reggie11: (Default)
[personal profile] reggie11
Well, I finally got to attend my first Supernatural convention and I have mixed feelings about it. Parts of it were fabulous! The panels, seeing the actors in the flesh, and meeting other fans and LJ friends was a big highlight,  and definitely the good. But, and there is a big Kardashian size but, there were so many bad things about the way the con was organised that it really put a damper on the day for me. I'll start with the good so you don't have to read through my complaints if you don't want to because, I'm going to have a bitch and moan of epic proportions - yes I will have some cheese with my whine thanks. I couldn't post before now because I have been paying for my big day out in spades. I barely left my bed yesterday. Ouch.

I met up with the truly lovely [ profile] ash48 outside the venue and we lined up together to chat as we both had gen tickets. Then once inside I finally met the wonderful [ profile] kazluvsbooks, and the very sweet [ profile] vyperdd. It was great to finally get to squee and fangirl with them in person, and I chatted with a bunch of non LJ fans as well. It was wonderful meeting these lovely friends face to face!

The panels were great fun.

First, Osric and Timothy were a fab combination. They were funny, sweet, and really interesting. Osric curled up in Timothy's lap while Tim sang him a lullaby all the while rocking him and rubbing his back before kissing his head was a real highlight. It was incredibly funny, and Timothy has a nice voice! I adore Osric and have heard and seen so much about his appearances from con footage on youtube, but I had no idea how much fun Timothy was going to be. I really wish now that I had have had more money to spend so I could have had a photo op with him. I could hear all of the shenanigans from his ops from where I was sitting from behind the screen waiting for my Osric op. The man just wouldn't let the organisers rush him. He was funny, loud, and sounded like he was having the time of his life! He was equally fun onstage.  [ profile] ash48 asked Osric about his involvement in the Parody video and he spoke about it at length. Thanks, Ash! It was a great question and we got some fun info out of it. He had worked with Hilly and Hannah on their Walking Dead parody. He got Rob Benedict involved in the SPN parody, and from there Rob got everyone else involved. The cast fimed their dance scenes while at the Vegas con and pretty much all the direction they got was to dance around.

Mark was at his snarky best. He was chanelling his inner Crowley and definitely letting his British sarcasm shine through. He was brusque and brilliant, calling out people who asked asinine questions, and stomping on them. He even corrected one guy's grammar which I had just been mentally doing in my head which made me almost choke with laughter. I loved it! He sat down for a long chat with a ten year old boy in the audience which ended up being fabulous. At the end of his panel he really spoke from the heart about his gratitude for the show and the fans, and it was extremely touching. It made me love him even more than I did before.

I have to admit I wasn't overly fond of how Richard and Matt conducted their panel. They ran from one end of the auditorium to the other letting anyone and everyone ask questions which resulted in some truly mindbendingly stupid questions being asked. Like Mark, Richard called a few people out for them though. I would have preferred a proper Q&A, although the guys were very funny and entertaining. Richard especially is a sharp wit and is so quick with comebacks. I've always enjoyed his acting but he had never been one of my show favourites, he just might well be now! Not much to tell you info-wise on their panel as most of the questions they were asked were just plain silly. However I did learn about Matt's nudie run for Kings of Con. Everyone else probably already knows about it but it was news to me, so of course I had to post the video. Hilarious!

Matt Cohen's Naked Run from Richard Speight, Jr. on Vimeo.

Now Jensen's panel. What can I say other than he was everything I expected and so much more. He is so gracious, warm, funny, and so very genuine, and his love for the show and fans alike just shone through. We had no stupid questions asked which was an enormous relief. He gave us so much info about behind the scenes, the way VFX works, mishaps with both stunts and stunt doubles, and great on-set stories including his personal loathing of the corn syrup fake blood they use. When he spoke about Jared it was with such love, friendship, and brotherhood, it left many people choked up. He seemed genuinely surprised and chuffed at the standing ovation he received.

I really missed Jared not being there because he was my main reason for attending, but Jensen did his very best to make up for it. Jensen asked all of us to send our love to Jared while he filmed us on his phone, then he posted it on twitter which was so nice.

I had a photo op with Jensen courtesy of a very dear friend who, knowing my dire financial situation and my love for Jared, contacted Hub and purchased a single Jared and a J2 sandwich op for me which was unbelievably generous as that was $350 worth of photos! As Jared had cancelled, the organisers allowed me to swap my single Jared op to Jensen and I requested they refund the money for the J2 sandwich as I didn't feel comfortable swapping her generous gift for a bunch of other ops. I love her to bits for giving me the opportunity to see Jensen up close and personal! Because they were much cheaper I scrounged together enough for pics with both Mark and Osric. Unfortunately as you'll see below my Jensen op was so rushed I barely had time to look at the man, but what I did see was just...yummy. :) Osric was lovely. A staff member from Hub saw how much I was struggling as I waited outside the auditorium for this particular op. It was just too much to keep getting up and down the many stairs, and I was already in pain from standing in the very long line for Jensen, so he escorted me through to the front of the line with Osric so that I could have the pic taken and go sit which I'm extremely grateful for. Osric and I had a quick joke with each other (he almost jumped on me, lol) and then he wrapped me up in a huge hug. He's such a cutie!

I didn't get any photos as the only camera I have is on my phone and I was sitting in the nosebleed section. I may post my photo ops later. I have to try and set up my scanner and I'm still too sore and sorry to much of anything yet.

Now onto the bad. Don't feel you have to read this if you don't want to. So many attendees are so caught up in the thrall of seeing the SPN guys in person that they are handwaving away a very poorly run event. I think this is a mistake as Hub Productions will not change their practices if we just let all the bad stuff slide.

It could have been fantastic, and it should have been fantastic, but instead much of it was sloppy and amateurish. Not the panels or the guests, they were great for the incredibly small amount of time we had with them. I left feeling both elated that we got to enjoy some really great panels with incredibly gracious actors who really do put their heart and soul into it and it shows, to deflated because while other countries have days of enjoyment and entertainment ranging from panels, music, merchandise, and fan groups, we got what amounted to maybe three hours. There was no music, no singing (unless you count the woefully organised karaoke), horribly organised photo ops that were so massively rushed, and not even a vending machine where we could buy something to drink. Not even water. If we wanted a drink or food we had to leave the venue and possibly miss something because absolutely nothing ran to schedule. I was starving and had to go get food because of my medications and I was petrified that I would miss the first panel because the only place open for food was a tiny little take out shop who were horribly unprepared, understocked, and overwhelmed, AND had a line a mile long. I needn't have worried because the panels started ridiculously late. Hiring a third party caterer just to sell coffee and tea from urns and providing jugs of water would have made a massive difference and cost the organisers next to nothing. If I had a dollar for every person I heard say they would kill for a coffee I could've afforded an Ultimate ticket.

I want to say it was a fabulous fan experience, and in some ways it was, but for the most part I feel that Australian fans got a bit of a raw deal. I do understand that being on the other side of the world where it takes so long to fly here makes it difficult for the guests involved to give us any more time. That's why it feels that a tightly run con is an absolute necessity, and we just didn't get it. I've worked in event management and it doesn't have to be the way it was. With a little more effort, some contingency planning and forethought, both days (Melbourne and Sydney) could have been a whole lot better. Especially when you take into consideration the price of the tickets which ranged from $220 for a general entry with karaoke (all that I could afford), to approx $1000 for VIP, $1400 for Platinum, and $1800 for Ultimate. That's a shit ton of cash for a one day event where the general panels were supposed to start at 12.45pm and didn't actually begin until closer to 3pm. And bear in mind that it finished close to 7pm leaving poor Jensen with hundreds upon hundreds, upon hundreds of autographs to sign, pretty much starting when he was supposed to be done for the day. Poor baby probably has carpal tunnel now.

Photo op and autograph tickets could have been sold online making the whole process quicker and easier and also would have given the organisers numbers and the ability to schedule exactly how much time needed for the solo and group ops. Instead, there was no limit at all, and I personally saw people buying multiple photo ops with the the same actor (primarily poor overworked Jensen) which had a huge knock on effect. By the time my row was called (I was in M) they were shoving people through so quickly that we didn't even get a chance to say "Hi, is it okay to get a hug for the pic?" or whatever someone might choose. I didn't even get the opportunity to find my footing and smile for the camera before I realised the shot had been taken and I was being hustled out so fast that I had to physically stop and ask them to hand my walking cane over before they pushed me out of the area. So, not only did I not get the hug I was hoping to get for my photo, I had barely raised my head and hadn't even getten a chance to smile properly and it was done. Jensen wasn't even smiling in it (although it just makes him look sultry and me look like a deer in the headlights, how does he do that?). At least while they were handing my cane back I managed to say thank you to him and got a very nice smile and a "You're welcome, and sorry sweetheart" from him for the way they guy almost pushed me forward before realising I had only turned around to retrieve my cane not to jump Jensen. It was absolutely not Jensen's fault that things were so rushed. He wanted to allow as many photo ops as he could because he was also trying to make up for Jared's absence. The poor guy looked so tired and dazed that I doubt he even realised that he'd seen a number of people come through more than once which was just not fair on everyone else, nor was it fair to him. He was very lovely and polite for the 2.5 seconds I saw him.

They may have been calling row by row for the ops but they weren't checking tickets to see if you actually belonged to that row. When some people who had been through earlier with either lower rows or big priced tickets realised this, they just walked back up and bought more tokens. It was sloppy. For example, I was sitting behind where Timothy was taking photos with people waiting for my Osric op and Jensen and Mark had just finished up their dual op and were heading into the green room when a bunch of girls rocked up with tickets for Jensen and Mark (which apparently they had purchased not ten seconds before) so they went and pulled the guys back out to take more pics. Why on earth were they still selling tokens for a photo combination when it was already over?

It all started when we received an email late Saturday night from Hub Productions saying that their flights from Melbourne had been delayed so everyone had gotten to Sydney much later than anticipated so everything was being pushed back the following morning. So where the doors were to have opened for general ticket holders at 8.10am, we now weren't allowed entry until 11am. I have since found out that the flight left and landed on time so I have no idea what the real reason was, but I wish they hadn't bullshitted us, it's just rude. If it was simply because the guests were jetlagged and exhausted then why not say so? No one would begrudge the guys a little more rest time after such a long flight and long day. After the late start, all of the photo ops ran way over as well due to selling too many tickets. At least we got our full panels, even if there was no time between them for a quick bathroom break (sorry bladder). I heard someone say that Jensen's panel had been cut short in Melbourne because of all the delays but I have no idea if that is true or not. I would hope it wasn't. And even though I would have dearly loved the extra panels the more expensive tickets provided, I'm immensely glad I didn't spend any more than I did. For a two day con maybe, but not for this.

Also, the five minute photo rule is bullshit. Ban flash photography, but don't stop people taking pics!

Anyways, bitch and moan time over. It was so nice meeting the ladies I mentioned above, and at least half of the day was fun so all in all - yay!!!

Date: 2015-05-27 05:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I so know what you mean. 350 € was the price for the Con I attended some years back. It was 2 days so you had to get a Hotel room and some time you have to eat and stuff. So in the end the weekend costs about a 1000€ that's a lot of money for someone who isn't a famos actor.

I was Lucky because Jared and Jensen attended the Con back than but on the down side there are,'t any more Cons in Germany

Date: 2015-05-27 07:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, the prices can be difficult, but I wouldn't mind so much if everything was run well. I wish we had two days and I'd be happy if they changed it from Sydney AND Melbourne to only one city per year, perhaps alternating, so that we'd get more value for money and there would also be less flying for the actors involved so they wouldn't be pushed so damn hard.

Date: 2015-05-27 07:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Can you imageing the stress they had? They endend filming like what four weeks ago. Then they attended this mud thing, and a con in the US, then they flew to Rome had there four (?) days and then went to Australia for what two/three days. That is exhausting! The jetleg, the fans, the con! You can only be impressed that they managed to still smile.

Date: 2015-05-27 07:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd be tearing people's throats out, lol!

As much as I'm really glad they do the con circuit, they really do need to pace themselves. I think out of wanting to do as much as they can from the fans, they over-extend themselves. In his panel, Jensen pretty much said that about Jared. He said that he had been giving so much of of himself and had left himself nothing in reserve. He also said it's because Jared is a very emotional person who has to give his all. So if you add that to the physicality of everything, Jared's collapse was a disaster just waiting to happen.

Date: 2015-05-27 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I actually think they had one in Birmingham just before the one in Rome.


Date: 2015-05-28 08:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes you´re right even more stress....

Date: 2015-05-27 06:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So glad for the highlights you got to experience but distressed for the fans and actors alike for the chaos and bad organization. Three cons in three weeks, all overseas and across two hemispheres was insane for the guys... I'm surprised Jared's the only one who cracked. Then to hear the last one they crossed the most time zones to reach was this poorly set up - not good and not fair to anybody.

Date: 2015-05-27 07:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's a really difficult situation for the actors. They want so much to give a piece of themselves to fans all over the world but it must be very physically and emotionally taxing for them. It must be quite costly to get them here so I understand the high costs, but by splitting the cons into a day each between Melbourne and Sydney must add to their exhaustion. One con of two days in one or the other city would be better but I can't see the convention organisers giving up getting the big bucks that having two cons brings in. I just wish they would run a tighter ship to ensure it runs well, not only for us, the fans, but for the actors themselves.

I'm also surprised only one of them cracked under the strain. Jared and Jensen don't come to Australia very often, and it's most likely because of how taxing it is. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they start to pace themselves by not attending as many cons together, especially now that they have growing children. It would be a shame, but I wouldn't blame them.

Date: 2015-05-27 01:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was thinking the same thing. They should probably have cons only every other year in some cities - not every year in more and more cities. Hey if the strain is too much J2 may decide to end the show and nobody wants that. Although in some ways I think it would be better for everyone if they did decide upon an endpoint. The actors would be able to see the finish line and give their all (not that they don't already) and the writers could plan it to end gloriously. The cons will outlive the show, so those aren't going away.

When you think about it... J2 work their asses off as the leads in that show, featured in EVERY EPISODE, with no breaks for 10 years (except maybe the writer's strike in S3). The cons are happening constantly, sometimes every other weekend, and these guys have kids, and wives, and the need to recharge. Think of the emotional cost of playing these characters - jeez, just Jared's whole performance in the finale...! I'm a bit frustrated that whoever is in charge of this whole enterprise isn't more mindful that as J2 go, so goes the Show. They need to take better care of our guys, even if that means fewer cons.

Date: 2015-05-27 07:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm glad for the good things about the con, but sorry for the horrible organization you suffered through. Especially since they charged so damn much for it! Were these the first cons in Australia? Because maybe they'll learn from their mistakes and do it better next year.

Date: 2015-05-27 07:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
From what I understand they've been running the cons for many years so I doubt they will learn from their mistakes. They run a lot of cons, not just SPN. As long as people keep buying tickets and not speaking up, nothing will change. Jared and Jensen don't come to them often. I only found out about the Australian cons last year but J2 weren't part of that one. It was Misha, Mark and a few of the other con regulars. I may be wrong but I think the last one Jared and Jensen attended was in 2011 or 2010. I think they've done two out of the six. It might be three, I'm not certain.

Of course I'm grateful they come at all as it's a massive distance to travel, but it doesn't excuse the poor organisation. I want to write a letter to Hub with some suggestions but I doubt it would make an ounce of difference. Both Melbourne and Sydney sold out and I get the feeling that's all the organisers are concerned about. I know their expenses would be reasonably high but they would still be raking it in with ticket prices as high as they are and the fact that more than half of the Hub personnel on the day were unpaid volunteers.

Date: 2015-05-27 09:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
J2 only did the first AHBL back in 2009 and that was a two day con in Sydney with Misha as the only other guest, so things would have been a lot less packed in and stressful.

This one had 6 guests, so lots more photos, panels and autos to get through. A big problem I think was how many different duo/triple/quad combos they offered. Had they limited them to just a couple of different pairings things would have moved a lot quicker.

RE: the flight "delay" from Melbourne. I heard from people that the actors missed the flight due to autos running so late and that it was Jensen who requested that the Sydney con start later so they could all get extra rest.

Date: 2015-05-27 09:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh wow, they've only done one?! And yes, there were WAAAAAY too many combos for it to run smoothly on a one day event. I thought it was ridiculous when I saw the options. Poor planning indeed.

That's interesting about the delay. Totally understandable if that's the case, although why were their cars delayed? the funny thing is I heard that everyone was on the flight and that is took off and landed on time. Your info sounds more plausible. Thanks for sharing that,

I can understand Jensen asking for more time in the morning. Flying all the way to Aus then doing the Melbourne con and then having to jump straight on a plane to Sydney would be atrocious. They would be jetlagged to all hell. That's why a two day event in one city would be better all round for everybody, especially the guests. Yes it would piss a few people off that they would have to fly to a different city but the extra time and the things the organisers could add to it would make it so much more worthwhile.. A two day event would be worth paying for. I'd have no problem trying to save up for something like that. Although I am desperately disappointed that Jared wasn't there, I dread to think what would have happened had he actually come here. With the schedule they had here, on top of his exhaustion, I have no doubt that he would have ended up hospitalised. *shudder*

Date: 2015-05-28 07:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I would write the letter anyway. There may be others who write a letter, thinking it won't make a difference, and they will add up to a big bunch of letters of complaint!

Date: 2015-05-27 07:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
really happy for the good....suxxxxxxxxxxxxxx about the bad. I hope to do the 'cheap seat' thing mext year in Melbourne.
After vanCon in 2013...Gold etc...I thought no way for this....but after seeing all the good

Date: 2015-05-27 08:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Dru, the good stuff was really good, but it was incredibly short. I'm sure it was a little better for those shelling out the big bucks, but only moderately so. It's still only a few hours that we get anything at all in Australia. Basically there are a couple of merchandise stands just outside the entry doors, there's hours of waiting around while the photo ops are being done with nothing to do while that's all happening. They played a couple of [ profile] ash48's videos (yay Ash) and played the parody a few times and that was it. After the photo ops Jensen did his Ultimate meet and greet, and then we had a 45 minute Osric/Tim panel, a 45 minute Richard/Matt panel, followed by a 45 minute Mark panel, and then we got an hour with Jensen. So I would say as much as the 45 minute Jensen/Mark panel that the bigger ticket holders got (and that they got to sit much, much closer), I would still only buy a general admittance ticket.

I've seen so many videos from overseas cons and the Aussies don't get any of that. No singing onstage, no concerts, or any of the other things we see so often, there's just no time for it. If you're coming to Melbourne I'd say buy your ticket as quickly as you can when they go on sale so you get as close as you can. But if you're coming to Australia just for the con, I'd save my money and go to one of the American, Canadian, European, or British cons as ours isn't really worth travelling for. If you're coming to have a holiday to coincide with the con, we're a great country to visit!!! However it's winter when the cons are on so be prepared for the cold :) I live in Sydney, and I love it, but I'd much rather live in Melbourne, it's a fabulous city!
Edited Date: 2015-05-27 08:14 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-05-27 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I live in Geelong...and hour away from Melbourne. yeah I thought after Gold I just wouldn't really enjoy going considering how broke I But I figure having the chance to do a squishy photo with the boys next year is worth the distance...if that sentence makes any sense at all. xx0x0xx0

Date: 2015-05-28 02:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh gosh, I didn't realise your were Australian! For some reason I thought you lived in the US. another Aussie, yay!!!

Date: 2015-05-27 08:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm so psyched for the good you got, but the bad sucks out loud. I know for me, I felt a little let down by the organisation of A14, but by all accounts that's par for the course for Wayne and Rogue O_O so I took it on the chin and got the most out of it I could, however, when you've paid so much for the experience you shouldn't have to suffer through crappy organisation as you did *hugs*

Thank you however for sharing your experiences with us here, I do enjoy reading con reports and all about how panels made people feel and meeting the other fans etc! *hugs*

Date: 2015-05-27 08:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Meeting the girls mentioned above was so cool! They're just such lovely people. I met a few non LJ people too who were great to talk to. All of the guests were really entertaining and such warm, genuine people. And one other thing I found out we were lucky to have was tiered seating. I've been told that at some of the overseas conventions the seats are one one level which must make it a nightmare to see anything.

So Asylum wasn't organised well either? Sheesh, you'd think they'd do better. I'm glad I went but I just wish things would have been smoother. I still live in hope that I'll get to see Jared in the flesh some day. That would be AWESOME!

I'm going to try and get to everyone's journals to read con reports. Did you write one?

Date: 2015-05-27 08:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
LOL honey I wrote a lot of reports, they totalled about 20k all told ;) just check my A14 tag and you'll find them. I went into severe detail! O_O

And no, it's never organised particularly well from what the regulars and con pros were saying, but I still had the best time of my life simply because I was so lucky to be there I think :)

Date: 2015-05-27 08:50 am (UTC)
ext_109434: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
The panels sound really nice, but I'm sorry to hear the organization of everything else was so badly executed. It really must've ruined (or at least worsened) the experience for everyone, fans and actors and staff alike.

Date: 2015-05-27 09:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The panels was fabulous! I loved them all, but Jensen's was such a highlight. I loved getting tidbits of info about what goes on behind the scenes, plus he was so sweet!

Yeah, the poor management really did dull the shine for me. I'm not sure if I would have been more accepting of it if I had no knowledge at all of organising events. I found myself mentally checking off lists in my head of how things could be improved with simple changes. I guess knowing that the single most important thing to running an event is time management, and that the second is having contingency plans in place, just made it stand out all the more for me. You can never anticipate every scenario, but you still should have plans in place for things that might go wrong.

It was still fun though :) I wish I had photos!

Date: 2015-05-27 12:13 pm (UTC)
ext_109434: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I've heard and read nothing but high praise about Jensen lately, it really seems like he's opened up to the fans so much... I'm so proud of him. And the way he talks about Jared just melts my heart :)

You're definitely right about the organization issues - something completely unexpected can of course happen, but many things are predictable or expectable to some extent, so it can be very frustrating to see that precautions haven't been taken, contingency plans haven't been made.

Hopefully as time goes by, the bad memories will fade and only the good parts of the con will stay with you :)

Date: 2015-05-27 09:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's definitely weird that they haven't worked out a better way to do things. The moment when they came out to ask how many people had autos was a bit crazy - surely they should know how many tokens they have sold. It seems that there is absolutely now record of what's been sold - meaning they could sell far more than had been planned for (or more than the actors had time to do).

With some tightening up it could be run so much better. Still, it was great fun and I loved meeting you (yay!) and other fans. The panels were entertaining - but I agree, some music or some of the stuff we see overseas would be great fun too. Apparently there was a meeting with Matt (and maybe others?) with The Hub about extending the con and maybe having it in one city only (and alternating cities each year). Not sure what the outcome was, but it seems they are talking about stuff.

(hee, I love knowing what you look like now when I';m chatting with you. :))

Date: 2015-05-27 10:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yep, that moment when they asked about the autos was hella strange. Seeing that many hands go up made my heart drop for Jensen. I'd have cried like a baby if I had to sign even a quarter of that number. His poor hand!

I spoke with a woman at karaoke who had been in the dinner they had where Richard, Matt, Osric, and Timothy all sat in with them. She told me that both Matt and Richard had told them they thought one day in each city was too difficult and that they wanted to discuss with Hub the possibility of changing it to a two day event that alternated each year between Sydney and Melbourne. Matt said there were other things they wanted to bring up with them as well so obviously even the guests felt it was a bit of a shambles. I hope Hub takes it all on board and at least discusses the possibility.

I still think I'm going to write them a very polite letter making a few suggestions. Whether they would read it or not is a completely different story. It won't just be critical, I'll let them know what I think worked really well and what might need some work. I'd also like to thank the guy who checked up on me a few times and then walked me through to my Osric op. I saw him do the same for a couple of other people who had mobility problems, it was very cool of him. He seemed genuinely concerned about us being in pain or discomfort. I saw him again at karaoke looking after a girl who was feeling really unwell.

I love that I can now picture your face when we chat. Yippeee!!!
Edited Date: 2015-05-27 10:01 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-05-27 01:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I read both your feedback and redteekal's and you both say exactly the same things about the organisation - I totally agree you should feed this back to Hub or nothing will change (plus I know that when Rogue Events were exceptionally disorganised in the past, Jensen refused to come back for quite a long time...). The price you paid is roughly the same for your single day as we paid in the UK for 2 and a half days with 14-15 guests. An Asylum 'standard' admission ticket is £108 and includes autographs with all guests except sponsored and special, plus free-for-all seating in the hall and two evening fancy dress parties. Photos, coffee lounges (smaller more intimate 30-45min sessions with a single guest) and other bits and pieces all cost extra but numbers are limited. Autos are often unlimited but easier to manage. Rogue have come a long, long way since the first one I attended (which was their 4th Asylum), and while their organisation isn't perfect, it is pretty good. There is no reason Hub couldn't learn from their mistakes and not having any refreshments available for attendees is unforgivable. Haven't they heard of Maslow's hierarchy of needs???
Edited Date: 2015-05-27 01:13 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-05-27 03:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Holy crap, your general admission tickets include autographs?! Our tickets didn't even include a glass of water! The tickets were the prices I mentioned above, everything else cost extra for gen tickets. Single photo ops and autos were: Jensen $100/ $90. Mark $50/$40, and the others $40/30. There were a ridiculous number of photo combinations (hence the massive delays to everything) and they ranged from $300 to $90. Seriously, there were ten different combinations aside from the singles and they wondered why they ran behind. Stupidity on a grand scale.

I wonder if I approached redteekal would she be interested in putting together some feedback with me to send to Hub. I don't know her at all, but I love her photos, and I've seen quite a few of her posts so I might send her a message tomorrow.

As for Hub knowing about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, I seriously doubt it's in their knowledge base. In fact I've spent the past few days wondering how they got this gig to start with because they seem to know very little about event planning and marketing. I've never come across and event management company that has been so amateur. I've known admin assistants who've put together functions with more skill and professionalism. If I had made the kind of mistakes they were making when I was putting events together I would have been promptly out of a job. Would you believe when I asked a Hub employee (it may have been a volunteer, who knows?) where I could get some water and she said, "There's a food court with a shop open if you go out the building entrance and head behind this building, and down a set of stairs, or there's a small supermarket a few blocks the road that should be open if the line is too long. Or you could always use the tap in the toilets". Gobsmacked!! Bear in mind I'm standing there leaning on my walking stick while I'm talking to them. Sure thing, love, I'll just jog those few blocks shall I?

I'm glad people aren't thinking I'm just a complainer.

Date: 2015-05-27 04:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Absolutely not a complainer - this kind of feedback is important to an organisation that wants to grow and improve, and like I said, the impression the guests must have had will have an impact too, on whether they are likely to come back again - let alone the attendees.
Here's Simone's write up - I reckon you should talk to her.

Date: 2015-05-27 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Attending a con is greaaaaat, isn't it? Just keep the things you liked close to your heart and forget about the bad stuff - after writing a letter to Hub. If no one ever tells them what sucked, they can't improve.

I just had the JIBcon experience (extremely expensive, but worth every effing euro). I even had a Jensen M&G - twenty minutes staring at him without breathing.

Date: 2015-05-28 02:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hahaha, breathing is important! I will definitely treasure the good parts :)

Date: 2015-05-27 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I went to VanCon2014 and it was AWESOME! I enjoyed every minute of it. Maybe the guys in Australia could learn from Creation? I had a gold ticket with a lot included, not photo ops though. AAnnd, they have a limited number of everything!

But sure, buy what you want to eat during the day, the evening before!!!


Date: 2015-05-28 02:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Had I known there wouldn't even be vending machines I would have filled my bag with snacks. I'm not too upset about the unavailability of food, but I'm very miffed about not being able to buy something to drink onsite.

I think Hub could learn a great deal from Creation, those guys seem to really know what they're doing. I've hear Vancon and Torcon are fabulous!

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