It seems like every month, an anime or cosplay convention pops up on the calendar with huge promises about stellar guests, fantastic activities and amazing performances, but how do you determine if a convention is the real deal or not? Here is a quick guide to finding the convention that is the most bang for your buck.
Location, location, location
A valuable barometer to determine the quality of an event is to check out the venue. Is it a popular venue? Are the facilities top-notch? Is there enough space to hold the supposed turnout? Most importantly, is the event even published on the official website of the venue? If it is not, this could be a red flag.
Sponsors and Exhibitors
The mark of a healthy convention are the sponsors and exhibitors that support the event. If a convention has been at it for years and years, they should be attracting droves of exhibitors eager to take advantage of the traffic that the event generates. Most importantly, these same sponsors and exhibitors breathe life to the convention, providing much-needed merchandise and vibrancy to the event.
The Stage Program
This is often the lifeblood of the event. After all, you can only spend so much time browsing through booths for merchandise. A good stage line-up includes a mix of performances and featured content. Cosplay contests are a popular staple in events such as these, but how does the event give it a new twist? What production values can you expect from the event? What new or original content can the event-goer expect that elevates the event from the rest of the crowded event calendar?
The Convention’s Track Record
With so many conventions cropping up, it is more important than ever to do your research. Many conventions promise the world but end up with many last-minute cancellations. It is inevitable that the convention will run into problems down the line, but the true test for the convention is how they handled the hurdles that came their way. Did they try to sweep it under the rug or did they deal with the problem and eventually solve it?
Despite often being overlooked, this is one of the most important aspects of a successful convention as experienced organizers can often navigate the treacherous waters of putting up an event. In cases of newer events that do not have a solid track record yet, this is an indispensable indication of the successful execution of a convention.
Have the organizers put up similar events in the past? How successful have those conventions been? Are their events constantly improving or are they always running afoul with their customers and charging it to experience?
Although a large promotional budget is not always necessary, an online presence is an important tool for connecting with the convention’s audience before the event. Updates, announcements and informational content regarding the convention not only keep the event alive in the minds of the con-goers, they also provide valuable information that will prevent problems during the event itself.
A healthy stream of updates is a good indication of a healthy convention. Guests should be featured, activities promoted, sponsors and exhibitors given the attention they rightly deserve. The event should not shy away from important information and should keep filler posts to a minimum.
Care should be taken to avoid mistakes in online announcements, and extra precautions should be made to avoid errors and rectify them swiftly should they arise.
A big attraction to every convention is the guest list. They not only provide star power to the event but also deliver important original content that cannot be found in other conventions. International cosplayers are often a staple of these conventions, but guests such as Japanese Voice Actors (seiyuu), Stage Actors (2.5D actors), and Anisong (anime song) artistes distinguish the great conventions from the good ones.
Conventions need to always keep things fresh and a new line-up is necessary every year to ensure that the guests do not lose their value after a while through overexposure.
Convention-goers are invaluable to a healthy convention, and good organizers know this. As much as possible, concerns that the con-goers have should be addressed promptly and not simply swept under the rug. A red flag is if comments with legitimate concerns are constantly being deleted or if posts inexplicably vanish from the event’s social media.
Are you looking for a great anime and cosplay convention to attend? The biggest and most anticipated convention of its kind in the Philippines is just around the corner! Cosplay Mania 2019 will be held at the SMX Convention Center Manila in Halls 1-4 on September 28-29, 2019. It is a whopping 9,125 square meters of space with hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors including big brands like Good Smile Company, Banpresto and Bandai will have convention exclusives and big sales. Quantum Entertainment Corporation (Video Games), Lumica (Japanese Concert Light Sticks), Cybird (Otome Games), Ludus (Collectible Card Games), and hundreds of exhibit and merchant booths will attend!
With a stellar line-up of guests every year, this year is no exception with International Cosplayers BoiledCurry, REA KAMI and VENaS Japan.Stage Actors Allen Kohatsu (Gurrenn Lagann, Haikyū!!) and Kousuke Asuma (Rock Musical Bleach, Haikyū!!) and Voice Actors Motoko Kumai (Cardcaptor Sakura, Flame of Recca, Chobits) and Rumi Okubo (Granblue Fantasy, Fate Grand Order) will all be having Fan Meets. Chiptune Legend Hige Driver,Special Guest Hiroto Kuramasu and, in a Philippine convention first, Virtual YouTuber Mirai Akari (her official illustrator is KEI who designed Hatsune Miku) will round out an unbelievable line-up.
Stage activities include Fan Meets, Cosplay Solo Showdown and Cosplay Mania Cup where the best cosplayers from around the Philippines compete to see who the best of the best is. The event will also culminate in a JAM (Japanese Anime Music) Concert powered by Animax featuring Yasutaka Nakata, Ichigo Rinahamu, ASAKA, MYTH & ROID and May’n!
Want to find out more? Check out Cosplay Mania’s official website at http://www.cosplaymania.com or their Facebook Page at http://facebook.com/cosplaymania for the latest news about this unbelievable convention!
See you there!