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If I ever did a Tom Con

Note: This is a very theoretical document that I’m writing. This is not actually every going to happen, but may be used by folks to try and change the con scene.


I am a very practical person in fandom, but there are times I get crazy ideas in my head such as running a convention. This usually happens when I get someone who throws absolutlely insane ideas to learn more about running one. This is where I get this notion of what if I ever ran con. I never have executed on this due to how crazy crowded DC/Baltimore anime cons are.


This is what TomCon would always be for and about:


-An adult crowd (18 plus or 21 plus, not quite sure).  I want to bring those fans who aren’t actively engaged in fandom due to changing tastes. They’re still fans, but want to not be Marco’d Pollo’d or Homestuck to death.


-It would be about Anime, Manga and Japanese Pop culture first and foremost.


-A lower cost than any convention in the region (both memberships and hotel rooms). I would like to keep it an at door rate of $45. That would mean no day memberships at this point for the convention. My goal for hotel rooms would be $99-109 a night before tax. This is to make it a full weekend show.


-A maximum of four to five guests of honor (meaning all expenses would be covered by TomCon). Voice Actor Guest of Honor, Voice Actress Guest of Honor, Fan Guest of Honor, Educational Guest of honor and musical guest of honor.  All guests would be encouraged to go beyond a few panels and autographs, but to be at all of the major events.


-Offer unique social events. Instead of an Opening Ceremony, A welcoming Ice Cream social where all of the Guests and program participants attend.


-Do a non-competition cosplay. It could be a place where class of competitor doesn’t matter. Just the beauty of their costume or ability to entertain. It’s a place where the reward is applause just like how Flute Link didn’t win any prizes back in Otakon 2007 masquerade, but got a whole house standing ovation.


-Bring a heavily curated approach to Videos. Half of the Videos must be from 1995 or earlier. Many fans don’t appreciate the history of anime and what came before what we see today. All Videos get an introduction and have a discussion afterwards. If there is time, the room just shows random anime related things and weird from Japan.


-Have a 21 plus lounge in the evening where folks can socialize and have alcohol. It could be a party inside of the hotel. It could also lower the room costs by having folks.


-Everyone besides the guests of honor would need to pay to attend. Staff would get rooms and food covered. Panelists would get a membership reimbursement if show breaks even. It creates a sense of ownership within the fandom. That is part of creating community that this show is about.


-Low costs for vendors to be part of the room. $25 for 10 hall tables and $50 with 12 or so spaces in a locked room. Badges would be at lowest membership level ($25 for the weekend). Would want to have under 10 vendors total, so that is why the small amount of tables/spaces total.


-The goal is 300-500 people.


I am wondering something. Would people actually attend this type of event who are above 18? Are people that enamored with the way things are that it’s better not to rock the boat? I live in an heavily concentrated convention area. Would this work in another area like Metro Philly or Richmond? This is all theoretical at this point, so I am not sure this idea goes anywhere. I simply want a healthy conversation to begin on this.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
psipsy
May. 21st, 2013 08:52 pm (UTC)
Starting small is a good idea. Going 2-day the first year is an option.

I'd say go 21+ (with case-by-case exceptions for any spouses). Alcohol will be less of an issue that way.

Staff should have badges included as a standard perk.

This area is kinda saturated with cons, but a 21+ con might stand a chance BECAUSE it's 21+. I'd go as an attendee (had my fill of staffing).

Don't tie the con theme or name to location.

makotohanabi
May. 22nd, 2013 10:54 pm (UTC)
Go 21+ it makes having a lounge with booze easier. Having a con that's geared to adults instead of feral brats is a big plus. That alone makes me reconsider going back to an anime con.

Since you have a maximum on vendors will the Dealer's room be juried or first come first serve? Will the video room also be juried or will the staff decide?

I suggest putting TomCon in Raleigh or in the midwest. Raleigh hotels are very mellow with corkage and it's cheaper, according to NC based con runners. Midwestern con suites are mini restaurants and depending on the crowd they draw and often have booze. Probably won't be too hard to find a local microbrew to sponsor the lounge.

redneckotaku
May. 22nd, 2013 11:00 pm (UTC)
Raleigh or the Midwest is a little too far. I was thinking Richmond area for it, if I didn't do DC. The Dealers room would be juried with so few Dealers in the room. There would have to be space controls. Not sure on Juried Room, but that sounds interesting. Maybe, we can talk more about Video room at Balticon this weekend.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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