We spoke to Mike Towers,
chairperson of Alcon 2007 and the forthcoming Alcon 2008, on how the 2007 event went
and he and committee are planning for 2008. Mike Towers
appears on the Anime League/Alcon forums under the name 'Freesaiyan':
Q. Alcon 2007 was the first convention that you ran and
managed. How do you feel it went?
A. Overall it went very well. The atmosphere and general
spirit was great and the vast majority of attendees seemed to go
home very happy. Of course, there was a lot that we feel that
we could have done better and we hope to address this for Alcon
Q. What do you think could have been done better and how will
you improve on this for 2008?
A. Organisation was a key problem at Alcon 2007.
A lot of issues we simply did not foresee and in many ways it was a
massive learning experience for our entire committee. For
example, on the first day of the event, we did not anticipate that
handling the registrations would be as intensive as it was.
Another example would be timetabling and allocating gaps that were
too large or too small between events.
How can we improve? Now that we have more experience, proper
forward planning is possible. In identifying the issues (we
had several reports handed to us which reviewed our strengths and
weaknesses, along with our own committee doing this as well), we
have almost an entire year to tackle them and ensure that Alcon
2008 runs extremely smoothly.
Q. What do you think went well with Alcon 2007 and
what positive feedback did you receive?
A. The camaraderie that developed from the ninjas vs. pirates
was awesome, and quite unexpected. It was a remarkably simple
idea, yet it really did set our convention out as unique and
something special. It broke down a lot of boundaries and
definitely encouraged people to make new friends, which is part and
parcel of what a convention should be about. What else? Well,
the dealers room was very popular, and I think it had a good mixture
judging from how many people were carrying around bags in the
closing ceremony, I'd wager our members appreciated this! On the
subject of ceremonies, I really enjoyed doing the opening ceremony,
and felt that its casual nature (such as allowing questions from the
audience) really did help everyone (Including me!) settle in!
Also, the Artist Ally did tremendously well. It drew a lot of
attention and the Iron Artist was a huge hit and a lot of fun.
Studio Shoebox did a wonderful job there, as did ADV
in sponsoring and filming it (I believe you can get a link to watch
it on ADV's YouTube site). Also, I feel that we really did
help push the boundaries back with some of our events. The
Iron Artist was a first-time event in the UK, as was the cosplay
Blind-Date and the 5 Minute cosplay. For Alcon 2008 we plan
to have at least half a dozen completely new events or ideas, if not
Also, it's wonderful when an event's special guests can sit down in
a bar and simply hang out and have a drink with the normal members.
To me, our guests (David Bircham and Akemi Solloway)
really helped embody the general spirit of the convention.
Very dedicated in what they do, yet also very down to earth and