Eirtaku in the Wild: Anime Dublin
The first Anime Dublin took place a few weeks back and with the dust settled, our man Mark gives an overview of how the day played out and his thoughts on the future of the event…
With the dust settled I figure now is a good time to give a decent overview of Anime Dublin, which took place a few weeks ago in the Central Hotel. This may or may not bore you, and we only have one way to find out!
I’m happy to overall surmise that the concept, that of a targeted, hectic, one day event akin to a convention flash mob, is a very workable one and a very successful one. I don’t think I heard any complaints all day or in the aftermath. Personally, I think it’s a really good idea we’ve hit upon. Rent out three rooms (or more, depending on the venue’s layout) – one dedicated to general events, one to panels, and one to gaming. Open at 10/11am and run events right through the day until 7/8pm where there’s a half hour break to set up a pub quiz or club night scenario and party on into the night!
What we learned from this is that it has to be carefully staffed. The requirements aren’t huge but if it’s not tightly run, it will unravel faster than you can attempt to stitch it back together. Especially the issue of having a pub setting after 8pm and under 18s still being about. The best course would be either to host it in a previously closed off area, or if that’s not possible clear out the room and ID everyone at the door. It sounds a bit harsh but for health and safety and all that, it needs to be done.
I also think it’s of paramount importance that the venue is centrally located. By central, I mean within a ten minute walk off O’Connell Street. The ease of access this provides solves a lot of logistical issues and of course goes down very well with attendees. Another offshoot is the huge range of eateries and shops in the immediate area. For Anime Dublin, we got discounts from Ukiyo’s Restaurant and Murphy’s Ice Cream and both remarked on their increased afternoon business. Definitely something we’ll be doing again.
Anime Dublin reminded me how lucky Eirtakon is to be hosted in The Helix, where the staff are incredibly attentive and eager to work with us. Those Helix guys, they see the value in helping to pull off a successful weekend. I like to think they’ve reaped a good reward by going that extra mile with us. I don’t think the Central Hotel could be more different – pretty much everything we did rubbed them up the wrong way, and they eventually forced us to close down about an hour early (not a disaster but disappointing). As far as I’m concerned it wasn’t for lack of prior information as to what an anime convention entails, they just really didn’t like us. I don’t think cosplayers and happy people fit in well with the prestige of the Central Hotel regardless of the business we brought them.
A shame, really. The Library Bar is a fantastic corner of Dublin. If you’re ever in the area I thoroughly recommend popping in for a coffee and soak up the atmosphere. For Anime Dublin, next year will be onto pastures more spacious.
During one of the panels someone in the audience pointed us towards SciFi.ie – check it out! It’s a simple calendar of events covering most of the nerd spectrum in Ireland, from the big anime cons to small evening board game meet ups. If you’ve ever wanted to get more involved in any of these groups this is a pretty good place to start. Includes plenty of links and seems to be updated often. I hope this continues.
So what has Eirtakon been up to the past few weeks?! Well, not too much. It’s all been Anime Dublin and a few of us have been taking it easy in the weeks after. This month I have some new poster and flyer designs to finish off and we’ve started the ball rolling on new artwork for 2012. MCM Expo in London is happening at the end of May so we have a few things to prepare for then. There’s plenty of madcap ideas being thrown about for events and with a bit more brainstorming I’m sure we’ll have plenty to announce over the summer.
May is a bit of a quiet time for anime. Nobody wants to clash with MCM Expo and students are booked solid with exams, so not much tends to happen. Given the busy schedule we’ve all been keeping the past few months it’s a bit of a welcome break! That’s all from me for now, I’ll see you all again in June and in the meantime, keep an eye on the various news feeds online for all the latest news and info!
Until next time,