Now, while Blogger works, about Animefest!
I've linked the official site up there, but frankly I've never seen an official site that gave away even half of what a con was really like.
For those who don't know cons at all: They're a magical place where people from all over the world gather for a few days in honor of a single, shared passion. The culture of any given convention varies depending on what that uniting factor is-- a sci-fi con tends to be a little more restrained and cerebral than a general comics convention, which itself is a bit more reserved than most anime conventions.
Anime conventions, like Animefest, are, in general, young (population wise), friendly, high-energy, and colorful. Despite the name, they're often devoted to Japanese general pop culture as much as anime. There's a whole lot of cosplay, everything from blockbuster shows to the ancient and obscure to original creations (my favorite)! And in the last five or six years, the fandom has trended increasingly towards women and girls, which means I am no longer the Token Chick. So that's nice.
Animefest, or the Very Model of a Modern Midsize Ani-con
Animefest tends to run between 4000 and 8000 people, over the course of four days. Compared to The Other Con in Dallas, which runs about 20 -25 THOUSAND people in a hotel in just three days, and you see why it's "mid size".
Partly because of its size, partly for other factors, Afest is also more laid back than most cons. There's a large number of older, long term anime fans (some of us in our thirties! Methuselah!), so the chaos and catgirls are held to a dull roar. It's also THE con for artists, as far as I can tell (though San Japan seems ready to give them a run for their title). The art show is in the dealer's room, always a major focus for congoers. The artist's alley is right outside, in prime place to catch the pre and post- dealer's hours crowd. The auction is generally on time and always has great presenters.
All of this is why it's the only con where we buy a dealer's table. Yes, it's more expensive (about 200 bucks for a dealers table vs less than fifty for an AA table) and has shorter hours (10-7 vs up to 24 hours), but the Animefest crowd makes it worth our while. We've been going about eight years now, and it's always a good time.
Including this one, about which more later. When I'm not at work, and can take the time to be...descriptive.