AnimeNEXT 2023 June 16-18, 2023
New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, Edison NJ, and Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick
I should have finished this a while ago, but I started on a ton of different article ideas, and lots of notes jotted down, but here it is for AnimeNEXT 2023.
Friday: AnimeNEXT is finally back. I, again, am staffing the Cosplay Repair room. It being the first one since the pandemic, we did not know what to expect with a new venue, and how well our supplies survived after years of storage. Our home base for the convention is Conference Room A in the Hyatt, going through our supplies, we see most of our basics survived. The crazy glue, still new in packaging, not so much. It was dried up solid in the containers. Boo. For us, it was a slow start to the con, but attendees did start trickling in with their wardrobe malfunctions, adjustments, dirty spots, and broken props. I would say our most used stations so far were sewing and hot glue. A passing storm and downpours affected a few cosplayers that caused them to come by, and power was also knocked out in a few nearby spots. Several friends stopped by. So glad to see them after several years. Did not get a chance to get over to the NJCEC today.
I must say the Hyatt was a great looking hotel for cosplay photos. There are nice nook areas for photos, and the architecture indoors was nice as backdrops. Looking forward to getting a few pictures for myself tomorrow. No chance to dress up today with the rush of getting everything ready for attendees. The area around the Hyatt also has tons of restaurants, so it was hard to decide where to eat, but so far everything we have gotten has been good. Looking forward to seeing more attendees tomorrow!
Saturday: All set up for another day in cosplay repair. Walked a couple blocks to get coffee. Because coffee. Over the day, had waves of cosplayers, but nothing that we couldn’t handle. Several friends stopped by, but it seemed that travelling between the separated venues proved time consuming, and with a few passing thunderstorms, the outdoors was muggy, and wet due to multiple downpours. Unfortunately, travel between event sites was a major deterrent to attending different convention activities and panels. Still did not make it over to the convention center.
Cosplay repair is one of the provided conveniences that is growing in necessity. There have been dealers and artist alley vendors who had some emergency supplies for sale, and there are some cosplay “medics” who rove convention halls to assist. With the ever-growing number of cosplayers at events, having supplies available or knowledgeable help, especially for those who are not into the fabrication side of the hobby, provides a great service to attendees to at least get cosplays and costumes functional to participate at the events they attend. I hope to discuss more of this in a future article.
Sunday: Usually the least busy day for our department. There are still cosplayers needing our help, especially since many have already packed their vehicles and checked out of hotel rooms. Packing up at the end of the convention is always the worst feeling as things ended on another happy weekend doing activities that I enjoy immensely. We packed up and labeled boxes and took inventory of all the supplies that we had. Moved all those boxes to a moving truck to go back into storage.
As staff, we usually have a last dinner provided by the convention. The dead dog. We meet with fellow staffers and friends and congratulate each other for the hard work that everyone provided that made the convention run. Then we say our goodbyes, and then then head home to rest.