It was my first time coming to the FITES LAN this year, and I must say that I had a lot of fun! I've been going to LANs across the east coast for the past two or three years, and I think that FITEs was probably one of the best I went to that was organized by a relatively small group.
Things that were awesome
trophies for tournaments
The fact that you guys went out of your way to get trophies made was pretty awesome. The only other LAN/tournament I've seen give out trophies or medals was PAX east; so this was pretty awesome with regard to how small your operation was.
custom dog tags
I've never once seen a LAN give out custom name tags/dog tags before. I was ridiculously excited when I found out about it. It was just too awesome.
I loved the fact that you guys really went out of your way to get everyone who signed up to play in the tournaments to actually play (this is in terms of letting them finish other tournaments and whatnot). I've seen a lot of LAN where teams just get disqualified if they can't play a match on time. I loved being able to play in (almost) all the tournaments.
The way the admins handled everything was phenomenal. Every interaction I had with an admin was great. I loved the fact that every admin was accessible, and accommodating.
Things that weren't so awesome
This was probably the BIGGEST thing I had a problem with at the LAN. Although -I'm pretty sure- nothing was stolen, it didn't seem like FITES had any means or plans for preventing people from actually stealing anything. At every LAN I've been to the first thing the admins do when you check in is check what stuff you're bringing into the LAN (i.e. what your hardware/computer stuff looks like, what's the make/model, etc.). All of that stuff is written down for when you leave the LAN and they check to see that you have all the stuff that's yours.
To go along with this, they also usually have is a person/people at the door at all times watching what goes in and out of the LAN, making sure no-one is taking stuff out that isn't actually theirs. You guys could have at least done this.
One step further with that, I've seen LAN's set a time up where nothing is allowed to leave the LAN center. So when it's night time (from maybe 11PM - 8AM) and most people are asleep, no one can go around taking stuff and bringing it back to their car.
Luckily nothing got stolen at this LAN though, I just think it'd be best if you guys had some means of stopping it before something does get stolen at one of these LANs
tournament prizes / small raffle prizes
It was kinda lame that the only prizes given out for the tournaments were the trophies. Even though the trophies were pretty awesome, I would have liked to have seen or gotten something with a computer related function. My disappointment was only amplified more-so when the prize I won in the raffle was minuscule in comparison to the other prizes.
Frankly, I think it would have been a better idea to have simply given away the smaller raffle prizes to the tournament winners, and then raffled off the really nice stuff.
Tables in center section/ section 5
I noticed that the tables in that section were smaller than those in the others sections. So much so, that my computer's fans were blowing into the computer of the guy across from me.
general excitement energy of Admins and Host
I really wish there was a lot more rallying and yelling done by the FITES admins/group at this LAN. There are a lot of ways to make things more exciting, and I didn't really see any of it. Apart from myself shouting profanities across the room during competitions, I didn't really feel like there was any excitement among LAN participants, let alone any confidence or interest in getting excited.