We’re about to take off!

Cabin crew, arm your doors and crosscheck…

free-cutoutsRoom 801: Mile High Club takes off tonight for our Premium attendees, exhibitors and speakers as we go on the Free! Photo Tour! The weather is absolutely gorgeous in Sydney today, and we have some… props to make those photos extra special.  If you know you should be on the tour but haven’t received an email about it, please contact us ASAP.

Tomorrow morning at 10am, the convention weekend starts in earnest; pre-registered attendees can start entering from 9:45am. If you’re interested in entering our formal cosplay competition, entries will be accepted on both days until 10:30am for the 10:45am parade and judging. This year we’re also running fanart and fanfiction competitions, if that’s your personal brand of creativity!

Anyone who buys tickets online (including on the weekend) is eligible for our massive pre-registration giveaway at the convention’s closing ceremony. Pre-registering saves you a few bucks and means you don’t have to wait as long to get into the convention.

Everyone involved in the convention is so excited to bring you this event; we’ll see you all this weekend at the Holiday Inn Parramatta!

Travel tips, giveaways and fan survey

There are just a few weeks to go until the convention – we’re so excited about it and we hope you are too!

A Golden Slipper race is being held on Saturday the 28th of March at Rosehill Gardens, so if you’re thinking of booking accommodation you should do so sooner rather than later. You can use your favourite booking site to find a room, or you can use our booking form for the Holiday Inn Parramatta.

The NSW State Election is also being held on the 28th, so you may want to vote at pre-poll. If you’re voting on the day, the closest polling places are at Parramatta Town Hall or Rowland Hassall School, which will be marked on the map in your showbag. We won’t tell you how to vote, but remember, preferences are very important. 😉

We know you love giveaways so we have some really amazing stuff for you to win this year, especially for our pre-registration giveaway and our competitions for cosplay, fanart sketches and fanfic drabbles. Prizes include Madman online shopping vouchers, Siren Visual DVDs, comics and merchandise by HamletMachine, Emirain and Guilt|Pleasure, and accessories by Mogo&Co. Pre-registering really helps us to plan a better convention experience for you, so please buy your tickets ahead of time if you’re able to do so – it means you can save a few dollars on the ticket price, too.

One of our past attendees is a PhD student who is conducting a study on the legal aspects of anime and manga. If you’re a fan living in Australia aged between 18 and 25, please fill out her survey if you have time to assist with her research. If you have any problems accessing the survey, please email haa670 at uowmail dot edu dot au.

The con so far, plus important info for Sunday

We’ve had an amazing Friday night and Saturday at Room 801, and we’ve received a lot of positive and constructive feedback so far. Everyone seems to be having a great time, which is exactly what we were hoping for! Thank you to our amazing guests and speakers for a day of really engaging, thoughtful and entertaining presentations and discussions… and of course, thank you to our traders, artists and attendees – your passion and enthusiasm is exactly why we love fandom and meeting other fans so much!

If you’re heading in on Sunday, remember that Khursten will be running a fan focus group discussion at 9am in the AV Club room (Wybalena). We have room for about 20 people, so feel free to join in. If you can’t make it because you’re checking out another session or coming to the convention later, just talk to Khursten later in the day or contact her on Twitter and ask her for a questionnaire to fill out instead.

Professional erotica editor Narelle Battersby is still taking bookings for one-one-one pitches and manuscript feedback on your original fiction. She’ll be in the Workshop room from 3:15-4pm so you can either drop by for a chat, or contact her in advance on Twitter or via email at narellebattersby (at) gmail (dot) com.

Just as a reminder, we recommend visiting an ATM on your way to the convention. If you need to drive, Secure Parking on the corner of Elizabeth and Goulburn Streets is the nearest parking lot – their weekend rates are $10 per day, which is great for the CBD. We look forward to seeing all of you on Sunday!

Hentai comp winners and research focus group

Love is in the airThank you to everyone who entered our Love is in the Air competition! We have a bonus Hentai Collection DVD thanks to Boots, so we’re actually giving away five prizes. The winners are:

@pinkpprheart
@_GreenTea_
@arcadiagt5
@MunchlaxRegrets
momoicchi27

We’ll be contacting the winners in the next fortnight to sort out their prizes! If any of you entered unintentionally, don’t worry, we’ll just work down the list until everyone’s happy.

Some of you have noticed that we’ve listed a University of Wollongong focus group in the schedule on Sunday. This focus group discussion is being carried out as part of a postgraduate research project into fans’ awareness of online and local regulations on censorship and pornography in Australia. This research takes into consideration fandom activities such as fanfiction, fanvids, and fanart, and how said regulations affect their behaviour as fans.

The discussion will be conducted by Khursten Santos in the AV Club (Wybalena) room at 9am, so just turn up if you’d like to take part! Participation is purely voluntary and all participants will remain anonymous.

One WEEK to go!

We’re really excited and terrified at the same time – there’s just one week to go until Room 801!

If you’ve been thinking about pre-registering, here’s something that might convince you: all pre-registered attendees go in a draw to win a range of cool prizes! Some of the goodies on offer include:

  • Yaoi manga eBook vouchers, courtesy of AarinFantasy and SuBLime Manga
  • Signed Elf~Fin postcards from special guest Jozef Szekeres and Julie Ditrich from Black Mermaid Productions
  • Anime DVDs from Siren Visual
  • A random assortment of Room 801 goodies

The schedule is finally… final, which is also incredibly exciting. We’re still looking for people who want to do a 5-minute fandom lightning talk on either morning, which gives you a chance to win prizes too! You can present on your own or with another person, and your talk can be about just about anything – a fandom rant, some interesting meta or convincing everyone to love your OTP. If you’d like to take part, contact us in advance or let the registration desk staff know before 9am on the day.

Early bird extended, guests and new poll

Supanova Sydney Artist Alley

Photo courtesy of Tim McEwen

Room 801 will be visiting the Brisbane Supanova Artist Alley in November! We’re sharing a table with the excellent Escape Velocity and Alisha Jade. Drop by and say hi to Pirotess, ask any questions you have about the convention or buy a ticket in person. To celebrate, we’re extending the early bird deadline until the end of November. Premium tickets are particularly limited and we’ve sold a few already, so if you want the full experience then get in early and buy your ticket online.

Speaking of Artist Alleys, if you’re an artist and want to sell your art at the convention, fill out the trader form and we’ll send you a trader pack. We know being an artist (especially a yaoi or yuri one) is a labour of love, so we’ve tried to keep things as artist-friendly as possible.

If you’ve been hanging out for panels and presentations, we can now confirm our first group of incredibly talented guests. Artist Jozef Szekeres, game designer Luke Miller, writer Mary Borsellino and censorship lawyer Dr Scott Beattie will be attending Room 801 and sharing their knowledge and experience with you over the weekend. We’ll be introducing each of our guests in the coming weeks, as well as announcing a few more, so stay tuned!

Finally, we’ve got another new poll.

Registration, July Poll and website updates

Registration for Room 801 is now open! Register before the end of September and save up to $15 on your ticket. We’ve also updated the website with some venue information and FAQs, with lots more to come.

To the volunteers and traders who have expressed their interest so far: thank you so much, and we’ll be in touch with specific information by the end of this month.

This month’s poll is either inspiring or faintly embarrassing, depending on how you look at it…