Preparing for a fan sign event

Hey all!

Happy Lunar New Year. 새해 복 많이 받으세요!

I’m here with a few tips for my fellow Kpop fans out there. I’ve been to a few fan sign events now and I thought I’d impart some small bits of advice to y’all.

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Usually these kinds of events happen through CD stores. You’ll have to check the stores website or look on your favorite group’s fan cafe to see when these things happen. In Daejeon there’s only 1 store that handles fan signs and that’s Synnara. I try to check it once or twice a week to see if anything’s up. We’re not a very popular city so we don’t get lots of groups coming through here. Seoul is obviously #1. Other than that it’s Busan, Incheon, and Daegu.

So your first step is getting the CD. Most of these events are held via lottery. For every CD you buy you get a chance to be picked to attend. I’ve seen fans buy several copies (over 10!) just to have a chance. I almost never buy more than 1. If the group is a new (or “nugu”) group than it’s just first come, first served. When I saw History last year that’s how it was, but this year it was a lottery. I think, though, as a foreigner you have a better shot. I’m not saying it’s a for sure thing, but I have a feeling that they may have a set number of non-Koreans that they allow in so that it’s fair (we are outnumbered after all).

Let’s say you got in — congrats! Now what?

1) Check the location

The event may be at the CD store, but it might be elsewhere as well. In Daejeon, Synnara is pretty small. Of all the ones I’ve been to only 2 have been at the actual store. So make sure you’re in the right place. Also make sure whether you have to stop at the store first. When the event is somewhat far from the store then they pass out the seating numbers at the location. However, when it’s been close by, but not at the store, then I had to stop at the store to get my seating number.

2) Proper clothes

Depending on location and time of the year you want to be prepared. Is it gonna rain? Be swelteringly hot? Freezing cold? Of course you’ll want to look nice when you finally get up in front of your idol, but be ready for the weather as well.

3) CD

This should be obvious, but don’t forget the CD! I almost did that one time. >.> They only sign the CD that you bought.

4) Post-It notes

This is optional. I only did this for the first time for History a couple weeks ago. You may choose to write one or all the members a question on a post-it note and tuck it in the booklet. I was drawing blanks so I looked up a few examples online for other groups. It’s usually silly stuff anyway. For example I wrote things like “Who is the funniest member?” and “What do you think about foreign girls? ^^”. I’m not sure this is allowed for every group so take a look around at other fans while you’re lined up and see what they’re doing.

Also it helps to write your name on a Post-It and stick it on the CD. Then you don’t have to waste time spelling out your name for every member. Whether you write it in English or Korean it doesn’t really matter. I’ve never had a problem with people copying English.

5) Gifts/letters

Again, this is optional. I’ve only done this a few times. I wrote letters for 3 groups – U-KISS, FT Island, and History. I only gave a gift one time (Dokyun from History). I’d recommend doing this ahead of time, but I have also done this while waiting in line. My Korean isn’t great, but I can write enough for a basic sort of letter — My name is…. I’m from…. I like you because…. etc etc.

In most cases they aren’t going to look at your gift right away. It sort of depends what it is. They may take a peek and ask about it and say “thank you”. Sometimes fans bring silly gifts like ribbon headbands (for boys) or toys and the group may or may not play around with them right there. If the managers/staff are being nice they’ll let them. In my case, I found FT Island to be the best ‘cuz they kinda just did whatever they wanted haha.

6) Pens/markers

If you plan on writing your notes on the day of then you’ll need these. Even if you’re not sure it’s nice to have them on-hand. You never know when a fellow fan will be in need of something. I’ve borrowed pens and scissors from other fans on a couple occasions.

7) Camera

Not a necessity, but I think we can all agree we want some visual memories of the events. I have a pretty nice camera (SONY NEX-5), but nothing compares to seeing the hardcore fans pull out their DSLRs with crazy big lenses. O.O I’m so jealous… They get really good shots! Don’t despair if you don’t have one of these paparazzi cameras. Those fans are most likely putting them up on fan sites or the fan cafes anyway.

8) Snacks/water

You never know how long these things are gonna last. You’re probably going to be sitting for a minimum 1-2 hours depending on how early you show up. I try to at least have a bottle of water on-hand. Something like a granola bar or cookies isn’t a bad idea either.

Now as for language, well, I can’t say there isn’t a barrier if you don’t speak Korean. I have an awkward time most of the time. It’s part nerves and part Korean ability. But really I’ve found most idols can say things like, “What is your name?” and “Where are you from?” in English. It’s something, right? And I think that they’re pretty glad to see their foreign fan base anyway, so you being there is a bonus for them. So don’t worry too much. I actually found I had the easiest time (besides when there were English speakers) when I had prepared the post-it notes. It gave me a topic that I had sorta thought about so I could make a few vague comments about it.

Also try not to be discouraged if the staff moves you along as a fast pace. Sometimes the groups are really busy and they have to adhere to schedules. It’s kinda sad when you don’t have enough time to talk, but just being there is a pretty lucky thing! Enjoy the time you have even if it’s a bit short.

I hope if you come to Korea that you get to experience one of these events. 🙂

Who is the group you’d most like to see? If you could give a gift to your favorite member, who would you give it to and what would it be? I’m curious!

Laters ~ !

Make-up Giveaway Winners

Hello all!

I finally picked 2 winners for my 1st giveaway.

I used Raffle King to pick the names. The winners are —

*drum roll*

Mintymilky and Maria!

I will contact the winners and we’ll set things up so I can send these off. Busy several days ahead what with work things and I’m going home in about a week (yay!). Thank you for all for participated. I’m already trying to set up my next giveaway so stay tuned!

Korean Make-up Review

If there’s one thing I’ve grown to love in Korea it’s probably all the cosmetic stores. There’s everywhere! The products are fairly inexpensive too. I never really stick to one brand either like I did back home. I feel like each brand has different things they do better than others – like maybe one has the best eyeshadow and another has great skin care products.

Anyway here’s a review of some of my fav make-up items. Does anyone else use these? Or something you wanna recommend to me? If you have any questions, feel free to ask. 🙂

What do you want to see?

Hello, lovely people. ‘Tis I, Janelle.

I have a bit of a conundrum. You see, I’m a pretty casual blogger, as you can probably tell from how frequently I update. But I’m always trying to drum up some initiative to make more blog posts or interesting videos. Unfortunately I’m always at a loss what topics I should cover. For example, I have a strong interest in K-pop, but I feel like people like Simon & Martina at Eat Your Kimchi have that pretty well covered. And there’s plenty of very excellent food blogs, and Qiranger is just awesome all around.

So basically what I’m asking all y’all out on the Internet is: What do you want to see from me? What sort of topics interesting (mainly relating to Korea, but I’m open to other suggestions). Food/coffee? Fashion/make-up? Dramas? Travel?

I’ll do my best to tackle your question or topic if I’m able. I’m not in Seoul, so it’s not easy for me to get to music shows or much in terms of K-pop performances, but those are things I’d want to cover as well.

Anyway, please leave me a comment or hit me up on twitter with suggestions. I really appreciate it you guys!

 

Also, I’m lucky enough to be going to SeoulTube on Saturday. It’s the first event that is backed by YouTube. You may (or may not) remember I went to a few SeoulTube gathering before, but those were run by local vloggers. I only skimmed over the info, but I believe Eat Your Kimchi will be there, as well as Sun Hyunwoo from Talk To Me In Korean. I’m hoping to learn from them and plenty of other vloggers, so I can step up my game a bit. I’ll make sure to take some photos and videos — and hopefully I won’t oversleep and miss my train and end up missing the whole thing… oh dear.

Dalmatian fan sign

Last month my friend Michelle and I went to our first fan signs. There were actually 3 in one week here in Daejeon: Teen Top, JJ Project, and Dalmatian. I have a few photos from the previous two (which I suppose I ought to have posted first 😛 ).

The process of getting into the fan sign was fairly easy. I found that one of the local CD shops had an online notice board where they post events like these. Up to 2 days before the actually sign you can buy a CD with a chance to attend. It’s usually lottery based though for Dalmatian they just gave us a ticket the day we bought the CD. For JJ Project they posted the winning names online. I imagine in a bigger city like Seoul it gets harder to go to these things because a lot of the fanbase is there. So far, in Daejeon, we got in easily.

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Fans waiting to see Dalmatian

We showed up at the specified time with our CDs and tickets in hand. A staff member comes around to make sure you have both.

From there on it’s just a lot of standing, looking at the group, taking photos, and listening to the squeals of fangirls (though we did see 2 boys there at the end).

I was slightly less nervous than when we went to JJ Project. Probably because I knew 2 members – Daniel and Simon – could speak English. I didn’t say a lot to Inati, but maybe that’s ‘cuz he was the first person I talked to. Jeesu asked if I had eaten – “밥을 먹었어요?” – which is sort of a standard thing to ask a person haha. I was more at ease with Daniel, who was real sweet. When I mentioned I was from Wisconsin he told me Simon had a few friends there which gave me something to talk about. Youngwon didn’t say a lot but he was pretty cute. He wrote “OMG! WOW!” on my CD haha. Simon was also real nice and wrote “I like Wisconsin” in Korean on my CD. 🙂

I like the way this one was set-up compared to JJ Project which was outside. The fan sign being in the shop allowed everyone to take decent pictures without smothering the boys. The outside sign had the groups on a stage and fans down in chairs which felt just a touch far (not that far, but couldn’t get great pictures there).

I was also very pleased with the way all the fans & Dalmates acted. Everyone stayed in line and acted appropriately. Yeah, some followed the van as it was leaving, but there wasn’t any pushing or anything, as far as I saw, and everyone listened to the store staff pretty well.

I’ll be happy to keep supporting Dalmatian in the future. I like the last single and all the guys were very kind. I really enjoyed the fan sign. 달마시안 화이팅!

(Some of the better pics I took. Hope you like ’em!)

Please don’t steal or re-post without permission. (Or at the very least credit me as the source :P)

Snapshots

Just thought I’d do a small picture post. I have many more pictures to go through, so here’s just a taste of what I’ve been doing.

Beautiful sky at Yeouido park

Hanhwa Eagles in Daejeon

A friend taking a rest on a walk

Vending machine for books!

Free robot? One please!

Myself at SeoulTube '11 (part 1)

Little experiment with flashing light

Yuseoung lights