Why Is Sunday So Dead At Anime Conventions?

by Justin Sevakis,

Chris asks:

I somehow made it to three major anime cons this year (Anime Central, Anime Weekend Atlanta, and Youmacon), and every time I was surprised and dismayed by the retrenchment from the dealer's room on Sunday. At each of these cons, a number of informational booths simply weren't staffed for Sunday, while some vendors started packing up hours before the con closed. Is Sunday really such a dead zone that it's not worth their time to be there? Or do they have somewhere to be on Monday that they need to get out early?

Sundays at an anime convention are always the dead days. Well, unless it's Anime Expo on a year that happens to run from Friday through Monday. In which case Monday is the dead day.

There are a few reasons for this. The first is, everybody is hung over. Not everybody drinks alcoholic beverages, of course, but most of us still stayed up way too late, tried to do way too much, were on our feet for most of the previous two days, and were probably running around the giant convention center. We're sore, tired, and cranky. The young among us can bounce back easily, but generally the older folks (including the ones that, you know, work the booths) are pretty tired and would rather be somewhere quiet. Preferably somewhere with a bed.

At that point the attendees will have probably bought most of what they wanted to buy, and many of them have run out of money and/or luggage space. People wander through the exhibit hall like zombies, looking for last-minute deals. Sales are far lower than on previous days. A few exhibitors will do some quick mental math and figure out what isn't worth shipping back, and put that stuff on sale to try and get rid of it. Others will just basically say, "I'm done," and start packing up to go home.

And what awaits them at home? Many of them will need to go back to work the next day. Some of them are facing hours or even days-long drives, odysseys through airport security and cheap seats on an overbooked Delta flight, and lord knows how long sitting in traffic in the back of a smelly SuperShuttle. There will likely be screaming babies involved at some point.

Attendees suffer the same Sunday burnout, and consequently tend to leave early that day, if they show up at all. Knowing this, conventions usually don't schedule much on Sunday, aside from closing ceremonies, con gripe, and the like. Industry people give the con staff a lot of grief if they get a panel on Sundays (as they know far fewer people will show up).

Seriously. The party's over. I know it's sad, but all cons must end. Let the guys behind the booths get some rest. Go look for some bargains and go home.

Got questions for me? Send them in! The e-mail address, as always, is answerman (at!)

Justin Sevakis is the founder of Anime News Network, and owner of the video production company MediaOCD. You can follow him on Twitter at @worldofcrap.

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