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. At the conclusion of the 2012 convention, Zenkaikon announced it would move to the Lancaster County Convention Center for its 2013 convention.

In 2011, Zenkaikon Entertainment, Inc. became a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization. From it's 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 Guests
October 28, 2006 Valley Forge Scanticon Hotel and Conference Center
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
450 Peter Fernandez, Corinne Orr, Prism, and Alex Strang
October 13, 2007 Valley Forge Scanticon Hotel and Conference Center
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
570 D-Chan, Hsu-nami, and Uncle Yo
October 17–18, 2008 Valley Forge Scanticon Hotel and Conference Center
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
1,352 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 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) 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 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
3061 paid memberships (3,376 warm bodies) 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

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.