About Us

AnimeIowa is the largest anime convention in Iowa and still growing, hosting well over 3000 attendees each year. It is held once a year in July Friday through Sunday. AnimeIowa 2019 will be held in Des Moines, Iowa at the Iowa Events Center, and the Hilton Downtown.

What is an Anime Convention?
A convention is a gathering of fans where they can meet and participate in activities. Anime refers to animated TV shows and movies produced in Japan. Despite being called AnimeIowa, we cater to an interest in Japanese culture in generation including anime (animated TV shows and movies), manga (comics), gaming, costuming, and more. In short, we also celebrate the customs which originated or are ingrained into the Japanese culture.

What activities are there at AnimeIowa?

  • Panels:
    The lifeblood of any convention are the panels and AnimeIowa is no different. In past years we have had Japanese tea ceremonies, weapons demonstrations, game shows, discussions with anime industry veterans, Japanese arts and crafts, model building, cosplay guides, formal dances, show and tells, swap meets, art jams, discussions of popular shows and genres; the list goes on. The best part is that attendees run most panels, anyone can propose and run a panel. Panels, Anime Hobbies, Family Programming and Café AI will be on level 3 of the Iowa Events Center.
  • Cosplay:
    Cosplay (short for Costume Play) is a staple of any anime convention. Attendees create and dress up in elaborate costumes based on characters from their favorite anime, manga, video games, and much more. Cosplayers can be found wandering the convention, posing for photoshoots, competing in the Masquerade and Hall Cosplay competitions. Cosplay events will take place in the Iowa Events Center on the fourth level.
  • Gaming:
    We offer gaming during the convention to cater to both video and non-video gamers. We have a room dedicated to video Games with a huge collection of games and consoles provided by the Mindbridge Video Game Library. There you can play single player or multiplayer games on various consoles ranging from vintage to the newest models out.
    Our Tabletop Gaming room has a variety of games for you to check out and play including card games, board games and tabletop RPGs. Games provided by the Mindbridge Game Library. Trading Card Gaming where you can compete for the top spot and bragging rights.
    Gaming is located on the first level of the Iowa Events Center.
  • Video rooms:
    Stop by our Video Rooms which run non-stop anime for your viewing pleasure. Discover new shows or enjoy a classic! There is even a room which runs AMV’s. The Video rooms are located on the third level of the Iowa Events Center and are open to everyone.
  • Shopping:
    Looking to do some shopping? The Anime Marketplace features a huge selection of anime and related merchandise alongside created art from our attending vendors and artists. For hours and other information visit our Marketplace page here on the website.

Being in down town Des Moines has it advantages. The Iowa Events Center is conveniently located near numerous quality restaurants and has a skywalk system to easily get from place to place.

These are just a sampling of the activities at AnimeIowa. If you would like to learn more check out the Events section of the website.

How do I attend?
Just show up! Well, it’s a little more complicated than that. Registration is required to attend AnimeIowa. You can pre-register before the convention or buy your registration at the door. Pre-registration typically runs between December and May and allows you to register at discount rates. Note that Pre-registrations cannot be refunded but can be transferred to the next convention year. More information can be found in our Registration section of the website.

Since AnimeIowa is an all weekend event (Friday – Sunday), if you live outside the Des Moines area, it will likely be necessary to book a hotel. Rooms are available at our host hotel Hilton Downtown and several other down town hotels and can be booked through Catch Des Moines. Rooms at these hotels are reserved in special blocks just for AnimeIowa. News updates about hotel registration can be found on the Hotels for AnimeIowa section of the website as details are announced.

How can I learn more about AnimeIowa?
The website is the primary source of information. News updates can be seen on the AnimeIowa homepage. We have a year round presents on Social Media including our Facebook page, Facebook Groups, Twitter feed, Google Plus page, RSS feed, and mailing list. The AnimeIowa Forums is a fantastic place to chat with other attendees and find out more about AnimeIowa; and registering is a breeze. If you have any questions you can use the Contact Us page to contact the appropriate department for more information.

Who runs AnimeIowa?
AnimeIowa is a 501©7 not-for-profit project managed by the Mindbridge Foundation which also manages our ‘sister’ conventions:

Gamicon – Gamicon is Eastern Iowa’s premier game convention. We offer three days of family friendly events ranging from scheduled board, card and role-playing games to a live game auction and a huge game library that lets you choose the gaming experience you want. Now in our 26th year, we have established ourselves as the go-to game event for Eastern Iowa and much of the Midwest.

ICON – is an annual science fiction convention held in the Cedar Rapids/ Iowa City area of Iowa since 1975, usually in late October or early November. It is the oldest and largest science fiction convention in Iowa. Check out the fun.

AnimeIowa is run by an all-volunteer staff who work all year to prepare for the convention. Anyone can join staff by attending or tele-conferencing into the meetings that occur throughout the year. A schedule of meetings can be found on the Staff section of the website or by emailing recruitment@animeiowa.com. In addition to staff members, there is an army of temporary volunteers who help during AnimeIowa. They perform odd jobs to earn points for prizes or even registration for the next year. Find out how to sign-up as a volunteer at the Volunteers section of the website.