This past weekend was Anime Fest Wichita. I was there helping to promote Naka Kon as well as running my usual panel.
In every respect, this con was dismal.
We'd paid for a booth with electricity to run our projector and other electronics. Which we didn't get. There was little apology from the organizers and we eventually dragged a promise of a refund for that payment out of them, which was not delivered until well after we'd planned to leave.
Our table was placed in the vendors room, which is pretty normal, but gave us a chance to talk to other vendors. Apparently, one had been told that AFW's attendance was an order of magnitude higher than what it was. Another had been packing up merchandise that wasn't selling and had one of the con's chairs flip out on them, telling them they were in violation of their contract which required to have their booth open until the dealers room closed. Which they were.... just removing some merchandise.
The short story was that their vendors were treated pretty poorly and many have decided not to be returning.
But how was the experience as a panelist?
I was given a large space, but when I arrived, there was no projector, no screen, and no connections for audio, all of which were checked on the submission form. I'd arrived 30 minutes early because I always expect the worst and had found a projector and (tiny) screen, but it took pathetically long to get audio working. It took nearly 20 minutes for a member of their A/V staff to arrive to attempt to make the sound work. But they weren't equipped with cables sufficiently long to make the connection. For 15 minutes they searched for some that were, but ultimately, didn't have any. The final solution was to move their entire sound box to right next to my laptop, which ultimately worked.
The panel started only 5 minutes late and went exceptionally well. I'd intended to leave 10-15 minutes for questions and discussions and ended with exactly that amount.
Lastly, my experience as a general attendee: Yet again, this con was a failure. For an anime convention, it was unfocused. It was loaded with panels and guests that had absolutely nothing to do with the topic. There wasn't a single panel that ended up being worth attending. The "dance" couldn't make its mind up what it wanted to be either.
The only reason I've ever attended this convention was as part of the Naka Kon staff. But as a guest, I'd not return on my own.