Greetings from Neko’s Shiritori! Amoirsp here looking forward to Japan Expo 2014. I will be going to Japan Expo with Keoicorp, our photographer. Given how Japan Expo 2013 had gone, we saw a convention that had a reasonable first year and good potential of growth going forward. Japan Expo had been in France for the past 15 years, and that experience carried over into the newer US version.
While there’s loads of news floating around, convention information can be quite overwhelming, so we’re going to use a more simplified approach. Japan Expo will be at San Mateo Event Center starting August 22nd. The location should be more favorable for people to come to.
The first major thing to note is food stands. Last year’s venue, the Hyatt hotel, disallowed food concession stands, primarily due to lacking space to house food trucks. This was a large disadvantage for the con itself since it drove people to drive away to nearby food places. It also wasn’t too bad because decent food places were within a 20 minute drive, with parking not a huge scarcity at places to eat and returning to the convention. The San Mateo venue will also be larger, having more space available to fit food stands.
Earlier this year we knew about guests such as Daigo Ikeno going to France’s Japan Expo and we were ecstatic to learn he is coming to Japan Expo USA. We find it really nice that Japan Expo USA can get some key names that attended France’s Japan Expo, especially under a short period of less than 2 months. We are very happy to see quality guests coming this year, as last year had a good pool as well.
We’ve also had other recent news. Sekai Project has announced that their members will be present, and that VisualArts/KEY would be attending. Considering how hard it has been to have KEY display any noticeable Western interest, going as far as coming themselves, this is quite exciting. Then again with technology amplifying attendance and making Japanese content more accessible compared to previous years, now would seem like a good time to consider testing the waters.
Personally, we hope to see a good number of attendees, at least a 50% growth or more than last year where the attendance numbers feel more accurate to the scale of Japan Expo’s size. The San Mateo location may make it easier for attendees to come, and known downsides from last year should definitely have been made known to management, so we’ll let them do their thing.
Like any convention, the amount of fun goes with what you put into it. If there’s active hangouts, group gatherings, interaction, and the like, the convention will be fun by default. Last year had a lack of attendees, so crowding shouldn’t be an issue. If Japan Expo ends up crowded, then that’s a good problem to have. All that’s left is to actually go and have a good time! See you there!