SPACE!!! Larger space! Granted this was only my second AFEST, I think that it was definitely an improvement of space from last year. This year I wasn’t constantly shimming between people to get to the other side of the con and so forth. The Sheraton was a nice choice into making the convention larger. I also loved the table set up on second floor. It’s nice to be able to sit and relax and not have to do it on the floor.
Artist alley – just awesome. Loved all the variety and how much space there was. I did feel bad for those on second floor stuck in the way back because I felt that they didn’t get enough traffic compared to those close to the escalators or downstairs. Overall, artist alley was awesome
Dealer’s Room – huge! Loved all the space there was for the vendors. So much elbow room was nice. Here too was a greater variety in vendors, I was glad not to run into the same all the time.
FOOD – Being in the Sheraton allowed for food variation yet again. This time I didn’t have to go searching or order food every night. Thank you Plaza!
Photoshoots – Granted I hear that most were at the Cancer Survivor Plaza. There are tons of new places to go. I think people just didn’t realize that there are actually tons of areas around the hotel they could host a gathering (it didn’t help that it was hot and most people wanted to stay in the shade or indoors). Most areas can hold a large gathering of people you just have to find them!! I went to several different areas for photoshoots (with a large number of people) and none of them were the same.
Security – thank you! OMGosh you have no idea. I thought security did a great job mainly because I had an incident with a very touchy con-goer. I was getting a photo with this con-goer and he placed his hands on my hips, it was severely awkward and rude. I asked for him to let go several times and he wouldn’t but security was right there told him to stop and escorted him away. To however those security men where THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Thank you so much for keeping a watchful eye like that it means so much!
Badges – Yes I do have cons about this as well but here are the pros about the badges. I liked the added security mainly because I heard tons of stories from the con staff of people forging passes. The size of the badge…okay I guess. Yes it was huge but it allowed for me to hold business cards from vendors/artist/photographers as well as my room key while I was in cosplay and couldn’t carry around my purse! ALSO with it being so large I wouldn’t lose the dang thing!
Cosplay Skit contest – I absolutely love the high quality competition that comes to AFEST. Definitely was a highlight event of the weekend. I just want to thank all the volunteers helping out the contestants too. A big thank you to MexicAnime, you were nice and very helpful!
Registration/Badges – I came Thursday to get my badge, yes I had to wait awhile to get mine because the system wasn’t working. It seemed out of Afest’s hands because it was the internet they were having problems with (or at least that’s what we were told). I didn’t like where registration was, with it facing the doors didn’t allow for the large number of people to file through and lines of people would end up in front of the doors. We found out there were several lines for registration after waiting an hour in line and noticing people continually cut in line in front of others. Next time I suggest security personale to help file people into the correct lines and perhaps move the registration booth to the side to allow for more room and better flow.
Cosplay Runway – PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE move it to another day. You’d avoid so much drama with rushing of people. Moving to another day will allow for extended times for judging and hopefully better interaction with the contestants. Seriously, you simply CANNOT judge a group of four or more people in FIVE MINUTES!!! I can tell you about my own cosplay in five minutes. It was frustrating and infuriating to have to experience this a second time at the same convention (and with new judges)!!! Judges seemed uninterested and bored yet again. No questions besides “Tell me what you did?” My group made armor and the judges just seemed like they didn’t care at all. It was the first time any of us worked with the material and months of work went into making them and it seemed like they just stuck us in a corner not to give us a chance at all because they focused more on bigger displays of fabric cosplays. I honestly didn’t expect us to win anything, but it would have been nice to feel appreciated for the work we had done. This was definitely one of the worst experiences with judges I’ve had, and the worst was the previous year at this same convention. I understand that judging is different at every con but this was unacceptable.
Main Events – Room was too small for the amount of people that wanted to be in it(especially since you got rid of the registration cap). No water stations! OH gah WATERRRRRRRRRRR!!!! There were several of us in the Runway competition in layers of fabric and armor dying of heat and had to leave or stick by the doors to stay cool. Not cool Afest, water next time. During the Skit competition, I had a hard time hearing the skit audio or audio in general in the way back were us contestants sat.
Panels – I had no idea where they were. There were tons of panels I wanted to go to but I only knew the times and not the panel rooms. I HIGHLY recommend putting the times and rooms in the program book next time.
Cosplay Skit Contest –Coming from a group of people where we live in 3 different states to put on a horror/dramatic skit was definitely a risk. We knew that we would only be eligible for a few awards. I honestly have to say I was really bummed when we didn’t get anything in the end BUT I am really happy with all the winners, they definitely deserved what they got. I do have to agree with what most people had to say about differentiating the awards and adding a dramatic skit award (My only “con” about it was the award system). I was fine with the overall competition just it was a real let down in the end and I’ll stay humble about it.
Overall, I had a great time at the convention hanging out with friends and getting to go to a few photoshoots. But alas Afest, I’m skipping out next year to go to Dragon*con. Best of luck to you with your future conventions.
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Next Convention: Katsucon
Seth Nightlord - Trinity Blood
Death Maiden - Diablo III
Wanderer - Journey
Last edited by Adnarim : 09-06-2012 at 10:53 AM.