As some of you may know, I (fc), along with Southrop and a few other foreign shihainin/managers, organized a flowerstand to represent us foreigners at this year's T7S 2nd Live. This was my first time doing such a thing, and I ended up not being the most transparent or consistent in my communication with everybody, so I'd like to describe everything that happened from the beginning to the end here.
Soon after 2nd Live was announced in February, the idea of sending a flowerstand was discussed among a few of us, but none of us had any experience organizing such a thing and it was still a ways off, so we didn't act on it at the time.
Fast-forward to early June. At this point, people (including myself) were starting to get a bit antsy, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. Unfortunately, by that time the flower shop suggested by Southrop was already fully booked for the week of the live, so I ended up looking up random shops via Google and emailing them. By the latter half of June, I had a confirmation from a flower shop that was willing to do our initial design in hand.
While I was trying to find a shop, I also opened up a donation survey in mid-June to gauge interest for such a plan. These flower stands can cost anywhere from 20,000 to over 60,000 JPY depending on how extravagant they are, so I wanted to see how much financial support I could expect. To be honest I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was blown away by the reaction. Over one and a half months, we received over 30 responses from shihainin in 11 countries. We also received offers from multiple artists, and we ended up picking Raide to do art for us.
Throughout July, I had many discussions with friends as well as phone calls with the flower shop, and we settled on a final design: a flower stand in the shape of the 777☆SISTERS logo:
With the design finalized, I started the actual collection of money. I had some fears that too many people would flake or give less than they initially offered. But thankfully, these fears were largely unfounded, as we were able to collect over $750 USD, averaging over $20 USD a donation. Honestly, I can't thank everybody enough.
In total, the flowerstand itself ended up costing $650 with two illustrated panels. The rest of the money went to Raide's commission fee, international phone fees, and other charges (mainly shipping/delivery).
The day of, when we got to the live venue, there it was!
Unfortunately the flowerstands were positioned such that the Haru panel was actually blocked by the neighboring stand... Still, I think that, in general, things turned out pretty well. We even got noticed by a few of the seiyuu:
- Kakuma Ai, voice of Tsunomori Rona:
海外から！せんきゅーですーーーー！！！ pic.twitter.com/LYU4SnxXpl— 加隈亜衣(かくまあい) (@aimausu) August 21, 2016
- Minase Inori, voice of Nanasaki Nicole and Rokusaki Coney: http://ameblo.jp/inoriminase/entry-12192704545.html
- Takai Maika, voice of Harumi Kajika: http://ameblo.jp/birthday22/entry-12192848527.html
To end, I'd like to give some shoutouts to people who helped along the way:
- Southrop, who helped organize the stand with me
- Raide, who drew the illustrations for the panels
- Shino, who designed the placard
- All of our donors. We couldn't have done this without all of your help and support!
One more thing: We will be organizing another foreigner shihainin flowerstand for T7S 3rd Live in April, so stay tuned for more info! As always, you can find me on Twitter (@usashiki_anime).
[2017/01/22] Update: We have put up a survey for a foreigner shihainin flowerstand for T7S 3rd Live! https://goo.gl/forms/nt8TQTCfefuGFw6n1