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Posts posted by Aresef

  1. Wild Bill's is selling the tumbler they would've had at AB with a coupon you can use for a fill-up at next year's event. Maybe Otakon can get a jump on selling the bottomless mugs, if those are going to be a thing next year. OTOH, when Otakon last had those, I don't recall them being stamped with a year or anything.

  2. Currently they plan on using it till the end of June. Then, even if they close on the day they say, there is a required 30 day takedown of the setup, which unfortunately makes it impossible for Otakon to function, as it would cut into most of the weekend. 
    Thats if they close on time. Open any later and it will start cutting Into other events as well 

    Ah, that makes perfect sense.

    I’m supposed to be going to a con Labor Day weekend out west and their venue just got taken over as a field hospital. This is instructive.

  3. I’ve come to terms with the fact that this announcement was a matter of when, not if. I will miss Otakon. I will miss all the cons that aren’t happening this year (which may well be all the ones that were scheduled to happen this year). Not so much because I’ll miss the concerts or the panels or the guests but because I’ll miss my friends who come from all over, the people I only see at events like these.


    And there are more important things going on. My heart breaks for everyone touched by this crisis. If you are able—only if you are able—consider donating some of what you would have spent on conventions this summer. Your city, county or state may have funds going. I know Baltimore County has a fund for residents facing food insecurity and other issues right now. Your local food bank and groups like World Central Kitchen are also doing important work. And with all these closures, there are less people giving blood, so hit up the Red Cross and do that, if you can.


    Edit: Will Otakon do as other events like AB have and publish a list of the artists who would have been there?

    • Like 2

  4. 20 hours ago, TomDent said:

    IMO it'd be better to just cancel for this year and put everything into 2021. This would work out better with the theme since the Olympics will be next year. Of course I know that the folks running Otakon have to wait on official decisions from DC, the WEWCC, etc, but hopefully they've already got a solid plan for what seems like the inevitable. Also, assuming it's canceled this year, I hope we get the option to have our registration roll over for next year instead of just getting a refund (and maybe our hotel reservation as well,  if that's possible). And maybe they could try a small virtual con for one day later this year, giving a bit more time to get everything worked out for such a thing. As for my group, we've already decided to skip this year in the event that Otakon somehow does occur considering the risk. 

    --not staff--

    Given how Otakon works, I'm not sure if that's something they can do. Because what we pay for isn't a ticket but a membership and Otakon is the annual meeting for members of Otakorp. It's possible they throw members a bone of some kind should insurance kick in, but I'm not privy to any of that.

  5. 18 hours ago, TnAdct1 said:

    In my opinion, the more realistic approaches at the moment would be either 1, 2, or (in some extent) 5.

    If the WEWCC is going to be used a field hospital, then there's an uncertainty that it will be sanitized and returned to normal by late July. Personally, it would be great to push Otakon back later in the year a la Awesome Con (which I'm, happy will be postponed to December), as my experience riding the Metro to and back to some classes this winter has gotten me comfortable enough to use it for events on the Green Line). However, there's a number of factors that can affect that. Among them:

    • The dates that the WEWCC will be available;
    • Not wanting Otakon to compete against Anime USA;
    • Halloween weekend being out of the question due to AWA;
    • The planned Olympics theme for this year (which will not work, as the games have now been postponed to next year).

    As for the "virtual con" idea, that's going to be a challenge. However, I can think of at least two events that could utilize it.

    1. The industry panels (in particular, Discotek, as they've been having some interesting announcements in the past few Otakons)
    2. The AMV Contest, as I've seen the contests for Anime Detour and Momocon take this route when the cons were cancelled.

    I think postponing the con is going to be difficult. Just because Awesome Con was able to postpone doesn't mean Ota can. Ota depends on conference rooms and lodging not just in the Marriott but in other hotels as well. You also have to pick a weekend when you know the nearby hotels have sufficient inventory. So if it's a weekend where Capital One Arena is in action, it might be a coinflip. There's also no guarantee that the guests, contractors, artists and dealers who are tied to the con now would be available for the new date, to say nothing of the fans whose travel plans may be less portable. And even if fans coming from far away can change their travel plans with little hassle, will most people in the fall, even if we've mostly kicked this thing, be comfortable with the health risk that may be posed by the mass of humanity that attends an anime convention? Even without a pandemic, that's an ask.

    Postponing Otakon 2020 also takes away, I imagine, from the time and energy that could be better spent planning for 2021.

    The virtual con plan is a challenge and invariably scales back programming offerings. You have to depend on all these industry folk playing ball. I imagine it would create a particular hurdle for Japanese guests and industry reps, not just because of the language barrier but the time difference. Fan panels could get off, that's the sort of thing I think Balticon is doing, but it would be a feat to make sure panelists can show their videos, their PowerPoints, whatever.

  6. On 4/18/2020 at 5:27 PM, DeathJester said:

    Well I said if events were still getting cancelled 5 months after the initial outbreak then going to an anime convention would be the least of everyone concerns.

    WEWCC is going to be a field hospital for COVID patients, so this will give Otakon an exit lane to cancel the event without being fully responsible for the bills.

    They can't back out until either Events DC or the DC government makes holding the convention impossible. Unlikely as it is, it's conceivable that come time for Otakon, the WEWCC could be ready. I'm not saying it's likely, I'm saying that it can't be ruled out until it is ruled out.

    What that means is if they cancel now, force majeure provisions will not apply. Though they can't and won't issue refunds to members (given the nature of what our memberships are), the nonprofit will be on the hook for boatloads to Events DC, hotels and other vendors and without the revenue of people who haven't yet registered or of dealers, artists, merchandise or sponsors. And as I've outlined, Otakorp is not rich.

    • Like 1

  7. AnimeNEXT, a mid-to-large size convention that takes place in Atlantic City in June, just cancelled. Otakon is now the next convention on my schedule. I've lost three... Zenkaikon, Sakura-Con, and AnimeNEXT. Honestly, I'm hoping for the best, but getting prepared for the worst. There's a strong chance that Otakon is likely to be cancelled, as sad as that sounds. I would be disappointed, but understanding and not surprised. While I hope it doesn't have to be, I know that the Board is doing their best to figure out their own next steps. I just hope that this wave of necessary cancellations doesn't decimate the convention world. Many of our fan-run anime conventions are run by non-profit organizations that operate with minimal margins, and skipping a year can sometimes be devastating for them. Fingers crossed that the community comes out of this okay.

    AB talked about that when they canceled. The reason they waited until the governor of Massachusetts issued his order on large events was because if they canceled before then, they’d be on the hook with the venue, vendors etc. and it could have bankrupted their organization.

    And it’s not just the smaller cons. The most recent 990 I could find for Otakorp was filed for the FY ending October 2018. They reported nearly $408,000 in the bank. They pulled in $2.88 million in revenue... but spent $2.72 million to run Otakon and Otakon Vegas. They had actually lost more than $800,000 over the previous two fiscals—that’s presumably why Otakon Vegas had to go. And these aren’t state secrets. You can look Otakorp up on ProPublica’s database. The point is damn near every dime goes into running the con and if they canceled at a time that would leave them holding the bag, well, that’s just not going to happen.
    • Like 1

  8. 7 hours ago, DeathJester said:

    If the COV-ID situation gets so bad that events that are 5 months out are still getting cancelled, then getting my fix of anime will be the least of my concerns.  Keep in mind that governments are taking extreme precautions now to get the situation under control quickly, especially in Japan where they very much need to be medically cleared ASAP for all that Olympics tourism revenue.

    I think the biggest impact is the availability of overseas guests since any kind of negotiation is going to have to wait until the virus is under control.  We're definitely going to see an Dub Industry-centric Otakon this year.

    To your point, logistics might be a hurdle. I know United just temporarily cut Japan service. Hopefully, this can all blow over in a matter of weeks and not months.

    I'm not trying to spread hysteria. I think these are legitimate questions.

  9. I am not an epidemiologist and I don't know what the next few months bring. But coronavirus appears to be causing some long-term worries in Asia to the point that the Summer Olympics in Tokyo could be canned. We're also seeing companies like Sony scale back planned appearances at PAX East and AnimeJapan was scrapped. And then you have the entry procedures and policies for people coming to the US particularly from China and, without talking politics, that could easily be extended.

    To what extent is Otakon preparing and to what extent could Otakon be impacted by hurdles, logistical or otherwise, created by the disease?

  10. Yeah, what I was told in the thread for this year was that they've tried to get Monkey Majik in the past, but the scheduling hasn't worked.

    Sidebar: It's super weird when an Avex act performs stateside now because literally none of their newer CDs are available even in dealer's rooms now due to the baffling export ban. I wanted to get something signed by Verbal and Taku Takuhashi at ACen, but found nothing physical in the dealers room for them to sign. And then there's the absurd way autograph tickets were handled at ACen, so even if I found something... but that's another story.

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