What the President of Anime's Job Is

I have people tell me all the time that they wish they had my job. It sounds wonderful - you get to create awesome anime experiences for other nerds who like anime. But if anyone actually wants my job, you're welcome to it, haha! I'd love to retire to a beach some day, writing software and scuba diving next to a solar-powered shack.

Planning Anime Midwest is far more complex than many people realize, and I wanted to share some insights into what occupies our time.

Here's an example:

Just last week, I had to spend several hours on a novel problem. One of our convention venues decided they were going to start charging a new fee for a service that had always been included as part of our contract. This service wasn't explicitly mentioned in the contract but was provided every year. The issue was using a fog machine in one of our event rooms. The hotel needs to change a fire panel setting to allow fog machines without tripping the alarm system – a simple switch flip on their part.

We believe this service was included as part of our meeting room rental fee. We're renting the space with the expectation of using it for all the events we've disclosed to the venue, including our late-night dances with fog machines. We discussed these events in-depth with the sales team before signing our contract, and they never mentioned an extra fee. But after signing, the hotel decided to charge this fee, which they've never done before.

We had to contest that fee. Every hidden fee and "extra charge" we have to pay is a dollar taken from our ability to enhance the event. A significant part of my job involves tackling these issues to ensure we keep badge prices low and provide high-quality events and entertainment.

Hidden fees and extra charges add up quickly.
> Did you know that at one of our hotels it costs $250 per room just to plug anything in to the outlets in the wall? 
> Did you know one of our venues charged $3,500 per food truck just for permission to have food trucks?

That's because event hotels are used to hosting events held by big corporations. A Microsoft convention would have no problem with these high prices, because they are a massive company with a huge budget. We're much smaller, and every penny counts for us.

Some of the other stuff that my job entails includes:
> I read and write 100% of all our legal contracts, such as guest invitations, badge contracts, etc
> I used to write 100% of our marketing, but now it's more like 70%, thanks to having some great help
> Regular phone calls and relationship-building with our venues to ensure smooth convention planning (more than half of our ticket revenue goes to paying these venues).
> Strategically planning with our team about which guests to invite, based on our budget (we were recently quoted $100,000 for a famous guest – understandable, but I wish I had that kind of cash, haha!)
> I get to learn about Japanese arcade machines and work with our partners to determine which machines to bring, and negotiate paying them, etc
> Visiting Japan to connect with colleagues in the anime world and invite them to our events 
> I answer about 50 emails every day! It's like the first 3 hours of my day, haha.
> I have to manage our debt and credit; people register for events as the event approaches, but many costs are due 30 days or more before the convention, so I have to fill out all kinds of bank paperwork and financial forms, all the time. There are so many forms, all the time!
> I do our accounting and tax paperwork, which is the most boring job in the world, lol, but we take our tax obligations very seriously, and I suspect we are one of very few anime conventions to actually file and pay all our taxes properly
> I built our registration kiosks, allowing you to check-in to the convention even faster. I created the CAD drawings, lasered the metal/wood, and did the bending and construction, in addition to writing the software
> I spend a ton of time on planning events, marketing, all kinds of other stuff
> And lastly, writing a TON of emails, like this one! Communication is KEY for any organization. Companies live and die by how well they communicate, with customers, with their staffs, etc.

Honestly, it's a tiring job that takes well over 40 hours a week. But it's all worth it when I see everyone's excited faces at the convention! I rest easy knowing we've created something special for so many people.

A huge shoutout to the staff who help me with everything I can't do alone!

If anyone out there has 20 years of programming experience and 15 years as a CEO and wants my job, it's all yours ^_^! (And all the responsibilities, debts, and problems that come with it, haha!)

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