Author Topic: After my first Sakura-con, these are the things I'd love to see at Kumoricon...  (Read 1654 times)

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Offline Tsukinya

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We attended our first Sakura-con here this past Easter, and there were some things we missed about Kumoricon (truly adult panels, their opening and closing ceremonies left something to be desired... and the AMVs rock in PDX!), but there were some things that simply worked.  Here they are:
Registration: They had a huge room with multiple lines, many staffers along one wall.  This meant registration was a CINCH!!  No outrageous lines that wrapped around the building, and we were in and out within minutes.
Lines: For large events, they had a secondary room that they began a line in about half an hour prior to the event.  This kept the lines out of the way of general traffic.
AMV Viewing Room: This was a great idea to dedicate a room purely to AMVs.  It was cool to just pop in and see some between panels.
Petal Points: I really liked this concept.  Throughout panels, asking questions or volunteering for demonstrations earned you "petal points."  These could then be redeemed in the programming office for anime, manga, plushies, etc.
Panel Content: We found there were a lot more panels focused on the culture of Japan, etiquette, food, etc.  There was even a panel that dissected Miyazaki's Spirited Away and discussed the cultural influences and the echelons of the Japanese deities.  Very fascinating!

I'm sure some of these things are due to the fact that they have a large convention center with many options for event placement, etc, and K-con being in two hotels this year should help greatly.

Has anyone else seen things you like about Sakura-con that K-con could "learn" from?  Just curious.. :)

Offline Washougal_Otaku

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You do realize that Sakuracon and Kumoricon have a lot of differences between them, right?  Smaller staff, convention center vs. hotels, and other things like that?  Believe me, we'd like to have things run smoothly, too.  We are constantly having to figure out ways to make registration and lines working at different sites, whereas Sakuracon has been in the same location for quite a number of years now.  I think we've had an AMV viewing room before, and we might again if it looks like space would be provided.  Those points might be doable if we have the funds for it; it would definitely be worth mentioning at the next general meeting.  Panel content depends on what is submitted to the con.  If there's someone who can run panels like that, they can still submit panel forms, until June 4.
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Offline nikkiolie

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Just so you are not too shocked when kumoricon gets here there will be considerably less registration booths, probably half as much. It will also take a lot longer to get through.
There will not be any separate rooms for lineup. People typically line up in the hallways.

Kumoricon will have an AMV room

Kumoricon hasn't done anything like petal points before but if I remember correctly this is the first year that Sakuracon has done it as well. I hope Kumoricon does it as well.

As for the Panels, there will be considerably less since there are roughly 4500 people at Kumoricon and roughly 20,000 at Sakuracon. Also the panels are typically put on by attendees. If there is a panel you want to go to but don't see it maybe you should run your own.

Though this is how things were in the past, they may have changed this year. Though again I want to emphasize the fact that kumoricon about 4,500 attendees sakuracon about 20,000 attendees.

One thing you can look for espicially since you are already on the kumoricon forums is that this con is a lot more close nit than sakuracon. I know a large number of people at Kumoricon because of the forums where I only know a few at sakuracon. Keep posting on the forums, go to meet-ups and you will meet a lot of people and have a blast.

Offline Neko_Chan

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The petal points thing sounds great!! It could be called "Rain drops" here or something equally as cute. I've hosted a few fashion/lolita panels in the past and its a lot more fun and easier for us if people do ask questions! Otherwise the panel is done in a half hour because everyone stares blankey at you or gets bored. :)

Offline Washougal_Otaku

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"Rain drops"

That is a great name!  If we do this, we should run with that!
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Offline Tsukinya

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I just want to assure everyone that I am quite familiar with how Kumoricon is run.  I've been to two now, as well as Nan Desu Con in Denver.  I know K-con is much smaller, and far more tight-knit.  I'm amazed every year at how well the staffers manage so well without more "professional" organization (and how they still "truck on" despite ignorant attendees complaining about waiting in lines, etc - they take so much yet come back every year excited and enthusiastic!).  I would love to staff myself, if there were things I could do that wouldn't take me away from the convention itself (I already know about shifts, etc, but I'm a 24/3 kind of con-goer ;)).  As I mentioned, there are many things I prefer about K-con, the atmosphere being one of them :)  I was just conveying my observations, as I had never been to as large a con as Sakura-con.  I know they are quite different.  While I want K-con to maintain the intimate feel, I believe there are some things that could be taken as examples for future improvement given available resources.  Have faith in the fact that I will continue to attend K-con year after year, but the Seattle trip was a once-every-so-often kind of thing ;)  I can't wait for September... there are plenty of things to be said about smaller cons :)

Offline nikkiolie

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Sorry I guess I just assumed you haven't been to Kumoricon before. ^_^;

Offline Washougal_Otaku

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^ Same here.

You could work in Publicity.  Almost every position in that department does its work before the con.  Once the con hits, you can choose to enjoy it or offer to help out somewhere that needs it.
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Offline DancingTofu

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Petal Points have been around a while actually.  I remember giving some out to the winners of the DDR tournament I ran at Sakuracon 2008.  Also, Kumoricon used to have Kumoricash back in the day (somewhere buried in all my stuff is a little piece of paper from Kumoricon 2006 worth something like $5 in Kumoricash for getting 2nd in the DDR tournament that year).  Not sure what happened to that, but I do agree that it's a cool concept and it would be a really great way to handle rewards for tournaments, contests, volunteering, and the like.
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Offline Washougal_Otaku

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^ I remember the KumoriKash.  We stopped doing that because of a lack of funds to support it, or something to that effect.
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Offline camname21

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We had kumoricash last year.  I got some from the cosplay contest.  So if it hasn't been running every year, they seem to be trying to bring it back.  They told me I could use it for 2011.

Offline Washougal_Otaku

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^ Really?  I didn't hear anything about that.  I could have used it for my panel.  Maybe I can see about this year...
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Offline camname21

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The room with the items was across from the programing room (I think that's what it was) on the third floor.  You had to have the cash and ask to pick something or you wouldn't have seen it.  No marks on the door saying it was in use.

I think they said something about trying to bring it back.  The things to get with it were meh, but trying to reinstall the program is cool.  Hopefully they can get some better things this year, ether donated or with more funds.

Offline Washougal_Otaku

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I would have figured that as a staff member, I would have heard something about it... oh well, it's not the first thing that I haven't heard of.
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Offline Mister_manji

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There are many roadblocks to some of the suggestions you have. Mostly its just a matter of space. Sak uses a convention center, whereas we make do with hotels for the time being. We simply do not have the spare rooms to devote entirely to lines, and the number of reg stations is dictated by both space and volunteers. The more volunteers we have, the faster things go.
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Offline kalagei

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There are many roadblocks to some of the suggestions you have. Mostly its just a matter of space. Sak uses a convention center, whereas we make do with hotels for the time being. We simply do not have the spare rooms to devote entirely to lines, and the number of reg stations is dictated by both space and volunteers. The more volunteers we have, the faster things go.

But I'm pretty sure you guys are gonna like what we do this year for reg :)
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Offline @random

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^ This.  :)

I'm an extremely cautious person about making predictions, but even I would say unequivocally that people are going to be a lot happier with how quickly Registration moves this year.
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Offline AllyKat

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You know, I absolutely love hearing from people who go to our convention and others and what they see we can improve on and what we (and other conventions do well)

I know every con-goer knows lines will never go away (as an attendee of Comic-Con, I feel it's sort of a cleansing ritual... a moment of zen and reflection before my nerd is fulfilled) but the reg team is certainly hard at work planning for the years onslaught and with a great team helming it, I do have a lot of faith that things will run smooth!

Space is probably going to be an issue for Kumoricon for at least a few more years, depending on where our numbers get to. If we continue to grow, and outgrow all hotel space available and half to make the jump to the OOC (Oregon Convention Center) the space is actually BIGGER than the Washington Trade Center (or so I am told). That means more rooms which *could* be incorporated into staging, photography and other social situations outside of panels and events. But, as I said... it takes a bigger attendance record than we have to make the jump without drowning the con in debt, so for now, we wear our jeans a little tight and we'll make'em into cutoffs when and if we outgrow'em. Thats just the way lil cons like us have to do!

And I know EVERYONE has heard this a million times over, but we are trying to really get the word out; You say you love the con and want to help, but you have a panel at practically EVERY hour of EVERY day of con? Thats okay! When and if you find a spot in time that you realize you have nothing going on, even something as small as a 1-2 hour time slot, come by the yoji-office or the info-booth and ask if you can volunteer a bit, give 1 or 2 people a lunch break! You'd be surprised how much a 30 minute respite can rejuvenate ANYONE, but very few people realize that that is a valuable amount of time to us!
If you have a break in your schedule enough to man a post for a lunch break or a shift change, PLEASE STOP BY! You will be doing a favor to many more people than those you let get sustenance, you will be helping out stressed coordinators, frustrated managers and busy Directors who may not have remembered that poor Timmy the Yoji hasn't had a meal in 7 hours!
And even if you never have a moment in time, consider letting your friends who join you take some of their "free" time and donate it to K-con, they will definitely be glad they did!

Okay, thats my sales pitch of volunteers.... I'm off!
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