Organising the London Anime Con; an interview with its Gaming Community Manager
The London Anime Con is a bi-annual anime and gaming convention in the heart of downtown London. This year’s convention takes place next weekend on 20-21 July and has a massive schedule of events planned. For more details and to purchase tickets, you can visit the official website, http://www.londonanimecon.com.
We spoke with LAC Gaming Community Manager Jess Banks on what it’s like organising such a huge event.
PS3 Attitude: How soon do you begin organizing for the London Anime Con, and what does it entail?
Jess Banks, Gaming Community Manager: Organising the convention is a year long endeavour, we try our hardest to make sure we can deliver the best content we can for the attendees. That takes a lot of time and dedication our end and with all the great people we have the opportunity to work with. It’s so hard to nail down exactly what it entails as we are always trying to keep things unique. From personal experience, one day I will be organising photographers for the Cosplay Social, the next I’ll be speaking to games companies for the Xillia preview!
PS3A: The convention isn’t just about Anime but also covers all kinds of fandom like gaming and cosplay. What do you do to ensure that every scene is adequately represented?
JB: Each element of our convention is integral and important, for Cosplay we’ve brought together some of the UK’s most well known Cosplayers to celebrate the art form. For gaming we have our hardcore Tornaments such as ‘Steet Fighter IV’ run by ‘Electronic Dojo’ and adding London Anime Con’s unique flair, our UK sight reading tournaments for DDR. We aim to make sure every aspect of the convention is represented by offering diverse and unique content while staying true to our fans.
PS3A: What’s the most difficult part of organizing an event like LAC?
JB: We try to go that extra mile to integrate every part of our event together, Examples include incorporating GamesAid with our stage events and working with Dragons Prophet, sourcing a hand made bow, which will only be featured as a prize for London Anime Con and Gamescom.
Going the extra mile is challenging, but gives everyone the opportunity to work with London Anime Con to produce amazing content as well as truly unique moments for attendees.
PS3A: What prompted you to add a charity aspect to the convention?
JB: Charity and Community have always been huge focuses for us here at London Anime Con and indeed all of our conventions. We have supported various charities throughout the years and tied them into fund raising events, such as our Cosplay Auctions, raising money for Aid for Japan. It gives us a brilliant opportunity to make all the hard work everyone puts into the event go that much further to those in need.
PS3A: Why did you decide on GamesAid as the sponsored charity?
JB: GamesAid is a charity that incorporates so many elements, uniting gaming with the ability to do something fantastic for a wide range of those in need. Combining a passion with the ability to help children and young adults in so many walks of life is the reason we have placed a heavy focus on this charity for our event this time round.
PS3A: You’re also partnering with Namco-Bandai this year and showing off Tales of Xillia. Have you played it yet? What are your thoughts on the game?
JB: Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to play the game yet myself, but as a fan of RPG games and manga, the Anime style of the game has always drawn me to the ‘Tales of’ series. I’m a secret fan of Kosuke Fujishima’s anime and manga, especially ‘oh my goddness!’ and I’m looking forward to seeing his and indeed all of the characterisation within the game. The new battle system also looks like its going to give combat a more strategic feel and flow. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on this game!
Thanks again to Jess Banks for the interview and remember, if you want to get your hands on Tales of Xillia before its release, tickets are still available. We’ll be there covering the convention so you might even run into us at one of the gaming kiosks!