Anime Boston 2023 Update

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Nemra
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Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by Nemra »

To the AB Community,

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.

Vaccination and Mask Requirements

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.

Membership Price and Early Registration

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.

Program Guide

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.

Theme

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.

Guest Autographs

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.

Masquerade

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.

Other Status Updates

Panels: Live
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
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Selestyl
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Re: Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by Selestyl »

Thanks for all of the information - I know these can’t have been easy choices to make and it’s good to know so far in advance.

If we already pre registered at the con this year, will it still be possible to pre-purchase a physical guidebook? Would like to make sure I can get one if possible!
2022 Lineup:

Joker - Persona 5
Barnaby Brooks Jr. - Tiger and Bunny
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Re: Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by SailorAstera »

Thank you AB!! we're so excited!!

Any chance Art Alley people will be able to pay for their badge when they register or are those going to stay separate systems? 🥰
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Nemra
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Re: Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by Nemra »

Selestyl wrote: Tue Nov 15, 2022 6:25 pm Thanks for all of the information - I know these can’t have been easy choices to make and it’s good to know so far in advance.

If we already pre registered at the con this year, will it still be possible to pre-purchase a physical guidebook? Would like to make sure I can get one if possible!
yup! Should be able to log into your registration account and add it from there :)

If that doesn't work, you can reach out to registration customer service and they'll help out https://www.animeboston.com/coninfo/contact/127
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Re: Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by Lone_Wulf91 »

Thanks for all this update. Definitely going to look forward to Anime Boston 2023 and whatever the future holds next here on out
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Re: Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by Nemra »

SailorAstera wrote: Tue Nov 15, 2022 6:29 pm Thank you AB!! we're so excited!!

Any chance Art Alley people will be able to pay for their badge when they register or are those going to stay separate systems? 🥰
Those will remain separate systems but I'll make a note of it for end of year feedback
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Re: Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by SailorAstera »

Nemra wrote: Tue Nov 15, 2022 6:50 pm
SailorAstera wrote: Tue Nov 15, 2022 6:29 pm Thank you AB!! we're so excited!!

Any chance Art Alley people will be able to pay for their badge when they register or are those going to stay separate systems? 🥰
Those will remain separate systems but I'll make a note of it for end of year feedback
Ah awesome! Thank you! It's always been something we've dreamed of for so long :')
Sprucing up my portfolio for the apps! 8-)
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Re: Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by kittehspring »

Super excited!! Just wondering if the con has any intention of combatting AI artists trying to get into the artist alley?

I heard it was an issue at AX Chibi and I want to be sure I’m supporting artists who put time, effort, and emotion into their craft!
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Re: Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by animosc »

Thank you for the information. From the sound of it, the past 2 to 3 years really hit AB's finances hard. It's understandable that some of these changes are being made.
Nemra wrote: Tue Nov 15, 2022 5:46 pm 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.
Regarding the end of free autographs, I hope AB will take into account that this means its most popular guests will now have huge, huge lines in Hall B. AB will now need to consider where and how people are going to line up in that already congested hall. There will for sure be people queuing up hours in advance before a guest arrives at their booth.
Nemra wrote: Tue Nov 15, 2022 5:46 pm 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.
If you do this, please offer a web-browser-based version of Guidebook in addition to the mobile app version.

I mentioned this before in the feedback thread for AB 2022 but one of my friends does not use a smartphone for accessibility reasons. They carry a laptop and use wi-fi to connect to the internet. Without a physical program book or a browser-based version of Guidebook, they will not be able to figure out the schedule on their own.

We've been to other conventions together that use the browser-based Guidebook and we know that it does offer a very good user experience just like the app version. I hope AB can use it too.
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Re: Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by Nemra »

animosc wrote: Wed Nov 16, 2022 3:50 am
Regarding the end of free autographs, I hope AB will take into account that this means its most popular guests will now have huge, huge lines in Hall B. AB will now need to consider where and how people are going to line up in that already congested hall. There will for sure be people queuing up hours in advance before a guest arrives at their booth.
Both free and paid autographs were in Hall B last year. After trying Hall B last year for the first time, there will be a few tweaks here and there to improve it's flow and whatever notes we have on 'lessons learned' but that's always an every year process like everything else.
If you do this, please offer a web-browser-based version of Guidebook in addition to the mobile app version.
Just to clear up some confusion on this, the program guide(booklet) is not the same thing as the con chowdah(paper schedule separate from the PG). We are still planning on having a physical copy of the schedule handed out for those who want it, barring some crazy happenstance.
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Re: Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by Master of NERV »

I get it; inflation is a fact of life. Changes needed to be made to make AB financially viable for years to come. I'm just grateful for the heads up coming so many months before the event! :)

See you all in '23!
AB 2003-2022 -- pre-reged for 2023!
2006, '12, '13: Commander Ikari (Evangelion)
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Re: Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by Goldfish221 »

Hello,

I had a question about the Covid Vaccine Policy. If a person who has the complete 2 Pfizer vaccines in 2021 but does not have the booster. Comes to AB 2023, will they be turned away from at the door?

(This question doesn't effect me personally I'm planning on getting my fourth booster in January 2023), but it will effect another person coming with me this year. Wasting hundreds of dollars on the hotel, transportation, and actual badge costs is a major concern, so I'm trying to fully understand this policy. I do not want to get to the convention on Thursday and find out having the vaccine isn't enough).
~Anime Boston 202 Cosplay Line Up~


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Nemra
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Re: Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by Nemra »

That depends but most likely yes since you've indicated they already have their primary doses.
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.
There is a tool outlined there (click the 'find out when to get a booster' button) that will ask you a series of questions and let you know if you are considered up to date or not
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Kalyoth
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Re: Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by Kalyoth »

A clarifying question: would it be possible to disclose whose decision it was for the vaccine/mask mandate - the organization or insurance - as there currently is no government requirement to my knowledge of this either in MA or on national level via law enacted. Not a debate, just looking for the basis to be explained. There will likely be significant pushback on the continuance considering the ending of all such mandates across previous six plus months. Thanks.
"Thou who art darker than even darkness,
Thou who art deeper than even the night!
Thou, the Sea of Chaos, who drifts upon it,
Golden Lord of Darkness!
Hereby I call to thee,
Hereby I swear before thee!
Those who would stand against us,
All those who are fools,
By the power you and I possess,
Grant destruction equally upon them all!
GIGA SLAVE!"
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Re: Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by Goldfish221 »

I feel like the convention wouldn't disclose who made the choice for the vaccine rules, because it would be throwing someone under the bus. And no one wants to be under the bus.

I do question how the updated vaccines will be enforced, when reading the CDC guidelines if you had covid you can push off the vaccine booster for 6 months. So how would AB treat that? Would a doctor's note or positive test be needed to show the person had covid within the 6 month period? It doesn't seem as easy as looking at a license/ID to check to see if someone is over 18. Even Japan's own rules to enter the country seem easier than the up to date vaccine rule. You can enter Japan without a covid test as long as you are vaccinated and have the booster (none of this up to date stuff). They are just looking for 3 shots.

I feel like there is a political aspect to this (total speculation) but it's interesting that we can go to Foxboro to see a Pats game, a sold out concert at Paradise Rock Club, or a sold out AEW show at the Agganis arena and not need to show vaccination of any kind.

There is still time before the convention so there is a chance this could change, but I think there will be lots of confusion between con-goers and staff, and long lines trying to confirm everyone's up to date status.
~Anime Boston 202 Cosplay Line Up~


(Subject to Change)
Jeanne D'arc Alter - Fate Grand Order
Lady Nagant - My Hero Academia
Penny - Pokemon Violet
Liliana Vess -Magic the Gathering
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Re: Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by Kalyoth »

Goldfish221 wrote: Thu Dec 01, 2022 11:47 am I feel like the convention wouldn't disclose who made the choice for the vaccine rules, because it would be throwing someone under the bus. And no one wants to be under the bus.

I do question how the updated vaccines will be enforced, when reading the CDC guidelines if you had covid you can push off the vaccine booster for 6 months. So how would AB treat that? Would a doctor's note or positive test be needed to show the person had covid within the 6 month period? It doesn't seem as easy as looking at a license/ID to check to see if someone is over 18. Even Japan's own rules to enter the country seem easier than the up to date vaccine rule. You can enter Japan without a covid test as long as you are vaccinated and have the booster (none of this up to date stuff). They are just looking for 3 shots.

I feel like there is a political aspect to this (total speculation) but it's interesting that we can go to Foxboro to see a Pats game, a sold out concert at Paradise Rock Club, or a sold out AEW show at the Agganis arena and not need to show vaccination of any kind.

There is still time before the convention so there is a chance this could change, but I think there will be lots of confusion between con-goers and staff, and long lines trying to confirm everyone's up to date status.
It's why I was trying to generally seek some information. Where this requirement is not the majority in society, it's more like a barrier placed in front of the public, that will make the convention more of a "private" / exclusive event over time as it remains vs. a public event. That will impose long term consequence over time & give rise to competition without the rules in place. Time will tell.
"Thou who art darker than even darkness,
Thou who art deeper than even the night!
Thou, the Sea of Chaos, who drifts upon it,
Golden Lord of Darkness!
Hereby I call to thee,
Hereby I swear before thee!
Those who would stand against us,
All those who are fools,
By the power you and I possess,
Grant destruction equally upon them all!
GIGA SLAVE!"
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Re: Anime Boston 2023 Update

Post by toyrobin »

Thank you so much for keeping the vaccination requirement in place, I was really worried it would be pulled back so I held off on registering early like I usually do for this reason. My friend and I both have family members who are immunocompromised and we really wouldn't feel comfortable attending with no covid restrictions in place.
☆ 2022 Cosplays ☆
Thursday Minako Aino
Friday Komaru Naegi
Saturday Atsushi Nakajima & Ene
Sunday Chiaki Nanami
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