So awhile back I did an article on how a new convention called AVOX would be a game-changer for Anime Expo in 2020. With these two events happening concurrently I thought it would be interesting to analyze how this con could affect the biggest anime convention in the United States. Well that didn’t play out as I hoped because the pandemic prevented the event from happening, but as it stands right now things are looking promising for AVOX to finally happen in 2022. Now that I know a bit more about what AVOX plans to do and now that I’ve gotten a bit more skilled as a writer I want to take those thoughts a step further and explain why I think the amazing access to actors will cause AVOX will be a roaring success when it does happen.
The thing that really caught my interest about AVOX is the fact that they plan to have at least 100 voice actors in attendance. To put that in perspective I go to about 10 conventions a year and all of the guests combined will maybe get around that amount. Given how expensive any individual convention is the idea of being able to meet so many people at once all in one go really sounds like an opportunity that I’d be a fool to miss out on. However, a large guest list alone is far from enough to be successful as it is usually the larger events that are the most difficult to work around due to the size of the crowds that are also trying to meet the same actors.
Crowds are an absolute struggle at every stage of a convention because many of the larger conventions will sell so many tickets that it will cause congestion in walkways and massive autograph lines full of people where at least half of them will leave empty-handed. I went to a convention where I wound up failing to get the items I wanted to be signed, and to make it worse it was by no fault of my own. To spend the kind of money to meet these amazing people, con tickets, transportation, hotels and the desire to celebrate their part of a fandom you hold dear only to fail is a rather heartbreaking experience. I remember feeling disappointed, hurt, and just defeated because it was one of my biggest reasons for going to that con.
AVOX is not likely to have that problem because they capped the attendance to 8000. Now to many, I’m sure this sounds like a massive crowd but I’ll do some math to really help put things into perspective. AVOX will have at least 100 guests so at most the ratio of attendees to guests is at most 80:1. At many of the other conventions I’ve gone to you usually have about 10,000+ attendees for about 20 guests and as little as say 10. Now I’ve had a lot of fun at these events but the ratios here are between 500:1 and 1000:1 which are significantly higher than what you’ll find at AVOX and I think it does a great job at explaining why so many events have attendees line up for autographs only to leave empty-handed. If you’re one of the last people in a 500+ autograph line good chance you’re not making it to the end especially if the guest is signing for only one or two hours. This is actually why I prefer smaller conventions because there’s so much less stress and I’m way more likely to have an easy time meeting the people I came to meet and having a great time.
While the size of the convention will have a massive impact AVOX will also have its own unique ideas, one of which we know quite a bit about already. Now AVOX plans to implement the idea of AVOX VIP signings at Los Angeles Comic-Con (LACC), but they confirmed they will do something similar at their main event. After talking with AVOX on Twitter about this I actually really love this idea. You pay in advance to meet a subset of the guest list. In the case of LACC, you spend about $170 to meet 12 to 15 actors. I love the idea of being able to reserve a spot in line in advance because it means rather than trying to wait a long time just to get a good spot in an autograph line my spot will be ready for me when I get there, as long as I’m on time of course. It actually resolves a few more concerns I’ve had with autograph lines in the past. One is the one-minute time limit for the meet and greet which will make lines so fairly quickly. I’ve seen lines where you get someone at the end of it that loves to talk and holds up the line for several minutes, with this specific time limit it’s clear AVOX plans to enforce a policy that gives everyone time with the actors but not at the expense of any other attendee. Now AVOX confirmed you can’t bring things like figures and toys to these signings but you can bring your own poster which is perfect for someone like me because I mainly get posters and game cases signed and even then if these signings are not ideal for you they still have individual signings.
So to recap you have an event with over 100 actors with a small attendance that has guests doing individual and VIP signings. For many people their goal when going to a convention is the opportunity to meet the amazing actors that made the fandoms they love possible. While all conventions offer that opportunity many have such a high attendee to guest ration that many leave without the experience they put so much time and effort to have. It really sounds like to me that AVOX understands this problem, likely even better than I do, and has specifically designed this event around solving that problem. Small crowds, VIP signings, individual signings and enough voice actors to where it sounds like it would actually be more difficult to miss the actors than to meet them. While I’m only making a prediction here I have faith that AVOX is going to be an unforgetable experience and I really would love a chance to sit down and talk with someone from AVOX and do a whole episode of my podcast devoted to the event because I honestly want to find out everything I can about this event.