Sunday, June 5, 2011

FanimeCon 2011 Report: Part 1 - Prologue & Thursday (Day Zero)


I never imagined a year ago that I would have a full press team for FanimeCon 2011, let alone press badges period. For me, this was the greatest challenge going into this year's FanimeCon: having to manage a full press team while trying to get coverage while trying to enjoy myself. After all, this is a convention where I just like to kick back, relax, and enjoy the moving scenery.

Everything that we had planned, from Music Fest to interviews to holding gatherings, made sure that we would be busy people over the weekend. And despite burning out at the very end, it was so much worth it for what we accomplished that weekend. As you will see in this report, we did a lot and I'm very proud of my team.

We actually start this report a day early, the Wednesday before the convention. I was expecting Ryan, Aubrie, and her boyfriend Bryan in Sacramento so that we could travel to San Francisco and San Jose on Day Zero and not waste any time in getting the convention started.

Thursday (Day Zero)

Like other years, we're up at the crack of dawn, ready to head out. Our first order of business is to take Ryan, Aubrie, and Bryan to a place I've been raving to them since I found this place: Jim Denny's, off of 12th and I.

While Aubrie and Bryan got some legendary pancakes, we decided to hit up "The Works," a three-egg omelet with just about every topping on their menu.

Check out this clip of "The Works" as shown on the TV show Man vs. Food.

After a much needed breakfast, we were off to San Francisco to visit Japantown before heading down to FanimeCon.

But first, we needed to pick up Tom in San Rafael, and like last year we head down to the city via the Golden Gate Bridge.

We kept a time schedule since that's what we had planned last year. But despite all the time we spent picking up last-second items at either Kinokuniya Bookstore or the local supermarket, we ended up in San Jose much earlier than we expected, and we checked in much earlier than expected even with everything that transpired.

For some odd reason, the Marriott wanted me to charge my credit card as I checked in versus checking out in addition to a $50 incidental charge per night because my credit card kept reading as a debit card, which might be my fault because this credit card was through a credit union. I was to able to convince the staff to charge me for what I was quoted for, but over at the Fairmont I wasn't so lucky. But unlike many people who were stranded with no room because of these higher charges, I was able to make last-minute changes in my finances to cover everything. I wasn't upset over my finances after checking in, but more upset over the headache these hotel staffers were giving me.

It felt really weird this year compared to last year. Last year we had to stand in line for over three hours to pick up badges. This year with professional registration, we had to wait fifteen minutes before getting our badges. We had all this time between hotel check-in and convention check-in, which we wasted on ESPN and updating Facebook.

I talked to the first people waiting in line on Thursday, and they told me that they had been in line since 7am. I talked to another group and they got in line around 2:00-2:30pm. I asked people who had checked into hotels to see if they had a problem like I had. While some first-time attendees thought that this was the norm, many veterans agreed with my concerns and the solution of informing the attendees better especially through the confirmation e-mail, which I did bring up to FanimeCon Housing during the convention.

We spent more time up in the room until we decided to spend some time over in the eGaming and Arcade section while checking out the first day of Swap Meet.

Ryan was feeling off his hot streak the last time he played me in Air Hockey, and defeated both me and Tom easily.

This is where I also found my steal of the convention. Last year was the drum cover signed by FLOW (the first time they were here), LM.C, and Halko Momoi. This year was the limited edition of the original Persona 3 for $15, everything intact and clean. Much to Ryan's dismay, I bought it to enjoy the way Persona 3 was meant to be.

After checking out said rave, we ventured back to the Hilton before heading back outside through the main lobby. Here I did a quick night time photo shoot with Ryan.

By this point, we were ready to crash the night and get ready for the real part of the convention.

-Prologue & Thursday (Day Zero) End-

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