Author Topic: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming  (Read 4318 times)

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Offline JeffT

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Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« on: September 03, 2013, 09:10:54 pm »
This thread is for questions and answers for the candidates for the 2014 Director of Programming.

Please remember the following when participating in the Q&A threads. The normal forum code of conduct applies, except:

There is a partial exemption to the rule that forum discussion cannot be about a person. You may incorporate personal comments, including praise or criticism, into your election questions and answers, and ensuing discussion, but only regarding candidates who are running for a position, or about another person if it is directly entangled with an issue germane to the outcome of the election. In so doing, you must still exercise standard courtesy, and refrain from profanity, disruption of the discussion, excessive vitriol, and irrelevant comments. Please keep in mind that there will be an opportunity for spoken comments at the elections meeting.
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Offline DarkStar

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2013, 01:08:22 pm »
Not really a question, but I would love to see all Director of Programming candidates submit a résumé for the position. Thanks!
--Chris ^_^

Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2013, 07:53:22 pm »
^ I think if we're going to have that for one, we should have it for all.  However, I don't think it's necessary at all.
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Offline Oni Kitsune

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2013, 09:33:13 pm »
I'm not entirely certain on how you wanted this, so here's my best interpretation.

PROFILE:
                As an avid fan of Kumoricon I have spent the last few years working for the convention, particularly in the programming department itself. The last two years in particular were spent training directly under Jaki and with many others within the department to help me prepare for the position of Director. With views of the many different aspects and jobs, I have gained more experience than I had dreamed I could. From running panels to running the Kumoriball, there has been a lot I feel that has helped me to learn precisely how to help the convention to grow in this role. Along with helping out at con, I have also helped out with the mini event the Eugene Asian Celebration a few years consistently when possible.

WORK HISTORY:

                Kumoricon 2013
Assistant Director of Programming
Responsibilities:
               In charge of the Kumoriball, assisted with the viewing schedule, miscellaneous office support duties, helped with setup and teardown, went from area to area to ensure all stations (Fanworks, Library, Chibi Room, Viewing Rooms) were running smoothly and had all needed supplies. Worked out staffing issues and did best to assist as needed around the convention space. Ran 3 panels, assisted in judging fanfiction for the contest.

               Kumoricon 2012
Live Programming Manager/Assistant Vice Chair
Responsibilities:
               In charge of the Kumoriball, miscellaneous office support duties, helped with setup and teardown, went from area to area to ensure all stations (Library, Chibi Room, Viewing Rooms) were running smoothly and had all needed supplies. Worked out staffing issues and did best to assist as needed around the convention space. Ran 3 panels. Assisted with any duties assigned by Vice chair as needed, ran Maid Squad.
                Kumoricon 2011
Chibi Room Coordinator/Assistant Vice Chair
Responsibilities:
               In charge of coming up with and executing several different activities to encourage interest in Japanese culture and had all needed supplies to do so. Assisted with any duties assigned by Vice chair as needed, ran Maid Squad, helped with setup and teardown.
                Kumoricon 2010
Chibi Room Coordinator
Responsibilities:
               In charge of coming up with and executing several different activities to encourage interest in Japanese culture and had all needed supplies to do so. Helped with setup and teardown. Ran 1 panel.

                Kumoricon 2009
Panelist, helped with setup and teardown.

                Kumoricon 2008 Cosplay Staff
Responsibilities:
               Assisted with cosplay contest, encouraged cosplayers to attend cosplay related events such the Ouran Host Club event. Ran 1 panel, helped with setup and teardown.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 10:12:21 pm by Oni Kitsune »
Staff Titles

2008: Cosplay Staff
2010: Chibi Room Coordinator
2011: Chibi Room Coordinator/Assistant Vice Chair
2012: Assistant Vice Chair/Live Programming Manager
2013: Assistant Director of Programming
2014: Director of Programming

Offline Bresslol

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2013, 09:47:00 am »
Hi everyone! I'd first like to say that I'm looking forward to a great challenge in going up against Fox, she is a very hard worker and knows her stuff! I have nothing but respect for her.


My resume is a bit longer, so bear with the massive amount of text!


Profile:


I'm 30, and have been staffing conventions for a decade now, I have a lot of experience in both Programming and Membership, being directors of both at Sakura-Con. I am a bigger gaming fan than I am an anime fan. I joined Kumoricon Staff in 2010, and have worn various hats in either a leading or support role at the convention. I also have five years experience running panels, from game shows to improvisation panels. These panels have historically been room-filling and generally successful.

I also have 10 years of experience working in software QA from companies ranging from the startup I currently work for to large companies like Microsoft and Nintendo.


Work History by year:


2013


Kumoricon - Master of Ceremonies and Auctioneer - I served as a co-presenter of Opening and Closing ceremonies for the first time. I was able to bring the crowd's energy up for both the start and end of the convention. I also had the honor of auctioning off many items to raise almost $3,000 for the Sunshine Division. When I was not doing those things, I was aiding other staff in departments any way I could.


Sakura-Con - Director of Membership -  I was elected into this position by the staff of ANCEA. My job entialed supervising the Staff Preservation area (called Con Suite at Kumori), Membership Office, and Registration. We implemented new features that sped up lines, and generally overhauled the logistics of the registration system.


2012


Kumoricon - Assistant Director of Operations (Registration) - My job was to oversee Registration and Con Suite and be the last line of escalation in registration disputes. We did have a minor issue between days 1 and 2 that was resolved by quick thinking by my staff involving at-con badges.


Sakura-Con - Membership Support Manager - I wore a variety of hats in this position, from online customer service to person in charge. It should be noted this year, our director stepped down two months before con and the team we had had to struggle to keep registration afloat. We succeded at the cost of very high stress levels.


2011
Kumoricon - Assistant Director of Operations (Registration) - Again, oversaw registration. Also worked with other departments to establish the registration location for the venue, which has proven to be a successful location these past three conventions.


Sakura-Con - Membership Support Manager - Assisted the assistant director in tasks that needed to be done to better the department, including being a final line of escalation in registration, and answering customer emails.


2010
Kumoricon - Assistant Facilities Liaison / Yojimbo - I took care of facilities issues and made sure the Facilities Liaison got sleep. I also assisted Yojimbo with any policy issues that needed to be addressed.


Sakura-Con - Director of Programming - Oversaw the Programming directorate, inlcuding panels, gaming, stage events, and various other love programming events. Was not re-elected to this position.


2009


Sakura-Con - Director of Programming - See 2010.


2006-2008


Sakura-Con - Gaming Manager - Organized tournaments and worked with Operations to create layouts of gaming rooms. Ran (at the time) the largest Smash Melee tournament at 512 people, as well as the first Rock Band tournament at a convention in the Western US, whcih led to the creation of the Rock Band stage, a feature still popular at Sakura-Con.


2005


Sakura-Con - Arcade Coordinator - Ran over a half-dozen arcade tournaments. I'd like to note I was hired for this position about 6 weeks before the convention.


OTHER: I had been running Dance Dance Revolution tournaments outside of conventions since 2001 and stopped when I became Gaming Manager of Sakura-Con.


I will be happy to answer any questions you may have during this election session.


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Offline DarkStar

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2013, 02:43:11 pm »
^ I think if we're going to have that for one, we should have it for all.  However, I don't think it's necessary at all.


We probably should have it for all, but my particular interest is in the Director of Programming so that's why I posted that message here.

So far, the first two responses are exactly what I was looking for and will hopefully help make an informed decision. Thank you!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 02:43:25 pm by DarkStar »
--Chris ^_^

Offline Tsukinya

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2013, 06:15:03 am »
Given you are both new to this Programming directorate:
  • What is something you feel has worked in the past that you'd like to emulate, and why do you feel the approach was/has been successful?
  • What is a major change you wish to effect, why do you feel it is necessary, and what benefit do you see coming of it?

Offline Oni Kitsune

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2013, 07:57:21 pm »
I'm not certain that I feel as if I'm entirely new to the directorate since I've been working closely with Jaki for a couple years now in a supportive role, however I suppose it could be said that being the forefront of it would be a new stance.

To answer your questions, I find that among the department there are several very strong sub departments that can be relied on. To have that much faith in your staff is quite an amazing thing to me, in particular with consideration to the sheer size of the convention and just how much space is needed to be covered to ensure a good presentation of content.

As for something that needs to be worked on, what comes to mind immediately is communication between the departments in reference to gathering information and media from the other departments. Unfortunately this last convention we were left to the last minute working  on one of our rooms because we simply did not have the proper tools on hand to complete the task in a timely manner. Perhaps if we had made the need clearer sooner we could have been ready and more organized about it, or perhaps there was no way to change what happened. Either way it is a skill I feel all the departments should improve upon.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 09:22:31 pm by Oni Kitsune »
Staff Titles

2008: Cosplay Staff
2010: Chibi Room Coordinator
2011: Chibi Room Coordinator/Assistant Vice Chair
2012: Assistant Vice Chair/Live Programming Manager
2013: Assistant Director of Programming
2014: Director of Programming

Offline Yanagiba

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2013, 09:31:05 pm »

These questions are specifically for Jon:


At the last elections meeting, there were a lot of comments made about the Programming department, many of which came from you. These comments offended a lot of the current Programming staff. Some were even brought to tears because of things that were said about what they personally worked hard on.


Keeping this in mind, I can only see two courses of action if you were to win this directorate. You will either have to somehow sincerely apologize to the Programming staff you offended and convince them to help you, or you will have to find new staff to fill a large chunk of what is currently the largest department at Kumoricon, because frankly I cannot see them wanting to work under you after what was said.


Now, even beyond that, the comments that offended the Programming department as a whole were directed at Jaki, the current Programming director. She has also been in charge of Kumoricon's Cosplay Chess and the viewing rooms.


Which brings me to my questions: How do you intend to deal with this situation? If you intend to make amends, what plans do you have to do so? If you intend to find new staff to fill these positions, what are your plans for finding such a large amount of people for a department with positions that require specific technological understanding to run? And finally, if Jaki is fine working with someone who insulted not only her, but pretty much her whole department, do you have plans to work with her?
2011-2016  Assistant Director of Programming
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2007  Assistant Tech Manager
2006  Programming Grunt
2005  Volunteer (practically staff)

Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2013, 08:09:17 am »
In fairness, I have a question for Fox.


Since Bressler wasn't the only one who felt that way about various things about the Programming department, will you listen to what has been said, taking them as guiding tools for improvement, or dismiss them because some people don't like criticism?
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Offline Oni Kitsune

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2013, 08:50:28 am »
Through out the convention and even before Rant and Rave I was approached multiple times by several people, not just with in the programming department, with suggestions for next year's convention. I have been asking people what sort of content they are looking for, even going so far as to try to figure out what it is about Kumoricon itself that brings them to it.


Of course the answers are varied and not all of the suggestions are feasible be it for personal safety issues or even hotel policy, but I am listening to everything brought to me. I am constantly trying to find ways to improve the content and keep it what the majority find exciting because I know that if I can't appease the majority, there will be no con.


That said I would like to give an example of something that was said at least years elections in reference to one of the events I control directly that I know will never make everyone happy.


Last year it was brought up that the Kumoriball had several massive faults. From lack of room to wanting to meet up with specific hosts to music complaints. I heard every word and I took that to the drawing board to help improve it. We tried out using event passes as a dress code check which wasn't entirely smooth and will probably not be used again if I get to run the ball next year. We took the music and scrapped the majority of it to go with more classical for a more formal feel. We had sweepers doing rounds to keep the capacity levels under control and for the first time we did not have a line outside the door because of it. I even made dance cards for the hosts to carry so attendees could sign up for a dance with that host.


Overall I felt the ball did a lot better this last year, although there are still some things to tweak and I am trying to brainstorm on any little "fix-its" I can find.

I hope that people are comfortable with continuing to give me feedback. I am very open to suggestions in the coming year if I should win, I just need to know what they are.
Staff Titles

2008: Cosplay Staff
2010: Chibi Room Coordinator
2011: Chibi Room Coordinator/Assistant Vice Chair
2012: Assistant Vice Chair/Live Programming Manager
2013: Assistant Director of Programming
2014: Director of Programming

Offline Bresslol

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2013, 09:13:33 am »

These questions are specifically for Jon:


At the last elections meeting, there were a lot of comments made about the Programming department, many of which came from you. These comments offended a lot of the current Programming staff. Some were even brought to tears because of things that were said about what they personally worked hard on.


Keeping this in mind, I can only see two courses of action if you were to win this directorate. You will either have to somehow sincerely apologize to the Programming staff you offended and convince them to help you, or you will have to find new staff to fill a large chunk of what is currently the largest department at Kumoricon, because frankly I cannot see them wanting to work under you after what was said.


Now, even beyond that, the comments that offended the Programming department as a whole were directed at Jaki, the current Programming director. She has also been in charge of Kumoricon's Cosplay Chess and the viewing rooms.


Which brings me to my questions: How do you intend to deal with this situation? If you intend to make amends, what plans do you have to do so? If you intend to find new staff to fill these positions, what are your plans for finding such a large amount of people for a department with positions that require specific technological understanding to run? And finally, if Jaki is fine working with someone who insulted not only her, but pretty much her whole department, do you have plans to work with her?


Andrew, I will agree with you, I said some pretty heated and charged things at elections, but I think it's pretty safe to say I wasn't the only one guilty of doing that.


If it will establish some lines of respect, If I offended anybody, I apologize, and I welcome anybody in programming who took offense to anything I said personally to get a hold of me via PM, telephone, email, or however you need to. I'm a very reasonable person and enjoy talking things out!


That said, there will be folks, no matter how much I offer apologies and attempts to mend fences that will just plain not want to work with me. I accept this and will work diligently to find people to replace talent.


As it comes to comments made about Jaki, I think that we also need to have a serious sitdown and talk about the department should I get elected. I'm not going to make anything personal as far it comes to this election, because as you stated, things get said that upset people.


I guess I have answered your question, but I will again say, if I am elected, I'd like at least a fair shake to talk to incumbent programming staff about what visions I and the rest of the staff have, and let them form their own choice to work with me, as well as address any personal or professional concerns. And again, if anyone would like to personally talk with me about anything I have said that may have upset you, the PM button is on the left side of the page :)


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Offline Bresslol

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2013, 09:24:38 am »
Given you are both new to this Programming directorate:
  • What is something you feel has worked in the past that you'd like to emulate, and why do you feel the approach was/has been successful?
  • What is a major change you wish to effect, why do you feel it is necessary, and what benefit do you see coming of it?


These are great questions!


1. When I was director of Programming at Sakura-Con, we created a theater-in-the-round room for panels, industry and larger scale cultural events, including martial arts demonstrations and cosplay chess. It is still kicking around at Sakura-Con, and I'd love to bring something like that to Kumoricon! I think that this has largely been successful because you really feel like you are more of a part of the action and something just feels cooler about seeing the stage in the middle of the room. It's just something different and interesting!


2. Speaking of the kinds of event I was just talking about, why haven't we added cultural panels and martial arts demonstrations? I would personally love to see things like that and at Sakura-Con, I love (when I get a chance) to sit in on martial arts demonstrations, because they are so amazing to watch. Shinto ceremonies are also a lot of fun to see, and it boggles my mind why Kumoricon hasn't tapped this opportunity. If elected, I hope to work closely with Publicity and Relations to secure some of these sorts of panels and bring something new to con!


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Offline Tsukinya

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2013, 05:23:14 pm »
As a follow-up, you both have related experience, through the Programming directorate at Sak or assisting the role at Kumoricon.  Tell us about a specific example in this capacity where you made a mistake and how you rectified the situation.  Please also tell us about a programming-related success you're particularly proud of, and how you played an integral part.

Offline mellonemrys

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2013, 06:48:44 pm »
Hello my name is Kate Fletcher. I have been helping my mother run events since I was in kindergarten. From bicycle safety programmes sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, to church retreats with a weekend full of scheduled events, to encampments at renaissance faires. My first convention was a 200+ youth conference run by my church youth group while I was in high school. It was soon after that when I attended the first Kumoricon and became completely hooked on conventions!

Back in 2007 I volunteered for Kumoricon for the very first time. I helped out in the Creation Station, where fanfic and fanart content was run. I spent the next four years in the programming department running panels, setting up tech, scheduling staff and content, and running contests. When I moved into the Relations department it was because I had a skill set that department desperately needed.

In the Relations department I have been a representative of Kumoricon to other conventions, industry giants, and potential guests. Its been my job to work with our guests and industry to make sure they have a great convention experience and that our attendees do as well. I’ve had to seek out contacts at other conventions and online, and fully intend to use my experience in this area to seek out new and exciting programming for Kumoricon in the future. I’m willing to research what other conventions have that we do not, and find a way to implement things in a way that works best for Kumoricon.

Over the last eleven years I have staffed and volunteered for eight very different conventions. I have worked in various departments at many different levels in those organizations and hope to bring that experience and variety to the Programming department here at Kumoricon. I have always seen my job at conventions as making sure each and every attendee, volunteer, and staff member enjoys their convention experience. So I will do whatever it takes to make sure I am catering to the desires of our attendee base should I be elected. If its more gaming content, a second ball, or bigger and better guests that you are interested in, then I will do my best to plan with the other departments to make those things a reality.

Kumoricon Staffing History

2013 - Assistant Director of Relations
- Assisted the Director of Relations at con, and was on call to deal with issues
- Headed the Guest and Industry departments
    - booking guests
    - booking airfare
    - contacted industry to be part of Kumoricon
    - soliciting panels from guests and industry
    - contacted companies about viewing permissions
    - scheduled staff for at con shifts
- picked up guests from the airport and dropped them off
- took guests on outings
- was available to guests during the entire convention
- Hired staff to fill positions
- Made industry and guest contacts for the convention
- Purchased and inventoried supplies
2012 - Guest Manager
- Headed the Guest and Industry departments
    - booking guests
    - booking airfare
    - contacted industry to be part of Kumoricon
    - soliciting panels from guests and industry
    - contacted companies about viewing permissions
    - scheduled staff for at con shifts
- picked up guests from the airport and dropped them off
- took guests on outings
- was available to guests during the entire convention
- Made industry and guest contacts for the convention
- Purchased and inventoried supplies
2011 - Guest Manager, Industry Manager, & Graphic Design Staff
- Headed the Guest and Industry departments
    - booking guests
    - booking airfare
    - contacted industry to be part of Kumoricon
    - soliciting panels from guests and industry
    - contacted companies about viewing permissions
    - scheduled staff for at con shifts
- picked up guests from the airport and dropped them off
- took guests on outings
- was available to guests during the entire convention
- Designed graphics on demand for the convention
- Made industry and guest contacts for the convention
- Purchased and inventoried supplies
2010 - Guest Liaison, Fanfic Coordinator
- Picked up guests from the airport and dropped them off
- Took guests on outings
- Was available to guests during the entire convention
- Wrote the Fanfic Contest rules
- Judged the Fanfic Contest
- Scheduled Fanfic and Fanart panels
- Ran 14 hours worth of fanfic and fanart programming
- Was trained to work the convention’s small tech
- Helped watch the Creation Station rooms and supplies
- Purchased and inventoried supplies
2009 - Fanfic Coordinator
- Wrote the Fanfic Contest rules
- Judged the Fanfic Contest
- Scheduled Fanfic and Fanart panels
- Ran Fanfic and Fanart programming
- Helped watch the Creation Station rooms and supplies
- Purchased and inventoried supplies
2008 - Fan Creation Staff
- Helped write Fanfic and Fanart Contest rules
- Helped judge the Fanfic and Fanart Contests
- Ran Fanfic and Fanart programming
- Helped watch the Creation Station rooms and supplies
- Purchased and inventoried supplies
- Invited Dark Horse Comics to be part of our convention
2007 - Volunteer
- Helped judge the Fanfic and Fanart Contests
- Ran Fanfic and Fanart programming
- Helped watch the Creation Station rooms and supplies

Other Conventions
2010 & 2011 - Steamcon, Seattle WA/Bellevue WA - Registration Volunteer/Staff
- Worked the registration booth for the duration of the convention
2010 - San Diego Comic Con, San Diego CA  - Volunteer
- Worked line control during the convention
2009 - 2011 - Orycon, Portland OR - Panelist, Small Tech Staff
- Have run various panels over the years
- Helped schedule panels and recruited panelists from Dark Horse Comics
- Helped set up ‘small tech’ (projectors, screens, sound, mics) for panels
2009 - Anime Evolution, Vancouver BC - Programming Staff (Creation Station)
- Helped two other staffers run the fanfic and fanart room for the weekend
- Helped judge the Fanfic and Fanart Contests
- Ran Fanfic and Fanart programming
2008 & 2009 - ChibiChibiCon, Olympia WA - Volunteer Panelist (Creation Station)
- Helped two other staffers run the fanfic and fanart room for the weekend
- Helped judge the Fanfic and Fanart Contests
- Ran Fanfic and Fanart programming
2007 - Sakura-Con, Seattle WA - Programming Staff (Creation Station)
- Helped two other staffers run the fanfic and fanart room for the weekend
- Helped judge the Fanfic and Fanart Contests
- Ran Fanfic and Fanart programming
2002 & 2003 - YRUU Con, NW Region - Co-Dean, Registration, Programming Coordinator, and Graphic Designer
- Was in charge of putting together the conference and was responsible during the conference for the 200+ people in attendance
- Helped input registrations before the conference, and checked people in when the conference started
- Solicited and scheduled programming for the weekend
- Created graphics which appeared on t-shirts and programme guides for the conference
- Was in charge of ordering t-shirts for the conference
- Was on call the entire conference in cases of emergencies or issues that needed to be addressed immediately- Was aware of allergies and other special needs for every person in attendance in case of an emergency



Questions:

1. What is something you feel has worked in the past that you'd like to emulate, and why do you feel the approach was/has been successful?
2. What is a major change you wish to effect, why do you feel it is necessary, and what benefit do you see coming of it?

1. Posted Schedules Outside Panel Rooms
I loved having these this year. As a staff member who spent most of the con running from room to room checking on things, I occasionally forgot my bag with my schedule in it. So having the schedule for each room posted outside of the door was a huge help. It makes it very easy for our staff, and for attendees to know what is going on in a particular room without having to refer to another piece of paper that may have been left in their hotel room. I’ve seen it work well at so many conventions, so I’m glad that we started doing it at Kumoricon.

2. Panel Moderators
The last few years we have had tech staff whose job is to help panelists setup sound and videos before their panels. However once that staffer leaves, the panelist is on their own for the next hour or so in front of 30-100+ people. For some people this is no big deal, but for new panelists this can be really intimidating. Many other conventions have panel moderators whose job it is to answer questions for people coming into the room late, keep time, count heads, and be a helping hand for the panelist in case they need it. I would love to create a panel moderator position at Kumoricon. Its something I feel we have been lacking over the years that would help out the people who are providing content for the convention.

Space Usage
I would also like to reevaluate where and when things are scheduled. As Kumoricon has grown we’ve seen an increase in congestion in the halls at both hotels. This puts a strain on our staff, as well as the hotel staff. Its also been brought up over the last couple of years that where some things have been placed is not ideal. While we only have a limited amount of space in the hotels, I want to actively pursue additional space for content around the Red Lion and Hilton. Frankly 6,500+ people cannot fit inside those two hotels, which means we need to expand. By securing additional space I hope to be able to move some things like gaming into better locations that will fit their needs better. Of course appropriate signage, additions to the maps, and distance from the two hotels will be considered long before decisions are made to move any content out of the hotels. But I feel like its a great opportunity that needs to be looked into.


Tell us about a specific example in this capacity where you made a mistake and how you rectified the situation.  Please also tell us about a programming-related success you're particularly proud of, and how you played an integral part.

When I was a part of the Creation Station I helped schedule panels, room watchers, and other staff to help with the rooms at various conventions. The first few times I did this I overscheduled staff and panelists, who were then worn out and cranky for the rest of the convention. Once I became aware that I was doing this, I did what I could to come up with a solution. I recruited more staff, communicated with them all before the convention about availability, let the panelists and staff review the schedule before it was finalized and helped pioneer half hour ‘How To’ panels which put less strain on panelists.

Programming at other conventions is run very differently than at Kumoricon. At Orycon I’ve had the opportunity to help schedule some of the different programming tracks, which includes deciding which panelists are going to be on a panel. In 2010 I had the opportunity to help schedule the Comics track and was able to call Dark Horse Comics and invite a few of their editors to speak on panels for that year. All of the panels were well attended and received good feedback from the panelists and the attendees. They were also a lot of fun to listen to!
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 06:53:50 pm by mellonemrys »
Kate Fletcher
Assistant Director of Relations 2013
relations@kumoricon.org

Offline Oni Kitsune

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2013, 08:35:10 pm »
I feel a little bit like I should answer to Bresslor's comment about cultural content with some background information.


During Mochitsuki both Andrew and Sarah gathered an incredible number of contacts all offering several different cultural demos. Tea ceremony, martial arts, even ikebana. With much work to be done the list of contacts was handed over to me and Kyo, and we split an even amount between us. With a welcoming email that was sent to all of the contacts, we hoped and prayed for responses.


Unfortunately, those responses either never came, or they came far too late to add to our convention. However, one of the groups, a kendo demonstration, has requested to be considered for next year. Should I not win, I would gladly hand over the information as I agree that cultural content is a need.


And in response to Tsukinya, I must apologize for using the ball as an example so much, but I find it has been an incredible learning experience all around both as a mistake and a success.


When I took up the idea of the ball for 2012, I had never held such an event before in my life. I wanted to bring back a popular thing, wanted to see the attendees have a bit of a dressy event instead of adding yet another rave. But at the same time, I was wanting to keep the nerdy feeling of it.


Unfortunately what that brought was overheated, unhappy attendees that created the "Anarchy Ball" as an alternative. Our dress code was too limber, and our music too "ravey", and no one danced with who they wanted. It took too long to get in, and people that waited hours only to be told no were very vocal.


I learned. Once more this year I was in charge of the ball so I added dance cards, redid the entire music list to be more classical, and added the event pass as a try at speeding up dress code.

Unfortunately the dress code is still an issue, will probably always be one, but hopefully on a much more minor scale. But aside from that this year ran much more smoothly. There was no line once we got people in. The music was what they wanted. And the dance cards, while not overwhelmingly popular, were useful.

Next year I am considering implementing a signup sheet instead of dance cards as that is a form more familiar to our attendees, and rather than have 4-5 people deciding dress code, only have 1-2 at the door. As much as the event pass helped speed up the dress code check, it also slowed it down as the attendees were even seen handing their passes to friends who would not pass code and getting back in line for another. These were all things passed on to me that I feel are wonderful feedback and are definitely things to keep in mind.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 08:36:21 pm by Oni Kitsune »
Staff Titles

2008: Cosplay Staff
2010: Chibi Room Coordinator
2011: Chibi Room Coordinator/Assistant Vice Chair
2012: Assistant Vice Chair/Live Programming Manager
2013: Assistant Director of Programming
2014: Director of Programming

Offline TalaRedWolf33

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2013, 11:07:36 pm »
Quick question in general, but is Jaki stepping down or do staff always go through and elect new candidates? This is my first year actually being very interested in the staff positions, so I'm new to how things works. Sadly, I missed rant and rave this year cuz my boyfriend wasn't feeling well and I had to drive him home.
Other question, for all of the nominees:
This being a four day convention, we will need more panels, events, and activities to occupy our fun con time. What other events, panels, and activities are you guys thinking of for next year? And will they be other content than just anime and manga? (I'm thinking along the lines of sci fi and the like, as our attendees are growing and with them comes different opinions).

Offline JeffT

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2013, 09:13:13 am »
Quick question in general, but is Jaki stepping down or do staff always go through and elect new candidates?

All staff positions in the entire convention are for the duration of one convention year. The Chair (President) and five Managing Directors are elected each year by the rest of the staff. The same person can be re-elected for consecutive years but there is still an election to decide each year.

For further questions about elections in general, please refer to, or see the Elections Summary thread. Thanks!
2011 - 2013, 2016-2017: Secretary
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2006: Copy Editor, A/V Manager

Offline TalaRedWolf33

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2013, 09:55:54 am »
Oh yay ^-^ thank you!
My other question still stands for you nominees though lol

Offline Oni Kitsune

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2013, 03:29:10 pm »
Other question, for all of the nominees:
This being a four day convention, we will need more panels, events, and activities to occupy our fun con time. What other events, panels, and activities are you guys thinking of for next year? And will they be other content than just anime and manga? (I'm thinking along the lines of sci fi and the like, as our attendees are growing and with them comes different opinions).

Kumoricon is, first and foremost, a fan based convention. Our attendees are fans just like our staff are fans. Anime, manga, video games, even sci-fi all get our attention. But Kumoricon was built on the desire to explore and celebrate the anime/manga fandom and Japanese culture.
 
I’m open to anything that people are willing to submit for content however what is given to our attendees also depends on the amount of content submitted. If people are willing to run panels based on sci-fi or other fandoms, I’m open to considering them, but the majority of con will not be dedicated to them.
 
As for what will be provided in particular, I cannot answer that at this time with exception to mentioning that I am already currently working on adding a few more cultural demonstrations. The majority of our content is what has been submitted by people willing to run panels and content for us. I would still like to try to keep the convention as close to its original design as possible, but am more than willing to allow some other content as well.
 
Look at our convention as if it were a flower. At the heart of it is the desire to share the love of anime and Japanese culture, but to do so we have to be willing to spread out and embrace the many outlets that creates. Cosplay, panels, meetups, fanworks, and self expression through them are the petals of the flower and are the things that bring color to our convention. Without them, there is only a sad little stem.


 
But each of those petals reaches into more than just anime and Japanese culture. They also reach into other fandoms and genres as has been demonstrated through past programming. And by expanding to encompass those fandoms to a degree, we are not excluding any new possibilities that might possibly bring growth to our convention.
Staff Titles

2008: Cosplay Staff
2010: Chibi Room Coordinator
2011: Chibi Room Coordinator/Assistant Vice Chair
2012: Assistant Vice Chair/Live Programming Manager
2013: Assistant Director of Programming
2014: Director of Programming

Offline mellonemrys

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2013, 07:47:21 pm »
This being a four day convention, we will need more panels, events, and activities to occupy our fun con time. What other events, panels, and activities are you guys thinking of for next year? And will they be other content than just anime and manga? (I'm thinking along the lines of sci fi and the like, as our attendees are growing and with them comes different opinions).

Great question! Adding another day to the convention does indeed add another potential 24 hours of programming that needs to be scheduled. I really want to expand our Guest and Industry programming, as well as cultural content, gaming panels, comics, sci-fi, and whatever else might be popular with our attendee base. Over the summer I took notes at other conventions, and have been checking the online programming schedules of conventions all across the country. Being aware of fandom trends, having connections in the industry and being able to judge what panels will be popular is a set of tools that every programming director needs. They also need to be able to able and willing to seek out the content that is wanted by their convention’s attendees.

This isn’t my saying that our origins as a ‘fan-run’ convention would be forgotten. I ran panels for many years and I loved doing it. But like with cultural panels and guest panels, I want to be more proactive with finding fan-run programming. If that means going to other conventions, sitting through panels and then speaking with the panelists about bringing that panel to Kumoricon, then I’m up for that. While we do get a lot of interesting panels submitted to us, I’m sure there are plenty of panelists out there that don’t know how to submit a panel. Or don’t know about Kumoricon at all. So going to other local conventions and having panel forms on hand could really help us get some new and exciting fan-run content.

Another important thing to remember when you are scheduling any event, is how to balance your content. Looking over the schedule for 2013, we didn’t have a lot of variety in some types of programming. Again I really want to focus on changing this, as its an observation we have been hearing from attendees for many years now. If I’m elected I want to look at the schedule for previous years, and come up with a simple tally for how many of each type of panel we have had in the past, and see which categories need adjusted. For example, we had four or five of the same type of panel on Saturday alone, but only five fanfic panels the entire weekend, none of which were basic ‘How to Start Writing Fanfic’ type panels. The simplest way fix this is to pre-schedule blocks of time dedicated to each type of programming, and then fill those slots as panels are submitted and approved, or when panels are solicited by the Programming Department. I’m hoping that this model will also help Publicity and Relations by having the schedule completed earlier, and by letting Relations know exactly how many Guest and Industry panels they need to ask for.

Now all of that is a complicated way of saying, I want to change things up a little bit. I want there to be fan-run content at Kumoricon. I want to expand what genres of content we have. And the reason why, is because we are growing as a convention. We had 5,800+ attendees this year! That is a majour increase in our numbers. And I would like there to be content that everyone can enjoy. My entire family goes to conventions, but we don’t all go to the same types of panels. My mother and I like costuming panels, while my brother would be more interested in a panel on the differences between manga and American comics. And my father likes going to more academic type panels. We need to make sure that as a convention we are providing content for everyone that is attending. And while I don’t want Kumoricon to become a Sci-Fi convention, tossing in a little something different for parents and friends of anime and manga lovers can only help Kumoricon in the future.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2013, 07:50:46 pm by mellonemrys »
Kate Fletcher
Assistant Director of Relations 2013
relations@kumoricon.org

Offline Chryssaia

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2013, 10:40:32 pm »
Good luck to all of you!

I did have a couple of questions relating to my own experience this year on staff.

There was a lot of confusion this year about what position people asked for compared to what they actually got. When someone comes up and asks you about being a staff, do you feel like you know the departments well enough to prevent this from happening as much? How would you try to prevent it?

A fear on some people's hearts is that with new leadership comes new staff. How can you quell these fears? What do you intend to do with the staff that you already have?

What makes you stand out? What do you bring to the table that others can't beat so easily?

and this is separate: Why should I vote for you?
Position history:

2013: Cosplay Staff
2013: Tabletop Staff
2014: Main Events Staff
2014: Outreach Staff
2015: Assistant Director of Publicity

Offline Oni Kitsune

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2013, 06:57:13 pm »
Good luck to all of you!

I did have a couple of questions relating to my own experience this year on staff.

There was a lot of confusion this year about what position people asked for compared to what they actually got. When someone comes up and asks you about being a staff, do you feel like you know the departments well enough to prevent this from happening as much? How would you try to prevent it?

A fear on some people's hearts is that with new leadership comes new staff. How can you quell these fears? What do you intend to do with the staff that you already have?

What makes you stand out? What do you bring to the table that others can't beat so easily?

and this is separate: Why should I vote for you?


Thank you. And if you don’t mind, I would like to take this question in parts.


I won’t say I know absolutely everything about every department, but I am confident enough in knowing the basics to at least help someone find their niche. And even if I'm not entirely certain about every aspect of every position, I'm not averse to asking others and gathering information. I would much rather take the time trying to find the right place for someone, than randomly push them into a department that they may have no interest in. Not everyone likes programming, and that's okay; if I can help them to find a department more suited to their style, I'm happy to do so.


In reference to others’ fear that new leadership is equivalent with change I have to say that not all change is for the worst. Yes it can be uncomfortable, but I do not plan to make extreme changes to Programming staff.


Working my way up the Programming ladder has led me to work with many outstanding individuals. From group to group, I have witnessed amazing staff in multiple positions doing the impossible, and raising our convention up. These are individuals I have no desire to remove, and in fact am planning on reaching out to, in order to ask if they would please come back. I already know from speaking with several of my amazing staffers before and during con, that they are interested in doing just that. I trust in the skill and knowledge of previously established staff, and would like to encourage more people to join us.


Which actually leads us to the last portion of this incredibly thoughtful question.


What I bring to the table that my opponent does not is six years worth of experience and passion for the Programming directorate, and it's potential growth. The last two years in particular I have spent elbow to elbow with Jaki, Andrew, and Kyo learning all that I could about how our particular convention’s Programming department runs. I have been close to them as they worked, helped out on all the projects I could, and tried to be as close to the forefront as was possible, in order to understand all the different processes and procedures for everything Programming. And if by some chance I should run into anything that I do not understand, I have faith that my experienced staff will be able to guide me, and help me to learn even more.

So what I really bring to the table, I suppose, is experience, knowledge, and trust, as well as a passion for our convention.

And I believe that not just you, specifically, but rather every staff member should vote for me, because I have worked my hardest at becoming the best possible choice for the position. I understand this directorate and have been working on developing a feedback system with our attendees that can only improve our content not just this year, but in years to come.
Staff Titles

2008: Cosplay Staff
2010: Chibi Room Coordinator
2011: Chibi Room Coordinator/Assistant Vice Chair
2012: Assistant Vice Chair/Live Programming Manager
2013: Assistant Director of Programming
2014: Director of Programming

Offline mellonemrys

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2013, 09:21:33 pm »
Thank you for the well wishes~!

There was a lot of confusion this year about what position people asked for compared to what they actually got. When someone comes up and asks you about being a staff, do you feel like you know the departments well enough to prevent this from happening as much? How would you try to prevent it?

Whenever someone has approached me about becoming staff at Kumoricon (either for the first time, or because they want to be part the department I am in), my first question is ‘What do you want to do?’ Based on their answer I go through the positions/departments that best fit their answer, and if what they are interested in is not part of my department, I always try to direct them to the person in charge of that department. I feel that after being with Kumoricon for so long, I have a very good understanding of all the departments and their sub departments. Whenever I can’t answer a question about a department, I defer to another staffer who can. It is very important to me that staff are in a place that makes them happy, and that they can flourish within the convention.


A fear on some people's hearts is that with new leadership comes new staff. How can you quell these fears? What do you intend to do with the staff that you already have?

Kumoricon hires new staff every year. It is up to the director and their Assistants and Managers who is hired and for what positions. No matter who is elected, there will be new staffers who join the team. As the convention grows, we are desperately in need of new, active, enthusiastic staffers. This isn’t just in the Programming department, this is for every department. And hey, we were all first year staffers once. New blood brings new ideas and perspectives that could be really useful to the convention in the coming years. This year’s first year staffers could very well be running for directorships in the future!

What I think you’re getting at is that some people are worried they will no longer have a position that they have held in the past depending on who is elected. If I’m elected, previous staff will not be ignored in favour of new staff. No I’m not as familiar with the current Programming staff as my opponent, but I will give each and every person that approaches me for a position a chance.


What makes you stand out? What do you bring to the table that others can't beat so easily?

I’ve been staffing conventions for 11 years, and Kumoricon specifically since 2008. I’ve worked in many different departments at those conventions as everything from Registration Staff to my current position as the Assistant Director of Relations. This gives me a very wide range of experience, and a very good understanding of how departments need to work together and function in order to put on a convention every year. This has also given me a larger base of experienced staffers from across the country, who are involved in putting on some of the largest conventions in the country, to ask for ideas, or a critical eye on something I’m unsure about.

While I haven’t been a member of the Programming department for the past three years, I have been learning as much as I can about the anime and manga industry, other conventions, and what makes a really good convention. The Relations department has given me the opportunity to speak directly to industry, guests, and other conventions and get input on how we can improve things in the future at Kumoricon. I’ve been able to hone the skills needed to really go out and get new, exciting content for this convention. I also bring a new perspective to the department, since I’ve been able to see how things run from inside Programming and out.

From within Kumoricon’s Programming department I ran contests, panels, scheduled staff and content, worked with tech, and learned how the current department runs. Outside of the department I’ve solicited panels from industry and guests as well as created new panels for them to participate in, requested viewing permissions for our video rooms, and been persistent about getting the convention prize support. So I’ve still been working with and for the Programming department in a lot of aspects. At con, I primarily interact with other Relations staff and Programming staff, because the majourity of my at con job has been catering to the guests’ needs and making sure their panels go as planned. This means that even though I haven’t been officially part of the department, I’ve still been involved with it, working to make a great con for everyone!


Why should I vote for you?

Kumoricon is my home convention. It was my first anime convention. And I want to see it grow and succeed in the future. Staffing conventions is a passion of mine, and I have been complimented on my work in the Relations department by our guests and industry for the past three years.

But why you and others should vote for me is that I represent the change needed to bring Kumoricon into a new chapter. Adapting to a larger attendee base is going to be extremely important in the next few years, and I believe I am the best person to take on that challenge. I have a lot of new ideas to bring to the department. A lot of experience under my belt. And I’m ready to take Programming at Kumoricon to the next level!
« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 09:25:26 pm by mellonemrys »
Kate Fletcher
Assistant Director of Relations 2013
relations@kumoricon.org

Offline Yanagiba

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2013, 08:00:48 am »
First off, I have a couple questions for Kate:


I noticed that you mentioned your desire to expand Guest and Industry programming as well as acquire more space for the convention. Since these tasks are ones that would fall out of the jurisdiction of Programming for the most part, what exactly are your plans with these options? Do you intend to work under the Relations and Vice Chair departments in addition to running Programming if you are elected?


Based off of what you've written so far and my experiences working with you, it seems that a lot of your experience would reside in the panels and scheduling sides of the Programming department. What are your plans to become more involved with the other aspects of Programming (Main Events, Gaming, Karaoke, etc.)?


And then I have a few questions for all of the candidates:


Since diversity of panels and non-anime content seems to be a hot topic of discussion lately, what is the ideal ratio you all have in mind between anime-related content, non-anime related content, and other content (things that don't fit into either or have loose ties to either, such as game shows)? If you could, please specify in numbers what you aim for rather than vague terminology so we can get a clearer idea of your perspective on the issue.


I've been with Kumoricon's Programming department for quite some time now, so I know there are a lot of aspects that could use some improvements mostly because the budget can't cover everything we would want for the convention. If you could focus most of your effort into improving one section of Programming, what would you most want to improve for the 2014 year and why do you feel it needs more focus?


One thing that I've wondered about in the Programming department for a while now is why the Art Show is a part of the Programming department and not the Relations department. I believe the best answer I've gotten is simply that the Programming department brought the content back after it was gone, so it has stayed there. Programming is most likely the largest department at the moment, and since the Art Show is more closely related to the Dealers Hall and Artists Alley, it has always seemed like it should be relocated to Relations to me at least. Do you believe the Art Show should be under Programming or Relations?
2011-2016  Assistant Director of Programming
2008-2010  Live Events Manager
2007  Assistant Tech Manager
2006  Programming Grunt
2005  Volunteer (practically staff)

Offline Oni Kitsune

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2013, 09:55:09 pm »
Quote
Since diversity of panels and non-anime content seems to be a hot topic of discussion lately, what is the ideal ratio you all have in mind between anime-related content, non-anime related content, and other content (things that don't fit into either or have loose ties to either, such as game shows)? If you could, please specify in numbers what you aim for rather than vague terminology so we can get a clearer idea of your perspective on the issue.


I've been with Kumoricon's Programming department for quite some time now, so I know there are a lot of aspects that could use some improvements mostly because the budget can't cover everything we would want for the convention. If you could focus most of your effort into improving one section of Programming, what would you most want to improve for the 2014 year and why do you feel it needs more focus?


One thing that I've wondered about in the Programming department for a while now is why the Art Show is a part of the Programming department and not the Relations department. I believe the best answer I've gotten is simply that the Programming department brought the content back after it was gone, so it has stayed there. Programming is most likely the largest department at the moment, and since the Art Show is more closely related to the Dealers Hall and Artists Alley, it has always seemed like it should be relocated to Relations to me at least. Do you believe the Art Show should be under Programming or Relations?




Keeping in mind that the original purpose of the convention is to spread and celebrate the appreciation of anime, manga, and japanese culture, I want to give the largest ratio to that. No less than 70 percent for anime/cultural content, 20 percent for non-anime content, and 10 percent for everything in between. This would dedicate a healthy portion of the schedule to other desired content while keeping our central theme strong. There is nothing wrong with including some other things that our attendees will enjoy, and want to see.

In answer to the question of improvement, I feel that there are a few things that could use it. Certainly none of the previously set rules would suffer from revision, nor would it be a bad idea to find more, as well as more fail-safe methods of communication in case of possible future radio failure. But one of the things that seems to stand out to me immediately, is the need to replace some of our equipment. The vast majority of what we do have are things that we have obtained over the years, and while some of it is still perfectly good and could easily last us some time, there are plenty of things that may only make it another year or two. Technology is growing and ever-changing, and with it the demands being placed upon computers that have grown older. Our manga library has grown with purchases and donations, however the shelving has been used numerous times, and has slowly started to become unstable. Our projectors, although still useful are not all they could be, while some of our speakers are starting to smell overly-hot after an active, 3 day convention. The boxes that our screens are housed in are being held together with tape, and their contents sorely need more protection. How can we beg more of equipment that needs replacing?

I am not foolish enough to think all of the budget should solely go to replacing equipment, nor do I think we can immediately replace everything. But if it is possible, I would like to begin cycling in new equipment and preserving it. That would be a wonderful start, and certainly an investment worth making.

Regarding the Art Show: while I understand the purpose of it, I do not believe that it lies naturally within the field of Programming. It has so much potential, however, it's a bit of a misfit in our directorate. If Relations expressed interest, I would be more than glad to give it to them. Under Relations I feel it would receive the proper attention, and the artists that do not make it into the Artist Alley could easily be directed to it. This past year the show was, in my opinion, not very successful. I feel it could improve greatly, given the right direction and encouragement. If Relations does not want it, I will certainly try to pour more attention into it, because it deserves it!
Staff Titles

2008: Cosplay Staff
2010: Chibi Room Coordinator
2011: Chibi Room Coordinator/Assistant Vice Chair
2012: Assistant Vice Chair/Live Programming Manager
2013: Assistant Director of Programming
2014: Director of Programming

Offline JaegerDarkness

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2013, 10:18:37 pm »
When it comes to the age of some of Kumoricon's equipment, I have a feeling that some equipment may need to be (properly) disposed of, after next year. Kumoricon 2014, is four days next year, after all.
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2014 Director of Programming
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2013, 06:59:47 pm »
(Since no one replied before the election, I deleted my inquiries)
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 05:01:50 pm by RemSaverem »
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).