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Kuudere

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Guest Panel Moderation
« on: May 26, 2015, 09:23:25 PM »

Probably the only major complaint that I had for this year was how the Japanese guest panels were handled. I felt terrible for both BACK-ON and Ai, who were asked inappropriate questions, or were asked for autographs/high-fives in a Q&A panel. BACK-ON's panel didn't tell people to only ask one question, either, so each person who went up asked 3-4 questions in a row and took up most of the time. This could have been mostly avoided if someone were asking people what their question would be before allowing it to be asked. For example, people with questions could raise their hands during the panel and a staff member could ask them what their question was, and if deemed appropriate, they could be allowed to go in line to ask it. There's no guarantee that they'll ask that question, but hopefully people will get the impression that they need to be respectful in their questions by needing to pass it by a staff member first.

BACK-ON had almost no moderation. The same questions got asked over and over, people asked for autographs, guitar picks (one of the band members joked about that, asking if the guy "wanted some money" too), high-fives, people hogged the mic with tons of questions or just rambled on and on because no one stopped them.

Ai's translator did really try to control the room (telling them not to ask certain questions, or ask for lines to be spoken), but I think she needed some extra help controlling the crowd. The fanboys literally stampeded to the front to get a photo with Ai. I feared for her.

I'm hoping that something can be done to improve these things for next year. The guests don't deserve that behavior, and Fanime doesn't need to have that negative experience impact their guest relations.



P.S.: To the bros who thought they were being funny asking all the yuri/hentai questions to Ai, or proposing to her...or walking creepily to her table with pocky, you were seriously cringe-worthy. I felt so embarrassed for Fanime as a whole witnessing that.
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GokuMew2

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Re: Guest Panel Moderation
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2015, 02:03:17 AM »

Hi. The proposal question was definitely inappropriate and we sort of tried to ignore it but Nonaka san went on and answered so we ended up translating it. The Pocky thing was very odd too and before we realized what was going on the guy was already coming up so it would've been rude to stop him in front of Nonaka san. Next time we'll let people know beforehand that they are not allowed to come up to the guest.

As for the MadoMagi question, I vaguely remember giving the OK on it since it was part of the story. It was borderline imo so I let it slide. Thank you for letting me know your thoughts on it and I'll definitely keep it in mind for the future.

We did think of moderating questions but didn't deem it necessary in the end since we could just stop people like we did with the guy who tried to ask her to say a line. We will try to be more proactive in this regard in the future so thank you again for your feedback.

I know for the autograph session I had to move quite a number of people along and stop them from talking too much or asking for extra things that would take too much time. For the second one we pretty much didn't allow photos at all because there were so many people waiting. There were also several people taking video during the panel even though we said no video and one of our staffers went around to make sure those videos were deleted.

If anyone else has other suggestions or feedback, please let us know.

(I wasn't at any of BACK-ON's panels so I have no idea how those went.)
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Kuudere

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Re: Guest Panel Moderation
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2015, 09:04:44 AM »

Hi. The proposal question was definitely inappropriate and we sort of tried to ignore it but Nonaka san went on and answered so we ended up translating it. The Pocky thing was very odd too and before we realized what was going on the guy was already coming up so it would've been rude to stop him in front of Nonaka san. Next time we'll let people know beforehand that they are not allowed to come up to the guest.

Thank you. I wish it weren't necessary to tell people not to be creeps, but unfortunately, that seems to be the case.

As for the MadoMagi question, I vaguely remember giving the OK on it since it was part of the story. It was borderline imo so I let it slide. Thank you for letting me know your thoughts on it and I'll definitely keep it in mind for the future.

The Kyouko/Sayaka question was borderline for me, too, but I know that people love that pairing (and it's nearly canon anyway). There was another question asked that was something along the lines of, "You voice this one character that has an intimate relationship with a girl, do you have any similar intimate relationships with another girl?" I'm hoping that that question was translated to be less personal and inappropriate. Another borderline question was about how she was able to mentally prepare herself get into the mindset of a pervert. Nonaka-san was nice to answer these questions, but they could be seen as harassment if not handled delicately.

We did think of moderating questions but didn't deem it necessary in the end since we could just stop people like we did with the guy who tried to ask her to say a line. We will try to be more proactive in this regard in the future so thank you again for your feedback.

I appreciate the response and effort. Another suggestion might be to request that all questions be asked in English. Even though the people who asked their questions in Japanese were respectful this time, there's no guarantee that will always be the case, so requiring the question to be translated first would be a good way to avoid future issues.

I know for the autograph session I had to move quite a number of people along and stop them from talking too much or asking for extra things that would take too much time. For the second one we pretty much didn't allow photos at all because there were so many people waiting. There were also several people taking video during the panel even though we said no video and one of our staffers went around to make sure those videos were deleted.

As someone who came to Ai's first autograph session (and was the very last one in line before it was capped), thank you for doing your best to expedite the line. I was worried I wouldn't get to see her since we were running out of time, but I managed to get through!


The only other thing I can suggest is to remember to keep the line out of the center aisle. It was moved over to the side eventually, but that was unfortunately after my question was asked (I was the "How was it like working with SHAFT studios/Akiyuki Shinbo" question). Nonaka-san did the famous SHAFT headtilt in response (which was truly an amazing moment for me and way more than I expected!), but my friends couldn't see nor could they take a picture of it because of the wall of people in line. I hope someone got a photo of it!


Anyway, thank you again for being so quick to respond and willing to listen to my concerns! I had a great time getting to meet/ask questions of the Japanese guests, and that's thanks to the efforts of staff who make those events happen. I'm very appreciative of that.
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Amarok

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Re: Guest Panel Moderation
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2015, 11:03:31 AM »

I agree with Kuudere for the most part about the BACK-ON Q&A panel. It was so embarrassing and awkward, and I was really angry at all the people who kept asking for autographs and things like that. I just wanted to apologize like... on behalf of the entire convention, uugghh. I would've thought it's common sense to ask for autographs at an AUTOGRAPH SESSION and not a general Q & A panel where you're wasting both the guests' time and the other audience members', but apparently not. :/ 

I hate to say it, but I think that the only way things like this can be prevented is if at the very start of Q & A panels, it's announced that you can't ask for high fives, hugs, pictures with the guest, autographs, items, or whatever, and that if you want to ask more than one question you should get back in line for the second one/wait until more people have had a chance to ask first questions before coming back up again or something like that to prevent people from asking a bunch of questions at once. 

I don't mind so much that there were repeat questions because those might have come from people who came in to the panel midway and missed that a question was already asked, but the rambling non-questions were definitely a problem--in particular, even after people had been told to stop asking for autographs, there was one individual who kept asking for one and wouldn't stop going on and on in front of the mic with no real question but just kind of a desperate rant, and it was so painful. The panel was in major need of a "bad guy" to enforce some rules and get people away if they clearly had no question.

I have to respectfully disagree about the suggestion to force people to ask questions in English, though. I speak fluent Japanese, and I really hate the thought of being forced to ask something in English and have someone else translate it, possibly not getting the meaning across that I wanted, when I could just ask in Japanese myself. I've seen occasions where translators for guests at cons completely change the meaning of someone's question from when it was in English, and I really prefer to avoid that if at all possible. Also, Japanese fans sometimes come to guest panels and want to ask questions (logically) in Japanese, so I think it would be ridiculous to expect them to ask something in English, too. I think the people who want to ask rude things are unfortunately going to attempt to do so whether or not you tell them they can only do it in English. 
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Kuudere

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Re: Guest Panel Moderation
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2015, 11:40:14 AM »

I have to respectfully disagree about the suggestion to force people to ask questions in English, though. I speak fluent Japanese, and I really hate the thought of being forced to ask something in English and have someone else translate it, possibly not getting the meaning across that I wanted, when I could just ask in Japanese myself. I've seen occasions where translators for guests at cons completely change the meaning of someone's question from when it was in English, and I really prefer to avoid that if at all possible. Also, Japanese fans sometimes come to guest panels and want to ask questions (logically) in Japanese, so I think it would be ridiculous to expect them to ask something in English, too. I think the people who want to ask rude things are unfortunately going to attempt to do so whether or not you tell them they can only do it in English. 

That's a good point...and usually, if someone is fluent in Japanese, they have at least some basic understanding of Japanese culture and what would be considered rude to ask. I was hoping there'd be a way to avoid things like Mr. "結婚する" from Ai's panel from being able to even get his question past, but my suggestion probably wouldn't work to the benefit of others who are respectful and are fully capable of asking their questions directly in Japanese.

Glad to see I wasn't the only one concerned about the BACK-ON panel. I agree that a disclaimer is probably necessary to remind people of what is appropriate. Autographs should have been turned down as soon as the first person asked, because everyone after wanted one and it put the band in an uncomfortable position - having honored the first couple request, but having to turn down the others. For what it's worth, BACK-ON were nice about the whole thing, but you could see in their faces that they were uncomfortable for some of it. "Bad guys" were definitely needed.
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eralston

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Re: Guest Panel Moderation
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2015, 12:15:22 PM »

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I was aware of several issues that occured during guest panels but not the ones that you listed, I will work on figuring out how we can keep our guests panels more appropriate in 2016.
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Evan Ralston

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Admiral Donuts

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Re: Guest Panel Moderation
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2015, 01:15:04 PM »

Would written submissions help? I'm not saying only do written submissions but it might help get questions translated faster and avoid more embarrassing ones.

GokuMew2

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Re: Guest Panel Moderation
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2015, 02:09:44 PM »

The Kyouko/Sayaka question was borderline for me, too, but I know that people love that pairing (and it's nearly canon anyway). There was another question asked that was something along the lines of, "You voice this one character that has an intimate relationship with a girl, do you have any similar intimate relationships with another girl?" I'm hoping that that question was translated to be less personal and inappropriate. Another borderline question was about how she was able to mentally prepare herself get into the mindset of a pervert. Nonaka-san was nice to answer these questions, but they could be seen as harassment if not handled delicately.

I actually do not remember that question being asked. Perhaps I was doing something else at the time and didn't hear it, so sorry for missing that. Personally I don't have a problem with the "how to mentally prepare for pervert role" question since while it may have been partially asked for kicks, it is still a question relating to how to get into a character that is very different from yourself.

I appreciate the response and effort. Another suggestion might be to request that all questions be asked in English. Even though the people who asked their questions in Japanese were respectful this time, there's no guarantee that will always be the case, so requiring the question to be translated first would be a good way to avoid future issues.

I don't think requiring people to ask questions in English is necessary since some fans practice hard and would like to use what they have learned. Guests also appreciate it when fans make an effort. If something is very inappropriate, we will step in.

As someone who came to Ai's first autograph session (and was the very last one in line before it was capped), thank you for doing your best to expedite the line. I was worried I wouldn't get to see her since we were running out of time, but I managed to get through!

Yes, I do remember seeing someone in the first session with the Zetsubou Sensei manga. ;) We actually set a new record for most number of autographs in an hour on the second day (yet still had to turn away many people due to time constraints). I'm very glad to see that everyone was so excited to see Nonaka san, and she had a blast.

The only other thing I can suggest is to remember to keep the line out of the center aisle. It was moved over to the side eventually, but that was unfortunately after my question was asked (I was the "How was it like working with SHAFT studios/Akiyuki Shinbo" question). Nonaka-san did the famous SHAFT headtilt in response (which was truly an amazing moment for me and way more than I expected!), but my friends couldn't see nor could they take a picture of it because of the wall of people in line. I hope someone got a photo of it!

Yes, this is something we will keep in mind for the future. It was actually Nonaka san's manager who suggested that the line be moved to the wall on Sunday, so you can thank him for that. (You can just thank me for the "come in" and some of the other little English phrases that Nonaka san used during the panel. :P) I would also like to see some photos since I was behind the table most of the time and couldn't see what the audience was seeing.

Anyway, thank you again for being so quick to respond and willing to listen to my concerns! I had a great time getting to meet/ask questions of the Japanese guests, and that's thanks to the efforts of staff who make those events happen. I'm very appreciative of that.

I'm very glad to hear that and please rest assured that we will take your feedback in consideration for next year and beyond. Thanks!


Would written submissions help? I'm not saying only do written submissions but it might help get questions translated faster and avoid more embarrassing ones.

I don't think we will implement something like this because we would like fans to be able to personally ask their questions, instead of having someone else read their question from a paper. Thank you for the suggestion though.
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