Author Topic: Suggestion regarding guests for next year  (Read 678 times)

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Offline PaladinCecil79

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Suggestion regarding guests for next year
« on: September 07, 2015, 05:29:40 am »
Does anyone think the guest scheduling wasn't as good this year?
No disrespect intended to the guest department, but I feel that it could've been a lot better.
I really liked the number of names that Kumoricon got in '13 and '14, but the number felt smaller this time and I felt they could've done a better job with their panels.
Although I didn't come this year, one of the things I look forward to doing the most at conventions is meeting different guests, and if I had come, I don't think I would've enjoyed their panels as much as I had in the past.
I was disappointed that there were only a handful of them for each day and the ones the voice actors had were too repetitive.
If you only arrange a small number of guest panels per day, it would be a good idea to have some variety instead of making half of them the same topic. I'm not saying panels about voice acting are a bad idea, but we didn't need to have three of them on that particular subject.
For guest planning in the future, I would like to suggest to have more guest panels per day with more variety and I think it would also be a good idea to go after more names that haven't recently been to an anime convention in Washington state.
Over the past two years, the only two VAs who hadn't recently been to a con up here were Christine Marie Cabanos and Karen Strassman, and I have spoken to guests at out-of-state cons who would love to come here.
When you go after guests for next year, I think it would be a good idea to invite names like Tia Ballard, or Eric Vale, or Cherami Leigh, or Newton Pittman.
As much as I loved meeting Sonny Strait, Christopher Sabat and Todd Haberkorn in recent years, I along with many other fans would love to meet some new names as well.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 05:30:27 am by PaladinCecil79 »

Offline Kori123

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Re: Suggestion regarding guests for next year
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2015, 02:22:34 pm »
Agreed.

I really only go to cons to meet and attend guest panels and I feel Kumoricon's are either very repetitive or all people I don't know or care about.  No disrespect to the guests but besides Todd Haberkorn, Sonny Strait and Christopher Sabat, I have no clue who anyone else is.  Not sure if it's because they're newer anime VAs and I'm in my mid-twenties but I wish they'd go for people everyone knows like Crisspin Freeman, Vic Mignogna, etc.

I know on the guest suggestion page there's a good handful that have always been mentioned since I started going to Kcon back in 2008 and none have ever been able to go.  I would say it's a money issue but I've been to tiny day cons where they'll have people like Steve Blum who are top of the VA pyramid. 

The lack of guests at Kcon is actually why this year is my last year attending.  Too many years of waiting for people I know and not getting it. 

Offline PaladinCecil79

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Re: Suggestion regarding guests for next year
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2015, 01:23:46 am »
I relate to how you feel.
As much as I've loved attending Kumoricon the past several years, there are times where I've felt frustrated over lack of new guests, too.
I like the fact that they started getting more names a few years ago and I appreciate the guest departments decision to do that.
But I was at the same time, hoping they'd start getting new faces. Even though I really liked the guests they got in '13 and last year, they were mostly names that had recently attended a Washington con. And that was why I chose to do Sac Anime last year, even though I would've loved to have met Karen Strassman.
It was an easy and difficult decision at the same time. Easy, because Sac Anime had more guests I wanted to meet.
And difficult, because I had been attending every year since '05 and I would've enjoyed meeting Stephanie Sheh, Bryce Papenbrook, Christopher Sabat, Chuck Huber and Patrick Seitz again.
But although I didn't want to skip Kumoricon and wished Sac Anime was on a different weekend,  it turned out to be a choice I was happy with, because I got to meet Yuri Lowenthal, Tara Platt, Josh Grelle and Sam Riegel for the first time.
I haven't quit attending anime conventions in this state and I don't intend to, but temporarily I'm being selective of which cons I go to, so I can meet more new faces.
I also got to meet Cherami Leigh, Dante Basco and Charles Martinet last year for the first time and am currently aiming for Eric Vale, Jerry Jewell and Greg Ayres.
If any of those three names can make Sakura Con or Kumoricon next year, then I'll do whatever I can to attend.

Offline BellDue

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Re: Suggestion regarding guests for next year
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2015, 11:51:45 am »
Greetings from the guest side of Kumoricon!

I would like to take a moment to say that I really appreciate your feedback about our guest selection and our paneling choices. We love to hear who and what our attendees want more of/less of. I hope you know that we take all suggestions and comments into consideration when we are selecting guests and content.

There are two things I would like to address: guest selection and paneling (the quantity and content).

Guest Selection:
Per our Guests FAQs page, we ask that if you have a suggestion for a guest, please email guests@kumoricon.org, subject line "Guest Request". These suggestions (as well as suggestions from staff members) are reviewed by the members of the Relations Staff and the Board of Directors. The list is narrowed down (based on popularity, availability, cost) and the Director of Relations begins to track down the potential guests and offer invitations.

This year, Kumoricon was up against 9 anime specific conventions. That’s not listing fan conventions or comic-cons. So there are times a potential guest is invited, but they can’t make it because of other obligations. It’s not for a lack of trying, just simply timing. And trust me, we start early.

Cost is another HUGE factor we take into consideration. Should we invite one guest that costs the same as inviting two, sometimes even three guests? We try to find the balance that will make the most people happy. This year we pushed for getting a Japanese guest, a frequent request, and we managed to get a band! I realize there are some complaints about not knowing who they were prior to con, but I like to think those attendees who did get to see their panels, got to meet and talk to them during signings and went to the concert, really connected with them. And I hope we can get more guests in the future that really appreciate the close-knit, almost family feel that Kumoricon known for.

Guest Paneling:
There’s a few things we consider when creating guest paneling; what do our guests have in common, what are they comfortable doing, and how many panels/signings are they scheduled for.

Ideally, one guest averages 4 hours (1 signing and 2 panels) of content a day at a con, and that’s not counting the 30 minutes between panels/signings where they answer questions to the few attendees that approach them after a panel or when they extend their signings. That’s at a regular, 3-day con. Since we were a 4-day con, we wanted to prevent guest burn-out as much as possible. Most of our guests are working right up until they get on a plane headed to Portland and start up work again the morning following their return. Can you imagine 2 weeks straight of work? Yikes.

As for the panels themselves, we always try to create interesting content, sometimes our gambles just don’t pan out. We also try not to make our guests host panels alone, so they frequently will be accompanied by one or more guests, thus reducing the number of guest panels for the day. If you have an idea/suggestion for a cool/interesting guest panel please email us. Sometimes the best ideas don’t come from staff, but from our attendees.

Sorry for the tl;dr, I hope this helps, if you have any questions or would like to make a suggestion, please emails us at guests@kumoricon.org. We'll be waiting.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 11:53:53 am by BellDue »