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UK PonyCon 2014 feedback

Discussion in 'Event Feedback' started by Bridle Timeout, 11 October 2014.

  1. Galaxxia

    Galaxxia New Pony

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    I'm also suffering from ponybola :(
     
  2. moody magpie

    moody magpie One shall stand, one shall fall.

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    Well I got at ponycon:
    The goodie bag
    A funko Daring do
    A mystery funko Discord
    Nurse Redheart figure
    Wild rainbow Scootaloo figure
    A brony cap
    A drawing of Rainbow Dash in a Newcastle shirt
    And very many bottles of red bulmers (hic!)
     
  3. Sparkler

    Sparkler Honorary Pony

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    thanks for the great feedback everyone - I am glad to read you enjoyed it!

    all criticism and stuff I'll copy at some point and put it up in the PonyCon staff room so everyone can read it - feel free to fire away! I'll copy the positives too - dont worry!

    Unfortunately there seems to be con flu every single year after PonyCon. So sorry to read that so many have it *hugs*
    Thanks for everyone coming, helping and making this event a truly fabulous weekend!
    And an extra big thank you from the UK PonyCon team!

    I was going to press the like on every single post, but my internet is pretty villagey today - so, please imagine I pressed the like on your post too!
     
  4. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    *Equestria Girls Twilight voice* I have no idea! :D My creativity in the fandom is in writing fanfics, and those don't generally call for hanks of brightly coloured hair! But it was free in the goodie bag, so it would have been silly to have turned it down! I imagine I'll think about it for a bit, and if I can't think of anything to do with it, I'll give the hair to someone else who's more skilled with their hands. :)

    Edit: On the main feedback thing, I have a heeyuuuge feedback post under construction at the moment, and I'll post that in the next couple of days, when it's in some sort of order. Sneak peak: the pluses greatly outweigh the minuses, but I guess that was obvious from what I've said already!
     
    #25 Loganberry, 13 October 2014
    Last edited: 13 October 2014
  5. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    (Double post I know, but on this occasion I think it's justified as it's been over a day since the last post and this one really needs to be kept as a coherent whole!)

    Okay, @Sparkler, I did warn you... this is going to be an epic feedback post! There are pluses and minuses, but the pluses are very much in the majority. :) Bear in mind that I left about 5pm on Saturday, so not much of what I say concerns stuff after that. I also can't judge things like the atmosphere on Sunday as I wasn't there. Here goes:

    Location and venue

    + Leicester was a great host city: good road and rail links and easily accessible from most places. (Well, Sunday morning trains aside!)
    + The hotel's location was brilliant. Walking distance from the station and from shops, eating places and cashpoints.
    + The local area felt safe. Admittedly I wasn't there at night, but I didn't see anyone being hassled for their pony stuff.
    + Hotel staff were excellent and relaxed: they didn't seem fazed at all by the hordes of strange pony-obsessed people in their hotel!
    + I was really impressed by the decorations for the con. They all looked extremely well-made and attractive.
    + The hotel itself was lovely, with a real feeling of character and presence that Manchester Central sadly lacked.

    Registration

    + Being able to queue indoors was a blessed relief that those of us who stood in the cold drizzle at BUCK certainly appreciated!
    + I really liked the con badge design: big, colourful and a nice souvenir. Much better to look at than a wristband, I have to admit.
    + It was nice not to have BUCK's paranoia about the idea of anyone potentially bringing half a bottle of water in from outside. :p
    + The upgraded lanyards were very nice and well worth shelling out £4 for...
    - ...but I had no idea they'd be on offer, so I suddenly had to scrabble for change at the desk. Tricky when the cashpoint only gave me £20s!
    - Some people paying cash on the day seemed to get in before those of us with pre-booked tickets. This really didn't seem fair.

    Conbook/schedule

    + It was really nice to have art, writing etc, plus the puzzle page. I wish BUCK had done this too.
    + Also one up on BUCK, actually putting the venue and host city on the front!
    - A brief guide to vendors, with a plan showing where they were in the hall, would have been a massive help.
    - One Sunday thing I will comment on: the schedule did look rather bare. I'm not sure I'd have bought a Sun-only ticket.

    Vendors

    + Brilliant variety of merch to buy: it seemed to be a considerably wider range (even just for G4) than at BUCK.
    + Stallholders were all friendly and helpful, even when they were super-busy, which was most of the time!
    + Prices seemed quite reasonable by convention standards, judging by the things I knew about.
    - Please, (some) vendors, write your prices in bold, clear print, not in tiny script we can barely read!

    Events

    + The G1/G4 panel was excellent: well thought out and interestingly presented by Jemofirongate.
    + The charity auction was compèred (if that's the word!) in a very good spirit. That £400 art piece, though! :eek:
    + Ayla of Antipode was a brilliant performer: her show was extremely impressive. Shame it wasn't up on stage.
    + The Rainbooms, though I only heard them first thing, sounded very good indeed and I'd love to see live music return...
    - ...but was the vendor hall the right place for loud music? It made conversations quite tricky at times.
    - The cosplay catwalk clearly suffered from a severe lack of space: people just didn't get the spotlight they deserved.
    - It wasn't always very clear what was going on when the schedule was slipping: a few more brief announcements would have helped.

    General

    +++ The atmosphere! Friendly, welcoming, inclusive, slightly silly, warm... just what an MLP convention should be.
    + The goodie bag was brilliant. I'd have really regretted it if I hadn't bought it with my ticket.
    + Having a quiet room for kids to escape the bustle for a bit was a brilliant idea. (Can we have an adult version, please?)
    - It wasn't always easy to identify con staff. Maybe bright colour-coded sashes or badges or something?
    - Venue requirement maybe, but the party being 18+ felt out of place for a Pony event. BUCK's parties were all-ages, despite having bars.
    - The clash of dates with BronyScot. Just one of those things and nobody's fault, but it was a shame.

    I hope those minuses don't just look like whinging: I just think honest feedback is more useful than only mentioning the good stuff. I still had a brilliant time and I'm so grateful to the older-school Pony fans for their generosity of spirit in letting us bronies share their wonderful convention. Here's to UK PonyCon 2015! :)
     
  6. moody magpie

    moody magpie One shall stand, one shall fall.

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    I agree about a quite area for adults sometimes cramped Areas make me uncomfortable and would be nice to sit down in an area to unwind for a bit.
     
  7. Deanio

    Deanio Pony

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    hello everyone :)

    Pony con 2014



    Pony con the after party
     
  8. Trottingsky

    Trottingsky Marxist Brony

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    Loganberry likes this.
  9. Pastel Kiwi

    Pastel Kiwi New Pony

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    I really enjoyed the con, I went more into depth on PonyCon's own forum, I was behind a stall most of the time but during the quiet periods I went around to see the other stalls.
    Everyone was really friendly and over all I enjoyed the con and meeting everyone. i can't wait for next year.
     
  10. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    Thanks very much for that! Really handy -- and I'd recommend everyone here to read that thread, as it's very interesting and full of excellent points. Obviously (mostly) from a different part of the fandom, but some things, like comments on the venue, are just as relevant.

    On a personal note, I'm really sorry to read about what happened to you at the con, and I really hope that story has a happy ending.
    What were you selling? I probably looked at your stall at some point, though as I wasn't feeling too good I may not remember. Looks like most first-timers are planning on going back next year, which says a lot about how welcoming it was. :)

    One phrase I've noticed a lot of people on the other forum using is "pony bubble" -- ie we were self-contained and could go from one pony room to another pony room without having to pass through public areas of the hotel. I really love the phrase "pony bubble" and will use it from now on! :D

    Finally, it was mentioned on the other forum that, with no BUCK next year (and no Crystal Faire either) it's very likely that demand for UK PonyCon tickets will be extremely high. Given that this year's attendance seemed very healthy, though I don't have previous years to compare to, it's going to be quite a challenge for 2015. Even if My Little Con does get off the ground, I suspect that (especially given the positive reaction here on UK of E) there'll be a substantial increase in brony interest. Even more so if there's no BronyScot clash next time. Bridgewater Hall, anyone? :p
     
  11. Pastel Kiwi

    Pastel Kiwi New Pony

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    I was working at MarePlay so a mix of merch really!
     
  12. Sparkler

    Sparkler Honorary Pony

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    The attendance was way beyond our expectance already this year :) We ran out of lanyards on saturday already!!!!!

    All honest feedback is truly appreciated. With most of what has been said I do agree and people have a valid point - me personally :cool: <-Sparkler.
    (With some of what has been said I have no clue what people are talking about as this is the first time I read certain things - I suppose that is pretty normal too ;))

    I am glad to read everyone enjoyed the convention and we are currently working on a feedback survey, so keep your eyes peeled.
     
    Bridle Timeout, Archer and Loganberry like this.
  13. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    Was it a lot bigger than last year? It certainly felt as though there were a lot of people there! And thank you for the comment about the feedback survey. I'm sure some of us will complete those when they're ready. :)
     
    Sparkler likes this.
  14. Reaperfox

    Reaperfox Old school pony crony

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    I am SO so glad Ponycon was enjoyed by Bronies this year too! I know we always try our hardest to make sure we cater to everyone in the fandom, so it's really reassuring and lovely to hear folks AREN'T being put off by the 'oldschool collector' vibes, and are having a great time at the con! I have a feeling next year might be a little craaaazy, in all the best ways possible!
     
    Sparkler and Bridle Timeout like this.
  15. Sparkler

    Sparkler Honorary Pony

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    I think it was - but I would need numbers to confirm @Loganberry
    I might go and ask our treasurer :)
     
  16. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    I think actually one thing that was appreciated by quite a few of us (certainly me) was that it was a bit different from the likes of BUCK. For example, the age range was much wider -- it was nice for me not to be 10-20 years older than virtually everyone else! I hope that continues in 2015: yes, there'll inevitably be a lot more bronies there and I'm sure the committee will take account of that, but UK PonyCon is really important for collectors and I agree with the people who've said they should remain the primary focus. :)
    Ah, I wasn't sure whether you published attendance figures, but if you do then it would certainly be interesting. :)

    Edit: Also, from a UK of Equestria point of view, I've noticed that we've had a few new members as a result of the con, which is fantastic to see. :) I know there are others who are lurking, though I won't name names as they may prefer to stay in the shadows, but if anyone reading this is among them and would like to sign up, then we'll make you welcome! :)
     
    #37 Loganberry, 17 October 2014
    Last edited: 18 October 2014
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  17. Sparkler

    Sparkler Honorary Pony

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    ha ha - very good, let's hope some of them they stay on! I think we had some more fresh faces on the PC forum too!

    roughly speaking we had about 100 people more than last year attending - which is quite a lot (especially as we are not having huge numbers like BUCK) - only a guesstimate. we did expect some more (like 20/30) - so it was definetly a lot more than we expected :cool: see, we are only a "small" convention...
     
  18. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    Whew, that is impressive! :D Looking through the archive, you mentioned some time ago that you sold about 270 tickets last year, so I guess it was roughly 350-400 this time. And I guess that means you're not really a "small" convention any more! Actually, with no BUCK in 2015, I think you could easily be the biggest My Little Pony event in the UK next year!

    I know that UK PonyCon used to have one Members Day and one public day, and I totally understand (reading the UKPC forums) why quite a few people would like to return to that format. If you did that, though, I think the public day would have to be the Saturday, mostly because Sunday morning trains/buses are terrible from many places. I also think (given the likely big attendance next year) that overcrowding would be a real problem with only one public day. I think your con is now large enough that it really needs two public days. I guess the ideal would be one Members Day and two public days, but I do understand that doing that would add a lot to costs etc.

    I want to stress, though, that I believe 100% that collectors should always be the heart of UK PonyCon and should be given priority, because it's been the event for UK collectors since long before bronies even existed. We bronies are guests, and many of us would like to come along in 2015 because it's different from brony conventions. So if there are two options for something, and collectors all want Option A and bronies all want Option B, then I would support Option A. :)
     
    #39 Loganberry, 18 October 2014
    Last edited: 18 October 2014
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  19. moody magpie

    moody magpie One shall stand, one shall fall.

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    Gosh was it really a week ago that I was in Leicester having a fantastic time. I think it's ironic that Newcastle beat Leicester in football today. Roll on next years UK Ponycon!
     
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