Zenkaikon Anime Convention, Lancaster, PA

April 25-27, 2014, Lancaster County Convention Center

About Zenkaikon

Mission

To promote knowledge and enjoyment of Japanese art, animation, and culture as well as science fiction and fantasy literature and films of all origins.

Background

Zenkaikon was created in 2006 through the merging of two Philadelphia-area events -- Kosaikon, an anime convention held at Villanova University, and Zentrancon, an anime and science fiction convention held on the University of Pennsylvania campus. In 2006, Zenkaikon held its first event at the Valley Forge Scanticon Hotel and Conference Center in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Approximately 450 fans attended to attend educational panels, watch anime and science fiction screenings, meet celebrity guests, and participate in video gaming. By 2008, membership had nearly tripled. Having outgrown their previous venue, the staff decided to expand into the Radisson Hotel Valley Forge, where they welcomed nearly 2000 members in 2009. In 2011, the convention grew again, using the combined spaces of both the Valley Forge Convention Center and Scanticon Hotel and Conference Center. Over 3000 members came to the convention's first year as a three-day event. In 2012, due to construction at the Valley Forge Convention Center Complex, Zenkaikon held its annual convention at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center complex. In 2013, Zenkaikon moved to the Lancaster County Convention Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where they again welcomed over 3000 members for their annual convention. Zenkaikon returned to Lancaster and set a record of over 4000 members at its 2014 convention. Zenkaikon 2015 will once again be held at the Lancaster County Convention Center on March 27-29, 2015.

In 2011, Zenkaikon Entertainment, Inc. became a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization. From its founding, the convention and the organization have always been run "by fans, for fans" with an all-volunteer staff.

Convention Timeline

Dates Location Unique Memberships Estimated Turnstile Guests
October 28, 2006 Valley Forge Scanticon Hotel and Conference Center
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
450 NA Peter Fernandez, Corinne Orr, Prism, and Alex Strang
October 13, 2007 Valley Forge Scanticon Hotel and Conference Center
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
570 NA D-Chan, Hsu-nami, and Uncle Yo
October 17–18, 2008 Valley Forge Scanticon Hotel and Conference Center
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
1,352 NA Charles Batschelet, Jessi Bavolack, Michael Gans, CJ Henderson, Ikuzo! Studios, Michele Knotz, Matt Pascal, Raqs Attaq!, Laura Robinson, Wil Robinson, Bill Rogers, The Slants, Rose Thompson, Ultraball, and Uncle Yo
November 7–8, 2009 Valley Forge Radisson Hotel
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
1,988 NA Robert Axelrod, Johnny Yong Bosch, Stephanie Celeste, C. J. Collins, Eden Star, Eyeshine, Geek Comedy Tour, Gerry Giovinco, CJ Henderson, Hi5, Chris Kalnick, Mike Leeke, Kevin McKeever, Reni Mimura, Trina Nishimura, Jessi Pascal, Matt Pascal, Rich Rankin, Laura Robinson, Wil Robinson, Bill Spangler, Uncle Yo, Neil Vokes, Tommy Yune, and [geist]
March 18–20, 2011 Valley Forge Convention Center and Scanticon Hotel and Conference Center
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
3,168 paid memberships (3,422 warm bodies) 7,610 Kevin Bolk, Gelatine, Todd Haberkorn, James Harknell, Onezumi Hartstein, CJ Henderson, DJ Luminal, Sarah Martinez, Vic Mignogna, Rose Noire, Uncle Yo, and Greg Wicker
May 11–12, 2012 Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks
Oaks, Pennsylvania
2,736 paid memberships (2,822 warm bodies) 4,504 The Asterplace, Daniel Coglan, Jillian Coglan, CJ Henderson, Hi5, Michele Knotz, DJ Kurono, KyoDaiko, Pennsylvania Jedi, Platform One, Sonny Strait, Uncle Yo, and Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia
March 22–24, 2013 Lancaster County Convention Center
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
3,061 paid memberships (3,376 warm bodies) 7,813 T. Campbell, John de Lancie, Eien Strife, Hi5, Richard Epcar, CJ Henderson, Cosplay Burlesque, Phil Kahn, Kuniko Kanawa, DJ Midget, Saber Guild - Keystone Temple, The Slants, Ellyn Stern, Uncle Yo, and Greg Wicker
April 25-27, 2014 Lancaster County Convention Center
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
4,069 paid memberships (4,422 warm bodies) 10,731 Gina Biggs, Jim Cummings, CJ Henderson, Cosplay Burlesque, DJ Zing, The Extraordinary Contraptions, Greg Houser, Kuniko Kanawa, Lolita Dark, Jonathan Maberry, Brina Palencia, Bill Rogers, Marc Swint, Trifecta, Uncle Yo, Doug Walker, and Greg Wicker

Other Events

In addition to it's annual convention, Zenkaikon also participates in several other events throughout the southeastern Pennsylvania region. In 2008-2009, Zenkaikon provided anime and Asian content to America's Video Game Expo (VGEXPO) at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Zenkaikon also continues to run an educational booth and Cosplay Fashion Show at Philadelphia's Sakura Sunday (part of the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia). From 2011-onwards, Zenkaikon has provided sponsorship of the anime programming room at Philcon, the nation's oldest science fiction convention in Cherry Hill, NJ. In addition, Zenkaikon has presented educational presentations at local libraries and bookstores to educate the public about anime, manga, cosplay, and Japanese culture.