In the midst of taking pics of cosplayers, there was a raffle for prizes such as anime DVDs, manga, hamtaro bags, tickets to Anime Expo, etc... It helps to get some good sponsors, though I already had most of the prizes they offered (Negima! box set, Nerima Daikon Brothers, Full Metal Panic!, etc...)
What was funny was that so many of the winning tickets that were called for the pair of Anime Expo tickets were not present. I guess they didn't want the hassle of dealing with trying to get a refund as I heard many people already registered two months in advance. As for the Betta fish, the winning name was Kanye West. I guess no one suggested Betamax or VHS or BluRay.
Between the posing for pics and the raffle, the attendees found other ways to pass the time (besides eating the Korean BBQ someone brought later in the day).
Some played football:
Some tossed a frisbee (albeit very badly, but it did lead to some free-for-all when the disc landed on the ground):
For a moment, the frisbee toss broke into a sword fight (in good fun, of course):
The main event finished with a group picture of all the cosplayers (you'll have to see my outtakes to appreciate the size of the cosplayer crowd since I only used my Canon).
I get the feeling that this event also pleased the cameko that were in attendance as many of them I've seen at previous conventions...
If you want to see the pics that didn't make it to the blog, you can find them on Flickr.
This was the first time I attended this event, and overall, I've enjoyed it a lot, but here are some things I wished they did:
1) Since the event is held at a park, maybe pick a location near a baseball field with bleachers that could be used by the cosplayers for when the group picture was going to be taken. Of course, this may be an unreasonable request considering that I rarely see bleachers available near a large picnic area in a public park, but then again, I've only been to two county parks in Orange County, so I may not know what I'm talking about.
2) Provide (or encourage the bringing of) toys such as frisbees, volleyballs, etc...Attendees won't do anything unless you suggest something.
3) Start cooking burgers about 15 minutes before you announce that there's food.
4) Mention (if not promote) the Anime L.A. group that set up a canopy nearby, even if their appearance was not part of the schedule. They did have extra drinks, but I notice there was still a lot of water at the SoCal Cosplay Gathering side as I was leaving for the day.
Of course here are some things I wish I did:
1) Brought a frisbee, rollerblades, volleyball, or something to pass the time during a photography break.
2) Check to make sure that I had a pen an paper on me to take people's MySpace, email, etc...at the same time, I wish I brought more Moo MiniCards with me.
3) Actually talk to the Ouran High School Host club cosplayers who also attended AniMaid Cafe.
4) Brought my old HP camera as it had a built in panorama mode for the giant group photo at the end.
Now after attending two events that were not conventions but were somewhat anime related, I believe that if the sponsorship garnering abilities of SoCal Cosplay Gathering were combined with the entertainment abilities of Funky Fresh Cosplay (the group behind Animaid Cafe), they could be a major force in the Orange County otaku scene. But what do I know? I just like finding interesting things to do until my own dream of a real cosplay cafe is realized...
Now I just have a little less than an hour before The Amazing Race (rerun) starts...