Concon Goes to J1 Con

On September 18, we traveled across the country and attended the J1Con in Philly for the very first time. Locally J1 Con is known as Philly’s number one anime convention. This year was the first time after 4 years of running that J1 Con expanded from a single day con to a two day con due to the increase of popularity.

Immediately after arriving, we quickly learned why J1 Con has gained so much popularity - because of it’s founder, Jason Richardson. His passion and love for anime and running the event is impossible to hide. He originally started doing this as a free event in a Macaroni Grill! This is a home-grown event...Jason’s friends and family help him organize and run it and keeps the vibe very personal and decidedly not corporate. Every single person we met was so nice, helpful, and just excited to be there. It was a great and inspiring thing to see.

The event was located in a warehouse located in downtown Philadelphia . The venue had two wings, one side with artists alley and vendors, and the other side was the gaming area. Although the weather was a bit hot that day, the attendees’ enthusiasm was still through the roof! Below is a video recap of J1 Con:

A couple months ago, we interviewed Jason, also the founder of the geek hub J1 Studios, through a random cold call. Without blinking, Jason hopped on the phone without knowing who I am and happily shared his knowledge with me about his con. His willingness to help made me feel the warmth thousands of miles away. I still remember what Jason shared with me via the call, he said, “the biggest thing about how to run a con is having transparency and I have no problems of taking blame or admit when you are wrong. It’s also about caring the fans and making sure people see my face. I will go booth by booth to ask how they are doing.” That’s Jason.

I think the clip in the video above at 1:45 best will best demonstrate how his con-goers feel about him. How he treats his fans is also how Jason was being treated by his fans at J1-Con. A group of fans surrounding Jason and running in circle shouting “J1-Con, J1-Con, J1-Con…”. That’s the love that Jason received by running the con. Thank you for the beautiful moment. We had such a wonderful time at J1-Con. Special thanks to Jason, Marcia, and Danae, and the rest of the staff for their amazing hospitality.

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By Chalsea Chen