So this was my second year at AM2 and I was very happy with it! We only went for the morning of day 3 last time so it was a lot less busy which might have skewed my perspective a bit... anyway... pros and cons (mixed together since they are semi connected):
I like the idea that autograph sessions are right after the panel and that panel people get priority. It always bugged me that at other cons panel goers had a disadvantage with autographs. The one problem however, is that I couldn't find autograph info anywhere online! This means I entirely missed both sessions for the VA I wanted to meet. I got lucky enough that he stuck around after his second panel to let people bother him for signatures and photos, but I feel that it would be much better to have this info readily available.
Another experience that brought up memories of past cons was looking for the lost and found. My friend misplaced and item and didn't realize until we were leaving con around 9 or so at night. We went back to find out where it might be returned and had a difficult time getting to someone that could actually talk to con operations. After much stress on her part we were told that we can't physically get to con ops ourselves but that the staff member would radio down to ask about the item. Turns out it hadn't been turned in yet so we were able to leave out info on a post it. On the good side, it turned up later that night and we were emailed early the next morning and able to pick it up. It still caused some trouble to not be able to talk directly to con ops, however, and I feel that either the con ops room should be accessible to the public (as it was at another con where I had an issue and needed to talk to someone in charge of things) or there needs to be more people with access/radios or whatever even further into the night so that such frustrations can't happen. I realize that time probably seemed longer due to the stress we were feeling over the lost item, but I hope that no one else has to go through that.
Finally, I realize that gatherings are usually fan run, but I am hoping that as the con grows we can have an official gathering list or at least a map of official gathering locations as it would make things a lot easier to find and would keep gatherings out of the way of traffic.
A final thing that I dont' see as a particular pro or con, but just something that I appreciate and love: the fact that badges are optional and more of a plus than a necessity. It made me a lot more willing to roam and connect with people as I felt less limited on where I could go without spending a bunch of money for a full weekend ticket. I realize this system might not stick around as the convention grows bigger but I hope it stays for as long as possible!
Thank you for a fantastic convention experience! I can't wait to see what AM2 can improve and offer next year and I will certainly be back.