Guidelines for Reviewing and Critiquing Local Hobbyist Conventions Part 2


Guidelines Review Critique Anime Game Cosplay Sci-Fi Convention Philippines

In the previous post, we have discussed two out of the five aspects we should consider when reviewing a local con. Let’s wrap up with the last three points, plus a few words to keep in mind as con-attendees and critics.

Venue and Facilities

Do the event facilities fulfill their functions while remaining within the means of its organizers’ budgets? Judging an event based on how well it was able to provide guests with a proper venue and adequate facilities could be a bit tricky; we also have to take into consideration the budgets and logistical capabilities of the organizers before we measure them up to their competitors.

It would be unfair to, say — judge an event organized by a group of college students who held it at their university gymnasium as a failure, and consider one organized by people who are supposedly veterans at holding events at a purpose-built trade hall as a success, simply on the basis of the venue. Their budgets and capabilities are not exactly the same, and the criteria should be scaled to accommodate this.

If you think that organizers are shortchanging their guests by deliberately renting out a smaller events hall or giving away cheap throwaway “freebies”, then the fault is clearly with the organizers, and they deserve to be criticized for being too concerned with their bottom line instead of their guests’ sentiments. If on the other hand, you can clearly see the dedication and the desire to please by a small school-based anime organization unable to afford the really expensive equipment, then points should be given for effort and resourcefulness.

Professionalism from Event Personnel

Does the event staff know what it’s doing, and are they keeping the flow of activities as incident-free as possible? If the organizers, events staff, and volunteer marshals have been trained well, briefed correctly, and equipped properly, then a smooth flow of con activities assures everyone of a pleasant con experience.

On the opposite end, if the events staff are nothing more than human paperweights standing around being unhelpful and belligerent, then perhaps the unsavoury reputation some conventions have is unfortunately well-deserved. As if to add insult to injury, these concrete roadblocks wearing all-access IDs are usually the first to resort to insults and name-calling when their cons are openly criticized by their former attendees.

When dealing with first-time organizers — just like with event logistics, we should cut these newbies some slack. Very few cons get it absolutely right the first time, and these new events should be given the opportunity to blossom into something great. Offer them constructive criticism, instead of condemning their con wholesale as “a garbage dump” or “on the wrong side of the tracks”.

Value for Money

Does the event feel like a total bargain or a total rip? Especially for selling cons, or for conventions that have special events that require additional admission fees, the quality of the merchandise or the depth of the experience you receive after handing over your hard-earned cash could make or break your con experience for you.

If, for example — the convention you attended had great local doujinshi and rare anime figures, your glowing reviews at MULTIPLY or LIVEJOURNAL would be richly deserved. However, if you shelled out the extra PhP 100 for a maid cafe ticket only to be served a sandwich with no filling and a tepid cup of weak tea, then feel free to make your displeasure heard (or read) online.

Food for Thought

Diplomacy is key when making a review. Don’t dwell too much on the bad points — offer your opinion on the positives as well. As critics, we should keep in mind that even when we complain, our opinions should be backed up with suggestions that are both helpful and constructive.

It is also very important for you as a critic to be well-informed about the event you are reviewing. Second-hand information does not good research make. You are also encouraged to compare the event you are critiquing with another activity you have previously attended. Prior experience is a very good meter stick by which to judge events by.

Lastly, complaining for the its own sake is genuinely frowned upon; it only ends up making you look spoiled, arrogant, and whiny. So, the next time you go attend an event and feel the urge to blog about it after wards, always remember to keep a clear head, maintain a pleasant disposition, and have a sense of humour in spades πŸ˜€

14 Comments Add yours

  1. seedsop says:

    well said. air sandwich ftw!


  2. loonylupin says:

    bravo, bravo! (applause)


  3. Cheena says:

    A very well-written article, as usual. Am sometimes guilty of complaining about stuff without offering a constructive sugggestion (good thing I don’t blog about it, hehe). Will keep these things in mind πŸ˜€


  4. minamic says:

    Very informative post! πŸ™‚ Con-goers should do well to heed what you’ve written in these posts. The problem is, are they MATURE enough to understand them?


  5. no worries guys — just doing my part πŸ™‚ thanks for dropping by and spending a few minutes of your time at the site. cheers!


  6. sephiroth says:

    This is one awesome read and an informative one. Let’s just hope that newbie con reviewers are mature and wise enough to take your advice.


  7. ksolaris says:

    LEL. SOME people should read this. Spreading the luv/links! XDD


  8. idle.eidolon says:

    I hope this helps prevent reviewers from dropping statements akin to “this con sucks because there’s no anime or cosplay” even if it’s clearly a con not dedicated to anime and cosplay. πŸ˜€


  9. thanks for the link-love, guys πŸ˜€ feel free to pass it along on your SNS-es and blogs.

    truedat, @ idle.eidolon; unfortunately, common sense isn’t so common after all :/


  10. magiqa says:

    This is pretty much one of the loveliest and most constructive guides to anything that I’ve ever read. Constructive criticism is (sadly) a dying art these days, and it’s wonderful to see people trying to keep it alive. πŸ™‚


  11. RiCah says:

    Speaking of maid cafe…

    I would really appreciate it if the maids don’t go excuse themselves para lang mag papicture/oogle with an idol or something :/ Medyo nabastusan tuloy friend ko, since nagbayad sya tapos iiwan lang kami dahil may umintradang mga “sikat”. Sa harap pa nya.



    β€œthis con sucks because there’s no anime or cosplay”

    Lolz! Kaya siguro lahat na lang nilalagyan ng cosplay XD


  12. Miao says:

    Very well said, indeed. Kudos to you, kohai. πŸ˜€


  13. omg miao wtf you’re here O.O


  14. Mr. H says:

    That was awesome. You hit so many people in so little space with so much style. πŸ˜€


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