Day 1 of Anime Expo was complete chaos every year the convention tries to make changes to anticipate the growth of the convention and every year they seem to fail. I have not heard the total numbers yet but from what I saw there had to be thousands more than last year. There was more photographers, more cosplayers, and of course LA Convention Center reduces the space to shoot. Now part of the reduced space had to do with the changes being made for security. Skipping a bag check was not an option and bomb sniffing dogs were roaming the convention center every day. By the end of day 1 everyone had already nicknamed the show ‘LineCon’ everywhere you went was just another line. For badge pickup we arriving at 7:37 AM took us around 2 hrs to get through and a massive total 1.4 miles of walking. If you wanted to go to the exhibit hall you need to get in a line entertainment hall same thing. The panels were also messed up they made people wait in lines and if you showed up after the line was let in (even if there was TONS of space still available) you were not allowed in. The volunteers needed better training and the attendees needed better preparedness. For example volunteers should all have a map on them so they can help whoever asks them for help. Attendees needed to be told that they would be waiting outside in long lines most of the time. Hydration was becoming a problem I actually saw a guess fall over from heat exhaustion on Day 3 his friends were there to help him but I saw nobody from security, volunteers, or anyone move to offer aid. The show really needs to start strategizing how they are going to handle the show next year NOW. They also need to remind staff both volunteers and convention facilities to be human the fact that I could pass $20 dollars to my son at the exit of the Entertainment Hall without waiting in line to get in was both ridiculous and pompous of the girl manning the exit. I will have to wait and hear what improvements they plan to make because security is only going to get tighter and attendance is still going to go up next year as Anime continues to go through an explosive growth period.
As always please remember to credit the photographer and cosplayer when sharing my images.