Guests and Autograph Policy

We understand that getting autographs from our guests is a major highlight of the convention for many attendees, not just because it’s a fantastic souvenir, but also because it’s a chance for that tiny bit of face time with the guest. Guests, too, value that rare opportunity to meet some of their fans.

However, demand often outweighs supply, especially for very popular guests. Even the speediest and most accommodating guest can only sign so many things in a given period of time. In order to give the greatest number of fans the opportunity to meet the guest, we MUST keep the lines moving smoothly.

SacAnime’s official, scheduled autographing sessions are governed by the following rules:

  • SacAnime does not and cannot guarantee that you will receive an autograph from any particular guest. SacAnime’s official autograph sessions are free of charge to registered attendees.
  • Guests will always be glad to sign your SacAnime program book, as well as any officially licensed and properly credited products. They absolutely will NOT sign bootleg or unlicensed merchandise, nor material for which they are not properly credited. At their sole discretion, they may sign handmade, personal, or otherwise unusual items. If you are uncertain about a particular item, check first! (Guests may be offended if they’re presented with bootleg items.) As a last resort, check with the staffer in charge of the session. SacAnime staff may veto any item as unsuitable for signing, and such decisions are final.
  • Unless a specific limit is posted for a particular guest, assume that you are limited to ONE ITEM PER PERSON.
  • There will be no flash photography during official signing sessions, unless otherwise noted.
  • There will be no photo ops during official signing sessions, unless otherwise noted.
  • Do not monopolize the guest’s time if there are others waiting. (Assume that whatever you have to say must be said in 30 seconds or less, while the guest is signing your item. It’s a good idea to write down what you want to say.)
  • Do not request excessive personalization, sketches, etc. unless the guest offers.
  • If you are bringing an item for the guest to sign, please have it ready for signing when you are within sight of the guest. (For CDs and DVDs, you should remove the cover insert to save time; for unusual items, please ask the autograph staff for their recommendations.)
  • Policies for specific guests may differ.
  • SacAnime staff reserve the right to refuse access to any attendee who fails to follow the rules (or attempts to circumvent them). Anyone caught in the act is subject to the disruptive behavior policy, and risks having their registration revoked.

SacAnime staff reserve the right to make changes to guests policies as circumstances dictate. If you have a question about policy, please see the SacAnime staffer in charge of the guest appearance or signing. All staff rulings are final.

Notes and Gifts for Guests

If you’ve brought something special for the guest, such as a personal note or small gift, we ask that you follow certain guidelines for practical and safety reasons. Most guests appreciate these small gestures, but many gifts cannot be accepted.

  • Please ensure that you provide the name of the guest, as well as your own name and contact information, either written on the outside of the message or attached clearly to the outside of the gift.
  • Please do not wrap your gift using tape or tie it using ribbon; however, a gift bag or simple tissue paper cover is acceptable. (We must be able to screen all gifts.)
  • Avoid anything large or bulky or easily damaged. Most guests fly quite a distance to appear at SacAnime, and may have limited space in their luggage. Any gifts you bring should be small, durable, and easily packed.
  • No food items will be accepted.
  • No items that intentionally contain HUMAN DNA will be accepted. (Blood, skin, or hair…)
  • If you have an item to present as a gift at any guest appearance, please bring it first to the SacAnime staff member in charge of the appearance.
    • DO NOT use Q & A time during a guest’s panel to present your gift to the guest; this is extremely rude and unfair to the other people who came to hear the guest speak.
    • DO NOT use autograph time to present your gift without first clearing it with the staff member in charge, as this may deny othersthe opportunity to get to meet the guest.
    • You may be asked to wait until the end of the session, or the staffer may accept the gift in order to present it to the guest onyour behalf. (Rest assured, your gift will be given to the guest onyour behalf – that’s why we request your contactinformation on every gift.)

Tips for Interacting With Guests:

  1. If you’re going to ask a question, write it down first. It’s easy to become flustered if you’re not used to public speaking or if you’re about to talk to someone you really admire. Writing down what you want to say helps you to organize your thoughts so you don’t waste everyone’s time or embarrass yourself.
  2. Every guest at the con is someone who has a cool job that they’re quite good at. It isn’t necessary to worship the ground they walk on – just be friendly and polite.
  3. Remember that guests get tired, too, and they’re entitled to downtime. If you encounter a guest outside the con, try to make eye contact before you approach them, and look for a signal that it’s okay to chat. Please don’t interrupt meals or private conversations.
  4. Try to avoid asking questions that the guest has answered a hundred times. And if you come late to a panel, find out whether a question has already been answered before you waste everyone’s time. Don’t ask questions that are answered in the guest’s bio, homepage, or Wikipedia entry.
  5. DO… DON’T…
    Write down whatever it is you want to say.
    Be BRIEF. (see note #1)
    Tell them you like their work, and why.
    Ask interesting questions about past, current, and upcoming projects.
    Ask open-ended questions.
    Ask about favorite hobbies, shared interests, etc.
    Ask them questions that are answered in their Wikipedia entry or SacAnime bio.
    Ask questions that can be answered with a Yes or No.
    Ask for hugs, kisses, or their hand in marriage.
    Ask for autographs or other favors.
    Waste everyone’s time.
    Ask deeply personal or invasive question.