I am back from attending a small anime event called SNAFU, which stands for Sierra Nevada Anime Fans Unite. I went last year and was not impressed. That was their first year at the Nugget Hotel location and several other 21 and older Halloween events were also occurring at the site at the same time. Needless to say 2015 was disappointing and several of us had to be talked into attending the event again by a colleague. He really pushed to attend the event again and we agreed to give it one more try. It was worth it, and if SNAFU continues in this positive direction they will have an amazing event worth traveling far for. So you might ask, what was so much better this time?
Let me list the ways…..
- The layout of the event was better. The Artist Alley was now easily accessible and one could easily see what was being presented. The Main Stage area was large, open, and inviting unlike last year when it was stuffed in the back down a long dark hallway. The Vendor room was no longer tight and claustrophobic in nature, and the vendors seemed to be in better spirits this year.
- The attendance of Cos-players in great costumes was certainly up in numbers and in quality. One could tell that many of these people put some serious time and effort into the construction and design of their costumes and props.
- Another aspect that is harder to quantify was that attendees and event staff all seemed happier this year. People were friendly no matter who you chatted with and I never observed anyone getting out of line or being rude. So if there was a jerk in attendance, then I missed him and that individual had no affect on others that I could observe.
- The media was treated well and we were informed of any details and assured that if we had any questions or concerns that we could ask the staff about anything. This positive attitude was greatly appreciated by the User Friendly Team, @1UserFriendly, that attended and filmed parts of the event. Thank you Tasha Costa.
- It was easier to access the event location unlike last year where sections of the hotel was blocked off to prevent the two different event attendees from getting mixed up.
Did all the concerns that I had from the previous year get resolved? I have no idea. We chose not to stay at the Nugget again since our rooms last year had black mold in the bathroom, so we did not have the option to attend some of the late night events that we did last year. But the problems with the hotel facility is not the fault of the event staff, and hopefully the new owners of the Nugget will work to improve the condition of the aging casino. This single event should be a wake up call to the new owners that these multi-generational, multi-media, multi-interest types of events are an attraction and to be taken seriously in years to come. The Reno area has lost the annual Wizard World Comic Con event and SNAFU is just one of a few smaller events that could blossom to fill a void that has been left by the lack of entertainment in this market area.
I look forward to seeing this event in the future.
G. Winkler ©2016