With two hotels and and the largest convention center in Canada, there should be more than enough room for everybody at Anime North each year. But simple room isn’t the question. Simply, 20,000 people in cosplay is a lot of people to manage and hold a degree of liability for. Even the largest buildings can only hold so many people before they start to violate fire code. So it it wasn’t an illogical decision for the organizes to send out an e-mail explaining an attendee caps this year. And making the attendee caps known about in advance is their best way to prevent a tragic overload like Fanexpo 2010.
Doing the math: there’s 15,000 weekend passes, and 5,000 day passes for each of the three days. So you have a total of 30,000 attendees if they hit their limits. But then also consider a few hundred people with vendor passes to opperate the dealer’s room, and people with artists alley tables and other exhibitors. And there’s all the invited guests like voice actors, the staff, volunteers, and security. AND there’s people with media access let in to cover the event for local new outlets. And I’m sure there’s also the hotel and TCC staff.
But that’s not all. Even if you don’t buy a pass to get into any of the panels or dealer’s room, there’s still a lot of nomadic otaku who don’t buy passes but still hang out on the property of the TCC enjoying the crowds and cosplay gatherings and room parties. So if you aren’t into going to panels or buying art prints, you might want to considering saving yourself the price of admission ($50 last year) and the time spent in line being yelled at by that Klingon.
Advance ticket sales open January 2nd. (I remember in the past years, the line for people claiming preregistered tickets has, at times, been several times longer than the line for people there who didn’t pay in advance.) If the torrent of people eager to register their tickets as soon as possible crashes the system before January 3rd, nobody is going to be too surprised.
What happens after 2011 is still up in the air. Will the number of attendees without passes grow? Will the convention stablize at 25,000 attendees and cater more to returning guests than trying to attract new fans? Will the new north building to the Congress Center ever be used for the convention? There’s also rumors that a relocation of the whole convention is being considered, possibly to the extended Pacific Mall shopping center which should start construction in Markham some time next year. But after ten years at the Toronto Congress Center, a change like that would give the convention a whole different feel and right now it’s too early to say if the change would be for the better or worse.
Naturally Tdotcomics will be covering the event and seeing how the limitation applied to the population of otaku there effects the atmosphere. Also: One of the most memorable moments of last year was when the Pony panel exceeded capacity, will the panel organizers this year make sure to give us a larger room? The next event Tdotcomics will be covering is Toronto ComiCon downtown on November 20th. I doubt there will be an attendence cap on it – there’s barely even a line up to get into it.
Does this attendee cap mean that Anime North will have ticket scalpers? Just make sure to show the back of your ticket as you pass security guards so they know you aren’t bootlegging them.