How Can PirateFest Be Better In 2012?

Everyone  loves PiratesFest.  But all events should be reflected upon to improve them for the future.  It had its best attendance ever.  Cool.  Let’s keep growing it together.  We put together a list of improvements we would like to see.  If you have one, drop it in the comments.   

**Renegotiate the contract with David L. Lawrence.  Make them cough up more meeting space on a complimentary basis.  Seriously….what convention is coming to the Burgh the third week in January.  This weekend, the rooms next to the space used for PirateFest were empty.  Why not call them up and add those in for 2012.  The additional space has several uses:

1. Expanded seating. 

2.  Improved navigation as the lines can be outrageous.  More space will widen those aisles up.  Think shopping at Target.

3.  More vendors could attend.

**  The owners of the minor league clubs should spice up their booth.  Perhaps have merchandise, uniforms or here is a crazy idea, video of the ballpark!

**  Is it against the rules to have minor league players at the minor league booths?

**  Drop a rope when it’s apparent that people in the back of the line aren’t going to make it for the autograph…or designate a number of autographs…..reading some of the Tweets and facebook posts about fans being stood up for autographs sucked.

**  Why couldn’t Pirates fans attend PiratesFest virtually?  We still think getting all of the quality content–the interviews, the player interaction, and the dynamics of PirateFest to the fanbase via a medium that can be viewed on cell phones is crucial.  Everyone is on the move.  TV, radio, print doesn’t do it.  Drive it to new media.

** We believe the location of the main stage is strange.  It’s in the corner which from a sheer location standpoint creates inherent problems.  Move that stage front and center.  It would allow people standing in line something to enjoy rather than staring at the back of an Ian Snell jersey for 90 minutes.

**  If changes are made with the attendees in mind, PirateFest can continue to grow behind anyone’s wildest dreams.  But if it’s kept status quo such as people standing to eat while adjacent meeting space lies empty, someone needs their head examined.

Drop your wishlist item in the comments below, you probably have better ones that we didn’t even think about…we just might pick one and send you something. 

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  • lethalshine

    This was my first Piratefest so I do not have any past experience to judge this one. I am kind of embarrassed to say I drove 7 hours from NC to go to this. I was expecting more. I would agree it needs more space. When the team starts winning, the crowd will only get larger. They do need more tables. My 11 year old had to sit on the floor to eat his pizza. They need to rearrange the main stage as you mentioned and add more seating. I also think it would be nice to have more food vendors and activities to do. Waiting in line for 30 minutes to spin a wheel to win a leftover gameday give away isn’t the greatest thing in the world to do. I also think they need to make the players more available. It would also be nice to get more players involved, whether it be off the MLB roster, 40 man, or recent draft picks. It is the one time a year to meet the players and to do so you have to wait in line 2 hours to meet 2 current players and 1 past player. I think they should at least have two seperate autograph areas with several players at each area to split the crowd up and limit to 1 autograph. Seems like a lot of people had several items to be signed. You want more than 1 thing signed, get back in line.

    Just to me the overall feel seemed like just a random company get together where the office people put together some cheap games to play to distract us from how hard it was to meet an actual player.

    I do have some positives. I did like both the player and management Q and A. No one was pre screend and anyone was able to ask any question they wanted. It was nice to see the Q & A live instead of reading it online. I also liked the game shows that went on with the players being the host. It gave a small look at there playful side. Just listening to Clint Hurdle talk was well worth the trip and the 11 year old had a great time and wants to go back. I think it was just the overload on beach towels that won him over though, lol.

    • Tom Smith

      LethalShine. Wow. Thanks. This is a nice recap.

  • ErinW

    This was our first Piratefest, so I really have nothing to compare it to… all in all, we had a nice time and will definitely go back next year.

    Here are some random thoughts/observations:

    1. I’m really glad we went to three Caravans earlier in the week for autographs… because we didn’t even consider standing in that ridiculous line at Piratefest! Just didn’t seem worth the time, when there was a huge chance you’d miss the Pirate you most wanted to meet anyway. Surely there’s a better way to handle the “Autograph Party!”

    2. Was a little disappointed with the games, for a few different reasons. First of all, the lines were ridiculously long. Second of all, the prizes were lame. We left Piratefest with three bags full of stuff that we already had at home (from attending the games last season)… how many Andrew McCutchen photo wraps and Pirates water bottles does one family need?? I think it would’ve been nice to have a few “new” and different things available. Also, after paying almost $50 for my family of four to get in to Piratefest, it kind of irked me that we then had to shell out $1 or $2 for each silly game (only to win stuff we already had). Seriously… they should’ve just given that crap away!!

    3. By far, my favorite part of Piratefest was the Q&A sessions and the games that were held on the Stage. My husband commented that next year we could just hang out at the Stage all day, and not waste our time (and money) wandering around the rest of the room.

    I don’t think Piratefest was a total disappointment, but I do think there’s definitely room for improvement.

    • Tom Smith

      Excellent points Erin. Charging for the games seems silly–maybe they could have family game passes available. We didn’t play any games so this is an excellent point.