Dokidokon has proven itself to be one of the most promising up-and-coming anime conventions in Michigan. My inaugural experience was in 2019 when a friend invited me to record the idol event. The atmosphere left a lasting impression, and despite being a new convention, it drew a sizeable attendance. It was surprising to encounter so many familiar faces.
This year held a special significance as I was fortunate enough to secure a press pass. However, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
Firstly, there’s something I need to address. Dokidokon used some of my photos on their website without obtaining my permission. While I don’t mind sharing my photos for non-commercial or non-promotional purposes, several of them were featured in the carousel on their front page. Uncertain about how to handle this situation. They are still a young convention and I am sure they didn’t mean any harm. That is when I discovered that they offered free press passes to individuals who take photos and share them online. Given that this applied to me decided to apply. I was sure they would approve me since they liked my work.
As the convention approached, I hadn’t received any response, which left me feeling concerned. A week before the event, I sent them an email and was informed that my press pass had been approved, and I could pick it up at con ops. This didn’t leave me with much time to prepare, so I decided to skip renting any new equipment as originally planned and opted to attend only on Saturday and Sunday. Upon arriving at con ops, they seemed unaware of my approval and I had to show them the email. I was given a badge but was instructed to get a label printed at registration. Unfortunately, registration had run out of labels, resulting in me receiving a regular badge with “press” written in gold sharpie. Needless to say, I didn’t get much of a press experience, but I’ve been assured that there will be a press team next year.
Despite these hiccups, I still enjoyed Dokidokon. I even contemplated getting a room and staying for the weekend, despite it being only about a two-hour drive. The convention boasts a vibrant community, and I’ve heard the nightlife is fantastic. Hopefully, I’ll get to explore more of that aspect next year. Even though my press experience was limited, the attendee side of Dokidokon has consistently been amazing. It’s the kind of convention that Michigan truly needs right now, and I plan to make it a yearly trip.