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What should be in the FanimeCon Newsletter?

The current format (mostly event reports plus an announcements side bar) is just fine.
- 2 (14.3%)
More announcements: I want to use the newsletter to figure out what I should see today.
- 4 (28.6%)
More event reports: Who has time to read the newsletter at the con?  I want to know what happened at the events I couldn't attend.
- 3 (21.4%)
"Fan life" pieces: This is FANime, so tell me about the fans!
- 2 (14.3%)
Games and humor: I'll read the newsletter when there's a lull in the con.  Give me something funny to keep me awake.
- 2 (14.3%)
It doesn't matter: I read subtitles, not newsletters.
- 1 (7.1%)

Total Members Voted: 14

Voting closed: January 05, 2007, 05:12:14 PM


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Author Topic: FanimeCon Newsletter (2006 comments, 2007 suggestions)  (Read 3523 times)

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Tenba

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FanimeCon Newsletter (2006 comments, 2007 suggestions)
« on: June 19, 2006, 06:12:14 PM »

Hi!  I was the newsletter editor for FanimeCon 2006, and it was a hectic year.  It's my first year on staff, and it was very different from what I expected.  I'm sorry about messing up the banner, making the font sizes and spacing turn out strange (it didn't look so bad on the monitor), not getting in nearly as much content as I wanted, and all the other mistakes I made that I don't know about yet.  I know I can do better, so I've signed up to do this again in 2007.

Things I know I messed up:
  • Banner image.  I tried to resize it myself, and it just didn't print right.  (It looked fine on the screen.)  I'll have a graphics artist resize it properly for me next year.
  • Format.  The newsletter just didn't look the way I expected after I printed it.  I plan to spend more time becoming familiar with the software and template before next year, and I plan to bring my own printer so I can preview any tweaks to the format without having to constantly visit ConOps.
  • Contest winners.  As I was compiling Monday's newsletter, it occured to me that I should've gone around and tracked down all of the departments that held contests and get official lists of the winners for the newsletter, but I couldn't make it happen in time (partly because I had no idea how to reach them at the con on such short notice).  For next year, I plan to find and e-mail contest coordinators ahead of time and tell them to expect a newsletter reporter to approach them at their events and pick up an official list of winners.
  • Missed events.  I'm very, very sorry about not covering the premiere year of the fashion show.  I wanted to cover it, but things were such a mess that the Saturday morning newsletter was already many hours late (so I had to rename it to the Saturday afternoon newsletter), and it was crunch time for the Saturday evening newsletter (which I eventually decided to cancel and get a head start on Sunday instead).


Also, for next year, I have a few questions I wanted to ask everybody:
  • Is there something we can do that would encourage people to pick up the newsletter?  We only printed 500 copies per issue, most of them didn't get picked up, and there were over ten thousand attendees.  Our readership seems to be less than 1% of the potential number of people.  Is this because the newsletter needs better content?  Or did people simply not know about them?  Or were people maybe too busy having fun to read the newsletter no matter what the content said?
  • Should we aim for fewer issues?  For 2006, we had six issues: pink for Friday evening, yellow for Saturday afternoon, green for Sunday morning, blue for Sunday evening, goldenrod for Monday, and red for the special MusicFest edition.  Is that too many issues?  Is it too much for people to stop by the Info Desk twice a day if they want to pick up newsletters?  Would people prefer one two-page newsletter per day instead two one-page newsletters per day?
  • What information would you want covered in the newsletter?  Looking at the newsletters from previous years, it looks like they covered a lot of policies, rules, and upcoming events.  I figured that a newsletter should report about what happened at the con, so I sent writers into the field to cover events.  Others brought up ideas about adding commentary about "fan life", such as "What do fans eat?", "How do they cope with sleep deprivation?", and "What do cosplayers really do?"  This year, I mostly kept the announcements to the side bar and put panel reports in the main section of the page.  Where I could, I modified articles earlier in the weekend to also tell people about the speakers' later panels.   Did that work for people?  I ended up cutting all the "fan life" articles.  Would people preferred to read that instead?  Are there better suggestions?  Do you want humor pieces?  Controversial pieces?
  • Are there any other suggestions or comments?  Anything else I should try to fix?  Any questions I should've asked but didn't?  The current numbers seem to suggest that either very few people want these newsletters or very few people know about them.  Whichever the case, I'd like to try to fix it.  For those who didn't know about the newsletters, I posted the PDFs from 2006 to http://tenba.multiply.com/.  I put them in the video section, so you may need to explicitly specify a PDF reader to view them.
Any comments, suggestions, or feedback about the newsletter would be much appreciated.  Thanks in advance!
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Nina Star 9

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FanimeCon Newsletter (2006 comments, 2007 suggestions)
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2006, 06:26:56 PM »

i honestly did not know that there *was* a newsletter, and a spent quite a bit of time looking through all the stuff at the info booth. o-o where was it?
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Tenba

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FanimeCon Newsletter (2006 comments, 2007 suggestions)
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2006, 06:57:42 PM »

Quote from: "Nina Star 9"
i honestly did not know that there *was* a newsletter, and a spent quite a bit of time looking through all the stuff at the info booth. o-o where was it?
Booth...?  Oh!  I completely forgot about the Dealers Room Fanime booth!  Is that the one you're talking about?  Oops!!  I'm very sorry!

There were two info desks at the two ends of the convention center: one just ouside the Stage One and Panel Room area and the other outside the Video 1 area and Tabletop Gaming area.  We left most of the newsletters at those two desks.  There were also some at Registration, but I wouldn't expect people to know that unless they registered very late.  (As an attendee for several years, I know that I utterly avoided Registration after I got my badge.)  I'll put the dealers room on the list for next year.

Distribution points for 2007:
  • Fanime Dealers Room Booth
  • Two Info Desks
  • Registration
  • ConOps (for the staff)
  • Maid Cafe -- added 2006-12-02
Any other areas I should hit?  Would people want to pick them up from the Internet Cafe, maybe?  We were also tossing the idea around of putting the newsletters on the web when they were ready, but that didn't come together this year either.
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Spiritsnare

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FanimeCon Newsletter (2006 comments, 2007 suggestions)
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2006, 09:58:35 PM »

Quote from: "Tenba"

Any other areas I should hit?  Would people want to pick them up from the Internet Cafe, maybe?


Perhaps you can ask Mai-chan about distribution at the Maid Café.
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FanimeCon Newsletter (2006 comments, 2007 suggestions)
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2006, 11:05:59 PM »

Well, I wanted to say that I loved the multi-colored newsletters that were being handed out in 2005. I went by the desk to see if there was a new issue a lot. ^^

Anyways, here are some ideas I think you should consider:

Cosplay Sighting section- Have a photographer running around, kinda casual, looking for exceptional cosplayers. If the photographer finds a really good cosplayer he/she can ask to take a picture and then feature that cosplayer in a spot on the newsletter. Also, the 'Cosplayer of the day' that might be in that section could win a box of pocky or something. *shrug*

Top 10 Anime/Manga/Soundtrack lists- Poll about 10 people or so and get a top 10 anime or manga or soundtrack list by compiling the lists, or have an editor make one and put it in the newsletter. I think that if people are new to anime at Fanimecon, they may want some recommendations and usually top 10 lists are good ways of communicating what the anime loving community is watching/reading.

Polls- Conduct an informal poll (offer candy for participation! Jolly ranchers FTW!) and have it set up at your newsletter booth. Then post the results in the next day's newsletter.

More interviews with guests- Usually there are 1-2 guests that everyone's coming to see. Monitor the forums to see fan reaction to guestlist updates and schedule interviews with the most popular ones. Real short interviews, you know...but enough so that it would be cool enough to pick up.

I think the major thing that you need to do is make your newsletter something that people want to pick up. That means you need to include information that can't be found in other places, or interesting facts, polls or other such things. Yeah, you have the schedule, but that means that after Fanime is over, it's in the trash. What you really want to do with the newsletter is make it something that people will hold onto after Fanime.

Anyways, hope my recommendations are helpful.
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ININ

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FanimeCon Newsletter (2006 comments, 2007 suggestions)
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2006, 10:03:26 AM »

Keep it simple.  When I read the newsletters, I focus on the information.  I think priority content are the following:

*Coverage of the main events such as guests of honor, masquerade, and AMVs

*Post times and locations of the main events, popular panels, and favorite videos

*Time changes for events

*Inform fan needs to know alerts (e.g. how to prevent badges from falling off the lanyards at AX’06).

I know what I said is obvious to many.  I just want to reinforce newsletters is one of the best ways to communicate with the fans.  Graphics and looks are good, too.  Keep it simple ^_^
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AnimeEmperor

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FanimeCon Newsletter (2006 comments, 2007 suggestions)
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2006, 08:05:33 PM »

Quote from: "Nina Star 9"
i honestly did not know that there *was* a newsletter, and a spent quite a bit of time looking through all the stuff at the info booth. o-o where was it?
Um yeah, I tried to pick up anything without a price on it and i'm pretty sure I didn't see one. I mean, I was there for 3 days and I didn't know about it. So I think the only real problem is letting people know where it is.


...and that it exists.
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Kegan_Flame

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FanimeCon Newsletter (2006 comments, 2007 suggestions)
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2006, 03:02:21 PM »

i didn't even know that thre WAS a newsletter... mayve if you made something more of it, advertized it, or placed them in better places... i think it sounds really kool ^_^ just didn;t know about it... lol
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Tenba

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FanimeCon Newsletter (2006 comments, 2007 suggestions)
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2006, 03:06:23 PM »

Wow!  I haven't visited in a while, but the above posts are great!  Thank you all very much for the feedback!  There are several excellent points above, and I'll keep them in mind.  I'm not sure if I can do justice to the polls, lists, and cosplay highlight ideas, but they sound like fun.  I'll add the Maid Cafe to the list of distribution points.
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AMKestrel

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FanimeCon Newsletter (2006 comments, 2007 suggestions)
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2007, 02:32:53 PM »

Quote from: "Tenba"
Wow!  I haven't visited in a while, but the above posts are great!  Thank you all very much for the feedback!  There are several excellent points above, and I'll keep them in mind.  I'm not sure if I can do justice to the polls, lists, and cosplay highlight ideas, but they sound like fun.  I'll add the Maid Cafe to the list of distribution points.


Doh!  I don't think the newsletters actually made it to the Maid Cafe this year either, but it sounds like that would have been a good idea; maybe in 2008 we can get newsletters there for patrons to glance through as they eat?
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Tenba

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FanimeCon Newsletter (2006 comments, 2007 suggestions)
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2007, 04:21:15 AM »

Quote from: "AMKestrel"
Doh!  I don't think the newsletters actually made it to the Maid Cafe this year either
That's because there turned out to be four Info Desks instead of two, and I didn't find that out until the con.  So, I sacrificed the Maid Cafe and ConOps sets and gave them to the two other Info Desks instead.  In retrospect, given that I was told that Maid Cafe lines were long (I didn't have the chance to even see the lines for Maid Cafe, much less visit it), I'm no longer so sure that it'd be a good thing to give people an incentive to stay in the Maid Cafe longer than they normally would.  I think people taking up a slot in the Maid Cafe should be paying attention to the maids, not the newsletter.  Also, it turned out that the video area Info Desk was close enough to the Food Court that I didn't think Food Court needed its own distribution rack after all.  Then again, it bothers me that none of the Info Desks seemed to have run out of newsletters.
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