That. Was. Amazing.
When we started production for WasabiCon 2017, I warned the team that I had the expectation of attendance being the same as or – quite possibly – slightly below 2016’s attendance. This was due to attempts at similar entertainment in the region by other organizations proxy to ours, and then (later in the year) from the impact of Hurricane Irma on Jacksonville, Florida. My team and I shifted our budget accordingly while also working to expand programming since we planned on later event hours and had secured additional space at our host property. Our goal: do more with less.
Then came you: the fans. Out of nowhere the support for WasabiCon came bursting through in the form of pre-sales. Both Artist Alley and our Vendor spaces sold out months ahead of the show. Advance ticket purchases in 2017 compared to 2016 jumped a whopping 60%. With at the door ticket sales, WasabiCon 2017 hosted 3,007 attendees over two days. We had gone up. Way up.
All because of you.
So THANK YOU to each and every one of you that came to WasabiCon 2017. You have made us Jacksonville, Florida’s longest running pop culture convention – something we don’t take lightly. It’s a responsibility Green Mustard Entertainment takes seriously and will continue to do so as we expand over the coming years.
I’d be remiss without acknowledging the hard work of the production crew this year both at and prior to the event. Thank you Adam, Annie, Chris, Dani, Diane, Francis, Joe, John A., John L., Nita, Kaleb, Kate, Kelly, Kyle, Lisa, Lyn, Megan, Nathalie, Raymond, Ron, Russell, Savannah, Shannon, Tracy, Jo, Jessica, and Mandy. A very special thank you to Danielle who put a lot of work into helping drive the event forward this year.
Additionally, no event is complete without the talent you meet and see at a convention! Thank you to our media guests Kimberly Brooks and Todd Haberkorn for flying out to enjoy our convention (and, in Todd’s case, touring the city with the Visit Jacksonville team!) Thank you to Candy Keane, the 219th Brain Surgeons, Bold City Cosplay, Brittani “Fluffy Butt Arts” Crawford, the Delta Fleet, Extra Life Team Jax, For the Love of Clod, Fred & Elle Designs, Geekapella, Jenifer Ann, LvL Up Events, Noise Complaint, None Like Joshua, the North Florida Ghostbusters, NoS Anime, the Sailor Scouts of Jacksonville, and Tayrex Cosplay.
Last – and certainly not least – thank you to our event partners and sponsors that helped contribute to this year’s convention: AnimEigo, Bento Asian Kitchen + Sushi, Blackfinn Ameripub, The Catty Shack Ranch, Cosplay in America, Discotek, the Daytona Arcade Museum, the Florida Theatre, Freedom Japanese Market, Funimation, GLHF Game Bar, GOJAX, iPrintShirts.net, The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, LvL Up Events, Meeple Source, Microsoft, NIS America, Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions, Redfin, Sentai Filmworks, The Southern Grill, Video Game Rescue, Video Games Live, and VIZ Media. A very special thank you to the team at Visit Jacksonville for all the help and support with our project to make “WasabiCon” synonymous with their city.
Thank you to the Lexington Hotel and Conference Center team for learning and growing with us.
This year WasabiCon continued our support for two very important charities, and we’re proud to say that we raised over $1,300 for Toys for Tots thanks to the efforts of Chris Duplis, the Sailor Scouts of Jacksonville, plus staff donations *AND* LifeSouth collected 18 blood donors on Saturday and 21 donors on Sunday. Each blood donation can save up to 3 lives and thanks to the awesome participants, they will be able to positively impact 117 lives in Jacksonville.
Once again: All because of you.
So from by bottom of my heart: THANK YOU to each and every one of you that made our convention a success. You’re more than just attendees to us. You’re part of our “geek family”.
Tom Croom, WasabiCon 2017 Event Director
WasabiCon 2018 will take place October 20-21, 2018. #StayTuned