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Anime Next Con report

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  • atheniag
    Back from Anime Next and not too backlogged at work, so I thought I’d do a quick report. Thursday night all the Yuricon staffers arrived at my home. We
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 19, 2006
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      Back from Anime Next and not too backlogged at work, so I thought I’d
      do a quick report.

      Thursday night all the Yuricon staffers arrived at my home. We all
      went out for some late-night Indian food. Friday I had to work a
      half-day, but I told everyone to be ready by noon to leave â€" and they
      were.

      I am on the staff of Anime Next as a teeny-weeny little piece of the
      Publicity pie...I was coordinating "Con Row", which is a thing that
      had come about largely because of a mailing list where con chairs
      gather to talk, share ideas and advice, and vent. The ACML, as it’s
      called, has really helped with cons developing mutual rapport, and as
      a result, they often offer other cons free tables for promotion. Not
      all cons do, but it’s an easy way to fill a hole in a DR for smaller
      cons, or have a row of tables somewhere at larger ones. In this case,
      we had 5 cons who wanted tables. (7 really, but two never got back to
      me.) So the badges thing went easily, and we set up.

      Because Con Row at ANext is not in the DR, but outside it, I had to
      pack and unpack every day, which was a drag, but you know, I lived. :-)

      Anime Next is a very general, very young crowd. We never do really
      well there, so this year we tried something new for ANext â€"
      yuri-themed grab bags. I had made a bunch at $1, $2, $5 and $10. By
      Friday at 8PM, they were all gone. Next year I’ll see if I can do
      more. Basically I was cleaning out my office, which had accumulated an
      inordinate amount of cool yuri-type stuff I had no use for. The $10
      bags were especially good deals, as they had perhaps $30 worth of
      manga and comics, plus other random stuff. I don’t really get the
      appeal of grab bags â€" I want to know what I’m spending my money on,
      but everyone seemed really happy with what they got.

      Because of a snafu, my panels were not listed in the program schedule
      (not a snafu on my side â€" I had applied for them months ago, was
      assured repeatedly that they were happening and sent in descriptions
      which *did* make it into the program book. I wasn’t the only person
      this happened to. That panels person will not be returning next
      year…). So we did tell folks where and when the panel was but not
      surprisingly, there was a small turnout. However, it was a fine and
      dandy crowd, and we morphed at the end of the discussion to talking
      about Takarazuka, which was fun. There’s going to be a TK panel at
      Otakon this year, I’m going to try and attend. Before you ask â€" yes,
      there’s a Yuri Panel. It’s been on the Events Page for weeks. Lol
      http://www.yuricon.org/events/ - Friday night at 9PM. But really, get
      in the habit of checking that Events page! I add stuff there *first*.

      Saturday went along as Saturdays do. It was alternately fun and
      annoying, part sales, part promotion and part anger therapy. I had an
      extremely large number of people ask me about Yaoi-con, or if we sold
      yaoi, which I found bizarre. The funniest thing to me was the girl
      dressed as Sailor Neptune who saw our sign, turned quickly and sharply
      away as if we might bite her and ignored us while I kept calling after
      her that Neptune was gay and she has a girlfriend. It’s *always* women
      cosplaying Neptune who react that way â€" never any of the other Senshi.
      Ever. Just Neptunes. Why is that, I wonder?

      Saturday night I had a Fanfiction writing workshop to do. I told the
      staff to go, but they stayed anyway, so were forced to hear me wax
      opinionated and pompous on the fine (coughcough) art of writing
      Fanfic. Considering it hadn’t made it onto the schedule and wasn’t on
      the sign, we had a lovely crowd â€" about 10 people who got there early
      and stayed for every last second. Freaks. LOL

      Sunday’s always a short day. Thank the gods. Because when you’re
      selling, the day goes like this:

      “How much is this?”

      “We’re doing a special sale today! It’s only x dollars.”

      “Oh, I have no money.”

      Do this for 5 hours. And then have those same people have friends run
      up and say, “I found a xx character purse!” and they all run off to
      not buy that too and annoy the vendor. Many of the dealers in the DR
      are my friends at this point and I always make a point, if I can find
      anything to get, to buy *something* on Sunday, because that’s the day
      when I know I want to throttle the masses myself.

      I spend a fairly significant amount of time at cons teaching people
      really basic social skills and telling people to stop blocking doors
      (I don’t know why people constantly need to stand in front of doors. I
      know I do it too, so it must be something really lizard brain.. LOL)
      Let me stress several things to you all:

      1) When someone says “Hello”, you respond with “Hello.”

      2) When someone says “How are you?” the ONLY proper response in a
      general social setting is “Fine, thank you. How are you?” Sighing,
      groaning, making faces or complaining about your ankle, knee, back,
      head, stomach, exhaustion, colostomy, whatever, is NOT appropriate. Ever.

      And here is my bonus lesson taken from years and years of working
      freak-show retail at anime cons and RenFaires and the like:

      1) The person behind the table is NOT your friend. They are only your
      friend when you give them money. They do not care why you don’t like
      Shiori. Really. They will listen with a smile because they hope you
      might buy something. If you have no intention of buying something,
      don’t require them to care about your theories, or your gender issues
      or your difficult upbringing. Most other vendors will keep smiling and
      nodding because they do this for a living and can’t afford to offend.
      I will tell you to shut up and go away because I have a day job and
      you are not paying me $250/hour to listen. (If you WANT to give me
      $250/hour to listen, I will. I still won’t care, but I can fake it
      beautifully.)

      So take pity on the other vendors and just don’t. Ask the price, ask
      about other items, etc…don’t opine.


      But for a Sunday the day went well, I think. We made a few sales,
      nothing world shaking (yes, yes, pun intended), but a few folks seemed
      very happy to buy what they got. My favorite sale of the day was one
      girl who wanted to get something so badly that she dug the change out
      of her purse to buy a postcard. That dollar in change was the best
      dollar I got all weekend. :-)

      But the best part, not surprisingly, was my staff. Serge, Donna, Kelli
      and Bruce â€" with a surprise appearance by the First Lady â€" really
      helps both my mood and my snappy comebacks. :-) So many thanks to them
      and for all the fun craptastic movies from the Donna collection. lol

      Next up is Connecticon - Sean and i will be up there on Saturday. Yuri
      panel at 7:30 PM Saturday. (It should be on the schedule this time. lol)

      Cheers,

      Erica
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