Anime first started out as a pop-culture fixture from Japan, and only a few people truly followed the artform. However, in the past few decades it has rapidly gained a following. Now millions of people love anime and every aspect of it. So if you want to celebrate your love for anime, you should think of running an anime convention in your city. Before you do though, you should have a set strategy. Here are 7 tips for running an anime convention.
1. Get other Fans Involved
If you want your anime convention to do well, it is a good idea to get other fans involved. Remember that running an anime convention could be difficult and time consuming, so having fellow anime lovers to help is key. If you are going to run an anime convention it is important that you get as many anime fans involved. The more people you have involved, the more financial support your event will have.
2. Pool your Resources Together
Financing the event is one of the main reasons why you should have other fans help, It would not be fair to pay for the entire convention all by yourself. It could be a bit difficult to have everyone contribute equally, so it’s a good idea to make a budget first, then present it to the rest of the group. The budget should be as transparent as possible. All of the expenses should be listed down, and all the interested parties should pledge their support as early as possible. This will ensure that the funds are already at hand, and could be used as soon as possible.
3. Set up Various Booths
When it comes to running an anime convention, it is important that you set up various booths. Having a lot of boots present will give the event variety, and it will also give the other participants a chance to sell a lot of anime related products. Some of the participants could also set up a snack booth such as a ramen kiosk or a curry stand.
Finding booths to accommodate everyone might be a bit difficult however, so it is important that you buy or rent booths in bulk. Luckily companies such as Aplus offer a wide variety of booths. They are a Las Vegas trade show booth builder, so you will be assured that the company is legit.
4. Invite Seiyuus and Mangakas
If you want to get a lot of people to attend your event, it is a good idea to invite seiyuus and mangakas. They are by far the closest things to celebrities in the anime world. Seiyuus are talented and highly trained voice actors, while mangakas are the creators of the manga that animes are based on. They could be a bit difficult to book for a convention, however, if you could manage to get them to come to your anime convention, it will definitely elevate the entire event
When you contact them it is important that you know how to speak Japanese. A majority of seiyuu and mangaka are Japanese, and not all of them know how to speak English. If a seiyuu or magaka does agree to go to the convention you should budget their travel, accomodations, and their appearance fee as well. To be honest, when it comes to running an anime convention, guest celebrities often cost the most.
5. Get Various Brands Involved
While it is a great idea to split all the expenses between the organizers, there might be a chance that you might go above budget. It is a good idea to approach various brands and local businesses. By doing so, you will be able to spread out the expenses even further. At first, it might be a bit difficult to approach brands for funding. It is your responsibility to convince them that your event is worth investing on. One of the key selling points that you could pitch to potential investors, is that there are potentially a lot of people who will go to the event. If the convention counts these brands as sponsors, they will not only get a great deal of marketing done during the event, they will also gain the goodwill of the fans.
6. Host an Open Panel for Fans
There is nothing an anime fan loves more than an open panel. By hosting an open panel, you are effectively killing two birds with one stone. Firstly, you are making use of the mangakas and seiyuus, because of all the expenses, having them in the convention is by far the most expensive. Secondly, you are adding another element to your event that will make it so much more enjoyable.
One of the best things about hosting an open panel is that it allows fans to speak with people they idolize. They will also get to ask specific questions about their favorite anime characters and various other queries.
7. Hold a Cosplay Contest
If you want to create a great sub-event for your anime convention, it is a good idea to hold a cosplay event. Cosplay is a favorite hobby of anime fans, and it will certainly make your anime convention a lot more fun. Cosplay first started during the early 2000s, and for the past few decades it has been elevated into an art form.
When you host a cosplay contest, you should make sure that you have competent judges, so it is best if you approach veteran cosplayers to act as judges. There should also be various categories such as best in posing, detail, and ultimately the best in overall cosplay. To further motivate cosplayers to try their best it is a good idea to offer valuable prizes.
If you want to celebrate your love for anime and manga, you should run an anime convention in your city. However, you should remember that planning an anime convention is very meticulous work, so you will need to be as systematic as possible. With these tips, you’ll be able to run a great anime convention.