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Current News
Amazing Comic Con Aloha Cancelled Due to Hurricane
Posted on: 08-24-18 03:51 PM
Posted by: PatrickD


Amazing Comic Con Aloha announced at 9:44am HST today, what would have been the first day of the convention, that it would be rescheduled due to Hurricane Lane.

The announcement by Jimmy Jay, founder of Amazing Comic Con states, "We watched the weather closely and as hurricane lane weakened we made a decision to utilize the vendors, talent and media that had made it to Hawaii to still move forward with our show but due to circumstances beyond Amazing Comic Conventions Control the convention center became unavailable for use. The safety of our attendees and guests is paramount to us."

In response to those who have asked about refunds after flying in for the convention, they have been told, "Thank you for reaching out, I completely understand your concerns and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. We are currently working with the convention center to see what our options are with regards to the future of the event. As soon as we have a full assessment of what the situation is, we will be in contact with our attendees ASAP when more information becomes available. If you have additional concerns or questions please feel free to send us a message or email."

There has been no new date for the convention announced, but that doesn't help those who had already flown in for the convention who are upset that they likely won't be able to fly back for the re-scheduled convention due to travel costs. Had the convention, Hawai'i Convention Center, or Hawai'i Tourism Authority decided to cancel sooner, perhaps on Wednesday when a hurricane warning was issued, travelers who had not arrived would very likely have been able to reschedule or cancel flights with their airlines for no fee.
Current News
Izumicon Looks Like It's Cancelled...But They Haven't Said So
Posted on: 08-14-18 11:18 PM
Posted by: PatrickD


For more than 24 hours, rumors have been circulating about Izumicon which is scheduled for August 31st through September 2nd in Midwest City, Oklahoma. It has all the appearances of a cancelled convention without anyone from staff specifically saying if it has been cancelled or not.

Sometime in the last week, the convention's web site had been modified to make every page look like the home page. The convention's Eventbrite page was also modified to no longer sell tickets even though it had previously stated an August 31st deadline. Nothing has been posted on Izumicon's Twitter since August 6th and there have been no staff posts on their Facebook page since an August 7th post encouraging people to book their hotel rooms by August 10th.

On an unofficial Izumicon Facebook group, there are multiple screenshots claiming that all the convention's directors have resigned. In the day since these first appeared, there have been no posts by staff members to dispute these claims or to communicate anything at all.

Guests are cancelling. Jād Saxton posted on Twitter that she would not be attending "because of some recent issues". Daman Mills had also tweeted he would have to cancel "due to some recent issues that are unfortunately out of my control". (Morgan Berry and J. Michael Tatum had previously cancelled, but were still listed on some pages of the Izumicon site.)

With no official word from staff yet, there is also no word on refunds if the convention is in fact cancelled. According to the Sheraton Midwest City Hotel's web site, cancellations of prepaid room reservations cannot be refunded but rooms that were not prepaid can be fully refunded if cancelled more than two days in advance.

Izumicon was founded in 2007. The convention name was sold to a new organizer for 2018. The previous organizers have no affiliation with the current convention.

We reached out to Izumicon staff for comment, but did not hear back. We will post an update if we do.
Current News
Otakon 2018 Attendance Numbers Rise Again
Posted on: 08-13-18 12:41 PM
Posted by: PatrickD


Washington, D.C. (August 12, 2018)​ - The official attendance for Otakon 2018 has bounced back up from a slower year, Otakorp Inc. has announced. The final number, including all departments, is 29,293.

The number is up roughly 5,000 from the 2017 final number of 24,894. The final attendance number includes total memberships/attendees, both pre-registered and at door, as well as staff, dealers, artists, industry, contractors, guests, and members of the registered press.

Significantly, the total number of paid registrations -- 26,590 -- exceeds last year's total attendance numbers, according to convention president Andrew Zerrlaut.

Zerrlaut said, "Thank you to everyone who attended or supported Otakon 2018! We are thrilled to be back in Washington, D.C. and are looking forward to next year. We are already hard at work planning the next, best Otakon yet. Please save the dates for July 26-28, 2019."

This was the second year the convention was held in Washington, D.C.

Otakon 2019 will be held from July 26 to 28 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.

ABOUT OTAKON AND OTAKORP, INC.: Now entering its twenty-sixth year, Otakon is an annual celebration of Japanese and East Asian popular culture, and also one of the largest gatherings of fans in the United States. Otakon celebrates popular culture as a gateway to deeper understanding of Asian culture, and has grown along with the enthusiasm for anime, manga, video games, and music from the Far East. Historically, Otakon has drawn up to 34,000 people for three days each year (for a paid attendance of over 100,000 turnstile attendees). Otakon is a membership-based convention sponsored by Otakorp Inc., a Pennsylvania-based, 501(c)3 educational non-profit whose mission is to promote the appreciation of Asian culture, primarily through its media and entertainment. Otakorp, Inc. is directed by an all-volunteer, unpaid staff - we are run by fans, for fans.

For more information about Otakorp, Inc., see: http://www.otakorp.org/
For more information and the latest news on Otakon 2019, see http://www.otakon.com/

###
Current News
Steampunk World's Faire Cancelled
Posted on: 03-14-18 05:47 PM
Posted by: PatrickD


Steampunk World's Faire, which was acquired from JME Events by Silver Phoenix Society in February, has posted a notice on their web site stating the following:
  • In reply to:
Update 3/14/18 - Don't panic! Read on:
It's just not possible to repair SPWF to the grandeur that the community justly expects in 6 weeks. That said, we have found someone who has stepped forward to run a smaller-scale event on those days so that the Steampunk community has an entertaining, fun, and casual event to attend. We, SPS, are in the midst of planning a new large-scale event for a future date that will be able to be held up to the lofty standards of SPWF. Communication has been spotty and we apologize for that. Here is the TL;DR:
  • There will be a smaller-scale event held on May 4 - 6, 2018. It will be smaller scale and details are being fleshed out - expect a plan to be announced within 72 hours.
  • SPS is planning a new event for the future, tentatively the fall, that will be better organized and better planned than what we could have done in 6 weeks or less.
  • We would love your help, advice, and input on both of these events to make sure that you, the community, are happy with them. We admit that SPWF was too much for us to take on this quickly - and we are asking for your help to bring it back as much as we can for the future.



According to our source, the convention has not cancelled its contracts with the venues or it would face a large cancellation fee. The hotels themselves are not going to break the contract, which means that nothing else can be booked into that space. Because of this, Steampunk World's Faire still is still financially responsible for the space and is planning to have a small event in order to encourage people not to cancel hotel rooms. The more rooms are cancelled, the larger bill they will receive due to not filling the hotel block in the contracts.

The source also states that the sales departments of the convention hotels have confirmed that attendees only have 72 hours to cancel their reservations or the single-night deposit for their rooms will be charged.

Anyone with a room booked may wish to cancel now in order to avoid losing their deposit. If, for some reason, you want to re-book at a later date, there's an excellent chance that there will be plenty of rooms available.

No information has been shared on refunds for attendees or vendors.
Current News
Largest North American Anime Conventions of 2017
Posted on: 01-01-18 03:38 PM
Posted by: PatrickD


Every year, in the first week of January, AnimeCons.com takes a look back at the previous year to see which anime conventions were the largest in North America, how the numbers have changed, what may have caused the changes, and if there's any trends that may affect other anime conventions or fan conventions as a whole. As we always remind people, this absolutely is not meant to be a list of the "best" anime cons, but merely the largest.

Before we present the list, an explanation is needed for the different ways that conventions count their attendance:
  • The most common method for conventions, but one that is very misleading, is used by most non-anime conventions and trade shows. A "turnstile" attendance count method counts people multiple times for every day of the convention that they attend. For example, if there are 10,000 people at a three day convention each day, they would report their attendance as 30,000...as if each of those 10,000 people passed through a turnstile once per day. A four day convention with 10,000 people each day would report a turnstile attendance count as 40,000 people. Although anime conventions are starting to report turnstile numbers, they are often offered in addition to one of the following two counting methods. Although this site considers turnstile counts to be misleading and disingenuous, we've recently started listing them in order to be able to help people distinguish the difference and be able to compare attendance numbers more fairly.
  • Another method is to count each person who was issued a badge. This is often referred to as "total attendance", "badge count", or a "warm body count". This will include attendees, staff, press, vendors, guests, and anyone else who was wearing a convention badge. If the people attended multiple days, they just get counted once. It does not include people without a badge such as convention center-provided security, hotel employees, or custodial staff.
  • The final method commonly used to report attendance is a paid attendance count. This simply counts the number of people who paid for a badge. Unlike the warm body count, it doesn't include staff, guests, press, or others with a badge...unless they paid for it. This method also only counts people once even if they're attending multiple days.


All the attendance figures we present in this report and on AnimeCons.com have been provided by convention staff members themselves. They have been announced on the convention's own web sites, on the convention's social media, reported directly to this site, or one of our site's staff have reported back a number officially announced by an authorized representative at the convention (such as announced at closing ceremonies). None of these numbers are guesses by AnimeCons.com staff and none have been pulled from anonymous sources such as unsourced Wikipedia entries. Where attendance is marked as "approximately" signifies that the number reported by the convention is likely rounded and not an exact count.

Our annual list also only consists of conventions with a primary focus on anime. This means that multi-genre conventions are not included. We also do not include conventions such as comic cons or sci-fi cons that have anime programming. To include those in this list would be impossible due to the number of those conventions in existence, the unavailability of attendance numbers for many of them, and the vast differences in counting methods. Anime conventions that share admission with non-anime conventions (such as comic, steampunk, or video game conventions) are also not included on this list because it is impossible to tell how many are attending the anime part of the convention.

Twelve Largest North American Anime Conventions of 2017:
  • Anime Expo - 107,658 warm bodies (up 7.21%)
  • Anime Matsuri - 36270 warm bodies (up 20.04%)
  • A-Kon - 33,102 warm bodies, 25,289 paid attendees (up 11.08%)
  • Anime North - 32,167 warm bodies
  • Anime Weekend Atlanta - approximately 31,500 warm bodies, 29,872 paid attendees (up 3.79%)
  • Anime Central - 30,221 warm bodies (down 3.97%)
  • Anime Boston - 25,848 warm bodies (down 4.18%)
  • Sakura-Con - approximately 25,000 warm bodies (up 8.70%)
  • Otakon - 24,894 warm bodies, approximately 22,000 paid attendees (down 14.49%)
  • Youmacon - 22,142 paid attendees (up 5.26%)
  • Otakuthon - 22,065 warm bodies (up 3.52%)
  • Anime NYC - approximately 20,000 warm bodies (first year)


Anime Expo safely holds onto the top spot for the 14th year in a row. The vast difference between Anime Expo's attendance and the other conventions on the list means that it will likely hold this spot for years to come. In 2017, they grew by 7,238 attendees. Their turnstile attendance count was also up 52,379 to 357,178. While overcrowding and lines remain a common complaints among Anime Expo attendees, it continues to be a convention that many people (particularly those outside California) tend to put on their bucket lists.

For the second year in a row, there's a different convention climbing into the #2 spot. Anime Matsuri in Houston, Texas has reported an increase of 6,055 attendees and yet another year of reporting more than 20% growth. However, as we've said in previous years, the growth rate simply cannot continue in such a competitive market as Texas where popular conventions in nearby Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio markets are also gaining attendees and even more conventions continue to appear every year.

Speaking of Texas, the #3 spot is once again held by the longest continually running anime convention in North America, A-Kon. The convention has reported a 1.42% growth rate over their 2016 convention. They had reported greater than 10% growth rate for the previous three years, so the slower growth this year may be attributed to the convention's 30 mile move from Dallas to Fort Worth. However, A-Kon continues to be a popular destination for anime fans every June.

Anime North in Toronto, Ontario holds onto the #4 spot for the second straight year. This year, they reported a warm body attendance count of 32,167. Last year's attendance was reported as 29,973 paid attendees, so we're not able to compare the two years to calculate a growth percentage, but it would appear to be up.

Moving up another spot this year, Anime Weekend Atlanta, another of the longest running anime cons in North America, comes in at #5. Although we didn't have a warm body count for them last year, their paid attendance count is up 3.79% from 28,789. This is slower growth than the past few years where AWA had reported more than 10% growth.

Although it was in the #3 spot last year, Anime Central near Chicago drops to #6 in 2017. The convention's attendance has dropped 3.97% from 2016's 31,469 warm bodies. The convention had rather significant growth in 2013, but was seeing less than 5% growth since then. This is the first reported attendance decrease at Anime Central.

Anime Boston moves up a spot to #7 this year even with an attendance drop of 4.18%. The turnstile attendance count dropped 5.19% to 74,578, which would seem to indicate that more people that more people were buying 1-day badges. This is the second straight year that Anime Boston's attendance has dropped and it's likely still attributable to increased convention center security following guns that were seized during an August 2015 Pokemon Championship at the venue which resulted in excessively long security lines at Anime Boston 2016. Although the security checkpoints were improved in 2017, a number of attendees had cited the lines as a reason for sitting out a year to see if the situation would improve. For the most part, it has, and hopefully those attendees return again in 2018.

Seattle's Sakura-Con reported approximately 25,000 attendees in 2017. Last year's attendance was reported as 23,000 which is an 8.70% growth rate and puts them up a spot to #8.

By now, you may have wondered what happened to Otakon on this list. In 2015, it dropped to #5 with the largest attendance drop we've ever seen by any convention. It held onto the #5 spot last year and grew to 29,113 warm bodies in 2016. The convention moved from Baltimore to Washington, DC in 2017 and it seems that the attendees did not follow. Otakon lost over 4,000 attendees and dropped to #9 on our list and is no longer the largest anime convention on the East Coast. With Otakon Vegas not reporting large growth over its first few years, hopefully Otakorp has planned for rainy days such as this in order to be able to handle the situation financially.

Detroit's Youmacon returns to our list for the second year in a row at #10 with a paid attendance of 22,142, up 1,106 people from 2016. Last year, Youmacon and Otakuthon were essentially tied for the 10th spot, but Youmacon has now pulled ahead slightly.

For #11, we head back up into Canada for Otakuthon in Montreal. The bilingual convention reported 750 more people than 2016 for growth of 3.52%. Magnifique!

The twelfth anime con on our list just held their first convention in November, Anime NYC. On their site after the convention (although now only available via archives), Peter Tatara, the Event Director, was quite clear about their attendance reporting saying, "Anime NYC welcomed over 20,000 fans. That's not turnstile, but 20,000 unique, individual fans who came together to celebrate what we all love." (This was likely noted due to some other NYC cons which have been known to report turnstile numbers.)

It's worth noting that there is less than a 10% difference (or only 2,881 people) between the third through sixth conventions. There is also a difference of less than 1,000 people between the seventh and ninth conventions on the list, which just about puts them in a three-way tie.

View graph with linear scale - View graph with logarithmic scale

As always, we remind you that these are merely the largest conventions and are not necessarily the best. If past history is any indication, this list is almost guaranteed to be copied and used as some other site's "Best Anime Cons" list. That's a shame because there are some absolutely wonderful small and mid-sized conventions out there that are not mentioned on this list. You can have a lot of fun at smaller events and we strongly urge you to find the conventions near you and try them out.

If you want to compare the growth of conventions over the last ten years, here are some links to our annual reports (either written or as reported by our AnimeCons TV): 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003

To start planning your 2018 conventions, our AnimeCons.com and FanCons.com sites are an excellent resource to find lists of conventions in your area or around the world. We also offer FurryCons.com, SteampunkCons.com, ToyCons.com, and VideoGameCons.com for some more niche interests. For Amazon Echo or Alexa device owners, we also have free Flash Briefing skills for FanCons.com and AnimeCons.com which can audibly tell you what conventions are coming up in the next week. We also have iMessage stickers for iOS users and an AnimeCons TV app for Apple TV.

Patrick Delahanty is the creator of AnimeCons.com and executive producer of AnimeCons TV. He is the host of Anime Unscripted and is one of the founders of both Anime Boston and Providence Anime Conference. Patrick has attended 173 conventions, cosplaying at most of them.
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