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Rosemont Theatre What's the best way to make use of this great venue?

#1 User is offline   El Ken 

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 06:11 PM

Hello All,

It seems this is becoming a yearly discussion for me. I currently have the Rosemont Theatre held for ACen 2015 weekend (Friday and Saturday). It looks like I got the jump on Triton College as they like to use the theatre for graduation the weekend before Memorial Day weekend, that is, ACen weekend.

At any rate, assuming that Triton is not able to take the weekend back from me, I am planning on holding Friday evening and Saturday evening concerts at the theatre. For those who were able to see the Kalafina concert in 2013, I am not planning on going full bore with regard to set and lighting in 2015. We'll go with a simpler design that should greatly reduce the cost of putting on shows there. Our primary expense for Kalafina was tech costs, followed by union labor, and then venue rental. The point I'm making here is that I would like to avoid charging for concert admission if at all possible. However, that brings up another issue altogether.

Ticketing. Ticketing and seating. If we aren't charging for the concerts, then how do we work seating? One of the biggest positive feedback items about the Kalafina concert at the Rosemont Theatre was the fact that you didn't have to stand in line. You had a ticket with an assigned seat. Granted, the purchasing process had some issues (I'm still really sorry about that!), but once those were ironed out, things were pretty okay. Anyway, the point I'm making about tickets is they cost money to create and more money to issue, and we're trying to keep this free to badge holders.

Next issue: we have 4400 seats to fill at the theatre, and we didn't even fill 1000 seats at the (free) angela concert this year. Kalafina had more than twice, if not three times the audience of angela the year before. I was disappointed in the turnout for Kalafina. I was truly shocked at the turnout for angela. I need to fill those seats in that theatre, and I don't know how.

We've talked about some of this the past year and a bit, and I've got some ideas, but I want to hear from you guys first. So, let's open this can of worms again and see what we can't figure out.

Thanks in advance!
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#2 User is offline   KungPowKirby 

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:12 PM

I think there are three things that will fill this theater

1) The group or performer that you get must be more instantly recognizable. Angelina - while big - is not a name many people know anymore. Same thing with Kalafina. While the people who listen to their music may know who they are - many people would only know the songs. Theres a reason that Wake Up Girls got such a huge turn out- even though they dont have such a huge following here- they are biased from an anime of the same name. That alone attracted people. That being said, I do not think that a purely baised anime group such as WUG or Muse, who only perform because of an anime and dont have activities outside of it, would fill the theater. One thing that I think would be awesome is if we got a Yoshiki classical concert. His tour is selling out across the world right now and he isnt with X Japan. We already have contacts and a established relationship with him because of 2011 and 2012. I think we could use that to our advantage.

2) Be unique! Lets have something that another convention will not! Angelina is actually performing at AX this year - and they are having the same orchestra concert as well, but with even more pull because they arent just performing Final Fantasy pieces. I remember in 2012 when we got LM*C I hung out with two girls who traveled all the way from California just to see them. Why? Because nobody else had them. Same thing with the Pillows.

3) Marketing!!!! You must absolutely market them more. I think you need to market at least 4 months in advance if possible. That gives people a chance to hear about them and make travel arrangements. Most people agree - they didnt know Kalafina was there or who they were. Push the concert - advertise on sites like crunchyroll and anime news network. If possible have them big a big part of the roadshow advertising. Have people talk about it at the convention at popular events. Don't assume a name alone will sell something.

Also - I'm all for having some kind of paid seating - or having a way people can purchase priority access. I will 100% pay for the ablitiy not to hassel with trying to get in line. You know why El Ken. That being said tickets would have to be a must, even if free. - Maybe have some way to reserve them online and collect them at the convention? Enough in advance that you can release them to the public if they do not come and get them.

This post has been edited by KungPowKirby: 17 June 2014 - 07:13 PM

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#3 User is offline   CrimsonAnime 

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:30 PM

So I know you don't want to charge - but honestly - I did not mind paying for a concert that FELT like a concert. The set design and lighting were great and Kalafina seemed to really enjoy using it.

I also liked the fact that I didn't have to line up 3 hours before the concert in order to get a seat I could be happy with. The ease of preordering and then picking up just before allowed me to better enjoy the convention. This year, I did attend the angela concert, and in order to get the 3rd row seat I got, I had to hover around the area. Because of this, I missed out on some good panels that I wanted to see. Same with Wake Up, Girls!

With that said, I do think, that if the concert is a paid one, you should have a free concert of similar caliber. I believe Yukino performed on Saturday to Kalafina on Friday? While an overlapping event prevented me from also attending the Yukino concert, I believe I recall hearing good things from many people.

Don't give TOO many options and force people to choose. If you are planning to use the theatre both Friday and Saturday, I suggest getting one bigger name artist/group to perform both days. If you have two different groups on the two days AND have these as paid concerts, both may suffer because people may avoid one for the other in order to save money. Keeping the same group both days will draw in single day visitors as well as allow people to choose which day is better. ( I hope this part makes sense.)

Seating - If we don't charge, the best way to control the seating will still be in a preorder method. Perhaps, when people order their badges, they can choose a seat section for the concert. When the artists are revealed, they can choose a day and also confirm or cancel their seat based on their preference?

Filling the seats - Advertise at con. I don't really remember seeing a lot about any of the concerts besides Distant Worlds at the actual convention. Though I love the forums, the amount of people here vs the amount of people who attend seem unbalanced. Same with even FB and Twitter. Advertising the concert and even allowing for tickets to be acquired at con will attract people who don't pay attention to the social media announcements. And I mean ADVERTISE! Signs everywhere, send a notice in with the badges, put an advert in the goodie bag, provide the main hotels with pamphlets that they can give to guests at check in. Put it on the Hyatt screens. Get the Rosemont theatre to advertise it, too, if that is not a buttload extra. Also, I like that the angela and Distant worlds booth in the convention center was front and center to the entrance. Everyone could see them when they walked in and both caught attention.

Oh! A free demo CD to every con goer too would help people who don't check the announcements to know more about the performers. Not with full songs, just a half maybe of the best 2 - 4.

As for artists, truly, I cannot offer many suggestions. Uverworld is popular. As is L'Arc En Ciel. But are they seat fillers? I don't know.

Anyway, not sure if i helped or just made things more confusing but these are my thoughts.

This post has been edited by CrimsonAnime: 18 June 2014 - 10:15 PM

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#4 User is offline   KungPowKirby 

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:53 PM

View PostCrimsonAnime, on 17 June 2014 - 07:30 PM, said:

So I know you don't want to charge - but honestly - I did not mind paying for a concert that FELT like a concert. The set design and lighting were great and Kalafina seemed to really enjoy using it.

I also liked the fact that I didn't have to line up 3 hours before the concert in order to get a seat I could be happy with. The ease of preordering and then picking up just before allowed me to better enjoy the convention. This year, I did attend the angela concert, and in order to get the 3rd row seat I got, I had to hover around the area. Because of this, I missed out on some good panels that I wanted to see. Same with Wake Up, Girls!

With that said, I do think, that if the concert is a paid one, you should have a free concert of similar caliber. I believe Yukino performed on Saturday to Kalafina on Friday? While an overlapping event prevented me from also attending the Yukino concert, I believe I recall hearing good things from many people.

Seating - Don't give TOO many options and force people to choose. If you are planning to use the theatre both Friday and Saturday, I suggest getting one bigger name artist/group to perform both days. If you have two different groups on the two days AND have these as paid concerts, both may suffer because people may avoid one for the other in order to save money. Keeping the same group both days will draw in single day visitors as well as allow people to choose which day is better. ( I hope this part makes sense.)

Seating - If we don't charge, the best way to control the seating will still be in a preorder method. Perhaps, when people order their badges, they can choose a seat section for the concert. When the artists are revealed, they can choose a day and also confirm or cancel their seat based on their preference?

Filling the seats - Advertise at con. I don't really remember seeing a lot about any of the concerts besides Distant Worlds at the actual convention. Though I love the forums, the amount of people here vs the amount of people who attend seem unbalanced. Same with even FB and Twitter. Advertising the concert and even allowing for tickets to be acquired at con will attract people who don't pay attention to the social media announcements. And I mean ADVERTISE! Signs everywhere, send a notice in with the badges, put an advert in the goodie bag, provide the main hotels with pamphlets that they can give to guests at check in. Put it on the Hyatt screens. Get the Rosemont theatre to advertise it, too, if that is not a buttload extra. Also, I like that the angela and Distant worlds booth in the convention center was front and center to the entrance. Everyone could see them when they walked in and both caught attention.

Oh! A free demo CD to every con goer too would help people who don't check the announcements to know more about the performers. Not with full songs, just a half maybe of the best 2 - 4.

As for artists, truly, I cannot offer many suggestions. Uverworld is popular. As is L'Arc N'ciel. But are they seat fillers? I don't know.

Anyway, not sure if i helped or just made things more confusing but these are my thoughts.


L'arc En Ciel would definately fill seats - they sold out Madison Square Garden. lol https://www.youtube....h?v=r2CCOEO1NQ4 I seriously considered going to the concert last minute - and would have if I didnt have to pay $200+ for a scalped ticket. I once bought tickets to see just Hyde play in California because he's such an idol of mine. Many people would do the same thing.

This post has been edited by KungPowKirby: 17 June 2014 - 07:54 PM

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#5 User is offline   GITS SAC Motoko 

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 10:18 PM

I agree with most of the points said already.

Like what was said, I also agree that bigger guests that are instantly recognizable like L'Arc En Ciel, Maximum the Hormone, Yoko Kanno, etc would instantly fill up the space. I also think UVERWorld would too--they've sang for a lot of big shows--like Bleach. I wouldn't doubt it. And advertising the concert more would get the word out as well, and fill more seats. Also, I know it's hard but maybe getting the times specified faster or something (if possible, I know a lot goes into the planning)? What comes to mind instantly for me is panelists, staffers, or other attendees with possible conflicts who really want to attend the concert AND do their other activities. Then, those who want to go can specify a preference of time they can hold their panels, photoshoot or specify a staff shift they prefer so they can see the concert. Then they at least can have availability for one of the concerts and do other activities.

I like the pre-order idea, even if it's a free show. That helps clear a lot of confusion with general admission, lining people up and such. I didn't attend Kalafina, but I know some people were having problems with getting seats next to their friends. I know a lot of the problems were figured out, but maybe just improving that function so it's easier for groups of people can sit together by obtaining multiple tickets at once (within reason)? However, if it means for me to get a bigger, more popular guest or one that might be harder to get because of money issues (like huge people like Yoshiki or something) I would be willing to pay for a concert ticket. How much were they last year? And honestly, the cost of the ticket at ACen is cheaper compared to regular concert ticket separate of ACen.
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#6 User is offline   glenburg89 

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 11:09 PM

I agree with many of the points mentioned. I have a few of my own.

1) Promotional Video: Perhaps a promo/documentary video could be made to build up the artist months before the convention. For example, have something that covers the history of the artist, their career, popular songs, etc. I know this works, because the Yoshiki ACen promo video was epic enough to bring in new fans. Then, it was explosive when he was actually in the building! It'd be nice if this could be made at the time of the artist's announcement so people would have more incentive to listen/learn more about the artist.

2) Earlier registration = better seats: This is a long shot, but we could probably do something along these lines. Maybe certain seating sections can be reserved for the various badge registration periods. For example, the very first pre-reg period, assuming the guest was announced, can choose seats near or on the floor level. The later registration periods would get the higher up seats,etc. If there are many people who register early and fill up the bottom rows, then of course the option for the other seats can pop up. Of course this would be first come first served since there'd only be 4400 tickets. This would give people more incentive to get their badge early, especially if they want a great seat. If you combine this with idea #1, it'd build more excitement for the concert.

This post has been edited by glenburg89: 17 June 2014 - 11:12 PM

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#7 User is offline   magishine 

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 10:41 AM

I agree with a lot that's been said here. The group or performer that you get has to be instantly recognizable. It might be a good idea that let's say you've got a line on someone you think would be a good fit for the theater and for ACen. Maybe reach out to some con goers and ask them if they would go if that group/performer were there. You could even have them sign an NDA if you really wanted to (but that's a lot of legal paperwork). Also ask if they would be willing to pay for tickets or not. I think most people would pay for tickets if that meant not having to stand in line to get good seats. I know getting these guests is hard enough work but finding a guest to fit that theater...that's a doozy
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#8 User is offline   El Ken 

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 01:29 PM

Just to throw a little perspective into this, simply printing tickets with the theatre costs $2 per ticket (never mind the cost of distribution and box office labor). That means for 2 shows, I'm looking at spending as much as $17,600.00 just to have tickets made. Of course, if we don't actually assign seats, we can get away with printing our own tickets at a significantly lower cost, but that will force concert attendees to line up to get better seats, which is also something we're trying to avoid.

If we're going to ticket the concerts, I think we're going to have to charge at least a nominal fee to deal with the cost associated with ticketing. And if we're going to charge a nominal fee, then I would probably opt for the TicketMaster route, which is an even higher fee, but we gain the advertising and awareness associated with them, not to mention we avoid the mess of handling the tickets and seating assignments internally.

As previously discussed, we can create one time use promo codes that would essentially bring the concert ticket price to near zero for those already registered for ACen. There would also be a period of time where only those with promo codes could purchase tickets before sales open to the public.

I don't think this would address the group ticket purchase issue, however. In order to sit together, the tickets would pretty much have to be bought together, which means everyone would need to have their promo codes already (i.e., already registered for ACen). At least there would still be a way for it to happen, I guess.

Another thought is to only open a certain number of seats/sections for presale. This would allow attendees who feel a nominal fee is a fair trade for not having to stand in line or to fight for good seats. The rest of the seats/sections would be General Admission/unassigned seating and would be unticketed. Those with tickets would be allowed into the theatre first, and the GA folks can wait in their lines and be brought to their sections in an orderly manner afterward (like how the seating for the A New World concerts worked this year). This is my current frontrunner for ideas on how to make this work well for everyone, but I don't know if I can work it like this with TicketMaster in the mix.

I'll talk about promotion, advertising, and marketing in a forthcoming post.
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#9 User is offline   Washu Takahashi 

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 09:28 AM

I have to agree with everyone who's harping on advertisement. ACen kind of has a reputation for not announcing guests until a month or two before the convention (if not even closer to the con...), and that's simply not enough time to properly advertise. I'm aware it's something you've been trying very hard to improve, but if you want a musical act that grabs everyone's attention it needs to be at the top of your priority for guests. Honestly, if you can't get the contract secured and ironed out at LEAST 3 months before the con, don't even bother. Or, to put it nicer, don't expect to fill the theater if you can't finish everything by then.

I'm also among those who would gladly pay a little extra for a good seat I don't have to spend 3 hours in line for. Is there a way it could be done similar to the crystal ball tickets? I'm not sure how the ball went this year (or last year...I think I went in 2012) but the year I went tickets were mailed with badges. This way you wouldn't need ticketmaster, but assigning individual seats would be really hard on you since it'd probably be an emailing system or something to claim seats? Not really sure how it would work, just tossing some ideas around. What if the theater was broken into sections similar to ticketmaster, and you have people apply with their top 3 choices of seats, and they get whatever they were in line for based on availability and first-come first serve? Then instead of a ticket with like section 100, row A, seat 1, it could just be section 100 and you'd still have to line up for a seat, but you at least know you have a guaranteed seat in that section, even if you're in the worst seat of the best section. It'd probably make sitting with friends easier too. Not sure how doable any of that would be...but it's an idea.

My only issue with the "some paid, some free" is you have to have clearly defined sections. It wouldn't really be fair to let someone sit for free in a paid section, even if there's no one to claim those seats. Maybe make remaining seats in paid sections dirt cheap and offer them during the event to people waiting in line? "Hey, we know you've been waiting here for a while, would you like to pay an extra 3-5 dollars to get to sit in this reserved section?" something like that. First come, first serve til it's all filled up.

Would it be possibly for you to come up with a list of maybe 5-10 musical guests and then put them on a poll in the forums for people to vote on who they'd like to see? I'd never heard of Kalafina and only went to the concert because two of my friends were geeking out about it. But Kalafina at least sounded like a big deal and there was a bit of hype about it on the forums and on Facebook. (Not nearly enough, but at least I had a vague idea who they were before the con) I'd never heard of angela either, but there was no hype. No one seemed to care that they were there, and if no one else cares, I'm not going to go out of my way to figure out who they are. Now, I'm not the most knowledgeable person about Jpop by a LONG shot, I only really recognize the names of artists/bands who have done themes for my favorite animes. But if the group is a big deal, even people who don't have a clue who they are are going to be interested when everyone else starts raising a fuss about them. WUG! was able to spread like wildfire because so many people knew about it and told other people to watch the anime and listen to the songs. Like Kirby said, you don't NEED a group that's from an anime (though it would definitely help, I would have been willing to pay for the WUG concert) but you DO need something people will get hyped about that will spread through word of mouth, people's personal facebooks/twitters, etc.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't angela end up conflicting with other musical events? I think they were at the same time/close to the final fantasy thing? Putting a concert at the same time as another big event is a sure-fire way to make sure you have a poor turnout.
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#10 User is offline   El Ken 

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 01:50 PM

View PostWashu Takahashi, on 19 June 2014 - 09:28 AM, said:

And correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't angela end up conflicting with other musical events? I think they were at the same time/close to the final fantasy thing? Putting a concert at the same time as another big event is a sure-fire way to make sure you have a poor turnout.

angela did not conflict with any other concert. A New World was 4:00-5:30 and angela was at 7:00. I even made sure that the concert started after the vendor hall closed. The Roth/Uematsu Q&A did butt up against the concert, though, which was from 6:00-7:00. I did make sure that those were physically near each other so anyone who wanted to catch both could do so.

As far as putting up possible guests for a poll, that simply can't work. I never know if I will be getting a musical guest until a contract is signed, even if I've been in talks for a long time. I am currently working on 5 different groups for 2015. I've been in talks with 2 of them for about 2 years now. 1 or 2 of them are looking pretty surefire, but are really more of my backup options. The final one kinda popped up out of nowhere, and is simply just a possibility at this point. Even mentioning a couple of these artists online will immediately destroy negotiations and our relationship. There's no way I could put up a poll that includes them. There is a reason for this, but it's something I'd rather not discuss here.

Maybe it's just because I'm a bit older than the general attendees at ACen, but I didn't think that angela needed much of an introduction. To me, they're more well known and established than Kalafina. I figured that anyone who has watched anime for any amount of time would be familiar with the name since they've done so many themes over the past decade plus, and they have such a distinctive sound. Even so, I made sure to list a bunch of the shows they did music for in their bio so people could see it. They had very few official videos online (just their YouTube channel I linked to), and I couldn't link to the ones that infringe on copyright. I posted to Twitter, had the social media people post to Facebook, and sent out press releases. And this was all 3 1/2 months before con. But this is pretty much the extent of what I can do for promotion. Advertising and marketing is handled by different people, as is social media. I pretty much only interact with attendees on the forums, so I never know how popular something will be until I'm looking at the room during the event. I have no other feedback mechanism to gauge potential turnout.
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#11 User is offline   Washu Takahashi 

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 03:17 PM

View PostEl Ken, on 19 June 2014 - 01:50 PM, said:

angela did not conflict with any other concert. A New World was 4:00-5:30 and angela was at 7:00. I even made sure that the concert started after the vendor hall closed. The Roth/Uematsu Q&A did butt up against the concert, though, which was from 6:00-7:00. I did make sure that those were physically near each other so anyone who wanted to catch both could do so.

As far as putting up possible guests for a poll, that simply can't work. I never know if I will be getting a musical guest until a contract is signed, even if I've been in talks for a long time. I am currently working on 5 different groups for 2015. I've been in talks with 2 of them for about 2 years now. 1 or 2 of them are looking pretty surefire, but are really more of my backup options. The final one kinda popped up out of nowhere, and is simply just a possibility at this point. Even mentioning a couple of these artists online will immediately destroy negotiations and our relationship. There's no way I could put up a poll that includes them. There is a reason for this, but it's something I'd rather not discuss here.

Maybe it's just because I'm a bit older than the general attendees at ACen, but I didn't think that angela needed much of an introduction. To me, they're more well known and established than Kalafina. I figured that anyone who has watched anime for any amount of time would be familiar with the name since they've done so many themes over the past decade plus, and they have such a distinctive sound. Even so, I made sure to list a bunch of the shows they did music for in their bio so people could see it. They had very few official videos online (just their YouTube channel I linked to), and I couldn't link to the ones that infringe on copyright. I posted to Twitter, had the social media people post to Facebook, and sent out press releases. And this was all 3 1/2 months before con. But this is pretty much the extent of what I can do for promotion. Advertising and marketing is handled by different people, as is social media. I pretty much only interact with attendees on the forums, so I never know how popular something will be until I'm looking at the room during the event. I have no other feedback mechanism to gauge potential turnout.

My bad then, I thought something conflicted.

Completely understand if you can't put up a poll. It'd be nice, but obviously we wouldn't want to do anything that could hurt negotiations!

I looked over the wiki and ANN page on angela just now, and I haven't seen any of the anime angela has worked with. Looking at the list, I've only HEARD of 5 of the anime on it, and know very very little about any of them. In comparison, while Kalafina has less anime work overall, they have work in bigger names. If you've been an anime fan in the recent years there's pretty much no way you haven't heard of Black Butler or Madoka. I haven't seen either of them, but have heard so much I could swear I have. The only one angela did that is remotely popular to my knowledge is K. That might just be me, but I feel I have a pretty good grasp of what's been popular in recent years. I think if you want a name grabber, you have to pick a group that's worked in recent popular anime (and I don't mean recent as in this past anime season, but the last 5 years or so, tops) Doesn't mean they couldn't have been around longer than that, but they need at least 1 big name anime in recent years. It seems to me like the majority of ACen goers are high school and college students that often have nothing better to do than watch the most recent anime, and you have to play to their tastes. You say stuff like "Inuyasha" nowadays and you get funny looks from the younger generation, despite that show having GREAT music in my opinion. So it's not as much what's good as what's popular.
ACen 2014 Schedule
Friday: Meloetta [Pokemon]
Saturday: Umi Ryuuzaki [Magic Knight Rayearth]
Sunday: Sytry Cartwright Demon Attire [Devils and Realist]

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#12 User is offline   KungPowKirby 

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 03:27 PM

What about a survey about what type of music attendees want? I'm not just talking about rock, pop, etc- but also whether lots of connection to anime, purely anime, or maybe not connected to anime - but a major recording artist? Have a write in section where people can make suggestions of names they'd like to see? Maybe have that there when people are registering online? Also put a link into the newsletter, here, and facebook. You could even do it at con with a drop box they can put it in at the registration and customer service booths? This could even work with regular guests, not just musical guests. It'd probably be a better way then just relying on the forums for feedback and suggestions. As much as everyone hates it- the forums are pretty much dead anymore except right before and after con. With this you wouldnt have to reveal anyone your speaking to- and could get feedback for future years.

One thing that I think would be cool is if you got say 4 or 5 smaller & lesser known Japanese groups and held some kind of "festival" night. Something like you did with WUG - where they can perform 3 or 4 songs, and maybe even a small MC, and then have someone else come on stage. It'd still be great exposure for them, and might peak the interest of some people who may not normally attend. Most of these bands don't have enough singles to do a full concert- but combine them and you could make a wonderful concert. Maybe have one more major recording artist, someone like Ayame Goriki or Tomomi Itano - who can draw people from prior work, but it still trying to make a name for themselves as a solo artist. For smaller artist I'm thinking someone like Yui Kaori (video) (who are also seiyuu BTW),etc.

I don't want you to think I'm demeaning anything you do El Ken by my next statement - but I'm not sure how else to say it. You have to know how much I respect and appreciate all your hard work. While I understand about the marketing part- if you cant do more than you do,I wouldnt count on filling that theater for anyone less than someone like L'arc En Ciel, Gackt, or Yoshiki.

This post has been edited by KungPowKirby: 19 June 2014 - 03:35 PM

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#13 User is offline   El Ken 

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 04:10 PM

View PostWashu Takahashi, on 19 June 2014 - 03:17 PM, said:

My bad then, I thought something conflicted.

Completely understand if you can't put up a poll. It'd be nice, but obviously we wouldn't want to do anything that could hurt negotiations!

I looked over the wiki and ANN page on angela just now, and I haven't seen any of the anime angela has worked with. Looking at the list, I've only HEARD of 5 of the anime on it, and know very very little about any of them. In comparison, while Kalafina has less anime work overall, they have work in bigger names. If you've been an anime fan in the recent years there's pretty much no way you haven't heard of Black Butler or Madoka. I haven't seen either of them, but have heard so much I could swear I have. The only one angela did that is remotely popular to my knowledge is K. That might just be me, but I feel I have a pretty good grasp of what's been popular in recent years. I think if you want a name grabber, you have to pick a group that's worked in recent popular anime (and I don't mean recent as in this past anime season, but the last 5 years or so, tops) Doesn't mean they couldn't have been around longer than that, but they need at least 1 big name anime in recent years. It seems to me like the majority of ACen goers are high school and college students that often have nothing better to do than watch the most recent anime, and you have to play to their tastes. You say stuff like "Inuyasha" nowadays and you get funny looks from the younger generation, despite that show having GREAT music in my opinion. So it's not as much what's good as what's popular.

I absolutely agree that it's about what's popular... and I don't think I have a very good handle on that overall. While I consider myself a pretty big anime fan, and I do watch a lot of shows, I don't necessarily keep up with what's hot at any given time. Sure, big things like AoT (of which I was not a big fan) I'm aware of, but if someone asked me what's big right now I couldn't say.

And it's even more difficult when it comes to music and bands. Everyone has different tastes, and ACen used to be known for Jrock and VK groups whose concerts always seemed to be very well attended. I wanted to see what anisong artists would be like, and I'm afraid they simply aren't as popular among our attendees. In short, I feel like I either have to be very current with anime related bands or I have to go big with a popular group, whether that is VK, Jrock, or Jpop. People also bring up Vocaloid every year, but what does that even mean? Are they looking for a holographic Hatsune Miku concert or Vocaloid composers or the voices behind the Vocaloids themselves? Not only is it difficult to know what to pursue, but it takes so much time to actually get something going with most of these groups that it has to be planned years ahead of time.

Kirby, regarding other marketing and promotion, I need to work with those people who are responsible for it. But I don't have the time to manage it or track the campaigns or assess/measure its success/ROI. I need those people to understand what I'm trying to sell from the GR perspective as they currently work off the assumption that promotion is for the convention as a whole. There is a lot of work that needs to be done in that arena, and I need someone to step in and take ownership there to help me to my goals. I remain hopeful.
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#14 User is offline   KungPowKirby 

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 05:19 PM

View PostEl Ken, on 19 June 2014 - 04:10 PM, said:

I absolutely agree that it's about what's popular... and I don't think I have a very good handle on that overall. While I consider myself a pretty big anime fan, and I do watch a lot of shows, I don't necessarily keep up with what's hot at any given time. Sure, big things like AoT (of which I was not a big fan) I'm aware of, but if someone asked me what's big right now I couldn't say.

And it's even more difficult when it comes to music and bands. Everyone has different tastes, and ACen used to be known for Jrock and VK groups whose concerts always seemed to be very well attended. I wanted to see what anisong artists would be like, and I'm afraid they simply aren't as popular among our attendees. In short, I feel like I either have to be very current with anime related bands or I have to go big with a popular group, whether that is VK, Jrock, or Jpop. People also bring up Vocaloid every year, but what does that even mean? Are they looking for a holographic Hatsune Miku concert or Vocaloid composers or the voices behind the Vocaloids themselves? Not only is it difficult to know what to pursue, but it takes so much time to actually get something going with most of these groups that it has to be planned years ahead of time.

Kirby, regarding other marketing and promotion, I need to work with those people who are responsible for it. But I don't have the time to manage it or track the campaigns or assess/measure its success/ROI. I need those people to understand what I'm trying to sell from the GR perspective as they currently work off the assumption that promotion is for the convention as a whole. There is a lot of work that needs to be done in that arena, and I need someone to step in and take ownership there to help me to my goals. I remain hopeful.


I think people want the Holigraphic Miku concert. That itself may or may not be a hit for the mass audiences. AX has already had it and I don't think the Vocaliods are as popular as they once were.

I wish I knew what to say- I know that the marketing isn't your area. I'd like to think that ACen would work together to make the whole convention successful - but from my observations they do seem more concerned about their individual goals. Guests for me should be a big deal and something to put priority on- but I guess that's not the opinion of some.

This post has been edited by KungPowKirby: 19 June 2014 - 05:24 PM

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#15 User is offline   Washu Takahashi 

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 08:35 AM

I wish I could be more helpful with what's popular >< Like, I know what anime are popular right now, because I tend to avoid popular anime until the hype dies down and the hype is all over my Facebook and Tumblr @.@ But knowing what bands are popular is a whole nother ballgame. I know people loved the Free! Iwatobi Swim Club opening by oldcodex, but I'm not sure if they're popular outside of that (They're also doing the OP for season 2 this summer, so there's that). A lot of voice actors are really popular for their singing in character cds and whatnot (any of the men from the Uta no Prince Sama group, Free, Brothers Conflict, basketball anime. Women from AKB, Love Live, etc) but I'm not sure how much attention an individual person would draw unless it was one of the really big names (like Mamoru Miyano...I'll keep dreaming), but having anime roles attached to their names might be enough to draw people in. Naruto, Bleach, and FullMetal Alchemist (original and brotherhood) had a lot of popular songs but I'm not so sure if those would still be in. (Asian Kung-Fu Generation was in all 3 and Porno Graffitti did Bleach and FMA, I think those were popular, not sure if they still are)

Other than that, I went through the coming summer and previous spring and winter 2014/3 and made a list of what animes I'm pretty sure were popular, but I can't say anything about the bands in them.
Sailor Moon: Crystal
Free! Eternal Summer
Space Dandy
Sword Art Online II
Fairy Tail
No Game No Life
Chuunibyou
Kill La Kill
Kuroko no Basket
Magi
Attack on Titan

I could be wrong, but those are the ones I've seen the most talk about. Not sure if that helps you at all, but something to go off of. I kept my personal opinion out of it, otherwise there's be a lot more otome there and KlK and AoT wouldn't be there xD
ACen 2014 Schedule
Friday: Meloetta [Pokemon]
Saturday: Umi Ryuuzaki [Magic Knight Rayearth]
Sunday: Sytry Cartwright Demon Attire [Devils and Realist]

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#16 User is offline   magicalgamer 

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 09:26 AM

I like the idea of assigned seating or assigned area to avoid waiting in line. As for ticketing, you could do the presale code for convention attendees and sell general tickets to the public. If someone from the public buys a ticket, this would be a good chance to send out information about the convention to them and maybe get new attendees.

If you tried to split pre reserved section and general admission that could be done by having general admission be the balcony of the theater.

Would it be possible to place an ad in the local japanese newspaper. I think I have seen some of them at Mitsuwa. You might be able to draw some people looking to listen to music in their native language if the guest sings songs in Japanese.

#17 User is offline   youth 

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 06:14 PM

View PostEl Ken, on 19 June 2014 - 04:10 PM, said:

People also bring up Vocaloid every year, but what does that even mean? Are they looking for a holographic Hatsune Miku concert or Vocaloid composers or the voices behind the Vocaloids themselves? Not only is it difficult to know what to pursue, but it takes so much time to actually get something going with most of these groups that it has to be planned years ahead of time.


All of the the above; a full concert with the live band backing along with the producers & voices behind the vocaloid to fill out panel programming. Miku at AX sold out three years ago & she recently got a little more domestic exposure being the an opener for Lady Gaga's tour (see https://www.youtube....h?v=OYlRN6XWsDE). And just this month NY & LA were selected to host 2 concerts each (see mikuexpo.com). VIP tickets at $140+ sold out pretty quick, but regular admission tickets at $70+ after fees are still available. Honestly I don't know how much of a reception a Vocaloid concert would get at ACen. I think alot would depend on costs, but a paid & free section mix I bet would fill at least 2/3 of the theatre.

This post has been edited by youth: 21 June 2014 - 06:17 PM

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#18 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 04:33 PM

Hummm, reading all this had me thinking. You mentioned that the Advertising section of ACen wasn't involved with the Guest relations, but, and no offense meant, isn't that a little bit backwards way of thinking? Guests are a big draw to any convention, it's a major part of why people attend. So then, why is there not a sub group working with GR to focus on a campaign on the guests that you have lined up? It would go quite far pushing out there to people.

El Ken, you mentioned that you're not in touch with more current Anime and assumed that Angela would have a large turn out. While I know that you can't reveal anything, I would note that there wasn't much advertising for the band physically at the Convention. For example, Why no banners in the Registration hall or in the entry to the Dealers room announcing "Hey we have this awesome concert going on here at this time!"? I'd also think that the ACen booth would have had some ads for the events going on?

Is there any way to branch out the ads? Even if it's just in the hotel upfront and in the lobbies? This way people will know about these events when they come to check in.

As for music groups, in response to Washu's list:

  • Sailor Moon: Crystal -Momo Clover Z (Has been around for a long time. Popularity will rise as they become more well known thanks to the Sailor Moon show. Because of the size of that fandom it's a sure thing at least with any of the musical groups that are connected with this show or voice actors that are connected with this show will have a large turn out.) Momo also is known for it's "Sentai" like costumes and other aspects.

  • Free! Eternal Summer -OldCodex (voice actor that provides Makoto's voice is leader of this band). This one is a toss up. While Free is very very popular as a whole, OldCodex right now is known for the main song. However in some cases it could actually push this band forward.

  • Space Dandy -Series is popular, opening and ending song singers are not as well known. This could be a hard sell when it comes to music particularly given that the Opening's singer has had a rap sheet for illegal substance abuse in the 2000s.

  • Sword Art Online II- Series is popular, the only thing is I don't think enough people will know who LiSA and Eir Aoi the other singers are. LiSA has been around for a while in the indie scene in Japan, but the problem is, not so much here in the states. The other singers are just starting out, so really unless you saw them on their nico nico videos before 2010 you'll not know them well enough.

  • Fairy Tail -Again well known series, Band wise though I think the only one that people May know of on name alone would be +Plus and maybe Hero. But other than that most singers are newer.

  • No Game No Life -Again newer singers or singers that may be known outside of Anime circles.

  • Chuunibyou - Have never heard of this series, although I'm sure others have.

  • Kill La Kill - Eri Aoi (sp?) is one of the names associated with this that has several songs. Mostly newer singers

  • Kuroko no Basket - OldCodex and Granrodeo are two that could work from here, again, newer singers I think.

  • Magi - Has the most, Porno Graphitti, Super Cell and SID are all well known singers and have a lot of connections to both very popular (both new and old) series and have been on recent series that people who may have not watched the older series will know of them.

  • Attack on Titan -Linked Horizon. Given the popularity for the song, just saying it's connected to AOT will get peoples attention.


Of these bands: Momo Clover Z, Porno Graphitti, Super Cell, SID, OldCodex, Eir Aoi and Linked Horizon would be bands that people will have associations with through various series.

At least that's my take on it. Most fans will grow to enjoy a band based on what they hear from a show, they will associate the band with that show if that's the only anime that band has done, the more anime series the more they will know who the band is. the only thing is that the series must have come out more recently in the last five years, and be seen on either TV or on Crunchyroll or Hulu. Series that don't have this, shall we say push, will mean that the singers or bands wouldn't be easily recognized thus not too many people will know who they are.
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