Anime North

Anime North Review
Toronto Congress Centre
650 Dixon Rd
Toronto, ON M9W 1J1, Canada
May 22-24, 2015 | Table Cost: $145
(5 votes)

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What people say...
5


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The crowd is great.

OVERALL
It was my first time selling at Anime North in 2018 and I hope I get to do it again. This gang of gypsies did try to steal my cash though, thankfully I was able to stop the attempt, which was difficult since they were a groups. The staff was quick to respond to this, they took my statement and thankfully contacted the police so officers could come and roam to keep an eye out.

VENUE
Very large.
My only complaint about the venue is that it got hot and steamy in there real quick. And also the lighting kinda sucked for displaying artwork.

STAFF
Helpful but bitchy.

LAYOUT
Lots of room for the artists behind the tables, lots of room for people to walk. I was at an end cap and still got a lot of traffic!

ATTENDANCE
Honestly one of the best crowds in my opinion. People are in such good spirits and love spending money to celebrate summer coming along. Everyone is so nice it's a blast.
Not the biggest con ever but lots and lots of people every year. The dealers room is always pretty busy, there's no real "dead" times.

AFFORDABILITY
The price for a table is fine, however the badge you get is so low quality compared to the staff and regular attendee badge that I feel ripped off. There's no good reason to give an artist who just gave you $200 a shitty cardboard badge with a piece of string to put around their neck.

June 2, 2018, 11:02 am

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2

Great convention/people/sales

I've tabled at AN twice and both times were lots of fun, sales were great and I loved interacting with everyone. I haven't been to very many conventions but everyone I've talked to universally agrees that this is the best convention for artists in Canada, if not North America, especially in terms of return on costs. (Mostly applies to local artists, of course).

Venue is a bit out of the way, a bit closer to airport than local population centers. Venue itself is fine, decent amount of space to breathe and air circulation in exhibitor halls. Staff is rather authoritarian, is perhaps the politest way I can phrase it. Often inflexible with rules that must be strictly adhered to, to the letter, which can be very frustrating. Other main downside is really difficult/low chance of getting in due to how good it is otherwise.

January 14, 2018, 1:50 am

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Amazing

If I had to sum up this convention in one word, amazing comes to mind!
The convention center is perfect, being not only large enough but also having a ton of space outside for attendees to walk around in and a crazy number of nearby hotels.
Make sure you book your hotels early! Generally a month or two after the convention ends to insure you get one!

Inside is laid out quite well, and the seperation of comic market, crafters corner, pro plaza is quite nice! It allows you to browse exactly what you're looking for effectively. The dealers/vendors are often in separate rooms which helps the flow of foot traffic.

The staff are iffy. You'll get some that are amazing, and others who are rude, ignorant and down right awful. As it's volunteer and 100% not for profit based, this will happen and is the hardship of any convention who runs on volunteers and not paid staff. Some volunteers end up being awesome, others need customer service skills.

If you're an artist or vendor, chances are you wont' be dealing with much of the staff. Only at check in, tare down and when it's closed mainly.

AN is also quick to throw out bootleggers and not allow them to return, as well as their comic market at least cyclesin new talent every year by being completely lottery based.

It does suck if you're a mixed media artist who does both...because you can only have one table in any of the artist alley places. Pro plaza is the only place you can have mixed media but it has to be entirely original artwork.

Crafter's corner is tight to get into as it's first come first serve as well. Vendors is near impossible to get into.

The sales will be through the roof if you do manage to get a table. 40-50k of people will be there all weekend and they come to buy. This is my favourite convention in terms of cosplay and attending as well as selling. Even if I was travelling too it I would still do it because the sales are often quite high for the weekend unless your stuff is really niche and just not related to anime, video games, comics, etc at all.

prices for tables are very reasonable and weekend passes for exhibitors ends up being well priced as well. They are one of the rare conventions who supply who allow you to buy one or two table badges not automatically making you get two. Which is nice for anyone not needing help and would like to save some money.

all and all a very amazing convention and the best anime geared con in Canada.

October 20, 2016, 2:32 am

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worth the stress, year after year!

Anime North is my favourite convention to work. It's a high profit con with a fairly low investment ($145 for a comic market table and one pass; one additional helper/secondary artist pass can be purchased for $50), and the attendees are a delight. Everyone is friendly and enthusiastic, and a lot of people love to spend the money on art and original merch instead of just beelining to the dealers room. The venue is huge and spacious, well laid out, and usually of a comfortable temperature even when it's hot outside. Lots of space behind the tables in the comic market, which is fabulous and makes life a lot easier. Sign in has improved hugely since they instituted an artist-only check in, completely nixing the need to stand in the giant pre-reg line to get your badge, and the setup time is pretty generous. Lots of parking and car space near the loading area makes getting your stuff onto the sales floor really easy! Loads of hotels are close, there are four different transit systems that connect to the area (Brampton, TTC, Mississauga, and GO), and there are restaurants pretty close by.

Now for drawbacks:

The lottery process is fair, but I know a lot of people don't appreciate it. Personally, I do like it a lot more than the 50 FCFS/50 Lottery split they used to do. Yes, you lose that sense of control, but it takes a lot of the pressure off to have a 24 hour window to submit your application at your leisure and check it over for errors before you send it off to be confirmed. The waiting is the hard part though--- the staff can be unpredictable on their response time (sometimes not responding at all, in my experience), and the waiting period can also vary. Every year, the application and confirmation process seems to either take longer or get pushed later and later into the year, allowing weeks or months of potential production and prep time for artists to be lost. It always feels very rushed and slapdash; the ANCM staff are not always the best at keeping to deadlines.

Speaking of the staff, they can be difficult. A lot of the rules for the comic market seem pretty arbitrary, and they also seem to make and apply new ones without any warning. They nitpick and are unforgiving of mistakes; a tiny slip up or miscommunication, sometimes on their part instead of yours, could cost you your application or your actual table. If you're looking to table in the CM, do yourself a favour and document EVERYTHING. Take photos of every page of your contract after it's been filled out and initialed. Keep all your correspondence readily accessible. Keep your lottery application confirmation email, as it has all your form answers on it. Are you remotely unclear on something? ASK. Don't assume! Get everything you can in writing. It sucks to prep an awesome innovative product that is technically within the guidelines, but have them pull it from your table at the con for some ridiculous, purely subjective reason. I have in past years also had staff members blatantly insult my art to my face, but the offending people aren't anyone I've seen on staff again.

Overall, it's a great convention. After the actual contract stuff is approved, the con is a breeze, and the attendees are great! High profit, low monetary investment, and a great location. Well worth it if you can get in and are local.

April 5, 2016, 7:03 pm

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7

Amazing if you can get in!

One of the best cons in North America if you can get in. The profit here is amazing if you can get in! I've only tabled once here but I know why it's so hard to get in now, the crowd is amazing and there is a high buying interest. People are genuinely interested in supporting artists and all the attendees were very nice. It just sucks that it's lottery now, very hard to get into unless you get lucky or can share with someone.

Venue:
Very spacey, easy to navigate if you have a car to get to it. It gets pretty busy during the con so parking might be hard.

Layout:
They limit the tables to about 100 so I feel like everyone has a good chance of making decent sales. I love how there is so much space behind our tables (unlike Fanexpo) and it's very easy to navigate and find people. Traffic flow was pretty good.

Staff:
AN is notable for staff issues (i.e. staff acting superior and bossing people around). I did encounter a minor issue once but overall I think they do their job well.

Attendance:
One of the most anticipated events of the year for anime fans, therefore attendance is very good and is continuing to climb every year.

Affordability:
Might get pricey if you need to stay at the hotel, but for me as a local it was so so worth it.

December 21, 2015, 11:15 pm

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