An UnCon-Eventional Story: Mirai Matsuri 2019

UnCon-Eventional Stories are event recaps more on the event itself than the experience.

Wonder what the event is like in the field? Check out A Con-Eventional Story: Mirai Matsuri 2019


Credits to the Mirai Matsuri Official Facebook for the featured image, and the various images seen in this post.

I DO NOT own the rights to any of these photos (If mentioned), ALL rights belong to Mirai Matsuri.


Introduction

Well this is odd.

Mirai means future in Japanese, or well…is translated to ‘future’ in English.

So does that make this event a Matsuri from the Future? o.O


The FAQ is this?

Mirai Matsuri is a 3-day ACG event held over the course of May 3rd to 5th, in conjunction with Komtar Carnival, which was an ongoing campaign in Penang at the time to promote this mall called Komtar to the public.

Just to be clear, even though Mirai Matsuri is part of Komtar Carnival, the event itself is held at this venue called The Top, on the 5th floor, which…for some reason, falls under the area where Komtar Mall resides.

…it gets confusing the more you think about it, but skip!

Oh right, also it’s should be noted that this is, far as I’m aware, the first Penang ACG Event of 2019 I believe?

Well at least until CF Mini Penang hits the island.


First Contact

Word about Mirai Matsuri 2019 first surfaced on April 8th 2019, with a post showcasing a lineup of initially confirmed guests to be attending the event.

What followed over the course of April was continuous promotion of the event, some of which was handled by the folks who run the Komtar Official Facebook as well.

Also, stars with a plural MF-kers, do you even FB post right?!


Lineup Starts Here

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Credits to the Mirai Matsuri Official Facebook for the images.

Featuring two guests from Taiwan, a handful of local Penang cosplayers and several guests/groups from outstation to attend Mirai Matsuri 2019 as a guest/performer, there’s definitely people to meet and greet or a performance to look forward to seeing in action.

Especially for the crowds that could only meet these folks in Penang, since not everyone has the funding to go back and forth between their home state and the event’s state.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Credits to the Mirai Matsuri Official Facebook for the images.

For those concerned about the foreign guests invited, the Mirai Matsuri folks revealed the following documents via a post on May 3rd (Aka Day 1) to assure the public’s concerns about certain…issues.

A rather interesting and unusual move, considering past events would often never showcase such documents publicly, but it’s reassuring nonetheless.

58691852_465817154162841_2611093176823316480_n
Credits to the Mirai Matsuri Official Facebook for the image.

Speaking of Day 1, even though Mirai Matsuri was a 3-Day event, the surprising lack of a Day 1 schedule both makes sense and  doesn’t make sense.

Even though, according to folks from the field who spoke a bit about Day 1, they mentioned something about it being ‘booth day’, which I can only deduce to be the day where only booths are…active I guess?

Regardless, it’s just kind of peculiar to not have a Day 1 as part of the schedule, even though nothing’s much is meant to occur on Day 1.

58822296_466524894092067_6466412446285299712_n.jpg
Credits to the Mirai Matsuri Official Facebook for the image.

In contrast to how the floor plan played out on event day itself, it’s strange that some of the layout was…kind of inconsistent, and confusing.

Confusing because, why…what’s the difference between #9 and #13? When they both sound the same? Even though #13’s some standing booth where the guests drop by for a brief photoshoot or two.

Also, inconsistent because…uh…for some reason, some of the guests on Day 2 & 3 were positioned at #12, which is a booth for some other booth I believe?

Kind of weird they aren’t positioned in the same area as the other guest cosplayers.

This is before I bring up the whole Day 3 re-positioned booths at the #14 space!

Bah, regardless, the floor plan sort of works, but can get weird in the field.


The Good Goods

The Good Goods brings you ALL the best bits an event has to offer!

Please keep in mind this is only for the current iteration of this event, which may or may not repeat for future events.


  • Komtar-Strike

…yes, this is a Counter-Strike joke.

Anyways, because of the association Mirai Matsuri has with Komtar Carnival during its 3-day show, it gives the benefit of ensuring the Komtar Mall folks can/would give a hand in handling some of the event’s logistics.

And of course, documentation.

Nothing screams guaranteed safe event, than one at a mall.

Especially considering that across all 3 days, I actually ran into both RELA Volunteers and some Police Officers patrolling the event.

They weren’t here to make arrests, lemme stop you right there.

Rather, they were there to ensure the event was proceeding smoothly, which adds a layer of security in ensuring nothing unforeseen happens.

When asked about why or who sent them, they mentioned that the Komtar Carnival folks actually requested them to drop by actually, as part of their protocol to patrol all 5 levels of the event to make sure things are running smoothly.

A very good gesture to note, and well, let’s just say the event went through all the way.


  • Crowd of Kings

Jeezus fak I love this Penang crowd.

Seriously, they’re like the most hype building bunch of folks I’ve seen in the field, the kind I don’t expect to see until at least big scale events like Comic Fiesta actually.

It might seem cringy to some of you folks, a justifiable view depending on who you ask, but I want to note is how they kind of cheer for pretty much anything on stage.

Even more so when they literally ask the guest to step on them.

…I ain’t even making this sheet up, they literally begged to be stepped on! (No crowd person was harmed in the making of this statement)

But point is, these are some of the most raddest crowds you’re likely going to see in action at events.

I don’t doubt that such crowds exist everywhere, but it should be noted that there are reasons as to why we don’t often see wild freedom all the time.


  • Food of Yourself

One great thing about Mirai Matsuri 2019’s positioning on the 5th floor of The Top, is the presence of SO MANY FOOD JOINTS.

Definitely worth the shoutout since we’re in Penang at the time, and well…Penang is renowned for their foodstuff.

Even the fecking Marybrowns consistently hosts the guests while they’re on Lunch Break, jeezus that’s some conveniently positioned stuff.

Also, I’ll go so far to say that the food prices and portions of something like Char Kuay Teow in the event are arguably better priced with bigger portions to make em more worthwhile than what you find at various tourist traps.

What happened the Penang I last went to before 2019?! T.T


  • Day at the Improv

Arguably the best bit of Mirai Matsuri’s stage events, outside of the competitions and stage performances, defnitely has to be the bit where they invited the same awesome crowd of folks to well…they did two segments across Day 2 and Day 3.

Day 2 I…kinda forgot what was the segment, but there was one where they had this one guy attempt to henshin 20 straight Kamen Riders in one go, whereas on Day 3 they had the crowd play “Guess the character” without speaking, but with just posing.

Jeezus now I really wish there was a recording of the show at the time, because you have got to see this stuff in action to really get the feel!

Also, it’s worth noting that this very segment was also temporarily hosted by another Emcee, who was originally tasked to babysit some of the guests, but was handed the mic to conduct this minigame segment.

Much to my confusion, but hey, a good show’s worth noting, regardless of the awkwardness.


  • Doctor Document

Let’s be real.

It’s worth applauding the move to reveal those documents about the safety and security of the foreign guests attending the event.

In light of recent incidents, the concern by the scene is definitely justified, and it’s fitting that some answers were made public for the people to know.

This is one thing, I would like to see future events with foreign guests attending, publicly show those documents as well.

Especially if revealing said documents (Minus those segments with information that should be made private anyways, like ID numbers etc) would guarentee that people can safely attend without having to worry too much about potential mishaps.

I can understand if these documents by right cannot be made public because certain behind the scenes P&C stuff that we as the public are better off not knowing, yet it is something to well…I guess we’ll see who’s willing to budge.

Best case, future events start flexing these documents for their featured lineups, else I doubt concerns can be suppressed so easily without immediate action.


The Bad Blehs

The Bad Blehs brings up some…bad stuff, about events, which need to be talked about since no event is without issues that can’t be fixed for the future.

Future Organizers and/or spies from other event organizers, you can learn a thing or two of what not to do at your event here. (As a guide, so that you’re not too busy repeating history.)

Please keep in mind these are only for the current iteration of this event, which may or may not repeat for future events.


  • Miss Leading Material

Gonna put this one bluntly, because I don’t think I’ve seen promotional material this misleading since the last General Election.

58606322_467383560672867_7102919422662148096_n
Credits to the Mirai Matsuri Official Facebook for the image.

This, is the original photo as seen from the post on May 1st, as part of Mirai Matsuri’s promotion of the Cosplay Competition.

And here’s the post, in case someone tries to pull a PopCon and delete it,

MM 1

The comment on the post makes a point, who the eff is this person?

And even if this person was real, a couple of things,

  • Why…oh why, would you mention their 6 digit income specifically?
    • Of all the information you chose to make public (Or Flex, in this case), you chose that piece of information? What the feck is that suppose to prove?
    • Also, I kind of find it hard to believe that there’s a company in Malaysia that actually pays people 6 digits a month just to work as a streamer.
    • Also x2, unless those 6 digits include a decimal point, then maybe we can buy the story.

Apart from the face, the Cosplay Competition information is a bit wonky too, because on Day 2 and Day 3, they had a segment for the competition anyways, so wtf was the point of Day 2’s qualifying round in the first place?!

Anyways, regardless of how you slice it, this is a bit concerning considering…if it’s not the face of someone who could be allegedly real, it’s got to be the fact that the Cosplay Competition’s information is a bit inconsistent.

Almost bordering on misleading advertising, but eh…whatever I guess, just don’t do something like this again.

Because it kind of comes across as stereotypical material meant to bait people into attending your event with weirdly false promises. 🤔

Promises that come across as either a bit tryhard or just borderline disturbing.


  • Corporate Wanking

…is this an event, or a public wank fest for corporate suits to look like they give a sheet about the event they’re running?

Look, don’t get me wrong, it’s great that there was a Consulate of Japan representative attending the opening ceremony, alongside the Penang Chief Minister, which gives the event some solid recognition.

What I do not enjoy watching is a 30 minute opening ceremony of people handing out certs and smiling for the camera.

Is this an event?

Or a middle school assembly we’re forced to sit through, that’s shittier than an actual middle school assembly?

I can understand giving tokens of appreciation to the people who took time off just to be the guest of honor, but usually you don’t have to drag this sheet out just to flex the size of your metaphorical rocket.

Because if I’m being really brutally honest, it genuinely feels like the corporate stuff was the bigger focus here than everything else.

And it kind of shows in the event itself, which brings us to, a need to


  • REEEEE-Schedule

One really, strange thing that happened on both days, if I might add, was the segment where they invited a local Emcee, that also served as an Emcee at a past event we covered, to conduct a makeshift games segment with the crowd.

Basically, see “Day at the Improv” from earlier to get the gist.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved that segment on both days to death, so frankly speaking it’s one of Mirai Matsuri’s highlights.

But it does speak volumes over the issue of…what happened to the schedule?

Why was an unplanned improv activity, part of the event now?!

Organizing people, I don’t expect an explanation, but still, it is a bit concerning that plans don’t go accordingly.

Speaking of plans, did you guys also did any…


  •  REEEEE-Hersals?

Genuinely curious, did any amount of rehearsals went into this event’s performances?

I can understand not being able to conduct rehearsals with ALL the performers, since there were some that only arrived on event day itself, giving them no time to practice but just hope for the best.

Anyways, couple of things here.

The PA system, during the various performances, had issues with sound volume.

Some of them were too loud, others too dim, such that…I genuinely feel like I have to apologize for having to witness the performers get boned by something they have not much control over. ._.

Which is really insulting to the performers to be honest.

Granted, I will give credit where it’s due, since the later performances did wind up doing well as the day went on, with little to no technical issues getting in the way.

But these issues frankly shouldn’t have even happened.

Yes, technical difficulties are sometimes hard to predict, but that’s what rehearsals are for no?

To make sure these technical mishaps are avoided when it’s time for the show to go on?

Even <Redacted> <Redacted> <Redacted> had one, what’s your excuse?!


  • Cause for Caution

Another point I’m going to put up bluntly.

Genuinely uncertain if there was some form of “We can do it better, even though we have Zero experience in running an event, after all it’s just an event” mentality here, but I can’t read minds so we can’t say for sure.

Especially considering this is the first time these organizers are running an event like this.

Also yes, I know that Mirai Matsuri 2019 has Mirai Holdings listed as the organizing group, which technically makes them the organizers of this event.

That said, you know something’s off, when one-man’s name is name dropped as the ‘Organizer’ of Mirai Matsuri, and a separate representative shows up under the Mirai Holdings name during the event’s opening ceremony.

This is both confusing, and concerning.

Because the last time the ACG scene had a case of “one-man is the organizer”, <Redacted> happened.

However, given that the Mirai Matsuri organizers did go out of their way, to publicly publish ‘that’ post about documents that ensures the safety of the foreign guests, I’d be willing to give the benefit of the doubt, and will drop some notes about what they can do better.

But also sin the sheet out of things wrong with what the organizers did.

You first time organizers want to learn “How to Event” better? Strap in.


First, One Man does not run an event. The A Team does.

Get this f***ing idea out of your head, if you believe that one person being the face of a company is how any scene should be run.

That works for some industries, but not this one.

ACG Event Organizers have, historically, always operated as an entity, rather than have one person be the public face of the organizing group.

Established names, like Comic Fiesta, AniManGaki, and even The Star Group run their events as or via an entity, by never ever having a real person’s name or face be the face of that brand.

At most, they have mascots (Or yearly ones in the case of Comic Fiesta), but no, never any real people being the one man show you can heavily associate with an event.

See the common fact here?

NO ONE MAN, is responsible for running an event, a GROUP is.

But hey, if you still believe in the idea that you should be the face of your organizing group, I can’t stop you.

But I will proudly declare you a graduate of the S-Hole School of Event Management.


Second, Work this damn event!

If you believe that as the organizer, your job ends the moment you’re done mingling with the high profile people, like the Japan Consulate’s Representative and Penang Chief Minister, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Your job in the field is to make sure your event is going without a hitch.

I’ve seen people, who themselves are also ‘Organizers’ of an event, putting themselves IN THE FIELD, with their team to ensure shit goes right instead of wrong, at their event.

But considering the various issues I mentioned earlier, clearly having the event run smoothly wasn’t the priority.

Point is, actually work at your event, rather than mingle with your fellow corporate suits.

Do stuff like, check if the PA is running okay.

Be the first to respond and assure people, guests or performers if sheet happens!

The next point should give you a better idea of what to do, basically,


Third, Communicate MF-ker, do you speak it?!

How about something simple?

Like checking with your attendees, getting their impressions about how’s the event?

You’d be surprised at what people can tell you about your event.

Or is communication not profitable so you don’t do it?

Oh wait, or is mingling with the ‘normies’ who attend your event not worth your time because they’re not on your level?

F*** that High Horse bullshit ye hacks.

Questions are asked for two reasons, to get answers or to get people to respond with a “What”.

*SHOT*


The Sequel?

Because of the strange ties Mirai Matsuri has to Komtar Carnival, it’s sequel could potentially be dependent on whether it remains a Komtar Carnival exclusive event, or strike out on its own.

There’s pros and cons to both, but we shall see I suppose.

I’m personally not really holding out for another one, but I’d be surprised to see it again.

However, if a sequel is in the works, perhaps getting advice from other organizing groups in the scene would be a wiser choice, since it can help make future iterations better moving forward.

Especially if, the organizers are guided enough into thinking that because their debut event turned out this ‘well’, they’re better off not trying to fix their mistakes.

Which can be fatal.


The Verdict

Like a broken/worn-out pencil, the bluntness continues, as I’ll admit,

I won’t be surprised if we get shot for this story in particular.

Also, for those of you assuming I’m pissed off about Mirai Matsuri, yeah…no.

I’m just really concerned about the event’s future prospects is all, because I still had a great time at the event, plenty of new cool folks to meet in person is one other highlight, something I don’t really talk about much but yeah, it’s great to know regardless of which region’s event you attend in Malaysia, they’re always welcoming.

That said, Mirai Matsuri does genuinely feel like, this is not what a Penang ACG event has to fully offer, and I was excited af to check out what the Penang ACG scene was like to be quite frank.

I guess that’s the only downer I have about Mirai Matsuri, coupled with the concerns about the event organizers.

That said, for all the pickles that Mirai Matsuri comes with, it should be noted that this is still, a well put together event, even if it was a first attempt by folks who, allegedly, have never done this kind of thing before.

One message I want to leave to the organizers though,

If you don’t know what to do, find people in the scene who can help you out with the matter of Event Management, even if said people are likely not interested in helping because of your screw ups in…other ventures.

Focus, on doing your event right, then maybe flexing your sponsors around wouldn’t seem so tryhard.

…then again this is South East Asia.

Trying way too hard by being a self-declared #1 in SEA is cringy and adorable to behold.

…I mean, it’s funny how the NowMe booth is more well thought out compared to everything else at the event.

*END*


Author’s Note:

Thank you so much for reading!

If possible, I’d love to hear your feedback on what can we do better.

Be it the bad writing, horrible pictures, or just the fact I need more water, I’d love to hear about it.


Also,

Check out more stories over at S.I.R House, of Content 2019.

Also, siteinrelief has a Facebook page now!

Page us anytime, anywhere, Amway offers will be shot on sight, no questions asked.

 

4 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.