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I would refer you to earlier posts. as it was suggested, there could be activities in that room for kids. we said that they could do drawing, we could read books or create a cosplay during the day for the masquerade. it's not a meere room. it's a multifunctions room (feeding, calming and playing). like those maternity stores offering panels and workshops about baby stuff.

for a first year, I wouldn't separate activities with age group since we first need to advertise the room and then get volunteers to add more like it was for yurithon.

it's a neat idea about the tea time and it would even be better if it was advertised somewhere as a real gathering, a real activity supported by Otakuthon. maybe next year adding a row in the programming for family activities?

of course parents are ressourceful, but sometimes, it's nice to see more options and to get the chance to chat with others as well.

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Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:00 pm
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First, I want to say, that even if this is called a "suggestion box" and we should feel like the ideas we present (which are just ways to make the con that we know and love better by the way) are being taken into account... with answers like the one Starlocke is providing - it's hard to see how much Otakuthon is open to new ideas... which is truly a sad thing to witness.

Second, Starlocke - you asked us to come here and debate constructively... but how can we even do that when you fail to see the very basic things that this suggestion addresses. You are not a parent and probably never had to take care of very young children and it shows.

It's not a point against you - because we can't expect everyone to know exactly what that means... but a little open mindness wouldn't hurt.

You always brings this back to the money side... but you fail to see that this kind of action from Otakuthon (and the fact that you're branding the con as being family-friendly) is going to bring more and new clients to Otakuthon. Which is input to offset the cost of actually putting this together.

You say that working on a programming "kid-friendly" track is going to be more worthwhile (as far as return on investment is concerned) - but that's not exactly true. Putting this together is also going to require TIME+STAFF+MONEY... more so that just setting aside a room that can be used by parents for managing their kids.
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I feel like I need to restate what is being proposed here: A single room where parents will be able to manage their kids.

This is NOT a daycare... parents are responsible for their children, parents will provide the required items (food, toys, etc.) to take care of their family.
Essentially, the only thing required by the convention is a room, a volunteer to make sure the rules are followed, a big enough trashcan... and that's about it.
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Just with this - you'll bring in more people... just because a lot of parents are scratching off Otakuthon from their activities (myself included) just because the con doesn't provide anything to make my life easier as a parent.

But then, yes you are right... if you don't have any kid-friendly activities... you won't bring as much people in. The real gain will be seen only when you have both: proper facilities and kid-friendly programming. One without the other is going to be good, but not great (that goes the other way around).

But investment for the "proper facilities" are really lower than the kid-track... which is going to have better return on investment in the long run.

Third, you're thinking in terms of activities... and that doesn't work with toddlers.
Very young childrens have a very limited concentration timespan... they don't do the same thing for a long time. The room as not about making sure we have "something to do" ... it's really for the parents to be able to manage our kids out of the spotlight.

When they become troublesome - the complete floor doesn't have to hear them.
When they need a quieter place to take a nap - it is available within con space (and doesn't have to be on some bench in the Palais des Congres) and it is restricted to people who understand what we're trying to do (other parents).
When they need to eat - we have a place where they won't be distracted by everything that's moving about.
When they want to play - we have a place where they'll be between 4 walls and they are a limited space to run around in (making it easier to manage ... instead of having the whole con floor to wreak havoc on).
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You've already brought up the point that some of these requirements are opposite (play around -vs- taking a nap)... this can easily be managed by a schedule (like the way daycare do)... which does not require much of an investment to come up with and enforce through a volunteer.

Finally, my whole point is that there is a real gain for Otakuthon (money wise) to be more family-friendly... but you're not seeing it because you're not open to understand the reality of parents

If you were, you'd probably see that by doing such a little thing (comparing to putting together a proper kid-friendly programming) would go a very long way in bringing more paying-parents to Otakuthon.

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Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:07 pm
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This thread is getting out of control. :roll:

I should start by saying the views of starlocke are NOT the official views of Otakuthon. We apologize if there was any confusion and we apologize if his personal views might have offended.

As Otakuthon (in its current form) started around 7 years ago from a university club, many people who have been with us since day 1 are slowly starting families, so the idea makes sense and is being taken into consideration.

While money does play a factor in these sorts of things (and can be a contentious issue at times), at the end of the day it gets allocated based on the plan and on the need.

If you have any ideas, feel free to leave suggestions here and we'll look them over. Any input and help would be appreciated.


Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:00 pm
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Bien dit FullMetalSam!

starlocke wrote:
General-Guy wrote:
Well excuuuse me mais je vois pas ce que le rapport de l'argent quand l'étage entier est déjà louer...


False. There exists many rooms that are not booked by Otakuthon in the Palais des Congres. Also, no matter where it's produced (inside or outside of the Palais des Congres), furnishing and equipping a room for family mode costs TIME + MONEY + STAFF + ETC. This cost is not trivial. In contrast, if families find their own spaces for their family time, the cost does become trivial.


Mais qu'es ce que j'en ai sérieusement à foutre :mrgreen:! Ya suffisamment d'événement, de projection et de panélistes minables et mal préparés pour arriver à quelquechose niveau location de salle pour une petite partie de la journée. Pis au rythme log-style de gens qui viennent à Otakuthon, je vois pas où est le manque fatal de cash...c'est pas une petite convention stagnante genre N2U, ya vraiment une hausse d'Année en année! Je me ferais plus de soucis pour garder et rappatrier du staff puissant...

Plus philosophique et activiste maintenant! Les enfants sont le futur de la japanimation au Québec et Otakuthon un des pillier locaux les plus puissants de ce domaine!!!!! C'est un investissement qui pourra payer...ou payer moins mais à quelquepart, on pourra tous en retenir de quoi.

starlocke wrote:
Here's one for you: Tea with Toddlers. Pick a date and a time, gather together at the Cosplay Cafe, buy some food and drink, engage with other families with toddlers at a round-table event, come up with other activities and events that can work as family activities at an anime convention ! The terrace is often relatively quiet, compared to the inside.


Ptin, mais té effronté toi! Y a un proverbe de grands maitre chinois qui dit qu'on gagne toujours à taire ce qu'on n'est pas obligé de dire sinon la lumière au bout du tunnel sera un train.

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Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:22 pm
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Est-ce qu'il y en a parmi vous qui ont vu de quoi ont l'air de telles salles dans d'autres conventions?

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Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:36 am
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Personnellement, j'ai pas vu de coin pour parents à Anime North ou à Anime Expo cette année.


Also, as a reminder for everyone, please do not use personal attacks toward each others. It is against the rules. And yes, rules are applied to staff members, not only the regular users. We would ask everyone to remain civil even though you might have been offended. Heck, I myself felt offended by starlocke's way of saying things, but I keep calm and deal with it in other ways. The admins have dealt with Starlocke about his posts. For those who remained respectful, thank you.

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Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:43 pm
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on m'a dit qu'il y en avais un cette année à Anime North, mais comme je n'y suis pas allée, je ne sais pas de quoi ça avait l'air. pour world-con, c'était une salle avec un kid track, mais il n'y avait pas vraiment de bébé.

sinon, sans être officiel, à Nadeshicon, on m'a laissé aller dans une pièce recluse avec une table et des chaises. À G-anime, quand j'ai demandé, on m'a dit qu'au besoin je pourrais aller à une pièce à un étage supérieur. ils n'avaient rien de prévu mais ils ont essayé de m'accomoder le mieux possible.

d'ailleurs, maintenant que j'y pense, je ne crois pas avoir vu de table à Langer dans le palais... je vais m'informer cette année car c'est une information qu'on pourrait donner aussi aux parents si elle est cachée dans un coin. (non, yen avait pas au 4e)

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Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:08 pm
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Personnellement, j'ai vu celle d'Arisia (convention de Science Fiction a Boston) et elle est très bien organisé. Ils ont une grande salle et des activités toutes la fin de semaine en continue pour tous les groupe d'ages.
Ce n'est pas une garderie et un adulte doit être la en tous temps avec leur enfants.
Note : les adultes sans enfants ne peuvent pas entrer.
Les activités sont varier comme du bricolage geek, une attaque au gun Nerf, des lectures, construction de costume pour la mascarade, etc. C'est a un point où j'aimerais avoir 10 ans de moins pour pouvoir participer moi aussi ^^


Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:30 pm
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J'ai été voir le site d'Arisia et ça a l'air vraiment bien http://2013.arisia.org/kids_teens et le guide pour les parents http://2013.arisia.org/sites/2013.arisia.org/files/2013FamilyFriendly.pdf

Je ne dis pas de faire ça la première année, mais ça peut donner des idées quoi faire et comment les faires :)

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Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:00 pm
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Je viens de découvrir ce thread. Maman de deux enfants, j'adorerais qu'une pièce pour famille existe. Ça n'a pas besoin d'être bien plus compliquée qu'une pièce fermée ou les enfants peuvent s'épivarder en toute sécurité. Sam à déjà exprimé tous les avantages que j'y verrais.

Je ne serai pas à Otakuthon cette année, mais quand je planifiais y aller, une de mes craintes était l'humeur de mes enfants après une après-midi sans sieste. Juste de savoir qu'il y aurait une pièce où ils pourraient se reposer 1h m'encouragerait grandement.

Si l'organisation veux bien prêter la pièce l'an prochain, je me porte volontaire pour aider!

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Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:55 pm
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There wasn't any resting area, but there were some activities for small children this year ( I've never seen stuff like that in the previous years unless I am blind xD ) so I thought it was cool =D and yes, I noticed there are more families with small children too lol there should definitely be a corner to help parents have some quiet time


Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:20 am
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J'ai été agréablement surprise de la programmation pour enfant cette année. Peut-être que cela aurait pu être dit dans ce thread pour mentionner les efforts qu'Otakuthon faisait afin de rassembler le plus de gens ;)

Aussi, j'ai lu dans le journal 24h le commentaire de la personne responsable de la promotion comme quoi ils voulaient faire du festival un endroit plus familial puisque les fans vieillisaient. J'ai bon espoir pour le futur de cette demande alors!

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Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:40 pm
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OMG, I should have kept reading this thread in the past few weeks, lol.

OK, first : If you are not a parent, and you are not here to offer ideas, help or volunteer : why bother writing negative stuff ? It does not help us. I am sure your time would be better invested in another thread.

Second : 2 years ago, My husband and I brought our 3 months old son to Otakuthon. Went like a charm. I discovered a nice spot on one of the floors where I could lay a blankie and the baby took a 2hr nap. yesssir. Easy to breastfeed him on a confortable seat while eating a snack and the only negative thing was I felt like the only parent in the world going to a con.

Last year, I brought my 15 months son to the 3 days of Otakuthon. Went to the same ''spot'' and did the same thing. I wished I have met Jus de pomme earlier that day, because I would have brought you to ''the spot''. Quiet, soft exterior light, Admins of the con even enjoyed discussing with us for a while, because it gave them a moment to relax in the chaos.

This year I gave birth to a little girl so I took a break. I am pretty sure ''the spot'' was available.

Next year : I will be going with my 3 years son and 1 year daughter. Hopefully, we will meet the other parents & toodlers too. It is possible to get a room if we ask for it in advance and someone accepts to be in charge, because this is how Otakuthon works. A 3 hour room on Saturday and/or Sunday afternoon is commonly asked and we may not get it because of the high demand. Point. In that case, the Admins and/or parents can PM me and I'll tell them about ''the spot''. The Admins may even think of a better idea depending on how many parents are interested. Especially if the toodlers participate in the masquerade (hint hint).

Finally : renting a hotel room outside the con is out of the question. You are OBVIOUSLY not a parent to say this. Strollers, bags, cosplay, time wasted to go out, come back...I paid to be AT the convention and I want my friends and the staff I know to be able to reach me anytime and quickly.

So, for next year, who are the parents that will be coming and what age will your kids be on August 2014 ? Do you plan on participating in the masquerade ? What are you willing to do ? What about 12h-15h for a time period ?

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Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:00 am
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Oh, and worst case scenario, to make the room more entertaining : I could play soft anime songs on my 30 strings harp... or bring a ipod with anime lullabies... :P

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Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:15 am
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Hi Shiroioni,

We, or at least I am not saying it is impossible to do the Con with children without a Family Room, we've all done it, but it would make our lives easier. And I guess when both parents are going, it helps; my spouse has no interest in conventions or cosplay, so I end up being the only one to carry all the stuff you mentioned AND wrangling the excited toddler.

As for next year, I want to go with my two kids, who by then will be 5 1/2 and almost 2, and the masquerade is my main reason to go to conventions so you can bet I want to enter with the kids. I did it 2 years ago and my daughter loved it (we still watch the video of her 1 min on stage often and her masquerade award hangs on her bedroom wall).

My daughter already wants to prepare "surprises" for all the new friends she's going to make if the Family Room is a go. I am willing to help organize and stay there for a few hours too.

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Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:11 pm
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It's been a nice convention again this year. A few things were nicely done by the volunteers to keep our little ones busy and it was appreciated.

Now about the parents/kids corner (room).
The Palais des congrès will not allow parents to have access to an empty room for the whole day, unless one responsible parent is assigned and willing to stay there the whole time (6-8 hours).
No, a schedule with different parents taking turns won't be accepted, and for obvious reasons.
(If you've been in the room for a few hours and the parent who is supposed to replace you is late or does not come...will you stay until 7 pm or leave and enjoy your day?)

But I might have a suggestion : The manga library in room 519d (or e).
The volunteers took all the manga empty boxes and built a fort. It was spacious enough to have kids play inside.
In fact, some storytellers came and entertained the children. They already have volunteers in the room all the time.
Yes, some people might say that the library is a place where they want piece and quiet.
But would it really be that noisy if a dozen kids came on Saturday, from 2:00 until 5:00 p.m., sang lullabies songs, listen to stories and puppet shows, played with cars, do a little bit of crafting and coloring, while parents can catch a breath and meet new friends ?
(I can already hear complaints from the library readers, but could you please be a little tolerant with us ? And by the way, isn't 2:00 p.m. a great time to go in the dealer's room and let the "future-generation-of-Otakus" parents do something creative with their kids ?)

If some parents want to get involved for next year, this is the place to manifest yourselves ;)
If an administration member is open to discussion, they can contact me by PM (to discuss this idea of modify / remove some content of this post).

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Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:41 pm
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I've read the previous posts and honestly, I'm not going to touch that fight.

I am in complete agreement about making a kid-friendly track in Otakuthon. The first generation of anime/geek cultures are now adults and raising their families. If they choose to expose their kids to anime and geek culture, I'm all for it, but kids are still kids. They have the same patience as an adult, they don't have money and their attention spans are short. Kids aren't really interested in shopping unless they can have it via temper tantrum but if they can meet other kids their age that love Pokemon, Hello Kitty, Disney, etc, that would absolutely make a kid's day and help parents to find playmates. Otakuthon isn't just about the dealers, it's also about the social implications: bringing people who have a common interest together. If we can use Otakuthon to foster a positive attitude about anime/manga/games in the younger generation and erase the stigma of being a geek/fan, please do it!

For starters for next year, organisers can just start by having at least one room far away from the crowds devoted to kid-friendly events and maybe schedule some movies in the theatre room. A place just for freeplay would be enough with one or two supervisors. Just put some tables and chairs in one room with paper and crayons. Kids aren't interested in panels but again, if they can colour pictures of Pikachu and Twilight Sparkle with other kids, that would make their day. You guys had a colouring station in artist alley that could be easily copied to upstairs.


Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:23 am
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