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Kyon

Update on Guests

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Is there any possible to way to get someone from guest relations to be at last the slightest bit active on the forums and let us know that everything is going to be alright? I am aware that not everybody works quite the same, but since about 2010 or so ( I decided to go to my first Otakon in 2009 a bit delayed. As such, I wasn't really paying much attention to guests announcements ) I've definetly grown accustomed to having a nice little slew of guests to adjust my cosplay lineup to/prep stuff to get signed this close to con time. And right about now, during a year that I would assume is supposed to be special because it's moving out of Baltimore after this ( and with a wicked ticket price + add on if you wanted your badge mailed because I was NOT about to deal with the 4 hour and no badge mess from last years pre-reg, I'm hoping that Lotus Juice isn't the ace in the hole here. Sure, having him be the only big name would give me more time to roam the con/take pictures. But at the same time, for as long as I've been conventioning, Autograph signings/meeting voice actors has been a big part of how I enjoy my conventions ) things are looking VERY bleak. And I can't help but feel that all the guests are going to get dumped super last minute ( with some might not even getting announced and just so happen to show up and be in the dealers room ) And to make matters worse, they'll all get clumped in to a group signing where if you're not at the front of the line, you're not going to get an autograph because people seem to not care about a giant line behind them, will talk for days instead of a simple "hi. I liked you in these roles that you did" while the guest is signing something for them, and will request for a picture even when staff will ask them not to so they can give everyone a shot to get something signed ( I don't think I've ever seen a staff member not fold whenever somebody asks for a picture. And guests NEVER say no even when they hear the announcements from staff )

I'm sorry that this might've turned into a bit of a rant/seem a bit rude, but this was my very first con, this'll probably be the last time I attend it unless it comes back to baltimore ( i was able to attend for the years that I did because I have family there and as such, don't have to pay for a hotel ) And the con has never let me down in terms of guests. It probably won't this year either, but the wait is killing me. And I know that I'm going to get uber frustrated when the a-list voice actors get announced and I start tossing around a million cosplay ideas which will kinda do me more harm than anything this year because with Makino attending, I was thinking of doing a Li Syoran cosplay. But lord knows if someone like Sam Reigel gets announced, I'll discard that in a second for a Jude Mathis cosplay or something to that effect. I understand that it takes time to pen down all the necessities to officially book a guest, but there has to be at least ONE thats been inked in with a full bio/headshot.

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I understand and can relate to your frustration.  With less than two months to go, there are very few guests announced.  Given the amount of time and resources available, I feel that Otakon should have more to show for their efforts.

So yes, this is concerning, and I certainly hope this doesn't indicate a lacking guest list for this year.  Aside from autographs, guests also host panels, Q&As, and premieres (which I have noticed we don't have any of those announced).  They play a big role, so it worries me that there's such a gaping hole in the con's tentative programming block.  And the lack of communication from Otakon staff isn't helping.

Now I know that Otakon likes to "wait for the ink to dry on the contract" and needs a pic and bio before formally announcing a guest,  but it always seemed like other conventions worked the same way and they're not having any difficulty at all.

Otakon really needs to step up their game with the finish line in sight.  If there was ever a time to not disappoint, it is now.

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A few things to consider here (especially in terms of Otakon and Anime Expo):

1. Most of the big guest news usually doesn't take place until after Anime Expo. Given how that is the biggest anime convention in the United, not only are most of the big guest announcements saved until after AX (to ensure that the news doesn't get lost in the shuffle), but also most of the anime companies that attend Otakon will focus on AX first, and then announce their plans for Otakon (i.e. premieres at the con, guests that they're bringing) in the days following that con.

2. AX is only a couple of weeks away, and if you haven't been following that con, they've been announcing a number of big guests in the last few days. As such, a big convention having guest announcements less than a month before it happens is perfectly normal here.

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Eh. While Otakon has a tendency to not announce their big guns all at once, they've definetly had big names announced around this time in years past. I remember a year where Vic Mignogna was announced CRAZY early and then his name and his name alone just sat there. But that name alone was enough for me to be like okay, I already have a solidified reason to attend this convention, I am DEFINETLY getting his autograph, and I will most definetly be cosplaying as either Tamaki Suoh or Spirit Albarn. There was also a year where Crispin Freeman was announced super early. Right now, all I have to go off is Lotus Juice ( who we can only hope/assume will not just be there for only the Matsuri. That would be a HUGE waste of a guest, especially with Persona 3 movies and Persona 5 on the horizon ) I don't know who Yui Makino is, but she voices Sakura in Tsubasa so I can at least attempt to put together a Syroran cosplay until somebody gets announced that makes me flip my cosplay line up. It's a bit concerning when even the regulars ( who from what I've come to understand attend based on super tight relations with some staff ) aren't even up on the list yet. From what I've seen, their headshots and bios are the same every year. 

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Hello all,

First of all apologies for the lack of news on the guest front.  I want to assure everyone that we have quite a few surprises in store coming in the next couple of weeks and we're dying to share it with everyone.  Alas, that's the nature of contract negotiation.  They don't like me spoiling the surprises early.  Reset assured we have a full line up coming and making our final year at Baltimore a bang!

best,

Alex Wang
Co-Director of Guest and Industry Relations.

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6 hours ago, bacondreamer said:

Hello all,

First of all apologies for the lack of news on the guest front.  I want to assure everyone that we have quite a few surprises in store coming in the next couple of weeks and we're dying to share it with everyone.  Alas, that's the nature of contract negotiation.  They don't like me spoiling the surprises early.  Reset assured we have a full line up coming and making our final year at Baltimore a bang!

best,

Alex Wang
Co-Director of Guest and Industry Relations.

At this point, we will just have to trust Otaku-staff. I do not control the line up, and only go with my friends to signings, but I also went to the phenomenal Yoshiki concert in 14....so I guess what I am getting at is, there are a ton of amazing things, guests, and events we could hope for, and we will just have to wait and see who we get : ) 

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