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Wizard World Philadelphia 2012 - Post-game analysis

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Wizard World Philadelphia 2012 - Post-game analysis

Post  P_Thorne on Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:17 pm

A thread in which to autopsy (well, it's not human, so "necropsy") and post-mortem Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con. What were your observations? What do you want to thank WW, complain about, or ask? I might contact some of the other listed fan groups to ask for their opinion before drafting a letter.

In a change from 2007, 08, 10, 11, WW added a fourth day, Thursday night, and used it as the exclusive load-in -- apparently. But they did not advise us or, apparently, many other people, judging from the number of vehicles turned away from the loading dock ramp and redirected to the taxi loading area under the building at 12th Street. (I met one person who said *her* group *had* received an email.) Changes require *extra* effort to warn people who are set in habits.

The maps were inconsistent. The online map, program book map and exhibitor listing labeled our corner as 2419. The program book map and table sign said 2411 -- but the Kids Passport (sorry, didn't grab a copy) listed 2411 as Mandalorian Mercs. We solved the problem by cutting the numbers off our sign.

The Sunday Kids Program involved a Kids Passport and ink stamps. We were not advised of this activity, or invited to participate.

Signs that read "Do take photos / Do not touch," no matter how they're phrased, are confusing because they have two clauses. More generally, many people don't notice signs at all; their impulse is to ask. (To save our voices, all table staff could carry a ring-bound pad of signs with common responses in large print. YES, PLEASE TAKE PHOTOS / NO, WE'RE NOT SELLING / WE'RE A FAN GROUP / HOW LONG DID IT TAKE? THAT DEPENDS.)

Using the sound meter: 76 dB with crowd-noise (okay), 80-82 with music (a bit obtrusive). The music was over the P.A., so it must've been WW's idea. Helpfully, they didn't play it as often as in 2011, or at the same volume (as whatever was THUMPA-THUMPING). Vocal P.A. announcements were usually unintelligibly, which is probably unavoidable in a huge echoing room -- unless they take special care to adjust their diction. Or they could put up digital signs.

Ticketing was now fully inside, in Hall B. The spread-out arrangement with wide passages (marked as 14 feet on the map) seemed to reduce traffic jams, but people would still stop to chat or gawk. Can't fix that. But photo-tangles might be prevented if they designated more photo corners (there was certainly enough room), labeled them, and warned each person at the ticket booth.

Load-out: Unlike in previous years, the parking area behind the docks was full at 17:30; there was a queue of vehicles on the ramp. More vendors? More spaces occupied by PCC vehicles? What they could do is ask for reservations ("How long will your load-out take? What kind of vehicle?") and schedule them in order of increasing time, which reduces the average wait.

Adults of a certain age recognized Mike's CS fleet. Other people recognized my Godphoenix, and kids the Interceptor from Green Lantern, and Kilowogg (even without his GL insignia). People asked after my Destiny model from Stargate Universe, so I brought it Sunday. Many people recalled "Pizza Day on the Death Star" from 2011, so Nicki thinks she'll retire it, and thinks a comic con scene would be good -- the metaphor accommodates many minifig photo ops. I agree, since I've had a similar notion for a while. (Also, Wizard World banners hanging from the lamp posts.) Nate's monorail impressed them -- as Jim Foulds observed years ago, spectators like motion.

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Re: Wizard World Philadelphia 2012 - Post-game analysis

Post  SWLegoLover on Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:01 pm

Overall, I'd say the event itself went very well. Lots of people paraded by each day. I had been a little concerned that visitors would not come to our back wall location but we were surrounded by COSPlay folks- Ghostbusters, Klingons and Stormtroopers so their fans were around all day. And others just naturally found us. Biggest bonus was having space for all our stuff.

I really liked having "Do Not Touch" cards and think if we have separate cards that encourage picture-taking, it may help make things less confusing. (Having a "do" mixed with a "don't" on the same small card increased people's confusion.)

Nate & Stacey really set-up the table well. And we also had a few different MOCs each day. This was a good way to change things up for people who came more than one day.

Thanks to Chris & Allison for coming Sunday afternoon to help get things out at the end. But then we needed to run for the trains before everything was out of the Convention Center. Having more people staff over the weekend and/or help haul stuff out at the end would be helpful. We mostly managed ok as boxes started to slide off various hand trucks while we brought things to Phil's car. Perhaps we could have gotten a car to the loading dock before the show ended. I don't recall it being a problem last year.

That's my 2 cents...

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