In the run-up to Otakuthon 2010, I know a lot of people are a lot more busy than I am.
Otakuthon, Montreal’s own anime convention, is a three-day affair. Held over a weekend, it contains everything you would expect from a convention: art to view, stuff for sale, panel discussions, games, costumes, a mascarade contest, workshops, movies, and dancing. While it’s focus is predominantly anime; its themes expand on the greater genres of science fiction and fantasy, philosophy, science (political and otherwise) and even religion.
The convention is held at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, Montreal’s largest convention center, located at the edge of china town and the old port. Surprisingly, the large number of costumed attendees do not raise much interest when walking through china town, and I suspect they will fit right in this year with the wide variety of downtown festivals that are ongoing this weekend.
My very small part in Otakuthon is to run the Garage Sale table in their exhibit hall. The same job I’ve held with them for the last two years (starting in 2008). The Garage Sale table allows attendees to drop off their goods to be sold and then walk away. Later they can collect any unsold goods and their revenues (less 10%). It’s a pretty simple process, but with the growth of Otakuthon it’s become rather manpower intensive.
Even though I have only a passing interest in anime, I love Otakuthon. The attendees have such energy and verve. I can always find something new at the convention (a new topic, a new movie or TV series, new comics/manga) to entertain and enlighten me. Admittedly, most of my time is spent in the Exhibition hall (with the dealers and the artists), watching over my table. My breaks are mostly for meals, and with china town so very close — I eat very well during this convention. But I do manage to attend a few events and buy a few things over the weekend. The variety of stuff in the dealer’s room is amazing, and along artist alley (where artists set up their own table and sell prints, crafts, and other fine things) I’m always able to find something to buy.
This week I’ve been somewhat frantically trying to schedule drop offs of goods for the garage sale with various attendees. I also hope many of them will send me their forms electronically (so I have less data-entry to perform). It already looks like there will be a good turnout; with some returning members and some new.
The madness begins Thursday night, August 13th, at 5pm — when those of us that have pre-registered can pick up their badges. I’ve already been asked if people can drop off stuff on Thursday night; but we have no place to store things until Friday–so for this year, at least, the answer is no.
Friday, August 14th. Registration opens at noon! The garage sale drop offs start at 3 and continue until 5:30, at which point we move up to the Exhibit hall and the table opens. I strongly suspect people will continue to drop stuff off after that point. Hopefully, we’ll be able to keep up.
It comes to a close on Sunday night at 5pm. By then all the unsold goods have either been donated to the volunteers fund, or picked up and the monies divided.
The convention is a lot of fun. Even if you’re not into anime, I strongly suggest you give Otakuthon a try. I’ll be there, and I hope you will be too.