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Messages - Ecchi ja Nai

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Could anybody confirm if we need to send digital copies of the swap meet agreement and BOE forms to the swapmeet@fanime email, or if we just bring these forms with us when we go to swap meet at con? I remember the latter being the case based on last year, but the instructions on the swap meet registration form were a bit ambiguous so I wanted to make sure.


Print them, sign them, and bring them in with you.  You turn them in to staff while you're being checked in to your spot.

General Convention Discussion / Re: 2016 Maps!
« on: May 16, 2016, 04:31:43 PM »
The room(s) that you actually went in to for registration last year, not the large open hall facing the street where the fantastically short-to non-existent lines were, do have the movable wall partitions.  The Silicon Valley Comic Con had panels set up there earlier this year, which really sucked because their registration was also in that area.

This explains why Fanime's moving reg to the Marriott this year.  I just hope having reg in that already bustling hotel won't affect anyone staying there.  You know, like this guy.  Elevator linecon '16, here I come!

Nice and easy reg again this year.  I got ID 9208.  Guessing I was the 7th or 8th to register?

One thing I noticed was that we would be contacted with our assigned space.  I don't remember that from previous years, aside from the spot where you could put in a special request.  Are the spaces going to be planned and assigned ahead of time?  I think that would make things a lot easier for us sellers when we get there.

Zelyhon, thanks so much for the update!  I'm sure I speak for everyone that's been posting here in saying we really appreciate you throwing us a bone by giving us a heads up before the info goes up through other channels.  Plus, who knows exactly when that would be anyway.

Thank you for your continued communication in leading up to the con!

I agree with Michi, South Hall (aka the big blue tent) was an excellent location.  Probably second only to being in the convention center itself, which apparently will never happen again.

The year it was at the City National Civic Theater was the worst, location wise.  It was way too small to accommodate even a reasonable number of people at any given time for Swap Meet.  If I recall correctly, I still managed to sell pretty well, but everything I heard from people trying to get in later was that it was a huge headache.  There were definitely a lot fewer people coming in to browse because of the limited capacity, and I also noticed fewer people made multiple laps or return trips throughout the night.  Second worst location was the Fairmont, partially because of the distance from the convention center, but also because of the really confusing way sellers were spread out through multiple ballrooms.

I don't remember when seller signups went up the last couple of years.  It definitely seems like it creeps closer and closer every year, but I didn't think it's been this close to the start of the con before.

Dealers Room / Re: Fanime 2016 Wishlists!
« on: May 12, 2016, 12:35:47 PM »
As for series, just, a good spread. That was one of the things that contributed to my ditching Anime Expo in favor of the drive north; the AX dealer's hall was all just same handful of things for the same handful of series. (At the time, Bleach, Naruto, and One Piece and good bloody luck finding anything for other series!) Especially if there's a good mix of the new and popular AND the older and more niche.

I don't want to take anything away from the vendors selling at Dealers Hall this year, but it sounds like you should check out Swap Meet, if you don't already.  Especially for runs of manga, if not complete sets, you'd probably make out better buying off other attendees.  I still find some decent deals from Dealers Hall, and if you like stuff from the '70s, '80s and even '90s, Kimono My House is a great booth to check out.  They've been set up on their own near the exit every year I've gone, as far as I can remember.  From personal experience though, if you're looking for things from the mid to late '90s and early '00s, Swap Meet is much more likely to have things you'd be interested in.

I'm sure staff is aware, but there's only 17 days until Day 0.  I don't mean to sound like one of the other posters in the forums counting down the days, every day, but it is getting pretty close.  Especially when you consider Swap Meet has been confirmed for this year, and we're supposed to get at least one day's notice before seller's registration goes up.  Just sayin'.

Did anyone else happen to attend the recent Silicon Valley Comic Con?  It was also held at the SJCC and they had a similar policy where you would tap in/out with their NFC/RFID bracelet to gain access to most of the con.  In fact, when I first read the OP, my immediate thought was that someone from staff had attended and noticed that they didn't need to check badges at every entrance to the panels or Dealers Hall or the like, and thought that it would work well for Fanime too.

It was great in theory.  People would be able to move in and out of the different halls and rooms once they showed proof of registration at a central area.  There were a couple of problems with this, though.  They had a bunch of things going on both upstairs and at the ground floor of the convention center.  Due to their schedule and the different panels I was interested in, there was a lot of tapping in and out to get from one area to another.  The other issue stemmed from the fact that the badge/wristband check was set up basically at the top of the main stairs in front of one of the large halls - I think it was Hall 2 - set roughly where Stage Zero normally is but further back closer to the middle of that area.  While the tap in/out process was very fast, the sheer number of people and the layout of the second floor made that a major bottleneck.  In all they maybe had a couple dozen stations set up, of which only three or four were positioned as an exit.  All of them were in the same general area, so that quickly got clogged with a ton of people trying to work their way both out of the area and further in to where everything was happening.  It didn't help that SVCC apparently drew the largest crowd ever for the convention center, but it really didn't look like there were that many more people than the past few Fanimes.  What SVCC didn't have was anything going on in any of the SJCC side rooms or any of the hotel ballrooms.  Originally I was thinking Fanime would have badge check at the entrances on the main floor, but then I remembered you can access everything by coming in from the hotels, and there are all those entrances from the convention center garage as well.  I'm assuming Fanime is keeping their policy of having those side panel and viewing rooms requiring a badge to get in to, so I guess those locations will still need people checking badges at the door.

I really want this to work out as this would free up a TON of staff and volunteers from having to just sit there for hours checking badges, and I know they could always use that help in some other capacity around the con.  However, knowing how spread out Fanime is and witnessing how poorly it worked for Comic Con I'm just not convinced we'll see a positive outcome.  I'm all for changes to the con with the hopes of improving things for both staff and attendees.  I guess we'll just have to hope there's a good game plan behind all this and see how things wind up. 

Hotel and Facilities / Re: Hotels....
« on: February 15, 2016, 11:09:05 AM »
Heh, I suppose in an attempt to rub salt into open wounds, I just got an email notifying me that the hotel blocks for Anime Expo are now open.  We still have another two days until we hear when we're able to reg for Fanime's hotels.  So, yeah...

Live Programming and Events / 2016 Swap Meet Question
« on: February 10, 2016, 11:58:14 PM »
Just wondering if there are any details that can be shared regarding this year's swap meet.  Are there any dates that can be given as to when we'll be able to request a spot?  Will it be back in the South Hall like I'm hoping?  Sizes and prices would be nice to know as well.  Heck, can we even get confirmation that there's going to be a swap meet this year?  I mean, I know the words "swap" and "meet" are up on Fanime's site, but that's almost literally as far as it goes.

Hotel and Facilities / Re: Hotels....
« on: February 10, 2016, 11:52:49 PM »
Wow.  The initial post from FB stating that attendee housing would be opening "soon" was published back on January 20th.  Today, three weeks later, we finally get information on when hotel reg will be opening.  It'll be another week until the booking window emails are sent out, and then an additional week on top of that before people can actually begin to register.

Apparently when they said "soon," they actually meant "in a little more than a month."  At this rate, Fanime 2017 will also be here soon.

Yeah, I'm glad we finally have some decent information to go by, but come on.  You really can't say that it's "better late than never" in this case when you consider what's involved for hopeful attendees.  I mean, unless the blocks of time allotted to each group of people to register for a room is only a couple of hours long - which it better not be - you're almost definitely going to have people who wind up just starting the process of signing up for a room less than three months before the start of the con.  I'm hopeful this new process reduces, if not eliminates, the waitlist this year, but if it doesn't it's going to be really tight for those waiting to see if any rooms free up.  I don't even remember how long a window there is to cancel a reservation, but yikes.  People better plan carefully.

I actually thought rolling out the rooms in blocks based on when people registered was a welcome change.  We won't really know how well it works until housing actually opens, but at least it's an attempt at an improvement rather than sticking with the tried-and-terrible.  Despite that, we really should have been able to book rooms by now.  Teasing us with the promise of progress only to make us wait an additional 35 days before we can actually do anything was just a low blow.

I even double-checked the post to make sure I wasn't being unfair, but no, the second sentence in the post specifically said the actual registration was opening soon:
Hello FanimeCon community!

FanimeCon attendee housing will be opening soon. This year we are implementing a new process to improve the room booking experience. Here are some more details about our new booking process.
Only towards the end does it mention posting date information soon, and now we finally know how look it took to get that out.

At this point there's not much we can do.  I can only hope that the actual registration process works out... and in the mean time add snark to my posts here.  That, and check to see if there's been any updates to other important con information.

Guests: Coming soon
MusicFest: Coming soon
Swap Meet: Coming soon

Big Event Showcase / Re: Guests I Want For Music Fest 2016!!
« on: February 05, 2016, 01:38:41 PM »
Feel free to answer here or engage in dialogue on Twitter!

I'm actually glad this was posted here, as I was about to start a new thread.  I don't have a twitter account and it's not really worth creating one for the sake of responding to a poll.  First, a question: surely you're gauging the interest for MusicFest 2017, right?  I mean, the con is coming up, in the word of the housing registration post, "soon."  I just hope that this doesn't reflect any specific difficulties regarding this year's 'fest, as it's the concerts and swap meet that primarily keep me interested in Fanime these last few years.

To leave some more constructive comments here, I wouldn't mind seeing local bands appear at Fanime, but I'd rather they get a chance to perform on Stage Zero or at most as an opening act to a headliner from Japan.  They should at least cover popular Japanese songs or sing their own songs in Japanese.  And even then, I'd really hope there's some kind of vetting process used to see if a performer or group are actually capable of putting on a show.  There are plenty of talented musicians who like to play and sing around the con, and there's the usual karaoke scene, but I wouldn't necessarily want to go out of my way to catch them on stage.  I remember from a few years ago seeing Lemon Drop Kick at Fanime.  I had no clue who they were, but they put on a really awesome show.  They may be based in LA, but I'd still consider them a j-rock group and I'm really glad I got a chance to check them out.  They'd be my ideal example of someone "local" coming to perform.

As an even better alternative, I wouldn't mind checking out indie bands from Japan.  There's a certain sense of pride in knowing that it's the Bay Area where a band may have gotten their first taste of the international scene.  Or maybe not, but it's still a cool thought.  I recall reading through that thread detailing one longtime staffer's experiences, and seeing that we were this close to having Babymetal perform here.  You never know who the next big group is going to be or where they're going to come from.

If I was still restricted to the two choices in the poll, though, I think local bands are definitely a second in favor of bands that are actually from Japan, but they don't always have to be a huge marquee headliner.  If staff is able to snag a hugely popular group that performs all the hottest anime op's, well, that'd be dandy too.

Live Programming and Events / Re: Swap meet 2015 feedback thread
« on: May 24, 2015, 05:56:58 PM »
I think I still like being in one of the large halls in the actual SJCC better as the location for swap meet, but this year's venue was fantastic!  The floors were filthy so I'm glad I decided to bring tarps this year.  The two biggest benefits for having it in the SJCC proper is it's a lot easier for me to get all my stuff in - I usually park in the garage, so I don't need to deal with crossing streets and deal with curbs and cracks in the sidewalk when I'm already in the same building - and convenience for shoppers who are already milling about and don't need to walk that admittedly short half-block distance to the south hall.  Having the wider spots definitely seemed to make things easier for display and for people to shop without having a huge mob around some places.  I'm not sure the SJCC would allow for those same wide spaces and still be able to accommodate the number of people that were there.  The $40 charge per night was a bit painful, but was manageable and worth all the improvements from the last couple years.  Still, if that price were to go down a little, I sure wouldn't be upset about it.

I don't really have any other negatives for this year other than the mad rush to pack up on Friday, which you've already addressed.  Thursday seemed a little thinner than previous Day 0's, excluding last year, but Friday had an incredible turnout.  And like someone already mentioned, being allowed to set up so early on Friday was great.  I usually get there early, but by the time we're let in I still wind up with a few things left to set up when folks are let in to shop.  On Friday, I was able to get everything laid out and make sure everything was labeled without having to rush.  I was completely set up and still had a few minutes to wander around before the doors opened.  I don't know if it worked better or not for staff, but I hope we're allowed to get in the same way in future swap meets, or at least allow us to start getting in earlier than an hour before things start.

Huge shoutout to this year's staff.  Great job, guys!  This was definitely one of the best run Fanime swap meets, at least from a seller's perspective.

To paraphrase GLaDOS, I think you guys can make a note regarding this year: Huge success!

General Convention Discussion / Re: Swap meet general opinion stuff
« on: May 20, 2015, 01:29:34 AM »
Besides less competition amongst buyers on Thursday I've also met a few sellers over the years who, for whatever reason, are only selling Thursday and not Friday.  Scheduling-wise, selling Friday instead of Thursday makes more sense to me, and those folks who don't come back on Friday usually have some pretty good stuff.  You gotta get it while you can.

Personally, I'm going to be trying something a bit different this year as a seller.  Most folks will be willing to reduce prices late Friday night so they can sell as much as they can and not have to deal with lugging it all back home.  I'm going to try the opposite.  I'm fairly certain the stuff I'm bringing will sell at or close to the prices I'll be asking.  However, I'm thinking of dropping the prices for my manga and anime on Thursday to sell as much as I can and likewise not have to bring everything back to my hotel room, only to drag it all back again on Friday.  And since there are usually quite a few more attendees on Friday, and thus more buyers than there are on Thursday, I'll have more people willing to pay the higher (ie: normal) price.  And, if my selection is any good, people won't have a chance on Friday night to sleep on the purchase before pulling the trigger.  You have no idea how many times people come up on Thursday to ask if I'll be coming back Friday, and that they'll consider buying something if it's still there the next day.

tl;dr: Come Thursday for better deals (from me at least) and a better chance to scoop up the good stuff.  Come back Friday for a bigger and different assortment of items.  Stick around until close to grab last-minute deals from sellers desperate to get rid of whatever's left. 

I see that sellers will be able to start checking in an hour to an hour and a half before the start of swap meet each night.  I assume we'll be lining up at the main entrance of the South Hall, the one facing South Market Street.

Will there be any particular order that sellers will be checked in, say by their registration number as in years prior, or will it be first come first served like last year?

Dealers Room / Re: Your Shopping List
« on: May 16, 2015, 10:32:29 PM »
Mainly though, I'm going to go through the swap meet to /try/ and pick up manga to complete my sets, and if they have figures there that I want. In short, mainly figures and manga to finish my collection.

What series/volumes are you looking for?  I'll be selling at swap meet both nights.  While my manga selection has been whittled down quite a bit from what I brought last year, I may have something you're looking for.

To keep this post relevant, I'll be keeping a closer eye on other swap meet sellers than dealer's hall.  I tend to look for manga or DVDs that are out of print.  Nendos at a good price would be nice, but most of the sellers I've seen the last few years have been priced above import cost.  Also if there's anything unique and/or cheap from G1 Transformers or Gundam - I found these really neat non-transformable vinyl figures of Optimus Prime, Megatron, Starscream and Grimlock from a swap meet seller last year.  I had never seen them before, and I'm pretty sure I got them at a decent price.

Live Programming and Events / Re: Swap Meet - Best Practices
« on: May 15, 2015, 09:48:21 PM »
Great well thanks for the follow up! Guess we'll have to keep an eye out for that... >_<

What I did last year when I offered recyclable paper bags to buyers is explain that I'm legally required to charge a dime for the bag... but I'll discount one of the items by 10-cents.

Skirting the ordinance?  Dunno, maybe.  I did specify I was charging for the bag, though, and the people buying from me genuinely seemed to appreciate the "discount" I was giving them.

I work across two Bay Area counties that have different minimum charges for those fees and I am the one responsible for making sure our system rings them up at the correct amount.  To my knowledge, no city has made the effort to check if we're actually charging customers or not.

Quick!  Everyone - knock on something wood right now!

Live Programming and Events / Re: Swap Meet - Best Practices
« on: May 15, 2015, 11:22:32 AM »
I don't think it applies to occasional sellers like the swap meet. Most plastic bags that are brought to swap meet are being recycled by the sellers, and so I don't believe they are subject to the same fee. It's mainly imposed on larger chains as a means of reducing the amount of new plastic bags going out into the environment.

Just checked directly with the city of San Jose and got a response from the Watershed Protection Division.  Their reply:

The City’s Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance does apply to flea markets, swap meets, farmers’ markets, conventions, etc.  The only exceptions are public eating establishments (90% revenue from sale of prepared food) and non-profit charitable reusers.

The ordinance bans single-use plastic bags and requires recycled paper bags be sold for a minimum charge of 10 cents (there are additional labeling requirements for paper bags).  Reusable bags (with handles) from:
1.      Cloth or other machine washable fabric; OR
2.      Durable plastic at least 2.25 mil thick, specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse are allowed by the ordinance and there is no required minimum charge (the minimum charge only applies to paper bags).

Protective bags (paper or plastic) that do not have handles and are used for the following purposes:
(1) to transport produce, prepared food, bulk food or meat from a produce, deli, bulk food or meat department within a store to the point of sale;
(2) to hold prescription medication dispensed from a pharmacy; or
(3) to segregate food or merchandise that could damage or contaminate other food or merchandise when placed together in a Reusable Bag or Recycled Paper Bag
are also allowed by the ordinance.

If any staff needs to see the email in its entirety, please PM me and I can forward it to you.
Not trying to make things more difficult for staff or sellers - believe me, I wound up bringing in a ton of plastic bags to be recycled that I was intending to give out at swap meet back in 2012.  Nowhere in my initial email did I mention Fanime; I kept it vague and generic.

I'm not actually expecting San Jose's Weights and Measures to come in and check for this at swap meet.  Claiming ignorance won't always work in getting you out of paying a fine, and I think staff should be aware of all pertinent city laws and ordinances, not just noise restrictions or maximum occupancies.

Live Programming and Events / Re: Swap Meet - Best Practices
« on: May 14, 2015, 09:19:14 AM »
Buy a small sign for basic and small items amounts, so that you don't have to label everything!

I basically did this last year, and although I printed signs on heavy paper rather than use a chalk board, I had the prices sitting literally on top of the manga.  That still didn't stop people from asking how much they were.  Having worked in retail, that didn't really surprise me, though.

Seconding (or third'ing?) both the post-it notes for individual prices and the use of either PayPal or Square card readers.  I've been pricing my stuff with small post-its for years, and it's been working out very well.  Most people, manga buyers aside, can easily see about how much I'm expecting for each item without asking, and I can keep track myself of what I think everything is worth without having to memorize all the prices or refer to a printed spreadsheet.  And for PayPal and Square, keep in mind you'll have to rely on your data plan, as they don't usually offer access to any wifi at the con.  And while you might have to pay $15 or $9.99 respectively if you pick up the device at a store, they've been offering a credit for the same amount to your account once you activate the device.  That may not be true forever (though I doubt they'll end that promotion any time soon,) so keep that in mind.

And finally, remember that San Jose participates in the plastic bag ban/minimum 10-cent reusable bag ordinance.  The last two years, that's applied to swap meet as well.

I know tables are not allowed, but there's nothing about being able to bring or use chairs.

As always, wait for an official response from swap meet staff and keep in mind that rules and allowances can change from year-to-year, but I have personally brought in and used a folding camping chair at previous meets.  I didn't get to use it much except for lulls in the action, as I'm usually standing up to make sales or answer questions.  I have also seen other people use them on more than one occasion, so I don't think it'll be an issue.  Usually the big no-no's are no tables/shelves/tall displays and no tape.

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