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Unread 02-25-2011, 06:51 PM   #1
Thymidine
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Free or not free?

I am slightly confused. The AM2 convention has been advertised as a "free" convention by the website itself and some of the other news agencies that I have visited, but so far, almost everything seems like it needs an extra charge. Artist alley I definitely can understand, but the new interactive events pages that were posted today all say that a 'passport' is required for entry. Isn't that very similar to Anime Expo's business model now with badges and not unique like AM2 has been advertising?
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Unread 02-25-2011, 06:59 PM   #2
sicdedman
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AM2 is FREE. they give you the choice is you want to buy the Passport or not to have frsit access to Main Events,autograph sessions,ect...

but the Con is 100% FREE.

i myself am going to pay for the (PassPort) because i want to Support Am2. i never buy anything in the Dealers Hall so i figure use the Money for the Passport. i go to Con's more for Main Events and Autograph Sessions, and of course take Pictures of the Awesome Cosplay's!
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Unread 02-25-2011, 09:38 PM   #3
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Thymidine, its still absolutely free to enter the con. Dance, cosplay chess, arcade, concerts, main events, and exhibit hall are all free.

The concept of the convention is to pay for what you want to participate in - so if you want to participate in an event that you really want - that requires a passport - you buy in - but if you just want to hang out and spectate, you dont have to purchase anything. Compared to other cons, eitiher way, you have purchase a badge to just enter or do anything inside.
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Unread 02-26-2011, 01:29 AM   #4
LelouchYamazaki
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to enter a con where even the concerts a free is already a plus, for the most part the passport just gives you the ability to get better seats and a few extra's including the shopping for a pretty cheap price even ill buy it because I plan on going to Knotts and Medieval times so that's already more than paid the price.

a free con is free but heck its smart to have a way to bring in some money for all the things they are bringing and doing, I do want to support them myself because I mean renting out the convention Center, free events and concerts has got to be expensive, and its only because you want to.

It's like going to a museum or observatory its your choice to leave a donation or not to support the place, but you get nothing there extra but at AM2 you get special things to more than pay for it. If you so chose
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Unread 03-12-2011, 04:39 PM   #5
Jr.
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One thing tho isn't it impossible to continue to run a con if you are not taking in enough money to pay for it?

Last edited by Jr. : 03-16-2011 at 07:11 PM.
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Unread 03-13-2011, 06:21 PM   #6
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One thing tho isn't it impossible to continue to run a con if you are not taking in enough money to pay for it.
I don't think you quite understand the model here, so I'll try to explain. The idea is that con is free for the baseline attendance. If you want to go to a concert, visit Exhibit Hall, see a panel, go to a workshop, check out a video room, walk around Artist Alley, get an autograph, etc... All that stuff is free. From there you can choose to buy a passport to get priority on all the big stuff.

Concerts/Exhibits/Autographs... all of these are events where passport holders get in first. At concerts, that means you get to pick the best seats before the general admission comes in. At Exhibits, that means you get an early shot at any vendors with Limited Edition Merch Thing X, or just have some time to browse before the crowd comes in. At Autographs, getting priority in line improves your chances of getting an autograph.

The goal here isn't to just be another anime con. The point is to give a boost to the industry as a whole. There are two key points to a successful customer base, and those are acquisition (getting new customers) and retention (keeping old customers interested). Anime cons are typically good for retention. They serve as a place for fans to gather and share their love of the hobby, as well as a chance to see people involved in the creation of their favorite series. It reinforces our appreciation of anime and manga, and reminds us why we became fans in the first place.

In terms of acquisition though, those selling points don't mean as much. Prioritizing fans inherently forces you to focus a bit less on non-fans. AMē obviously isn't ignoring the fans, but what we want is to shift that balance more in the direction of non-fans. The core idea behind AMē can be summed up this way: People who don't know anything about football probably won't want to pay for Superbowl tickets, but they might be willing to give it a chance if entry was free. Once they're actually at the game, they might find they like football after all (or in our case, anime/manga). We're here to bring in new people and turn them into fans.

Getting back to your initial point, yes, running a con without income is unsustainable. At the end of the day, we use the same sources of income as most other cons, we just can't rely on Registration as much as most cons would. Since nobody has to buy a passport, we're relying on the benefits to convince people, and it really is a solid package. As people have pointed out in other threads, buying a passport then heading over to Disneyland saves you money (and that's before the Downtown Disney merch discount).

Sorry this post ran on so long. I just wanted to clear up why we feel that AMē needs to be free, and the philosophy behind the decision. If you want to help support what AMē represents, by all means, go ahead and buy a passport. If not, come for free.

Honestly, the best thing you could do for us is help get the word out to people who aren't fans already. If you've got friends who don't really know much about anime/manga, send them our way. Even if we don't get a single dollar from you guys, that's cool, because our goal was never to make big money in the first place. The only reason AMē cares about money at all is so we can keep on finding ways to help you share an interest in anime and manga with your friends who aren't fans yet, and strengthen the industry a bit in the process.
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Unread 03-13-2011, 08:43 PM   #7
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So does that mean you guys are getting money from some sponsors and if so how much control do they have over your deal?

Last edited by Jr. : 03-16-2011 at 07:11 PM.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 01:33 AM   #8
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Yes we do have sponsors. That said, the details of those sponsorships are private information, and inappropriate for us to disclose. Have you asked AX or Otakon the same questions? I'd put good money on getting the same answer from them.

What are you trying to get at here? I don't really see how our sponsorships have anything to do with the business model of AMē.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 03:33 AM   #9
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Well it come into play if most of your money comes from them then they can say we give you x amount of money which you couldn't run this con without so we would like to see these things changed. What I am getting at is the more you have to depend on those sources of money the more they can demand be changed like say if disney was giving you a lot of money they could say we'll for this money we expect you to make sure no one dresses up as disney related stuff.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 01:13 PM   #10
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I understand what you're asking, I just don't see why you think it's so important. It's more of an oddity to find a convention without sponsors than the reverse. Why are you so worried about it in this case? Even if AMē was getting all or most its funding from sponsorships (we aren't), that still wouldn't necessarily be a problem. If you're concerned about sponsors dictating policy, then just look at our policies and see if anything looks out of place.

I can tell you now that you won't find anything. I was the one who wrote the Code of Conduct and Weapons Policy (with help from other staff), and so I know firsthand that nothing went in that we didn't come up with ourselves. Also, as part of the review process it was compared against the policies of other anime cons. One of the main reasons for this was to make sure things were similar enough that attendees who already knew AX/Otakon/Sakuracon/etc wouldn't have to relearn everything. My point is that there are no weird rules that stand out from other cons, we specifically checked for that ourselves.

Remember, our goal is to get new people in, and our best way of doing that is word of mouth. A lot of what we're doing is geared toward making it easier for a fan to convince non-fan friends to give it a try. Building our policies so that fan will already be familiar with them is just one more part of that.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 02:03 PM   #11
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That is understandable but companies have been known to ruin things they don't understand example is AX 2000 where they held it at the disneyland hotel area turned out to be a big mistake when after the 1st day they asserted there control over what the con can and can't do.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 04:18 PM   #12
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@Jr.

You're overgeneralizing and making assumptions.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 06:48 PM   #13
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That is what we call stating a fact I don't know about you but I was at AX 2000 and saw it happen.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 08:18 PM   #14
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That is what we call stating a fact I don't know about you but I was at AX 2000 and saw it happen.
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That is understandable but companies have been known to ruin things they don't understand example is AX 2000 where they held it at the disneyland hotel area turned out to be a big mistake when after the 1st day they asserted there control over what the con can and can't do.
Um, those are NOT facts. I was a staffer in 2000.

Disney was not a sponsor. They only thing they did was have us remove hentai from the dealers hall because some idiot vendor sold it to a minor. If that never happened then Disney would have done NOTHING. I don't blame them for that. There were no so called "Disney rules". As with all Disney properties, they don't allow people dressed as their characters so non attendees wouldn't get confused and think that those cosplayers and their behavior reflected on them. So don't act like you knew. Just because you may have been an attendee during that time doesn't mean you were privy to any inside information.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 08:30 PM   #15
Jr.
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I never said disney was a sponsor of AX 2000 that was just a example of a outside group telling a con what to do and I also had heard something along the line that disney didn't want them to show any bloody anime since the viewing rooms were in the hotel.
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