Author Topic: Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming  (Read 1583 times)

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Offline JeffT

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Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming
« on: September 12, 2011, 07:31:55 PM »
This thread is for questions and answers for the candidates for the 2012 Director of Programming.
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Offline MichaelEvans

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 03:16:24 PM »
Q: What are the major things you think went well in 2011 that you would like to duplicate in 2012?
Q: What are the top N (3, 5, etc) things you'd like to try in 2012 to make existing things better or improve the attendee experience?
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Offline Yanagiba

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2011, 07:20:16 PM »
This year, Programming had one of its best years yet in my opinion. I'd say the Programming staff in general was, as usual, the best aspect of our department. Every year the programming staff manages to surpass that of the last year by fixing last years problems and creating new content, and I look forward to seeing where they will go in the 2012 year.

The biggest thing that I believe happened would not be limited to just Programming, but Operations as well. The communication between the two departments during the 2011 year was spectacular and allowed the convention to run smoothly. Since these two departments come into contact frequently before and during the convention, this kind of relationship needs to stay strong and possibly become even stronger. It certainly helped having the two offices located almost next to each other.

As far as things I'd like to improve upon, I feel that the absence of the Masquerade Ball this year was somewhat disappointing to many people, so trying to reincorporate it into the schedule would be at the top of my list. One of the main problems with this in the past was a multitude of complaints ranging from the dress code to the music being played, so the first step would be finding a coordinator who'd be up to the challenge of planning an anime themed ball that wouldn't just become rave-like in the end. Hopefully things will work out well this time.

This year, we had only two people scheduled as panels tech staff. With their manager helping, this meant that only three people were going around managing the six panel rooms when necessary. I'd like to try and strengthen this portion of the programming department as much as possible to take some of the stress off of our panels staff. Also on the subject of panels, I'd like to make sure that we have a set of all of the tech required for each panel room set aside as well as an extra set or two in case of an emergency.

For the 2012 year, I think we should put a large focus on strengthening our karaoke and manga libraries . In the manga library, I feel that even if we don't have a full series, we should try to have at least the first volume of a multitude of manga to help introduce people to new things. For karaoke, more songs need to be added to our collection and actually put in our song lists.

I hope that answers the question well enough. It isn't easy choosing one aspect that went well when I'd say many aspects went well...
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Offline Jamiche

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2011, 09:21:16 PM »
I have to agree, Programming staff is one of the things that went amazing this year.  They all worked hard to make sure we had content, and that panels and events ran smoothly.  There were a few hiccups here and there, but overall attendees were happy... I would like to see us continue that trend, and adding additional staff to smooth out the bumps (and relieve some of the pressure on other staff) would be great.

What I would like to try to improve next year.... adding to our existing libraries (Tabletop, Video/LAN Gaming, Manga and Karaoke) is important, so it's not the same old thing year after year.  I would also like to see us strengthen our panel content, with more choices for older fans and some cultural panels.  I know there were some panels that were missed (Formal ball, Sake tasting).... if it's possible to fit those back into the schedule, that would be awesome, but it all depends on what time/space we have.  My goal is the same every year... to have a little something for everyone to enjoy.

The new format for the Cosplay Scavenger Hunt went over waaaay better than I anticipated, and bringing it back next year (but making it harder) is something I definitely want to do ;)

This year, we added the side screens and video to Main Events, and that was a great start (we were able to record some of the bigger events, and hopefully will find a good use for the video  :)).  I would like to see us expand on that... better control of the video, how it's displayed during events... maybe even recording more of the panels.  I don't believe live feeds for CCTV is doable (it's a logistic/tech thing with the hotel) but having the footage for later use is great.

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Offline BlackjackGabbiani

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2011, 12:52:45 AM »
Q: What are the major things you think went well in 2011 that you would like to duplicate in 2012?

-I think the best-run and most cohesive thing was the tabletop gaming. It was a relaxed environment as well, and that led to a lot of people doing exactly what they should do in places like that--trying out new things and being social.
-I also liked the idea of having specialty menus at the hotel eateries.
-And the registration was a well-oiled machine! Bravo! Brava! (what's the plural?)

Q: What are the top N (3, 5, etc) things you'd like to try in 2012 to make existing things better or improve the attendee experience?

-I would rearrange the dealer hall. The location this year was simply far too small and far too crowded, and the promised increased variety just didn't happen. I have an idea for a different location that would only involve a few events being switched around.
-This probably isn't the realm of Programming head, but increase the accessibility of different areas. Red Lion claims to have a handicapped entrance but the door isn't automatic, and frankly that's inexcusable. We'd need to have someone on the door who can act as doorperson.
--Add onto this that the Artist Alley was nearly impossible to navigate with a walker or wheelchair. It has to be redesigned with compliance in mind.
-The idea that handstamps for over 18 programming is easier has to go, or at least be modified. Having to track down someone to stamp your hand when you have your ID on you is just far more difficult in practice than in theory, especially when the programming in question continued for hours after the info booth closed, causing people to have to go back into the Hilton proper, wait for the elevator, go to the third floor, go to ops, get the handstamp, and do it all in reverse just to go to a panel. Besides, it seems almost counterintuitive when the adult badge indicates you as being over 18 anyway, but if we must have a stamp, have it be on the badge, applied at registration.
-Require signups in advance for events such as the voice acting tournament. Having people flail around hoping they'd be picked just eats up time and causes disappointment.
-Have a formal ball. It was one of the biggest requests, if not the biggest. I know the counterargument was that it simply turns into a rave anyway, but that's easily mendable by having a stricter conduct code and music that's more ball-like. I know not everyone will have a formal outfit, but there's surely a happy medium that can be met here.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 12:57:29 AM by BlackjackGabbiani »

Re: Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2011, 03:19:59 AM »
Blackjack -

What kind of experience have you had with the programming aspect of anime conventions? The other two candidates seem to already be involved in programming, so I'm curious what you may have to offer.


Jamiche -

If elected again, this will be your fifth year as the programming director. Do you have any plans to have someone replace you at some point?

Offline Bresslol

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2011, 06:33:47 AM »
Blackjack-

While the dealer hall is well known as a concern of yours, it is not within the realm of Programming, it is in Relations.

My questions to you are these:

1) You have a reputation that precedes you for outbursts when things do not go your way. As a board member you simply cannot do this, as directorship is one of the highest stress jobs at the convention, not to mention before. Please tell us how, if elected, your plan of action when the board disagrees with something you propose.

2) What, in your opinion, does Programming oversee? It seems like, from one of your answers, that Programming is in charge in everything, when that simply is not the case.

3) What experience do you have in convention programming staff, or staffing at all?

4) And because I feel this is the elephant in the room, are you simply running due to the highly publicized disagreement you had with the board regarding dealer's hall?


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Offline Jamiche

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2011, 02:12:25 PM »
Jamiche -

If elected again, this will be your fifth year as the programming director. Do you have any plans to have someone replace you at some point?

I have a couple of people in mind (and who have expressed interest) in learning the ropes, and I'm hoping to get them more involved in the different parts of programming ;)
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Offline Bresslol

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2011, 02:22:45 PM »
Question for all candidates:

Had you zero restrictions or resistance, what is one new thing you would like to do for 2012?


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Offline BlackjackGabbiani

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2011, 08:33:34 PM »
Well frankly I have very little experience and I'll say that up front. I was nominated in this category and so will answer questions pertaining to it, though. What experience I do have is participating as staff and voluenteer with the Creation Station.

To reply to Bresslol:
1. I do what's necessary to get things done. If that involves a bit of emotion so be it. I find the way society views bursts of emotion as negatives to be rather disgraceful, considering that we prize *feeling* things. To bottle it up is simply unhealthy.

2. To me, programming oversees just that, the programming. The events. However, as I said, this is the category I was nominated in despite my primary interest being the dealer hall.

3. I've served as staff at multiple conventions, especially Anime Evolution and Otafest.

4. No. I am, however, running to ensure that that debacle never happens again. My involvement in it is simply a side note.

Offline Bresslol

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2011, 08:54:52 PM »
Quote
1. I do what's necessary to get things done. If that involves a bit of emotion so be it. I find the way society views bursts of emotion as negatives to be rather disgraceful, considering that we prize *feeling* things. To bottle it up is simply unhealthy.

Please don't take this as a personal attack, but given how you reacted at the General Meeting at the Red Lion in August, if you get elected, I don't feel you could take a disagreement at the executive level well at all. I've been on exec staff or an assistant director one way or the other each of the past three years. Believe me when I say it can sometimes get more heated that the arguments you have partaken on the forums AND at that meeting. I've had meltdowns myself. Are you sure this is something you are ready to have to face if you are elected?

Quote
2. To me, programming oversees just that, the programming. The events. However, as I said, this is the category I was nominated in despite my primary interest being the dealer hall.

{QUESTION REDACTED}Then why are you running for programming? What specifically does program oversee in your opinion? If elected to Programming, what would you keep in each subdepartment of your directorate? What would you change?

Quote
3. I've served as staff at multiple conventions, especially Anime Evolution and Otafest.

What were your titles?

Quote
4. No. I am, however, running to ensure that that debacle never happens again. My involvement in it is simply a side note.

Yet you just mentioned your "primary interest" as the dealers' hall. Tell me how Programming can change the Dealers' Hall when it falls under Relations.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 09:42:42 AM by Bresslol »


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Offline Yanagiba

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2011, 10:30:38 PM »
Question for all candidates:

Had you zero restrictions or resistance, what is one new thing you would like to do for 2012?

With this next Kumoricon being the 10th, I feel we should have a more memorable event. Right now I think pushing for getting a band from Japan to perform at the convention is the way to go. I understand that part of this would not necessarily fall under programming, such as actually getting the guest, but the preparations for the event would, and we would need to ensure that we have all the necessary equipment and whatnot to accomodate this sort of event.

In the past we did have bands, but in order to allow for more content in the main event room they haven't been happening lately (the set up and take down for the bands takes up a significant chunk of time that could be used for other programming). However, I think we need something spectacular this year, and this kind of thing might just be the spectacular we need. Of course, I'm still open to whatever suggestions people may have for content that isn't a band.

On another note...

1. I do what's necessary to get things done. If that involves a bit of emotion so be it. I find the way society views bursts of emotion as negatives to be rather disgraceful, considering that we prize *feeling* things. To bottle it up is simply unhealthy.

Although I would perhaps agree with you that it is not healthy to bottle up your feelings, having an emotional outburst and creating a scene isn't something that should be done in a more professional position such as this. There is a time and place for everything, and emotional outbursts should be saved for a time and place away from the public eye.

4. No. I am, however, running to ensure that that debacle never happens again. My involvement in it is simply a side note.

If you're main goal is to try and improve on the dealer's hall, you should probably go to the nomination post and accept your nomination for Relations (and possibly decline for Programming if it isn't what you intended) so your name can make it on the ballot.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 10:31:50 PM by Yanagiba »
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Offline MichaelEvans

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2011, 12:44:09 PM »
With this next Kumoricon being the 10th, I feel we should have a more memorable event. Right now I think pushing for getting a band from Japan to perform at the convention is the way to go. I understand that part of this would not necessarily fall under programming, such as actually getting the guest, but the preparations for the event would, and we would need to ensure that we have all the necessary equipment and whatnot to accomodate this sort of event.

This falls more under a joint Programming AND Relations question, however if it hasn't already been asked (I don't have the time right now to check the rest of the thread): What type of events would you look in to holding to make the 10th year of Kumoricon most memorable for the widest selection of our attendees?  Would that be something different for those who've been to many past Kumoricons?  If your these events require guests what are your backup plans (without guests) in the case that no fitting guest can be booked? (As a suggestion; you might say A band (such as X) to denote a type of event and genera of event without locking in to any guests which likely have not even yet been invited.)
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2011, 07:18:33 PM »
The following is for clarification purposes only and is not an endorsement.

Blackjack was a staff person for Creation Station at Otafest in 2007. Otafest is an anime con in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
She was a panelist for multiple panels in Creation Stations at various cons, including Anime Evolution.
I do not remember whether her title at Anime Evolution 2007's Creation Station was staff or contest judge/volunteer/panelist, but she was involved. <<EDIT>> She might have been staff for CS at AEv 2006, now that I think about it. Please accept my apology that I do not recall. I did not run the CS at AEv in 2008, so I cannot speak to that year.
She has volunteered for CS almost every year and was, as a volunteer, contest entrant, and panelist, one of the cofounders of the Beta Station, which was the precursor of the CS.
Her fanfics have won various awards in various contests. I think I remember her also winning years back in Karaoke.

The following is a statement of my personal opinion and should not be misunderstood as speaking for anyone else in the CS.

Amber, I believe you are aware that I care about and respect you as a human being and that I always have been and always will be a big fan of your writing and of your various volunteer, panelist, and contest entry contributions to Creation Station, at any con.

I do believe that many points you make are valid, but I also believe that there are times in which there are ways in which your attempts at ennumerating and clarifying your concerns range from perfectly logical, to slightly more emotional than would best benefit your accomplishing your goals, to needing to take a breather before coming back and communicating in the manner that would best accomplish your being heard and taken into serious consideration for the points that you raise. You are not alone in this. There are many people for whom this is true. Everyone has the right to participate in the ways that are within their comfort zones. My concern is that if you were to become an executive, there might be times that the pressure of that role could exceed your own comfort, or that the ways in which you name your concerns might be heard in a different tone than the tone that you intend them to be heard in. I believe that there are times that you are simply speaking your piece, that are heard as more accusatory or harsh than you intend them, in part because of your wonderful ability to project your voice, which is very helpful in certain performance contexts but not necessarily in meetings, and in part because you might on occasion feel unheard, even when others are attempting to address the overall gestalt of your concern, if they do not adequately in your eyes respond to every detail of your concern. It is possible that that might pose a difficulty within executive meetings. I would love to see you thrive within the convention community and feel at home there for the rest of your life. The concern I have is that if you were to experiment with being an executive, and that that didn't work out for you, it could sour congoing for you, as well as potentially being a challenge for other people at the time.

Please know that I say all of this with the fullest respect for you. I honestly have repeatedly advocated for you on your behalf and truly look forward to continuing to read your written work every year. If you choose to continue towards the election process, please consider how you could best work within the meeting framework required of executives. If you do not accept your nominations, please know that no one will think less of you for whatever you choose to do for yourself, to have the most fun and productive year within the con that you can.

Love,
Rem.

« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 07:21:29 PM by RemSaverem »
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Offline Jamiche

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2011, 10:19:56 PM »
Question for all candidates:

Had you zero restrictions or resistance, what is one new thing you would like to do for 2012?
This falls more under a joint Programming AND Relations question, however if it hasn't already been asked (I don't have the time right now to check the rest of the thread): What type of events would you look in to holding to make the 10th year of Kumoricon most memorable for the widest selection of our attendees?  Would that be something different for those who've been to many past Kumoricons?  If your these events require guests what are your backup plans (without guests) in the case that no fitting guest can be booked? (As a suggestion; you might say A band (such as X) to denote a type of event and genera of event without locking in to any guests which likely have not even yet been invited.)

I'm going to lump these together, because I'm going to kinda answer both at once.  If I had my choice, I would love to have more Japanese culture content at con - tea ceremonies, kabuki, info on kimono, even taiko if we could swing it.  I don't think we have enough (any) of this, and since we are an anime/manga/Japanese culture convention, I would like to see it at our convention.

As a big ticket item, I would love if we somehow managed to swing a Japanese guest.  Not a band, tho... bands require a lot of setup, and are a huge commitment for time and space (and we don't have a lot of space).  A seiyuu, or a mangaka... those are guests that I think would be fantastic to have, especially at our 10th year.

Otherwise... my goal is the same as every year.  I want to provide a variety of programming so that there is a little something for everyone.
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2012 Director of Programming
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2011, 12:00:29 PM »
  I'm going to lump these together, because I'm going to kinda answer both at once.  If I had my choice, I would love to have more Japanese culture content at con - tea ceremonies, kabuki, info on kimono, even taiko if we could swing it.  I don't think we have enough (any) of this, and since we are an anime/manga/Japanese culture convention, I would like to see it at our convention.

 
These sound great. We used to have Taiko drummers and Obon dancers at the commemorations I coordinated, of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Perhaps outreach at Asian Celebration? Also I think I remember some of the offerings in Chibi Room were Japanese culture content.
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).