Ozine Fest 2014, is one of the largest conventions every congoer, cosplayer, and fans wait every year. This year, instead of the usual venue at Megatrade Hall, the organizers decided to go for a bigger venue, which is the SMX Convention Center of Mall of Asia. Event date is on April 25,26, and 27, 2014.
As we all know during day 1, a lot of congoers, cosplayers, and fans visited the 1st day of Ozine, with the amount of people that attended that day, it was a sure hit, but on day 2, everyone didn’t expect the huge crowd.
Many were wondering why there are so much people at the event, and complaining about the heat. Cosplayers are having a hard time with the due to their costumes, props, and make-up. They too are having a hard time moving around because there wasn’t a package counter for them to leave their belongings. So as to the congoers complaining about unbearable heat even though they are inside the venue. It just so happens that they are a lot of people at the venue.
Everyone was having a hard time going inside the convention room, so the management decided to open the Function 4 for all to come in and rest and/or have their photo session there instead of outside the function room because their are other events that is happening there at the same time.
Inside the Function Room 5, the stage was alive with performances from contestants of the Battle Of The Bands, and Karaoke Contest. Everyone was singing along to all the music.
Highlight of the evening is the Group Cosplay competition. Group of cosplayers have their chosen series or themes to be portrayed in front of the crowd. All performers put up a great performance during the competition, the winner is the Dragon Ball Z group.
With all the cosplayers and congoers, we were able to witness such a wonderful experience for all of them. Everyone showcasing their talents inside or outside the function room, portraying the anime characters with such conviction, its worth it.
It was a great experience seeing them having fun despite the heat, and mingling with other people in the crowd.
As what happened on day 2 of the event, a lot of people gathered for the last day of Ozine Fest. Personally didn’t expect that the number would be double for the attendees. Unlike on day 2, Function Room 4 isn’t free anymore for loitering cosplayer, congoers and photographers. The only one’s that can go inside the function room are the one’s who bought a ticket for the said event on that day. So most of them have to buy a ticket in order to get in and settle inside.
Most of the photographers decided to find a location which best fits their standards and made their photoshoot there. Some of the cosplayers too go to that area to have their photos taken by the photographers.
I might sound a bit harsh but I know they are just doing their job, the security guards of the convention hall are a bit harsh to the attendees of the event. You can’t go up the escalator if you don’t have a ticket but here’s the thing, in order to buy a ticket, you must go up because the booth is just outside the function room. People are pissed off of what the securities are doing. They are actually comparing Megatrade Hall security and SMX Convention security on how they handle their business among the attendees.
I personally didn’t expect that the organizers will be using one Function Room only. Didn’t they expect who huge the crowd maybe? Why did they use only one Function Room? Are they cost-cutting? I actually went inside the Function Room and I find it really small because there were a lot of people inside and a lot of booths too. The stage personally was small, I guess the performers didn’t expect that, because I didn’t.
I have heard all the negative comments; I also heard the other side.
Most of the negative comments rooted to the event’s lack of management, lack of coordination and poor crowd control. These have been always the issue of Ozine Fest 2014, since the past Ozine-organized events and despite transferring their main event to a new and bigger venue, it keeps them haunting.
SMX Convention Center has a reputation of handling major events with strict security protocol. They have handled The Best of Anime and Cosplay Mania, so why not Ozine Fest? In my opinion, the SMX management have tried to handle the 20,000+ people attended properly, unfortunately the crowd was very overwhelming. There were even reports of rudeness by the SMX security. We can’t really blame the security for their strictness but the unprofessional-like attitude should be kept at bay. There were also other events held during that weekend aside from Ozine Fest 2014 and the SMX management were also protecting their attendees.
The move to open Function Room 4 was expected but was very late already. Function 4 became full even in the last day where ticket holders were only allowed to enter and it really did its purpose to hold the loitering attendees. I personally recommend that the next Ozine Fest, more halls are rented or if not, raise the ticket price to 200 or above.
I will quote this from one of the comments on our Facebook, “I believed that anyone who goes to a con financially unprepared is not really going there for the convention.”
The long line at the SMX building was brought by attendees who preferred buying tickets onsite and this is despite of one month of pre-selling tickets sold in a cheaper prize. Attendees with already pre-sold tickets had less hassle in getting inside the venue. On the part of the organizers, other than Neutral Grounds and affiliated stores, they can improve selling pre-sold tickets by tapping small organizations or if in the budget, SM Tickets.
Despite having a website setup and updates on their Facebook page, people were still asking about some basic information about the Ozine Fest even in our Facebook page. The organizer keep at least their pages updated. Aside from their Facebook page, the organizer can also convey their updates to bloggers and online media.
IN THE END
JILLIAN: For me, I can’t say that this is the worst event I’ve ever attended, but I just hope that the organizers of this event will realize what they did which made most of the congoers frustrated. The place is literally jammed pack with people. I know that there are some other events that was happening on the same day as Ozine, but do remember that if it weren’t for the attendees, what will happen to the event? I may not know what will happen to the next event of Ozine, but I hope they’ll correct their mistake. It was really a tiring weekend, and the heat isn’t helping as well.
RAYAN: Ozine Fest 2014 is the most crowded Ozine Fest in history and despite all the flaws, the event proves that it is still one of the major conventions that many congoers still wait for. I am still betting for an improved Ozine Fest next year and all what happened in this year’s Ozine Fest are all lessons learned for the better .