(I'm splitting this overview into parts because I did a lot of things so each part will be long.)
I attended Kin-Yoobi Con 2012 as a staff member, Friday, August 10th - Sunday, August 12th. The convention took place at the Hilton hotel in Newark/Fremont. Kin-Yoobi Con 2012 kind of hit me like a tornado. It snuck up on me, flipped me on my head, drove me insane, and then left. I'm not going to spill all the dirty little secrets of staffing this convention, here's a little insight into what went on.
|Photo by Winter Wish Cosplay Photography|
Maid Namine and Aqua
(My makeup's a little harsh from the fashion show.)
On Day Two of Kin-Yoobi Con, my friends and I were cosplaying as Kingdom Hearts maids. Our cosplays were based on fan art (just like my Link cosplay, haha). I ran late to the convention (again), btu I can't for the life of me remember why. Probably had to print things or something. The first event that I ran was the Anime Dating Game. Unlike the Dating Auction, the Dating Game is just for fun, not for dates. It's similar to the old dating game shows where one Bachelor would ask three Bachelorettes questions and then choose who he'd like to date based on only their answers (they can't see each-other). Usually we don't play for prizes, but we had extras, so the bachelor and his chosen winner each got a prize. The game is really fun, and people get really creative with their questions and answers. I didn't host, but instead did minor things like blindfolding the bachelor and handing out prizes. I like running the behind-the-scenes stuff, I actually feel like I'm doing more that way for some reason. Also I get stage fright, so I never like hosting things.
After the Dating Game, my boyfriend and I ran off to host "Magikarp: A History". Like with "Rattata: Top Percentage" the day before, our audience was very small. Nevertheless, our panel went well. I think we ended about fifteen minutes early, but that was alright. I think that the panel lasts longer at bigger conventions because more people are laughing or cheering, and it takes longer to calm them down and move on with the panel. I like hosting for more enthusiastic audiences, but every now and then, a small audience is nice too.
From there, it was back to the main stage to run "Anime Feud". Anime Feud is like the game show "Anime Feud", we put out a survey a few months before the convention, collect the answers, and use them as answers in the game show. I, being the genius that I am (haha sarcasm), forgot to print out an anwer key for myself. I quickly made one and we had time for both rounds of "Anime Feud" that I had planned. We cut the rounds short though, not for time, but because the players seemed to be getting bored. A lot of people were frustrated with the answers, and all I can say to that is that if you don't like it, you should answer the survey next time so that your answers will be on the board.
"Anime Jeopardy" followed "Feud", and of course, I forgot an answer key for that too. To make matters worse, I was supposed to get ready to walk in the fashion show at that time. One of the volunteers (who was actually a great help throughout the entire weekend) volunteered to make an answer key, and I had a chance to get ready for the show. After I was ready, I was able to go back to the main stage to make sure that everything was still going relatively okay. I had already designated a volunteer to help my boyfriend run things (my boyfriend was hosting), and the answer key got finished with enough time to play one game. As a special surprise, Vic Mignogna came to play Jeopardy! I didn't get to watch the entire round, but it seemed like people were having fun from what I saw.
Also during this time, I found out that a lot of the food that was designated for the cafe had been given away and eaten. We lost almost all of the Hi-Chews we had bought, several pastries, and the entire case of water. After I was told several times by several different staff members that the food would be okay and safe where it was, and it ended up getting eaten anyway. A couple of the girls who were volunteering for the Cafe pooled their money (with the promise of reimbursement) and we sent another staff member to get a few things.
|Photo by Winter Wish Cosplay Photography|
I don't even recognize myself!
I helped with what I could to set up for the fashion show, and things went well from there. Getting ready for the show was a little chaotic, but then again, fashion shows are always chaotic. Learning how the designer wanted us to walk was the hardest part though, it was really confusing, and everyone seemed to be being told different things. Eventually we figured it out though, and everything went well. Following the fashion show, the models were called away to a photoshoot. This was a little bit of a problem for me and my friend, since we were supposed to go set up the Cosplay Cafe, but I got word that the Cafe setup was pushed back an hour because Karaoke (which was being run in the same room) was running late. Well that was great for me, but not so great for the convention, events had been running late all weekend, and pushing something back an hour looked awful, I'm sure. We had our photoshoot and then scurried off the the Cafe.
At the Cosplay Cafe was wear I hit my breaking point for the weekend. I was told ahead of time that we would have between 4 and 6 tables for the Cafe. I requested that no more than 4 be brought, and I planned for four. When I walked into the room, there was one table. One. And there were a bunch of staff members and volunteers standing around doing nothing, waiting for me, I guess, I don't know. I flat-out screamed. I was tired and angry and frustrated. If I've learned one thing from my entire time at Kin-Yoobi, it's that if you want anything done, you have to do it yourself. After some yelling and some cursing, we got a total of four tables together and got the decorations up.
While we were setting up, the doors were open, and an attendee tried to walk in. The girls who were near the door told her that we were still setting up, and the attendee rudely pulled out here phone and said, "Nooo. Nooo! It says 'Cosplay Cafe, 5:00!'" She started shoving her phone in the girls' faces, I can only assume she had pulled up the schedule on her phone as "proof". The girls told her that we're sorry, but Karaoke ran late, and as a result, we were running late. I didn't see the rude woman for some times after that, I'm not sure where she went. We closed the doors after that, but for some reason, they kept getting left open at random times and a few attendees tried to get in. We knew we were going to have to thin out the crowd somehow, and we weren't allowed to charge for food, so we made a few announcements that there would be a $3 charge to walk into the room.
Once we were ready, we opened the doors, and two girls at the door collected money and kept count of how many people walked in the room. The rude woman from earlier was somehow first in line. When she was told that it was $3, she loudly proclaimed that she wasn't told about the charge, and "We have no business here!" before storming off. I was told later that as she was walking out, she was loudly complaining that she had wasted forty-five minutes waiting and she wasn't told about a charge, and she and her friends appeared to be angrily texting or tweeting about it. Frankly, we were glad she left, she had been a pain at different events all day, and we didn't want to have to serve her. Also, we had made several announcements beforehand that it would be $3, it wasn't our fault that she didn't hear, we used a megaphone for at least one announcement.
After the room was filled, we quickly decided on a time limit (twenty minutes) so that we could let a new wave of people in. A staff member who wasn't directly involved in the cafe until that point used the megaphone and told everyone in line to leave and come back in twenty minutes. That would have been fine if they actually came back, I would have preferred to make them wait, or at least not tell them to leave, but more on that later.
I decided that I would once again be better at running behind-the scenes stuff, and had the volunteers handle the tables. It was one volunteer per table, they were to take everyone's food order, and then play a card game or a board game with their table. Meanwhile I set up the food to be taken to tables, refilled the tables' candy dishes, helped the girls carry things to their tables when there was a lot (I usually took bottles of water to the tables), and tried my best to make things easier for the girls serving tables. It sounds like a lot, but it was really a lot of small things, so it was pretty easy.
The girls did an outstanding job serving tables and entertaining them, I was really impressed. I'm really glad that I didn't serve tables because I would not have done as spectacular of a job as any of them did.
When the twenty minutes was up, everyone left (except for the few people who joined the first group late), and we cleaned up a bit. Some of the servers switched tables, and we actually got a fifth server as well. Since we now had five, we split one of the tables into two, and the girl who had the largest table in the last wave now took a much smaller table that sat four. The next wave of people was considerably smaller than the first, and things appeared to go well during it.
Unfortunately, one of the tables (which sat two girls who came in late in the first wave) had no one serving them. I didn't notice until I heard one of the girls say something along the lines of, "They're taking a long time to let more people in." The girl who had originally served that table had switched to a different table, and the server who was supposed to take over was never told. I told the girl who had no one at her table, and she took over. We still had a server not serving anyone, and they went to play games with the previously ignored table too, to make up for them being ignored. After the food was served, I cleared empty plates and trashed, refilled the candy bowls, and also went to join the previously ignored girls. The five of us (myself, the two girls, and the two servers) played Apples to Apples for a long time. Apples to Apples is one of my favorite games, but I never get to play it because I don't own it, and I usually don't hang out with groups large enough to play anyway. A couple of people came to our table and left, and the two girls still stayed.
Eventually they left and it was me, the two servers, and my boyfriend (he had left for food and then came back). I made up a game out of distributing the green cards in Apples to Apples (they have adjectives written on them) to people in a semi-random order. Theoretically, the cards you get describe you, and some of the cards are really funny. We took turns distributing the cards to each other with the way that I came up with, and then we each distributed them in whatever way we felt like. Hilarity ensued, and we played until the Cafe closed down. We cleaned up what we could, the extra tables were taken away, and we put the room back the way it was for Karaoke again.
After the Cosplay Cafe, I had no more events to run. My boyfriend and I decided to wind down by going ballroom dancing at the main stage. There weren't many people dancing at all, but we had fun anyway. At once point, we sat and people-watched (my favorite past-time ever). I watched as a group of boys talked among themselves not six feet away from a group of girls talking among themselves. I commented, "What is this, Jr. High?" I tried to come up with a way to get the two groups to dance with each-other, but I couldn't. Eventually some of them began dancing though! I was going to stay for Closing Ceremonies, but decided that I had nothing to say, so my boyfriend and I said goodbye to our friends and went home.
This year's Kin-Yoobi Con was the most frustrating year yet. I knew that things would be stressful, this being the con's first year at a hotel, but I feel like a lot of the things that I had issues with were things that could have been avoided with better planning and people doing what they say they'll do. As I said before, if I've learned anything from Kin-Yoobi Con, it's that if you want something down, you need to do it yourself. All of that said, I did have a good time this year, and I hope everyone else did too.