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Query regarding judging rooms

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Query regarding judging rooms
Post By neimhaille. 18/04/10, 05:33 am

Some of you know what a task it is to get a room in Wellington for the judging. Indeed Auckland last year was a bit of a challenge-new venue and the room organiser not really knowing why we need walls! And I mentioned to many of you that I would be asking for feedback on the new format used in Wellington.

In Melbourne and Wellington the only rooms suitable for judging were very small and had a distinct lack of seats. They were however soundproof. Knowing this, a list was made of the order of contestants which was broken up into 20minute sections (approx four groups per block) and posted outside the room.

We had everyone assemble at the start and then they could leave and come back when they knew their appointment was. They were then also able to leave straight after to do their own thing. Everyone thus had more of the day to themselves.

I was very grateful that everyone handled this well (at least publicly) so no one had added stresses and that everyone also remembered their time slot and got back to where they needed despite all the crowds.

So my questions are: to those who have experienced both en masse judging in a large room and this appointment style which did you prefer and why? Ignoring the lead up to it of not knowing what room it would be (this would be announced sooner and explained to info desk etc.) but the actual process once you knew.
Did you find it more or less intimidating? Was it easier or harder to perform without an audience? Did you feel you had more or less time? Was it helpful knowing when you were being judged and being able to go away and come back (again if this becomes standard it might be possible to give you more forewarning about your time)? Did you miss being able to see all the other cosplayers do their skits?
The room we were given was the anime panel room which was a half high walled off section of the main exhibitor hall.

Feel free to email armageddon.cosplay@gmail.com if you would rather not make it public. I'm playing catch up today with the reviews and emails to contestants.

Obviously there will be those who prefer one and those who prefer the other. It may or may not come to pass though not due to unwillingness on my part- I have very little say in room space. Very little. Though with constructive feedback it should give more weight to my argument! The judging always will happen and will always happen with the very best possible solution- it may not be a great solution but it is the best possible. And that best possible will change from venue to venue and year to year. So I'd like to be able to plan for what is going to be that best option.
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Re: Query regarding judging rooms
Post By Guest. 18/04/10, 05:51 am

I didn't enter this year, so I can't comment on the appointment style. But in previous years, I have really REALLY enjoyed the en-masse judging specifically because of the questions you guys asked and the time each cosplayer got to strut their stuff in the smaller environment. As the comp got bigger and bigger, you've had to cut your questions down a lot and everyone got less time up front - and I totally understand that you've had to do this in order to get through everyone! - the en-mass judging has gotten less appealing.

Slight OT $0.02 Very Happy

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Re: Query regarding judging rooms
Post By Pyro. 18/04/10, 06:03 am

I like both styles of judging. The smaller groups of 4 at Welly this year made things quite comfortable in the room, and it was nice to be able to go away and come back, but that said, there were some things I wasn't too keen on as well.

If you're in a rather immobile cosplay, and you end up in an area up stairs and down tiny corridors, then it can be a bit frustrating to get all the way there and be told that you can go and do something else for a while. Even though I was in the last group on the list, I had little to no time to go and do my own thing, simply because it took me twice as long to walk anywhere in my cosplay. It would be nice if the order of groups was pre-announced so that people like me don't rush to get to the room, then get told we don't need to be there yet. =D

I know that might not work logistically (since you have the role call you do at the beginning of the judging), but if it can, it'd be good to work something like that in.

If that issue was dealt with, then I'd have no preference between the holistic judging you did in past and the smaller groups you did at Welly. But, as it stands, that little problem did annoy me quite a bit, and so for now, I have to say the past judging style is the one I like better.
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Re: Query regarding judging rooms
Post By neimhaille. 18/04/10, 09:19 am

Like I said that would be taken care of ;) That was due to the lack of a suitable room being given and spending a few hours on Saturday with the on site manager looking at what was left. Sigh. No notice was possible unfortunately.

Now that this has been tested and works it will be possible to email with appointment times (again if there are health/transport/huge costume issues email to say and we can arrange the order). Those who register late on Saturday of course will not have this advantage. As no one on the team is paid it is unfair to ask us to spend all out time at the info booth to arrange times. It may be possible to organise a fill in this form (for timeslots) as well as registration form at the desk of course. Hmm. Logistical elements of this are being mulled.

And yes the stairs were an issue for many, and not just in bulky cosplay. The elevators for one were closed so it's also something I am putting in my list. I think that is a venue controlled thing. But again more voices will help :)

Logistics of a geek out/chill out space during the contest is also being mulled and has been since Wellington. Forgot to mention that ;)
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Re: Query regarding judging rooms
Post By Rowan. 18/04/10, 10:52 am

As much as I like hearing everyone answering your questions in the en masse format, and being able to see all the contestants in one place with good lighting (haha), I actually liked the smaller format this year at Welly (complications aside) because I think we got to speak to you two more/the interaction had more weight. Previously it's kind of hard not to be directing everything towards the 'audience' rather than the judges. It seemed easier to interact with you guys in the judging process.
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Re: Query regarding judging rooms
Post By Suixelo. 18/04/10, 11:58 am

I preferrred the grouped judging because we were able to both get prepared before and to just chill out after. But in saying that, I did miss seeing everyone getting judged, being asked questions etc.

Last edited by Suixelo on 18/04/10, 10:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Query regarding judging rooms
Post By Icarus. 18/04/10, 01:44 pm

^ This.

Half the fun of entering the comp is being able to see the behind the scenes of the other awesome awesome competitors.
So I'm gonna say, seeing the others getting judged out weighs the 'less stress' factor for me~
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Re: Query regarding judging rooms
Post By kyokyogirl. 18/04/10, 02:35 pm

Small group:
I did like that it was a little more intimate; being able to talk a little more freely in front of a few people is easier than in front of everyone XD Being able to leave once our judging was done was quite good; we get a bit more convention time.

Everyone:
I like seeing everyone's costumes up close and a preview of the performances (what I look forward to the most Very Happy). I also quite like getting to sit down and relax for a couple of hours and bask in the cosplayness.

Final verdict...I like the big group method.
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Re: Query regarding judging rooms
Post By Chitara. 19/04/10, 01:27 am

I really missed getting a chance to see everyone else's skits which you got in the en-masse. When you're in cosplay parade line, you often can't see because of angle, bulky costumes, trying to get your team organised again (or in my case checking we hadn't lost anyone! Wink )

But I agree that the chance to come and go as it were was welcome too. Knowing how far we were down the list gave some of my group that chance for a last minute rehersal - even in full view of the expo as a whole!

But yes, in the future I foresee the stairs thing being a problem with one cosplay I want to do. I've been designing it with the average doorframe in mind... An elevator would be a luxury but it might take me half an hour getting up those bleacher-type stairs!
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Re: Query regarding judging rooms
Post By sakuramiyabi. 19/04/10, 01:43 am

While like Icarus and Suixelo I did miss being able to see the other groups skits and listen to their questions. I did much prefer the grouping format as it was

-less stressful
-more freedom
-more opportunity to talk to you guys
-more time to prepare/relax before and after judging
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Re: Query regarding judging rooms
Post By neimhaille. 19/04/10, 04:26 am

Stairs.. yes. I can go up stairs happily walking down them.. I always have to walk sideways and I get tail gated by smart a***es ;)

But that is very much one of those mention it in the forms and we can work around it things ;) Absolutely able to do the technical marking downstairs. I have a back up plan for the contest if all the power in the building goes out ;) I have thought about that yes ;)

I'd love to be able to rearrange the queuing for the stage so that contestants could see everyone else. Sigh. This is one of those things Ange has been thinking of for those recordings of the skits :)

I do want there to be at the least small groups in the room for everyone's safety and protection- as there is no age limit there are frequently minors present and that means opacity for what goes on in the room :) (Again minders are welcome, just let us know!)

So it seems the judging process works better in small groups but that connection with other cosplayers feels missing? And no one likes not being able to see each other's skits. Okay. It's pretty much what I thought so I'm going to chat with Bill and Adele at DAE about it and see what can be done.
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Re: Query regarding judging rooms
Post By Static. 19/04/10, 04:36 am

Stree-wise, I preferred the group format. It was much more casual and relaxed, but like others I really enjoy getting to see everyone else's stuff; it really is a big part of why I enter every year, even when I have a really simple costume.
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Re: Query regarding judging rooms
Post By JVCA. 19/04/10, 05:03 am

If you did manage to go ahead with the 'judging green room', then perhaps there could be a live video feed into the green room? That would get around the 'wanting to see each others skits' issue, though I do realise it'd take a lot more technical work to get it set up.
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Re: Query regarding judging rooms
Post By neimhaille. 19/04/10, 05:06 am

If someone wants to be officially a part of the team and set that up they would get passes and much love ;)
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Re: Query regarding judging rooms
Post By CMKMStephens. 19/04/10, 10:02 am

I think the judging process itself works better in small groups, to some extent there is less pressure and it seems more personal.

At the same time however, the larger group process (as of say, last year) to some extent provides an improtu, informative, and often entertaining 'how to' cosplay session, as well as a greater appreciation of everyone elses work.

These two things are mutually exclusive
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Re: Query regarding judging rooms
Post By Willuknight. 21/04/10, 03:46 am

neimhaille wrote:
If someone wants to be officially a part of the team and set that up they would get passes and much love ;)

That would be pretty easy to do, I have all the equipment required around my house. If you want, I could do something like that for Christchurch.
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