Taking proper care of overseas guest cosplayers at your event.

As an event organiser for animation/comics/cosplay-related fanbases, chances are you’ve invited at least a few guest cosplayers for event publicity and entertain event attendees.

However, its pretty important that these guests get to enjoy themselves too.

I often see lapses in guest management at such events, so here’s a list of to-dos/not-to-dos as reference.

Way Before Event

Ok, so the guests have just confirmed their attendance..

Now what?

- Event details: Let your guests know EXACTLY what they’re supposed to do for the event as soon as possible, so that they’ll have time to prepare for any performances, or to make any costumes. Be open to negotiating with them.

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– Flight, Customs: Get all relevant details from the guests so you can confirm their flights early, let them know their flight details(Airport name, Flight no., check-in timings for arrival and departure, terminals/gates where available, airline company.)
.: Make sure to apply for any required visas in advance.
.: Find out how much baggage allowance they’ll need, whether they want to bring their merchandise to sell, as well as whether they want to bring their own helpers/entire family down.

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– Hotel: Book the hotel early to avoid full occupancy. Confirm the hotel name and location with the guests so they can research the surrounding areas to see what they want to do in their free time.
.: It’d be good for the hotel chosen to have free Wifi available for the guests.

2a75- Food: It is your duty to find out every guest’s individual food requirements (Vegetarian, religious, allergies), so that you can effectively plan for event food catering, pre/post-event excursions’ food stops, inform fans of what food they should not give, brief your guest caretakers etc.
You won’t want your guest to suffer from skin rashes on the second day of your event from a food allergy, or have them eat bi bim bap for their entire event duration, yeah?

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– Health: Find out if your guests have any drug allergies or medical conditions in case of medical emergencies.

- Make it clear to any external organisations/individuals that all private arrangements with the guests must have your consent (Indicate the right person for getting the consent), so your guests don’t disappear or become too exhausted for your event.
.: On the other hand, make sure that you honor the consent given or given a proper, polite explanation in the case of a last-minute change, to both parties, otherwise it’ll bring unnecessary stress to the cosplayers and present an unprofessional image.

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– Drama: If its possible, find out from reliable sources if any of the guest cosplayers have any form of ‘explosive’ dramatic history beforehand, so that you can plan accordingly and avoid any awkward moments on stage.
.: Don’t force them to perform with each other. Or share the same room. Etc.

- While planning pre/post-event activities, do check with the guests if they want to check out any specific places/interests that you could incorporate into the activities.

Before Event

- Be sure to inform the guests regarding any last-minute changes, keep them informed.

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– Arrival: Be prepared for possible flight problems (Delays, problems in checking in costume parts), arrange prior communication methods.
.: Pick up the guests from the airport. Let the guests know the description of the people picking them up if possible, or the general easy-to-identify location to go if they can’t find them.
.: Be on time, prepare for jams. Don’t let the guests wander around lost at the airport and be subjected to forced bribes by corrupt airport guards while asking for directions.
.: Make sure the person picking them up speaks their language, if possible.
.: Be prepared to assist the guest with possible luggage problems.
.: Know any food places that are open at the airport/nearby, in case the guest is hungry/thirsty.
.: Find out about nearby mobile sim card shops.
.: Plan to allow the guest sufficient sleeping hours.

- Always have a translator/guest helper around the guest where necessary. Be sure to have a reliable form of communication with the guest should he/she need to go elsewhere.

- Post news about the guest’s merchandise and fan sessions early so that fans have time to save up or prepare the right fansigns/gifts/etc.

During Event
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– Know the location of the nearby pharmacies to get gastric pills, period pain relief medication, etc.

- Movement plans: Plan the movement of the guests out efficiently for minimum crowd management with the use of blocked rooms, back corridors and staircases, etc.
.: Hire the right helpers/crowd control management personnel with both patience and adaptability, that can easily reject fans’ requests without appearing rude.

- Transportation: Plan a clear route and have backup transportation plans so that the guests can get out safely without hassle.

- Do not place your guest cosplayers’ booth (if any) in the middle of a narrow walkway, or between other exhibitor booths. It’ll just make for a jam even hours before the guests are expected to reach the booth.
.: For merchandise-selling, arrange for trolleys, small-change for the guest cosplayer and other logistics where required.

- Brief the MC(s) regarding relevant information of the guests to avoid embarassing situations.

- Meet the guest sessions: Where possible, prioritize the desire of the cosplayers to interact with fans over the need to end a session exactly on time, plan for buffer time for especially popular guest cosplayer sessions.
.: Ensure the stage helpers are prepared for any over-zealous fans or unexpected incidents.
.: Get at least one stage helper who knows how to use a DSLR (to help fans’ photo requests)

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– Plan such that the guest has sufficient resting time before event segments, do not subject them to a continuous day of programmes without sufficient rest.
.: Have some buffer time for a short rest in case they get tired.
.: If there is sufficiently long breaktime, be flexible about allowing the guests to freely wander about the event on their own and interact with fans, but attach a helper/translator to go around together as a point of contact in case any help is needed.

- Interviews: Be alert to insensitive questions from media that may make the guests uncomfortable, be prepared to help out the guests.

- Resting area: Have a closed-off private room with air-conditioning, seating and preferably a mirror for the cosplayer guests to rest and touch up on their makeup. Fans should not be able to peek into the room.

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– Water: Often missed out for guests during judging panels or pre performance. It’s pretty sad to see a guest going around asking the public for water for over 5 minutes, making a “I want water” hand-to-mouth motion.

- Food: Never ever forget about the meals for the guest.
.: Be prepared to have a helper takeaway some food from nearby eateries if necessary, and have extra provisions around.

- Always have a translator/guest helper around the guest where needed. Have a reliable form of communication with the guest should he/she need to go elsewhere.

Post Event

– Do not restrict your guests’ movements after the event, do not force them to ‘stay in the hotel until tomorrow’. Let them have their fun exploring the city.

- Sending off: Send the guests to the airport in advance of their check-in time, in preparation of possible traffic/human jams. Do not pass the guests money at their hotel and ask them to ‘go home’.
.: Stick with the guests until they check-in properly, so that the guest cosplayers won’t be distressed if they can’t speak the local language and the check-in counters are suddenly closed, as an example.
.: Bad publicity for your event if he/she has to post on social media asking for help to check-in.

- For any unpleasant incidents/drama that happen during the event not directly from the actions of the guests, do not communicate this to the guests and expect them to help solve your problems for you through their popularity.

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– Not compulsory, but it’d be nice to have some gifts for the guests to thank them for coming as well :)

What do you think about this article? Any additional tips for leaving better impressions on guest cosplayers?
Comment below, let us know!

Cosplay Events 2014: Listing of events from around the world!

It’s 2014!
.: Continuation from Last Year’s post
We’ve compiled a list of confirmed events related to cosplay in every country for 2014.

Do drop the editor an email at allan.lxn@gmail.com to include your event as well!

Australia
Wai-con http://www.wai-con.org/
March 1-2 (Perth)
Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre

Animania http://animania.net.au
March 22 (Sydney)
Australian Technology Park

Oz Comic Con http://www.ozcomiccon.com
March 29-30 (Perth)
Convention & Exhibition Centre
April 5-6 (Adelaide)
Adelaide Showgrounds
July 5-6 (Melbourne)
Royal Exhibition Building
Sept 6-7 (Brisbane)
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Sept 13-14 (Sydney)
Harbour Expo

Supernova http://www.supanova.com.au/
April 10-12 (Melbourne)
Melbourne Showgrounds
April 17-19 (Gold Coast)
Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre
June 13-15 (Sydney)
Sydney Showground, Olympic Park
June 20-22 (Perth)
Convention & Exhibition Centre
November 28-30 (Brisbane)
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
November 21-23 (Adelaide)
Adelaide Showground

AVCon (Adelaide) https://www.avcon.org.au/
18-20 July 2014
Adelaide Convention Center

Smash! http://www.smash.org.au/
August 9-10 (Sydney)
Rosehill Gardens

Armageddon Expo Melbourne http://armageddonexpo.com/au/
October 18-19 (Melbourne)
Melbourne Showgrounds

Brazil
Anime Friends http://www.animefriends.com.br
July 17-20, 24-27
Campo de Marte

Brazil Game Show http://www.brasilgameshow.com.br/
October 8-12
Expo Centre Notre – Sao Paulo

Canada
Fan Expo Vancouver http://www.fanexpovancouver.com/
April 18-20 (Vancouver)
Vancouver Convention Centre

Anime North http://animenorth.com/live/
May 23-25 (Toronto)
Toronto Congress Centre and International Plaza Hotel

Anime Revolution http://www.animerevolution.ca/
August 22-24 (Vancouver)
Vancouver Convention Centre

Fan Expo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com/
Aug 28-31 (Toronto)
Metro Toronto Convention Centre

China
Chinajoy http://2014cjcc.chinajoy.net/
July 31-August 3 (Shanghai)
Shanghai New International Expo Center

Czech Republic

Animefest http://www.animefest.cz
May 9-11
Brno Exhibition Centre

France
Japan Expo http://www.japan-expo.com/
July 2-6 (Paris)
Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre

Germany
Animagic http://www.animania.de/animagic/animagic-news.html
August 1-3
Beethovenhalle Bonn

Connichi http://www.connichi.de/
September 12-14
Kongress Palace Kassel

Hong Kong

C3 http://www.c3hk.com.hk/2013/index.php
March 14-16
Hong Kong Meeting & Exhibiton Centre

Rainbow Gala http://www.rainbowgalahk.com/main.php
April 20
Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Centre

Comic World Hong Kong 38 http://www.cwhk.org/
Aug 23-24
Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Centre

Indonesia

Hatsune Miku Expo http://www.mikuexpo.com
May 28-29
Jakarta Convention Centre

CLASH http://www.clashcosplay.com/
June 21
Balai Kartini Expo

AFA Indonesia http://www.animefestival.asia/afaid
August 15-17
Jakarta Convention Centre

Italy
Torino Comics http://www.torinocomics.com/default.asp
April 11-13 (Turin)
Lingotte Fiere

Japan
Anime Japan http://www.anime-japan.jp
March 22-23 (Tokyo)
Tokyo Big Sight

Comiket 86 http://www.comiket.co.jp
August 15-17 (Tokyo)
Tokyo Big Sight

Tokyo Game Show http://expo.nikkeibp.co.jp/tgs/2014/exhibition/english
Sept 18-21(Tokyo)
Makuhari Messe Convention Centre

Korea
Busan Comic World 114 (http://www.comicw.co.kr/service/main.html)
February 16-17 (Seoul)

Malaysia
Comic Fiesta http://comicfiesta.org
Dec 27-28
Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre

Netherlands
Animecon http://www.animecon.nl
June 13-15
World Forum

New Zealand
Armageddon Expo http://www.armageddonexpo.com/nz/
March 1-2 (Dunedin)
Morefm Arena
March 8-9 (Christchurch)
Addington Raceway
May 24-25 (Hamilton)
Claudelands Arena
May 31 – June 2 (Wellington)
Westpac Stadium
October 24-27 (Auckland)
ASB Showgrounds

Philippines
Ozine Fest http://www.ozinefest.com
April 26-27
SMX Convention Centre

Cosplay Mania http://www.cosplay.ph/
October 4-5
SMX Convention Centre

Russia
Tanibata http://www.tanibata.ru
July 12-13
Regional House of Folk Arts

Singapore
Cosfest http://www.cosfest.com/
July 5-6 (Singapore)
D’ Marquee, Downtown East

Singapore Toys, Games, Comics Convention http://www.singaporetgcc.com
September 6-7
Marina Bay Sands

AFA Singapore http://www.animefestival.asia
December 5-7
Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre

Spain
XX Salón del Manga de Barcelona http://ficomic.com/inici.cfm
October 30 – November 2

Taiwan
Comic World Taiwan 37 http://www.comicworld.com.tw/CWT_HP_NEW/index.htm
August 9-10 (Taipei)
Taipei University

Thailand
Thailand Comic Con http://www.thailandcomiccon.com
May 9-11
Siam Paragon

Bangkok Comic Con http://www.bangkokcomiccon.com
July 4-6
Siam Paragon

Comic Party http://negibose.jp/cp79th/wcsthai.html
July 5-6
The Shoppes

United Kingdom
MCM Expo London http://www.londonexpo.com/
May 23-25 (London)
Excel, Royal Victoria Dock

Manchester MCM Expo http://www.manchestermcmexpo.com/
July 19-20 (Manchester)
Manchester Central

Hyper Japan http://hyperjapan.co.uk
July 25-27
Earl’s Court

USA

TaiyouCon http://www.taiyoucon.com
January 3-5 (AZ)
Hilton Mesa

Anime Los Angeles http://www.animelosangeles.org/ala/
January 10-12 (LA)
Los Angeles Airport Marriott

Kotori Con http://anime.gccnj.edu/
January 10-11 (New Jersey)
Gloucester County College

Ohayo Con http://ohayocon.org/
January 24-26 (Ohio)
Hyatt Regency and Greater Columbus Convention Centre

Setsucon http://www.setsucon.com/
January 25-26 (Pennsylvania)
Penn Stater Conference Centre Hotel

Kami Con http://www.kamicon.net/
Feb 14-16 (Alabama)
Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex

Katsu Con http://www.katsucon.org/
Feb 14-16 (Maryland)
Gayland National Resort & Convention Centre

Anime Matsuri http://animematsuri.com
March 14-16 (Texas)
George R. Brown Convention Center

Mega Con http://www.megaconvention.com/
March 21-23 (Florida)
Orange County Convention Center

Anime Boston http://www.animeboston.com/
March 21-23 (Massachusettes)
Hynes Convention Center

Shuto Con http://shutocon.com/
April 4-6 (Michigan)
Lansing Convention Center / Radisson Hotel Lansing

Wondercon http://www.comic-con.org/wca
April 18-20 (California)
Anaheim Convention Center

Sakura Con http://www.sakuracon.org/
April 18-20 (Washington)
Washington State Convention & Trade Center

C2E2 http://www.c2e2.com/
April 24-26 (Chicago)
McCormick Place

Zenkai Kon http://www.zenkaikon.com/index.php
April 25-27 (Pennsylvania)
Lancaster County Convention Center

Anime Central http://www.acen.org/
May 16-18 (Illinois)
Hyatt Regency O’Hare / Donald E. Stephens Convention Center

Momo Con http://www.momocon.com/#
May 23-25 (Georgia)
Hilton Atlanta / Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Animazement http://animazement.org/
May 23-25 (North Carolina)
Raleigh Convention Center

Fanime http://www.fanime.com
May 23-26 (California)
San Jose McEnery Convention Center

Colossal Con http://colossalcon.com/
June 5-8 (Ohio)
Kalahari Resort and Convention Center

Phoenix ComiCon http://www.phoenixcomicon.com
June 5-8 (Arizona)
Phoenix Convention Center

A-Kon http://a-kon.com/
June 6-8 (Texas)
Hilton Anatole Dallas

AnimeNEXT http://www.animenext.org/
June 6-8 (New Jersey)
Garden State Exhibit Center

Anime Mid-Atlantic 13 http://www.animemidatlantic.com/
June 13-15 (Virginia)
Chesapeake Conference Center

Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con http://www.wizardworld.com/home-pa.html
June 19-22 (Philadelphia)
Pennsylvania Convention Centre

Anime Expo http://www.anime-expo.org/
July 3-6 (California)
Los Angeles Convention Center

Connecticon http://connecticon.org/
July 10-13 (Connecticut)
Connecticut Convention Center

Metro Con http://www.metroconventions.com/control.cfm?ID=1
July 11-13 (Florida)
Tampa Convention Centre

Comic Con International: San Diego http://www.comic-con.org/cci/
July 14-27 (California)
San Diego Convention Center

San Japan: Mach 5 http://www.san-japan.org/reg/info
July 18-20 (Texas)
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center

Otakon http://www.otakon.com/
August 8-10 (Maryland)
Baltimore Convention Center

Gen Con http://www.gencon.com/
August 14-17 (Indiana)
Indiana Convention Center

Dragoncon http://dragoncon.org/
August 29 – September 1 (Georgia)
Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta Hilton, Sheraton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree Plaza

Anime Weekend Atlanta http://www.awa-con.com/index.php?page=home
September 26-28 (Georgia)
Renaissance Waverly Hotel & & Cobb Galleria Centre

New York Comic Con http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/
October 9-12 (New York)
Jacob K. Javits Center

NekoCon http://www.nekocon.com/
Nov 7-9 (Virginia)
Hampton Roads Convention Center

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