Friday, 23 November 2012

#FindOutFriday in the #ESPspotlight with...Yukiko Takahashi (HYPER JAPAN 2012 Christmas Special)!

Well the day has finally arrived and I don't know about you, but I'm excited! The HYPER JAPAN 2012 Christmas doors open this afternoon and I for one, cannot wait!

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner; but if you're anything like me a year ago, you had never heard of this extravaganza and had not one iota of a clue that it was taking place on your doorstep. If you are unfamiliar with the show and what it's all about, well who better to tell you all than the Press Officer for the Organising team?

Meet Yukiko Takahashi...

Welcome Yukiko, to the #FindOutFriday hotseat! I'm very honoured to interview a member of the Cross Media Ltd. Team, responsible for bringing the might that is HYPER JAPAN back for a second time this year! I know you’re a very busy lady, so we’ll go straight to it!

1. For those unfamiliar, what is HYPER JAPAN all about?

HYPER JAPAN 2012 Christmas is the UK's biggest celebration of Japanese culture and cuisine, dedicated to bringing the very best from traditional and modern Japanese culture to the UK.

HYPER JAPAN 2012 Christmas
starts today and runs through to Sunday
This fourth event will be an unrivalled opportunity to learn about Japanese history and tradition, to discover the latest popular trends from Japan before they go mainstream, catch some unique performances and to enjoy some fantastic cuisine, including street food and premium sake! If you're tired of all those same-old Christmas gifts, HYPER JAPAN 2012 Christmas also promises to be a great place to pick up some fun and unusual presents too.

2. Sounds excellent! So how long has all of this been going?

HYPER JAPAN first started in October 2010, which attracted about 13,000 people, then in 2011 we attracted 25,000 visitors, and the last HYPER JAPAN, held in London in February 2012, was attended by almost 35,000 people, proving the popularity of Japanese culture in the UK.

3. It’s quite unusual to hold such a massive event twice in one year; how will this show differ from February?

We are still exploring when is the best season to hold HYPER JAPAN. In fact, we intentionally avoided holding an event this summer as many people were concentrating on the Olympics! This time of the year is great as people start thinking about Christmas and gifts, so we hope this HYPER JAPAN may prove to be a choice new Christmas shopping spot.

4. You’re the first Event Organiser to grace the #FindOutFriday hotseat and the aim is always to mentor readers with an interest in the field so: thinking back to when you first received the HYPER JAPAN 2012 Christmas event brief...With such a big crowd set to attend and so many different J-Culture sub-genres to cater for, what was the first task on your list?

To make the event contents fun and exciting to the British audience is the first thing we have to think about. This includes looking into any possible guest performers and exploring any potential event contents based on our strong contacts with Japan. Last but not least, we value the UK market's voice, so the HYPER JAPAN team does all sorts of networking.

5. And what aspect of event delivery was most important to you personally?

Every aspect is important to us so it is hard to pick just one!

Rock Guitarist Tomoyasu Hotei
will perform circa 6:00PM on
tonight's Main Stage

Personally for me this would be Hotei's guest visit! He is a real legend in Japan and I really respect him, so I feel proud to be able to share his greatness with a British audience.

I also feel that it is really important to showcase a wide variety of Japanese food and sake at this HYPER JAPAN event, as Japanese cuisine is something that is dear to my heart...

6. Let’s talk Entertainment. You have some highly talented names booked to cater for every aspect of Japanese Culture. How did Cross Media Ltd. decide who to book this time around?

That’s a difficult question...It’s a long story and we like to keep a bit of mystery. Sorry!

7. Ok, well let's try another angle...With the Olympics and so many other huge events taking place in the nation’s Capital, it could be argued that 2012 has been ‘The Year of London’. How hard has it been to define a J-Culture event in their wake and, positive or negative, do you feel there has been any impact on HYPER JAPAN?

The London Olympics brought International attention to the UK, so we think this is good for us. The UK is a great Country because it has a lot of influence and power to spread information to many other Countries. We hope the UK can help us show the greatest aspects of J-Culture to the world.

8. Going back to those just starting out in Event Management – what exactly is your job role and how did you get your start?

Cosplay Heaven...The World Cosplay Summit (WCS) sponsored by
British Airways  and the 
European Cosplay Gathering (ECG)
are just two of 
the event's major attractions...
We are a small company; we do all sorts of work and projects. This time round I am doing PR for HYPER JAPAN. Cross Media has allowed me to challenge myself, so I have had the opportunity to do many things, from editing books to managing or planning events with many different sorts of clients

9. Talk us through a typical day in the office for you...

Working hard from 9 to 6 every day!

10. Finally, if you could share the most important lesson that you have learned to date, what would it be?

Working hard in terms of achieving something!

Thank you Yukiko and all of the Cross Media Ltd. Team - I'm looking forward to seeing you shortly!

Doors open for the first day of HYPER JAPAN 2012 Christmas at 2PM this afternoon. For further weekend timings, daily schedules and ticket pricing, please see the flyer...

Or check the HYPER JAPAN website for details.

If you make it to Earls Court's Brompton Hall, why not come and say Hello? You may just find yourself part of an extra special upcoming #ESPspotlight feature! Just tweet using the #ESPatHJ hashtag or Tweet Me - I'll be there all weekend!

Right, I'm off to get ready - see you soon!
ES ;o)