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otoxo

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About otoxo

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  1. otoxo

    The autograph line was a disaster.

    I wasn't at Animazement when they tried this so I can't comment on how successful they were. But I don't think this method will work at Otakon because the same number of autograph seekers will still show up. And the situation would be even worse than this year because the autograph crowd will have essentially moved from a place with a lot of space (the dealers room) to a place with much much less space (the panel waiting lines). Oh my god please don't ever do this.
  2. Here are some more Japanese guests I'd like to see, with contact links. Animator Dormitory Project - Help support some talented animators from Japan. Member list here. They are crowdfunding if anyone's interested in financially supporting them right now. If they attend Otakon, I hope they can have a table and take commissions. In particular I'd like to see: Jun Sugawara - Founder of the project Tetsuya Akutsu (阿久津徹也) - animator in Digimon Adventure tri, Yu-Gi-Oh, Recovery of an MMO Junkie Shingo Yamashita (山下清悟) - animator in Naruto Shippuden, Gurren Lagann, Fullmetal Alchemist Toshiyuki Morikawa: Naraku (Inuyasha), Yoshikage Kira (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable), Sephiroth (Final Fantasy), Yukio Tonegawa (Mr. Tokegawa), Griffith (Berserk, original) Wataru Hatano: Gajeel Redfox (Fairy Tail), Metal Bat (One Punch Man), Georgi Popovich (Yuri on Ice), Motojiro Kajii (Bungo Stray Dogs) Chiharu Sawashiro: Ritsu Shikishima (Caligula), Nozomu Nanase (TsukiPro the Animation), Nagata (Mr. Tonegawa), Yukiteru Hayama (Hanebado) Nobunaga Shimazaki: Haruka Nanase (Free), Yuno (Black Clover), Eugeo (Sword Art Online: Alicization), Makoto Sunakawa (My Love Story) As for American guests I'd like to see, here's a tough request. I'd like to see the Sonic the Hedgehog character actors from 2005-2010. I don't have contact info for all of them, but I bet Mike Pollock (Dr. Eggman) does. Jason Griffith: Sonic the Hedgehog, Shadow the Hedgehog Amy Palant: Miles "Tails" Prower Mike Pollock: Dr. Eggman Dan Green: Knuckles the Echidna Lisa Ortiz: Amy Rose David Wills: Espio the Chameleon James Carter Cathcart: Vector the Crocodile Oliver Wyman: Big the Cat Amy Birnbaum: Charmy Bee Pete Capella: Silver the Hedgehog Kathleen Delaney: Rouge the Bat I have but I wasn't there the year Megumi Han attended.
  3. otoxo

    How was your hotel?

    The Renaissance's 2017 decorations were donated by Viz Media iirc, which wasn't at the con this year, so that was probably part of the reason. The other part is, as mentioned, the other events already being held in the hotel at the same time.
  4. Here are my Japanese guest suggestions, including links for how to contact them or their agent. Kouki Uchiyama: Yuri Plisetsky (Yuri on Ice), Tomura Shigaraki (My Hero Academia), Ikuya Kirishima (Free), Kei Tsukishima (Haikyuu), Soul Evans (Soul Eater) Kappei Yamaguchi: Inuyasha (Inuyasha), L (Death Note), Usopp (One Piece), Shinichi Kudo (Case Closed) Satsuki Yukino: Kagome (Inuyasha), Yoruichi (Bleach), Kaname Chidori (Full Metal Panic), Mion/Shion Sonozaki (When They Cry) Kensho Ono: Giorno Giovanna (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Part 5: Golden Wind), Phichit Chulanont (Yuri on Ice), Tetsuya Kuroko (Kuroko's Basketball), Ryunosuke Akutagawa (Bungo Stray Dogs) Yuichi Nakamura: Bruno Bucciarati (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Part 5: Golden Wind), Gray Fullbuster (Fairy Tail), One-Punch Man (Mumen Rider), Kyousuke Kousaka (Oreimo) Yoshimasa Hosoya: Yamato "Matt" Ishida (Digimon), Reiner Braun (Attack on Titan), Fumikage "Tsukuyomi" Tokoyami (My Hero Academia), Junpei Hyuga (Kuroko's Basketball) Hiroki Takahashi: Katsuya Jonouchi/Joey Wheeler (Yu-Gi-Oh), Crimson Rubeus (Sailor Moon Crystal), Hisoka (Hunter x Hunter, original), Pariston Hill (Hunter x Hunter, remake), Japan (Hetalia) Junko Takeuchi: Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto), Gon (Hunter x Hunter, original), Takuya Kanbara (Digimon Frontier), Gomamon (Digimon Adventure tri) Megumi Han: Akko Kagari (Little Witch Academia), Gon (Hunter x Hunter, remake), Rinko Yamato (My Love Story), Kahono (Black Clover), Aya Tachibana (Yowamushi Pedal)
  5. otoxo

    The autograph line was a disaster.

    lol, so true, right? Thanks for reading my suggestions and posting thoughtful replies. I still believe that the dealers room is incredibly spacious and you have the ability to expand the autographs area if you want to. I hope you are able to plan it out somehow. I still have the opinion that, at the very least, you ought to let people into the main lining areas earlier than one hour prior to a session, as long as there is space in those lanes. Then you won't have the massive clustering 10 minutes before the top of the hour and you won't need the blowhorn to tell people to go away. Seeing empty unfilled lanes next to a massive crowd makes me sad because it means that space isn't being used. I think that's accurate. I was at the first autograph session on Friday and returned for more on Saturday's sessions and they were run completely differently. Friday was confusing for attendees and staff. Saturday was a little better, minus the clustering. Despite my lengthy criticisms and suggestions, autographs was run well in general. Much better than 2017, that's for sure - the extra space of the dealers room made it work, imo.
  6. otoxo

    The autograph line was a disaster.

    You won't need waiting lines for every session of the day. You will need more space, but not significantly more than what's already used. Plus, I see plenty of open space in the dealers room that's still unused, if that's what your concern is. The general waiting area doesn't need to be as big as the waiting lines for the autograph sessions that are currently taking place. The reason is because most people won't arrive at 9 am for a late afternoon session. Yes, some will, but most won't. Not every guest is huge like Kawamori, but if there is one, you can plan accordingly by setting up a dedicated area just for that one guest. So some guests like ProZD can sign 200 items while others can only sign 50. So what? As long as you limit the number to 100 (or whatever you think is a reasonable average number), then you've done your part. Otakon already makes it clear that autographs aren't guaranteed. You don't need to feel bad that a guest who can sign 200 items only ended up signing 100 and is leaving early. And you don't need to feel bad that a guest only signed 50 items so you have to turn away the remaining attendees. You did the best you could to organize the sessions as best as you could. What happens after that is on the guest. All you need to do is have the staff working at the general waiting area carry a clipboard with a list of autograph sessions that day. Then, as attendees enter the general waiting area, ask them, "Who are you here to see?" Then put a tally next to the guest's name on the list. When you reach 100 (or however many) for one guest, don't let anymore attendees into the area for that guest. If you are afraid people will try to cheat this system, then hand out numbered tickets with the guest's name on them. There's no need to try to remember everyone or to make rough guesses. Shuttling the attendees in the general waiting area into the waiting lines in an orderly fashion is the responsibility of the staff, but fortunately there's a simple solution. Grab the blowhorn and make a clear announcement: "If you are here for the Shoji Kawamori autograph session at one o'clock, please stand up. Those standing up, please follow me and walk to the waiting line". Naturally, there would be a sign in front of the waiting line indicating who the line was for. There, done. If someone doesn't listen to the staff member's instructions and gets upset because they are left behind in the general waiting area, that is their problem, not yours. I hope I'm understanding your terminology correctly. "Primary signing area" = the lines directly in front of the table "Main lining area" = the lines with the stanchions (which I'm calling the "waiting lines" above) You don't need a larger primary queue area. Keep it the same size. Main lining area is also the same size. What you do need is space for the general waiting area. Maybe a diagram will help: I drew the general waiting area as a rectangle, but it doesn't have to be one. It could be, for example, a line that runs along the wall of the dealers room.
  7. The Good: - I got to see everything I wanted to see. The air conditioning was set at a comfortable level, the free WiFi connection was relatively reliable, and the lanes between the rows of dealers' booths weren't too narrow. The "You Are Here" stickers on the maps were helpful. Thanks for changing the entry location for dealers. Most things I experienced were good. I'll go into detail on the bad, but I don't want that to outweigh the fact that Otakon did many things right and that my experience was positive as a whole. The Bad: - Guest panel titles. On Friday, Nobutoshi Canna's panel was so poorly attended. Masaya Matsukaze's was even worse (there must have been no more than 20 people there). The schedule only listed the guests' names as their panels' titles, so only attendees who knew these names would know to attend. Please add more info into the titles. LordGeo had some good ideas. - Autographs. Things were much improved thanks to being in the larger dealers room space. I hope you continue putting autographs there. But by continuing to limit the line-ups to one hour prior to each signing, you are causing crowd congestion and not utilizing this space as well as you could. I put a suggestion in the autographs thread. - No photos. In Panel 2 on Saturday, someone put up the "No Photos" sign for an industry panel, then left it up there for most of the rest of the day. It even stayed up during panels where the guests were okay with photos. Please be mindful of this. Also, please make a distinction between "No Photos" and "No Videos". Some guests are okay with photos but not video. Some are okay with both. - Rainbow Tube. Please open the Rainbow Tube. Or at the very least, allow one-way traffic (up only or down only). It's puzzling to me why you block off an easy way to get between floor 1 and 2. - Dealers room check-out. Checking out requires walking back and forth between the dealer's own booth, Exhibitor Services, and the Otakon table too much. Here's how it could be streamlined: After a dealer finishes loading their stuff onto their pallets, the dealer goes to the Otakon table to get a gofer. The gofer and dealer walk to the dealer's booth together. The gofer looks over the booth, and if it looks okay, gives the dealer the MHA form. The dealer fills it out, gives it to the gofer, and the gofer gives the dealer the entry ticket and brings the form to the Exhibitor Services to deal with the rest. This way, the dealer only needs to walk over to the Otakon table/Exhibitor Services once. The Ugly: - Exit only. If something is going to be consistently used an exit only, please put up a sign. I'm talking about the dealers room's entryways, but this might have happened elsewhere. - Missing industry presence. This is not something that Otakon can control so I don't blame them. But I was still sad to see so many companies missing. Having no booth is understandable, but not even sending one rep to do a panel is very unfortunate. Otakon is in a new area where many people are completely unfamiliar with it. As such, they need names that people recognize and get excited about. YouTubers and local D.C. acts are part of how they are reaching out to the community to bring in new blood. Getting Japanese guests is important too, but you have to remember that significantly more people recognize, and are interested in, American talent. If you want to learn more about this, go to the "Otakorp: Demographics & Financials" panel held on Sundays. This year's talked about this exact topic. And yes, it's true that Otakon hasn't been profitable recently. The past two years, expenses have been higher than income. If this continues, there will be no more Otakon. So Otakon has to be mindful of which guests to bring to increase attendance. This was discussed during the "Otakorp: Demographics & Financials" panel. It's because Otakon still had space in the WEWCC that it wasn't using to its fullest. So why bother buying space in the Marriott Marquis before using all of what's already available to them at the WEWCC?
  8. otoxo

    Forbes article on Otakon 2018

    The author, Lauren Orsini, is awesome. She's not just a journalist, she's also a fan and an Otakon panelist. She blogs at OtakuJournalist.com.
  9. otoxo

    The autograph line was a disaster.

    I am personally happy with how autographs were handled, in general. The move to the dealer's room was an excellent choice because of the increased space. But I do think that even more space could be utilized for the "waiting" lines (the ones with the stanchions). I still saw so much empty unused space that could be used for waiting lines. Kawamori's signing was definitely an anomaly. Yes there were tons of people lined up to see him, but he also took his sweet time with each of them. Some people who brought their own items to be signed were also offered a signed poster, which further increased the signing time. Having people line up more than one hour prior to the signing wouldn't require a lot more space. All it would mean is that the waiting lines would be capped much earlier than one hour prior. So if people were lining up at 9 am for a late afternoon signing and there were 100 people in line by 10 am, staff would cut off the line. Too bad for everyone else who came later than 10 am, but that's just how it is. This would also solve the problem of people permanently clustering in the area. So, instead of keeping the waiting lines empty until exactly one hour prior to the signing, just let them fill up as attendees arrive, whenever that may be. You might be wondering what would happen if someone shows up super early, like at 9 am for a 5 pm signing. In that case, set up a general waiting area. Let's say there were four autograph times: 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, and 5 pm. The waiting lines are set up for the 11 am signing. Everyone else who arrives early for the remaining three sessions goes into the general waiting area. Once the 11 am signings begin and attendees move out of the waiting lines and into the actual autograph lines, then the people in the general waiting area who are there for the 1 pm signings move in an orderly fashion to their respective waiting lines. To prevent too many people in the general waiting area from getting autographs from the same guest, staff would have to keep track of how many attendees are waiting to see whom.
  10. otoxo

    Otakon 2018 Guest Request

    But those guests also took part in panels. AX's arrangement that I linked to is autographs-only, and the guests only interact with attendees in the autographs area. They go to AX, make money from signings, then leave. Now that Otakon has tons of space, I'm thinking that maybe this could be possible too.
  11. otoxo

    Otakon 2018 Guest Request

    Would Otakon ever consider doing something like this: http://www.anime-expo.org/2018/05/21/30-voice-actors-join-ax-2018-premium-autographs-area-talent-cons/ By this, I mean holding a comic-con-style autograph area where guests just come to sign. This is AX's second year doing this with Talent For Cons. They only bring their local LA talent though, which makes sense from a cost and logistics perspective. Talent For Cons also has some East Coast (New York) talent. Of course, it doesn't have to be with this particular agency.
  12. Ah, it was an industry autograph session. That's how they were able to do things like that. AFAIK Otakon has no control over the way industry signings are conducted. I personally wouldn't complain if Otakon decided to do paid signings like this but I vaguely recall reading or hearing someone from Otakon say that that's not the way they want to do things. Anyway, looks like the session was run smoothly and you had fun, so that's good.
  13. Sorry for not replying sooner. I only just saw your post. The point of the extended waiting space is to give people who want to arrive early and wait longer the opportunity to do so. That's all. It's not intended to set an expectation that everyone in line will get in. Anytime there's a line, there's always a chance that you won't make it in if you're not at the front. This extended waiting space isn't any different. I'm curious about the autograph session that you attended that required an invitation pass. How did that work? I've been to many other cons that have used various systems to organize autograph sessions with various degrees of success. Sometimes they use tickets effectively and sometimes they don't.
  14. That would make the most sense but we all know how parents can be... Otakon is just trying to cover its own butt. And yet it keep happening, which means the current procedure isn't working, which means it would be wise to change things up. Staff isn't being unreasonable, but it's the procedure that is bad. You don't know me. Don't presume you know what I would and wouldn't do. Telling people to "come back later" isn't a solution because, as it's already been discussed, it doesn't work. It has nothing to do with who proposed it. It's important to think about how different ideas could go wrong -- better now than at the actual event. When I post an idea, people find faults with it, and I do my best to respond. And I do the same for others' ideas. Don't take criticisms personally; we are all working toward the same goal here of having a well-run Otakon. Otakon doesn't need to devote "endless amounts of staffing and space resources" to have well-run autograph sessions. None of anyone's ideas calls for that. It's all about having a process that involves better organization and communication, not about involving more staffers. After a certain point, adding more staff won't accomplish anything anyway. Feel free to make your own proposals if you think my or others' ideas won't cut it. Ah, metal components. How do other cons with metal detectors handle this? I suggested metal detectors as a way to placate the complaints of the current basic bag check as useless. Perhaps a combination of that plus metal detectors would be better? I dunno. We wouldn't want to add something that would lengthen the security process too much, otherwise waiting becomes a huge issue. That's why I suggested metal detectors, which takes only a second to walk through. But then there's that issue with metal cosplay that you mentioned that we would need to think about how to deal with. But I think that the vast majority of attendees won't have that issue. I think I know the place you're talking about. Is it the same place where the Rainbow Tube is? We still haven't gotten an explanation from staff for why that was closed off. It is listed on the map, so I suspect that it was originally meant to be open, but for whatever reason ended up being closed. Letting people use it would have been helpful and prevent the need to backtrack. When I first arrived at the convention center, found myself repeatedly asking information desks in various places where the built-in water fountains were. But after spending some time there, I realized that they are always outside the restrooms. So look for the restrooms on the map and chances are there will be water fountains nearby too.
  15. That's for the staff to figure out. As it is, people are already crowding around the autograph area to form unofficial lines, so space is already being used anyway. That's entirely the fault and problem of the attendee, not the staff. If the autograph session you want to attend is at 3:00 pm and it's getting close to 2:00 pm, you better pay attention and get ready to move to the main waiting area in front of the autograph stage when called to do so. If you're dozing off and you miss out, too bad for you. As the staffer ushers the attendees in the extended waiting area to the main waiting area, the staffer sees people already in the main waiting area. The staffer tells those people to shoo and get behind the people who were in the extended waiting area. There, problem solved. And if the people who snuck into the main waiting area didn't know they were supposed to go to the extended waiting area first? Too bad for them. This is already what's happening, isn't it? People are loitering close to the autograph area in unofficial lines. No one is actually going to go too far away; they'll want to stay nearby, just in case those dreaded unofficial lines start forming. No kidding I'm concerned about my own schedule. Otakon is the largest convention that I attend that lacks a procedure for handling long autograph lines. ("Come back later" is not a solution.) And lines are already forming regardless of whether or not you think people can line up early. And if you think people aren't missing out, well, I dunno what to tell you... Nah, it's doable. There are other cons that use metal detectors. Most cosplay can fit through metal detectors. Not that I think metal detectors are required or even helpful, but their presence might allay the complainers who are saying that this year's basic bag check alone is pointless. As others have already said, it's tough to find a balance between security theater with a short wait time and genuinely helpful security procedure with a longer wait time. A combination of metal detectors plus the basic bag check is just one possibility. You're on the ball. And it's still great that you're chiming in even though you haven't waited in an autograph line in years. If someone who doesn't attend autograph sessions can read and understand what we are talking about, that shows that we are being clear with our explanations, so turning our ideas into instructions for the masses is a possibility. I support this. Anything that favors an official waiting area over unofficial lines is a-okay in my book. My only concern about this is that by limiting the line to 25-50 people, you are implicitly telling people that they must get there early to secure a spot. That's what ogul wants to avoid -- encouraging people to line up early. That's why in my idea, I intentionally don't mention any limit. Does this mean that the main waiting areas in front of the autograph stages would be eliminated? So attendee for every autograph session would be waiting together in one area? I don't think games are needed. People who choose to wait in lines know what they are getting into. But announcements would be helpful. To keep track of how many people are there for each autograph session, staffers could hand out tickets. Still, I can't help but feel that this idea adds lots of complexity to the waiting process and requires that staffers actively keep track of things that they otherwise wouldn't need to pay attention to. Are staffers able to handle this extra burden? It'd be great if they could, but it's up to them how involved they want to be in this waiting process. Gotcha. OtakuCop said that some guests request room clearings. If that's what keeps guests happy, then so be it. I saw some of this, but I also did see staffers tell attendees to move away. Staffers can't be everywhere, but I always appreciate it when they are around and are vocal about keeping the hallways clear. I think I read somewhere that the current ID check procedure is because Otakon relies on an insured third-party that is qualified to distinguish between fake and genuine IDs. Otakon staffers aren't able to do it themselves. Am I making this up?
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