Anime Midwest takes place annually in July at both the Hyatt Regency O’Hare and the Stevens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL USA which is centrally located between Chicago and O’Hare Airport. They get on average over 16,000 attendees.
It is second in Anime Cons in my area, compared to Anime Central which takes place in the same location, but their attendance is around 33,000 and is held in June. I personally like Anime Midwest better because it seems friendlier and they have a ConSweet which offers instant oatmeal, pot noodles, rice and small cups of soda free to all attendees.
All anime conventions are pretty much the same people come and share their love of anime. Through Panels, Masquerade, Maid Cafe, Video Games, Dances, Cosplay, concerts the list goes on and on. It’s a place to be and a place to be seen. I find the cosplayers to eager to get their photos taken, the staff helpful and even security to be quite friendly. You can lose yourself, which this day is a great thing getting the stress out of your life. There were fursuiters there, not a lot but I did see a handful.
Speaking of gamers, if you have a 3DS like me, your StreetPass feature will get a workout the number who brought there varies per day I had around 20 on Sunday for an old handheld there are still some like me who still love it.
What can I say it is all good fun, I did not have a single problem or even heard of any who had.
But what isn’t talk about a lot in these kinds of articles in the Dealers Area which is massive – 40,000 sq ft by one estimate.
You can get really just about anything relating to anime and then some. I even saw a dealer selling craft root beer and I personally made a selection from a real Japanese coin vending machine, the kind where you turn the handle. It was great fun and very interesting, it’s the kind of place you have to pass through multiple times just to figure out what you want. It certainly took me a couple of times.
This may surprise some but I would say some 30% of all those who attend anime cons only go for the shopping. I swear I have seen people go through Registration then directly to the Dealers Area. You would think in the days where most shop online is doing this, but I can tell you otherwise. But every year I see a steady stream of people with their arms full with things they bought at the convention going to and from the nearby train station.