Ichibancon 7 (2016) Review

This month I attended Ichibancon 7, which makes this my forth Ichibancon consecutively. I attend this convention because not only is it within a 3 hour drive from home, it’s a wonderful convention with amazing people.

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Highlights:

  • Parking & Staff

  • New Year’s Celebration

  • Panelist on “Do You Hear the Countries Sing?” with a special guest—Chuck Huber!

  • And my favorite part, the Otaku Flea Market on Sunday!

Parking & Staff

Parking seems like a strange problem to talk about when someone mentions “anime conventions.” Yet, this is one of the things I have disliked about this convention for the past few years. Some of the major problems in the past I’ve had with this convention was the hotel choice or the parking.

Like most conventions, when you move parking spots—people are going to take it. However, last year the parking was outrageous to the point of hotel (non-con) guests walking to the furthest point in convention parking to their hotel room. This year, they had a good system of who got to park where with who was staying in the hotel. It’s not perfected, but police and staff volunteers alike were assisting with parking for the large event. This helped maintain flow, and considering that this convention was low (zero) with places to eat in walking distance, the parking assistance was greatly appreciated.

The staff in the past has been untrained or rude, seeing as I’ve been there since Ichibancon 3, I’ve seen the convention grow. This year, they got their stuff together! Staff and volunteers were able to maintain good flow and worked as a team. Whether it was seating panelists, crowd control, or badge check…they have stepped up their game and it was well appreciated! Thank you.

New Years Celebration

Two dollar fireball whiskey shots, nuff’ said.

In addition to being a wonderful Charlotte convention, the dates this year put Thursday night on New Year’s Eve. Good and bad, I was able to party with my friends at Applebee’s with two dollar fireball whiskey jello shots; nevertheless, I was unable to attend any of my local friend’s parties and eat with my family as apart of tradition on New Year’s Day. I’m assuming that most con attendees had to choose between family and convention this year. The “con” must go on, and it was a glorious time!

“Do you hear the countries sing?”IMG_20160105_023213

I had the honor of participating as a panelist on the “Do you hear the countries sing?” Hetalia panel as Russia. The room was packed full with staff being efficient with seating everyone. For a two hour panel, there was plenty to do: Q&A, Dares, Disney Singing, and other shenanigans.

The highlight of it all was Chuck Huber crashing the panel with a well-known Hetalia Austria cosplayer as they talked about cravats. In the video below at 46:40 you can see Huber and Austria!

(Might want to turn down your volume for the sheer shrills of excitement at first.)

The Austria in mention above can be found here at Howl’s Moving Cosplay.

Otaku Flea Market

The unique part about Ichibancon, is that they offer a flea market to badge holders on Sunday for people who need to sell nerd-related items for some extra cash.

You don’t need to pay for a table because you’ve already bought a badge, so it’s a great opportunity to pay off some bills or pay for your next cosplay! My partner and I packed up early and headed to the Otaku Flea Market room. We were there as soon as they opened, not as soon as set-up opened. We were pleased that we could share a half-table with such wonderful mates. We were between a young woman selling Pokémon cards and manga and another selling posters and props. Our table quickly filled with my 75+ manga I needed to get rid of, as well as the other cosplay items I was selling.

This is a great time for vendors to stock up as well. The key to selling in the flea market is to keep your prices worth the sale, but almost maintain your integrity with the product. I was able to sell all of my manga to a vendor who needed it, and focus on selling the other items I brought. You need to ask yourself, “How much is my time really worth?” when it comes to selling it all to a vendor. Those books will go to another who really needs them, if he can even make the sale with the odd series (not popular) that were in them. ✿

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My Kohai and I taking a picture together with our matching shirts in the Dealer’s Room.

Ichibancon 7 Summary

Pros

Cons

  • Parking
  • # of panels
  • Hotel con was excellent
  • Cosplays were numerous and glorious
  • Diversity of cosplays
  • A mall nearby
  • Food prices around the con were excellent
  • Breakfast at the con was great, including free drinks with your card.
  • Otaku Flea Market ($$$)
  • Voice actors & panelists good quality
  • Excellent diversity in Artist Alley and Dealer’s Room considering space.
  • Lack of panel diversity
  • No food within walking distance
  • Elevators were absolutely crowded and unmanageable at times (more of a hotel problem)
  • Lack of photoshoot space (Only outside was good)
  • Artist and Alley and Dealer’s had no space behind tables

 

 

 


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