Clover Con 2013– Proof that good things come in small packages!

We all have our own assumptions and ideas about small conventions.  Some groups are able to pull it off, while others treat the convention like a glorified anime club meeting.  Clovercon is different still, where club meets convention and the whole event is put on to help raise money for their local 4H club.  But let it never be said that small means bad, as seen on May 19th.

Clovercon is a small convention run by the anime club of a local 4H.  All proceeds are then used to help the 4H in whatever form necessary.  This year, the third year of the event, all the money raised was used to help put a new roof on their main meeting hall, and any extra was being used for solar panels.  The cause was great, and I felt that I was helping out the community I live in, even if it was only by such a small bit.

The convention itself was only eight hours long, but of course due to timing issues and traffic (the local college was having their commencement ceremonies are the same time) our group ended up arriving late.  Because of this we missed Anime Parliament.

The panels were very diverse, from Doctor Who History, to a Japanese cultural learning experience using Sailor Moon as its backdrop.  There was something for a great variety of fandoms, not just anime.  I poked my head into quite a few of them, just for a little while, to see how they were going, and each one had pretty large crowds in the rooms.

The panels run by staff members of the convention were really well done as well.  Ani-Jeopardy, and anime based version of the Jeopardy game, had lots of people, and tons of interaction even for those not picked to be contestants.  The questions ranged from ridiculously easy, to humorous, and plenty of them made you think as well.

The game room was small, only a few TVs set up for video gaming, but plenty of tables set up for cards or board games, and it seemed like the table games had more players anyway.

The gym area held an artist/dealers area, the main stage, and the kitchens humorously dubbed, WacDonalds.  The 4-H Exchange Club was cooking up typical food fair, from hotdogs to chicken, but also noodles and fried rice.  The pricing was all very reasonable, and everyone looked like they were really enjoying the food offered.

The artists and dealers had their own chunk of the gym all to themselves.  There was a good variety of product for sale, and the best part was that there was room for everyone to walk.  Everything was situated in such a way that people shopping didn’t interfere with those watching what was happening on stage, or those sitting down to eat.  It was all planned out well.

The stage performances were also very varied.  From Raiki, to a DJ, to a Cosplay Catwalk, there was something happening to entertain, inform, or allow you to pass the time.  My only real gripe with the stage is that because it was located in the same area as the dealers and kitchens, there was a lot of noise.  Because of that extra noise, it seemed the staffers trying to control the stage were very stressed out, and at times I think some of them forgot that the vast majority of the people there were con goers, and not club members, just from the way they were speaking to people.  However, I understand where the stress was coming from.  The weather wasn’t fantastic that day, and many people that may have hung out with friends outside, were forced to be indoors.

With over 450 attendees, and over $4000 raised for the various fund raisers going on that day, Clovercon achieved exactly what it wanted.  I’m happy to see that they’re already planning for 2014 and can’t wait to return.

The only suggestion I would make for next year would be to talk with local voice actors, comics, and those in the industry.  Explaining just what the convention is about, and what it stands for, may have some of them volunteering their time to host a panel, event, or just show up to sign autographs for fans.

 

Pro:  For as small as the building was, it wasn’t crowded, and everyone was super polite and energetic.

Con:  The Cosplay Catwalk could have been a little more organized.  Perhaps having everyone meet in a separate room to line them up and then have them walk into the gym together.  Also, some sort of music playing while everyone walked on the catwalk would have made it a bit more entertaining.

Overall:   Overall, the convention was very enjoyable.  I wasn’t going in expecting weekend con scale, but they truly surpassed what I was expecting from the event.  The location is pretty good, so I saw a lot of people I knew than I thought I would.  I will definitely be back next year.

 

 

To find out just what 4-H is, here’s some information.

For information on the local 4-H club that runs Clovercon, click here!

Mako-chan

Mako-chan

Mako-chan isn’t just a writer and co-host… She’s also the resident baker and chef of all things yummy. Mako-chan has been working behind the scenes helping out where she can for the Podcast. Officially joining the team in November of 2011, first as a writer and editor, and later as an on air personality for the show, and now Assistant Editor, Mako-chan embraces the five main sureties in life that make a person great; Beauty, Intelligence, Talent, Creativity, and Honesty. ^_~

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