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Looks like more cons are tightening up their panel requirement

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Looks like more cons are tightening up their panel requirement (Sac Anime and ALA are doing something similar) to the point where the con wants more education/lecture style panels over improve and other interactive events.

Obviously this is done as a way to curb all the character QA panels but I do think slamming down on gameshows an interactive events too is just overkill. I hope this doesn't start a trend where fan con panels are just full of lecture panels and leave little room for variation.
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>>9327085
No cosplay panels? Wtf?
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>>9327085
THANK GOD FINALLY. I don't think that it's meant to remove fan panels at all, but most of them tend to be trashy and shameless ways for people to abuse having panels about themselves. The ones I've seen around the area rarely are even about discussing the anime or character itselves, so I don't see how they should qualify for a free membership when they also tend to ask for 5+ free badges to shove their friends in.

I'm sure that if someone sends in a panel with a decent following if it's a game show or somewhat relevant, they might overturn it. But then again, it's just saying that they are giving a preference to comp people for quality panels, not ask me panels when they don't add to programming.

The no cosplay panels is likely directed at people who do miscellaneous stuff. I could see some grey area they might need to take on "anime-influenced Western panels", but otherwise, this isn't a bad thing.

I honestly think that cons should be decisive about what they think qualifies for a free membership. Other major cons don't comp you anyway even if you do a free panel, so no one is banning ask-me panels, just ensuring that there's not a flood of underage signing up for a free ride.

I've personally just dealt with lots of fellow panelists whom I've seen abuse smaller community cons by bringing x amount of friends in there for panels that just have to do with them dawdling for free.
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I can actually see both sides of this argument. For larger conventions it's difficult to provide diverse quality programming. For smaller cons, they sometimes take every single panel submission they get. Considering that volunteers are required to work 16+ hours at Sakuracon, I think that requesting 3-5 hours of panel hosting for a free badge is a little light. Then again, if you have people who won or placed in the costume contest last year, offering them a free badge in exchange for hosting a workshop/panel related to cosplay would be a smart move. If someone has qualifications that may be relevant to other attendees, such as a Japanese teacher at your local university, you might actually want to invite them to speak and give them incentives beyond a free badge.

Not all panelists are equal. Some have clout, credibility and content that your attendees want to see in a quality panelist.
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I find it curious that this is a strange concept to (mostly) American conventions (having a quality content with panels and lectures i mean) when this is basically what conventions in norther europe is all about. Like 90% is about lectures/panels/workshops and the other ten is cosplay competitions etc. I don't think i've ever even seen Ask-panels.
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>>9327107
They're permitted but you wont get a badge from them
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I really agree with this first change. I've seen it in a lot of my local cons, and I'm happy about it. Once upon a time, there were really great ask a character panels that were actually in-character. Then both the audience and the hosts started getting out of control over the years. Now we can't have nice things. Also a lot of cons were getting into ACTUAL trouble because they'd head into 18+ territory despite not being an 18+ panel.

As for the cosplay panels, yeah, I agree with that too. I'm sure cons will make exceptions for actual cosplayers, but the last few cosplay panels I've been to have just been an hour of me listening to someone who obviously just wanted a free pass teaching very basic sewing/crafting tips while also trying to promo themselves. Very cringey.

The last bullet point, though. THAT'S something I haven't seen. Let's make anime cons anime again.
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>>9327136
>3-5 hours of panel hosting for a free badge is a little light
If they are giving a quality panel they've definitely put in way more hours than that in preparation
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I'm worried how such practices could hurt the diversity of ideas for panels.

Should I think cons should quality check their panels? Yes
Should anime cons enforce a stricter guideline toward anime for their programming? Yes

It's just that putting QA panels under the same blanket as workshops and other interactive panels concern me.

Already I'm getting burned out by con panels because of how same-y they feel. If it's not a guest panel where they answer questions and share stories it's one of the following.

How to cosplay
How to organize a convention
How to take pictures
How to find good anime
Ho to meet up with people in your area
How to build gundam models

Everything is just lecture base. I don't hate lectures in general and some of the best and most interesting panels I've been to have been lectures on very niche subjects (my favorite kind)

It's just being so dogmatically limited will only discourage new and interesting ideas from being submitted. I love going to weird and dynamic panels such as Jojo Posing Academy, drawing panels, Banzai Arcade, Hentai Dubbing and other zany places. These are ideas where you can tell the creators put a lot of though and effort in the execution and how packed panel rooms get is evidence enough.

If a con is struggling to fill their spots up then instead of making things stricter, I think they should go out and contact the individuals who are making amazing panels
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>>9327169
If I'm reading this correctly it's not outright discouraging interesting panels unless the people organizing said panel are really banking on using the panel as a way to get a free badge. Interesting panels will still be given a shot at being on the schedule even if they are not part of the desired criteria. If you really want to you can even try to convince the panel authority that you do deserve a free badge. At the end of the day the badge is probably among the cheaper things of your trip compared to hotel and airfare. If you are local and still can't afford a badge (read: you're probably a kid with no job) you're probably not going to contribute a good panel in the first place.
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>>9327158
This. Any panel I've done has involved a minimum of 3-5 hours prep time to write the panel info and make my visuals, but usually it's a lot more than that.
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>>9327085
I feel like popular people who are creative will make panels in that lecture style that are still interesting and fun and interactive.
It the same in most preffesional circuits those that are skilled communicators and good lecturers will engage people much better than someone who just gets up and talk.
Perhaps the focus on "lecture" type panels is an attempt to get those sorts of engaging people that can connect with people in a more formal manner. And the focus for that is simply to intimidate shitty panellers who have no idea what they are doing and who just shit up the whole atmosphere.
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>>9327140
Dude, we've had a "Ask Hetalia" panel or two everyone Närcon since 2013-2014 something and at least one panel for the flavour of the month show/game/whatever so it's not like it's such a foreign concept up here.
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>>9327232
I think they just don't want to give shitters free badges
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>>9327085
I actually agree with this
Good for them
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I sure hope if they aren't letting people run instructional Cosplay panels they've recruited people to do them. All the other bans make sense but that's just weird.
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>>9327152
That's absurd that a workshop on drawing anime would quality as a "real" panel, but a workshop on armormaking doesn't. Most cosplay panels are education-based.
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>>9327085
I think this sounds fair enough. Both the time requirements and gearing towards panels that actual require some expertise.

Because really preparing for 3-5 hours of knowledge imparting materials takes a lot more effort than half an hour of how-low--can-you-go or something. And I've known a lot of people do panels for 30 minutes to an hour just to get the free badge.

I've seen a couple of really excellent 'ask a character' panels where the group has worked really hard to pick people that cosplay the character well and learned their mannerisms. Most notable were Ouran High School Host Club ones. But I think here's a really fine line and short of making yet more time to audition people, despite the work it takes, I think it's fair to put this under the non-rewarded category.
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Agree with no "Ask X" panels, heavily disagree on no cosplay panels. I've been to some genuinely good panels on specific construction, whereas almost all "How to draw Anime" panels are 100% shit.

Then again, the convention I go to doesn't give free passes for anything, it seems, so it's not like this affects me. But I hope this doesn't become a trend.
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>>9327394
>I think this sounds fair enough. Both the time requirements and gearing towards panels that actual require some expertise.

Actually I think it's quiet the opposite. If the con wants to discourage QA and bad panels then they should just flat out deny bad panels. If the con does not get enough quality panels to fill their slots then that's the con's fault.

If a panel gets approved, no matter what the subject matter, then that panel has the con's seal of approval. There's an inherent understanding between attendee and convention that any panel approved would meet some sort of level of quality that the con deems satisfactory, so when a con goes and approves gameshows and other panels but not does comp the panelists then they're essentially saying "Your panel is great but we're not giving you any benefits!"

Panelist are giving the convention content. Now one may argue that people go to cons for friends, guests and events, which is true, it's panels that give people something to do in between everything else.

As you can tell I'm don't like cons that cheap out their contributing attendees in such a manner.
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I applaud the effort, but ultimately the issue isn't so much content type, but the overall quality. "Ask X" panels are cancer, but I've also sat through far too many mumblers with a powerpoint giving a Series 101 overview or just playing random Youtube meme videos, and they suck too.

I think all potential panels should have to submit an outline and video of the panel they want to perform. Even if it's a brands new panel, you can always do it with a mic in your bedroom. Con coordinators shouldn't be expected to sit through every performance, but skipping through the video while looking through the outline should warn of any cringefests.

In the case of interactive panels, I'd say that the participants should still be forced to go through a staged dry run. It will ultimately be more of a hassle, but that should be a natural cancer deterrent on its own.
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>>9327085
Rest in fucking pieces, cosplay ask panels!!!!
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>>9327240
>Närcon
If you want quality programming, Närcon isn't at the top of the list.
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>>9327224
>>9327158
To be fair, I was comparing it to the minimum 16 hours others are required to work during a con for a free badge and said there should be exceptions for well known or specially qualified presenters. I've seen gameshow panels give out prizes worth way more than a free badge. I've also sat through an cringe-worthy cosplay panel where I learned absolutely nothing from the presenter. He looked like he didn't want to be there and was just showing cosplays that he had made.
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Honestly, thank god. I wish the con I work for would do this, but the whole scene is too small to shit on ask panels yet.

Perhaps this is because I'm in a smaller scene with a lot of budding conventions, but I feel like Ask A Character etc panels give a heinously bad impression of panels at conventions, especially to people who are new to the scene. Nothing is more off-putting than shrieking children on a stage.

With these guidelines, I feel like they're enforcing more accountability and thought with their panels. Anyone can pitch a panel but following through with good content is where most fall flat.
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I recently went to a convention this weekend (we left after 2 hours because it was TERRIBLE) and all the panels were soooo bad. Most of them weren't even anime related. We had a feminist panel, one relating to hentai and feminism, and TWO COLORING PANELS. Ya know, like coloring in a coloring book. We had some friends who had submitted some panels that are incredibly popular at other cons but were turned down for the coloring book panel. Salty? Yes, kind of. I understand this was a college campus con but it was still terribly directed and whoever was in charge of panels submissions needs to get replaced.
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>>9328124
Anon didn't say quality cons
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>>9327085
Sakuracon is an major industry-level and supported con at the par of comic book conventions. The big boy events expect more of the celebrity, screenings, and artist suggestion panels. Anything more high and professional standards, usually requiring large rooms.
Then there's the fan-run conventions barely reaching 10k attendance figures. With more clueless fan panels and underage attendees. Sac Anime being an example.
There's probably a pattern if they publicly post a list of declined panel titles.
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>>9328262

Even big boy cons need random filler. Celebrities and screenings and large profile events require a lot of staff attention and coordination, and you need a few that are more plug-and-go to run concurrently. And logistically a lot of con centers have rooms that are smaller and ill fitted for big events, so why not run low key panels they're getting essentially for free?
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I believe if an event has a certain number of hours "educational" or "cultural" programming they can apply for grants towards running the events in some states. That's what this seems like to me, and why the accepted panels for badge reimbursement must be about Asian culture, rather than informative panels about cosplay.
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>>9327085
FUCKING WELL DONE. Great to see this trend of greater quality control and sticking to theme.
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>>9327462
>If the con wants to discourage QA and bad panels then they should just flat out deny bad panels
What's wrong with setting standards and expectations out in the open? If they reject without explanation it means people will bitch online about the con staff and it might be a few years of applying before they get a clue and stop trying or up their game. If they reject with detailed reasons it makes applicant's fee-fees cry and potentially opens them up to lawsuits. There should be as much information as possible available to allow applicants to judge for themselves if their content has a chance to be accepted BEFORE they put the effort into making the panel.

Likewise, the incoming applications have to be reviewed and judged by real humans in the panel organizing staff. Google AI just ain't there yet. The less time staff has to spend sifting through dozens of Fujoshibait QA and Steven Universe rock rapeology panels, the more productive they can be towards the good content. Setting clear standards up front is a win-win of less wasted time for con staff and panel creators alike.
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>>9327085
Great, instead of weeb fangirls running panels, we're going to have overeducated SJWs telling us how our fave is problematic.
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>>9328506
>implying this isn't the case already
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>>9328292
>potentially opens them up to lawsuits.

How? They're not an employer.
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>>9328292
>What's wrong with setting standards and expectations out in the open?

There's nothing wrong with setting standards, it just that such a clause lets a con approve said panel types but still opt to not compensate people.

Maybe instead they should just have stricter standards for panels across the board, that way people who do put in the effort to make a great panel no matter what the content is (as long as its topical to the convention) then they should be rewarded
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>>9327169
There is nothing wrong with these ONLY because of the fact that the average anime fan has a 3-5 year half life, so there is always going to be a newbie. Newbie panels are good because if you aren't growing, you are dying,
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>>9327158
Agreed. I'm someone that collects my information/resources over months. Then there is compiling it into an appealing presentation. I even rehearse a few times (at least once at the con) and time myself to make sure the content goes smoothly. Doing 2 1-hour panels for an upcoming con that involves a lot of research into culture, not just anime.
I think it's still important to have wacky panels and beginner panels >>9330705 (not just lecture), but quality always needs to be checked. Make sure the panelist knows what they're talking about and have them write a dry synopsis of what to expect, not just the attention-grabber summary for con-goers.
Thread posts: 38
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