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Unread 08-29-2012, 12:15 PM   #1
Hime no Toki
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Dragon*Con 2012: Feedback Thread

This thread is for posting your thoughts/opinions on D*C 2012!

From your experience this year, what were the pros and cons? What were the highlights and lowlights? Would you return again next year?

Also, you can discuss the particulars of the convention, such as the events, panels, masquerade, dances, etc., as well as what you thought about the con and hotel staff, the guests, convention space, food, dealer's room, attendees, and whatever else pertaining to this year's D*C!
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Unread 09-02-2012, 10:05 AM   #2
Ninbri
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This was my first year attending Dragon*Con, and I have to say, it was really fun.
Everyone was so nice!
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Unread 09-03-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
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I really enjoyed myself. I had a great time and will do my best to attend every year from now on. I got lost a lot but that was actually fun so it was ok.

My one real complaint centered around the hotel elevators and how inefficient they are, but I don't think I need to mention that. I don't think I've met anyone that likes them, and it was a running gag on DC*TV.

Edit: I'll do a more detailed analysis from a first timer's perspective.

As someone who has attended Gencon many times (similar attendee size to D*Con) and been to other cons as well but never been to D*Con, I thought I wouldn't be too overwhelmed, but I was wrong. Unlike any other con I've been to, different skywalks are on different floors depending on the hotel you are in and where you want to go. For example, I want to go to the Peachtree Mall for food. I have to get to the second floor of the Hilton (where my room was) to skywalk to the Marriott. Then, I have to go up two floors to the Marriott's 4th floor, and head to the back of said floor right behind some escalators blocking the next skywalk from being very visible. Then I can make the correct (left) turn at the crossroads to reach my mall destination, approximately 10-15 min later *if* I knew exactly where to go and "traffic" wasn't bad. Thankfully, there were tons of staff and security around to point me there until i got the hang of it myself, and as I said, I usually enjoyed getting "lost" if I wasn't exhausted. But it wasn't just the skywalks: every room at every hotel and surrounding business was packed with activity, designed to lure as many attendees in as possible.

More than any con I've been to prior, Dragon*Con had something to do at all hours. Probably the calmest I saw it was at 7 a.m., and even then there were lots of people around. Thankfully, the businesses in the area reflected this by staying open super late to accommodate everyone (some mall food places stayed open until 3 a.m.!) which was good since my Hilton room had no fridge or microwave. The mall food prices were also very reasonable (5.99ish combo meals at many places) and had a large variety so I never had to go far.

There was a television channel in my hotel and others dedicated to everything, called D*C TV, that showed off many panels and most contests for folks who did not have to time or energy to make it themselves (or if the rooms were full, which happened a lot). There were also funny "commercials", music videos, parodies, and even some movies to entertain in-between showcased panels. The channel cut off sometimes, but that was rare.

I didn't attend very many panels due to constantly being worn out, but everyone I saw and discoursed with had fun in the contests and photoshoots. I personally attended the WoW costume event and even got an award (which I'm not sure I deserved since the competition was amazing, but I was happy about it), and there were many more contests designed for both specific genre's fans and for general costume creation (not just performances like some contests I've seen). The wide variety of costume contests made it possible to participate in multiple events, or simply pay attention to the ones you were interested in, which was nice. As far as costume contests go, I've never seen them more organized, which was good since the costumes there lived up to their reputation. There were some truly fantastic eye catchers out there, and rare costumes I'd never seen before, and attendees were (from what I could tell) very respectful to cosplayers (and other fellow cosplayers), both on and off stage.

It can be really tiring to go since there's so much to do and the convention is spread out over a large area, and moving around the convention is not always easy, especially if you are disabled (all of the hotels had very slow elevators) or if you are out-of-towner like me who doesn't really know where you are going, but I can't recommend this event enough to anyone like us who are cosplay fans. I have never seen a better combination of dedicated fandoms and amazing costumes (both self and company made) of multiple genres in one place. Staff were always helpful, and security was always checking badges and standing by to make everyone feel safe. I'll be back next year if I have anything to say about it.
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Last edited by Spiritwalker : 09-03-2012 at 11:15 PM.
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Unread 09-04-2012, 12:22 PM   #4
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I went to Marvel.com and did not see the DC shoot on the front page. Figuring it was posted while we were still at con, I did a search. No mention of Dragoncon was found. Is this going to be a "Next week" thing?
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Unread 09-04-2012, 04:16 PM   #5
Spiritwalker
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There's still quite a few folks traveling home from Atlanta today. I'd start looking in the next day or two. I'm finding a lot but not everything. Sites probably take longer to mess with than personal photo albums too.
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2012 Plans: GenCon Indy, Dragon*Con, AnimeCrossroads

Alter Egos:
Orc Warlock (WoW) 85% (revamping certain parts for 2013)
Tuxedo Mask (Sailor Moon) 100% (pics up soon)
James (Team Rocket) 100% (pics up soon)
Orc Shaman (WoW) 75% (revamping process)

Far Future/Dream Alter Egos:
Draenei Paladin (WoW)
Worgen Druid (WoW)
Galio (LoL)
and one more...
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Unread 09-05-2012, 11:21 AM   #6
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I had a fantastic time this year. The lines I stood in (mostly Whedon Universe but a couple of others) were all run exceedingly well. Besides the usual small groups of assholes you run into at cons, D*C was one moment of wonderful after another.
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Unread 09-05-2012, 02:05 PM   #7
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I had a great time this year, as I always do. But one thing stuck out as supremely bothering both me and some other contest entrants:

Now - before getting into the nitty - the people who won did AMAZING jobs on their costumes. Really, just holy cow @ the level of craftsmanship: hand stitched wings, molded leather, etc. WOW! This is in no way to detract from their wins or say they didnt deserve it, because they sure as anything absolutely did.

For the 'Page to the Stage' Comic series cosplay contest: we were encouraged to bring reference images that werent used, werent really sure what we were being judged on (accuracy, craftsmanship, neat-o factor, etc), and afterward a couple of the judges (assuming they were judges, here - they said they were and were backstage with us in a "restricted" area) going down the line asking contestants "what are you supposed to be?"


Sad face.

Last edited by AsukaBlue : 09-05-2012 at 02:19 PM. Reason: rambling. :(
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Unread 09-05-2012, 05:16 PM   #8
mentokjebus
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I'd like to say, Dcon and hotel staff did an outstanding job keeping the elevators pain free this year compared to last year.

No prop nazis/badge nazis as usual. After going just twice, Dragon*con is now my favorite convention by a mile
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Unread 09-05-2012, 08:05 PM   #9
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D*Con is just wow. Its like the biggest party with 50,000 of your closest friends. Even when I was alone (without my group) I didn't feel lonely. Everywhere I went I was meeting someone that liked the same things as me. I didn't experience that awkwardness I always seemed to run into at other cons, and everyone was had this awesome attitude around them. I never felt like I was isolated because of my size or for the many things that decided to go wrong with my costumes. Quite the opposite, since it felt like every few minutes someone would compliment me or take my picture. Which was honestly a big deal for a person who usually gets push aside in favor of her friends.

The only thing I didn't really like was just how spread out everything was. Which isn't a bad thing at all, but its a pain when your trying to get from the Westin to the Hilton in time to make the last shuttle to your hotel. That and the wait for the aquarium bus.

I really loved the mechanical masquerade the most really. It made the entire convention being able to watch an entire ballroom do the time warp and then collapse to the floor on cue. Of course I can never forget the many dance circles, especially the ones that had male Misty in them. He was flipping amazing.

Though I honestly loved everyone I met during the weekend. Dragon*Con has been the highlight of my year, and I'm already planning for next year.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 07:18 PM   #10
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This was my first D*Con and it was amazing. All the panels I went to were entertaining. I have the same beef with the shuttle to the aquarium. I ended up sharing a taxi with another group, only to find out the aquarium was within walking distance of the Westin, which me and my friend were staying in. Total facepalm realization there.

The parade was a bit of a mess. My friend and I were assigned to the Apocalypse Rising group for our post apocalypse Rainbow Brite and Patty O'Green. There was no sign, no one could help us find the spot we needed to be and it wasn't between the two groups it was supposed to. Me and my friend were thankful when shortly before the parade started, some other non-zombies showed up. For a while it was just us, zombie boy scouts and the zombie president bus. We looked a bit out of place.

I had an awesome time in the WoW costume contest. All the other contestants were great and I felt like the contest itself was run really smooth. All the staff and judges working it were also really fun to talk to. I definitely want to do it again.

Between the contest and meeting all the members of The Guild, I was pretty much on cloud nine all weekend... at least until the pain in my feet from walking all day would kick in. Don't think I'll do the Westin again; its distance from everything left me drained and with really sore feet by nighttime. The only upside, is I'm sure the elevators were a lot better than most of the other host hotels. Even still, I made sure to wake up at 6 to start packing the car on Monday. There was no waiting for elevators at that hour.
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Unread 09-07-2012, 12:35 PM   #11
TheFontBandit
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As a second-year attendee, I enjoyed myself though not as much as last year. There were likely a number of factors... I over-scheduled too many costume group photo shoots and meetups, it was my first year at a host hotel and I under-estimated wait time for elevators, and I tried to do too many costumes that required too much of my time changing into/out of them.

That being said, I do think it was run very smoothly, especially for such a large convention. The skyways seemed better than last year, with traffic consistently moving (though sometimes sluggish on Saturday, I was rarely at a full stop for more than a second or two) and a stricter reinforcement of the "no photos in skyways" rule.

Is it just me, or was the con even more crowded than last year, especially on Saturday? I know the attendance was higher, though I don't know exact numbers yet. To me, there was a very noticeable difference in the crowding. It got bad enough that I just hid in my hotel room for a few hours on Saturday afternoon and spent the evening watching the Comic costume contest on DCTV in the room instead of venturing out into the masses. If the attendance increases again next year, I worry how bad it may get.

I seriously doubt the con-runners would ever put a cap on attendance, but it might eventually be necessary if the number of attendees keeps going up... unless they can add another hotel to spread things out a bit.

One good thing... I did very much enjoy the addition of a video games track this year. I got to attend a few panels and I got to meet the guys from Bioware, which was a highlight of the con for me. Video games are one of my favorite hobbies, and I was very excited to see programming added.

Last edited by TheFontBandit : 09-07-2012 at 12:37 PM.
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Unread 09-07-2012, 04:40 PM   #12
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This was my first time to attend this con and overall I had a really good time. There were oodles of costumes everywhere I went and plenty to see and do. I'll probably go back next year, though maybe not on Saturday.

The big negative for me was Saturday, just in general. It was way too freaking crowded everywhere I went. Massive crowds of people shoving through each other. Plus, it did sort of get off to a crappy start when we couldn't find anywhere to stand to actually see the parade being out there 1 hour before it starts (oh well, live and learn). There were escalator traffic jams, getting stuck in toasty skywalks between hotels, etc. We left way early that day to do other things since it was too insane to really have much fun.

Other thing I didn't like were all the photographers that just sort of snap and run without saying hello or asking for a picture or anything. Perhaps I'm spoiled by smaller, friendlier anime cons, but this really bugged me. I especially didn't like the creepers that didn't ask before jumping into a picture with me and touching me! YUCK.

We stayed offsite at the "unwalkable" Omni and it was awesome. It's less than a mile away so it was extremely walkable, and downhill the whole way back. :P Had absolutely no issues with any of the football folks, no elevator waits, no loud obnoxious parties, etc.

My silly question, being new to Atlanta and to D*C... why the heck isn't this con in the GWCC??!?! Having it spread between all the hotels is kinda silly when there is a ton of freaking space in the GWCC.
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Unread 09-07-2012, 05:18 PM   #13
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Having D*C at the GWCC would sort of kill the 24/7 party atmosphere/legacy of this particular convention.

Saturday was overly busy, I sort of gave up on shooting much in the evening on Saturday, or wandered around to less crowded venues.
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Unread 09-08-2012, 09:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patcave View Post
Having D*C at the GWCC would sort of kill the 24/7 party atmosphere/legacy of this particular convention.
I agree. Part of what makes Dragon*Con Dragon*Con is how the con sort of never stops, and the party/Mardi Gas attitude you get with having everyone hanging out in the hotels. If you look at other large conventions, like SDCC, that are held in convention centers, the feel is very different. Once the Con closes down for the day, everything sort of ends. You stop seeing costumes and people hanging out once the convention center halls are closed and people sort of go back to their hotels or private parties. At Dragon*Con, however, becuase of the set up of the three main hotels and their large open, public spaces, you never really see an end to people hanging out in costume, or just hanging out.
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Unread 09-08-2012, 10:46 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by TheFontBandit View Post
Is it just me, or was the con even more crowded than last year, especially on Saturday?
Not just you! I, too, felt it was way more crowded than last year! I actually did not wear my cosplay this year due to the crowding. (I was really concerned about the back end of it getting stepped all over or being jostled and having my hairpieces knocked loose.) I literally spent 3/4 of Saturday sitting in my room, alone. (Thankfully I had a book or two to read!) The crowding also made it pretty much impossible to shop in the Dealers Room/Exhibit Halls. And the line just to get into & look around the Walk of Fame (not for any specific guest, just to get in!) was so long I didn't even bother this year.

To be honest, I really did not enjoy myself this year
1. As mentioned, I didn't get to cosplay.
2. Also as mentioned, shopping & Walk of Fame was pretty much impossible.
3. The few panels I actually made it to were either just not that great or had technical difficulties (hard to enjoy a panel when mics are not working and you can't hear what is being said).
4. Pretty much everything had a huge line, so I couldn't just look at the schedule guide and go to whatever tickled my fancy, because if you don't show up like 1-2 hours before and aren't in the front/middle part of the line, you're probably not getting in and now you've wasted 2 hours.
5. The line for the aquarium bus was horrid (but at least there was a specific pick-up place this year) - whose bright idea was it to have only ONE bus? Really?
6. Dragon*Con TV = boring! Maybe if it's your first or second year it's still awesome. But it seemed to me like it was nothing but reruns (except the panel re-broadcasts, obviously). Nothing wrong with recycling stuff, but it was the same small handful things over & over - I know they have way more stuff they could have played, so why the limited selection? Or why not more new stuff? And always with the technical difficulties! It cuts out a lot, or there is no sound, or there are huge differences in the volume levels. You'd think they'd have it down by now...
7. Lack of costumes. Maybe I just didn't go out enough or just wasn't in the right places, but I feel like I did not see very many actual costumes this year. Saw a lot of people just playing "random dress-up" in various combinations of corsets, fancy dresses, assorted wings, animal ears/tails & that sort of thing, but not a lot of actual, identifiable costumes. On the bright side, saw almost none of the skanky duct tape/pasties/underwear/random lingerie crap that I have seen in previous years!

Sorry to be so Debbie Downer! I have had a good time previous years, but this year was just not good. I won't be going back next year (due to this kind of stuff as well as financial concerns).
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