Ozine Anime Figure Special 2014 was held on the last weekend of December 2014. This year’s Ozine AFS was packed with surprises due to the partnership with the gaming event organizer Wargods. However, less than a week before the event, they announced that there would be a price hike for the regular tickets: from P100 (One Hundred Pesos) to P120 (One Hundred Twenty Pesos). Despite the change in price, the fans found it acceptable and reasonable due to the additional contents they promised this year.
As we arrived at the event, we saw this long line of people, stretching from the 5th floor down to the 3rd, waiting for their turn to buy entrance tickets. The waiting time could take as long as an hour. My suggestion for the future is to buy your tickets in advance so that you can get the early-bird discounts and skip the queue at the same time. As for the organizers, my suggestion would be to have more ticket booths and move the ticketing booth closer to the hall entrance to facilitate the continual movement of the crowd. The event was held at hall 3, which was the smallest of the convention halls.
Due to the overwhelming crowd, the mall management opened up another hall to accommodate everyone. Alas, it was to no avail because the stalls and the stage were still in hall 3. We felt like packed sardines in this event, where we had to battle our way to check out the merchandise. With a tight 2.5-person-wide lane between booths, someone stopping to look at the merchandise would cause human traffic to come to a standstill. There were also reports of people being public nuisances by littering all over the 2nd hall.
In conclusion, we feel that this year’s event was a bit of a let-down due to these issues. The small hall and the amount of people made the it a harrowing experience instead of festive holiday fun. That said, there were points we found enjoyable: meeting up with old and new friends, testing out new games on display, watching friends draw in the creators lounge and of course, the awesome merchandise.
We hope that the organizers will reflect on this event and improve for Ozine Fest 2015, in order to accommodate the crowd and better management of the floor space.