- "Power happy staffers," in the words of my mother, who attended with me on Friday out of curiousity. Seriously, some of these people need to BACK OFF. I'm not talking about being strict with rule breakers, rule enforcement, and things like that. I am all for being strict in situations like that. Some con-goers are just...yeah. Should not be allowed in public on their own. But some staffers were just being downright rude. There was one particular situation during a guest panel where the guest was going overtime and talking during what was technically autograph time, and said guest was essentially being heckled by a staffer. It was very, very embarassing, and many audience members were clearly uncomfortable or ticked off. The guest handled it very well, but if it had been me, I probably would have gotten ticked and snapped back! As my mom said, the guy is a professional. He knows what he's doing. ONE time reminder would have been more than fine. In fact, sometimes the guests ask for a time reminder. But getting pissy/bossy with the guest and acting like you know best, that the guest needs to do what you say, and frequently interrupting them, is not acceptable.
- Other staffer issues. At one point about 5 of us were waiting for an 18+ panel (we had been let in by a staffer), and then we were told by another staffer who walked in that we needed to leave the room so they could check our IDs. Uh, what? We were all like, "why can't you check our ID HERE?" There were 5 of us, that's all! Thankfully they did that, although I thought that it was rather silly they had to check the IDs of my mother, who's 49, and a guy who was also in his 40s. Furthermore, in another situation, I saw a mother trying to enter a room during an autograph section because she had been eating lunch while her son was in the panel, and she said he wanted a picture together with the guest (she had the camera). The staffer guarding the door said no one was allowed in. The mother didn't argue, but was clearly bummed. Who wouldn't be? 5 minutes later a group of 3 guys came by, asked the staffer if this was so-and-so's autograph panel, and then walked in! And the staffer let them! The staffer explained to another group a little later who were waiting for the NEXT panel that the only people allowed in were those who wanted an autograph. Okay, so the mother didn't technically want an autograph, but seriously? She was going to take a picture of her son with the guest. Also, I assume her son was underage. A parent should ALWAYS be allowed in a room containing his/her child. If I had been that mother, I probably would have insisted to be let in.
- Cosplay contest issues with mics, low volume music, etc. Noooot good.
- Character auction. To be more successful, bidding should be started lower, maybe between $8-10. Also, it would probably help if bidders (not those being bidded on) were allowed to be 16+ rather than 18+. Don't know if that's possible, though.
Cons of CON GOERS!
- Do not glomp people without asking first. Not everyone likes being glomped, and you could, in fact, injure them. You never know, and in any case, you never touch a stranger like that without permission.
- Don't run around the hotel hooting like an animal and making a ruckus. The hotel doesn't have to allow AMKE to be there. I saw a few hotel workers looking less than pleased when there was a group running around in the lobby by the bistro and being loud. C'mon, guys... You know what you're doing is annoying and not acceptable, particularly as there are non-con goers at the event who won't appreciate your behavior. The generally accepted rules of proper public conduct still apply at cons.
- Don't talk while people are trying to watch a show or movie! This was a major problem for me. The volume was already low, and I often couldn't hear it over people making what they thought were funny, sarcastic comments. No one came to hear your so-called "wit." If you wanna talk, leave the room.
- SHOWER SHOWER SHOWER! Pleeeease. Oh my LORD. Extra strength deodorant too. Cons can get hot. Everyone sweats. You can prevent/combat this!!! Plus, normal human beings need to bathe regularly. I could not believe how bad some people smelled. I hate to say it, but seriously. No way to beat around the bush here. My mother and I were standing in the registration line early Friday morning and someone nearby had such a strong "unwashed" smell that we almost just went to the end of the line, because it wasn't that long yet. Guys, it's not that hard. Be cleanly, for the sake of those around you. It even says so in the AMKE schedule book!
Last edited by Kokoro
on Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Fighting evil by moonlight,
Winning love by daylight ★