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Answerman - Are Anime Companies Cutting Back On Convention Appearances?


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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:45 pm Reply with quote
I've been going to what is essentially the local convention for Right Stuf for quite some time, and I've notice that their presence has decreased steadily over the years, even with the convention only being a couple hours away. Their booth this year looked to be the smallest allowed, and was mostly for moving screener discs. There simply isn't a need for them to do much more than that since anyone aware of the company is likely well aware of their website.

Funimation was there once a few years ago, but I can't blame them for not coming back since the next couple of years were on the same weekend as Otakon.
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AnimeAddict2014



Joined: 16 Feb 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:20 pm Reply with quote
giving the up front costs of these conventions--

Do they see a huge increase in sales with these conventions ?
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Shiflan



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:35 pm Reply with quote
I think Justin is right on the money here with his comment about how the internet makes a lot of the "face time" irrelevant.

Personally, I have zero interest in the "industry" booths at a convention. I go there to have fun with other fans and to check out the hard-to-find merchandise like old out-of-print CDs and the like. I usually walk right past the Industry booths because all of what they have to offer (whether merchandise or information) is easily found online.
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:48 pm Reply with quote
Some companies, especially the larger ones, are given premium booth space location for free. Often this is done in lieu of them bringing a guest or two, but some conventions feel that some companies actually bring people to the convention, and those companies get the spot of their choosing for free.

Companies aren't just attending to meet fans and sell goods. They're also going to meet with other companies and artists to arrange future business deals. This also includes the guests. Every so often, you hear about how the staff of one anime met at a convention.
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Shiflan



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:57 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
are given premium booth space location for free.


I'm sure that's true, but if Anime cons work anything like business conventions that's a small expense out of the whole. The travel, hotel, food, and so on is a major expense. And don't underestimate Justin's comment about the Teamsters union. I know it sounds silly, but that alone can get crazy expensive: I've been to many business trade shows in which my company purchased a booth. The booth fee might be several hundred or maybe even a few thousand dollars. But that's just the floorspace. Want a table? You're not allowed to bring your own. But you can rent one for $150 a day. Chairs? Yeah, those are $75 each to rent. Per day. Need an extension cord to plug in something? That's $50/day. A power strip so you can plug in multiple items to the extension cord you just rented? $50 again. And don't even get me started on the labor costs for moving your merchandise or display. Those fees don't apply to every con, but when they are involved it gets crazy expensive very very fast. When Justin mentioned that some companies were rumored to have spent over $100K on a Con I can easily believe it.
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AnimeAddict2014



Joined: 16 Feb 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:06 pm Reply with quote
so most people will just do window shopping at these conventions ?
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Shiflan



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:13 pm Reply with quote
AnimeAddict2014 wrote:
so most people will just do window shopping at these conventions ?


I can't speak for everyone, but: I do plenty of shopping at cons. But it's limited those things I can't find elsewhere. Hard to find items. Rare imports. Used goods. I never buy normal mainstream releases at a con because those are so easily found elsewhere.
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Triltaison



Joined: 03 Jul 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:27 pm Reply with quote
I always try to talk with a few companies at their booths and buy their new releases directly from them each year. I feel like a greater portion of profit gets sent their way and I get to tell them thanks for picking up whatever series was released that year. The reps from Vertical are always friendly and helpful, and ADV/Sentai's crew have been memorably enjoyable over the years. The Pony Canyon people are also really eager to answer any questions in my experience, also. The Media Blasters booth has gotten kind've weird over the years, though...
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Zin5ki
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:31 pm Reply with quote
AnimeAddict2014 wrote:
so most people will just do window shopping at these conventions ?

When I attended a convention earlier this year, I brought a list of online prices for the anime in which I took an interest, purchasing only those on which I could make a saving. To my surprise there were many such titles offered below their equivalent internet price, suggesting the distributors know their customers' shopping habits well.
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Brand



Joined: 30 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:50 pm Reply with quote
AnimeAddict2014 wrote:
so most people will just do window shopping at these conventions ?


I buy a lot at conventions but generally I am looking to get the best deals on stuff. So, that both that always has super cheap manga? I'm all over that. The Funimation booth selling their current lineup? Not so much.

I do love Vertical so I always try and buy from them at a convention but they also do good discounts on their stuff at cons. I might by a DVD if it is an old series that is a good deal or something I really want that is getting released a bit early (Robot Carnival last year).
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angelmcazares
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:58 pm Reply with quote
I became more of a hardcore fan about 6 years ago, and I was very interested in attending my local anime convention. But I have become increasingly disinterested in them. I am not even interested in following online what is announced at convention panels. IIRC last year's Otakon was very lackluster in terms of exciting announcements.

For me the best form of advertisement for anime and manga is for them to keep releasing stuff I want to collect.

Triltaison wrote:
The Pony Canyon people are also really eager to answer any questions in my experience

The next time you talk with them, would you mind asking them when are they going to exit the N.A. market because PCUSA is a terrible company. Mad
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H. Guderian



Joined: 29 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:09 pm Reply with quote
I actually hold off on my purchases before a con, with the intent of buying a lot at the con. I know there's a bit of a mark up. But I like the experience of having a nice big bag. A good haul. Throw all my purchases in a pile and take a picture.

I also haven't missed an Otakon in years. Belated and lackluster guest list and the fact no one I know is bothering to attend this year put a nail in this year for me. I'd be departing for my road trip down Thursday morning, otherwise.

Back to Mechandise, sometimes I find a lot of stuff I wasn't considering online. And sometimes a dealer has that one item that went out of stock and everyone else forgot about it. often times it has an insane mark up so i don't get it. But sometimes even they don't know they brought a gem within reach.
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relyat08



Joined: 20 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:12 pm Reply with quote
I go to cons specifically to talk to industry people. I'm not a party-er, and have no interest in dances and whatnot. I just want to meet people working in the industry that I'm passionate about and learn as much as I can during the weekend. Japanese guests are my priority, but meeting the guys working in NA is more than worthwhile as well. Meeting Ed Chavez was the highlight of the last con I went to. Talking about the Monogatari novels in person, getting a run down on the financials that he could share, and getting a little insight into the future plans of Vertical was incredibly valuable. Evan Minto was equally great to talk to. I'm going to Otakon and was really looking forward to meeting more Japanese guests this time, but unfortunately, both Jiro Ishii and Masao Maruyama, the two I was most looking forward to meeting, won't be attending due to extenuating circumstances.
Now the biggest issue I have is deciding whether or not to go meet the ANN guys, or go to the Under the Dog Q&A. Really wish those weren't at the same time. A little unfortunate scheduling. :/
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:43 pm Reply with quote
One thing that at least some companies (particularly Sentai, it seems) do at the industry booths at 'cons to spark interest is to offer up for sale titles that are freshly-printed but not otherwise available anywhere yet. This year I picked up the Bodacious Space Pirates movie a month before its street date that way, and that's hardly the first time I've done something like that.
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HeeroTX



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:58 pm Reply with quote
Cutiebunny wrote:
They're also going to meet with other companies and artists to arrange future business deals. This also includes the guests. Every so often, you hear about how the staff of one anime met at a convention.

While guests do "meet" at conventions, people don't arrange "business deals" at the cons except maybe AnimeExpo (which is part of why it's the largest). There's maybe 5 other cons in the US where that'd even be "possible" (or a consideration), like Otakon, maybe Anime Boston, once upon a time, Anime Central or A-Kon. But yeah, you simply do NOT have the "important" (from a business side) people at 99% of conventions, and even the guests that are there aren't there for THAT kind of work. (promotions work, sure, but there's no major "contract signings" or "deals" going on in private rooms at anime cons)
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