The more you work with fan conventions, the more you see certain patterns emerging. One such pattern involves the learning curve of hotels that step into the wild and zany world of playing host to anime, comic, and “geek” conventions. You see, “norms” (normal people – often hotel employees!) don’t always understand the entire convention culture and, without that foresight, they figure it’s just another group of people booking space at the hotel’s ballrooms and breakout rooms.
In fact, if there’s extra space left – unfamiliar hotels will sometimes try to book other things in the same space. If you’ve gone to smaller conventions, then you’ve seen it: the random dinner on Saturday night; the church group on Sunday night; etc.
And my favorite… the weddings.
In 2001, Anime Festival Orlando moved to the Altamonte Springs Hilton for their second year. I was on staff that year immediately took note of the potential nightmare some poor bride was about to endure… because the Hilton had booked her into the farthest ballroom thinking the anime fans would be far enough away not to intrude.
Anime fans, though, like to intrude.
I don’t remember who took this photo, but I do remember hearing about a young cosplayer walking up to the bride asking her what anime her costume was from. As you can tell from the photo, she is LESS than thrilled as she stormed through the convention center.
I’ve told this story fairly often, but I stumbled across the photo again this past weekend and thought I’d share for posterity. Enjoy.