What to Expect at an Anime Convention 101: Researching and Choosing a Convention

Hello, hello and I hope y’all are having a very nice week so far. I know mine has been busy with work and school but I still am here to give you guys a weekly update as usual! Before I begin I just wanted to say welcome to the newest followers that we’ve accumulated over the last few weeks or so! There maybe only twenty-two of you guys but I know Laura, Abby and I greatly appreciate the support!

Now, onto the subject at hand!

This seems like a pretty self explanatory topic on its own doesn’t it? Well, it is and it isn’t. There are a few things you need to know before you actually go to a convention. The last article I wrote was on cosplay/cosplaying at a convention, that ties into this as well but when deciding on a convention it’s very minor.

Research

Always, always research a convention before deciding to go to one. For example, when I went to my first anime convention I tanimeconried to research as much as I could on it. Sure, that did involve watching the convention music videos (yes, music videos) but it also involved checking out the convention website, looking to see what hotel services they recommend when staying there. For example, when Abby and I went to Colossalcon over the summer (I reference this convention a lot I apologize) it was held in Sandusky, Ohio at the Kalahari Resort. Since it is a resort, convention goers could stay at the hotel itself and easily walk to the large convention center that they have there. But be aware that when conventions are held at resorts, they will more than likely sell out fairly quickly due to people wanting to be within walking distance! The nice thing is though, most conventions do have suggestions for when the main area does become too full and sometimes they do offer a shuttle to pick people up for free.

Of course when you’re researching you don’t want to just look for hotel stuff, you want to also look and see what other people have said about the convention. Make sure you keep these questions in mind when watching/reading these reviews.

  1. Was it well organized?
  2. Did they actually have interesting panels? (I’ll discuss panels in the third and final article)
  3. Did you feel safe while there? (Was there a nice amount of security)IMG_3029-620x350
  4. Is it a big convention or a smaller one?

The list goes on and on but I think you get the gist of what exactly you should be paying attention too!

Questions You Should Ask Yourself

When deciding on a convention to choose from (by the way if you are interested this website does give a list of anime conventions), you need to ask yourself some questions.

1.) Do I want to go a big convention or a small convention?

If this is your first time ever going to a con, I suggest starting off with a smaller convention. For a person that has never been to a convention before, it can be very overwhelming even at small ones, with some many people walking around in cosplay, the Artists Alley, the Dealers Room, and panels. It can be very stressful for someone if it’s their first time. Know your limits and if you’re someone who has a hard time with large crowds, try a small convention first that way you can see if you even like going to a convention or not.

2.) How far do I want to travel?

ax13_mainFor many convention goers this is a simple answer, some like to travel all over, while others find it easier to stay close to home. Make sure when you are traveling farther away you need to budget your money so that you can have the means to actually get there, eat, have a place to sleep etc. Keep in mind of the Mangos budget video from my last article!

3.) What type of convention do I want to go to?

Obviously this blog is mainly about Shoujo and anime but I thought I’d put this in here real quick. There are lots of different ‘fandom’ conventions out there, not just anime. Obviously we have San Diego Comic Con, but there are plenty of others as well like Steel City Con, E3, and many, many more! So maybe you don’t like anime (which asks the question, what are you doing here?) but maybe you really enjoy video games. Then look up video game conventions and try to go! Remember what I said last time, if you can think of it, there is probably a convention for it!

Sadly, we are now at the end of this post. I know, I know I’m sad too but just keep a look out for a new post by Laura in very, very near future! If you have any convention questions, please feel free to comment!

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