Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Matthew's SacAnime Winter 2016 Report - Part 3 + Closing Thoughts

Fallout 4 cosplay, complete with Pip-Boy
I never liked it when a convention ends, especially these three-day conventions. You're having such a blast, seeing friends and total strangers when all of the sudden it's now Sunday and you have to go home. Time to pack it up, time to check out, and go back to our ordinary lives.

After what seemed to be a long night, most of us in the room did wake up. While the rest went downstairs to obtain last-second autographs, I had to stay up in the room to make sure that we cleaned out everything and accounted all luggage and items that we brought and purchased over the weekend. I am sad though that I lost my windbreaker as I probably left it on the second floor of the hotel and never got it back.

The nice thing about staying at the Hyatt is that it's close enough to all the action but far enough to not induce heavy traffic. This was my first time that I have stayed there over the Sheraton and the first thing you notice is that there's no lines to get into crowded elevators which is already a distinct advantage over staying at the other hotel. Waiting for a bellhop didn't take much time either, and having the parking garage connected to the hotel made loading up and finding the car without having the cross the street easier. It is considerably more expensive both in terms of the room and parking but I think it's worth it.

I didn't take any shots on the final day of the convention, but with the new layout of the Dealer's Hall I decided to make a short walkthrough of what was to offer.

By now there wasn't much to do and everything was wrapping up, just final wandering around, saying hi to people that you haven't said hi to yet, and determining when to get out of the convention. Our stomachs dictated when we left, and we left awfully early to head on over to Oz Korean BBQ in Elk Grove before the Sunday evening crowd arrived; our wait time was about 30 minutes which again isn't bad considering parties wait up to an hour on a busy Sunday evening.

Once we all filled up, it was a quick stop over at Shari's for Ryan to claim something he's been wanting from me, a pie shake, then it was time for me to go home. I said my final good-byes with the group before they had to take off for that five to six hour drive back to Oregon.


I've been a long-time SacAnime attendee, attending this convention for over ten years, although there was that year and a half timespan that I took SacAnime off to attend Anime Los Angeles twice and Anime Vegas which made me homesick and wanting more to come back to the convention that I grew up and loved.

And within those ten years, not only did the convention change but everything around me. Gone were the days of recording panels on a DV camcorder and a point-and-shoot, now I have an iPhone for quick photos that could be then uploaded to our Facebook page and 4K video as well as a DSLR for full-sized convention shots. The area surrounding the convention has expanded with more places to dine and visit during your stay. And now I can call upon Uber and Lyft right on my smartphone to get us to where we want to go without having to move the car out of the parking garage or spend huge taxi fees.

Uber in action right from my iPhone
Some people will argue that the convention inside has changed more for the worse than the better. Yes, SacAnime is bringing in guests that people can relate to but don't know what it feels like and to experience spending $30 just to get an autograph from the VA of Jack Skellington. Some will say that this convention is bringing in too many guests and that they need to focus on quality over quantity. And some outright don't like the position higher mangement and the staffers have taken this convention to the point where, for many, this is their last SacAnime.

As said ten year convention veteran, I can play the old man role and say "well back in my day" and list off all the things that I could do at SacAnime but can't do now (get autographs without being a paid attendee is one of them). But in order to be change there have to be some sacrifices that we have to deal it whether we like it or not.

There is some change that, however, we cannot just sit lying down. And one of them is staff turnover and the response of the new staff. As someone who deals with the press department, there was a ton of miscommunication and missed leads that caused more headaches than I needed. And when I really needed to speak to the head of the press staff, this person was not to be seen unless I knew exactly where this person was. I did talk with someone on Sunday on the reason why Robbie might of been denied a press badge and that, yes, it was chaos for all of us over the weekend. I felt more calm after hearing his answers but left me with more questions into the direction of the press department and how these events can be avoided in the near future. There was promise into what he had told me but I would need to see it executed in person perfectly.

As the calendar moves ahead a year into 2016, this is a crucial year both in terms of managing this website, managing the community, and managing my life as a whole. I have huge benchmarks that I need to achive in my life this year and in order to do that I also need to make some sacrifices. This is where I realize that reporting at conventions like FanimeCon and Anime Expo might be over. This doesn't mean that I would out of reporting all together; I do plan on coming back to cover SacAnime Summer in September and the two SacCons that are on the docket for this year. I'm also moving into a position of running gatherings especially now that one of my friends has temporary stepped down from running the Central Valley Cosplay Gathering and has trust me into running the entire thing for the time being. I have my existing staff support as well as support from the entire Sacramento and Central Valley community and expect no hiccups with this change. This would also branch out into being more involved in the community itself outside the gathering, helping any way that I can. I also foresee new opportunities and parternships which I am excited to see where those lead.

Overall, I enjoyed coming back to SacAnime running at its peak. I would agree that there needs to be overhaul but there are also things that this convention is doing right that should be capitalized on. Hopefully this convention will be all ears in taking critical feedback and improving this now-considered "regional convention." No matter what I've said about other conventions, SacAnime will always be my hometown convention and would love until the end of days.

私のレポートを 読むためにありがとう。
Thank you for reading my report.

- Day Three & SacAnime Winter 2016 Report End -

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.