Cosplay Gatherings Feedback Thread

Started by Imperial, June 02, 2016, 01:41:26 PM

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I would like to get some feedback from what my department did this year, but first some things I know need fixing:

  • Gatherings in the books all together (this is always in mind, its out of my hands rn)
  • The Moving of Dragon Age gathering (someone went over my head and moved a gathering that could have fit inside just fine)
  • No water in hangout(again, out of my hands, lets just say SJCC is "fun")
  • Lack of supplies in lounge (I had a list rolling around of things you all wanted)
  • Fire emblem gathering and its sprinklers (literally had no clue they were to go on. Facilities will know next year so it hopefully won't happen again.)

But beyond that, What went good, what when bad, etc. Tell me, I do a valve approach to reading this all (I read it all, it doesn't mean I respond to it all.) I will eventually release my letter of con in review. maybe here, meh. I want this department to do more eventually, and if I get it going again, have chopped cosplay again with the hosts we have had in the past do their thing. But again, its only my first year of being the head, so I know I need a lot of growing.

Nina Star 9

Great first year as gatherings head! :D I can't wait to see what this department has in store for the future.

I was going to suggest having the gathering locations/times in the booklets, but that's already been addressed. Some friends and I had to walk all the way across the convention center to get to an info booth in order to find a list of the gatherings so that they could make sure they made it to one on time (they did, but it was a bit of an inconvenience in the Saturday afternoon crowds).

- The Steven Universe gathering was a little bit of a mess. Not sure how much of this could have been prevented by your department and how much was just because of the crowd and the organization. The area was fairly small for the gathering size, and everyone was crowded around so much that it was nearly impossible to actually get into the photos once a character or pairing was called, and as much effort as there was to keep a walkway open, it always filled in with people immediately. Space is especially in issue when body paint (and a younger fandom...) is involved with many of the costumes, since I had to remove myself from the main gathering area to prevent myself from being knocked into by fans rambunctiously pushing their way through the crowds while wearing fully body paint. (I didn't want to get paint on my costume, nor did I want someone to knock into my delicate prop.) Also, the photo countdowns were a little short for such a large gathering, and some of the countdowns started before everyone was even in the photo and posed, making it even shorter.

- With large gatherings, is there a way for the department to provide those cardboard megaphones for check-out or rent so that everyone in the crowd can hear the announcements? I couldn't hear most of the photos being called at the SU gathering, and even when I attempted to get into the crowd to hear the announcements at the Homestuck gathering (my costume is difficult so I tried to stay as out of the crowd as possible), if I was on the other side of the mob as the announcement, I still couldn't hear anything that was being said. Providing something to amplify the host's voice would be really helpful.

- I'm glad to see that Cosplay Chopped might be returning! I had a lot of fun judging it back in 2014 and would love to have that opportunity again.


Some of this is copied / paraphrased from what I submitted to the general Fanime 2016 convention feedback form.

Cosplay Gatherings Department was awesome.  I've heard some didn't like where the gatherings table was but I thought it was perfect as it was highly visible and in the heart of the gatherings locations outward spread.  It was also in a place where it was just quiet enough to have a conversation with the staff at the table.  This is the first year I've hosted a gathering and although I was a bit under the weather, CGD staff was outstanding in providing a photographer and making check-in a breeze.

My hosted gathering (Old School) had a great turnout and I think a big portion of that was really thanks to the Cosplay Gatherings Department having a clearly laid out and easy to read schedule and asking for Facebook events pages during gatherings submissions.  The Facebook event page made it so easy to universally promote the gathering online and without this suggestion of the Cosplay Gatherings Department, I probably wouldn't have made one.

The gatherings submission process to be on the official list was super easy - everything was smooth, logical, and a lot of fun.  CGD staff was also amazing during the run-up to the convention with keeping everyone informed about the gathering process and any changes.  Also being very active here and on Facebook with addressing fan concerns and requests and attempting to address any questions from cosplayers and convention attendees.

Cosplay Gatherings Department made something I was nervous about, hosting a gathering, and made it something I looked forward to most at the convention this year - and had a great time being a part of and want to continue with in the future.

If a list of requested supplies for the cosplay hangout pops up, that would be great, even if just a general list.  Throughout the year I always have crazy coupons for the craft stores that I end up tossing if there's nothing I need at the time, and I would like to use those toward picking up supplies to donate for next year.

Thank you to all Cosplay Gatherings Department staff for your amazing efforts at FanimeCon 2016!
I'm ALWAYS active on the forums!

Retro Cosplay, Easy As XYZ


Things went fairly well at the gatherings I attended this year.  So overall, the experience was positive.  Just some minor comments:

1) A convention staff member misdirected me to the wrong area when I asked for the gathering info table (possible she just misheard me).  She told me to go upstairs in the convention center (I found out later that's where the gatherings schedule was posted), which meant I needed my badge.  I went to the badge line, found it to be out the door and snaking around the block.  I went back, and fortunately wandered by the info table by accident.  It cost me a bit of time and I was late to a gathering that I was hosting. 

2) At a small gathering at the G2 location, a couple attendees who were sitting by the stairs became incredibly upset when the staff photographer very politely asked them to move a little to the side so that they weren't in the shot.  They complained that the area was meant for people to sit down, not to take pictures.  The host explained that a gathering was taking place, and the photographer apologized to them, saying that it would only be for a few more minutes as it was a small group.  Still, they seemed angry and stormed off.  So I'm wondering if it would help to have signs posted at the gathering locations so that people know?

Besides those minor complications, things went well this year.  Good job to those involved.
are we having fun yet?


I'd like to see the Facebook event rule enforced a bit better. It was an awesome way to keep up-to-date with what was going on with gatherings, but sadly some of the gatherings I went to didn't have one, leaving me scrambling for info the now old-fashioned way, which I found a bit out putting after getting spoiled.


Personally, I thought the gatherings department was better this year. Less supplies, but a nice big room with box fan, also water wasn't far. have an idea for getting the list in the books, and I could maybe donate supplies next year if that is an ok thing. Also, I'm going to email you on Monday if that is ok


Have to say that with the change to a new cosplay gathering staff, things did go pretty well.

Kinda do wish that there would be some kind of "gathering location suggestions" type of deal for next year. I bring this up due to what happened with the DC gathering and the Undertale gathering. Basically; Undertale got too big, gathering staff came over to me and asked if they could switch spaces with DC (moving from G9 in the pit area to G4 with the two stages on the first floor of the con center). Having the knowledge of which large gathering locations would be best suited in cases like this arise could be useful to both cosplayers and photographers (I got a little worried that the setup of G4 would complicate things from a positioning and photo perspective).

I would also second the megaphone idea. Last year, I did not have a megaphone on hand for the Marvel gathering and had to yell loud, causing me to lose my voice (being sick did not help matters). This year, I ended up borrowing a megaphone from a friend of mine and it was a total lifesaver for both Marvel and DC gathering (especially with the relocation process).

Other than those two things, the gathering process went pretty well and the gathering staff was helpful both in the planning stages prior to the convention (props to you Imperial for the hard work you had this year) and props to the gathering staff that worked the con (the ladies that worked the gathering check-in table, the guy that helped me out when migrating the DC gathering). It made what looked to be such a daunting task (running two gatherings back-to-back) a much more plesant experience.


We definitely need more genre-based gatherings rather than just "anime/game title only"

Like "all survival horror cosplays" "all martial artists/fighter gatherings" "all samurai/dynasty warriors/kung fu gatherings"

Not just title-exclusive gatherings, but more larger umbrella ones that would encompass multiple groups and fans together.
Awakening to otaku inside. ^-^


The gathering submission form was great. A vast improvement.

I think that requiring a Facebook event for all future gatherings is a fantastic idea, it really helped me keep track of them and helped spread the word. My Sailor Moon gathering spread like wildfire on Facebook and I think that helped the attendance turnout.

The gathering photographers were great this year, I didn't have any for SuperWhoLock or Sailor Moon in 2015 so that was greatly appreciated. I had Samir for both Dragon Age and Sailor Moon, he was a huge help for both. I stubbornly like to handle all of the call outs myself, but he and the other helpers were eager to assist.

As for the Dragon Age gathering, it was a bit frustrating and even in my dress I could feel the heat. I don't blame anyone for the miscommunication, I understand that it happens and as long as we're in a large indoor gathering location next year I'll be quite content. The Sailor Moon went well enough in comparison, there was just minor difficulty in moving the previous gathering out of the way.

I expect the gathering department to improve and change each year, overall I'm okay with how it went this year.
Dead by Daylight gathering organizer


Quote from: Nina Star 9 on June 02, 2016, 02:24:09 PM

- The Steven Universe gathering was a little bit of a mess.

- With large gatherings, is there a way for the department to provide those cardboard megaphones for check-out or rent so that everyone in the crowd can hear the announcements?
Yeah, I knew it might be a bit out of the loop for the steven universe gathering, and I overestimated the crowd that would be at the gathering at G9 at the time, so somewhat my fault on puting people at x place at y time. I am writing policies to make this easier for me and everyone to understand the rules for what gatherings are (also in the process of preproduction of making a video as to HOW TO RUN A GATHERING, A PHOTOG AND ORGANIZER PROSPECTIVE.)

as for the megaphones, I was thinking of the plastic ones the schools tend to use, however I would do a checkout system for those at front table. its in my list of things of wants and needs.


Quote from: omega_drug on June 02, 2016, 02:50:24 PM
Things went fairly well at the gatherings I attended this year.  So overall, the experience was positive.  Just some minor comments:

1) A convention staff member misdirected me

2) At a small gathering at the G2 location, a couple attendees who were sitting by the stairs became incredibly upset when the staff photographer very politely asked them to move a little to the side so that they weren't in the shot. 

1) I called them red coats (no offense) and one thing I have planned is working with facilities to see if I can get them a pocket "where is X" list so then they can easily point people where x, y, and z is. its all grey area right now, so dont set it in stone, but its an idea.

2) 4~5 years that spot has been used for gatherings. I find it weird that people have not caught on to it, but what my people did was the right thing imo. if people are getting mad, you can point them to the hub where there are tables and chairs they can use to cool off, as well as the hangout where its that and air conditioned. I will cook on that Idea though, its a means of costs.


as for the rest right now,

bahamutknightzero : I was the organizer for Undertale, and tbh I severely underestimated the size of the gathering, My bad. And some of my photogs got some better pictures through the migration of the 2 gatherings due to the sheer size. Its kinda like what happened several years ago with the assassin's creed gathering doing the blend walk through the main drag to its secondary spot, some really neat shots happened there.

BeBop: I agree, but this year I ran myself ragged though con with the number I had under my belt, It is just a matter of having people step up to the plate and organizing the gathering. I can only do so much, I need help from you guys, the cosplayers.

Facebook rule: Don't get me wrong, I am hitting my demographic with facebook, the problem is, not everyone is on facebook/want to be seen on facebook. I really want to push for that, but I still want the forums used as a home base for all the gatherings, but having a grip out and about really helped my gatherings really skyrocket.

and photogs, I only had 3 this year, and I made it so I did not run them ragged (lets just say I used to do that and almost put myself in the hospital during con 2 years ago). So, If you want to help and know friends that wish to take photos for con, have them Email me at [email protected]


Quote from: Imperial on June 06, 2016, 01:12:56 PM
(also in the process of preproduction of making a video as to HOW TO RUN A GATHERING, A PHOTOG AND ORGANIZER PROSPECTIVE.)

That would be awesome! Running a gathering can seem intimidating at first but when I did it I actually ended up having a lot of fun with it (I didn't do a perfect job, there were things I would do better next time, but i still had fun with it). I think if people had a guide to go by and some direction they might be less intimidated and willing to give it a try.
I sell cute and geeky polymer clay jewelry!

"Failure is always an option"
"Try again, fail again, fail better"
"Art is never finished, only abandoned"


Yeah, a video would be great. It would definitely prevent things from getting too overwhelming on the organizer. I remember going to a gathering this year, where the organizer wasn't even present. It isn't too daunting a task for the organizer, if they come prepared and know what they need to do. just make a list of shots, be at the right place on time, and be loud and you are set. Making the forum thread and facebook page should be done a while in advance.

Maybe we could take note of the sizes of some gatherings to roughly guess what to expect next year? I know mine was bigger than last year's turnout, and with the new Zelda game upcoming, it is expected to grow a bit. (We will see).

I really like the megaphone idea. I am a loud person myself, but I know not everybody is, and the more equipped, the better. It definitely would be easier on the voice :)
Gatherings are a learning experience, and thats what makes this thread so great.

At my gathering (Zelda), the old organizer showed up asked if he could take over, which I happily allowed. I wanted to do it, and there was a little confusion at that point, but all went awesome. Him and I have already started discussing who will do it next year, and both are totally fine with the other doing it. LOL I might let him do it his 7th consecutive time so Ganondorf can have his 7 year reign over Hyrule, and then I would take photos, or I might just take over since he offered. Who knows, we have months to decide, right?

I also do agree that there were a lack of supplies in the hangout. this is to be expected during a transition, but it is something I might like to help with. I know it's not the cheapest thing in the world, but I would like to contribute if possible. That room is a lifesaver, let me tell you.

I cannot stress enough how helpful Imperial and the whole staff were . You did an amazing job both before and during the con, and without your help, I would have been overwhelmed. It made a seemingly impossible task (organizing), very smooth and great. You handle a lot of consecutive events, many even simultaneous, and the way things were set up this year was impressive. Thank you!
Sorry that my posts are so long, I am just a very gratuitous person. :)


Everything went rather well, as far as I could tell!! ^^ Though, the problem with my Fruits Basket gathering is, no one really showed, cept one other person besides me........ >:C But that's not your fault at all. ^^;;;; People were supposed to show, but I guess they couldn't or they forgot........ welp never gonna host that gathering again. =_=" Fruits Basket just hasn't quite stuck around as much as I thought. :/ Even with the new manga and all....... oh well. Nothing I can really do about it. :| If someone else wants to try to bring it back(LOL good luck) then be my guest, but that was my first and final try for that gathering.

Other than that, I really enjoyed the gatherings I went to! :) Thank you so much, Imperial!! You're doing a great job!! No, really!! :3 <3
(ノ•ω•)ノ Cosplay List:
Rook Hunt
Ukyo (Ranma 1/2)
Satsuki (Totoro)
Omega (Bad Batch)
Giyu (KnY)
Rengoku (KnY)
Sheeta (Laputa)


First and foremost, I'd like to thank you personally for doing so much work for the gatherings and communicating with us throughout as well. It was really nice having someone to tell us what is going on and how to get the gatherings we want put together with a time and place. I think you've done an excellent job this year~ I look forward to your work future years!

I did unfortunately miss most of the gatherings I wished to attend, mostly because of my own issues but there seemed to be some times that were different between the final gatherings thread and the physical board at the gatherings/info desk on the main concourse. At the least, I hope if there are any last minute changes like that, that they are made known through social media and whatnot so everyone can know. I know that might be out of your hands, so I'm not blaming you! All and all I think you did a very good job~ Next year I'll actually attend the gatherings I want to and get up in time to do so bwahahah
Attendee since 2009

One day I'll cosplay again


You did a great job for a first-year head! I ran a gathering for the first time this year, and I have no complaints, except that I think my gathering submission might have gotten lost after I submitted it. But when you sent out an email later and said to contact you if we hadn't gotten an email, I got a reply from you super fast, so kudos for that.

Running the gathering was pretty tiring because I don't naturally have a loud voice (unless it's in a classroom setting apparently LOL), so I'd be down to have a megaphone too. Even an inexpensive one would work better than nothing.

I did like how the gatherings FB page had photos of the locations. That was a neat addition and super helpful. And while I think making a FB event for gatherings is a good idea, I would prefer that it remain optional (mostly because I'm paranoid and don't want to use my personal FB to make an event).

With that said, I actually have a question about gathering times vs. other Fanime event times. Is anyone on the cosplay gatherings staff privy to the schedules for panels, autographs, etc? The reason I ask is I want to submit my gathering earlier next year, so there's more time for people to learn about it. However, the Fanime event schedule never gets released until May and I want to make sure I don't submit it for the same timeframe as a panel featuring, say, LittleKuriboh (since he is a BNF in my gathering's fandom). Can we make a special request not to have overlap with relevant events, or is that out of staff's hands?