This is in no way negative its just my experience from this Years Icon : In previous years anything that was done that we couldnt understand or questioned or Guy in marketing Did not want to answer resulted in us being banned for 2 yrs, mostly cause When we asked questions we were told shut up and just pay.
First We checked in Early Because we were always stuck in long lines whether we went on friday, Saturday or Sunday and usually got there 1-2 hours prior to 9am opening to get thru fast since first panels were at 9am.
This year there was no long lines except for friday night which was extremely Long and we managed to get into the press line and check in for our press packet of badge and guidelines which like all other Conventions was just a Badge. Then we went to check out our press room which was disappointing but we didnt spend much time there, specially since it was just a room and tables, No computer and no staff which we understand they didnt have to be able to man it like other conventions do…Altho we did make use of it Sunday for a nice interview with Game Designer Brandon Osario.
We were off into the con.
We did find it funny that alot of people know us now coming here for 10 yrs…
The Only 2 “hiccups” we came across was a very bad volunteer? at Julie Benz First Autograph signing that actually put 20 of us in a corner and left us there despite what the trackleader or her handler had said…
First Julie Gave a great Q & A and Gave Icon much love and props for the convention and we went to the autograph signing and while on line as i was getting my autograph i asked the Person in charge of her if I was allowed to take a photo of her while she signs my autograph she didnt need to stand or pose cause she was busy and i was told sure. The Volunteer came up to me when i took out my camera and told me i wasn’t allowed to take any pictures I had to go wait on the line in corner for photos After all autographs were signed. We were then left there for 30 mins with no communication, no mind you while we waited the 35 of us on line say 23 people walked up get autograpghs and take a picture of Julie Smiling for them before they moved on Then I contacted Press Liason who forwarded my issue to info booth, no idea if they got any information or not but i spotted a Security member who was able to get me someone in staff shirt. I explained what happened and he apologized profusely and walked me over to get the picture for the 3 mins it took me and we were moving again, total time waiting on line for autograph 2 hours 23 mins
Then we went to a few panels met some great people and then their was a incident in game room i witnessed but wasnt part of so I only know what I was told by the Game Participants, In a nutshell there wasn’t any communication between staff in that room which caused a game to start late. Apparently Board games assumed 2 tables were open and let gamers set up there where the rpg table knew the tables were assigned to a gaming company.
We missed the Medievil stuff out front on physics lawn but understand how some weren’t available due to their schedules, and the wind made the superhero auditions tough. The Few times I checked in at info desk they had no news other than what was on the board. I couldnt even cover the award dinner because we had no info about how to get there until 2 hours later but also found out that that info was in the schedule which we didnt know, (see press packet below)
The Lolita Fashion Show and Gamer Girls Panel was Awesome so was Actors Gil Gerard and Julie Benz. I wanted to Thank everyone who participated for making it an Excellent Icon Guestwise altho im sure everyone would have loved to see more guests. We understand The initial guest list isnt released early since things change but it should be released early for people to get an initial idea of when they can come specially since Icon plasters the disclaimer everywhere that things can change at a moments notice.
I did feel bad for the Actors and Panelists because even tho there was Microphones in each room they were not allowed to use the audio which made some Panels very hard to here being in back of a crowded room.
Dealers room was subdued whether it was the recession or not we dont know but there was Alot less vendors then we normally see. Also starting at 10am in my opinion was a bad idea, in years past Icon would open at 9am and first panel was at 9, this year everything started on weekend at 10am due to spring break we are told, so back an hour and less time.
All in all it was a Great Convention and only one of 4 Left in New York as Conventions are Fading away due to the economy and other problems. We were sad our good friends Actress’ Debbie Rochon and Alexia Anastasio which were Icon staples for 6 yrs and brought in over 1000 memberships werent there.
Already waiting for Icon 31….
One Idea i noticed which was awesome, Guest Celebrities Did panels and autographs on all 3 days rather than normal 1 day as in past which meant everyone has 3 chances to catch panels/guests. !
Now each convention we goto is a new experience for us but mostly all of them give us a press pass, guidelines, convention schedule or booklet, any cancellations or press conference schedules, a room with a computer and water , and press did get a little bit of first priority treatment, for example in dealers rooms before open to public, or press pictures we did NOT have to pay for since we were covering the event especially if that celebrity Publicist spoke to us prior to the event and approved it.
Now we did miss the hentai and adult anime which we wanted to cover because the members made those so awesome mostly by creating the dialogue on the ones that werent in english…(like brentwood icon).
We went to the World of Warcraft Panel and while it wasnt as packed as recent years we heard the guy running it who was pulled out of a LARP he wanted to be involved in because there was nobody to run the wow Panel. Then we hit the Rift Panel Sunday and left after there was only 3 members there after 30 mins….We hit The Harry Potter Panel which i was surprised wasnt packed or mightve filled after we left 15 mins later. We hit the Lolita Fashion show and got great pictures and 2 interviews with 2 models, I thought it was a great event and hope it returns next year.
We caught alot of Photos of people in Cosplay but not as many as we are used to seeing for some reason. Photos can be seen on our facebook page.
Signage going to Icon was bad that person needed to be whipped, 1 sign off exit 61 of LIE showing to get off exit 62 and no other signs at all. If i didnt know where i was going I wouldve been lost.
We also Noticed ALOT of Blank time slots in schedule which we werent sure of, but all in all it was a Great Time.
I just think there needs to be better communication , icon went from -43 communication rating during past icons up to about a +60 which is an impressive almost 120% improvement.
GREAT JOB ICON !