J-Popcon 2010 – Preface

Before starting my review of the convention, I thought it would be good to write a preface explaining a few things that should be kept in mind while reading this.

First off, since I expect quite a few Danish readers will come across this at one time or another, I’d like to dispel a rumour that has been circulating; no, there is no bad blood between Genki and J-Popcon. Yes, we have a friendly ‘rivalry’ going and occasionally poke fun at each other, but it’s all in good spirits and in order to improve for the sake of the guests.

Second, it’s important to remember that this year, J-Popcon practically re-invented itself; they moved to an entirely new venue, used an entirely new check-in and payment system, and with a large number of organizers never have tried anything like this before, so stuff was bound to go a little haywire every now and again, since everything was pretty new to everyone.

That being said, I’ll make a few notes on the pre-con impression. In order to not turn this into a wall of text, I’ll do as much in keyword form as I can:

The Good

  • The website was used a lot better this year, compared to previous years.
  • Fresh blood in the organizer group = fresh input.
  • Registration and payment system was great and easy to use
  • Lots of high profile guests, who I’m sure many are looking forward to seeing/hearing.

The Bad

  • Registrations were up extremely late, though in J-Popcon’s defence, this was due to their contract with PBS (Payment Business Services) dragging out. They found it pretty annoying too.
  • Many cosplayers complained that requirements for doing an act during the cosplay show this year has been insane. As a result, fewer groups have entered this year, compared to previous years.
  • Some organizers have expressed that internal communication was less than satisfactory.
  • Several artists have expressed dissatisfaction about the expensive prices (Weekend = 350 DKK entry + 150 DKK booth + travel expenses) and that despite it being ‘first come, first serve’, J-Popcon would pick and choose which artists got in, to get a wider range of art; they thought it unfair that they could be bypassed by someone signing up later, just because their art might be similar to someone else’s.

The Outlier

  • This isn’t necessarily as bad as it is odd, at least to me, but J-Popcon have decided to wait with accepting receipts and refunding the organizers until after the convention. I’ve since talked to their main PR guy who said that it was simply due that it was too much work to do gradually, which is true; it’s a lot more work to do it gradually (I did that with Genki) than over the course of one or two days, but the advantages are also immense.

    For one thing, organizers don’t go without money for weeks (some invested thousands of their own money to get events done, and had to borrow more to ensure they could still be held), which leaves a lot of unhappy faces, but more importantly, the treasurer knows -exactly- how much money has been spent and how much is left leading up to the convention, and can control spending accordingly. Doing everything after the con leaves too much hoping and guesswork for my taste, which is why I personally try to avoid it. Besides, in the event of a deficit (which is probably unlikely, but still), who get’s stuck with the bill to pay everyone else back?

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