Username Post: Guest Autograph Line Cut off?        (Topic#2578)
Gale 
Sacrificial White Mage
Gale
Loc: New England
Reg: 03-08-09

03-08-12 11:40 AM - Post#10433    

What is the standard number of people staff should cut a line at for a given time block of autographs? For example, if you have an hour set aside, how many people on average will be able to get through before that hour is up?

Also, any other suggestions from those particularly experienced in handling popular autograph singing sessions would be very welcome!

Thanks!
AnimeCons.com contributor

ConnectiCon Director of Guest Relations


 
PatrickD 
Executive Producer
PatrickD
Loc: California
Reg: 12-07-06

03-08-12 03:41 PM - Post#10435    
    In response to Gale

The number really depends on the guest. Some are slow signers and some are quick.

...but I usually hand tickets to folks and tell them it guarantees them an autograph (as long as they stay in line...no coming back the next day and saying you were guaranteed because you had a ticket). Anyone still in line without a ticket is not guaranteed to get one.
-PatrickD
AnimeCons.com Executive Producer
Co-Founder: Anime Boston and Providence Anime Conference
Host of The Chibi Project & Anime Unscripted™


 
Gale 
Sacrificial White Mage
Gale
Loc: New England
Reg: 03-08-09

03-08-12 05:57 PM - Post#10437    
    In response to PatrickD

Thanks for the idea, Patrick!
AnimeCons.com contributor

ConnectiCon Director of Guest Relations


 
Nigoki 
Obsessed with robots
Nigoki
Reg: 02-25-09

03-08-12 08:01 PM - Post#10438    
    In response to PatrickD

At the Marvel booth at NYCC a few years back they did something similar. They gave the person at the "official" end of the line a T-short. Anyone behind the shirt wasn't guranteed an autograph, but as long as there was time and the signers were willing, they'd keep going. (I lucked out, I was two behind the end and got the ones I wanted)
-Doug Wilder
Resident Mecha fanboy of AnimeCons TV!


 
Fuzzy 
Con Regular
Fuzzy
Loc: Orlando
Reg: 12-07-07

03-11-12 05:12 PM - Post#10448    
    In response to PatrickD

  • PatrickD Said:
The number really depends on the guest. Some are slow signers and some are quick.



THIS

Yeah, it really comes down to the guest. Something i've noticed, is that Bands tend to move through autographs quicker than VAs. My theory on this is that bands in general have done more autograph sessions, and they've got the system down pat.

The way we've done it at AX the last couple of years, is to give out "priority tickets" for autographs. Basically, no one is guaranteed an autograph, but those with tickets have a higher line priority for an autograph than those without tickets.

Gale: I've been Assistant Manager of GR (autographs) at AX for the past 2 years. Feel free to PM me if ya wanna pick my brain some more
True wisdom comes from knowing that you know nothing
-Socrates

Thats US DUDE!!
-Ted 'Theodore' Logan


Edited by Fuzzy on 03-11-12 05:17 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
A.C.A. 
Attendee

Reg: 09-18-09

05-05-12 12:35 AM - Post#10749    
    In response to Fuzzy

Late to the party on this topic. But there are several guests I know (myself included) who don't want to disappoint those that came on time to get signatures from us. So we will always try to satisfy all the fans on line. If the guest has has time and is willing (please ask them first) then that guest may be willing to stay longer and sign a little more. You should have a definitive "End of the line" though at that point to prevent a constant flow of stragglers from coming in.

One tip I use (and you usually can get the guest to do when time is short) is that in the last 10-15 minutes of an autograph signing, if the line is still long and the guest has got to go, have the guest go up the line rather have the line go to the guest. I will go up the line with a sharpie and will sign any 1 item they have out and ready for me to sign. Limit each person on line to 1 item signed and no photos. When I get to the back of the line, I'm done and at least most (if not all) people get a signature.

Some other helpful tips;

1) Have a separate line for each guest (even if there are several guests signing at the same table). Why? Because some guests will take longer to sign stuff than others. If you make it a feeder line with one line for all guests, you'll end up with a traffic jam eventually because there's always one guest who (and not for any reason other than making the con-experience more enjoyable for their fans) will take time to talk to the fan that is getting their autograph.

2) Expect the autograph session to start 10 to 15 minutes later than you expect, so pad some extra time for that onto the session (and make sure you take that into account into the guest's schedule for their next panel or event). There is always some guest who will end up coming late to the autograph session. It's no fair to the fans who came their signature to lose out because the guest shows up late. If a guest's contract says they only agree to specific amount of time for their autograph sessions, make sure that contract stipulates that the time begins when they show up and sit down to sign autographs, not when they're supposed to show up in the schedule.

3) Make sure the guest gets to eat before the autograph session Autograph sessions are not supposed to be meal breaks for guests! I hate when I get booked at a convention with 2-3 back-to-back panels leaving no time for a meal. Only to have the guest liaison ask me if I want my lunch brought down to the autograph signing because that's the only free time I've got to eat something. It's rude to the fans to see me stuff a sandwich down my throat while I'm trying to sign items for them (also it's very awkward for me). I feel bad for the fans when this happens (other guests do too). Providing liquid refreshments for us during a signing is one thing and it's very much appreciated. But don't let our autograph sessions become our meal breaks.

4) If the line seems very long from the get-go (and time is short). Limit each person to one item and no photos. Make sure you enforce that rule. Tell them if they want to have another item signed or want a photo, that they should go to the back of the line again, and if there is time the guest will accommodate them. Don't do this if the line seems reasonable though.

Hope that helps

Jonathan Klein

 
MinamiKaome 
Attendee
MinamiKaome
Loc: Minnesota
Reg: 05-27-14

05-27-14 03:39 AM - Post#13854    
    In response to A.C.A.

With working on guest staff for three years, I learned it really depends on the popularity of the guest and the amount of attendees at your con. Size of the autograph room can be a huge factor as well.
I have a unique suggestion that I found worked well when I volunteered to handle Vic Mignogna for a weekend at a smaller con that wasn't prepared for his fans. Make sure there are allot of chairs set up in the room and ask attendees to file into the seats. Fill them and focus on that set of attendees. Once that set is done, bring in the second set and repeat. It helps you regulate the amount of attendees and cut off accordingly. Plus less attendees complaining about standing around.


 
Fuzzy 
Con Regular
Fuzzy
Loc: Orlando
Reg: 12-07-07

06-14-14 08:17 PM - Post#13892    
    In response to Gale

Good Stuff Jonathan!

Above all else, what i recommend is communicate with the attendees in line PRIOR to the start of the session. Make an announcement to the line letting them know the policies of the session. The big time killers in autograph sessions are video and audio recording, so an attendee asking a guest to record their message, or talk to their brother/sister/grandma/et c are no nos. I like to remind attendees that if they have a quick "yes or no" question, thats ok, but any long, lengthy questions such as "how did you get into voice acting" should be saved for Q&A panels.

The first couple of autographs set the pace of the session, so try and get them going quickly. If they take 2-3 min each, then everyone in line is gonna wanna take 2-3 min each. If I'm at the front of the line i can usually get a pace going of @20 seconds per person. That usually includes an autograph or two, a photograph (if a staffer takes it, it usually goes quicker), and a quick "hello, how are you".

Above all else, set the pace of the session through the ATTENDEES!! Never ask the guest to "hurry up". Aside from being really poor form, it usually just frustrating and annoys the guests. if you want the line to move quicker, tell the attendees to move quicker. i.e.: "hey guys, we're running out of time, and ______ wants to sign for as many people he can in the time he has, so please have your items to be signed ready, your cameras on, etc" Don't be afraid to be the bad guy! In the scenario, if someone has to be the bad guy, much better for it to be the staff than the guest.
True wisdom comes from knowing that you know nothing
-Socrates

Thats US DUDE!!
-Ted 'Theodore' Logan


 
Icon Legend Permissions Topic Options
Report Post

Quote Post

Quick Reply

Print Topic

Email Topic

21787 Views
Recent Topics
AnimeCons.com

AnimeCons.com Home | Conventions | Guests | Members | AnimeCons TV | Articles | Reports

FusionBB™ Version 2.2 | ©2003-2007 InteractivePHP, Inc.
Execution time: 0.197 seconds.   Total Queries: 44  
All times are (GMT -0500) Eastern. Current time is 03:07 AM
Top