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Otakon Vegas 2015


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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:50 pm Reply with quote
Thanks, I'm looking forward to the review of the Lantis festival in Las Vegas.
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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:59 pm Reply with quote
This story actually hit on some things I like about attending a small convention. It is a whole lot easier to actually talk to the guests when they don't have to rush out to the next thing immediately and when there aren't tons of people all trying to talk to them at once. Throw in the lack of long waits in line for most things, and it is hard for me to muster much interest in going to the big conventions.

The biggest downside tends to be availability of big name guests since many get invited to bigger and much closer conventions, so I'm a bit jealous of Otakon Vegas on that point.
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invalidname
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:21 pm Reply with quote
Greed1914 wrote:
The biggest downside tends to be availability of big name guests since many get invited to bigger and much closer conventions, so I'm a bit jealous of Otakon Vegas on that point.

It's great that Otakon Vegas is enjoying some early success and is willing and able to grow slowly, but I wonder if it isn't burning some of the larger cons to see OV getting industry love that they are not. To wit, I saw (and joined) the grousing on Funimation's 2015 con schedule, where Youmacon is getting skipped again this year, despite being #11 by attendance (16,000) on the animecons.com list. Crunchyroll also didn't have an industry panel at Youmacon last year, so the thought that both these companies are available to a con about 1/8 the size does rankle a little. But I guess that's the other cons' problems to solve, isn't it?
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jvowles
Otakon Representative


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:45 pm Reply with quote
Otakon Vegas definitely has the power of our brand, but it's also benefiting from timing and location. On the Japanese side, it's a plus for certain and was a factor in the guests we were able to pull.

In fact, many staffers from back east are able to come primarily because of those factors, and I don't doubt it was a major plus for our industry friends.
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ANN_Bamboo
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:53 pm Reply with quote
I guess if I was a Japanese guest, I'd rather fly to Las Vegas for a business trip than Detroit.

I'm not saying that to poop on Detroit, but LV does have the benefit of being a world-renowned tourist destination, whether that's deserved or not. The actual city is kind of trashy and ludicrously expensive and filled with terrible tourists BUT the spectacle is one-of-a-kind.

I think that alone makes it tempting for a lot of guests, especially foreigners, to say, "Hmmmmmmm let's go to Las Vegas for 'work'." I mean, if you're Lantis, you're also thinking, "Sweet, I can put the Las Vegas Hard Rock Cafe on our "world tour" list."

I don't know that that same logic applies to domestic industry folk, though. I don't know what their criteria is for the shows they pick.
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Zac
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:04 pm Reply with quote
Is there confusion about that? Otakon is the second largest convention in the country with decades-long ties to the entire industry. They use those resources to help launch their spinoff event, so you see major industry showing up. Youmacon doesn't have those connections, obviously, and timing is also important - it looks like Youmacon is late enough in the year, outside of the usual con season, to the point where most of these places are already working on the next year's stuff and the time for announcements/promotion at cons is over.

The latest they go in the year is early October and that's NYCC, which is bigger attendance-wise than San Diego so they have to attend. If it didn't exist I'd imagine mid-september would be the cutoff.

EDIT: Bamboo's point is also extremely relevant.

The Japanese love the French. You wanna be jealous, look at the guests who show up to French conventions. We don't get half of those guys.

EDIT2: you probably didn't need three people replying to this
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varmintx



Joined: 31 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:11 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:

EDIT2: you probably didn't need three people replying to this
lol...that's the kind of edit I like to make.

I must be really out of it as far as what's popular these days because, besides the Sailor Moon ones, I pretty much didn't recognize any of the cosplayers' costumes.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:15 pm Reply with quote
invalidname wrote:

Funimation's 2015 con schedule, where Youmacon is getting skipped again this year,


Heck look Funimation is going to Boston twice in a month
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:45 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
...Sushio to sketch a special Otakon Vegas Gurren Lagann illustration which would later be sold for charity.


Yes, I was present when management (and I can specify exactly who said it) said that the reason they were doing it was because they felt that it would sell for more at Otakon. Considering that several collectors, myself included, all of whom have dropped thousands of dollars on one sketch at charity auctions at anime cons throughout the country, were present, I found this incredibly insulting. I know, for a fact, after speaking to those collectors, those sketches would have cleared a couple grand. Each. Perhaps we should call it what it is; The people you knew who wanted the sketch weren't present, and thus you decided to save the sketch for Otakon. Though, I guess I should now thank you because, without your charity auction, I now have funds to spend at other conventions where my contribution will not be insulted.

Otakon Vegas was a bad convention because of Aniplex being Aniplex. Aniplex controlled SUSHIO to the point that he not only couldn't sign a second item nor sketch despite having half an hour left in his autograph session. Everyone I spoke to, which was a good chunk of that line and all your charity auction high rollers, said they wouldn't return until your animation guest wasn't sponsored by Aniplex. So maybe that should be some food for thought should OV return in 2016.

I agree with the point regarding small cons and are a large reason why I attend them (also no 4 hour registration lines). However, this is not one small con I would recommend. YaoiCon, PMX and even Animazement are all smaller cons that I would recommend over OV any day.

Had it not been for the Elton John concert I attended at Caesar's, the weekend would have been a waste. The LANTIS concert was also good, though I didn't enjoy the mile walk or $6.80 one way cab fare just to the location from Planet Hollywood. I also didn't like that, if you purchased your tickets ahead of time, you had to pick them up at Hard Rock Hotel, whereas, if you bought them at the con, you could pick them up at OV. Several of us commented how it felt like we were being punished for planning and purchasing ahead.
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ANN_Bamboo
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:05 pm Reply with quote
Cutiebunny wrote:

Otakon Vegas was a bad convention because of Aniplex being Aniplex. Aniplex controlled SUSHIO to the point that he not only couldn't sign a second item nor sketch despite having half an hour left in his autograph session.


To be fair, the OV autograph policy states up front that attendees are limited to one item, and cannot ask for sketches.

Quote:
I also didn't like that, if you purchased your tickets ahead of time, you had to pick them up at Hard Rock Hotel, whereas, if you bought them at the con, you could pick them up at OV. Several of us commented how it felt like we were being punished for planning and purchasing ahead.


Hm, this I didn't know. I assumed that AXS, the third-party ticketing company in charge of the tickets, had a mail option, in addition to their Will Call option. Was it Will Call-only? If that is the case, that's something I'd pin on AXS or the venue itself, since they are the ones that dictate pre-sale ticket delivery options. I assume (I don't know this for sure) that Lantis just bought/reserved a fat stack of tickets to sell on-site at Otakon Vegas for additional exposure.
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:21 pm Reply with quote
ANN_Bamboo wrote:
To be fair, the OV autograph policy states up front that attendees are limited to one item, and cannot ask for sketches.


Except that it's never universally applied. I had no problem grabbing multiple autographs from Furukawa this year. And at Otakon last year, Kozaki sketched on the final day.

No, this is Aniplex being Aniplex. With the exception of SakuraCon, any guests brought over by Aniplex are controlled by Aniplex to the point that all they can really do is sign their name. It's for this reason that I refuse to buy merchandise from Aniplex. I can't support the way they treat their guests and the fans.

Quote:
Hm, this I didn't know. I assumed that AXS, the third-party ticketing company in charge of the tickets, had a mail option, in addition to their Will Call option. Was it Will Call-only? If that is the case, that's something I'd pin on AXS or the venue itself, since they are the ones that dictate pre-sale ticket delivery options. I assume (I don't know this for sure) that Lantis just bought/reserved a fat stack of tickets to sell on-site at Otakon Vegas for additional exposure.


It was Will Call only. It would have been nice if LANTIS had stated that you'd have the option of picking up your tickets at the con. Or, what they could have done was to specify that, if you bought your tickets at the con, you'd pick them up there, and if you bout them ahead of time, you'd pick them up at Hard Rock. It was sort of confusing because it was never stated, and you couldn't exactly assume that neither event was affiliated with the other due to their promotions.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:34 pm Reply with quote
No convention is perfect. I would love to try it out for the reasons Bamboo stated. With me being on the East Coast though, doesn't make it cost effective.
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invalidname
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:57 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
EDIT2: you probably didn't need three people replying to this

Ya think?

This did lead me to one thought about the nature of cons, and Otakon Vegas' perhaps peculiar role to play in the future. Every con is a mix of locals and travelers. Younger attendees, without the means to pay a lot for travel or hotel rooms, are going to tend to go to whatever con's closest to them, usually on a day-by-day basis. Get a little older and now fans can take a couple days off work and pay for a hotel room… and maybe the pricier merch in the dealer room.

Different cons have different mixes of locals and travelers. I've always thought of Anime Weekend Atlanta as being mostly locals, just because there aren't a lot of convenient hotels in the area (just the con hotel, and another across Cobb Pkwy, connected by sky bridge). OTOH, Anime Central has so many hotel rooms on site, all sold out, that I get the feeling most of the midwest fandom is there, albeit alongside lots of Chicagoland peeps.

With Vegas' desirability as a travel destination, it could be that the character of Otakon Vegas will be as a mostly traveler-attended con, perhaps more so than any other US con. There aren't that many locals (Las Vegas is only the 31st biggest metro area in the US, behind Kansas City and ahead of Columbus), so maybe a lot of those 2,000 attendees are people from around the country with the means to take a few days in Vegas.

If so, that's interesting because those fans might well also be the influencers and the whales — the people who buy a lot of stuff, who blog / podcast / livestream about anime, etc. Which in turn would explain and justify the outsize influence of the event (above and beyond the fact that, duh, it's from the organizers of North America's second-biggest con). Maybe it's more worth everyone's time to be at this particular con, just because of the nature of who else can or would be there.
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Tempest
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:39 am Reply with quote
Cutiebunny wrote:
It's for this reason that I refuse to buy merchandise from Aniplex. I can't support the way they treat their guests and the fans.


You're confounding "the way they treat" with "the way they protect." This is actually done for the benefit of the guest. "Oh hey look, everyone got an autograph or sketch, you can relax now."

You also need to be aware that when guests want to say "No" to fans, they count on their handlers (in this case Aniplex, in other cases the GR staff) to do it for them. I can't tell you how many stories I've heard where the GR staff have made the mistake of asking the guest something along the lines of "are you willing to make an exception for this guy?" or "Can you do more autographs or do you want to stop?" The guest will almost always say yes to those questions when they are asked in front of the fans, or by fans. Not because they want to, but because it looks bad for them to refuse the fan. It's the handler's responsibility to say "No," before the guest has to say "Yes." In other words, it's the handler's job to be the bad guy for the benefit of the guest.

When the guests want to say "Yes," or when they want to do more autographs, they will overule their handlers. I've also seen that happen many times.

In short, if the handlers say "No," and the guest says nothing, it means the handlers are probably doing exactly what the guest wants them to do (some guests are too shy to overrule their handlers...).

So anyways, you might be unhappy with the way they treat fans, and you have every right to express your misgivings about the way you are treated by a company (especially if you are a customer of that company). But the way they treat their guests is, "pretty damn good."

-t


Last edited by Tempest on Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:48 am; edited 2 times in total
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Tempest
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:45 am Reply with quote
Cutiebunny wrote:
Yes, I was present when management (and I can specify exactly who said it) said that the reason they were doing it was because they felt that it would sell for more at Otakon.


Can't say I agree with this decision. True that the odds are it should sell for more at an auction where there are more buyers present. However Sushio was at OV, and the sketch is a piece of the OV "story." IMHO, it would have been a cooler, more complete story if the piece went to auction at OV. Particularly since, as you said, many people traveled to OV to see Sushio, and those fans deserved an opportunity to bid on the sketch.

-t
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