A guide to Kami-Con: Q&A with convention founder, Raymond Lenzner

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Kami-Con is a large convention in Birmingham for lovers of Japanese culture. Photo via Kami-Con

We sat down with Raymond Lenzner, founder of Kami-Con, to ask him a few questions about the convention. We touched on everything from costumes and lunch options to where to park and which hotels to stay in. Read on to learn more about Kami-Con.

Kami-Con is now in its 11th season, called “Ready Player Con.” Photo via Kami-Con

Why should I go?

Kami-Con is a fun and interactive weekend conference that is now in its 11th year. If you are interested in anime, manga, or Japanese culture, Kami-Con is the place to be February 22-24. The convention is a safe and positive environment where you can meet friends who have the same interests as you. Learn more about Kami-Con here.

How can I buy a ticket?

Tickets are still available for pre-registration until January 31! You can buy your ticket here.

Are those with one-day tickets free to come and go that day, or is it one time entry?

We will give you a badge that indicates your day (Or if you purchased a weekend pass).  This will allow you to come and go as you please, as long as you keep your badge. For the most part, you can enter our main area easily enough without a badge (helpful if you are a parent with kids attending, but don’t want to attend yourself).  However, you can’t get into any of the event/vendor rooms or upper/lower floors without one.

What should I wear?

People dress up in costume for Kami-Con all the time, but just as many people come to enjoy the convention in their own ways. You can most certainly wear a costume, but it isn’t at all required.

Where should attendees park?

Kami-Con is located at the BJCC’s entire East Hall on Friday-Sunday, so they have a lot of parking decks and parking options around the facilities.  Parking on the side of the street/meters is free on the weekends (after 6pm on Friday), but many parking lots around the area might have a small fee.

There will be plenty of parking near the BJCC for Kami-Con. Photo via The BJCC on Facebook

Do I have to get there right when it starts?

No, Kami-Con is a 3 day event. You can attend at any time, whenever you wish.  A tentative schedule will be posted on our website and Facebook, and it will help you plan the best time for you to attend. (We will also have printed schedules ready at the convention site).  We will have many things going on during every hour of the convention, so people do spend a lot of time with us.

Will there be food options for lunch?

Yes. Concessions will be available inside our vendors room.  We have multiple options, including a Japanese style cafe.  We also are adjacent to Uptown’s food options as it is connected to the Westin.

After you work up a sweat gaming with the other con-goers, you’ll be hungry! Kami-Con will have lunch options. Photo via Kami-Con

Can attendees use an electronic version of their ticket to get in?  

We are always very accommodating for attendees. Electronic versions of their tickets, ID’s, printed confirmations, can all get you your badge for the convention.

Have you adjusted for 20/59 traffic detours, etc?

Unfortunately, we are unable to do much about the construction situation of 20/59.  We have posted a comprehensive guide about what our con-goers should expect on our social media, but that is the best we can do about the traffic.

Where do you suggest people stay when they come? Are any hotels nearby partnering with you on room blocks?

While we are always happy with people staying at the Sheraton in our room block, that already be full. The Westin, Tutwiler, Ramada, are all nearby hotels that can accommodate.

After a long day of convention fun, you’ll need somewhere to rest your head. Photo via Kami-Con

What is the best way to move through the convention based on the way it’s set up?

The best way to move through the convention is enter the East Hall, register via the walk in or pre-registration stations, and figure out where all the things you are most interested in are located. We have major events happening on all 3 floors, but we are contained in the East Hall, so it isn’t hard to get your bearings straight quickly.

Thanks, Raymond! We can’t for Kami-Con fun, starting February 22nd!

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