Phoenix Fan Fusion is the flagship convention for Arizona geeks. Every single year the community makes the journey through immense heat and one way streets, just to see what Phoenix Fan Fusion has to offer this year. In the past couple years, there have been a lot of growing pains for this convention. With promises and apologies, many were left with hope or doubt about the future.
Let’s see how they did!
The guests were strong for 2019. Many iconic actors, from Jeff Goldblum to Elijah Wood, came to meet and greet any who would pay their prices for autographs or photos. Phoenix Fan Fusion has been solid for ensuring that big guests grace the convention and this year was no different!
So many people got to meet their idols for the first time in their life, and that was all thanks to Phoenix Fan Fusion!
A lot of our close friends, who are vendors at Phoenix Fan Fusion, mentioned they had average to stellar sales! Those who were able to snag an Exhibitor Hall location did better, overall, than those who were placed in the third floor Hall of Heroes. We got to check out the fantastic wares of Sincerely Sam, Game Wave Studios, Lisa Sikorski, Maise Designs, Horsemen Of, and so many others!
This convention always brings out some of the best vendors the state has to offer, along with a good helping of out of state flair, to keep things interesting for local shoppers.
Everyone knows we love and adore our local artists, as they hustle day and night to bring their very best costumes to Phoenix Fan Fusion. This year was no exception. Our photographer, Chocozumo, got tons of great shots of so many incredible cosplayers! We especially loved the work of Amberskies Cosplay, Courtney Leigh Creations, Little Sparkz, Krash and Elfy Aubrie, Polyxena Storm, Kristinadm89, and KayKayNinja!
While this is just a very small list of our homies, who we loved seeing, almost everyone came out in full force for this event!
This is one of the areas that hurts the most because it should be a core component, and yet every year we just feel like it goes overlooked. The communication with staff, from a press stand point, is always so spotty. We were told the night before the event, when press conferences for guests would be. Less than 24 hours’ notice is unreasonable, as many media outlets lay out their plan for the convention well in advance. Even a two day notice would have been appreciated, but instead it caused us to simply pass on all press conferences which hurt both us and the guest.
Many attendees reported their disdain for the continued wristband system. Badges hold a classic convention experience, and guests can display them on their “con badge shrine” of choice, after the event. This year was even a step down from before, as the bands were simple plastic instead of last year’s cloth material.
Security was an inconsistent experience; some cases were very thorough and understandable, while others felt rushed. Further reports of inconsistencies ranged from medical equipment being called into question, to people bringing knives into the convention. With all those combined, it caused a fair amount of concern.
For a convention that has been around since 2002, it baffles me how they have these problems. Convention goers who attend Anime Expo, Anime Los Angeles, Wonder Con, Emerald City Comic Con, or any sizable convention in any other state can tell you these problems are not as prominent for those events. Yes, some might be bigger, smaller, or even sister conventions of bigger conventions. Even still, there’s no good reason why our flagship convention cannot get their act together to provide a safe, organized, environment for everyone involved.
Was this year better than previous for Phoenix Fan Fusion? Yes. It’s a step in the right direction. Did we expect it to be perfect? No. Of course immense growth can’t be made in the course of a single year, but we expected more. More than likely, we’ll be attending in 2020 to honor our Arizona home roots but to be frank, Fanime is looking mighty attractive.