I recently returned from AnimeFargo, an anime convention in Fargo, North Dakota. It was my second year there and their second running the convention. This year, I presented two panels along with setting up a table in Artist Alley, a similar set up to last year.
First off, AnimeFargo is a fun con to attend. The staff is very helpful, friendly and also very open to feedback. They tried some new things this year, including a new layout for the artist alley and vendor room which allowed them to have a few more tables. Some of my friends decided to go to the con too since I had a good time last year. The attendees are always super polite and fun to talk to. Pretty standard stuff in the midwest, but still nice to be immersed in such a fun group of people brought together by our fandoms.
The venue the con is easily accessible, being right off the interstate. There are also plenty of food options within walking distance and also a good restaurant/bar right in the hotel. The hotel has a good layout that allows for the vendors and artists to be in the same room, the cosplay competition has a large room with a stage and the party rooms are in the middle of the convention.
My panels went well, I had about 20 people show up for my History of CGI which is solid for a con that size. The Artist Open Forum is always a blast, talking with other artists and discussing the problems we might be going through on our individual projects. I have been fortunate enough in my career to have some really great teachers, so I try to give back to others as much as I can.
Spike Spencer was one of the guests at AnimeFargo, so I was able to get some of my Evangelion goodies signed, with his own artistic flare too ;) I was able to attend one of his panels on Friday night and hear some of his crazy adventures. Those panels are always fun to attend. I even got some of my Evangelion gear signed!
The Artist Alley closed in time to check out the cosplay competition, so I got to watch my friends compete. They were part of a RWBY team that won the judges award in the mid tier class. I was super excited for them because I know how much work they have put into their skit and costumes.
The other artists in Artist Alley were all very talented. I wish I would have took time on Friday night to look at everyones artwork and talk to them instead of waiting until Sunday afternoon. Looking forward to seeing them more at future AnimeFargos and also at other midwest cons.
Overall, AnimeFargo was a fantastic con. Everyone is so inviting, from the staff, to the party rooms, to the other attendees. I look forward to being back next year for the Kawaii Invasion.