Anime Expo 2005
Anime Expo - Con Gripe and Registration Lines
by Jonathan Barfield,
Con gripe went as I thought it would—namely people complaining about either the length of the lines or that no one on staff seemed to know anything. At one point I had to agree that it seemed as if most of the people running the regular events were “out to lunch” pretty much all of the time. No one knew where anything was, and no one could direct me to anyone who actually knew anything. People had walkie talkies and didn't use them, or when they did no one on the other end knew anything either. How could Anime Expo have gotten so big with so few people actually using neurons? The default answer to most of the issues was, “We had to adjust and change a lot of things around during the first few days.” Which I can accept since I had staffed Pacific Media Expo the year before.
The only difference is when we moved things around at PMX, everyone involved, including the con goers, knew about it. When we had to move the Psycho Le Cému Q&A to another room, everyone on staff knew and quickly relayed the information to the fans. I personally had an issue with the staff not knowing where things were because it caused me to not be able to get my press badge until later that day, and I missed out on a lot of the good press-only Q&A's and press conferences.
Thursday and Friday morning had to be the hardest times to get registered and into the convention. I arrived Thursday around 4pm and wasn't out of the line until about 8:30 (and I'm press! I was simply keeping a friend of mine company while she picked up the badges for her and her friend.) The line began upstairs in the D hallway of the Anaheim convention center and then went downstairs and into E hallway. It then snaked around, creating four, gigantic room-length lines, each about maybe a half hour long. From there you had to go BACK upstairs and into another room with another set of lines. It was planned out very well, but nonetheless, there has to be a better way to do pre registration.
Friday morning was pretty much the same way. The wait was about 3 and a half to four hours during the morning to about noon and then about an hour and a half to two hours from noon till about mid afternoon.
Saturday wasn't too bad as far as lines for registration went, but if you're talking about the line to get tickets and then seats for the Maaya Sakamoto concert, the wait was absolutely insane. 7 hours! People had been lining up to get tickets and seats for her concert since 9am that morning, and the line just to get the tickets was so long that they had to put it in the place where the dealers room was last year.