「Crunchyroll Expo 2017」
While it may not have “convention” in its name (I’m a firm believer CrunchyCon would have been a great name), I think Crunchyroll did a pretty bang up job with its first attempt at holding its own “Expo”.
Held in sunny Santa Clara, California at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Crunchyroll Expo definitely had a different vibe compared to your typical convention. Compared to other conventions held in the area (Fanime, Yaoicon, AOD), it was nice to finally see a more “official” feeling convention held up here in Northern California. With the likes of famous Youtubers to official staff members from game and anime companies, there was a good amount of star power hiding amongst the crowd at CRX. Don’t get me wrong though, there’s a charm to conventions that are held by the fans, for the fans but sometimes you just want to see some famous and/or “official” people since conventions are one of the few readily accessible places where meeting the people you admire can become a reality. What I think CRX did best though, was combining the atmosphere of a more relaxed convention with the events and people you’d expect to find at a much larger event. Something that I don’t think would be possible with any other company than Crunchyroll.
Also — free parking. That was close to the convention. This in itself was a m a z i n g.
Dealers Hall / Artist Alley
For a smaller event, I was really impressed with just how large both the Dealers Hall and the Artist Alley were. Starting with the Dealers Hall, it was rather impressive just how many vendors and companies were packed into area while also providing ample breathing space for everyone in the hall. With plenty of space to weave in and out of crowds and tons of memorabilia for your eyeballs to feast on, just about anyone would be able to find enjoyment from heading inside. Also, big shout out to whoever decided on providing ample resting areas throughout multiple areas of the Dealers Hall — you’re the true hero.
Moving on to the Artist Alley, I think it was a little crazy just how many artists were gathered into one spot. With rows upon rows of tables that extended down the entire length of the area, anyone who is an Artist Alley enthusiast would have a field day here. Add in the constant flow of air conditioning that kept the entire space cool and dry even with people constantly packing in and you have a perfect example of how to hold an Artist Alley that optimizes both space and comfort.
Events and Panels
While I personally wasn’t able to attend more than a handful of panels due to some scheduling conflicts, most of the people I spoke with had a pretty positive impression with all the panels they attended. Tying back in to my point about the atmosphere of CRX, it was nice to see that there were a good number of industry/official panels offered.
For its first foray into the convention scene, I think Crunchyroll Expo did a fantastic job. It managed to create an environment with a unique atmosphere that I think managed to capture a wide audience. With such a great first year, I can’t wait to see what happens in the future as the “Expo” continues to grow.
P.S. Good on Crunchyroll for taking care of their volunteers — I only heard good things about both the people working the floor and the people upstairs pushing out orders. Glad to see that CRX understands it needs to take care of not only its attendees but the people who help keep the show running smoothly from behind the scenes.
2017 Convention Info