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Messages - JCS

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1
Hotel and Facilities / Re: Disabled Access for convention
« on: May 18, 2015, 05:49:23 PM »
I had worked and volunteered with mobility impaired people in the past some using wheelchairs and walkers and I am familiar with the accessibility challenges some places pose for these individuals.While the San Jose Convention center is pretty accessible in terms of wide flat walkways, wide doorways, elevators, accessible toilets with wide entry and exit ways, and step free concourses there are still issues such as long ways to get around certain floors, steep ramps, etc and the issues you mentioned. One thing that bugs me is the city made the convention center less accessible after the renovation they did at 2013 such as destroying the wide accessible "curbless" passenger loading zone and adding steps to the front of the center just to make it look nicer on the outside. Now cars and city buses have to jostle for the curb space. 

While I haven't gone with mobility impaired people to the convention center I am pretty familiar with this convention center's lay out as I had visited it quite often for different events including Fanime. I also stayed in hotels where there are large events that tie up the elevators and learned some tricks of the trade to beat the congestion. These tricks would greatly help mobility impaired and everyone else with the elevator girdlock which we all dread to face and can apply to most large events involving hotels. For example I learned the second level of a hotel is the worst place to wait for an elevator as the elevator will almost certain to be full in both directions and will often skip the floor all together. Fortunately at this Con we have a good alternative available nearby which are the three elevators in the convention concourse as those elevators only serves two or three floors max(not 17 floors)so it always empties out when it reaches the first or second main floors. The distance of those elevators are not too far from the Fairmont which is directly connected in the second level and having a power chair or electric scooter helps.
If you happen to be staying in the hotel itself and have trouble getting on an elevator to and from your room, the best way to get an elevator up to your room is to get to the lobby elevator landing floor(via the three convention elevators if necessary) where the elevator would release the descending passengers allowing you to get in afterwards with others going up. When heading down from your room floor, if the down elevator continues to arrive packed or wont stop the other option is to get on an "up" elevator and ride back down. If all possible I recommend requesting an accessible room on a higher floor which makes it much easier and many cases faster to get on a elevator down with plenty of room left to spare. From my past experience its nearly impossible to get on a down elevator from the lower 40% of the floors of a hotel at "rush" hours as the elevators become overloaded by then and either they will skip the floor or be too full to fit any more people.

Other tips I recommend for event goers is that the entrance from Market street is the easiest one to get in particularly if one cannot walk far as it is closest to where most activities are occurring and have no slopes or steps and one avoids most crowds that usually tie up the San Carlos main entrance which has a lot of obstacles and steps. The Almadon entrance has steps and a steep slope.  As for Dealers hall and Artists Galley the best advice I have is to head early probably when the people line up to get in or go during the first weekday of the event. As for the game room the least crowded hours are 5-10 AM, its the best time to experience all those neat games without waiting for others to finish playing. Though I hope they make clear announcements before they change the entrance and exit patterns and post clear signs I can see this would be very difficult for people who are mobility impaired as the "entrance" and the "exit" is very far apart and a mistake would mean a 1/5 mile track.  I Hope my advice helps.

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Staff & Volunteers / Re: Anyone got their admission refund check yet?
« on: September 16, 2014, 01:07:17 AM »
Sorry for the late notice I received my check around the end of July. I should probably respond in the forum sooner.

3
Staff & Volunteers / Re: Anyone got their admission refund check yet?
« on: July 15, 2014, 03:19:14 PM »
Just an update I received a email from Karen the volunteer department head to concerned volunteers like me who had been trying to reach the department regarding the reimbursement checks.. It appears they are backlogged in preparing the checks. According to her email they are scheduled to mail out the checks starting July 31. Though I still suggest people confirm their address with the volunteer department to make sure the checks are mailed to the right place.

4
Staff & Volunteers / Anyone got their admission refund check yet?
« on: July 09, 2014, 09:45:46 PM »
Just curious its been 6 weeks since Memorial day weekend, I wonder have anyone received their convention admission price reimbursement check for completing their vol.  hours. I had been trying to contact the volunteers@fanime.com via email with my confirmation number from my volunteer confirmation sheet and badge # since June 27 but no one responded. The websites states four to six weeks and its now been six weeks. I have not yet received the check. I hope they got my address right and it did not end up at a wrong address.

5
What you are trying to sell, reminds minds me of the front table part of Cosplay Gatherings Department. They often Cosplay on the job trying to institute a simple, clean, and fun con from the start of the entrance.
 
and 2 things to note: first, Elevators are always cramped, and traffic is always a problem even with elevator policing. CC (crowd control) is somewhat a shared responsibility between CGD and Rovers. and 2, the dance assumes that you have put items of value already away, and the dance starts later for that attention. I get the Idea behind puting item check in the hilton rather than the marriott, I just am not sure on the size of the rooms they could use to hold the volume of items they would receive.

Sounds great I wish I know more about it. I did visit the room in the Hilton out of  curiosity whats it about though I did not see much. Haven't really seen them in action Though its pretty out of the way and most non cosplaying visitors would not likely ever detour there and even some of the ones cosplaying might never get to stop by.
I thought elevator staff idea was trashed two years ago as the elevators in the convention center or hotel falls outside event territory. Not a big issue for center elevators as they are only three floors. Though the Japan department store attendants are a great example for crowd control in the con I wish can be somehow replicated. Also one may assume items put away prior but its easier said than done particularly if one don't have a car parked in the garage or adjacent lot nor stay in a hotel room surrounding the center. One might need a coat/jacket for the walk outside which they dont need in the hot dance floor as well as water and snacks particularly for those who need to staff shifts or volunteer later that night. Maybe if we can have lost and found room in Hilton trade places with items check in Marriott and keep it open until after dance is over it would be perfect.


This sort of reminds me of Dickens Fair. They had all of their "ask us" people dressed up as chimney sweeps. The fair had a small pamphlet with a map and instructions that if we have any further questions or require assistance to just ask someone dressed as a chimney sweep. They were very easily recognizable and looked like they had just stepped out of the chimney sweep sequence from Mary Poppins. Fanime has people walking around with poles that have an "ask me as question" message on the top so that they can be spotted in the crowds. When it comes to services offered by Fanime two important things to keep in mind are location and visibility. Fanime has a huge booklet of info and that doesn't even hold everything that goes on at con so adding a little blurb in there describing what to look for doesn't guarantee that anyone will see it. And people can't be posted in places that are too high traffic that might become an obstruction or too obtrusive in areas that people regularly take photographs.

Great idea similar to mall ambassadors. I did notice the "how may I help you" or "ask me a question info desk group." Though getting them a interesting uniform or cosplay would make them stand out more.

As others have mentioned it is important that the volunteers feel that their time is being utilized in a productive manner. People checking badges are providing a service for the con to make sure people aren't trying to sneak into the dealers hall or other badged events. They feel satisfied that their work is contributing to the con running smoothly. I volunteered at the Telegraph machine at Clockwork Alchemy. We ran messages around the con and I wanted to be involved in that because it was a fun and entertaining thing to do getting to operate the machine and shout "telegram for …" through the rooms. Attendees were entertained by receiving messages.

I understand that the main point of this idea is to add to the atmosphere of the con, which can be fun, but you have to think of how can you make it entertaining or productive for the attendees and how is it entertaining for the volunteers?
That is the point actually to make it entertaining for the volunteer. I was one of those who are assigned to doors for volunteering. It can be quite monotonous for a while sitting/standing there thats when I practiced my please and thank you skills. If I could see "SOGO mall ambassador" type greeters while I volunteered the time would feel much more interesting or rewarding for me. Though I am thinking of how to make it more fun for the greeters themselves? If they don't find greeting and bowing and welcoming people fun enough. Maybe rewards for being best greeter? But with at least basic rewards for all involved. Though I am sure that the hospitality department greeters themselves would have to be made of preselected staff not drop in volunteers.

Don't be fooled, Walmart greeters primary function is to be a visible presence to discourage people from stealing it has little to do with hospitality.
I read somewhere that Walmart is ending its greeter program. Also I read that Nordstrom's last greeter at 99 years old his legacy is ending. Sad to see them go. Though I guess you are right in explaining about preventing theft in addition to making customers welcome I guess this is how come Japanese department stores have greeters as well.

6
General Convention Discussion / Re: Item Check @ Fanime
« on: July 04, 2014, 10:07:12 AM »


Our first goal will be to make it 24/5. That is mostly a matter of getting enough bodies to cover the shifts, which should be doable. The Hilton is jam packed with vital con operations, so it is likely we will be in the Marriott again.

The other post was correct in the convention center we would have to pay for union staff to run it. At which point we won't make much if anything for Charity, and that is what Check was intended for was to be a Charity booster. Due to liability and our contract with the convention center there is no way of running it even as boxes or cubbys.

The dance floor is a major issue for attendees and volunteers who happen to have to be there. I read that one can leave items up front at their own risk though I would not want to risk leaving my messenger bag there while I volunteer as I have important items in there. Some people do leave items or props with staff/rovers/ or existing volunteers at the tables.
The Hilton already has as lost and found room and a Cosplay hangout. Though I don't know if Cosplay hangout is open at night and whether is it safe to leave items there.

Expanding the existing check to 24/5 would be best and we would have plenty of volunteers willing to do double hours for night volunteering to catch up with their hours requirements. I find it a great idea though. Even if not 24/5 maybe until half an hour after dance finishes at 2 am. Regarding liability issues though  I wonder who or what insures the items in the unlikely but possible event they somehow become missing, damaged, or destroyed, within custody if this items check? Does it just depend on luck and hoping the proceeds from $3 each item checked would outweigh the costs of any claims that might arise for the duration of the convention? I bet the convention center's union staffed items check system are well insured for this which I believe is important not to skimp on as for this convention with so many carrying expensive bulky cosplays, props, jewelry(Bought from dealers hall or part of cosplay),or other pricy items from art and dealers hall, travel baggage, etc as well as events like dancing which one would not be able to bring these things into.  I was surprised to learn the Con decided to skimp out on the convention center's coat check service and did not have any kind of items check from any source until last year.
Glad we have considerate people like Dajoo push for it.

7
Thanks otakuya. So the motto is anime made by fans for fans to enjoy or in other words fan made anime. Of course there are borrowed company made anime videos as well but are the still ones I.e in artist gallery all fan made? Sorry probably I should have meant Bay Area instead of San Jose Con which the city had nothing initially to do with the organizers who gathered in Cal state Hayward. The term Silicon Valley probably was not as popular back then. So I guess with this name they can operate not only in different parts of Bay Area but out of the Bay Area if necessary. Though I guess the other names  are probably open for possibly another anime organizer to take. So I wonder is fan made anime unique to Fanime? Does it mean in most other anime expos are the anime art inside are corporate made? Therefore differentiating Fanime from other similar expos giving it uniqueness?

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General Convention Discussion / Re: Item Check @ Fanime
« on: July 03, 2014, 06:40:51 PM »
Items check is great concept. I didn't get to find it though. Though good thing I did not need to find it. Particularly for those who carpooled or ridden transit in or stay at a offsite hotel which requires a bus or light rail ride.
Though I had an experience that would like to bring to concern. I had to volunteer at dance halls to fulfill my volunteer hours on the night before the last day, I had difficultly getting to where I was supposed to be as I had a bag of necessities which included gum and liquids which is barred from the no outside food or drink rule to keep the floors clean and hazardous spill free. "Japanese dance floor hygiene standards" ha ha  So I could not get to where I was supposed to go to volunteer therefore I waited outside to see what can I do since I did not have a car and even if I know items check exists it's already shut down for the night and won't do me any good. Thankfully a staff member let me in saying it's ok to the TSA style bag checkers and clocked me in for volunteer hours so I was able to volunteer for my hours.
I see on another post about how a formal items check inside convention center would rely on unionized staff. Though I wonder since there are already a number of staff and volunteers sitting at tables outside the dance hall it couldn't hurt to have a informal name tag box/cobby system to leave props, jackets, bags, backpacks, food, etc temporarily in boxes or cubbies until one leaves the dance floor giving the tag back to claim their items it would make things much better for those who don't have the luxury of an onsite hotel room, or car parked in the onsite garage. Some people cannot just throw away food or liquids because they would need it afterwards as they would be hungry and thirsty after dance and they would not be able to buy as everything is closed at such a late hour. So if the formal items check cannot be moved to Hilton or open as late as dance closing this idea should be offered as an alternative. That's my two cents.

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The items check mentioned by Dojoo is a great idea I am glad implemented even though I did not get to know its existence during my stay. As there plenty of people who stay off site or ride transit in and have no place to store their extra items. Though what can be made better as I volunteered in the dance club at night I believe there should be an items check in front of the dance hall when it's in operation where people can leave their bags, food/drinks, props etc and not have to worry about them until they are finished dancing. The dance hall is across from the Hilton which is the opposite end of the convention center from the Marriot where the current items check is located therefore it would be too far a walk to drop items off and to pick them up afterwards after the dance.

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Interestingly I read something regarding elevator staff on this forum but its dated in 2011 therefore its closed to commenting. Therefore I cannot add onto it. I haven't experienced the elevators except for a short ride between registration and the first/second floors of the center which was never crowded when I rode it. Though it is because I live in the Bay Area and don't need to stay at one of the hotels.  Though I guess the posters for that subject are looking for something like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gOMovWEszo taken in Japanese department store? Which I personally experienced this while visiting Japanese based malls myself such as SOGO. While the idea looks neat, though after reading that forum I know that the idea won't work for the Con as none of the elevators in question happens to be within Con leased territory doing so would be an overstepping of boundaries as the Con does not lease nor have control over the exterior hallways of the convention center nor the hotels property except for a few public rooms, and I don't think the hotels, the convention center, or their guests some of which just happens to be staying there for non Con related reasons would appreciate nor allow the idea of having any kind of non employee "traffic attendants" personnel from a Con they are not attending bossing their customers around no matter how sincere or polite they do so. You can check out that forum if you are interested.  Though for entrance to dealers hall or artist galleries and registration lines where the Con leases the space and already have volunteers and sometimes Rovers attending the lines and entrances its more doable. Particularly during opening and closing times.

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Great information
Most other convention events I attend are auto shows, home garden shows, and ski snowboard shows.What I find interesting is some of these shows move from place to place while others are organized by different organizations. In San Jose I noticed the name Silicon Valley auto show is used in lieu of San Jose auto show. Usually the term Silicon Valley is used to cover everything south of San Francisco and Oakland nowadays. I guess it gives them flexibility to move the venue around between cities if it becomes necessary.  I guess this is also the reason this name is chosen for  this convention and why some conventions have unique names.
I checked wikipedia which gave some good information about the individual cons. While there history is revealed, how they are named are not really explained. Though I read Fanime is operated by Anime resource group. While the one in Los Angeles is ran by Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) apparently this one had been ran by chief executive officer Trulee Karahashi. Though the same group had ran conventions in San Jose and Oakland in the past as well as once in Tokyo Japan.
Speaking of volunteers I always wonder is the volunteer off the badge cost the practice standard among anime cons. If so I might be interested in attending Anime Expo down in Los Angeles which is coming up soon.

12
As Chinese myself I am very impressed and a big fan of how Japanese culture and professionism that China and rest of the world can envy.

I just visited a Japanese restaurant in SF and experienced it myself.
I also been to Sogo Mall and mitsukoshi department stores in the past. Their presence tend to be more pronounced during opening time and closing time when they will line up at doors and say the appropate pharases in Japanese or in the local language sometimes simoutanously when the customer enters the mall or go home. Surprisingly in the US a discount store like Wal Mart would have greeters yet they are rare in boutique department stores.

I found some photos and videos on the Internet of these

From a blogger speaking of experience http://www.ideacouture.com/blog/have-you-been-receiving-world-class-customer-service-from-your-service-provider/

Opening of Tobu department store in Tokyo, Japan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cihM6zWjJpw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWaxXV2Icjc Japanese based Sogo Mall in Taipei

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8SIqamCjZ8 closing of a Japanese based mall in Taipei

Also some anime versions I found on the web that would fit an anime convention https://www.google.com/search?q=anime+japanese+service+staff&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=R4awU8vkIo2iyATtqYGIDQ&sqi=2&ved=0CF0QsAQ&biw=1344&bih=658#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=2DO_D_C3yDNeuM%253A%3B-MLYaq-gj5sBkM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.csmonitor.com%252Fvar%252Fezflow_site%252Fstorage%252Fimages%252Fmedia%252Fcontent%252F2012%252F1207-japan-anime-shop%252F14488103-1-eng-US%252F1207-japan-anime-shop_full_600.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.csmonitor.com%252FWorld%252FAsia-Pacific%252F2012%252F1208%252FIs-Japan-losing-its-cool%3B600%3B400
 
http://bluellite.tumblr.com/post/12967292281/peterpayne-japanese-girls-making-the-peace

 

Come to think of it alot of Staff/Rovers/Volunteers already have such cosplays and some already have customer service experience maybe even in Japanese stores/restaurants. If  there is a way to get a team to volunteerily form and staff the registration lines during peak times, lines formed during opening/closing of dealers hall and artist galleries in which Rovers already come to assist regular volunteers, the night club, or just walking around with signs or manning information desks that would be nice. I believe training should not need to be extensive, difficult, and not fun particularly for those who done similar service as there is only a limited number of words, jestures, and simple question answering unlike a department store setting which aetherid explained where the service personnel need to learn ways and phrases to address politely and professionally with many customer service scenarios. Its best to use a carrot instead of a stick in getting them to do their best i.e meal ticket rewards at Japanese restaurants, extra cosplay rewardes, etc. As the con runs over the years and fans mature a pleasant atmosphere would keep them coming back. Being in a chaotic atmosphere full of confusion and getting yelled at gets old pretty soon its best if we can make Anime conventions a more attractive and better represent both the country and companies it represents.

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The Memorial Day Convention is the first anime con I visited. When I visited it I start to wonder how the Convention is put together. Such as are most of the the organizers or founders fresh off the boat/plane Japanese Nationals or Japanese that had been immigrated generations ago in North America? Are most of these conventions around handled by the same or similar group of people?

Though I am most curious about is the naming of anime Conventions based on different locations. Some convention names are based on location such as the city name i.e Sac-Con, Stockton Con, Anime Boston, while others like Fanimi in San Jose and Susoki Con in Louisville, KY are uniques name that does not refer to the city that the convention is in. Take Fanimi for example how the name get chosen maybe over San Jose anime convention, Silicon Valley Anime Con or any other names. Is it because the names had been taken? Please note I am only asking the question of out of curiosity I am not really interested to participate in naming of conventions.

14
Ideas and Suggestions / Re: Suggested Signage
« on: May 31, 2014, 01:48:31 PM »
Great suggestion. I also wish there were more maps posted in the public areas. As well as large signs on a stand that cannot be easily stolen or misplaced with Kenji, Spanish, and English directing visitors to the appropriate doors for entry and exit of Dealers hall and gaming hall. Best if the arrows on it are reversible so they can be used in different situations if necessary. When I volunteered at hall 3 I noticed the already small hard to read from a distance signs already went missing the second day. I had to apologize repeatedly when others get confused I feel sorry for them walking so far only to notice its the wrong door. Its really a very long walk if one makes a mistake of which door to go.

15
Thanks Admiral Donut,

I am always wondering who to go to and who actually organize the convention which is hard to find by researching online. I guess I would talk to them first before I plan anything else.

I guess I would brush up on my language skills, people skills, and plan out a "cosplay" to get ready for next year.

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Thank you Admiral Donus for letting me know about the maids cafe. I wish I got a chance to experience it, unfortunately the map/directory was not very clear I have difficulty finding my way around everything. I myself also gave volunteering a try this time to work off my admission. I know most of the staff/drop in volunteers myself included are pretty naive about what we are doing some are doing this for their very first time. This is actually my first Fanime visit. We haven't been shown how exactly to greet and help people around so I just learn by doing and looking at the map. During my time here I teach myself people skills while doing it and to apologies profusely when I don't know the answer to someone's questions and offer to help as best of my knowledge even though I have limited people skills myself and to approach people as friendly as possible. I also apologize repeatedly when the one way entrance/exit system in the halls confuses people as they are poorly marked and people have to walk a long way only to find that its the wrong direction door and having to walk a long way again. There really should be more large signs in the halls best if they are multi lingual with large arrows. During my weekend here attending and volunteering is when I got this idea as I find with so many Cosplayers of all types of Japanese/Asian characters here why not teach a dedicated motivated group of experienced staff/Rovers/etc who had been to Fanimi a number of times and have good customer skills experience to Cosplay service staff character uniforms(Just like the ones in Maids Cafe) to greet(if possible in multiple languages) at admission and the shopping hall doors, direct ticketing, help around people with questions, escort people in the right line, make multi lingual announcements, translate, etc. These not only make Fanime more authentic experience but sets a great example and learning experience to the newer staff, drop in volunteers, or general attendees, not to mention makes it easier to get questions answered and help people find their way around.

17
Thank you Admiral Donus for letting me know about the maids cafe. I wish I got a chance to experience it, unfortunately the map/directory was not very clear I have difficulty finding my way around everything and tried asking around though many attendees including staff/volunteers are just as confused. Actually I myself also gave volunteering a try this time to work off my admission. I am glad that Fanami gives me and other attendees such opportunity to work off admission and experience new things while helping people. I do find most of the staff/drop in volunteers myself included are pretty naive about what we are doing some are doing this for their very first time. This is actually my first Fanime visit. We haven't been shown how exactly to greet and help people around so I just learn by doing and looking at the map. During my time here I teach myself people skills while doing it and to apologies profusely when I don't know the answer to someone's questions or don't know who to direct them to and I offer to help as best of my knowledge even though I have limited people skills myself and to approach people as friendly as possible. I also apologize repeatedly when the one way entrance/exit system in the halls confuses people as they are poorly marked and people have to walk a long way only to find that its the wrong direction door and having to walk a long way again. There really should be more large signs in the halls best if they are multi lingual with large arrows. During my weekend here attending and volunteering is when I got this idea as I find with so many Cosplayers of all types of Japanese/Asian characters here why not teach a dedicated motivated group of experienced staff/Rovers/etc who had been to Fanimi a number of times and have good customer skills experience and knows where things are to Cosplay service staff character uniforms(Just like the ones in Maids Cafe or in many traditional Japanese restaurants, shopping malls i.e Sogo, or department stores i.e Mitsukoshi, Uniqlo) to greet at will (irashaimase "welcome" if possible in multiple languages as appropriate) at admission and the shopping hall doors, direct ticketing, help visitors(including less experienced staff/volunteers) with questions, escort people in the right line, make multi lingual announcements for our international visitors, translate, etc. These not only make Fanime more authentic experience but sets a great example and learning experience to the first time staff, drop in volunteers, or general attendees, not to mention makes it easier to get questions answered and help people find their way around. Make it easier for staff/volunteer to refer visitors to if more assistance is needed. This would make Fanime even nicer experience.

18
Gaming / Wii U?
« on: May 27, 2014, 11:52:13 AM »
I was looking for the Wii U console in the console gaming section but could not find it. I asked around the gaming room while people said they might have seen it but no one can confirm they found it. I really wanted to experience Nintendo's newest console as I have not yet tried it. So was it there at all?

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