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Unread 04-02-2014, 10:41 AM   #8
gules
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 145
Went last year. I used to go to Otakon until life got too busy, and sometimes AWA until I got yelled at and accidentally groped by their ID checker for entering a room when he was inside the room instead of outside at his post (even though I stood outside for a few minutes wondering if someone was going to check my ID). When I formally complained, AWA head of security was more interested in covering his ass than offering an apology or looking into better employee training. Never going back there again.

Compared to Otakon, it's a high ticket price for so much less things to see and do. Compared to AWA, it's tighter run and more friendly, with about as many things to do and less people to compete with to get into panels or workshops.

Animazement is pretty small to what I'm used to, but as far as a local event goes, it's pretty good. The convention space is a little ambitious but leaves them room to grow I guess. The staff I saw last year was friendly though firm, and many of the con-goers inside the actual building were super-nice. Outside, of course, the general populace is allowed to wander around, so you'll get the same mix of people in any decently urban city to who want to gawk at any kind of subcultural gathering.

Animazement focuses on a lot more family-friendly stuff than I'm used to (their idea of needing an ID bracelet doesn't include anything harder than some panty shots from what I can tell). The artist alley is a bit hit or miss for me, and the con closes early compared to the larger ones I'm used to. BUT if you're local and don't have the budget to go to something significantly bigger, it's definitely well worth the effort to meet all kinds of fun people and run around in your cosplay. I got some neat ideas and tips from other cosplayers and felt much less shy about asking questions just because the atmosphere was intimate enough to see the person a couple times, but not so close that you felt like you'd ALWAYS see them.

Definitely bring some cash money. As at any con, most of the artist alley will want things paid in cash. Also, some of their workshops are fun but have a materials fee, and you can only pay in cash when you sign up.

Someone mentioned that they are zealous about the badges and weapons policy-- this is true, but it's all for your safety, and the staff I met were all very polite and helpful about things. Just make sure to read their weapon rules and get your weapon checked in first thing, and keep your badge handy to show when moving from room to room. I pinned mine on my backpack and simply pointed at it or held it up when entering a new room, and everything was fine.
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