AnimeCons.com's Patrick has posted his recap of the year 2008 in anime conventions, which is always a fun read-- in particular this year, considering that it saw considerably fewer cancellations than last year, and nothing like 2007's Anime Tour for the Cure scandal, in which fans were scammed by a guy claiming to raise money for cancer research who then skipped town with the cash.
No, 2008 was a relatively smooth year for the convention world. Here's the list of the top 10 largest conventions from Patrick.
- Anime Expo: 43,000 estimated warm bodies
- Otakon: 26,394 paid attendees
- New York Anime Festival: 18,399 warm bodies
- A-Kon: 15,000 estimated paid attendees
- Sakura-Con: 13,600 estimated paid attendees
- Anime Boston: 14,339 warm bodies (13,248 paid attendees)
- Anime Central: 13,900 estimated warm bodies
- Anime North: 13,300 estimated warm bodies
- FanimeCon: 13,000 estimated warm bodies
- Anime Weekend Atlanta: 11,101 paid attendees
Okay...I admit, I'm not entirely sure what Patrick's algorith for this thing is. Why is Anime Boston is #6? It seems like based on the “warm bodies” number it should be #5, and by the “paid attendees” number it should be below Anime North. Even if you average the two numbers together you get 13,793, which would be above Sakura. And then, why are Anime Central's 13,900 warm bodies below Sakura Con too? It kind of makes Patrick's assertion that Sakura saw the biggest leap (from 8 place to 5).
The actual numbers are a bit easier to work with, assuming 2007's numbers are still correct (except for Expo's; the 2008 post says that 2007's Expo number was 41k, not the 44k in the post): Sakura gained 2,000 attendees, which is about the same amount Expo grew by. Which is pretty good. Then again, Otakon went up by around 3,500, as did NYAF.
Speaking of, this is New York Anime Festival's first entry on Patrick's list, although going by NYAF's reported 2007 number of 15,000, they would have been #3 on the '07 list as well. I'm not at all surprised that the con is doing so well; it's amazingly well-organized and they've got phenomenal programming.
So, there you go. Definitely read the full recap; a lot of interesting stuff went down this year.