Author Topic: What was with the panels this year?  (Read 502 times)

Offline plaidsuperhero

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What was with the panels this year?
« on: September 06, 2016, 04:27:25 PM »
Okay, so. I'm honestly not trying to start anything. I'm just curious about the shift from a lot of fan-run panels to only having one start every half hour. I'm sure the guest panels are great, and it's nice to see that there's a choice of opportunities to see the guests. But that's not my thing, and I'm not the only one.

Will there be more fan-run panels in winter? I like it when there is so many events to go to that I have to choose which things I'll attend. Is it a matter of lack of available staff, or what?

I would appreciate it if staff would respond to this, because as someone who has attended SacAnime at least 10 times, I have very much enjoyed seeing this con grow, and I don't want to see some people deterred from coming by the lack of fan-generated content.


Offline fabrickind

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Re: What was with the panels this year?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2016, 07:08:31 PM »
I'm also curious about the panels schedule.

I understand a lot of the issue is the lack of extra hall space due to the Greek Festival, so that more panel rooms had to be taken up for things in those spaces, and that the GOH panels were given more space to allow for more attendees, which is all well and good.

What I'm curious about, and is probably not something that can be answered publicly but I'm going to ask anyway, is some of the rationale behind the programming. I'm all for moving away from in-character Q&A fandom-type panels, but I'm wondering if that was a conscious choice, or just how things shook out. Is there more of a focus on guest panels rather than fan panels going forward at this con? And more of a focus on creator-type fan panels rather than entertainment ones for specific fandoms? (I know that some people are upset about this, and I feel like they might be less upset if there is some clarity on whether in-character ask panels are being phased out or severely limited at this convention as a matter of choice by the con, or whether it was happenstance that very few of these panels were accepted -- if it's the former, that might be something to mention so that people know not to submit that type of panel.)

I also totally understand the lack of panels space, but I also felt the lengthy gaps between panels were a bit much when there wasn't overlap -- the 30 minute gap is great for seating, for setting up a panel, etc., and I think that should be kept, but due to the smaller number of panels and the lack of overlap, there were dead stretches in programming. At one point on Saturday afternoon, the busiest time of the con, my friend and I looked for a panel going on so we could duck in for about 20 or 30 minutes while waiting for a gathering, and could only find one panel going on, and the other panel rooms had their next panels starting at least an hour (sometimes longer) from when we were looking.

While programming overlaps can make it hard if someone wants to attend multiple events, they also allow for the con to have constant activity and content. It's a trade-off there, but with the lower attendance at this con and the lack of constant programming during the busiest time of the con, it felt somewhat empty.

...though, I suppose none of this can be solved without having access to more panel rooms and having more high-quality panel submissions. I feel like moving away from in-character ask fan panels is moving in the right direction (if that is indeed what the con is doing), but that the rest of the programming now needs to catch up. (I suppose I can always come back to submitting panels at this con for Winter, if the con needs more content!)

So, I suppose, I'm also curious about the OP's questions. Again, not sure if these are things that are answerable publicly, but even a few words or thoughts from staff would certainly sate a lot of people's curiosity, especially considering how much complaining I've seen through the internet about the panels schedule this time around. (I don't personally agree with all of the complaints, but they are being made.)