Halcon 2013 Rant

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Re: Halcon 2013 Rant

Postby caperbear » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:37 pm

it would in fact defend against the charge i am sayings some people are making which is making money for themselves and not the con. so yes pointing out to someone that you receive no monies from con profits is a valid rebuttal to people accusing you of deliberately inflating your profits so you can personally profit from it, which is the accusation i am speaking about. i have not seen anyone make the accusation you speak of, but if any have you would be correct in that case.

also, i am not offering legal defense of their decisions, i am looking at it from the perspective of someone with a psych degree (gotta use it for something) and i feel things like group-think, mindlessness and modern cultural eschewing of nay-saying are at play here. it's entirely possible that it was a blindspot on their part because they had so many other balls in the air. just like banks were 'Too Big To Fail' and that you can win a land war in Asia. sometimes party lines overide sober thought and then you get lack of foresight. it happens a great deal. it doesn't excuse it, it just explains it.
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Re: Halcon 2013 Rant

Postby Docstonge » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:31 pm

As a gaming volunteer four years running, it saddens me to see all the *shit* the con is getting. Of course this is, and probably will forever be, 'The Worse Hal-Con Ever'. This will leave a bad taste in a lot of peoples mouths for years. It's flaw was the overcrowding fiasco and they are offering refunds, aren't they? People have the right to be pissed, but some of the comment I see online are just mean.

I guess this is the year where things change for them. It's not like the organizers are lazy or incompetent, they care about this con, about the people. But now that it's happened, you bet they're going to make sure it doesn't happen again. Like I said, the 2013 con will be remembered as the worse one, even so, there are still a lot of people who had a great time.
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Re: Halcon 2013 Rant

Postby orcdoubleax » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:31 pm

I am not trying to attack them, but I do see a planning problem with the Con. There were several other issues besides the tickets that I saw that could have become serious problems.

The most important people at the Con are the casual fans that make up the majority of your crowd. They have to find the con easy, entertaining and worth their money to return. It has to be super easy for them. Without those people the hardcore fans simply can not support a Con of this size. I am not attacking the Con from a place of spite I am just voicing what I consider a real fundamental issue that has to be addressed in order for the Con to be successful in the long run.

That flaw is not that the day passes were sold for any day, or that the vendors floor was not inside the bubble of the Con, or that they did not stop giving out bracelets before reaching capacity, or that there wasn't enough signage on the convention floor, Or that the schedule was hard to read and did not include a list that was organized by time, Or that different staff members would give out conflicting information, Or that the traffic flow on the 2nd floor was terrible.

The flaw is that these things are not being caught before the Con is actually going live. My plan was to wait a few days and sent a suggestion to Jen, but since we are talking about it here is what I think the flaw is. I don't believe, I could be wrong about this, they have anyone outside of their planning group looking at their plans and poking holes in it. This is a hugely important step in the planning of any large project. That person brings up all your what if so you can create your contingency plans. ideally they want a very critical person with a project management background.

Hypothetical Examples that did not happen.

What if after a popular event you end up with a large crowd just blocking the hallway outside the main stage?
How are you going to make sure you have flow? What other rooms may be effected? how do we make sure there is access to them.
Here part of the answer is the very good line up system they had where the main stage line-up was in a separate room and away from the main hallway.

What if at 1:30 someone pulls a fire alarm?
Are certain security people assigned as fire warden for different areas, Do they know where to direct the crowds? Where are you going to have your heaviest volumes? where do you have room for muster stations? Who is designated to help the mobility challenged.
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Re: Halcon 2013 Rant

Postby Sean » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:38 pm

I'm mad about this whole thing first Hal-Con where i didn't volunteer to make some friends meet the special guests like Lars and the creator of undergrads, I play a game in the game room go to pick up a comc book and get blocked and said nope not letting anyone upstairs so after 2 hours of wait. I went outside and spent another hour on a refund. It was quite a let down for me.
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Re: Halcon 2013 Rant

Postby Nuit Eternelle » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:52 am

I agree with orc on many points. This was avoidable, and anyone that has talked to me since Hal-con 2012 has heard me say this was going to happen. I told my friends that if they were to come on one day not to come on Saturday, unless they come early and stay. Told them months ago. To me, this situation was going to happen, I was always surprised that the con organizers had not changed things, and many have heard me say months before the con that they would burn some of the community.

I will always volunteer my time for them, and give my all so that everything on my side of things is successful and that people enjoy themselves. But in the end, orc is right, this was avoidable, all the signs were pointing to it in 2012.

But at the moment, what I see, is them turtling, which they should not do. Hiding behind statements of

- we are only volunteer (be it to express they are not in it for money or not)
- we have learned our lesson (showing lack of experience, as well as foresight from learning from other cons and other years)
- thanking their core publicly and not courting to assist those who have been burned

They obviously don't have skill in handling media storms. When you publicly address someone on twitter, facebook, etc, you do not give excuses. People do not want that. The answers are always to restate the person's problem. offer to assist them. state what you are looking into to resolve the problem now and for the future, but never, ever give an excuse of lack of experience, and that it wasn't your fault (blaming fire marshal). These are the standards.

Badly planned, badly handled.

They do care, and I know they do, but they dug a hole, and it will be hard for them to get out from it.
He who is certain he knows the ending of things when he is only beginning them is either extremely wise or extremely foolish; no matter which is true, he is certainly an unhappy man, for he has put a knife in the heart of wonder. - Tad Williams
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Re: Halcon 2013 Rant

Postby orcdoubleax » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:57 am

Excellent post Nuit.

When something like this happen you don't explain why because it will always sound like an excuse. You simply take full responsibility and do everything you can to make it right.
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Re: Halcon 2013 Rant

Postby Raptor2 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:55 am

In all fairness to the Halcon Staff I did recieve my refund but as I said before it was bittersweet. I did find out later that I could have went on Sunday by one of the Staff by exchanging the bracelet, however that option was never offered and when I aked I was told it was not an option. So there was not two way coomunications between staff and volunteers.
Its a pity Halcon did not take the names of those of us that were "burned" maybe offer a discount or a special pass to be allowed in for the next Halcon. Then I would know that they want me back and would want me to enjoy nxt years Halcon. As it stands I won't go to 2014 because I have no guarantee that I won't be in the cold again next year.
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Re: Halcon 2013 Rant

Postby Ash » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:12 am

Orc, sounds like they could use someone with your know-how on the organizing committee...
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Re: Halcon 2013 Rant

Postby orcdoubleax » Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:38 pm

They need someone with more skills that I have. I have just done enough planning to know how little I know. lol

What they really need is someone with a ton of time. The biggest problem is that you have to go over every detail and you have to look at it from every angle.
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