to breakdown the numbers :
I talked, or recieved opininons from, roughly 145 people, this was factored from:
1) Talking to people JUST after the con
2) recieveing input from Various boards
3) people who emailed me directly
4) Observations from within the Con itself
I would say there is a 15% margin of error, as some people may be "multiples" (People who post on different boards with different screen names, or people I talked to in person, then posted later)
also, there are people who gave their opinion, who were hard to read, as they either didnt care either way, or allowed personal biases to cloud their assesment (Ex: Alyosha did do a very informative seminar for people new to customizing, but some people ignored that point, and discussed his personality (which had nothing to do with the seminar). Same issue when it came to the Club itself.
another point was the majority of people polled are RAH fans, so not enough info on the 12 inch collectors was gathered, and their opinions were only factored in when addressing the con in general.
Lastly, a few people polled spent the weekend so drunk, that they have no idea what the hell happened during the day at all!!!!
Note: Anytime I write "The General consensus" that is usually to denote that 2/3 or more people (90 to 12 people) were in favor/ disfavor of this.
anyway here are the points:
1) Club store/ registration:
A) about 130 people hate the long lines and disorganization, and the rest really didnt care, as their experience went smoothly.
This data was clouded by the fact that although they hated the wait, it allowed people to chit chat and joke with people making new friends.
B) the lack of product (No Con tanks, Limited PPDs, and selling out of the Jetpack set and Piper Figures) really bummed out a lot of people. Over half (90 people or so, even the ones who got thiers or one for a friend) says that the Club shouls up their production rate, however a small percentage (18 people) understood that some things sell, others dont, or collectibility of a limited figure and agreed with the clubs limited status, and another small percentage (the rest) got their figures, and could care less.
C) These ones were left out, as Im still getting data on it, but a growing number of people are asking for online registration, and even a pre-order of Con exclusives for those who paid for a COn set. another suggestion was given to seperate the registration of AT and RAH collectors (But I personally felt that would cause more confusion, as they have a hard enough time now with alphabetical order)
Also, the Mauler debacle has send several data skeweing, as people suddenly spitting out hatred, but sifting past the rediculousness, a lot of people are now asking NOT to solicit an item until a VISUAL confirmation of a completed product is done. (which is funny, cause thats what they do with the con sets anyway) Or to have updates on items already "promised" (such as the DTC wave 4)
lastly, I kinda left out the squibbles about high prices (as I felt people would squibble about price even if the figures were slightly above TRU price). However, I am crunching numbers about eliminating some costs by getting rid of expensive packaging. (ex: The Moth sets could have sold cheaper in a generic white box, like the Inferno BATS did) or keeping the special packinging, but having the artwork available as an art print, so that the artist could sign it (many people had nothing for Larry Hama, Herb Trimpe, Larry Selman and Ron Wingham to sign)
2) Figures/ Exclusive items:
a) RAH sets:
the general consensus (2/3 of people) is that people like the figures, especially the Army Builders. however, the numbers could be broken down even more about smaller quibbles, such as some people didnt like the choice of Villans (Dreadnoks, Cobra's Most Wanted, Clay Moore), a LOT of people Dont like the choice of Weapons (about 100 people), Especially this year's set, which people outright hated, plus the lack of a Flash Helmet; and a few people didnt like the female vipers (especially this issue with the hats).
Then there are the manufacturing issues. some people got figures with arms reversed.
The free figures got mostly "Yays", with a few naysayers.
B) Live Exclusives:
The Piper figure got the oddest results, 90% of people hated the idea when it was announced, and dropped to about 60% when the figure was revealed. people liked meeting Piper in person, but still don't include The figure into their own Joe Mythos, just keep it as a collectible.
after the con. about 78% of people did buy and like the figure, but still want a more Military related figure next year. a lot of people requested R.Lee Emory (the Drill seargent from Full Metal Jacket), with minor suggestions of Mr. T, The Fridge, Stallone (for Rambo or Rocky) or a real life honored soldier.
Then there are the small percentage of people who could care less either way, as theyre gonna sell the figure anyway.
BEFORE the mauler debacle, the general consensus was split right down the middle (68-61) with the rest not really caring. peole either liked the choice of vehicles, or hated them. Virtually ALL people did request larger vehicle releases (like the Mauler, Hovercraft, or ... the Flagg)
However AFTER the debacle, the data skewed to the left, ans people lost faith either in the CLubs ability to release the larger vehicles, or the survivalbility of the Molds after 25 years.
remaining data that wasnt presented was the feasability of the Club offering vehicle parts, smaller accessories and weapons, or the small playsets. ALso the light appeasement of the Sigma Six line (just a taste with the parachute figures) stung with a few people. And also,.. a few people commented on some of the volenteers lack of knowledge of the Joe product, or lack of customer service skills, and had bad experiences with some staff, However, most people thought the Volenteers did a great job. a Suggestion from several people was to offer part time volenteers, so that people know the merchandice, could help out during high traffic times, and yet, still enjoy the con.
3) Convention itself:
the choice of location seemed to be cut into thirds. One third Loved Atlanta, with all the ammenities nearby, another third hated Atlanta, with the tourist traps and crackheads, and the last third would attend the Con if they decided to have it on the moon!
Most people only used the hotel for sleep (if they even did that) and really didnt pay attention to the ammenities, However, a smaller, yet much more vocal group had several issues, such as Room temperature, price of in house food, lack of breakfast, rude or undertrained employees, the hotel construction starting way too early, Employees taking the club parachute figures, Room access dispite a do not disturbed sign, the supposed "free" internet service costing 12 bucks a day, and my own personal issue with lack of medical staff.
there was a big difference between 2006 (which only had a handfull of activities) and 2007, (which had every minute filled with something to do) so aside from lunch, you really didnt have to leave the Con for anything.
The general consensus was that they liked the activities and panels (although the same consensus admitted that they didnt attend EVERY panel) they thoroughly enjoyed the Hasbro and guest panels, especailly the Larry Hama Issue #21 walkthrough, most people who were new to customizing enjoyed Alyosha's and Hasbro's customizing seminars, the two kids I talked to loved the drawing seminar (would like to get more info on thses).
However, the Devils Due seminar got tainted when Hama let the cat out of the bag in another seminar that Storm Shadow was cancelled, giving fuel to the rumor that DD lost the Joe licence. and a lot of people really don't like the direction of the new comic anyway, so that also skewed the data.
Requests were made for more seminars on customizing (vehicles and dioramas), to bring back the seminar on the history of G.I.Joe and the original collectors club, and to ask the club to offer the mejbers a chance to run a seminar.
B) Dealers room
of couse people loved the dealers room (89% loved it, with 9% disliking it, thinking the priced were too high, and the remaining 1% unimpressed either way) with Marauder John being the big hit at the con, with a few people mentioning others by name , like Joearmory, Armaggedon toys, and that guy in the front selling whole vehicles for 5 bucks. People both loved and hated the Hasbro booth (Loved the chance to see all the sigma six toys, but hated the fact we may never see them) and got on average 3 packs of those free cards per person. even the few 12 inch and sigma six collectors I talked to thought it was a good outing.
two Big issues came up in this polling:
only about 10 percent of people liked AFA being there meaning their collections would be profitable, or of museum quality finds, where a WHoppin 88% hated the idea of AFA at the collectros club, Mainly because AFA's involvement usually ment the figures would be priced out of their comfortable range of paying.
about 4 people didnt know who the hell AFA even were! (one guy mixed them up with the FCC!)
2: Price Gouging
people were pissed that the piper and jetpack figures that the club sold on friday, were being gouged at twice the price a day later. also, a lot of price gougin went into accessories and vehicle parts. the sellers figured that if the toy was in demand, they could charge more, selling a simple hat or vehicle part for as high as 7 bucks! And this went on to the dead end of the con (no price change even though it was Sunday at 3pm)
SO far prople generally loved the guests, even Piper, who was very accomidating and down to earth (dispite being wired the whole time on Red Bull, I thought he was going to explote!) They loved the artists, especially Hamas breakdown artistically of his #21 comic, and Wingham's empahsis on artists to Learn to draw from real life, and stop with all the computer enhancements. only a few poepl could care less either way.
Requests were made for Cartoon Voice actors (who could be double billed for both Joecon and Botcon), Upcomming Movie actors, Hasbro toy designers, and even real life soldiers.
people generally enjoyed the contests, especially the Film festival and the diorama/ frankenjoe entries (which is why more seminars on customizing wrer requested, to add more submissions)
However, the Know Joe contest brought a lot of controversay, as a more formal way of answereing and questions were suggested. (Me personally , I think people just took this one too seriously, and got "clicky" when the collectors are broken down to their individual website groups, which is sad considering people are members of multiple groups)
E) the "courtesy room"
CHANGE THE DARN TAPE ONCE IN AWHILE!!!!!!!
A lot of people were irritated in the ONE choice of movie for three days, and suggested between the tapes of original commercials of the AT and RAHG joes, and the tons of episodes of Sunbow, DIC, G.I.Joe Extreme, and the three animated movies, ther should be more variety in the viewing choice. ALso the frequency of the room being replenished was an issue.
there was a large amount of opinions surrounded around this last point:
4) The DInner: Part one:
a) Casino night:
people generally enjoyed the Casino night, and liked the return of actual money being used, athough a few people disliked it, stating it gave people a chance to pool their resources and outbid the single people. A lot of people thought the Joe cards being used at Casino night were a great touch! and Bingo night was also a favorite (the ones who participated)
again, people enjoyed seeing the people dress up as their favorite character and even suggested that we make it part of the contests. only a small persentage (less than 15 people) didnt really care either way, One person though they were all wierd, which is kinda an oxymoron in a Toy convention. (Although Kuukuusan really needed a belt on several moments)
Oh, and Dark Horse, I dont know if you realized it, a lot of people thought YOU were in costume!
honestly,.. people hated the food.
Less than 10% liked the food choices, even the dessert. and some people thought the food was outright nasty.
also, the format was an issue, which brings me to:
5) Dinner Part Two: Format
a) Buffet vs Sit Down Dinner:
there is a growning number of people who want the dinnder to go bact to a more formal format, althogh the majority (63%) like the buffet style format.
We don't know who was responcible, the club or the hotel,.. but over 75% of people complained about the lack of chairs/ Tables for people to sit, and a HUGE percentage had an issue with the Guests not having seats (although a large persentage didnt even know that was an issue until my posts) Definetly someting that should be kept mindful of.
this data was all over the place to the point I didnt add the results. a few people though it should have been done during the dinner, others didnt like the idea of groups ganging up on the auction offerings, some just did not care, or were tired by that point, and anothe rgroup of people like the idea of the items being donated by various vendors.
A) Pre Convention Tours
the people who went were thrilled at these tours, but thought the Coke Museum sucked because they didnt give free samples.
b) Non con activities:
a lot of this data icouldnt crunch, for the small numbers of people involved but :
1) the online board meed and drink
2) The Hama/ Cabanajack party/ fundraiser awareness
3) The Crappy Figure Brigade Meeting
4) the random "Drunken Nights out"
...were enjoyed by the ones who attended.
c) Joe Boards
It was suggested that the individual boards that the attendee represents should be posted on their badges (JBL got around this by offering stickers and T-shirts) a suggestion was made for a "Sign Up" tabe to be manned Hourly by a random memebr of a board, to boost membership (as soem peole are unaware of other boards and what they offer)
well,.. thats it in a nutshell.
"I couldn't Help But Notice Your Pain. It runs deep. SHARE IT WITH ME!!"
"Damn!!! He's sexy!!! And so smart too!!! " - Quotes General Scarlett
BIG LOB! ....... DEAL WITH IT.