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Messages - hikanteki

General Convention Discussion / Re: State of the Con?
October 31, 2013, 01:25:32 PM
I'll second (third?) this.  We'd really like to hear what they're planning to do for next year to resolve this years problems, and time is running short. 

On Memorial Day weekend 2014, the following other cons are taking place per

Animazement (Raleigh, NC)
Anime Minneapolis
Anime North (Toronto)
MomoCon (Atlanta)
Omni Expo (Orlando)
Anime Oasis (Boise, ID)

Every single one of them has updated their site with announcements and updates since this year's con (i.e. hotel information, travel discounts, periodic contests).  Registration is up on their site, and most of them even have guests announced. 

On the other hand...not a peep from Fanime.

Quote from: foester on October 25, 2013, 01:01:28 PM
The problem is, similar reassurance came at the end of 2012 (with admittedly, the biggest problem being registration's backup due to an unforeseeable and uncontrollable power outage) and 2013 turned out to be a much bigger mess.

That's what we wanted to think but after it turned into a bigger mess in 2013 like you said, I'm not even sure that the backup in 2012 was due to the power outage.
Registration / Re: Fanime 2012 attendance figures
October 31, 2013, 01:08:05 PM
Quote from: echoshadow on October 11, 2013, 03:37:55 AM
Go right on a head. But how will you count the people that just came for one day? Since Fanime is 4 days long, are you going to factor that in? Single day attendees could be 25% of the 100% of Fanime's total time.

Like I said in the previous post...just tally the # of badges sold.  Yes, each person who went would count once; it's irrelevant whether they went for one day or four days.

It's very unlikely that someone would buy two single day badges, since that costs more than a 4-day badge.  In the off chance that a couple people did, that's a margin of error I'm willing to live with.

Also how would you factor in the people that just show up with out buying a badge and hang out in the areas where you don't need a badge?

You wouldn't; they aren't legit attendees.
Registration / Re: Fanime 2012 attendance figures
October 10, 2013, 03:45:54 PM
I don't think it has to be that hard. *Most* conventions use unique counts. Just tally the # of badges sold.
Quote from: djmonolith on June 05, 2013, 10:34:32 PM
Quote from: kevinc on June 05, 2013, 05:57:58 PM

Luckily, I was able to find some videos from the local news stations there that were doing a segment about the convention (this is the winter 2013 convention, so you can get a general estimate on how the convention is before deciding)

Thanks for the post and links!  It looks very small... for those who were at the Sac Convention Center... how does it compare to Fanime in size?  1/3 the dealers, artists, cosplayers, etc.???

Attendance is about half, but my experience has seen a much higher percentage of people with good cosplay & cosplay in general at SacAnime.

Not sure about Artist Alley.  Sac has 2/3 the dealers, but don't take my word for it:

Sac List:
Fanime List:
Quote from: Firefury Amahira on May 30, 2013, 09:13:31 PM
Quote from: VicksMagnolia on May 30, 2013, 08:56:54 PM
As someone who's never been to AX, what's so corrupt about it?
Honestly, it's kinda gotta way too big and too corporate. It's lost a LOT of the fan-driven edge it had 10, 15 years ago.

I've only heard bits and pieces of the various AX behind-the-scenes dramas, so I can't offer much in the way of intelligent commentary on the alleged corruption, but mostly from my own experience it feels less like a fan event and more like a corporate one. My first year at Fanime (2011) still had that fan event atmosphere; it honestly reminded me overall of my first Anime Expo (1999) in terms of the overall atmosphere.

That sounds awesome.  I want to go even more now.  (Never been, but they do have an impressive guest list.  Porno Graffiti this year?!?!)

Corporate doesn't necessarily equal corrupt.

Injecting some corporate sensibility into Fanime would do it good, in my opinion.
Quote from: Biblio on June 04, 2013, 10:19:32 PM
Yes, it's smaller and everything was on a smaller scale, but for us it was still enjoyable. And it was very well organized. I commented on it even before Fanime this year how well-organized SacAnime was for an event.

Yes, I'll second this.  I went to their last one at the Woodlake Hotel, and they had WAY more people than the hotel could handle--but they kept everything under control and it never felt like a mess.  Smaller cons are usually easier to organize, but SacAnime is probably among the best organized of any con I've been to, large or small.
SacAnime is smaller than Fanime but in a couple of years it could be the same size or even bigger.  They estimated it at over 10,000 this winter and it's seen steady, well-managed growth.  Even from 2010-2012 I've noticed it getting a lot bigger.

This summer SacAnime has more guests confirmed than Fanime.  I agree that it's much more US-media focused than Fanime, but dubbing anime has made a lot of American fans, and if their resources and/or fans are better suited towards a US-centric guestlist then I think it's smart of them to make a name for their convention on that.  Many of this season's guests are fairly prolific (i.e. Nolan North, J. Michael Tatum.)  And, who wouldn't love the cast of the Power Rangers Samurai? ;)  I think it's good that both of them seem to have a different focus.

In fact I think they didn't have any Japanese guests until this winter...and both of them (Tsuyoshi Nonaka and Mai Aizawa) were ripped off of Fanime. :-\  That annoyed me, as Sac is Northern California's leading US-centric anime con.  If they want to add variety then that's cool, but booking the same guests at a nearby con, especially if they're the focus of that con but not of your con...not cool.  Although Tsuyoshi Nonaka is US-based now too, so maybe it was easier/cheaper to book him.  Not really sure what the point was of getting Mai Aizawa immediately after her appearance at Fanime.  Then again, her appearance at Fanime was kind of pointless too because she sang like song?
Eric, thank you for posting the explanation and reasons.  I'm still not convinced that this snafu wasn't preventable, but it's a great step that staff is responding to our concerns.

Quote from: ewu on May 30, 2013, 06:23:57 PM
Hi all,

It's me again. I wanted to note a few issues to guide your feedback.... Please read my wall of text <3

Mailing badges – There are four issues: 1) Minors – We need to have contact information and do some ID verification because of the number of minors we have at con.

Then can you just require the minors to reg on site?

2) Lost by the attendee after receiving it 3 weeks before the convention or lost by USPS in transit; not cool to charge lost badge fee if USPS lost it (we also can't tell if they are lying to get a duplicate badge for their friend).

Include a tracking number on each badge sent out.  I don't think anyone would mind having to pay extra for it and if they do, they have the option to register on site (where it will be slightly more expensive anyway.)  If the attendee loses it, it's on them.

3) not enough staff before the convention to process the mailing out of a few thousand badges.

There wasn't enough staff during the convention either to process a few thousand badges. :-\  But, if there's going to be something that requires a lot of staff before the convention, then advertise on the boards/fb/etc that you need staff for that time period.  Or hire some people for pay.

4) Counterfeits – counterfeiters are given 20 days to counterfeit instead of the current 3-4 days.

How big of a problem was it in the past?  I can't imagine that it was as high as 5 or 10%, or anywhere near that.  And, people have suggested additional security measures such as holographic stickers or watermarks.

Opening at 7pm on Thursday – We normally have 18 hours to set up reg and get it ready to run. This year, at 5pm another event was still in the regency ballroom. In two and a half hours, nearly 100 people (from Fanime, the Fairmont, and the previous event's staff) worked together to get a large stage and two 30' projections screens out of the room and get in all the reg booths, caution tape lines, and laptops in. This task would have normally taken 3 hours to load out and 4 hours to load in to do it correctly. The changeover was a herculean feat, but should have not happened and WILL NOT HAPPEN NEXT YEAR. In years past we would open at 5, close the line at 8 and reg until 12 midnight to clear the line. This year, we opened at 8 closed the line at 10 and regged until 3:30AM.

This forgives why registration opened late, but not the amount of time it took to register once it actually opened.

People sitting at computers doing nothing – We found out very quickly that the bottleneck was printing. We had to stop people at the booths from registering so that the printing area was not mobbed with people, making printing even slower and causing a fire hazard. Last year, the bottleneck was payment, but many did not notice when we stopped people from entering their personal information. Payment was fixed....maybe a little too well! (hey look, an improvement from 2012....)

Why did the badges have to be printed out this year?  That's a lose/lose as it made things slower AND people who preregistered got a tacky looking sticker on their badge rather than their name printed on the opposed to previous years when preregistration badges were made ahead of time and simply handed out to attendees.

Raising prices – Over the next few years we will likely do this to cover costs of a spiffy system and that stupid thing called inflation, but an eventual consequence is that high school students who save all year long will be shut out of the convention. Someone on staff told me that he wanted to improve reg with the sole purpose of giving 4 days of happiness for high schoolers that do not fit in well anywhere but a few places like fanime and that pinch pennies for the 360 other days of the year.

How much do you estimate raising prices by...$10? $60? I don't think the former will make or break someone.
If high schoolers (or anyone else) get so fed up at having to wait 6 hours in line and don't go next year, then the lower price will be a moot point.

Future plans – We are looking at a number of solutions including throwing money at fancy technology and hiring people to supplement the reg staff. We are also looking at ways to optimize the reg system and taking in account the different types of people we have flowing in each day and the systematic and the aforementioned psychological impact of lines. In the end, however, we do need to balance the amount that is expended on reg because with a 5 min wait, we may not have enough money left over for programming! :) I am excited to see what is to come, yet a bit nervous because the power could always go out on us :P

That's good to hear.  Thank you for looking into solutions for this. 

One suggestion, if you don't decide to mail out badges (and I'll send this to the official comment box) -- until Fanime is sure that registration is fixed, get rid of Day 0 (save for maybe one or two viewing rooms that require little manpower to watch), and divert ALL staff that day to registration.  It looked really bad that on Day 0 the people who didn't pay got to enjoy Fanime, whereas the ones that paid were stuck in line for 6 hours.
Quote from: djmonolith on May 30, 2013, 11:07:07 AM

Hi Eric... thanks for the clarification.  I would STRONGLY suggest you add one or two "OFFICIAL" feedback topics on the boards.  That way people can comment (good or bad) and you won't have to go searching everywhere for the responses. 

It solves a problem that is growing larger every day.

And it is a win/win!!!

This sounds like a very good idea!  Also, that way it would make the thread easier to be monitored so it doesn't get too off topic/out of hand.
Quote from: Otakuya on May 29, 2013, 10:19:31 PM
My "Good  Feedback"  thread was locked, too

True, but it was only one thread that had 10 replies, vs. about 10 criticism feedback threads some of which had dozens of replies.  This gave the appearance that they were sacrificing a minuscule amount of good feedback in order to shut the much larger criticism ones down so they could say "we're balanced, we locked all feedback threads, the good and the bad."
Quote from: Total Legend on May 29, 2013, 01:31:48 AM
Quote from: Dracil on May 29, 2013, 01:26:59 AM
If it weren't for the social aspect, people would be even more grumpy.  At the very least currently, people can be less bored.

The social aspect is part of the problem.

100% of the time, people in front and behind me are with someone who isn't even authorized to pick up badges that day, but they only add to an already long line. To help mitigate this issue, there needs to be less people in line overall.

Double-edged sword.  If the line is 6 hours long, or even 4 or 5 hours, then it's almost necessary to be in a group in case you need to have someone hold your place in line when you get food, run to the restroom, etc.

But it may just be a single edge, and the opposite edge at that, as I'm not really sure that extra people in line would add a significant amount to the wait.  The manpower to hand out X # of badges per hour does not change regardless of how many people are waiting.
Everyone's tired and nobody wants to be there.  Most programming also ends at 1 or 2 (although the Dealer's Hall is open until 3, and as others have said you could find a better deal near the end) so unless you're an early riser, you'll only be able to take in about an hour or two.  But the nice part about Monday, in my opinion, is that it allows Sunday programming to go all night.
Quote from: Tsubasakissu on May 28, 2013, 10:58:32 PM
And Sac Anime always has a better guestlist than Fanime. Better industry/VAs and just as good or better musical guests.
And Sac Anime has a ball now.
And you know what? No waiting more than an hour.

Didn't want to say it...but as far as industry/VA guests I agree with you.  Musical guests I'd give Fanime the edge but they have a different focus.  Fanime has J-Pop/J-Rock bands, which are really a treat to see as they're not common outside of Anime cons.  SacAnime has J-influenced American bands, which aren't nearly as difficult to get, although some of them are top-notch (i.e. Eyeshine) while others are...not.

That being can Fanime center its focus so that we don't have 2 or 3 of the exact same con in San Jose, Santa Clara, or Sacramento?  What can Fanime's specialty(ies) be, that people will make a point to go to Fanime for?  (Hopefully it won't be known for the line of doom.)  What does it really excel at?  Music?  Being more Japan-centric?  24 hour viewing rooms?
I have nothing against Homestuck, or any group of cosplayers/non-cosplayers for that matter. Even if they're not that much into anime or Japanese culture, I would think that since they have an open enough mind to go to an anime convention, they might end up finding something about it they really like.
Quote from: SquallLHeart on May 28, 2013, 03:00:14 PM
also.. technically.. there was another hotel you could pick up your badge at..

Would that have really helped, though?  If half the people at Fanime went to pick up their badge at Clockwork Alchemy, then both of them would still have a 3-hour wait.  Actually CA's would probably be way more than 3 hours because I can't imagine they have as many people working registration.

Quote from: Otakuya on May 28, 2013, 09:28:47 PM
^  unfortunately, that's a good point because of Japan Expo, FanimeCon has competition. Fanime has historically been one of the last dying breed of conventions that lasts more than 15 years. I don't want to have Fanime end because of lack of attendance and losing ground to JX. The happenings of this year does not help in the long term.

Not to mention SacAnime, which is really becoming a force to be reckoned with.  It recently moved to the Sac Convention Center and has a guest list as big as Fanime.

For the record, I'd love Fanime, JX, and Sac to ALL succeed and I think that Northern California can definitely support three large, well-run anime conventions.
Quote from: chifunii on May 28, 2013, 12:33:24 PM
Renting the convention center and the furniture needed (tables, chairs, etc.) costs a looot.
While it costs the artists/vendors money to rent a table/booth, Fanime doesn't get anything from the exposure the artists get, or the profit the vendors make. Plus, AA and DH are arguably two of the greater reasons people buy badges. You can get art from your favorite artists who might otherwise not sell their stuff, or only sell online. The selection and sheer amount of stuff in DH is very much a one-stop shop for goods. It just doesn't make sense to me to charge less for one of the main exhibits/events of an anime convention.

Yes, I agree.  While at first it may seem kind of crass to have to buy a badge in order to go somewhere where you can spend more money...the dealer's room is a spectacle unto itself, and I find a lot of things for better prices there than online, or things that I just can't find online. 
Quote from: lonemeditater on May 28, 2013, 10:17:35 AM
Quote from: irawratyou on May 28, 2013, 10:02:07 AM
I know Fanime is a volunteer on-basis position and it takes up your own personal time, but with power comes big responsibilities and it's extremely unacceptable to run registration for a convention like this.

Translation: I know that a lot of people put their personal time and energy into running the convention, but that doesn't really matter...

I'm normally not one who says that one bad episode can negate a lot of other good ones; however, here's the deal: this is registration, the point of entry, the initial contact for the con.  If people have to wait too long and end up getting fed up and leaving and not registering, then sadly they're not going to see anything else and thus won't see the hard work, time, and energy put into running the rest of the convention.
General Convention Discussion / Re: Good feedback
May 28, 2013, 09:20:51 AM
MusicFest really came through this year -- great job bringing two high energy, awesome sounding bands! Their Q&A panels were really fun too.

I agree that moving Artist Alley to the South Hall was a great idea.  Hopefully Fanime can continue to use the South Hall.
Quote from: Otakuya on May 27, 2013, 10:51:51 PM
I would like to hear Fanime staff's side of the story too and what they are going to do regarding all of these complaints, horror stories, and sayings that they're not coming back (and telling others not to go either).

I'd like to hear what they're going to do too.  While I'd also be open to hearing their side, there's not a lot they can say that can convince us that the 6 hour wait couldn't have been prevented.  (Also, I noticed your sig no longer says "not proud of 2013." ;-) )
Can you choose to pick up your badge Thursday at Clockwork too?