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Add a Maid Cafe ^as said above

#31 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 03:59 PM

If I may add my 2¢ on this, playing games with the 'customers' appears to be a popular idea, but the biggest stumbling block has always been the food and beverage issue.

Why not just forego the cafe part, and have a Maid & Butler gaming event? There's usually some open space somewhere in the Exhibit Hall, and if people want to eat or drink while they're gaming, they can bring their own from the Stephens' snack bar.

It's too late to work something up for this year, but if the EH and Tabletop Gaming can get together and work something out for 2013, a Maid & Butler event could actually be doable.
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#32 User is offline   code2destroy 

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 05:06 PM

Oh I never thought of foolish people wiping their hands on chairs...

We were thinking age limit only for volunteers. Even though we aren't held responsible for the youngins when around adults, I wouldn't want to encourage pedophiles calling up the 13 year olds. Run Jimmy Run! :zombie: But I also don't think a 13 would be at acen w/o adult super vision. I suppose it'd also be awkward for a young guest to want a "Carmen 99" cosplayer to sit with them, only to find it's a 80 year old who's got a thing for young boys :eek:

But of course, who ever is running it will likely want pictures of their volunteers before hand, so they can pic and choose then who they think would be most entertaining for the guest. Some 80 year olds are a hoot!

C2Q's reference to AX's foodless cafe was excellent. I'm convinced as well that, if people want to eat at our "cafe", they can bring their own snacks. Heck, I bring snacks to acen anyway ^^. I suppose if a volunteer wants to bring some of their snacks, just as they would bring their own talent, that's up to them. I'm always conscious about food allergies so if I were to bake cookies, I wouldn't do anything with nuts (most people who have an allergy is usually allergic to nuts or chocolate). Sugar or butter cookies tend to be a safe bet. Again, guests could bring their own food and if they're vegan or hyper-allergic, they tend to do so anyway (i have a friend allergic to gluetin, cinnamon, nuts, and just about everything else delicious u_u).

I agree Smokey, we'd have to rework the title a bit so people who don't know what's going on won't get confused. But I wouldn't want to make it specifically games. More like a social thing (think Geisha service). If a volunteer has talent they'd like to use to entertain the guest, they're more than welcome to. It'd be up to the guests if they wanna play a game.

Use of the convention center would be convenient for all, and it's open so even those who haven't browsed these lovely forums will look and see and want to know what's going on. That's how we could increase participation for the next time. But, the location isn't as pretty...it'd need a little decorating. Also, it can be rather loud if it's too close to the lines or the shops. Hard to socialize among a dull roar. I think an event like this is gonna take a couple of tries in different places to figure out what's the best set up.

There is a website that sells anime based rpg board game...I got their flyer last acen. If only I can remember what they're called...I wonder if they'd participate or even sponsor some of our activities? It'd be good advertisement for them. If people can test the game and like it enough, they may buy them ^^. Worked for the Death Note mafia game.

I love all these inputs :0: I hope things can get organized for 2013. Can't wait to see how it'd turn out.

#33 User is offline   Voltaire30 

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:27 PM

While reading my post, please keep in mind that I enjoy Maid / Butler Cafe's. I have been to a number of them, and I have nothing against them. That being said, staffers have to balance our enjoyment on something with it's viability in the convention, both from an attendee / staff enjoyment level and contractual obligations. While we are the third largest anime convention in north america (AX and Ota being larger) we still have certain obligations we need to be aware of. May I suggest to the global mods that this topic be moved either to the panels section, as it would either be a panel, or have it moved to The Meeting Room, as it would be strictly a gathering nothing more regarding ACen's involvement.

View PostSmokey, on 10 January 2012 - 03:59 PM, said:

... playing games with the 'customers' appears to be a popular idea, but the biggest stumbling block has always been the food and beverage issue.

Why not just forego the cafe part, and have a Maid & Butler gaming event? There's usually some open space somewhere in the Exhibit Hall, and if people want to eat or drink while they're gaming, they can bring their own from the Stephens' snack bar.


This could work, but last time we had something to this effect in the hall, it was extremely detrimental to our ability in bringing Industry and other larger type booths and displays. This idea would work only if it was just a sitting area with a few tables, as to decrease the departmental bureaucracy of making an event happen.

View Postcode2destroy, on 10 January 2012 - 05:06 PM, said:

...
We were thinking age limit only for volunteers. Even though we aren't held responsible for the youngins when around adults, I wouldn't want to encourage pedophiles calling up the 13 year olds. Run Jimmy Run! :zombie: But I also don't think a 13 would be at acen w/o adult super vision. I suppose it'd also be awkward for a young guest to want a "Carmen 99" cosplayer to sit with them, only to find it's a 80 year old who's got a thing for young boys :eek:
...



This is age discrimination plain and simple. I know it isn't the intent, but that is what this is, unless there is actual legal standing against the individual. I suggest all discussion on age restrictions cease due to it's fundamental nature of infringing on the rights of others. Which isn't within our forum guidelines. This isn't a reprimand, or anything like that, this is just a strong suggestion, that I would recommend is heeded.

View Postcode2destroy, on 10 January 2012 - 05:06 PM, said:

C2Q's reference to AX's foodless cafe was excellent. I'm convinced as well that, if people want to eat at our "cafe", they can bring their own snacks. Heck, I bring snacks to acen anyway ^^. I suppose if a volunteer wants to bring some of their snacks, just as they would bring their own talent, that's up to them. I'm always conscious about food allergies so if I were to bake cookies, I wouldn't do anything with nuts (most people who have an allergy is usually allergic to nuts or chocolate). Sugar or butter cookies tend to be a safe bet. Again, guests could bring their own food and if they're vegan or hyper-allergic, they tend to do so anyway (i have a friend allergic to gluetin, cinnamon, nuts, and just about everything else delicious u_u).


Regardless of if it is a good idea or not, there are things to consider. This main idea is being proposed as an event at ACen, during ACen, for ACen, and sponsored by ACen, therefore it would be required to follow all of the contractual obligations of ACen. This means NO FOOD unless it is provided by the building's caterer. I know people bring food with them anyway, but there are things that you need to consider, you are not allowed to bring in your own food for other's consumption. That is grounds for ejection from the establishment, not by ACen, but from the establishment.

View Postcode2destroy, on 10 January 2012 - 05:06 PM, said:

... convention center ...


There are other rules that also apply to an event in this area. To put it plain and simple, it would only be chairs, a few tables, and that is it. It would fall under a gathering type activity, which is not regulated by ACen so it would need to be discussed in the Meeting Room place of our department.

View Postcode2destroy, on 10 January 2012 - 05:06 PM, said:

I love all these inputs :0: I hope things can get organized for 2013. Can't wait to see how it'd turn out.


Now I am not saying it won't happen or can't happen, but I am saying that there are internal issues to consider, and actual numbers that need to be crunched. These types of discussions are helpful, but ideally we would either require more attendee's, or raise the badge price, or sell tickets at a very high cost but have to scrap the entire idea/event if enough were not purchased. I anticipate that starting from the basics will be more productive in moving forward if it would be possible.


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#34 User is offline   code2destroy 

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:26 PM

"starting from basics"... ^_^

Yes perhaps that is best. In that case, what are some good basics to implement to get this idea off the ground?

As for attendee count, publicity and accessibility would be vital to getting numbers up. Of course, those two matters have so many factors it can make the task seem dizzying :wacko: .

I wouldn't want to raise con badge prices...and definitely wouldn't want the establishment to kick us. Ooooh why do they have to be such money grubby stinkers?

I appreciate all the DH input. It's really helping me see (and appreciate) all the work it takes to make Acen a success :clap:

Perhaps there should be a vote somewhere about ticket prices so we can get an idea of how much people would be willing to pay for a foodless cafe. And a vote on possible locations...where would a post like that go?

#35 User is offline   Voltaire30 

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:30 PM

View Postcode2destroy, on 10 January 2012 - 10:26 PM, said:

"starting from basics"... ^_^

Yes perhaps that is best. In that case, what are some good basics to implement to get this idea off the ground?

As for attendee count, publicity and accessibility would be vital to getting numbers up. Of course, those two matters have so many factors it can make the task seem dizzying :wacko: .

I wouldn't want to raise con badge prices...and definitely wouldn't want the establishment to kick us. Ooooh why do they have to be such money grubby stinkers?

I appreciate all the DH input. It's really helping me see (and appreciate) all the work it takes to make Acen a success :clap:

Perhaps there should be a vote somewhere about ticket prices so we can get an idea of how much people would be willing to pay for a foodless cafe. And a vote on possible locations...where would a post like that go?


My bad. I meant tickets for a food cafe. If it were foodless, tickets may not be necessary. We entertained a relaxation area last year, and it seemed to go over very well. So something similar could work for something like this.
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#36 User is offline   code2destroy 

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:35 PM

View PostVoltaire30, on 10 January 2012 - 10:30 PM, said:

My bad. I meant tickets for a food cafe. If it were foodless, tickets may not be necessary. We entertained a relaxation area last year, and it seemed to go over very well. So something similar could work for something like this.


A relaxation area? At the risk of getting off-topic, do tell me more!

#37 User is offline   Krystal 

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 11:30 PM

View PostVoltaire30, on 10 January 2012 - 06:27 PM, said:




This is age discrimination plain and simple. I know it isn't the intent, but that is what this is, unless there is actual legal standing against the individual. I suggest all discussion on age restrictions cease due to it's fundamental nature of infringing on the rights of others. Which isn't within our forum guidelines. This isn't a reprimand, or anything like that, this is just a strong suggestion, that I would recommend is heeded.






Hold up, I'm confused. Are you saying that it is age discrimination not to let the 13 year old work the maid cafe, or the 80 year old? I agree with you if you think that a maximum age is rude, but a minimum age? Don't volunteers have to be 16 anyways? I do believe that putting a 13 year old as a maid in a maid cafe (which, I'm sorry to be vulgar, is highly fetishized in the anime world), is a little bit of a bad idea. I'm just trying to make sure I understand you, mostly because I'm stupid and really bad at following things.
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#38 User is offline   Smokey 

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 02:11 AM

View Postcode2destroy, on 10 January 2012 - 05:06 PM, said:

I agree Smokey, we'd have to rework the title a bit so people who don't know what's going on won't get confused. But I wouldn't want to make it specifically games. More like a social thing (think Geisha service). If a volunteer has talent they'd like to use to entertain the guest, they're more than welcome to. It'd be up to the guests if they wanna play a game.


That's basically what I was thinking, the whole Maid Cafe experience without the Cafe part. It would just be socializing while playing rather than snacking. Of course, it wouldn't take much more than adding extra tables and chairs to any extra space near the snack bars, That way you can have maids, butlers, gaming, snacking and socializing and make everyone happy, including the Stephens. They'd probably even want to set up their ice cream machine there too. It doesn't have to be a whole banquet room's worth of furniture, just maybe a few banquet tables and sufficient chairs to seat 2 - 3 pairs/groups at each table, plus the existing tables. Keep it small at first, see how well received it is, if anything inappropriate happens or if ridiculously long lines form. If it all goes well, then something bigger could be planned for next year.
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#39 User is offline   code2destroy 

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 11:51 AM

View PostSmokey, on 12 January 2012 - 02:11 AM, said:

That's basically what I was thinking, the whole Maid Cafe experience without the Cafe part. It would just be socializing while playing rather than snacking. Of course, it wouldn't take much more than adding extra tables and chairs to any extra space near the snack bars, That way you can have maids, butlers, gaming, snacking and socializing and make everyone happy, including the Stephens. They'd probably even want to set up their ice cream machine there too. It doesn't have to be a whole banquet room's worth of furniture, just maybe a few banquet tables and sufficient chairs to seat 2 - 3 pairs/groups at each table, plus the existing tables. Keep it small at first, see how well received it is, if anything inappropriate happens or if ridiculously long lines form. If it all goes well, then something bigger could be planned for next year.


ahhh :happydance: the snack area in the convention center...that would be a good start for the first maid cafe if we can't find a space for the program in 2013. Since it'd be a gathering, volunteers could all stand near the concession stand (with the approval of the center) and serve the guests their hot dogs and icecream and show their talents. All we'd really need to do is maybe bring in more seating (or better seating) and if they approve, arrange the chairs in that open square. That'd attract attention to the concession stand (which I can't see why they'd dislike it) and our guests could have legal food and entertainment. Sure the area isn't as pretty as a restaurant or a room, but it'd be a start. The snack bar is also nicely out of the way of the shopping area so it doesn't get standing crowds. And is usually near the dealers room which is not as noisy, so music could be heard. We'll need to see if there's an outlet nearby as well for plugging in the radio, unless someone's got enough battery power.

excellent suggestion smokes :thumbup: perhaps this is what others were hinting at as well and I simply was not getting it through my noggin'

BTW, Gozer Games (the one who does Collateral Damage, an anime board game and has a booth at the con) said that if we do it in 2013, he'd be happy to help out. He didn't specify how, but I told him that if we get approved, I'll let him know and we can figure something out. They'll be there this year with their games so if you wanna check em out ahead of time, stop by. Show them some support and maybe they'll donate some games for us to use :pirate2:

This post has been edited by code2destroy: 12 January 2012 - 11:53 AM


#40 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 03:21 PM

View PostKrystal, on 11 January 2012 - 11:30 PM, said:

Hold up, I'm confused. Are you saying that it is age discrimination not to let the 13 year old work the maid cafe, or the 80 year old? I agree with you if you think that a maximum age is rude, but a minimum age? Don't volunteers have to be 16 anyways? I do believe that putting a 13 year old as a maid in a maid cafe (which, I'm sorry to be vulgar, is highly fetishized in the anime world), is a little bit of a bad idea. I'm just trying to make sure I understand you, mostly because I'm stupid and really bad at following things.


He is saying the maximum age is discrimination. It's understandable to have a minimum age where appropriate, I would go with 16 personally if they are not convention staff, if they are convention staff they need to be 18 to work for ACen. He and I had a discussion about it.
Also little side note - The volunteer age was raised to 18 this year. Staff have always had to be 18.
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#41 User is offline   code2destroy 

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 06:12 PM

Hey bloo, what do you mean by if they are convention staff? I wanna make sure we wouldn't break any ground rules. You mean if they are already volunteering for something else?

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:54 PM

View PostBloo09, on 12 January 2012 - 03:21 PM, said:

He is saying the maximum age is discrimination. It's understandable to have a minimum age where appropriate, I would go with 16 personally if they are not convention staff, if they are convention staff they need to be 18 to work for ACen. He and I had a discussion about it.
Also little side note - The volunteer age was raised to 18 this year. Staff have always had to be 18.


My mistake on the staff age. But I THOUGHT that was what he was saying, but like I said:

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 10:20 PM

I'm saying if this is run by ACen IF it happens, then that would be the case. And if it is just a "gathering" then we would probably suggest 16+. But it all depends on agreements, if it happens next year, etc. Do not take anything I say as "it's going to happen", just if it happens.
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#44 User is offline   code2destroy 

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:36 PM

Well I got an "ok" from Rosemont's Director of catering, Mary Jaburek about using the area around the Snack Bar. She seems interested in the whole idea as well :3.

At the moment, it would be free. The food would come from the snack bar. The volunteers would be able to serve that food. And entertainment may be available in various forms depending on the volunteer. Only issue I can think of at the moment is crowding the area with a line. To fix that, I propose we accept new customers until seating is full (whether the customer of the snack bar wants to participate in the cafe or not). As far as seating for our volunteers, we'll be on our feet unless customers are sparse and there are seats open for us. All i can think is bring a chair for yourself if it's an issue (perhaps I can haul one or two over).

So, how do we go about getting this through the Acen Lords? :unsure:

2012 Advertising. If it is approved next year before 2012's con rolls around, I'd like to get a "Cosplay Cafe Coming Soon" sign posted in the area...maybe even in the brochure. Who do I contact about that if things are approved?

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:20 AM

View Postcode2destroy, on 26 January 2012 - 10:36 PM, said:

Well I got an "ok" from Rosemont's Director of catering, Mary Jaburek about using the area around the Snack Bar. She seems interested in the whole idea as well :3.

At the moment, it would be free. The food would come from the snack bar. The volunteers would be able to serve that food. And entertainment may be available in various forms depending on the volunteer. Only issue I can think of at the moment is crowding the area with a line. To fix that, I propose we accept new customers until seating is full (whether the customer of the snack bar wants to participate in the cafe or not). As far as seating for our volunteers, we'll be on our feet unless customers are sparse and there are seats open for us. All i can think is bring a chair for yourself if it's an issue (perhaps I can haul one or two over).

So, how do we go about getting this through the Acen Lords? :unsure:

2012 Advertising. If it is approved next year before 2012's con rolls around, I'd like to get a "Cosplay Cafe Coming Soon" sign posted in the area...maybe even in the brochure. Who do I contact about that if things are approved?


While I appreciate that you are extremely motivated to make this a reality, it is not appropriate to contact the venues we have contracts with, on behalf of Anime Central Programming or Events. Please refrain from doing this in the future, as this causes more problems for us and our venues than it solves. This causes confusion for all parties involved. The maid cafe will not happen this year. I personally find maid cafe's interesting, but it is not a viable option for this year. If you would like to continue brain storming, that is fine, but jumping the gun and undermining our good relationships with our venues is inappropriate. We rent all of the function space that ACen is held in, and there are many things that need to be taken into account before something like this is even proposed. If you have any further questions about this, please email me.
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#46 User is offline   KungPowKirby 

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 07:43 AM

I might make a suggestion. Slow down and breath.

While its great that you are so gung ho about this (I can be the same way to a degree), you need to realize several people have said that its not feasible this year. I do not know what has been done, so do not take this as fact, but I would think the layout for the convention space has been set, so just finding room might be hard at this point. I did event planning and catering for several years professionally and believe me, its not as simple as you might think. Remember that just by having them serve the food there could be health and safety codes to take into consideration. Rental and/or purchase of chairs tables. Would there be themes and or decorations and how would those be paid for. These are just a trickle of the things that go into this kind of thing. Brainstorming ideas and suggestions is good, but none of these things can be decided before acen decides to hold the event and put a group together to do it.

I suggest continue brainstorming, maybe even meet up with some people who are interested in proposing this. after this convention is over, come up with a proposal and a letter stating the reasons you believe acen should have a maid cafe. send it to whoever makes this decision (I'm not even sure who that'd be) and let them see if it can happen. Understand that it may not happen right away, but perhaps it will put the seed in there to make it possible down the road.

These are just my thoughts on the matter, speaking as me and not staff.
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Posted 27 January 2012 - 09:02 AM

View Postcode2destroy, on 26 January 2012 - 10:36 PM, said:

Well I got an "ok" from Rosemont's Director of catering, Mary Jaburek about using the area around the Snack Bar. She seems interested in the whole idea as well :3.

...........

So, how do we go about getting this through the Acen Lords? :unsure:


Good morning. While this idea may be cool, you have gone about it wrong. You have contacted the Director of Catering for the venue that ACen, and MAPS are contracted with. It is my job to handle any and all contract negotiations that will directly affect the convention center, hotels, ACen, and MAPS in regards to the 2012 convention year. At this time, no maid cafe, or the like, will be happening for the 2012 convention year.

If you would like to discuss this further. Please contact customerservice@acen.org, attention Hotel & Convention Site Relations Officer.
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Venue Relations Chair to the Finance Committee 2014-2015
Midwest Animation Promotion Society

Hotel & Convention Site Relations Officer (HCSR) 2011-2014
Convention Operations Department Head 2010-2011
Anime Central (ACen) 2009-2014

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