Fanime Follow Up
FanimeCon 2010 totally lived up to everything that we were hoping for and more! We arrived to the San Jose Convention Center's loading dock at just after 9 am. We waited in line with the other dealers to get our truck full of goodies unloaded and delivered to our booth. We had a different booth location this year, because our previous one had been occupied by another vendor. But in true AFG spirit, we worked with what we had.
Our goods finally arrived; four wooden pallets stacked about 6 foot high each. Boxes upon boxes filled with delicious Japanese snacks and candies. With only 2 hours to set up before the Dealers Hall opened to the public, in walked the hard part! So much to unpack with so little time, the most challenging issue was trying to construct hundreds of heavy cardboard boxes into a presentable display with room for us to move about behind our two tables. We set up a display case for our Hi Chews and Kasugai Gummies on top of two chairs, stacked our 16 flavors of Ramune sodas four boxes high along the back curtain, and left our Pocky Sticks and Hello Pandas completely in the walk way of our now crowded booths. Needless to say, we were ill prepared for the enormous Fanime crowd.
Anime fans and Cosplayers from all around the country flooded into the Dealers Hall like a monsoon as we scrambled to establish order to our quickly improvised store front. To our surprise, fans and customers from the previous convention remembered us. It was also pretty amazing that we could remember them too.
Once lunchtime hit, sitting down was a thing of the past. Pocky and Ramune sodas flew off of the shelves; we couldn't keep them if we tried. Cosplayers dressed like characters from all the latest popular animes greeted us with smiles that spread from ear to ear, once the figured out that we carried some of the cheapest food at the con. We worked non-stop to satisfy the unquenchable thirst of the fans. By the end of the day we were drained of almost all of our energy. Although almost fully fatigued, our smiles and horseplay proved that we were still having fun.
Days 2 and 3 were the toughest. Thirteen hour shifts with little to no restroom breaks is completely normal to us by this time. Even lunch proved to be a difficult task. And we loved it! Just being able to meet so many great people who had the same interests in Japanese anime, food, and culture as we did was enough to keep us going. That and the five dollar foot longs from Subway! We can't wait to do it all over again for FanimeCon 2011.
We want to personally thank all of the Fanime staff for putting up with all of our special needs, the San Jose Convention Center for letting us use their ice machines when we ran out, and last but not least a huge THANK YOU goes out to all the AsianFoodGrocer.com fans that stopped by our booth! Without you guys, we wouldn't have been able to do the convention at all. If your looking for any awesome pictures that we took, you can see them here!
See you all next year with new flavors and new treats straight from Japan!