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Author Topic: How is simple communication hard?  (Read 12512 times)

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InsaneDavid

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #40 on: April 25, 2016, 11:30:12 AM »

One thing I am curious about is if the new, and much overdue, badge restrictions for the upper concourse will reduce ghosting and thereby reduce the amount of stress (even in the smallest degree) on the staff and venue in managing non-paying attendees.  I suppose that will have to wait until after this year to be seen but I do appreciate the forward-thinking of that change.  Staff and volunteers, at least for the most part, should be able to be focused on convention attendees and convention business rather than every Tom, Dick and Harry meandering around Downtown.
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Amanojaku

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #41 on: April 25, 2016, 01:43:34 PM »

every Tom, Dick and Harry meandering around Downtown.
It makes me happy when I see someone other than me using this phrase :D
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Kuudere

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #42 on: April 25, 2016, 03:48:37 PM »

A lot of writing...

I love the amount of thought and time that you put into this response. It's way less abrasive and much easier to read and agree with than I've seen before.

I agree with you on many points...and in fact, despite my usual defense of Fanime, I've made many of the same criticisms (1)(2 (bottom half)). First and foremost, communication has been a very, very weak point for staff for a long time. Those who do want to communicate aren't allowed to, and those that can communicate, don't for whatever reason. If I can't know information at a given time, that's fine...I would just like to hear something other than silence. Marketing and social media should be stepping their game up, in my opinion.

You're right about artist alley, too. You don't even have to be an insider to know that something, for the past few years, has been going on in there to cause the amount of discord that's happening each year. The artists are valuable to Fanime, but they aren't treated like it at all. Something big needs to happen in that department to straighten out whatever is going on - whether that's staff turnover or mismanagement or communication issues or lack of efficient scheduling. One of these years, the artists are going to feel that it's just not worth it to sell at Fanime, and I'd hate to see it get to that point.

As a plus, I'm glad that Fanime is trying to do something about that party-con image, whether intentionally or not, by requiring badges for everything. As someone who doesn't drink and party at conventions - crazy, I know - I'm going to feel a lot safer walking around the con at night knowing that there are less  drunk randos strolling around trying to get lucky with "hot cosplay chicks." Too many times I've seen non-badged people wandering the convention center at night, smelling of booze/other substances. I didn't come to Fanime for that atmosphere. I actually read from an unverified source that the Marriott is going to be strict on room parties this year. As someone who's roomed next to those party rooms in the past, I will be thrilled if that's the case.
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Angelx624

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #43 on: April 25, 2016, 04:54:26 PM »

It really makes me sad to see artists not getting treated as well as they should. I'll be sure to contribute to selling artists at this year's con, though, as a way of saying thank you for sticking with the con. ;_;
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Kuudere

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #44 on: April 25, 2016, 05:13:29 PM »

Marketing and social media should be stepping their game up, in my opinion.

I think I should annotate this with an example of where this is happening, and that's with MusicFest. Their twitter was hyping up the guest announcement days before it took place (I believe that's Acid_Android's doing? She's someone who's been very receptive to feedback). That's the kind of break-of-silence that would be nice to see elsewhere if actual information is impossible to share. You can still show people that work is being done without getting specific in the details.

If I didn't attend Fanime each year since 2004, I might forget it takes place at all with how quiet it is on places meant for communication, like social media.

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MyAlterEg0

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #45 on: May 02, 2016, 04:49:06 PM »

my last post in this thread before I say goodbye to everything fanimecon and just laught at my roommate and friends:

Fanimecon might receive seed funding by ARG, but is a not for profit event with the entire profits going to charity.  No one gets paid.  This is different for ax, ala, sacanime, non-profit companies that have paid staff running the convention.  I heard that one of the >CONVENTION NAME REMOVED< chairs in the past was taking home hundreds of thousands of dollars as his salary. 

You don't see that crookedness with Fanime, at least I don't.

In fact, in order to maintain a decent charitable donation, they deferred the overrun costs of 2009/2010 to the next 5 years.  I believe some costs from the previous years was deferred and paid from this year's entry fees.  So while everyone claims those were awesome years and the con has gone downhill, the last and current management teams are desperately trying to get the con back into the green.

the con back east that had serious amounts of damage by attendees also went through CMR (an outside vendor for convention housing) and screwed it up for all anime/fandom conventions.

From what I hear, all the hotel contracts needed to be renegotiated. >Some comments removed< If you notice, there are huge changes that were made by cmr for housing this year, including a deposit (per day) which could almost double the amount you think you are paying.  This is not something the con did, this is what the convention community did to themselves.

Since the convention lies on a holiday weekend, union pay is 5 times that of a normal day <- this is why funds are so limitied even though people think the con has a lot of money.  let's take a union worker who typically makes $50/hr, during that weekend he could be making up to $250/hr.  The unions fought for their members' rights, so don't blame it on them; understand this is the cost of holding it that weekend.

An outsider perspective:
FanimeCon is arrogant enough to think that their power and pull is based on the large attendance bringing business to the south bay.  However working with more than 10 of these businesses as a supplier on a professional level I can adamantly disagree and lean more towards the fact that they are empowered by the lack of significant competition willing to pay the sky high rates.

The businesses in downtown san jose would love nothing more than for Fanime to leave.  The spending power of fanime's demographic is limited and equal to 1/10 of a corporate trade show that is 10x smaller.  With that being said, the people that make out are the unions, union workers, and city workers that get paid 1.5x for overtime, and up to 3x for holiday double overtime.  The local businesses lose a lot of money to theft, loitering, low gross purchases, and the fact that parking is scarce and higher paying customers are scared away.  The restaraunts in the marriot, hilton, and fairmont gross as little as 1/20th the normal amount for a holiday weekend (let alone a 3 day weekend + the loss of customers on Friday).

The problem isn't necessarily just the management, but the price charged for a badge hasn't increased to keep up with costs/times.  It was more important to the convention to make it affordable and accessible to all fans rather than alienating 70% of the attendees.  People have tried to point to SVCC as a better example however it's clear that they lost millions of dollars.  Fanime is not as lucky to have high profile backers.

As for the original topic....I can remember that some guests announced in 2009 and 2010 were stolen by a southern california convetion.  I think the root cause might be contract structuring, however I can believe that that southern california convention could just find a sponsor like Nokia to help fund a better offer and what guest would rather go to a convention with <40k attendees rather than one with ~100k.

Ask yourselves what a fandom vs industry event is.  People say if you think you can do better or you want change, then staff...It's because you don't understand the limitations/requirements until you do.  If you're willing to just spend a couple hundred bucks on a ticket, then I guess it's fine...but remember you do get what you pay for.

Growing up in LA before AX (yes I'm this old), downtown LA during 4th of July Weekend was a different world.  The economic impact of that convention on that weekend is much different than Fanime on memorial day.  With a population exponentially larger, AX can grow based on the attendance and actual spending power.  As a fandom based convention with a significantly smaller population (and in some ways directly competing with AX), Fanime's growth opportunities aren't as great. 

The lack of insightful suggestions rather than people just bitching puts it in their comments in the same realm as:
 chic-filet not being open on Sunday, why is the apple pie not fried at mc donald's anymore, who took the lard out of the deep fryer at mc donald's, what happened to kentucky nuggets, why is the jack ultimate cheeseburger so small....

do a little research and find out why economics played a role in the problem.  not going to go into detail in terms of its relation to this topic...but if you are going to discredit fan participation and effort in terms of staffing or change then you are not making a positive comment and simply telling the staff that they are worthless.  That's why I'm going to see Above and Beyond both nights in berkeley instead of going to the con (yay)

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Kuudere

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #46 on: May 02, 2016, 10:47:27 PM »

The businesses in downtown san jose would love nothing more than for Fanime to leave.  The spending power of fanime's demographic is limited and equal to 1/10 of a corporate trade show that is 10x smaller.  With that being said, the people that make out are the unions, union workers, and city workers that get paid 1.5x for overtime, and up to 3x for holiday double overtime.  The local businesses lose a lot of money to theft, loitering, low gross purchases, and the fact that parking is scarce and higher paying customers are scared away.  The restaraunts in the marriot, hilton, and fairmont gross as little as 1/20th the normal amount for a holiday weekend (let alone a 3 day weekend + the loss of customers on Friday).

I'm not saying you're wrong here, but if we are truly a hinderance on downtown San Jose, they have a weird way of showing their annoyance. San Jose declared May 23rd "Fanime Day," in part due to the amount of revenue that the event brings to the city (estimated at 10.5 million). The article linked specifically states that this money is generated from various sources, which is not just being pocketed by union workers.

To add to that, most of my experiences with the local businesses have been very welcoming. The immediate staff are, of course, working hard due to the influx of customers...but there are plenty of businesses that create special signs to welcome Fanime attendee business. Some offer a discount if you show your badge to encourage us to do business with them. I mean, why put in that effort if we're such a burden? Why not just close for the holiday or reduce the hours? Local businesses instead extend their hours because they know that there's money to be made. Regular, non-union people are being paid to work those extra hours.

I don't want to argue since it seems like you do have some knowledge in this area (and economics are not my strong suit), but I'd like to better understand why downtown San Jose is making such an effort to gain our business and thank us for our positive impact on their economy if they "would love nothing more than for Fanime to leave." Are they just making the most of a crappy situation?
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GokuMew2

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #47 on: May 02, 2016, 10:55:37 PM »

Those who do want to communicate aren't allowed to, and those that can communicate, don't for whatever reason. If I can't know information at a given time, that's fine...I would just like to hear something other than silence. Marketing and social media should be stepping their game up, in my opinion.
Put me in the former group, but in Marketing's defense, they probably don't want to be posting different ways of saying "we're working on it" every week/month. While it may be some form of communication that people seek, at some point, those people are just going to be like, "Yeah, right......" Seems pretty lose-lose to me if they're going to get backlash regardless of whether they post or not, so they probably choose to only post when there's something worth posting about rather than bombarding people's TLs with what will most certainly be misunderstood for excuses. While they do not always respond, staff do read the forums (you may notice that "ewu" is almost always online) and take everyone's feedback into consideration. You guys have made it clear that you would like better communication. I think it would be best now for people to refrain from theorizing why something may have gone awry since it just puts people, both staff and other attendees, on edge. I would recommend directly contacting the department you have an inquiry with instead of airing grievances on the forum. I'm sorry if you did not get a response if you have already done so, but concerns aren't more likely to be addressed just because they're taken to the forum. If you must write on the forums, constructive comments that don't sound entitled or aggressive are appreciated.

It has already been mentioned that this is an unpaid, thankless job that requires tons of work. There can be a lot of negativity thrown in your face by the very people you are trying to please, and it really does hurt when you do your best but people tell you that your best isn't good enough to satisfy them. Each convention is different so please don't go saying things like "so and so con could get *insert famous guest* so why can't you?" and claim that it's because the staff don't work hard enough or whatever. We work with what we have and try to make the best of it. There isn't a single person on staff whose goal is to displease attendees, and especially regarding guests, there are many, many factors that come into play when booking them which cannot be discussed in public. We don't expect people to excuse any faults just because this is a fan-organized event, but we do wish for people to understand (and perhaps even appreciate) how much work and personal time we put into this year-round. Unfortunately I can't address all the topics brought up in this thread since I don't know the goings-on of all departments and don't want to give any misinformation, but I can say with confidence that while things may not always work out, it's certainly never because anyone was "lazy" or purposefully made things difficult.

Why do we the staff continue to dedicate our time and effort despite the negative comments we may receive? The answer is quite simple: We do it all for you. "By fans, for fans."
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Kyra_Maverick

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Re: How is simple communication hard?
« Reply #48 on: May 03, 2016, 08:07:12 PM »

the con back east that had serious amounts of damage by attendees also went through CMR (an outside vendor for convention housing) and screwed it up for all anime/fandom conventions.

From what I hear, all the hotel contracts needed to be renegotiated. >Some comments removed< If you notice, there are huge changes that were made by cmr for housing this year, including a deposit (per day) which could almost double the amount you think you are paying.  This is not something the con did, this is what the convention community did to themselves.

This makes sense to a point, but Katsucon was held in February and our badge/hotel update was announced in January. Unless we're talking about a different con? That's the one I know of that had damage photos circulated.

For all the staff who have responded, thank you. You dedicate a lot your your time already organizing this event, so the extra time needed to read through these comments and respond is really appreciated. To me, it's obvious that all of us love Fanimecon and only want to see it improve. Unfortunately while airing our grievances it can feel like all the issues outweigh the positives, but there is a reason so many of us come back year after year, and for me at least it's not just because of location. Fanime has shown itself to be receptive to feedback, and while it may take a few years to implement a system that really works it's uplifting to see those changes happen.
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