|Limited food options and walking to the train in 30° weather makes me a Sad Panda.|
- McCormick Place Venue was Out of Touch With Needs and Schedule of the Show. Without exception, the C2E2 event staff was courteous, helpful, and all around did their jobs. This is important because quite a few of these people who deserve praise and credit were working as volunteers. The facility staff, getting paid to do a job, don't deserve as much praise or credit. Frequently rude and almost universally ignorant, they detracted from the event.Venue management deserves some blame as well. On Saturday, the largest day for a 3 day show, you do not, I repeat, DO NOT close down all the restaurants in both food courts right before the three biggest panels let out, leaving a little pizza stand, nachos or barbeque as the only meal options for hundreds of people in the whole venue. Also, if you have someone directing attendees to charter shuttles, that person should know where they go. I didn't appreciate the long cold walk from Union Station to Clark and Lake to catch my train because a moron put me on the wrong bus.
- People Stopping in the Middle of A Crowded Aisle for a Photo Op Every convention has their fair share of people who, for some reason suddenly forget that they are in the middle of an aisle with lots of other people and suddenly stop to gawk. I'm used to that, even if it annoys me. Usually, however, you can walk around the slack-jawed nerd and keep moving after a few seconds. This is not true if someone in a costume stops in a congested spot and poses for a picture, as you have gawkers, the people involved, and all the empty space around the cosplayer where more considerate folks don't want to ruin the picture. Occasionally, I saw where people chose to do this, and thought, “Wow, I could find you a less convenient place to do that, but I'd have to do some math first.” It is flattering if someone wants to photograph the costume you worked hard on... have a little consideration and do it somewhere you won't cause a geek pileup.
Awesome costume, but trapped in the roadblock, I'm almost too busy hating you to notice how hot this is. Almost.
- Non-existent Event Security Put Featured Guests At Risk During one of the panels I talked about yesterday, Tahmoh Pennikett was talking, and sniffling, and talking, and sniffling. He apologized for the sniffles into the mic, as the air in the venue was messing with his sinuses. Several minutes later, a helpful fan rushed up the side of the stage to hand him a pack of tissues. Good on him. But wait, a random dude ran right up to a celebrity guest without so much as a “Halt, who goes there?” with an object in his hand. Tahmoh, who is a Muay Thai kickboxer, said “Man, I didn't know what that was, and I almost took you out.” Even if he was joking, this could have gone bad in a lot of ways. DON'T let fans run up on your guests, especially Sci-Fi fans who are used to having potentially dangerous stalkers.
Forget what I said up there, seeing Helo destroy a random nerd would have been AWESOME.
- Hall Layout Was Spectacularly Inefficient This compounds the issue I talked about in #2. certain aisles were cramped way too tight, others with a lot of unnecessary dead space, and some booths had side tables that extended into places where people needed to get by. In a few spots, I'm sure some ADA regulations were violated, as there was no way a wheelchair could get through. I understand that different lot sizes cost different prices and creating those parcels is far from an exact science. I may have mentioned before that I put together shows like this professionally (though mine never got this big.) Either the lots for booths were just drawn up badly, or the people who didn't stay in their assigned areas needed to be kept in line. Safety for your attendees comes first, and lanes being that cluttered could cause a hazard if evacuation became necessary.
- Do Three Things Well... Rather than 1 thing well, and 4 kinda “Meh”. The main focus of this event is comics, for sure, and comic-related parts of the show were solid. Quite a few of the other areas of the event need additional support and attention, or they need to be excised. I've worked with a lot of the guys and gals involved in the gaming areas, and I've seen what they can do with proper support. “Support” in this case isn't a mention in the con program, a room with a bunch of tables and a hands-off kind of “Good Luck, Buddy.” Putting someone in charge of an area and then basically leaving them completely alone isn't delegation, it is neglect.