Happy New Year to you. We are six days away from the start of Ichibancon 2020. The updated schedule is posted on the main website. I will be presenting two panels on Saturday January 11th, 2020. My first panel on Japan Travel will start at 10 a.m. in Events Room 2. This panel is for anyone interested in traveling to Japan for the first time. I go over the financial aspects on planning a trip, tips on using various transportation options, lodging recommendations, sushi etiquette and much more. My second panel is on how to make sushi in your own home at 6 p.m. in Events Room 3. This is a new panel that I will be presenting for the first time. It is something I have been working towards since last summer. If you will be in attendance, please say hello and stop by one or both of my panels. I always enjoy meeting new people and talking about anything Japanese related.
The Queen City Anime Convention is a three-day event centered around anime, cosplay, video games, and other Japanese related themes. This year, the event was held at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte, NC. It took place from August 9th, 2019 through August 11th, 2019. My brother and I attended the convention on Saturday. I was approved to run a Japan travel panel at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday as well. We decided to stay most of the day and attended other panels, special events, the video game room, and the marketplace. According to the event staff, over 4,000 people attended the convention this year.
Austin and I began our day in the parking garage next to the hotel. The convention offered a discounted rate of $5 to park all day. We quickly went through registration and obtained our badges for the day. QCAC improved their registration process from the previous year. I used the Fan Guru event application to figure out where my panel room was located. This app was very helpful navigating the halls and keeping track of events I wanted to attend. After a quick check-in at Con Ops, I was ready for my panel at 11:00 a.m.
My panel was a success with 42 attendees and great questions from the audience. I was able to present and answer questions with five minutes to spare. The only bad part about my panel was the room size. All of the 32 seats were taken. but 10 additional attendees had to stand across the back wall. The room size issue was a reoccurring problem throughout the day.
After my panel ended, we went next door to see if Austin could participate in the speed dating event. Unfortunately, the demand far exceeded the room size and slots for participants. This created confusion and logistics issues for the event. Ultimately, Austin and I left the area to check out the dealer's room. We checked out some of the dealers among a crowd of people. After walking the room one time, Austin, bought a handmade craft for $12.00. I was tempted to buy a t-shirt, but the styles did not interest me enough.
Later on, we attended the Samurai vs. Ninja panel hosted Samurai Dan. This panel was featured a series of questions to decide if you acted like a samurai or a ninja. Dan did an excellent job entertaining and engaging the audience. I could tell why he was a featured guest host for multiple panels. I recommend attending one of his panels at a future convention. After the panel ended, we tried to get in line for the Cosplay Circus Show. Unfortunately, the line wrapped far around the convention hall. When we realized the main event room was too small to hold all of the people in line, we gave up and went to the gaming room.
I got a chance to play the Initial D Infinite 8 arcade machine. I was able to beat the first rivals race before giving another person a chance to play. Austin and I tried to find a fighting game station available, but they were taken by tournament participants. We ended up walking to the Social Media Breakdown for Cosplayers panel. My hope was that we could learn something even though the panel started 30 minutes prior to our arrival. Much to my surprise, the panel either ended early or did not start at all. With nothing else going on, we went back to the main events room to try and catch part of the Cosplay Circus Show. There was still a line of people waiting to see the show. The room was at maximum capacity forcing volunteers to use a one-in-one-out system. Ultimately, my brother and I decided to take a break until the next scheduled special event.
We got in line about 4:20 p.m. to see the None Like Joshua Rap Show. Unfortunately, the Cosplay Circus Show ran almost 30 minutes past the scheduled time slot. While we did see the show, it started close to an hour later than scheduled. None Like Joshua put on a great performance and it was the highlight of our day at QCAC. After the show, Austin and I decided to end our day at the convention. We had planned to meet Ashley for dinner at Sea Level. While our day was met with unexpected demand and delays, we did have a fun and enjoyable experience. My brother and I enjoyed interacting with other attendees and found the volunteer staff extremely friendly. It is exciting that QCAC continues to grow rapidly as a summer convention in Charlotte, NC. Hopefully, I can attend and present again at QCAC in 2020.
I am pleased to announce that I will be hosting a panel at the 2019 Queen City Anime Convention in Charlotte, NC. My panel on traveling to Japan is scheduled for Saturday, August 10th at 11:00 a.m. in Panel Room 2. You can visit the convention website for more information regarding guests, panel scheduling, and other weekend activities.