KotoriCon is a small convention located in Glassboro, NJ, located near Philadelphia. It’s presented each January by Gloucester County College. Though the growth of this convention was noticeable from previous years, it seemed very natural and expected. Profits go directly to charities, underscoring the friendly and community-centric nature of this event.
KotoriCon topped 1,000 attendees and deservedly sold all available tickets in 2013. Here’s why:
Helpful Printed Materials
At registration, I received helpful printed materials – a schedule and a survival guide (which went along quite well with the zombie theme). The survival guide included a map, list of panels, information about all featured guests, vendors and artists.
Con Staff: Friendly and Plentiful
KotoriCon had enough staff members and volunteers, which is an achievement in itself when it comes to convention organization. Every single volunteer I encountered was friendly and professional. Additionally, they took initiative in helping people. Several times, volunteers asked, “Can I help you find something?” or held the door for attendees. Every time I had a question, someone was there with an answer.
I went into the ops room to gather my press badge, and even that seemed to be running extremely smoothly at the start of the con. I could tell that everyone was extremely organized. Every single volunteer I encountered was kind and approachable. This is one of the convention’s biggest strengths and it has only improved in the past year.
KotoriCon features a demonstration space, and this year it was very well utilized. Attendees were welcomed with a performance by the Hoh Daiko Drummers of Seabrook, NJ. This dedicated group are the East Coast’s first So Daiko group, and their roaring introduction served to get everyone excited for the continuing festivities.
When I first went to KotoriCon in 2011, I wasn’t sure I’d like it. I’m not really an anime fan. However, I realized that KotoriCon was about more than just anime – it was about community and I noticed members of various fandoms really got along here. Since then, the convention programming and the guests themselves have certainly continued to embrace and expand all fandoms while keeping anime and manga at the core of the festivities. This approach seems to please everyone, and I am always entertained.
Furthermore, cosplayers generally love to talk about their costumes, so mixing different genres and fandoms really bridges gaps between them and helps people expand their interests.
I was especially delighted to find that the commitment to diversity of fandoms was represented in the panels. Instead of just talking, panelists asked audiences about what they were interested in learning more about. This was especially the case in the “Making Your Nerd Dream Job a Reality” panel, hosted by +2 Comedy with an assist from Underbelly.
KotoriCon had a strong LARP presence this year with at least three live action role playing gaming systems represented. Find out more about them here:
- · Mystic Realms
- · Exile
- · Seventh Kingdom IGE (pictured in slideshow)
I strongly recommend this convention for new and experienced convention attendees. Check out the Sweet On Geek slideshow for more pictures.
Don’t lose track of KotoriCon: Follow the convention on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Tumblr.
More from Tara M. Clapper:
Five things fans expect from the ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ TV show
All About the Hawkeye Initiative: Interview with Illustrator Jennifer Jeong
Interview with Marvel Cosplayer Jessi Rippetoe