This past weekend I was at Anime Next around Somerset, New Jersey. They were celebrating their tenth anniversary, so I was happy to represent Anime Diet there. This was not my first time at Anime NEXT, and if I can say anything NEXT was my first convention going experience a couple of years ago. This is a regional convention that attracts people from PA, CT, MA, NY, and other locations as far as even Canada, or other parts of the world.
I was able to keep track of my events and schedule for this via several ways. One was to rely on the Guidebook app, on my Android. This is an app similar to the Conventionist. Another was to rely on a pdf, that I had on my ipad. That for me proved to me more readily accessible. Another was to keep up with the twitter hashtag for #an2011, since this was official Anime Next usage. Another even more different way of accessing events, was to keep abreast of friends at the con, and see what they were up to.
The layout of this convention was pretty simple. Events were held at the Garden State Exhibition Center, and not just one hotel, but several. I wasn’t staying at the Doubletree, which was the con hotel. Main Events, Artist Alley, Dealer’s room, Registration were all at the Exhibition center. Panels, LARP, Tabletop gaming, manga library were held at the Double Tree Hotel. Video gaming was held at the Holiday Inn, and video screenings were held at another building known as the Training Center. Cosplay photo shoots were held all around the convention, and there was a dunking tank for charity. Did I leave anything out?
There was even a shuttle for convention goers to go out for fast food eats, unless you did as I did, which was staying at the hotel area to eat. There was certainly activities aplenty, so I didn’t expect people to get really bored unless they were not really into this type of entertainment. Granted there is bound to be some downtime if you are waiting, but if you have friends with you, then that does let the convention time go by faster.
I am still in the midst of writing for Anime NEXT coverage, so definitely expect some more posts.
Next year’s Anime NEXT for 2012, would be happening on June 8-10, so keep that on your calender if you want to go. Also if you want to check out Anime NEXT’s sister con then that is Manga NEXT which is happening on Oct 29-31, later this year.