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Sunday, May 5, 2019

How to Make Tekko a Better Anime Convention


I’ve been going to all kinds of fan conventions since 2014. I’ve been to local comic cons, retrogaming cons, weird random tiny conventions, and even New York Comic Con. The first ever convention I ever went to was Tekko, which is an anime convention held every year in Pittsburgh. I’ve been to the past six Tekkos and after this year I decided that I was done going to Tekko.

Of the six Tekkos I’ve been to, three of them were like… the best weekends of my life. Petty much the only people I talk to these days are friends I met at Tekko. I probably wouldn’t be blogging if it weren’t for Tekko. I love Tekko, it represents a lot of what made me comfortable and so outgoing about my pop culture geekiness or whatever. But the last two years Tekko has been miserable. And I don’t like feeling miserable so I’m not going back.

But I don’t want to just say, “Tekko sucks cus it isn’t fun” and walk away. I do want to go back to Tekko one of these days. So I thought I’d provide some helpful suggestions and constructive criticism. Things that I think would make Tekko better for everyone. If you’re not from Pittsburgh or an even anime convention fan you probably won’t get much out of this but read it anyway.

Full disclosure just so everyone knows where I’m coming from. Like I said I’ve been to the past 6 Tekkos. Four of those times I had a press pass, one time I was staff - and not just for the weekend. I worked with the organization for like a year and then quit after Tekko that year. I’ve also presented four or five panels at Tekko. Lastly, my day job involves marketing, PR, graphic design, and all that stuff plus event planning so I know a little bit about what I’m talking about. I also work at a non-profit which will be important later so take notes.

Okay, here we go these are my suggestions for making Tekko better.

Diversify in vendor’s room

When I go to cons, especially if I’m going for free or the price of admission is like $10, I spend so much of my money in the dealer’s room. But the past two years I have bought zero things at Tekko.

Every vendor sells more or less the same stuff. Plushies, figurines, blind boxes, DVDs, and manga - and all of it's overpriced.

Everything is “new”. Hot off the presses. Nothing vintage or retro. There’s no like 90s action figures or mini figures. All the DVDs and Blu-Rays are sealed new releases. All the manga is the most recent printing and even if vendors offer like 20% that’s still more than anyone should pay for something published before Tekko even existed.

Two years in a row there was a guy selling old trading cards and Japanese children’s books. I used to spend literally hours going through those cards. But he’s gone now.

Most of the artists in the artist alley seem to focus on Yaoi fanart. I am not saying there shouldn't be any Yaoi but it's like 80%. And a lot of them clearly don’t even draw stuff they’re fans of. Just whatever’s popular. Apparently, Tekko’s artist alley isn’t juried meaning whoever applies first gets in even if they’re all selling the same stuff. There are more specific rules about what you can and cannot sell but we'll get into that later.

But the dealers and vendors seem to be held to more specific regulations. I’m guessing they’ve cracked down on people selling old, fairly priced stuff in favor of basically retail stores who just sell the hottest new merch.

It’s boring going from one vendor and finding the exact same plushies or FiguArts at the booth right next to it. Or if you aren't into any newer anime you might not find any merch from your favorites. I actually buy more Japanese pop culture items at general comic cons like 3 Rivers Comicon or retrogaming cons like ReplayFX. At Tekko I buy nothing.

They moved into a bigger hall a few years ago but they just got more of the same vendors instead of more different kinds of vendors. It’s quantity over quality… which kinda sums up a lot of my problem with Tekko’s content.

Also. Why was the army there this year? You won’t let people sell opened trading cards but you can recruit them to go fight over oil in the desert? Literally what the fuck?

Diversify guests, don’t just get more voice actors

Having voice actor guests at an anime con is fine, I’m personally not a fan but I get it. But it'd be nice to have some bigger names related to Japanese culture.

In my time at Tekko there’s been over 25 VA guests and I have cared about exactly one of them: Jeff Nimoy. And that wasn’t even because of his acting. Yeah, he voiced Tentomon in Digimon but he was also the writer and director of the 3 seasons and the movie. And this isn't just because it's a Digimon thing. I do watch a lot of different anime - I just personally don't care about voice actors. Tekko has brought dozens of actors from anime that I watch but I never attend any of their panels and I never get autographs.

I went to a panel on directing anime that Jeff was on and most of the other voice actors were there too and they kinda ganged up on him because they’re all Funimation people and they wanted to know how he directs since he’s never worked for Funimation. And that was actually interesting. Because literally every other voice actor to ever go to Tekko is usually a Funimation person and they all have the same experiences.

Like what questions do people ask them at their Q & A sessions?

Tekko should try to bring an actual anime creator, maybe a manga writer or artist, or a tokusatsu or drama actor. Every year they bring more and more voice actors but they could cut that number in half and bring someone different. Like the guy who created Radiant. That’s a new, hot property. And he speaks English.

Partnerships with big companies

Almost every year I’ve been at Tekko there’s been a Funimation booth in the vendor’s room and a Funimation sponsored anime screening room and I think at least one panel where they show off some new and upcoming stuff. And like I said most of the voice actor guests at Tekko are from Funimation so there’s probably some kind of contractual deal there.

That’s cool. Funimation is a big name in the anime industry. But their vendor table is always just random people selling overpriced Blu-Rays.

It’d be cool if there were more big companies at Tekko with booths that had giveaways like free posters and lanyards and stuff. Those things are cheap to produce and they probably have them leftover from bigger cons. And maybe they could host some signings at their booths instead of just wherever autographs are done. And maybe they could set up cool photo op events like you could sit on the Iron Throne. But whatever the anime version of the Iron Throne is. Anything that’s more than just overpriced DVDs.

Media Blasters was there this year… But they were just selling overpriced DVDs.

Tekko should bring in companies like Viz Media, Crunchyroll, or Shout! Factory. And not just with their own booths, they could even their own panels. And I’m being realistic here. I’m not expecting for Toei to announce the next Dragon Ball series in Pittsburgh, but even just company representatives showing off trailers and clips of upcoming projects. I don’t care about the voice of whatever show is popular right now, but I’d like to meet Miles from Crunchyroll. He seems cool. Even if he was just showing off trailers that have already come out, hearing someone who works in the industry talking about them would be cool.

And this plays into the next point.

More industry panels, less attendee run panels

I get that for a lot of people panels are the only reason they go to Tekko, but it can sometimes feel like a lot of attendees don’t go to any panel rooms ever.

And that makes sense. Most of the panels are run by random fans who are just gushing about their favorite cartoon with a title and a premise that sounds vaguely academic. But they’re basically all college powerpoints.

Some of them can be well done, interesting, and informative. But a lot of them are crap. I went to one that was just some guy showing off videos that can easily be found on YouTube. Like he showed off every Kamen Rider transformation scene and then a 20 minute video tribute to Kamen Rider. And at the end, he had the audacity to have a Q&A session. Like, dude, what are we gonna ask you?

Someone else did a panel on the new Digimon movies but he just summarized the plots and showed off all the fight scenes - without subtitles - while explaining what was happening on screen.

Also, a lot of these panels can be a real free for all where everyone just talks over the panelist. Especially if the panelist is a female.

Other cons have panels run by creators or guests talking about their work and what they've done, or just industry people in general.

More partnerships with big companies and industry guests means more panels for and hosted by those guests. People who know what they’re talking about.

I went to a Steven Universe panel at NYCC. It was hosted by an established journalist known for his Steven Universe episode reviews. He didn’t need a power point to keep the conversation going. No one in the audience tried to mansplain Rebecca Sugar either.

Make Thursday night matter or don’t do it at all

Apparently, before I ever went to Tekko, Thursday night used to just be early badge pick up at a separate theater where a new anime movie was shown. When Tekko moved to the convention center they still did the early badge pick up and they still showed the movie.

But the movie is less of a big deal now. I’ve never even seen the Thursday night movie - and not for lack of trying. My first year I wanted to but I didn’t know where it was and none of the volunteers could tell me either.

I think the year I was on staff they didn’t even do it. I’m pretty sure they couldn’t get Funimation to give them an exclusive dub premiere. But... who cares? You got a Funimation, just show literally any one of their recent movies. The Boy and the Beast had just come out. It wasn’t an exclusive premiere but I’m sure a lot of Tekko attendees hadn’t seen it. Or they could’ve shown the new Dragon Ball Z movie that came out that year. The one where Frieza came back. That would’ve been sweet.

This year the movie - which is pretty much the main attraction on Thursday - was shown in a remote lecture hall far away from anything else. And when I walked by the lights were still on. At least they screened it 3 times throughout the night so people waiting in the long lines had multiple chances to see it. That's great... except one person I talked to didn't realize this and was pissed it was shown while she was still in line.

More recently they started doing panels on Thursday night, which would be cool but most people are in line or leave after getting their badge. Last year we found out that my favorite panel in all of Tekko had moved to Thursday night, but we didn’t find out until after it had already started. I heard this year someone did a panel on Thursday and no one showed up.

Why does Tekko feel the need to have panels occupying every single operating hour of the convention? On Friday and Saturday there are panels as early as 9AM when most people are still in line to get their badge and there are panels going on until 2AM.

Two.

In the morning.

Could you imagine staying at Tekko until the middle of the night because it’s the only spot they’d give to a panel related to your random niche anime like Dinosaur King or Ronin Warriors? And then it turns out it’s just some guy with a power point talking about how cool Ronin Warriors is.

Quantity over quality again. Like I said some attendee run panels are great but I’d rather only have great panels during the prime hours than a bunch of crappy ones spread throughout the entire weekend.

The game room is also open on Thursday which is cool I guess. I actually don’t have anything wrong with the game room. It’s pretty solid. But I usually just go in once to check it out and then never go back in. I don’t really have any suggestions for how to fix it. I go to ReplayFX for every year and that’s almost nothing but one big game room for four full days. Maybe Bandai or Square Enix could have booths in it? Instead of three J-rock bands, they could bring a video game band like 8-Bit Brigade. 

More stuff related to the alleged theme

Like what is the point of even having a theme? I understand wanting to have uniform artwork on the badges and social media and stuff and changing it up every year. It's pretty essential for marketing. But you can just… do it. You don’t need to call it a theme. Just put ninjas on all the posters and the shirts. You don’t have to actually say Tekko has a ninja theme if you’re not gonna do anything with it.

So the themes are usually just overstated artwork but this year they went hard and introduced a mecha mascot to go with their mecha theme. They had like an animatronic mecha commissioned. That looked expensive. Are they going to get a new animatronic made for the new theme every year? Or is every year gonna be mecha themed? Are they gonna dress the animatronic up in cosplay every year. The next theme is apparently "Sports." Are they gonna put it in like a Japanese high school PE uniform or give it a baseball cap and bat?

And then because they really wanted you to see all of the mecha content, they color-coded the schedule so you could easily find all of the mecha panels. By my count they had twenty-one! Most of them were about Gundam and they were all - ALL - from attendee panelists. Nothing involving any of the guests, nothing organized by Tekko itself.

Know what would have been more valuable than two dozen power points about Gundam? An interview with a suit actor from Ultraman or one of the writers of Voltron. Or like one of those guys who made props on Power Rangers. They’d just buy junk at Goodwill and hot glue it together. They must have some interesting stories. But hey this guy who works at Jimmy Johns has a cool list on the differences between the English and Japanese versions of Gundam Seed. Who doesn't wanna stay up late to see that?

Tekko gets criticism all the time for having a pointless theme and it looks like this year they decided to do something about it. But instead of the staff working to create content with their guests built around the theme they just put all the work on their attendees. You can’t hype up your theme when you didn’t do any of the work related to it except buy a robot.

If My Hero Academia is the hot show this year and they had a bunch of the actors they could’ve made the theme superheroes and had like a discussion panel on heroic tropes. The voice actors could’ve discussed their favorite childhood superheroes. Maybe a local comic book and anime blogger could’ve moderated it.

Enough with the scheduling apps.

Tekko used to pass out program books that included all the details on everything at the con and a paper schedule of all the panels and events. The past few years they have been trying all these different apps like Guidebook and FanGuru.

They’re all really annoying and stupid and don’t actually make the con experience better for attendees.

Not everybody has a smartphone or wants to keep it on hand when they’re in cosplay or surrounded by thousands of strangers. And it can be hard to get a signal in a big metal building not to mention it being hard to find a place to charge your phone.

It takes forever to scroll through the whole thing when you could just scan a paper schedule with your eyes in like two seconds. They're usually organized by time instead of room so if you see a panel at Room 3 at 2PM and you want to know what's before it you can't just glance up. You gotta go to 1PM and scroll all the way down through every room until you find what you're looking for.

This year they brought the paper stuff back but they’re only at registration. The schedule used to be on the website so you couldn’t plan ahead of time or, y’know, decide if there’s enough stuff you’re interested in to justify going to Tekko in the first place. The only reason I went to my first Tekko was because the panels were listed on the website.

If they want to cut costs on programs they could make them a $5 pre-reg add-on. And just put the information itself on the site. It doesn't need to be a fancy database. Just upload a PDf. Hell, it can just be plain text.

Some people do like the apps for searching for panels and getting notifications, and that's fine, but they shouldn’t be the only way for attendees to find out what’s going on in your convention.

Calm down with the rules

Tekko has more rules than any convention I've ever been to. Rules posted everywhere for attendees. Rules for vendors and artists about what they can and cannot sell. Practically every room has a whole page full of rules. The dance sounds fun but if you read the long list of rules and it just makes it sounds unfun. It’s a dance.

Artist Alley tables don’t come with a single admission badge so you have to pre-register and wait in line like everyone else. That’s dumb.

Let's look at some other rules from the Artist Alley application.
"Proxy selling is NOT permitted, you CANNOT sell merchandise on another Artist’s behalf. If you and another Artist collaborated on any merchandise together, you must apply together on the application and subsequently be selling at the same table(s) if accepted."
So if I want to sell the comic I just wrote but a different person is drawing, we both have to apply and attend? If the artist can’t come I can’t have a table? He lives in the UK!
"All work sold within the Artist Alley must have artistic merit and be YOUR OWN works. Anything resembling bootlegs, official merchandise, copying another Artist’s work,, etc is expressly prohibited. Fan art is OK to sell"
What is the difference between fan art and a bootleg poster? Is drawing characters from Naruto or wahtever copying another artist's work?

Change the name back

When I first heard about my city’s local anime convention back in college it was called Tekkoshocon. When I finally attended in 2014 its name had just been changed to Tekko.

For quick reference, Wikipedia says the name came from “tekkosho” which means "steel mill" in Japanese which is a reference to Pittsburgh’s historical steel industry. According to Google translate it doesn’t but whatever. The name Tekko itself doesn’t mean anything either.

I’ve heard it was changed because people just called it Tekko anyway. But every anime con I have ever heard of is referred to in casual conversation by whatever the first part of the name is before the “con”. Comic cons use abbreviations like SDCC or NYCC. But that’s just short form for logos and Twitter character limits. No one says "NYCC" out loud. I'm willing to bet more people used "Tekko" online than in actual conversation before 2014.

So come to 2014 Tekkoshocon gets renamed to Tekko and that created three problems:

1. People still call it Tekkoshocon because Pittsburghers have a tendency to refer to things by what they were called twenty years ago. I’m not even sure what my own neighborhood is called because everyone I talk to calls it something different.

2. People are confused because the name Tekko doesn’t mean anything and it doesn’t convey what it is in any way. It’s two completely random syllables that are not associated with anything. If you heard it out loud for the first time it might sound like a technology conference. That’s great for SEO but in casual conversation, you have to follow it up. “Yeah I’m going to Tekko... that’s an anime con.” If something is named after a weird Japanese-sounding word followed by the word "con" people can generally figure out that it’s an anime convention in like 2 seconds.

Also, the logo is meaningless. An anime convention’s logo doesn’t have to have an anime eye where the O is or an anime catgirl with a cup of ramen and a samurai sword. It can just be the name in a fun font. That's all it needs to be. Tekko’s logo - for no known reason - is a pair of wings. It doesn’t look like an anime convention it looks like an airline or something. This year they incorporated the wings into the design of their mecha mascot… but he’s not Mario so it’s not like someone is gonna see the logo and think, “Oh, the Tekkobot wings. This must be Tekko.”

3. Because people are used to hearing about anime conventions in a shorted form that drops the “con” off the end, everyone calls it “Tekko Con.” That’s bad. It’s bad because it sounds dumb and it’s not the name of the event. I’ve heard attendees say Tekkocon in passing, I’ve seen guests and artists tweet #Tekkocon. I’ve even seen the official Tekko facebook page talk about Tekko Con. Tekko doesn’t even know its own name.

Simplify the registration process

Tekko usually has two main registration lines. One is for people who pre-registered ahead of time, and the other is for people who just walk in and register the day of. The idea is that the pre-reg line moves faster than the regular line. Buuuut it’s always some kind of a clusterfuck.

If you register ahead of time you have to fill out all this personal info which makes sense cuz you’re putting in like your billing info and maybe you wanna get on the list for the special event you’re paying extra for. But even if you just pass some cosplayers on the street and get in line on a whim you still have to fill out all that stuff.

WHY?

Walk-ins should just be able to hand you $40 and get a badge. Maybe collect your name and email and tie it to the barcode on the back of the badge. But this isn’t NYCC where vendors can tap your badge with an iPad to put you on their mailing list or enter you in a giveaway. I don’t think anything about it is scannable except the barcode. It's just a plastic card. It might as well be paper in a plastic pouch. Or even a wristband.

The one year I was staff on Tekko there were monthly meetings and they always talked up this fancy registration system with fancy tablets and barcode scanners and credit card swipers. They did a big test before one of the meetings and when they announced that it worked everyone clapped. Registration that year opened at 4:30 and at 4:29 the registration system crashed. The two lines because one big line and everyone was stressed out and pissed.

You know what doesn’t crash? Printing out a spreadsheet with all the pre-registration people’s info on it and marking it off with a highlighter. “Uh let’s see what’s your last name? Okay here go.” It takes like 2 seconds. I've seen this idea brought up before and they said Tekko was too big of a convention for that to work.

If Tekko wants to have this fancy badge system then why not mail out the badges like bigger cons? It costs less than $1 to mail something the size and shape of a credit card and if they charged extra they’d make money which they love doing. That way the only people waiting in line are the people who didn’t pre-register. I've seen this idea brought up before and they said Tekko was too small of a convention for that to work.

So is it too big or too small? ReplayFX has 20k attendees and they don’t even have plastic badges. In 2017 their four-day pass was just four separate paper wristbands that they gave you on Thursday and it was up to you to make sure wore the right one on the right day or that you didn’t lose them. It sounds funny or like it could be a disaster. But it wasn’t. The whole process was smooth. I told them my name and they marked it off with a highlighter.

Become a for-profit

So Tekko is actually one of a few an events run by a non-profit organization called the Pittsburgh Japanese Culture Society. Or PittJCS for short. Some people just call it the Japanese Culture Society JCS and we pretty much already went into why that is.

So like I said earlier my day job is in non-profit. I’m not an expert or anything but aren’t non-profit charities supposed to like… help people? Like helping poor people get food and clothes or fighting injustices and stuff. How does throwing a few nerd parties every year help people?

And I know not all nonprofits are just food banks or whatever. Even the ones that could probably technically operate as a for-profit still help people in some way. Museums preserve art and history, theaters encourage the arts and performing, libraries provide easily accessible knowledge and information. And they all offer services like classes, field trips, and other things that benefit the community.

I guess Tekko has all these weird and different rules and events to try and stay within the confines of a nonprofit. I guess? Like they opened up a room specifically for kids that runs panels just for kids. It’s called Chibi Tekko. But you’re not allowed inside if you’re over 12 unless you’re a parent.

Tekko also opened a room specifically for educational panels. But literally, any panel could be considered educational. Whenever I submitted a panel in the past I had no idea if mine qualified for the educational room. And there isn't really a way to monitor the actual educational value of those panels. They’re all presented by - you guessed it - random attendees who could very well not know what they’re talking about.

Other than those two things I have no idea what makes them qualify as a nonprofit. I once heard they could get more funding if they had programming targeted at kids 3 and under. What could that possibly be? What is any programming for kids 3 and under at any event supposed to be other than a daycare?

I don’t honestly think being a nonprofit is just a nefarious way to avoid paying taxes and get grant funding…. But that’s the only reason I can think of.

So maybe Tekko is preserving and enriching Japanese culture. East meets West. Discover the beautiful history of Japanese mythology and politics. But is it really doing that? If anything it’s exploitative of Japanese culture.

Like there’s nothing wrong with being a fan of anime or dressing up as your favorite character. I don’t personally care for cosplay myself, but it’s part of the experience and it’s always nice to see creative and impressively made cosplays. I don’t even care if you’re cosplaying a different race or whatever.

But walking around and butchering the Japanese language by spouting catchphrases in a racist , broken English accent? Having all these panels about how great the culture is even though you’ve only ever experienced it in a cartoon?

Cosplaying as a fictional character is one thing but I always see people in like “generic Japanese person” cosplay. Like they just wear a kimono or a Japanese schoolgirl uniform and call it cosplay. Would you wear an American prep school uniform to a Western comic con? Or like a high school football jersey with the pads. “Oh, you're 60s Batman? Cool, I’m cosplaying an American.” Do you think Japanese people wear school uniforms to anime conventions in Japan? I mean I guess if they’re coming from school they would.

Sure you could probably make this argument about any anime convention, but Tekko is acting like they’re providing a beneficial service to the community.

So anyway just pay taxes.

A GOD-DAMNED SINGLE DAY PASS

Tekko runs from Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon with Friday and Saturday being the main days with all the big events. There are premium passes that let you into exclusive events and get like a drawstring backpack full of extra stuff, and there are rockstar badges that are like backstage passes to the J-Rock show I guess? But other than that there is just a General 4-day admission. And that’s what you have to pay even if you can only go for 1 day. Sunday tickets are discounted a bit but you can’t get them until Sunday and that’s only if they don’t “sell out” beforehand so you gotta wait in their stupid lines for maybe a discount pas to the shorted day that you've already spent a bit of in line.

I can’t believe this is my grand finale or that I even have to explain why this is an issue but here we go.

Every convention has a day pass. Literally all of them. Well, at least all the ones I’ve been to or researched. There are a few that don’t but a lot of them are so small that they’re only 2 days anyway and even then it’s like $30 at most.

Tekko’s general admission goes on sale way in advance for as low as $30 but it keeps going up every few months. Most people spend $40 or $45 but walk-in prices this year were $50. And if you can only go on one day, that’s the price you HAVE to pay for the whole weekend.

Say what you will about the content or the guests or the vendor room or whatever, but this is easily the worst thing about Tekko and if it’s the only thing that gets fixed I’d gladly consider going again.

You shouldn’t have to pay for 100% of something if you’re going to consume less than 40% of it. That’s the basics of the argument and it should be the end… but PittJCS staff and Tekko faithfuls will tell you it’s a terrible idea. Here’s why it’s actually not.

Tekko is trying to broaden its attendee base and grow until it’s demographic contains every kind of person on the planet. First lolita fashion, then kids, now wrestling fans. They keep trying to attract all these new people with different guests and events.

Unless you’re a hardcore anime fan I can’t imagine anyone wanting to attend and pay for a complete weekend of a con you’ve never been too. Maybe the random wrestling show this year actually worked and made you want to come to Tekko… for the wrestling show. The show was on Friday, the photo ops and meet ‘n greets with the wrestlers were all on Friday. If you’re only a fan of wrestling and nothing else related to Tekko except maybe you're a casual anime fan, wouldn’t you love to just get a Friday pass? Explore the vendor room for an hour and maybe check out a panel or the game room before the show. Imagine being pissed that you have to spend all this money just for that.

Or what about walk-ins who just want to check it out? The fact that you have to pay for the full weekend at a con you might not even be interested in is complete crap. So you think you might as well try to enjoy the whole weekend because you’re forced to pay for it or else you feel this weird sense of not getting your money’s worth.

A lot of people say you can get the whole weekend for $30 if you pre-register the moment admission goes on sale. But that’s like a year in advance. That’s great for the hardcore Tekko fans who follow their social media for when that’s announced, but what about all the people who just discover Tekko in the weeks leading up to it? What about the people who aren’t interested until a guest or event is announced? This year they were announcing guests on Thursday night after the convention had already started!

And forget about the content for a second. What if you love anime and cosplay but like… you have a job or kids or other obligations that prevent you from hanging out in Downtown Pittsburgh for 75 nonstop hours.

And think about travel. Not everyone can afford the hotel for the full weekend so they might drive up and then drive back at the end of the day. Doing that four times is a lot of money for gas and parking.

I have met so many people and seen so many comments on social media all saying that the only reason they don’t go to Tekko is that there is no day pass.

So why isn’t there a day pass? There's no reason for there to not be. Everything I’ve just said is simple and obvious.

I’ve heard from the grapevine that PittJCS bigwigs refuse to believe it’s a good idea. They say it will somehow decrease attendance or increase costs. Apparently, they did it once and ended up losing money.

If that’s true then it basically means that people who only want to attend 1 days worth of the con are forced to pay for 4 days worth. (Or three days when you consider Thursday and Sunday aren’t full days but whatever.) And if they tried it and it fewer people came then that doesn’t mean the idea of single day badges is bad.

IT MEANS YOUR 4-DAY CONVENTION DOESN’T HAVE ENOUGH QUALITY CONTENT TO JUSTIFY THE COST OF ADMISSION.

I’m actually glad we’re doing this topic last because it means we’re all caught up on what Tekko is. A vendors room filled with repetitive dealers and artists that takes about an hour to see everything. Voice actor guests who all work for the same company so they’re basically interchangeable. A bunch of random events that seem popular but aren’t for everyone. Hundreds of endless panels that aren’t as informative as they sound. And a bunch of rules that suck the fun out of everything.

No wonder people only want to go for one day.

So since day passes will apparently make them lose money that means they are knowingly charging people for four days when they only want to or are probably only able to attend one day. That doesn’t sound very charitable to me.

A day pass will increase the number of attendees. It just will. But hey if you want to force people to pay for 4 days of a convention you could always make those 4 days worth it.

3 comments:

  1. Out of curiosity, did you visit the Scale Model Room? What did you think of it if you stopped in?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know of the scale model room. I've been in it before. People building gunpla, mecha anime on a TV in the corner, finished models on display. Model kits aren't my thing so I've never really had any problems our suggestions for it,

      Delete
  2. So I actually disagree with you on the "day pass" idea. I think it gets rather complicated to sell day passes. Plus buying a 4 day pass is often worth it when you think of everything you get. So personally, unless it's NYCC level, I think 4 day passes are fine.

    However, I think your other points were really spot on. I think it would be annoying to go to a dealer room and see them selling the same things. I like to buy comics or some sort of original art because I feel like i'm supporting a business versus buying a plushie sold at three booths.

    I also prefer having a book versus an app as well. To me, I like having a physical copy. Plus I can keep it as a souvenir.

    As far as rules.. it depends. I can see where having a bunch of rules gets annoying, but I like if a convention sets rules for cosplay for example. The campaign "cosplay doesn't mean consent" is super important for every convention to have.

    Nice post.

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