Originally Posted by Tikki
One thing that hasn't been mentioned and I find VERY relevant is the fact that the Main Events at an anime con is always being used for other things and the Masquerade takes second place during the day. Very few conventions will schedule more than 2 hours for rehearsal, because they NEED that room for the AMV contest, a movie premiere, concerts, etc.
Yes! I was going to bring that up - Danzikumaru and I were talking about that the other night. It seems to me the cons with the best masquerades have unlimited access to Main Programming, and the only events going on in the ballroom that day revolve around the masquerade - orientation, rehearsal, etc. Whereas most anime cons, for whatever reason, squeeze the most they can out of their ballroom. Can't fault them for that, I guess, if they have the wherewithall to show anime premieres or have concerts. But smaller ones...I would have to wonder, if it wasn't something like a concert, a taiko or martial arts presentation, do they really need the biggest ballroom for AMVs and guest panels? Have they ever really filled the main programming room for anything other than the masquerade or a concert? If an anime con wants to to better with their masquerade, they have to look at space concerns and be willing to bend over backwards to accommodate the masquerade director, rather than just toss them whatever scraps of programming space they can scrounge up.
CONvergence runs like Archon - they have main events all day, hold orientation in the morning and then rehearsals all day, which are full tech rehearsals so the tech crew can get used to the lighting and sound cues. Once you've witnessed a masquerade run like that, you can never really go back to anything less.
As a side note, Detour copied its rules from CONvergence, and runs very similarly to the best of their ability because of staff overlap. They're an example of learning to adapt an existing, working masquerade to their own space and limitations, which is why I've been proud to be associated with them as a judge in the past few years. Not this year because I went to CostumeCon instead.