FanimeCon 2019 Forums

Things of a serious nature => Serious Business => Topic started by: citrus on March 09, 2015, 08:02:23 PM

Title: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: citrus on March 09, 2015, 08:02:23 PM
I've been going to Fanimecon for 2007 and always had an immensely good time. But ever since 2011 the convention has being bringing me mostly disappointment after disappointment. And even though it's 2015 and the convention hasn't even STARTED. I'm already becoming disappointed with the results. This is the second time the hotel registration site crashed and its even worse then last time. Not only that, in my opinion most of the guest roster for 2014 was absolutely TERRIBLE compared to the previous years. It was almost as bad as the 2012 guest roster. Possibly even worse.

The only saving grace fanimecon had during 2014 was their musicfest. I was incredibly disappointed with the first act. I found it to be extremely cheap and it's someone you would see at a much smaller convention. And overall disappointing. Trust me I was not the only one who was disappointed. I literally heard at least one person booing the first act. Which has NEVER happened in any of the previous musicfests. If someone's booing then it's clear fanime is doing something wrong! But thank god Home Made Kazoku made everything up for it.

I might as well also give my small feedback about fanime 2014 since no one had made a proper forum for it.

Pros: - the main act of musicfest

- The vendor hall and much more organized and what looks like an even bigger artist alley

- They FINALLY fixed the registration line!

And... that's pretty much it.

Cons: programming for the first day SUCKS! I was so bored and I had nothing to do most of the time. So all I did was shop at the vendor hall and artist alley. But oh wait! That probably benefited fanime since I'm spend A LOT of money there! Because of how bored I was. I think that effected me spending more compulsively then usual...

- This was probably fanime's 2nd worst musicfest yet. And I say 2nd because at least they had a super amazing act. in the 2012 one, fanime pulled a giant middle finger towards everyone and even lied to their fans.

- Like I said in the top. The guest roster was terrible and we got some guests NOBODY cared for or even heard of.

- The effort it took to get a hotel.

And so this brings up to my point and the original topic I was going to discuss. I apologized if I rant but I felt like I had to get it out of my system.

And so my question to all of you is. Is Fanimecon even worth going to anymore? I've been going for so many years now but I feel I should just cross fanime off my list and find another convention that has a better guest roster and OVERALL more organized and better overall. For example one forum member from another convention website that he/she was so dissapointed  that he/she flew all the away to North Carolina for animazement and was not the only one. Quite a few fanimecon attendees did the same. And I might as well start doing the same. What do you guys think? is the convention worth going to? Or should I take my business elsewhere. If yes it's not worth going to. What other conventions do you recommend going?
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Imperial on March 10, 2015, 10:30:08 AM
Some points you made are true, some, not so much.

On Hotel site: For me, It didnt crash this year. It was strained, but it did not crash to the point of not working for several hours as of past years. I Stress tested it after initial rush, and I didn't crash it then as well with it being hit with 5k browsers hitting it at the same time. practical. But in general, It will always be easier to get a hotel for next fanime During the current fanime. We kinda are stuck at the convention center, as its the largest venue in the bay area, and the hotels are already strained from other local things at the time.

On guest Roster/music guests: 2 years ago had a pretty good roster IMO, last year I was too busy running from gathering to gathering to sit down and go to see them, so again, I cant Testify to whether or not they were good. Although, they were really late in getting them last year, so there is that. Apparently from the meetings, Guest are already "set" as of feburary for this con, they just will announce them later. Its one thing I have hammered in at staff meetings and other staff things, if we want guest fans request, we need to get them by January as most are planned by then now in days...because we are in the hunt with many other cons for limited time. That, and people who were vocal last year on guest they wanted, got what they wanted. If you want someone, SAY SOMETHING, and SAY IT EARLY. all is fair in the game, so long as your starting in it.

on Feedback: http://forums.fanime.com/index.php/board,27.0.html is where I went for seeing Feedback, and again, starting early is a good thing on giving feedback, allows us to make sure that we see it, take note, and improve. This post is REALLY late in the game for this year. Plus, I believe they sent out an email requesting feedback, but don't quote me here.

On day 1 programing: in a way, its meant to be an appetizer for the rest of con, due to the fact that the biggest surge of people come Sat. & Sun. I can't stress that there is more than just panels at fanime, and the major reason I keep going is the gatherings. How much time and effort are put into these cosplays are just amazing, and just going to see one of an anime you have never seen might get you to see it. I picked up Touhou, KLK, Kuroshitsuji, SMT, and so much just from going to the gatherings. Don't feel like your bound to only going panels/Day 1 programming. Sometimes just exploring the town can make Con even more fun.

Your ending statement: The feedback I have seen of last fanime was 90% positive, praises all around, there was somewhat an exodus 2 years ago because of linecon, and I understand that. But last year actually was pretty great IMO, minus some bullpucky that happened (nother story, nother time). This year, I know we have more vendors coming, and the gatherings are just blooming. I dont know anything on the panels yet, nor the guest as thats pretty shut right now. Honestly, I believe Fanime had a downtime with the construction, and without it now, It is worth going to. To a degree, it still is made by the fans, for the fans. Its your money however, and I can't spend it. Anime North is the same time, and from friends its sliding downwards, thats all i know of cons at the same time slot.

Although, reading through this, I realized I am more weighted towards cosplay than general con events, so take it with a grain of salt. TBH, cosplay is why I go to cons, help cons get started locally, and develop from what I can to make the con better. Guess I got addicted ever since I took the picture of a first time cosplayer exclusively, and the smile on her face was wider than the river Nile.

In the end, Go on what you think is worth going to.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: echoshadow on March 10, 2015, 08:46:08 PM
I can see where your coming from, I felt that way the last few years too.
One thing that seem to make sense is that just because Fanime is now a huge con, it's still not a  major con like AX or Otakon. It's really just a 2 day con spread out to cover 4 days. That's Fanime in a nut shell.

Fanime is the biggest hangout con there is. You really can't expect huge voice actor/industry guest, music guest, or anime premiers. I guess that's why a lot of people expect big names for a con this size. If all you want to do is look,be in, take pic of cosplays then that's Fanime's main dish. But if cosplay is just on day of Fanime then the rest is kind of meh.

I agree with you on the programing last year. There was not much to go around. Unless you love fan panels. Which are fine and fun, but two or there homestuck/MLP panels a day, it kind of feels like there are filling in time. Makes you think why the official schedule has been released 2-3 prior to the start of the con, for the last 4 years. 

Not sure what else is out there, but for me Fanime is financially cheaper than going out of state. Unless Fanime is the only con you go to, I would try to make some out of state cons. I would never make Fanime my only con I go to. Not really worth it, what I get out of it. 

I guess what it comes down to is this: don't expect huge names coming to Fanime. Instead expect a hangout con with little interesting programing. Explore the city, eat out, sure beats walking around the con ten times in order kill time. If you come with this mind set then your experience would be better.

@tjimmy2 As for the hotel booking going live... Yeah it crashed within 3 minutes. I guess you where not on FB/twitter/forums to read 1000+ people saying it crashed. Or where smoking some good stuff. It's been that crappy the last 4 years. Not sure why you would even say it worked this year, let alone in years past.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Sunara Ishi on March 13, 2015, 12:58:21 AM
Fanime is the biggest hangout con there is. You really can't expect huge voice actor/industry guest, music guest, or anime premiers. I guess that's why a lot of people expect big names for a con this size. If all you want to do is look,be in, take pic of cosplays then that's Fanime's main dish. But if cosplay is just on day of Fanime then the rest is kind of meh.

I agree with you on the programing last year. There was not much to go around. Unless you love fan panels. Which are fine and fun, but two or there homestuck/MLP panels a day, it kind of feels like there are filling in time. Makes you think why the official schedule has been released 2-3 prior to the start of the con, for the last 4 years. 
Actually, they had some awesome music guests, voice actors, mangaka, etc. in the years past. (I've been attending for about 12 years...) They can get them but it requires a lot of outreach. And it is probably harder now with so many more conventions competing. Though my biggest issue with the past few years was that they were promoting more American industry versus Japanese industry. And the behavior of their fans does impact who they can get. (such as the booing Citrus mentioned. )

Programming can be a hit and miss. And it really requires input from the fans. What they want, etc. Day 1 used to be dead because everyone used to be checking into their hotels, stuck in reg, or at school. And the big events have always been on the weekends. Now that reg. is shorter, maybe they can do more?

I believe a lot of the late schedule release issues actually had to do with guests and guest panels & autograph sessions.

@citrus: Whether it is worth going to is really up to you.
You could find a facet of the con that you enjoy (artist alley, cosplay, etc. ) or join staff to try to make it better/ how you'd like it.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Kuudere on March 13, 2015, 10:54:00 AM
The real question you should be asking is if it's worth going to Fanime to you. If you feel your points are valid and justified, then perhaps it is best to forgo Fanime for you. You don't need our approval or agreement to determine what's best for you. Your opinion alone should be what matters in that decision, since it's you who is spending money to attend these conventions. The following is only my response to your listed concerns, which hopefully help to explain some of these things from a different perspective.

Disclaimer: I am not staff, nor have I worked for any convention aside from a small, local con, so consider the following information to be mostly casual research done by an outsider, rather than someone with inside knowledge in the structure of Fanime and other cons.

Fanime, as it states in its slogan, is "by fans, for fans." This is actually a big deal, considering some of the largest cons are basically run by organizations and corporations these days. Which, while that gives those conventions more power in the guest relations department, it can also take away a lot of control from the people who attend the event. Fanime has the advantage that they can listen to their attendees, because they don't have bigger organizations as their primary interest. They're fan-focused.

"Well, they don't do a good job in giving us what we want," you may be thinking. There are several comments I'd like to make to that, primarily that you're not going to like everyone they get. That's a fact. They cannot please everyone. But for every time you hate a guest they chose, there are at least several dozen that genuinely enjoy that guest choice. One of the biggest complaints are when cons go with American VAs over Japanese VAs. Sure, those might not appeal to older fans who are die-hard sub watchers, but have you noticed that conventions are tending to draw younger crowds? I won't speak for every young person, but I know that many of them are exposed to anime through American programming, which is by-far dubbed. Same-day dubbing is actually revolutionizing the industry and making the same shows you watch available to all types of viewers. American VAs are what they know. These guests are a big deal to them.  I don't think it's fair to focus solely on the older crowd (and by older, I don't just mean age, I mean time spent in the anime fandom) when it comes to determining guests, especially when our guest choices are much more expensive and difficult to bring.

Second, they have designated places that they encourage you to request the guest you want to appear (and they actually monitor and keep record of the suggestions). I don't see where that option exists for Anime Expo. Unfortunately, I don't see enough people take advantage of that offer, or if they do, they request guests in February when it's really late to be securing guests. Perhaps staff can make more of an effort to promote that option to people early on in the planning stages. Anyway, they at least make an effort to find out what guests that their attendees are interested in.


As others have stated, the main programming is reserved mostly for Saturday and Sunday, as those are the days with highest attendee count. Many people are in school or they work during the week, so it wouldn't make sense to put the biggest events on a Friday when many can't even attend. And with 24-hour schedules (which not every convention has), it's impossible to pack things that are relevant to every attendee in every hour.

There are a lot of things that this convention offers outside of Japanese guests. It is in a fantastic location, surrounded by hotels within walking distance and close to a large variety of food sources. There are excellent places for photoshoots for cosplayers and photographers. I've heard from many people that Fanime is pretty well-known for having excellent cosplayers attend. It's not extremely overcrowded. 24-hour programming. A wonderful artist alley and a huge dealer's hall. Typically great weather. Attention given to attendees. It actually had an enviable line-control system last year (heard from plenty of people who went to other cons that they wished that those cons were more like Fanime in that respect).

And hey, they even get some amazing guests to come to the US for the first time (and come back, like FLOW did, meaning the guests enjoy the experience as well). Those are just some great perks that Fanime has to offer.

I absolutely agree on the housing website mess, though. I think Fanime has long outgrown the services they get from CMR and either need to upgrade, if possible, or move to another provider. Whatever servers they're currently using are way below what is necessary to accommodate the amount of traffic the site now gets. Also, I'm hoping that they eventually roll-out the badge-before-hotel system they've been trying to implement (maybe badge-buyers get access to a unique code that gives them access to the hotel page before it's open to the general public, and there's a limit to how many rooms can be reserved under that code? I don't know.)

Those heading the convention this year are different from the previous few years, so I'm kind of excited to see what changes happen. So far, the website (a huge complaint that I, and many others, had last year) is revealed around the time it used to be revealed years ago (yay!). They've been a bit more transparent on progress than in the past, in my opinion. So other than the hotel problems, I think that these point to a promising year.

So, if, knowing this information, you are still not happy with the direction that Fanime has taken, then I think it would be a good idea to see what other conventions are a better fit for you. If it's Japanese guests you like, AX tends to do well with that because they've got connections and the budget. People talk positively about ColossalCon in Ohio, but that's less because of the guest list and more because it's hosted in a giant indoor waterpark. There's also ACen in Chicago and Otakon, which are both popular conventions.

Sorry for the wall of text.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: commisar_maticus on March 14, 2015, 07:30:55 PM
I first attended Fanime  in 2004 also same year i started staffing info desk. It wasn't till 2009 when i took position as a second that i really started to pay attention to the inner workings of the con. In 2009 we had about 15k attendees, this last year we nearly doubled that. Pleasing every one can be hard. Expand your horizons if it is some one you have never heard of. Before 2013 I'd never heard of Steam Powered Giraffe, now i can't get enough.

 As Kuudere said
Quote
Fanime, as it states in its slogan, is "by fans, for fans." This is actually a big deal, considering some of the largest cons are basically run by organizations and corporations these days. Which, while that gives those conventions more power in the guest relations department, it can also take away a lot of control from the people who attend the event. Fanime has the advantage that they can listen to their attendees, because they don't have bigger organizations as their primary interest. They're fan-focused.

Last year we had a little more then 1,000 staffers for the planning and running of the con. We get some ok perks for being on staff but for the most part we do this because we want to. Pretty much all the money we get from the previous con goes into next year. From my understandings of guests for other conventions is that the convention pays them to come out or their company is paying them. Here I am unsure how much we give them but its has a lot more with them wanting to be here.

A lot of stuff I buy at Fanime i could probably buy from online. I go for the memories i make at con. Like in 2005 me and my friend maushed so hard at the ZZ  concert  we could barley walk back to our hotel rooms.

If you are still  feeling disappointed even with our answers take a break from fanime check out another venue to see the difference between a fan convention and a corporate one.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Glitch on March 15, 2015, 11:37:59 PM
The real question you should be asking is if it's worth going to Fanime to you. If you feel your points are valid and justified, then perhaps it is best to forgo Fanime for you. You don't need our approval or agreement to determine what's best for you. Your opinion alone should be what matters in that decision, since it's you who is spending money to attend these conventions. The following is only my response to your listed concerns, which hopefully help to explain some of these things from a different perspective.

Disclaimer: I am not staff, nor have I worked for any convention aside from a small, local con, so consider the following information to be mostly casual research done by an outsider, rather than someone with inside knowledge in the structure of Fanime and other cons.

Fanime, as it states in its slogan, is "by fans, for fans." This is actually a big deal, considering some of the largest cons are basically run by organizations and corporations these days. Which, while that gives those conventions more power in the guest relations department, it can also take away a lot of control from the people who attend the event. Fanime has the advantage that they can listen to their attendees, because they don't have bigger organizations as their primary interest. They're fan-focused.

"Well, they don't do a good job in giving us what we want," you may be thinking. There are several comments I'd like to make to that, primarily that you're not going to like everyone they get. That's a fact. They cannot please everyone. But for every time you hate a guest they chose, there are at least several dozen that genuinely enjoy that guest choice. One of the biggest complaints are when cons go with American VAs over Japanese VAs. Sure, those might not appeal to older fans who are die-hard sub watchers, but have you noticed that conventions are tending to draw younger crowds? I won't speak for every young person, but I know that many of them are exposed to anime through American programming, which is by-far dubbed. Same-day dubbing is actually revolutionizing the industry and making the same shows you watch available to all types of viewers. American VAs are what they know. These guests are a big deal to them.  I don't think it's fair to focus solely on the older crowd (and by older, I don't just mean age, I mean time spent in the anime fandom) when it comes to determining guests, especially when our guest choices are much more expensive and difficult to bring.

Second, they have designated places that they encourage you to request the guest you want to appear (and they actually monitor and keep record of the suggestions). I don't see where that option exists for Anime Expo. Unfortunately, I don't see enough people take advantage of that offer, or if they do, they request guests in February when it's really late to be securing guests. Perhaps staff can make more of an effort to promote that option to people early on in the planning stages. Anyway, they at least make an effort to find out what guests that their attendees are interested in.


As others have stated, the main programming is reserved mostly for Saturday and Sunday, as those are the days with highest attendee count. Many people are in school or they work during the week, so it wouldn't make sense to put the biggest events on a Friday when many can't even attend. And with 24-hour schedules (which not every convention has), it's impossible to pack things that are relevant to every attendee in every hour.

There are a lot of things that this convention offers outside of Japanese guests. It is in a fantastic location, surrounded by hotels within walking distance and close to a large variety of food sources. There are excellent places for photoshoots for cosplayers and photographers. I've heard from many people that Fanime is pretty well-known for having excellent cosplayers attend. It's not extremely overcrowded. 24-hour programming. A wonderful artist alley and a huge dealer's hall. Typically great weather. Attention given to attendees. It actually had an enviable line-control system last year (heard from plenty of people who went to other cons that they wished that those cons were more like Fanime in that respect).

And hey, they even get some amazing guests to come to the US for the first time (and come back, like FLOW did, meaning the guests enjoy the experience as well). Those are just some great perks that Fanime has to offer.

I absolutely agree on the housing website mess, though. I think Fanime has long outgrown the services they get from CMR and either need to upgrade, if possible, or move to another provider. Whatever servers they're currently using are way below what is necessary to accommodate the amount of traffic the site now gets. Also, I'm hoping that they eventually roll-out the badge-before-hotel system they've been trying to implement (maybe badge-buyers get access to a unique code that gives them access to the hotel page before it's open to the general public, and there's a limit to how many rooms can be reserved under that code? I don't know.)

Those heading the convention this year are different from the previous few years, so I'm kind of excited to see what changes happen. So far, the website (a huge complaint that I, and many others, had last year) is revealed around the time it used to be revealed years ago (yay!). They've been a bit more transparent on progress than in the past, in my opinion. So other than the hotel problems, I think that these point to a promising year.

So, if, knowing this information, you are still not happy with the direction that Fanime has taken, then I think it would be a good idea to see what other conventions are a better fit for you. If it's Japanese guests you like, AX tends to do well with that because they've got connections and the budget. People talk positively about ColossalCon in Ohio, but that's less because of the guest list and more because it's hosted in a giant indoor waterpark. There's also ACen in Chicago and Otakon, which are both popular conventions.

Sorry for the wall of text.

Pretty much that. I was gonna mention the part of new chair myself. Things seem to be moving much faster and smoother in the lead up to this Fanime. Most of us were caught off guard by how early hotel registration came at us. All of a sudden it was like earlier years of Fanime.
This year is at least worth a look for the reason of change in the con.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: CatToy on March 16, 2015, 12:19:23 AM
Fanime, as it states in its slogan, is "by fans, for fans." This is actually a big deal, considering some of the largest cons are basically run by organizations and corporations these days. Which, while that gives those conventions more power in the guest relations department, it can also take away a lot of control from the people who attend the event. Fanime has the advantage that they can listen to their attendees, because they don't have bigger organizations as their primary interest. They're fan-focused.

Fanime is run by a corporation, too. They really hate advertising it though. You won't see any mention of the organization that runs Fanime on their own website. Any distinction anyone draws between Fanime being a fan-run event and other cons being "Corporate" events is purely cosmetic and more than a little misleading.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: cutiebunny on March 16, 2015, 02:43:04 AM
^ And that's pretty much it, in a nutshell.  If I recall correctly, Fanime is a 501(c)(6) organization, meaning that it's in the same category as the NFL when it comes to making a profit.  Fanime is also the only con where I see staff getting such perks as swamping a guest with their own requests to the point that the attendees who bought their passes ended up getting screwed so staff could walk away with nice sketches.  When Kia Asamiya was at Fanime in 2012, the autograph session started half an hour late because staff was busy having him draw what they wanted first.  I go to a lot of cons nationwide, and while it's common for staff to have a separate autograph session at a separate time, Fanime is the only con where they will delay the official autograph session to attend to staff requests first.

Like the OP mentioned, I'm one of *those* people that, despite living near Fanime, have dropped it altogether for Animazement. I can vouch that there are several former Fanime attendees at Animazement (AZ). I used to be a loyal Fanime attendee until the debacle of 2012.  I could deal with the long reg lines, but what I couldn't deal with was the increasingly crappy guest list.  i also don't like how Fanime usually doesn't announce their guests until a couple weeks prior to the event.  And while I understand that it depends on contracts and that things aren't announced until the ink is dry, I fail to see how every other similarly sized con can announce guests months in advance.  Take a look at Animazement's guest list right now and compare it to Fanime. 

The thing is, I want to come back to Fanime.  I want a guest list similar to 2011 and several previous years.  While I love North Carolina dearly, I'm tired of having to fly there for a decent con experience.  I want to be able to enjoy a good musical group and good artistic guests.  And while, with exception to 2013, Fanime does get solid music guests, their animation guests have been poor in comparison to Animazement.  I end up choosing between music or animation every year, and every year, animation wins out.  But until Fanime can bring in top notch animators AND announce them at least a month prior to the event, I'm going to choose Animazement every single time.

OP, you wanted to know if it's worth leaving Fanime.  In addition to "most bang for your buck", you need to consider travel costs as well.  Airfare to Animazement will run you at around $600 (hurray for Memorial being the start of summer prices!) and a nearby hotel for four nights is about $500.  You can, obviously, share a room with others to lower that, but the initial investment to travel to North Carolina is not for the faint at heart.  Food prices are cheap and it's amazingly good, and the con does provide free water, so bring a bottle and fill it up.  Overall, despite the charity auction prices hitting insane levels, I'm happy enough with my Animazement experience to have gone for the past two years and will likely attend it again for a third year.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Kuudere on March 16, 2015, 10:50:34 AM
I guess you could call ARG a company that controls Fanime, but I was under the impression that Fanime was all they did, hence no outside interests to appease. Unless there's another company that I'm unaware of, it seems like they do have the freedom of acting in their attendees' interests.

I think that's some solid advice from cutiebunny regarding the cost factor. Where does money play in roles of importance to you? Because it may end up costing quite a bit to attend another convention that could be out of state. Unless there was a guest that I absolutely had to see, I couldn't see myself personally leaving the state to go to a convention.

Lucky for us that California has a good deal of conventions.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: fanimefreak on March 16, 2015, 04:21:06 PM
I think it ultimately comes down to what you get out of it.  If the guest roster and panels are the reason you go and you've felt let down in recent years then don't go.  Last year was my first fanime I have to say I was so busy being in shock and overwhelmed by what was going on that I missed a lot of programming.  But, what I found the funnest for me, was meeting new people, finding groups of people to hang out with, the raves, hotel parties, and the general laid back attitude.  To me, that was what made it.  I was in a place with like-minded people enjoying the hell out of myself.  Of course, this year I am going to try and go to more panels and events, but to me that's not what fanime means to me.  Fanime is a place for me to be myself and lose myself in my geeky-ness. 
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Erik_anderson on March 18, 2015, 01:56:29 PM
Full disclosure: I am staff and I head up the Cosplay Masquerade, however I am responding a private individual and not my role.

For tax purposes Fanime, like every other convention, fair or event is organized as a corporation, so its misleading to imply that this is the same as a for profit corporation like AX, ComicCon or Wizard.  What 'for fans by fans' means is that we volunteer our time and while some perks are rewarded generally we spend far more time and money then the benefit.  Personally I spent around $3000 last year of my own funds to host my event.

On the tax status in general, there has long been the accusation of groups using 501c6 status, however this seems unlikely because that status is used to promote business without favoritism.  You can search for the records here for yourself:

http://990finder.foundationcenter.org/990results.aspx?990_type=&fn=Animazement&st=&zp=&ei=&fy=&action=Find

On the Fanime staff/volunteers has addressed issues around the use of guests time and it is now part of the standard training that such behavior is not allowed.  Just as volunteers do not get to cut lines when not working for an event.

Personally, if you want Fanime to improve, come to the meetings and voice your concerns.  Join the convention team and make things happen.  We are very transparent and are always looking for passionate people to make it a better event.

Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: cutiebunny on March 18, 2015, 06:27:59 PM
^I take no issue with Fanime, Animazement nor any other convention being a 501(c)(6) organization.  Most of these conventions openly state that they are, with AX stating during their charity auctions that you will likely be unable to use your wins as tax deductions.  However,  Fanime is the only con that operates under the "For Fans, By Fans" tagline.  The motto is misleading; It indicates that whatever money is made by the event will be, for the most part, re-invested and used towards the following year's event.  The reality, though, is quite a bit different, with a good chunk of the profits going to pay off investors, just like every other convention run by a corporation.

If Fanime management is as transparent as you make it seem, why not simply come out and state that the convention is run and funded by a corporation?  Abolish the FFBF motto.  State that you are a 501(c)(6) in your guide book and website(s) like AX and every other con run by a corporation. As much as I complain about AX (albeit for many other reasons), I appreciate that they openly state that they're a business.  I am under no illusion when I attend AX that it is a grassroot, "buy local" type convention whereas with Fanime, I always got the impression that that's what management wanted everyone to think.

After attending several conventions around the US for years, I have found that the most effective way to get things to change is not by donating your time nor by vocalizing your preferences on forums/Facebook, but rather through money.  I am under no illusion that Fanime management gives one iota about my choice as attendance numbers have increased during my absence. As long as attendance increases and profit is made, there is no impetus for Fanime to change. 

As mentioned earlier, if Fanime wants to show that it's changing, announce your signed guests now and not early May.



Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Erik_anderson on March 19, 2015, 01:25:14 PM
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The motto is misleading; It indicates that whatever money is made by the event will be, for the most part, re-invested and used towards the following year's event.  The reality, though, is quite a bit different, with a good chunk of the profits going to pay off investors, just like every other convention run by a corporation.

You wouldn't mind pointing me to the source of this information?  While conventions can rack up debts from loans, this is no different then every other convention or event, even charity events require investors to start. 

 Organizations are required to incorporate, all organizations to be incorporated as a tax entity.  This means 'Make a Wish', PETA, Greenpeace or the American Red Cross all are organized the the same way, these are all charity organizations under the US tax code.  This does not mean its a business intended to make profits for investors.

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After attending several conventions around the US for years, I have found that the most effective way to get things to change is not by donating your time nor by vocalizing your preferences on forums/Facebook, but rather through money.


The only problem with this, vote with your feet approach is that there are so many reasons why someone switches from attending events.  This kind of economic voting only works when you are talking about two identical stores where all things being even except a key difference like quality or service.  Often time this is a post rationalization groups use to explain why something happen with incomplete information.  I still recommend asking for what you want and see what will come out of it.

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I am under no illusion that Fanime management gives one iota about my choice as attendance numbers have increased during my absence. As long as attendance increases and profit is made, there is no impetus for Fanime to change.

Actually I, and I am in management care quite a bit and would like to see what can change or grow to make it both an event you would want to attend and recommend to others.  Its why I am here having this discussion.

As for impetus, this can come from various motivations.  If it was just a profit motive like ComicCon, the focus would be on big name guests,from hot general media movies, TV shows, charging for every event and extracting value from every interaction with fans.  However Fanime's motivation is to make a convention where fans enjoy it, where its not for sale at the highest bidder. 

Now we still have to pay guests, we have to pay for the facilities to host the event, insurance and so on. These costs do not come cheep, but if the intention was to 'run it as a business', Fanime would look far different; from badge prices, selling tickets, cutting services and paying the bare minimum for content.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Kuudere on March 19, 2015, 01:51:36 PM
Thank you, Erik_anderson, for putting my sentiment in much better wording.

I don't think that Fanime operates as a for-profit organization. If it did, I think they'd be charging additional prices whenever possible (for example, many cons charge additional fees to attend their music act, whereas it comes with the price of the badge for Fanime - and that badge price is still reasonable when compared to other cons of similar size). They'd probably rake in some nice revenue from that, depending on the guest, but I don't see that happening. And they make the concert available to all attendees, not some random lottery system where scalpers can make money.

From my experience with staff, they've all been very helpful and willing to listen to suggestions I've made. They've even implemented some of the changes I've suggested. But those changes only happened because I asked... If I just refused to attend without giving any feedback and said that I'll come back when they figure out and change what I don't like, I doubt I'd ever get what I wanted.

Feedback is key to positive change, and they've vocalized their desire for that many times over the years.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Glitch on March 19, 2015, 03:15:14 PM


If Fanime management is as transparent as you make it seem, why not simply come out and state that the convention is run and funded by a corporation?  Abolish the FFBF motto.  State that you are a 501(c)(6) in your guide book and website(s) like AX and every other con run by a corporation. As much as I complain about AX (albeit for many other reasons), I appreciate that they openly state that they're a business.  I am under no illusion when I attend AX that it is a grassroot, "buy local" type convention whereas with Fanime, I always got the impression that that's what management wanted everyone to think.
Fanime has always been pretty clear that are run by the Anime Resource Group(ARG). It's been said a few times during opening ceremonies. You can even find the logo and name in the Fanime program.
Unlike AX, all of Fanime's funding from attendees. They aren't getting sponsorship from corporate backers. Fanime has to answer only to their customers(aka attendees). It's ridiculous to say they shouldn't use "For fans, by fans" just because certain individual staffers broke Fanime's rules when it comes to guests of honor.
Honestly, Ax is way more hypocritical for saying they are non-profit, when they are basically one giant puppet for several companies.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Erik_anderson on March 19, 2015, 05:03:45 PM
Not to defend AX, but its hard to think how they could have grown as fast as they have without the structure they took.  Its just very hard to get to that scale, that quickly.  While I personally have qualms about their practices, I am delighted that anime is as accessible and enjoyed as it is today.  The fact that there are so many options for peoples time and attention is something to be celebrated.

Personally I have always felt that anime conventions do better by helping each other then looking in suspicion one another.  I try to volunteer for ALA and any other convention I can because we, as fans are really in it together.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: cutiebunny on March 20, 2015, 11:05:24 PM

You wouldn't mind pointing me to the source of this information?  While conventions can rack up debts from loans, this is no different then every other convention or event, even charity events require investors to start. 

 Organizations are required to incorporate, all organizations to be incorporated as a tax entity.  This means 'Make a Wish', PETA, Greenpeace or the American Red Cross all are organized the the same way, these are all charity organizations under the US tax code.  This does not mean its a business intended to make profits for investors.

That's not how investment in companies and events work.  Those donating large sums of capital expect to get something in return.  Investors don't donate with the expectation that the con will repay them 100% of their funds within a year or two without any sort of interest, be that in the form of additional funds, tax deductions, advertising or something else the investor has stipulated.  I would imagine that those that initially provided the funds to create Fanime have a similar arrangement, perhaps receiving a certain percentage of the profit for a certain period of time, if not ad infinitum.  Otherwise, an investor would see no reason to invest with that entity and instead choose to invest their funds elsewhere.

While I agree with you that organizations can opt to incorporate, it's more about how they choose to go about doing it.  Fanime could have opted to go the 501(c)(3) route instead.  If they had done that instead, your ticket fees would be tax deductible.  Not that I really care about Fanime's filings, but rather, would prefer they emphasize this instead of acting as if this is all organized, funded and run by your average 25 year old.  However, if, as claimed in this thread, Fanime is now making a point of mentioning that they are a corporate event during their opening ceremony, I stand corrected.  As I mentioned, I haven't gone to Fanime since 2012.

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The only problem with this, vote with your feet approach is that there are so many reasons why someone switches from attending events.  This kind of economic voting only works when you are talking about two identical stores where all things being even except a key difference like quality or service.  Often time this is a post rationalization groups use to explain why something happen with incomplete information.  I still recommend asking for what you want and see what will come out of it.

But you are the same.  I look at Fanime and Animazement as being two different fruit; they may look different, but they both will benefit me roughly the same. Each con has a selection of guests both foreign and domestic.  Each con has a variety of sellers that, for the most part, overlap.  Each con has a mixture of fan/industry panels, game/movie rooms and concerts.  Both cons occur on opposite ends of the country.

I used to post, religiously, on the boards about things I liked and felt could use improvement after attending Fanime 2010-2012.  I also used to post guest requests as well.  Conditions did not improve.  Fanime still waits until May to announce their guest list.  Guest lists in the area that I care about (the animation aspect) did not improve and declined from 2012-2014. Clearly, posting constructive criticism doesn't work.  Fanime's attendees, on the whole, care more about musical guests then animation guests. 

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Actually I, and I am in management care quite a bit and would like to see what can change or grow to make it both an event you would want to attend and recommend to others.  Its why I am here having this discussion.

Now we still have to pay guests, we have to pay for the facilities to host the event, insurance and so on. These costs do not come cheep, but if the intention was to 'run it as a business', Fanime would look far different; from badge prices, selling tickets, cutting services and paying the bare minimum for content.

I'd love to see Fanime improve as well.  So, tell you what.  I'm willing to provide Fanime up to $5K to bring over an artist guest for 2016.  That should be more than enough to pay for a round trip business class ticket and hotel for a guest from Japan.  If Fanime is seriously interested in improving itself and needs the capital to do it, I am more than happy to respond.

Regarding your last paragraph, Fanime is very much a business and is structured as one.  There are several conventions across the U.S. that receive just as many, if not more, guests than Fanime.  In order to stay competitive, Fanime has to keep its prices competitive, especially in an area such as California.  If Fanime charges too much, attendees will go somewhere else.  Most cons around the US charge roughly $50-$70 for a pass to attend the entire event.  If Fanime decided to offer minimal content, they would have to adjust their prices accordingly or risk losing attendees.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Admiral Donuts on March 21, 2015, 09:47:26 AM
So is there any proof Fanime is a for-profit money-making event or is it just assumptions?

FanimeCon is transparent? Fanime doesn't even release attendance numbers.

(http://i.imgur.com/nLJ4b0s.png)

I mean I like going to the con but y'all are close-hold about everything. What was Fanime's budget last year? Why was hotel registration and con registration mucked up this year?
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Erik_anderson on March 22, 2015, 10:47:32 PM
Cuteiebunny,

Lets start with who would you like to see as a guest.  3 picks would help me ask some questions and see if I run into any walls. Then I can get back to you.

Hi Admiral Donuts

I think ewu post is clear why we not post numbers and that those that have been posted and what those numbers means are tricky.  its made even more tricky because Fanime incubates a steam-punk convention under its umbrella and so a clear understanding of which event people attended is hard. To your point though, perhaps this is an area that it should provide clear analytics and drive a conversation around what attendance means across the conventions in general. 

Back 20 years ago sci-fi conventions used to use this as a yard stick, but the numbers are rather meaningless.  for example Creation Entertainment events (generally known as star trek cons) pull in huge numbers of people to basically hit the dealers rooms and signature tables.  These people would often only attend a single day and leave right after getting X item or Y signature and thus could not be a measurement of the vibrancy of the convention experience. 

Take San Diego Comic Con a convention I attend and compete in, only provides a rough number of 130k+ attendees for the "last several years" with no information about the exact nature of the number, nor what the actual cap is.  SD city estimations range for 100k to 160+k of foot traffic at the site at any given time.  Is that number, as vague as it is, meaningful?  not really, the convention center only has around 85k event seating capacity in the rooms that are used (not counting lines).  This means at peak times there is a quarter of the convention that is in line waiting for seating space. 

Then there is a odd counter point where international conventions generally have significantly smaller attendance numbers, yet given higher prestige.

budget. I've not ever asked about the whole budget myself. I have mine and that's been work itself.  Generally events don't publish their full budgets because vendors and publicist use them to argue for a larger fee or move up prices. 

Hotel registration, specifically housing blocks had issues this year and there are some very detailed posts about the issues and efforts to avoid it in the future. 

I think a key point to consider is that fanime is,  in general, willing to talk about the rational for why some information is not published or in some cases why issues with vendors are not aired publicly. 
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Anix on March 23, 2015, 04:53:03 AM
Lol I remember a similar argumentative thread to this one from last year, basically asking where Fanime is "spending all that money"

1) If you truly enjoy the convention: Who Cares?
2) Lots of Overhead
    A) Convention Center (How much do you think it costs to rent the majority share of the downtown of close to a week)
    B) Radios (Need communications for the staff)
    C) Myriad of other technical equipment
    D) Security
    E) Medical Services On Site (stupid drunks every year)
    F) Union Support (Convention center is a Union House that adds costs)
    G) Guests
        i] Appearance fees
        ii] Hotel Rooms
        iii] Per Diem
        iv] Entertainment (yes even guests have to be entertained)
    H) Office Supplies
    I) Storage (Just cause the con only lasts a week doesn't mean there isn't stuff that has to be stored the rest of the year)
    J) Marketing (Fliers, posters, banners, bags)
    K) Staff Thank Yous (Not paying them got to provide a little gravitas)
    L) Meeting Space (Have to plan the event somewhere)
    M) Prizes (Attendees love giveaways)
    N) Decorations (Signage, Banners similar to Marketing but not)
    O) Damage Insurance (Think about the damage a group of primarily 14-24's can do...)
    P) Permits And Other Mandated Fees
    Q) CMR (Like them or not they are a cost)
    R) Lawyers (At their size they've got to keep someone on retainer)


Fanime is truly "By Fans For Fans" as they don't have the heavy sponsorship that most of the major other cons do.

The Pros - They live by their own rules and don't have to bow to what the sponsors want. Easiest way to tell, have you seen a major Viz, Funimation etc. in the Dealers' Hall. Panels are largely organized and run by fans which again means more variety than x corporation pump up the block blusters.

The Bad - Don't bring in all those corporate bucks that can be used to do some pretty extraordinary things

The Ugly - Either way it's a hard knock life to put on a convention of this size. I started attending back in '04 when they first moved to San Jose. Back then they didn't even use the full convention center. In just 10 years they now use the whole center, the Civic, South Hall, Fairmont, Marriott, Hilton. The convention is busting at the seams and the only way it will grow much further is to move to someplace like Moscone (Also a logistical nightmare)

As a final point. Fanime seems (at least to me) on a fairly conservative budget, and I think that is due back to where it started, college students meeting up at FootHill. As others have mentioned they don't play the game of premium tickets or charging for events.

Corporations are a structure, not necessarily good or evil for or against profit. I don't think they would have had such a major turn around in registration from a truly for profit entity, because it looked like they invested a hell of a lot in just one year for the infrastructure improvements.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Admiral Donuts on March 23, 2015, 04:21:50 PM
I think ewu post is clear why we not post numbers and that those that have been posted and what those numbers means are tricky.  its made even more tricky because Fanime incubates a steam-punk convention under its umbrella and so a clear understanding of which event people attended is hard. To your point though, perhaps this is an area that it should provide clear analytics and drive a conversation around what attendance means across the conventions in general. 

Just because you explain why you're not transparent doesn't make you transparent.

Hotel registration, specifically housing blocks had issues this year and there are some very detailed posts about the issues and efforts to avoid it in the future. 

I haven't seen any posts about it. The specific issue I'm talking about is how you were required to pay for pre-reg if you wanted to access the housing website.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: citrus on March 25, 2015, 01:08:35 AM
I would like to thank you all for responding to this thread. I never thought that this thread would actually get the attention so many, let alone even the staff. Quite a few of you have offered decent advice that I'll definitely consider. To those of you have seen my posts in the previous pasts. I think it's pretty clear I've been acting very pessimistic or cynical towards the convention and for many good reasons too and like Cutiebunny has said and I think I can speak mostly on her hehalf. Both of us are very unsatisfied and unhappy with the results fanime has produced in the passed years. And this is what most of you have said

1. "Fanime is a hang-out convention. Cosplay and hanging out is what it's mostly about." That is not true in my experience. While I admit fanime dosen't have the biggest roster of guests compared to other anime conventions. At least all of the guests were high quality and VERY-well known. Quality over quantity you could say. And not only that back then, fanime had a lot of interesting programming, both fan and guest panels. Back then I actually had found plenty of things to do on a friday at fanime. But now the programming for Friday really sucks now. What I'm basically trying to say that fanime didn't use to be just a HANGOUT convention. It offered a lot of things to satisfy at least all demograpics. But now I just feel like the convention is basically isolating that demographic in favor of the locals in San-Jose and for people that just want to "chill." What me and Cutiebunny come to fanime for is the GUESTS and programming overall. We're the demographic that enjoy panels and learning many things from the guests that we're interested in. And since that core has been taken away, we have no motivation to even return to the con. Yes I like people with amazing cosplay. Fanime probably has the best cosplay around but that's not what I came to San-Jose for. Whenever I come to fanime. I think of three things 1. Shopping, which fanime has plenty of. 2 The guests and 3. The music concerts which Fanime is usually known to get really big names. And some of you say to change my demographic or open up a little more. Well I'm sorry if I tend to come to fanime just for the guests and programming alone. There's a reason why many fanime attendees say that 2011 was the best year. It's because it had offered the best of the best towards all demograpics. But 2012 is what made many fanime attendees stop coming for many reasons. 1. Crappy guests that no one has heard of or cares for. 2. Fanimecon LIED during the musicfest at 2012 where the announcer said "You might even get to see Miku tonight!" When the announcer said that. I thought, "The actual Hatsune Miku!? Oh my god!" But NOPE! What we got instead was a DVD re-run of a freaking concert on the Tv!!! There was an actual Miku concert being held at a small theater during the convention but it was smally advertised and I missed it due to sheer confusion of its location. And to add salt to the wounds. There were announcements on the Tv screen during fanimecon on the guests that "couldn't come" like Hiroshi Kamiya, one of the biggest name seiyuus that played A LOT of roles that any people know and Nightmare! One of the most FAMOUS Visual Kei bands in the world! But instead what we got was his "brother." while I liked it. It wasn't what I was use to. And to this day Nightmare has STILL not have performed in the U.S once and Fanime could have made history with that! But no, they screwed it up BIG TIME during 2012! And that has what left really bitter memories for me at the convention. During 2013 I thought it would be a better year and it was slightly when it came to some of the music guests. But I still considered it a fairly bad year. 2014 has gotten rid of the lines for registration but almost everything sucked and I was treated to MANY guests I have NEVER and I mean EVER heard of, with the exception of a few. I was treated to the highest quality programming back then and the fact that the convention has DRASTICALLY reduced that to bare minimum has left me wanting to go somewhere else. So instead of having to change my demographic. I want Fanime to give back what I like and is USE to! Why do you think many attendees flew to the east coast for animazement? They have many well known guests and programming which many people liked. And they announce some guests EARLY!!! And what does fanime do? They delay the announcment of guests so late into the convention that's its hard to change your plans!

2. I still question the tagline "For fans, by Fans" Maybe back in 2011 it was but now I feel like that's no longer the case. Yes, I know some of you suggest that you should vocalize on what guests you want and while that seems appealing. It's clear that our suggestions for guests have been falling on deaf ears for the past few years. Many suggestions that fans vocalized never came true. I don't expect super big names like Johnny Yong Bosch to come or Steve Bloom but at least get SOMEONE with a very well known reputation that at least quite a few have heard. And in the past. I never had to vocalize on what guests I want because fanime used to provide guests that many fans they KNOW they'll love and go crazy for. And that's the thing. You don't need to vocalize on what you want. Fanime provided guests that fans KNOW they will like. For example, while AX is a big convention and probably doesn't give the opportunity to voice out. They provide many guests that are awesome and people have no need to voice out. And just because fans don't take the opportunity to vocalize what they want. Doesn't MEAN we have to be stuck with crappy guests we never heard which I feel like fanime is doing. Because the convention should KNOW what fans would like. Fanime is going to have around at least 27,000 attendees this year. I REALLY don't think money is the issue but I think that the so-called 1000 staff are insufferable of bringing the big names or anybody that's note-worthy. If fanime wants to keep me as an attendee then they should KNOW how to bring good guests that doesn't require me to vocalize my voice.

And there are so many why questions I could ask. Why is it so hard to even get a hotel that's close by the convention center? Despite vocalizing what guests we want. Why do we still keep getting crappy ones? Why hasn't fanime provided what their fans want? Why hasn't there been any improvement to the demographics? Why does fanimes ALWAYS announce guests super late? Why do they always show the programming very late? I use to LOVE fanime during my high-school days but now that's different. Fanimecon use to always provide me with the most happiest memories. But all I ever feel like is that it provided me with bitter memories and wasting my time and resources. I may be under a certain demographic. But as one of the many other demographics. WE DESERVE BETTER! And if it hasn't shown. Fanime has proven itself to be highly incapable  of satisfying all their fans now. And now I think its a good time for me to vocalize WHY I don't like fanime like I use to in bullet like points.

1. Fanime has lied to me during musicfest.

2. Suffering a long registration line during 2013 has left very bitter memories for me and it also has left that toward MANY attendees. People waiting 8 HOURS for a badge? I've been to ax and even THEY don't make you wait that long. While I waited 4 hours for my badge at AX and I waited a most 2 and 1/2 hours during fanime for my badge. The diffrence? I felt the LINE was moving and that the convention had MANY things that felt like the wait was WORTH IT! And I emphasize WORTH IT!

3. Taking most of the things I use to come for. Which is good guests both animation AND music.

4. Showing NO improvements to some things fans have complained about!

5. I've been given the impression that the staff DOES NOT GIVE A DAMN about their attendees concerns or complaints. I've been espsically given that impression towards the staff who's running the facebook page of fanimecon.

I am angry at fanimecon and I want them to know that. I want them to know WHY I don't think its a convention worth coming to. And personally I don't want to because fanime use to hold a special place in my heart. And I still want the convention to do that but its been hard. I vocalize my rage for reason and that's because deep down I still hope that the convention improves.

But considering that the staff here at the forums are actually NICE and seem to listen instead of making a bunch of bull excuses, I'm starting to become a bit more forgiving. I love fanime I want it to improve. But if it can no longer provide what I want and like then I'll take my business some place else.

If you want to improve then you should be able to find a way to satisfy ALL demographic of fans. Not just isolate certain ones. As of this post i will be going to Sakura-con in which I know they have what I like and I KNOW I will have a good time. I'm also looking foward to my local convention sacanime which is getting bigger and better each year. The best formula for success I think is by examine why other conventions are more successful. And with the least amount of complaints. As of right now, Fanime still has a vast large amount of complaints and have lost some of their previous attendees for the fact they're not satisfied what the convention has brought. If you look to Sakura-con and Sacanime. Both conventions keep getting bigger and better with minimal complaints. For now, I am giving Fanimecon ONE more chance. If I have not seen any changes that would satisfy me. Then I will no longer be coming to the convention. So all I can hope is. I hope many of you staff members are reading my post and that you are taking my post VERY seriously and will do your best to satisfy me and other atendees.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: cutiebunny on March 25, 2015, 01:29:13 PM
Cuteiebunny,

Lets start with who would you like to see as a guest.  3 picks would help me ask some questions and see if I run into any walls. Then I can get back to you.

Hmm...I'll give you five.  BTW, I don't want the "latest and greatest" or legendary artists.  I know most of them are busy working on current projects, are controlled by whatever company sponsors them and/or have incredibly high appearance fees.  You'll never see me complain that you don't get people such as Naoko Takeuchi or Eiichiro Oda.  I don't even expect AX to get Takeuchi.

Kazuchika Kise
Hiromi Kato
Range Murata
Mayu Shinjo
Ikuko Ito

A couple of these artists I have already personally met and I think quite highly of them.  Not just because they are great artists in their own right, but because they are fantastic people in person.  Especially Kise.  I value how personable a guest is over how talented they are.  No point in inviting someone who is going to trash talk fans (looking at you, Mikimoto) to Fanime. 

As of this post i will be going to Sakura-con in which I know they have what I like and I KNOW I will have a good time...If you look to Sakura-con and Sacanime. Both conventions keep getting bigger and better with minimal complaints.

I have attended SakuraCon for a couple of years.  Let me be completely honest with you.  They have OODLES of problems.  The only reason you don't know about these problems is because SakuraCon deletes every complaint it gets on its Facebook page.  It also eliminated its forums three years ago. They are slow to respond to questions regarding scheduling, panels, guests, etc, and often do not respond at all.  With SakuraCon, I have always felt that their motto should be "If you don't like it, go somewhere else".  It's a very "take it or leave it" type con that favors those with cash to spend.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Nina Star 9 on April 02, 2015, 07:37:42 PM
The reason why I stick with Fanimecon?

It's local. It's cheap. I don't have to travel far. I have friends I see there.

I've been going to this con for over 10 years, and it has certainly gone downhill in terms of organization. Even though I'm not really a guest person, I know the importance of having good guests at a con, and the right guest might convince even me to go see them. (Just a factual point here -- the "guests I want" thread is something that I usually make, and I am not connected with staff in any way. Though, staff looks at the thread, it would never get made if I didn't personally make it. Not sure if that is for the sake of tradition, or if staff would simply never make a thread like that.) I'm mostly a cosplayer, and since this is my biggest con of the year, I spend most of the time doing cosplay things -- changing multiple times a day, doing photoshoots and gatherings, last year I ran a dinner event for Homestuck fans and was a judge for Cosplay Shopped, etc. -- but if this con's cosplay scene wasn't as great as it is (I don't do Masquerades so I can't speak to that aspect of the cosplay at this con), I would find myself with little else to do, to be honest. Some panels interest me, though the currently popular in-character ask panels do not. Karaoke very much interests me, but that fills up my evenings and late nights. Otherwise? It's all cosplay for me. The area is full of restaurants and other interest, and the cosplay is great, but the con itself? A bit of a mess. Glad the reg situation was sorted out last year though.

I have never understood why the guests can't be announced sooner, especially when other cons of similar or even smaller size can announce guests far in advance. SacAnime announces some of their guests for the next show at the previous show, for example. If other cans can do it, why can't Fanime?

As for transparency, I've seen other cons post pie charts with rough budget breakdowns. (X% goes for facilities&insurance, Y% goes to guests, Z% goes to programming, etc.). Why can't Fanime do the same? I would like an answer besides "we can't answer that."

I'm not nearly as angry about this con as some of the other posts, as I still attend and still love attending. However, I am frustrated about how this con is run sometimes. In the meantime, I'll stick to spending my days changing in and out of cosplays and doing photoshoots, until Fanime can come up with a draw other than the social aspect. As someone who isn't terribly social, that isn't as big of a draw as it could be.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Wizrad on April 05, 2015, 05:19:01 PM
The reason why I stick with Fanimecon?

It's local. It's cheap. I don't have to travel far. I have friends I see there.

That's how I feel. Though I wouldn't say cheap, I'd say reasonably priced. I'm also a bit more positive on the experience

I just love how many people it brings to San Jose. Hanging out in the hot tubs with anime/gaming fans, partying it up in the hotels, seeing friends that I rarely get to see... It's just a nice place to be.

Of course, the amenities are the hotels' deals, not Fanime. But normally you couldn't chat with random hotel guests that share so many interests!
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: aetherltd on April 05, 2015, 10:52:37 PM
Come over and visit Clockwork Alchemy! We have tea!

CA has a lot going on, more than last year. There's a lot to do; martial arts, airship races, LARPs, fashion show, musicians... It's a change of pace from Fanime. There's a free shuttle bus and registration covers both Fanime and CA.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Oniko on April 09, 2015, 09:34:00 AM
I truly feel for the Fanime staff and the convention goers.

I think since Fanime first started I have attended almost every year but two.  I have never staffed, I don’t know the details and who runs what.  However as a veteran I feel I can at least strongly say this...  Fanime needs to HIRE professionals.  All other big conventions have them.

Every year we are told they strive to make this a better convention.  I believe them.  I believe they are really trying.  It would be hard to think they sit there maliciously plotting ways to make this stressful for us.  The problem is they are volunteers.  They have always been volunteers who use their free time to get the job done.  Given how large Fanime is and that it is still growing this is not enough, it hasn’t been for the past few years.

Volunteers will always been needed, don’t get me wrong.  They are an important part of the convention to help it run smoothly.  However I think the higher up staff positions (The ones in charge of events and epartments) need to be replaced or at least partnered with professionals.  There are companies that do this; they are hired just to help conventions get organized.
The most often excuse I see from famine for things being delayed is…
1.   We are only volunteers.
2.   Technical difficulties.

Both of these should be solved with professionals. No more on free time but people whose responsibility it is to spend their time working only on Fanime’s needs.  True there would not be as much money going back into the convention because you have to pay them, but my greatest fear is that with the way things are going in another 3-5 years Fanime will implode in on itself.  No one will want to go, the reputation will be too bad.

I love Fanime.  It was my first convention and I don’t want to see it go away. It can’t just be, “next year will be better”.  Whatever formula being used right now isn’t working and the structure needs to be seriously reevaluated. Please Fanime, do yourself and your loyal con goers a favor and get help!
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Oniko on April 09, 2015, 09:43:18 AM
The reason why I stick with Fanimecon?

It's local. It's cheap. I don't have to travel far. I have friends I see there.

That's how I feel. Though I wouldn't say cheap, I'd say reasonably priced. I'm also a bit more positive on the experience

I just love how many people it brings to San Jose. Hanging out in the hot tubs with anime/gaming fans, partying it up in the hotels, seeing friends that I rarely get to see... It's just a nice place to be.

Of course, the amenities are the hotels' deals, not Fanime. But normally you couldn't chat with random hotel guests that share so many interests!

I know people who work for the city and have heard it said multiple times, Fanime brings in more money to the city than any other event hands down. That just shows how huge it is.
I never want to see it go away, but smaller conventions with less stress are looking much more appealing.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Dracil on April 09, 2015, 02:44:11 PM
I have attended SakuraCon for a couple of years.  Let me be completely honest with you.  They have OODLES of problems.  The only reason you don't know about these problems is because SakuraCon deletes every complaint it gets on its Facebook page.  It also eliminated its forums three years ago. They are slow to respond to questions regarding scheduling, panels, guests, etc, and often do not respond at all.  With SakuraCon, I have always felt that their motto should be "If you don't like it, go somewhere else".  It's a very "take it or leave it" type con that favors those with cash to spend.

What kind of complaints did people have?

I attended Sakuracon just recently, and it seemed fine.  Generally good organization, one of the best concert setups (NO CHAIRS in the front, all chairs in the back/side, which is really the proper way to do it for most anisong guests), and the guest reception was pretty amazing for getting to talk to guests, even though the one I was *most* interested in didn't end up attending.  For my group of friends who're generally willing to travel around (and out of) the country for music/seiyuu guests, the general sentiment is we'd be willing to go back next year as long as the guests keep coming.

As for Fanime itself, at this point, I find myself looking forward more to my friends performing on Stage Zero than the rest of Fanime's official events, to the point I'm starting to wonder if there's really any point in buying a badge.

And I have absolutely no interest in CA and wish it'd just be its own thing at a separate time instead of diluting the weekend/making hotels harder to book.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Anon on April 10, 2015, 12:06:43 AM
Come over and visit Clockwork Alchemy! We have tea!

CA has a lot going on, more than last year. There's a lot to do; martial arts, airship races, LARPs, fashion show, musicians... It's a change of pace from Fanime. There's a free shuttle bus and registration covers both Fanime and CA.

I gotta be honest, I liked what I saw at CA last year, even though I only meandered the halls for less than an hour there. It just felt it had a bit more laid back and mature group of attendees. Was certainly a nice change of pace to the busy and crowded convention halls where Fanime was at. Made me feel pretty comfortable and relaxed.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: cutiebunny on April 10, 2015, 06:44:34 PM
What kind of complaints did people have?

Largely that the con is heavily micromanaged, with a lot of stuff happening behind the curtains in the autograph room.  There used to be a hard rule of no one being allowed in the area until half an hour before an autograph session, but that seemed to have been relaxed this year (minus the one idiot female staffer who kept trying to get people to move). I have personally witnessed some not so kosher stuff happen in the autograph area, including particular guests having complete breakdowns in front of staff and attendees over simple requests.  Another big complaint is that SakuraCon nuked their forum because they didn't want an area where people could complain and SC actively deletes any 'complaint' posted on their Facebook page.  This seems to be the new mentality when it comes to conventions; If you delete the criticism, attendees are obviously happy.

Quote
I attended Sakuracon just recently, and it seemed fine.  Generally good organization, one of the best concert setups (NO CHAIRS in the front, all chairs in the back/side, which is really the proper way to do it for most anisong guests), and the guest reception was pretty amazing for getting to talk to guests, even though the one I was *most* interested in didn't end up attending.  For my group of friends who're generally willing to travel around (and out of) the country for music/seiyuu guests, the general sentiment is we'd be willing to go back next year as long as the guests keep coming.

Having attended the guest reception for the past few years at SakuraCon, this one was the worst.  At prior venues, no one was ever kicked out because the venue shut down at 9pm.  Or 10.  Or 11.  I've usually hung around and stayed until 11-ish during previous receptions, which was great because some of the guests will stick around and tell you some interesting stories about their experiences.  I was hoping to see Mori get all liquored up; He's an entertaining drunk.  This year, SakuraCon opened the autograph area as a place for panel overflow, which was new and was appreciated.  As for the concert concern, it really depends on the con.  When AX holds concerts at Club Nokia, the entire bottom floor is standing only.  When AX holds it inside the LACC, everything is seated.  Animazement and Fanime have seats, and PMX is front row seats for VIPs while everyone else stands behind them.  IMO, having the option of sitting down is nice; bouncing up and down for a good hour can take it out on even those in good shape.  One thing I do like about SakuraCon is that they usually provide earplugs (there have been some years where it was not given).  Not that I expect a concert to give me earplugs as I bring my own, but it is appreciated.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Angelx624 on April 10, 2015, 07:21:47 PM
On guest Roster/music guests: 2 years ago had a pretty good roster IMO, last year I was too busy running from gathering to gathering to sit down and go to see them, so again, I cant Testify to whether or not they were good. Although, they were really late in getting them last year, so there is that. Apparently from the meetings, Guest are already "set" as of feburary for this con, they just will announce them later. Its one thing I have hammered in at staff meetings and other staff things, if we want guest fans request, we need to get them by January as most are planned by then now in days...because we are in the hunt with many other cons for limited time. That, and people who were vocal last year on guest they wanted, got what they wanted. If you want someone, SAY SOMETHING, and SAY IT EARLY. all is fair in the game, so long as your starting in it.
Believe me, I make sure to make guest suggestions as quickly as possible. Heck, most of the time I make suggestions I've already made in previous years. As long as Fanime has yet to get said guest, I will keep suggesting them each year, in hopes that one day I can finally see them at a convention I'm so dedicated in going to each year.

And really? They've had them set since February? Or were they pretty much set, but not 100% confirmed yet? Since I feel that they'd tell us if they were definite that those were the guests coming to Fanime, yeah? Or are they waiting for the set guests to be finalized?
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Dracil on April 13, 2015, 01:12:05 PM
What kind of complaints did people have?

Largely that the con is heavily micromanaged, with a lot of stuff happening behind the curtains in the autograph room.  There used to be a hard rule of no one being allowed in the area until half an hour before an autograph session, but that seemed to have been relaxed this year (minus the one idiot female staffer who kept trying to get people to move). I have personally witnessed some not so kosher stuff happen in the autograph area, including particular guests having complete breakdowns in front of staff and attendees over simple requests.  Another big complaint is that SakuraCon nuked their forum because they didn't want an area where people could complain and SC actively deletes any 'complaint' posted on their Facebook page.  This seems to be the new mentality when it comes to conventions; If you delete the criticism, attendees are obviously happy.

Quote
I attended Sakuracon just recently, and it seemed fine.  Generally good organization, one of the best concert setups (NO CHAIRS in the front, all chairs in the back/side, which is really the proper way to do it for most anisong guests), and the guest reception was pretty amazing for getting to talk to guests, even though the one I was *most* interested in didn't end up attending.  For my group of friends who're generally willing to travel around (and out of) the country for music/seiyuu guests, the general sentiment is we'd be willing to go back next year as long as the guests keep coming.

Having attended the guest reception for the past few years at SakuraCon, this one was the worst.  At prior venues, no one was ever kicked out because the venue shut down at 9pm.  Or 10.  Or 11.  I've usually hung around and stayed until 11-ish during previous receptions, which was great because some of the guests will stick around and tell you some interesting stories about their experiences.  I was hoping to see Mori get all liquored up; He's an entertaining drunk.  This year, SakuraCon opened the autograph area as a place for panel overflow, which was new and was appreciated.  As for the concert concern, it really depends on the con.  When AX holds concerts at Club Nokia, the entire bottom floor is standing only.  When AX holds it inside the LACC, everything is seated.  Animazement and Fanime have seats, and PMX is front row seats for VIPs while everyone else stands behind them.  IMO, having the option of sitting down is nice; bouncing up and down for a good hour can take it out on even those in good shape.  One thing I do like about SakuraCon is that they usually provide earplugs (there have been some years where it was not given).  Not that I expect a concert to give me earplugs as I bring my own, but it is appreciated.

Ah yes the nuking of forums.  My response to that is I just end up moving my complaints to twitter, where it's open to anyone searching on twitter, as opposed to a relatively closed off space they could manage instead.  I guess if they would rather we air our grievances in an even more open area, *shrug*.  I don't mind the micromanaging too much personally.

I did hear complaints about guest reception this year vs. other years but that seems to be an issue with the Fairmont being more strict.

As for seats, seats cause the audience to sit, which is a big no-no.  Especially when the guest wants people to STAND and stupid staffers still keep trying to make people sit (AX is really bad at this, and apparently Kawaiicon staff is just as ignorant).  We've made it a point to let guests know that if they want the audience to stand (which is almost always the case), they need to tell the audience to stand.  People here *really* don't understand Japanese live culture.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: TC_X0_Lt_0X on April 13, 2015, 11:57:00 PM
What kind of complaints did people have?

Largely that the con is heavily micromanaged, with a lot of stuff happening behind the curtains in the autograph room.  There used to be a hard rule of no one being allowed in the area until half an hour before an autograph session, but that seemed to have been relaxed this year (minus the one idiot female staffer who kept trying to get people to move). I have personally witnessed some not so kosher stuff happen in the autograph area, including particular guests having complete breakdowns in front of staff and attendees over simple requests.  Another big complaint is that SakuraCon nuked their forum because they didn't want an area where people could complain and SC actively deletes any 'complaint' posted on their Facebook page.  This seems to be the new mentality when it comes to conventions; If you delete the criticism, attendees are obviously happy.

Quote
I attended Sakuracon just recently, and it seemed fine.  Generally good organization, one of the best concert setups (NO CHAIRS in the front, all chairs in the back/side, which is really the proper way to do it for most anisong guests), and the guest reception was pretty amazing for getting to talk to guests, even though the one I was *most* interested in didn't end up attending.  For my group of friends who're generally willing to travel around (and out of) the country for music/seiyuu guests, the general sentiment is we'd be willing to go back next year as long as the guests keep coming.

Having attended the guest reception for the past few years at SakuraCon, this one was the worst.  At prior venues, no one was ever kicked out because the venue shut down at 9pm.  Or 10.  Or 11.  I've usually hung around and stayed until 11-ish during previous receptions, which was great because some of the guests will stick around and tell you some interesting stories about their experiences.  I was hoping to see Mori get all liquored up; He's an entertaining drunk.  This year, SakuraCon opened the autograph area as a place for panel overflow, which was new and was appreciated.  As for the concert concern, it really depends on the con.  When AX holds concerts at Club Nokia, the entire bottom floor is standing only.  When AX holds it inside the LACC, everything is seated.  Animazement and Fanime have seats, and PMX is front row seats for VIPs while everyone else stands behind them.  IMO, having the option of sitting down is nice; bouncing up and down for a good hour can take it out on even those in good shape.  One thing I do like about SakuraCon is that they usually provide earplugs (there have been some years where it was not given).  Not that I expect a concert to give me earplugs as I bring my own, but it is appreciated.

Ah yes the nuking of forums.  My response to that is I just end up moving my complaints to twitter, where it's open to anyone searching on twitter, as opposed to a relatively closed off space they could manage instead.  I guess if they would rather we air our grievances in an even more open area, *shrug*.  I don't mind the micromanaging too much personally.

I did hear complaints about guest reception this year vs. other years but that seems to be an issue with the Fairmont being more strict.

As for seats, seats cause the audience to sit, which is a big no-no.  Especially when the guest wants people to STAND and stupid staffers still keep trying to make people sit (AX is really bad at this, and apparently Kawaiicon staff is just as ignorant).  We've made it a point to let guests know that if they want the audience to stand (which is almost always the case), they need to tell the audience to stand.  People here *really* don't understand Japanese live culture.

Ive always found it really weird that every MusicFest most of the Congoers just sit the entire time silently watching, especially in the front seats. Most other concerts Ive gone to people are always standing and cheering on the actors. It is expected thing to happen. Assuming more popular modern music anyways.
Personally, I attribute it to nerd introvert culture, but thats just me =P
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Dracil on April 14, 2015, 02:13:28 PM
I think it's a problem with young people who just haven't been to enough concerts, especially Japanese ones, and part of that is also probably the cons' fault for not placing enough emphasis on music guests and also educating the attendees.

My group of con friends are generally older (probably 25-40s+) and they're also fairly introverted but nobody there has any issue with standing.  Hell, some of us even have old injuries and we will work through the pain if possible to keep jumping and standing during the concert.  But everyone in the group are veteran congoers who attend cons *specifically* for music guests, and a large number of them also make trips to Japan to attend lives there as well.

Actually since I'm on a rant, American con "dance" scenes are also pretty dismal IMO.  If a dance gets described at any point in time as a "rave" they've already failed.

Here is what anime music events at music clubs are like in Japan.
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/61017139 - Club Mogra (very famous, if any of you watched the anime Saekano, the characters actually go here in one of the episodes!)
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/60731753 - Sukimono

Even outside Japan, at Anime Festival Asia, they know what's up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrBcn8w9uVM - AFA Indonesia '13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV7SE9TmCeo - AFA Singapore '14

They get it over at Mexico too:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjFxAsr1Kf0

Notice in all cases the very clear anime/vocaloid music with generally minimal amounts of remixing.

And then here's what happens in USA cons...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WOTq5-s9y8 - Fanime
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gRkuXceQPY - Otakon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgaokBV9B2Q - Anime Expo

That AX video is especially telling of why I have such a dim view of the con culture here.

There really is nothing in the cons here that really shows people this aspect of the culture.  And I only got into it myself by luck from seeing people who knew this aspect, and continuing to keep in touch with them over the years.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: TC_X0_Lt_0X on April 15, 2015, 11:22:44 PM
I think it's a problem with young people who just haven't been to enough concerts, especially Japanese ones, and part of that is also probably the cons' fault for not placing enough emphasis on music guests and also educating the attendees.

My group of con friends are generally older (probably 25-40s+) and they're also fairly introverted but nobody there has any issue with standing.  Hell, some of us even have old injuries and we will work through the pain if possible to keep jumping and standing during the concert.  But everyone in the group are veteran congoers who attend cons *specifically* for music guests, and a large number of them also make trips to Japan to attend lives there as well.

Actually since I'm on a rant, American con "dance" scenes are also pretty dismal IMO.  If a dance gets described at any point in time as a "rave" they've already failed.

Here is what anime music events at music clubs are like in Japan.
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/61017139 - Club Mogra (very famous, if any of you watched the anime Saekano, the characters actually go here in one of the episodes!)
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/60731753 - Sukimono

Even outside Japan, at Anime Festival Asia, they know what's up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrBcn8w9uVM - AFA Indonesia '13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV7SE9TmCeo - AFA Singapore '14

They get it over at Mexico too:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjFxAsr1Kf0

Notice in all cases the very clear anime/vocaloid music with generally minimal amounts of remixing.

And then here's what happens in USA cons...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WOTq5-s9y8 - Fanime
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gRkuXceQPY - Otakon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgaokBV9B2Q - Anime Expo

That AX video is especially telling of why I have such a dim view of the con culture here.

There really is nothing in the cons here that really shows people this aspect of the culture.  And I only got into it myself by luck from seeing people who knew this aspect, and continuing to keep in touch with them over the years.

Those Japanese Clubs seem pretty kicking =P
At least at Fanime they do have a room for the dance that occasionally plays more anime/game culture music, but they also tend to be in the small room and doesn't get much traffic into it. Other then that you get mainly standard dance music, and not even remixes of anime/game music. At least from what I have seen.

The main room has people getting into the music but it is a small minority. Besides that most of the people don't really get into it and sit in their own little groups.
Like I can't say much because I really can't dance and can be awkward as hell, on top of being a overworked and stressed person who lacks much energy, but I think I can at least get into music. Its not to hard as long as you are open to being social, which it seems many of the attendees just aren't.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: cutiebunny on April 15, 2015, 11:52:50 PM
I don't think that it's that Americans don't understand what to do or because they're antisocial, but they remain sitting out of courtesy; You want others, further back, to be able to see.  Not all locations have a TV screen showing the performance to others.  Small cons, such as those held at a small convention center or hotel, usually don't have an flat screen to show the performance to those sitting further back.

Japanese, and really, any foreign music, is not a big thing in the US.  I blame this more on the education system not placing much weight in teaching foreign languages until junior high.  By then, the peak language learning period is over.  But I also blame the media for not introducing foreign music and incorporating this into their Top 20 rotations.  My experience has been that many Americans will not listen to music they can't understand as they see that being a waste of their time.  Those with more eclectic tastes will often have language in several different languages on their smart device; The majority of the songs on my iPod are not in English.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Dracil on April 16, 2015, 03:44:31 PM
When the artists actually stop and directly ask the first 3 or 4 rows of the front center section repeatedly to stand up while EVERYONE ELSE directly behind and to their side are all standing up and they STILL refuse to stand, that's not "courtesy," it's consciously choosing to be rude to the guests.  This happened at Otakon just last year.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: TC_X0_Lt_0X on April 17, 2015, 05:44:40 AM
When the artists actually stop and directly ask the first 3 or 4 rows of the front center section repeatedly to stand up while EVERYONE ELSE directly behind and to their side are all standing up and they STILL refuse to stand, that's not "courtesy," it's consciously choosing to be rude to the guests.  This happened at Otakon just last year.

It was really disheartening at one of the Momoi Concerts that a good chunk of the people in the front rows just sat the entire time.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Dreadhawk on April 17, 2015, 11:28:46 AM
This will be my fifth year attending Fanime.

My first impression was: Not driving, staying at a hotel a mile away and having to wait through LineCon when the systems had that horrible failure. To top it off, once I finally got my badge, I missed the last train back to Redwood City and was forced to either pay $100 for a taxi or check in to my hotel early for $60. Obviously I chose the latter. It was a struggle to even convince myself to go in the first place. I had always wanted to go to a con but never really had the money for it until that year.

Once the con was over, I had to convince myself it was worth it. I wasn't sure I would go again, especially seeing as 80% of the content did not interest me. I'm not one for panels, I don't endorse the hentai nights or yaoi-related stuff (personally, I don't care if anyone else goes to these). The only rooms I visited were like... AMV countdowns, Abridged series, some anime showings, Artist's ALley and Dealer's hall.

The main reasons I wanted to go was to check out cosplays and purchase goods from the AA/DH. Those three reasons alone were just enough to convince me to go back the next year.

Then LineCon 2.0 happened, but this time it was outside in the terrible heat and all that happened around then. I had the misfortune to be in line behind a Marceline (Adventure Time) who apparently was really good (I don't watch the show; unsure of accuracy) and this creepy guy kept asking her for pictures and wanting her to sing songs (she had a guitar). I pretty much spent the entire day just kind of keeping an eye on hi and making sure he didn't do something he would end up regretting. Eventually he was asked to leave. It was still a horrible wait, though. I never want to be mazed through the courtyard and like 3 buildings ever again, lol.

DESPITE ALL THIS, I came back for Fanime 2014 where, to my great surprise and joy, there was NO LINE whatsoever! I got my badge right away. I attended a few more rooms, visited some panels, and even wore my first cosplay (Mafia Graves, League of Legends).

Fanime 2015... I'm excited. I got a room at the Mariott for the same price I spent on the mile-away hotel. I have a new badass cosplay I'm about to finish and I cannot wait to discover new things in AA/DH. There is still so much I have yet to discover about cons and Fanime in general and I am saying as someone who participates in only the smallest bit of the event...

Yes. YES. It is worth it. It only gets more worth it every year. 25k attendees last year? It can only get bigger!
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Dracil on April 20, 2015, 12:01:30 PM
Full disclosure: I am staff and I head up the Cosplay Masquerade, however I am responding a private individual and not my role.

For tax purposes Fanime, like every other convention, fair or event is organized as a corporation, so its misleading to imply that this is the same as a for profit corporation like AX, ComicCon or Wizard.  What 'for fans by fans' means is that we volunteer our time and while some perks are rewarded generally we spend far more time and money then the benefit.  Personally I spent around $3000 last year of my own funds to host my event.

On the tax status in general, there has long been the accusation of groups using 501c6 status, however this seems unlikely because that status is used to promote business without favoritism.  You can search for the records here for yourself:

http://990finder.foundationcenter.org/990results.aspx?990_type=&fn=Animazement&st=&zp=&ei=&fy=&action=Find

On the Fanime staff/volunteers has addressed issues around the use of guests time and it is now part of the standard training that such behavior is not allowed.  Just as volunteers do not get to cut lines when not working for an event.

Personally, if you want Fanime to improve, come to the meetings and voice your concerns.  Join the convention team and make things happen.  We are very transparent and are always looking for passionate people to make it a better event.

Curiously, I can't seem to find the 990 forms for fanime under "fanime" "fanimecon" or "anime research group"
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Admiral Donuts on April 20, 2015, 03:55:58 PM
Did you try "Anime Resource Group?"
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Dracil on April 20, 2015, 11:14:18 PM
Yes, I think that's what I meant to type in the post.  Nothing there either.  I also tried ARG.  So much for transparency...
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Mizuki on April 21, 2015, 06:14:18 PM
So I'll be speaking on 2 views, as a moderator of the forum, and as someone who has ran events in the past.

As a Moderator to this section of the forum - It is good a discussion is happening, and it's quite....calm surprisingly, but to the OP and people who have complaints, have you given Fanime itself feedback? I will assure you that MOST Fanime staff who can actually give you answers will most likely not look at this thread, as this is more of a "General Discussion" part of the forums, not exactly feedback for the convention.

As someone who has ran events in the past - It's tough, a lot of things happen, sometimes you CAN'T get what you want, Fanime works pretty hard getting good guests every year, but sometimes things fall through for various reasons. I am trying not to take sides here as there are very good points on both sides, but for the people with a lot of negative feelings about the convention, sometimes these things happen. Even with expanding staff, you have to remember, Staff rotate out, this includes the people running the convention, think of it like the President of the United States, some heads will have different ideas how to run the Convention, sometimes they are popular amongst the con goers, sometimes not so much. I do highly recommend leaving feedback here: http://forums.fanime.com/index.php/board,37.0.html, or going to one of the meetings and leave feedback either during the convention or with an individual department. If you don't do that, and just leave your feelings in this thread, I will give you a 10% chance it will be heard by staff, and like a 1% chance it'll actually reach the appropriate department.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: echoshadow on April 21, 2015, 06:41:56 PM
I filled out the feedback form 2013 and 2014. Seems like these reports don't go to every department manager. Or you where not in a department that needed improvement.

But yes I and hundreds of other people that complain did fill out the feedback form.

Also that link is not a really a feedback thread. Ideas and suggestions feels more like "we think about it" then gets buried and forgoten.

If your really want a feedback thread make an official feedback topic and have it pinned. That way it never gets deleted or get buried.

Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Mizuki on April 21, 2015, 07:06:49 PM
Mmmmm, true that really isn't a feedback forum...

Sadly, I am not a moderator in any of the actual Fanime-related discussion boards, but I can ask to see if one can get set up that will get looked at.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: echoshadow on April 21, 2015, 08:07:37 PM
Faceplam.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Oniko on April 22, 2015, 09:53:44 AM
So I'll be speaking on 2 views, as a moderator of the forum, and as someone who has ran events in the past.

As a Moderator to this section of the forum - It is good a discussion is happening, and it's quite....calm surprisingly, but to the OP and people who have complaints, have you given Fanime itself feedback? I will assure you that MOST Fanime staff who can actually give you answers will most likely not look at this thread, as this is more of a "General Discussion" part of the forums, not exactly feedback for the convention.

As someone who has ran events in the past - It's tough, a lot of things happen, sometimes you CAN'T get what you want, Fanime works pretty hard getting good guests every year, but sometimes things fall through for various reasons. I am trying not to take sides here as there are very good points on both sides, but for the people with a lot of negative feelings about the convention, sometimes these things happen. Even with expanding staff, you have to remember, Staff rotate out, this includes the people running the convention, think of it like the President of the United States, some heads will have different ideas how to run the Convention, sometimes they are popular amongst the con goers, sometimes not so much. I do highly recommend leaving feedback here: http://forums.fanime.com/index.php/board,37.0.html, or going to one of the meetings and leave feedback either during the convention or with an individual department. If you don't do that, and just leave your feelings in this thread, I will give you a 10% chance it will be heard by staff, and like a 1% chance it'll actually reach the appropriate department.

Well I'll certainly try posting there but I'm starting to lose hope.  Every Fanime near the end I'm handed a survey form being an AA attendee.  Theres always a blank space to write comments and I sure try to cram in as much as possible.  even my helper does.  However it's been getting worse every year.

As far as the changing and rotating of staff yeah it's probably hard to pick things up but I'll fall back on my original post a page ago.  They really need to hire professionals.  Even if the new department head isnt sure what to do next professionals will know and be able to help guide the department head.

But I'll try my luck in the link too.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Admiral Donuts on April 23, 2015, 12:28:13 AM
I go to the closing ceremonies every year. Plenty of people make suggestions and comments and usually they're greeted with "Good point, we'll look into it."

For example, three separate people recommended some basic signs for helping people get around the con. What do you want to bet nothing will come of these suggestions?
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Mizuki on April 23, 2015, 01:37:22 AM
Faceplam.

Please refrain from leaving these sort of comments in this section of the forum, it gives literally 0 input/discussion into the topic.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Imperial on April 23, 2015, 05:02:28 AM
I go to the closing ceremonies every year. Plenty of people make suggestions and comments and usually they're greeted with "Good point, we'll look into it."

For example, three separate people recommended some basic signs for helping people get around the con. What do you want to bet nothing will come of these suggestions?

There are signs. At info desk, at CGD table in front, at Cosplay hangout, and the interactive map near front enterence. some are a mess to read, but again, at the places mentioned minus the interactive one by the center, there are staff willing to point you the right way. I do agree, it wont hurt to have another on both levels of the main drag (the long hall, the narrow corridor of 2 years ago, ill point at it on a map if you wish) as a means of confirming which way you are going.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: aetherltd on April 23, 2015, 02:24:54 PM
Here's last year's discussion on signs at Fanime. (http://forums.fanime.com/index.php/topic,19563.msg480757.html)

This year, will the shuttle bus stop be in front of the convention center, around the corner at the Hilton's drive-up lobby, or somewhere else? Signs would help.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: hikanteki on April 24, 2015, 10:57:41 AM
For tax purposes Fanime, like every other convention, fair or event is organized as a corporation, so its misleading to imply that this is the same as a for profit corporation like AX, ComicCon or Wizard.  What 'for fans by fans' means is that we volunteer our time and while some perks are rewarded generally we spend far more time and money then the benefit.  Personally I spent around $3000 last year of my own funds to host my event.

The irony. While Fanime is organized as a corporation, 2 of the 3 you mentioned (AX and Comic-Con) are non-profits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anime_Expo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Diego_Comic-Con_International
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: hikanteki on April 24, 2015, 11:24:24 AM
Interesting topic. I’ve been every year since 2010 and for me, it’s worth going to because I can walk or take VTA there. If I lived further away and had to travel and stay at a hotel, then it wouldn’t be worth it anymore for me.

The main reason it’s still worth it for me is MusicFest. It’s been consistently good. I like seeing bands from Japan that are virtually impossible to see elsewhere in the US. I don’t mind that the opener last year was North American because Home Made Kazoku was a HUGE deal and I just figure they put their entire budget into getting HMK. Even in 2012 when they didn’t get any major acts, they still pulled it together for a well-run MusicFest and Chiba-san was fun to watch. However, I wouldn’t be able to make plans to travel for J-Music if I don’t know it’s happening until like two weeks before the show.

The lackluster lineup of guests last year was a little disappointing for me; however, I would MUCH prefer that the con pool their resources first into organization rather than top-name guests. I can definitely enjoy a well-run con with 24 hour anime and movie screens, a great exhibition hall, and few guest panels available; however I cannot enjoy a con where I can’t get in due to the line being too long or where I have no idea where everything is going on.

The main problem IMO, and this is something that seems to span across multiple departments, is that people pulling the strings are too lazy/stubborn to do what’s best for Fanime. Yes, not announcing the guests until a month before the show is a major issue. There have been people saying the ink is dry and has been for months, so it’s mind-boggling why they wait this long. This is NOT the norm for most anime conventions (Take for instance Sac-Anime, who has pretty much their entire lineup announced six months in advance) and some people need months to prepare their guest-related cosplay or even make plans to go.

They get major props in 2014 for fixing line-con. However -- there was virtually NO mention before the show of what their plans were to make sure it didn’t happen. There was only like one hidden thread on this message board which mentioned it. A number of would-be attendees I talked to would have been willing to give them another chance in 2014 to see if they fixed it, but didn’t because Fanime gave us no reason to believe that it would be fixed. They should have posted on Facebook and Twitter their plans on improving the line and expected times to get badges, rather than announcing “expect to wait a really long time in line Thursday and Friday” which came across as petulant and turned people off. A much better approach would have been to say something like “We apologize for last year’s delay. We are instituting a new registration system that will process ___ badges in ___ seconds, at ___x faster than last year. While we cannot promise that there will be no line, we assure you that we are working to make sure that what happened in 2013 does not happen again and thank you for your understanding.” They may want to consider adding a PR department.

The defense of Fanime’s warts being attributed to “by fans, for fans” in this topic & others was seriously painful for me to read. First, a number of the other cons (i.e. AX, Otakon, Comic-Con) name-dropped as not by fans are actually non-profits, whereas Fanime’s a for-profit corporation. (For the record, I have no problem with any con being organized as for-profit or not...but don’t claim to not be what you are.) Second, being by fans for fans is NO excuse for terrible organization. Third, just because corporations may be involved doesn’t mean that they people behind the corporations aren’t fans too.

All that being said...I do like attending Fanime. I’m proud to have something like this in my backyard. If it seems harsh it’s because I want them to improve in areas where they can easily do so -- they are doing many things right, and I do NOT want to see another Bay Area con fall apart or leave (i.e. WonderCon).
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: echoshadow on April 24, 2015, 08:45:17 PM
Faceplam.

Please refrain from leaving these sort of comments in this section of the forum, it gives literally 0 input/discussion into the topic.

Alright, then let me explain my single word response to you so you can have the proper input you ask of.

You suggested that (you as a moderator) everyone should post their feedback in the ideas and suggestions section. I then told you there is not an official feedback thread and then ask for you to make a pinned official feedback.

Now here's my reason for the "faceplam" comment. 
You concluded that I'm right, there is no feedback thread, then that your not really a moderator and you can't do anything about it, but "you'll ask some one ".

That my dear, was nothing more than "passing the buck" type of response. That also got me thinking why do you have a moderator title and can't make a simple pinned feedback thread? Is there a lot of red tape you have go through? Do you have to ask your higher ups for approval, or wait till your next staff meeting to make a simple request? So there you go. I hope this is enough input or discussion for your satisfaction.

I apologize if it sounded a tad rude, but sadly emotions don't translate well over the internet.   
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Sunara Ishi on April 25, 2015, 05:05:39 AM
Faceplam.

Please refrain from leaving these sort of comments in this section of the forum, it gives literally 0 input/discussion into the topic.

Alright, then let me explain my single word response to you so you can have the proper input you ask of.

You suggested that (you as a moderator) everyone should post their feedback in the ideas and suggestions section. I then told you there is not an official feedback thread and then ask for you to make a pinned official feedback.

Now here's my reason for the "faceplam" comment. 
You concluded that I'm right, there is no feedback thread, then that your not really a moderator and you can't do anything about it, but "you'll ask some one ".

That my dear, was nothing more than "passing the buck" type of response. That also got me thinking why do you have a moderator title and can't make a simple pinned feedback thread? Is there a lot of red tape you have go through? Do you have to ask your higher ups for approval, or wait till your next staff meeting to make a simple request? So there you go. I hope this is enough input or discussion for your satisfaction.

I apologize if it sounded a tad rude, but sadly emotions don't translate well over the internet.
Actually in his original post, he said he was the moderator for this section of the forum where this thread is hosted. Aka the sub-forum "Things of a Serious Nature." He never said he was the moderator of the sub-forum "Ideas and Suggestions." The fanime-con related boards are modded by other people.

I'm guessing you don't look at the main forum page thoroughly, as each sub-forum clearly states who mods each one? You seem to have a mistaken idea about how forums are normally run. Usually each sub-forum has its own mods but they can only mod the forums they are assigned to; usually only the admin can mod all sub-forums. That is common throughout the web; not just at fanime.

I believe he was implying that he has to contact (PM) the mod of the "Ideas and Suggestions" sub-forum to ask that the mod in question create that sticky.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Mizuki on April 27, 2015, 01:29:41 PM
Faceplam.

Please refrain from leaving these sort of comments in this section of the forum, it gives literally 0 input/discussion into the topic.

Alright, then let me explain my single word response to you so you can have the proper input you ask of.

You suggested that (you as a moderator) everyone should post their feedback in the ideas and suggestions section. I then told you there is not an official feedback thread and then ask for you to make a pinned official feedback.

Now here's my reason for the "faceplam" comment. 
You concluded that I'm right, there is no feedback thread, then that your not really a moderator and you can't do anything about it, but "you'll ask some one ".

That my dear, was nothing more than "passing the buck" type of response. That also got me thinking why do you have a moderator title and can't make a simple pinned feedback thread? Is there a lot of red tape you have go through? Do you have to ask your higher ups for approval, or wait till your next staff meeting to make a simple request? So there you go. I hope this is enough input or discussion for your satisfaction.

I apologize if it sounded a tad rude, but sadly emotions don't translate well over the internet.

No problem. no offense taken. However, because I am a moderator for the forums, doesn't exactly mean I have any real pull with how Fanime works and operates (I am Maid Cafe staff, so the end of the year when we can give feedback for the con I will look over this thread and bring up a lot of the concerns I see here.) Also, I'm only a moderator for a handful of the "General Discussion" type forums, not a global moderator (if I could make a pinned thread in the appropriate section, I really would.) Anyways, I will do my best as staff to make your guys' voice heard, and will go through this thread once the end of the year wrap-up stuff for staff happens, and put in appropriate feedback.

I hope this is sufficient enough for you. Sorry there was some misunderstandings.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Amanojaku on April 28, 2015, 12:33:45 PM
That my dear, was nothing more than "passing the buck" type of response.
Passing the buck is the act of attributing one's own responsibility to someone else.  Her limited function on this forum has been made clear.  This wasn't her responsibility.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Mizuki on April 28, 2015, 05:02:32 PM
That my dear, was nothing more than "passing the buck" type of response.
Passing the buck is the act of attributing one's own responsibility to someone else.  Her limited function on this forum has been made clear.  This wasn't her responsibility.

I think my post and Sumari's got the idea across, I seriously don't want this to turn into a finger pointing match from here on out. Please remain on topic.

p.s. I am a he, not a she.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Steve.Young on April 29, 2015, 09:49:12 AM
That my dear, was nothing more than "passing the buck" type of response.
Passing the buck is the act of attributing one's own responsibility to someone else.  Her limited function on this forum has been made clear.  This wasn't her responsibility.

I think my post and Sumari's got the idea across, I seriously don't want this to turn into a finger pointing match from here on out. Please remain on topic.

p.s. I am a he, not a she.

Hah!

Thanks for the feedback, I'll bring this up at our post-con meetings.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: citrus on April 30, 2015, 02:34:19 AM
Yeah... so I have to ask. What the heck took you moderators or staff so long to notice the discussions we've been having in the forums for quite sometime now? We complain and complain, non-stop but it wasn't until 1 month close to the con you guys start actually communicating with us and actually taking action. And it's not just on the forums are people complaining. It's on almost all of your guy's social media and I'm pretty sure there are people spamming you with complaints with e-mails as well.

You guys claim that all of you are working hard to improve the con. However a lot of us say the same thing. You either provide a generic answer or just ignore our voice's and concern's all the time. Okay so staff rotates and the head changes as well? If that's the case here's something you can do. DON'T change or rotate staff if possible and if someone as important as the head HAVE to switch then find a head that's popular with the attendees or much beloved. They may have different ways of running the convention but that doesn't mean they should discard everything of what the previous head that's done which has made the con successful. I will continue to say and constantly reiterate. 2011 was the last year fanimecon was good and since then everything has fallen downhill. It's not just the guests but everything about the convention in general.  Do you guys actually acknowledge our voice? Judging by the the lackluster communication the past months I highly doubt it.

I know you guys read the forums. And if you actually cared you would have resolved our complaints a long time ago. Not only that, it actually feels like you guys try to suppress our feedback one time or not hand us anything to allow our complaints be heard. In the year 2013 a online feedback form was created and distributed. Many people jumped on the bandwagon and filled out the form. You guys have distributed the feedback form on facebook but then a month or two later it was removed from facebook which gives off the impression you guy's can't handle criticism or feedback and the only way for people to actually access it was the official website. It's as if you wanted the least amount of people to find the online form. As far as I'm aware I was never given a survey or fillout form on how the convention was in 2014. I don't even think there was an online feedback form for 2014. What makes you think we can actually trust you'll finally be taking action for once. ( I am so expecting this reply to totally ignored)
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Mizuki on April 30, 2015, 02:17:54 PM
Yeah... so I have to ask. What the heck took you moderators or staff so long to notice the discussions we've been having in the forums for quite sometime now? We complain and complain, non-stop but it wasn't until 1 month close to the con you guys start actually communicating with us and actually taking action. And it's not just on the forums are people complaining. It's on almost all of your guy's social media and I'm pretty sure there are people spamming you with complaints with e-mails as well.

You guys claim that all of you are working hard to improve the con. However a lot of us say the same thing. You either provide a generic answer or just ignore our voice's and concern's all the time. Okay so staff rotates and the head changes as well? If that's the case here's something you can do. DON'T change or rotate staff if possible and if someone as important as the head HAVE to switch then find a head that's popular with the attendees or much beloved. They may have different ways of running the convention but that doesn't mean they should discard everything of what the previous head that's done which has made the con successful. I will continue to say and constantly reiterate. 2011 was the last year fanimecon was good and since then everything has fallen downhill. It's not just the guests but everything about the convention in general.  Do you guys actually acknowledge our voice? Judging by the the lackluster communication the past months I highly doubt it.

I know you guys read the forums. And if you actually cared you would have resolved our complaints a long time ago. Not only that, it actually feels like you guys try to suppress our feedback one time or not hand us anything to allow our complaints be heard. In the year 2013 a online feedback form was created and distributed. Many people jumped on the bandwagon and filled out the form. You guys have distributed the feedback form on facebook but then a month or two later it was removed from facebook which gives off the impression you guy's can't handle criticism or feedback and the only way for people to actually access it was the official website. It's as if you wanted the least amount of people to find the online form. As far as I'm aware I was never given a survey or fillout form on how the convention was in 2014. I don't even think there was an online feedback form for 2014. What makes you think we can actually trust you'll finally be taking action for once. ( I am so expecting this reply to totally ignored)

Hi citrus,

This is beyond *my* scope realistically. I am a moderator to the forums in a handful of sections, I am in no way a representative to FanimeCon as a whole. All I can do myself is just ask for a way for people to give feedback that will be heard. I know a handful of you are frustrated with the convention and how some things are handled. Moderators =/= Staff. I was actually a moderator on the forums before I was staff! (and I've only staffed Maid Cafe). In the scheme of things, on the forums I have as much as a voice as everyone in this thread who has complaints. You have to remember, this is *NOT* a thread the right people will see, so being aggressive to me is unfair, I personally can only do so much, but you have my word that I will try my damnedest to have your guys' voice heard.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: citrus on May 01, 2015, 01:29:15 AM
Well I do have to apologize if I may seem a bit aggressive towards but there is a reason why I'm acting like the way I am. Aside moderating certain sections of the forums, If you do read the forums and the threads and replies I make specifically, you'll notice I tend to make very aggressive posts and usually badmouth the staff and convention but not in ways that you wouldn't take me serious.

Usually, when a convention is going really bad many people will point the fingers at the staff for doing a bad job. And while this may not apply to all departments it applies to the big cheese who run the strings of the convention. I have complained constantly on social media and barely get any response or answers from the staff who run it. This includes the staff and moderators of the forums. What happens when I do? We get no answers and we are always constantly ignored. I have become very angry and aggressive for being ignored for so long that I don't trust the staff to get anything done because of it.

So in order to get any attention about the problems. being aggressive and ratting out the staff was the only way I could think of would get best way. The last staff member that I recall that tried to take action I haven't heard from him since then. Which I felt he wasn't trying hard enough or being genuine which only displaces my trust for the staff even more. It wasn't until now that you decided to actually offer to take action and have our voices be heard. So far you haven't ignore me like 95% of all the moderator or other staff have done and you actually addressed me head on. You also shown genuine care that you are going to try your best in which others have given the impression they won't.

So for now I'm going take your word and trust you. I expect and hope you won't let me down
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Glitch on May 02, 2015, 02:51:02 AM
I think it's a problem with young people who just haven't been to enough concerts, especially Japanese ones, and part of that is also probably the cons' fault for not placing enough emphasis on music guests and also educating the attendees.

My group of con friends are generally older (probably 25-40s+) and they're also fairly introverted but nobody there has any issue with standing.  Hell, some of us even have old injuries and we will work through the pain if possible to keep jumping and standing during the concert.  But everyone in the group are veteran congoers who attend cons *specifically* for music guests, and a large number of them also make trips to Japan to attend lives there as well.

Actually since I'm on a rant, American con "dance" scenes are also pretty dismal IMO.  If a dance gets described at any point in time as a "rave" they've already failed.

Here is what anime music events at music clubs are like in Japan.
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/61017139 - Club Mogra (very famous, if any of you watched the anime Saekano, the characters actually go here in one of the episodes!)
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/60731753 - Sukimono

Even outside Japan, at Anime Festival Asia, they know what's up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrBcn8w9uVM - AFA Indonesia '13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV7SE9TmCeo - AFA Singapore '14

They get it over at Mexico too:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjFxAsr1Kf0

Notice in all cases the very clear anime/vocaloid music with generally minimal amounts of remixing.

And then here's what happens in USA cons...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WOTq5-s9y8 - Fanime
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gRkuXceQPY - Otakon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgaokBV9B2Q - Anime Expo

That AX video is especially telling of why I have such a dim view of the con culture here.

There really is nothing in the cons here that really shows people this aspect of the culture.  And I only got into it myself by luck from seeing people who knew this aspect, and continuing to keep in touch with them over the years.
It should be pointed out that dances and concerts are two different things. A concert at a con usually invovles a guest a lot of people want to see, and therefore people will be a little be more active than when seeing a dj.

Such as when Momoi was here at fanime. When she jumps on stage in this vid, you can see things go energetic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMrQ4aCRIAY

I just think posting that video of the dance at Fanime and saying that people here are slouches, is misleading.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Erik_anderson on May 03, 2015, 05:26:49 PM
Quote
Yeah... so I have to ask. What the heck took you moderators or staff so long to notice the discussions we've been having in the forums for quite sometime now? We complain and complain, non-stop but it wasn't until 1 month close to the con you guys start actually communicating with us and actually taking action. And it's not just on the forums are people complaining. It's on almost all of your guy's social media and I'm pretty sure there are people spamming you with complaints with e-mails as well

Worth pointing out Citrus, but I am staff and I was on this thread 7 days after you posted it.  While this thread activity comes in waves, but we do actually pay attention and in my case try to address some of the remarks as best I can.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Erik_anderson on May 03, 2015, 06:02:48 PM
For tax purposes Fanime, like every other convention, fair or event is organized as a corporation, so its misleading to imply that this is the same as a for profit corporation like AX, ComicCon or Wizard.  What 'for fans by fans' means is that we volunteer our time and while some perks are rewarded generally we spend far more time and money then the benefit.  Personally I spent around $3000 last year of my own funds to host my event.

The irony. While Fanime is organized as a corporation, 2 of the 3 you mentioned (AX and Comic-Con) are non-profits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anime_Expo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Diego_Comic-Con_International

Well first off Wikipedia is a terrible source for concrete facts.  It is literally anti-expert. 

Secondly, you are aware that a non-profit is a type of corporation that a company is literally incorporated as a 501.c(3) "charity" under the corporate tax code? Here is an interesting read on the contraversy around their filing status:

Quote
But the “nonprofit educational corporation promoting comics and related popular art forms,” as Comic-Con describes itself, said it had $9,999,107 cash on its books at the end of the 2010 reporting period.

http://patch.com/california/lamesa/comic-conwith-net-assets-of-7-millionpays-city-no-bus68a5dfd212

Quote
So where is most of that money spent? The biggest expense is the one that impacts attendees most – security, at a whopping $1.3 million. Second is the salaries for the 35 people CCI employed that year, at just over $1.2 million. And to rent the convention space? A cool $424k. Since these specific program expenses were not separated by con, we don’t know how much of this actually went toward SDCC, but by law of ratios it is likely the majority.

http://sdccblog.com/2013/02/comic-con-internationals-tax-documents-reveal-organizations-assets-cost-of-sdcc/

Quote
Employees who had ties with corporate officers were listed as Maija Gates, daughter of executive director ($63,412); Colleen O'Connell, wife of treasurer ($61,770); and Eddie Ibrahim, former board member ($61,303).

Download a copy of the 990 filing at the bottom of the page here:

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/documents/2011/jul/08/comic-con-09-990/

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/news-ticker/2011/jul/08/comic-con-grossed-more-than-9-million-in-fy-09-lat/#

This is where I point out that I do this for free, well actually I pay about $3,000 a year to work the convention.

Finally let me point out that Anime Expo is not a non-profit charity its a 503c(6) corporation - the so called Business Leagues exemption. You will also note that it paid $542.384.00 in salary to its employees in 2010.

http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/943/943156848/943156848_201012_990O.pdf

Quote
Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code provides for the exemption of business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards, boards of trade and professional football leagues, which are not organized for profit and no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.
A business league is an association of persons having some common business interest, the purpose of which is to promote such common interest and not to engage in a regular business of a kind ordinarily carried on for profit. Trade associations and professional associations are business leagues. To be exempt, a business league's activities must be devoted to improving business ...

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Other-Non-Profits/Business-Leagues

Now if you want to compare actual charities to ComicCon its worth noting that the United Way, the largest charity in the US only gets $4.2 million a year, that's less then half of what ComicCon gets.  Then again the NFL which is in the same tax section as Anime Expo gets $9.5 billion in revenue per year.

What does this and anything else about conventions finances have to do with which convention you are going to attend?  likely nothing.

Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: Dracil on May 04, 2015, 01:18:31 PM
I think it's a problem with young people who just haven't been to enough concerts, especially Japanese ones, and part of that is also probably the cons' fault for not placing enough emphasis on music guests and also educating the attendees.

My group of con friends are generally older (probably 25-40s+) and they're also fairly introverted but nobody there has any issue with standing.  Hell, some of us even have old injuries and we will work through the pain if possible to keep jumping and standing during the concert.  But everyone in the group are veteran congoers who attend cons *specifically* for music guests, and a large number of them also make trips to Japan to attend lives there as well.

Actually since I'm on a rant, American con "dance" scenes are also pretty dismal IMO.  If a dance gets described at any point in time as a "rave" they've already failed.

Here is what anime music events at music clubs are like in Japan.
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/61017139 - Club Mogra (very famous, if any of you watched the anime Saekano, the characters actually go here in one of the episodes!)
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/60731753 - Sukimono

Even outside Japan, at Anime Festival Asia, they know what's up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrBcn8w9uVM - AFA Indonesia '13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV7SE9TmCeo - AFA Singapore '14

They get it over at Mexico too:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjFxAsr1Kf0

Notice in all cases the very clear anime/vocaloid music with generally minimal amounts of remixing.

And then here's what happens in USA cons...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WOTq5-s9y8 - Fanime
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gRkuXceQPY - Otakon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgaokBV9B2Q - Anime Expo

That AX video is especially telling of why I have such a dim view of the con culture here.

There really is nothing in the cons here that really shows people this aspect of the culture.  And I only got into it myself by luck from seeing people who knew this aspect, and continuing to keep in touch with them over the years.
It should be pointed out that dances and concerts are two different things. A concert at a con usually invovles a guest a lot of people want to see, and therefore people will be a little be more active than when seeing a dj.

Such as when Momoi was here at fanime. When she jumps on stage in this vid, you can see things go energetic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMrQ4aCRIAY

I just think posting that video of the dance at Fanime and saying that people here are slouches, is misleading.

None of the videos I posted are of concerts.  It's an issue with American cons, not just Fanime.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: citrus on May 04, 2015, 09:37:51 PM
Soo... everything in the con is still being announced as if they're just hamstringing things together at the last minute and offical announcements about the music guests STILL haven't been announced.

So this brings back to the name of the thread I created.  Fanime worth going to anymore? My impression so far? NOPE!

You staff mind answering why it's taking so long to finalize everything when that should have been taken care a long time ago? Or shall I expect silence?
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: gsp113 on May 04, 2015, 10:45:50 PM
You know you should really give the staff a break. Fanime has always been hurry up and wait in my experience with it. I usually attend the con however the timeline of guest announcements and the things I'm doing now a days may make that hard.

This is the problem with going to a con mainly for a musical guest. Structurally Fanime is still ok, Rookiez, and 7!! we're awesome year before last. HMK was amazing last year but I have to agree on the Raj issue, he's not a very strong vocalist annnnnnnnnnnnd he butchered Cha La Head Cha La. Anyways it's what 18 days til the con and there's still no announcement on the musicfest guest. Unfortunately for me that means I'm probably gonna spend the extra money and use the ticket gifted to me for Scandal. I'd rather not drive down below but the original poster does have a point, I sit here and question if its worth the money I will spend on a hotel etc.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: ewu on May 04, 2015, 10:55:58 PM
You staff mind answering why it's taking so long to finalize everything when that should have been taken care a long time ago? Or shall I expect silence?

So things (guest, events, programming) are getting announced as soon as we can. However, it is a complex and sensitive process and the proper steps must be taken. Keep in mind that sometimes we are also doing this in both English and Japanese.

We have heard your feedback and I even replied to your post here with respect to guests:

So we actually have a database of all the requests in this thread and this is not a blind thread. Please keep the suggestions flowing.

As for booking earlier, we are working hard on moving up the timeline. While its hard to show you progress, our acquisitions timeline is moving up. However, it takes time to move it up and it takes time for other convention resources like budgeting to ramp up to support the timeline change.

We are working to improve and love to hear your continued feedback.

Thanks:)
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: otakuya on June 01, 2015, 06:27:49 PM
I hate to bring up this thread again, but I want to make a point.

What's the difference of the badge vs no badge? Many of the events at Fanime does not require a badge, such as cosplay gatherings, Stage 0, and outside atmosphere. Anyone can walk around the convention center, hotels, and anywhere outside without a badge and still have the same enjoyment of the convention without paying $60+ for a badge.

I'm always going to pre-register for future Fanimes because I am supporting this event that I grew up with, but I want to feel like that I got all of my registration money worth and not have the same experience if I didn't register.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: cutiebunny on June 02, 2015, 01:14:55 AM
It's the same with most anime conventions; Areas outside the convention center, and often inside the convention center, are free and open to the public.  If you want access to the dealer hall, artist alley, game rooms, autographs, concerts and panels, you have to buy a badge.

I'm sure that there are many people at conventions across the country that solely attend either to cosplay or to take pictures of cosplayers do so without buying a badge.  Short of hiring staff to patrol these areas and remove those without a badge, I'm not sure how you can actively control this...especially when your convention booklet states that sitting at Stage 0 doesn't require a badge.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: KyraEnsui on June 02, 2015, 10:14:44 AM
 :-\
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: otakuya on June 02, 2015, 06:04:21 PM
For me, it's not about patrolling and controlling badges, but having the badge worth something. The most I've seen of badge patrol are for dealers room and gaming room, both of which additional money is needed for purchases.

I get that it's a public place, but much of what Fanime has to offer does not require a badge. If all you do is stay outside for cosplayers, or even watch everything on Stage Zero, you kinda wasted your reg money. Unless the paid sections of Fanime blows everything out of the water of awesomeness, I don't want to feel gypped that most things were free. One thing that may help is to have the arcades on Free Play apart from the prize catchers.
Title: Re: Is Fanime worth going to anymore?
Post by: InsaneDavid on June 02, 2015, 06:56:32 PM
This will also go in my feedback thread post when I write that in a couple days -

Stage Zero should do more to promote the convention, which it already does to an extent.  I would like to see more promotion outside of the Opening Ceremonies and whatnot.  For instance during programming changes mention any tournaments that may be upcoming in Gaming.  Use that free soapbox to sell the convention to those who may be just wandering through to see what all the crowds and people in costume are about.  Also, turn the bass and gain down!  It was WAY to difficult to understand most of what was being broadcast during the day at Stage Zero this year due to the audio mix being terrible.  It's like what - 80 seats?  Should be enough volume to get over the general convention center chatter and that's it, not enough to blare down to gatherings a floor below at The Hub.  TL;DR - Stage Zero should absolutely be free and should have a secondary purpose to push badges for those simply milling about.

I've heard conflicting things about badge checks at the video rooms during general programming.  If they are unbadged then that is completely asinine both for the safety of those in the video rooms and for the AV equipment on lease being used in them.  "Hey, dark room, come on in - no restriction, no easy grounds for removal and ban."  Not to mention it's another thing that doesn't have to be paid for someone to utilize.

It's worth it to me because I love the atmosphere of the convention - it's the show that got me back into conventions outright.  Dealer's Hall, Artist Alley, an occasional panel, Swap Meet (should go back to being fully badged again, no need to make Day Zero concessions anymore now that registration has been fixed) Gaming and video rooms are all something I enjoy and happily pay the modest fee to utilize.