Cutiebunny's Coven
Cutiebunny's Carrots

The 'No' Convention
last modified: Monday, July 05, 2010 (5:51:32 PM)
If there ever was a convention where people can practice saying the word 'no', it would have been Anime Expo 2010.

No talking to the guests. No touching the guests. No questions. No making lines. No standing here. No standing there. No burping. No hugging. No photos. No sketches. No comparing conventions. No complaining. No vuvuzelas.

And, most importantly, no Pokéwalkers. Seriously. I had an AX handler tell me not to use my Pokéwalker. God forbid people enjoy themselves as they send each other virtual gifts while standing in line.

Usually, I don't make convention posts. I don't think that most people care about my experiences, and I'm sure even more of them don't want to read my obnoxious fangirl comments. I leave those for my long-winded essays on each item I own.

But AX 2010 absolutely sucked. And it sucked because the staff who knew what they were doing had either left or been fired. Which meant that you had a bunch of failures running around, threatening to take people's badges away for doing something so mundane as asking a question.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the hall, a group of 100 fans have just bum-rushed to the front of the line, pushing and shoving to be the first....

Apparently, in the AX world, every fan either wants to assult and/or lick the guests. Every one. I was waiting in one line when one of the AX handlers told me, in an authoritarian voice, that "you can't go forward, ma'am". That would have been fine if I had made the attempt to do so, but I was just standing there, waiting in line.

And this was what it was like during the entire convention.

For me, and, perhaps many others, AX has become less of a convention and more like Walmart. Gone are the days when you could actually *talk* to a guest. Instead, the guests have to cram as many signatures as humanly possible into a 60 minute window. And forget about asking them that burning question you had about the last episode - in some panels, it's only an AX employee that will be doing the talking.

Honestly, I'm saddened by my experience at AX this year. If AX management were smart, they'd listen to the complaints that attendees & sellers had(especially with the increase in moving fees). I'd hope that AX management will take these complaints into consideration, however, the management feels that its size makes it immune to these 'petty' issues.

So, for those of you who attended, let me know your opinion of this debacle. Maybe we can cheer each other over a $4 cup of AX Boba Milk Tea.
re: The ''No'' ConventionMonday, July 05, 2010 - 8:16:13 PM

ugh im sorry you had a bad time

re: The ''No'' ConventionTuesday, July 06, 2010 - 12:05:14 PM

I''m sorry to hear that you didn''t have a good time . I felt the same way about the anime-next convention here in Nj. The only reason I even showed up was being Sensei was doing two panals and I had such a nice time last year doing it. I figured I would go if nothing more then to do the panal again . Bill sensei is a real nice guy and he is very informatize on many different cel realated projects, getting tape off a dounga was one of the ones he talked about at the second panal. I had a great time doing it with him .

re: The ''No'' ConventionTuesday, July 06, 2010 - 2:37:24 PM

I was there for Fri-Sun. i did notice the boba, but i knew it was going to be hella expensive. Food is always pricey at the cons, only way to get around it is bring your own munchies or do some footwork outside the facilities. i think a soft serve cone was also $4. I did cave in and get a $4 hot dog across the street, but granted it was wrapped in bacon and covered with sauteed onions. The convention was okay, i didn''t leave empty handed, i practically did one year. I''ve been to better AXs though. Unfortunately for me, i missed a lot of ''fun'' stuff on thurs. They were saying "no personal contact" at the open autograph session, but i think that was more a cultural restriction, b/c Japanese people aren''t so touchy-feely. I heard only 4 sellers signed on for AX2011. I thought the autograph lines were very controlled and monitored, which i kinda like. i was at the bandai booth for amer VA''s autograph session and even though the line was monitored, one guy cut right behind the staffer''s back. Don''t know if i''ll go next year, as many of my favorite sellers say they won''t come back because of the crap AX did this year and plans to do next year.

re: The ''No'' ConventionWednesday, July 07, 2010 - 1:34:21 PM

For all the reasons your shared we are essentially done with AX. Things have dramatically changed since the early days in the 92 when you could talk, greet, shake hands & photograph with the guest, and even get an obtain a sketch & autograph. It is too bad AX has become too popular it just is not worth it to us and frankly we''d pay extra to go to a further location to find a specific guest and see them there. AX it just too big and to us it has lot its charm. It is now a cut throat experience and that is something we rather not pay for. Thank you.

re: The ''No'' ConventionThursday, July 08, 2010 - 8:23:43 AM

Heh. I had the opposite reaction from Starfighter: AnimeNext was small and sensibly organized, with the only problem being the officious guard who wouldn''t let panelists go into the expo room until 9 AM. (None of the panels were in the expo room!) There were fewer and less high-profile guests, but they did much more in the way of Q&A and autographing, and I saw many few No-drama police around. But I''ve heard similar complaints about Otakon, which I don''t plan to attend this year. I''d guess that, as the anime fan culture matures, that it will move toward decentralizing the con scene, so that AX and Otakon are supported by a larger number of smaller, more efficiently run events like Katsucon and AnimeNext.

Curt does need to come to AnimeNext, though. Starfighter and I were standing in the dealer''s room with C-notes hanging out of our pockets, but there was not a single cel or sketch to be had there for even compromising photos of Anime-Beta mods.

re: The ''No'' ConventionSaturday, July 10, 2010 - 9:55:56 PM

I remember meeting CLAMP in 2006. There was a line on the floor in electrical tape. We were not allowed to cross the line. You had to bend over as far as you could to hand your pre-printed shikishi to them. We were also discouraged from talking to them, unless THEY initiated conversation (which I was lucky enough that they did, due to my cosplay).

I''m sorry to hear this year was so craptacular. I''ve been considering attending AX again, but maybe I should be looking for an alternative...