There are so many big name conventions out there in 2017, but which is the best one that caters to every type of geek there is? Conventions like San Diego Comic Con have outgrown their locations and have become very expensive. It’s time to avoid extremely crowded and overpriced conventions and find the one that is perfect for everyone.
One big name that comes to mind is Anime Expo, located in Los Angeles, CA. The expo has been around for 24 years, and even though the con has an emphasis on anime, it plays host to a variety of geek-culture passions like video games, comics, cosplay, and tabletop gaming. The expo had a reported 100,000 people in attendance in 2016, which is all the more impressive when you realize that San Diego Comic Con just had over 160,000 attendees. BigFish Games even listed Anime Expo as one of its 17 ‘Conventions You Must Attend Before You Die.’
A staple of geek culture is tabletop and video gaming, and Anime Expo has exhibit halls and spaces dedicated to each. Every year the expo hosts a number of trading card game tournaments, including Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and Yu-Gi-Oh. Their video game tournaments range from some of the best selling N64 games of all-time such as Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart, to more modern classics like Dance Dance Revolution. If the gameplay isn’t your thing, then you can run down to the Dealer’s Hall, which features over 400 vendors.
Anime Expo has a wide variety of panels of every kind, with over 250 being hosted throughout the weekend, including traditional animation, video game news and previews, and even adult content for the more risqué attendee. You’ll also find booths dedicated to comics, music, animated movie cells, cosplay props, costumes, and various miniatures. You can find their complete list of vendors on their website to see if they have what you’re looking for.
With its variety and expansive space, Anime Expo is priced fairly for its eventful four days. The con isn’t too big to be uncomfortable like other cons and it’s also not too small to the point where it lacks variety. The convention also doubles as a tourist attraction as it has many historic locations and restaurants available in the surrounding areas. People from around the country, and even from around the globe, have flown in to attend the expo. Kotaku even has its own tag and news feed dedicated to the con.
For those wanting to get a true con experience but avoid the cumbersome crowds and the various other issues that always seem to plague other conventions, Anime Expo might just be the perfect con for you.
What about you reader? What conventions do you think are the best? Do have a favorite convention memory? Let us know in the comments below!