As I mentioned previously, I attended FanimeCon 2013.
Last year, Jon mentioned the long (2 hours and 45 minutes) wait for badges. This year’s line made me think fondly of last year’s line.
First off, the registration had moved to a new building: the Fairmont. After finding this out from a sign setup where registration used to be, I went in the doors of that hotel and headed upstairs only to find that I had found the doors people with their registration were exiting. I asked a staff member where the entrance was and received a blank look. Thankfully, someone exiting registration heard me and told me to go outside. There were, as per usual, 2 lines for registration, at-con and pre-reg. Pre-reg had an outside line, which took you to an inside room line, which took you to a hallway, which took you to a ballroom that said registration (but was really just for getting at-con registrants into computers), which eventually fed you into a room where you would wait in line to get your bag, and then another line for your badges. My total wait time? 4 Hours.
Now, you would think that per-registration would be the fast track to getting your badge. You would think that, wouldn’t you? After all, you paid the convention ahead of time; you already have your data in the system. You would be wrong, and frankly this pisses me off. What is the point in buying a pre-reg ticket if you can get to the con faster by buying your ticket AT THE CON? I mentioned my pre-reg line experience above. Would you like to know what the At-Con line is? First you wait outside, then you get sent up the room with the registration sign out front to get your details into the system; then you go pick up your bag and badge.
It is very frustrating to have been sitting (and I do mean sitting, the line would not move for periods of 30 minutes or more) in line and watch as the people in the at-con registration line just pass you by.
Fanime’s staff needs to get this sorted out immediately. It is absolutely ridiculous.
Okay, rant over, let’s get back to talking about the actual con…
After I finally had my badge, I headed over to the Swap Meet (which was already in progress). The Swap Meet was in Hall 1 (Artists Alleys’ previous location) this year and it was packed. So many people with so much fun stuff. Much easier to move around this time. It seemed like this year had mostly the “Let’s make a deal” vendors, which to me is the whole point of a swap meet.
Also in Hall 1 this year: Food Court. Asian Grocer was open 24 hours a day this year (and I’m sure they did well – there was always a line). Psycho Doughnuts was there, mostly with Psycho Sushi, but with some other doughnuts as well. The sushi stand was also there, but with a bigger area. New this year was a fancy drink place. They made “smashed” drinks that were… well they were just crazy. They had milk, tea, fruit, jellies, pearls, ice, and came with a giant straw.
Artists Alley is now in its own building just down the street from the convention center. It seemed like there were many more artists this year because of this. I think it is nice to give them a bigger space, though I did hear a number of people grumbling about how far away it was. It was a brief walk, but not any farther away than going from one end of the the convention center to the other.
All in all the convention was enjoyable, but the line problems left a bad taste in my mouth.