Q: What is AnimeNEXT?
A: AnimeNEXT is an anime convention held annually over three days in the New York – New Jersey – Connecticut (NY/NJ/CT) Tri-State area. Anime conventions are events that showcase new videos, creators, actors, and industry guests. They are a good place to buy all kinds of anime merchandise at reasonable prices in one centralized area. Anime conventions are just great places to socialize with people who like the same stuff that you do.
Q: How do I get to the convention?
A: The Garden State Exhibit Center and area hotels are located in the Somerset area of Central New Jersey. Ranging about an hour away from PA, Staten Island, and New York City, the GSEC is easily accessible via a major highway (I-287, which connects to the NJ Turnpike and GS Parkway) and is near the North East Corridor-New Brunswick station of New Jersey Transit train. You can find out how to get there by visiting our Location Section or by putting in your Zip code in the field in the menu. If you will be driving, there is plenty of free parking surrounding the Exhibit Center.
Q: What places to eat are there around the event?
A: Near the GSEC , there are many resteraunts, diners, and shopping malls. Just a short 5 minute drive away, you will find a variety of foods to choose from. And for those unable to make the drive, many of the resteraunts make deliveries. There are also resteraunts in the hotels for everyone to enjoy. A map of the area and a list of dining options will be made available to you in the program guide you’ll receive on hte opening day of the convention.
Q: Are you the same as Anime Expo New York?
A: No. Anime Expo New York (AXNY) was a one-time event organized by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) held in 2002 on Labor Day. We are neither affiliated with that event nor that organization. We are similar to SPJA and AXNY in that AnimeNEXT is a fan-organized event funded by a non-profit organization (Universal Animation, Inc). After AXNY concluded in 2002, we felt that the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut Tri-State area definitely needed its own fan-run anime convention. AnimeNEXT is the result of this need.
Q: Are you related to the Big Apple Anime Fest?
A: No, AnimeNEXT is a different type of event. We are a non-profit, fan-run anime convention, whereas the Big Apple Anime Fest was a for-profit, corporate-run convention. Both have their strengths and their weaknesses. We encourage everyone to attend both events and discover the differences that each event brings. Unfortunately, the Big Apple Anime Fest was cancelled in 2004 with no plans for any future events.
Q: Wasn’t AnimeNEXT in NY at some point? Why did you move back to NJ?
A: Yes, AnimeNEXT 2003 was held in Rye Brook, NY about 30 miles North of NYC. We try to stay as close to the NYC area as we can in order to make it easier for people to make it to our event. We are currently in Somerset, New Jersey with easy access to major highways and train routes.
Q: How do I sign up for the convention?
A: There are many ways to sign up for the convention. Until June 1, we accept pre-registration on-line or through the mail. Pre-registration is only available for 3-day passes, and guarantees that you will be able to attend the event. Group discounts are also only available if you pre-register for the event (through our printable individual group registration form or printable group registration form). After May 24th, you may only register at-the-door. We offer 3-day passes as well as 1-day passes at-the-door. Rates and information can be found on our Registration Page.
Q: Can I pre-register for just one day?
A: You can only purchase 1-day passes at the door. Pre-registration is for all three days. In general, pre-registering is less expensive than purchasing multiple single-day passes at the door. For example, while our pre-registration price is $60, it is still less than you would pay for a Friday pass and a Saturday pass (or Saturday and Sunday, or even Friday and Sunday). Therefore, if you believe you will attend for more than just one day, we suggest pre-registering.
Q: Should I book a room at the hotel?
A: We encourage all attendees to book a hotel room at the convention hotel. There will be several late night activities that would be hard to attend if you had to commute to the convention every day.
Q: I’m a teenager, can I come alone? I’m a parent, do I need to pay?
A: We recommend that all minors (18 and under) attend with a paying adult or guardian. All children 13 and under must attend with a parent or guardian. The convention is a very safe place, and we have a dedicated convention safety staff and hired security staff in addition to what the hotel provides. But not all events are suitable for children under a certain age. We include suggested ages on all our video programming based on the content of the program. We also require IDs to attend any program that is adult-oriented. However, we are not a child-care service, and it is the responsibility of a parent or guardian to ensure the safety of their child, as it is with any public event. Parents are expected to pay admission to the event, because without a badge you would not be able to gain access to certain convention areas.
Q: I really want to see this Guest. Will s/he be there all 3 days?
A: Most guests attend AnimeNEXT for all 3 days of the event. There will be some exceptions to this of course. We release a tentative schedule
of events about one week prior to the event. Please check that schedule. That is the best way to make sure that you see your favorite voice guest or industry representative. Keep in mind that all events are subject to change.
Q: I love [insert name]. Can you invite them to the convention?
A: We take many things into consideration when making guest invitations. Requests are welcome in our Forums, and we monitor them to make sure that we are bringing the most demanded guests to the convention.
Q: When does the convention open each day? Where can I find a schedule?
A: A tentative schedule is posted prior to the event, approximately one week before. The final schedule can be found in our Pocket Schedule included with the Convention Packets that are obtained at the registration desk. Keep in mind that all events are subject to change.
In general, programming at the event is open according to the schedule below, though there are events that run 24 hours:
Q: Are there events which require additional money?
A: Most events are covered by your registration fee. There are a handful of events that cost more due to special materials involved. The fee is usually no more than $5 and will be designated on the schedule as requiring additional payment at the door of the event. In most cases, these special events have limited seating, and will require attendees to sign up at the Information Desk. Instructions will be posted on the schedule.
Q: What is there to do at the convention?
A: There are many, many events that attendees will be able to participate in. We suggest that you visit our website a week prior to the event to look at our tentative schedule. You can begin planning what events you’d like to attend based on that. Be sure to check the final
schedule in your Convention Packet when you arrive to make sure event times have not changed. Keep in mind that all events are subject to change. You can also find out the latest information at the Info Desk at the convention.