Kumoricon - 9th Annual Anime Convention - Labor Day Weekend - Sept. 3-5, 2011 - Hilton Vancouver Washington & the Red Lion Vancouver at the Quay
Get Involved

Guidebook Smartphone App Available

Posted August 30, 2011

You can now use the Guidebook app for iPhone, iPod touch, and Android to view the Kumoricon schedule, maps, Twitter, alerts, exhibitors hall, artists alley, and more. Mark events to create a personalized schedule, search event titles by keyword, browse events by date and time or by category, create a personal to-do list, and see all event titles, descriptions, times, and rooms. Contains maps of both hotels, the exhibitors hall, and local restaurants.

After you install the app, search the guides for “Kumoricon”.

If you have a phone or device other than iPhone, iPod touch, or Android, you can use the web version: http://m.guidebookapp.com/296/ (For computers or tablets, you can also try: http://www.kumoricon.org/schedule/)

At the end of the convention, the app will contain an optional survey. We would love if you could complete this to help tell us what we did well and what we can improve!


Fill Out Your Registration Form Early

Posted August 29, 2011

Speed up your registration! If you are registering at the door, come with your registration form pre-filled out. Download here:

Fillable At-Con Registration Form [fillable PDF] – Download this form if you want to type and print your information. (Faster at the reg desk!) All fields are required except “Badge Name”.

Blank At-Con Registration Form [PDF] – Download this form if you want to print a blank form and then handwrite your information. All fields are required except “Badge Name”.


Trigun: Badlands Rumble on Day Zero (Pre-Reg Only)

Posted August 29, 2011

Trigun: Badlands Rumble logo

Check-in for Kumoricon on Day Zero and you can join us as FUNimation presents the West Coast Anime Convention premiere of the English version of Trigun: Badlands Rumble! Vash the Stampede is back and on the big screen! See it at the Hilton Vancouver Washington at or shortly after 8:00pm (room will be determined and posted on day zero).

But only if you have your badge and holder! You must be pre-registered for the convention to attend!


Rejoicing in Reg: The Inside Scoop from the Assistant Registration Manager

Posted August 29, 2011

By Ellen Klowden and Brian Mathews, Assistant Registration Manager

(1) So much more goes into getting everyone's badges orchestrated than I had previously imagined. Could you walk us through what it takes for one person to get a badge, from the moment they decide to pre-reg to the moment they pick it up?

Hi Ellen, thank you for your compliments! I'd be happy to go over all of what it takes for attendees to get their badges. First, the attendee has to have ordered their badge through the website or the mail-in form available on our website. Once we get that information, either online or through the mail, we enter it all into a database, in which we run a program that pastes that information onto the badges attendees receive. We have "reg meetings" every couple of weeks or so, where we print out anywhere from fifty to several hundred of these badges, as well as envelopes for them. We then package the badges onto the letter they come with ourselves, pack them into the envelopes, stamp them, and deliver them to the Post Office. Within a few days, attendees who pre-registered before the deadline will then have received their badges in the mail. If they selected will call, which is the option to pick up your badge at the convention, cull those and sort them before con, so they can be picked up easily.

(2) What led you to select Reg as your department? How long have you been there? What's your title this year, and what tasks does it involve? What other roles have you had in the department?

Registration actually became my department because my friend, who was the Assistant Director of Operations at the time, said that department needed more help, and asked me if I could help out there. After that, I just sort of stuck with my department. This is my third year in Registration, and the second year as the Assistant Registration Manager, whose job it is to answer emails and questions from attendees, assist the Manager with anything he needs done, and help with Registration at con, particularly in tricky situations in which the Reg worker might not know what to do.

(3) If someone is considering being Reg staff next year, what entry-level roles are available, and of whom should they inquire? If someone would rather be a volunteer, what kind of volunteer positions help you with Reg?

Registration pretty much has two types of positions: Pre-Registration and At-Con. Pre-Registration involves checking people in when they have their badges (or want to pick them up at will call), and At-Con involves taking payments for registrations, reviewing the paperwork that they fill out, and giving them paper badges. Both of them are entry-level positions, and we tend to have people alternate between the two depending on need. If we need more Pre-Reg, we'll try to grab some At-Con workers who aren't busy, and put them in Pre-Reg, and vice-versa.

Anyone interested in joining Registration as a staff for next year, you can talk to me, or to my Manager, Brandon De Vore, at one of the General Meetings. If you're hoping to volunteer for this year, if you're looking for a way that helps Reg, check in with the Volunteer Manager, David Reynolds, for a referral to the Maid Squad.

(4) What are some handy tips to help smooth the badge pick-up process, both for those who have pre-reg'd and for those paying at the door?

Excellent question! Here are a few tips that help make the pick-up or check-in process move more smoothly.

  1. Have your photo ID ready by the time you're next in line.
  2. If you have your badge and are just checking in, also have it ready before you're being helped.
  3. If you are paying at the door, please do not wait to fill out your registration form until you are in the front of the line.
  4. Above all, please be patient with us! Remember that we are volunteers and that we are trying to do our best. We want you to enjoy your con just as much as you do, and we are doing everything we can to make sure you get to do so quickly.
  5. If you aren't sure of something before con whether something will work (such as not having a valid form of photo ID, having lost your badge, or anything you might have a question about), do not wait until you are at the front of the line at Registration to ask about it. Instead, please feel free to contact us through the Registration FAQ thread on the Kumoricon forums, or feel free to email us at registration@kumoricon.org, for which I usually am the one to answer, and we'll be happy to answer any questions you have before you get to the convention.

Many of the most important details about registration processes may also be found here. Registration, itself, may be found in the garage of the Hilton:

Friday: 3:00pm-10:00pm (pre-registration check-in and pick-up only)
Saturday: 7:00am-7:00pm
Sunday: 7:00am-7:00pm
Monday: 7:00am-12:00noon

Please remember that it can get very hot, both outside on the street and inside the Hilton garage, while you are waiting in line for your badge. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious conditions that you can take proactive steps to avoid:

  1. Drink water. Bring your own, or Maid Squad will have some for you.
  2. Wear sunscreen, for while waiting in line outside.
  3. Consider refraining from cosplaying until after you've picked up your badge, if you might get too warm in your outfit.

(5) Do we have an attendance cap for this year, even with two hotels? If so, what is it, and are we close to maxxing out? Is it important for those buying passes at the door to come early?

We've currently sold about 2800 pre-registrations, and our attendance cap this year is going to be 6000 attendees, so we are just under half the way there. I would never suggest not coming early, because at-con registration is going to be first-come, first-served, and when we're out, we're going to be out. We start selling at-con registration at 7am on Saturday, and I would recommend arriving as close to that time as you possibly can.

(6) What aspect of working for Reg is the most challenging? What would make it better?

One of the most taxing aspects of Registration is really just the time commitment. Registration is definitely one of the more involved departments, since we are working constantly the entire year before Kumoricon starts, and then working long shifts during the convention, as well. I think the solution is very simple: We need more staff working in our department, and then we wouldn't exhaust ourselves nearly as much as we do.

(7) What is your favorite experience you've had working with Reg?

I'm not sure I can pick just one! I've had so many great experiences working in Registration. That's part of why I keep coming back every year. A general favorite of mine has to be when a lot of people do show up for a reg meeting. This is our chance to get to know each other and who all we'll be working with before the convention actually starts, and it's always a ton of fun. We are very, very silly people and will go on about geeky things for hours while we work.

Since that's not an experience at-con, I'm going to cheat and give you two. I love how appreciative some customers and attendees can be once they get through the registration process, and how they'll show us that they are. At one point, we checked in a couple of attendees who were very impressed with how their situation was handled, and had nothing but nice things to say. About two hours later, right when we were closing, they came by with a bunch of pizza boxes, and said they bought them for us, because we looked hungry.

We were hungry. That was such a nice thing for them to do, that they totally did not have to do or weren't pressured towards in any way. It just blows my mind how nice a lot of the attendees can be.


Cosplay Skits: Pros Judge! You Vote! and You Can Still Enter!

Posted August 29, 2011

By Ellen Klowden and Andie Letourneau, Cosplay Coordinator

(1) Hi, Andie! As Cosplay Coordinator, what do you see as the highlights of this year's contest? What do you personally most look forward to with each year's contest?

This year, I'm really looking forward to having our Guests of Honor, Todd Haberkorn, Chris Cason, and David Vincent, judging the skits. Since all three of them are voice actors, they bring with them a tremendous amount of experience and acting knowledge, which they will use in assessing the skits entered this year.

Another highlight is that this year is the first year that we will have an "Audience Choice" winner for Cosplay. The Cosplay Ticket that we traditionally use to control the number of people entering the Main Events hall will double as a ballot. At the end of the skit presentations, we'll allow a few minutes for the audience to write down the name of their favorite skit, and then have the ushers collect those ballots. The data will be tallied, and the winner will be announced at Closing Ceremonies.

The best part of cosplay every year is, of course, the participants who get better every year we see them. We have many groups who return year after year to compete, and their costuming and performance improve every time. It's also exciting to see first-time competitors take the stage and really shine.

(2) How did you get Todd Haberkorn, Chris Cason, and David Vincent involved? Is this the first year that anime industry professionals are involved in judging cosplay at Kumoricon? Is this unique to Kumoricon?

We have ways of making people do things… ;)

Actually, I just asked our Guest Liaison and our Programming Director to ask them if they were willing to judge the cosplay competition, and they all said, "Yes!" This is the first year that we have anime industry professionals involved in judging cosplay at Kumoricon. In previous years, because of tight schedules for the guests, it wasn't possible for them to make the time commitment to helping out with cosplay, but since I asked well before we even knew who our guests would be, we were able to ensure that if they were willing to do it, that they would have the time available to do so.

Kumoricon may be the only convention that has its cosplay competition (or masquerade) judged by its guests of honor. Most other conventions fear overloading their guests and don't even think about asking. I figured that it wouldn't hurt to ask, and was pleasantly surprised to hear that they ALL accepted.

(3) What steps should an individual or group take to apply to perform a skit in this year's contest? What deadlines apply? Where can one find a complete set of rules, processes, content restrictions, etc.?

To apply, read the contest rules and fill out the form. The deadline for email entries was the 25th of August, but we will be accepting more entries at Kumoricon itself (until it's full or the Saturday night pre-meeting has occurred, whichever comes first). I post to the forums the number of slots still available. We would love to have more skits.

Cosplay contest rules are posted here and the entry form is available in both PDF and Word formats. Fill out and print either form, then bring it along to Kumoricon.

(4) For attendees who love cosplay, but would rather volunteer behind the scenes than perform on stage or showcase their sewing, are there volunteer positions available? What are some of the areas in which volunteers could plug in, before, during, or after the contest? Of those, in which do you have the greatest need for volunteers? How many hours would it best help you to receive from each?

There are always volunteer positions available. You can volunteer by signing up with the Volunteer Manager, David Reynolds, and telling him that you are interested in helping out with cosplay. The positions that we usually need to fill include:

"Stage Ninjas" – People who assist cosplayers walking onto and off of the stage, move equipment onto and off of the stage, and catch cosplayers or stuff that falls off the stage (usually someone drops something; we haven't lost a cosplayer yet).

"Ushers" – People who help with seating to ensure that seating is quick and efficient. They will also assist in collecting and counting the ballots for Audience Choice.

Volunteers are needed from about an hour prior to the start of the Cosplay competition until it ends.

(5) There are several other events and panels that comprise KC's Cosplay programming. You personally are involved in Cuddly Cosplay, aka The Plushie Kerade, and in Pattern-Making Software and Cosplay. What are some other highlights of your department?

Cuddly Cosplay, which is scheduled for Monday of the convention, is intended for those who would like to show off costumes that they've made for their dolls or stuffed animals. We usually see a few entrants who have made the costumes at Kumoricon in the "Dolly-Making Workshop", as well as some amazingly beautiful ball-jointed dolls and various cute stuffed animals dressed up as well-known anime characters.

There are various other cosplay-related panels that are scheduled, including one on making props and accessories and another on the basics of creating and performing a skit.

(6) How did you personally begin to cosplay? What were your earliest cosplays?

I always enjoyed dressing up. When I was a child, my mother would create costumes for me to wear for Halloween and for ballet. When I entered college, I joined the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) and decided to make my own costumes because I couldn't afford to purchase ready-made costumes. I also attended my first science fiction convention—Not Just Another Con 2—that same year, and so I "needed" to create a costume or two for that event, as well. It then just grew on me, and every year I create a few new costumes for various conventions, as well as sewing my own clothing.

(7) How did you first hear of Kumoricon? When did you first join staff? What lead you to make the leap? Had you attended or staffed other types of cons before? How did cosplay differ at them?

Back when Kumoricon first started, we heard about it because some of our friends from the NOVA (Northern Oregon and Vancouver Anime) Club planned to attend. They didn't tell us about it until it was very close to the weekend it was happening, so we missed that one. We attended the second Kumoricon and every one after that. Our first year (Kumoricon 2), I volunteered to help out judging Cosplay, and then the next year I joined staff.

I've attended many conventions every year since my first one back in 1986. I've always volunteered, been a panelist, and/or been staff at every convention, because it's more fun than being just a regular attendee: I have opportunities to meet the other staff, interact with the guests, and get to know a larger portion of what's really going on. Costuming at other conventions varies depending upon the convention type—science fiction, anime, steampunk—and the style of the convention. At some conventions, only a fraction of the attendees wear costumes; but at others, nearly everyone wears some sort of costume.

(8) If anyone is considering volunteering in Cosplay this year, or staffing in Cosplay next year, what would you say to encourage them? What have been the most rewarding aspects of your work therein, over these years?

Try it. You might find that it's more fun than just being a regular attendee.

I think the most rewarding part of being involved with Cosplay is the opportunity to be able to interact with many others who are enthusiastic about costuming.

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