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Messages - Fi-Fi

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Moving past the registration woes - Eric do you think you can shed some light as to what's at least being discussed regarding the Cosplay Spectacular? The ill-will after the event is being left to fester with no response past "we're reading your feedback." I know the staff have jobs and other responsibilities to attend to first but it would help if there was at least an acknowledgement of what happened.

I have been in contact with the current Div Head and she is working hard to make sure that what happened with the Cosplay Spectacular this year will not happen again next year.  She is aware of the disappointment and the anger of all those who participated and watched. There will be changes for next year to make next year's Cosplay Spectacular run smoothly.

Thank you for giving her all your constructive feedback as it will aid in her decision-making process.

Thank you for the update. I hope we'll hear details about what's changing soon (or at least what decisions have been made thus far). It was very unfortunate that the event was more or less a disaster. I've jokingly been telling my wife the only positive was that the building didn't burn down.

I think the feedback has been submitted by everyone multiple times but the largest issue was simply the lack of organization. You can't expect events to start on time or technical needs to be taken care of when simple schedules are unclear. With lots of help from my fellow Pizza Time Cosplay members I've put together an account of our own experiences in the Cosplay Spectacular so hopefully some insights can be gleaned from that: http://forums.fanime.com/index.php/topic,18572.msg464893.html#msg464893

My feedback about the Cosplay Spectacular is also in these thread http://forums.fanime.com/index.php/topic,18540.msg465113.html#msg465113

The staff or Volunteer who was in the bright green jacket
Hi. o:
I wore the jacket so that people could see me/find where I was. At least now I know it's definitely memorable... As noted before, we're working on improving the system. I currently have 3 different proposals to alleviate the long wait and there is definitely more brainstorming in the works. I will try to make the lines much more marked.

I also didn't realize how popular group reg was so I'm also planning on having a few booths dedicated to group pick-up.

Thank you for the feedback. (:

Hi! Thank you for working so hard so late into the night, I know I was a bit testy and I am sorry if I snapped at you, but honestly, thank you so much for finding out what happened to my badges and taking care of it. It was really nice to have someone who cared at that point. So, thank you again!

I have submitted my feedback, but here its again.

So, here it is, what I submitted to Fanime... a critique of 3 things: registration, Cosplay Spectacular, and Artist Alley



To start off, I was part of the 8 hour Pre-Reg line on Thursday Night. I was also subjected to the line last year, but at least I was inside and I realize that with power outages things happen. But this year I was in fact in line LONGER than I was last year. After the mess of lines in different halls and rooms, I finally made it to the final line (or so I assumed) and got to the booth, I was rudely told I was in the wrong line. Now, when we entered the room every single person was funneled into the same line. No one asked “Are you Pre-Reg? Early Reg? Group Reg?” I still have no idea who that first line was even for because I was blown off so quickly it was as if I wasn’t the first person to have the problem. Seeing as the booth I was shooed away from clearly said “Pre-Reg” I was mighty angry.

When I was finally in what I assumed was the correct line, before I was able to talk to the person at the other booth (labeled Early-Reg) I was again told that because I was group reg, I needed to go to another table. What that person did not do was ask me my name or print the labels to put on my badges. So, after once again being shooed into a line while other people just walked up to the table and where being helped before me, I was told we had to GET BACK IN THE OTHER LINE. I told the lady, NO, and to her credit, agreed with me after I explained that another staff member had ordered us into the line we were now in. The staff or Volunteer who was in the bright green jacket to her credit was working her ass off to try and stem the tide of madness that was the group registration pick up. She was concerned that my badges weren’t already printed, and that is when she informed me that no one had printed them, and she rushed around to get them printed. It was 2am at this point.


To offer solutions for your registration failure, I have the following suggestions:

1) Pre-print your badges. I don’t care that people get upset that they don’t get a spiffy badge if the register at the con.

2) Or, have a label printer at every single station along with a computer that the registration volunteer can quickly find a person and send their name to be printed.

3) Have lines CLEARLY marked. If you are going to do Early Reg and Pre Reg on Thursday, then you need to have each line clearly marked and a person stationed to direct people to the correct line.

4) Group registration needs to have its own booth. This was my first year doing it and I realized just how popular it is. My understanding was that group registration was to help lessen the number of people in line, but because of the confusion and lack of organization it was even more of a pain for me to wait in line for 8 hours than it would have been for all 5 of us to wait in line for 6. And yes, it was an extra 2 hours of waiting tacked on because I was doing group reg.



My second major grip of this convention was the mess that was the Cosplay Spectacular. It started with the extremely late start, which while I understand that we lost Melissa (and her entire staff as I later found out). I understand staff turnovers are hard, and training and finding good staff is hard, but it starts with a calm and competent leader. And Jack was neither of those. I heard many stories, but this is my personal experience with him. After exchanging some hard to read emails, we arrived at the convention with no knowledge if we needed to check in with anyone, we didn’t even know when the show was going to start. I emailed Jack during the convention but never received a reply, and after searching through emails and asking other people who were also in the show, we finally found where judging was going to be taking place and that there wasn’t any need to check in… or at least that is what we assumed.

We arrived at judging, we did check in directly with Jack and his staff and I asked if they needed our audio again, or if it needed to be checked. I was told it was all OK, and we went about our way. The next day we stopped by the hall to check in again, asked where we could keep our props, and if they had our audio. I asked Jack, again, if he needed our audio and if he had gotten the email with our intro, he said yes and that we were all set. Around 3:30-4:00 PM we show up in costume and asked about what number we where in the show, only to find out we had been scratched because “we never checked in” Bullshit, not only had we checked in, we had checked in directly with Jack. I proceed to text my friends who were also in the masquerade to double check if they were still in the show because of what we had just been through. (which we found out that 3 groups had been cut for the same reason) After asking why our name was scratched out to be waved away with an “Oh, that is nothing, you are here, I’ll fix it… blah blah blah” we, already stressed and unhappy with how this has been going so far, find a seat and sit down. Here is where the rest of Jacks staff really stepped up and worked very hard with what they had. The stage manager (I never got his name) tried very hard to seat us in performance order, we were told we were 16.

So, after the rock concert, which while good, was not appreciated at all by any of the contestants because of nerves and stress levels, we were finally taken out into the hall and given a new number, 12. After more confusion as to who was going next because the list they had was useless, we were finally let back stage. And we waited. And waited. And then the sound guy told me our audio didn’t work. Excuse me, I had been told 3 times that our audio was fine, and I didn’t have my backup with me. Then I was told “You are Italy’s Pizza Conference, right?” NO. “Oh, Automatic Dolls? We don’t have your audio.” And they didn’t have it because Jack decided that he wanted to switch computers (which I heard him ask a staff member for another computer than the little one he was using during the rehearsal) and he did not move the audio files to the new computer. Well, panicking I yelled (the backstage yell) at Jack that he said he had our audio and why didn’t he have it now. He had me search his email for my audio. He then put it on a thumb drive and transferred it to the computer the sound guy was using.

Now, while waiting for all of this to take place, I was asked if I was the Madoka group no less than 5 times. I was asked, again, if I was the Italy group. I watched as the Hatsune Miku cosplayer was told to go out suddenly when we were suppose to go and he was not ready. I watched as the Italy group have their audio cut and lights dimmed before the end of their skit and then they were just yelled at to get off stage. When our audio was finally found and added to the play list, it started playing over the Madoka skit! We heard it from backstage, and told the sound guy to shut off our audio, and then he shut off the Madoka audio instead. I watched in horror as the group finished their skit to our music and the group members storm back stage and start screaming (with good reason) at Jack. And Jack let them redo their skit. But if he was going to give in to the screaming he should have let the Italy group go again because that is unfair. So, by this time I didn’t want to go on stage. Tell me who would want to go on stage and preform after their audio just ruined another skit?


We did perform, but I’d had it. When Jack finally got our audio he offered us high-fives. It was if he wasn’t taking anything he was doing seriously. Because the high-five, after I just went though the panic of being told my audio was bad and then that they didn’t have my audio, was lucky to have not turned into a punch.


Most of Jacks staff worked best with what they had, but I feel that things like performance order should have been decided either before the con if there is no mandatory check-in, or at mandatory check-in with an audio check.


So, here are some suggestions for next year.

1) I don’t say this lightly, but fire Jack. He did not display any qualities of a good leader, he was unorganized and his lax attitude was completely inappropriate.

2) The online form needs to come back. Email and forum communication for the contest was lacking and confusing.

3) Things need to be on a deadline. If audio submissions were on a deadline, I was completely unaware of it. The same with sign ups.

4) The next person to take over needs to have either more experience or at least have proven organizational skills.

5) The rules need to be applied to everyone. If one group is allowed a do-over, then every skit that had its audio affected by a mistake needs to have the opportunity to re-do their skit. I don’t care if one was more popular or better put together. The rules need to apply to everyone equally.

6) The audio should have been re-named with the performance order, it should have been on a portable HD and a thumb drive, and during rehearsal, every single audio should have been played to assure that they worked and that every file was accounted for.

7) I did like that there were cash prizes, better than the bags-o-paper we have gotten in the past. If you had included a trophy like in years past, it would have made me even happier. But if it came down to the plexiglass trophies or cash, I would prefer cash.

8 ) I hope that if you do remove Jack as the coordinator you will not dally and find a replacement asap because it is going to take time to fix this mess.



The last thing is the artist ally. I understand because of construction it had to be moved. But when all the signs say “South Hall” and there is no South Hall… you shot yourselves in the foot, along with all the vendors in the tent. Your signage was awful, and should have said “Artist Ally One Block That Way” The Fanime AA is one of, if not the best AA around and it is just horrible that you couldn’t simply direct people to the right place.


Will I go back next year? I honestly don’t know… I fly in from the Midwest so it is a big deal trip to make it all the way to San Jose. I hope that you can implement changes that will make it worth my wild and my money.

Yes, this is long, but I felt Fanime needed to know exactly what was wrong.

Big Event Showcase / Re: Cosplay Spectacular 2013
« on: May 04, 2013, 08:20:33 PM »
Do you also want a write up? Or just fill out this form? And I assume on the form when it asks "How many conventions have you participated in a costume competition" you are asking how many times I have been in a costume competition, because how many cons is 3, but how many times I have been in a contest is around 8. Different questions, different answers.

Big Event Showcase / Re: Cosplay Spectacular 2013
« on: April 24, 2013, 01:06:23 AM »
I got my email saying we got in... now, to wait to find out how to send in audio, sign up for judging... all the fun stuff.

Big Event Showcase / Re: Cosplay Spectacular 2013
« on: March 18, 2013, 01:29:57 PM »
I was going to make a post asking this same question today... any word on who is running it or at least if there is going to be one this year?? It isn't easy pulling together a skit not knowing if we will even be able to perform it.  I hope we will hear something soon!

Big Event Showcase / Re: Masquerade prizing...
« on: January 23, 2013, 06:00:43 PM »
I agree with Rynn and Dany, I am pretty sure we ended up giving almost everything from our 2011 prize to the people on our hotel floor.  They enjoyed it, but I would have preferred something like a certificate for all the members of the group and a trophy for the group as a whole. But finding post cards and old Japanese manga magazines... meh, recycle the paper

Registration / Re: Lines on Day 0
« on: January 09, 2013, 09:42:38 PM »

PAX mails badges by default and they have 70000 attendees.

Printing badges is fast but there's 2 problems 1) The SJCC union rules sucks so the more you have to do on-site, the more problems can occur and 2) Well it's a paper badge instead of a nice plastic badge

If you are going to use PAX as an example of a convention that mails their badges, you also have to understand how their system works.  I went to PAX this past year, and I have some experience with their registration issues.  PAX has a different system than any other convention I have been too, they do not count people, they count badges.  There is a finite number of badges, and when they are all sold (like this past year) there are no more.  I left my badge at home.  It was mailed out 3 months before the con, I put it in plain site so I wouldn't forget it, and well... I was going to a wedding that same weekend, and hopped on my plane without my badge.

I emailed them, and guess what... there was no way for them to reissue my badge because they were sold out. I was lucky enough to have found a solution, but there was no at con registration.  And that is how their system is able to work. There is no check in, you just show up with your badge and you are in.  The one year AX mailed their badges, you still had to check in, pick up your lanyard and badge holder, still wait in a 3 hour line.

I still expect a line when I go to a convention, I stuck around for the line of doom last year, and perhaps if a transformer doesn't blow it won't be nearly as bad this year.  Mailing out things sounds like a plan, but you also have to plan for 20 other happenstances that go along with planning to mail out badges. Cons tend to stick with at-con pickup because it is easier. Or at least that has been the argument with friends who staff different cons.

Ideas and Suggestions / Re: Guests I Want for Fanime 2013!!!!!!!!
« on: October 09, 2012, 10:58:29 PM »
I would totally fly from Nebraska to see Araki! I know people from all over the world who would pay for the chance to see him!!

Hotel and Facilities / Hey! Fanime peeps! Need a room?
« on: May 11, 2012, 11:16:53 AM »
So, we had to downsize on rooms for Fanime this year… but we missed the deadline to cancel our second room!! >< So, before we are forced to pay for one night plus taxes, does anyone need a room at The Fairmont San Jose, 4 person room…

We would just transfer the room to your name!

 I posted this on my Tumblr and said I would wait to post it on the forums, but then learned that If we don’t cancel by the 14th we have to pay the whole thing… So here I am! This is urgent!

You know you know someone who needs a room!

Email me if you are interested!!

Hey, I have a question about light cues... we need the lights to go down (and stay down) at a specific part, about 4-5 seconds before the audio ends.  This is very important, would that be a problem? Or can the crew do that?

Big Event Showcase / Re: Masquerade 2012 Question(s)
« on: February 09, 2012, 11:08:56 PM »
Another question:

Can I sign up for two skit slots and use the second one as a "delayed punchline" which would just be a ~10-20 seconds, requiring no setup/takedown and minimal introduction?

EDIT: Nevermind, we rewrote our ending just now... but if possible, I'm still sort of curious about the judgment on this.

I would think that would be incredibly unfair and rude to take up a second skit spot when there is a VERY limited number of them, and a wait list.  If you can't fit your skit in the time limit, then you need to change your skit. (which it sounds like you did)

Buy/Sell/Trade / WTS: Bleach manga, 1-27, 30 Lowered Price
« on: December 02, 2011, 06:24:55 PM »
Want a jump start on a new manga?? Don't want to pay full price for 28 practically brand new manga?

My love for Bleach has waned and I am looking to sell my entire collection of Bleach manga. I have 1-27 and 30 all in near perfect condition. They are all in English and as you can see the first few have the old VIZ logo, and not that anyone cares, but the first 10 or so are 1st printings (Yeah, I started buying them when they were first published.)

I am selling ALL them for $100!

(BUT, ask me and I will split them up!)


VIZ now sells Bleach for 9.99!

The price is without shipping, but to save money I can ship to you using Media Mail from the US Post Office.

I prefer PayPal for payments, thank you.

PM if you are interested, I would like to sell them all as one lot, but I will consider selling them as singles.
(I also have them listed on Cosplay.com)

Thank you for looking!!!

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