I posted this in the general feedback forum, but I am going to post it here as well just for visibility sake.
Hi! Jenna/Jennadorables from Idolized! here!
My feedback is going to be very specific to one event I held this weekend, and that is the Love Live Dance-Meet-up held on Saturday by Idolized! (the idol group I am a part of).
I'll preface this long post by stating I am extremely happy with how Anime Boston went this year, and am so thankful to all the amazing staff, especially Ficus who was so open to what I had to say regarding the growing popularity of Idol groups.
As you may know, idol cosplay and dance groups are a growing phenomena all over the US! These groups rehearse for months to learn amazing dances and to perform in gorgeous cosplays. However, at Anime Boston there has not been an appropriate space/venue for all these idol groups to display all their hard work. At Anime Boston 2017, our group (Idolized!) was forced out of several locations in the Hynes due to the attention we were getting for our performances.
This year I wanted to make sure the same thing occurred. I have been hosting meet-ups with my group Idolized!
for over 2 years now, so I am no stranger to the work it takes to make them go smoothly. I contacted the staff member in charge of panels about possibly holding a panel for idol groups attending AB to perform at. However, as most of us know Anime Boston is a non-profit and therefore all panels must be educational in some way. As such, I was forwarded to the meet-up coordinator Ficus, and was told to sign-up for a meet-up space as soon as they opened. So I stayed up until midnight of the day they opened, and got a space in the Hynes (specifically outside room 206). Ficus quickly contacted me with worries that the meet-up might be too large and too loud, so we worked together to move the meet-up to a more secluded space in the Hilton, however due to the nature of meet-ups at AB we were only able to get a 1 and 1/2 hour time slot.
Our meet-ups are meant to be a platform for both structured Love Live groups and casual attendees to get to dance and show off their idol spirit. In total, 6 idol groups performed at our meet-up. We also like to allow for open dance, so everyone who is there gets a chance to participate. However, because of the time restriction (and the fact that there were pre-planned 9 performances by groups) there was a disappointing lack of open dance. There were a few, but Idolized and all of the attendees would have preferred to have more time.
In regards to the space. The location of our meet-up was in the Westminster Ballroom which has a capacity of 125 people. Our meet-up was already at nearly at maximum capacity 15 minutes PRIOR to the beginning of our event, and there was a line out the door throughout the entirety of the meet-up. We did not have a real set up to play music, so we had to set up our own speakers. The groups performing also expressed a lack of space available for dancing. Not to mention there was not NEARLY enough space for open dance.
This is where I get to my recommendations. I talked to Ficus in person on Saturday before our meet-up, and the suggestion was thrown around that idol performances could get a room similar to the karaoke room in the future. Stage space, a sound system, and seating would make an INCREDIBLE difference for an event like this. Other conventions like Akon and Holiday Matsuri hold events called Idol Showcases
. These are official con events, with a stage and ample seating, where local idol groups are able to perform and shine like they have always dreamed. I was in the masquerade for the first time this year, and I found the experience extremely worthwhile and was a dream of mine. I am confident that I could help organize something similar to the masquerade, but for idol performances (of course on a smaller scale than the masquerade). I would also love to integrate open dance.
I would love to work with Anime Boston staff to throw around the idea of potentially hosting an Idol Showcase next year at Anime Boston. I have a lot of experience both with hosting events and just idol activities in general. I'll send you my resume if you want haha. Idol groups truly just want a place to showcase all of their hard work, and I am dedicated to making sure all of them have the same performing opportunities I have had in my past 7 years of cosplaying!
Please reach out to me at my email email@example.com
I'll attach some photos below as well as statements from other cosplayers that performed at the meet-up.
END OF MEET-UP PICTURE
15 MINUTES BEFORE START OF MEET-UP
STATEMENTS FROM PERFORMERS AT THE MEET:
I'd love to be a part of a big idol festival! like a real life school idol festival, hehe~ it be so amazing if we could give everyone a chance to shine, because everyone deserves their own spot on stage. - HeartBeat Idols
Performing was amazing! i wouldn’t want to debut at any other meet. thanks so much for hosting, and for all who attended and performed! you’re all amazing, love you! -finn/rin
I definitely think we need more space, while dancing we had limited movement going forward so the spacing was a bit off I’m assuming for everyone, that being said we also could have used more seating, there wasn’t enough seating for the groups preforming let alone observers. ~Cat
know that Cat already expressed some of our thoughts, but as a group we've always thought the idea of an idol festival/showcase would be super cool! If there was one big event for all of the idols to showcase their hard work it would cut down on groups performing in the hallways, give everyone who is there to support and watch an adequate and comfortable space to do so, and it would allow the many different idol groups their own time to shine! We've seen it work at so many different conventions across the united states and it would be so amazing to see it come to Anime Boston! ~Ali
I agree with what my other members said! I also think the event is honestly such an amazing thing cause it brings all of us love live fans together and allows us to cheer each other on and it creates a more positive bond between groups
it makes it feel like less of a competition and more of just a chance to show how hard we work to put these dances together. I definitely think we need more space & a larger span of time so even more groups would get the chance to perform! - Summi
I look forward to being part of more things in the future! - emy/Honk