This post in response to Bethany's & Ezra's request for feedback. Overall, RTX was an amazing experience and was definitely improved from last year. For background, this was my 2nd RTX. Last year (2017) I went as VIP (Platinum), this year (2018) with a standard Weekend badge. Both years I went solo in terms of travel. This year I stayed at the JW Marriott and was there Thursday through Monday.
1. Information Distribution - I think this is the biggest area for improvement overall. In both years that I have attended, I've felt that RT and the events staff does a good job of getting the pertinent information out across various social media platforms. However, I believe there needs to be a central hub of information. The number of times I had to go back and search Rooster Teeth's twitter account for a specific detail of information, only to not find it. Then go to the RTX Event twitter, but no; it was Bethany who announced it so I had to search her account. It's frustrating and I definitely think it leads to people missing out on info if they only use one platform or only follow one account. I would love to see a centralized depot of information. Something that is continually updated and linked across all account/platforms. It would make life soo much easier and move the burden of keeping track of these details away from the individual attendee. The app is about as close as we get (and the app is awesome), but it doesn't come out until a week or two before the event. There were ticket sales for night events, hotel deadlines, ticket statuses, discount codes, and general hype that came and went weeks prior to the release of the app.
2. Ticketed Events & Signing codes - I would love to have a single profile/account for all the ticket sales and codes. This most likely a tech limitation as building the infrastructure to handle mass ticket sales is not feasible or, at minimum, not financially viable for the current Rooster Teeth business structure. Even if Rooster Teeth can't handle the entire process, it would be nice to have a profile that we could view and change information on. There's just a lack of transparency/consistency given the multiple providers, who each have you create an account and if there's an issue you need to contact each individual company.
3. Let's Play Live - Awesome show. I would love more screens given the fact that the seating was so flat. The current set up wasn't bad. It was just such a large, flat space and certain angles didn't have the best views. Also more than one drink line, more than one raffle line, more than one line for anything. There were a ton of people and each line was massive.
1. Lines at the JW Marriott - The first two panels I went to were at the JW Marriott. Staying at the Marriott was super convenient for this, but there were a couple of ways it could be improved. First, the line to the queuing room for the Grand Ballroom 5/6 ran right through the elevator banks. Staying at the JW, I just took the elevator down to the floor and exited the elevator to a wall of people, who immediately started saying, "Don't cut!", "The back of the line is that way!", etc. Really awkward. Second, early on Friday (specifically the Camp Camp Panel Panel), it seemed like the JW wasn't ready for the lines. The line filled the queue room, the hallways around the queue room, and out into the area where people attending the previous panel would exit. This led to a mass of people with very little organization. The guardians did their best to organize it, but the JW staff were rolling out stanchions and re-organizing the line on the fly. The guardians did an amazing job of maintaining the order as best as they could, but I think the JW should know by now that RTX brings a ton of people and the stanchions should have been set up in advance.
2. Lining up for the lines - The biggest panels (RWBY, Off Topic) have an issue that even though the line doesn't start until 1 hour prior to panel start, the line to get into the line, starts way earlier. I don't necessarily have a problem with this, but it crowds the walkways and causes havok with getting from place to place in the convention center. I don't have a solution to this, but it definitely causes problems. The only thing I can think of is to have duplicate panels. This year there were 3 RWBY panels and I think having alternate casts for the panels is a great idea. Maybe next year you could have two RWBY panels at the exact same time. One at the ACC, one at the JW. This could spread the crowds out. I'm not sure. There may not be a perfect answer to this.
3. Exhibit Hall Space - I felt the aisles in the exhibit hall were too tight for the crowd size, especially in indie alley. There looked like there was a huge curtained off area by indie alley that had turnstiles but I never saw anyone using. It appeared that the aisles could have been widened significantly without much impact. I know the exhibit hall floor is always going to be crowded but there were many times were I was accidentally bumping into people just trying to navigate from point A to point B. This, combined with what appeared to be unused space; seems like a mistake or a plan to force attendees closer to booths to encourage more purchases.
4. Escalators - Both years it seemed like at the end of each day the escalators became stairs. I don't know what the heck causes this. If they're breaking then talk to the ACC. However, I think it might just be assholes hitting the emergency stop buttons. Weird and probably unsolvable.
So that's about it in terms of "negative" feedback. The show was awesome and a lot of those are definitely nitpicky. But here's a few things I loved or things that were greatly improved.
1. Pre-RTX & Night Events - Holy hell. Let's Play Live, First Night, Theater Mode, Bloodfest, Jeff Williams Concert, Always Open Mixer, Platinum Party, etc, etc, etc. You all stepped up your game. The Jeff Williams Concert was probably my favorite event all weekend. Bravo.
2. Queue Rooms - Guardians did an amazing job of loading the panel rooms as soon as possible. The queue rooms were filled and emptied quickly. There was very little standing around. As someone with a bad back, I greatly appreciated the minimized time just standing there. Get me in the room, get me to a chair, and I will love you.
3. Metal Detectors - Fuck yes. It was perfect this year. My longest wait was like 90 seconds. Seriously. Granted 2 out of 3 days I started at the JW, so I probably never saw the max line, but still. Coming off of the "Friday fiasco" last year and adding in the attacks that RT and Austin have suffered this year, the security felt adequate and unobtrusive. Which is the perfect balance.
4. The app - As always was super awesome. Love the amount of detail that goes into it.
5. RT Store - Much bigger than last year and the line always moved quickly. One negative is that I didn't see any of the 4XL sizes that appear on the online store and that were there last year. Given that's my t-shirt size, I didn't buy any shirts because of this. However, I didn't visit the store until late the 2nd day, so they could have just sold out quickly.
To sum up, I loved RTX this year and will definitely be coming back. No issues this year were "deal breakers". My feedback is all for quality of life improvements. So kudos to Bethany and the events staff. You all are super planning, coordinating wizards.