For the nth time, problems still plague the event… What should they do next?
It has been a month since Ozine Fest 2014, the event’s 10th installment which was held for the first time at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. They have come a long way since their first ever event held at the Octagon Trade Hall of Robinsons Galleria in December of 2005.
The first Ozine Fest was simple, yet meaningful, as they were the first ever event held after Hero TV’s historic launch, Hataw Hanep Hero 2005, which paved the way for the renewal of interest between anime events
Suffice to say, Ozine always made history.
Who could forget Ozine Fest 2006 held at the LePavillion events place at the Metropolitan Park in Pasay, which held the first ever National Cosplay Competition?, where more than 100 cosplayers strutted their stuff to become the National Cosplay Champ?
Ozine Fest 2007, the first ever Ozine Held at the Megatrade hall (at the SM Megamall) and the first Ozine event to take the Summer schedule, proved to be the turning point of the yearly otaku gathering. In Ozine Fest 2007, attendees had to be at the mall’s entrance as early as 8:00 A.M. and wait for two hours before rushing up to the ticket counter at the Megatrade, because it was expected that the line would be long, and yes, it was that long.
After holding Ozine Fest 2007, Megamall was now beginning to be too small for Ozine Fest. As the Summer event has become one of the most anticipated events to hit the anime event calendar. Many anime fans, from cosplayers to the die hard otaku crowd, has made it a point to be present at Ozine Fest. And with that, so does the attendance getting larger and larger year on year. This has posed a problem especially on security and safety of the attendees. At one point, in Ozine Fest 2011 (or 2012), A record number of lost items were paged on the stage. Many ordinary mall goers who parked their cars at the 5th level of Building B has made it difficult to enter come Ozine time, as Cosplayers with their large costumes has made the concourse area became their “tambayan” or their meeting place.
As time goes by that Otakuzine Anime Magazine, the organizers of Ozine Fest, made a lot of innovations on the scene, like the Maid Cafe, which takes up about a quarter of the event area. The space for the booths, the technical area, and the online gaming and card game kept getting wider and wider and thus the flow of people coming and entering the event area kept getting narrower and narrower (specially during the 11am to 3pm period, which is the peak hour of people coming in to the event)
When Otakuzine announced that they will hold Ozine Fest 2014 at the SMX Convention Center, many were hopeful that finally, they have made the right decision to move away from their previously used venue and that the spaces would be wide enough and spacious enough for them to pass.
But one important detail was missing from their pronouncements, “What halls will Ozine Fest take?”
Weeks before the curtain raised, it was revealed that they will take Function Room 5, said to be the largest of the 4 Function Rooms. Little did they know that they were in for a surprise.
The very same problems that have plagued previous Ozine Events surfaced again in what could be a larger and more ideal venue, and this time, coupled with the unbearable El Niño summer heat and the hordes of people coming in to the Convention hall for a sale. The event goers who were supposed to have a good time instead raised a stink to the organizers and the SMX security personnel and staff.
Function Room 4, which was supposed to be a part of the sale event, was used instead as a entry point for the event goers, and it didn’t take long until that function room became full of anime fans who would want to escape the hellish heat outside the SMX, no matter how costly the ticket price would be. Alas, the two largest halls sweltered as well, and the people simply cannot move along to the event area.
The SMX guards also took flak for dispersing cosplayers and attendees who yelled, according to various accounts, “If you’re just going to loiter around here, you have to go out” (others may have different interpretations, but it meant the same thing). This goes to show that the organizers simply did not know what to do on the security, as they only focused on the aspects on maintaining the Main Event area, which was located at Function Room 5 and the VIP’s at the meet and greet area.
What could be the solution for this never-ending saga that is Ozine Fest? Expand the Function rooms? Head on over to a much more bigger hall? or consider other forms of venues, like the World Trade Center, or the Philippine International Convention Center?
We beg to disagree.
A security meeting with SMX would have helped–no, COULD HAVE HELPED, for the organizers and the venue staff will have complete coordination BEFORE, DURING and AFTER an event. Any event organizer, whether a wedding, christening or any corporate event for that matter, must have the complete utmost coordination between them and the venue staff. It’s the one important thing in Events Management, YOU SHOULD KNOW THE VENUE FIRST.
And also, you should have expected a barrage of people coming in to SMX. You simply don’t discount the fact that Ozine fest is One of the biggest anime events of the year, and then preparing half-heartedly plus the fact that some details were not that ironed out until the first day of the event itself?
Plus the tickets, the never ending issue of ticket prices, Sure you have to justify the cost because of the move, but you really have to fool the people into expecting that they will pay 120 pesos where in fact you sold your tickets at 150 on the first day? Again, you should’ve at least done your homework by explaining to the audience WEEKS before the event, not only on the DAY ITSELF.
Plus, the fact that the guards were DISPERSING the would-be attendees, costrippers and cosplayers is not because they hate them. IT IS THEIR JOB TO SECURE THE AREA, so it’s stupid to hear anime fans being butt-hurt and blaming the guards at the SMX where in fact the blame is theirs to own.
It has been what, almost ten years since the first Ozine Event and yet, the Organizers still have not learned their lessons in events management. True, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt on saying that their first outing on SMX was a “learning experience”, but remember that it’s not always everytime you have to make mistakes and do it all over again, because it will lead to consequences in the long run.
We do count on you, Ozine Events, to have this Ozine Fest SMX experience teach you not just that “learning experiences” that you encountered, but to also realize that you do not have to use that phrase as an excuse to your faults. You have a full year to prepare for the next Ozine Fest, We suggest that you plan ahead and learn from the mistakes that you encountered, and especially, listen to the comments of all event attendees for you not to improve what is needed to be improved, but to realize the mistakes and not simply forget about it on the next event that you will organize. Try to compile all of them, print it and place it on your desks, you’ll realize that later on.
Remember, mistakes happen, and we take it as a learning experience, but it does not count as an excuse towards mediocrity.
DISCLAIMER: This editorial expressed the views of Anime Pilipinas, but it does not reflect the views of all the members of the Editorial Team, its friends & partners. If you have any reactions, please use the feedback form by clicking here, or on our social networking accounts.