For most of Anime Expo convention goers this is day one…
For us in the dealers hall (and those 3000+ people who waited in line for hours yesterday to get their pre-registered badge -you brave souls-) this was actually Day 2.
My blogs are coming in a bit late, possibly because I’m still recovering from dehydration and Con Flu. If you ever go to a convention, you will understand, I promise!
This day was a bit of a hectic day for us. It started at 9am, inventory check, roll call, and display set-up(1 coffee, spilled twice). And we were all instructed to bring backpacks, to carry necessary supplies around the convention.
My backpack came pre-packed with Con survival goods:
Spare shirt, deodorant(very important), papers, pencils and pens, sharpies, 2 Lays potato chips stackers (which would be the total of my lunch for 3 of the 4 expo days), granola bars (Of which only 1 got eaten), and the first of many water bottles that will be emptied at this years con.
One thing to understand about Expos… it is almost always about the dealers hall. People line up to see the famous guests, or a special showing, or for concerts… but few lines rival the line to be the first in the dealers hall.
But for us being a music booth and not directly related to anime, it started off pretty plain and ordinary, and we didn’t have as much attention as some.
Which is why it was a great surprise when a sea of cameras came into view, and some of importance stopped at our booth to trade words with my boss. Me, being quick to hide in face of cameras no matter who stands before me, ended up hunched behind my co-worker and took a lovely ninja shot, much blurred. and only after discovered that it was the Mayor of LA.
I would rather it been a famous movie star. What is so special about a mayor?
Now to the more interesting part of the day. We had released AKB48’s CD domestically, so of course our staff was to show up at every panel, show, signing, etc…. but we didn’t actually have tickets for the show.
Ticket sales must have been pretty bad though, for while we fliered outside of the venue for their concert this day, we were offered ‘stand-by” tickets a number or times. and once we had assured that as many people as possible knew that we had the CD, we wandered in and sat down to watch.
Amazing choreography, but the music was mostly too happy for me.
I’ll stick to my rock.
Unfortunately after this we had to rush back to the exhibit hall and do inventory. It’s almost always off. But we still do inventory every day. And with that finished, we grabbed boxes of the AKB48 CD and left to eat dinner, before going to sell it to the AKB48 signing line.
I have to say this signing irked me like no other.
I may not be a fan of the band. But I do stand-by other fans when an issue comes about. And I have worked a number of signing events, and have never seen one so badly conducted.
They cut off the line at a certain point and said everyone in front was ‘guaranteed’ an autograph, while the people behind were ‘if there was time’. A fairly normal practice. But then the first people in line were allowed to chitchat with each and every member, and of course the people in front almost all spoke Japanese, so this took quite a bit of time.
Since the signing itself started late, 8:09 instead of 7:45, I had hopes they would extend it past the 8:45 mark, at least by the same margin, unfortunately they decided that they weren’t going to extend it, And they were also stopping at 8:40 instead. You would think that would make me happy, getting off early… but I had just sold CD’s to fans in that line outside that were buying it in hopes of getting it signed that night.
And even the ‘guaranteed’ line didn’t make it inside to see their idols. Only about 20 people did total.
I was in charge of an event in Little Tokyo and it was our first to have a one hour time limit…. I got the entire line of 146 people inside with a few minutes to spare…
20 people is ridiculous…
I was not looking forward to leaving that room.
And once it was over and we finally left (our day far from done) there was indeed, a disappointed fan that cornered me while my boss was talking to important people.
So I went to the next event of the night, not in the best of moods…