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ACen 2024: Anime Central Opens Live Event Registration

The Midwest's largest anime, manga, and Japanese culture convention is returning to the Chicagoland area in 2024, and while Anime Central may feel like it's a ways off yet, The Midwest Animation Promotion Society encourages those who are planning their attendance to start submitting their programming proposals as soon as they can. Conventions are known for offering and operating their own in-house forms of entertainment, including live events, though it's incredibly common that conventiongoers bring their own ideas to life as well. ACen places an emphasis on celebrating Japanese arts and culture, and each year incorporates more fan-run events that keep in touch with Anime Central's central themes.


Cosplay Gathering applications should be submitted through the Cosplay Meet-Up Application page. All applications for Anime Central 2024 panels should be submitted by February 1st, 2024; schedule change requests will be eligible until February 15th, 2024, and panel host changes will be accepted until April 1st, 2024. All parties applying to host a pane or run a live event should refrain from submitting a payment method for their Anime Central 2024 membership prior to their panelist application being approved. Payment is only due after a panelist application has been accepted or denied by the Anime Central team.


When submitting an outline for a live event to host at Anime Central, the ACen staff asks that all applications be forwarded with a paragraph that explains why you should be selected as a featured convention event. The more unique and relevant, the better. These breakdowns should dissect the topic or idea of your program, any audience-interactive elements, any special features your panel may incorporate, and relevant sources that applicants can link to their outline that would support their pitched concept. All panel and live event applications should feature an official title, a formal introduction of self, an explanation of the event, and credentials that support why the applicant(s) are qualified to host their program at Anime Central 2024.

Panels and live events being accepted or denied are determined by Anime Central's Live Events Management team, and re-pitches of denied proposals can be submitted on a case-by-case basis. All submissions are taken into consideration based on a merit-based system, and any application sent past the deadline will be waitlisted. Anime Central's Live Events Management Team limits applications to five (5) submissions per person. Those who submit Japanese language-based events must demonstrate and prove proficiency before they are approved. Anything deemed inappropriate for minors, per ACen's guidelines, (adult language, violence, blood, gore, hentai, nudity or partial nudity, etc.) will be designated as an 18+ Event. All 18+ Event attendees and event runners must wear an 18+ wristband in order to participate, and this ruling includes ACen staff members. Panelists are offered full membership compensation if they conduct one or more panels throughout the extent of Anime Central. Panelists must pick their badges up at the convention, and a photo ID is required by those ages 16 and older. Anime Central notes that "the discount for hosting one panel is 50% for the first three panelists (Group Lead, Co-Panelist 1, or Co-Panelist 2) listed on a panel. Any additional panelists listed will not receive a discount on their membership. Participation in a second panel as one of the first three panelists listed will provide a 100% discount. Each panelist is tracked separately, meaning that if someone participates in one panel with a group of friends and then participates in a second panel on their own, they would still receive the full discount." Extra Panelists will not receive a discount and those whose events are denied will have to register for a Membership.


All events should run for a minimum of one (1) hour, and all timing should be coordinated with the Live Event Management team. Proposed gaming panel ideas can be discussed by contacting tabletopgaming@acen.org or videogaming@acen.org. Accepted panelists are able to pick up their badges at a self-service will-call or at the Anime Central Registration booth. It is understood that all live event and panel participants have agreed to Anime Central's guidelines prior to submitting their panel application. Panel submissions for Anime Central 2024 can be submitted here. Anime Central will take place from May 17 to May 19, 2024, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. ACen attendees can look forward to more guests, exhibitors, vendors, artists programming, panels, dances, gaming, and other signature convention attractions when anticipating what the 2024 event has to offer. Anime Central 2024 memberships are available for purchase, and all future announcements regarding ACen 2024 can be found on their official website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

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