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Programming Redux

Hi everyone,

As several folks have either figured out or stated already, I was the programming puppy for AC this year. There were a few issues that came up that I'm already addressing, but I'm still looking for more feedback on what to do to make Anthrocon even more fun for all of our attendees. I'd like to touch on a couple of items that have already been brought up so we don't duplicate efforts (please bear with me):

1. Spazfox Live: It became apparent that Spazfox's event was in a room that was entirely too small for the crowd. When the event was scheduled, Spaz and I talked about room size and I thought I had come up with a good space. I was wrong and the room filled to overflowing. So you'll be happy to hear that I'm looking at the Westmoreland Room for Spaz's event next year. (That was the room the SuperSponsor Lunch and Fursuit Games were in.) I'm hoping that will make for a far more comfortable space for both Spazfox and his audience.

2. Conflict between the Fursuit Parade and the end of the Art Show/auction. I've talked about this with PeterCat, and we'll see what we can do to alleviate this problem. I do recognize it as a problem as I myself had some pieces I was watching but also wanted to be in the parade. (I won one piece with the help of Rory...thanks pal.) I have a couple of ideas, but I want to touch base with both PeterCat and Yappyfox since we are dealing with two very high profile events that have some very specific time/materials/staffing requirements (Dorsai alignment for the parade route, not interfering with high traffic times in the dealer room, providing adequate time for folks to view and bid on their artwork, trying not to detract from other large events, etc.)

3. Volume of filking events: This was a reasonably new track for us this year. We had a special guest that came in and we believed that there would be a good amount of interest in these events. Traditionally at other venues when these events run, they have been wildly popular and run for many, many hours with rooms filled to capacity. We will be looking at the attendance and room requirements for this track for next year.

4. Too much back to back fursuit programming on Sunday: This was kind of a double edged sword. The parade is traditionally on Sunday so as not to hit the dealers' room during high transaction times, but still allow the dealers to be able to participate in one major daytime convention event. The room that the fursuit games needs was only available (after a reset) on Sunday afternoon. I thought that placing the photo shoots immediately before and after the parade would make things easier for those that wanted to particiapte...but it seemed to make them harder...so I'll be looking at new timeslots and days for those.

5. Lack of equipment for some events: I did try to get in requests for events...but with the new layout and the difference between equipment inthe convention center and the hotel, things didn't go as smoothly as I would have hoped for. I'll be working with SimbaLion to try and make this an easier process for next year.

I know that some rooms filled very quickly, while others were in rooms that seemed cavernous. Some of this is based on previous years' attendance for certain panels. Again, I'll be looking to make adjustments to better accommodate all panels.

If you have feedback on any part of programming, please let me know. I need your feedback to help make Anthrocon programming as good as it can be.



( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:29 pm (UTC)
#2 was a real drag for me this year. It was a double whammy. The general auction ending prevented me from attedning the fursuit parade. The mature auction ending killed any chances I had of participating in the Masquerade. Art patrons are fursuiters too. ;)
Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:52 pm (UTC)
you were at the Auction bro ? ^__^
(no subject) - siegewolf - Jun. 22nd, 2006 03:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - swift_fox - Jun. 22nd, 2006 06:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:50 pm (UTC)
yeah Kp your right heh some of the rooms in the hotel seamed like 5 blocks long and and yet were cramed in a way and sunday did seam very busy because you not only had the events that you just described that were in schedule conflict but also there were the fursuit games like imedietely folowing the parade as well and there was like no time to break and cool off because i wanted to be in that but i was too worn out from the parade partialy my fault suit i was in was not made for that but heh what can ya do ya know ? ^__^ well make it better next year
Jun. 22nd, 2006 03:04 pm (UTC)
I won't even pretend I went to anything on the program list [no offense, i just didn't] but there needed to be more things on Thursday. Earlier registration open, and more panels to get some of that "EVERYTHING AT ONCE" problems. Yeah, I know not everyone is even there on Thursday. But the con is a big place. Also: I wouldn't worry too much because some things are just going to overflow. Maybe you should try to have each of those fursuiting events every day in the evening or morning.
Jun. 22nd, 2006 03:05 pm (UTC)
Having 1 event every day would make it so that some of the people could attend at least one of the events. There are a /lot/ of fursuiters now so it would maybe split that whole schabang up a bit as well.
(no subject) - crssafox - Jun. 22nd, 2006 03:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - antimon - Jun. 22nd, 2006 03:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - crssafox - Jun. 22nd, 2006 03:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kuddlepup - Jun. 22nd, 2006 04:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - antimon - Jun. 22nd, 2006 04:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kuddlepup - Jun. 22nd, 2006 03:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 22nd, 2006 03:13 pm (UTC)
The fursuit maintence panal was in a good room, and i'd like to possibly return next year but no gaurntee yet.
Jun. 22nd, 2006 03:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, half the number of filking events and promote them better. Thursday night's performance by Tom Smith was poorly attended -- most people didn't even have their badges yet, so that was a waste. And most people I talked to didn't know who Tom Smith was and why he was there. Promotion, promotion, promition.

Tom's website is www.tomsmithonline.com
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - kuddlepup - Jun. 22nd, 2006 04:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - antimon - Jun. 22nd, 2006 04:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pandaguy - Jun. 22nd, 2006 04:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dronon - Jun. 22nd, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angelbear_oh - Jun. 22nd, 2006 04:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 22nd, 2006 04:03 pm (UTC)
#2 is a tricky problem because the Art Show events tend to have a domino effect. We can't have final bidding later than noon because there are many people who need to leave mid-afteroon Sunday or earlier. That would push back the auction and sales pickup, which absolutely must be done by 6 pm because that's when the carpenters arrive to disassemble the panels, and we can't afford to pay them to stand around waiting for us to clear the panels.

Having final bidding end earlier than noon generates problems in the other direction. I would prefer it to end at the top of an hour, so that suggests 11 am. It takes about a half-hour to close out bidding, so that means any fursuiter who wants to participate in the parade and is defending a bid on artwork located near the front of the room will not be able to complete the defense until almost 11:30 anyway, which is the call time for the parade. Also, I would rather not reduce the amount of time for final bidding, but it would be difficult to open earlier: I want to keep the hours simple, memorable and consistent, opening at 10 am every day, and this would also be simpler on the Dorsai for room security to have all the functions in that room open at the same time. (Apparently the Dealers Room director didn't get that memo and nobody else spotted the inconsistency in their opening time before the schedule was printed, but that should be fixed for next year.)

I should make it clearer that it's OK to have other people defend your bids for you at closeout. Just make sure to instruct them clearly on how high you're willing to bid!
Jun. 22nd, 2006 11:36 pm (UTC)
I believe that not only could the problem inherent in #2, but also the frustration of having to "watch" or "defend" your bid could be easily helped by closing the entire art show at once. More staff would be needed, or possibly Dorsai. At other cons I have vended/attended, there is ONE closing time, for every piece in an art show, and when it's closed, it's closed. No bids made after closing would be valid. No standing at a piece waiting until 12:35 to bid. It would require clearing the space with an announcement and bodily enforcement, but it *could* be done, as I have seen this done in both large and small art shows. And if the art show closes directly at noon, it makes it far easier to at least watch the parade. This also would help out those dealers who can't stay away from their tables long enough to "defend" a piece.
(no subject) - petercat - Jun. 23rd, 2006 12:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 22nd, 2006 04:13 pm (UTC)
What if we were to have the fursuit parade on Saturday afternoon, around 4 PM? It's prior to the close of the dealers' room, and it's on a high-visibility day. I could try to talk the DLCC into giving us some of the rooms across from the West Corner of the Park to let fursuiters gather there, so they could start out right by the dealers' room.
Jun. 22nd, 2006 04:20 pm (UTC)
a late afternoon parade woudl be most welcomed by many, early enough to avoid evening programing late enough to get up in the morning. sounds most doable
(no subject) - pandaguy - Jun. 22nd, 2006 04:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kuddlepup - Jun. 22nd, 2006 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dreamtigress - Jun. 22nd, 2006 11:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - unclekage - Jun. 23rd, 2006 11:50 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 22nd, 2006 04:41 pm (UTC)
Things I noticed, both high and low ticket events.

I liked that prereg opened ealyer than listed, but I would have liked it listed at the time it actually opened
Normal reg seemed a touch late for the sheer volume of furs attending to be able to get to the dance, or filking events that day.
More programing Thursday might be nice, but I think this should be a day for small localised groups (LAFF list et-al) to plan their unoficial events.
this day was a little too full, It would be good to keep related pannels on the same floor, or spaced out farther in time. also some of the more detailed pannels felt like they were cut short, and copuld have used an extra half.
I liked how Saturday was planned, though I really didn't attend much on that day, so I don't have much first-hand experience to say what was good or not.
By this time everyone is tired. The longer events givew people time to relax a bit, and simply enjoy the atmosphere.... I like that most of the big ticket events were in the convention centre, it did not feel overly busy.

Saturday was already touched on
Jun. 22nd, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC)
I've got a few idea for where the games can be held next year and the charity auction as well. Well maybe some work around for the unions.
Jun. 22nd, 2006 05:42 pm (UTC)
That was my gripe, the back to back fursuiting events. I was half dead by the time fursuit games rolled around, and by the end of it I just eliminated myself to get out of suit.
Jun. 22nd, 2006 07:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah...I hear that.

I looked in to the games on my way to the Washington Room and...well those who saw it, know what my reaction was. :)

Guess it was better than last year when we went from the Fursuit Parade, to the Search and Rescue Agility Test, which involved a soccer game, which was then followed by the fursuit games. :D

Nice to see you there Twitch. :)

Swift Fox
Jun. 22nd, 2006 07:07 pm (UTC)
Astrono_Furs give KP a thumbs up!
I want to say that the North Terrace was the perfect location for the Astrono-Fur's Star Parties. :)

Friday night's event started off with a bang when PNC Park launched it's 15 minute fireworks display and the night just got better from there. We had clear views of Jupiter to the south, as well as a few beautiful visual and binary double stars in Hercules, Cygnus, Ursa Major and Lyra.

Saturday night offered much of the same including a bright transit of the International Space Station, an Iridium flare and a transit of Jupiter's Great Red Spot. Along with the same double stars viewed on Friday night we also delved into the heavens to pull Brocci's Cluster, the Coat Hanger asterism, from Vulpecula's crafty paws. :)

Silaria and I posted a few signs around to help folks find their way from the Ballroom. One more sign, posted opposite the elevators from the skybridge might have been even more helpful, but there wasn't an eisel there to utilize for that purpose.

As it was, we lucked out and had two fair nights of observing. We counted about 40 Anthrocon members attended our star party Friday night and about 20 came up to take a look through our scopes Saturday night. That's almost 3% of AC's attendance.

Yes, we'd like to have the opportunity to share the stars again with Anthrocon members next year in July. :)


Thanks for all the hard work KP!

Swift Fox
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )