This week's recap is JAFAX.
|more information found at jafax.org
I only ended up spending a single day there due to traveling logistics, but I wanted to chime in on the new location and show!
For many many many years, JAFAX has been a small anime convention taking place at Grand Valley State University's campus (and I'd say is responsible for me really getting into the convention scene in general). Over these many many many years, the number of attendees has grown what feels like exponentially. And grow it did, so big that it could no longer be contained on a campus easily.
And thus they took a year off, and relocated to downtown Grand Rapids and the DeVos Center.
Check In & Entryway
Finding the show wasn't too hard - the DeVos Center is directly off the freeway, so for us single-dayers or commuters, it wasn't too hard to find. The center itself is HUGE and so very pretty. I hadn't pre-registered because I am basically a giant doofus, and I figured they're really expedient with other stuff, this should be okay, right?
|I later discovered this further wrapped around around the corner!
When I got in to the show, the line was IMMENSE. And while yes, it was a bit of a bother waiting (because I was a panelist I got to flag a volunteer to help me out. I wasn't even able to drive up until the early afternoon due to scheduling and I felt so bad about it! That's all on me though), I was so happy that there were so many people trying to get into the show.
And JAFAX handled it as best as any show could! They knew things weren't working right, the system was running extra slow so check in wasn't working as efficiently as planned. But they worked with the attendees, providing next day badges and the like. Because that's the kind of show they are. I'm proud to know them.
I didn't have a lot of time to spare, so I quickly dashed to the Dealer Hall, which had a very nice set up. It was in a big ballroom type room, and had carpeted floors and sound absorbing walls. I can't tell you how happy that makes me, because sometimes the din of crowds and people talking make my head hurt.
|ANOTHER TRASH CAN I AM SO BAD AT PHOTOS
The artists and the vendors were vaguely separated into areas, but in a way, also interspersed, which worked for the smaller nature of the vendor hall.
Check in for panels was great - staff was really nice. The panel rooms themselves were lovely!
They also had a couple of food booths set up by DeVos center themselves, and I am always so happy when conventions have instant ramen bowls available. I will eat that in a heartbeat over fast food at conventions!
|I got one of the last spicy bowls. MWAHAHAH. It was DELICIOUS.
I was literally only there for a handful of hours, as I drove home immediately (as in 3 days I was driving to Texas), so I can't really comment much on the good, the bad, the suggestions like I normally do.
I really liked the new center. It had a LOT of potential for future shows, and I hope next year to attend the full weekend! This show has a lot of space to grow into, and I bet it can. I can't wait to see what it turns into!