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How can we save acen?

#31 User is offline   sentinel28a 

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 03:20 AM

Hear hear. If a tiny Montana con can get George R.R. Martin, then ACen can get some big names too.

Maybe branch out a bit, too. There's a lot of American manga-ka--Fred Perry, Ben Dunn, Robert deJesus, and Steve Bennett have all been guests at ACen. I'm sure there's others. Joe Maduiera helped introduce the manga style into American comics. How about him? Adam Warren is a HUGE influence on American manga, and he's still very popular. You don't want to branch out too much--Martin, BTW, is a kewl guy, and yes, I'm totally fanboying over how I got to spend a half hour talking to the guy, but he's got nothing to do with manga/anime. But think outside the box. Are there European manga-ka? Korean? What about some of the more anime-influenced cartoons today or from not long ago (Thundercats, Teen Titans).

I'll throw this out there too. IRT does their best, but they're chronically understaffed, and one of the problems I've always seen with them is that they seem overwhelmed. (In fact, that could explain some staffers' grumpiness. I get grumpy if I'm overwhelmed too.) Would it be possible--from a fiscal and legal standpoint--to hire an outside security firm? They could supplement IRT at the raves, maybe. What about Rosemont PD? Could they put some guys outside the Soap Bubble? You can bet there will be a lot less problems if people see uniformed cops standing outside. (If ACen already has something like this, then ignore.)

Finally, give anime/manga panels priority. There's nothing saying that you can't have a Pony panel, but I think panels dealing with anime should have priority in room choice, approval, etc.

As far as cosplaying goes, no restrictions beyond sanity--and by that I mean, no Sexy No Jutsu (though that cosplay was, admittedly, awesome) and nothing that would normally get people arrested. ("Check out my Wolfwood costume! Yes, the .45s are totally real! Watch!") I go as Gendo Ikari every year, and while I never get as many photos as I would if I went as a more recent/popular character, I like the cosplay and I enjoy doing it. If you want to cosplay as Astroboy, hell, go for it. (I do have issues with the Nazi thing, but I'll save that for when that thread opens back up.)

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#32 User is offline   Roark 

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 08:06 AM

View Postsentinel28a, on 27 June 2012 - 03:20 AM, said:

I'll throw this out there too. IRT does their best, but they're chronically understaffed, and one of the problems I've always seen with them is that they seem overwhelmed.

200 people is hardly understaffed.

#33 User is offline   Kiezer 

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 09:17 AM

View PostRoark, on 27 June 2012 - 08:06 AM, said:

200 people is hardly understaffed.


It's 200 to ~25,000, over 4 days (including Thurs), divided between many areas(special events, line control, etc.) and shifts (in general, 3 different shifts). So, in general, that's about 66 IRT on shift at any one point in time. Keep in mind, we are also divided between the con center and the Hyatt.

To me, that's understaffed
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#34 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 09:18 AM

"Finally, give anime/manga panels priority. There's nothing saying that you can't have a Pony panel, but I think panels dealing with anime should have priority in room choice, approval, etc. "


All Anime/Manga panels were approved this year. While no American Cartoon, British Television, etc panels were approved. We denied all My Little Pony, Dr. Who etc. panels. Now, if someone could tie it into our conventions theme then we could consider them. But we're Japanese Culture, not Pop Culture :) It's up to attendees to step up and host panels but we're happy to make an awesome announcement. ACen now (so far) has the most panels out of any convention in North America, and that's including Otakon and Anime Expo. We'll be looking to break our record for next year to meet our growth just like we did this year.
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#35 User is offline   SargentJY 

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 11:49 AM

View Postsentinel28a, on 27 June 2012 - 03:20 AM, said:

Hear hear. If a tiny Montana con can get George R.R. Martin, then ACen can get some big names too.

Maybe branch out a bit, too. There's a lot of American manga-ka--Fred Perry, Ben Dunn, Robert deJesus, and Steve Bennett have all been guests at ACen. I'm sure there's others. Joe Maduiera helped introduce the manga style into American comics. How about him? Adam Warren is a HUGE influence on American manga, and he's still very popular. You don't want to branch out too much--Martin, BTW, is a kewl guy, and yes, I'm totally fanboying over how I got to spend a half hour talking to the guy, but he's got nothing to do with manga/anime. But think outside the box. Are there European manga-ka? Korean? What about some of the more anime-influenced cartoons today or from not long ago (Thundercats, Teen Titans).



I feel ACen has done enough coverage for US local anime/manga industry, if not too much. It is nice to have US mangaka or European mangaka, but hey, when is the last time ACen invite a Japanese mangaka to the con, 2007?(Based on my wiki research, correct me if I am wrong) It is nice for a con to covers wide area or "branch out", but that's under the precondition that the central theme is taken care of nicely first, and by that I mean anime...JAPANESE ANIME. (We are not comic con, nor Japanese subculture-collection con after all)In fact, the more I think of it since my last post, the more I feel there are wide variety of options and choices that ACen can do to satisfy this criteria, and many of them should be even economic if once again, money is the concern.

Yu Asakawa: Voice Actress/seiyu, major role includes Rider for Fate Stay Night(and all its spin-off),Mokoto of Love Hina, and Tsugumi of Visual Novel Ever17. Thanks to her fluent english, she might be one of the most approachable seiyu for the foreign anime lovers. (I don't really know other Japanese voice actress who bother using English for their twitter for instance) She also has participated in various program to introduce mainstream Japanese anime culture to the foreign audience, such as Comiket. So a talented yet super friendly seiyu that doesn't requite a translator from you guys, isn't that just awesome?

Himeka: An Anisong singer...from Canada.Yes, a white singer who sang anime songs on the Japanese stage. She won the anisong contest held by Animax in Japan against all other 3185, mostly local, competitors and thus being able to become an anisong singer as she dreamed of. She has since then sang the OP for Valkyria Chronicles, ED for Letter Bee, ED for Night Raide 1931, covered many anisong classics as well. You can say she is a manifestation of dreams that we anime fans have, and I am sure many would LOVE to hear her story about how she pursue and accomplish her dream. Once again, no translator needed as well.

Shikura Chiyomaru: Executive Director of one of the leading company of anime industry, 5pb. If this doesn't ring a bell for you, he is the one behind Steings;Gate, Chaos;Head, Memories Off series, and Ever17(PS versions), as well as the manager and song writers for Imai Asami(Kuritsu from S;G), Ito Kanako(Singer for S:G, Saya no Uta, School Days, Higurashi), Ayane(singer of Memories off series and 11eyes) etc. Oh, and did I mention he started a singer group composed of maids from Akiba? Basically, a talented man with outstanding marketing vision.

Takashi Takeuchi: Co-founder of game company, Type Moon and the main artists for most of its major works(thus the character designer for Saber and Arc etc), also a close friend of its script writer Nasu. Most people attribute Type Moon's sucess toward Nasu, the creator of its unique and attractive world composed of Kara no Kyoukai, Fate Stay Night and Tsukihime, but it is Takashi who introduce and promote this world towards the public and thus the sucess of today. (Many people might don't know about it, but when Kara no Kyoukai was first uploaded online in Takashi's blog, there isn't such a popularity initially) He would be a great choice for a guest to share how he establish his path of sucess from a small doujin group composed of two men with dream to a sucessful game company.

These are only a few popping from my mind, but I am really curious if these people ever appear in the radar of ACen's potential guest list?(Not sure about others, but Yu Asakawa did mention in her twitter reply to me that you guys never reach out for her, otherwise she would love to come to Chicago) If not, that means there is really more that need to be done or improved for the staff sensitivity about the industry. Once again, I am not asking you to invite super anime stars like Hanazawa, Mizuki Nana, or Sugita Tomokazu(which I would love to see them in a con, but one must be realistic), the one I listed before are mostly not at the frontline yet still essential anime figures that can definetly bring awe to your customers. In fact, although I didn't list them out, even voice actress from the last generation would work perfectly for us. Yes, that might not be the modern seiyu who are basically idos these days, but they still play an essential role in our heart as part of our childhood memory.(Inoue Kikuko, Hayashibara Megumi, or Yamadera Kōichi, just listing a few)Once again, if ACen really need help for this area(like someone to give suggestions), I am more than glad to help out.
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#36 User is offline   Roark 

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 12:48 PM

View PostKiezer, on 27 June 2012 - 09:17 AM, said:

It's 200 to ~25,000, over 4 days (including Thurs), divided between many areas(special events, line control, etc.) and shifts (in general, 3 different shifts). So, in general, that's about 66 IRT on shift at any one point in time. Keep in mind, we are also divided between the con center and the Hyatt.

To me, that's understaffed


Let's play fun with numbers, shall we?

~25k is total for the entire convention, including staff, vendors, AA, guests/entourage, panelists, and total attendees. So, you can off all staff (~500), vendors (total vendors x 3, or about ~750), AA (total x2, or ~400), and guests/entourage (total x 4, or about 120) from that total. That's... 1700 or so off that total.

So, we're about 23k total actual attendees for the entire weekend. That's total, not any single given point. Let's assume high that 80% of ACen's total attendance is actually present some time on Saturday. That's very high, but I'll let it go for your point. That means about 19.6k attendance on a Saturday. Seems like a lot of people, right?

At peak hours Saturday, you have the main ballroom at capacity of about 3k. So, that takes us down to around 16.6k people on the floor. Also, the programming rooms are pretty much all at capacity, knocking off another 4k or so. Let's say that brings us down to 13k left. Some of those will be off-site getting food or whatnot. Let's say 2,000 at various restaurants in the area. 11k left. You have the dealer's hall open, so that siphons... maybe 3k? So, you have 8,000 people walking around. Some of those are in photoshoots... maybe 500 total between shooters and spectators? 7,500 people now idle.

Some of those are waiting in line. Some are just hanging out in hotel rooms. We may get down to about 6,500 people just wandering.

That's roughly 1 IRT/100 people. What's the rate of troublemakers to good congoers? 1/100? 1/200? Are they all going to cause trouble at the same time?

Tell me again how under staffed IRT is. 200 should be overkill.

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 03:24 PM

sentinel28a said:



-Gives you all the internets-

All of this. All of this. I agree with all of this.

If you guys have issues with guests, make you could ask the good folks here or hire some more? I would definitely help out with that.
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#38 User is offline   sentinel28a 

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 03:55 PM

View PostRoark, on 27 June 2012 - 12:48 PM, said:

Let's play fun with numbers, shall we?

~25k is total for the entire convention, including staff, vendors, AA, guests/entourage, panelists, and total attendees. So, you can off all staff (~500), vendors (total vendors x 3, or about ~750), AA (total x2, or ~400), and guests/entourage (total x 4, or about 120) from that total. That's... 1700 or so off that total.

So, we're about 23k total actual attendees for the entire weekend. That's total, not any single given point. Let's assume high that 80% of ACen's total attendance is actually present some time on Saturday. That's very high, but I'll let it go for your point. That means about 19.6k attendance on a Saturday. Seems like a lot of people, right?

At peak hours Saturday, you have the main ballroom at capacity of about 3k. So, that takes us down to around 16.6k people on the floor. Also, the programming rooms are pretty much all at capacity, knocking off another 4k or so. Let's say that brings us down to 13k left. Some of those will be off-site getting food or whatnot. Let's say 2,000 at various restaurants in the area. 11k left. You have the dealer's hall open, so that siphons... maybe 3k? So, you have 8,000 people walking around. Some of those are in photoshoots... maybe 500 total between shooters and spectators? 7,500 people now idle.

Some of those are waiting in line. Some are just hanging out in hotel rooms. We may get down to about 6,500 people just wandering.

That's roughly 1 IRT/100 people. What's the rate of troublemakers to good congoers? 1/100? 1/200? Are they all going to cause trouble at the same time?

Tell me again how under staffed IRT is. 200 should be overkill.


It's perception on my part, Roark. The only place I've seen IRT well represented is the check-in lines and the exhibit hall. I'm sure they're there; I just haven't seen them.

200 for a 20,000 guest con is not overkill--I would think a ratio of 1/50 congoers would be ideal. One of the things I hear most frequently is that "IRT can't be everywhere at once." True, and even with 400 IRT staff, they wouldn't be able to cover the whole con.

Which brings me back to my other suggestion. IRT isn't professionally trained (that I know of), and I'm not sure that some congoers have all that much respect for them. I do, but I'm old and I'm not looking to buck the system or start trouble. Moreover, I have had some problems with a few IRT members' professionalism in the past--not much, but some. A private security firm or Rosemont PD might be a way to supplement IRT. In the case of the hooligans who like to tear the Hyatt apart (for lack of a better word that the filter won't grab), you're not going to get their respect, but fear works just as well with them.

I wasn't there this year, so ignore me if any of my suggestions feel off/were already taken care of. I'm just throwing things out there.

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#39 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:01 PM

Roark you missed the other Main room which is about 2500. And table top gaming/video gaming which is the entire Hilton hotel which is about another 1000ish. And as always ACen is looking into expanding our space to meet the needs of our attendance. And there is about 1000 waiting in lines for the next panel, depending on the event thousands waiting for the next main prog event. But of course attendance for each event goes up and down, so this would only be peak hours.


Rosemont PD will not supplement IRT. It's not their job, they come here to help us but they will never be our "security" force. Our IRT team had the least amount of complaints that they've ever received this year, of course in a convention our size there will always be a complaint. Their training has improved and they handled situations very well from what I saw. Please keep in mind private security are -very- expensive and would most likely limit our budget from other aspects of the convention. I know we won't be considering "replacing them" after their best year.

Hotel damages were also down in number this year :)
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#40 User is offline   linlindesu 

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 12:48 AM

View PostBloo09, on 27 June 2012 - 09:18 AM, said:

"Finally, give anime/manga panels priority. There's nothing saying that you can't have a Pony panel, but I think panels dealing with anime should have priority in room choice, approval, etc. "


All Anime/Manga panels were approved this year. While no American Cartoon, British Television, etc panels were approved. We denied all My Little Pony, Dr. Who etc. panels. Now, if someone could tie it into our conventions theme then we could consider them. But we're Japanese Culture, not Pop Culture :) It's up to attendees to step up and host panels but we're happy to make an awesome announcement. ACen now (so far) has the most panels out of any convention in North America, and that's including Otakon and Anime Expo. We'll be looking to break our record for next year to meet our growth just like we did this year.

... and the homestuck panel was ....? And the Scott Pilgrim panel? nothing against them , just stating that some non japanese/ non con related panels still make the cut.
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#41 User is offline   sentinel28a 

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 01:27 AM

View PostBloo09, on 27 June 2012 - 07:01 PM, said:

Roark you missed the other Main room which is about 2500. And table top gaming/video gaming which is the entire Hilton hotel which is about another 1000ish. And as always ACen is looking into expanding our space to meet the needs of our attendance. And there is about 1000 waiting in lines for the next panel, depending on the event thousands waiting for the next main prog event. But of course attendance for each event goes up and down, so this would only be peak hours.


Rosemont PD will not supplement IRT. It's not their job, they come here to help us but they will never be our "security" force. Our IRT team had the least amount of complaints that they've ever received this year, of course in a convention our size there will always be a complaint. Their training has improved and they handled situations very well from what I saw. Please keep in mind private security are -very- expensive and would most likely limit our budget from other aspects of the convention. I know we won't be considering "replacing them" after their best year.

Hotel damages were also down in number this year :)


That's good to hear. Hopefully it's the start of a trend.

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#42 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 06:30 AM

View Postlinlindesu, on 28 June 2012 - 12:48 AM, said:

... and the homestuck panel was ....? And the Scott Pilgrim panel? nothing against them , just stating that some non japanese/ non con related panels still make the cut.


We allow webcomics due to their presence in our vendor hall and artist alley, we aren't going to promote them in one area and not in another. The scott pilgrim got in because it is also a video game along with it's strong video game theme and ACen has a video game section. Those would have been some of the first bumped if we had filled our space but we didn't, so we were able to allow them.
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#43 User is offline   sentinel28a 

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 03:30 AM

I can see Scott Pilgrim, definitely--it's drawn in a manga style, so in my book that makes it manga.

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#44 User is offline   Bloo09 

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 04:57 AM

That would be another argument in it's favor :) I'd also gone to Youmacon with our Roadshow team to scout out panels there. I only spent about 10 minutes in the same Scott Pilgrim panel there because I had 3 other panels to check out but they were good with the crowd in a very full room. So I already knew it would be great entertainment for our attendees.
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#45 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 10:03 AM

View PostBloo09, on 27 June 2012 - 07:01 PM, said:

Roark you missed the other Main room which is about 2500. And table top gaming/video gaming which is the entire Hilton hotel which is about another 1000ish. And as always ACen is looking into expanding our space to meet the needs of our attendance. And there is about 1000 waiting in lines for the next panel, depending on the event thousands waiting for the next main prog event. But of course attendance for each event goes up and down, so this would only be peak hours.


Rosemont PD will not supplement IRT. It's not their job, they come here to help us but they will never be our "security" force. Our IRT team had the least amount of complaints that they've ever received this year, of course in a convention our size there will always be a complaint. Their training has improved and they handled situations very well from what I saw. Please keep in mind private security are -very- expensive and would most likely limit our budget from other aspects of the convention. I know we won't be considering "replacing them" after their best year.

Hotel damages were also down in number this year :)


Wow really? I'm surprised. With all the complaints I didn't know that 2012 was a better year. I didn't attend myself and from the threads I seen I thought it was the latter.

Is there anyway to improve the budget in our end? Donations? Sponsors? Etc. I know you guys don't do sponsors but if it means better guests and more stuff so be it.

Lin Scott Pilgrim is a video game and it was a type of comic drawn in a manga like style. It didn't come from Japan per say as a manga but it is still a "manga."

HomeSkillet as I call it is a webcomic, compared to MLP, which is just an American cartoon rebooted and become popular.
ACen 2013 Cosplay:
Hero from SMT: DS2, Emmet/Kudari from Pokemon Black and White, Roppi Izaya from Durarara, Hitoshura human form from SMT.

All the random avatars this time are from LJ and I don't own any of them. Some of the avatars are credit to aristocracy, Taku ♫ arthursandwich, noxjustxnoin, imperial-code, dojicons, narrante, dino-cookie, shiroyuki_kun, takerzmuse, and ushitora_icons at LJ. I DON'T OWN ANY OF THE ICONS.


Currently into and playing: All Megaten games, Blazblue series, and P4MU. Waiting for: Pokemon BW2 and BB3.

#46 User is offline   jsieczkar 

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 12:20 PM

In reference to the comic guests we bring to ACen; they are all Chicagoland based (roughly) and one of their activities at the convention is to help promote a charity. This is a chance for ACen to help great local creative talent, and they provide some great panels to boot.
2008-2009 IRT - Callsign JR
2010 IRT Dispatch - Callsign JR
2011-Present Industry Relations Manager

#47 User is offline   manga1 

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:31 AM

I dont know, I think the con was ok minus the whole saturday thing, I never did get my book found that had all the autographs in it some I had to wait long and hard for and got at just the last minute as the guests were leaving, and there was the irt guy that would not let me on the elevator even for 20 minuts and I had big heavy props made of wood I was holding, one is not bad but two of them are too much to bear.

but panel time needs work, its sad you get into line early and you still cant get in for a signing, and irt still does not always know where the locations are for photoshoots or what is going on, it would help if they were more informed about the events.

#48 User is offline   Green Dragon 

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:36 PM

Idea to improve the con: combine the two dances into one. There is absolutely no need to for Hardcore Synergy AND Soap Bubble. Make it one dance, continue to call it the Soap Bubble, and make sure not to step on the toes of the more prestigious Anime Hell or Masquerade.
Anime Central Cosplay History

* ACen '04, '05, '06: Nicholas D. Wolfwood - ACen '07: Gendo Ikari / Bryan Fury
* ACen '08: Gendo Ikari / Capt. Aizen Sousuke - ACen '09: Gendo Ikari / Daisuke Jigen
* ACen '11: Tom Baker, Fourth Doctor - ACen '12: Fourth Doctor / Capt. Aizen Sousuke
* ACen '13: Capt. Kyouraku Shunsui - ACen '14: Kiba (Wolf's Rain) / Ninth Doctor

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