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14 Feb 2009 - 11:3210767
Non profit conventions?
Can anyone tell me which conventions in the UK are non profit and which aren't? I know this sounds weird but for some reason I seem to have the impression that all conventions in the UK are non profit. I think I remember reading it somewhere or something and it has settled into my mind as one of those "must be true" statements.

The reason I'm asking is that Sjbonner just pointed out to me on the mcm expo forum that london expo is most definately not non profit. And well, it's quite interesting to know that, and it would be nice to know a bit more about the places I visit each year you know. XD

I figured I'd ask on here because it's less of a baised forum (as in, not everyone on here goes to london expo, or likes it enough to go on the forum and talk about it) but most of us go to cons, so I'm sure I'll get some good answers.

It would also be interesting to know what people think about the difference between profit and non profit cons, and whether they think that there is any at all.

Tab


14 Feb 2009 - 12:0510768
I've always thought that it was basically like this:

Fan-run convention like Minami, Aya, Ame etc - not-for-profit.

Corporate show like Expo, Collectormania, LFCC etc - run for profit.


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14 Feb 2009 - 12:2510769
It's pretty much what Sillabub said ^_^'

Things where there are a lot of commercial things are generally run for profit. In fact, Expo itself is designed PURELY for profit now even though I think it started out as a small sci-fi-like convention and then grew. The animé and cosplay aspect of it was done purely to draw in more of a crowd...hence why apart from James and Joe, none of the proper staff really know what they're doing in regards to cosplayers etc.

Things like Ayacon, Amecon, Fuyucon etc. are non-profit as far as I can see and they cater more specifically.


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14 Feb 2009 - 13:5910772
Thank you for all your help- I felt really naive for not realising that Expo was a big money pot. I think now I shall feel slightly outraged over the fact that James, Joe and co don't get treated better when running the cosplay stuff.

But thing is, checking out Minami's website and such, it doesn't actually say anything about charities or non profit things on the site. I mean we know it's non profit, I'm just curious as to why they wouldn't advertise it a bit more, as it is a bit of a nice selling point knowing that the con you're going to isn't after all your money.

Unless I have missed something on the site...

Tab


14 Feb 2009 - 14:1110774
Oh I know what you mean. I used to "work" for the expo and the more I got to know the management and their goals, the more I hated the entire damn thing...

After May I'm trying to limit myself to conventions and just skipping the expo altogether.

To be honest, I think the fact that they're non-profit is just one of those kinda commonly known things. It's like, Amecon and things like that are run BY animé fans and FOR animé fans. I think any money that they do make is poured into the next convention.


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16 Feb 2009 - 10:1610799
I doubt the conventions advertise their non-profit nature much because that's the way it's always been, and until the recent surge in popularity of Expo there's not been any commercial alternatives to compare with.

I think most conventions are non-profit by necessity. For the size of UK cons all your registration money goes back into the event, the budgets are always very tight. You just can't pull of the kind of friendly cons we've been getting and make a big profit easily.

Expos bring in more money by specifically not giving you much reason to hang around all day. I know a bunch of us do, but a huge amount of their money is coming from people who go in for a few hours at most and then leave. Allows them to turn over a huge number of paying customers, while a convention asks you to stay the whole weekend and be part of the community.

There is also a moral issue, one that bothers me when it comes to events like Expo. At both types of events, almost everyone working there is volunteer. Giving up their free time to make the event the best it can be. At a convention that's fine since no one's really making any money besides the dealers. However at Expo they have somehow managed to convince huge numbers of people to work incredibly hard for free so a few people at the top can make a load of money off their hard work.



Last edited by PerrinAshcroft (16 Feb 2009 - 10:17)
16 Feb 2009 - 12:1910804
Quote PerrinAshcroft:

There is also a moral issue, one that bothers me when it comes to events like Expo. At both types of events, almost everyone working there is volunteer. Giving up their free time to make the event the best it can be. At a convention that's fine since no one's really making any money besides the dealers. However at Expo they have somehow managed to convince huge numbers of people to work incredibly hard for free so a few people at the top can make a load of money off their hard work.


See, this is why I thought that Expo was a non-profit event. I mean how else could they manage to convince people to work for free?

Anyone here actually volenteered for expo? Why did you do it?

Tab


16 Feb 2009 - 12:3210806
Well, I was tempted to volunteer as I was overexcited over the whole cosplay thingy O.o, being may 08 the first time I saw people cosplaying. But then I thought that those guys would be making a profit out of my work. And then I though, ok, maybe having volunteer staff help keep the prices low. But still don't think like volunteering. I have volunteered before for causes I believed in.

What about the cosplay desk? I have seen some CI staff there helping, inside the Expo. Although I didn't know they were, or I would have come to say hi >_<.


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Last edited by hanagata (16 Feb 2009 - 12:32)
16 Feb 2009 - 13:1210808
I believe the cosplay desk get their hotel paid for by expo, so they have more of an incentive to help out. I may be totally wrong about that though.

Tab


16 Feb 2009 - 13:2910810
I do the cosplay judging for the Expo with Kazz. I don't really see myself as working for the Expo, though - I do it for James and Joe, because they asked me to and it helps them out. In return I get free entry to the event and the chance to ogle people's costumes close-up - that's it.


16 Feb 2009 - 13:3910811
same i wouldnt work for expo, but james and joe are my friends and i see all the cosplay staff working so hard, and thats why since october ive helped them at the cosplay desk to organise the masquerade, i didnt do know were nere as much hard work as them but it was definatly fun helping and id do it again no doubt about it


16 Feb 2009 - 14:3310812
I have helped out on the cosplay desk a few times now purely because James and Joe are good friends and they deserve a small army of help with the crazy amount of work they are expected to do. The only reward is free entry to the Expo.

People dying of dehydration waiting for the masquerade to start would also be really nasty.


16 Feb 2009 - 19:1310818
I usually have a stand at the expo, but as Odango says, I also help out with the judging.

Many of the voluntary staff I have met at Expo are doing it for the events experience or as a placement for uni/college. Events management can be invaluable in some jobs - like the job I have currently.

On a similar subject, I've co-ran many convention games rooms and did events management for Amecon. It is hard work and is completely voluntary, but it's fun to do something for the fans and to keep the scene alive. As any convention committee members or gophers will tell you, it's definitely something you do out of love for the community, not for the profit.



Last edited by Kazz (16 Feb 2009 - 19:15)
19 Feb 2009 - 10:5110920
Non Profit Companies run most Anime Conventions in the USA. The main difference is here in the UK a nonprofit company still has to pay UK taxes while a US nonprofit does not.

While some say, there are non-profit conventions here in the UK that does hold loosely true. However, there is usually an attendance limit to keep the amount of money they pull in under a certain amount to avoid paying the VAT. However most of these conventions put all the money right back into the event.

Companies that run shows like the Expo, LFCC, and Showmasters etc that pay taxes thus all the relentless adverts and commercialization of the event.

One can speculate if someone was able to run an Anime Convention in the UK without an attendance cap and the ability to pay the UK taxes, they stand make quite a bit of profit. However for this to work the event will need a grass roots and fan based approach.

I have done allot of event planning for Anime Convention in the states. I have seen what worked well for one event and what does not for others. The ones that do well are the events ran by fans for the fans. When big business gets involved, the event just turns into one big advert.

Since 2003 I have worked with an American Convention called Anime Boston . This convention has had a solid success record and has exceeded its attendance goals every year. They have been able to implement and do many events and things that other conventions only dream of. All of the work is done by volunteers in their spare time. All money from the convention goes right back into funding next year’s event.

The Non Profit New England Anime Society runs this convention. For more info, please see their home page http://www.neanime.org/


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19 Feb 2009 - 12:1910924
I don't know where you get your facts about UK cons and VAT but they're wrong.

The membership limit on UK conventions is as much an issue of available venues and demand as it is worrying about hitting the VAT limit. Since ultimately if a con is going to hit that kind of turnover they just have to charge VAT on top of membership which means there's no real extra cost to the convention. It would also mean they'd then be able to claim VAT back from stuff like venue and equipment hire.

And even if a con didnt want to do that since it would mean an increase in membership cost their are valid VAT exemptions they can apply for. (And although I can't say anything official I know of a big con doing just that)

The biggest trouble larger UK conventions have is available venues. Hotels rarely go above 1,000 in terms of space in function rooms, and so larger events have been forced into using universities which again have limits in terms of room size around 1,500. The next step up is convention/conference facilities like Expo use but they are MUCH more expensive and are a lot easier to pay for if you take the expo approach of charging people to hang around for a few hours instead of staying all weekend, means you can turn over more people and more entry fees. On top of which convention centres make rubbish venues for creating the friendly con atmosphere we're used to in the UK.

Then bearing all that in mind who the hell would want to run one of these massive events? I mean stuff like Ame and Aya are a nightmare to organise and sadly for them they're never quite as enjoyable as a small friendly hotel con like Minami. So I think you'd have trouble finding a competent willing committee of people willing to risk huge amounts of cash on a massive event that could go bankrupt if not enough people attend to produce an event that would be worse than a smaller con.

Oh also btw if you think there's profit to be made in running UK cons. LOL f**king LOL. I've know what the budgets are like for stuff like Ame and Aya. When you say they put most of the money back into the con you have no idea. ALL of it goes back in. Nobody makes any money from Minami, Aya, Ame etc... and increasinging the membership limit would not suddenly means there's wad of cash to be made. And even if you did, like Expo you'd be making that money by the free hard work of others.



Last edited by PerrinAshcroft (19 Feb 2009 - 12:37)
19 Feb 2009 - 12:3810926
Quote PerrinAshcroft:
I don't know where you get your facts about UK cons and VAT but they're wrong.


I would think the same of what you said. I would not mind talking over PM to see what your views are. I have writen a paper and filming a segment on this subject and would be intrested to hear your views.


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Last edited by nadesico81 (19 Feb 2009 - 12:49)
19 Feb 2009 - 12:4910927
Hmmm.... I don't see much need to take this kind of things to PM. I've avoided saying anything confidential and am not likely to reveal any more over PM. And to be honest you've heard my views.

And while I'm sure your paper on the subject is fascinating, I'm pretty sure you've not been involved in the running of any the major or long runing UK anime conventions. I've never seen you on committee or staff lists for stuff like Ame, Aya or Minami.

So I don't know, I'm calling [citation needed] on your facts.


19 Feb 2009 - 12:5410929
Quote PerrinAshcroft:
Hmmm.... I don't see much need to take this kind of things to PM. I've avoided saying anything confidential and am not likely to reveal any more over PM. And to be honest you've heard my views.

And while I'm sure your paper on the subject is fascinating, I'm pretty sure you've not been involved in the running of any the major or long runing UK anime conventions. I've never seen you on committee or staff lists for stuff like Ame, Aya or Minami.

So I don't know, I'm calling [citation needed] on your facts.


Please I asked A PM to keep bickering out of the thread.

As a film producer, I would never ask you to reveal confidential data about any event. I only seek more information for the film segment I am working on. Since it is in pre production, I rather talk over a PM please.

As for the refrance you ask for it is in my filmed interview with the Chairman of AmeCon 2008.


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Last edited by nadesico81 (19 Feb 2009 - 12:58)
19 Feb 2009 - 13:0810931
Ha, well in that case I can only tell you that Will does not speak for AyaCon neither would I think he'd claim to.

And so all my points above still stand. VAT exemption can be sought, VAT costs can be offset, venues are difficult to find and big cons don't have as good an atmosphere.



Last edited by PerrinAshcroft (19 Feb 2009 - 13:10)
19 Feb 2009 - 13:2310935
Quote Sillabub:
I've always thought that it was basically like this:

Fan-run convention like Minami, Aya, Ame etc - not-for-profit.

Corporate show like Expo, Collectormania, LFCC etc - run for profit.
Well another way to brake it down (though in similar outlook to Sillabub's) is that, the big dealers shows like Expos are professionally run, and that a lot of conventions especially the younger ones are run by fans. Though there are some conventions out there that are semi-pro; that is to say that many of the organisers are fans, yet they have connections with / funding from professionals in the trade, dealers, ect...


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19 Feb 2009 - 13:2510937
Quote PerrinAshcroft:
Ha, well in that case I can only tell you that Will does not speak for AyaCon neither would I think he'd claim to.

And so all my points above still stand. VAT exemption can be sought, VAT costs can be offset, venues are difficult to find and big cons don't have as good an atmosphere.


Thanks for the new input and information it is always welcomed. However, Will never claimed to speak for AyaCon. I honestly did not know the convention existed until this year’s announcement at the end of AmeCon.

I would be interested in doing an interview with you about your UK Anime Convention staffing experiences and knowledge if you are up to it. I am based in East Anglia but I am willing to drive to most anywhere in the South, East England areas and Metro London areas to do an interview.

To date I have interviewed over 40 people in Japan, USA and the UK for my ongoing documentary and video projects. Please for more information view our web site under my signature.


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Last edited by nadesico81 (19 Feb 2009 - 13:26)
19 Feb 2009 - 16:1710944
Quote nadesico81:
I honestly did not know the convention existed until this year’s announcement at the end of AmeCon.


Wow really? I mean, I've never been, (signed up to this one though) but have known about it for years. It was originally Ayacon one year, Amecon the next and Ayacon and Amecon have been cited by several people I know as being the best conventions of the year.


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20 Feb 2009 - 10:2710958
Quote sjbonnar:


Wow really? I mean, I've never been, (signed up to this one though) but have known about it for years. It was originally Ayacon one year, Amecon the next and Ayacon and Amecon have been cited by several people I know as being the best conventions of the year.


Last time Ayacon was held I was out of the country filming in Japan thus I did not know the event was on.

Our first UN Official event in the UK was Oct 06 London Expo. My company was not covering UK events until the latter half of 2007 once all of our new gear came in.


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Last edited by nadesico81 (20 Feb 2009 - 10:28)
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