As is the tradition at many conventions, the show organizers sit down in front of a crowd, and listen to comments from attendees. Reed POP schedules this panel at the end of each show, and the post-mortem/feeding frenzy occurred Sunday at 4 PM. In attendance:
- Mike Armstrong, event & sales director
- Brian Stephenson, brand marketing director
- Mike Kisken, event director
- Eva Grady (programming? Sorry, it was a long day.)
- (Lance Fensterman could not attend, as he had a flight to China(!))
Overall, the mood of the audience was quite pleasant. There were some constructive criticisms directed at the staff, but everyone seemed to want to make C2E2 the best show possible.
So, the highlights:
- Most people were satisfied with the show floor. Aisles were wide, the food court and seating at the back of the hall (the front half of A2) was lauded. Not difficult to maneuver. Aisles had been widened this year.
- No official word on attendance, as retailer sales and some other data need to be tabulated. Saturday was the busiest day C2E2 has had to date.
- McCormick wi-fi was confusing to attendees. There is a low-data signal available for free, and wider bandwidth available for a fee. As with NYCC, Reed is working to make the service better, but would need a corporate sponsor. (Due to the amazing open design of McCormick, I had a good G3 signal for most of the show, something which is impossible at Javits.)
- The Crown Championship of Cosplay was a popular event, although there were some first-time miscues. The CCC is an example of ReedPOP’s goal: to offer programming at C2E2 which doesn’t exist elsewhere.
- There was constructive criticism about the diversity of panels. The attendee was delighted at the amazing demographic diversity of attendees (and children), but felt that programming did not reflect that.
- The same attendee also suggested that there be a stronger literary track, especially when publishers attend the show.
- The audience also suggested more workshop panels, for writing, art, and cosplay.
- While ReedPOP has a strong harassment policy, many felt that it should be publicized better, as many first-time attendees might not have been aware of the policy, or how to report a complaint. Emerald City’s posters were mentioned, and Reed will also add an information slide to panel room monitor displays.
- One audience member asked if the convention could expand to Thursday. For that to occur, Friday tickets would have to sell out first to justify the need for a Thursday schedule.
- The Fan Village and Family HQ, located on the first floor, needed better signage. Also, there needed to be better sound buffering for events in the Fan Village, as different areas in the same room overlapped.
- There needed to be better promotion of fandom groups and meet-ups.
- Some panel rooms had noise pollution from adjoining rooms (a frequent problem at NYCC). Zoning them to a separate area was one possible solution, as was having the A/V techs adjust the volume.
- Charging stations would be a welcome amenity. Perhaps a studio could sponsor the stations, showing movie previews as attendees wait.
I’ve got a few suggestions and brainstorms for ReedPOP, but I’ll send those via email.
Did you attend C2E2 last weekend? (Sorry if I missed you!) What was your experience?