Anime After Dark_Session 11

Episode Summary:

Supernovas we are back from Dreamcon 2021 and we had the time of our lives!!! If you haven’t already checked in with us on Twitter, make sure you go check us out and see what went on at the convention.

This episode is our official Dreamcon recap where wre discuss what we thought of the convention, what we did, and what we expected. It’s a hilarious occasion because comedy Youtuber extraordinaire, Kimmie D, pulled up to chat with us and share her thoughts on the convention. Tap In!

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GB’s Dreamcon 2021 Thoughts(Customer Experience and Event Operations):

This year’s @dreamconvention 2021 Was Amazing! For anyone that doesn’t know, this is the first Dreamcon I’ve attended and my first convention attended as a creator/producer. As the date approached, I found myself extremely excited to review the convention from a operations and customer experience standpoint as well as a fan. The Event Organizer/Product Manager in me was overall very satisfied with the event but I do have criticisms.

First off, the staff and event leaders did an amazing job working their ass off! I couldn’t how many time watched Ben, running to handle biz. As happy as it made me to see them working so hard, I also found myself wondering why Ben in particular would be responsible for so much. As a member of RDC World and obvious notoriety, it seemed extremely difficult for Ben to be handling work duties while also attempting to cater to his fans. I hope at future Dreamcons, his hand would be free to attend to fans. Overall though, I understand the grind and everything costs money. Dreamcon is fairly new so it’s expected that some would have to pull extra duties during the event. It’s still inspiring to see all of their growth.

Continuing with the theme of being short-staffed, I noticed that staff seemed especially thin throughout the weekend and this dampened my experience in a few ways:

  • Technology malfunctions at different panels – Three of the panels I attended experience technology issues of varying severity. One panel in particular was without audio and video. In all three of these panels, there were no staff team members in sight. In one instance, I ended up leaving the building to find someone. By the time they made it to the panel, it was too late.
  • Gaps in Security – I won’t lie, I was taken aback by the lack of security. There were no instances of violence/threats that occured at Dreamcon2021 to my knowledge and I don’t assume anyone in the event would attempt to do so but that does not remove the need for proper security. Security secured the main door well but since the convention was spread across two buildings there was also a secondary door into the main hall. There was no security at the 2nd building (Sheraton hotel) where majority of the panels were held and if you entered the secondary door of the main hall depending on time of day, there was a chance you would encounter no security. As I’ve said before, it was a peaceful space but it would be nice to know that extra layer was there for safety.
  • Staff Seemed Overworked – Staff was constantly moving and covering multiple areas at a time. Some even seemed visibly overwhelmed at times with the amount of tasks in front of them. It’s my thought, that having more staff present would help with two previous points I made but I’m not aware of the limitations of the organizers resources. UPDATE: A convention staff member reached out to me on twitter and had the following to say, “As someone who knows the staff and was apart of the volunteer staff(I was there 2019 and this year) not only were we under staffed but people used the volunteer roles to just get there pass and shirts to get to met creators and go around the con and not work. It’s a big issue.” Considering this statement, it seems that organizers may have adequately staffed the convention and if what the staff member said is true, I understand how they could quickly run into issues. Maybe they can allieviate it by hiring an outside vendor (which I think would remove some of the “For Us, By Us” vibes from the convention) OR they can arrange a Staff and Guest Pre-convention strategy meeting + meet and greet beforehand. This would be a great way to build comradiere/team with staff and guests while allowing staff to get their crazy fan energy out their system early.

I attended many of the panels Dreamcon2021 had to offer and while I enjoy most of them some issues stood out to me when it came to presentations. There were three or four panels I attended that did not have structured content. To be clear, I don’t think this is a requirement of a successful panel but it should definitely be considered case by case depending on which panelist is presenting. A panelist who has lots of experience as a live streamer has acquired a level of comfort and skills with on-the-fly presentations. As an event organizer, I’d be comfortable with them ‘winging’ their panel but I couldn’t allow someone who has not shown the same skills presents without a pre-approved structure. It makes me wonder what were the criteria for vetting and approving panelists?

The Panel I Posted Day 1 Fell Victim To This ‘Nothing but Vibes’ Issue. @WhytManga, one of the panelists, gave a few tangible steps but his speaking time and experience battled with his co-host @Zero_N_Bless, who was talking in circles. Without a moderator to help steer their conversation in useful directions, the presentation ultimately feels flat with Zero n Bless saying empty information like “Use The Internet” to answer questions. The panel was a “How-To” panel and I found the lack of preparation to be a waste of my time and theirs.

On the other side of the coin, regardless of your feelings about creators like @longbeachgriffy , @CalebCity , @HeavenlyControl , Etc, the panel where experienced creators with tangible success and those in their circles of influence went crazy at the convention. These were the best panels of Dreamcon 2021 excluding the cosplay competition. They dropped multiple, specific gems of knowledge for content creators about structure, technique, commitment, community building, and scaling their platform. These panels definitely set the standard for being informative and fun at the convention.

Transitioning back to the overall convention, I was dying of hunger the entire time. Dreamcon2021 only has one food vendor selling stadium food. I would have preferred food trucks to be on-site and in my experience, the great state of Texas has excellent taco trucks. #PubPubPub

Last, The Cosplay Competition Was Lit!!!! My Girl @TattedPoodle Was Out There Fucking Producing!!!! (That’s What @worstgenpod Folks Do!) They Divided The Competition Fairly And Put On A Show. The Announcer Bothered Me Though, She Didn’t Seem Comfortable and also Seemed a bit Shady To Winner. UPDATE: I Spoke To The Announcer, @GimmieMooreCos, And Heard Her Story. I Believe Her And I’m Glad She Reached Out. I Have More Perspective About Behind-The-Scene activities At Cons now.

As I’ve stated, I’m An Outsider To The Process. Idk What Issues Were Truly Resource Related Or Planning Related. Regardless It Was A Great Experience and Definitely Inspirational For Me As A Youngin’ In The Creator Game. The Guest Creator Panels Dropped Mad Gems and Meeting Peers At Diff Levels Is Very Inspiring.

It’s Underrated How Much Dreamcon Provides In The Inspiration Avenue. Seeing All These Creators At Different Stages In Their Journey Definitely Provides A Feeling Of “Keep Going, Keep Dreaming”. “I’m Inspired” Has Been The Most Tweeted Statement I’ve Seen This Weekend And For Good Reason!

The Entire Convention Has A “Get It Out The Mud And Enjoy Life As You Do” Energy. I Loved That! I’ve Seen People Calling This The Premiere “All Black” Experience, although I Didn’t Get That Vibe. Yes, It’s 100% Black Owned/Ran. We’re Def Being Considered And You Can See That But It’s Definitely Open To Anyone That Wants to Attend/Participate. Black experience and culture are a high priority at Dreamcon but I wouldn’t apply the “It’s For Us Only” tag. I Truly Hope That Doesn’t Become The Agenda Cause It’ll Set Us Up For Disappointment, A La #Blerdcon 2021.

Considering #DreamCon‘s Age and Size Of The Hall, I Wasn’t As Critical About The Art Vendors But I Was Underwhelmed. As The Convention Grows, I Believe It’ll Be More Comparable To Larger Cons, Especially Considering This Year Showed RDC World And Dream Convention Can Play On A Bigger Stage. I’m Gonna Attend Again, And I Can’t-Wait!! 9/10 Exp.

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