alycewilson (alycewilson) wrote,

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Otakon 2009, Final Thoughts

I spent the weekend trying to get caught up on some things and working on the summer issue of Wild Violet (which will come out this week, barring incident).

Here are a few final thoughts on Otakon.

Otakon 2009 - Satyr (Click to enlarge)

A satyr at Otakon

(Faster-loading version)

A sincere thank-you goes out to:

  • My husband, The Gryphon, for serving as a sounding board this past year and for working with me as a co-head of Industry Relations to track down info for the registered press. You are awesome beyond words.

  • The News Producer, my indispensable lieutenant, who kept everything running smoothly. I couldn't have done it without you.

  • The Rock Chick, who made sure I got fed and who rescued me when I got locked in a foyer. You rule!

  • Quack, who contributed some brilliant ideas on how to use technology as a tool for teamwork. You ARE "that smart guy."

  • The Gamer, who served as our gatekeeper/registrar and who has mastered the art of saying "no" with a smile. We'll miss you if you return to Logistics!
  • The Music Geek, who was new to Press Relations this year but never balked at an assignment. This was your last year at Otakon, and we'll miss you!

  • Our liaison in Guests: she worked tirelessly on our behalf and became like an honorary member of Press Relations staff. I owe you lunch.

  • The Godfather, who gave me guidance when I needed it but trusted me to run my department. You're a great leader, and we need more like you (I'd love to see you run a workshop for department heads and section chiefs).

  • The head of Logistics, who met our every request and saw that our technical issues got resolved. You are calm and in control, and I aspire to be like you.

  • The head of Publications, who not only got me everything I requested but also proposed a solution to an anticipated shortfall due to my under-ordering some materials. Thanks for helping out this newbie department head.

  • The heads of Masquerade, Panels, and Main Events, who answered many questions from me both before and at the convention on behalf of the press. Thanks for taking all my calls and answering all my e-mails, even though you were busy, too.

  • Our vice president, Web master, and head of Fan Parodies (The White Rabbit), who all took a break from their duties Saturday night for a special Internet radio broadcast I'd been asked to facilitate. Thanks for helping to make it a success.

  • To the Staff Suite God, without whom I would have been reduced to eating chocolates and scrap paper. You kept my department functioning.

  • To our technical contractor, who set us up with our first press conference room, exclusively for Press Relations use. You helped eliminate a lot of scheduling obstacles.

  • The Cousin, this year's chief of staff, who gave me a hug Friday morning when I needed it and reminded me to have fun. You were right. If it's not fun, it's not worth doing.

  • To our Phones guru, who got me a backup phone and showed me how to transfer the memory chip. Thanks to you, I didn't miss any important calls.

  • To the management and handlers for our guests, and to the guests themselves, for working with us and doing their best, where possible, to schedule time to speak to the press. Your time and your efforts are appreciated.

  • All of the registered members of press who did their best to follow policy, even when it meant asking us question after question. We appreciate your conscientiousness and your efforts to do things the right way.

  • Every member of Otakon staff who, at one point or another did something to help Press Relations do our work. I am so proud to be part of this group; you all keep me coming back.

  • To anyone, whether staffer, registered press, or member, who made me smile over the course of the convention. It was a stressful weekend, but you made it worth it!

My staff and I are currently in the process of tracking down coverage from the registered press. I'm also going over papers we collected, such as sign-up sheets from press conferences, and finalizing loose ends.

I'm reviewing feedback from my staff and the registered press, to come up with some plans for next year. Already, plans include: improving communications between Press Relations and the rest of Otakon staff; reevaluating room usage for maximum effectiveness; continuing and expanding the use of the Internet to provide information to registered press; reevaluating and standardizing our registration process for press.

I also plan to speak to press relations departments from other conventions, starting with the connections I already made at Anime Central and Anime Expo, to see if I can learn anything that would be useful for our purposes. I'd also be interested in talking to anyone who runs press relations at a similar convention (be it SF, gaming or some other focus), so if you know anyone I should speak to, please let me know.

All in all, I think that things went well. We made improvements this year and hope to do so again next year. But before I get to that stage, let me say once more, to all the above mentioned people, and to anyone I might have inadvertently left out, thank you, thank you, thank you!


Behind any successful department are hundreds of helpers.

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Tags: cousin, friends, godfather, gryphon, music geek, news producer, otakon, quack, rock chick, staff suite god, white rabbit

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