The ultimate goal of many K-Pop fans is to meet their idols in fansigns to be able to talk to them and interact with them closer than ever. As a K-Pop fan myself, I had that goal but I never thought I would ever get a chance to achieve it. Even after living in Korea for years, the idea of participating in a fansign never hit me, as I thought I didn’t stand a chance. Knowing that I needed to buy who-knows how many albums to have a chance to win a fansign, I couldn’t afford it with my student status.
Plus, from 2020 to 2021, there were almost no offline events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which made entry to any event even more difficult considering that any fan around the world could try their luck for a fan call. But during ONEUS’ “TRICKSTER” era, the group held a 1:1 offline fansign, which was a first in the industry. Being a great fan of the group, I decided to apply for the event without great hopes. I honestly thought that if I had to buy the albums anyway for my collection, I might as well get them through the event to get the POBs photocards with them. Despite my low expectations, I won the event and got a chance to attend ONEUS’ 1:1 fansign, for LeeDo and Xion. I now want to share my experience to help guide those who might attend a fansign as I did, feel free to learn from it and follow each step of the process!
Step 1: Getting the gifts
Even if I knew the gifts I would give the idols probably wouldn’t be of much use, considering it was some plushies and letters, but as a fan, I couldn’t portray myself attending the event empty-handed. So my first mission after knowing I could attend the event was to get some gifts for the members. I didn’t go for something fancy but more simple things that genuinely reminded me of the members. I also wrote some letters as I knew my time with the members would have a limit. I made sure to write all I wanted to tell them in the letter, in case I didn’t have the time to say it all during our face-to-face meeting. A personal tip I would give any fan attending a fansign would be to prioritize letters to gifts as those are more meaningful to the members.
Step 2: Gathering the necessary devices
Any fan attending a fansign would want to have durable memories of it apart from the signed album, and that’s why all fans should bring a camera, or at least their phone, to capture the moment. However, as it is forbidden to have the phone with you as you go up to meet the members, your phone or camera must film you from your designated seat. As you can imagine, phones and cameras cannot simply be left on the chair, a tripod of some sort is needed. I also made sure I had one with me for that day. I actually had two, one for my phone, and one for my camera, this way I could just take pictures and videos with both without worrying about it being too much for my hands. But the best is if you have someone among the fansign attendants who can film you as you go up with the members, this way you’re sure to get the best quality of your memory.
Step 3: Checking the official documents
In order to get into the venue of the fansign, the staff on-site will proceed to an ID check, to make sure only the real winners of the fansign attend it. At that time as it was still in the middle of the pandemic, fans were asked to bring proof of vaccination on top of other documents. But the regular documents to bring to fansigns were an ID, which could be a passport or foreign resident card, and the confirmation text message sent by the host of the event. On-site, the check-in starts from 1 hour to 30 minutes before the beginning of the event. The staff will check the ID, then let you draw a number in a little box, this will be your seat for the fansign. After that, all that is left to do is to enjoy the event.
Step 4: The time with the members
After getting into the venue and getting all my devices ready, I waited for the members to come. They arrived, introduced themselves and the fansign began. The staff were calling fans one after another to go up on the stage and meet the members. My turn eventually came, I was shaking, as incredible as it was to meet my ultimate bias, it was also extremely stressful. Meeting with someone we admire and look up to is not as easy as it seems. As it was a 1:1 fansign, I had 5 minutes with each member, which allowed me to say most of what I wanted to say. I wish more groups would do 1:1 offline fansigns. But no matter how long it sounded, it still felt very short. With the stress, the excitation, and the joy, it went by in the blink of an eye.
Step 5: Photo time and performance
I never knew what happened after the fans met with the members in a fansign, this experience allowed me to learn about this. After all the fans were back to their seats, the tables were moved out of the stage and the photo time started. One after another, the members took some gifts from the fans and posed with them. Each member did several poses allowing fans to take many pictures of them. After they were done individually, the members had a unit photo time where they would pose two by two. They goofed around and made some funny poses for fans to capture, some of my favorite memories of the event happened during that time. After the photo time, the members gave some anecdotes about the shooting of the comeback and the promotion. Finally, they proceeded to perform the title song of the album which was ‘Bring It On’.
Getting into a fansign is one of the greatest joys I’ve experienced as a K-Pop fan, and I hope many other fans will get to experience it as well. Even if it’s hard and seems impossible, believe in little miracles and you might live one as well. As someone who experienced the event in an unsure way as I knew nothing about how the event would go, I only have one advice to give to other fans in my situation: enjoy! Live the moment to the fullest, taking pictures and videos is important, but if you enjoy it with your own eyes as well, I guarantee you will have no regrets whatsoever.