I began attending HYPER JAPAN back in 2013 and have covered most of the HYPER JAPAN Festival & Winter events on KAKKOII CLUB since 2015.

Over the past few years, I’ve seen and felt aggravations from within the community that need to be addressed to retain attendees interest and enthusiasm for both events.

The following are based on comments from within the community and from a professional standpoint.

1. AVOID REPEAT BOOKINGS

For many attendees of HYPER JAPAN, we mainly attend for the musical aspect of the events. The UK audiences are always supportive and appreciative of the acts that grace the HYPER Live Stage but seeing repeat bookings announced to appear again at HYPER JAPAN seems to be an easy way out instead of researching new acts that paying attendees will want to see, enjoy and support.

It could be due to logistics and cost that many artists can’t afford to attend HYPER JAPAN which is understandable but I do miss that “wow!” factor of seeing a fresh act being announced (or of a high calibre) and not someone we’ve already seen at the event, which does dampen the excitement somewhat.

2. HYPER STREET LIVE

There are many passionate performers within the community that perform at various cons around the UK and the HYPER Street Live area seems to be one aspect of HYPER JAPAN that just gets forgotten about and has been on the decline in recent years.

This leaves two options:

1. Axe the ‘Street Live’ area entirely,

2. Provide and support the performers with the equipment they need to entertain YOUR attendees!

Comments from HYPER JAPAN Winter 2018:

I have noticed the HYPER JAPAN Twitter account has responded to a similar comment made recently, which they have responded to:

3. LACK OF COMMUNICATION FROM THE PRESS TEAM.

This item is more from a professional standpoint and one of the most frustrating aspects for both myself and many that operate as ‘Press’ within the community is the lack of communication from HYPER JAPAN’s Press Team.

One PR agency in the past have been great. They provided us with Press passes, assisted us with interview schedules & replied to e-mail queries but the issue now is consistency. When it comes to applying for a Press pass, we never know who we’re potentially working with. Suffice to say, HYPER JAPAN Winter 2018 was a disaster from a Press point of view.

I later found out that the previous PR agency we worked with, were not working this particular event which was disappointing to hear. This now meant we were in the hands of HYPER JAPAN’s Press Team.

For many, we never received a Press pass for the Winter event (I’ve been able to obtain one for every event since attending in 2015 without fail – until now). Even applying multiple times via the website or e-mailing the Press Team resulted in zero responses.

I also heard from my peers that even if they were successful obtaining a Press pass, this was on the 11th hour prior to the event with interview schedules also rushed out last minute. This meant you’d have very little time to prepare your interview questions or potential coverage of the event itself.

This brings me on to the Artists that attend HYPER JAPAN. They pay a lot of money to get here (flights, accommodation etc) to perform and without the support of interview coverage during their time here, I can only imagine it feels disheartening that they may think nobody wants to interview them when in reality, it’s the exact opposite. Due to a lack of communication from the Press Team there’s a barrier between the Press and the Artists we want to cover!

Interview locations and translators have also been an issue at recent events. A designated office area would’ve been ideal (as per HYPER JAPAN Winter at Tobacco Dock) but during July 2018’s event, I sat in a stairwell with a few chairs! I also assumed a translator would be on site to assist with the interviews. I attended one interview where luckily the groups Manager was English and was fluent in Japanese but he raised his disappointment to the PR contact at the time, that he wasn’t made aware he would be needed in advance of our interview. A very embarrassing situation for all parties involved!

PLANNING FOR FUTURE EVENTS.

It would be very easy for me to sit here and raise the above issues without providing a potential solution moving forwards.

HYPER JAPAN do ask attendees to complete an online survey post event which makes me wonder, what do they actually do with the results?

If HYPER JAPAN are not made aware of our ongoing issues, how can they assist putting this right in the future?

I think a focus group would be a great way to gather feedback from all sides of the event. Merchants, Performers (Street Live), Organisers, Press etc could have a forum to raise their concerns and where improvements need to be made.

I hope this blog can assist HYPER JAPAN. For the most part, I really enjoy the event and covering it on KAKKOII CLUB with my live photography and interviews. With a little help from those who work closely within the event, it could be an even better experience and event for everyone involved!