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Unread 04-18-2016, 01:35 AM   #1
DiscoGlacier
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Cosplay Gathering General Discussion

An important yet overlooked aspect of the cosplay community is the cosplay gathering, an event which allows cosplayers of similar interests to come together, take photos, and build the foundations for new friendships. It's what motivates many cosplayers to attend conventions and make their costume choices.

This thread is intended to discuss cosplay gatherings in general: participants can share their experiences and what they like in a gathering, hosts can talk about their own gatherings and give some advice to their peers; etc. With conventions like Anime Expo around the corner, it should be a good time to incite discussion on this.

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I will be hosting my third gathering this upcoming Anime Expo, based around vintage anime. The first time, I was a co-host for a gathering themed around RPG Maker games, and helped keep it on track so that it would make it to completion. The second time was a complete disaster: I had hosted a crossplay gathering, but scheduled it an hour before the con's masquerade (when everyone was in line). I've used what I learned from both these experiences for my current gathering, and am pleased with how well it's gone thus far.
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Unread 04-21-2016, 01:42 PM   #2
Scunosi
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I've never been to a cosplay gathering, just to photoshoots at cons. There's one coming up in June in my area (something about Cosplay Day?) that I may go to if I don't have any other plans. I feel like I'm kind of out of the loop as far as social cosplay goes though. I cosplay for myself and with my friends, and love having something to wear at cons, but I'm not active in any groups and don't plan things with strangers. I also feel like maybe I'm kind of old for a casual gathering? Maybe I'm a little anxious about actually going to the event, like it won't be my scene or everyone will be into new stuff I've never heard of.
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Unread 04-22-2016, 06:53 PM   #3
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Not sure if this is the right place to post about this, but does anyone know if there is going to be a Fairy Tail Meetup at AX2016?

My brother & I will have our Natsu (longer hair version) and Erza cosplays finished for this & would love to meet up with some other "guild members."
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Unread 04-22-2016, 08:07 PM   #4
DiscoGlacier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scunosi View Post
I've never been to a cosplay gathering, just to photoshoots at cons. There's one coming up in June in my area (something about Cosplay Day?) that I may go to if I don't have any other plans. I feel like I'm kind of out of the loop as far as social cosplay goes though. I cosplay for myself and with my friends, and love having something to wear at cons, but I'm not active in any groups and don't plan things with strangers. I also feel like maybe I'm kind of old for a casual gathering? Maybe I'm a little anxious about actually going to the event, like it won't be my scene or everyone will be into new stuff I've never heard of.
The social aspect of cosplaying has been a major driving factor for me: putting together cute costumes is one part of it, and I always liked the unique experience each con has to offer, but what I really get out of it is meeting new people and establishing contact with them. There's no other feeling than meeting someone who's also a fan of your favorite series, then having a nice chat with them. What I love about cosplay gatherings, particularly ones specific to a series, is that they allow fans to come together and meet one another.

Admittedly, they can be daunting, what with the hundreds of people that can attend a single event (the Facebook page for the upcoming AX Pokemon gathering has 300+ people listed as "going"!). Of course, there are also the other anxieties that come with meeting new people, like not knowing what to expect, fearing one's insecurities will be used against them; etc. I've spent enough time around strangers to get used to these factors, but it's understandable why gatherings wouldn't be one's thing.

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Originally Posted by nikitafoxxx View Post
Not sure if this is the right place to post about this, but does anyone know if there is going to be a Fairy Tail Meetup at AX2016?
According to this schedule, there is a Fairy Tail gathering on Day 1. Unfortunately, it's unconfirmed, and the gathering's page hasn't been updated since the end of February. I recommend contacting the host, Amberleh, to see what plans she has for the gathering; if she's forgotten about it, then perhaps you guys could take the baton and run with it.
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Unread 04-24-2016, 02:38 PM   #5
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I have hosted a few gatherings, and one of the key pieces of advice I will give is to have to second gathering host when you expect huge turnout and especially if you are wearing a costume that covers your head completely because you need the extra help. I would ask those that don't have a cosplay with that build to host in general.
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Unread 04-24-2016, 10:39 PM   #6
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Do you mean like photo shoots? I LOVE photo shoots.

I'm a member of the N7 Elite, and I don't miss that crew at DragonCon. Commander Shepard is one of my favorite costumes anyway, but it's lovely to go and bask in everyone else's creativity and see all the crazy stuff that people have brought. One year a couple brought their baby dressed as Baby EDI. Someone had an RC mako. Last year someone even brought a life size Kalross. Really.

It inspired me to start the Nintendo photoshoot last year at DragonCon, and holy crap, that was amazing. All those Nintendo nerds in one place was a ton of fun.

I'm going to a photo shoot this weekend, but there isn't a theme other than "show up". I'm excited, though. I want to meet more local people. I'm hoping I get to talk to people more. Sometimes you see people at conventions and you like their costumes, but you have no idea what their costume is from. I feel rude asking, you know?

(Hey, since I have your attention, look in my signature for information on photoshoots for Nintendo characters and Undertale!)
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Unread 04-25-2016, 12:55 AM   #7
DiscoGlacier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamedraco Cosplay View Post
I have hosted a few gatherings, and one of the key pieces of advice I will give is to have to second gathering host when you expect huge turnout and especially if you are wearing a costume that covers your head completely because you need the extra help. I would ask those that don't have a cosplay with that build to host in general.
What would you say the point for hosting a second gathering is? AX has some massive gatherings that would warrant being split into two, others which already have been. I guess it's relative to the space it's being held in, with each one having a different capacity for how much crowding they can tolerate.

The thing about having a costume suitable for hosting is a good point, as you wouldn't want to have your senses or movement restricted when you're supervising an event. Thankfully, my planned costume for my gathering is going to be a simple dress and pinafore, so this won't be an issue.

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Do you mean like photo shoots? I LOVE photo shoots.
There could be some overlap between photoshoots and gatherings. The difference between the two is their focus: photoshoots aim to get photographers and cosplayers together, while gatherings aim to get cosplayers amongst themselves to meet one another. However, photoshoots can be punctuated with conversations, whereas gatherings can be punctuated with photo opportunities. While technically they're distinct, for the most part they'll have elements from one another.
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Unread 04-25-2016, 07:43 AM   #8
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I hosted a gathering once. Host was a very loose term. I got a bunch of Nintendo cosplayers to show up at the same place, and then did nothing with them. Nobody had any idea who was in charge or what was going on. So people got some pictures and left.

Now I know, as a host, you have to direct people. Have a plan of attack, some activities, or at least some ideas for a photoshoot. I'm going to be attending a few gatherings over the next few cons (and between cons) to get a better idea of what to do next time.

Until then I'll be stalking this thread.
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Unread 04-25-2016, 11:21 AM   #9
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I've done multiple gatherings and it's a ton of fun! I've hosted and attended.

For advice, my main one is that you NEED to be assertive and loud. Especially when there's a huge crowd of people. I usually have a friend with me and my friend will back me up by yelling what I said. Ex: "Character X!"

You also need to know when it is time to draw the line. One of the fun things about shoots is having the crowd offer suggestions. One time, someone suggested something and it was obvious the cosplayer was not comfortable with it so I took control again and moved the shoot along.

In terms of planning, I usually just have a simple rundown in my head of the order I want it to go. I'll use Yona as an example as it is one of the simpler non-multi series things I helped run. For Yona, I went through characters one at a time(Yona, Hak, ect.) and then characters are paired(YonaXHak, YonaXSinha, ect.) After that it's usually the bigger group shots(Yona+dragons, All 4 dragons, ect). I then usually call out for suggestions and then turn it over to the group. I'm also all up for spontaneity as if people think of something while we're doing the single shots for example, I just let it happen(unless the line needs to be drawn). I like to end with a group shot of everyone after everyone seems to be fresh out of ideas.

For fandoms with crazy amounts of characters(Type Moon shoots), I don't know everyone off of the top of my head. For these, I ask, "Did I miss anyone?" Most likely someone else will know and call out the character I missed and that person will get a shot as well as me knowing the character's name. Oh and if it is a shoot for multiple series(SMT/Persona, Type Moon material, ect). I tend to go by series. Like Persona 3, then do all of the shots mentioned above for P3 and then move on to P4.

Well that ended up being way longer than I thought it would be. Lol. Hoped that helped someone.

For experiences in gatherings, I've noticed I had a ton more fun with fandoms that have inside jokes and "lore" to them. Ex: The persona shoots and Type Moon ones I've attended(some I've hosted, others I have not) were a TON of fun because people were yelling stuff out and make references to jokes in the fandom and it made us all feel like a huge nerd group. One I didn't feel this for was the Vocaloid shoots because Vocaloid doesn't have that level of jokes and such which lead to the shoots being a bit dull for me.
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Unread 04-26-2016, 04:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TMLiza View Post
In terms of planning, I usually just have a simple rundown in my head of the order I want it to go. I'll use Yona as an example as it is one of the simpler non-multi series things I helped run. For Yona, I went through characters one at a time(Yona, Hak, ect.) and then characters are paired(YonaXHak, YonaXSinha, ect.) After that it's usually the bigger group shots(Yona+dragons, All 4 dragons, ect). I then usually call out for suggestions and then turn it over to the group. I'm also all up for spontaneity as if people think of something while we're doing the single shots for example, I just let it happen(unless the line needs to be drawn). I like to end with a group shot of everyone after everyone seems to be fresh out of ideas.
This is my favorite part. For the Nintendo photoshoot, I call series first (Mario, Zelda, and then whoever we have), then start dividing things up accross series lines. I like to call princesses, for example, so Zelda, Peach, Daisy, Lucina ...)

One year I had someone request 'green', which I thought was brilliant.
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Unread 04-26-2016, 06:27 PM   #11
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I've thought of using colors as a reference for my own photoshoot. This is especially considering that the theme of my gathering will be broad, and so the subjects of each shoot would have to be more general. Related to this, if none of the featured series are especially prominent (I'll ask my group on Facebook), then I'll call by genre (i.e. mecha, magical girl).
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Unread 04-27-2016, 03:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DiscoGlacier View Post
I've thought of using colors as a reference for my own photoshoot. This is especially considering that the theme of my gathering will be broad, and so the subjects of each shoot would have to be more general. Related to this, if none of the featured series are especially prominent (I'll ask my group on Facebook), then I'll call by genre (i.e. mecha, magical girl).
Yours would be neat to do by year.
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Unread 04-27-2016, 09:57 PM   #13
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That's a great idea! Especially since it's themed by time period, and it will give us additional combinations for each picture.
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