View Full Version : The most confusing place I've been...

05-03-2002, 11:06 PM
From the very beginning, this seemed to be the most confusing convention in the world. There were no signs or people letting anyone know what lines to be in, so you just had to guess or ask everyone what the line was for, but then those people didn't know either.
I waited 1 1/2 hours in the line for the opening ceremonies that were to begin at 12:30pm, and when we finally got near the ballroom it was in, they told us it was full and that we could go to the costume show that was to take place in 2 more hours. Needless to say, I was preturbed. I felt like I was in the Simpsons episode where Bart and Lisa wait in the "Line Ride."
So, off to the Celebration II store to get the Sacul figures. Saw many a line on the way, wondering if any of them were for the figure. When I finally reached the store, behold! another line. One person was herding the gazillion amounts of people into individual lines to buy their items. At each table was about 6-7 lines of about 20 people waiting to purchase items. Helping this mob, was approximately 3 workers per table. That is a ratio of mob to workers about 30,000:12. In that line we waited about 2 hours.
After this, I wanted to check out the autograph room. Again another gigantic line, actually 2 lines that I had to ask why there were 2 lines and what they were for. I did not end up getting any autographs because of this line. I could not even look at the people signing autographs because the workers wouldn't let people in without an "autograph coupon." Highlight: I peeked at Billy Dee Williams and saw Kenny Baker randomly wandering around the exhibit hall.
Conclusion, there needed to be more direction given at this event. It might have been fun, but with all of the lines, I really just wanted to leave. Is there a line for that too?

05-03-2002, 11:29 PM
I agree. There were hardly any signs telling you where to go -- so you had to either get in line and ask the person in front of you what they were standing in line for, or ask your friendly Stormtrooper security guard (who were sometimes completely inadudible) and who then directed you towards the nearest redshirt.

You had pratically no idea who you were standing in line for at the autograph area, because the enormous size of lines lined up together was exausting. Nevertheless, I got several people's autographs including Dave Prowse. However, I skipped on Billy Dee and Kenny Baker due to the large lines. I fear it will be only worse tommorow with Carrie Fisher around..

05-04-2002, 07:32 PM
Oh good, someone else started the line rant post before I did. images/icons/smile.gif Watch out, here's my long contribution...

The shear amount of people attending this convention, along with the infinite lines for each and every main room, have made it very taxing on the nerves.

As Sleet mentioned, lines have been an issue from the get-go. I showed up on Friday at 8am, greeted outside the convention by a mass of fans. Very friendly, excited fellow SW fans all waiting in a giant line outside of the convention center. Getting in the back of the line, ten minutes passed before someone came by saying that there was a Fan Club line on the other side of the building. After the hike around the RCA Dome to the west side of the center, I got back into an equally huge line and waited patiently to be set loose inside.

Once inside, the choices of lines to get into and directions to go were multiple. There was a line, several people wide, spanning the center of the hall. To the side was a sign pointing to the Celebration Store Ė at a diagonal to the hall and the adjacent escalators! Was it pointing up to the second floor? Was it pointing down the hall? What was this line in the center forÖ because it didnít look to have an end. I walked all the way down the hall to find that yes; this was the LINE for the store. I walk back down the hall and got into line again. I waited a half an hour to get into the store, only to find more lines and a mob overwhelming the amazingly under-staffed store tables. It took another hour to reach the attendee and buy my figures. I left the room happy but my nerves already had been taxed.

C2 has been painfully over complicated, time consuming, and less than fun, which is what this is all supposed to be about.

It hasnít gotten better in the 24 hours since. The halls are packed wall to wall with people inching past one another, all trying desperately to reach some point of destination in hopes of seeing something, anything. There are not that many things available to see that donít require an investment of time in a line to get in and see, which I is at the root of the problem as I see it Ė thereís not enough milling around to do, only scheduled seminars, and thereís too many people to soak into all of them comfortably. I think I covered all of the exhibits, like Hasbro, the Kenner museum, and the surround booths, now everything else requires waiting in lines that outweigh my interest in the topics at hand.

Iíve left early on both days. Iíve seen Spiderman and even searched Toys R Us in a sad attempt to find something new. I guess my patience for crowds isnít the best, because I am preferring this to the lines and cramped hallways of the convention.

Iíve got my Jorg figure, so all is good, but I would have thought with all the great things that are going on at C2, they would have been better organized, easier to access, and given appropriate signage for the thousands of fans that have made such a long journey to see.

Your experience may vary.

05-04-2002, 08:08 PM
Yeah, I feel sort of the same way. I did not get the George figure, a Carrie Fisher autograph. I did get a headache trying to find out where the heck everything was. I did have a good time sometimes but not nearly as much as I thought I would. I expected a lot more hype about Ep2 and did not really see that. It was a confusing and claustophobic day.
It could have been better. It was more of a push and grind than fun.

05-04-2002, 10:43 PM
Same here, same here,same here! i had fun,but the combo of to MANY people and NO direction by the convention staff made it less then perfect to say the lease. images/icons/mad.gif

05-04-2002, 11:52 PM
count me in. The whole event was a MAJOR dissapointment. Way too many lines, too many people in an oversold understaffed event. There was Nothing to buy, Master Replicas Rubies and Hasbro selling nothing. I couldn't see many events due to the outrageous lines and no communications. I left early feeling totally let down.

05-05-2002, 06:54 PM
All I see in the pics posted over the net are those crazy LINES, good thing I didn't drive 8 hours each way to go!

05-05-2002, 07:10 PM
I'm really sorry (and a bit surprised) to hear all the negative opinions here. I didn't meet anybody who was really disappointed. But I can see how people may feel that way if they only went on the weekend. Things were much more calm on Friday, thought the lines were still long.

05-05-2002, 07:10 PM
I couldn't believe all the lines either. I mean I had fun, I am glad I went. But, those lines!!
images/icons/mad.gif images/icons/mad.gif

05-05-2002, 07:14 PM
I should add, most of us (the staffers) went to see each other and mingle with the community, based on my conversations with them. So I wasn't disappointed that I was unable to attend each and every event. I can see that if people went by themselves, with a separate set of expectations, how they may feel let down.

05-05-2002, 10:11 PM
I completely agree. A complete lack of any kind of signage, with mass confusion and completely clueless event staff made it a complete waste of my weekend. Out of 12 hours at the event, 9 of them had to have been spent in line. And the statement one person made about there "not being anything to buy" was absolutely right! The offical store was out of everything, none of the major companies were selling, so we were left to the gougers (I mean dealers). I was actually prepared to spend $300 each for several of the new Master Replicas, but all you could do was order them. Shoot, I can do that online. All I have to show for this weekend is my 2 exclusive figures and 3 blisters on my feet. Here's one fan NOT going to Celebration 3!!!

05-05-2002, 11:08 PM
I have to agree with some of the things said in here. The total lack of signage was a major issue for me. Some velvet ropes, a sign at the end of the line saying, "This is the end of the line for ------" (this was something I really blew a gasket about, this morning), and periodic annoucements over a PA system would have improved the show immensely.

With that, I was still able to get all my autographs, my Lucas figure (with SUPER MAJOR help from Lordstimpy *the coolest SW collector in Liberty, MO*), my Carrie Fisher auto (with MAJOR-MAJOR SUPER-DUPER help from Mousedroid, you guys that had to wait 1 1/2 to 2 hours couldn't pop the blisters on Roger's feet), and I picked up 5 POTJ figures, from the last two waves, for only $8 a pop (which I thought was a great price).

I also got to put faces with alot of the super cool cats from the board (which was my main objective). Stimpy, Musasa, Matt, BP, Rogue, and Purple4lee, all super nice, and a blast to hang out with (I hope I didn't embarass anyone). I hope you got those autographs, this morning, Rogue, because I struck out at the store.

Hell, I even had time to take in a viewing of Spider-Man this afternoon before the drive home. I think I only got about 6 hours of sleep all weekend, but I'll get some of that back tommorrow at work. images/icons/wink.gif

Tweak the signage, and set up a real communications system, and I'll be back for more.

[ 05-05-2002, 11:10 PM: Message edited by: -Spirit-of- ]

05-06-2002, 12:47 AM
Well, as this was my first event, I was unsure what to expect. As a result, I still don't know how I feel about the event.

On one hand, it was exciting to be among so many collectors and fans, and to see a general mood of happiness, despite some of the negatives. My seven year old son really enjoyed all of the costumes and was overwhelmed by the sights in the exhibit hall.

Unfortunately, most of the scheduled events were not designed with a seven year old child in mind, no matter how well behaved he usually is. I agree with the long line problems, and some additional signage would have been helpful. I ended up in the wrong line numerous times, and even though I made my way to the store as quickly as possible, I still ended up shelling out $40 a pop for two Sacul figs to some scalper selling them out of the back of a vendor booth, pulling them from a bag stuffed with the exclusive fig.

I was very happy that the other autographers weren't as strict as Ms. Fisher, and we really enjoyed being able to glimpse Billy Dee and others from outside the autograph area.

I had a busy weekend due to a best friend's wedding, and was only able to attend on Sunday. I would definitely go to C3, and I would hope the third time would be a charm, as there is plenty of feedback on which organizers can rely.

05-06-2002, 07:44 AM
I actually came across a line in the exhibit hall that was going nowhere. It looked like a few people might have been standing together for a few minutes, and, seeing a small group forming, others joined them in a pseudo line. Just goes to show how poor everything was laid out...the actual "lines" were so confusing that people didn't know what they were even in line for (if anything!)

05-06-2002, 09:10 PM
I enjoyed myself immensely. The thing you have to realize is that a convention of this type and proportion is a lot like Disney World - there's so much to do and see that you can't possibly do and see it all in a limited amount of time.

I knew when I bought my pass six months ago that I was going to have to make some tough choices. When they were announced, I knew the two hot tickets for the weekend were going to be the exclusive figures and the autographs, especially Carrie Fisher's. I also knew Friday would most likely be the least crowded day, so I planned to get as much of the crowd-inducing stuff done then.

I got in the doors around 25 minutes after they opened, and high-tailed it to the store. An hour later I had my two Jorge Sacul figures and high-tailed it to the autograph area. Two hours after that I had all my autographs taken care of(except Carrie's). I spent much of the rest of the day Friday cruising the dealers room, shopping and hanging out with Matt and musasa.

On Saturday I knew the hot ticket was Carrie Fisher, so I got directly into her line Saturday morning. After 2-1/2 hours and having moved only about 30 feet I very nearly gave up to try again Sunday morning. However a few quick moves of line, and constant updates from the convention staff (yes, they did a very god job in this regard) renewed my confidence. I ended up waiting almost five hours more (7 hours & 15 minutes total), but I got my three Carrie Fisher autographs (plus one for Spirit) as planned, and I was completely free to do whatever I wanted on Sunday. On Sunday I slept in, went to the show for approximately 20 minutes and then went to see Spider-Man with Spirit Of.

I agree that line organization was handled poorly, the maps were hard to read and the lack of announcements was frustrating, but I honestly thing the organizers were completely caught off guard by the magnitude of what they had on their hands. As big as the Indianapolis CC is, I think there should be serious consideration given to holding C3 in a facility the size of San Diego's CC.

To sum things up, I had a wonderful time despite the fact that I didn't get to see a single talk or presentation. Had I not gotten my exclusive figures, or my Carrie Fisher autographs, my attitude would have been different I'm sure, but I also had other things to look forward to that would've made it a fun weekend anyhow.

[ 05-06-2002, 09:15 PM: Message edited by: mousedroid ]

05-07-2002, 06:40 AM
Let me start off by saying that this was the first sci-fi convention that I had been to so I wasn't sure what to expect. All-in-all, I came out with mixed emotions concerning it.

As everyone has said the mass of humanity, long-lines and Jorg Sucal horders were the bad points along with a 6-7 hour wait for Carrie Fisher's, who didn't even look up when I said thank you, auto. Also in regards to Carrie Fisher, I can't believe they started out letting you get 4 personal items and at least 10 C2 pictures signed. They had to know that she would be popular and everyone should have been limited to 2 autos from the start.

I was also disappointed that I didn't get to more of the "bigger" presentations, especially the opening ceremony. Why did they not put that one in the RCA DOME instead of a 3000-4000 seat auditorium? One guy posted on www.theforce.net (http://www.theforce.net) that he got in to see all of the "big" presentations and that you needed up front planning. Well, that's true, if all you do is go to these presentations. I wanted autos as well as store items and there was no way in hell to do them all. I did get in to see Rick Macallum's presentation on Sat and got to see some awesome Yoda footage.

My biggest disappointment came Sat. We dropped a few of the guys I was with off to hold a spot in the line to get in. After parking the car, my other friend and I noticed a much shorter line on the other side of the building so we went over to check it out. Supposedly, Fan Club folks could get in this way and I was 10th in line. So, the friend I was with took off to get the others and brought back one. The other two were skeptical, as it turns out rightly so. After arriving, we asked again and were assured that we could get in this way. We contacted the other two guys to come on down so they reluctantly headed our way. Not 30 seconds after that, a red-shirt guy came out and told the Fan Club folks to follow him. Thinking that we might catch a break, we followed and were told to head to the back of the big line which already wrapped around to the baseball field by now. Of course, this added to the huge Carrie Fisher wait.

The positives were being around so many SW fans. Like I said, I had never been to a convention before. I also enjoyed meeting the actors/actresses and getting autos. William Hootkins, Mike Quinn, Mike Edmonds, Ian Liston, and Richard LaPart----- were great and seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely on Friday. Of course, I also enjoyed the freebies!!!!! I also thought that they did a great job with the Jedi Training for kids where they got to "fight" Darth Vader. To see the look on those kids faces was priceless!!

Some suggestions for C3: consider going to 4-5 days, HAVE IT AT A BIGGER PLACE, better organization, and offer the "bigger" presentations more than once (note: they finally grasped this concept with three Rick Macallum [sp?]presentations on Sunday).

Anyway, I've rambled long enough. As I said earlier, I came out with mixed feelings. I definitely plan to go to C3 but I can guarantee you that there are plenty of things I will do differently next time!

05-07-2002, 10:40 AM
Um, guys. Did you not hear the reports from Celebration I? That line problem and the lack of organization plagued the first Celebration. People I talked to in the line for "Episode I" who had attended the first Celebration vowed "never again."

It all sounded too much like the horribly presented official "X-Files" conventions of mid-1998. I could see this fiasco happening weeks and months in advance.

Next time, you'll know. Regardless of the exclusive figure being offered - skip the convention and wait patiently for the new film.

05-07-2002, 11:07 AM
The event was hardly a fiasco. I think it all boils down to the amt of time one spent there, one's reasons for going, and one's expectations going in.

05-07-2002, 03:28 PM
There have been a number of great points made here. I went to C2 to see and hear the various design personnel speak about their SW work and so on that note, I was very happy. I wasn't interested in dolls or autographs so I was able to do all the things (except opening ceremonies...grrrr!) that I wanted to do. There is NO WAY I could have gotten dolls, autographs and seen all of the shows I wanted at this thing. I feel badly for those who did because I know they were disappointed. Friday blew rocks but by the time Saturday rolled around, the Wizards people had a game plan going and things ran much better (from my standpoint). I actually talked to several people who had stood in line for over TWELVE hours over two days to get a Carrie Fisher autograph. Wow.

There need to be a LOT of rethinking about this for C3 if it indeed happens. A lot of talk has centered around the sheer number of people at this thing and how the show people were totally caught off guard. HOW?!? There were at least 25,000 people per day at C2 and the main ballroom only held 2,900?!? What the hell?!?

C1 in Denver may have been wet and crowded but at least if you didn't get into one show there you could go to the same show the next day. I missed the 'Archeology' presentation by David West Reynolds because I was standing in line for another show and so missed out on the whole thing after planning my weekend with the official web site thinking I would have a chance on Saturday afternoon to see it on the second go round. Whatever...

I was happy to have talked with Lorne Peterson and Nelson Hall (two veteran ILM modelmakers) for over five minutes after one show. That was enough to make my weekend.

05-08-2002, 09:12 AM
I can't really add anymore than what was already expressed. There was the good, the bad and the ugly at C2. It was my first convention so I really didn't know what to expect. I loved the stuff I got to see and enjoyed the people and conversations , I hated the huge crowd, aches and pains, the waiting and waiting, and misinformation/lack of, but overall I would say it was a good experience. I am glad I went to see it.