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ZipCon 2019 Brings More Than 2000 Attendees

With plans to grow in the future to accommodate the increasing number of attendees, the Akron Anime Club has already begun preparing for ZipCon 2020.

Throughout+the+duration+of+the+day+at+ZipCon%2C+the+vendors+area+remained+full+with+people+hanging+out+or+viewing+the+various+items+available+in+each+booth.
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ZipCon 2019 Brings More Than 2000 Attendees

Throughout the duration of the day at ZipCon, the vendors area remained full with people hanging out or viewing the various items available in each booth.

Throughout the duration of the day at ZipCon, the vendors area remained full with people hanging out or viewing the various items available in each booth.

(Image via Ohio Kimono)

Throughout the duration of the day at ZipCon, the vendors area remained full with people hanging out or viewing the various items available in each booth.

(Image via Ohio Kimono)

(Image via Ohio Kimono)

Throughout the duration of the day at ZipCon, the vendors area remained full with people hanging out or viewing the various items available in each booth.

By Megan Parker, The University of Akron

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The Akron Anime Club recently hosted its sixth annual ZipCon at The University of Akron on Feb. 23 and are already starting preparations for next year’s event.

ZipCon is a one-day convention primarily for fans and cosplayers of the popular  Japanese media forms anime and manga but does not exclude fans of all types of media, Mira Kaylor, the new head of ZipCon said.

“I actually saw somebody in an inflatable Baymax costume and quite a few versions of Spiderman,” Kaylor said.

Not only did ZipCon showcase various parts of anime and manga to a continuously growing fan base, but also gave people a convention to attend that was close and affordable.

Kaylor said that many of those in attendance are students from middle and high school who are unable to attend larger conventions such as Ohayocon or Colossalcon due to travel and expenses.

Since the first ZipCon in 2014, the anime convention has continuously grown in popularity and number of people in attendance.

“I’d say that the first ZipCon had about 100-200 people attend,” Kaylor said. “ZipCon 2019 had over 2,000 people attend.”

Along with being popular among younger fan base members, ZipCon has also attracted several furries and fursuiters throughout the years.

Megan Parker
Just a few of the fursuiters who were at ZipCon this year.

According to Kaylor, a furry is somebody who is usually into the furry community; similar to how Star Trek fans are called “Trekkies.” A fursuiter is a person who actually wears the fursuit.

“It wouldn’t be wrong to call a fursuiter a furry, but not all furries wear fursuits,” Kaylor said.

Throughout the entire day at the convention, attendees were able to walk around the vendors’ hall in the Taber Student Union ballrooms or visit one of the several panels happening on the third floor.

(Image via Sylvie Proulx)
Various items such as pins and buttons were available at the Kittynaut booth in the vendors area.

Some of the panels from ZipCon 2019 were “30 Second Improv,” “How to Do Cosplay and Drag Makeup,” “16 Times Translated Anime” and “The First Anime Ft. Charles Dunbar.”

Due to the unexpectedly large number of people who attended the convention this year, ZipCon faced a couple of issues in regard to not enough volunteers and the behavior of some attendees.

(Image via (Andrew Buczko)
Several people cosplaying characters from My Hero Academia took over the stage by Starbucks to dance and “t-pose.”

For ZipCon 2020, stricter rules have already been established and Kaylor encourages people to sign up as a volunteer for next year’s convention. Volunteers must be 16 years or older, but do not need to be UA students.

“There really aren’t any other restrictions aside from showing up and being a decent human being,” Kaylor said. “Volunteers get access to free food, and if they’re a non-student… they don’t have to pay.”

Vendors, artists and panelists are also able to sign-up to participate in ZipCon 2020 online. Registration for vendors and artists can be found here and here for panelists.

Overall, Kaylor said her favorite part of ZipCon is seeing everyone enjoying the ability to showcase their cosplay and take part in the panels or visit the vendors’ area.

“There’s a real sense of achievement seeing people enjoy something you worked hard on,” Kaylor said.

In terms of ZipCon 2020, a date had not been scheduled at the time of publication, but the time frame and location have been published on the website.

People are encouraged to keep an eye on the website for updates and to attend next year’s convention, whether as an attendee, vendor, artist or panelist.

“We’re going to try to make Zipcon 2020 the best it can be. The response and turnout for Zipcon 2019 really caught us by surprise, so we’re already working on and planning for Zipcon 2020,” Kaylor said.

This story was originally published on The Buchtelite on March 4, 2019.

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