Anime Boston 2022 was only 6 months ago and yet Anime Boston 2023 is 4 months away already. 2022 was our largest convention to date with 30k members. To everyone who made it possible, you have our sincerest gratitude.
Despite the convention’s success, there will always be places where we can and must improve. After experiencing the convention for the first time in three years and looking over the feedback we’ve collected, we’ve found that there were some organizational and economic issues that no longer made sense and hindered our desired goals to increase the quality of the show. While most of the changes will be felt behind the scenes, here are some of the changes you can expect to see starting this convention year as well as some rough timeline estimates for important dates.
Anime Boston will maintain the COVID-19 vaccination requirement. We will, however, be updating the language to require ‘up-to-date’ vaccinations instead of ‘fully vaccinated’. To check if you are considered ‘up to date’, please check the CDC guidelines on their website, under the ‘Find Out When You Can Get a Booster’ section. Masks are strongly encouraged but not required at this time. Anime Boston may change this into a requirement as we continue to monitor cases leading up to the convention.
There was confusion regarding our early registration for 2023 immediately after Anime Boston 2022. Early registration has always been available at the Anime Boston Merch booth in the Dealer’s Room every year. Because of logistical and staffing constraints, we decided to explore opening this offer up online instead and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Our original intention had been to increase the price of memberships in 2022 in such a way where we would not need to increase it further for a while. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, the state of the financial world has not been conducive towards this goal and the cost of business has increased further still since last year. However, in order to keep the price of memberships from increasing this year, we have implemented some alternate changes to our event.
Our first major change is regarding the printed program guides. After reviewing feedback and looking at significantly increased printing costs, we considered the option to rely completely on Guidebook, our app-based digital program guide. We understand, however, that the experience of a physical booklet can be important for many, both due to accessibility and ease of use compared to digital technology and also as a collectors item. Therefore, we will be having a limited print run of program guides sold at a cost of five(5) dollars per copy. Additionally, we are overhauling the design and content of the program guide to modernize it and present it in full color, to make it worthy of the price. You will be able to pre-purchase the program guide during the online preregistration process. Charging separately for the printed program guides also allows us to not have to "bake the cost" into the membership prices of all attendees, thereby helping us avoid increasing membership rates this year.
Themes will still be a part of Anime Boston, but they will not be highlighted in the same way as before. Our convention themes began in 2006, when our maximum attendance was 9,000 members. Since then, our themes have become grander and more impressive. However, their greater complexity has come at the cost of our financial resources, storage space, and time. Each year we would produce a large quantity of themed decor that would inevitably be discarded post-convention. As such, from this point forward, our themes will be more integrated into our programming events with a more subtle appearance. Additionally, we will continue to use Anime Boston-focused decorations for the convention center and produce pieces that can be reused each year, regardless of the theme. By producing more reusable pieces and re-using our current decorations, we will be able to cut costs and make Anime Boston a more sustainable event.
Last year highlighted a culture shift that changed while we were away. It no longer makes financial sense for the convention to pay for free guest autographs that only 100 people per guest would be able to utilize. As a cost and logistics saving measure, we will no longer be holding free autograph sessions. All autograph sessions will still be held in Hall B, same as last year, at the time and price of the guest’s discretion as they always have been. Again, this prevents us from having to subsidize free guest autographs that only a slim majority of members would be able to access by paying for it with costs from all membership fees.
To end on a high note, as previously mentioned, Anime Boston has had to truly look inward to consider the type of event we want to be and adjust our budget to match those goals. Cosplay has always been an integral part of our convention and oftentimes, the best way to increase the quality of the show is to put money where our mouth is.
We are extremely excited to announce that our ‘Best in Show’ prizes in both Craftsmanship and Performance categories will be $5,000 each. Additionally, Masters Level first place prize will be increased to $1,000 and second place prize will receive $500, in both Craftsmanship and Performance. Additional information for the Masquerade can be found here.
Staff Applications: Live
Hotels: Waiting on contracts from hotels. No ETA yet.
Preregistration: November 16th, 2022
Press: December 1st, 2022
AA: A new system is being set up to handle applications more easily. Target date is sometime in December.
Cosplay Events: January 1st, 2023