I founded AnimeCon.org quite by accident. We were going to go to a small little anime convention and pass out flyers for this one-time event we were planning. But that convention was canceled and we decided to host our own mini con in its place. That con became Anime-ZAP!, now the second longest running anime convention in Illinois!
That's how, in effect, I started my company by accident. And it has since thrived. And I think a big reason for that is that I am a customer of exactly what I'm selling.
You have to know your customer.
Knowing your customer is key to building a successful business. In my case, being an avid anime fan myself has given me unique insight into the wants and needs of the anime community. I understand the importance of creating an engaging, memorable experience that goes beyond just buying a pass to an event. It's about connecting with the community and creating something that people will look forward to year after year.
And it's not just about knowing your customer, it's also about valuing them. We prioritize the safety, comfort, and enjoyment of our attendees above all else. That's why we have strict policies in place to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for everyone who attends our events. We also make it a point to listen to feedback and continually improve our conventions based on what our attendees are looking for.
Ultimately, the success of AnimeCon.org and our other ventures comes down to understanding our customers and providing them with an experience they can't get anywhere else.
Our company values reflect this commitment to our customers. We prioritize community, creativity, and innovation in all of our endeavors. And as we continue to grow and expand, we will always stay true to these values that have helped us become a leader in the anime convention industry.
Never stop improving.
The second tenant to creating an amazing company is that you must never stop improving. Improvement should be a never-ending journey of self-reflection and growth. Just because something is successful now doesn't mean it will remain so forever. By constantly analyzing and evaluating what our company is doing, we can identify areas in which we can improve and adjust accordingly. Sometimes, the smallest changes can have the biggest impact.
It's also important to be open to new ideas and approaches. The world is constantly changing, and what worked yesterday may not work today. By staying up to date with emerging trends and technologies, we can ensure that we continue to provide cutting-edge experiences that keep our attendees coming back year after year.
I don't just sit around all day between conventions waiting for the next one. I am constantly working on stuff. I've been learning Rust, installing solar panels, and building self-check-in kiosks for my conventions to eliminate the 1-hour lines we had a few years ago once and for all.
But perhaps most importantly, we must be willing to acknowledge and learn from our mistakes. No one is perfect, and missteps are inevitable. But by owning up to our mistakes, learning from them, and making changes to prevent them from happening again, we can show our customers that we are committed to providing the best possible experience.
I personally take the time to reach out to customers who have shared an issue or concern with us, so that we can address it and fix things immediately. It's that kind of service that matters.
So, whether it's through gathering feedback from attendees, conducting regular self-assessments, or simply keeping an open mind, we must never stop striving to be better. Only then can we truly provide the exceptional experiences that our customers deserve.
I look forward to seeing you at the next anime con!