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Messages - Kuudere

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*Takes staff hat off* - One of the side effects of having kicked linecon's ass for two years straight now is that attendees have more free time to do other things. It's a blessing and a curse ;).

Heh, no kidding. Thursday's perk used to be waiting in line for your badge when nothing was going on, so you didn't have to wait in line when things were actually happening. It had a real advantage. Now that linecon's gone, that whole thing is out the window. It'll just be some fond memory we can tell the next generation: "Back in our day, Thursday was for lines and we liked it that way! We called it Line Convention, and it was an event all its own. We traveled 5 feet per hour for 6 hours, barefoot, both ways, in the snow. With an onion tied to our belts, as that was the cosplay trend at the time..."

I think another hold-up to having more things on Thursday is that it'd probably cost more money just to rent the space to have them take place. The return on investment is not great for Fanime as a whole. They'll have to pull that money from somewhere, and it'll have to come from the official days' (Fri-Mon) budgets. That means they're working with less money for the official convention, to please a minority. Even if the argument is that Fanime has already bought the space to set up during Thursday, that means they're pushing set-up back to possibly Wednesday, and having to pay for that day instead.

I don't have access to the budget, so I don't know the true reasons, but I'd assume money plays a part in it somewhere.

General Convention Discussion / Re: HELP! Tips for first timers
« on: May 27, 2015, 08:58:01 PM »
Assuming this is about us long-time attendees passing down our various wisdoms to the newbies, here are some things I can think of off the top of my head.

For cosplayers:
Bring a small repair kit to make quick fixes to your cosplay. Nothing puts a damper on things like a prop falling apart or a piece ripping off. Make use of the cosplayer hangout for this purpose as well. It's a photography-free zone, so you don't have to worry about there being picture evidence of costume malfunctions.

Break-in shoes prior to the convention. Bring moleskin to cushion pressure points and save your feet from pain.

Don't forget wig caps and hair ties for longer hair when using a wig. It can make a world of difference in appearance when your natural hair is properly hidden from sight.

It's okay to say no to a photographer. You don't need to give a reason. If you don't feel like having your photo taken, just politely decline. If they press it further, contact staff. You don't owe it to anyone to pose for a photo, even if you're wearing a cosplay.

Remember to take breaks and hydrate. It can be especially easy to overheat in cosplay.

If you are physically male and plan to wear extremely form-fitting spandex, consider investing in a dance belt. For all our sakes. There were some in-depth demonstrations of male anatomy all over the place this past weekend.

Fashion tape is extremely handy and important for keeping cosplay in place on your body. Check your fabric store for some.

If you plan to use a body-coloring method, make an effort to seal the paint to your skin. Only color your skin with products approved for use on skin (theatre makeup is perfect for this). Remember that cleanup can be messy and plan accordingly to avoid damage to hotels.

For regular attendees:
Go to the Opening Ceremonies. This was surprisingly the first year I've attended them, and it was the only way I found out where things like autographs were. It's a great resource for finding out what certain events are and where they'll take place.

Show up about an hour (or more) early to events that you think will be very popular. Autograph signings and some panels have lines and those lines can get capped early if there are too many people showing up.

Plan your schedule as early as possible. Utilize things like Google Calendar to see where events overlap so you're not double-booking yourself. Google Calendar can also be used to set reminders to be pushed on your phone before events so you don't forget.

Do your research on prices for items you know you want before the convention. That way, you know you're getting a good deal and if not, you'll know when to pass.

Set a budget for yourself ahead of time. Allocate a reasonable amount of money for food, and try not to use that money in the dealer's hall/artist alley/swap meet. That figure isn't worth starving yourself for.

Bring some non-perishable snacks if you're staying in a hotel. This can cut down on food costs and save you from making so many trips for food.

Do not engage the protesters in any discussion or give them attention. If you give them attention, they've achieved their purpose.

Shower/bathe/use deodorant. No one likes con funk.

Subscribe to all of Fanime's social media outlets. These will keep you informed of important things like hotel and badge registration.

If you don't get the room you want during hotel registration, use the waitlist. You still have a chance to get the room once people drop their reservations.

Be safe: While Downtown San Jose and the convention center itself up the level of police and security presence during the convention, bad things can still happen if precautions are not taken.

Be courteous to other attendees and staff. Not everyone is extroverted, and some people like personal space. Always ask permission before touching someone.

I'm aware that you'll be putting up a feedback form, but just in case my concern doesn't fit in it, I thought I'd post it here, too.

I went to do some tabletop gaming (brought my own games, but wanted to play in the Fanime environment rather than upstairs in a small hotel room), but the long tables at the entrance were so close together that it was very difficult for people sitting in the center to get out. I was constantly scooting my chair all the way in so that people could get by, but they could barely fit even with the maximum space with two chairs filled on each side of them. That could be a big issue if there were an emergency that required evacuation or if someone at the tables got hurt and needed medical attention but were difficult to reach quickly. They should be spread out more, if possible.

General Convention Discussion / Re: Guest Panel Moderation
« on: May 27, 2015, 11:40:14 AM »
I have to respectfully disagree about the suggestion to force people to ask questions in English, though. I speak fluent Japanese, and I really hate the thought of being forced to ask something in English and have someone else translate it, possibly not getting the meaning across that I wanted, when I could just ask in Japanese myself. I've seen occasions where translators for guests at cons completely change the meaning of someone's question from when it was in English, and I really prefer to avoid that if at all possible. Also, Japanese fans sometimes come to guest panels and want to ask questions (logically) in Japanese, so I think it would be ridiculous to expect them to ask something in English, too. I think the people who want to ask rude things are unfortunately going to attempt to do so whether or not you tell them they can only do it in English. 

That's a good point...and usually, if someone is fluent in Japanese, they have at least some basic understanding of Japanese culture and what would be considered rude to ask. I was hoping there'd be a way to avoid things like Mr. "結婚する" from Ai's panel from being able to even get his question past, but my suggestion probably wouldn't work to the benefit of others who are respectful and are fully capable of asking their questions directly in Japanese.

Glad to see I wasn't the only one concerned about the BACK-ON panel. I agree that a disclaimer is probably necessary to remind people of what is appropriate. Autographs should have been turned down as soon as the first person asked, because everyone after wanted one and it put the band in an uncomfortable position - having honored the first couple request, but having to turn down the others. For what it's worth, BACK-ON were nice about the whole thing, but you could see in their faces that they were uncomfortable for some of it. "Bad guys" were definitely needed.

General Convention Discussion / Re: Guest Panel Moderation
« on: May 27, 2015, 09:04:44 AM »
Hi. The proposal question was definitely inappropriate and we sort of tried to ignore it but Nonaka san went on and answered so we ended up translating it. The Pocky thing was very odd too and before we realized what was going on the guy was already coming up so it would've been rude to stop him in front of Nonaka san. Next time we'll let people know beforehand that they are not allowed to come up to the guest.

Thank you. I wish it weren't necessary to tell people not to be creeps, but unfortunately, that seems to be the case.

As for the MadoMagi question, I vaguely remember giving the OK on it since it was part of the story. It was borderline imo so I let it slide. Thank you for letting me know your thoughts on it and I'll definitely keep it in mind for the future.

The Kyouko/Sayaka question was borderline for me, too, but I know that people love that pairing (and it's nearly canon anyway). There was another question asked that was something along the lines of, "You voice this one character that has an intimate relationship with a girl, do you have any similar intimate relationships with another girl?" I'm hoping that that question was translated to be less personal and inappropriate. Another borderline question was about how she was able to mentally prepare herself get into the mindset of a pervert. Nonaka-san was nice to answer these questions, but they could be seen as harassment if not handled delicately.

We did think of moderating questions but didn't deem it necessary in the end since we could just stop people like we did with the guy who tried to ask her to say a line. We will try to be more proactive in this regard in the future so thank you again for your feedback.

I appreciate the response and effort. Another suggestion might be to request that all questions be asked in English. Even though the people who asked their questions in Japanese were respectful this time, there's no guarantee that will always be the case, so requiring the question to be translated first would be a good way to avoid future issues.

I know for the autograph session I had to move quite a number of people along and stop them from talking too much or asking for extra things that would take too much time. For the second one we pretty much didn't allow photos at all because there were so many people waiting. There were also several people taking video during the panel even though we said no video and one of our staffers went around to make sure those videos were deleted.

As someone who came to Ai's first autograph session (and was the very last one in line before it was capped), thank you for doing your best to expedite the line. I was worried I wouldn't get to see her since we were running out of time, but I managed to get through!

The only other thing I can suggest is to remember to keep the line out of the center aisle. It was moved over to the side eventually, but that was unfortunately after my question was asked (I was the "How was it like working with SHAFT studios/Akiyuki Shinbo" question). Nonaka-san did the famous SHAFT headtilt in response (which was truly an amazing moment for me and way more than I expected!), but my friends couldn't see nor could they take a picture of it because of the wall of people in line. I hope someone got a photo of it!

Anyway, thank you again for being so quick to respond and willing to listen to my concerns! I had a great time getting to meet/ask questions of the Japanese guests, and that's thanks to the efforts of staff who make those events happen. I'm very appreciative of that.

General Convention Discussion / Guest Panel Moderation
« on: May 26, 2015, 09:23:25 PM »
Probably the only major complaint that I had for this year was how the Japanese guest panels were handled. I felt terrible for both BACK-ON and Ai, who were asked inappropriate questions, or were asked for autographs/high-fives in a Q&A panel. BACK-ON's panel didn't tell people to only ask one question, either, so each person who went up asked 3-4 questions in a row and took up most of the time. This could have been mostly avoided if someone were asking people what their question would be before allowing it to be asked. For example, people with questions could raise their hands during the panel and a staff member could ask them what their question was, and if deemed appropriate, they could be allowed to go in line to ask it. There's no guarantee that they'll ask that question, but hopefully people will get the impression that they need to be respectful in their questions by needing to pass it by a staff member first.

BACK-ON had almost no moderation. The same questions got asked over and over, people asked for autographs, guitar picks (one of the band members joked about that, asking if the guy "wanted some money" too), high-fives, people hogged the mic with tons of questions or just rambled on and on because no one stopped them.

Ai's translator did really try to control the room (telling them not to ask certain questions, or ask for lines to be spoken), but I think she needed some extra help controlling the crowd. The fanboys literally stampeded to the front to get a photo with Ai. I feared for her.

I'm hoping that something can be done to improve these things for next year. The guests don't deserve that behavior, and Fanime doesn't need to have that negative experience impact their guest relations.

P.S.: To the bros who thought they were being funny asking all the yuri/hentai questions to Ai, or proposing to her...or walking creepily to her table with pocky, you were seriously cringe-worthy. I felt so embarrassed for Fanime as a whole witnessing that.

General Convention Discussion / Re: Success!
« on: May 26, 2015, 09:03:16 PM »
The convention's management was really a breath of fresh air this year. I had very few complaints, and those were mostly minor, anyway.

Congrats to staff for doing a fantastic job! I have high hopes for the remaining years of the chair heads, if they decide to continue. Thanks for the great time!

Registration / Re: Sorry to bother you all with this but...
« on: May 20, 2015, 11:59:44 PM »
Did you email registration[at] Those are the people you need to get in touch with. You should have gotten an email a while ago with information on your account, so it's good to get this squared away before going to the con. I don't know if reg staff/volunteers will know what to do with your case at con (maybe they do...).

Hotel and Facilities / Friendly reminder: Remember to tip!
« on: May 20, 2015, 11:42:12 PM »
Just a reminder to everyone, you should consider tipping the hotel staff. I always tip the valet and bellhop along with the housecleaning staff, but at the bare minimum, set aside a few dollars for housecleaning. If you're staying for multiple days, it is good practice to tip each day (there are different staff, so just tipping at the end of your trip gives the last person a bunch of money, but everyone who cleaned up after you in between gets nothing). The staff will remember you, especially if you do tip a little each day (previously, I've gotten nice little extras [extra towels and soaps/lotions] without asking, and I'm positive it's because of the tipping).

If money's tight, have everyone in the room chip in a dollar and leave a little note so the staff knows it's for them. These staff are working much harder than usual over this weekend (partially due to room-stuffing) and they are definitely not paid enough to compensate that extra work.

Let's be gracious guests so the hotel staff views Fanime attendees positively!

Registration / Re: holy crap someone please help me
« on: May 20, 2015, 07:08:20 PM »
I sure hope so. I don't mind how long it would take so long as I get my money back at all.. if not, like OtakuAngel said I'm hoping at the very least they could change the name on the 2nd badge and my boyfriend could just pay me back.

aaaaauuuugh /headdesk

Don't worry, it'll get straightened out. Staff don't want to overcharge you, and it's pretty easy to prove your case since both badges have the same info. Good luck!

Registration / Re: Thursday pre-reg badge pick up
« on: May 20, 2015, 07:06:22 PM »
If it's anything like last year, waiting ahead of opening time will only score vanity points of being "first" to get your badge. I'm going to show up at 3.

Registration / Re: holy crap someone please help me
« on: May 20, 2015, 07:00:25 PM »
Unofficial reply: I'm almost certain they'll refund you as it wasn't your fault the double charge happened in the first place. The sucky thing is, returning the amount to your account may take time. You do need to contact them asap to see what your next steps are. Maybe you can see about getting a cash refund at the con, so you actually have the money to spend in time? I'm not sure if their system is set up to do something like that, but it's a possibility.

As for giving your boyfriend the extra badge, I'd advise against it. If they caught him using it, they could possibly revoke your membership for sharing badges. Just get a refund.

Registration / Re: ID Question - Permanent Resident Card?
« on: May 20, 2015, 03:38:54 PM »
It might come down to whether that form of ID has a photo and your full name on it. Those are the most important factors. You might get held up a little while getting your badge because that's not a typical form of identification that they see, but I'm sure you'll get through if it has the photo and name on it.

You can email registration to get an official answer, however.

General Convention Discussion / Re: 12 Years in 2 Weeks
« on: May 20, 2015, 03:23:07 PM »
If this is getting too off-topic (sorry, Tony), feel free to move my posts to their own thread.

I hope these insights give our attendees an idea of how hard it is to pull off a convention, especially where guests are concerned. It's not as simple as shooting an email or throwing money in the face of the people you want to get.

I think there are people who really do think it's that simple. I didn't even realize the whole nature of building relationships with contacts until I read about it from a staffer some years ago on these forums - I was under the impression, "of course the guests would want to come see their American fans, how hard could it be to convince them?" Obviously, now I understand that there are many more factors involved than simply inviting.

I am very interested, though, what the possible upsides and downsides would be of partnering with companies to bring guests would be. Would Fanime lose some autonomy by having to cater to the wants/needs of these companies in return for their bringing guests?

Communication is definitely something that we can improve upon, and as always, we are open to suggestions on how to remedy the situation realistically without compromising the trust we've built with our contacts. Discretion is such a huge part of the whole acquisition process that we often forget that staying absolutely silent can be detrimental when fans feel neglected, ignored or belittled.

That's why I apologize, lol. If more than one person feels upset about something I'm involved in, then it really is because I've failed at properly addressing a situation, and I need to fix it.

Honestly, you're in a difficult spot. GR really can't disclose much without risking their relationships. One of the minor things I think that could be improved is more presence in answering questions (which is time-consuming, I know), and giving us the reason why you can't answer certain questions. "Why aren't the guests' names released yet?" can be answered with something like, "I'm sorry, we have several guests that we're currently working with to finalize everything. Because we need to respect their privacy while making arrangements, we can't disclose their names yet. We will let everyone know who the guests are as soon as possible." To me, that's a perfectly reasonable answer that I'd be happy with. Just telling people you have guests that will be announced later doesn't explain why you can't announce them yet, so it's important to give a reason.

Tony answered one of the biggest questions this year just fine, concerning why a guest announced themselves first. A simple, "While we can't officially confirm until all procedures are completed, we know that sometimes guests are excited and announce their appearance before everything is settled. We will officially announce guests as soon as we can." Attendees get their answers, and you're not really saying anything that puts the guest or Fanime in a bad light. This problem, however, was responded to with silence, which caused rumors to develop about how staff were being secretive. Even I was thinking that the news might have been delayed for the advantage of the convention (to get people who weren't coming until MF announced their guest to pay a higher badge price, since the announcement happened after the price increase took place). Tony cleared up that assumption.


Now for a little "no-one-asked-my-opinion-but-here-it-is-anyway" to staff as a whole:

I'm sure this isn't possible to do to the extent that Tony has done here (while maintaining the privacy of the guests and remaining in their good graces), but I think little "behind-the-scenes" stories after the con is over can do a lot to show people how it's like to plan and prepare this kind of event. A lot of people will appreciate being treated like they're important enough to hear these facts - and some will probably use it as fuel to criticize, there's no avoiding that. I think Tony does a good job in admitting when/where mistakes were made and acknowledging the chance to grow from them. That's good leadership. Anyone who expects a flawlessly-run event of this size is delusional, but I think we all want the flaws to be acknowledged and hear how staff plans to improve on them for next year. That level of communication is essential for trust between staff and attendees.

For long-term improvements on communication, while the forums are great, I don't think they're ideal. Questions that have already been asked and answered need to be easier to find, so staff isn't stuck answering the same questions over and over, which tires them out and takes away from time that could be spent either working or answering different questions. And I think that this communication really shouldn't fall on one individual, but needs to be a team effort. For example, I saw poor Melody (I think that's her name) being bombarded by people from artist alley because she was one of the few staffers giving out little bits of information on the delay. It shouldn't fall only on her to communicate for a department that large (and if there's any example of where there needed to be more transparency this year, artist alley was definitely it). I know Eric's been pretty diligent over the years in getting people answers for all different departments, but there might need to be a team of Erics somewhere down the road to keep communication with staff a possibility. A team responsible for maintaining a relationship with the attendees and keeping them informed/answered with whatever information they can. This would be considered a "customer service team" in the business world - but I think it could be applied to the convention world as well.

These ideas might not be realistic now, but maybe in the future they could be possible. I hope that my suggestions are helpful in some way.

Serious Business / Re: Serious Stuff.
« on: May 20, 2015, 08:04:47 AM »
What are you using? Chrome on android doesn't want to scroll for me at all, using Chrome on a desktop requires I click on the scrollbar and move it to get it to scroll.

In particular, the events page:

I almost exclusively use Chrome on my android phone and computers (Mac and PC). All of them scroll like normal without having to manually drag anything on that page.

General Convention Discussion / Re: Guest Autograph Questions?
« on: May 19, 2015, 09:21:44 PM »
I was wondering if having her sign the manga from the series would be acceptable, even though she was only tied to the animation. Would that be rude? Should I just suck it up and buy the non-translated anime?
Hi. The manga shouldn't be a problem. The only items we ask people not to bring are unlicensed items (bootlegs) and anime/manga items completely unrelated to the guest. (Generic objects such as cellphones, badges, etc. are fine.)

Whatever happened to Media Blaster's license of Zetsubou Sensei anyway......? :(

Nice! Okay, I'll bring my manga. I'm excited for the chance to get to meet her!

Media Blasters just sat on it for a while and as far as I know, it's open to be licensed again. I don't blame companies for being wary of the series, because it must be one of the most difficult to sub/dub out there (translator's notes galore), but I'd really like an official English release to support the anime, at least. :(

They're going to likely need him present. This is to avoid several problems - one of them being that they have no way to confirm that you know him or will actually give the badge to him. Having an ID and confirmation isn't enough to prove that. If you really want to get an official answer, though, you can always email registration and ask. Sometimes, they're able to work with individual cases.

If it makes it any better, they seem to have really improved badge-pickup to be very quick, so he probably won't miss out on anything while getting his badge.

Registration / Re: ID Question
« on: May 19, 2015, 05:49:59 PM »
Okay, thanks. So then if I wanted to go to a 16/18+ event could I use my High School ID from last year?
That is probably going to be a no. I don't know if they accept anything outside of driver's licenses for those events. And they absolutely do check ID.


Government issued photo ID with the Date of Birth.  So passports work, drivers license, etc.

Ah, yes. Government-issued is the key wording. You're right.

Registration / Re: ID Question
« on: May 19, 2015, 05:33:26 PM »
Okay, thanks. So then if I wanted to go to a 16/18+ event could I use my High School ID from last year?
That is probably going to be a no. I don't know if they accept anything outside of driver's licenses for those events. And they absolutely do check ID.

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