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Monday, July 3, 2017

Anime Expo 2017: Line-Con, What Happened?

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, the folks behind AX, released a statement over the problems of the horrible lines at Anime Expo Day 1 this year. It seems it was all tied to security with there being to few metal detectors and poor line management. The registration line and badge line some how merged at points. You can read the whole thing below.

Also, ANN interviewed SPJA Chief Operations Officer Ray Chiang to get details on what happened, some of his answers were concerning, especially the part when he didn't know that lines for regular badge holders are sometime very far away from the panels they want to go to compared to special badge holders. You can read the whole interview here.

Safety and security for Anime Expo attendees are SPJA’s highest priority.  SPJA deeply regrets attendees’ frustration at the long waits to enter Anime Expo yesterday.  SPJA immediately added many more bag check stations as lines grew.  As of yesterday, 70,000 attendees checked in and went through bag check.  Overnight, SPJA moved its shuttle bus drop off point.  Today, those who already have badges can enter along the South side of West Hall rather than in front, where people first pick up badges.  This morning, lines are moving more quickly.  Delays are under half an hour.
The world we live in has changed dramatically. Balancing enhanced security with treasured parts of the AX experience, like cosplay, moved Prop Weapons check outside the event. To accommodate the extra time bag check would require, SPJA opened registration on Thursday, a full day earlier than usual.  The registration line moved quickly, but the separate bag check line slowed and then merged. Immediately, SPJA reorganized the lines and opened more bag check stations. For Day 2, many more bag check stations were added, fans were asked to bring fewer bags to the event, and shuttle routes were changed.
Given recent world events, for everyone’s safety and security, there was no choice but to implement bag checks.  SPJA is deeply sorry that doing so made the first day experience so difficult for many.  We deeply appreciate the patience everyone showed yesterday.  Some one-day badge holders who were not able to enter the event until late in the day were given substitute one-day badges for another day at AX, or were given refunds if they were not able to return another day.
Today’s entry into the event is moving smoothly.  Please come to AX and enjoy the incredible talent and programming here for fans of anime and Japanese culture.