Animore 2017

AniMore was held January 13 -- 15, 2917, in the Hyatt Regency Baltimore, Baltimore MD

AniMore started in 2016 and returned in 2017. With Otakon moving to DC as of 2017, it is now Baltimore's only anime-specific convention. As a young convention it attracts crowds of about 1,000 (accordnig to their website) and fits easily within the convention space inside the Hyatt Regency. Virtually all events were on the same floor with two or three panel rooms, a hallway for games of all sorts, a larger room for dealers and artists, and a smaller area for video games and guest booths. I haven't been to such a small convention since the first Anime USA, which was probably comparible in size around 2000. It was quite pleasant to see that small events can draw crowds of fans and fit in to a somewhat saturated market. MAGFest was only the weekend prior and Baltimore has a number of other sizable fandom conventions (such as BROnycon and Baltimore Comic Convention).

For me, it was rather nostalgic. Most conventions I've been to in the last years have been busy, rushed, and croweded. That's good in some ways; I love taking cosplay photos and that environment keeps things moving and brings me lots of opportunities for photos. But it also takes away the opportunity to meet people based on shared interests and chance. Animore reminded me much of the conventions of the late 90s and early 2000s. People weren't there to push their project or network for industry contacts, it was people there to enjoy their hobby. A lot of work, luck, and planning go into a convention but the critical ingredient is that passion. I think Animore has managed to capture it and will grow nicely in the future.

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