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Event/Panelist FAQ

Panelist submission closed on June 5th for the 2017 convention. They will reopen in Feburary 2018.
The The fan meetings form is closed. Submissions for Fan Meetings will open in Feburary 2018.

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Event FAQ

Question Answer
Does it cost anything to run a panel? Is there a minimum age to run a panel? It does not cost anything to run a panel at San Japan. There is no minimum age to run a panel.
Is my panel approved?

We will post a list of all approved panels up to three weeks after panel submissions close. Approved Panelists will also receive an email confirmation OR linked to a list of approved panels. Approved panels do not guarantee placement on the final schedule. We are limited by the number of panel rooms and the schedule. Please do not e-mail us after your panel submission to ask if you've been approved.

When is the cut-off? All panel submissions must be made by June 5th, 2017 @ 8:59 PM CST.
My panel was approved but I’m not on the beta schedule, what happened?

Due to time and space restrictions, we sometimes approve panels that do not end up on the schedule. However, due to cancellations and other occurrences, we may contact an approved panelist, later on, to add them to the schedule. We encourage approved panelists to stay available until the final schedule is released.

How many panel/event hours do I need to put on to get a comp panelist badge? For San Japan, the required amount of hours approved/scheduled to receive a complimentary badge is TWO. We will be giving out discount codes for panelists who have 1 or 1.5 hours of panel hours on the final schedule. Panelists who have less than one hour approved and scheduled will not receive any discount. These codes will be issued AFTER pre-registration has closed. They may be distributed up to 7 days before the convention begins.
Where do I pick up my comp or discounted panelist badge? Do I go to Registration? Panelists who receive a comp or discounted badge will pick up their badge at registration like a standard attendee. Once you have your badge, or if you don’t have a badge and are only attending San Japan to run your panel, please head to Panelist Check In to pick up your Panelist Ribbon.
How do I check-in for my panel?

Panelist Check-In is marked on the convention map (TENTATIVE LOCATION: Room 206, HBG Convention Center). Once you arrive at check in, please give your name and the name of the panel you are running. The staff here will go over what you requested for your panel on your submission, and they can help with any last-minute needs.

Please arrive no later than 45 minutes before your scheduled start time so that we have ample time to get you checked in, take care of any needs, and get you to your panel. Check-In will be open Thursday before the con. Please keep in mind that we keep track of every panelist that checks in (or doesn’t), and we will take this into consideration when selecting approved panelists next year.

What do I need to do to ensure I get the right setup?

Be as thorough as possible when filling out the tech section of your event submission. Forgetting to mention a projector or a certain kind of adapter will likely cause your panel to start late as our techs go off your original submission form when setting up.

Please do not presume that we will have adapters on-hand if you will be using a phone, tablet or a proprietary device. We will have the basics for HDMI or VGA input along with 3.5"/headphone audio input on-hand but it is highly recommended to bring your own adapters.

If you arrive at your panel then remember at that point you need an item, flag down any staff member and they will call in to have a part delivered. This request will be handled LAST if we have other technical needs that are being taken care of.

Where is a layout of the convention so I know where my panel is located? The layout will be posted in the Times & Layouts page prior to the convention. During the convention, there will be a map in every program and posted in certain areas of the con. If you get lost you can go to one of the Info Desk locations for directions. The staff at the Panelist Check-In area can also direct you to your panel room.
What is the capacity of my panel room? This is to be determined. We will have a field in which you should list your expected capacity so that you’re scheduled in the right size room. Please try to be as accurate as possible, though we understand this can be difficult to calculate for new panels.
Something came up. Who do I contact to let San Japan know I need to cancel on my panel? E-mail programming(at)san-japan.org to let Panels/Programming Team know, or find a staff member with a radio to get in contact with the Panels/Programming Team. The earlier you can let us know the better. Being a no-call/no-show at San Japan will greatly affect on being approved for any future panels. We do keep track of canceled panels.
What are some tips to get my panel/event approved?
  • Be original. Character Panels will no longer be accepted even if a variant. Asking for an exception will not be considered. We heavily recommend creating a Fandom Meeting to allow you to hold Character Q&As. We are not the only convention in Texas to take this stance on Character Q&As.
  • Write a thorough description. 1-2 sentence descriptions with a generic panel title will likely get skipped. We need to know exactly what you have planned and how you are going to do it.
  • Make a good pitch. Tell us what will happen at your panel/event, and why attendees will want to come to it. Unique ideas will be given higher consideration. Remember that your description will end up in the program if you are approved. You want the attendees to be as excited about attending your panel as you are about organizing it.
  • Grammar and spelling are very important if you are going to be addressing a crowd during a panel. It also helps to make a good first impression on those evaluating panel submissions.
I only got approved for 1 - 1.5 hours, is there any kind of discount or incentive for panelists?

We will be issuing discount codes for 1 hours and 2 hours of APPROVED programming. These codes will be issued AFTER Pre-Registration has closed. They can be used for 1-day or 3-day regular attendee passes. Up to TWO (2) codes will be issued. We are no longer issuing discounts beyond two people. If your approved panel(s) has more than two people then the additional panelists will need to purchase a badge at full price.

  • For 1 hours of approved panels, a 50% discount code will be issued.
  • For 1.5 hours of approved panels, a 75% discount code will be issued.
I want do a fan meeting (meetup), what do I do? Go to our Fandom Meeting (Meetup) form to fill it out. Fan Meetings do not count as panelist hours nor will a discount code be issued.
I want to run a console tournament, how do I submit it? E-mail gaming(at)san-japan.org in your interest to run a game tournament. Gaming tournaments do not count as panelist hours.
What is the maximum panel length? We will only allow most fan panels/events to be up to 90 minutes long. If your panel/events require more than 90 minutes, then you will need to send multiple panel submissions. If your event includes a preliminary round then a finalist round, or if you would like to hold more than one session, you will need to submit multiple panels.
Why is the maximum panel length 90 minutes? We want to give as many panelists as possible a chance to talk or put on an event at San Japan. We’ve run into issues over the years with people trying to put on 2-4 hour events with the sole intent of getting a free badge. Only selected long-time panelists who’ve shown multiple years of putting on quality panels will be granted extended run-times.
My panel is more than 90 minutes, what do I do? Please send multiple panel submissions split into 1 or 1.5 hours long. If you want to run an event that is longer than 90 minutes, you must contact us privately along with sending us your proposal, which we will discuss privately. We don't want to discourage great ideas from hitting our inbox. We have had some great ideas come through like a Persona event block so don't hesitate to contact us
When will the discount codes be distributed? Will it be before pre-reg ends? The codes will be distributed on or around August 25th, 2017 at around when the San Japan Guidebook has been posted to the public. This is well after pre-registration closes.
I pre-registered for San Japan but then got approved for 2-4 hours, do I get a refund for my badge? Or reimbursed? We will not be issuing refunds to approved panelists who have already pre-registered for a convention badge.
I am a panelist but I don’t have a badge, how do I get into the panel room?

Stop by Panel Check In at least 45 minutes before your panel set up time is scheduled to start. We will ensure you’re able to get into your assigned panel room first.

Tenative Placement for Check-In is in front of Room 206 in the Convention Center right by Hall 4 located on the 2nd floor.

I used the discount code but now I can't make it to San Japan. Do I get a refund? There will be not be any refunds for badges purchased using the discount code, nor will we allow you to transfer it to anyone.
Someone else is helping me set up for the panel, how do I ensure they’re let in along with me? When checking in, note that you or your friend is helping out so a PANELIST ribbon is issued to both of you. This will let the staff member at the door know to let you in before the others.
Do you compensate a group beyond a comp badge to anyone? All groups who are not announced guests will only be offered a complimentary badge if they are approved and scheduled for at least 2 hours of programming. Groups who solicit their services requesting a room/booth/travel/payment to put on certain programming will be declined.
I have my own equipment that I brought with me for my panel. Where can I store it? We do not allocate any space for storing personal items used for panels. Please make sure that you plan ahead and either have a hotel room or another storage option on-site. We are not liable for any lost, stolen, or damaged items that are left at San Japan.
I submitted my panel and didn't hear anything. Was I rejected? We do not send rejection emails to panelists. We do list approved panels on the website and approved panelists will be sent an e-mail about it along with general announcements.
What changes will be enacted for Programming? Here is a list of changes we will try to enact:
  • Programming for Saturday will be limited to one panel total per standard panelist. This is being enacted as just about every submission we get in wants their panel on that day. When we release the schedule we get flooded by messages saying it is schedule conflict causing us to nearly rewrite the entire Beta schedule. This will also allow us to put in a lot more variety on Saturday for panelists.
  • Friday will be limited to two panels total per standard panelist.
  • There will be a much higher chance of approval if the panelist says they're willing to hold the panel on Sunday. There will not be any limit on the number of panels they can hold on Sunday. We are putting a much greater emphasis on Sunday programming.
  • We are no longer holding 17+ panels. All panels rated 18+ will require all attendees to show a government-issued picture ID in order to enter.
  • We will not allow game demos as a panel. Game demos from a company must take place in the appropriate gaming section.
  • We will try to send at least one mass email sent out to approved panelists along with posting a list of approved panels. It will be on the panelist to ensure they check their Spam mailbox.
  • For 2017: We have lowered the number of required hours down to TWO hours. In doing this we're only approving up to TWO badges per person.
There's a lot of discussion about Character Q&A's. What is San Japan take on it?

We decided that after years of seeing submissions that we're putting a ban on Character Q&As and variants. The reason for these decisions is based on the quality of these panels in the past and the feedback received from attendees which have not been favorable.

I missed the deadline to submit my panel. Can I submit it by e-mail or through this contact form? What about last minute fill in? Your panel submission will not be considered if you miss the deadline. We do not consider submissions submitted through our contact form or by e-mail. Please have your submission in by June 5th, 2017.
So when exactly will discount codes be sent approved panelists. The latest will be distributing discount codes to panelists will be August 25th, 2017 after the final schedule has been released to the public. We will not be distributing them before pre-registration ends.


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The San Japan website should be mostly fully updated for the 2018 convention by 10/30/17 AT 11:30PM CST. This includes registration information. Hotel reservation links will be posted when they're ready (To Be Determined).