May 30, 2012

Professional Tips for Cosplay Organizers

                   They are an important staple in conventions. Sometimes they might look like your run-of-the-mill grunt with a t-shirt and jeans on. Some might be cosplaying their characters and to some they might be even promoters and floor directors. Cosplay organizers are abundant in the community. Whether you are long seasoned veteran or an average guy who is willing to put the resources to create a cosplay convention it’s always a "no-brainier" to be professional in every aspect to the process. These basic tips will help ease the pressures and obstacles in the way from the conceptualization until the egress of any cosplay/anime-related event.
A good cosplay organizer can handle this kind of pressure.
1. Be Punctual

                       As Filipinos we are always familiar with the term “Filipino Time." We get late in an important meeting or negotiation, and it ends up as an excuse. This will suffice when it’s your own fellow countrymen but what about the foreign investors? Being punctual and in a timely manner is absolutely a requirement.  It creates a persona of being professional, and at the same time it shows to the clients that you are taking the deal seriously in a business-like fashion.
                When dealing with plenty of clients, exhibitors, sponsors, or even fellow cosplayers and organizers its best that you keep their tabs in them at all times regarding updates. One noticeable thing that lacks in cosplay conventions is the lack of communication between the event organizers, marshalls, and exhibitors. It’s always a recipe for disaster and makes things harder to tackle when somebody turns into a grumpy mood.  These aspects shall include:

                * Event Schedules
                * Contracts and X-Deals
                * Ingress and Egress period
                * Networking

                       What’s the allotted time you ask? Well, it really depends on the location, but we usually have at least a thirty (30) minute allowance time to accommodate our clients, especially when they are from another city or province. Furthermore, contact your clients immediately if you are going to be late. You don’t want to look like a douchebag when they need you the most.

2. Open Communication IS A MUST           

                   It’s always a rule of thumb to get their contact number either from their head or a representative to make things a little easier. Never get deterred when they ignore your call, instead leave a message regarding the matter. We are human beings after all, and we have our own personal issues to tackle. You never know that the person you are calling might be having a “bathroom break."  The only way that you push the conversation is when it’s really important, and they are going to be affected by the changes. Time is your worst enemy in every event, and it’s an organizer's job to make sure that you meet the deadline.

3. Listen First, Act Later

                An important tip to remember is when in meetings and negotiations, always listen to them first before making a statement on the matter. The biggest difference between those who lead and that who follow is their open-mindedness. You get less obstruction from the other party in the process.  In the contrast, never put yourself in a position that you can’t justify your own opinions and goals. You can’t simply say yes to everything they had to say.

                 Furthermore, when the negotiations are getting tougher chances are they are getting too personal. When this happens always state to them that “it’s just business." One major hiccup on cosplay negotiations is when they take it to a more personal approach. You need to break some eggs to make that omelet. Learn how to separate business and personal intentions in negotiations. The only time that you need to back out from the deal is when you understood the explanation and in the end, it still doesn’t work.

4. You are the BOSS!

                 Remember the time when you respect and idolized your father because he has the authority over things about the house? Always have the final say in any decision. At the same time, be flexible at start to believe in your people and staff. There’s no negative response to a leader who trusts their followers. Be competent and teach them a trick or two in the long run.

                 With the sense of authority is the bigger sense of responsibility for all aspects of the convention. Always keep tabs with people and socialize them so that you can fix the problem as soon as possible. When it gets tough, take a break and refocus. You never want to see a problematic organizer, especially when they disappear due to the pressure.

              If you are the kind of guy who likes to follow orders, the only thing you must do is to try to accomplish the task at hand. You could “fake it until you make it”. It helps when you have a partner ready to back you up once in a while.  Think of him/her as your “second in command." It’s a good way of enjoying work and learning in the long run.

5. Never Stop Improving

                Consistency can be a big factor in any cosplay organizer’s portfolio. If you can provide the same effect you are giving in every convention, you will definitely get some positive feedback. Never think of criticisms as a way of putting yourself down. It’s a good way of making plans and fixing what are the problems later. Make a group discussion afterwards and analyze the problems at hand so that you can fix the issues as soon as you can create the next one. Find new concepts and ideas and mix them up to create interesting events.

                And remember that in the end, it’s the people who are willing to improve themselves are the ones who are ready to accept the rewards. It’s a combination of hard-work, creativity, and a dream that one-day things will be better. And this dream will fuel your inspirations in every aspect of your life.

May 8, 2012

Same Repetitive Cosplay Jokes

          You see it anywhere you go. For those who remembered the old times when people just have fun for what they want and not being ridiculed for how perfect it is. I wonder if it’s because of the increase of fans or the monopolization of the cosplay scene that makes people negatively criticize it. Yes, it’s still an art form on its own but compared to our other cosplay brothers and sisters in different countries. We are walking one step backwards upon our goal.

Cosplay Goddess "Alodia Gosiengfiao" on a feed site

          I still remember when Alodia was a friendly, geeky, otaku. Remembering the days where she personally answers her friends and fans on social media sites. She was a “fan” just like the rest of the newcomers in the community then. I can still say back when she, and her sister Ashley wasn’t “picky” when it comes to eating food off the streets. The same-old times indeed and I personally miss that. Most of her supporters would not at any time be able to feel what I have experienced and will never be. I can’t blame progress if the price for it was freedom on their part. They have their own sacrifices, and I gave them the credit at the same time the benefit of the doubt.

           And what about these people stating that they are quitting for good? Will it ever change for the better? I suggest people; especially pinoy cosplayers should always keep their word. That is one of the things why the local populace treats us like a bunch of child minded individuals. We are the ones who creating this image of backstabbing, poor work ethics, and lack of professionalism.  Some cosplayers stated that they were leaving because of stubborn reasons. One example is the ever popular “because of *name of famous cosplayer here*”. No offense guys but in the real-world justifications based of people’s success is a recipe for humiliation. Most otakus don’t know how to justify what is wrong and right when it comes to cosplay because in the first place, they are thinking of the merchandise. I have to admit as of this day it still does.

           And it gets even worse when cosplay gets infused with the local entertainment section, especially television. That’s the price we get when we use the easiest tactic to get the maximum exposure we need to achieve. That’s why I gave them the doubt. Not only has it affected the pioneers of the cosplay scene but also the new ones. And what’s the worst thing? The ones who created this mess in the first place are the ones who are slowly disappearing from the scene. They created this mess in the first place. Why we need to suffer from it? I say we should we fix this problem and accomplished the only thing that the old guys never did. Fixing the problems that they left behind and build a more stable community for all of us.

              Looks like in the end, it’s about not only about the past that we need to focus on. Now it’s the time that we start to discipline ourselves. If it’s our attitude toward cosplay that will stab us, it’s the mass media for sure. I always put the term “professionalism” into play. It may seem repetitive but in the long run it’s what keeps the best from the mediocre ones. We all have a dream, but I still believe that one-day things will change. It’s not that bad if you know the correct mentality to do things right. Never be deterred by the negative side effects of cosplay tribalism and it’s commercialization. It serves as a challenge to all of us.