I didn’t go to Utopya this year, and I might not ever, but I am a curious girl and I had to create a survey.
Here are the answers and I hope this helps!
Net = network. I couldn’t fit it in the chart to be clear.
There were two questions I couldn’t make into a chart based on the answers. I found the answers to be quite insightful.
What new ideas should Utopya do for next year?
Because of the different rooms the exhibitors are in, I think it would be worthwhile to have standing banners outside each room labeling the area. I was in the room closest to the bookstore, but a LOT of people coming through thought it was part of the bookstore, and only the large room at the end was Area 51.
Meet the bloggers tables
Have more panels for readers. I found a lot if them to be more for authors. Close the exhibitor hall when running panels! There were so many more I wanted to attend but felt bad for abandoning my table to listen in.
Event wide dinner one night
Keep on keeping on -wise words of Amy bartol
Change the hotel, CHANGE THE HOTEL, less segregation between Area 51 and Area 51.5, awards shouldn’t become a popularity contest, too much about cover models.
Official breaks for lunch. That’s it. All else was awesome.
Make sure the internet actually works in the hotel rooms. I had to go to the lobby.
All day signing instead of just exhibitors. Less letting people self promo in panels
More social events
I think that only authors attending the event should be nominated for awards. 90% of people who won weren’t there and were probably never planning to attend.
genre panels like the pitfalls and joys of writing steampunk, but even more I would love to see a panel on writing diverse characters either in color or sexuality in YA.
I thought the event went great. Only thing I didn’t know was where food was served so I missed that perk on my ticket. I had fun going out to lunch so next year I know I don’t even need the food option.
Maybe nix one of the blogger awards and have a best anthology award?
I think panels could be split into different tracks: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. That way each level of writer can get the most out of each panel. For some panels, this is irrelevant, but for others, it is crucial for tailoring to your audience. Otherwise it’s too simple for advanced writers and too confusing for beginning writers. I’d also like it if name tags said “Author,” “Blogger,” “Reader,” etc under the name. Or perhaps different colors for the different categories. This would help newbies a lot to help figure out who they’re talking to so they can tailor the conversation accordingly. I also think the registration desk on the first day could be more organized. I stood in a line for a long time, not knowing I was in the wrong line until I got to the table. So maybe signs or people directing traffic could help with that.
It was frustrating that the only times to see the author tables was during panels. I’d love to do both.
Include more authors and maybe only let authors sign for one day. It would be enough. That way you can give more writers a shot and it keeps it fresh.
Breaks in the signing rooms so authors can attend panels
Next year I won’t be there, because it’s on Father’s day. Please don’t let it fall on Father’s Day in 2016!!!!!! I am so disappointed I won’t be there!!!
email loop, maybe?
Consider a different hotel.
Two sided name badges
Hotel needs better staffing to accommodate but the actual con was fabulous special tracks (panels) for fans, authors, newbies try and get all the authors in one room versus 3 separate rooms
Have more time/opportunities to visit the exhibitors. There was a only a small window available before the panels and then right after the panels. I missed a lot of authors/exhibitors because of the lack of time
What author did you HAVE to meet?
Casey L. Bond
Jennifer Armentrout, but since she was unable to attend, I found a huge love in Sylvia Day and of course Adam and Carol Kunz!
Michele G. Miller
N. L. Greene
Too many to list!
C. J. Redwine
Didn’t know any beforehand.
Sylvia Day, Shelly Crane, Rachel Higginson, Lila Felix, Jennifer Armentrout (but she couldn’t make it), Jamie Magee, Chelsea Fine, Heather Lyons,
Shelly Crane and Rebecca Ethington.
Jo Micheals and Casey Bond
Too many to list! They were all amazing!
Kristie Cook, Ginnnifer Albin,
ALL of them are amazing but Casey Bond is my best friend so I had to see her