COVID-19: Can Anime Clubs Survive? + Alternatives to Meeting in Person
With the coronavirus epidemic, also known as COVID-19, canceling building openings and gatherings to prevent the spread of the virus, do anime clubs have a chance to survive?
Yes, they can. To take a step in the direction of the times when anime and manga fans made friends online–“OMG, so retro,” may be your thought process–then, yes, anime clubs can survive by going back to the internet.
Ways to keep a club going without meeting in person:
- Do a Google hangout.
- Launch an event on YouTube Live or Facebook Live.
- Meet on websites for anime and manga fans that support chatrooms and discussions such as Gaia Online.
- Host a phone party on Skype, Facetime, or through a free conference call service.
- Have a Netflix party using the Netflix Party app.
- Do workshops through a webinar.
The essence of running events online isn’t different from running events for in-person events.
Book a venue or space.Book a space online. If it’s a Google Hangout or YouTube Live, make sure you have a Google account and create a Hangout or YouTube Live event (literally search how to do these). If it’s a Skype, Facetime, or conference call event, make sure you have an account with the respective apps or get a conference call number and code. If it’s a webinar or Netflix Party app event, make sure you have an account on that platform or app.
- Make sure the event title, date, location, and time(s) are correct and booked. This isn’t different from in-person events. Just make sure the event title is short.
Create physical flyers, posters, and marketing materials.Create digital flyers, posters, and marketing materials. You can make a digital flyer that can go on Instagram or social media through Canva.com. Distribute physical marketing materials.Send digital marketing materials on social media and through email. Also post these on your websites if you can.
- Follow up with people who are in the club by phone, email, and texts. This isn’t much different from in-person events since cold marketing or sending out marketing materials don’t work the most to get folks to events. It’s more important at this time to follow up with possible attendees.
Order supplies and food for the event.Make sure your computer or phone is set up for the online event. This means making sure your laptop has a camera, its microphone and speakers work, and any clamps, tripods, headphones, and gear are nearby.
The important part about being a club is being connected.
That means reaching out to the club leadership and members to check in. If a friend is nearby, call them, text them, connect with them and make sure the COVID zombie apocalypse hasn’t taken them.
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