FanimeCon is one of the most exciting and festive weekends in the Bay Area and for the anime community. To enjoy the weekend, it also helps if one has a plan and knows what to expect. This needs to be said because FanimeCon is not going to be like any other.
Based on my years of going to FanimeCon and other major conventions, these are what one should consider when planning for the weekend. With the event around the corner, this handy guide will help you prepare for FanimeCon (be it your first time or if you want to make the most out of the weekend).
Get a Hotel Room
Time is important during this weekend and you don’t want to be waiting in traffic or on the train. It’s also unnecessary to cut the day short just to catch the last CalTrain or BART if you don’t live in the South Bay. Hence, it makes sense to get a hotel room. Plus (depending on your plans) it helps to have a place to rest, shower, and change before going out again. Thankfully, many of the hotels in the Downtown area offer a discount for those attending FanimeCon.
Take Your Hygiene and Health Seriously
Let’s start with the obvious that so many people miss. Please take your health and hygiene seriously. We all have sat next to someone who reeked of con stank (that awful smell that is concocted when the body odor of sweat, cosplay chemicals plus not having showered or used deodorant). We have also made the mistake of having so much fun that we forget to sleep or stay hydrated. That becomes an issue when the summer heat takes over.
Even though every convention says this, please be mindful of your hygiene during the weekend. This is more true now than ever due to the pandemic. Remember to also eat healthy and drink plenty of water to avoid any health issues.
Plus if you feel sick or have tested positive for COVID, please stay home. It’s not worth the risk going out and getting worse while also making everyone else sick.
Have a Weekend Budget Set
FanimeCon Artist Ally is the crown jewel of the event and the envy of every other convention. With the exception of Anime Expo, no other convention could organize such an impressive artist ally. It’s also going to be difficult not to walk out with a museum’s worth of artwork. That is why you need to plan a budget for the weekend.
Besides the artwork and whatever you find in the dealer’s hall; you will also need to take food, unofficial events, transportation, lodging, and funds for an emergency (like cosplay repair). Many who attend regularly have saved up for this weekend and financially planned for most of the weekend.
If you don’t want to go bankrupt then please budget accordingly.
Plan Out the Weekend (to Some Degree)
Part of the fun at FanimeCon is just wandering around the area and finding something interesting happening. But you also don’t want to miss out on some of the defining moments of the weekend. Maybe there is a guest you want to check out, a panel you want to attend, or a cosplay gathering. That is why it helps to do some planning so you don’t miss out on some unforgettable events.
Don’t look at this like you need to plan your fun, just be aware of what will take place so you don’t miss out.
Explore the Surrounding Areas
The center of attention at FanimeCon will be the San Jose Convention Center, Civic Center, Cesar Chavez Plaza, and Signa San Jose (formerly The Fairmont). This is not to say the fun is only limited to this area. The DoubleTree will be the center of more mature activities and events. Meanwhile, the bars on South First St will be hosting FanimeCon related events and shows. Also, you want to keep your eye out for meetups and unofficial gatherings around the Downtown area.
There is so much to FanimeCon that you don’t want to limit yourself to what happens at the convention center.
Have you been to FanimeCon and have your own advice to give? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
8Bit/Digi is an independent media outlet that provides an insight into the video game community and industry of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Stan Rezaee is the founder and Editor of 8Bit/Digi. He is a journalist and gamer from the Bay Area who has been writing about the medium for over five years.