Saikoucon is a small convention in the Allentown, PA area. There aren’t many anime conventions within the PA area, so it was nice to get a chance to check out a con that was just trying to start out. The con itself had some minor snags along the way, ones that seemed common for a con trying to figure itself out.
The initial price for a badge was $75 for the whole weekend. A bit pricey for something that was just starting out, and didn’t have the reputation that a bigger convention like Otakon would have. But they did have single day badge rates, for anyone just looking to visit for a day.
The convention itself was held at the Holiday Inn, the bulk of the convention in one main room, as well as four other rooms for the panels. The main room was the vendor hall, hosting mostly independent sellers and artists. For such a small con, they did have a pretty wide variety of different vendors. It wasn’t going to be as big as Otakon or even Connecticon, but it was a clear they had a decent selection. Most of the vendor’s there were artists selling prints or different crafts. I think it was a good start for anyone looking to sell at a con or wanting to do a test run of his or her things.
The panel rooms were located in a rather odd area, in meeting rooms on the third floor. But the man area was a hallway much like regular hotelrooms would be. The narrow hallway really wasn’t ideal for waiting for the different panels. People were cramped in the hot hallways with each other for extended periods of time, waiting for the next panel. They had different panels running every hour, but it seemed as though there really wasn’t enough space for the people who wanted to attend. Maybe for future cons they might plan a better space for panel rooms.
Overall the convention was small. It didn’t have much in the way of programing like a bigger con might. The crowd there was a bit younger then most other cons I might attend. Come Saturday they ran out of lanyards and had a printing issue with their badges. A think a lot of it comes from early con mistakes, people still trying to feel out how the con itself should be and learn from their mistakes. Despite the younger crowd, I thought it was fairly exciting for them. They were probably attending a con for the first time, and getting the chance to cosplay. I think for next year if they can work out the kinks and learn from their mistakes they could grow to be bigger and better. I would like a con that’s less then 20 mins away from my house to be successful. If you’re looking for a bigger convention experience I probably wouldn’t recommend going beyond a day trip. But maybe next year they’ll improve.
Here’s some pictures of the cosplayers from the con!