We all knew this was coming. Let me first point out that this isn’t a 2nd place vendetta or even a target aimed at any specific staff or affiliates of the Cosplay Oneesan event. This is intended as a serious disscussion.
I don’t know enough about who caused the list of issues to happen but we DESERVE an explanation in the very least. I can only speak from experience so I apologize in advance if any review seems funneled to a particular group of part of the event.
VIP Ticket sales: BPT somehow messed up the ticket sales to the point where CO didn’t know who won or for how much. Eventually BPT released the highest bid information which is what CO went on for invoicing the customers. I had a personal experience in which I was told I won a BPT ticket *after* I had purchased a ticket on EBay for three times the price. When I asked to be refunded for the EBay ticket (as I would not have bought had they told me correctly and along with everyone else that I had won one) or to purchase both tickets – I was denied and basically handcuffed into paying for the megaticket. During this I was relying on the sleuth skills of a friend who was discussing who thought they won what in her own LJ timeline.
Delays: From attending two years past I knew to eat a hearty breakfast before heading to the event. However, a lot of girls stood around for 2+ hours waiting to get into the event because of various soundcheck and wardrobe issues. It would have been one thing to tell us how long it would be before seating but instead we were repeatedly told ‘half an hour!’ to ‘five more minutes’ over and over…
Communication The schedule for the only main Sunday event changed when Fanime released their official schedule on the 22nd. However, it was not until Saturday that CO told a few attendees that the Panel would be held at the convention down the street and three hours earlier than previously expected. A number of girls slept in, flat missed it, or assumed we would need a Fanime pass to enter the Panel.
It was also majorly unclear when photos with the designers would be taking place in the boutique. The delays of Saturday pushed them to Sunday last minute and even then this ‘announcement’ was communicated by placing a 8/11.5 piece of paper on the door designating hours for each designer/musician.
We should not have been relying on word of mouth to find out about these issues.
Prizes: I know it sounds childish to complain about free stuff but the BINGO and goodie bags were highly praised the past year which is a major factor in justifying the ticket price. The GA ticket holders all seemed bummed about the lack of goodies as well as the presentation of the items. A more detailed input about the GA perspective is welcome in the comments! I’ll add parts as they are typed out.
Competition Woes: This was a major let down and headache for everyone involved. Participants were not told until the Friday night whether or not they would be competing the next day. Once contacted, the other two girls and I were brought into the sound check to sit awkwardly with the girl in charge of the event who asked us for help writing our introductions and organizing the order of the presentation. (Personally, I was brought in two hours before the event to ‘simplify the vocabulary’ of my speech as they had not given the transcript to the translators in time to explain the process to the judges. I was also told not to use any of the effects I had prepared. Having memorized the story exactly I was squeezed into a stressful situation of thinking on my toes in an effort to meet their new requirements although they had been made fully aware of my plans via email a week before – see communication).
Designers: I think we were all HELLA EXCITED about the magnitude of designers attending the event this year. However, I would have no idea what any of them looked like had I not have spent 5+ total hours loitering around the boutique talking to the AtPeir model, Sweet Rococo’s designer and Wonderland Atelier’s designer. Much of the attention was brought upon AP and Fumiko. It was a surprise to see that these two were swept away every other minute from their respective tables or boutique locations by one of the CO staff to deal with an issue. The 5 minutes we did get to speak to AP (again, I apologize for the tunnel vision) the translator was hopelessly stretched between the three designers which left us to speak to them in halting Japanese or two word English phrases.
More VIP Issues: With the auctions skyrocketing well past where they had been in previous years one would have expected at least an enjoyable experience. Granted, our goodie bags were satisfying but some girls were still left without some items other girls had received. I was missing a catalog and another girl was missing her Eco tote. We told the organizers but the best response we got was effectively a verbal shrug.
Another MAJOR factor of buying a VIP ticket is boutique shopping. We were told that we would be let into the shop first. However, both on the first day of shopping and the morning after the runway pieces had been stocked we were let in after the GA holders. This basically nullified our VIP status in total.
Later on Sunday I voiced some concerns to a staff member concerning the above two issues. What did I receive? Some cakeballs. She also assured me that all of the solo pictures with the designers would be free. When I stopped in for the pictures, I found that this too was a lie and I only received the first photo free after waiting around for 3 hours total.
Missing Events: The previews leading up to the event listed a number of promises that were never fulfilled nor mentioned again. There was to be a 'trunk show' during one of the boutique times which was to include food and a special preview with the designers. This never happened. We were told about a pinata which was sitting on one of the tables during the boutique. One staff member repeatedly told us to 'get excited!' about it. Eventually it just sort of disappeared and was never mentioned again...
Seriously, WHAT DID WE PAY FOR THEN? A partially filled goodie bag and five minutes of seated smiling with the designers.
I’m sure there are more issues to bring to light but I focused on adding points I had not read in the original post. Here we can discuss openly and intelligently exactly what went wrong with whom and where the future of this organization should be headed.