If you're on this page, you're probably wondering how to host your event or panel at AWA. Well, wonder no more – this page'll break it all down for you.
First things first: welcome! The show wouldn't be nearly so awesome without people driven to share their interests and experiences, so thank you!
Even more exciting, 2014 marks the 20th year of the con-wonderfulness that is AWA. What better year to get your panel on the schedule? So, let's get down to business!
We consider submissions from everyone over the age of 16. Proposals are evaluated both individually and against similar types of proposals. To help you focus your proposal, here's a list of items that will really get you noticed.
We like proposals for panels that:
- Directly involve anime, manga or other Japanese culture. For example, a well-planned proposal that features an anime will take priority over an equally well-planned proposal that features an outside fandom, such as American comics or movies. Having said that, we do have a certain amount of leniency, especially if the fandom is large (in other words, we've received a lot of proposals for it) or overlaps AWA's main fandoms in some way.
- Are well-planned and have supporting materials. The proposal is our first glimpse of how you communicate and what you want to do at AWA. Make sure it's well-written and try to include evidence that the panel will be successful. If you can't include something in the online form (such as a picture), email it to firstname.lastname@example.org (make sure to include your name and the panel name for reference).
- Are engaging and interactive. We like lectures, too, but a proposal that introduces a creative way to communicate with the audience really catches our eyes.
- Are more than dressing in character and showing up. You can certainly submit “in-character” panels, but we'd like to see more than, “come ask your favorite character a question” in the description. If you have support for your panel going well, such as videos, we'd like to see that, too.
- Don't involve physicality. We know that “battle chess” and other such games are super fun, but we don't have the room or oversight to make sure they run safely, unfortunately.
- Aren't speed or blind dates. You can definitely submit a proposal, but please know that we're pretty strict with planning these sorts of events. We have to make sure that all our guests are comfortable and safe, after all. That being said, AWA is a huge gathering of people with interests just like yours – any event could be the place you meet your new best friend!
The Process in a Nutshell
Now that you have a few guidelines, here's a quick rundown of how the process works:
- You submit your proposal online ON OR BEFORE JUNE 30th.
Submit your proposal >
- Within 48 hours, you'll get an email to confirm that your information was received. Make sure that you can get emails from email@example.com.
- Your panel will be entered into the decision process.
- The committee will meet roughly once a month to place proposals in one of three buckets
- You'll be notified of your status via email.
- During the decision process, we'll also be in touch with any questions we have about your proposal.
It's important to note that this process isn't first-come-first-served. For example, if we get a really good proposal about something only loosely connected to anime early on, we'll often put it in the tentative bucket until we're sure we have space on the schedule.
- How can I make my proposal more attractive?
There are several tricks for writing good proposals, but here are a few that really make your proposal pop to us:
- Proofread your work. Use word-processing software to create your write up, or have a knowledgeable friend look it over for you. This is our first look at how you communicate – and communication is key to a successful panel!
- Take time to really explain your experience and why you're the best person to run this panel. If you've uploaded a video of your panels, give us the link. If you have an online portfolio, give us the link. We like it when we get supporting evidence!
- Make sure your content is relevant to the con. The world of fandom is wide and varied… and overlapping. First and foremost, Anime Weekend Atlanta focuses on anime, manga and other elements of Japanese culture. If there are slots available or we receive an overwhelming amount of proposals, we do allow overlapping fandoms in from time to time, however.
Basically, the more thought and planning you put into your proposal, the better. We should feel confident that you've covered all your bases when we read it.
- How long until I hear back from you?
That depends. You should get a confirmation email within 48 hours of submitting your proposal, but after that, there's no set timetable. The decision committee will meet roughly once a month, so communication speed really depends on where in that cycle we receive your proposal. If we get it right after we meet, for example, it could be a month before you hear from us regarding status.
Of course, you can always email us with questions or anything else you think we need: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How old do I have to be to host?
Our minimum age limit for panelists is 16.
- How do you pick panels and events?
Check out the section on Panels and Events for a breakdown of what we're looking for. After the proposal enters our decision process, a committee of AWA crewmembers will meet to decide if we should place the panel on our schedule or not.
- What devices do you support?
Currently, we support laptops (PC and Mac) only. We can't connect a tablet or phone to our system. If you plan to have a digital presentation, make sure you can run it from a laptop.
- What type of audio and video connections do you have?
For audio, we have connections that go right into the headphone jack on your laptop.
For video, we have standard VGA connections as well as Mac-to-VGA adapters.
We currently do not support HDMI connections. If this changes, we will update the “Announcements” section at the top of this page as well as this answer!
- I have no idea what kind of connections my device has. What should I do?
The best way to be sure we can support you is to take a clear picture of your laptop's connections and email it to email@example.com.
- Will you have internet or WiFi?
Sorry, no. Please save all files you need for your presentation in a way that you can bring with you, such as on a laptop or removable storage device.
- Do panelists get special rates for badges?
*****NEW FOR 2014: Our policy regarding panelist badges has changed. We're now basing the type of badge you receive on your individual contribution.
1 to 4 Hours = Discounted Badge
If you contribute 1 to 4 hours of programming, you'll get a 3-day badge at a discounted rate of $35.00 (plus the online purchase fee).
4 Hours or More = Free Badge
If you're on the schedule for 4 hours or more, you'll get a 3-day badge free of charge.
- Keep in mind, each panel can have up to 4 group members. See FAQ 11 for more.
- Since it's never certain that all or any your proposals will be accepted, your best bet is to buy your badge as early as possible to maximize your savings. See FAQ 10 for more.
- Really, really want to increase your savings while supporting AWA? Consider joining our AWA Crew!
- I bought a badge before I was accepted as a panelist. What can I do?
Good question! We have a few options for you, dpending on which type of panelist badge you qualify for:
Discounted Badge (1 to 4 hours)
- You can transfer the badge you purchased to someone else and purchase the discounted panelist badge. This way, you can presumably make your money back through selling the badge you already purchased.
- We can transfer the panelist discount to next year. This means that you will pay the panelist rate for your badge next year. Note: If the general admission rates increase, the panelist rate will also increase by an equal amount. For example, if general admission increases by $5, the panelist rate will also increase by $5.
Free Badge (4 hours or more)
- You can transfer the badge you purchased to someone else and claim your free panelist badge. This way, you can presumably make your money back through selling the badge you already purchased.
- We can transfer your paid badge to next year and you can claim the free panelist badge this year. This means that you'll already be set for next year!
- How big can my group be?
There can be up to 4 panelists for each panel.
Events that require larger groups (such as performances) will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
- Does everyone in my group need to actually speak?
Yes, anyone who is listed as a panelist at AWA should contribute in a visible and meaningful way during the panel. For example, someone who is coming to help transport your materials can't be listed as a group member.
- I want to run a contest. Does AWA provide prizes?
We can provide some prize support; however, it will be whatever we can package for you, and you’ll have no control over the actual items. If you want to have control over what your prizes are, please plan on providing them yourself.
If you plan on submitting a contest and need us to provide prizes, it is highly suggested that you submit your proposal as soon as possible.
- Can I charge a fee to cover workshop materials?
You certainly can, but make sure it’s prominent in your write up so the attendees know. Also, you will be responsible for collecting the fee yourself at your event.
- Can I get another person’s information to contact them about joining their group?
No, but I will happily give your information to the other party. They can contact you at that point if they’re interested.
- My panel wasn’t accepted. Can I submit another one?
Absolutely! A denied proposal is often a really good learning experience.
- How do you schedule panels and pick rooms?
After the panel has been accepted, we take a look at your preferred schedule and the overall schedule availability to decide when and where your panel will be.
We work VERY hard to make sure your event is scheduled during your preferred hours, but sometimes we can’t. You’ll be notified in advance if we can’t make your preferred times.
Room selection is done based on panel attendance numbers we’ve been gathering for the past several years. If we find that a certain type of event or specific fandom is super popular, we work to fit it into a larger room. Of course, sometimes, the schedule works out such that only a smaller room is available during your preferred hours. Please don’t take this as a slight to your panel!
- If selected, I really can’t host my panel during certain times (I’m a student or working or on AWA Crew, for example). What should I do?
If you have very specific scheduling needs, just make sure they’re made clear in the proposal.
If you have any other questions about this information or the panelist proposal form, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.