Just got back from my first East. Fun, but I much prefer Prime I think. There were some things I saw over there that are implemented *much* better than how we do them over here that I think would be great if Prime could perhaps emulate a bit, however.
First and foremost, the tabletop freeplay setup. I get that the WSCC is set up massively different than the BCEC, but it'd be awesome if someone could find a layout that makes Prime's more like East's with regards to TT. The issue with Prime's is that all the tabletop areas are shoved into these small conference rooms apart from one another all over the place, with the checkout area being in yet another room off in a corner somewhere. Demos are scattered everywhere - there are a bunch on the skybridge, some in conference rooms, some wedged near the consoles....it's just really disorganized, it's not prominently featured, and I think a lot of people go the whole weekend without even knowing it's there. Not much tabletop ever going on as a result, really. I was absolutely amazed at how much of it was happening at East. It was utterly fantastic. The demos were fairly consolidated, the free checkout area was right in the middle of the tabletop area in prominent view of passers-by, and there were people gaming EVERYWHERE around it. It was incredible. I really hope the organizers can find a way to improve upon it out here. Maybe give it the space on the bottom floor of the annex across the street from the main hall?
The Mech Assault room. I'm not sure the name of the game (because I didn't even spot that room until I was leaving at 1 in the morning on Saturday night and we left town Sunday), but they set up one of the rooms with 12 mech assault-style pods and had open warfare battles going on. Box that stuff up and send it to Seattle, because that looked like a great time.
Lunch trolley. OK....not entirely possible, as when *we* build a trolley, we spend 50 million dollars and it only goes 1.3 miles. But maybe a small charter bus? It was pretty cool that there was a coach to take people directly to restaurant hotspot areas from the convention centre. Granted, Prime has the benefit of being located in the heart of downtown Seattle whereas East is out in no-man's land, but it might be cool to have something that runs a circuit between the convention centre, Pioneer Square, Belltown and QA.
Staffing: OK, when one of the most polite cities in the country (Seattle) is outdone in terms of friendliness, competence, and professionalism in BOSTON (where there's an implied "now go $#*@! yourself!" at the end of everything anybody in that city ever says to you) by the hired security staff - and outdone by a wide margin - something is wrong. Now that I know it's *possible* to hire private security firms that don't spend all weekend sneering at you, making you feel unwelcome, or being overtly hostile to you at every turn, I expect to see it going forward. Make it happen.
Things we definitely should NOT emulate from the way they do it @ East include the panel queues, on-site food situation, parking, vendor layout, music, and swag stinginess.
My 42 cents.