Anime Fusion 2017
Merchandise. Anime fusion had a fair amount of merchandise and all of the sellers were diverse. I do wish the merch room had been a bit larger, and that the distinction between merchandise and Artist Alley had been more clear. Overall it met expectations since Anime Fusion is a small-mid sized con.
Artist Alley. Artist Alley had a fair amount of decent artists, though I do feel like there's a trend in Minnesota's artist alley being a little lackluster. I know plenty of amazing artists around the Cities, and yet none choose to participate in Artist Alley. The talent is there, but I guess there just needs to be more motivation for artists to sell their work. I'm not sure if this is a midwestern cultural difference, a talent pool thing, or simply lack of marketing to bring artists in.
Organization. Crowd control and badge monitoring were pretty solid throughout the con. The main issue I found was with the location of registration. It was unclear which line was which, and who was in line vs who was standing in the corridor. Staff should definitely consider changing registration location.
Rave. The dance could have been lit, but unfortunately it was...too lit. That's right, if the lights went off, they came back on shortly. The fun things about dances is the anonymity. When you can see yourself and your friends moving too much, it just becomes awkward. The DJ however was very good -- beyond expectation! I just wish more con-goers actually went to the dance. The room had too few people to really have a rave effect.
Masquerade Costume Competition. The masquerade was fun! Surprisingly short. Again, the main issue with the event was the lack of attendees. Though the audience filled the room, there weren't many competitors. That being said, the competitors really brought their best, and I saw some amazing cosplay and performances. Good job, team!
Panels. DANG there were some awesome panels this year. Shout out the the YOI team that ran a few of them because you all were spectacular! Not to mention the amazing panels run by guests John Gremillion, Josh Grelle, Carrie Savage, and Samurai Dan-- amazing people and amazing panelists. It was a privilege to even get stuck in an elevator with the amazing Josh Grelle.
Venue. The Park Place Doubletree Marriott in Minneapolis is an adequate space for the con being the size it is. I think the layout could be better, in addition to the signage, but overall it was fine. I do feel like the venue is great for the Room party aspect of this convention.
Attendee Climate. The general age range of the con was relatively young (12-25). There were few "grown-ups" running around with the exception of a few good parents with their dorky middle schoolers. (You guys rock!)