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A Roof For Amecon

So Monday was a bit mad.

For Amecon attendees it was something of a farce, and perhaps we’ve grown accustomed to a slightly easier ride when it comes to the Warwick Art’s Centre, especially when held against the obstinacy and awkwardness of “other” venues when it comes to handling the convention crowd. We may be used to the tense dash for registration, the gone-in-a-flash stock of tickets and the terse F5 mashing, but this year’s Amecon we suffered the same fate when it came to booking rooms, and far worse besides.

The grievances thusfar have been a slow performance from the accommodation site, maddeningly ambiguous emails, slow responses from all parties, and one hell of a scarcity problem. Those few who managed to land the cheaper student rooms were lucky, and even then some were uncertain as to whether or not they’d actually done it, the rooms in the on-site hotel were expensive to say the least, and many panic-booked hotels off site. Some rooms have been released in batches, but by the time they began the social groups were already awash with combined panic and despondency.

A quick note before I go any further, I am in no way attempting to partition blame, in fact I get the feeling that this has been something of a failed experiment; this is the first time I’ve seen accommodation staggered several months from convention registration, and perhaps it allowed the attendees to have sufficient breather, organisationally and financially. I also find myself wandering what kind of allotment of rooms the committee were given, although I feel like it would be foolish of Warwick to short-change them, and us in the process?

Perhaps the scene is victim to its own popularity. Kita and Ame have soaked up the Ayacon crowd like bicarb in vinegar, and the metaphorical bottle may have burst. A paid team of event organisers would struggle to manage the leviathan nature of the conventions they run, the fact that these guys are volunteers makes the end result nothing short of impressive – nay incredible. Since I joined the throngs about five years ago, even I have noticed how much harder it’s become to grab tickets and how fast they can vanish, even amongst smaller cons, or professionally run expos and events around the country.

The Ame committee have been juggling handling our issues on social media and passing on information from Warwick, who have been slow to deal with their besieged website but are answering emails and calling attendees to handle the matter. While I understand some of those people who have openly considered cancelling their tickets for financial reasons, to a lesser extent I think I understand cancelling on the basis of disappointment, but their seems to have been more than necessary, or maybe it’s that those who’d council patience have been generally quiet.

I will be staying in a Premiere Inn twelve minutes down the road, Tim has opted for Scarman – the hotel accommodation, we’ve each made compromises that don’t entirely satisfy, and might sour our experience but the only way to know for sure is to attend, and to enjoy as best we can. Certainly neither one of us could claim to be entirely satisfied, but we’re far from deterred.

See you at Amecon.

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4 responses

  1. I booked the hotel-like room. I paid the thing since I assumed it would be expensive, yet it surprised me that each night cost me about the same I would pay for a Marriott stay in Bristol. But having stayed at a horrendous place in Coventry for Kitacon, I was willing to pay extra to avoid a similar experience, remembering how Tim mentioned the rooms were good.

    Having said so, the booking was quite stressful.When I followed the email I found only a room available for the 29th, so I booked it and then wrote warwick, worried about it.

    But being the curious guy I am, I then went into the booking system once more just to double check and found that there were bookings available for the other days as well. I quickly nabbed my other nights and thankfully Warwick reps were kind enough to merge my two separate bookings into a single one when I requested it by email.

    But I waited for the reply full of worry

    Liked by 1 person

    February 1, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    • Twas certainly a stressful incident, however AmeCon themselves have been flat out trying to do what they can to mitigate the damage. I don’t envy them; but they’ve attempted to keep as level a head as they can throughout. Even Kitacon stepped in to help their buddies.

      Fingers crossed this is a learning experience they won’t need to revisit.

      Like

      February 1, 2018 at 10:37 pm

  2. Pingback: Amecon 2018 – Joel’s Summary & Gallery | GeekOut South-West

  3. Pingback: Amecon 2018 – Timlah’s Summary & Gallery | GeekOut South-West

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