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Convention Season 2008 Planning~
n2-Anpan OMP!!
Hey everyone!

Just a reminder that the SALE is still going on strong~ Many thanks to those who purchased stuff! Our first shipment just went out this morning. I have another package or two ready to go tomorrow! We still have a lot of stuff left - just let me know if you have any questions or inquiries about stuff! I can always take more photos or answer questions.

In the meanwhile, I've been pretty busy with maintaining our book deadline for February of 2008. I definitely have my work cut out for me - Less than 2.5 months to finish 7 chapters... 12 strips each. =_=;; I just have to buckle down and work hard. I average about 3 strips with finished pencils a day... colors are another story... but I'm still working on my techniques and methods to speed things up.

Well, this brings me to the subject matter at hand - Convention Season 2008 planning.

Aside from Kawaii Kon 2008, which is a given - KS and I are considering our options to attend a couple mainland conventions next year to promote our business. (I also posted this to the nemu*nemu blog.) We have limited resources and funds - flying from Hawaii is extremely time consuming and expensive, so where ever we plan for, we need to hit the right audiences.

High on our lists are:
  • Alternative Press Expo (Nov '08)
  • Fanime (May '08)

We know there's tons all over the US and Canada - any suggestions, advice, thoughts?

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XD So far, I've only heard great things about Fanime~ I'm not sure how I feel about AX's location next year? I also hear the attendance has really grown over the past couple years too~

KS and I are working hard on creating new merchandise for this upcoming con season~ I can only hope we choose wisely and make enough to cover our venues! XD

Comic-Con in San Diego is the one that came to mind, since it's not just anime fans that go there. And it's the largest. I don't know what is needed to have a table there, but at least it's on the West Coast and you will be hitting a much bigger audience plus industry people.

Good luck with everything. It took all my strength not to go for the School Head B, but then, I knew that it would sell.

Much thanks~! SDCC seems to be a popular choice for its sheer size and volume - we attended last year for one day (as attendees rather than dealers) and were overwhelmed. XD; I've been trying to get in touch with the staff regarding membership and tables.. definitely something to aim for!

Yeah, if you'd like to branch out - SDCC. But the downside is that because it's so large, it's probably harder to get noticed. (I'm not sure though, that might be totally balanced out by the sheer number of people - a smaller percentage of the total may still be more exposure.)

If you want to reach people from various parts of the country without having to travel quite far, there are a lot of out-of-state people who attend Anime Expo. Fanime, not so much, it's really popular with the Californians but I don't know many people who travel to it (I've never been).

Obviously since they're so close in time, I have the same problem - it's AX VERSUS SDCC, not both, really.

If you wanted a con not on the West Coast, then my recommendation would definitely be either Anime Central or Otakon. There are reasons I prefer ACen but Otakon is definitely a good bit larger. I have friends who do the Otakon Artist Alley on a fairly regular basis so if it was a candidate for you, I'd be happy to ask them about the experience (I don't remember hearing anything but good things).

Much thanks for the suggestions! KS and I have been considering the bigger cons like AX and SDCC since this past year - we totally didn't have enough time to scope out the entire joint! It'd be a great opportunity to try and promote our stuff - we just worry about being lost in the crowds. (and having enough inventory to last for 4 days~ XD;)

I, too, have not been to Fanime - but over the years I've heard good feedback from attendees in the artist alley. Not sure how that might translate over to the dealer's room though? From what I hear, they're about the size of AX maybe 5 years ago? Seemingly more manageable?

Ahhh~~ if only money and time wasn't so much of an issue! XD; Much thanks for the suggestions! :D

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Ah~ I forgot about Sakuracon! It might be a little early in the year for us - we'll be in con-prep mode from now till Kawaii Kon in April.

I'm thinking that Fanime would be a good venue for us~ The size and attendance seem about right. I'm a little worried about having enough inventory to last all 4 days of the con. All we've had to test out merchandise with is Kawaii Kon last year... and mainland cons are so much bigger! XD;;

Much thanks for the suggestions~!! :D

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ooou Fanime~v maybe we can see you guys :D

Oooh~ you guys are hitting Fanime next year? :D It's an awesome venue for artists - I think you guys would fit right in~ ^^

We're checking out our options right now~ (must make more $$$$~ XX;;) I hope it's a possibility~ XD

I went to APE last year. You can get in for free if you have your commiecon 07 badge, but I don't know if that's for full badges only or includes single day badges also. But if you're going in as a dealer, ignore the above. XD

APE is a low-key con. It's held in a smallish venue a bit out of the way for SF. I'd say the attendance is medium light, but that's only based on that first time I went. They do get big name guests who kick up attendance though, like Art Spiegelman last year. Your offerings definitely fit in with the atmosphere of the place. Lots of indie publishers, folks who have xeroxed and stapled zines, and random craft sellers here and there. No tights no capes.

Ah~ I'm not sure if our one-day pass would qualify us for attendance at APE, but we'd probably try for a space in the dealer's room.

From what I hear, APE has the right kind of atmosphere we're looking for - especially since we're trying to promote something kid-friendly. In general, we've heard a lot of positive things about the venue and it's also a big plus that it's in November - gives us time to replenish our stock from Kawaii Kon.. and whatever other fairs we'd attend here. ^_^

Might want to check with Maile-chan on Otakon (since she helps with it) and other East Coast cons?

Ohh~ good idea!

I had hit Otakon a couple times and it was a great venue for artists then~ I'm not sure how things have changed since as most of my friends who attended then no longer attend now? *ponder* But the East Coast has a number of cons throughout the summer... might be worth a look through~ :D

Fanime would probably be a good show for you guys.

APE is a very creative show, but for sales it's not as strong. It would be good from a PR standpoint, but if you really needed to make money you might be disappointed. I like to exhibit at APE just because it's inspiring to see what everyone else has been up to. Also, I just like smaller shows these days :P

You should actually consider WonderCon. It's been growing over the past few years at its new SF location. It has some of the excitement of SDCC, but it's still small enough where you won't be lost in the crowd.

Thanks so much for the advice!

I think KS is very interested in APE for the type of audience and to get a feel for what other folks are doing who are pretty much in the same boat. It's also nice that they've set APE for November next year - which is long after the convention season rush and we'd actually have time to restock our inventory/create new merchandise.

I've been eyeing Fanime as a potential con for about a year now - primarily for it's size (not as big as AX or SDCC so we'd get lost in the crowd) and reputation. We're a little worried about cost of travel and possibly running out of merchandise before the 4 days are up though. I'm also not sure just how much we'll need to make and ship/pack with us - as being a dealer is so much different than being an attendee in the artist alley. ^_^;

Depending how this year goes, I think Wondercon in 2009 is a good possibility. At this moment, we won't have enough merchandise to make a decent showing (and book 2 won't be done in time either. ^^;;) but it does look very promising!

Much thanks again! :D

Anime North!! May 23-25 in Toronto, Canada. I believe attendance was around 12,000 last year. Sales are always very good at this con.

I've always heard great things about AN~! I have to look into the air fare and hotel situation... Damn Hawaii for being so far away! >_<;;;

Alternatively, how are the prospect in the Artist Alley? I don't think we have enough resources or funds to make a showing in the Dealer's Room. *ponder*

AA requires good timing and some luck. There are about 200 half-tables, and they fill up usually the same day. To register for an AA table, you have to already have a paid and confirmed convention weekend pass (you can buy with paypal). Then you can either request a full or half table (you must pay for by cheque).

The only sure way to have a place is to go for a dealer's table. I don't know how much it costs, but you could just email them and ask. Dealer's table may require a work permit since you guys are not citizens... details at http://www.animenorth.com

Though to be honest, AA tables have better exposure since to have just a single table in the dealer's makes you seem very small in comparison to those guys with 12 tables worth of DVDs, tshirts, etc. Also, people browsing the AA would be more likely to be looking for the kind of stuff you guys sell. Anyhow, if you guys wanna sit near us (that would be cool!!) just get in touch with Jen I guess. You have her email, yes?

Just FYI, I am now GOING TO KAWAII-KON for 2008. Flight is booked and I'm working on my hotel as of today. ^_^ Wayne should be proud.

OMG! Now I HAVE to have a costume ready for your arrival~~ *ponder* XD

Hurrah! I'm so glad you can make it next year! :D

I would recommend highly Anime Expo. It's the biggest anime con in the West Coast and it would be excellent exposure for your comic, without breaking the bank.

Comic Con while an excellent con, has become too big for the San Diego Convention Center, and fighting the crowds has become a real task in itself. The hotel accomodations has also become very difficult to secure. (Many of them sells out in minutes and are way overpriced. Some hotels are over $250 a night.)

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