Before I get into questions I just want to do a quick shout out to all my amazing staff. They will all tell you openly that
I have some places I need to improve on, scheduling, recruiting, communication! Some areas I'm really good at making
things work, and others I need a little help, I really appreciate them for being honest with me in all things.
A Director is absolutely nothing without a crack team of elite super staff trained in the ancient arts of awesome epicosity and
self discipline. I can be nowhere near everywhere all at once so what makes publicity such a great department is that there
are a bunch of people who do so much to keep it going! This year has taught me so much trust in my staff and appreciation of them,
next year is sure to be amazing (with or without me) because of how dedicated the team is to making it so!
Now, onto the questions!
What do you forsee on the horizon, that will make next year even better? (New projects?)
This will probably be re-iterated many times in the coming questions, because plans for next year have really been my focus in
the back of my mind; I've learned the ropes, I've got the knowledge and the amazing team, now we can really implement all those
bright eyed dreams I talked about last year!
Something I am particularly proud of is the Publicity-Relations team efforts we have planned. In talking with members of relations
we have realized an area we are BOTH lacking in is local flair and events! And the reason almost always is; "Well, who is gonna head
it up?" We both are busy, both have lots of other tasks and don't always have the time to spear head new little events and local pubs,
deals at eateries, getting new ads for the con book and finding things to put in swag bags... but we WANT to do all that! This year will
implement a new team of some Publicity folks and some Relations folks who will join forces to contact local businesses in and out of
the industry for swag, ads, promotions, gifts and prizes, and other events or plans. This takes a huge burden and question of the two
Directors, and keeps BOTH sides in the loop on a very under-represented section of the work Kumoricon should be doing - getting involved
in our local community! We intend to represent both Vancouver and Portland in these actions, as well as surrounding areas when available.
Elsewise, what I see on the horizon is MORE MORE MORE! Ask my staff and you will know this year made me HUNGRY for more awesome
stuff! We sunk our teeth into CCTV with the help of the amazing Vice Chair Dawn, and Jeff Tyrrill... now my team is excited at the prospect
of live feeds, musical slide shows, same day replays and commercials for other events, as well as CCTV permission anime and live show
titles! This is a project I think fans will love, the more we can do with it the better!
We had a great turnout for Press this year, we were in The Columbian THREE TIMES! (You'll see the links to all the great press soon!) And
still people wanted more! I was actually told The Columbian got calls asking why we weren't in the Saturday paper! I was on KBOO twice,
and had a ton of fun talking about K-Con on the air... and I am sure next year will benefit from all the talk, but now we gotta pump up our
game! Press that haven't taken notice need to be hearing from us as much as possible. I will be giving more autonomy to my Press team to
get in there and get us more (and quality) press representatives!
One more thing I'll talk about for next year is our KumoriTV plans... just sitting there on youtube is an excellent channel that is basically
void of cool stuff, waiting for the Publicity team to go out there and make content! So one of my projects will be getting part of
Kumoricon's inter-conventional team to film and report in on whats going on at places like Comic-Con, Anime Expo, Sakura-Con, and other
more local events like Game Storm, OryCon and Stumptown Comics. Things that not everyone can get to, we will show you whats hot,
whats fun and why you should be stoked about fandom... kinda like our own little mini-tv channel! Keeping you connected to Kumoricon all
year long through fun videos, maybe even skits and games with local Cosplayers and groups! I've been trying to get this off the ground with
some awesome footage our team got at Comic-Con this past year, but it should really start to come into its own this year with a post crew
and some more knowledgeable team mates! I'm really excited!
This year we hit roughly 4000 in out attendance numbers.
What plans do you have to increase this number and make the convention more visable?
This years numbers were (according to what reg told me) 4060. That's not bad, but its nowhere near what I was expecting! Maybe
my eyes are too big for my stomach in terms of what our convention will/can grow to but I have heard about a lot of people who didn't
come to K-con this year for a couple reasons, and these are things I can address!#1. Vancouver? WTF???
Many people have stated their distaste for the distance from Kumoricon to Portland this year, and I'll admit, I was one of those people
who felt the pain of it! I bet you wouldn't guess that I, while trying to pick up Todd Haberkorn from the Airport, had the joy of sitting
in ONE HOUR of practically dead still traffic going north on 205 (coming from another errand). The poor guy had to wait for me, and I
had to wade through muck of traffic, so I know how you all feel!
Publicity SHOULD have been broadcasting the incredibly easy public transit steps to get to con from the get go. I was lax on that and
it showed, people just didn't know how simple it was to get from Tri-Met to C-tran and vice versa, but it actually is! I'll also be having
the Pub-Rela team work with the City and Tri-Met to beef up the transit available during this time. It would be great for the bulk of
Kumoricon attendance to let them know that a direct downtown to downtown bus system on both ends would benefit the economies of
both cities (I'm writing up the proposal as I type actually, to convince them to help us all grow) and provide an incentive for Kumoricon
attendees to go back and forth between the 'Couve and the lovely downtown Portland shopping.
But communication is key, and I'll be the first to admit, I need to either get more savvy with the social media or find someone who is,
and start broadcasting the info that will get people back in our doors!#2 Hotel Rooms are gone? NOOOOOoooooOOooo!
Hotel rooms went FAST and it was very lucky for staff that our Facilities Liaison Phillip Koop held onto as many as he did, for their sakes
lest our staff would have been homeless for con! I heard we were at 60% at both hotels well before March, and registration was still at
less than 1k. This means we need more rooms than ever before, so working with our Facilities Liaison and getting the word out about other
hotel options, working with other hotels to make promotional deals and the cities to provide transit will increase our attendance allowance.
Afterall, if people can't go because they have no place to stay, they just wont come. So more options more notice and more information
are key here!#3 So many... bad... memories...
I was one of the children of the revolution, I'd like to think. 2009 left a lot of attendees with a bad taste in their mouths, where 2007 had
left them with stars in their eyes and warmth in their hearts. When I joined staff, it was because I loved this convention too much to not
help. My job as Director of Publicity is to make each and every attendee FORGET everything bad they have heard about K-con and focus on
just one thing; FUN! This year, through press and promotions, we've come a long way in giving Kumoricon its face back. 2012, our ten year
anniversary, is going to blow them all out of the water. Those who don't hear about the amazing event we had on Labor Day, will surely
hear about our plans for next year, because the main job the Pub Team will have this year is; making sure EVERYONE on the Columbia River
knows the name Kumoricon, and knows what fun they can have with us, whether they have the ability to attend the con or not, they will
know who we are and what we do for the community, for Japan and for fans!
Short and Sweet: Social Media, Video Promotions, Parades, Billboards, Radio Spots, Television, Charity Work, Flashmobs and Local Events
will all play a factor in making Kumoricon more visible and more accessible beyond the standard Convention crowd. If I can get our
attendees non-convention going friends, family, neighbors or co-workers to get behind the convention as a community organization, I'll
have done my job well!
It's tough being in the same time-frame as PAX; Aside from possibly promoting the local or smaller convention pluses to gaming attendees what areas will you target for showing former, current, and new attendees why they should have fun with us?
I am trying to change my opinion of our relationship with PAX. We need to be symbiotic and stop the negative spin before it gets out of control.
We are an Anime/Japanese Culture fandom convention; PAX is the last of the Corporate/Industry conventions of the year in a line that
goes from AX on into the end of August. They have been treated pretty oddly by their home space as I've been told, and I know from personal
experience as a previous Facilities Director that its not easy to make a convention center work for you. That's a lot harder than hotels. Doing
both is intense. Anyway, my opinion has always been positive towards those who want to go to PAX, I recommend it! There is stuff you can
do at a gaming convention that you will never get to do at a full fandom convention. But that's ALL you are really gonna do. Sure many of the
people there are going to know/like anime, and maybe they will get your off-color Korean TV program jokes, but if you want to do a little bit
of EVERYTHING, and you only have one you can do, why confine yourself to the gaming community? Kumoricon wants to be everyone's
convention, we want to show you that the BEST part about Anime/Japanese Culture conventions is that the culture is 10x more inviting than
any culture convention out there! You think Greedo Shot first? We get you. You can stop Carmelldansen? We... get you (unfortunately). You
have a bigger collection of dol- er... "Figurines" than your little sister? We get you.
I'm starting to fall into Publicity mode, let me lay it straight; The personality of our convention says that ANYONE is welcome, and our tenth
year anniversary will showcase that. Working closely with relations, we have big plans to expand what we do to help people discover that, you
get way more with Kumoricon than any other kind of convention in the area. Why drive to Seattle when you can experience the warmth of
local flavor and fun right here in your back yard. That's our main claim to fame; no matter if we are 600 or 6000 or even 60,000 attendees
strong, the mentality of our staff, our fans and the community has always been and always will be warm welcoming and a friendly gathering
of fans from all walks. We can't change that, its not possible and making people see that and showcasing it in bigger, better ways is how we
will achieve maximum attendance.
Keep the questions coming, I can't promise I wont slip into my long winded car salesman "Ally talks Kumoricon" voice again... but I'll try to
answer your questions as best I know how!