Had a lovely long weekend in Paris, and we were treated to some fantastic skating. Nice to see Javier Fernandez there, as well as the other skaters wandering around (his hotel room was just a few doors away from ours). We had time to see some of the beautiful sights around Paris, although the weather was cold and grey, and we're no strangers to Paris anyway.
But it wasn't all roses...
There was no event program (disappointing, I like to buy these as souvenirs), and no starting order or score sheets.
Information and answers to FAQ's were difficult to find or non-existent.
If you left your seat to buy food/drink or use the toilets, you needed your ticket to get back into the arena. Nobody seemed to know this... and many left their tickets with their partners inside.
Announcements were often in French only, so for example when the MC called for everyone to wave their national flags... lots of French and Canadian flags... but flags from anywhere else mostly went "unwaved".
The short programs on Friday did not have numbered seats on the tickets - you just grabbed the best seat you could. Access to the judges side was blocked off. There were people on that side though, not sure how they gained access. Actually, not sure how people got their tickets for the judges side on the other days either. Choreography is generally aimed at the judges, and medal ceremonies were also squarely aimed at that side. (We left before the dance/ladies medals since we weren't going to see anything from where we were).
By the end of Friday, some of the remaining school children were unsupervised and becoming quite disruptive.
The seats in the first few rows were not as steeply stepped as the seats further back. So unless you were in the front row, your view could actually be more restricted by people in front of you and the barriers... than the seats further back.
Lighting in the arena was significantly dimmer than eg. Finlandia or Skate America... so, not as good for photographers. (1-2 stops more exposure needed).
Saturday was split into two events requiring separate tickets (Pairs+Men, Dance+Ladies). Despite only a short time between the two sessions, everyone had to leave the building after the first session, and go back in. It was cold! Only the main entrance was in use, only 2 of its 6(?) doors were open, and there was no organised queueing. Bags were searched again, new tickets were scanned. I don't know if this procedure was announced in advance, but it seemed that English-speaking people were unaware. Much grumbling ensued. There has GOT to be a better way of organising this! We were lucky it wasn't raining!
Not so much an "organisational" thing, but most of the ladies toilets only have 4 cubicles, leading to longer queues than "usual"... and (maybe this is peculiar to France but...) men should be prepared to discover ladies standing right behind them at the urinals, waiting to use the cubicles in the men's toilets...! Furthermore, apparently there are no toilet seats in the cubicles, just bare porcelain... which may lead to certain "practices" that can extend the amount of time spent in there, and make the queues even longer.
It's not like these things ruined the weekend or anything... it's just that I think the organisers Could Do Better...