JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Fans of pop culture, comics, video games, anime, sci-fi and much more got the chance to attend a two-day convention held on East Tennessee State University’s (ETSU) campus over the weekend.
The event was free for ETSU students and open to the public for a fee.
Attendees filled the D.P Culp Student Center where gaming tournaments, cosplay contests and Q&A panels took place. A vendor hall was set up with many booths where people could purchase their favorite pop culture merch.
Convention-goers got the chance to meet and get signed autographs from famous voice actors including Grey DeLisle, Kira Buckland and Alejandro Saab.
The event brings together people in the community that like to celebrate anything pop culture or animation.
“When this convention started back in 2013, it was by three college students who wanted to bring a sense of community to ETSU, for people who like the nerdier side of things,” said Hanna Sigmund, ETSU-Con’s convention chair.
The convention is entirely student-run, and they make sure to invite ETSU alumni who have careers in anything related to the event.
“One who does voice acting and podcasting now, one that works for Fortnite actually,” said Sigmund. “We bring in ETSU professors, one who used to work for Pixar and Marvel which is always educational, and great for the ETSU students and a great way to highlight ETSU.”
Although not required, many convention-goers dressed in cosplay costumes.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Murphy. “There is a lot more to do this year, especially with how they have it organized and I really love that. Last year it was really heavy on the first day and there wasn’t much to do on the second, but they kind of made it a little bit wider for everyone and there’s a lot more stuff for people to do as well.”
Murphy and Daniels are both ETSU students who encourage others to attend these types of events.
“Honestly, just come as you are,” said Daniels. “You don’t have to dress up or anything, but if you do decide to dress up, it’s a lot of fun. You can get a lot of pictures from a lot of people.”
ETSU-Con is a student organization at ETSU. They’re looking for students to join the group to help plan for future events and for next year’s convention.