Anime Conji 2014 is coming just around the corner BUT we need your help!
As for this year’s convention, the managing staffs demands to discontinue for us to wear our Umbrella Secret Service uniforms and instead wear red vests (valet vests) to serve as Access Control for this year’s Anime Conji 2014 due to minimum concerns compared to other major issues from last year. We, as staff and attendees of Anime Conji, we do our duties to protect our attendees & guests as security and at the same time, having fun cosplaying as Umbrella Secret Service. That’s the purpose for this convention and is probably the only convention who has Umbrella Secret Service security compared to Wonder Con, Anime Expo, Comic Con, etc. For 2-3 years, we enjoyed doing what we do until today.
For those who are attending this year’s Anime Conji 2014, we need your help to spread the word and have the Anime Conji managers to reconsider. Not only they’ve taken away our identities as Access Control/ security but also the fun & excitement for staffing Anime Conji. The uniform was the reason that got me to join as Access Control and we don’t want it to be taken away from us for this year.
Shout out to the Gigaventure photo used in this post!
Umm… As a prior Anime Conji staff member, let me say good. I’m glad the Umbrella Corp Uniform security requirement is ending. It’s a fun concept, I don’t deny that. However, no matter how nice you guys in uniform were/are as individuals and once interacted with, there were always complaints from people that felt overly intimidated by it. There were people afraid to approach security even when they should have. There were individuals in your group that scared fellow staffers, or did we conveniently forget the guy who wanted a fake name on his badge (to be covert) and to concealed-carry a real firearm while on duty? The uniforms, regardless of the inaccuracy if the complaint, thought it looked like, and I a quote, “Nazis”. I personally talked to attendees who were too scared to speak up about the uniforms making them uncomfortable in con feedback panel sessions while the heads of security stared the crowd down from the stage and therefore asked to submit the complaints anonymously. The host location had to request you stop carrying airsoft guns as a part of the uniform because it was scaring both attendees and hotel guests (and I remember the griping from security that followed that — just because you know the difference between a real gun and airsoft doesn’t mean everyone does). Additionally, the uniform standards required were prohibitively expensive for anyone wanting to volunteer/join staff as security and expensive enough that it was unreasonable for the Con to help offset the cost either.
It was all, quite frankly, a bit overboard.
For all that I know that most of you guys were/are good folk and put a lot of work into running the security team with organized shifts and not letting people go on duty while inebriated, putting certain other staffing groups to shame, a dedication which I greatly appreciated — I am glad to see the uniforms go.
OH MY FUCKING GOD WHY DID I NEVER KNOW ABOUT ANIME CONJI
Why would you wa— Run. Run now and never look back.
Oh… I figured that, it being its third year now, they would have fixed issues they had in the first years, but maybe not?
I was excited that there’s a con that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for here. T3T
I’ll continue looking through your anime conji tag. :0
I didn’t stay on this year (finally broke that cycle of head-desk), but it’s worth noting that what I have heard from reliable people who did remain…
- The original owner of Anime Conji, SanSFiS sold the con to SPJA (who owns Anime Expo among other cons) this year. Depite some biases, it was actually largely viewed as an opportunity to clean out the structure and reboot.
- Most of the reliable staff that had toughed through prior years quit within the months following.
- Hector and Ryan were kept on as the con heads, despite complaints about favoritism towards friends who actually did not do their work over people who did, childish and unprofessional behavior from them, and Hector’s tendency to go through con drunk, unwashed, hitting on people who were either minors or guests, and attempting to trade sexual favors for things like room space to his staffers.
- Nathan who had been previously banned from working on the Street Team for sexually harassing fellow staffers was promoted to Programming Head while his victim left the con. (He is still on staff.)
- At a little less than 3 months to con, it was found not only was the website nothing but a splash page and a registration link with no other info, that Hector and Ryan had done none of the work necessary to finalizing things for con. They were fired and the SPJA president was forced to take over.
- The majority of “Anime Conji’s” official guests had no actual relation to Japanese Animation.
- A great deal of the con’s budget was spent getting a single Japanese guest related to CosMode Magazine who ended up presenting to a nearly empty panel room.
- This budget choice left things necessary to running the con undone on day 1: security staff had to pay for zip ties for peace-bonding out of their own pockets, programs were not printed and emergency solutions had to be put in place (I understood some programs may have finally arrived on Saturday?), no signage that couldn’t be printed on 8.5 x 11 printer paper, no label printers for badges at registration, etc
- Panelist Registration and the actual panel rooms were on opposite sides of the very large Town & Country complex (“aided” by the lack of signage).
- Upper level staff either not responding to emails or dodging important questions presented to them.
- Attempts by the con to enforce rules (like no bags or purses allowed in convention rooms) without the rules being either printed in a handout —no programs— nor posted to the website.
And these are just a few things an ex-staffer knows via the grape vine. I’m supposed to meet up with friends for a post-con retirement dinner in the next couple of weeks and have been informed there are “stories”.
THAT FEELING BEFORE A MAJOR EVENT
It’s what? Less than 48 hours to con?
4~6 more staffers (some did it via proxy) officially tendered resignation to Anime Conji at the general meeting today (including myself. I had rejoined for 2013 in hope of changes happening and silently decided to stay out of it a while back). Thing’s a damn mess of no work getting done and no communication. Everyone who worked hard is slowly giving up hope and leaving. And how can you blame them? SPJA buying out the con from SANSFiS was an opportunity for things to change. For the failing structure to be wiped clean and rebuilt. YET — The same people who slacked off, screwed up and or didn’t communicate remain in the highest positions of power appointing favorites to leadership positions instead of dedicated people who get work done. The reliable staffers are jumping ship left and right. A theoretical 6 months to con they’re still finalizing what rooms they’ll have with the hotel. The website is nothing but a splash image and a registration link. They have no guests of honor. No programming, nor a way to submit programming. The exhibits (and artist’s alley) head was run off for trying to consult with exhibitors regarding space preferences and generally being too thorough in her job. A man who was banned from participating in promotions last year for sexually harassing a member of the street team has been promoted to the head of programming while his victim has left the con. Who would still hold hope for it?
looktothenightxai replied to your post: I’m finally doing it…
Quitting Conji (the poison)?
Correct. Mike and I are done. A long with a lot of other people(Barrie as you already knew, MG is also quitting and he headed our disabled services, and others).
Good. That con is just toxic to work at this point.
Someone tell me…
Why the local cosplay kids at a gathering in Seaport were drinking/drunk? Let alone one had the gall to ask me if I had my ID so I could buy them alcohol. A 17 year old asked this so they could play kings cup at Embarcadero park… Just fucking wow. I kind of want to make a post about it on the Conji page…
Wow. It’s not like Seaport is regularly patrolled by cops or full of people on a Saturday. WTF.
Well, it’s not appropriate to post on the Conji page unless it was a Conji event. If it’s not a Conji event post somewhere on the gathering thread. Something to this effect might work.
I’d like to address a serious issue very briefly. When you are in the public, please be conscious of the appropriateness of the location and level at which you are consuming alcohol. Public intoxication, getting drunk in a public park or shopping center, is illegal and may result in being arrested, fines, and driver’s license suspensions (yes, even though you’re not driving). Providing alcohol to minors is also illegal and should not be done. Legally, the only time someone under 21 should be drinking alcohol is in a private setting with explicit parental permission. In either case, these activities cannot occur at Conji officially sponsored events — we cannot be seen as supporting illegal behavior especially something that involves being a public nuisance or potentially endangering minors. Please do not make this an issue we have to bring to the organizers to discuss implementing consequences (like banning from events) in order to discourage such behavior.
Followers, I don’t give a shit if you drink underage. Just don’t be a fucking moron about it and a) drink in public or b) expect of-age person X will buy shit for you and put their legal ass on the line. In a private setting (a closed event or someone’s home) is a fine place to drink. I will not provide a minor alcohol unless a) it’s in a private setting, b) I like you and know you to be responsible, AND c) have the okay of your legal guardian. You getting alcohol is not worth it for me to risk legal repercussions.
Playing games designed to get you shnockered in a public park next to a popular family-oriented tourist location on a Saturday tells me I never ought to provide your dumb ass alcohol because you cannot be responsible with it.
Apparently, CONvergence 2011 was the site of a significantly above-average number of incidents of assault, people being drugged, and a host of other slightly sketchy things that got talked about but not really reported. It is a drinking and party con, and that definitely has an effect on how people behave there late at night.
This year, the con staff printed out these large, eye-catching posters, and made several announcements and other posters to the effect that:
- There were distinct safe spaces around the con.
- Staff takes your report of assault seriously.
- False reports are frowned upon but staff will absolutely investigate what you say, and will take measures to protect you when necessary.
- Harassment, sexual assault, and bad behavior is not allowed just because you are barely wearing anything. We don’t judge you, we only judge those who would harm you.
I’m a member of this convention, and have been for 10 years. But I don’t often volunteer, and I’m pretty far from staff personally. I was blown away by the steps taken to combat sexual misconduct and assault at this convention. By all reports it was very effective. I would love to start seeing signs and policies like these at more conventions, especially ones with the combination of cosplay, dancing, and drinking that CONvergence has developed recently.
Hey Conji-Staff. A nice idea we should perhaps shamelessly duplicate.
OWN RECIPES ARE FOR THE BETTER!
Oh I know! We can totally get a nice clean hotel room that isn’t surrounded by filth and possibly crime!
I still love how there are complaints about not knowing information from people who never go to meetings though. I mean if even Wiggles goes to meetings. But I’m pretty sure a bunch of people might leave soon after the con chair announcement is made…
Let’s hope so!
Egads. Yeah. Either do nothing for it, because WOW THAT IS LATE TO START PLANNING, or take advantage of the funding to get a better hotel and do the work. You know me, I won’t work street team because con is my vacation..
Yeah… It is mostly people who don’t attend, but there are still some very valid points in the lack of communication sector. Do you know who the con chair is already? Will I be abandoning the sinking ship?