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Unread 01-11-2012, 05:20 PM   #1
hikanteki
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What happened to AOD?

I thought AOD was a newish up-and-coming convention. Then I looked back a few years and saw that in 2005, it had an AMAZINGLY HUGE guestlist, with dozens of guests, including numerous artists and musicians and actors from Japan as well as America. It also was 3 days and had quite a few more attendees than it does now (which is unusual, because it's been the trend at most cons for the past few years to increase by leaps on bounds.)

The past few years, on the other hand, it's pretty much been Happy Tree Friends, Robotech, C. Vee, Yukie Dong, and PMBQ, with maybe a few others. No disrespect to any of these, of course, because they're awesome, but going from what it was in 2005, to having the same, significantly smaller lineup for the past few years...why did AOD downsize?

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Unread 01-11-2012, 11:05 PM   #2
Amethyst Nat
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Really? It was that awesome? Wow, I wish I could have seen it.
Maybe funding for it or something that it's decreased
I remember I went once a few years ago and it was super tiny for a con. But I still had fun, and I want to go again this year, since I'll be in the area
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Unread 01-12-2012, 12:47 PM   #3
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I attended AOD in 2005, though not since, so my experience is limited. What I -can- tell you is that AOD then was pretty small attendance-wise at that time. Not sure how attendance has been in recent years, but I'm going this year so it will be interesting to see what has changed.

There's a variety of reasons why events and guest lineups change over time on an event. Guest schedules conflicting with the event's date, making them unavailable to attend, budget to pay for guests to attend being reduced, staffer changes...these all impact the way an event happens from year to year. I'm sure you noticed that the name is changed now: In 2005, it was named Anime Overdose, and now it's Animation on Display, which covers a more broad base of things as well as anime. Also, the event bills itself as a "San Francisco Anime/Cartoon/Video Game convention" rather than just an anime event. Those are two big indicators, to me, that they were looking to expand the convention base a bit.

That is just my opinion though
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Unread 01-12-2012, 01:18 PM   #4
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The first time I attended was last year—which will probably be as small as this year's—so I don't have much experience either. However, I do agree with Dany that those are probably the reasons why AOD might have changed so much.

Also, gotta think about location. AOD is being held at Hotel Kabuki, so it's not a lot of space and room—unlike places like Fanime or AnimeExpo who have whole stadiums and centers to use. c:
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Unread 01-13-2012, 01:03 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by kazumas View Post
The first time I attended was last year—which will probably be as small as this year's—so I don't have much experience either. However, I do agree with Dany that those are probably the reasons why AOD might have changed so much.

Also, gotta think about location. AOD is being held at Hotel Kabuki, so it's not a lot of space and room—unlike places like Fanime or AnimeExpo who have whole stadiums and centers to use. c:
For the size that AOD has been to this point, assuming it has not grown much in the last few years, the Kabuki is not bad. I believe it is about the same size as the Holiday Inn that housed the con in 2005, plus has the added bonus of being smack in the heart of Japantown.

And on a side note, I think many of the rooms have the traditional Japanese soaking tubs. I stayed there for the Cherry Blossom Festival two years ago and LOVED taking a rest in that. Plan to do it again for both AOD and the Festival. Mmmmm. Tub.
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Unread 01-15-2012, 11:36 PM   #6
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I was there 2005. I remembered how big and awesome it was. I remember that year had no video game room at all that year. Totally different during that time and today. Now I'm staffing for Video Game department.
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Unread 01-17-2012, 09:48 PM   #7
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San Francisco

To be honest I think that the location, while it is great, is probably also a hindrance to the con. It is REALLY EXPENSIVE to just park in Japantown much less find a room then try to find food on top of that. For the kids from our little town it is usually the first time they have been in a big city and they are overwhelmed. For the other cons we go to we can crash on someone's floor or make a long day driving to the con and then home. AOD is just beyond the capability of us doing that.
And AOD has developed a reputation as being a sort of crappy con, please forgive me for that. I haven't enough experience to judge one way or another, that is just the gossipy nonsense I have heard. Frankly, I like the whole experience, cost and all. I think it is a good complete package, the setting, the surroundings, San Francisco being somewhat exotic in general now that I live in the sticks.
I am curious to see how things evolve for AOD. It is considered the prime con for our little group because, as I said, it is a complete package and so foreign to a lot of the kids. But they do have to save up all year to afford to go!
This is all just my opinion!

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Unread 01-19-2012, 01:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by thedollysmama View Post
To be honest I think that the location, while it is great, is probably also a hindrance to the con. It is REALLY EXPENSIVE to just park in Japantown much less find a room then try to find food on top of that. For the kids from our little town it is usually the first time they have been in a big city and they are overwhelmed. For the other cons we go to we can crash on someone's floor or make a long day driving to the con and then home. AOD is just beyond the capability of us doing that.
And AOD has developed a reputation as being a sort of crappy con, please forgive me for that. I haven't enough experience to judge one way or another, that is just the gossipy nonsense I have heard. Frankly, I like the whole experience, cost and all. I think it is a good complete package, the setting, the surroundings, San Francisco being somewhat exotic in general now that I live in the sticks.
I am curious to see how things evolve for AOD. It is considered the prime con for our little group because, as I said, it is a complete package and so foreign to a lot of the kids. But they do have to save up all year to afford to go!
This is all just my opinion!

KAren
After going two years ago I see how it could get that type of reputation. I'm looking at going this year, hopefully it will be better.

It wasn't always in Japantown (it used to be at the Cathedral Hill Hotel and the Holiday Inn)...but yeah, parking around Van Ness is not any better. But, food around J-town is extremely easy to find and not terribly expensive.

The average age seemed to be very young, even for anime conventions.

The Kabuki is kind of small for a convention center, but wouldn't it be great if they used the rest of J-Town too, like they do with the Cherry Blossom Festival or the J-Pop Summit? They could enlist the help of the New People Cinema to host events all weekend (A few years ago they showed Death Note, but there was an extra charge) and maybe have things in the courtyard area.
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Unread 01-21-2012, 09:04 PM   #9
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I was wondering too what happened to AOD after reading this thread.

My bf said that at the time AOD was able to get the band Psycho le cemu in 2005, it was good timing, because the band hadn't been to the US and everything worked out well.

Maybe it just comes down to cost, and that it's easier to get reoccurring guests, or at least guests who are within the US.

Here's there history pg if your extra curious- http://www.aodsf.org/aod/history/

There attendance has consistently gone up though, but the location, timing(i don't think feb is a good choice IMO), and guest list feels like why it hasn't gotten even more attendance or as a convention grown much.

I feel like the move to the kabuki is hard, because it suffers the same issue that JTAF had and that is people don't need to register to enjoy a good time.
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Unread 01-26-2012, 01:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DayDreamerNessa View Post
I feel like the move to the kabuki is hard, because it suffers the same issue that JTAF had and that is people don't need to register to enjoy a good time.
Yeah, I agree..the Japantown location is really nice, but it gives people a lot of options to not be on site, and therefore less excuse to register. And the convention needs that money to survive and to continue being able to bring more guests in. Those appearance fees aren't cheap, and especially when you get foreign visitors involved, you have to take into consideration international flights, interpreters...

I think people forget that sometimes.
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Unread 01-27-2012, 04:30 PM   #11
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I will admit that AOD used to be fun for me back in 2004 & 2005. Back in 2004 when it was held at the Santa Clara University, the location was gorgeous but I was mainly selling stuff at the Swap Meet, so I didn't take too many pictures. (Back then I wasn't into doing outdoor photo-shoots.)

In 2005, when it was at the Holiday Inn, like with Yaoi-Con 2002, the hotel was rather small and there weren't any good places to take pictures. (Almost all indoor pictures.) That year wasn't fun for me because of two separate incidents: Some elderly tourists made my friend cry by yelling at her for sitting on a sofa that they wanted to sit on not realizing she was sick. I in-turn yelled at them. Then later that evening some non-convention attendees wanted to pick a fight with me because I caught them taking a picture of my friend's back-side without asking.

I remember going one year when it was at the Cathedral Hotel and it was more spacious because it was held in a much wider area, and the pool-deck/courtyard level made for some nice outdoor pictures. But overall it was a small, relaxing convention. I miss that hotel.

These days AOD seems to be scheduled during the same weekend as Katsucon in Washington DC and since that is one of my favorite East Coast conventions, I enjoy traveling there to get a lot of nice pictures. If AOD happens on a weekend where it doesn't conflict with another convention I might return, but to me it's not the same as it used to be back in 2004.
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Unread 02-21-2012, 11:51 AM   #12
hikanteki
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AOD 2012 Feedback

AOD was a blast this year! I thought it was much improved over 2010.

First thing I noticed was that it was a lot more crowded (and I thought the staff did an excellent job at keeping things organized, esp. considering the limited amount of space. I've never seen a registration line that big at AOD before, but they had like six volunteers and it moved pretty fast.) Second thing I noticed was that the schedule was much bigger. There were panels that looked interesting every hour. A lot more animation events this year than just Happy Tree Friends and Robotech. The video game events & some of the anime screenings were good too. In particular I liked the Spiral Knights and Random Encounters Musical Panels. Hideo was good too. If AOD is trying to differentiate themselves as the anime convention with a heavy animation/video games focus, this year showed that they are playing their cards right.

They get major props for most efficient use of space. As far as I could tell none of the panels were overbooked but many of them had close to a full house for the size of the room. They might already be getting too big for the Kabuki, but that seems like such a good location for this. Perhaps if they need more space then they can expand to other venues in J-Town (in addition to, not instead of) the Kabuki.
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Unread 02-27-2012, 12:21 AM   #13
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I had a real problem with the hotel. I come there, and BAM!!!, they tell me that my card was declined. Not tht I didn't have the money on it, (Well, actually yes, I didn't have the full price.) No one told me that there was a $50 per night deposit, including my bill. I almost went home. After spending almost 90 minutdes after getting off the golden Gate Bridge, trying to find the place. I got soooooo turned around because of construction.

But, I got some good pictures, and going around as Captain Cosmic, I got to talk a bit with iel Kaplain who watched Captain Cosmic on Oakland ch. 2 back in the 70's. He really got a kick out of 2T2 jr.

I would have roamed around the Japantown mall more, but I was waiting for someone to come in from Dublin, to do a photoshoot. Unfortunately, they showed up just before the masquerade, and I missed that, and she did not show up in the costume I thought. But still, I got some great pictures I can post, later.

And because I lost the flash to my film camera, I ued my digital camera more.
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Unread 02-27-2012, 11:29 AM   #14
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I had a real problem with the hotel. I come there, and BAM!!!, they tell me that my card was declined. Not tht I didn't have the money on it, (Well, actually yes, I didn't have the full price.) No one told me that there was a $50 per night deposit, including my bill. I almost went home. After spending almost 90 minutdes after getting off the golden Gate Bridge, trying to find the place. I got soooooo turned around because of construction.
Fanime has threads upon threads in their forums of people who deal with this as well, so I'm all too familiar with this situation. It is not the hotel that is an issue, it's the kind of card that you use.

If your credit card is a debit card, i.e. it's funded by your bank account and not a line of credit, that is what you will see from any hotel, not just the Kabuki. The key reason is because debit cards do not carry pending transactions; no matter what the charge is, it posts immediately to your account until it is removed, which can take days in some cases.

Credit cards allow pending transactions...these transations do not impact the available balance and will disappear once the final balance is created and charged. The hotel deposit, when it happens, usually runs pending in the background on a credit card unless hotel policy indicates they will charge X amount to your card before your stay, etc. The best way to see this happen in practice is to check online..I know Bank of America and Chase will both show pending transactions, so you typically see them separately from what has already cleared and charged to the account.

Just wanted to put that out there...yes it is frustrating, but if you know this info beforehand, you can plan accordingly
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Unread 02-27-2012, 04:30 PM   #15
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I just wish I did know, before hand, because I had the money on another card, which they couldn't use... It just took most of my food and spending money...
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