Confessions of a Convention Planner: Part I
Confessions of a Convention Planner: Part I
Listening: The Messenger – Final Fantasy Dissidia
Greetings everyone once again. I’ve decided that I’m going to write about my crazy life as an anime convention planner and host in this new blog series titled Confessions of a Convention Planner. There couldn’t be a better time to start on this on account the convention is only into it’s second year and it still gives me time to cover the chaos of the first year and the mayhem of this year. So let’s begin shall we? So fasten your seat belts boys and girls because it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
The First Year
The First Year of a convention is like going through puberty; we all have to go through it, it’s generally painful with intermittent moments of happiness. You learn a great deal (even about things you didn’t think you wanted to know) and you thank dear Buddha or Jesus Christ or whoever it is you pray to, that you NEVER have to go through it ever again. I personally don’t remember anything that happened the day of the con, only the drama that happened leading up to it. We had to change venues and found out that our Guest Of Honor had been recently arrested and we canceled their appearance as a result. Then our second guest canceled three days before the con, leaving us with a large gab in the event programing and 200+ programs that where wrong. The pianist that was booked to cover for the live music one of our guests was suppose to provide ended up playing show tunes. Thankfully, no one even noticed we didn’t have a guest and the show tunes eventually became a big joke that everyone laughed about. But like I said before, I hardly even remember what happened the day of our first convention. The only proof that I have that it even happened at all was the few photos that where taken, none of them which I am in (except the back of my head in one). Overall though, it ended on a good note and made me excited to do it all over again even though I was happy for the break for the holidays that I was given. Money wise, we broke even for our first year which is very good. The most important thing I took away from the experience, however, is that this year I know what to do and what not to do.
The Second Year
I have to say, the Second Year is a thousand times more fun then the First Year. This is mostly because I know what the bloody hell I’m doing and I’ve learned from my mistakes the first time around. I know the world isn’t going to end if a guest cancels or if something goes wrong, it’s just a matter of figuring it out and continuing on. This year, we have changed our date from the middle of October to the last week of September. Apparently anything that happens in this state ends up happening on a weekend in October. So, to avoid landing either a weekend with the Huntsman Games, Homecoming, Anime Banzai or Halloween, it was moved out of October all together. Being sandwiched between AnimeVegas and Anime Banzai, we found a date we can finally stay at. I make sure to book the space at least a year in advance to make sure I get my pick of what I want. Okay! Everything is going good so far!
Planning for the Second Year started in January and after spending all holiday season thinking up awesome ideas, I was chomping at the bit to get started. I got a lot of good ideas for this year from the suggestions that people left in our feedback box. Our biggest suggestion was that we have a Masquerade which we now have as well as a few other minor things such as more dealers (which we also have) and that we turn down the AC a bit (apparently it got a little cold). Although, I’m sorry to say, whoever left the suggestion that I wear a skimpier cosplay outfit and ‘show more skin’ I’m afraid that your out of luck. I will be crossplaying this year as Headmaster Cross from Vampire Knight. Last time I check, his outfits are far from skimpy.
Of course, this year has not been without it’s drama just like the last. The person whom I planned the first year with pulled out right in the middle and left me hanging for the most part. Thankfully I was able to pull together a team of wonderful volunteers (I love you guys!) who now make up our wonderful convention staff and have taken a great deal of extra work off of my shoulders. The nasty rumor that was flying around last year that we where an adult yaoi convention (which of course is completely untrue) died out with the end of our First Year. There have been a few other mild drama llama moments, but again, nothing that isn’t a natural part of business. No matter what you do or how hard you try, there will always be unhappy people in the world or people who have decided they hate your guts for whatever reason. All you can do is try your best and forget the rest. Make as many people happy as you possibly can and don’t let the downers get you down. It may be hard to do, but it’s very important if you plan on keeping your sanity while working in this kind of business. As much as I would love to continue on that subject, I will leave that for my next entry of Confessions of a Convention Planner.
Overall, the Second Year has been insane and insanely fun. Because I’m not going to be trying to do everything by myself and running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, I’m going to actually enjoy my own convention this year. Maybe see a panel or two or chill out in the screening room; actaully make some pleasant memories and FINALLY take some pictures. Ones where you see more then just the back of my head in the very corner.