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Final count for ACen 2014?

#31 User is offline   JujuFox 

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 11:32 AM

View Postfeuerwerke, on 02 June 2014 - 10:18 AM, said:

To everyone saying "but we got Nobuo Uematsu, we should've seen bigger growth due to that!", ...

Who said that? I mentioned that he was a huge guest for ACen to get. You were talking about bigger and better guests, so I named him. Last time I can find that he was even in Chicago was 2008 for a concert, so he's not like someone that comes out to cons here on a regular basis. He's not like a Crispin Freeman that ACen can get every year, so I thought he was a pretty big name for ACen to have on their guest roster.

I think that he might have just been icing on cake for those already going, not a draw for new people.
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#32 User is offline   feuerwerke 

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 10:39 PM

View PostJujuFox, on 02 June 2014 - 11:32 AM, said:

Who said that? I mentioned that he was a huge guest for ACen to get. You were talking about bigger and better guests, so I named him. Last time I can find that he was even in Chicago was 2008 for a concert, so he's not like someone that comes out to cons here on a regular basis. He's not like a Crispin Freeman that ACen can get every year, so I thought he was a pretty big name for ACen to have on their guest roster.

I think that he might have just been icing on cake for those already going, not a draw for new people.


Yes, Uematsu is a big guest, but he's just one big guest (though Yutaka Yamamoto and and Yoshitoshi aBe are also a big deal), and he's one who has been to the USA a lot. I didn't say Chicago. I said the USA. Because my point is that what we want at this point is people from across the country traveling to ACen. People on the east coast had Uematsu at Anime Boston in 2010. Those people, unless they're really diehard Uematsu fans, probably would pass on seeing him again way out in Chicago.

At this point, ACen is too big to just rely on panels/vendors/Chicago itself/whatever else to draw new people in. It's on the same tier as Otakon or Anime Expo. How do those events draw new people? Guests. How does ACen need to do it now? Guests. Uematsu was definitely an excellent addition to the roster, but what we need to be doing is stuff like what Expo is doing with their Kill la Kill event and several Sailor Moon actresses from the original dub, etc.
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#33 User is offline   El Ken 

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 11:45 AM

I certainly don't disagree with the feedback here regarding guests, guest lineup, and earlier announcements, but I think we are also failing in marketing and promotion. Even when we do get guests announced fairly early, there isn't much buildup around them. Other than the announcements and possible chatter on the forums and social media, there is no sustained effort to continually promote the guests as an attraction of ACen.

I know some of that could fall to me, but I honestly do have my plate too full already. It does us little good to promote to our social media followers and those who frequent the forums and websites - most of those people will already be coming to ACen. Our ads around town are just that - around town, and don't reach out of the local market to attract new attendees. That, and those ads don't promote our guests. They are mainly out there for name/brand recognition.

Bigger and better guests? Of our current attendee base, too few pay attention to the guest lineup. At times, I almost feel I'm doing the wrong thing when I bring in guests and see such a low turnout at their events. Most come to ACen for other reasons. However, big names do attract attendees from outside the local market, and that is one way to try to maintain growth. I saw that with Kalafina last year; I saw it with Uematsu, and I saw it with Wake Up, Girls! this year. But those guests do need to be promoted to be more effective, and not just around Chicago. I thought I'd see more draw with angela, but it didn't turn out that way.

For my part, I'm going to just keep chugging along, trying my best to bring the guests people want to see. Any of you who visit the GR forums (and I think that's pretty much all of you) know what I'm working towards, so please keep on giving the suggestions - both for guests and operational/logistical concerns. I am listening, and I do appreciate it!
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#34 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 12:34 PM

A suggestion for promotion. I noticed on Anime News Network that they did a little blurb about Uematsu and Angela, but that was it, a blurb. AX and OTo seem to do banner ads and other things. Also, in a number of cases the advertising shows at least a few big name guests with pictures. Even wizard World and C2E2 seem to do that. Maybe a change up in how the posters look. I honestly didn't see any ACen posters up and around this year. I saw Anime Midwest and C2E2 but other than that, not a one.

Might be a good idea to start by showing off more in the way of what we have vs other cons? Also More outside promotions. Having an ad on Crunchyroll could have worked? Doesn't have to be fancy just something that could pop up. As weird as this might be, how about radio ads?
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#35 User is offline   El Ken 

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 06:28 PM

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 03 June 2014 - 12:34 PM, said:

A suggestion for promotion. I noticed on Anime News Network that they did a little blurb about Uematsu and Angela, but that was it, a blurb. AX and OTo seem to do banner ads and other things. Also, in a number of cases the advertising shows at least a few big name guests with pictures. Even wizard World and C2E2 seem to do that. Maybe a change up in how the posters look. I honestly didn't see any ACen posters up and around this year. I saw Anime Midwest and C2E2 but other than that, not a one.

Might be a good idea to start by showing off more in the way of what we have vs other cons? Also More outside promotions. Having an ad on Crunchyroll could have worked? Doesn't have to be fancy just something that could pop up. As weird as this might be, how about radio ads?

Definitely not bad ideas, but I'm no pro in advertising, and it certainly doesn't fall under my purview in ACen's management structure. I'll start fishing around to see what those in charge of advertising and marketing would like to do with regard to promotion. I think we really need to make a push in this area.
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#36 User is offline   Washu Takahashi 

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 01:31 PM

I'll also add to the "We need to advertise guests!" notion. Personally, it's a bit of a double edged sword xD I kinda like that guests aren't advertised, since I have a much better chance of seeing them then, but I'm aware that's a totally selfish way of thinking. I know a lot of my friend FLIPPED over hearing about Crispin Freeman. But those were all friends already coming to ACen anyways. If he was advertised, I'm sure he could have grabbed some extra attendees, along with the Final Fantasy thing and WUG! and abe. Besides looking at the forums and website, you really have no idea who's coming to ACen. Must of my friends don't even come here to find out about guests, they come to me or wait until I make some Facebook post about it since I seem to know everything as far as they're concerned. Even when they ask where I get my information and I say the forums, their responses are usually "Eh..." Not many people not on the forums care at all about the forums, so it's not a great place to "advertise" (Though of course those announcements should be here, just should be other places too)

And while I agree advertising guests is a good way to bring in people, improving panels is a good way to KEEP people. I mean, say you're a 1st time attendee and you came JUST to see (guest name). Why should you come back next year? If the guest is the only thing you care about and you don't even do anything else, you're not coming back without an equally great guest. But if you explore and find other pieces of the con to love, you're more likely to come back. So guest advertisement should be your first concern, but it needs to be followed up with other awesome stuff.
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