Conventions

Conventions is a anime/manga concept
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Gatherings of fans featuring cosplay, exhibitor's halls, viewing rooms, and discussion panels. On this site you'll generally see mention of anime conventions.

Overview

Anime conventions, nicknamed cons, are usually held in convention centers, college campus sites, or hotels. Most cons are held multiple days but the local, smaller-scaled ones tend to be one day. There are many things that happen at conventions geared towards fans of anime, manga, and other various Japanese media.

Events

Diversity is key at anime conventions but there tends to be some typical events planned throughout most cons.

Dealers' Room / Exhibitors' Hall

There is usually a large room dedicated for vendors to sell different goods such as wallscrolls, figures, plushes, DVDs, manga, and doujinshi. Many companies like distributors or publishing companies are represented at cons but there are also independent store owners and other individuals who hold booths too. One major problem at some Dealers' Rooms is that there tends to be bootlegs of different merchandise around. Some conventions offer an event called a Swap Meet where con-goers who are not official sellers at Dealers' Room can sell their own used merchandise to other people.

Panels / Workshops

Panels are run either by a company (such as Bandai Entertainment or Del Rey) or a con-goer. Industry run panels focus on what projects the company is currently working on and what licenses they have recently retrieved from Japan. They tend to have trailers feature their dub cast (if there is one). Usually at the end of their panels, a company will take a Q&A session where they would get questions asked by audience members.

A con-goer (or group of attendees) run a panel, there are many topics they can talk about. Many of these fan run panels focus on one particular topic. For example, a cosplayer can run a panel to teach others how to make their own props. Some other topic examples include: J-Music, webcomics, lolita fashion, debates, and drawing.

Some conventions offer workshops. They run similarly to a panel except there would usually be supplies for people in the audience. Sometimes, workshops have fees to pay for material used in their events.

Art Show / Artist Alley

Usually, there are room(s) dedicated for amateur artists to show off their work and sell things they have made. An art show at a convention typically displays specific art pieces on the wall. Sometimes, these pieces can be sold to people who are viewing these pieces through silent auctions.
A convention's Artist Alley usually consists of people who make things and sell to other people. Many artists who get a table or space in Artist Alley sell prints of their digital or hand drawn work. Some artists will draw commissions for attendees that will pay for them. Though very popular, the Artist Alley is not limited to art prints. Many people sell homemade things like doujinshi, plushes, hats, jewelry, and other trinkets.

Video Screening Rooms

Sometimes known as video programming, video screening rooms dedicate themselves to play different anime and live-action movies. It is customary to hold many different screening rooms to hold various genres or to marathon series. There are usually no limits to what can be shown in these rooms because whenever they show content like hentai, the staff or volunteer monitoring the rooms will check for identification to see if an attendee is legally able to watch that type of show.

Cosplay Oriented Events

There are many cosplay oriented events held at anime conventions. One of the most popular forms of showing cosplay is through a masquerade. A masquerade usually consists of a walk-on that mimics a fashion show where cosplayers will show off their costumes for judges to look at. Another feature masquerades have is skits made my cosplayers. These skits are regularly two to four minutes long and they come in various forms. Skits are usually made to be funny or to show off however there can be performance-related skits with instruments, dancing, or dramatic skits.

Another cosplay oriented event lots of cons have is gatherings. These are usually run by attendees who want to gather many cosplayers from the same series, company, or some other similarities cosplayers may have. These gatherings attract cameko (shortened from Camera Kozo or Camera Boy) to take pictures of large groups. Popular series can reach 40 or more cosplayers in one area. Gatherings are made to meet other fans of the same series or to take group shots with other cosplayers.

Other

There are plenty of other events that occur at conventions. Some of these events include (but is not limited to): maid cafe, karaoke, contests, concerts, and charity auctions.

Policies and Rules

Each convention has their own sets of rules but many of them have similar restrictions. Most cons have rules about attendees' code of conduct, cosplaying and weaponry props, and other guidelines.

People

There are many people who run and/or attend conventions.

Staff

There are many types of staff members depending on the size of the convention. These include (but not limited to):
  • Chairman/Chairmen - They are basically the head honchos of the convention. They are in charge of everything that's going on within the con.
  • ConOps/Operation Division - These members of staff hold all information. They are also the main communication within staff and attendees.
  • Guest Relations - These staffers are in charge of getting transportation for guests, escorting them during schedule hours, assisting them, and helping them with anything they need.
  • Membership Servers - They deal with registering attendees and other types of people who arrive at the convention. They will assist others if people have questions on registration forms. They are in charge of putting all data about convention attendees in their computers.
  • Programming - These staff members deal with scheduling programs. They basically outline what happens every hour the convention is open. Sometimes, programming people are set within each pertaining event.
  • Print technicians - Print technicians make sure they have any printed material available to print out. Some things they oversee are program pamphlets, badges, and fliers.
  • Informational Desk Clerks - Clerks are in charge of helping people who have questions. There are usually several informational desks around a convention for attendees' convenience. They are knowledgeable about the schedule and where key events are located.
  • Volunteers - Volunteers do random jobs that staffers assign to them. They usually can work whenever they feel like it by going to the location/room where volunteer jobs are handed out.

Guests

One key feature at anime conventions is the type of guests that conventions invite to hold panels or do other things for fans.
  • Voice Actors/Actresses - Sometimes guests from anime or videogames go to conventions. They tend to make panels about their work and sometimes host autograph sessions for fans.
  • Directors, Animators, and Other Related Industry Workers - Depending on what job a person has in the industry, they can do a number of things at conventions. They will hold panels to promote upcoming projects and licenses. Sometimes, there will be booths in the Dealers' Room to sell DVDs and other merchandise.
  • Musicians and Bands - Whether famous or otherwise, musical guests are abundant at conventions. They hold concerts, autograph sessions, and panels about their work. Some musical guests require tickets to get into their concerts.

Press

There aren't that many subgroups of press at conventions. There are photographers, video cameramen, and writers/editors. They cover what industry people bring out and other things happening during conventions. Sometimes there will be liveblogged panels while other times they write about things in article format with photos.

Attendees

Attendees are also known as con-goers. They are quite a diverse bunch but they can still be categorized stereotypical as seen in this comic-like picture. Of course, there are people who don't fit the mold but generally, anyone can find these stereotypes at an anime convention. The growing demographic of attendees have been getting younger; many anime conventions are being catered toward the young crowd from teens to early twenty-year-olds.
Typical Anime Con Attendees
Typical Anime Con Attendees




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