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Messages - MyAlterEg0

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Saw the AX with by live streaming this year....Fanime needs to step it up

Lol yeah, it's been years and years of people trying to float some ideas to Fanime.  But, in the end Fanime ends up just being Fanime. I could guess and make countless threads or just revisit the countless posts about this same subject, but eh, too much work.

Then again....... you kind of end up getting what you pay for. Hell, look how much AX badges have gone up. But then look at all the line ups they got going.

Guess what I'm saying that's maybe why Fanime always had its own charm, like maybe next year it would be like (fill in the con name here) but next year it's a notch different.

just going to throw out a comment i made to my roommate,
Fanime is like going to Hawaii...there's always the beach
while AX is like Vegas....even after you get there... everything you want to do costs money....I think I ended up spending over $300 last year on the badge and then tickets to stuff I wanted to see or do...

General Convention Discussion / thank you fanime staff
« on: June 16, 2017, 04:56:30 AM »
This was the 1st time in 4 years that I came back to the con to support my roommate and friends who staff.

I heard the staff was smaller this year and it reminded me that this isn't an industry convention like ax and that it really is "by fans for fans"

I wanted to express my appreciation to all the staff members who made this convention happen.  Too many attendees take your contribution for granted and bitch about  everything.  It's not just about getting involved to foster change, but it's getting involved to make sure the convention happens.  If there was no staff, the convention couldn't happen even if badge prices were raised...

Ideas and Suggestions / Re: Age Restricted Activities
« on: June 16, 2017, 04:45:26 AM »
It bothers me that more age exclusive programming would even be considered...It's supposed to be family friendly, and I hate to burst someone's bubble, but if it's an age restricted event for legal reasons, you need to have your id.

I don't see the reason for an age restricted dance...is it because you want to hook up with people your own age? go to a bar or nightclub....
worried the minors are going to hook up with someone older? i don't see how you could keep the predators out....
I told my friends that run the dance, it's not interesting to me since there's no bar....so i go to a bar instead....fanime is a dry con afterall.

Ideas and Suggestions / Re: Age Segragated Dance
« on: June 16, 2017, 04:32:59 AM »
"you have to be pretty naive if you think the majority of people who listen to electronic music and dance all night don't do drugs..."

are you fricken kidding me? that's the same as thinking all asians are bad drivers.

"the no glowstick policy ....I dunno for a while now ...i seriously doubt Fanime was concerned with people spilling glow stick chemicals."

....if it wasn't that, why wouldn't they ban led gloves?

With the 2018 theme confirmed to be "Gamers" I believe that this will be the perfect opportunity to convert their arcade a serious overall and set it to free play. While the current arcade setup is a fun diversion, if we're really going to go all out on this theme then some improvements to Fanime's arcade setup need to be made. It would not look very promising to say that Fanime is going to push the gamer theme front and center when its arcade (the benchmark for all things video game related) looks the way it is right now.

Now I understand that doing a free play setup is going to be costly and that at this moment not to many people buy badges because of the arcade but I do think that Fanime has much to gain in the areas of reputation and event flow that I feel would make the cost worth it.

1. A free arcade will allow Fanime to update its game selection - Aside from the Terminator shooter and Jubeat, Fanime has little to offer the modern arcade fan in addition it's current selection of Benami games are outdated and anemic. Japanese music games and anime cons go well together like cat ears and maid outfits as many fans of those games frequent anime cons. Free play will allow arcade provides to bring newer machines as they're no longer worried about turning profits given the cost of operation is paid upfront.

2. Free play will help Fanime catch up to other - From Momocon to MAGFest and Colossalcon, anime conventions around the US are switching to freeplay arcades. This trend has not happened in California with many of their anime cons forgoing arcades completely. To my knowledge only Fanime and Anime Expo have arcade machines and both are paid. By switching to free play, Fanime will be ushering California conventions to the mainstream and will be the first anime con in the entire state to do so!

3. The demand for arcade machines is building up - Round One's success in both San Jose and Concord is proof that people are willing to visit arcades. Meanwhile popular franchises such as DDR and Pump it UP have released new machines that are less than a year old. Arcade companies are making a comeback and people are coming back to arcades. A free play arcade is going to be well attended and well appreciated.

4. A free play arcade will naturally draw in more people than a paid arcade - Now this sounds like a no brainier. It is obvious that people are more likely to play a machine if they don't have to put money inside of it but let's look to why this benefits Fanime. It's a simple equation, the more people in the Fanime arcade means the less people walking the halls of Fanime. What this means is that during peak hours the amount of foot traffic around Fanime will be reduced making it much easier to traverse the convention hall.

5. Sales at late night refreshment stands with go up - When you got an arcade open 24 hours that more people will be attending at and staying then many of these players are going to need something to eat and drink. This goes double for anyone playing dance games as they'll be working up a sweat and burning calories like mad. Now I'm not saying that Fanime will make up the cost but just wanted to bring this point up as to show that there are some financial gains to be had.

6. With fanime's next theme set for "gaming" it would be an embarrassment to the convention's reputation if we pushed a gamer theme but present an old paid to play arcade - I talked about already but wanted to reiterate it here. Fanime's arcade selection and business practices are becoming a thing of the past. The gamer theme will put the arcade under stricter scrutiny for attendees and critics. Let push the arcade into the future and make it Fanime's gaming crown jewel as opposed to a faded side act.

7. The free to play arcade will give Fanime's night life the shot in the arm it needs - So I love late night Fanime however even I will admit that if the late night panels don't peak your interest and you're not into room parties then things look sparse. Well the arcade gives you one more thing to do and a lot more machines to play. Fanime has been criticized for its lack of late night activities and this would be a great step in the right direction that does not involve the consumption of alcohol.

8. There will be way last time post con calculating profits - I can only imagine how difficult it is for OCE to count up quarters, hall around loose bills and then for them and Fanime to fill out the appropriate paperwork in order to properly split the profits. Sure Fanime will be paying for these machines but its a one and done deal and all arcade staff has to worry about is simply maintain the machines as opposed to trying to turn a profit. It will be a more relaxing experience for all parties involved.

9. More opportunity for tournaments - Oh Fanime has the staple of smash tournaments and some dance games but how about tournaments using Point blank or Initial D. More machines means we can have more opportunities for events. Again, this will be a great time for us to really turn the theme of gamers from window dressing  to actually embodying the convention.

It's a lot to ask for Fanime in order to switch it's arcade over. I'm not asking this just so I can play a few machines without dropping quarters. I'm asking for this as I believe this will make for a better Fanime for everyone.

While diversity in the arcade would be nice...you have to remember a couple of things:

(1) A lot of the Japanese cabs are privately owned and rented by OCE.  This also ties to the next point that: while new games come out, what makes you think it would be worth it for an owner or company not to have it in a Round One or D&B instead of FanimeCon?

(2) As a union venue and one that charges for everyhting, the cost of power must be incredible and while people talk about profit (which maybe OCE does), it's hard to think that FanimeCon makes enough to pay for power, OCE Services, etc.  and turn a significant profit.

(3) If it was my cab, I wouldn't want any food or drinks near it.  The late night crowd also has individuals that are intoxicated and more likely to abuse the machines (that's a lot of risk and loss to consider).  I remember seeing a post that must've been deleted about the con and it's vendor, but one thing is for certain, if AX doesn't do a freeplay arcade either, there must be a reason it doesn't work for animecons.  not to be a troll, but "FanimeCon and AnimeExpo are not mainstream"? ...really?

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)

(Note to a few others ;) I can go back an edit my original reply/post too ;] )

I'd have to say that the generalizations and the verbal stabs at the staff is the very reason why i quit staffing and think my roommate is wasting his time, effort, and money.  Attendees aren't happy enough, making the staff think they wasted their effort (whether good or bad), that whatever they did do isn't worth sh-t.  While doing that they either never realized  understood the concept of what "by fans for fans" means and why "join the staff" means something different than how it's interpreted.  Sure there are problems with organization and communication, but the comments about how the con is worthless if you can't ghost, just goes to show that your unappreciative comments help demonstrate that perhaps nobody should even bother volunteering to put on Fanime.  Nina Star 9 comments encapsulate the extent of what the staff has to be organized to do (like run one of the only 24 hour anime conventions) yet demonstrates that there are a good number of people who don't appreciate their efforts or sacrifice.   What I gather from your comments is that you think people should just rent out a hotel (to party) and say "f--k the con".  What do I have planned that weekend? going to above and beyond 2 nights..playing video games, and having a good time instead of worrying about a bunch of trolls.  Thanks to the many wonderful comments backing up my stance I'll get to laugh at my tired and haggard roommate when he gets back and ask "why'd you even bother? does anybody think you did a good job or care? obviously a lot of people thought it was cool, but the only people providing feedback (on here) think you're crap." 

What I hate seeing on here is when people continually rant about how come fanime isn't telling us who is coming instead of just pegging the feedback email from multiple people with that suggestion/feedback.  Also, if you were already going, how much of a difference does several months versus a month ahead make...and let's borrow from my other thread:

Say fanime announced that they booked guest x 2 months ahead, then 1 month before that guest said they changed their mind and wanted 50k more to show up, would you want the con to pay 50k more because they already told you, not pay any money and have you b-tch about false advertising, have them stand firm and then the artist plays 1 or 2 songs or merely poses and sticks his tongue out...?  What if they told you 50 guests, then say AX said hey that's a good idea and offers them more money to only go to AX rather than Fanime would you blame AX, the artist, or Fanime...Obviously the convention you paid money for that didn't end up with the guest you bought a ticket for. OR in order to acomodate that 50k increase, fanime started charging an extra $50 to 100 per ticket to musicfest so they could guarantee that guest. 

Cutiebunny says "Seriously.  Fanime isn't the only game in town."  Totally agree...that's why you don't have to go.

Going back to Nina Star 9's comment "Maybe the anti-ghosting initiative will help things out some? Not in terms of keeping out ghosters, but in terms of people realizing that this con doesn't have much to offer besides the things that you don't need badges for (room parties, etc.) or otherwise caring more about the content there is, so there will be backlash that causes the con to reconsider its priorities and maybe fix some things in order to retain those customers."  Thanks for agreeing that the staff is wasting their time and effort.  Let's not ever have Fanime again. ;)

Wait are you disagreeing with me? I dont know but the way your post is structured seems to be indicating that is the case, even though I agree with you and I think my posts agrees with you as well.

LOL, nope,  you're right... we are in complete agreement.

just explaining it further....like to add the clarify the money factor:

considering a bulk price (at 5+) of $49/500 with a daily need of ~40k at a cost of $3920 Plus tax/shipping (couple hundred), I fail to see the beneift of spending $16k on something that isn't effective...that could probably pay for 2 guests of honors...

You unintentionally proved all my points.

In the basics of convention financing, you have upfront costs and deferred costs.
Things like facilities have an upfront deposit and currently, artists require 50 to 100% payment prior to the event.
Meaning the PreCon money you have needs to cover these things and recapture methods like ticket sales cover the deferred costs.
How much of your badge money goes to those events that you'd have to spend extra money for rather than those you can attend? 

This unfortunately demonstrates that you need to steal from Peter to pay Paul so that Paul can earn you enough to cover Peter.

Let's take AX's awful financial dispostion of "Spend now, Pray Later (that the ticketed events will get us some money)", isn't the point that should be made actually: "you are spending beyond your means, let's steal from the general con money, leverage off of it, and increase the money we had to spend"... Let's look at this..at AX, staff rooms and meals are free (fanime does not cover this for their staff).

As someone in both the trade show and entertainment industry I agree with every one of your reasons, but point out that those are the same reasons I feel that it is wrong.

(1) Peacemealing: if say 10% of money went to the event I could freely attend to and say 5% went to the bigger event sure, I understand the overall return on the marketing aspect of a big artist.  However if 60%+ of the money goes to special attractions (like at AX) and less than half of the money I put in goes to events I get to attend without spending more money, I feel cheated.
(2) Not convention Sponsored: if it's not part of the con, it's not part of the con, however you go on to talk about using sponsors.  In that case let's pick something like Crunchyroll and Porter Robinson with production costs that had to exceed $150k.  How much did crunchyroll put down vs ax in terms of reserving the venue and when tickets sales didn't cover the cost, who ate it?  Even if crunchyroll did (now I know why I decided not to continue my subscription), what about the other sponsored ticketed events.  If an event doesn't sell enough to cover costs, who pays for it?
(3) Expenses exceed the viability of expanding the price for everyone: I read this 1 of 2 ways...#1 is you are taking a portion of my money...gambling (not investing) it on an artist increasing revenue in order to pay things that benefit you and your staff rather than the attendees...or #2 you are taking my money....gambling it on an artist for a return to cover con expenses...(not my AX Finance criticism).
(4) Reducing demand by increasing price: Great so you're taxing me so that people with more money can feel elite.  Honestly, that's crap.

Perhaps I am out of touch and people are that childish and shallow that they'd rather be like AX in this conversation:
"Fanime was great, I saw Back-On"
"AX was better they had wagaki band, porter robinson, Momoro CloverZ, and KISS!"
"Did you see them?"
"No i couldn't afford the tickets, but ax was better because they were there!"
"... {FP} I heard Gene only stuck his tongue out at the attendees..."

I am not a staffer, but my roommate is.  Everytime I read these forum posts of trolls and complaints and think about how much time he invested and put into FanimeCon it makes me mad.  Frankly, I think he's wasting his time, because the people that go don't appreciate it and they never have anything good to say.  If you have a problem, join the staff.  I did and then I realized I should've just kept my mouth shut.  Then again someone might say "I think there is something wrong, but I can't do better or want to do better, but I'm a paying customer".  While this might be true, think about those who are putting in the time instead of you. (BY FANS FOR FANS) meaning that they are fellow attendees that have given up their time to try and do something and as a FAN for others.  Being involved with trade shows, I can see where they might have difficulty obtaining or maintaining talent that volunteers their time.  For example, if a sponsor liaison/fundraiser or marcom specialist might be making 80 to 150k doing that job, why would they do it for free at Fanime.  If Fanime paid someone to organize their event, wouldn't that reduce the pool of money for the charity causes and most importantly, reduce the events/attractions offered.  Then in another post, someone suggest this as a reason to charge for tickets...oh yeah I pay $55 for the right to pay $10 bucks to enter a dealers hall and spend more money, or the right to buy a concert ticket for another $100.  That's laughable.  My own 2 cents, even though it's slow in coming, I'd rather get accurate information than wrong information.  I go to Fanime for Fanime first.  If the guests meant that much to me, I'd just hold off buying a ticket till I saw something I wanted to go to.

I've attended more cons this year with my roommate and I have to point out when it comes to hotels, this year has got to be the worst in history for the relationship between anime cons, the housing liaisons, and hotels.  In my day job, I'm able to get much better deals than an anime convention ever could just based on what's gone on elsewhere.  Don't know this for sure since my roommate didn't know anything, but I wouldn't be surprised if the delay for the hotel announcement was based on Fanime had to renegotiate their deal as a result of other con fiascos (AX 2015 in the JW, Touhoucon and Akibaexpo in the Anaheim Hilton, Katsucon....)  You can already see an impact in terms of the changes in the housing policy, early charge, larger deposits, etc.

Someone wrote: "Love all the insider info about the departments, so thank you, AngelWings. It seems to be pretty much exactly as I imagined on the inside. I'm in agreement that there needs to be a way for communication to get to all the people who need it -- a social media liaison who can either address issues or direct them to the right place is a good place to start, but there also needs to be someone on the inside who can help departments talk to each other and get communication across lines."

This position and department already exists.

Someone wrote: "I  think that bringing in an outside group to organize things and keep everything on track is a good idea, and it's certainly getting to that point. I think that I'd like to see a staff position that's basically the town crier be created first -- someone who can run between departments to make sure everything is running smoothly, that can help departments stay on top of their deadlines, and can help direct questions that arise on social media to the correct department. Someone with high-level access to information, who knows when and where to reveal and withhold information, but no actual power, just a communications lubricant. Hell, I'd volunteer for this myself if I wasn't busy with grad school."

...yeah and badges go up 200%...and besides isn't that what ARG vs Fanime actually is.  I think one of the things you included in your statement is the idea of turning volunteer positions into uncompensated jobs.  You are obviously a contributing factor as to why I told my roommate to screw off when he asked me if I wanted to staff.

Misamo wrote "Just thought about this when I was looking through the forums:  To make things easier I think that 18+ attendees should have a different color wristband or something like that to make it easier for the panels younger ones aren't supposed to get into.  Just a suggestion that may make things a bit easier on everyone!"

TC_X0_Lt_0X wrote "Im not sure if there is a viable means to verify an age though. If memory serves correctly, in registration you can just put any age effectively, and the age entry is a age range even. I suppose verification can be done at badge pickup, but that might slow it down a bit and cause conflict, especially with group registration where most of the group wont be around to verify their ages. I think most importantly though, if you are going to mark age on badges, there might be an expectation that a badge marked for a certain age can be used in place of showing ID, and with that there could be an issue with people trading their badges to underage congoers. And if thats not allowed, then Im sure a lot of people are going to be wondering why it is being implemented at all."

and I write:

This is ridiculous.  The bottleneck caused in registration would be horrendous!  This would effectively remove any benefit of group pickups.  The wristband or different badge is not effective.  People already share badges and can swap wristbands.  If a minor has an adult badge goes into Hentai, think of the repurcusions.
Criminal charges could be pressed (and someone will go to jail).
The con could be sued.
This jeapordizes not only the attraction, but the event (con) itself.


Say somebody decides to hook up with someone that has an adult badge, but is a minor.  The person is then in trouble by making the wrong assumption that they were old enough, and it possibly places the con in a precarious legal position.
The alternative? People wearing their government issued ID <- This is illegal, an invasion of privacy, and goes against the principals of the promoting safety.

What's the point in announcing a guest then cancelling them or announcing that they cancel later?
I've gone to other conventions based on guests, the guest cancel, I don't get my refund and get stuck going....
You are either IN or OUT...and if you definitely need to see who's coming, wait...  if you are worried about booking a hotel, then realistically you were already in.

Haven't you noticed, one convention might announce a guest, then the anime convention right around the corner (*cough* or somewhere else in the state) books that guest right out from under the original con...?

General Convention Discussion / Re: At Con Luggage Check?
« on: March 16, 2016, 06:57:28 PM »
FanStorage is located in the Hilton Market Room not in the Marriott...
They charge per item.

not an official answer

Respect other people’s personal space." Those three sentences are it. I don't know what exact wording and implementation are the best fit for Fanime specifically, but the brevity and vagueness of the existing policy is a cause for concern.
I disagree!
How many people read the code of conduct thoroughly?  Blasting a meme like "Cosplay is not consent" doesn't do much more justice then repeatedly saying "don't drink and drive".  The messaging has already been put out there and those who don't take it seriously are still going to do it.  The vagueness gives the convention lots of leeway in it's interpretation and when it comes to protecting everyone.  As an attendee, I feel more comfortable knowing that if someone has made me feel uncomfortable for any reason I can bring it to a Rover's attention. If you are concerned that it's not specific enough, perhaps you are engaging in questionable actions...

I see lots of people post that they wouldn't mind paying extra money for event tickets if a bigger guest was acquired through it, but that's what's wrong with a lot of the other conventions these days. 

I don't want to see any of my badge/membership fee go to that event if I have to wait in line (and possibly not get a ticket) for an opportunity to buy a ticket to something I've already paid into.  It's become so common at AX and other conventions that people think it's ok.  Especially when a "sponsor" has brought in a big guest, and then you as an attendee have an opportunity to help pay them back (in essence paying them to advertise to you) instead of scratching your head asking "why did any of my money go to it if I am asked to pay more for it?" 

I can understand the basic badge cost helps pay for all the convention basic events and activities.  One of the things I love about FanimeCon is the fact that I can choose whether or not I wait in line to attend or participate in any of these options.  I think it's wrong to have people pay for an opportunity (like a concert) that only those who can afford to pay extra money for the ticket can go to.

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