A KPOP fan-signing event is a wonderland for many fans. Why? This is your only chance (and best place) to meet your favorite idols face-to-face. Plus, you can sit down and talk to your idols while they sign your albums. But because everyone dreams of this, you can expect the road down this path to be challenging and sometimes depending on luck. Anyway, no harm if you want to try it, right? Have a read through his article, and we hope it helps!
Before we start, fan-sign events are common in South Korea. Some artists may hold fan signs for brands they endorse, but most fan-sign events are for music releases. It is why this article will be dedicated to music-related fan-sign events.
A fan-signing event resembles a meet-and-greet session, BUT, there is an exception where the former is exclusively held in South Korea. After all, this event is unique to Korean culture and is rightfully done as part of a KPOP event.
Anyways, while it’s the ultimate dream for every KPOP fan, the only challenge that stands in the way is how EXTREMELY difficult it is to get in because of the short timing and the costs involved.
Plus, many international fans envy their domestic counterparts, as these events usually prioritize Korean fans first, and then the remaining portion will be given to international ones. Despite that, there are still other events that are catered especially for international fans, so worry not!
Now let’s begin with a detailed step-by-step on how to win a fan-sign event:
Firstly, fan-signs are typically held within the first 2-4 weeks of a group/artists’ comeback/debut. You need to check for updates on their official fan accounts such as Twitter and/or their official fan cafe (a place for fans to write letters to their idols), as this is where they’ll post details about an upcoming fan-signing event.
But if you’re already following your group’s official page and have turned on notifications, rest assured, you won’t miss these updates!
Make no mistake, fan signing events are split into two categories: first-come-first-serve and lottery-based.
The good news is, for First-Come-First-Serve events, it is usually held by rookie groups or groups from smaller companies. As this is quite an ‘intimate’ event, the amount of fans who can attend this ranges from 80 to 200, but 100 is the most common. How to enter this event? Well, early-bird fans who buy a single copy of the album have a high chance to attend this event. Pretty easy, right?
Meanwhile, the bad news for lottery based events is that most groups usually hold this type of fan-sign event. The difference between a first-come-first-serve event and this one is, every fan who purchases an album, they will be entered randomly into the lottery system. Since there are only for a specified amount of lucky fans, a good rule of thumb is that the more albums you buy, the more entries you will get = the higher your chance of winning the fan-sign ticket.
If the fan-sign you want to attend is a first-come-first-serve, just head to the correct location (ie. official stores, official fan cafe, and/or from an authorized dealer) and buy your single copy, fill out your name on the given form and you’re set!
BUT if your fan-sign is lottery-based, early preparation and research is key! While the nature of lottery-based fan-sign is random, some say if you buy a certain amount of albums, you have a ‘safe’ bet of being selected in the system. For example, some bigger groups like TWICE have a ‘standard’ number of albums you need to buy, it can range from 40 to 50 albums or more in one buy. Sounds crazy, right?
Arguably one of the hardest parts before the event and possibly the most nerve-wracking in your life, is waiting for the results. Result announcements are usually announced in the evening (Korean time) of the last day of the album sale. Depending on where you buy your album, announcements are typically posted on the official fan cafe websites, official stores, or from an authorized dealer.
Anyway, every fan will tell you they have had sleepless nights because of this.
Note: this applies to the lottery-based event.
Let’s say you won the lottery or you’re one of the early bird winners from the first-come-first-serve event, and especially if this is your first time, a million things are in your mind.
We hate to break this to you, but fan-sign events have a lot of rules that fans need to follow. The rules may be loose or strict, depending on the group and venue. Don’t worry, though, as long as you follow the rules, you will have the time of your life there.
As this is a fan-sign event where idols sign on your album, it’s best if you plan ahead on which page of your album you want each member to sign. Remember, choose wisely (as in which page) because each member will only sign one page of your album.
Wondering what to bring to the event? This is the time where you can shower your idols with love and appreciation! Many fans write letters, while some bring them gifts. Depending on the idols’ company policies, some idols don’t keep fan gifts, some do but only a certain amount of gifts and some groups aren’t allowed to accept any gifts at all. Regardless of all, be sure to check the venue rules beforehand!
Finally, once you’re at the event, ENJOY! You can bring your phone and snap some pictures, whereas the official photos are usually taken by the staff venue, but again, check the venue rules. In the end, after all the time and money spent, they’re definitely worth it!
Unfortunately, COVID-19 is here (and it seems like it’s not going anywhere anytime soon), so virtually all fan signing events have been canceled. The good news is, the KPOP industry has adapted and innovated new ways to give KPOP fans the content they need, and so they have successfully organized online video call events globally.
The event structure remains the same as with physical fan-sign events, but now it is done virtually. On a side note, however, you need to make sure you have a stable Internet connection because yikes, no one wants a glitchy video call with their favorite idols!
So do you think this is an informative guide? We hope so! All the best in participating in future fan-signing events!
*Stay tuned for more weekly KPOP articles every Monday and Friday!*