Who and What Are We?
Great questions! We are a nonprofit, educational convention that brings the culture, art, and fun of Japan to Utah. We primarily focus on Japanese anime (animation), manga (comics), and culture during our three-day convention held over UEA weekend every October in a fun, safe, family-friendly atmosphere. We host panels, events, contests, viewing rooms, gaming rooms, and more that let fans enjoy their favorite aspects of anime and Japanese popular culture. We were founded in 2005 and have grown since our first year at Salt Lake Community College. We are now hosted by the Davis Conference Center in Layton, Utah for our main event, the October convention. But we also have monthly “pre-con events” and meetings that are located in and around Salt Lake City. And one important thing to note – none of us get paid! We all work for free because we love what we do, and we love all of you.
Another year is coming up fast. Our dates for 2018 are October 19-21 and, as usual, we are at the Davis Conference Center in Layton.
Currently, you can purchase a weekend badge for $50. If you are a first responder, you can get a $5 discount. That discount also applies at the door. This is not pre-registration. That means you cannot pick up your badge Thursday night, you cannot attend the Thursday night pre-con event, you do not get the pre-registration charm for the Scavenger Hunt, and you do not get the swag bag. Individual day passes can only be purchased at the door, but you can purchase a Saturday or Sunday badge on Friday (for example). A Friday-only pass costs $30, a Saturday-only pass costs $40, and a Sunday-only pass costs $25.
Our convention runs Friday morning through Sunday late-afternoon. HOWEVER, pre-registered attendees get to attend an exclusive Thursday night pre-con event. So if you pre-register, you pay less, get swag, and get an extra evening of awesomeness!
Take a Look at the Rules & Regulations
We know rules aren’t fun, but they are important. Some are federal or state laws, some are DCC rules, and some are for the Anime Banzai Convention specifically. Please look them over to make sure you and your fellow attendees have the best and safest convention experience possible.
Anime Banzai Convention’s Layout
Year 2017 had some changes to the layout. What did you think about them? What would you change? What did you like? Why or why not? Please, drop us a line via the Contact Us Page. This is all for you, so you’re the expert!
Davis County’s Lodging Page
Here is a link to the listing of nearby hotels. Call in and see about special Anime Banzai weekend booking rates. Just mention that you are going to Anime Banzai and see about the special deals. Not all hotels have a special rate. Please call your preferred hotel for more information.
803 W Heritage Park Blvd, Layton
Home2 Suites is located directly across from the hotel attached to the Davis Conference Center; basically, it’s behind the conference center. When you go to make your reservation, give them the following information to get a room with starting cost at $139 a night. There are a limited number of rooms. Any cancellations need to be made 48 hours prior to avoid fees. You can start booking IMMEDIATELY at the following website:
- Dates to Reserve: October 18 – October 21
- Group Name: Anime Banzai
- Group Code: ABZ
- Last Day to Reserve: September 30
Courtyard by Marriott
1803 Woodland Park Dr, Layton
The Courtyard hotel is located .4 miles (and 8 minute walk) northwest of the Davis Conference Center. The rates for this hotel are $99 a night. You can start booking IMMEDIATELY at the following website:
- Dates to Reserve: October 19 – October 21
- Last Day to Reserve: September 28
Good news, Banzai-goers! If you use public transportation, then this announcement is for YOU!
The cities of Layton and Clearfield, in collaboration with UTA, have a Midtown Trolley (#628) that will pick you up from either of the two FrontRunner stations near the Davis Conference Center (Layton further south or Clearfield further north) and bring you right to the DCC.
And here’s the best part: it’s FREE.
This Midtown Trolley (#628) is currently in the shape of a normal bus, so don’t be fooled by its name of “trolley”. For additional information, go to UTA’s website.
There is parking on-site, but it is limited. Please try to carpool when possible. It saves the environment and lets the most attendees enjoy the convention! Keep in mind that most hotels and restaurants in the area are within walking distance to the Davis Conference Center. Also keep in mind that local businesses do not allow non-patrons to park in their lots. For example, there are two restaurants that share a parking lot with the Hilton Garden Inn hotel that is attached to the DCC (Rooster’s Brewing Co and Corbin’s Grille). They have and will tow cars that do not belong to their diners. Please be aware of this. Be courteous and follow all the rules.
This is just a portion of our unpaid, volunteer Staff. Others were busy setting up or completing projects for the Anime Banzai Convention. We love this convention, and we all pour our hearts and souls into it!
The Anime Banzai Convention is an educational convention focusing on Japanese anime (animation), manga (comics), and culture. Anime Banzai is sponsored by Utah Anime Promotions, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to bringing the culture, art, and fun of Japan to Utah.
The goal of the Anime Banzai Convention is to bring an event to Utah where fans can come together to celebrate Japan and Japanese Culture in a fun, safe, family-friendly atmosphere. To that end, we hold our convention three days each year in October over UEA weekend with panels, events, and contests that will let fans enjoy their favorite aspects of Anime and Japanese popular culture.
The Anime Banzai Convention was founded by the Salt Lake Community College “End of the World” Japanese Animation Club in 2005. That first year, there were over 600 attendees. We were only expecting, at most, 200 attendees! The second year was also held at Salt Lake Community College.
This is a group of cosplayers dressed as several characters from the anime Fullmetal Alchemist at the second Anime Banzai in 2006, which was held at Salt Lake Community College for the second and final time. Fullmetal Alchemist is just one of many popular animes. The manga first ran from 2001-2010, and the first anime began running in 2003. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood came later in 2009.
To provide more room for our attendees, we moved to the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City for three years: 2007, 2008, and 2009. But even this wasn’t enough! We quickly outgrew the hotel with approximately 3,000 attendees in 2009.
Here are some attendees shopping for souvenirs and keepsakes at the fifth Anime Banzai in 2009 held at the Sheraton Hotel in Salt Lake City. The Vendors’ Hall is a place where attendees can buy licensed merchandise – cosplays/costumes, wigs, clothing, weapons (authentic and prop), figures, plushies/stuffed animals, wallets, watches, mangas/comic books, DVDs, jewelry, and SO MUCH MORE. There is always something for everyone in the Vendors’ Hall!
Starting in our sixth year, 2010, we have been at the Davis Conference Center in Layton. In 2010, we had about 3,200 attendees. In 2011, we had about 3,500. But 2012 saw our largest jump up to about 4,200 attendees! Our biggest year so far was our Ten Year Celebration in 2014, where we had nearly 4,500 attendees. We are now close to maxing out capacity at the Davis Conference Center. However, no plans have been made to move venues. The Davis Conference Center is well-fit for Anime Banzai and in a great location. If we find a right venue elsewhere, we’ll move there. Until then, the Davis Conference Center is our home.
These are some attendees at the highly popular AMV Contest at the Ten Year Convention held in 2014 at the Davis Conference Center in Layton. The AMV, or Anime Music Video, Contest is an extremely popular event where contestants submit their video to the contest in hopes to win one of the prizes in the categories of Action, Comedy, Drama, and Category X (for everything else). These are voted upon by the attendees watching the contest. There is also a prize for Best of Show; this is awarded by the judges who saw something special in that particular AMV.
Some of the biggest draws to Anime Banzai include the AMV Contest, the Cosplay Contest, the Formal and Informal Dances, our Video Gaming Room, and the fact that a ticket is all-inclusive. Attendees can get into the Viewing Rooms, all events, all panels, and all contests without paying extra. The guests are free – you can get autographs, get photographs, and go to their panels with them without paying anything extra. This is the way we’ve always run Anime Banzai, and it’s the way we plan to continue to run Anime Banzai.
A panel with all our guests at the 2015 Anime Banzai Convention held at the Davis Conference Center in Layton – Tanglwyst De Holloway, Michelle Ann Dunphy, Christopher Escalante, Bill Galvan, Danielle McRae, Steve “Warky” Nunez, Larura Post, and David Vincent. We are grateful for our guests who help make Anime Banzai the great convention it is each and every year.
And, not that we’re suggesting anything, but there are people who get engaged here at Anime Banzai!