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Author Topic: Suggest Japanese service/hospitality staff Cosplay for Con personnel  (Read 4700 times)

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JCS

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Thank you Admiral Donus for letting me know about the maids cafe. I wish I got a chance to experience it, unfortunately the map/directory was not very clear I have difficulty finding my way around everything and tried asking around though many attendees including staff/volunteers are just as confused. Actually I myself also gave volunteering a try this time to work off my admission. I am glad that Fanami gives me and other attendees such opportunity to work off admission and experience new things while helping people. I do find most of the staff/drop in volunteers myself included are pretty naive about what we are doing some are doing this for their very first time. This is actually my first Fanime visit. We haven't been shown how exactly to greet and help people around so I just learn by doing and looking at the map. During my time here I teach myself people skills while doing it and to apologies profusely when I don't know the answer to someone's questions or don't know who to direct them to and I offer to help as best of my knowledge even though I have limited people skills myself and to approach people as friendly as possible. I also apologize repeatedly when the one way entrance/exit system in the halls confuses people as they are poorly marked and people have to walk a long way only to find that its the wrong direction door and having to walk a long way again. There really should be more large signs in the halls best if they are multi lingual with large arrows. During my weekend here attending and volunteering is when I got this idea as I find with so many Cosplayers of all types of Japanese/Asian characters here why not teach a dedicated motivated group of experienced staff/Rovers/etc who had been to Fanimi a number of times and have good customer skills experience and knows where things are to Cosplay service staff character uniforms(Just like the ones in Maids Cafe or in many traditional Japanese restaurants, shopping malls i.e Sogo, or department stores i.e Mitsukoshi, Uniqlo) to greet at will (irashaimase "welcome" if possible in multiple languages as appropriate) at admission and the shopping hall doors, direct ticketing, help visitors(including less experienced staff/volunteers) with questions, escort people in the right line, make multi lingual announcements for our international visitors, translate, etc. These not only make Fanime more authentic experience but sets a great example and learning experience to the first time staff, drop in volunteers, or general attendees, not to mention makes it easier to get questions answered and help people find their way around. Make it easier for staff/volunteer to refer visitors to if more assistance is needed. This would make Fanime even nicer experience.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 09:42:54 PM by JCS »
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Admiral Donuts

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Well, there's Maid Cafe if you want something going for authentic experience.

Don't forget that "staff" are all volunteers who make a pittance at best for all the work they put in. Asking someone to sit by a door for hours and check badges AND be uber-polite is a bit much.

echoshadow

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Holy wall of text batman!!

Yeah, as much as I like anime, and j-rock/pop, that's about as Japanese as I go. It would be cool to be greeted in that manor, but there is no point during the con. As Admiral Donuts said, the maid cafe is your fix for that. 

Greeting 10k fans at the door for hours is really not something volunteers would like to do, I wouldn't want to do that. They have enough to worry about, ghosters trying to sneak in, forgers trying to do the same, etc..   
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JCS

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Thank you Admiral Donus for letting me know about the maids cafe. I wish I got a chance to experience it, unfortunately the map/directory was not very clear I have difficulty finding my way around everything. I myself also gave volunteering a try this time to work off my admission. I know most of the staff/drop in volunteers myself included are pretty naive about what we are doing some are doing this for their very first time. This is actually my first Fanime visit. We haven't been shown how exactly to greet and help people around so I just learn by doing and looking at the map. During my time here I teach myself people skills while doing it and to apologies profusely when I don't know the answer to someone's questions and offer to help as best of my knowledge even though I have limited people skills myself and to approach people as friendly as possible. I also apologize repeatedly when the one way entrance/exit system in the halls confuses people as they are poorly marked and people have to walk a long way only to find that its the wrong direction door and having to walk a long way again. There really should be more large signs in the halls best if they are multi lingual with large arrows. During my weekend here attending and volunteering is when I got this idea as I find with so many Cosplayers of all types of Japanese/Asian characters here why not teach a dedicated motivated group of experienced staff/Rovers/etc who had been to Fanimi a number of times and have good customer skills experience to Cosplay service staff character uniforms(Just like the ones in Maids Cafe) to greet(if possible in multiple languages) at admission and the shopping hall doors, direct ticketing, help around people with questions, escort people in the right line, make multi lingual announcements, translate, etc. These not only make Fanime more authentic experience but sets a great example and learning experience to the newer staff, drop in volunteers, or general attendees, not to mention makes it easier to get questions answered and help people find their way around.
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Admiral Donuts

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Well if you want to see that happen, here's how you do it:

1) Apply and join staff
2) Offer to create the "hospitality department" or whatever
3) Interview and hire people for said department.
4) Organize training and such

JCS

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Thanks Admiral Donut,

I am always wondering who to go to and who actually organize the convention which is hard to find by researching online. I guess I would talk to them first before I plan anything else.

I guess I would brush up on my language skills, people skills, and plan out a "cosplay" to get ready for next year.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 05:19:34 PM by JCS »
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aetherltd

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Re: Suggest Japanese service/hospitality staff Cosplay for Con personnel
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2014, 02:01:30 PM »

Over at Clockwork Alchemy, we already have most of that. This year, due to hard work by Gene Forrer and his team, there were steampunk lamp posts with signs all over the con, and outside each panel room.  The info desks at CA are staffed by people in steampunk costume.  The Telegraph Office (my project) had some great cosplayers as operators and messengers this year.  CA has a lot of people with Dickens Faire experience, where all staff are in costume.

Japan-style greeters at Fanime are a good idea. At least for the reg line. You need people to untangle the lines, direct people to the right line, and such. With a bit of training, that could be done in character. It would get people in the right frame of mind for the con.

(For the anime version of training for a greeter job, see Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku wo Ketsui Shimashita, episode 2, where the Demon Lord's daughter goes to work in an appliance store and has to use the polite Japanese forms and phrases. It's not easy for her. )
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Dajoo

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Re: Suggest Japanese service/hospitality staff Cosplay for Con personnel
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2014, 11:26:16 PM »

Here's my two cents... and no it's not negative.

The best way to go about this would be to write a proposal. This is how I fought for the creation of Item Check last year.

Things to include:

A descriptive overview. This should include the details like where you've seen this done in the past (i.e. real Japanese Dept. Stores), how you feel this would benefit the con, how you feel this would benefit attendees.

You should go over procedures. How will this department function and where. Remeber if your going to be stemming flow into rooms this will need coordination with the department inside the doorways, as well as facilities to make certain it is manageable and enjoyable. We don't want to cause a new source of linecon.

Finally, what kind of budget are you looking at. Will greeters be required to provide their own uniform (like Fanimaid initially), or is the uniform something the dept. provides. Will you need other supplies like shouting horns (non powered megaphones).

I feel that Item Check went so smoothly (for its first year) and got green lighted a lot easier, since most of the major questions had been answered before things really started.


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JCS

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Re: Suggest Japanese service/hospitality staff Cosplay for Con personnel
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2014, 03:31:45 PM »

As Chinese myself I am very impressed and a big fan of how Japanese culture and professionism that China and rest of the world can envy.

I just visited a Japanese restaurant in SF and experienced it myself.
I also been to Sogo Mall and mitsukoshi department stores in the past. Their presence tend to be more pronounced during opening time and closing time when they will line up at doors and say the appropate pharases in Japanese or in the local language sometimes simoutanously when the customer enters the mall or go home. Surprisingly in the US a discount store like Wal Mart would have greeters yet they are rare in boutique department stores.

I found some photos and videos on the Internet of these

From a blogger speaking of experience http://www.ideacouture.com/blog/have-you-been-receiving-world-class-customer-service-from-your-service-provider/

Opening of Tobu department store in Tokyo, Japan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cihM6zWjJpw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWaxXV2Icjc Japanese based Sogo Mall in Taipei

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8SIqamCjZ8 closing of a Japanese based mall in Taipei

Also some anime versions I found on the web that would fit an anime convention https://www.google.com/search?q=anime+japanese+service+staff&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=R4awU8vkIo2iyATtqYGIDQ&sqi=2&ved=0CF0QsAQ&biw=1344&bih=658#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=2DO_D_C3yDNeuM%253A%3B-MLYaq-gj5sBkM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.csmonitor.com%252Fvar%252Fezflow_site%252Fstorage%252Fimages%252Fmedia%252Fcontent%252F2012%252F1207-japan-anime-shop%252F14488103-1-eng-US%252F1207-japan-anime-shop_full_600.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.csmonitor.com%252FWorld%252FAsia-Pacific%252F2012%252F1208%252FIs-Japan-losing-its-cool%3B600%3B400
 
http://bluellite.tumblr.com/post/12967292281/peterpayne-japanese-girls-making-the-peace

 

Come to think of it alot of Staff/Rovers/Volunteers already have such cosplays and some already have customer service experience maybe even in Japanese stores/restaurants. If  there is a way to get a team to volunteerily form and staff the registration lines during peak times, lines formed during opening/closing of dealers hall and artist galleries in which Rovers already come to assist regular volunteers, the night club, or just walking around with signs or manning information desks that would be nice. I believe training should not need to be extensive, difficult, and not fun particularly for those who done similar service as there is only a limited number of words, jestures, and simple question answering unlike a department store setting which aetherid explained where the service personnel need to learn ways and phrases to address politely and professionally with many customer service scenarios. Its best to use a carrot instead of a stick in getting them to do their best i.e meal ticket rewards at Japanese restaurants, extra cosplay rewardes, etc. As the con runs over the years and fans mature a pleasant atmosphere would keep them coming back. Being in a chaotic atmosphere full of confusion and getting yelled at gets old pretty soon its best if we can make Anime conventions a more attractive and better represent both the country and companies it represents.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 10:46:08 PM by JCS »
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eHash

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Re: Suggest Japanese service/hospitality staff Cosplay for Con personnel
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2014, 09:41:45 AM »

Quote
its best if we can make Anime conventions a more attractive and better represent both the country and companies it represents.

Perhaps I missed a statement that this con was related specifically to Japan or Japanese culture.  Even though it is a heavy influence and the main source of anime.. the false pretense or presumption that this con is only about japanese culture should be dispelled.
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JCS

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Re: Suggest Japanese service/hospitality staff Cosplay for Con personnel
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2014, 04:37:29 PM »

Interestingly I read something regarding elevator staff on this forum but its dated in 2011 therefore its closed to commenting. Therefore I cannot add onto it. I haven't experienced the elevators except for a short ride between registration and the first/second floors of the center which was never crowded when I rode it. Though it is because I live in the Bay Area and don't need to stay at one of the hotels.  Though I guess the posters for that subject are looking for something like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gOMovWEszo taken in Japanese department store? Which I personally experienced this while visiting Japanese based malls myself such as SOGO. While the idea looks neat, though after reading that forum I know that the idea won't work for the Con as none of the elevators in question happens to be within Con leased territory doing so would be an overstepping of boundaries as the Con does not lease nor have control over the exterior hallways of the convention center nor the hotels property except for a few public rooms, and I don't think the hotels, the convention center, or their guests some of which just happens to be staying there for non Con related reasons would appreciate nor allow the idea of having any kind of non employee "traffic attendants" personnel from a Con they are not attending bossing their customers around no matter how sincere or polite they do so. You can check out that forum if you are interested.  Though for entrance to dealers hall or artist galleries and registration lines where the Con leases the space and already have volunteers and sometimes Rovers attending the lines and entrances its more doable. Particularly during opening and closing times.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 10:57:17 PM by JCS »
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JCS

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Re: Suggest Japanese service/hospitality staff Cosplay for Con personnel
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2014, 11:19:33 PM »

The items check mentioned by Dojoo is a great idea I am glad implemented even though I did not get to know its existence during my stay. As there plenty of people who stay off site or ride transit in and have no place to store their extra items. Though what can be made better as I volunteered in the dance club at night I believe there should be an items check in front of the dance hall when it's in operation where people can leave their bags, food/drinks, props etc and not have to worry about them until they are finished dancing. The dance hall is across from the Hilton which is the opposite end of the convention center from the Marriot where the current items check is located therefore it would be too far a walk to drop items off and to pick them up afterwards after the dance.
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Imperial

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Re: Suggest Japanese service/hospitality staff Cosplay for Con personnel
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2014, 05:09:12 PM »

What you are trying to sell, reminds minds me of the front table part of Cosplay Gatherings Department. They often Cosplay on the job trying to institute a simple, clean, and fun con from the start of the entrance. Yes, we are not directly in front of doors, but we help people to get what they need. Need to find a gathering? They point the way, if not show you. Need a cool place to unwind? Come to our Cosplay hangout. Need to fix your cosplay, with no press or cameras getting in your face? Cosplay hangout is amazing. Want to learn more on cosplaying, or how to take photos of cosplayers better than you normally do? Come to one of our simple panels, or ask one of our experts in the hangout. They are some of the nicest people you will get to know, and do their best to help everyone have a better con.

and 2 things to note: first, Elevators are always cramped, and traffic is always a problem even with elevator policing. CC (crowd control) is somewhat a shared responsibility between CGD and Rovers. and 2, the dance assumes that you have put items of value already away, and the dance starts later for that attention. I get the Idea behind puting item check in the hilton rather than the marriott, I just am not sure on the size of the rooms they could use to hold the volume of items they would receive.

I am not trying to be a wall of text, I just am glancing through your posts to help you out, as you sound super happy to help out con, and I thank you for that.
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eHash

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Re: Suggest Japanese service/hospitality staff Cosplay for Con personnel
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2014, 10:39:45 PM »

Quote
I believe there should be an items check in front of the dance hall when it's in operation where people can leave their bags, food/drinks, props etc and not have to worry about them until they are finished dancing.

this was the first year of the item check, perhaps this year it might be relocated and open different hours.  Just something to think about:  This year the proceeds of the item check went to charity.  However, if held in the convention center, it would need to be staffed by union workers and the proceeds would probably go to the convention center.
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Dajoo

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Re: Suggest Japanese service/hospitality staff Cosplay for Con personnel
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2014, 05:48:42 AM »

Let's try to keep this subject on topic  ;D Hospitality Staff.

For any thoughts questions or concerns for Item Check please post to http://forums.fanime.com/index.php/topic,19180.0.html.

I'm watching listening and answering there.
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SquishyK

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Re: Suggest Japanese service/hospitality staff Cosplay for Con personnel
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2014, 11:58:31 AM »

This sort of reminds me of Dickens Fair. They had all of their "ask us" people dressed up as chimney sweeps. The fair had a small pamphlet with a map and instructions that if we have any further questions or require assistance to just ask someone dressed as a chimney sweep. They were very easily recognizable and looked like they had just stepped out of the chimney sweep sequence from Mary Poppins. Fanime has people walking around with poles that have an "ask me as question" message on the top so that they can be spotted in the crowds. When it comes to services offered by Fanime two important things to keep in mind are location and visibility. Fanime has a huge booklet of info and that doesn't even hold everything that goes on at con so adding a little blurb in there describing what to look for doesn't guarantee that anyone will see it. And people can't be posted in places that are too high traffic that might become an obstruction or too obtrusive in areas that people regularly take photographs.

As others have mentioned it is important that the volunteers feel that their time is being utilized in a productive manner. People checking badges are providing a service for the con to make sure people aren't trying to sneak into the dealers hall or other badged events. They feel satisfied that their work is contributing to the con running smoothly. I volunteered at the Telegraph machine at Clockwork Alchemy. We ran messages around the con and I wanted to be involved in that because it was a fun and entertaining thing to do getting to operate the machine and shout "telegram for …" through the rooms. Attendees were entertained by receiving messages.

I understand that the main point of this idea is to add to the atmosphere of the con, which can be fun, but you have to think of how can you make it entertaining or productive for the attendees and how is it entertaining for the volunteers?

Surprisingly in the US a discount store like Wal Mart would have greeters yet they are rare in boutique department stores.
Don't be fooled, Walmart greeters primary function is to be a visible presence to discourage people from stealing it has little to do with hospitality.
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JCS

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Re: Suggest Japanese service/hospitality staff Cosplay for Con personnel
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2014, 01:58:27 AM »

What you are trying to sell, reminds minds me of the front table part of Cosplay Gatherings Department. They often Cosplay on the job trying to institute a simple, clean, and fun con from the start of the entrance.
 
and 2 things to note: first, Elevators are always cramped, and traffic is always a problem even with elevator policing. CC (crowd control) is somewhat a shared responsibility between CGD and Rovers. and 2, the dance assumes that you have put items of value already away, and the dance starts later for that attention. I get the Idea behind puting item check in the hilton rather than the marriott, I just am not sure on the size of the rooms they could use to hold the volume of items they would receive.

Sounds great I wish I know more about it. I did visit the room in the Hilton out of  curiosity whats it about though I did not see much. Haven't really seen them in action Though its pretty out of the way and most non cosplaying visitors would not likely ever detour there and even some of the ones cosplaying might never get to stop by.
I thought elevator staff idea was trashed two years ago as the elevators in the convention center or hotel falls outside event territory. Not a big issue for center elevators as they are only three floors. Though the Japan department store attendants are a great example for crowd control in the con I wish can be somehow replicated. Also one may assume items put away prior but its easier said than done particularly if one don't have a car parked in the garage or adjacent lot nor stay in a hotel room surrounding the center. One might need a coat/jacket for the walk outside which they dont need in the hot dance floor as well as water and snacks particularly for those who need to staff shifts or volunteer later that night. Maybe if we can have lost and found room in Hilton trade places with items check in Marriott and keep it open until after dance is over it would be perfect.


This sort of reminds me of Dickens Fair. They had all of their "ask us" people dressed up as chimney sweeps. The fair had a small pamphlet with a map and instructions that if we have any further questions or require assistance to just ask someone dressed as a chimney sweep. They were very easily recognizable and looked like they had just stepped out of the chimney sweep sequence from Mary Poppins. Fanime has people walking around with poles that have an "ask me as question" message on the top so that they can be spotted in the crowds. When it comes to services offered by Fanime two important things to keep in mind are location and visibility. Fanime has a huge booklet of info and that doesn't even hold everything that goes on at con so adding a little blurb in there describing what to look for doesn't guarantee that anyone will see it. And people can't be posted in places that are too high traffic that might become an obstruction or too obtrusive in areas that people regularly take photographs.

Great idea similar to mall ambassadors. I did notice the "how may I help you" or "ask me a question info desk group." Though getting them a interesting uniform or cosplay would make them stand out more.

As others have mentioned it is important that the volunteers feel that their time is being utilized in a productive manner. People checking badges are providing a service for the con to make sure people aren't trying to sneak into the dealers hall or other badged events. They feel satisfied that their work is contributing to the con running smoothly. I volunteered at the Telegraph machine at Clockwork Alchemy. We ran messages around the con and I wanted to be involved in that because it was a fun and entertaining thing to do getting to operate the machine and shout "telegram for …" through the rooms. Attendees were entertained by receiving messages.

I understand that the main point of this idea is to add to the atmosphere of the con, which can be fun, but you have to think of how can you make it entertaining or productive for the attendees and how is it entertaining for the volunteers?
That is the point actually to make it entertaining for the volunteer. I was one of those who are assigned to doors for volunteering. It can be quite monotonous for a while sitting/standing there thats when I practiced my please and thank you skills. If I could see "SOGO mall ambassador" type greeters while I volunteered the time would feel much more interesting or rewarding for me. Though I am thinking of how to make it more fun for the greeters themselves? If they don't find greeting and bowing and welcoming people fun enough. Maybe rewards for being best greeter? But with at least basic rewards for all involved. Though I am sure that the hospitality department greeters themselves would have to be made of preselected staff not drop in volunteers.

Don't be fooled, Walmart greeters primary function is to be a visible presence to discourage people from stealing it has little to do with hospitality.
I read somewhere that Walmart is ending its greeter program. Also I read that Nordstrom's last greeter at 99 years old his legacy is ending. Sad to see them go. Though I guess you are right in explaining about preventing theft in addition to making customers welcome I guess this is how come Japanese department stores have greeters as well.
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