July round-up

In a blink of an eye, our July adventures were over. We had two teams travel to two conventions far away from Singapore. Today, everyone have returned and settled back into our usual routines once more. With the end of the month in sight, it is time to wrap up our hectic July and give a round-up.

Anime Expo 2018 was also the first time that WaHa and Space Penguin visited the United States. It has been quite the experience for them, to say the least. They had a couple of days to do some touristy things such as walk around Historical Downtown LA, Little Tokyo, Hollywood and even visited the Griffith Observatory.

Then the highlight of the trip, Anime Expo. It was as large scale as expected and certainly an eye-opener to them. Over the course of 4 days, we participated in an interview, a panel, live drawing sessions and portfolio review sessions.

As a whole, it was a pretty tiring experience for us. While I managed to space out our commitments sufficiently apart, it might have been TOO spread out. When one appearance ends, we had enough time to go back to the booth for a break. But before you know it, an hour had past and we had to move on to the next appearance. It was not the most conducive schedule if we wanted to take more time to walk around AX and just soak up the atmosphere casually. I definitely did not have as much opportunity to check out the exhibitors hall as I like. So next year, if we can secure as much appearances as this year, I’ll probably want to try cramming them at the start of the convention instead.

Post-AX, WaHa flew back early for a specific mission while the rest of us stayed back for a while longer. SPJA gave us the street banners from AX 2016 and 2017! Once we figured out how, these massive banners will be the crowning glory of our studio.

Back in Singapore, WaHa met up with our Team 2 of JUN and Usanekorin to hand over our remaining stocks of products from AX. They will be making their maiden trip to Sydney, Australia. During that period of time, they took over the CDS Twitter feed though they probably didn’t tweet as much as I would have liked!

From their verbal reports to me, they had a great time at SMASH. SMASH Sydney was everything they expected and more.

They like the attendees. They especially like how the attendees are happy to stop and chat with them about anime, art and everything. Perhaps it was due to insufficient restock post-AX, many of the print designs were quick to sell out there.

We also know now that, despite our best efforts, Zero Two is significantly more popular than best gurl Ichigo. So in commemoration of that,

Like AX, we’ll certainly be back in SMASH in 2019.

Finance-wise, for both conventions, we broke even. Almost exact. Certainly, sales was good at AX and SMASH. However, we do need to consider the cost of us going all the way there.

For AX, we need to fly three person over to LA and for SMASH, two to Sydney. There’s lodging to consider. Booth logistics and administration cost too. Once you factor all those into the picture, the cost of participation is sky-high. I’ll imagine that if it is a solo mission with just one person heading down to do everything himself/herself without needing to consider commissions for artists, it will be a profitable endeavour.

However, that’s not what these overseas conventions are for us. Looking out for profits is the job of the professional studio. Overseas conventions are our opportunity to expand our horizons and meet new friends. In that sense, it was mission accomplished for us.

Now that July is ending, the next major convention that we should be participating in should be AFA SG ’18. It is going to be their tenth anniversary this year and you know, you want to be there for the celebrations!