Sunday, April 1, 2012

Contributor Convention Review – Rich-Con 2012

Review by: Susan Zyzzx Nerima

Rich-Con 2012
Lauhlin Convention Center
March 31-April 1, 2012
Badge Price: Three packs of Rainbow Skittles and $5

A new feature for my website is having contributor reviews. This review is by Susan Zyzzx Nerima, she is well known for her anime and manga articles in Antarctica Monthly and Weekly National Geology. Here is her convention review for the largest Richard/Anime Convention in North America.

Anime conventions are fun experiences; I have been attending anime conventions since the late 1970’s. So many conventions are happening nowadays that a convention has to separate it from the pack. Originally, an idea between friends, Rich-Con started in 2010 and has become one of the largest conventions in the United States that no one knows about. It uses a unique combination of a focus on everything Richard related with anime and manga. The convention stunned the world when it announced it guests of honor that include guests like Richard Gere, Richard Nixon, Richard Attenborough, and convention CEO, President, and Emperor Richard Phon. The convention drew a crowd of 345,021 people over the two-day convention and it crowded the seven-roomed convention center like no other. It was an experience like no other; I suggest that people go to the website for further information.

Official con T-shirt
My day started driving to Lauhlin from my base of operations, Antarctica. It was submerged in icy cold waters as I drove north to Lauhlin. I felt that it was a good idea to drive in the ocean to save on gas costs, and because the desert drive would make my car dry by the time I hit Lauhlin. I checked in the hotel close to the convention center. The next morning, I headed to the convention center and the line was huge. There was no direction and it felt like a big blob. They had one open window that was processing hundreds of thousands of people. It took so long; my suggestion for next year is to open two windows for processing next year. That way I can pick up my badge in 8 hours instead of 16 hours. I got to the front of the line and paid my three bags of skittles and $5 to get my two-day badge.

The convention had a logical layout; they split the Dealer’s hall with the Exhibition hall. The Dealer’s hall had people selling wares from pans to pianos. I bought a DVD set of the newest anime, only to find out that the box had a piece of wood wrapped in Aluminum foil. It had a “no return” policy so I happily moved onward. The Exhibition hall was so amazing; they had displays that celebrated the convention’s theme of Richard, Anime, and Manga. There was a life-size figure of Richard Gere and Richard Nixon that was insanely popular. The queue line to pose with the Richard Phon figure was 7 hours, so I ended up walking around the convention center.

One of the staffers getting arrested,
he stole Richard's Skittles
The atmosphere in the convention was great; it was a mixture of Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen. I walked around and took shots of the great cosplayers. There were lots of photographers, some were even walking around with gear that was a little big for the convention. I noticed that the guy next to me had a camera that didn’t even work, he was just pointing it at the cosplayer so he could stare at her. The convention staff herded us into a more friendly shooting location, near some hungry tigers. I finally had a chance to meet the President, CEO, and Emperor of Rich-Con. I asked him the secret to his success in the convention world. Richard stated, “The secret to success of Rich-Con is the free sandwiches, and that the convention center has seven rooms, not six, not eight, but seven rooms.” I also noted the professionalism of the staff and complimented him on that. He was offended by my statement and said, “My staff are not professional, please do not insult them! They are merely amateurs who are lucky.” Before I headed off, he said, “Each staffer takes ownership of the convention, they need to pool their money together and buy each property that the convention is in.”

After doing the convention for 2 hours, I headed back to the hotel to sleep. Rich-Con is an experience like no other. How many conventions can cram hundreds of thousands of people into a convention that has a capacity of 12,000? How many conventions makes their staff buy the hotel and convention center before each convention? What is the secret of life? The answer to thousands of questions like that, not many. As I walked the blazing heat for the second day, all I can think is that there is no con like Rich-Con.

1 comment:

amateur_cameko said...

Having fun with April Fool's, I see...