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Unread 02-20-2017, 09:43 AM   #1
ChibiDannimon
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Conventions that you will never recommend to anyone?

There are plenty of amazing conventions out there, but at the same time, there are conventions that are just "meh" or even awful/poorly run.

What are the conventions that you attend that you wont recommend to other people and what are the reasons why? What alternatives do you list.


Here are mine..

Conventions I dont recommend:
Anime Central, Chicago IL USA. Mostly because its poorly run, and I feel like its more for party goers not to mention that compared to the other conventions held in Rosemont the hotels charge triple their usual rates because the rooms are destroyed by irresponsible con goers.

Alternatives:
C2E2 and Anime Midwest. C2E2 is the only convention in the City of Chicago. If you want a legitimate convention where you can attend panels, meet guests, shop and cosplay this is the place to be. Anime Midwest is a medium-sized con compared to Anime Central and its much better organized. Although it usually takes place around the same time as Anime Expo, for the price it has the best value.
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Unread 02-20-2017, 08:10 PM   #2
fabrickind
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I honestly can't think of any conventions I would never recommend. They all seem to have their pros and cons. There are cons I'd be more likely to recommend in certain circumstances and less likely in others, but I don't think I've ever been to a con where I was like "wow, I hope no one ever goes to that con again because it was so terrible."

Cons I've been to that are still around:

Fanimecon:
This is an interesting one, since it's very...Fanimecon. I wouldn't say I'd never recommend it, though. Tends to be poorly organized and run. They don't seem to know how to run a con the size that they have, and transparency and communication are major issues. they really need to bring in a company or someone who knows how to run larger cons and quit trying to run it how they've been trying to run it for the past nearly 15 years that I've been attending. Guests are also lacking. Has become a major party con in the past few years, which can be either a pro or a con, depending on your perspective.
However, if you want a larger con with a smaller con feel, and you want something that's a good hangout con and a place to show off and take pictures of your biggest, fanciest costumes? Fanimecon. This is what keeps me attending. It has a great cosplay scene, lots of late night activities, great photo locations, well-run gatherings, and other things that make it conducive to being a hangout and cosplay con, but not really a con events con.

Anime Expo:
I've only been twice, once in 2003 and once in 2016. Obviously, it changed a lot in 13 years! Very large anime con. Can get expensive. Be prepared for crowds and heat. If you want to do any sort of con activities, be prepared to wait in line for many hours. If you aren't doing con activities (like panels or seeing guests), there isn't much going on, since it's mostly an industry focus.
That said, it's great to experience it. Love the cosplay photo sets. People bring their A game cosplays. The exhibitor hall can take you a couple of con days to get through and see every booth. Lots of industry announcements. If you want a large con with fantastic guests and an industry presence, this is the con to go to.

SacAnime:
Oh, SacAnime, how I love to hate you. Younger demographic that can be a bit rowdy. Organization sometimes lacking. Not really an anime con anymore.
Good if you are local or localish. Great if you care about American voice actors, since they bring out a lot of these, and getting autographs isn't too much of a pain. I mostly attend because it's fairly local and a good getaway for a weekend to see some friends.

Krakencon:
Tiny-ass con. Not worth travelling far for. Good for guests. I've usually spent this con giving so many panels that I don't even know what the con itself is like haha

Animation on Display:
Surprisingly, a somewhat older crowd for such a small con. Has good guests sometimes. Often moves locations, and went way downhill the year after it left Japantown, but was good last year. Good panel content and generally well-run Masquerade. Would recommend to locals.

Really, probably the worst con on this list is SacAnime, and that even has its strengths, depending on what you are there for. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who lives more than a few hours away, but under certain circumstances, it's not bad. Fanimecon has a whole host of issues, but I'd still recommend it if people are looking for a con with its strengths. I keep going back and forth on whether I'd do AX again (I kind of want to, but I'd do it differently from last time), but even then, it's a great con for particular needs.

Maybe I'm just lucky that cons around me tend to be generally decent, or maybe I'm just better at seeing the good in them. *shrugs*
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Unread 02-21-2017, 03:29 PM   #3
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While I wouldn't advise against going to PAX West, it's an amazing con for gamers of all sorts, I would advise against going to it if your main focus is to cosplay. People do cosplay there but that's not the focus like most of the other local Seattle-area cons, so it's more a peripheral thing. There's no official contests and very little support for cosplayers, there's not even an official cosplay repair station (any stations in the past were provided by guest booths). If all you're wanting to do is show off your newest cosplay, get into photoshoots, and win awards, you're much better off saving your money (and hassle, it's very hard to get tickets and the crowds are huge) by going to Sakuracon or another local con.

That being said PAX West is also where I tend to find some of the most elaborate cosplays of the year, so I do think some people go with the intent of just being seen by specific booths (such as Blizzard) but since they don't announce the schedule and attendees until way after tickets have sold out you can't really guarantee the developer you want will even be there to see your stuff.
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Unread 02-21-2017, 03:48 PM   #4
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That I've personally attended and are still running, I've got nothing quite that bad (I won't attend MTCC again, but it's not a straight-up horrible con, just a bad idea to go as a vendor/artist as tables are way too expensive for an extremely lackluster shopping crowd, and there is NO DAMN SPACE behind artist tables which makes fitting everything you need in an enormous pain).
However, I do remember following the fallout and shitstorm that concluded with Dashcon, and more locally, Super fan comicon, several years back. I don't think anything with Dashcon needs repeating, but the Super fan one? For Torontonian congoers it's still being laughed/cringed about from its single run in 2014. A decent summary on this page here- http://www.comicsbeat.com/when-a-con-is-crap/
(if clickbait wasn't enough.... massively overinflated claims of attendance numbers, trying to triple charge artist alley table prices on the weekend of to "waitlisted" artists while local vendors were refusing to sell there, terrible location, almost no guests, deleted all the massive complaints made after, ran the weekend before the biggest anime con in Ontario which meant like heck anybody would have wanted to come, etc. Basically a scam con from the start. In fact, neither the facebook page OR convention website are around anymore. :P)
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Originally Posted by Moofingham View Post
There's a vibe here that says "We're in this together!Through thick and thin fabric! Through cold water washes and burning hot irons! Though we might super glue ourselves to our projects, cut holes/gashes/oh-god-mom's-gonna-kill-me into the dining room table, we will stand strong together. Unless there is a 75% off sale at the Fabric store. Then you're on your own. And get the hell out of my way."<3

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Unread 02-21-2017, 05:07 PM   #5
Jerseymilk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinobiXikyu View Post
However, I do remember following the fallout and shitstorm that concluded with Dashcon, and more locally, Super fan comicon, several years back. I don't think anything with Dashcon needs repeating, but the Super fan one? For Torontonian congoers it's still being laughed/cringed about from its single run in 2014. A decent summary on this page here- http://www.comicsbeat.com/when-a-con-is-crap/
(if clickbait wasn't enough.... massively overinflated claims of attendance numbers, trying to triple charge artist alley table prices on the weekend of to "waitlisted" artists while local vendors were refusing to sell there, terrible location, almost no guests, deleted all the massive complaints made after, ran the weekend before the biggest anime con in Ontario which meant like heck anybody would have wanted to come, etc. Basically a scam con from the start. In fact, neither the facebook page OR convention website are around anymore. :P)
Reading this reminded me of another disastrous Toronto con that took place in the mid-2000s. Con no Baka. Anyone remember that drama? Never attended myself but I do recall the horror stories from dealers and attendees. The con failed so hard that they ended up shutting it down halfway through the weekend.
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Unread 02-21-2017, 05:28 PM   #6
ShinobiXikyu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseymilk View Post
Reading this reminded me of another disastrous Toronto con that took place in the mid-2000s. Con no Baka. Anyone remember that drama? Never attended myself but I do recall the horror stories from dealers and attendees. The con failed so hard that they ended up shutting it down halfway through the weekend.
Fraid not, my first convention was in 2007, so that was almost certainly before I'd have been around in the con scene enough to have heard of it (got any saved web pages or such? Now I'm curious...)
EDIT- Google-fu and using the archived coscom threads enlightened me enough about that one. ....wow. Just, WOW.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moofingham View Post
There's a vibe here that says "We're in this together!Through thick and thin fabric! Through cold water washes and burning hot irons! Though we might super glue ourselves to our projects, cut holes/gashes/oh-god-mom's-gonna-kill-me into the dining room table, we will stand strong together. Unless there is a 75% off sale at the Fabric store. Then you're on your own. And get the hell out of my way."<3

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Unread 02-22-2017, 01:12 AM   #7
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I try not to discourage anyone from any cons, even if I do not enjoy myself. The only times I do are the specific first time that a con is at a venue (even Otakon going to D.C.). I've been to several, both new cons and established and never had an amazing time at new locations. (Although the "new" AnimeUSA location has a delish Asian restaurant with ramen that looks straight out of a manga) Once the con staff get used to the location, it's good again.
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Unread 02-22-2017, 01:57 AM   #8
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I don't recommend Kawa Kon or Natsucon. They might be better now, but Kawa has a track record of disappointment and one year Natsucon was so poorly mismanaged and boring that they got a ton of backlash and skipped a year.
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Unread 02-22-2017, 04:23 PM   #9
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Just my personal opinion, AX and SDCC are completely overrated. I had been a regular attendee of AX since 2006, but I stopped going 3 years ago. If I ever do decide to return, I won't bother throwing money away on an expensive badge since (over the past several years anyway) there haven't been any events or guests I'm interested in seeing. I mainly attended AX for cosplaying purposes, and you certainly don't need a badge for that! It just seems like as the crowds, lines and badge prices increased, the quality of AX decreased.

I attended SDCC once back in 2009, and that was enough for me. Again, huge crowds and not enough things that interested me. Considering all the hype that surrounds SDCC, I just wasn't impressed.

There is one convention I really enjoyed and look forward to attending again: Monsterpalooza (and Son of Monsterpalooza)!
Both were held in Burbank for quite a few years, but it looks like Monsterpalooza has moved to a larger venue in Pasadena (Son of Monsterpalooza is still in Burbank though). http://monsterpalooza.com/spring/

I wish I had time to attend more cons, but real life keeps getting in the way.
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Unread 02-22-2017, 04:51 PM   #10
MoonWingSamurai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseymilk View Post
Reading this reminded me of another disastrous Toronto con that took place in the mid-2000s. Con no Baka. Anyone remember that drama? Never attended myself but I do recall the horror stories from dealers and attendees. The con failed so hard that they ended up shutting it down halfway through the weekend.
Whoa, you don't hear of that kind of thing happening too often. Found this on AnimeCons.com (http://animecons.com/news/article.shtml/212):

December 6, 2005

Con No Baka issues apologies

by PatrickD

Con No Baka, an anime convention in Toronto, Ontario, began on November 25th. On the evening of Saturday, November 26th, the hotel shut down the convention and cancelled Sunday programming when it became clear that the convention would be unable to cover its expenses. The convention chair, Aaron Yorgason, has issued apologies to the attendees and to dealers and artists on its web site.

In his apology to attendees, Yorgason attributes the "negative results" to "poor luck, poor offers and poor choices". The failure of equipment and vehicles is mentioned as "poor luck" while last-minute cancellations of staff and no-shows are attributed as "poor offers". As for "poor choices", Yorgason admits that his plans were too "grandiose". He says, "With lack of hotel nights bought and overall attendance, the hotel management made the decision to deny the convention use of function space on Sunday." The full text of the apology to attendees can be read at http://connobaka.com/apology.htm.

In his apology to dealers and artists, Yorgason mentions that many of them were upset and have requested refunds. The convention will be refunding 25% of artists' fees beyond the price of a convention membership. For dealers, some may qualify for 25% refunds, but it seems to be dependant upon some dealers that "refused to accept gift certificates" and some dealers that apparently never paid in the first place. The full text of the apology to dealers and artists can be read at http://www.connobaka.com/dealersartists.htm.

Although it is not specifically stated, it seems unlikely that Con No Baka will return for a second year. The convention has received overwhelmingly poor reviews on various online forums and even prompted Hobby Star Marketing to make an unprecedented move to accept Con No Baka passes at this past Sunday's Toronto AnimeCon. (full story)
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Unread 02-23-2017, 04:35 PM   #11
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I would never not recommend a convention to someone. Everyone has varying experiences since no one person has the same exact interests, so one person's crap con can be another person's amazing con. The only thing I would recommend is to let the person experience the show for themselves to make up their own informed opinion.

I will say that the large-scale cons (SDCC, NYCC, ECCC) can be a bit overwhelming due to the masses of humanity and endless lines for everything, including the restroom.
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Unread 02-23-2017, 04:43 PM   #12
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I will say that the large-scale cons (SDCC, NYCC, ECCC) can be a bit overwhelming due to the masses of humanity and endless lines for everything, including the restroom.
And I was gonna say if you JUST roll anime then NYCC is not for you. I mean its cool if you just wanna go for kicks and giggles or whatever but if you're ONLY an anime fan then its not for you nor is it worth wasting the money in that case.
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Unread 02-24-2017, 01:57 PM   #13
Jerseymilk
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Fraid not, my first convention was in 2007, so that was almost certainly before I'd have been around in the con scene enough to have heard of it (got any saved web pages or such? Now I'm curious...)
EDIT- Google-fu and using the archived coscom threads enlightened me enough about that one. ....wow. Just, WOW.
Ya it kinda went down in infamy at the time. Though I do remember ads for it and everything it was promising and being quite skeptical on how well it was going to deliver on it all for a first-year con. :/ Not that I want any con to fail but it was way too ambitious in its goals.

Can`t really think of any cons I would tell people not to go to that I have had personal experience with these days. I think I`m more likely to recommend a particular one over another based on what someone`s into. Like for big huge guests and events, the comiccons and expos are better. For more of a laidback feel where fans just want to have a good time with friends, a smaller anime con. For something in between, a bigger anime con like Otakuthon in Montreal. The only one I would have advised to stay away from stopped running a couple of years ago and thank goodness for that. IMO it stuck around longer than it needed to and had become something that wasn`t good for the fan community. Won`t name it or get into the details since that ship sailed a while ago. Plus I`ve argued, attempted constructive feedback and said all I needed to on various sites about the matter at the time. -.- (If anyone is still really that curious and wants to know that badly, you can certainly find it my post history for this site. XD )

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Unread 02-24-2017, 05:51 PM   #14
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I don't have a con that I don't recommend, but out of all the ones I've been to, my least favorite so far would have to be Wasabicon and even then I still had fun (even though the cosplay contest was poorly organized and the halls were SUPER crowded and there were panels that had nothing to do with anime/cosplay/etc. whatsoever). Now, the con has a different benefactor since the last time I went, so I'm sure it's gotten better but it's not a con I usually go out of my way to recommend to people.
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Unread 02-25-2017, 04:24 AM   #15
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AFA Singapore - Nothing to do, cramped space, full of racist asians who will stare at male crossplay or any person of color(particularly African-Americans) like they just saw a ghost and talk in heavily accented Singlish(sssohhry? is their most common phrase)

And this is the biggest and best con in Asia...
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