Author Topic: 2008 Relations Nominees and Discussion  (Read 3775 times)

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Offline EcchiSpice

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2008 Relations Nominees and Discussion
« on: September 11, 2007, 09:30:16 pm »
Formal discussion will be held during elections. However, it is strongly encouraged that all candidates keep up on the forums during this time. This will give you a better idea of what will be expected of you should you win a new position.

RELATIONS
*This description is based on my personal experience with the directorship. The following description is similar to, but may differ from, a finalized version of this department's official description in the charter.*

Director of Relations is responsible for dealing with the anime industry to secure guests, sponsorships, and vendors, and swag for the convention. Departments which fall under relations include:

Exhibitors' Hall
Artist's Alley
VIP Coordination
Charity Auction
Industry Relations
Guest Relations

The Relations Director will work with the Programming Director to ensure that all guests are properly scheduled for events during the con.

The Relations Director will work with the Treasurer to ensure that all expenditures are accounted for in the department budget by the date specified by the treasurer and agreed upon by the Director of Relations. Director of Relations will also assist the Treasurer with flight arrangements for the guests.

Failure to actively persue the above responsibilities is legitimate cause for a motion to dismiss by any member of the staff.

Please post your comments and questions for the nominees who have accepted the nomination for Director of Relations below.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 09:21:33 am by guspasho »
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Offline EcchiSpice

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Questions
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2007, 09:49:25 pm »
Relations nominees,

  • How do you plan on meeting the needs of our vendors and Artist Alley participants in the Exhibitors' Hall?
  • How do you feel about the lack of an Art Show the last 2 years? How would you work to either bring it back, or address the artists who are disappointed by its disappearance?
  • What deadlines will you set for yourself to contact industry to obtain viewing rights for anime (CCTV, and viewing rooms), and to acquire swag for prizes?
  • When would you like to announce our first guest, and what pace would you set on announcing guests so as to continuously stimulate registration?
  • How do you feel about Japanese vs. North American guests? Do you feel it's worth the cost to get 1 japanese guest in exchange for several North American guests?
  • How will you work with the exhibits manager to help make sure exhibitors are brought back to Kumoricon after the "garage" they were placed in last year?
« Last Edit: September 24, 2007, 10:19:16 pm by TomtheFanboy »
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Offline Cpl. Slicks

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Re: 2008 Relations Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2007, 09:56:52 pm »
Hello!
For those who don't know me, my name is John Krall, and I am running for the position of your KumoriCon 2008 Director of Relations.
before I get to the business of answering all the questions presented, I'd like to tell you all a little bit about myself.

I have been attending Anime Conventions since Anime Expo 1993, in Oakland. I have been volunteering for Conventions since then as well. For the last three years, I've been the Convention Chair for Sakura-Con. Yes, I still do live in Seattle, Washington, but I do travel to Salem at least once a month.

...And I like kittens. (who doesn't right?)





1) How do you plan on meeting the needs of our vendors and Artist Alley participants in the Exhibitors' Hall?

   This year’s Exhibit hall is in a significantly different space than last year’s. This will lead to different challenges. We do have some advantages, though. The first thing I will do is to sit down with the Exhibit’s Manager from 2005 (who fortunately is also the Manager from 2007) and find out from him what the complaints were about this year, as well as 2005, see what complaints are no longer relevant, which are out of our control (location of individual booths, someone not being in a “prime” spot, the facility won’t allow this or that, etc.) and then roll up our sleeves and see about fixing what’s left for 2008.


2) How do you feel about the lack of an Art Show the last 2 years? How would you work to either bring it back, or address the artists who are disappointed by its disappearance?

            As I told a fellow staffer this last week (pertaining to another event at another Convention, but relevant here), when events at conventions die, they usually die for a reason, and it takes a long time and a lot of work to bring them back.
To my knowledge, the elimination of the art show had as much to do with a lack of interest as much as anything else. That being said, if someone would like to step forward, not to display their art in the show, but to actually organize and run said event, then it would warrant reviewing. If there is deemed to be enough interest from the attendees, and there is someone willing to step forward and run it(and isn’t running several other events), then it may very well make a comeback.


 
3) What deadlines will you set for yourself to contact industry to obtain viewing rights for anime (CCTV, and viewing rooms), and to acquire swag for prizes?

            Given our time-frame, all of this can be done before 1 August. Given that most companies are very busy at that time, all of it should be done by 15 June, and 15 June is the deadlines I would give for swag. The fact that many titles are announced at major Conventions that happen just prior to ours, the 1 August deadline would apply for cctv/viewing room permissions, assuming Programming has a wish list/back-up list by then.


4) When would you like to announce our first guest, and what pace would you set on announcing guests so as to continuously stimulate registration?

            Should I win the position of Director of Relations, I plan to have the first guest(s) announced within the month. After that I would expect to have some announced around Christmas, and most of the remaining guests announced by mid-April. The latest that a guest would be announced would be mid-July.


5) How do you feel about Japanese vs. North American guests? Do you feel it's worth the cost to get 1 Japanese guest in exchange for several North American guests?

            I’ve heard the argument that it costs four times as much to bring in a Japanese Guest as it does to bring in a North American Guest. If we were dealing with just airfare, this would be correct. The reality is that each guest costs the same as far as hotel, food, etc. goes. Hotel is by far the largest part of any Guest’s bill. When adding these factors in, the Japanese Guest comes in at slightly, but not overly so, more than the North American. Taking that into consideration, and taking into consideration KumoriCon’s age, if the right Japanese Guest presented itself, I would definitely pursue one Guest. I would NOT consider a Japanese Musical Guest, though. I know from personal experience the costs, physically, financially, and emotionally, that go into a Japanese band. We’re not ready for one yet.


6) How will you work with the exhibits manager to help make sure exhibitors are brought back to Kumoricon after the "garage" they were placed in last year?

           For the bulk of this answer, see the answer to the first question above. As for specifics, find out which vendors are disgruntled enough to not come back, see if they are worth bringing back, and proceed to alleviate their fears. The first thing to do would be to assure them of the space, by sending visual proof that we are not in a garage again.


I’ve also taken the liberty of adding the questions Tom had the kindness of sending to me personally:


7) What do you feel was the worst thing to go wrong this year?

            Other than only having three weeks to get everything together?
I would say that the lack of Guests would be the first thing that I would address.



8 ) What would you do, if elected, to keep that from happening?

            Since gaining this position in August, I have worked to gain, and strengthen contacts and relationships with our current guest, with other conventions, and with industry, to allow for easier contact, and convincing, of guests we would want, to come to KumoriCon.


9) What was/is/will be your major in college?

            This question is irrelevant. I have personally seen people with double majors in Economics and Mathematics be so bad as Treasurer, they were asked to step down, and did so with a conventions books in shambles. I’ve also seen High School drop outs successfully hold positions from Director of Operations to Convention Chair. Holding one of these positions is not about a piece of paper, it’s about experience and leadership.


10) What managers and ancillary staff do you plan on recruiting for your department?

            I will be accepting resumes for all positions. I know there are several people currently in those positions, but to be fair, and to encourage new blood (so they can gain the experience I spoke of in the last answer), I would encourage anyone who wants to apply for any of the positions available to do so.


11) Where do you stand on the issue of Volunteer Benefits?

             There should be some. Volunteers do quite a bit for this Convention. They should be lesser than the staff, who not only put in the effort year round, but are also willing to assume the responsibility that comes with saying “I’m a Staff member of this organization.”


12) What new guests do you plan on approaching this year on behalf of Kumoricon?

            I know from personal experience that one thing you do not do, under any circumstances, is announce who you are going to approach. I know some people reading this will say “but why not”, and the answer is as simple as this: people tend to assume that if you announce an intention, that it somehow is a promise that person will show. If for some reason that person does not show, then I, or anyone who holds the Director of Relations position for any convention, would be guilty in peoples eyes of breaking a promise we never made. I can tell you that I am planning on inviting new guests, and that I plan on inviting more guests than last year.


13) What guest from previous years do you hope to invite back to Kumoricon?

            Please see my answer above. Additionally, I would add that in an effort to keep KumoriCon fresh, and to keep it unique from other conventions in the region, I would lean against inviting any guest that is scheduled for the same calendar year to attend another event in the region, nor (with one special exception)  would I invite any guest more than two years in a row.


14) Will you fly off to Spain with convention resources?

            No.

Offline RemSaverem

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Re: 2008 Relations Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2007, 01:21:30 pm »
In some ways, for better or worse, the overall direction and "flavor" of a con can be most affected by this position.

Given past affiliation with a much larger and much more industry-oriented con, how can you reassure folks that KC will not be led on a path to become "Sakura South"? What do you see as unique about KC, and how can that be preserved?

What, if any, role do you believe Relations should be allowed to have in shaping smaller scale programming that does not involve big guests or industry and therefore might be considered outside your domain?

Do you believe Relations, Programming, Chair, or??? whose decision should the following be:
(a) What is permissible in the way of adult programming
(b) What programming is delimited as 18+
(c) What areas of programming are retained, expanded, or added that do not involve major outside guests

Whose decision should it be whether anyone outside of relations who already has a connection with a donor should be allowed to maintain that connection? Relations? Programming? Chair? Publicity?

I would also like clarification regarding the "lack of interest" in the art show. Was that referring to managerial momentum? To regular attendees choosing to check it out? To artists participating? There were people in place to run it, and so far as I know (and Brenda had told me it would have been under me as the Creation Manager), Sean cancelled it because of there not being a sufficient number of rooms for panels and events to be held at this year's con hotel, and because a room that had been considered for it was adopted for our new (and hugely successful, thank you Jaki!) manga library. Given that next year there are smaller rooms off in the Executive Wing, space allocation potentially might not be an issue......just a thought. I definitely know there were people interested in participating, and in particular, people whose art was beyond the normal niche...folks engaging actual traditional Japanese crafts. If there is room and momentum for an Art Show, would you be open to it coming back in a more uniqe form, incorporating more traditional Japanese art and crafts rather that only anime-related art forms?

Another sincere inquiry: When I started at Sakuracon (planning & running Artists' Den for Melissa in 2005), I remember that there was a big hubbub around the elections, including a mass migration of staff away from Sakuracon to Anime Evolution. I've been trying to remember what some of the issues were, but I think that they may have had to do with (a) perception of turning away from a fan orientation to an industry orientation, (b) perceptions regarding managerial style or how staff felt treated. I'm definitely sorry if I'm wrong here and would want to be corrected. Could you please comment on this? Relations Director is basically The Face of the Con in the eyes of industry, guests, and other cons, and so while on the one hand, I feel this great gratitude for the generosity and skill of picking up the slack when Sean bailed, I feel this wariness about this role going to someone so obviously identified with another con and about whose direction there (if I recall correctly from the elections for 2006) was internal controversy within that con. Please know I historically liked your charisma as a person and obviously Sakuracon under you as Chair made tremendous leaps in terms of numbers of attendees, budget, etc. (and for some those are goals, though for others there is a point that would be too much). But I would feel remiss not to name these concerns.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2007, 01:33:37 pm by RemSaverem »
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Offline JeffT

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Re: 2008 Relations Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2007, 10:44:04 pm »
What, if any, role do you believe Relations should be allowed to have in shaping smaller scale programming that does not involve big guests or industry and therefore might be considered outside your domain?

Do you believe Relations, Programming, Chair, or??? whose decision should the following be:
(a) What is permissible in the way of adult programming
(b) What programming is delimited as 18+
(c) What areas of programming are retained, expanded, or added that do not involve major outside guests

Whose decision should it be whether anyone outside of relations who already has a connection with a donor should be allowed to maintain that connection? Relations? Programming? Chair? Publicity?
Just to add some clarification to this issue... Under our current bylaws, and I believe this is typical for organizations like us, the final say on any matter not otherwise specified in the bylaws to be resolved differently is the board, which means a vote of the board.

Tasks are divided into departments over which the managing directors generally have their say, but if other board members disagree, the entire board can and often will discuss it. At a board meeting, if somebody makes a motion to vote on an issue and then if that motion is seconded, a vote shall be had, the result of which is binding (until and unless superseded by a future action).
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Offline guspasho

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Re: 2008 Relations Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2007, 09:30:53 am »
What, if any, role do you believe Relations should be allowed to have in shaping smaller scale programming that does not involve big guests or industry and therefore might be considered outside your domain?

Do you believe Relations, Programming, Chair, or??? whose decision should the following be:
(a) What is permissible in the way of adult programming
(b) What programming is delimited as 18+
(c) What areas of programming are retained, expanded, or added that do not involve major outside guests

Whose decision should it be whether anyone outside of relations who already has a connection with a donor should be allowed to maintain that connection? Relations? Programming? Chair? Publicity?
Just to add some clarification to this issue... Under our current bylaws, and I believe this is typical for organizations like us, the final say on any matter not otherwise specified in the bylaws to be resolved differently is the board, which means a vote of the board.

Tasks are divided into departments over which the managing directors generally have their say, but if other board members disagree, the entire board can and often will discuss it. At a board meeting, if somebody makes a motion to vote on an issue and then if that motion is seconded, a vote shall be had, the result of which is binding (until and unless superseded by a future action).

Absent a decision from the board, the Director of Relations (or even the Industry Manager possibly) has the right to require that all industry relationships be coordinated through them. Or not to require it. Generally though, it undermines Relations when they can't coordinate things that fall under their area of authority, and that is rightfully upsetting, so I would work through them as much as possible as a first option, then go up the chain of command if that isn't working out before I try to simply go around them.
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Offline JeffT

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Re: 2008 Relations Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2007, 09:35:42 am »
Absent a decision from the board, the Director of Relations (or even the Industry Manager possibly) has the right to require that all industry relationships be coordinated through them. Or not to require it. Generally though, it undermines Relations when they can't coordinate things that fall under their area of authority, and that is rightfully upsetting, so I would work through them as much as possible as a first option, then go up the chain of command if that isn't working out before I try to simply go around them.

I realize that, but I just wanted to comment on the matter of whose decision is the final one. I didn't mean to imply that the board should necessarily pro-actively run departments, or micro-manage.
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: 2008 Relations Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2007, 01:55:52 pm »
Thank you both for some very interesting information.

I was asking about the ratings situation due to something that came up this year (a small matter that didn't really have negative impact, and about which i feel totally resolved, but did seem at the time slightly out of protocol, in that ops at the last second revised the ratings on a panel without programming or the panelist knowing); and something from sakuracon (where some panels were pulled without the panelists being informed because of perception about the potential wording of the potential event descriptions). It happens to be my personal opinion that Panel applications should be reviewed by the Programming chair, and rated by her or him, and that ratings should not be changed without at least her or his involvement.

I was asking about the connection simply in regard to an ongoing multicon multiyear permission to borrow markers and ink pens and receive a couple promo items (largely posters) directly from a warehouse in eugene, which has worked favorably to date for a couple KCs and a couple Anime Evolutions & the first SC we did, but was reconceptualized as a negative at the most recent SC.
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Offline MichaelEvans

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Re: 2008 Relations Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2007, 05:57:41 am »
I must admit that I hoped the questions asked two days before the elections were answered... if it had been a week earlier I'd probably have strong reservations about voting for either candidate.  As it stands, it seems clear to me who at least answered some of the questions in what I would consider a timely manor.
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Offline TomtheFanboy

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Re: 2008 Relations Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2007, 07:37:21 am »
I must admit that I hoped the questions asked two days before the elections were answered... if it had been a week earlier I'd probably have strong reservations about voting for either candidate.  As it stands, it seems clear to me who at least answered some of the questions in what I would consider a timely manor.

Definitely.
Despite my personal feelings about him, John has shown that he definitely wants the position and is ready to work to get it (if need be).
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Offline melchizedek

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Re: 2008 Relations Nominees and Discussion
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2007, 09:38:03 am »
I must admit that I hoped the questions asked two days before the elections were answered... if it had been a week earlier I'd probably have strong reservations about voting for either candidate.  As it stands, it seems clear to me who at least answered some of the questions in what I would consider a timely manor.

Definitely.
Despite my personal feelings about him, John has shown that he definitely wants the position and is ready to work to get it (if need be).
Yeah, very important point there.
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