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Anix

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2015, 04:53:03 AM »

Lol I remember a similar argumentative thread to this one from last year, basically asking where Fanime is "spending all that money"

1) If you truly enjoy the convention: Who Cares?
2) Lots of Overhead
    A) Convention Center (How much do you think it costs to rent the majority share of the downtown of close to a week)
    B) Radios (Need communications for the staff)
    C) Myriad of other technical equipment
    D) Security
    E) Medical Services On Site (stupid drunks every year)
    F) Union Support (Convention center is a Union House that adds costs)
    G) Guests
        i] Appearance fees
        ii] Hotel Rooms
        iii] Per Diem
        iv] Entertainment (yes even guests have to be entertained)
    H) Office Supplies
    I) Storage (Just cause the con only lasts a week doesn't mean there isn't stuff that has to be stored the rest of the year)
    J) Marketing (Fliers, posters, banners, bags)
    K) Staff Thank Yous (Not paying them got to provide a little gravitas)
    L) Meeting Space (Have to plan the event somewhere)
    M) Prizes (Attendees love giveaways)
    N) Decorations (Signage, Banners similar to Marketing but not)
    O) Damage Insurance (Think about the damage a group of primarily 14-24's can do...)
    P) Permits And Other Mandated Fees
    Q) CMR (Like them or not they are a cost)
    R) Lawyers (At their size they've got to keep someone on retainer)


Fanime is truly "By Fans For Fans" as they don't have the heavy sponsorship that most of the major other cons do.

The Pros - They live by their own rules and don't have to bow to what the sponsors want. Easiest way to tell, have you seen a major Viz, Funimation etc. in the Dealers' Hall. Panels are largely organized and run by fans which again means more variety than x corporation pump up the block blusters.

The Bad - Don't bring in all those corporate bucks that can be used to do some pretty extraordinary things

The Ugly - Either way it's a hard knock life to put on a convention of this size. I started attending back in '04 when they first moved to San Jose. Back then they didn't even use the full convention center. In just 10 years they now use the whole center, the Civic, South Hall, Fairmont, Marriott, Hilton. The convention is busting at the seams and the only way it will grow much further is to move to someplace like Moscone (Also a logistical nightmare)

As a final point. Fanime seems (at least to me) on a fairly conservative budget, and I think that is due back to where it started, college students meeting up at FootHill. As others have mentioned they don't play the game of premium tickets or charging for events.

Corporations are a structure, not necessarily good or evil for or against profit. I don't think they would have had such a major turn around in registration from a truly for profit entity, because it looked like they invested a hell of a lot in just one year for the infrastructure improvements.
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Admiral Donuts

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2015, 04:21:50 PM »

I think ewu post is clear why we not post numbers and that those that have been posted and what those numbers means are tricky.  its made even more tricky because Fanime incubates a steam-punk convention under its umbrella and so a clear understanding of which event people attended is hard. To your point though, perhaps this is an area that it should provide clear analytics and drive a conversation around what attendance means across the conventions in general. 

Just because you explain why you're not transparent doesn't make you transparent.

Hotel registration, specifically housing blocks had issues this year and there are some very detailed posts about the issues and efforts to avoid it in the future. 

I haven't seen any posts about it. The specific issue I'm talking about is how you were required to pay for pre-reg if you wanted to access the housing website.

citrus

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2015, 01:08:35 AM »

I would like to thank you all for responding to this thread. I never thought that this thread would actually get the attention so many, let alone even the staff. Quite a few of you have offered decent advice that I'll definitely consider. To those of you have seen my posts in the previous pasts. I think it's pretty clear I've been acting very pessimistic or cynical towards the convention and for many good reasons too and like Cutiebunny has said and I think I can speak mostly on her hehalf. Both of us are very unsatisfied and unhappy with the results fanime has produced in the passed years. And this is what most of you have said

1. "Fanime is a hang-out convention. Cosplay and hanging out is what it's mostly about." That is not true in my experience. While I admit fanime dosen't have the biggest roster of guests compared to other anime conventions. At least all of the guests were high quality and VERY-well known. Quality over quantity you could say. And not only that back then, fanime had a lot of interesting programming, both fan and guest panels. Back then I actually had found plenty of things to do on a friday at fanime. But now the programming for Friday really sucks now. What I'm basically trying to say that fanime didn't use to be just a HANGOUT convention. It offered a lot of things to satisfy at least all demograpics. But now I just feel like the convention is basically isolating that demographic in favor of the locals in San-Jose and for people that just want to "chill." What me and Cutiebunny come to fanime for is the GUESTS and programming overall. We're the demographic that enjoy panels and learning many things from the guests that we're interested in. And since that core has been taken away, we have no motivation to even return to the con. Yes I like people with amazing cosplay. Fanime probably has the best cosplay around but that's not what I came to San-Jose for. Whenever I come to fanime. I think of three things 1. Shopping, which fanime has plenty of. 2 The guests and 3. The music concerts which Fanime is usually known to get really big names. And some of you say to change my demographic or open up a little more. Well I'm sorry if I tend to come to fanime just for the guests and programming alone. There's a reason why many fanime attendees say that 2011 was the best year. It's because it had offered the best of the best towards all demograpics. But 2012 is what made many fanime attendees stop coming for many reasons. 1. Crappy guests that no one has heard of or cares for. 2. Fanimecon LIED during the musicfest at 2012 where the announcer said "You might even get to see Miku tonight!" When the announcer said that. I thought, "The actual Hatsune Miku!? Oh my god!" But NOPE! What we got instead was a DVD re-run of a freaking concert on the Tv!!! There was an actual Miku concert being held at a small theater during the convention but it was smally advertised and I missed it due to sheer confusion of its location. And to add salt to the wounds. There were announcements on the Tv screen during fanimecon on the guests that "couldn't come" like Hiroshi Kamiya, one of the biggest name seiyuus that played A LOT of roles that any people know and Nightmare! One of the most FAMOUS Visual Kei bands in the world! But instead what we got was his "brother." while I liked it. It wasn't what I was use to. And to this day Nightmare has STILL not have performed in the U.S once and Fanime could have made history with that! But no, they screwed it up BIG TIME during 2012! And that has what left really bitter memories for me at the convention. During 2013 I thought it would be a better year and it was slightly when it came to some of the music guests. But I still considered it a fairly bad year. 2014 has gotten rid of the lines for registration but almost everything sucked and I was treated to MANY guests I have NEVER and I mean EVER heard of, with the exception of a few. I was treated to the highest quality programming back then and the fact that the convention has DRASTICALLY reduced that to bare minimum has left me wanting to go somewhere else. So instead of having to change my demographic. I want Fanime to give back what I like and is USE to! Why do you think many attendees flew to the east coast for animazement? They have many well known guests and programming which many people liked. And they announce some guests EARLY!!! And what does fanime do? They delay the announcment of guests so late into the convention that's its hard to change your plans!

2. I still question the tagline "For fans, by Fans" Maybe back in 2011 it was but now I feel like that's no longer the case. Yes, I know some of you suggest that you should vocalize on what guests you want and while that seems appealing. It's clear that our suggestions for guests have been falling on deaf ears for the past few years. Many suggestions that fans vocalized never came true. I don't expect super big names like Johnny Yong Bosch to come or Steve Bloom but at least get SOMEONE with a very well known reputation that at least quite a few have heard. And in the past. I never had to vocalize on what guests I want because fanime used to provide guests that many fans they KNOW they'll love and go crazy for. And that's the thing. You don't need to vocalize on what you want. Fanime provided guests that fans KNOW they will like. For example, while AX is a big convention and probably doesn't give the opportunity to voice out. They provide many guests that are awesome and people have no need to voice out. And just because fans don't take the opportunity to vocalize what they want. Doesn't MEAN we have to be stuck with crappy guests we never heard which I feel like fanime is doing. Because the convention should KNOW what fans would like. Fanime is going to have around at least 27,000 attendees this year. I REALLY don't think money is the issue but I think that the so-called 1000 staff are insufferable of bringing the big names or anybody that's note-worthy. If fanime wants to keep me as an attendee then they should KNOW how to bring good guests that doesn't require me to vocalize my voice.

And there are so many why questions I could ask. Why is it so hard to even get a hotel that's close by the convention center? Despite vocalizing what guests we want. Why do we still keep getting crappy ones? Why hasn't fanime provided what their fans want? Why hasn't there been any improvement to the demographics? Why does fanimes ALWAYS announce guests super late? Why do they always show the programming very late? I use to LOVE fanime during my high-school days but now that's different. Fanimecon use to always provide me with the most happiest memories. But all I ever feel like is that it provided me with bitter memories and wasting my time and resources. I may be under a certain demographic. But as one of the many other demographics. WE DESERVE BETTER! And if it hasn't shown. Fanime has proven itself to be highly incapable  of satisfying all their fans now. And now I think its a good time for me to vocalize WHY I don't like fanime like I use to in bullet like points.

1. Fanime has lied to me during musicfest.

2. Suffering a long registration line during 2013 has left very bitter memories for me and it also has left that toward MANY attendees. People waiting 8 HOURS for a badge? I've been to ax and even THEY don't make you wait that long. While I waited 4 hours for my badge at AX and I waited a most 2 and 1/2 hours during fanime for my badge. The diffrence? I felt the LINE was moving and that the convention had MANY things that felt like the wait was WORTH IT! And I emphasize WORTH IT!

3. Taking most of the things I use to come for. Which is good guests both animation AND music.

4. Showing NO improvements to some things fans have complained about!

5. I've been given the impression that the staff DOES NOT GIVE A DAMN about their attendees concerns or complaints. I've been espsically given that impression towards the staff who's running the facebook page of fanimecon.

I am angry at fanimecon and I want them to know that. I want them to know WHY I don't think its a convention worth coming to. And personally I don't want to because fanime use to hold a special place in my heart. And I still want the convention to do that but its been hard. I vocalize my rage for reason and that's because deep down I still hope that the convention improves.

But considering that the staff here at the forums are actually NICE and seem to listen instead of making a bunch of bull excuses, I'm starting to become a bit more forgiving. I love fanime I want it to improve. But if it can no longer provide what I want and like then I'll take my business some place else.

If you want to improve then you should be able to find a way to satisfy ALL demographic of fans. Not just isolate certain ones. As of this post i will be going to Sakura-con in which I know they have what I like and I KNOW I will have a good time. I'm also looking foward to my local convention sacanime which is getting bigger and better each year. The best formula for success I think is by examine why other conventions are more successful. And with the least amount of complaints. As of right now, Fanime still has a vast large amount of complaints and have lost some of their previous attendees for the fact they're not satisfied what the convention has brought. If you look to Sakura-con and Sacanime. Both conventions keep getting bigger and better with minimal complaints. For now, I am giving Fanimecon ONE more chance. If I have not seen any changes that would satisfy me. Then I will no longer be coming to the convention. So all I can hope is. I hope many of you staff members are reading my post and that you are taking my post VERY seriously and will do your best to satisfy me and other atendees.
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cutiebunny

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2015, 01:29:13 PM »

Cuteiebunny,

Lets start with who would you like to see as a guest.  3 picks would help me ask some questions and see if I run into any walls. Then I can get back to you.

Hmm...I'll give you five.  BTW, I don't want the "latest and greatest" or legendary artists.  I know most of them are busy working on current projects, are controlled by whatever company sponsors them and/or have incredibly high appearance fees.  You'll never see me complain that you don't get people such as Naoko Takeuchi or Eiichiro Oda.  I don't even expect AX to get Takeuchi.

Kazuchika Kise
Hiromi Kato
Range Murata
Mayu Shinjo
Ikuko Ito

A couple of these artists I have already personally met and I think quite highly of them.  Not just because they are great artists in their own right, but because they are fantastic people in person.  Especially Kise.  I value how personable a guest is over how talented they are.  No point in inviting someone who is going to trash talk fans (looking at you, Mikimoto) to Fanime. 

As of this post i will be going to Sakura-con in which I know they have what I like and I KNOW I will have a good time...If you look to Sakura-con and Sacanime. Both conventions keep getting bigger and better with minimal complaints.

I have attended SakuraCon for a couple of years.  Let me be completely honest with you.  They have OODLES of problems.  The only reason you don't know about these problems is because SakuraCon deletes every complaint it gets on its Facebook page.  It also eliminated its forums three years ago. They are slow to respond to questions regarding scheduling, panels, guests, etc, and often do not respond at all.  With SakuraCon, I have always felt that their motto should be "If you don't like it, go somewhere else".  It's a very "take it or leave it" type con that favors those with cash to spend.
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Nina Star 9

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2015, 07:37:42 PM »

The reason why I stick with Fanimecon?

It's local. It's cheap. I don't have to travel far. I have friends I see there.

I've been going to this con for over 10 years, and it has certainly gone downhill in terms of organization. Even though I'm not really a guest person, I know the importance of having good guests at a con, and the right guest might convince even me to go see them. (Just a factual point here -- the "guests I want" thread is something that I usually make, and I am not connected with staff in any way. Though, staff looks at the thread, it would never get made if I didn't personally make it. Not sure if that is for the sake of tradition, or if staff would simply never make a thread like that.) I'm mostly a cosplayer, and since this is my biggest con of the year, I spend most of the time doing cosplay things -- changing multiple times a day, doing photoshoots and gatherings, last year I ran a dinner event for Homestuck fans and was a judge for Cosplay Shopped, etc. -- but if this con's cosplay scene wasn't as great as it is (I don't do Masquerades so I can't speak to that aspect of the cosplay at this con), I would find myself with little else to do, to be honest. Some panels interest me, though the currently popular in-character ask panels do not. Karaoke very much interests me, but that fills up my evenings and late nights. Otherwise? It's all cosplay for me. The area is full of restaurants and other interest, and the cosplay is great, but the con itself? A bit of a mess. Glad the reg situation was sorted out last year though.

I have never understood why the guests can't be announced sooner, especially when other cons of similar or even smaller size can announce guests far in advance. SacAnime announces some of their guests for the next show at the previous show, for example. If other cans can do it, why can't Fanime?

As for transparency, I've seen other cons post pie charts with rough budget breakdowns. (X% goes for facilities&insurance, Y% goes to guests, Z% goes to programming, etc.). Why can't Fanime do the same? I would like an answer besides "we can't answer that."

I'm not nearly as angry about this con as some of the other posts, as I still attend and still love attending. However, I am frustrated about how this con is run sometimes. In the meantime, I'll stick to spending my days changing in and out of cosplays and doing photoshoots, until Fanime can come up with a draw other than the social aspect. As someone who isn't terribly social, that isn't as big of a draw as it could be.
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Wizrad

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2015, 05:19:01 PM »

The reason why I stick with Fanimecon?

It's local. It's cheap. I don't have to travel far. I have friends I see there.

That's how I feel. Though I wouldn't say cheap, I'd say reasonably priced. I'm also a bit more positive on the experience

I just love how many people it brings to San Jose. Hanging out in the hot tubs with anime/gaming fans, partying it up in the hotels, seeing friends that I rarely get to see... It's just a nice place to be.

Of course, the amenities are the hotels' deals, not Fanime. But normally you couldn't chat with random hotel guests that share so many interests!
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aetherltd

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2015, 10:52:37 PM »

Come over and visit Clockwork Alchemy! We have tea!

CA has a lot going on, more than last year. There's a lot to do; martial arts, airship races, LARPs, fashion show, musicians... It's a change of pace from Fanime. There's a free shuttle bus and registration covers both Fanime and CA.
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Oniko

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2015, 09:34:00 AM »

I truly feel for the Fanime staff and the convention goers.

I think since Fanime first started I have attended almost every year but two.  I have never staffed, I don’t know the details and who runs what.  However as a veteran I feel I can at least strongly say this...  Fanime needs to HIRE professionals.  All other big conventions have them.

Every year we are told they strive to make this a better convention.  I believe them.  I believe they are really trying.  It would be hard to think they sit there maliciously plotting ways to make this stressful for us.  The problem is they are volunteers.  They have always been volunteers who use their free time to get the job done.  Given how large Fanime is and that it is still growing this is not enough, it hasn’t been for the past few years.

Volunteers will always been needed, don’t get me wrong.  They are an important part of the convention to help it run smoothly.  However I think the higher up staff positions (The ones in charge of events and epartments) need to be replaced or at least partnered with professionals.  There are companies that do this; they are hired just to help conventions get organized.
The most often excuse I see from famine for things being delayed is…
1.   We are only volunteers.
2.   Technical difficulties.

Both of these should be solved with professionals. No more on free time but people whose responsibility it is to spend their time working only on Fanime’s needs.  True there would not be as much money going back into the convention because you have to pay them, but my greatest fear is that with the way things are going in another 3-5 years Fanime will implode in on itself.  No one will want to go, the reputation will be too bad.

I love Fanime.  It was my first convention and I don’t want to see it go away. It can’t just be, “next year will be better”.  Whatever formula being used right now isn’t working and the structure needs to be seriously reevaluated. Please Fanime, do yourself and your loyal con goers a favor and get help!
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Oniko

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2015, 09:43:18 AM »

The reason why I stick with Fanimecon?

It's local. It's cheap. I don't have to travel far. I have friends I see there.

That's how I feel. Though I wouldn't say cheap, I'd say reasonably priced. I'm also a bit more positive on the experience

I just love how many people it brings to San Jose. Hanging out in the hot tubs with anime/gaming fans, partying it up in the hotels, seeing friends that I rarely get to see... It's just a nice place to be.

Of course, the amenities are the hotels' deals, not Fanime. But normally you couldn't chat with random hotel guests that share so many interests!

I know people who work for the city and have heard it said multiple times, Fanime brings in more money to the city than any other event hands down. That just shows how huge it is.
I never want to see it go away, but smaller conventions with less stress are looking much more appealing.
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Dracil

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2015, 02:44:11 PM »

I have attended SakuraCon for a couple of years.  Let me be completely honest with you.  They have OODLES of problems.  The only reason you don't know about these problems is because SakuraCon deletes every complaint it gets on its Facebook page.  It also eliminated its forums three years ago. They are slow to respond to questions regarding scheduling, panels, guests, etc, and often do not respond at all.  With SakuraCon, I have always felt that their motto should be "If you don't like it, go somewhere else".  It's a very "take it or leave it" type con that favors those with cash to spend.

What kind of complaints did people have?

I attended Sakuracon just recently, and it seemed fine.  Generally good organization, one of the best concert setups (NO CHAIRS in the front, all chairs in the back/side, which is really the proper way to do it for most anisong guests), and the guest reception was pretty amazing for getting to talk to guests, even though the one I was *most* interested in didn't end up attending.  For my group of friends who're generally willing to travel around (and out of) the country for music/seiyuu guests, the general sentiment is we'd be willing to go back next year as long as the guests keep coming.

As for Fanime itself, at this point, I find myself looking forward more to my friends performing on Stage Zero than the rest of Fanime's official events, to the point I'm starting to wonder if there's really any point in buying a badge.

And I have absolutely no interest in CA and wish it'd just be its own thing at a separate time instead of diluting the weekend/making hotels harder to book.
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Anon

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2015, 12:06:43 AM »

Come over and visit Clockwork Alchemy! We have tea!

CA has a lot going on, more than last year. There's a lot to do; martial arts, airship races, LARPs, fashion show, musicians... It's a change of pace from Fanime. There's a free shuttle bus and registration covers both Fanime and CA.

I gotta be honest, I liked what I saw at CA last year, even though I only meandered the halls for less than an hour there. It just felt it had a bit more laid back and mature group of attendees. Was certainly a nice change of pace to the busy and crowded convention halls where Fanime was at. Made me feel pretty comfortable and relaxed.
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cutiebunny

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2015, 06:44:34 PM »

What kind of complaints did people have?

Largely that the con is heavily micromanaged, with a lot of stuff happening behind the curtains in the autograph room.  There used to be a hard rule of no one being allowed in the area until half an hour before an autograph session, but that seemed to have been relaxed this year (minus the one idiot female staffer who kept trying to get people to move). I have personally witnessed some not so kosher stuff happen in the autograph area, including particular guests having complete breakdowns in front of staff and attendees over simple requests.  Another big complaint is that SakuraCon nuked their forum because they didn't want an area where people could complain and SC actively deletes any 'complaint' posted on their Facebook page.  This seems to be the new mentality when it comes to conventions; If you delete the criticism, attendees are obviously happy.

Quote
I attended Sakuracon just recently, and it seemed fine.  Generally good organization, one of the best concert setups (NO CHAIRS in the front, all chairs in the back/side, which is really the proper way to do it for most anisong guests), and the guest reception was pretty amazing for getting to talk to guests, even though the one I was *most* interested in didn't end up attending.  For my group of friends who're generally willing to travel around (and out of) the country for music/seiyuu guests, the general sentiment is we'd be willing to go back next year as long as the guests keep coming.

Having attended the guest reception for the past few years at SakuraCon, this one was the worst.  At prior venues, no one was ever kicked out because the venue shut down at 9pm.  Or 10.  Or 11.  I've usually hung around and stayed until 11-ish during previous receptions, which was great because some of the guests will stick around and tell you some interesting stories about their experiences.  I was hoping to see Mori get all liquored up; He's an entertaining drunk.  This year, SakuraCon opened the autograph area as a place for panel overflow, which was new and was appreciated.  As for the concert concern, it really depends on the con.  When AX holds concerts at Club Nokia, the entire bottom floor is standing only.  When AX holds it inside the LACC, everything is seated.  Animazement and Fanime have seats, and PMX is front row seats for VIPs while everyone else stands behind them.  IMO, having the option of sitting down is nice; bouncing up and down for a good hour can take it out on even those in good shape.  One thing I do like about SakuraCon is that they usually provide earplugs (there have been some years where it was not given).  Not that I expect a concert to give me earplugs as I bring my own, but it is appreciated.
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Angelx624

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2015, 07:21:47 PM »

On guest Roster/music guests: 2 years ago had a pretty good roster IMO, last year I was too busy running from gathering to gathering to sit down and go to see them, so again, I cant Testify to whether or not they were good. Although, they were really late in getting them last year, so there is that. Apparently from the meetings, Guest are already "set" as of feburary for this con, they just will announce them later. Its one thing I have hammered in at staff meetings and other staff things, if we want guest fans request, we need to get them by January as most are planned by then now in days...because we are in the hunt with many other cons for limited time. That, and people who were vocal last year on guest they wanted, got what they wanted. If you want someone, SAY SOMETHING, and SAY IT EARLY. all is fair in the game, so long as your starting in it.
Believe me, I make sure to make guest suggestions as quickly as possible. Heck, most of the time I make suggestions I've already made in previous years. As long as Fanime has yet to get said guest, I will keep suggesting them each year, in hopes that one day I can finally see them at a convention I'm so dedicated in going to each year.

And really? They've had them set since February? Or were they pretty much set, but not 100% confirmed yet? Since I feel that they'd tell us if they were definite that those were the guests coming to Fanime, yeah? Or are they waiting for the set guests to be finalized?
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Cosplay List(2018) TENTATIVE:
Mink (DMMD)
Merida (Brave)
Boi (Zyuranger)
Junko (Danganronpa)
Nekozawa (Ouran)

(ノ•ω•)ノ Yay!!

Dracil

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2015, 01:12:05 PM »

What kind of complaints did people have?

Largely that the con is heavily micromanaged, with a lot of stuff happening behind the curtains in the autograph room.  There used to be a hard rule of no one being allowed in the area until half an hour before an autograph session, but that seemed to have been relaxed this year (minus the one idiot female staffer who kept trying to get people to move). I have personally witnessed some not so kosher stuff happen in the autograph area, including particular guests having complete breakdowns in front of staff and attendees over simple requests.  Another big complaint is that SakuraCon nuked their forum because they didn't want an area where people could complain and SC actively deletes any 'complaint' posted on their Facebook page.  This seems to be the new mentality when it comes to conventions; If you delete the criticism, attendees are obviously happy.

Quote
I attended Sakuracon just recently, and it seemed fine.  Generally good organization, one of the best concert setups (NO CHAIRS in the front, all chairs in the back/side, which is really the proper way to do it for most anisong guests), and the guest reception was pretty amazing for getting to talk to guests, even though the one I was *most* interested in didn't end up attending.  For my group of friends who're generally willing to travel around (and out of) the country for music/seiyuu guests, the general sentiment is we'd be willing to go back next year as long as the guests keep coming.

Having attended the guest reception for the past few years at SakuraCon, this one was the worst.  At prior venues, no one was ever kicked out because the venue shut down at 9pm.  Or 10.  Or 11.  I've usually hung around and stayed until 11-ish during previous receptions, which was great because some of the guests will stick around and tell you some interesting stories about their experiences.  I was hoping to see Mori get all liquored up; He's an entertaining drunk.  This year, SakuraCon opened the autograph area as a place for panel overflow, which was new and was appreciated.  As for the concert concern, it really depends on the con.  When AX holds concerts at Club Nokia, the entire bottom floor is standing only.  When AX holds it inside the LACC, everything is seated.  Animazement and Fanime have seats, and PMX is front row seats for VIPs while everyone else stands behind them.  IMO, having the option of sitting down is nice; bouncing up and down for a good hour can take it out on even those in good shape.  One thing I do like about SakuraCon is that they usually provide earplugs (there have been some years where it was not given).  Not that I expect a concert to give me earplugs as I bring my own, but it is appreciated.

Ah yes the nuking of forums.  My response to that is I just end up moving my complaints to twitter, where it's open to anyone searching on twitter, as opposed to a relatively closed off space they could manage instead.  I guess if they would rather we air our grievances in an even more open area, *shrug*.  I don't mind the micromanaging too much personally.

I did hear complaints about guest reception this year vs. other years but that seems to be an issue with the Fairmont being more strict.

As for seats, seats cause the audience to sit, which is a big no-no.  Especially when the guest wants people to STAND and stupid staffers still keep trying to make people sit (AX is really bad at this, and apparently Kawaiicon staff is just as ignorant).  We've made it a point to let guests know that if they want the audience to stand (which is almost always the case), they need to tell the audience to stand.  People here *really* don't understand Japanese live culture.
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TC_X0_Lt_0X

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2015, 11:57:00 PM »

What kind of complaints did people have?

Largely that the con is heavily micromanaged, with a lot of stuff happening behind the curtains in the autograph room.  There used to be a hard rule of no one being allowed in the area until half an hour before an autograph session, but that seemed to have been relaxed this year (minus the one idiot female staffer who kept trying to get people to move). I have personally witnessed some not so kosher stuff happen in the autograph area, including particular guests having complete breakdowns in front of staff and attendees over simple requests.  Another big complaint is that SakuraCon nuked their forum because they didn't want an area where people could complain and SC actively deletes any 'complaint' posted on their Facebook page.  This seems to be the new mentality when it comes to conventions; If you delete the criticism, attendees are obviously happy.

Quote
I attended Sakuracon just recently, and it seemed fine.  Generally good organization, one of the best concert setups (NO CHAIRS in the front, all chairs in the back/side, which is really the proper way to do it for most anisong guests), and the guest reception was pretty amazing for getting to talk to guests, even though the one I was *most* interested in didn't end up attending.  For my group of friends who're generally willing to travel around (and out of) the country for music/seiyuu guests, the general sentiment is we'd be willing to go back next year as long as the guests keep coming.

Having attended the guest reception for the past few years at SakuraCon, this one was the worst.  At prior venues, no one was ever kicked out because the venue shut down at 9pm.  Or 10.  Or 11.  I've usually hung around and stayed until 11-ish during previous receptions, which was great because some of the guests will stick around and tell you some interesting stories about their experiences.  I was hoping to see Mori get all liquored up; He's an entertaining drunk.  This year, SakuraCon opened the autograph area as a place for panel overflow, which was new and was appreciated.  As for the concert concern, it really depends on the con.  When AX holds concerts at Club Nokia, the entire bottom floor is standing only.  When AX holds it inside the LACC, everything is seated.  Animazement and Fanime have seats, and PMX is front row seats for VIPs while everyone else stands behind them.  IMO, having the option of sitting down is nice; bouncing up and down for a good hour can take it out on even those in good shape.  One thing I do like about SakuraCon is that they usually provide earplugs (there have been some years where it was not given).  Not that I expect a concert to give me earplugs as I bring my own, but it is appreciated.

Ah yes the nuking of forums.  My response to that is I just end up moving my complaints to twitter, where it's open to anyone searching on twitter, as opposed to a relatively closed off space they could manage instead.  I guess if they would rather we air our grievances in an even more open area, *shrug*.  I don't mind the micromanaging too much personally.

I did hear complaints about guest reception this year vs. other years but that seems to be an issue with the Fairmont being more strict.

As for seats, seats cause the audience to sit, which is a big no-no.  Especially when the guest wants people to STAND and stupid staffers still keep trying to make people sit (AX is really bad at this, and apparently Kawaiicon staff is just as ignorant).  We've made it a point to let guests know that if they want the audience to stand (which is almost always the case), they need to tell the audience to stand.  People here *really* don't understand Japanese live culture.

Ive always found it really weird that every MusicFest most of the Congoers just sit the entire time silently watching, especially in the front seats. Most other concerts Ive gone to people are always standing and cheering on the actors. It is expected thing to happen. Assuming more popular modern music anyways.
Personally, I attribute it to nerd introvert culture, but thats just me =P
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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2015, 02:13:28 PM »

I think it's a problem with young people who just haven't been to enough concerts, especially Japanese ones, and part of that is also probably the cons' fault for not placing enough emphasis on music guests and also educating the attendees.

My group of con friends are generally older (probably 25-40s+) and they're also fairly introverted but nobody there has any issue with standing.  Hell, some of us even have old injuries and we will work through the pain if possible to keep jumping and standing during the concert.  But everyone in the group are veteran congoers who attend cons *specifically* for music guests, and a large number of them also make trips to Japan to attend lives there as well.

Actually since I'm on a rant, American con "dance" scenes are also pretty dismal IMO.  If a dance gets described at any point in time as a "rave" they've already failed.

Here is what anime music events at music clubs are like in Japan.
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/61017139 - Club Mogra (very famous, if any of you watched the anime Saekano, the characters actually go here in one of the episodes!)
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/60731753 - Sukimono

Even outside Japan, at Anime Festival Asia, they know what's up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrBcn8w9uVM - AFA Indonesia '13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV7SE9TmCeo - AFA Singapore '14

They get it over at Mexico too:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjFxAsr1Kf0

Notice in all cases the very clear anime/vocaloid music with generally minimal amounts of remixing.

And then here's what happens in USA cons...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WOTq5-s9y8 - Fanime
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gRkuXceQPY - Otakon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgaokBV9B2Q - Anime Expo

That AX video is especially telling of why I have such a dim view of the con culture here.

There really is nothing in the cons here that really shows people this aspect of the culture.  And I only got into it myself by luck from seeing people who knew this aspect, and continuing to keep in touch with them over the years.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 03:46:47 PM by Dracil »
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TC_X0_Lt_0X

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #36 on: April 15, 2015, 11:22:44 PM »

I think it's a problem with young people who just haven't been to enough concerts, especially Japanese ones, and part of that is also probably the cons' fault for not placing enough emphasis on music guests and also educating the attendees.

My group of con friends are generally older (probably 25-40s+) and they're also fairly introverted but nobody there has any issue with standing.  Hell, some of us even have old injuries and we will work through the pain if possible to keep jumping and standing during the concert.  But everyone in the group are veteran congoers who attend cons *specifically* for music guests, and a large number of them also make trips to Japan to attend lives there as well.

Actually since I'm on a rant, American con "dance" scenes are also pretty dismal IMO.  If a dance gets described at any point in time as a "rave" they've already failed.

Here is what anime music events at music clubs are like in Japan.
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/61017139 - Club Mogra (very famous, if any of you watched the anime Saekano, the characters actually go here in one of the episodes!)
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/60731753 - Sukimono

Even outside Japan, at Anime Festival Asia, they know what's up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrBcn8w9uVM - AFA Indonesia '13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV7SE9TmCeo - AFA Singapore '14

They get it over at Mexico too:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjFxAsr1Kf0

Notice in all cases the very clear anime/vocaloid music with generally minimal amounts of remixing.

And then here's what happens in USA cons...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WOTq5-s9y8 - Fanime
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gRkuXceQPY - Otakon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgaokBV9B2Q - Anime Expo

That AX video is especially telling of why I have such a dim view of the con culture here.

There really is nothing in the cons here that really shows people this aspect of the culture.  And I only got into it myself by luck from seeing people who knew this aspect, and continuing to keep in touch with them over the years.

Those Japanese Clubs seem pretty kicking =P
At least at Fanime they do have a room for the dance that occasionally plays more anime/game culture music, but they also tend to be in the small room and doesn't get much traffic into it. Other then that you get mainly standard dance music, and not even remixes of anime/game music. At least from what I have seen.

The main room has people getting into the music but it is a small minority. Besides that most of the people don't really get into it and sit in their own little groups.
Like I can't say much because I really can't dance and can be awkward as hell, on top of being a overworked and stressed person who lacks much energy, but I think I can at least get into music. Its not to hard as long as you are open to being social, which it seems many of the attendees just aren't.
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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2015, 11:52:50 PM »

I don't think that it's that Americans don't understand what to do or because they're antisocial, but they remain sitting out of courtesy; You want others, further back, to be able to see.  Not all locations have a TV screen showing the performance to others.  Small cons, such as those held at a small convention center or hotel, usually don't have an flat screen to show the performance to those sitting further back.

Japanese, and really, any foreign music, is not a big thing in the US.  I blame this more on the education system not placing much weight in teaching foreign languages until junior high.  By then, the peak language learning period is over.  But I also blame the media for not introducing foreign music and incorporating this into their Top 20 rotations.  My experience has been that many Americans will not listen to music they can't understand as they see that being a waste of their time.  Those with more eclectic tastes will often have language in several different languages on their smart device; The majority of the songs on my iPod are not in English.
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Dracil

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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #38 on: April 16, 2015, 03:44:31 PM »

When the artists actually stop and directly ask the first 3 or 4 rows of the front center section repeatedly to stand up while EVERYONE ELSE directly behind and to their side are all standing up and they STILL refuse to stand, that's not "courtesy," it's consciously choosing to be rude to the guests.  This happened at Otakon just last year.
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Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2015, 05:44:40 AM »

When the artists actually stop and directly ask the first 3 or 4 rows of the front center section repeatedly to stand up while EVERYONE ELSE directly behind and to their side are all standing up and they STILL refuse to stand, that's not "courtesy," it's consciously choosing to be rude to the guests.  This happened at Otakon just last year.

It was really disheartening at one of the Momoi Concerts that a good chunk of the people in the front rows just sat the entire time.
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