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Date: 2013-09-03 01:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] missllil.livejournal.com
Good:

America's Mart Dealer rooms - yes, it could be better but I agree with it moving. Moving those freed up a ton of space for other things and spread out the crowd. They were still crowded, but no worse than before (all the extra attendees have to go somewhere) There were maps at the entrance, but I didn't notice them until my third trip to the America's Mart. They should have large maps plastered to all the walls.

Queuing rooms - YES! I hope they do this more. Keeps the crowd out of the way AND in the AC. (This was in the Hilton) Too bad the Marriot didn't have this.

There was a costuming photo room in the Marriott. AWESOME! Loved it. Wish it was bigger, but they could def have small ones spread out around the con for people to take photos out of the way. Maybe introducing a large room for this purpose would free up some space in the lobby area. (basically just extending the lobby as a free space area for costumes and those who want to take photos)

Bad:

Linessss - ugh. Starting the John Barrowman line an hour before was just silly. I was waiting to get trampled. :( Maybe queuing outside to keep the fire marshall of our backs or make a queuing room for these large events and people who get there early.


I'm also curious what will be done about the size of DC. There were noticeably more people at the convention. So the extra space in the America's Mart was being filled by the new attendees.

The amount of people who raised there hands when asked if it was their first time at DC at the Walking Dead panel made my jaw drop. I'm curious to know how many Saturday badges were sold. Seems like too Saturday was too crowded.
Edited Date: 2013-09-03 01:07 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-03 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] missllil.livejournal.com
One more thing, Tony at the Walking Dead panel did a great job of keeping us entertained and making sure the crowd was kept busy while waiting on the cast.

Date: 2013-09-03 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xenaclone.livejournal.com
Good - New Halls of Fame in Marriott. Most of the panels I saw. The failed Star Trek costume record attempt [I took part!]. People generally being super friendly. Dr Who 50th ball [though perhaps more British cult music would have been nice].

Bad - Heroes and Villans ball. No liquid of any sort permitted to be taken inside. Charging for water. [In the UK this is illegal]. Not having a hand stamp or similar for bathroom breaks. Basically, the minute you needed to leave the party to use the rest room, you left the party, since the re-entry line was very long. Will not be going to this again unless things change.

Date: 2013-09-03 01:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] braidedmane.livejournal.com
I'm confused about this comment...while I was less than impressed with the Heroes and Villains ball (it seemed like a crappy rave with no drugs), we definitely saw free water stations inside, just like any other big programming. Were you getting bottled water at the bar?

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Date: 2013-09-03 01:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] myras-girls.livejournal.com
I had a great con this year!

+ I didn't notice the crowds as much as last year, but I pretty much avoided the between-hotel sky bridges so that really helped. I also stayed at the Hilton, which is overall a less busy hotel and that helped, too. I do not miss the days of trying to get an elevator at the Hyatt or Marriott! I only got caught in a slow moving bottle-neck 5 times all weekend (about once a day), and I consider that pretty good for a con this size.

+ Staying at the Hilton for the 3rd year. Yes, yes, yes! It's convenient and not completely crowded. Looking forward to staying at the Hilton again next year.

+ I had LOADS of fun at The Avengers Ball on Friday. I loved the music! When I arrived the music was from the 40's and worked it's way up by decade. It was SO REFRESHING to dance to something other than techno, dubstep, or whatever top 40 is popular now.

+ Watching panels on DCTV in my room was awesome. I prioritized the panels I wanted to see most and watched the rest on DCTV and it was brilliant.

- Smoking in outdoor lines. I have asthma, vocal cord dysfunction, and non-allergic rhinitis, and cigarette smoke triggers all three. I had a bad attack in line on Saturday and ended up having to miss a panel to go back to the room to rest. I did end up talking to Disability Services and found out I can get a Disability Line sticker so I don't have to wait in outside lines and can avoid future attacks caused by smoking. +++++ Big plus for Disability Services!!! :)

- America's Mart- it was confusing and overcrowded. Also adding America's Mart cause traffic problems at the street corners that really could have used an officer directing traffic for everyone's safety. It was annoying but not much more than that for me because I can find all the geeky stuff I want online.

It was another great Dragon*Con and I'm looking forward to next year!

Date: 2013-09-03 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whisperwords.livejournal.com
The Good

I really liked the second floor of the dealer rooms in the AmericasMart -- but floor 1 was a mess. Better signage would probably help a lot of the issues there, as well as figuring out which vendors are more popular than others and keeping them OFF major intersections/corners where they will bottleneck everything. I loved that there was more space to move around in the second floor. Something that I think would be even more helpful is one-way aisles. There needs to be some traffic management in there.

The Walk of Fame had a LOT of room to move around in, which I thought was fantastic. I was in there Sunday afternoon and had no trouble getting around.

I felt like the space in the bottom of the Mariott was underutilized, but that the intent of it was great -- putting big autograph/photography draws down there kept them from blocking up the main areas for signings and so on. I liked that a lot.

The YA Lit track was once again my favorite track -- those guys really know how to make a panel engaging, and their guests and staffers are the most amazing people. I also love that the Fantasy Lit and SciFi Lit tracks were separate this year; hopefully keeping that up in the future will allow both to really flesh out their track programming. Looks promising!

LOVED the costuming photo room in the Mariott. Maybe in the future there can be more of them here and there and people will utilize them more, because that was a brilliant plan.

The Bad

The flood of people that had been waiting in outdoor lines when it started to rain was a mess, but understandably it's hard to handle that type of thing (and no one can predict the weather). However, I think that there probably should have been a contingency plan in place for where to put those lines, considering the weather has been bad ALL SUMMER in Atlanta, so it's not like the prospect of a storm was completely out of the blue. With the mess that resulted when the skies opened up, it did not feel like Con staff had any ideas or plans in place other than "have the lines be outside." The result was a clusterfuck.

The sound on DCTV is really up and down -- the panels were super quiet, so you'd have to amp the volume up really high (at least we did; we were in the Hilton) and then at the end of the panel you'd get your ears blasted right off because the bumpers/videos/shorts were all REALLY LOUD compared to the panels. This was particularly a bummer at odd hours when you didn't want to be the jerkwad who wakes up the sleeping roomie...

What happened to traffic management on the skybridges and in major thoroughfares? I feel like DC2012 had people posted to keep traffic moving in the skybridges and in the major walkways and this year there was nothing of the sort -- and the people stopping to take pictures in the absolute worst spots were out in force, it seems.

The Ugly

This is not so much to do with staff or Con management, really, and more to do with the people that attend, but attitudes and politeness were apparently in the absolute foulest territory early on and just got worse as the weekend went on. I've been coming for nigh on a decade now and this is probably the sourest Con crowd I have ever seen. There is absolutely no reason to be a dickbag to people you don't know who are just trying to get to panels/vendors the same as you are.

There are some serious "handling yourself at con 101" issues that people aren't grasping (don't stop at the destination end of an escalator; don't stop people for photos in the middle of the path of traffic; don't corner someone and insist on a photo when they're halfway into a bite of a sandwich; don't freaking touch someone without their permission; you aren't entitled to a celebrity's time or personal space; etc.) that you'd THINK were taught to them by their parents at a young and impressionable age, but clearly some of us were raised by wolves in barns.

I think it's high time for Con to consider an attendance cap, or at the VERY least, stop selling Saturday passes. It's obvious that the draw of the parade and the novelty of the convention has become enormous, and Saturday was well beyond ridiculous. I stopped even trying to get on the Atrium level of the Mariott.

Date: 2013-09-03 05:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nyreak.livejournal.com
I'm absolutely with you on the Saturday-only passes. My husband and I were discussing this on the way home, actually. I'm sure it would make Saturday-only folks angry, but Saturday is always ridiculous.

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Date: 2013-09-03 01:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] myras-girls.livejournal.com
Oh! One more major + for the cosplayer dressed as Buddy the Elf that told someone he could not stop for photos on the sky bridge! Buddy the Elf, YOU RULE! :D

Date: 2013-09-03 05:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ickletarakins.livejournal.com
my husband and I had to tell people this too (as in someone tried to stop my husband for a photo on the skybridge)! it was Sunday night on the skybridge going from the hyatt to the marriott. honestly people...you'd think it was common sense not to stop for photos there ::rolls eyes::
Edited Date: 2013-09-03 05:48 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-03 05:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nyreak.livejournal.com
My main comments are in regards to kid-friendly stuff, which as a long time con go-er that is also a parent, is a big concern for me.

Good:
I've been very pleased to see more kid/family-friendly panels added over the last year or two, and this year was no exception. It seems like there are always some very anti-kids-at-con folks around, so it's nice to see that the con doesn't feel that way. (My kid is always closely watched and my bag is always full of snacks and activities to amuse her if we have to wait for something or bring her to a panel we both want to see. There was much My Little Pony watching on her part this year.)

The puppet track was awesome with the kids improv panel, timey wimey puppet show, and the puppet making. We love the Space Track and their robotics/hover craft stuff, and thanks to NASA for the goodies for the kids! My daughter also enjoyed the Lego First panel (which she saw part of before scampering off to the puppet-making) and wants to do that now.

The slightly-less good:
The kinda-negative is that many kid-friendly things are all scheduled at the earliest slot of the day. I get that this is a great time because kids are usually up then and folks that have been partying all night aren't up. The downside is that they are often happening at the same time and then there's nothing later in the day. I'd love to see them maybe spread out a bit more, even if they are all in the first half of the day. (Examples: Lego First and Puppet making on Saturday, Kid friendly MMOs and Saber School on Sunday). I realize that we all have lots of conflicts and want to be able to make everything, but with there only being a handful of things that are really aimed at kids, it would be great to be able to make more of them! :)

I'm assuming the tracks all make their own schedules and then their brought together for tweaking and adjusting, so this might not be an easy task, but it's a suggestion. :) Again though, I thank the D*C staff for giving the little ones some fun as well!

Date: 2013-09-03 11:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rap541.livejournal.com
A slight addendum and not making any accusations but if you're bringing a child to a more adult panel, please control your child from dominating with childish questions and comments, and don't expect the person moderating to tone down their language to accomadate the child in the room. The first happened in a writing panel where the child was in the front row and was definitely enjoying himself while the mod had to continually explain why certain shouted out ideas weren't going o work. There were also a couple of panels I went to where the mod or guest was telling a more adult anecdote and then censored or stopped because someone had brought a five year old .

I am not alll "woo lets drop the fbomb!" but at the same time it's a con and I tend to take the view that if you and your child are dressed as the walking dead, then you have probably heard harsh language before.

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Date: 2013-09-03 07:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daedaluszm.livejournal.com
LOVED:

- DJ Spider
- New content on DCTV, not overly played (Away Team, Bob and Carl bumpers, new DCTV bumpers)
- DJ Spider
- Malcom McDowell and David Warner. Even with a poor moderator they were amazing. Please ask them back every year.
- DJ Spider

LIKED:

- Not getting cleared off Marriott Atrium level abruptly on Saturday night (might have been a security/safety issue last year?)
- Line managers at the habitrails ("Single file, stay on the wall" guys) to keep them moving. Didn't see many escalator managers calling out "Keep moving, don't stop", but they were standing there.
- Badge checkers. Just about every one was polite and pleasant. I love these guys.
- $5 boardgame badge. Would like a more robust library, but a great value.

DO NOT WANT:

- Americas Mart vendor location. It was disorienting and claustrophobia-inducing with its chokepoints, multiple rooms on both floors. It was very unintuitive. I could not see emergency exits, stairs and could not navigate. May not be a bad idea to limit entry like they do the dances/parties/raves.
- Vendor offerings overlap. Several vendors had exactly the same wares for the same prices (ID badges, tshirts, etc). With the crowding in the vendor rooms it was frustrating to see duplicate booths.
- DCTV volume. Maybe it was our TV at the Marriott, but the DCTV channel would not get loud on Sunday/Monday. Other channels were fine.
- Audio issues at panels. The "Time After Time Revisited" panel's moderator did not project loudly enough, and the track director/warm up speaker's mic was crackly and intermittent. ARTC's Sunday show had several mic issues as well, but it's main issue was the loud cheering in the neighboring ballroom. Again. Every year it's disruptive.
- Stairs. Can we replace them with transporters or teleport pads?

Date: 2013-09-11 04:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] philliephil.livejournal.com
On the boardgames badge thanks for the comment. We are always looking for suggestions on what to add to the library. I am always willing to entertain suggestions. Follow us on twitter at @dcboardgames or Facebook at Dragon Con Board Games.

Date: 2013-09-03 12:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blinkidybah.livejournal.com
Great con again this year, no major complaints for the con itself.... That said, there were definitely some negatives that went straight from Bad to Ugly real fast

As a cosplayer I understand sometimes you get asked for pictures in inconvenient spaces, but this year seemed RIDICULOUS with the amount of cosplayers who hadn't even attempted to move out of the flow of traffic. Anyone who's been doing this for more than a single convention knows to sometimes wave the photographers sideways so the photogs->cosplayer line is running parallel to traffic. That wasn't happening this year.

I'd really love if the con could rope off a no-stopping walkway along the Marriott atrium floor -- sometimes you just want to get from the Hyatt to the Hilton and not stop in the bar crowd.


Also, a certain cosplay focused "Reality" tv show and certain "famous" cosplayers essentially took over a good portion of the Marriott tenth floor on Saturday, displacing previously scheduled photoshoots and telling people they "had" to leave, AND blocking/holding up elevators to take footage of their stars in the elevators. I REALLY hope this was not done with the con/hotel's permission, considering the state of the elevators as is and the shitty message that sends to the fandoms that were displaced and had their photoshoots totally disrupted.

Date: 2013-09-03 01:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gothic-hamlet.livejournal.com
I would like to know Dragon*Con's stance on this as well. What is the policy that attendees should follow if non-official groups attempt to displace other congoers, claiming that they have a "right" to the area? Heroes of Cosplay has a lot of clout, but they weren't listed as any sort of official guest.

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Date: 2013-09-03 05:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arseaboutface.livejournal.com
The Good

Moving the vendors!

The badge checkers!

The water everywhere!

The Academic Track!

The Fantasy Literature Track! I am so glad it split from the sci-fi lit track. The leadership did a bang-up job, and both panels I attended were awesome. I seriously hope they are given a bigger room, because they are covering some seriously popular stuff.

The new bumpers on DCTV were excellent, especially "Cosplay is not consent" and the one about keeping sci-fi pure.

The (finally!) expanded harassment policy, which was long overdue, was super.

The Bad

WTF was up with registration? Last year and the year before (and I think the year before that), we went at about 9:30 pm and were able to walk right to the booths. This year we got in line at 8:30 PM and were in line for two hours. They had to cut off the line at about 9:30. Also, one of the volunteers who was "directing" the line sent us literally all the way around the building. We walked right back to the location from whence we had been sent walking, only to find that the end of the line snaked around through the parking lot. When we got there, understandably miffed, we were angrily informed that the line was OVER THERE. Not ok, Plaid Shorts Guy.

I definitely saw a badge checker go "well, ok," when somebody didn't have a badge at the back stairs of the Hyatt, because he was with a couple of people who had badges. NOT OK.

The volunteer at the Puppet Slam who told me that the room was full as 15-20 people walked out of the room right past us. I can get behind reentry privileges for parties, but I feel like at a panel or a performance with limited seating, if you leave, you leave.

DragonCon TV was overwhelmingly green on Friday night, which happened to be during the rebroadcast of the Friday Night Costume Contest. It wasn't our TV;
we checked several other stations, which were fine, and saw other complaints on Twitter.

Suggestions

Vet and train the registration volunteers more thoroughly. There's no reason that scanning a postcard should spit out the wrong name, and if it does, I really don't want to have to stand in line again at Solutions. A second location might also be helpful.

Put a volunteer with a bunch of balloons or a "Line Ends Here" sign or a severed head on a stick, I don't even care, but something very big and obvious at the end of the registration line. The person (or persons) holding it needs to be connected to at least one person at the front of the hotel by radio. This is the only line that nearly everyone at Con will stand in, it's the first impression of Con for a lot of people, and the management of it needs to be improved a thousandfold.

Signs designating where it is and is not ok for costumed groups to stand for pictures, at least in the high traffic areas (Atrium level of the Marriott, lobby of the Hyatt). A simple "photographs must take place on/off carpeted areas" would go a long way towards easing confusion on the part of both costumers, photographers, and people who just want to get to the food court. I heard there were designated picture rooms? If that's the case, 1) awesome! 2) can this be publicized?

DragonCon specific signs at AmericasMart. I loved loved loved the move, but "This way to the Dealers" "This way to the Exhibitors" and "This way to the Exit" signs would be super helpful.

This isn't a note for the Con, but rather Congoers--guys, we have GOT to get over ourselves and sit next to each other in the food courts and at panels. This isn't a movie theatre; please don't leave a space between you and the person next to you unless you absolutely must for your health and/or safety, especially at lunch time.

Date: 2013-09-03 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] andrew norton (from livejournal.com)
Photo room - yes, I saw one at least (but never really looked) - it was in the Marriott Marquis level, near the elevators, next to security. There may ahve been others, I don't know, I didn't look and didn't spend a whole lot of time 'wombleing free'

The Registration line. Lot of technical issues this year all over hte con. Hyatt lost its internet wednesday-saturday, which screwed up a lot of departments (mostly the back-end ones con-goers don't see directly, such as signage). I ALSO believe there was a power surge that knocked out the Sheraton, including all registration stuff Thursday, which is what caused the line. Took a bit for the systems to come back up, and that meant a backlog that was being cleared only SLIGHTLY faster than people were joining. No power issue=no massive lines was my understanding.

As for the AmericasMart, you can't really understand and visualise until too late. How many people who've never been to 'con, but have been in the Marriott, would understand that it could take 20 minutes to go from one hotel skybridge to the other, just because of congestion. You'd think the Atrium was big enough!

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Date: 2013-09-03 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chimairagt.livejournal.com
The Good:
- Moving the dealer room and exhibitor hall to America's Mart. It definitely made the Con feel less congested to be a bit more spread out
- New guests: The Power Rangers guests and Peter Davison were great additions.
- Gonzo Quiz Show - this has become my favorite panel of the year. I've been to each one and they've all been great. Some people might have missed it since it ran counter to the Masquerade, but I think the entertainment value is far greater.

The Bad:
-The actual execution of moving the dealer room and exhibitor hall to America's Mart. It was almost impossible to navigate. Trying to find a specific dealer was next to impossible. The layout of the mart necessitates LOTS of signs, not only directing you to the various rooms, but also letting you know which room you are about to leave or enter. Since this was the first year of the move I understand that there are some kinks to work out. I applaud the effort, and hopefully next year will be better.
- Taking photos near stairs or escalators. It's rude, and it causes traffic jams. I hate that this is anything other than a common sense issue. Many people including my self have gotten to the point where we don't think twice about walking into the picture if they are blocking the way. Hopefully this gets the point across that they picked a poor spot to take pictures.

The...other:
I hope someone captured the DS9 panel from Monday morning and puts it on YouTube. I need to rewatch it so that I can decipher exactly what Avery Brooks was trying to get across during his speech at the end. I couldn't tell if he was insinuating that the staff at DragonCon is racist for treating him poorly, that the fans are racist for putting Sisko below the other captains (which I disagree with), or what. It left me baffled and uncomfortable.

Date: 2013-09-04 03:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soochsooch.livejournal.com
About that DS9 panel, I want a copy of that too! I couldn't figure out what exactly he was saying or who he was saying it to and I want to rehear it. I felt so bad for the girl who had to ask her question after THAT.

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Date: 2013-09-03 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whisperwords.livejournal.com
Just another thought that was rolling around in my head earlier today - I remember the badge lines a few years back had TVs along them that had con trivia and little mock advertisements and stuff. What happened to those? I think it would be a great place to put up some "Con Behavior 101" slides, since everyone has to pick up a badge to participate in the Con. Just covering the basics like:

-Keep moving in traffic areas and if you need to stop for some reason, step aside and out of the thoroughfare

-Ask before you take a photograph or touch someone's costume (and don't get mad when the answer is "no")

-Don't stop at the destination end of escalators and get out of the way once stepping off an elevator

-Don't wear your enormous, elaborate costumes into the dealer's room -- wait until you're in civvies or something less prone to block doorways and/or hit people

-NO PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE SKYBRIDGES

-Don't argue with authority figures (cops, hotel staff, con staff) when asked to do something you don't want to do--they wouldn't ask you for no reason and usually they're trying to make things easier for everyone

-Let the people who have been waiting get on an elevator before you -- too many times I saw people hop into an opening elevator just because they happened to be walking up just as the doors opened, despite the waiting crowd.

I'm sure there are more and more of these we could think of (without even getting into 'showers are your friend' / 'please use deodorant' / 'the following things are creepy/things that will get you arrested,do not do them') but I think Con staff could help out with the major ones regarding traffic and efficiency by posting signage and making sure staff are helping to enforce things like 'no photography in the skybridges.'
Edited Date: 2013-09-03 06:58 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-03 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roxybisquaint.livejournal.com
-Let the people who have been waiting get on an elevator before you -- too many times I saw people hop into an opening elevator just because they happened to be walking up just as the doors opened, despite the waiting crowd.

Yes yes yes! I do wish people would be a little more courteous about that.

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Date: 2013-09-03 07:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roxybisquaint.livejournal.com
The Good
Despite the growing crowds and a sense that some of the (I'm assuming) newer attendees were a little less friendly than the usual masses, I had a blast. Dragon Con can definitely frustrate at times, but it remains an awesome weekend of fun and frolic. This was my sixth year attending and I'm already registered for 2014 :)

ETA - I meant to mention the Hilton staff. I've stayed there for five Dragon Cons now and always find them to be helpful and very nice.

The Bad
Image

I hated the new dealer location. America's Mart looked like some old nasty department store repurposed into a low-rent flea market. It was all-around unpleasant. At the height of the con, it was just as crowded as the old space, but way more confusing (https://twitter.com/RoxyBisquaint/status/374106913816190976) and inconvenient. Just trying to get there took a ridiculous amount of time because of the sidewalk gridlock it caused. The relocation felt pointless to me. I also missed the Marriott food service outside, which I guess they decided not to do because, without dealers right inside, there wasn't enough foot traffic for it. That had previously been my favorite spot for grabbing a quick bite.

Is the Marriott Atrium Ballroom cursed? This is the second year in a row that panels in there had audio trouble. Actually, there were audio problems in two other Marriott panel rooms I went to too, so maybe it's not so much the Atrium ballroom that's cursed as the entire Marriott. Or maybe it's just audio tech incompetence. DCTV was also the same audio disaster it always is — panels too quiet, bumpers too LOUD. Why can they not solve that problem?

The new Walk of Fame had one glaring flaw: the impasse on the right side of the room. I think they crammed one guest table too many at the right end of that center row. Other than that, it was fine, though being a Hilton regular, I was sad to see it moved to the Marriott.

The line and seating workers were a little off their game this year, declaring panels full when there were still obvious groups of seats available plus singles scattered throughout. Here's a good example: My husband went to the John Barrowman panel, but I arrived late. He texted to me say there were still plenty of seats near him in the back of the room, but the guy at the door stopped me because it was "full". I had to tell him I'd left to go to the bathroom and was coming back so that he'd let me in (sorry for lying, but I knew there were seats in there). On another occasion I was at a Farscape panel and a friend arrived right after it started. The door person wouldn't let her in because they said it was full. In reality, there were at least 10 open seats in plain view in the back (small room, so 10 open seats was significant).

Misc Thoughts
Every year I start thinking that maybe the con is getting too crowded and I should skip a year. By Monday, I'm sad that it's over and already looking forward to the next year. What I've learned is that Dragon Con can be whatever you make of it. I don't like waiting in a line for an hour, so I keep my schedule flexible and have back-up choices. When I need a breather, I go outside to get some air and do some people watching. When the Pulse bar area is crazy-dense, I make a pass or two around the perimeter to see costumes, then head to a lower floor. When I don't want to be annoyed by obnoxious drunks and broken beer bottles, I avoid the area outside between the Marriott and the Hyatt at night. I think it really comes down to getting to know the con well enough that you can enjoy the things you like and avoid the things you don't.

Overall, I have a great time and find most other con goers that I meet, bump into or get crammed into an elevator with to be good-natured and full of humor. That's what makes it all worth it.
Edited Date: 2013-09-03 07:57 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-03 08:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mjdolce.livejournal.com
I just have to say that I love your "Misc Thoughts" section of this post.

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Date: 2013-09-03 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] myras-girls.livejournal.com
That map is the best thing evar. And, like Human Centipede, 100% medically accurate!

Date: 2013-09-03 08:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nestra.livejournal.com
In the Voice Actors panel on Sunday, I saw a staff member (I assume) repeatedly tell people they had to stay in their seats during the panel. I've never seen this before. What if you wanted water? What if your back was hurting from crappy hotel beds and you wanted to stand up in the back of the room for a bit? One of the things I've always appreciated about DragonCon was the laid-back atmosphere -- if you wanted to take a quick picture in a panel, no one gave you any crap about a quick run down the aisle, provided you were courteous.

The hotel staff, con staff, and volunteers who are responsible for trying to direct foot traffic should be nominated for sainthood.

Date: 2013-09-04 02:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nonyabiznez.livejournal.com
I was in that same Voice Acting Panel on Sunday. I was seated on the very back row - no one was behind me, not even standing. I like to shoot photographs of the panelists. I have a really long lens so I was able to shoot from my seat but I'm short, so it's hard to get the lens up over the head of the crowd. Finally I just thought, why don't I stand up, I am on the back row? So I pushed my chair back and started shooting. I stood and shot for maybe 5 minutes. Just as I was going to sit down, a volunteer came by and told me that I HAD to sit down. Why? Does the Fire Marshall care that I'm standing? The guy sitting beside me thought it was strange. I didn't check with the guy on the other side. I wouldn't have complained about it, but it sounds like the people running that room were making odd requests.

I do have to admit that I came in to the panel late and the people running the room were very nice in helping me find an open seat.

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Date: 2013-09-04 12:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nicosian.livejournal.com
The americas mart had issues, and from my discussion with the heads, they know there were some massive issues that will be addressed but I, as a dealer on the second floor who had to relocate my entire booth due to mis-mapping( chaos ensues!) , well, yeah....patience was required and I'll be emailing them. They handled it well but it was a new location and I think they didn't really think traffic flow well. Better signage and having booths display their booth number would help so much.

I didn't have much issue with elevators or hotel crowding other than what was UP with people stopping at the top or bottom of the escalator? Seriously.

It was no worse than past cons, traffic wise, for me. A few inconsiderate elevator fools, the usual sorts of things. Some people lose their sense and manners as the weekend goes on, and the drinking kicks in.

Saw a few people with pets ( not service animals) in the vendor hall which was kind of a questionable thing.



Date: 2013-09-04 07:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flyswatter.livejournal.com
Me, I have a fear of escalators. It takes me a minute to get my courage up. I'm not the only one.

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Date: 2013-09-04 12:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kabara (from livejournal.com)
PROS
--everything not mentioned below (let's face it, life is just better on Dragon*Con), specifically though: moving dealer's room was a good call and lots of great panels and guests.

CONS
--too many people. I have been coming to D*C for nearly a decade, and every year it's noticeably larger. This is the first year I at times felt unsafe due to the crowding. Nearly every panel I went to had people sitting in every chair, in the middle of the aisles, standing at the back of the room, and waiting in the hall because the room was full. I am not talking about celebrity panels. I am talking about small track panels that nobody should care about except for me and 10 other people. The tracks do not need larger rooms (frankly, this happened on like 6 different tracks that I went to, so I can't imagine there's *room* for these and other tracks to get larger and larger rooms), we need a registration cap. I hear there were 57,000 weekend passes, and who knows how many day passes. This is ridiculous, way too large, and frankly dangerous, especially combined with:
--horrible crowd control. Some people have said above there were people checking badges... but I didn't see them. I was NEVER asked to show a badge walking into the Sheraton, Hyatt, or Hilton. I was asked twice all weekend walking into the Marriott from the food court (never when coming from Hilton or Hyatt); I was never asked walking into the Westin... though there were people there who looked like they were supposed to ask, but always seems to be more interested in their phones. I also made it into a number of panels without people at the door or with distracted people at the door not asking for badges. Also, the vendors' rooms. From reading the above, obviously there were mixed experiences, but the crowd control felt as though we'd gone back a few years and were letting in all the gawkers etc. again.

All of that to say, did I still have fun? yes. But, that maybe have more to do with the fact that it was a week long vacation in Atlanta with friends and family than D*C specifically. I usually take dozens, if not hundreds, of photos. This year, I took 3. Not for lack of Cosplay, but because I just felt too uncomfortable most of the time when I came across awesomeness.

Date: 2013-09-04 02:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nonyabiznez.livejournal.com
Interesting. I usually take photos in the big panels which means that I spend a lot of time waiting in lines so I can be in the first three rows. This year, I decided to chill out. Partly that was because some of the people I really wanted to see aren't all that "glamorous" any more (Ed Asner, Billy Dee). Any way, I ended up going to a lot more panels than I usually do and I only got turned away from one. I thought that I would get turned away from many more since I didn't make a big deal about being in line early.

I also had my badge checked at almost all the places you're talking about. I stayed in the Hyatt. After about 6 each evening, there were two people posted at the Hyatt end of the tunnel coming back from the food court. I don't recall seeing any at the tunnel coming into the Hyatt from the Marriott. But I know I had to show my badge a couple of times to get into the Marriott coming from the Hyatt. I think I showed it at least once going into the Hilton from the Marriott.

My main issue with the crowds this year was, as many people have already reported, the ridiculous number of times people stopped to take photos in traffic areas. I have not had the courage to walk into their shots yet but I came very close a couple of times this year. It was just continuous. You'd move around a group taking a photo and run smack into another group taking photos. I felt like a pinball.

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Date: 2013-09-04 12:47 am (UTC)
phoenixchilde: A drawing of a phoenix (rise up)
From: [personal profile] phoenixchilde
It looks like the move to America's Mart was pretty polarizing, but I come down on the side of loving it. It's the first time in recent memory I could walk around the dealer's room without feeling like I was trapped in a fire and safety hazard; I agree that the signage could've been better, but not being forced to stand stock-still for fifteen minutes and be crushed by people on all sides? Hugely outweighed any navigation issues.

My only major negative was the line control (or lack thereof) for Saturday's Mythbusters panel. When my friend asked a volunteer where the line was -- since it fragmented all over the Atrium level and beyond within minutes -- she was told, "Just get in any of them. They're all probably Mythbusters." We ended up in a line that went all the way around the Marriott, only to vanish when we reached the entrance again, and were promptly told by another volunteer that we'd probably landed in an "unofficial" line that some fans had started thinking they could beat the one-hour-prior line-up rule. Directed to the correct line, we took another lap around the Marriott, realized at that point that the panel had started twenty minutes ago, and gave up.

So, yeah, basically: the line control for the big panels still needs some serious, serious work. There has to be a better way to corral everybody and ensure they're all in the proper place -- and the volunteers always ought to know exactly where the line begins. (Or, at least, not be afraid to say, "I don't know, but let me find somebody who does," rather than make assumptions that waste everybody's time.)

Overall, though, I had an excellent con! Seriously, when your biggest disappointments are "I couldn't get into the same panel half the con was trying to attend" and "the colored contacts I bought for one of my costumes irritated my eyes so much that I had to ditch them," you don't have much to complain about. :)
Edited Date: 2013-09-04 01:04 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-04 03:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nonyabiznez.livejournal.com
Since the two guys only did one panel together, I expected it to be a problem. In my opinion, they've never really conquered line management at the Marriott. It used to be Marriott staff who caused the problems. I didn't see them get involved too much this year. But I also only went to one panel in the Atrium Ballroom - by choice. I HATE that ballroom. I will NEVER understand why they leave the room dark. I believe it makes it more difficult to see the guests. I know it makes it more difficult for the guests to see the audience. And it makes taking photos impossible unless you can get in the first two rows.

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Date: 2013-09-04 12:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saribelle.livejournal.com
The Good:

I loved that the dealers room was NOT in the Marriott. We were able to actually move around the lower levels without feeling claustrophobic.

Bryan Humphreys' camera setup. Awesome idea and definitely should be done again if he wants to.

Great guests - please bring back the Lost Girl people again next year! They were FANTASTIC and such amazing guests to interact with.

DC*TV was awesome! New bumpers and videos, and it seemed like (for the most part) we didn't get that shuffle weirdness where we got the same videos over and over. As always, it was great to see the big panels in the comfort of our room.

Badge checking is still an awesome idea. It's not a perfect system but it definitely helped with the crowds.

Avengers Ball was amazing. Actually, every event I went to was enjoyable. I don't play WoW anymore, but I attended the Darkmoon Faire with my roommates and it was such a fun event!

Geek Girls Run was a great new addition and I can't wait to join the fun again next year!

The Bad:

General etiquette. I feel like there's not much D*C can do about that, unfortunately. It might sound rude, but maybe putting a flyer in with the bags you get at badge pickup...I don't know.

Smoking. It falls under etiquette, but it kind of needs its own mention, People have every right to smoke, but it's pretty rude to smoke while standing in an outside line or while walking down the sidewalk with hundreds of people around you. If we wanted to smoke, we would buy our own. While we were in the pre-reg line, several smokers just took it upon themselves to walk across the street and smoke out of the vicinity of the rest of the line. Please, take their lead! I think most people would be happy to hold your place in line for five minutes while you excuse yourself for a smoke break. I know I would!

Organization at America's Mart. I loved the move. But the area itself was extremely confusing. I felt like I was adventuring in Skyrim and kept finding hidden caves. (Not in a good way!) It was also sort of haphazardly laid out. In some areas it was spacious and in others was every bit as cramped as it used to be in the Marriott. Please keep it at AM but try to organize it better.

The Miscellaneous

IMO, Dragoncon gets better every year. I appreciate that you guys take feedback and try to improve. A friend came for the first time, and I constantly found myself sayings things like "oh man, this is so great; you should have seen these lines five years ago!" etc. Thank you for another great con and I look forward to another one! :)

Date: 2013-09-04 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tiredpicker.livejournal.com
Smoking. It falls under etiquette, but it kind of needs its own mention, People have every right to smoke, but it's pretty rude to smoke while standing in an outside line or while walking down the sidewalk with hundreds of people around you. If we wanted to smoke, we would buy our own.

Oh I really hated that so much. Even walking by people smoking in the lines was bad enough.

One thing that bothered me were people in very small panels smoking on vaporizers. I know they're not harmful, but its almost as bad as being by people with bad body odor. Vaping might be safe for your lungs, but I'm not really interested in smelling a bunch of different vap flavors either.

Date: 2013-09-04 02:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nyreak.livejournal.com
Walk of Fame traffic jams:

I remember thinking about the flow of traffic in the Walk of Fame area, especially along the right side which I believe someone mentioned earlier. I thought the Walk of Fam was better this year than in the past, but you still have issues of lines running into the walking area, and people trying to get through the middle of the lines from both directions. Would it be feasible to make the Walk of Fame a "one-way traffic" situation? Yes, it might suck a little bit to have to go all the way around the room again in order to get to someone two tables back from where you just were, but perhaps if we're all walking in the same direction the traffic flow might actually... flow. Think of it as a roundabout: You enter and go to the right. If you find your exit, take it. If not, keep going all the way around again until you do!

Date: 2013-09-04 03:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nonyabiznez.livejournal.com
One of the problems you're never going to solve about the Walk of Fame traffic is that this is where people rubberneck. I full-on admit that I do it. I try not to just stand and stare. But I don't know half of these celebrities by name. So I can't just look at the sign and decide whether or not I want to talk to them. I need to see the person's face to see if I recognize them. Sometimes they are not at their table, so I have to try to look at whatever photos/posters are hung at their spot. But when they are at their table, sometimes you have to move around a little to see them through the line and/or person they are currently talking to. I try not to bump into people while I'm looking around, but this is the one place where I'm not walking with a purpose in mind. I'm just kinda wandering and looking. That is not good for flow, but again, I don't think you can fix that.

Date: 2013-09-04 02:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kkatowll.livejournal.com
The good: I felt there were tons of really interesting new panels this year -- ones I hadn't seen offered before. (Sometimes the smaller tracks offer the same things, year after year.) Among the things I loved: does a contract negate non-consent? (It was a panel on Dollhouse, but it took on a very specific topic. The room was packed and we were all really into it.) There were also really creative alternatives to the "sit and talk" panels -- for example, Apocalypse Now's panel in which players tried to survive in a live simulation that had them going all over the Westin. Really cool.

The bad: I think the con needed more volunteers this year. Several times I attended big ballroom panels in which things weren't set up (like a mic for audience questions, or a moderator to introduce the guest). There was a lot more confusion than normal about where lines were, and I ran across a lot of volunteers who couldn't even pretend to be cheerful anymore. They looked like they'd been run ragged. I also saw that DragonCon was hiring security, and while I guess I should see that as a resolution to the above problem, I have to admit I thought a lot of them messed with our vibe. Someone screaming, "Show me your badge! Show me your badge!" is just not the friendly greeting I'm hoping for as I walk into a building.

Also bad -- the cancellation of the Wheel of Time track. The final book came out THIS YEAR, and yet this is the year it's cancelled? The new Fantasy Lit track held a whole whopping ONE panel so fans could discuss the books. I organized three meetups with WoT fans on the 10th floor of the Marriott so that we could discuss particular topics in detail (we voted for our favorite topics and most convenient times on the WoT Facebook page). The one WoT panel in the Fantasy Lit track was packed and beyond packed -- after seating people on the floor and then standing in the back of the room, they had to turn away everybody else. I think it makes sense to combine tracks, but I'd like to propose that for next year, Fantasy Lit hold an open vote for the top, say, six series that people want to discuss in-depth. Then the track could solicit fans who love those series to run the panels. If the track picks a small number of series each year, there would be enough time to really do them right: discussions, games, presenters, etc. What I love about DragonCon is that truly obsessed big fans can get together and focus on their own little fandom. But as the con gets bigger and bigger, those little fandoms are getting squeezed out. I don't think they all need full tracks, but they do need a 2-3 panels every day, to give them full representation. I'm not looking for Generic Con, "discuss fantasy books in general for an hour" con. I want a convention that lets fandoms live.

Date: 2013-09-06 05:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] latinageek.livejournal.com
I loved the series but only had been to one track panel in 2011 so I thought this Con I'd really go to everything... alas. This year I did go to the final book discussion and yes it was standing room only. It was also fantastic to be with people who loved the characters as much as I do. So I guess I missed out big time for not joining the track before. :/

Part 1: The Good and the Just Okay

Date: 2013-09-04 03:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] castalianspring.livejournal.com
Good:

- Some great new guests this year, and what panels I made it to were excellent. I especially enjoyed the Hornblower panel, Lucy Lawless, Pinky and the Brain (definitely worth getting up in time for a 10 AM panel on Monday morning!), the Hobbit panels, the Husbands panel with Jane Espenson and Brad Bell, and the Warehouse 13 group.

- Loved the new bumpers, especially the one about consent/not being a jerk.

- Badge checkers and generally friendly hotel staff.

- Plenty of water everywhere.

- Some really awesome costumes this year, as usual.

- Vic made a pretty good Masquerade host, plus the Stormtrooper was finally back to clear the stage after annoyingly long skits!

- Rooms just for queuing = great idea!

- No JCB at the Walk of Fame this year? If she's finally been banned, then I rejoice at this decision! Everyone in there was lovely this year, no yelling or rudeness that I could see from my limited time in there, just gentle guiding of the longer lines.

Okay:

- America's Mart. Good in theory, but the layout was so bad it was almost impossible to tell if you'd seen everything or find something again if you wanted to come back to it later. Finding your way back out was also challenging. I really hope this can be addressed for next year - maybe colored tape on the floor to help guide you, more prominent aisle signs, etc. Anything.

- Art Show. I'm starting to see a LOT of repeat pieces in the art show every year. The exact same art from the same artists, over and over again. The Art Show is usually one of the highlights of the con for me, but this year was just meh.

- Speaking of repeats, can the Dragonrider guy stop entering the Masquerade now? I don't care if he adds new sidekicks every year, it's still the same damn costume and shouldn't be seen in any more contests.

- Service at the Hilton was disappointing this year. We didn't get the refrigerators we requested when we booked a year ago. It took over an hour and a half to get more towels our first night, and they still kept trying to leave only 3 towels in a 4-person room every time. Staff just never seemed to be on the same page with each other.

Re: Part 1: The Good and the Just Okay

Date: 2013-09-04 02:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] formerdinosaur.livejournal.com
Art Show. I'm starting to see a LOT of repeat pieces in the art show every year. The exact same art from the same artists, over and over again. The Art Show is usually one of the highlights of the con for me, but this year was just meh.

I noticed this and agree.

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Part 2: The Bad

Date: 2013-09-04 03:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] castalianspring.livejournal.com
Bad:

- Dunno if these were newbies or just oblivious congoers, but I nearly had several escalator related accidents due to people getting to the bottom or top and then just stopping. Then there were people stopping to talk or take pictures in the skybridges. One kid actually spread his arms out to show off his costume and blocked the entire doorway of the bridge from the Marriott to the Hyatt. DO NOT DO THIS.

- PSA regarding safety on escalators and stairs: Dudes with capes, please pick them up when using these modes of transportation! Ladies with dresses already know how this shit works, so get with the program.

- Costumes in the dealer rooms and complete lack of common sense. There were so many inappropriate costumes in there, especially on Saturday when the crowds were at their worst. Please don't wear wings, spikes, fragile costumes, or any other unwieldy things in there that could poke others in the eye or get broken when you stop in the middle of the aisle and someone runs into you.

- Parade. This was a giant clusterfrak, IMO. The streets were only partially closed, and not well marked, which led to crowds pushing into the streets and blocking congoers who had gotten there early to grab a good spot. Crowd control was spotty at best. I gave up because tourists/locals (with no badges in sight) pushed out into the road in front of everyone else and blocked our view, sometimes even darting out into the parade itself to pose for pictures. I know it's not the con's fault the route had to be changed, but cutting off the Westin and America's Mart from the Hyatt on the busiest day didn't seem smart. The street in front of the Hyatt was so crammed with people there was barely room to walk on the sidewalks.

- Locked panel rooms. Not sure whose fault this was, but even when a panel is full, you shouldn't lock the doors. The A601-602 room on Sunday had the main doors locked with a sign that said "Use Other Door". The other door, however, was also locked. I wasn't about to knock just to try and get into a panel, b/c I didn't want to be disruptive, but as I was leaving another congoer did just that, so I felt bad for the people inside.

- Smoking right outside hotel entrances/doors. So many jerks doing this all weekend. Not sure which is worse, the smoke or the BO/heavy perfume in elevators.
Edited Date: 2013-09-04 03:18 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-04 03:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nonyabiznez.livejournal.com
A601-602 should have had an attendant posted at the back door to let people in. For one of the panels I went to in there, they shut the front doors when the panel started. I was sitting in the front row of the section on the other side of the aisle by those doors. It would have been really distracting for people to continue to enter through them. But what was worse was that someone did come in and then she wouldn't close the doors even though a few of us asked her to. The noise from the crowd on the Atrium level was SUPER distracting and could be heard even when the door was cracked. The only way to block it out was to completely close the doors. And I assume that those doors automatically locked once they were closed.

That crowd in the street crap happens every year at the parade. I fully intended to skip the parade until I realized that I could watch it from my hotel balcony. Otherwise, I would not have bothered. I would like to see more programming opposite the parade. I know it would be hard to get to once the parade started, but if you wanted to see something you would just get into the hotel before the streets shut down.

It's not just dudes with capes that need to be aware of where they trail. I was very nervous that I was going to step on someone's costume this year. There seemed to be a lot of long, flowing costumes that required you to follow them at more of a distance than usual. I didn't know where to look while walking the halls: down at my feet so I didn't step on hems or in front of me so I didn't run into groups of people who stopped to take photos.

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From: [identity profile] castalianspring.livejournal.com - Date: 2013-09-04 05:09 pm (UTC) - Expand

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Date: 2013-09-04 03:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jackwabbit.livejournal.com
I'm going to come down on the side of the America's Mart being horrible.

I've always been able to move fine and see the entire contents of both exhibition halls and the dealer's room (though it was more crowded) easily in the Marriott locations. They were crowded, yes, but manageable.

I tried to go to the America's Mart twice and couldn't handle it. Two friends I went with, both of whom are also experienced con attendees with a high tolerance for crowds, also completely bailed on it. We all went over at different times and none of us stayed longer than a few minutes, as there wasn't even room to move, much less see anything. I went in on Monday afternoon, about one, and it was better - I could at least walk - but still a cluster****. I know it's a learning curve thing and hopefully it will improve, but if it stays like it is over there, I simply won't bother. That's what online retailers are for. And while I don't mind saving the money, but I'm sure the vendors would have appreciated my business.

Speaking of crowding, sadly, I think it's time. DragonCon needs to cap attendance or at least cut down single badge sales. Alternatively, before doing that, they could try some traffic flow experiments first. Personally, I think that traffic should go one way in the dealer's rooms (up one aisle, down the next) and the Marriott (either clockwise or counterclockwise around the circles). I know it's a pain, but I think it would help. I went to a very overcrowded inner-city high school, and though we all bitched about it like crazy when they implemented one-way halls, life was a LOT better that way.

I had a fun con, and I'll be back, and I know crowding is just part of it, but this year was the first time I literally could not move and was skin-to-skin with people I didn't want to be that way with. It was in the Marriott during peak times, but still...something has to be done before the con grows much more. I don't want to see caps, but I think it's coming.

Date: 2013-09-04 03:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nonyabiznez.livejournal.com
I mentioned this over on Reddit. I think they need to contact Ga Tech - either the civil engineering dept or industrial engineering dept and get post-grad students to do projects on traffic flow. It would take several years to get things all worked out since you can only test changes once a year. But I think it would be worth it. And I totally agree that the Marriott circles should be one-way, clockwise. Actually maybe counterclockwise to make the flow from the tunnels work - make the Hyatt to Marriott one way. To get back to the Hyatt you have to go through the food court.

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Date: 2013-09-04 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sensitivinferno.livejournal.com
I thought America's Mart was a great idea. I walked in with my husband for the first time (he had already been and knew the layout) and was like, "OMG I CAN MOVE AND ACTUALLY LOOK AT THINGS!" This has not been the case for the past couple of years. Plus I found exactly what I was looking for. :)

Not to be rude or offensive, because I absolutely don't mean it that way, but the only rude con-goers we experienced this year were those with mobility issues/disabilities. It's like, look, I'm severely asthmatic and pretty much felt like shit due to the air quality in Atlanta all weekend and how much walking I had to do, but I wasn't about to snap at anyone because of it. I'd just take a rest and use my inhaler. I didn't even pick up my disability services sticker because I felt like I could do things on my own without it. Also, my husband had hurt his knee right before the con and had to wear a brace all weekend and ice it constantly because it was swelling from all the walking, and he never once snapped at anyone. Yet twice we had people with more visible disabilities get shitty with us for NO REASON. And both times the people (total strangers) were incredibly defensive right from the start, when all we were doing was trying to get on an elevator or, in one case, were already on an elevator. PLEASE STOP DOING THIS! You may think we can take the stairs, but we can't! Sometimes I do push myself and take them, but we were on the 8th floor and my husband definitely couldn't because of his knee. Other people with disabilities should know better than anyone that just because someone might look able-bodied doesn't mean that they are! So please don't be mean to your fellow con-goers!

Otherwise, there were a lot of nice and friendly people this year! I didn't have any run-ins with annoying dudebros, and a total stranger loaned my husband $20 when he was short and had stood in line for an hour already. I didn't feel a rude vibe at all, in general. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, and be in good spirits.

DC*TV was a hot mess. The sound quality was terrible. And we were in the Hyatt, which I think was the only hotel to not have major issues with getting it...it was just really bad.

The Masquerade needs some serious screening. As a costumer of 15 years and someone who has competed with skits and actually studied acting, there needs to be some new management there or something. The costume quality at this con is SO HIGH and yet it doesn't look like anyone is competing with quality skits. I understand that the Friday Night Costume Contest is more for craftsmanship, but honestly. There needs to be a time limit based on the number of people on stage, and there needs to be some screening of skit content.

I mean, I had a great time despite the fact that most of these are complaints. I don't mean for them to all be complaints! It's just that most of my good times had nothing to do with the actual content of the con. I went to zero panels this year, and the only con-things I did were the parade, the OUAT meet-and-greet, and a photo with John Barrowman. The rest was hanging out with friends and going to costume gatherings.

I with there had been more Once Upon a Time content (and guests) and some Supernatural content. Like, seriously, anything at all!

Ummm...I guess that's pretty much everything. The rest was the usual DragonCon fair that I'm used to. This was my 9th year!

Date: 2013-09-04 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mjdolce.livejournal.com
I absolutely agree with you about your second paragraph. I have read too many post-con comments along the lines of "I'm in a scooter/wheelchair, and I can't use the stairs. You're not, you can." My boyfriend hurt his foot two days before con. We were staying on the 14th floor of the Hyatt. There was no way we could walk up and down 14 flights of stairs all weekend. He did not pick up a disability sticker, because we weren't going to be waiting in line for panels, and just plain didn't feel like he was disabled. But just because he wasn't in a wheelchair or scooter does not mean that stairs (especially 14 flights of them!) were an option.

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From: [identity profile] braidedmane.livejournal.com - Date: 2013-09-04 07:03 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2013-09-04 03:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abby-i.livejournal.com
Good
A number of new guests this year for me to see. It means I still have TOO MUCH TO DO(!) but it's nice to seem plenty of fresh faces.

I loved that there were no big panels scheduled during the parade this year, it's normally hard being able to go as there are always panels I want on at the same time.

I saw lots of badge checking in the entrance to the habitrails, very happy with that.

Big thanks to the staff that let me join the reg queue inside rather than the outside one which was 3/4 wrapped around the block. I pass out in heat at the drop of a hat at the moment and there was no way I could have stood outside for several hours. Very much appreciated.

I was in the Marriott this year and the lifts were pretty good, even with one of them broken. It was rare that I had to miss one because it was full.

I loved the new ballrooms. The new space meant I could stay in the three main hotels and avoid the Sheraton/Westin, which was awesome as I hate having to go outside in the heat. Saying that they really need better lighting. The big ballrooms have a lighting rig but the smaller ballrooms don't making it hard on the eyes at times (and rubbish for photos).

Still loving the DC room keys!

Bad
I can't comment on the dealers rooms new location because I didn't visit them. With time being so limited I had no time to go out over to the mart.

It's way, way too busy these days, even with the dealers room move. I think stopping day passes would be the best thing to do at first (unless that'd make the whole weekend packed), or they need to start capping attendance. I hate to say that but there is no more room for the con to expand really and it's becoming more stressful every year.

Even though I joined the reg line inside it still took forever (I always go when there are apparently 'issues'). I really think they need more machines to handle the volume of people they get these days (have them on the long wall instead of the short one etc).

As mentioned up-thread con staff/volunteers need bright, plain shirts with DRAGONCON STAFF/VOLUNTEERS on. They won't be stylish but with so many people it's hard trying to spot a coloured lanyard, especially when some people were having to use last years colour (they ran out) and when so many con-goers have red ones too. A bright t-shirt that clearly states you are with the con would be 1000 times more helpful and can be vital when you need to contact a member of staff quickly out in the more busy areas.

The queue. Ugh. I really wish they'd enforce the hour/1 1/2 hour rule. Instead you get unofficial queues, people joining the end of the previous one to be at the front of the new one etc. It's a pain in the neck and I refuse to play a part in it any more. I refuse to spend half the con queuing for 3 hours before a panel just to be in with a chance of being near the front. They really do need to crack down on this.
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