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"Project Anime," a new two-day conference aimed at convention organizers and vendors, will be held on June 27 and 28 at the JW Marriott Los Angeles LIVE hotel, just before this year's Anime Expo (AX). Co-produced by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) and production company Green Mustard Entertainment (A.K.A. Wasabi Anime), the event will have roundtable discussions, panels, and presentations involving conventions and the vendors that support them.
The Project Anime event is intended to bridge the gap between the staff members of different conventions, and to share ideas that might boost both convention attendance and the industry in general. The event's organizers say that the idea was spurred by the decreasing number of anime and manga publishers over the last several years.
"The benefit of putting it next to Anime Expo is that, after two days of discussing conventions, attendees can spend a few days walking around the largest anime convention in North America and seeing the good, the bad, and what can be improved," Convention Chair Tom Croom told ANN.
The current schedule includes panels on industry, advertising and social media, operations, security, programming, and guest relations. Additionally, five hours of programming are designated as "sponsor panels." The event will focus on bringing in sponsors related to convention services (such as printing, logistics, and ticketing systems) and plans to use sponsorship revenue to subsidize attendance for organizers of the 10 largest anime conventions in North America.
Attendance is priced at US$45, and a package deal, which includes six meals, a reception, and an all-inclusive four-day pass to AX, is priced at US$350 per person. A complete conference package, which adds round-trip airfare (from anywhere in the continental United States), five nights at the JW Marriott, and airport transportation, is priced at US$1,750 per person.
While the first year's Project Anime event will be connected to Anime Expo, its organizers plan to attach it to a different convention each year.
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