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Thursday, May 30, 2024

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Sakura-Con 2024 Wrap Up!

It’s taken me a little longer than usual to get this all written up, but after doing my sixth convention of the year so far (with maybe ten more planned at the moment!!!). I needed some much needed rest and recovery time. Sakura-Con was one heck of a fun time!

This is my second hometown local con of the year, as well as being one I have been attending for years (also the first convention I ever attended as a baby con goer). This year though was a brand new type of experience in attending it, I went to the con with new friends, and I was actually a part of hosting panels throughout the weekend. That itself was an experience, and now I just want to host more and more panels because of how much I had. Due to this, I actually attended two panels at this convention! A new record to beat (hahah). 

Some of the things that really stood out to me this year at Sakura-Con were the vendors! There were so many new and really big vendors that I hadn’t seen before, so not great for the con goers and their (and my) wallet. There was so much to check out on the floor and to shop around at, it sadly took me two days to finally see everything in the hall. The artist alley was also really good, I am so sad I didn’t get a full chance to go through it all and see every booth. This year there was a second artist alley below the first, and unfortunately not a lot of people knew about it or how to get to it. There was also the problem of no signal for paying for anything that required a card reader in this second artist alley, and I feel awful for the artists that were there because they got less traffic because of it and the location. 


It also seemed like more and more people who attended were upset by things not being as accessible for people with disabilities and a hard time moving. I know at conventions the hall and artist alley can be very cramped, but this exhibit hall was very tightly packed (the main artist alley had the most space in their rows). Also, a lot of people were once again upset by the paper badges and the split buildings for the convention. Exhibit hall in the Summit Building, main artist alley in the old building, and the second one in the third building that is connected to the arch. 

It is really sad to see a con that has always been there, and a convention that will always have a place in my heart slowly go down hill. I really hope next year will be different, or that leading to next year that there will be considerable changes and announcements due to the outcry from so many that attended this year. 

The after events at the convention were lots of fun, although I will say if you are at an anime convention and they hold raves. There needs to be anime music played at them. Other than that, the raves were fun to attend and dance the night away at, and the later it got the fuller they got. 

In the end Sakura-Con was a bit of a mixed bag this year, I had a blast with my friends and the things we did and saw. I would have loved more time in the exhibitor hall and artist alley (which both closed an hour early every day this year), since those are some of my favorite spots to spend time with friends. There were downsides, and upsides to the con and I’m going to hold out and go again next year to see how it goes. 

Were you at Sakura-Con 2024? What were your highlights? Feel free to leave a comment below or chat with us on Twitter/X at @TheConCollectve, Threads at @theconventioncollective, or Bluesky at @theconcollective.bsky.social

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Ali Raphael
Ali Raphael
Ali is a professional workaholic but likes to add more to her plate by reviewing comics/books/ tv shows/movies and anime. In every other waking moment, she breathes books, manga and anything Marvel. Every day she wishes she was a Part-Time Avenger, instead of a full-time Target employee.

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