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Answerman - Is There A Future For "Spinoff" Anime Conventions?


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Amara Tenoh



Joined: 22 Mar 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:05 pm Reply with quote
Yet another great article! Thanks Justin.
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Mr. Oshawott



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:30 pm Reply with quote
With so many conventions running, I never hear news of a "spin-off" convention opening up or shutting down.
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Brand



Joined: 30 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:14 pm Reply with quote
The only cons I can think of that have done well with spin-off conventions are non-anime ones like PAX and Comic Con but even then there is a limit to it. There are so many anime conventions it isn't even funny. Even where I am at which is an hour and half out side a major city there seems to be a ton of small time anime cons going on at local colleges or small hotels.

And anime cons even have to compete with non-anime cons like PAXEast where I know it and Anime Boston have been the same weekend.
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KamikazeJawa



Joined: 21 Apr 2015
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Location: The land of the Asian-Americans
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:40 pm Reply with quote
Dang so its confirmed that Anime Conji is done for good? Just my luck, I find out there's a relatively big anime convention in my hometown(location on my profile is about where I go to college) and it gets cancelled before I can go. God I hope Comic-Con doesn't freaking move...
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NeoStrayCat



Joined: 14 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:07 pm Reply with quote
KamikazeJawa wrote:
Dang so its confirmed that Anime Conji is done for good?

Unsure, but I wouldn't doubt the possibility that its gone forever. Though on their official site, it mentions this one single line..."Anime Conji will have to take a small break."

Though I can't really tell how small (or long) that break would be, but then again, it could be the complete opposite. >.>

But yeah, handing spin-off cons can break it to the limit. Logistics and all.
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Zin5ki



Joined: 06 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:37 pm Reply with quote
It might be of some merit for me to mention this. The nearest event Britain has to an American-style anime convention, the MCM Comic-Con, has recently held a large number of 'spinoff' events from its biannual London attraction in smaller conurbations. Whilst the business in question is only partially dedicated to anime, the fact that iterations of the event are occurring in neighbouring cities such as Manchester and Liverpool befits a comparison to similar phenomena in North America. It will be intriguing to see if similar results arise.
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Leenachan





PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:52 pm Reply with quote
KamikazeJawa wrote:
I find out there's a relatively big anime convention in my hometown(location on my profile is about where I go to college) and it gets cancelled before I can go. .


There is still Hanadoki con which had it's 2nd con just a couple of weeks ago, which drew around 1,500 over three days. Local con run by local people ( who have experience helping run other cons ). Had a great time there and will definitely be back there next year. ( April 14th - 16th 2017 )

On a side note the SPJA did not start Conji. They had nothing to do with it for the first 3 years ( the good years ). They bought Conji after the third year and started running things the fourth year which was the most poorly run con I have ever been too and guaranteed that I would never return.

Another con that is close-ish to San Diego is Anime LA. Now that they don't have an attendance cap ( having moved out of the LAX Marriott ). They went from about 4,000 in 2015 to 8,000 attendees this year. I expect it to grow again next year. Which is cool as this has been one of my favorite cons for the last 12 years.
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Joe Mello



Joined: 31 May 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:44 pm Reply with quote
The rumor I had heard was that Otakon Vegas was created because the not-for-profit Otakorp had made too much profit and it had to go somewhere.

Also, there are plenty of organizations that run multiple shows per year. Sac-Anime has been semi-annual for a while now, just to name one.
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AnimeLordLuis



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:04 am Reply with quote
With the Huge amount of Anime conventions already established its no wonder why these new spin off ones don't last that long. Confused
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Dessa



Joined: 14 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:03 am Reply with quote
Personally, I think there's a couple of other factors that need to be looked at as well.

1) How exactly are we defining "spin-off"? If we're using the usual definition in TV shows and the like, we're talking staff (current and/or former) who have left or stepped back from a convention to run another one. In that sense, Kumoricon could be seen as a "spin-off" of Sakura-Con, and it's in it's 14th year this year. There's a difference (IMO) between a "spin-off" and simply a convention deciding to run a second event.

2) Are the staff the same, or separate? A convention is a huge undertaking. If the same people are trying to do the same jobs for two separate events, it would be expected that their performance at one (or both) would suffer. If the secondary event doesn't have it's own dedicated staff for at least the upper levels of management, it probably won't work for long.
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invalidname
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:57 am Reply with quote
Joe Mello wrote:
The rumor I had heard was that Otakon Vegas was created because the not-for-profit Otakorp had made too much profit and it had to go somewhere.

Why traffic in rumors? ANNCast interviewed the Otakon organizers about Otakon Vegas shortly after it was announced in 2013. IIRC, the con largely came about because the Las Vegas tourism bureau had reached out to Otakon about doing a new con out West.
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:33 am Reply with quote
Another good reason why a convention trying to establish itself doesn't succeed depends on how quick they are to tick off the those in attendance who have money.

Woe to the convention that manages to piss off the sketch collectors, especially if that convention prides itself on how much money its charity auction raises. SakuraCon is learning that lesson the hard way right now with the "mysterious" disappearance of Ayumi Yamada sketches that she donated (as her tweet indicates) and that, in all likelihood, were either scooped up by her sponsor, Funimation, or higher up SakuraCon staff for their glory wall. Japan Expo USA had a similar problem; there were people in attendance that I personally know who spend thousands of dollars on original signed artwork and none too pleased when JX staff announced that all the artwork, including the Evangelion San Francisco themed sketch, was all going to France. Otakon Vegas, by partnering with Aniplex in 2015 to bring Sushio over, managed to draw the ire of the sketch collector community and none of them returned to the 2016 event.

The biggest obstacle, IMO, to any convention not only trying to establish itself is how closely it chooses to align itself to industry. Most of the people with money know that if Aniplex brings an art guest, nothing will be up for grabs. With the disappearance of Yamada's artwork and the clampdown of convention sketches, Funimation is heading down that dark path. If a convention wants to establish itself, instead of depending on the industry to do the footwork of bringing in a guest, go back to the ol' school roots and have staff do it themselves. With Twitter, it's now easier than ever to bring in animation guests. If funds are needed, approach your attendees, especially those with funds, and work with them. I guarantee you that if conventions started treating those that are spending thousands of dollars on charity auction items as an asset, a good partnership not only benefiting both parties but the rest of the attendees could be formed. However, as long as conventions are being sponsored and controlled by the industry, those with cash to spare on pricey artwork are going to be continually treated as the disease that the industry believes we are.
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VinceA
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:15 am Reply with quote
Hadn't heard about those incidents but they're pretty deplorable, if true.

I don't think we've ever scooped up sketches meant for a charity or specifically for an attendee at the event I work at. We bring guests over mostly through our own means & negotiation so we're not beholden to publishers. I definitely don't see collectors as a disease but I don't want to have to go directly to the attendee base for cash to bring people over from Japan.
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DerekL1963
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:27 am Reply with quote
Cutiebunny wrote:
Another good reason why a convention trying to establish itself doesn't succeed depends on how quick they are to tick off the those in attendance who have money.

Woe to the convention that manages to piss off the sketch collectors


Ah, the hoary old "if they don't treat my very specific and narrow interest with respect they'll fail" claim. I knew it had to show up sooner or later, it always does. And they're never right.

The specific con you're throwing mud at has over 20,000 attendees - maybe (and being very generous) a couple of hundred of which will actually spend "thousands of dollars". If they fail to show up, their absence will not be noticed. If the charity auction doesn't make gangbuster numbers, none but a tiny fraction of the attendees will notice or care.
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:50 am Reply with quote
Derek, the comment was directed more to the conventions, like JX, that were attempting to establish themselves. No one thinks that SakuraCon is going anywhere anytime soon. But for a convention that prides itself on how much money its raised for Make-A-Wish, it is quite devastating to see that shenanigans from either Yamada's sponsor, Funimation, or SakuraCon staff, have exposed the ugly underbelly of a lot of what goes on behind closed doors at many cons (Looking at you, Anime Expo. I'd still like to know what happened to that Noizi Ito Haruhi sketch that you were supposed to have auctioned in 2013).

BTW, sketch collectors are different from your average fan. They can and in many cases, have, spent thousands of dollars on one sketch alone, and they'll do this at several cons per year every year. They're very different from the fans that you refer to, the ones that spend maybe a couple hundred dollars on anime and/or manga per year.


VinceA wrote:
I definitely don't see collectors as a disease but I don't want to have to go directly to the attendee base for cash to bring people over from Japan.


Why not?

I'm not saying that you should look at a handful of attendees to fund every guest. But what I'm saying is that instead of a convention constantly looking at industry to provide the funds and resources to bring a guest over, funds from your more well-healed attendees would also be a good alternative. There are collectors out there that would be willing to pony up thousands of dollars for even a not-hugely-famous guest. And in return, the convention would have more control over the guest instead of the hands-off approach that companies like Aniplex are famous for employing.
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