A fansign is an event of 2 to 3 hours where you can meet your idol/group and get your album signed. You can chat a bit with them and give them gift. At the end of the fansign, there are sometimes dance performance, game, photo pose, etc.
When do they happen ?
Most of fansigns happen end of the week, friday, saturday and sunday. However, for the busier group, they probably squeeze the fansign when they can. For Twice and Red Velvet, the fansigns I have been to were during the week, so it can be a bit later than usual (for instance, if the fansign is after a music show).
Where can I find information on fansigns ?
- On the official fancafe: You usually have a homepage on which you can see all the latest announcement. There will be something about fansign there. You can see the post because they will display the name of the album on it quite clearly. Let me use Oh My Girl as an example. (Side note: I love them.)
If you don’t have such thing on the main page, check for “Notice” on the sidebar, and there will have a section dedicated to those kind of events.
Each of those rectangles is an announcement for a fansign, so you can just click on them to get all the information needed. However, depending on the fancafe, the information may not be public like that, so you might need to level up beforehand.
- On the blog or website of the organizer: Fansigns are usually organized by CD sellers, this is why you see their banners during fansigns. You can have different kind of companies, like Soundwave, Applemusic (not related with Apple, iPhone), Synnara, M2U Records, Hottracks, Bandin Lunis, YPBookstore, etc. They usually announce all the fansigns of the brand on their blog or website, so if you are looking for anything to go, better check the companies rather than the fancafe.
Let’s use the website of Synnara as an example. It’s not one of the easy one to navigate as things are all in korean, and they don’t have a blog for it to my knowledge, so sometimes, you gonna have to randomly click on links.
So I fucking clicked everywhere, and this one fucker top right, is leading me to the notice page for the events they organize.
So, you may find fansigns here. This is only their recent events. You can see that there are different groups. But, even if you don’t check all the fancafe, you have to check all the companies blogs or website so … Yeah.
Announcements usually happen on tuesday and wednesday for fansigns at the end of the week, and for the others, well, when they can. An announcement can be made 3 days before the event, or more than a week before. The best way is to check the fancafe or blogs on a daily basis, once you know the way, it takes like just a few minutes.
I have found a fansign announcement, now what ?
Let’s say that you found one, for instance, this fansign announcement on the blog of M2U Records:
You need to know it says. A lot of announcement are blocked from copy pasta, so if you want to translate it, I suggest you to use google translate on your phone, take a picture, and translate from there.
I put all the information without translating, at some point, you know what it said. Knowing hangul is helping, that’s for sure. Especially if you want to know the adress, use the google trad trick from earlier, on your smartphone to get the adress if you can’t write hangul.
Time to go buy the albums
Once you know the adress of the store where to buy the albums … Well, go buy them. The process is quite simple:
- Find the store, they usually have some poster with the announcement of the fansign so you can’t really miss it.
- Once there, go directly to the checkout and state the group, and the number of albums you are buying, for instance, for Twice earlier: “Twice fansign, yeol da seo gue, juseyo”, which is Twice fansign, 15, please. (I don’t think it’s actually correct, but I’ve always been understood).
- Throw your money, cry internally, then the cashier will give you a ticket.
- You have to go to the CD section of the store, find a clerk and register yourself for the fansign. You are gonna have to give the ticket there to prove your purchase.
- The registration is filling: name, number of albums bought, email (sometimes), and phone number. A foreign phone number is ok, but for convenience, you should also a rent a korean sim card. The name you are filling has to be the same as written on your ID, and only in hangul or romanized (for instance, Chinese name have to be written with letters, like on your passport I guess).
- The clerk will give you a ticket that serve as a proof of your registration, keep it very carefully.
- You can now take the albums, ask the clerk politely if you can choose the albums yourself, if it’s not busy, he may comply. This moment is important if you don’t want to end up with ton shit of duplicate cards. Pick an album there, another two there, and so on, space your picks. Some clercks do that directly, but most don’t from my experience (lady clerk at Soundwave Lotte Youngdeugpo, I love you.)
It can happen that the store is short of albums, in those cases, they will give you the remaining albums at the fansign, if you’re in, otherwise, you are gonna have to comeback later, they keep your info and know what’s left to pick anyway.
The process I just explained is for the lottery fansign, it’s the most common one. However there is another kind of fansign, which is first come first serve. Pretty simple, find the store, come buy ONE album, and you are in. The order in which you came buy your album will be your seat. For instance, if you were the 5th buyer of a fansign spot, then you are gonna be at fifth seat at the fansign day. This is used by small groups in general, Dreamcatcher have done it until Good Night, Stellar as well (*cry inside*), and I believe Loona is at the moment.
The number of albums bought will impact your chance to get into the fansign, this number varies from one group to another. For Twice, I’ve seen people bought 30 and 50 albums, but also fucker who got in with 4 only, so it’s luck based. Understand that there is also some kind of quota between foreigners and koreans. So sometimes, you are competing against other foreigners, not koreans. This quota is different from a group to another. For instance, Oh My Girl, usually 10 foreigners, but for T-ara, it was about 60.
To check if you have been drawned, you have to check the blog of the organizer. If you have found the link on the fancafe, they will give a link to the website anyway. Let’s go to the YP Bookstore blog this time, and check on the WJSN fansign winner announcement:
This is the homepage of the blog, you already have a bunch of fansigns information.
But what interests us there, is the WJSN results, so click on the fansigns news then on the WJSN announcement:
On this page, you will have again all the information regarding the fansign, as well as the hours, the rules and the winners.
The winners are listed in the table, so you just have to find your name and match it with the phone number in case there is your homonym there (more frequent for koreans I guess …). Are you happy, did you win ?
Also, the results are not necessarily announced the day before. Details can change for whatever reasons, from a fansign to another, from a group to another.
The Day of the fansign
Once you are at the location, go look for the staff, they are usually at a table with some kind of box with them (that got the seat number), and check in. (ID, name)
There is another drawing going on, to know which seat you are gonna take. You can either go there early and pick a ticket early or pick yours later. There are risks in both situations. The best outcome is to get first line of course, no one to block your view, you are the closest to them, but it all falls to luck.
Keep the ticket that you draw as you are gonna need to give it to the manager when passing to get your album signed. You can try to trade your seat with someone else, because the idols seat in the same order more or less, and some people want to get the right line of view.
You have to take a post it with you the D-day, so you can write your name on it (so … you also need a pen), the staff usually have post it and pens with them as well, not since it’s not certain, might as well have yours.
Mark the album by members, put a post it at the page you want the idol to sign in, so everything go faster and you can focus on quality time.
In some fansigns, you can put a post it with some questions, it has to be fast to answer, or get some kind of checkbox. But, for Red Velvet, I have been denied that … so, who knows.
You get around a minute with your idol, so prepare your interaction in advance, since you may not know how the idol is actually is during direct interaction. Some groups are better at others for fan interactions, it’s up to the personalities I guess, so in case your idol is actually not talkative, prepare something.
- T-ara, beside Eunjung, they are pretty quiet, they won’t lead you in any conversation, you have to do it. I love Eunjung, she talks better english than the others. (which is not the reason I love her, but I just wanted to point this out).
- Oh My Girl, the smoothest fansign you can go to, the girls are full of fanservice, actually good in English (beside Hyojung and Mimi but they still catch some words) and will directly ask question or talk if you actually blank yourself out. Damn, I miss them.
You can give gift directly to your idol but not everything will be authorised. Most of times, food that is not sealed won’t be authorised for instance. Also, note that in Twice case, they didn’t keep anything that the fans gave, everything was left in boxes and on the tables after the fansign. It’s not the only group that refuse gift, at some point, the big groups have to do this. (do you really think that they keep all the plush or headbands they have, don’t be fucking naive, would you)
PS: For Red Velvet, you couldn’t take pictures at some fansigns. Of course, I have been to three, it was forbidden to all three. And bam, public fansign as soon as I came back to my home country. Fucking hell. (edit: Apparently, it’s for all SM group, fucking leesooshit).
- Check for fansigns, the dates have to be ok with your schedule;
- Get the store adress and buy the suitable amount of albums for the fansign;
- Prepare the talk and the eventual gift to the idols;
- Prepare the album to be signed (name, questions), get a spare one in your bag;
- Get your ID with you, and your camera gear if you have any (check for batteries and memories);
- Be presentable (shower, teeth, nails)
- Get the adress of the fansign location;
- Get at the fansign at least 20 minutes before (just in case)