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ReaperCon 2021 feedback thread..


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Rules:

 

Keep it civil and polite.  If you are still super emotional about it, take a couple days to get some distance from it and come back and post or send it privately to the folks at Reaper.  We're all passionate about this event. This thread is not for venting.

Keep it constructive if possible.  If you have a complaint, offer suggestions to fix it.

Don't post something you wouldn't say out loud to the folks at Reaper.  

 

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Likes

  • The new Reaper bucks / Brinewind Trading post setup.  Even though it was popular, I was never really a fan of the auction so really liked having this option.
  • The new MSP open setup and the Pre-registration option.
  • The pre-order of swag

Dis-Likes

  • Food options for Meet-N-Greet were okay, but also kinda meh.

 

 

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My feedback is generally positive. We didn't have any major disconnects, and adapted to a few surprises as we went. No sweat.


This was our 3rd Reapercon - all at the Embassy. It was good to be 'home' after the past 18 months of shenanigans.  I didn't realize how much I needed to check out from the world around me until about Friday. Just a general reminder to myself, more than anything, that I should throttle back more and more often.  So I guess that's feedback to myself.

  • I give Hilton/Embassy high marks. The property is now a few years old and holding up well. Our interactions with staff were good to great. The poor lady at the Starbucks always seemed frazzled. I used the Hilton phone app to request room service and it worked great. 
  • I liked the MSP Open area being in a separate room (and I think the lighting was better in there), and I liked pre-registration.
  • I didn't miss the auction.  We've enjoyed it in years past, but also know it was a stressor for some.  I wouldn't be upset if the auction didn't come back.
  • I liked the class length being a little shorter and the ability to take a breather between classes - or crazy enough - actually eat lunch.  Some might argue, but I don't think the extra 15 minutes would have helped my learning (When the schedule was tighter, I was mentally checking out at the end and stressing about where I need to be).
  • There were a few times where I wish we were spread out more. Awards ceremony in particular. No easy solution, and I think they did the best they could with what they had. 
  • Meet and greet food - I'm not there for the food, but a lukewarm hot dog wasn't awesome. Next time I'd just make a Whataburger run.

PS:  Thank you Reaper for arranging no construction this year on I44. It was much appreciated. 🙂

 

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8 minutes ago, Clearman said:

Likes

  • The new Reaper bucks / Brinewind Trading post setup.  Even though it was popular, I was never really a fan of the auction so really liked having this option.
  • The new MSP open setup and the Pre-registration option.
  • The pre-order of swag

 

I too really liked the Reaper Bucks store setup.. I feel like they can shorten the auction a lot by taking all the Reaper branded swag/stuff out and just having it in the store like the mouse pads, class paint kits, etc and just have the auction be for the big ticket items.. There wasn't much in the store I wanted, but at least i got to spend some of my Reaper Bucks this year..  

 

With the Swag, I'd like to see a swag trade table or something where we can donate our unwanted swag to the brinewind store or for other folks to grab.. I already have 17 water bottles in my house, so I'd rather let someone who wants my Reaper bottle get access to it.. obviously this isn't something to implement during COVID..

 

Dislikes:

 

One Bones USA display case at the Reaper Booth..  It was always blocked by people shopping..  with the freebie mini and it's popularity I could hardly ever get close enough to it to shop, and by the time I could on Sunday, the pieces I wanted were sold out.. (no biggie I'll buy them online) Please have more than one next time :)

 

Food trucks were good, but I wish there were longer hours and a Breakfast option.. sure the free hotel breakfast is fine, but by Saturday and Sunday I wanted variety and I didnt have a car or time before classes to get delivery.. 

 

I couldn't play video games most of the weekend because the small children were draped all over them.. but I don't know any way to fix that short of having more kids activities..  there also seemed like a lot more kids there this year so it might be something Reaper has to account for in the future. 

 

Admittedly there needs some tweaking to the document camera set ups, but I thought class layouts worked great..  maybe black plastic table cloths next year

 

Cheers section:

 

 I feel like Reaper Jon and Katie need a shout out.. they were rock stars all weekend.. Jon was everywhere socializing and it was great.. 

All my interactions with Registration were amazing.. 

The new MSP space is great!  it also served as a quiet space when you just needed a noise break.. 

 

 

 

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Great: 

-- the hotel is a great location, I had some minor issues with them, but it was the hotel and not Reaper

-- having fewer gaming tables in the hallway area allowed traffic to move more easily.  The registration area did not bottleneck

-- having the Brinewind store allowed folks with small amounts of Reaper coins to get something.  I did not miss the auction either. 

-- I want to give a big thank you to everyone who got vaccinated and/or wore a mask all weekend. 

-- the enlarged space for Paint and Take and Hobby Hijinks worked very well

-- the melt table wasn't full of garbage this year, due to better enforcement of what could be traded in

-- speaking of trash, folks did a good job policing their tables this year and not leaving food containers and empty drink cups around for others to clean up if they wanted to sit at a table

 

Not so great:

-- no Reapercon Sophie in the on-site swag boxes

-- DH tried to pre-reg his painting entry using his phone, and could not get the app to work

-- Brinewind store was pretty much empty by Friday night, leaving a lot of people with coins to spend -- and events were still giving away coins-- it could have benefitted with a restock on Saturday.  It's not like Reaper didn't have product on hand to add to it.  But it was the first year trying this method, so...

-- a number of people were not aware that there was not going to be an auction and had saved coins all weekend and were mightily disappointed come Sunday

-- program book did not have a diagram showing what was where in the hotel

-- the blinding lights in the Reapercon store make it difficult to see the product

-- like SamuraiJack mentioned the store was out of items by Sat or Sun. Heck, they were out of paints and liners by Thurs evening but those got mostly  restocked.  Maybe they underestimated sales. 

-- I really wanted to buy some of the swag bag items individually and certain things were not available.  I understand pre-selling the bundles, but please have paints and figures as single items at the con. 

-- it seemed like the artists were largely absent from their tables this year.  When I visited the area (several times) there were only 1-2 people per row at their spots.  Maybe it was because extra classes had been added, or I managed to hit the wrong times every day. 

-- costume contest was a good idea, but we need way more lead time next year, and please don't hold it during the dinner hours

 

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5 minutes ago, Inarah said:

Maybe they underestimated sales. 

By every merchant I talked to, Sales were at ridiculous levels this year.  Everyone was selling out.

 

Another suggestion I'd like to add:

 

Because classes sell out so fast, maybe do some panels in the main room on topics like 'Painting for competition' and other topics that don't require  one on one time.  Maybe Anne, Rhonda and one other guest artist (DKS, Lovejoy, etc).. document cam to show the differences between the gold/silver/bronze.. show examples and have a moderator to field questions after they are done talking.. once I had my 5 classes scheduled it seemed like I wanted more learning to do in my downtime and as Inarah said it was hard catching people at their tables this year.    House of Vex live!  (LOL)

I did overhear the folks in the Reaper booth say Friday morning:  'I can't believe we sold that many yesterday.  We should have brought a whole pallet of ships with us'

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Train of thoughts:

 

Con: the empty artist row, at nearly all times. And they were shoved into a corner which I didn’t like. It felt separated. Could block off the hallway to the MSP and force people thru the artist row to get to it. Dunno. 
 

Pro: Having the swag store was very nice. But the auction was special. Maybe a mix of both (suggested elsewhere) to avoid the price inflation. Walking out with “something” was very nice. 
 

Con: Meet-n-great hamburger and dogs seemed … lacking. Maybe it was to keep people’s filthy mitts off of the food, so hopefully a unique one time solution.

 

May add more later. 

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Just now, Pegazus said:

Con: the empty artist row, at nearly all times. And they were shoved into a corner which I didn’t like. It felt separated. Could block off the hallway to the MSP and force people thru the artist row to get to it. Dunno. 

There were a lot fewer artists this year so that didn't help.. 

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1 minute ago, Pegazus said:

Really? Huh. It felt like there was an extra row this year. 

 

I think they had more shoulder room, in general. 

 

I know that the area appeared fairly empty, but reflecting on it, I recall bumping into all my instructors at various points and they always seemed to be in motion.  

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All in all, it was my most enjoyable ReaperCon to date.  It just seemed more relaxed in mood  and easier to move about.  Maybe. because of COVID, I was expecting a diminished Con; so the reality was one pleasant experience after another.

 

I did like the separation of the MSP Open into a quieter area, the food trucks (which provided options unavailable in the not so distant past), the class length, the spread out Reaper store, the arrangement of the classrooms and the video available in all of them, the Brinewind store (I don't miss the auction; now everyone gets a shot at something), and the Embassy Suites (stellar!).

 

What I didn't like was my fault.  I took too many classes.  I always have.  Not again next year.  I have also added to my knowledge of which instructors fit my learning style; I can focus on them.  I spent too little time in the MSP Open room -- again, a factor under my control.

 

Good times.

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Wonderful Con this year. 3rd time going 2017, 2019, and this year.
Pros:

To many to list!

 

Loved that Reaper was able to get more hotel blocks so I was able to reserve a room, don’t want to be off site. Works better for me as I didn’t plan on going any where once I got there. 
 

Having kids classes my son was able to take the intro and advance class. 
 

The ReaperBuck store to me was amazing, as I felt restricted in the past not having as many bucks at the auction. As always folks helped each other out trying to win merch.  Maybe do both the Brinewood store and auction. The Ship wheel would have been awesome on the auction along with a few more hoodies. So if something sold out in the store there would still be a small chance to win one.  
 

Cons: 

With the additional classes the youth classes where in the main room while not really bad they were by the board games and this pushed the Artist into a corner. I think another option would be:

Kids Class/Extra Class area

——————————————

Artist Row

——————————————

Artist Row

——————————————

Hobby Hijinks

——————————————

Boardgames

 

I think this would give a little more quite space for classes and bring the artist further into the eye of everyone. 

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2 hours ago, SamuraiJack said:

Because classes sell out so fast, maybe do some panels in the main room on topics like 'Painting for competition' and other topics that don't require  one on one time. 

Agreed.  Class sales this year being what they were, even with the limited ticket sales, and attendance being what it looks like it's going to be in the future, it's going to be very hard to have enough classes to go around unless the prices go up more than the con ticket, which is not a solution I think any of us would like.  Increasing butts in seats would hopefully be more possible when social distancing is less of an issue, but that puts more stress on the instructor, both for prep and for helping see what the students are doing .That being said, certian topics might work in this kind of format and might help give something 'class like'
 

That being said, one big thing I think I've seen mentioned in the past but bears repeating as a suggestion -  In general the 'main stage' is very under-utilized compared to a lot of cons I go to.  I know there were events going on frequently on camera and being streamed to twitch, but sitting in the room 50 feet away from where it's happening live, and trying to watch it on my phone with the very weak reception I get at the convention center was a no-go.  

Just going to say, Reaper Live, "Live on Stage" with the convention audience, would have been awesome.  
I do realize the drawback to this is that, during those times the main hall would be kind of lost as a social hangout, so I don't know if there is another option that could be explored, Maybe some space could be found somewhere else to create an auditorium so the main hall could remain the social space.  We will most likely need a way to have more seating for the ceremonies in the future...
 

 

Moving on to other subjects:

  • Brinewind Store was a fantastic Idea, and while the auction is fun (15k mouse pad anyone?) I think this is much more approachable, espically with things like the dice, t-shirts, hats, and other swag as an outlet.
    • I think just needs to be spaced out more / restocked on Saturday.  Many of the more interesting limited items were all gone by Friday afternoon/Saturday Morning to people who could grind hobby hijinks for what was honestly an absurd amount of ReaperBucks and buy those out before people who were pacing themselves and doing a little bit of everything could save up.  Reserving some of the limited stock for each day might be a way to help it from looking so picked over by Saturday.
  • MSP being in it's own room was awesome, better lighting was a plus, the lack of noise was a nice way to observe the art, and I'll even second the "quiet place" comments from before. 
  • The board game area was nice but never seemed to be heavily used.  board game library off the main space and let people use the general tables maybe? would allow for expansion of artist's alley if neccesary.  Also I think it would be nice to see artist's alley up front, hobby hijinks a little further back but keeping the big sign shouldn't be a problem.
  • To that end, I know some other cons I've been to that actually have a designated quiet space, a comfortable room with some comfortable seating spaced out and not too bright lights, specifically set aside and easy to access for people who need to go gather spoons and may not have a hotel room at the center to retreat to. (esp. a concern as we're spilling over to surrounding hotels now for official blocks)

I'm sure there will be more as I have more time to decompress.

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3 minutes ago, Cygnwulf said:

15k mouse pad anyone?

 

Hey now.. I love my 16k mouse pad.. I had it with me all weekend for it's legendary power ;)  And to be honest, it was the last item and we needed to do something with the pool of reaper bucks ;)

 

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