Join Date: Oct 2009
Essentially going to repeat what everybody else said, but eh.
The hotel itself was cramped with very little room, causing for some serious heat issues in which I had to go outside just to cool off, and then come back in, deal with security, and rinse and repeat. While I understand the purpose of security, I also have to complain about just how strict they were. My mother and I were checking into the hotel, bringing all of our luggage in through the parking garage, and we got carded. My mom doesn't get badges anymore as I'm plenty old enough to handle myself at a con without her following along, and I hadn't gotten mine yet, so we had to argue with the guard on how we were guests of the hotel, had a room key, and that it shouldn't matter if we're with the con (which, when you're carrying a wig stand with some pretty eccentric wigs, I don't see how he thought we weren't), we should be allowed to come in the hotel.
Also, I don't know if I was the only one who had to deal with it, but I had to check some of my props twice into weapons check just to please security and their need to have the proper color wristband around my weapons, which I thought was just stupid. Yes, I'm totally going to be safe with my staff on Friday, but on Sunday? No, totally going to hit people with it because I have the wrong day's wristband attached. /sarcasm
The positioning of Artist's Alley was horrible, and as I've said several times to people I was with, I'm sorry for the artists stuck in it. There was no room for people to walk by, and for those in the cramped up little room, I'm sorry that I couldn't properly peruse your wares, because I couldn't stand being in there for too long. The Dealer's room was okay, although I didn't really go down there and check it out, so I can't say anything definite. The one time I did go down, though, it seemed rather nice down there.
As far as events and other things went, I have to say that it was a confusing experience between just locating the proper room and knowing when exactly that event would take place, or in the case of the AMV contest, if it would happen (Which, again, so sorry for anybody who entered. The staff should have been so much more professional with their equipment than what they were) and even once you got to a panel, whether or not they had the equipment they needed or if the room was set up was questionable. The elevators were a mess that just a simple line and line leader to help organize traffic flow would have been nice and easy fix (Also, every time staff called a "staff elevator" for 5 people, I wanted to punch somebody in the face.). I had friends working in certain panels that they couldn't bear to stay in due to con funk and heat, and the games in the lobby didn't help keep things from being cramped.
Complaint on my mom's side was that the venue wasn't favorable for anybody who wasn't a heavy sleeper, as all the noise traveled upwards and into the rooms.
The location was the downfall. While an excellent idea in concept, once in application the hotel was not favorable for artists, cosplayers, staff, or security alike. The con area decreased in favor of having more people attend, which unfortunately, doesn't make a lick of sense to me. The photo areas were fantastic, but unfortunately, all the convention panels and events were held inside, and therefore held the mass of people that prevented air circulation and trapped all kinds of body heat. Security was simply trying to do its job, but they ended up more in the way than anything else, and con staff seemed utterly clueless in how to assist panels (from what I saw) and in helping set up those panels.
tl;dr: Con was cramped and hot and bad. Not coming back next year, but I also can't anyway since I'll be in a different state. :P