Username Post: Looking for a mentor        (Topic#2908)
Soldat of Life 
Posts: 14
Soldat of Life
Loc: Quebec (Qc)
Reg: 04-05-12

05-16-13 12:01 PM - Post#12452    

Dear veteran convention runners from nearby and faraway,

I am interested to have a long distance (and occasionally meeting by going to meet you, mostly during summer time) exchange to further gain a deeper understanding about running a convention/festival.

Festival Nadeshicon 2013 just ended with a very positive outlook, more-so with the event finally breaking its first thousand festival goers for an edition (already working on 2014!). I am the co-founder of the event and have held various positions, including president, vice-president, in charge of guests and cultural activities, in charge of contacting media and many others (I'm amateurish at best, though I did get a few nice interviews with CBC Radio One). I also held just about every position the student association that helped create Nadeshicon from 2008-2011. I am also staff as guest-liaison at Otakuthon in Montreal and will be assisting Irulanne at Anime North Idol to learn more about this type of activity to create a collaboration with her at Nadeshicon. And many other things...In short, I want to know about all aspects so I don't neglect any, whatever position I will be holding.

The guests of honor of our 2013 edition, Tiffany Grant and Matt Greenfield, shared great things about Patrick D. and Anime Boston, though I am guessing that he might be overwhelmed for the time being. I can wait though if ever he is interested. In the Tales of Con Horror panel given by Matt and Tiffany, a few conventions were named, but they really liked AB. Well, AB was mentioned near the end, but only because I asked if they had positive stories to tell to make a contrast after their...goat...story...which cannot be unheard.

So what I ask is this :

Would someone be willing to share with me their vast knowledge about conventions and assist me with tips, tricks and any other means so that I can further become a good organizer of events such as yourselves?

May Japanese culture continue to flourish and create content worthy to wonder everyone, young and old.

Maxime Girard
An avid and passionate person interested to learn all about conventions, festivals and anything having to do with Japanese culture.
Nadeshicon Facebook Page

Executive Producer
Posts: 5079
Loc: California
Reg: 12-07-06

05-16-13 05:58 PM - Post#12453    
    In response to Soldat of Life

  • Soldat of Life Said:
The guests of honor of our 2013 edition, Tiffany Grant and Matt Greenfield, shared great things about Patrick D. and Anime Boston, though I am guessing that he might be overwhelmed for the time being.

Yeah, unfortunately I've got a lot of other stuff going on at the moment. However, I've shared a lot of my knowledge in our AnimeCons TV podcast. Have you checked that out yet?
-PatrickD Executive Producer
Co-Founder: Anime Boston and Providence Anime Conference
Host of The Chibi Project & Anime Unscripted™

Sacrificial White Mage
Posts: 476
Loc: New England
Reg: 03-08-09

05-16-13 10:09 PM - Post#12454    
    In response to Soldat of Life

I'm going to share some advice that I originally head from Tony Oliver, specifically relating to the entertainment industry but which I fully believe can be applied to running conventions too.

Nobody really knows what they're doing, some people just "fake it" better.

Now granted, yes, there are certain things it is advisable to do, and certain practices you really should avoid, but from the sounds of your experience you listed you're well on your way. In my experience it just takes a lot of common sense and dedication. Be polite. Don't make promises you can't keep (especially to attendees or guests!). Respond to emails in a timely fashion. Make lists/spreadsheets/etc (whatever helps keep track of everything and keep yourself orgiazed). Set deadlines and try your darnedest to stick to them. Try to delegate so you don't overload yourself. Hang on to good co-staffers because they are like gold and there aren't enough of them in the world. I'm sure I could come up with other things, but that all is a quick sample of what I've learned in 5 years either directing or assistant directing my guest relations department.

As Patrick said, we've done a few episodes about running or staffing cons before, and will likely discuss the topic in future episodes as well, so check those out keep an eye out for what's to come.

Good luck!

Soldat of Life 
Posts: 14
Soldat of Life
Loc: Quebec (Qc)
Reg: 04-05-12

05-16-13 11:33 PM - Post#12455    
    In response to Gale

@Patrick: Thanks for pointing them out to me. I will be sure to study them all and note down all I can from your words of wisdom. I hope to assimilate most of them before June 1st as that's when Nadeshicon 2013 will have it's last meeting and we set the ground work for 2014. That way I will be able to have a better view of the good, the bad and things to improve. I am definitely making it a point to try and visit Anime Boston 2014.

@Gale: Yes I have had quite a bit of experiences so far. Some good and some baaaaaaaaaaaad. But all in all, experience shapes us and shows us a tad more on how life really works...or at least how some people see how it should work. I will always keep an open mind to how things should and shouldn't be done. I hope to always listen to the point of view of others and not completely shut myself to alternatives and compromises. I was told time after time that pride can be a good thing, but also a bad thing. So far I kept my promises to the best of my knowledge (three of my volunteers adore me now that they got to hang out with our guests of honor and already can't wait for 2014 and even want to get involved in the future editions!) and as for lists, well, those I agree that there are never enough. I think someone in any organization should be a staff just to make lists constantly and forevermore. Deadlines...those vile little things are a challenge, but somehow I'm keeping at it. Though having 18 different projects can be hell sometimes. Delegating is a wonderful work in progress. Getting better at it..I think. As for co-staffers, it's not always easy to cope with a wide range of various opinions, but it is the darnedest thing I will hold dearly too. It also helps to have such people so I can practice delegating things.

@Both: As I did with over 300 anime series...or rather maybe 20ish, I shall ONE SHOT all the podcasts as much as I can, then fall dead for a bit, and then, absorb while re-watching ^^

I'm off to Anime North soon to get lots of experience there! If I don't come back, I blame the yaoi fangirls that got the better of me

Posts: 5

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Reg: 05-10-13

05-30-13 12:01 PM - Post#12483    
    In response to Soldat of Life

Hey I realize you want to learn from a person, but if you like to learn from books, AWA had a guest last year Fredrick L. Scholts (sp?)and my Admin was so excited that he was coming because it turns out he wrote a series of book about Japanese culture including one that was basiclly the blue prints to running an Anime Con. I think they are out of print but I have found some online and the author is still alive and living in California if you want to message him I know he has an active Facebook page.

Posts: 3

Loc: Alberta
Reg: 05-20-16

05-20-16 04:57 PM - Post#15019    
    In response to Soldat of Life

I don't know how much I can assist you, but if you have specific questions, feel free to message me! I can also set up something on Skype, though I admit I've been MIA from that.

What I'd suggest, in addition to what the others have said, is to also look into event management. There's tons of groups and websites about event planning, and there are people dedicated to conferences and conventions. So far, this site and my fledgling blog are the only ones I found that are specific to geek cons, but the basics of running conventions are the same, regardless of what the topic is.

Try looking in your area for an event planner's group. MPI is one that is across the world, and they may have some people who can step in as mentor. I'm assuming you're in Ontario; I know for sure there's multiple chapters of MPI there. Good luck!

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