2015 had its highs and lows in the event scene, but that does not stop it for some to make a big impact. We already saw the dilemmas from 2014 in our previous annual report, however there are some organizers that still fell for the same problem. But in comparison with 2014, 2015 had its fair share of great events that would set a new standard in terms of quality events and conventions.
Before we begin with the good side, let us take a look at some that didn’t went well.
The Bad Side
There were brands that are trying to create a mini convention as their way of introducing their newest products, though it could be a good approach to market their brand, the lack of interesting activities and highlights can cripple the overall experience. This is what happened to Viva Psycom’s Manga and Anime Festival, in which only few attendees came to see the event.
Then there are some that attempts to set a new standard in the scene by taking a different venue, in which some tried to use a commercial sports stadium. It does sound like a great idea for eSports event to be held in sports arena, if they are only focusing on tournaments and if the venue is very accessible to the public. TNC’s Grand Finale had some trouble in providing a great event experience, though the idea was impressive, they missed the opportunity in creating a great spectacle for their tournaments as they placed booths around the stage that distracts the audience from focusing more on the matches, and also hurts the brand partners as con-goers prefer to watch at the stage rather than interacting. PlayPark XP also had the same approach but focused more in providing a community event, though it would have been better to focus on an accessible event venue that can attract more audiences.
And some organizers played it safe by presenting the same old content from their last year events, which can hurt on their reputation if they aims to provide high quality events. Such a good example was Best of Anime 2015 where with the exception of Eir Aoi, the rest of the highlights in the event are typically similar that from last year, it may not be a bad idea but considering that there is also another event being at the same day, those who are looking for a premiere event might get diverted and switch to the bigger one.
The Good Side
And now on with the good parts, it is nice to see some geek conventions making new standards in terms of quality. One good example is the arrival of the new AsiaPop Comic Con, where it promised to provide Comic Con-like quality of activities and an array of international guests from popular sci-fi, fantasy and animation series and movies. Even with an expensive ticket price, the event was flock by thousands of die-hard fans, which proven that people will definitely attend an expensive event if it is really worth their money. This as a result, made some of the organizers to step up in their quality as more con-goers are now expecting a higher quality of events now that AsiaPop Comic Con is at the neighborhood.
Cosplay Mania on the other hand, is providing more Japanese pop stars and idols for their annual event, with personalities such as Pile and Lady Beard performing on stage for fans to experience one great concert. Esports and Gaming Summit also showed signs of progress, with international publisher such as Sony PlayStation and Ubisoft making their presence for the first time in the country, and not to mention more support to the local game developers with more promising indie and commercial developers showcasing their current game projects. There is also Fantasy Quest, where it caters to the passionate cosplayers who want to have a great experience in showcasing their costumes in a much suitable place for photography and videography. Animax Carnival, despite not hosting a large-scale event, still managed to keep it under control and still provide an entertaining event as they only have one focus in mind; catering to their Animax community.
What we can learn from 2015
It sure is an interesting year for 2015, so we take a look on what made some events more successful and what made some a bit of a letdown.
Taking risks – Some organizers are playing it safe, which isn’t even a bad idea, but it can only receive lesser reception. However keep it within safe limits can backfire especially an organizer has been doing it consecutively, making the overall quality more mediocre. Taking a leap forward has its edge but when done correctly, in which some events managed to achieve, can attract more audience and get more positive feedback. An example is providing better content with a consequence of an increase ticket rate, and added with a well-made promotion, it can become a successful event as long as it manages to get enough impressions.
Listening to their community – One of the common part that most organizers lack. It’s easy for organizers to say that they listen to their community, but not all are actually listening. Most of them treat criticisms as nuisance and would just shove them off. Listening to the community that is always been at the events can be important as you can learn more from what the community would want to see in future events. It does not require for an organizer to listen and follow every feedback, just look at the most feasible ones and see if it can improve the quality of the event.
Beefing up security – Petty crimes can be rampant in events if organizers are not concerned in improving security. It is also important to provide guidelines and reminders to con-goers and exhibitors in keeping themselves alert at all times, and it can’t hurt that much to having bouncers or marshals that roam around the venue to check up on any suspicious activities. Another thing to remind is for con-goers to keep themselves disciplined, from following event rules and from interacting with security, one wrong approach and it could cause from minor arguments to massive riots.
Choosing the right venue – A difficult task for any event organizer, especially to the newcomers. Looking for a suitable venue can make or break an event, especially in terms of accessibility and venue space. Try to experiment with a new venue has its risks, even if it was marketed as the next big switch to hype the new venue, if the venue is not accessible or can even utilize the entire event program, the event will definitely be in shambles. It’s best to plan ahead, do more research, make surveys and check the budget if a particular venue is feasible for the event.
What’s in store for 2016
There are plenty of things to watch out for 2016. Expect some major event organizers to (hopefully) step up their A game and provide another incredible event experience to everyone. And we will be seeing more events popping out from veterans to newcomers. We hope to see major events to cater other regions outside the metro, though there are already provincial events, but we can expect to see them provide a bigger one. Will we see better quality conventions? It is all up to the event organizers