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Maybe I'm just a jerk...

...but there are two sides to the whole animelosangeles "security" complaint.

Chaz has addressed the question of how the security department handled this issue of hidden badges on convention members and of people without convention badges. He's the chair, and taking responsibility is the right thing to do.

However...

Anime conventions take money, and paying members providing that money, to run. Anime Los Angeles is a non-profit operation, and unlike Comic-Con International or AnimeExpo, it doesn't get tens of thousands of dollars of sponsor money (or the attached strings). Nobody is getting rich off of this, and many convention volunteers (myself included) paid for the vast majority of our con expenses, including big things like our hotel room and transportation from home to Los Angeles and small things like award certificate paper and printer ink, out of our own pockets.

As Chaz said, Anime Los Angeles also had space concerns this year. When last year's membership exceeded the number of badges printed, the con's hotel people started phoning other hotels they work with to see if Anime Los Angeles could move to a bigger space. It's not easy, though, getting a hotel that will deal gracefully with an anime convention, much less a 2,000 person anime convention. Try doing that barely a year out without changing to drastically different dates. It wasn't possible, but it was plenty of time to book the Burbank Marriott for January 2008 (although they still had to move three weeks earlier). There was already an agreement with the Airtel, but that meant making sure the convention didn't become so crowded that the fire marshals would shut it down. There's a fire station near the Airtel (because it's right next to the airport) and the fire marshals came through the con. They didn't shut the con down, and that's a good thing.

So, if you were a paying member and you're unhappy with how security was working, you have some right to be upset.

If you were not a paying member, if you "just came to hall cosplay" or "hang out with your friends" you need to think about those statements. If it were not for the paying members, there would be no hotel, no space, no hall cosplay, no friends getting together in a hotel, no convention. "I wasn't messing with anything that belonged to the con" only stands up if there is no con.

If you're ghosting, you're stealing from the people who provided their time and money to help make the con happen, whether they're organizers or paying members.

Friends don't let friends ghost cons.

Comments

( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
kevin_standlee
Jan. 30th, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC)
Hear, hear!

Unfortunately, I expect that the people doing this do not, in their hearts, think that they are doing anything wrong. And it's unlikely that anything will teach them that they're doing something wrong until and unless they try to organize an event of their own -- which is rather unlikely.

If all they want to do is go hang around in costume with their friends, then why do they need to leech onto a convention? If it's so easy, they should organize a "free" event of their own.
buddykat
Jan. 30th, 2007 10:14 pm (UTC)
Anime Los Angeles is a non-profit operation, unlike Comic-Con International

While it may surprise you, technically, Comic-Con International is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

I agree with you about the problems with "ghosting" cons; and I really wish some of the people complaining would work a convention or two before they complain about having to display their badges a bit more obviously then it being hidden in a pocket.
bovil
Jan. 30th, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC)
edited...
nolly
Jan. 30th, 2007 10:59 pm (UTC)
I went to hang out with friends.
The past two years I've been on panels.
This year, I wasn't programmed.
No one asked me to work, oddly.
Anime isn't my primary area of interest; I've seen some and liked it, mostly Miyazaki.
Money is really, really tight right now -- a single-med copay over $400/month will do that.
So I didn't buy a badge. I didn't go to the dealers' room, consuite, etc. I mostly hung out in our room, and some in or near the LosCon room -- a con I am committee for, as it happens.

Ghost, or lobby lizard? (not that I was in the lobby much, actually)

Oddly, I was never once hassled by a security person. Likely because they all (or at leasst mostly) know me.
bovil
Jan. 30th, 2007 11:02 pm (UTC)
At some cons being a lobby lizard isn't a problem. At the Airtel this year, it had the potential to be a big problem.
bovil
Jan. 30th, 2007 11:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, I also see a big difference between you and the ghosts complaining about security.

Last I remember, you don't expect something for nothing from any con. The "the con owes me" attitude just pisses me off.
(no subject) - nolly - Jan. 30th, 2007 11:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - karisu_sama - Jan. 31st, 2007 07:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nolly - Jan. 30th, 2007 11:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bovil - Jan. 30th, 2007 11:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nolly - Jan. 31st, 2007 12:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kevin_standlee - Jan. 31st, 2007 01:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - karisu_sama - Jan. 31st, 2007 07:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kevin_standlee - Jan. 31st, 2007 10:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - karisu_sama - Jan. 31st, 2007 07:53 am (UTC) - Expand
neo_serenity
Jan. 30th, 2007 11:24 pm (UTC)
Agreed. Complain if you paid, shut up if you didn't. If everyone paid, maybe the badge nazism wouldn't have been such a problem in the first place. Do I think it was ok? No. And I'll be posting my thoughts on the whole situation shortly.
bovil
Jan. 30th, 2007 11:27 pm (UTC)
I'm going to continue editing this, and when I've got something I'm satisfied with I'll make sure Chaz doesn't think it's too incendiary I may post in on animelosangeles.
(no subject) - buddykat - Jan. 30th, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bovil - Jan. 30th, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Counterfeiting - hazelchaz - Jan. 31st, 2007 02:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bovil - Feb. 3rd, 2007 02:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - neo_serenity - Jan. 31st, 2007 12:05 am (UTC) - Expand
yourbob
Jan. 30th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC)
I wanna find a ghost and bring my friends over and hang out in their front yard. All weekend. While they're having a family party. Preferably a wedding. In leather drag.
nolly
Jan. 30th, 2007 11:39 pm (UTC)
Their front yard is probably private property. The park next door, though...
yourbob
Jan. 30th, 2007 11:45 pm (UTC)
Sidewalk?
(no subject) - nolly - Jan. 31st, 2007 12:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bovil - Jan. 31st, 2007 12:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - karisu_sama - Jan. 31st, 2007 07:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - domomkasshu - Jan. 31st, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bovil - Jan. 30th, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nolly - Jan. 31st, 2007 12:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bovil - Jan. 31st, 2007 12:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nolly - Jan. 31st, 2007 12:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - karisu_sama - Jan. 31st, 2007 07:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - domomkasshu - Jan. 31st, 2007 02:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nolly - Jan. 31st, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
thirdworld
Jan. 31st, 2007 12:05 am (UTC)
I'd add many paying members to that list too. People pay $25-$60 for a con and get 2-4 days of all manner of entertainments. This is dirt cheap. What keeps it cheap is the many volunteers giving freely of their own time (sometimes hundreds of hours) and contributing financially in many ways, from small things like printing handouts for a panel, to hosting parties and beyond. Then some members will act as if the tiny bit of money they paid entitles them to demand changes in the fundamentals of how the con is run, or demand more food in the con suite, or whatever. Or they complain about how expensive it is... like WTF? And so on. It would be good if they too remembered that a con is not Six Flags, that they did not pay the hundreds (or more) that their attendance is worth and that they are dealing with volunteers who have given friends and strangers a free gift without expecting any return beyond the occasional, "Thank you."
idea_fairy
Jan. 31st, 2007 07:20 am (UTC)
My sensors sense that you aren't wearing a badge ...
As I was reading some of the comments about having to have one's badge where the staff people can see it, thoughts of RFID popped into my head.

I don't know how soon (if ever) the technology will be both workable and cost-effective for this kind of application, but it's kind of worth thinking about.

One potential problem is spatial resolution: Imagine a clump of N people, for whom the sensors detect M badges, with M < N. Can you resolve that down to which ones do or don't have badges?

On the upside, if this can be made to work, it could eliminate the need for badges to be naked-eye visible. Costumers should love that.
kevin_standlee
Jan. 31st, 2007 10:25 am (UTC)
Re: My sensors sense that you aren't wearing a badge ...
Well, that would deal with the "badge as entry token" thing, but that's only one of the reasons we have badges at conventions. Granted, it seems to me that a lot of people think it's the only reason. It's not.

The Matter of Badges is really a very complicated issue, one that I explored in considerable depth is the lead article in Argentus #6. (Caution: large PDF).
galtine1
Jan. 31st, 2007 03:23 pm (UTC)
Re: My sensors sense that you aren't wearing a badge ...
You'd be surprised at the number of business "all-hands" meetings that are held in major conference cities that DO use RFID-tech badges. If you aren't a part of the meeting for a good % of the time, it can be grounds for termination with that company.

And the bar-code badges used at CES and similar so that the vendors don't need ot collect a gazillion biz-cards can be used in a turnstyle-scanner...but that would make us a GATE show. And we alll know that Cons are not gate shows.

Things you know as a corporate event planner.
( 41 comments — Leave a comment )