Airtel Plaza Hotel part 2: Main Tower areas (15-Oct-2005), Dad's Brief Hospital Stay (26/27-Oct-2005), and Yaoi-Con 5 (29/30-Oct-2005) pictures are online. Click on the picture of karisu_sama and kproche to see the Yaoi-Con photos.
Christian and I went to Yaoi-Con 5 on Halloween weekend, to represent animelosangeles. We drove up as far as Livermore, spent the night at the Doubletree Club and drove the rest of the way into SFO in the morning. I had some Hhilton Hhonors hpoints, so I cashed them in for a free night in Livermore so we wouldn't have to deal with driving all the way into Burlingame in the middle of the night when we'd be dog-tired. (Many thanks for nolly for giving us the idea.) Since we wouldn't be able to do anything until Saturday morning anyway -- we were driving up after work on Friday -- it didn't make any sense to kill ourselves trying to get there before dawn. I would have kept my room at the Clarion and just cancelled the first night, but they didn't seem to be able to do that easily so I just cancelled that stay and switched to the Hampton Inn. Hampton Inn gets me Hhilton points... I'll be "gold" for another year, it seems, for what good that does me.
yaoicon gave us a table in the fan area, so we had a prime location this time. They seemed to have a one-way path through the dealers room, and we were on the logical path back from the dealers room exit. Since we weren't staying in the headquarters hotel -- and since their Saturday night program is so strong (the Masquerade and the Bishounen auction) and we didn't get a lot of traffic last year -- we just put out snacks at our table, instead of getting a room at the convention hotel and doing a daytime or evening party. We had Goldfish, we had an assortment of granola bars, we had caramel Hershey's Kisses, and we gave away bottled water. I brought as much water as we'd gone through at Ani-Magic -- 336 of the chibi 8 oz. bottles of water. (Six of the 56-bottle two-flat cases.) We set them up on the table and told people they were free if they'd take a flyer.
I don't think we had the powerful word-of-mouth going on that we had at Ani-Magic, but then, we didn't have peanut butter sandwiches either. A lot of people were very grateful to get granola bars and water; granola bars are kind of boring as an every-meal diet, but if you've skipped a meal it'll help tide you over until dinner.
We went through half our supply of water on Saturday, and all of our tri-fold flyers. (Silly me, for not bringing as many flyers as I was bringing bottles of water.) The Hampton Inn has free internet access; we used that Saturday night to determine there was no Kinko's open between where we were and Nob Hill. (That's on the far side of the City -- look at a map and find SFO, we were just south of the runways, and Nob Hill is on the north side practically to the water.) The only way to print stuff, short of driving all the way to the open Kinko's, would be to wait until 10 am Sunday when everything opened. Kinko's, Staples, Office Max -- they all open at 10am (or later) on Sunday. I printed more of our simple one-page flyers. By the end of the weekend we'd gone through five of the six cases of water we'd brought, and we gave away 70 two-bar packets.
We even came back with two memberships. Gosh, people are pre-registering this time! In fact, we have 80 people signed up for Anime Los Angeles 2, including people who've paid up, people who have pass-on memberships rolled over from last year, and a handful of Parents-in-Tow accompanying paid members under 15.
And for the long-term health of the convention, we've recruited some people to run the Live Program. They'll be "apprenticing" this year and learning the ropes, contributing ideas and helping work out the schedule, and taking the lead next year. W00t!
On the way home, we took El Camino Real south into Burlingame and east on Broadway and stopped at a taco place ("Lobos") that was absolutely delicious. They had six different kinds of taco filling (such as carnitas and spicy chicken and shredded beef) and they stuffed those tacos full to overflowing. Yumm, yumm.