Author Topic: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations  (Read 12556 times)

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Offline JeffT

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Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« on: September 06, 2012, 12:43:44 am »
This thread is for questions and answers for the candidates for the 2013 Director of Relations.
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Offline @random

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 08:47:56 am »
  • What do you see the role(s) of the Director of Relations as being, and what do you believe you bring to the table in this regard?
  • As the Director of Relations, what changes (if any) would you like to institute?
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Offline Dealrith

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 07:37:42 pm »
When you think of who you want to be our Guests or Honor do you consider quality over quantity?
As a second part to this, what is a quality, pick of the crop, guest for you?
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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 08:46:24 pm »
Tell us about a time about a great success you have had working in this department, or in the one you currently staff for.

Tell us about a time where you did not do as well as you had hoped with something regarding your department, or the one you currently staff for. How do you think you could have handled it better?

If you had no resistance or restrictions, what is something you would like to do with Relations?

What is your definition of a successful Relations directorate?

I'd also like to throw in my hat and say I'd love to be a part of this department in some regard in 2013! This is a department that is foreign to me in my nine years of staffing and I'd love to learn!

Thank you for your time, and best of luck to you all!


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Offline Daystar

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 05:12:22 pm »
What are you going to do to improve communication with programming?

What are you going to do to improve the time-frame in which programming will get the viewing permissions for the viewing rooms?

Are you intending to improve upon the growth of guest content at Kumoricon, widening it to provide more familiar voice actors and a variety of industry guests?

Have you considered having guests from Video games at the Kumoricon?

Have you considered reaching out to a Manga publisher and seeing if they can hold a panel or two about what it takes to break into the industry, as many of our attendees are artists?

Are you intending to improve upon the Prize Support, providing more anime related/ Manga related/ Gaming related prizes overall?
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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 09:23:19 pm »
Question - During the year before con, many staffers will be bored, waiting to hear of ways that they can help out their department/s. How do you plan to incorporate said staffers, if at all?
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Offline Koryu

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2012, 02:11:28 pm »
Quote
What do you see the role(s) of the Director of Relations as being, and what do you believe you bring to the table in this regard?

The role of the Director of Relations is to be a representative of the convention to potential Guests, Industry, and other types of organizations that have the potential to become investors.  The Relations department seeks to establish mutually beneficial relationships with outside entities in order to receive something that makes our convention more special, more unique, and therefore more appealing to attendees.  It’s the Relations Director’s job to sell the convention, convincing companies that Kumoricon is worth their time and their money.  It’s a job that requires enormous amount of patience, persistence, and, above all, professionalism. You have to be able to speak the language of the Industry or else you are not going to be able to get the results you want.

I believe that what I have to offer is exactly that: the patience and persistence to get the job done professionally.  I’ve worked hard these past two years to establish an ever-growing network of contacts and connections that continue to produce results for our convention.  With each new contact I’ve been able to establish there has been the opportunity to learn something new that has added to my effectiveness as a Director of Relations.  In this way, the value of my experience continues to grow and I look forward to being able to continue learning and growing in this upcoming year as Director.

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As the Director of Relations, what changes (if any) would you like to institute?

It’s hard to speculate on improvements for what was, truly, the best Relations team any director could hope for.  This year my staff were better trained, better prepared, and more cohesive than ever and it showed in how welcome our Guests felt to how happy our vendors and artists were when they went home.  It’s hard to imagine asking for anything better than that.

But there are some areas that I would like to focus on more next year.  With the fantastic Industry staff that I’ve acquired this year, I would like to start earlier in the year contacting more industry and working more closely with companies that we’ve only established relationships with this year.   As convention season goes into full swing, company representatives get harder and harder to contact so making our interest known as soon as possible will increase our chances of being able to get more of what we want.

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When you think of who you want to be our Guests or Honor do you consider quality over quantity?

When evaluating which Guests to invite to our convention there are several factors that I always consider.  The first is interest.  I want to choose guests that have the widest range of appeal possible.  Guests are often times the first aspect that potential attendees look at when deciding to come to our convention so it’s important that we try and find out who will be the most popular to the most people.  I wish this was the only factor that we had to consider when inviting guests so the we could get everyone that people would like us to but unfortunately it isn’t. 

Second is availability, no matter how amazing a guest would be to have at our convention if they are booked or otherwise unavailable there is very little I can do about it other than express our interest in having them in future years.  This is, honestly, the most frustrating part of soliciting guests.  We get some fantastic ideas from, for example, the forums on which guests to invite and so very often it comes down to the guest just not being available that prevents them from coming to Kumoricon.  They’re busy people though, so we understand. : )

The last factor that we consider when inviting a Guest is cost.  My goal has always been to stretch our money as far as possible.  I want Guests that will give us the biggest ‘bang for our buck’.  I want multiple popular guests that also have manageable expenses so we aren’t sacrificing our ability to appeal to the widest audience possible by instead pouring our entire budget into one guest.  It’s a very delicate balance that I try very hard to maintain.  As the years go by and our budget and reputation grows, new opportunities will become available to us that make maintaining the guest to cost ratio more manageable.

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What is a quality, pick of the crop, guest for you?

A truly quality guest for me is someone who is both popular with our attendees, has manageable expenses, and is good to my staff.  Every guest has their quirks and I certainly don’t discriminate against them but it’s always nice to have someone who understands and appreciates that we’re all volunteers here trying to do our best to make everyone feel welcome. 

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Tell us about a time about a great success you have had working in this department, or in the one you currently staff for.

We went back to San Diego Comic Con for the second time this year and I can’t describe to you how good it felt to have people recognize what Kumoricon is when you talk to them.  It was so awesome and gratifying to see so many different and high profile companies remember who you are and what you do and therefore be more willing to work with you this year because of the relationship my team and I worked so hard to establish in the past year.  I know that I’m doing my job right when, at a convention that is primarily industry and non-anime focused, our reputation precedes us.  It was fantastic and I want to give proper credit to my industry staff as well as the Publicity staff for making that happen. 
 
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Tell us about a time where you did not do as well as you had hoped with something regarding your department, or the one you currently staff for. How do you think you could have handled it better?

This year we had a serious problem with Guest Liaisons being harassed or mistreated by attendees.  One liaison was spit on when she was taking one GoH down to con space via the elevator and told someone they would need to wait for the next one.    I take this sort of thing very seriously and see it as a personal failing on my part to not protect my volunteer staffers from unnecessary harm.  It will be imperative, in the upcoming year, to make sure that the Guest staff is adequately staffed to make sure that whenever possible liaisons can go in pairs to give them the best ability to deal with problems that may arise.   

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If you had no resistance or restrictions, what is something you would like to do with Relations?

I would love to see us have, as always, a larger Exhibitors Hall even though this year was much better than last. More financial flexibility to get guests would be fantastic and, I think most importantly, I would like to do as much as I can to go to as many other conventions as possible to be able to better network with guests and industry.

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What is your definition of a successful Relations directorate?

A successful Relations directorate, in my opinion, consists of making guests of the convention feel as welcome as possible.  My job is done well when Guests of Honor and Industry Representatives, Artists, Vendors, and everyone else my department touches leave our convention feeling well taken care of.  Our greatest asset is word of mouth.  If we make a good impression on just one of our Guests, they will tell their friends and colleges about how great our convention is which generate interest in us as a convention worth attending. 

Offline Koryu

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2012, 08:57:25 pm »
Quote
What are you going to do to improve communication with programming?

This year, I feel that communication with Programming was greatly improved over previous years.  In the all-important crunch time leading up the convention Andrew, the assistant director, and I were in almost constant email contact wherein the needs of Programming were clearly laid out and communicated.  When a need was met, I forwarded the information on promptly and always received grateful confirmation.  It was extraordinary helpful to have a single point of constant contact and it took a huge amount of stress and guessing off of my shoulders.  I would love to see this sort of exchange continue throughout the year in the future.   

Quote
What are you going to do to improve the time-frame in which programming will get the viewing permissions for the viewing rooms?

It is only through the strength of our connections to companies like FUNimation that allows us to get responses to our permissions requests at all.  Many conventions are far less fortunate than we are simply because chronically understaffed companies don’t have the time to process all the requests they get.  I understand how important specifically viewing permission are to providing certain types of programming and I wish there was a more streamline way to get permissions.  The paperwork is tedious, the companies are slow in replying and the hours and hours I’ve spent trying to chase down the correct information to pair title with company make it one of the least enjoyable aspects of the job.  The best thing that I can tell you that would make this easier is being able to talk to the companies in person.  As soon as they can put a face to the request, the process becomes a lot faster. 

Quote
Are you intending to improve upon the growth of guest content at Kumoricon, widening it to provide more familiar voice actors and a variety of industry guests?

Yes, Expansive and diverse guest content is always our goal. As I stated in one of my previous answers, there is a delicate cost-to-guest ratio that has to be maintained in order to provide guests that also interest the most of our potential attendees.   

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Have you considered having guests from Video games at the Kumoricon?

Yes and quite recently in fact! In the past two years, both David Vincent and Lauren Landa have had mainline roles in both Soul Calibur and BlazBlue. 

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Have you considered reaching out to a Manga publisher and seeing if they can hold a panel or two about what it takes to break into the industry, as many of our attendees are artists?

We are very lucky to have such a prestigious publishing company like Dark Horse right in our backyard.  They have done quite a lot for us over the years and I believe they would be very interested in hearing about any specific programming we might like them to consider providing.

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Are you intending to improve upon the Prize Support, providing more anime related/ Manga related/ Gaming related prizes overall?

I will continue to be grateful for the generosity that is constantly shown to us by companies and individuals both inside and outside of the Anime industry.  When support, in any form, is offered we can only benefit from accepting it and using it as judiciously as possible.  We have a convention that is attended by nearly 5,000 people.  They all have very diverse tastes and interests that, with a little effort, we can gain much in return by appealing to.  Perhaps some of the items that we receive are not best served by being placed in prize support but I think that decisions is best left up to our Programming staff so I try and provide the widest variety that I can. Anything that they would not like to use can gladly be taken back and re-appropriated elsewhere.  If this, in turn, leaves us with a deficit of prize support we should do what is necessary to make up for the void, most likely by allocating budget specifically for the purpose and not relying on donations only.   

Quote
Question - During the year before con, many staffers will be bored, waiting to hear of ways that they can help out their department/s. How do you plan to incorporate said staffers, if at all?

Unfortunately, much of the pre-con work for Relations is primarily done by managers and above.  If you or your friend are looking for pre-con work, I would suggest getting in touch with departments like Publicity who are in dire need of help all throughout the year. 

Offline superjaz

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2012, 05:50:25 pm »
These positions are picked by the board, who do you like for them
Vice Chair

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Offline Haru

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2012, 11:13:09 pm »
How has the time spent making the connection you have created with Comicon over the past two years benefitted Kumoricon. What do we have to show for it? (outside of prize swag, which in my opinion is not appropriate given it has the logo for another convention stamped on it.)

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Offline Perky

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2012, 12:42:20 am »
  • What do you see the role(s) of the Director of Relations as being, and what do you believe you bring to the table in this regard?

The role of the Director of Relations is to bring content to the table.  Guests of Honor, Dealers, Artists, Industry, all these people who have so much to offer our attendees, the job of the Department is to coordinate this, communicate clearly with both the potential guests, dealers and artists and most importantly with the other departments who then create the content.  Yes, this requires a great deal of professionalism.  It also requires someone who is good at communication and works well with others.  I believe that I am quite qualified for this role.  I have a degree in English Lit and make my living as a Professional Organizer and Assistant.  Plus I have had numerous roles in both Kumoricon and other conventions, including Executive positions.

Quote
  • As the Director of Relations, what changes (if any) would you like to institute?

First of all, I would institute more open communications with the other departments, especially Programming and Operations, and with those people, such as Dealers and Artists. who email looking for information.  You cannot be very effective if no one else is aware of what all you are doing, after all.  This year was an improvement over last year's fiasco with the Exhibitor's Hall, which was the only part of Relations I was not involved in last year, aside from interviewing the manager for that department and giving the director my recommendation (which she took).  It was very apparent that clear communication could have prevented a lot of the issues that came up, both last year and this.  I firmly believe that staying in contact with people and responding to emails, forum threads and other contacts is important.  Also, making sure that the managers who work with you have the tools, time and support necessary to do their jobs effectively.

Second, I would concentrate on getting Guests earlier and not waiting until the last minute.  Both last year and the year prior I was the one responsible for inviting the guests (those that Dawn had not), getting their flights and coordinating with Programming.  This is a priority and should be done in plenty of time for Publicity to be able to get the word out.  Certainly we have attendees who would attend regardless, but think of all the people who might come if they actually knew ahead of time who the guests were! 

Third, I would work on making sure that the other departments get what they need in a timely fashion.  This includes panel forms for the Guests and Industry, room requirements, viewing permissions and appropriate Prize Support (ie, stuff that is relevant and doesn't have another convention's name all over it).

Fourth, I would like to get more staff involved in helping.  Relations shouldn't be some elite group that only one or two people get to work in, after all.  We do need specialized knowledge for a good chunk of it, but with training, people who have a good head on their shoulders would be welcome additions.  I would find good people to do the training and then look for people who can handle the pressure and responsibility to be trained. 

Fifth, I would like to see more fan created one of a kind items in the Charity Auction.  Anyone can sell you a poster or a manga, after all. 

Finally, I would like to make sure that all parts of the Relations Department are given equal care and consideration and are not dealt with piecemeal.  As I said before, making sure that your team has the tools, support and freedom to do their job is important.
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Offline Perky

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2012, 12:45:09 am »
When you think of who you want to be our Guests or Honor do you consider quality over quantity?
As a second part to this, what is a quality, pick of the crop, guest for you?

Really, you need both.  You want Quality, as it fills the seats in the big room, but you also want some Quantity to fill up all the other rooms that Programming needs to fill.  I would want to bring in people with some name recognition...but more importantly, people who are willing to come, do panels and interact with the attendees.  What is the fun of having a big name if they do one panel and then stay in their room the rest of the time?  To me, a Quality, pick of the crop, guest is someone who is willing to sit in on several panels, help judge the cosplay contest, likes to pose for pictures with the fans...when she or he isn't late for a panel of course!

There are of course issues with cost and availability, but with wise management of money and a willingness to work with people, that is something that a good director, such as myself, will be able to overcome.  I have worked with booking guests for two Kumoricons now and feel that I have the experience needed to do just that.

Plus, it is important to do this, as I stated earlier, in a timely fashion.  Publicity needs to promote the guests and Programming needs to know how they'll fit into the schedule.  Adding guests, major guests, in the last month before the convention is really not acceptable.
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Offline Koryu

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2012, 01:35:02 am »
Quote
These positions are picked by the board, who do you like for them
Vice Chair
Secretary
Treasurer
Facilities Liaison

I hate to have to play the politician here but until all of the final candidates are in I really wouldn't want to speculating on who would be best for the board-elected positions. : )  In the end it will be up to the board as a whole to decide who will be best for those positions and, if elected, my opinion will only be a small part in a consensus building process that will lead to the best candidate being chosen.       

Quote
How has the time spent making the connection you have created with Comicon over the past two years benefitted Kumoricon. What do we have to show for it? (outside of prize swag, which in my opinion is not appropriate given it has the logo for another convention stamped on it.)

This year at Comic-Con I was very excited to be able to meet and interface with no less than 18 different companies directly related to our interests as a convention.  Of those 18, 9 of them were gracious enough to contribute to Kumoricon this year.   We received support from, among others, Fantagraphics, Viz Anime, FUNimation, Kodansha, Kaijudo, and, I think most impressively, Wizards of the Coast.  The Magic decks that we received for our show bags (which I was pleased to hear were quite popular!) were a direct result of being able to speak with representatives of WotC directly.  This sort of in-person meeting is invaluable to establishing and maintaining working relationships with related companies and most often leads to more fruitful and efficient communication afterwards than just email alone.  Any Comic-Con related support we receive is just an extra benefit for being there and not something we focus on.  Similarly, we have received several thousand dollars worth of donations to our charity auction from artists at Comic-Con the last two years that we have been.  It adds a nice boost to our charity auction and helps creative positive feelings with the artists there, but it is not the reason we attend.

Offline Haru

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2012, 07:32:34 pm »
It is only through the strength of our connections to companies like FUNimation that allows us to get responses to our permissions requests at all.  Many conventions are far less fortunate than we are simply because chronically understaffed companies don’t have the time to process all the requests they get.  I understand how important specifically viewing permission are to providing certain types of programming and I wish there was a more streamline way to get permissions.  The paperwork is tedious, the companies are slow in replying and the hours and hours I’ve spent trying to chase down the correct information to pair title with company make it one of the least enjoyable aspects of the job.  The best thing that I can tell you that would make this easier is being able to talk to the companies in person.  As soon as they can put a face to the request, the process becomes a lot faster. 
Do you feel its appropriate to imply that its hard to work with funimation, our largest industry contact, on a public forum?

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2012, 10:56:00 pm »
It is only through the strength of our connections to companies like FUNimation that allows us to get responses to our permissions requests at all.  Many conventions are far less fortunate than we are simply because chronically understaffed companies don’t have the time to process all the requests they get.  I understand how important specifically viewing permission are to providing certain types of programming and I wish there was a more streamline way to get permissions.  The paperwork is tedious, the companies are slow in replying and the hours and hours I’ve spent trying to chase down the correct information to pair title with company make it one of the least enjoyable aspects of the job.  The best thing that I can tell you that would make this easier is being able to talk to the companies in person.  As soon as they can put a face to the request, the process becomes a lot faster. 
Do you feel its appropriate to imply that its hard to work with funimation, our largest industry contact, on a public forum?

Do you know how hard it is to obtain permissions for anime in general, especially the one whose distributor is out of business or in another country? I can tell you as working as a former Programming director, I spent many an hour working with Relations at Sakura-Con to track folks like this down. Nowhere does she specifically say it's hard to work with FUNimation, I think she's trying to imply that getting permissions in general is not an easy task, and having done it in years past with a bigger con, yes, it is a pain in the butt.

I'd be happy to show you some old emails, assuming I can find them, regarding permissions for some series.


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Offline Perky

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2012, 12:28:09 am »
It is only through the strength of our connections to companies like FUNimation that allows us to get responses to our permissions requests at all.  Many conventions are far less fortunate than we are simply because chronically understaffed companies don’t have the time to process all the requests they get.  I understand how important specifically viewing permission are to providing certain types of programming and I wish there was a more streamline way to get permissions.  The paperwork is tedious, the companies are slow in replying and the hours and hours I’ve spent trying to chase down the correct information to pair title with company make it one of the least enjoyable aspects of the job.  The best thing that I can tell you that would make this easier is being able to talk to the companies in person.  As soon as they can put a face to the request, the process becomes a lot faster. 
Do you feel its appropriate to imply that its hard to work with funimation, our largest industry contact, on a public forum?

Do you know how hard it is to obtain permissions for anime in general, especially the one whose distributor is out of business or in another country? I can tell you as working as a former Programming director, I spent many an hour working with Relations at Sakura-Con to track folks like this down. Nowhere does she specifically say it's hard to work with FUNimation, I think she's trying to imply that getting permissions in general is not an easy task, and having done it in years past with a bigger con, yes, it is a pain in the butt.

I'd be happy to show you some old emails, assuming I can find them, regarding permissions for some series.

However, we have had excellent relations with FUNimations for the last four years, thanks to the work of Sarah, myself and Dawn.  They have always been very responsive in emails, regarding both permissions and coming to the convention in general.  From conversations and emails with them in the two years I was the one doing the contacting, they look forward to coming to Kumoricon each year. 

Having had to help track down the information for viewing permissions myself, I do understand that it isn't always easy.  It is one of those more tedious tasks that needs dedicated people who are good at email and are proactive in seeking solutions so that we aren't starting the process in late June, which tends to make things harder than they need to be.
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Offline Yanagiba

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2012, 12:42:46 am »
It is only through the strength of our connections to companies like FUNimation that allows us to get responses to our permissions requests at all.  Many conventions are far less fortunate than we are simply because chronically understaffed companies don’t have the time to process all the requests they get.  I understand how important specifically viewing permission are to providing certain types of programming and I wish there was a more streamline way to get permissions.  The paperwork is tedious, the companies are slow in replying and the hours and hours I’ve spent trying to chase down the correct information to pair title with company make it one of the least enjoyable aspects of the job.  The best thing that I can tell you that would make this easier is being able to talk to the companies in person.  As soon as they can put a face to the request, the process becomes a lot faster. 
Do you feel its appropriate to imply that its hard to work with funimation, our largest industry contact, on a public forum?

Do you know how hard it is to obtain permissions for anime in general, especially the one whose distributor is out of business or in another country? I can tell you as working as a former Programming director, I spent many an hour working with Relations at Sakura-Con to track folks like this down. Nowhere does she specifically say it's hard to work with FUNimation, I think she's trying to imply that getting permissions in general is not an easy task, and having done it in years past with a bigger con, yes, it is a pain in the butt.

I'd be happy to show you some old emails, assuming I can find them, regarding permissions for some series.

Although I don't necessarily agree with how the question was worded, I believe he was referring to the fact that FUNimation has staff specifically for contact with conventions, which in theory would make it quicker and easier to get whatever you need from them. I've already talked with Sarah in the past about the process of getting viewing permissions, so I know very well how troublesome the process is. That said, we didn't get any info about FUNimation permissions until the middle of August, after the time that we said we needed the permissions by. This is the main reason why the viewing schedule wasn't in the pocket guide, because FUNimation holds what is probably the largest portion of anime licenses out of all the anime licensing companies. If I had to estimate, it is probably more than half of our dubbed anime content in the viewing rooms (most likely because the people at FUNimation are awesome and send us screeners to use almost every year <3).

Even beyond the fact that the original deadline wasn't met, there are other points that could be brought up about the matter, such as the fact that we received FUNimation panel information, but apparently there was no word from FUNimation about viewing permissions, despite there being only one contact for both. I can provide you with dates on when we got the info if you'd like to see why it doesn't quite add up. The other main point would be that we didn't actually receive a list of the things we requested like we did with the others. Instead we received blanket permissions for all FUNimation titles, which Sarah herself told me was pretty much just a verbal agreement that it was ok for us to use anything done by FUNimation, even beyond whatever would be written on the signed papers giving us legal permission. Does it really take almost 2 months just to get a verbal agreement that it's ok for us to use their material, especially when you've already been in contact with the person?
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Offline Perky

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2012, 01:50:55 am »
Tell us about a time about a great success you have had working in this department, or in the one you currently staff for.

One of the things I am most proud of is working to make sure that the Cosplay Contest runs smoothly, on time and is the best experience possible for the contestants and staff; and this year was the best yet, of course.

  • Part of this is simply being Organized, something I excel at, as it is what I do for a living.
  • Another part is working with the Tech crew to find out what their needs are.  This year they came up with a wonderful form that made that whole portion run so much smoother.
  • Working with the Staff and Volunteers who come and help out with being my Stage Ninjas, Props Managers and Helping people up and down those steep stairs and getting them back to the Green Room is always a wonder, and I truly appreciate them.
  • Publicity sends a photographer to capture each contestant.  Last year he got some great shots and came back this year with lights and a backdrop to make it even better!
  • Also, working with the Cosplay Coordinator to get separate Skit Judges was a lot of fun.  Now the costume judges don't feel as pressured, the attendees get to see our Guests participate, and the skits are seen as having equal attention, which is appropriate.

It truly is something special that pulls together several different departments to make a cohesive event, and I am proud to be a part of it.

Quote
Tell us about a time where you did not do as well as you had hoped with something regarding your department, or the one you currently staff for. How do you think you could have handled it better?

There is always room for improvement!  Perfect is something we strive for, after all.  That said, I would prefer not to bring up things that have already been dealt with or are from previous years in this venue.

Quote
If you had no resistance or restrictions, what is something you would like to do with Relations?

If I had to pick one thing that could really use beefing up right now, I would pick the Charity Auction.  I would do my best to make sure that the managers were kept in the loop as to what items were coming in, help to get pictures and information available on the web to titillate and intrigue potential bidders and give my managers some leeway in helping promote and expand this important part of the Relations Department.

Quote
What is your definition of a successful Relations directorate?

To win that Triple Crown: Pleased Guests/Industry/Vendors, Pleased Colleagues (both within and without my own department) and Pleased Attendees.  It has to be all three to be successful.  Ignoring any one facet and...well, that's just not good enough, is it?

Quote
I'd also like to throw in my hat and say I'd love to be a part of this department in some regard in 2013! This is a department that is foreign to me in my nine years of staffing and I'd love to learn!

Thank you for your time, and best of luck to you all!

Thank you.  If time allows, I would love to sit down and see where your schedule and my needs mesh!
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Offline Bresslol

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2012, 12:47:51 pm »
It is only through the strength of our connections to companies like FUNimation that allows us to get responses to our permissions requests at all.  Many conventions are far less fortunate than we are simply because chronically understaffed companies don’t have the time to process all the requests they get.  I understand how important specifically viewing permission are to providing certain types of programming and I wish there was a more streamline way to get permissions.  The paperwork is tedious, the companies are slow in replying and the hours and hours I’ve spent trying to chase down the correct information to pair title with company make it one of the least enjoyable aspects of the job.  The best thing that I can tell you that would make this easier is being able to talk to the companies in person.  As soon as they can put a face to the request, the process becomes a lot faster. 
Do you feel its appropriate to imply that its hard to work with funimation, our largest industry contact, on a public forum?

Do you know how hard it is to obtain permissions for anime in general, especially the one whose distributor is out of business or in another country? I can tell you as working as a former Programming director, I spent many an hour working with Relations at Sakura-Con to track folks like this down. Nowhere does she specifically say it's hard to work with FUNimation, I think she's trying to imply that getting permissions in general is not an easy task, and having done it in years past with a bigger con, yes, it is a pain in the butt.

I'd be happy to show you some old emails, assuming I can find them, regarding permissions for some series.

Although I don't necessarily agree with how the question was worded, I believe he was referring to the fact that FUNimation has staff specifically for contact with conventions, which in theory would make it quicker and easier to get whatever you need from them. I've already talked with Sarah in the past about the process of getting viewing permissions, so I know very well how troublesome the process is. That said, we didn't get any info about FUNimation permissions until the middle of August, after the time that we said we needed the permissions by. This is the main reason why the viewing schedule wasn't in the pocket guide, because FUNimation holds what is probably the largest portion of anime licenses out of all the anime licensing companies. If I had to estimate, it is probably more than half of our dubbed anime content in the viewing rooms (most likely because the people at FUNimation are awesome and send us screeners to use almost every year <3).

Even beyond the fact that the original deadline wasn't met, there are other points that could be brought up about the matter, such as the fact that we received FUNimation panel information, but apparently there was no word from FUNimation about viewing permissions, despite there being only one contact for both. I can provide you with dates on when we got the info if you'd like to see why it doesn't quite add up. The other main point would be that we didn't actually receive a list of the things we requested like we did with the others. Instead we received blanket permissions for all FUNimation titles, which Sarah herself told me was pretty much just a verbal agreement that it was ok for us to use anything done by FUNimation, even beyond whatever would be written on the signed papers giving us legal permission. Does it really take almost 2 months just to get a verbal agreement that it's ok for us to use their material, especially when you've already been in contact with the person?

I don't work on obtaining permissions anymore, but I can definitely be happy to start conversation with you and the current director of Programming at Sakura-Con, Tro Ota. Let me know.


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Offline Yanagiba

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2012, 06:39:08 pm »
Since viewing permissions seems to be a topic now, I'll just throw out a question about them for the candidates.

If I remember correctly, viewing permissions were originally dealt with by Programming here at Kumoricon since Programming puts together the viewing rooms. The task was given to Relations at some point since it is something applicable to the department. Which department do you believe should go about getting viewing permissions for anime?

Just to give an idea what this would mean, if Programming is taking care of the permissions, it would ultimately cut out the "middle man" in the process, since Programming gives Relations a list just to have Relations give Programming a list back. If Relations is taking care of the permissions, it keeps all contacts going through one person/department (which is something we want, so multiple people from the convention aren't contacting the same person). There are pros and cons to both. It may also be good to keep in mind that this could have some gray area to it, such as Programming taking care of the majority of permissions, but Relations dealing with the contacts they would already be working with, such as FUNimation.
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Offline Bresslol

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2012, 10:04:12 am »

Quote
Tell us about a time where you did not do as well as you had hoped with something regarding your department, or the one you currently staff for. How do you think you could have handled it better?

There is always room for improvement!  Perfect is something we strive for, after all.  That said, I would prefer not to bring up things that have already been dealt with or are from previous years in this venue.


I honestly can say here that this is not an answer I am comfortable seeing as a voting member. Everyone else I have asked this question to, has cheerfully admitted they could have done better on a specific issue, yet I see this as trying to dodge the question. Transparency from a director is something that is expected, whether it be good or bad, and I'm just not seeing it here.

Feelings get hurt this time of year because of reading things you don't want to read, but I honestly can say that this answer alone has kind of made my voting choice for me. Nothing against you personally, Debra, but I can't vote for someone who isn't open to admitting to not doing something as well as you hoped and how you could have improved that.


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Offline Jamiche

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2012, 11:21:04 am »

Quote
Tell us about a time where you did not do as well as you had hoped with something regarding your department, or the one you currently staff for. How do you think you could have handled it better?

There is always room for improvement!  Perfect is something we strive for, after all.  That said, I would prefer not to bring up things that have already been dealt with or are from previous years in this venue.


I honestly can say here that this is not an answer I am comfortable seeing as a voting member. Everyone else I have asked this question to, has cheerfully admitted they could have done better on a specific issue, yet I see this as trying to dodge the question. Transparency from a director is something that is expected, whether it be good or bad, and I'm just not seeing it here.

Feelings get hurt this time of year because of reading things you don't want to read, but I honestly can say that this answer alone has kind of made my voting choice for me. Nothing against you personally, Debra, but I can't vote for someone who isn't open to admitting to not doing something as well as you hoped and how you could have improved that.

And if her reason for not admitting what she could have done better is to prevent badmouthing another, would you still prefer her to relate it?  Is transparency better than discretion?

If she's not transparent, then she's not fit to be a director.  But if she does tell it like it is, well then, she has no discretion, and therefore is not fit to be a director.  It seems like a lose-lose situation.  So, which is it so be?
« Last Edit: September 13, 2012, 11:36:49 am by Jamiche »
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Offline Fevenis

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2012, 11:29:21 am »
Nothing against you personally, Debra...

I LOL'ed when I read this. Yeah right!

Offline Bresslol

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2012, 11:41:48 am »

Quote
Tell us about a time where you did not do as well as you had hoped with something regarding your department, or the one you currently staff for. How do you think you could have handled it better?

There is always room for improvement!  Perfect is something we strive for, after all.  That said, I would prefer not to bring up things that have already been dealt with or are from previous years in this venue.


I honestly can say here that this is not an answer I am comfortable seeing as a voting member. Everyone else I have asked this question to, has cheerfully admitted they could have done better on a specific issue, yet I see this as trying to dodge the question. Transparency from a director is something that is expected, whether it be good or bad, and I'm just not seeing it here.

Feelings get hurt this time of year because of reading things you don't want to read, but I honestly can say that this answer alone has kind of made my voting choice for me. Nothing against you personally, Debra, but I can't vote for someone who isn't open to admitting to not doing something as well as you hoped and how you could have improved that.

And if her reason for not admitting what she could have done better is to prevent badmouthing another, would you still prefer her to relate it?  Is transparency better than discretion?

If she's not transparent, then she's not fit to be a director.  But if she does tell it like it is, well then, she has no discretion, and therefore is not fit to be a director.  It seems like a lose-lose situation.  So, which is it so be?

You're right, but I'd rather have a director be able to come clean with at least the board with a screw-up then say, "I don't want to recall when I've made a mistake".

Debra is the only candidate I've seen give a complete non-answer to my question regarding this. It makes me uncomfortable to give someone like that my vote.


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Offline Daystar

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2012, 11:46:29 am »

Quote
Tell us about a time where you did not do as well as you had hoped with something regarding your department, or the one you currently staff for. How do you think you could have handled it better?

There is always room for improvement!  Perfect is something we strive for, after all.  That said, I would prefer not to bring up things that have already been dealt with or are from previous years in this venue.


I honestly can say here that this is not an answer I am comfortable seeing as a voting member. Everyone else I have asked this question to, has cheerfully admitted they could have done better on a specific issue, yet I see this as trying to dodge the question. Transparency from a director is something that is expected, whether it be good or bad, and I'm just not seeing it here.

Feelings get hurt this time of year because of reading things you don't want to read, but I honestly can say that this answer alone has kind of made my voting choice for me. Nothing against you personally, Debra, but I can't vote for someone who isn't open to admitting to not doing something as well as you hoped and how you could have improved that.

And if her reason for not admitting what she could have done better is to prevent badmouthing another, would you still prefer her to relate it?  Is transparency better than discretion?

If she's not transparent, then she's not fit to be a director.  But if she does tell it like it is, well then, she has no discretion, and therefore is not fit to be a director.  It seems like a lose-lose situation.  So, which is it so be?

You're right, but I'd rather have a director be able to come clean with at least the board with a screw-up then say, "I don't want to recall when I've made a mistake".

Debra is the only candidate I've seen give a complete non-answer to my question regarding this. It makes me uncomfortable to give someone like that my vote.

On this public forum it wouldn't be her coming clean with "the board" as you say, it would be bad mouthing something that someone had done in the past in a very public way. I believe her decision to use discretion was the right direction. We definitely would not want someone who is willing to bad mouth someone in public to be our director.
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Offline Bresslol

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2012, 11:48:25 am »
Nothing against you personally, Debra...

I LOL'ed when I read this. Yeah right!

Debra has indeed done great things with OFSCI and with Kumoricon for quite some time. I acknowledge and respect that. I hold no ill will towards her on a professional or personal level. She gave a non-answer to a question I really wanted to see every candidate answer, and that does legitimately bother me.

I have no problem telling my friends like it is. I've said as much to other friends running for board positions here and at Sakura-Con. It definitely is a drag to hear, but those who can point our your flaws have a better way of knowing you most of the time.

Like I said, feelings get hurt this time of year. I've had friends tell me face-to face why they'd have a problem with me running for a certain position, including the board position I currently hold with Sakura-Con. I'd rather have to face the (sometimes refreshing) honesty than have people sugarcoat something. My saying I am uncomfortable voting for her as Director of Relations isn't any sort of grudge. I believe that the other candidate can do the job better.


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Offline Jamiche

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2012, 11:52:04 am »

Quote
Tell us about a time where you did not do as well as you had hoped with something regarding your department, or the one you currently staff for. How do you think you could have handled it better?

There is always room for improvement!  Perfect is something we strive for, after all.  That said, I would prefer not to bring up things that have already been dealt with or are from previous years in this venue.


I honestly can say here that this is not an answer I am comfortable seeing as a voting member. Everyone else I have asked this question to, has cheerfully admitted they could have done better on a specific issue, yet I see this as trying to dodge the question. Transparency from a director is something that is expected, whether it be good or bad, and I'm just not seeing it here.

Feelings get hurt this time of year because of reading things you don't want to read, but I honestly can say that this answer alone has kind of made my voting choice for me. Nothing against you personally, Debra, but I can't vote for someone who isn't open to admitting to not doing something as well as you hoped and how you could have improved that.

And if her reason for not admitting what she could have done better is to prevent badmouthing another, would you still prefer her to relate it?  Is transparency better than discretion?

If she's not transparent, then she's not fit to be a director.  But if she does tell it like it is, well then, she has no discretion, and therefore is not fit to be a director.  It seems like a lose-lose situation.  So, which is it so be?

You're right, but I'd rather have a director be able to come clean with at least the board with a screw-up then say, "I don't want to recall when I've made a mistake".

Debra is the only candidate I've seen give a complete non-answer to my question regarding this. It makes me uncomfortable to give someone like that my vote.

Which is of course your perogative.  But by your response, you've put her into the situation of damned if she does, damned if she doesn't.  Is that really fair?
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Offline Bresslol

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2012, 11:53:37 am »

Quote
Tell us about a time where you did not do as well as you had hoped with something regarding your department, or the one you currently staff for. How do you think you could have handled it better?

There is always room for improvement!  Perfect is something we strive for, after all.  That said, I would prefer not to bring up things that have already been dealt with or are from previous years in this venue.


I honestly can say here that this is not an answer I am comfortable seeing as a voting member. Everyone else I have asked this question to, has cheerfully admitted they could have done better on a specific issue, yet I see this as trying to dodge the question. Transparency from a director is something that is expected, whether it be good or bad, and I'm just not seeing it here.

Feelings get hurt this time of year because of reading things you don't want to read, but I honestly can say that this answer alone has kind of made my voting choice for me. Nothing against you personally, Debra, but I can't vote for someone who isn't open to admitting to not doing something as well as you hoped and how you could have improved that.

And if her reason for not admitting what she could have done better is to prevent badmouthing another, would you still prefer her to relate it?  Is transparency better than discretion?

If she's not transparent, then she's not fit to be a director.  But if she does tell it like it is, well then, she has no discretion, and therefore is not fit to be a director.  It seems like a lose-lose situation.  So, which is it so be?

You're right, but I'd rather have a director be able to come clean with at least the board with a screw-up then say, "I don't want to recall when I've made a mistake".

Debra is the only candidate I've seen give a complete non-answer to my question regarding this. It makes me uncomfortable to give someone like that my vote.

Which is of course your perogative.  But by your response, you've put her into the situation of damned if she does, damned if she doesn't.  Is that really fair?

Fair point made.

I'll retract my point, but I still am uncomfortable with a non-answer for that question.


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Offline Jamiche

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2012, 11:57:40 am »

Quote
Tell us about a time where you did not do as well as you had hoped with something regarding your department, or the one you currently staff for. How do you think you could have handled it better?

There is always room for improvement!  Perfect is something we strive for, after all.  That said, I would prefer not to bring up things that have already been dealt with or are from previous years in this venue.


I honestly can say here that this is not an answer I am comfortable seeing as a voting member. Everyone else I have asked this question to, has cheerfully admitted they could have done better on a specific issue, yet I see this as trying to dodge the question. Transparency from a director is something that is expected, whether it be good or bad, and I'm just not seeing it here.

Feelings get hurt this time of year because of reading things you don't want to read, but I honestly can say that this answer alone has kind of made my voting choice for me. Nothing against you personally, Debra, but I can't vote for someone who isn't open to admitting to not doing something as well as you hoped and how you could have improved that.

And if her reason for not admitting what she could have done better is to prevent badmouthing another, would you still prefer her to relate it?  Is transparency better than discretion?

If she's not transparent, then she's not fit to be a director.  But if she does tell it like it is, well then, she has no discretion, and therefore is not fit to be a director.  It seems like a lose-lose situation.  So, which is it so be?

You're right, but I'd rather have a director be able to come clean with at least the board with a screw-up then say, "I don't want to recall when I've made a mistake".

Debra is the only candidate I've seen give a complete non-answer to my question regarding this. It makes me uncomfortable to give someone like that my vote.

Which is of course your perogative.  But by your response, you've put her into the situation of damned if she does, damned if she doesn't.  Is that really fair?

Fair point made.

I'll retract my point, but I still am uncomfortable with a non-answer for that question.

Once again, your perogative.  And you can always PM her and discuss your concerns.  But the damage is already done, and given your previous statement regarding your choice of candidates, I can't help but wonder if that was the intent all along.
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Offline Bresslol

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2012, 12:00:38 pm »

Quote
Tell us about a time where you did not do as well as you had hoped with something regarding your department, or the one you currently staff for. How do you think you could have handled it better?

There is always room for improvement!  Perfect is something we strive for, after all.  That said, I would prefer not to bring up things that have already been dealt with or are from previous years in this venue.


I honestly can say here that this is not an answer I am comfortable seeing as a voting member. Everyone else I have asked this question to, has cheerfully admitted they could have done better on a specific issue, yet I see this as trying to dodge the question. Transparency from a director is something that is expected, whether it be good or bad, and I'm just not seeing it here.

Feelings get hurt this time of year because of reading things you don't want to read, but I honestly can say that this answer alone has kind of made my voting choice for me. Nothing against you personally, Debra, but I can't vote for someone who isn't open to admitting to not doing something as well as you hoped and how you could have improved that.

And if her reason for not admitting what she could have done better is to prevent badmouthing another, would you still prefer her to relate it?  Is transparency better than discretion?

If she's not transparent, then she's not fit to be a director.  But if she does tell it like it is, well then, she has no discretion, and therefore is not fit to be a director.  It seems like a lose-lose situation.  So, which is it so be?

You're right, but I'd rather have a director be able to come clean with at least the board with a screw-up then say, "I don't want to recall when I've made a mistake".

Debra is the only candidate I've seen give a complete non-answer to my question regarding this. It makes me uncomfortable to give someone like that my vote.

Which is of course your perogative.  But by your response, you've put her into the situation of damned if she does, damned if she doesn't.  Is that really fair?

Fair point made.

I'll retract my point, but I still am uncomfortable with a non-answer for that question.

Once again, your perogative.  And you can always PM her and discuss your concerns.  But the damage is already done, and given your previous statement regarding your choice of candidates, I can't help but wonder if that was the intent all along.

Nowhere have I said who I support for any elected position, save for TJ. I have said that Debra will not get my vote here, and I called out Dawn for a comment she made, but I never said I wouldn't vote for Dawn if she chose to run.


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Offline Daystar

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #30 on: September 13, 2012, 12:03:29 pm »

Nowhere have I said who I support for any elected position, save for TJ. I have said that Debra will not get my vote here, and I called out Dawn for a comment she made, but I never said I wouldn't vote for Dawn if she chose to run.


It seems pretty clear from this statement where your loyalties lie, considering there are only two representatives running...

Like I said, feelings get hurt this time of year. I've had friends tell me face-to face why they'd have a problem with me running for a certain position, including the board position I currently hold with Sakura-Con. I'd rather have to face the (sometimes refreshing) honesty than have people sugarcoat something. My saying I am uncomfortable voting for her as Director of Relations isn't any sort of grudge. I believe that the other candidate can do the job better.
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Offline Bresslol

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2012, 12:08:54 pm »

Nowhere have I said who I support for any elected position, save for TJ. I have said that Debra will not get my vote here, and I called out Dawn for a comment she made, but I never said I wouldn't vote for Dawn if she chose to run.


It seems pretty clear from this statement where your loyalties lie, considering there are only two representatives running...

Like I said, feelings get hurt this time of year. I've had friends tell me face-to face why they'd have a problem with me running for a certain position, including the board position I currently hold with Sakura-Con. I'd rather have to face the (sometimes refreshing) honesty than have people sugarcoat something. My saying I am uncomfortable voting for her as Director of Relations isn't any sort of grudge. I believe that the other candidate can do the job better.

Just because I said I believe the other candidate can do better does not necessarily mean they have my vote.


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Offline Haru

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2012, 12:14:35 pm »

Nowhere have I said who I support for any elected position, save for TJ. I have said that Debra will not get my vote here, and I called out Dawn for a comment she made, but I never said I wouldn't vote for Dawn if she chose to run.


It seems pretty clear from this statement where your loyalties lie, considering there are only two representatives running...

Like I said, feelings get hurt this time of year. I've had friends tell me face-to face why they'd have a problem with me running for a certain position, including the board position I currently hold with Sakura-Con. I'd rather have to face the (sometimes refreshing) honesty than have people sugarcoat something. My saying I am uncomfortable voting for her as Director of Relations isn't any sort of grudge. I believe that the other candidate can do the job better.

Just because I said I believe the other candidate can do better does not necessarily mean they have my vote.

This has become a who said what battle. If you feel you are not getting your point across PM them or don't speak. This is a Q&A for the candidates not for your word battles.

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2012, 12:53:32 pm »
So I have an actual question for the candidates.

You have both served on directoral boards and worked directly with Kumoricon. Would your coworkers say you are polite, easy to work with, forthcoming with information and prompt?
Have you heard complaints regarding any of those about yourself?

Also;

When a GoH makes a reasonable request that would not affect or effect anyone/thing or budget, would you honor the request? If not, why?
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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #34 on: September 13, 2012, 02:55:31 pm »
Ally (as top forum moderator) and I (as election moderator) have been reviewing these threads. These threads are primarily intended for Q&A, but over the years there have usually been some posts of a "comment" or "opinion" nature about the candidates in the Q&A threads also, which have been allowed. We need to allow some of this, because elections is about deciding on specific candidates and that means making some personal statements. However, we'd like to remind people that at the elections meeting, there is an opportunity to make comments, after the in-person Q&A. Before posting here, please decide if it really needs to be posted on the forum, or if it can wait for the comment period.

In elections threads, if possible, I'd like to be able to not delete posts. We don't want it to look like we are stifling opinion, or taking sides in an elections process. However, if the discussion gets too sidetracked or too heated, we will be forced to. (We already deleted a separate thread making a personal statement about a candidate in "defer" status who had not yet answered questions, because we felt that that person being a possible candidate was not meaningfully relevant in that case.)
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Offline Perky

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #35 on: September 13, 2012, 04:12:08 pm »
So I have an actual question for the candidates.

You have both served on directoral boards and worked directly with Kumoricon. Would your coworkers say you are polite, easy to work with, forthcoming with information and prompt?
Have you heard complaints regarding any of those about yourself?

I would sincerely hope so.  I have a firm believe that communication is important.  If you do not communicate with those who you work for, those you work with and those who work for you, how are you to be efficient and effective in what you do? 

As someone who works primarily in Support Positions (and yes, I consider being a Director of Relations to be a Support Position), it is vital that you make sure that other people have what they need to do their jobs, so being forthcoming and prompt, easy to work with and polite are very important to me.  Whether that is to get the list of Guests to Publicity early on; to let the Dealers who want to sell at our convention know they can make their plans and order inventory; getting the permissions and panel requests to Programming in a timely manner; to keeping Operations in the loop so they can plan out where more help will be needed; these are all things that I would need to provide so that I am not holding up other people's jobs, which is something I pride myself on.

So, I sincerely hope that those who have worked with me would say that I am all those things!  If ever I am not, please, do pull me aside and point out where I am lacking?  I would be most grateful. 

And yes, I have been pulled aside before, for various things over the years, though it has been many years since any of those particular traits have been an issue.  Age and experience makes us wiser, after all!

Quote
Also;

When a GoH makes a reasonable request that would not affect or effect anyone/thing or budget, would you honor the request? If not, why?

Like if they have special dietary needs or are allergic to feathers or need a nap in the afternoon or something?  Totally!  The health, safety and mental well-being of our Guests of Honor (and invited Industry Guests) is an important consideration to the entire convention and falls to the Director of Relations and her crew to accommodate.
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Offline Perky

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #36 on: September 13, 2012, 04:56:53 pm »

Quote
Tell us about a time where you did not do as well as you had hoped with something regarding your department, or the one you currently staff for. How do you think you could have handled it better?

There is always room for improvement!  Perfect is something we strive for, after all.  That said, I would prefer not to bring up things that have already been dealt with or are from previous years in this venue.


I honestly can say here that this is not an answer I am comfortable seeing as a voting member. Everyone else I have asked this question to, has cheerfully admitted they could have done better on a specific issue, yet I see this as trying to dodge the question. Transparency from a director is something that is expected, whether it be good or bad, and I'm just not seeing it here.

Feelings get hurt this time of year because of reading things you don't want to read, but I honestly can say that this answer alone has kind of made my voting choice for me. Nothing against you personally, Debra, but I can't vote for someone who isn't open to admitting to not doing something as well as you hoped and how you could have improved that.

All right.  I sent you a private message with the details, but all I will say here is:

In a previous year, I was responsible for helping someone else to do their job.  I failed to give them the kind of support they needed, which is to say, a swift kick so that they would actually DO their job.  Because of this, it did not get done in a timely fashion and a lot of people suffered because of it.  I feel bad about all of that suffering and have learned my lesson.  If someone is not doing their job, I will think beyond their feelings and make sure that they do it or that they are replaced with someone who will.  Just, "good enough," is not.  We have a responsibility to the attendees, Guests and staff to do the best we can.  If we cannot, we should step aside so that someone else will.
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Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2012, 05:17:51 pm »
I don't think I saw this question asked, but just in case:

Some Oregonian congoers have been griping about paying sales tax at some booths.  Even though I personally support the idea of vendors choosing whether to keep doing this or not, I can understand why some of the attendees don't.  For their sake, do you for see the possibility of convincing the dealer's hall vendors to allow this?
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Offline Perky

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #38 on: September 14, 2012, 07:21:15 pm »
I don't think I saw this question asked, but just in case:

Some Oregonian congoers have been griping about paying sales tax at some booths.  Even though I personally support the idea of vendors choosing whether to keep doing this or not, I can understand why some of the attendees don't.  For their sake, do you for see the possibility of convincing the dealer's hall vendors to allow this?

This is something that would need to discuss with our lawyer before we could give any kind of meaningful answer. 

As an Oregonian myself, I do know that it is the price of doing business in Washington and am pleasantly surprised and happy when I get to avoid that.  However, is that fair to our many Washington attendees who still have to pay?  Not really.  And there is a trade-off for the vendors themselves.  Yes, they can just add the cost of the taxes into the product, but that makes it look more expensive and makes people less willing to buy it.  Yes, there is a way to not have to charge Oregonians sale-tax, but that requires the appropriate paperwork and time during a Very Busy Exhibitor's Hall to fill out.  And, if the paperwork isn't filled out correctly, they're still liable for that tax.  Plus, again, that only benefits a few of our attendees.

So, it really is a tricky situation.  IF the lawyer gives the go-ahead, yes, I would be willing to discuss the options with the vendors, but honestly, I would not feel comfortable, at this time, to make it a requirement.  It isn't fair to the vendors and it isn't fair to the people who have to pay regardless.
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Offline @random

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2012, 02:24:20 pm »
On the possibility that they simply got lost in the minor brouhaha, I'd like to link back to these questions posed by Yanagiba:

Although I don't necessarily agree with how the question was worded, I believe he was referring to the fact that FUNimation has staff specifically for contact with conventions, which in theory would make it quicker and easier to get whatever you need from them. I've already talked with Sarah in the past about the process of getting viewing permissions, so I know very well how troublesome the process is. That said, we didn't get any info about FUNimation permissions until the middle of August, after the time that we said we needed the permissions by. This is the main reason why the viewing schedule wasn't in the pocket guide, because FUNimation holds what is probably the largest portion of anime licenses out of all the anime licensing companies. If I had to estimate, it is probably more than half of our dubbed anime content in the viewing rooms (most likely because the people at FUNimation are awesome and send us screeners to use almost every year <3).

Even beyond the fact that the original deadline wasn't met, there are other points that could be brought up about the matter, such as the fact that we received FUNimation panel information, but apparently there was no word from FUNimation about viewing permissions, despite there being only one contact for both. I can provide you with dates on when we got the info if you'd like to see why it doesn't quite add up. The other main point would be that we didn't actually receive a list of the things we requested like we did with the others. Instead we received blanket permissions for all FUNimation titles, which Sarah herself told me was pretty much just a verbal agreement that it was ok for us to use anything done by FUNimation, even beyond whatever would be written on the signed papers giving us legal permission. Does it really take almost 2 months just to get a verbal agreement that it's ok for us to use their material, especially when you've already been in contact with the person?

Since viewing permissions seems to be a topic now, I'll just throw out a question about them for the candidates.

If I remember correctly, viewing permissions were originally dealt with by Programming here at Kumoricon since Programming puts together the viewing rooms. The task was given to Relations at some point since it is something applicable to the department. Which department do you believe should go about getting viewing permissions for anime?

Just to give an idea what this would mean, if Programming is taking care of the permissions, it would ultimately cut out the "middle man" in the process, since Programming gives Relations a list just to have Relations give Programming a list back. If Relations is taking care of the permissions, it keeps all contacts going through one person/department (which is something we want, so multiple people from the convention aren't contacting the same person). There are pros and cons to both. It may also be good to keep in mind that this could have some gray area to it, such as Programming taking care of the majority of permissions, but Relations dealing with the contacts they would already be working with, such as FUNimation.

I hope I'm not being unrefined by bringing them up a second time, but I thought they were worthwhile questions and didn't want to chance them being overlooked by mistake.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 02:26:26 pm by @random »
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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2012, 06:56:11 pm »
I know there was a lot of talk about this issue but I would like to thank you for answering this question. This is my first year staffing and as I am not sure what question I would ask in regards to any position the questions asked by many others are helping me judge who I will pick. I like seeing that you were able to learn something from an experience and are taking that lesson in to account for the future so that we may all have a better con.
Also I would like to say that you answered that question very professionally and it truly reflects well on you. 



Quote
Tell us about a time where you did not do as well as you had hoped with something regarding your department, or the one you currently staff for. How do you think you could have handled it better?

There is always room for improvement!  Perfect is something we strive for, after all.  That said, I would prefer not to bring up things that have already been dealt with or are from previous years in this venue.


I honestly can say here that this is not an answer I am comfortable seeing as a voting member. Everyone else I have asked this question to, has cheerfully admitted they could have done better on a specific issue, yet I see this as trying to dodge the question. Transparency from a director is something that is expected, whether it be good or bad, and I'm just not seeing it here.

Feelings get hurt this time of year because of reading things you don't want to read, but I honestly can say that this answer alone has kind of made my voting choice for me. Nothing against you personally, Debra, but I can't vote for someone who isn't open to admitting to not doing something as well as you hoped and how you could have improved that.

All right.  I sent you a private message with the details, but all I will say here is:

In a previous year, I was responsible for helping someone else to do their job.  I failed to give them the kind of support they needed, which is to say, a swift kick so that they would actually DO their job.  Because of this, it did not get done in a timely fashion and a lot of people suffered because of it.  I feel bad about all of that suffering and have learned my lesson.  If someone is not doing their job, I will think beyond their feelings and make sure that they do it or that they are replaced with someone who will.  Just, "good enough," is not.  We have a responsibility to the attendees, Guests and staff to do the best we can.  If we cannot, we should step aside so that someone else will.

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #41 on: September 25, 2012, 04:28:40 pm »
For the first time in three years, Kumoricon experienced a growth in attendance, and a record one at that. What is your opinion of growth of the convention, and what more likely would you give an aye vote to if the convention outgrows Vancouver: Staying in Vancouver and instituting an attendance cap, or moving to a venue that would work well with growth?

Give us your schedule of major milestones for Relations in 2013 (Dealer Hall registration, Guest Signings/Announcements, Manager hires, anything else I may have missed)

If you had to vote for your opponent, why would you?


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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2012, 04:50:46 pm »
Oh yeah! One more question!

What is your opinion of the proxy balloting system for elections?


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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #43 on: September 26, 2012, 12:47:43 am »
For the first time in three years, Kumoricon experienced a growth in attendance, and a record one at that. What is your opinion of growth of the convention, and what more likely would you give an aye vote to if the convention outgrows Vancouver: Staying in Vancouver and instituting an attendance cap, or moving to a venue that would work well with growth?

First of all, I love the growth, I love that people are excited about the convention and want to come and bring their friends!  Kumoricon is such a fabulous convention and I know that I personally want everyone I know to come!  (and work Staff!)

However, declaring right now that yes I would vote for either of those two options is jumping the gun, a lot.  There are serious trade-offs with both. 

On the one hand, attendance caps suck.  No one wants to do that.  I've been a part of a convention that had to do it because of their venue and they are just starting to recover from the stagnation that occurred and relearning how to advertise! 

On the other hand, do we have the staff to go to a venue like the Portland Convention Center?  (For example, do we have the Yojimbo to patrol the MAX station?  Do the Guest Liaisons have cars?  Where do they park?  And what about Staff Preservation?)  Plus there are budgetary things to keep in mind...Portland's CC has no package deal that conventions like ours currently have where renting rooms substantially subsidizes con space.  (If there was, wow, it would be a whole new world and we'd be lucky to be able to book any date there, let alone our usual one!)  So that option would be really expensive! 

Quote
Give us your schedule of major milestones for Relations in 2013 (Dealer Hall registration, Guest Signings/Announcements, Manager hires, anything else I may have missed)

Manager hires would come as qualified people are found or rehired, of course.  Setting an arbitrary date just adds stress!  That said, I would make certain that if a position was not filled that the job would still get done by either an interim or by myself until someone could be hired!  It isn't fair to the rest of the convention or to the manager to make people wait and wait and then dump it all on the new hire all at once, after all!

Guest signings...wow, I would love to say that I would immediately have all of those lined up by X date, but it isn't that easy.  I can say that I will start looking as soon as the Board approves my budget and make sure that I'm not waiting until the last minute to send out invitations however!

Dealer Hall Registrations...that one is easy, however.  There is no reason not to start accepting Interests almost immediately.  Then, once the layout is confirmed and the contract is ready, I (or preferably my manager) would contact everyone who had expressed an interest and let them know if they are in or not.  Honestly, we should have that mostly finalized in May.

Quote
If you had to vote for your opponent, why would you?

This is an interesting question...no one HAS to vote for someone.  You can leave your ballot completely blank and submit it.  (Although why you would attend elections simply to do so is another interesting question.)  Actually, what this question is doing is asking each candidate to promote their opponent and that is both counter-intuitive and counter-productive.

Quote
What is your opinion of the proxy balloting system for elections?

It's a proxy balloting system.  I like that proxies are allowed, it is important that those people who cannot attend can have a say in who is elected and what decisions are made.  Yes, there are problems, but there are problems with most.  Verification is an ongoing plague.  We've made changes to it, but it still isn't perfect.  We'll continue to work on it.  (Ideally someone would finally invent that teleportation device and everyone could just show up, right?)
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Offline Perky

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #44 on: September 26, 2012, 01:29:30 am »
Since viewing permissions seems to be a topic now, I'll just throw out a question about them for the candidates.

If I remember correctly, viewing permissions were originally dealt with by Programming here at Kumoricon since Programming puts together the viewing rooms. The task was given to Relations at some point since it is something applicable to the department. Which department do you believe should go about getting viewing permissions for anime?

Just to give an idea what this would mean, if Programming is taking care of the permissions, it would ultimately cut out the "middle man" in the process, since Programming gives Relations a list just to have Relations give Programming a list back. If Relations is taking care of the permissions, it keeps all contacts going through one person/department (which is something we want, so multiple people from the convention aren't contacting the same person). There are pros and cons to both. It may also be good to keep in mind that this could have some gray area to it, such as Programming taking care of the majority of permissions, but Relations dealing with the contacts they would already be working with, such as FUNimation.

Going back to catch any questions I missed here...

Hmm,...ideally I would have an Industry Rep in place and already in contact with most of the companies by the time that Programming asks and 1, 2, 3, here's your permissions. But we don't live in an ideal world.

I think this is one of those Grey Areas and it comes down to manpower, really.  Who has the time and the contacts?  It should be Relations, but isn't always.  Programming has the need and the drive, of course.  Without timely permissions, the viewing guide doesn't get into the Program Book and we end up with what we had last year again.

I'm going to go with the easy answer, I think.  If I am elected, I would leave it under Relations, because when the request comes in, I would make it a priority of my Industry Rep to get as far through the list as they can and any they cannot get to in a timely fashion I would request help from Programming with. 
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Offline Tsukinya

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #45 on: September 26, 2012, 11:17:49 am »
Quote
If you had to vote for your opponent, why would you?

This is an interesting question...no one HAS to vote for someone.  You can leave your ballot completely blank and submit it.  (Although why you would attend elections simply to do so is another interesting question.)  Actually, what this question is doing is asking each candidate to promote their opponent and that is both counter-intuitive and counter-productive.

As a first-year voter, I would actually love to see the answer to this question (from all candidates).  "Promoting" your opponent isn't any discredit to you; it is merely recognizing skills in others.  No single person knows everything about a particular job, and as someone new to the position, it is important to know to whom you can turn if you face difficulties in your newly elected position.  True leaders know how to utilize those around themselves.  Otherwise, you're entirely limited by what you can accomplish by yourself.  Additionally, this can also be taken as a challenge.  Yes, your opponent has xyz skills, but you have qrs skills, and they will serve you better in this position because of ____.  Call me idealistic, but I see nothing wrong with making positive comments toward your opposition; in fact, as a voter who cares more about the people than the politics, I would respect you more for it.  You're competing, sure, but there's no need for you to be alone in your position.  Everyone's striving for the same goals, after all :)

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #46 on: September 26, 2012, 12:05:52 pm »
On the other hand, do we have the staff to go to a venue like the Portland Convention Center?  (For example, do we have the Yojimbo to patrol the MAX station?  Do the Guest Liaisons have cars?  Where do they park?  And what about Staff Preservation?)  Plus there are budgetary things to keep in mind...Portland's CC has no package deal that conventions like ours currently have where renting rooms substantially subsidizes con space.  (If there was, wow, it would be a whole new world and we'd be lucky to be able to book any date there, let alone our usual one!)  So that option would be really expensive! 


I'd like to point out to you that Yoji by no means have jurisdiction at the MAX station if we were at OCC, given that it is property of Tri-Met and they have their own security and customer service.


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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #47 on: September 26, 2012, 12:09:48 pm »
Quote
If you had to vote for your opponent, why would you?

This is an interesting question...no one HAS to vote for someone.  You can leave your ballot completely blank and submit it.  (Although why you would attend elections simply to do so is another interesting question.)  Actually, what this question is doing is asking each candidate to promote their opponent and that is both counter-intuitive and counter-productive.

As a first-year voter, I would actually love to see the answer to this question (from all candidates).  "Promoting" your opponent isn't any discredit to you; it is merely recognizing skills in others.  No single person knows everything about a particular job, and as someone new to the position, it is important to know to whom you can turn if you face difficulties in your newly elected position.  True leaders know how to utilize those around themselves.  Otherwise, you're entirely limited by what you can accomplish by yourself.  Additionally, this can also be taken as a challenge.  Yes, your opponent has xyz skills, but you have qrs skills, and they will serve you better in this position because of ____.  Call me idealistic, but I see nothing wrong with making positive comments toward your opposition; in fact, as a voter who cares more about the people than the politics, I would respect you more for it.  You're competing, sure, but there's no need for you to be alone in your position.  Everyone's striving for the same goals, after all :)

I agree with this. I ran at Sak against two opponents this year, who I had (and still have, as I hired them as leadership level staff) nothing but praise for. Giving your opponent their propers isn't a bad thing at all.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 12:13:03 pm by Bresslol »


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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2012, 02:11:44 am »
Quote
If you had to vote for your opponent, why would you?

This is an interesting question...no one HAS to vote for someone.  You can leave your ballot completely blank and submit it.  (Although why you would attend elections simply to do so is another interesting question.)  Actually, what this question is doing is asking each candidate to promote their opponent and that is both counter-intuitive and counter-productive.

As a first-year voter, I would actually love to see the answer to this question (from all candidates).  "Promoting" your opponent isn't any discredit to you; it is merely recognizing skills in others.  No single person knows everything about a particular job, and as someone new to the position, it is important to know to whom you can turn if you face difficulties in your newly elected position.  True leaders know how to utilize those around themselves.  Otherwise, you're entirely limited by what you can accomplish by yourself.  Additionally, this can also be taken as a challenge.  Yes, your opponent has xyz skills, but you have qrs skills, and they will serve you better in this position because of ____.  Call me idealistic, but I see nothing wrong with making positive comments toward your opposition; in fact, as a voter who cares more about the people than the politics, I would respect you more for it.  You're competing, sure, but there's no need for you to be alone in your position.  Everyone's striving for the same goals, after all :)

And if only one person responds?  This only works if you get responses from all the candidates.  Ask this question at the Elections where we have to respond, not on a forum where the candidates have the option of not responding to all the questions.  Otherwise, all you will see is half the people saying something about the other candidates and silence from the rest.  For example, if I were to praise my opponent, would her silence be seen as her disinterest in answering questions on the forum or as her not being able/willing to find something nice to say about me?  And what if the other candidates do respond, but their praise is less effusive than mine?  Don't you think that would sway votes?  "Oh, A said all these great things about B, but all B said was that A has a nice smile!"  I know that would make me think twice.  So, no, I am not answering this question in an optional forum.  Feel free to ask at the Elections, however.  I would love to hear some of the answers myself.
2015: Craft Staff, Panelist
2014: Staff Manual Assistant
2012-2013: Assistant Sec, Cosplay Stage Mgr
2011: Assistant Dir of Relations, Assistant Sec, Cosplay  Stage Mgr
2009-2010: Guest Liaison, Cosplay Stage Mgr

Offline Perky

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2013 Director of Relations
« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2012, 02:17:03 am »
On the other hand, do we have the staff to go to a venue like the Portland Convention Center?  (For example, do we have the Yojimbo to patrol the MAX station?  Do the Guest Liaisons have cars?  Where do they park?  And what about Staff Preservation?)  Plus there are budgetary things to keep in mind...Portland's CC has no package deal that conventions like ours currently have where renting rooms substantially subsidizes con space.  (If there was, wow, it would be a whole new world and we'd be lucky to be able to book any date there, let alone our usual one!)  So that option would be really expensive! 


I'd like to point out to you that Yoji by no means have jurisdiction at the MAX station if we were at OCC, given that it is property of Tri-Met and they have their own security and customer service.

Good point.  The Yoji would be patrolling the sidewalk outside of the PCC, though, would they not?  I don't live in that part of town, but when I have needed to go by there in the evenings, it can make me fairly nervous.
2015: Craft Staff, Panelist
2014: Staff Manual Assistant
2012-2013: Assistant Sec, Cosplay Stage Mgr
2011: Assistant Dir of Relations, Assistant Sec, Cosplay  Stage Mgr
2009-2010: Guest Liaison, Cosplay Stage Mgr