First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

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JosephW
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First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by JosephW » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:14 pm

I've been to other cons before (RI Comic Con, CT Comic Con, Bronycon) but never been to an "anime" con before. Also never been to Anime Boston before. So I'm not exactly new to conventions, just never been to a general "anime" con.

I'll be driving in from RI, already got the garage reserved (3 blocks away) through that SpotHero thing, so travel is sorted out. Will probably pack a lunch to avoid paying exorbitant convention hall prices for food, at least for one meal.

Any other tips or important things I should know about this con in specific?

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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by H. Guderian » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:10 pm

Well the Hynes CC and Sheraton where the event is hosted is attached to an entire mall that you can reach via indoors, with many food establishments that have little to no idea we're there. Boston's a walkable city, and food options explode when you consider the nearby establishments. The food court inside the mall was vanquished by a very upscale place.

The mall sticks in between the Sheraton and Hynes, and the line to get in the Hynes at any time Could back up. So try to judge the incoming line before leaving. This'll be most apparent early in the morning and before big events. The Dealer's room can be a hassle to get into. For some reason there's a huge line to get in really early.

As for what sets a big Anime con apart, perhaps the guests and panels? I feel if I try to play expectations up I'll just be dumping down a list of what I like and do. For myself, I like to hit up panels and find people who like to Talk anime. The dealer's room is a standard at cons, but I have certain rituals to go through when I shop. There's so much to do at a con. I've been to some smaller ones and have a lot of spare time. Even in downtime there's a video room to chill in. There's the whole city of Boston that is not that hard to walk to.

I think Anime Boston itself is a bit different than other large Anime cons. Even if you go to the giant ones AB is massively, but still a bit homely. Big, but fan run.

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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by JosephW » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:08 pm

Yeh, most of the cons that I go to are pretty crowded. Rhode Island's convention center is goddamn tiny, and they cram 5k+ people in there, so almost every single area of the entire con is a crowd.

Bronycon is at the Baltimore Convention Center, but there's only a 2-3k in there at any given time, so it's nowhere near crowded. The marketplace, yeah, but everywhere else it's pretty open.

But yeah, in general for cons, I just look at the schedule and plan out which things I want to go to, and in between, I just kinda wander around and do whatever. Half the fun of cons for me is cosplaying and getting my picture taken, so even in between events, I'm still having fun.

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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by Rosedust » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:32 am

Due to the security increase, do not arrive to the convention 20 minutes before you want to see something and expect to get to see it on time (or at all). You will more than likely spend at least a few minutes going through security and getting your bag checked.

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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by Master of NERV » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:53 am

JosephW wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:08 pm
Yeh, most of the cons that I go to are pretty crowded. Rhode Island's convention center is goddamn tiny, and they cram 5k+ people in there, so almost every single area of the entire con is a crowd.

Bronycon is at the Baltimore Convention Center, but there's only a 2-3k in there at any given time, so it's nowhere near crowded. The marketplace, yeah, but everywhere else it's pretty open.

But yeah, in general for cons, I just look at the schedule and plan out which things I want to go to, and in between, I just kinda wander around and do whatever. Half the fun of cons for me is cosplaying and getting my picture taken, so even in between events, I'm still having fun.
Some heads up: The Hynes is HUGE compared to what you're used to; 3 stories tall with halls that can hold many hundreds, and Anime Boston makes use of the entire building.

Some stats from 2017:

Total pre-registered: 18,157
Total attendance: 25,848 people total (74,578 turnstile)
Guests: 15 North American, 8 Japanese
Exhibitors:109 vendors, 711 dealer badges
Panel programming: 504 hours
Video programming: 150 hours
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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by Aurabolt » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:28 am

AB uses the whole building and almost every simgle one. The last few years, the Hynes got close to hitting 30,000. A staff member who's been around for a while can speak to this but the building's capacity and the allowed capacity are two different numbers. We got close to hitting 30,000 in the last few years and this could be the year we do it between the announced guests, the theme and AB's popularity in recent years.

While yes the Boston Convention Center is much bigger, it will not work for what AB does. The con has been experimenting with using multiple venues in recent years as well to help address the capacity concerns. I'll leave a staff member to explain the specifics.
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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by abicky » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:39 pm

My tip for a first-time AB attendee (or any attendees, really!) would be to make use of the multiple entrances. The "big" entrance is the door coming in from the Pru, and it is always the never-ending line. There are a few other entrances, and even with security checks, they're way less crowded, so you get into the con faster! My friends and I discovered the magic of five-minute entry during the morning rush a few years ago and never looked back.
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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by Fetch » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:28 pm

ickycosplay wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:39 pm
My tip for a first-time AB attendee (or any attendees, really!) would be to make use of the multiple entrances. The "big" entrance is the door coming in from the Pru, and it is always the never-ending line. There are a few other entrances, and even with security checks, they're way less crowded, so you get into the con faster! My friends and I discovered the magic of five-minute entry during the morning rush a few years ago and never looked back.
Boylston St entrance is my preferred entrance. Mostly because I'm usually coming from Hynes Green line station in the morning or coming back from getting food somewhere along Boylston St.

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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by JosephW » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:32 pm

I'm also seeing a "Dalton Street Entrance" on the map, but...looking on Google Maps, there's no entrance there, just a restaurant. (Capital Grille)

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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by Aidan2 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:49 pm

JosephW wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:32 pm
I'm also seeing a "Dalton Street Entrance" on the map, but...looking on Google Maps, there's no entrance there, just a restaurant. (Capital Grille)
The Dalton Street Entrance is not actually an official Entrance, It is actually a street level, emergency exit that is immediately adjacent to Hall B (and what used to be room 112, prior to 2009... ), and across the Street from Bukowski Tavern.

If you look at a street view on dalton street, it is the grouping of (6) doors (without handles) next to the double doors with the Capitol Grille Awning.

We get permission from the building to use that door set as an entrance during peak times to provide more flow through security.
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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by H. Guderian » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:09 pm

Several people said we use all of the Hynes. And parts of the Shertaon. But I also believe karaoke was in the Hilton? You'll feel like a military planner getting from events sometimes. Especially in a group.

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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by Nenie » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:20 am

If you decide to go to the masquerade event on Saturday, I suggest getting balcony seat tickets. They're the best seats in the house. You can pick up masquerade tickets on Saturday morning. That's when they usually give them out. No extra charge. Just pick em up.
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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by Fetch » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:55 am

Nenie wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:20 am
If you decide to go to the masquerade event on Saturday, I suggest getting balcony seat tickets. They're the best seats in the house. You can pick up masquerade tickets on Saturday morning. That's when they usually give them out. No extra charge. Just pick em up.
At Con Ops. Which is usually room 108 in the Hynes. Which is in the carpeted hallway on the main floor, next to the Dealer's Room.

I myself get floor seating for the masquerade. Before the ticket system, I wound up in the balcony seating one year, on the side area. Looking down from that high up, at an angle... hello vertigo.

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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by Staren » Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:13 am

I have couple of suggestions that I've picked up over the years.

If there is a panel or event in the Sheraton that you want to go to, avoid the elevator banks. It looks you can cut through there, but we kind of overload that hotel. Not worth the trouble. Take the long way around.

If you are picking up a preregistered badge on Thursday, wait a few hours after Registration opens. The first hour is insanity, but after about 6pm you can usually breeze through.

AB is a non-profit. It's not a corporate con like so many of the others are. They do some really cool stuff for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Plan to check out the charity auction table in the dealers room, at lest real quick. It's usually right next to the AB Merch table, and they have some great raffles every year, along with a lot of the cool items from the charity auction itself on display. I'm a big fan of Anime Boston's Charity Auction. I'd say check it out for a bit if you've got some down time Sunday.

AB uses the Guidebook app for pretty much all con information. Download it, and put it on your phone, tablet, whatever you use. That's where the most up to date schedule info will be if anything changes during the con.

And here is one final tip. More of a request really. AB has a pretty strong tradition of the real annoying call and response chants. If you hear a group doing Marco Polo or Adventure Time, please don't join in. I think it's fair to say that the consensus is that we are trying to cut down on this to preserve what sanity most of us have left.
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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by JosephW » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:02 am

Staren wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:13 am
And here is one final tip. More of a request really. AB has a pretty strong tradition of the real annoying call and response chants. If you hear a group doing Marco Polo or Adventure Time, please don't join in. I think it's fair to say that the consensus is that we are trying to cut down on this to preserve what sanity most of us have left.
Oh, don't worry. People do this at Bronycon all the time and it's equally obnoxious.

Except, instead of just doing simple back and forth callout stuff, they start singing entire songs. Or just shouting random memes. (like "pickle rick" and such, last year)

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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by Elli21486 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:53 pm

I am currently away from a computer so can't really put much in this message. However, I will say getting an app called Guidebook for iOS and Andeoid is a must. There, you will get the entire schedule, including a map of the entire convention. Although they usually don't release the current guidebook until within a week of the convention, you can check out past years to see what you can expect...
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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by President Aria » Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:19 pm

Staren wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:13 am


And here is one final tip. More of a request really. AB has a pretty strong tradition of the real annoying call and response chants. If you hear a group doing Marco Polo or Adventure Time, please don't join in. I think it's fair to say that the consensus is that we are trying to cut down on this to preserve what sanity most of us have left.
I was at Anime NYC last year, and some guy shouted out "Marco" and absolutely no one responded. He went off pouting how we don't know how to have fun, but it was glorious. I can only hope that that meme is finally dead and buried.

Anyways, as to the OP, I don't know if you have a room at one of the hotels, so maybe this isn't an option for you, but if you can go without having a bag with you, it'll make entering the Hynes much easier. I'll admit, I haven't been there for a couple years now, and I hear that they've gotten better, but I'd imagine having no bag would make it go even faster.

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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by JosephW » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:18 pm

President Aria wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:19 pm

Anyways, as to the OP, I don't know if you have a room at one of the hotels, so maybe this isn't an option for you, but if you can go without having a bag with you, it'll make entering the Hynes much easier. I'll admit, I haven't been there for a couple years now, and I hear that they've gotten better, but I'd imagine having no bag would make it go even faster.
Only 1 of my 3 cosplays has a bag, and even then, it's not really a "bag", but certainly functions as one, so I'll bring it through the bag check anyways.

I usually just carry stuff in my pockets: photo ID, debit card, and a bit of cash.

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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by Elli21486 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:14 pm

Now that I am on a computer and have read through the comments, there are some things I can think of.

1) If you plan on leaving the Hynes for any reason, make sure to have a jacket with you. Chances are, you will be waiting outside for a period of time. Use the Weather in Boston 2018 forum if you want weather info since I do try to keep that thread up to date with information from multiple places. You can also search yourself if you prefer. Also use the Coat Check if you don't want to carry anything inside the Hynes.

2) Although this is somewhat old, the Preparations Checklist is a good reference.

3) Check out Anime Boston's "The Golden 5-2-1 rule" video on Youtube. This is more of a general advise though.

4) If you see a lot of people on the escalators, use the stairs. Although they have someone there to prevent the escalators from being over capacity, it is better safe than sorry.

5) Use the Wifi inside the Hynes. A lot of people are not aware of this but the Hynes Wifi was updated before the convention last year.

6) If you have Twitter, follow AnimeBoston on there. The AB Staff likes to post useful tweets to con-goers, ie. Wait Time at Entrance Lines.

7) Plan some rest times throughout the con, or you will get burnt. This is where the Guidebook app shines. As I said before, Anime Boston usually uploads their schedule onto Guidebook within a week of the convention. Before the convention starts, look through it and mark which panels you want to go to. That way, by the day of the convention, you already have the important times reserved. Do note though that scheduling can change but if something that is marked changes, the app will notify you.
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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by dstnyskr » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:06 am

Elli21486 wrote:
Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:14 pm
Now that I am on a computer and have read through the comments, there are some things I can think of.

1) If you plan on leaving the Hynes for any reason, make sure to have a jacket with you. Chances are, you will be waiting outside for a period of time. Use the Weather in Boston 2018 forum if you want weather info since I do try to keep that thread up to date with information from multiple places. You can also search yourself if you prefer. Also use the Coat Check if you don't want to carry anything inside the Hynes.

2) Although this is somewhat old, the Preparations Checklist is a good reference.

3) Check out Anime Boston's "The Golden 5-2-1 rule" video on Youtube. This is more of a general advise though.

4) If you see a lot of people on the escalators, use the stairs. Although they have someone there to prevent the escalators from being over capacity, it is better safe than sorry.

5) Use the Wifi inside the Hynes. A lot of people are not aware of this but the Hynes Wifi was updated before the convention last year.

6) If you have Twitter, follow AnimeBoston on there. The AB Staff likes to post useful tweets to con-goers, ie. Wait Time at Entrance Lines.

7) Plan some rest times throughout the con, or you will get burnt. This is where the Guidebook app shines. As I said before, Anime Boston usually uploads their schedule onto Guidebook within a week of the convention. Before the convention starts, look through it and mark which panels you want to go to. That way, by the day of the convention, you already have the important times reserved. Do note though that scheduling can change but if something that is marked changes, the app will notify you.
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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by JosephW » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:48 am

I do have 1 question that nobody seems to want to answer though- where do I pick up tickets for the formal ball? I bought one with pre-reg but didn't see anything about where to pick it up.

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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by ConDadJeff » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:38 pm

JosephW wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:48 am
I do have 1 question that nobody seems to want to answer though- where do I pick up tickets for the formal ball? I bought one with pre-reg but didn't see anything about where to pick it up.
I am wondering about next this too!
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Re: First anime con, first time coming. Any tips?

Post by snapelicious » Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:07 pm

JosephW wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:48 am
I do have 1 question that nobody seems to want to answer though- where do I pick up tickets for the formal ball? I bought one with pre-reg but didn't see anything about where to pick it up.
I unfortunately do not have the answer to this, but I am told that if you email your questions about the formal ball to formal@animeboston.com, they'll be able to answer your query.
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