Monday, May 18, 2015

Big Badge, Little Con

Article by Chet Royer

Hello again folks, this is Ninja101. As a nerd/geek/otaku, nothing makes me happier than going to a convention. I have gone to quite a bit of them like Anime Boston, Otakon, New York Comic Con and a few others. After a while, you get a bit more curious about how other venues look and what they offer. So, we chose to check out Connecticon which was based in, you guessed it, Connecticut.

I’m not going to beat around the bush with you guys. Normally, I would tell you what was the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of this con. Sadly I can only tell you about the ugly. There was not a damn good thing about this con. Let’s begin our rant!

First Gripe: travel. When we arrived at our hotel, we soon realized that the convention hall was kind of far away. No worries, the shuttle bus will save us. Well, that doesn’t sound too bad, right? It wouldn’t be if the convention hall was the only place where all the events were being held. We found out later, that certain events and special rooms were located in different hotels throughout the city. For example, to get to the game room, you would have to take the shuttle bus 8 stops away from the convention center. Couple that with the fact that the shuttle bus stopped running at a certain time makes this con experience feel limited. Then unfortunately for us nerds, there was a post Independence Day block party happening along the river and bridge near by the convention center. During this festival, all buses stopped running. Talk about a series of unfortunate events…

Second Gripe: Dealer Room. This dealer’s room is like the studio apartment equivalent for cons. An apartment layout would normally consist of a living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. A studio has all of those things but it is confined to one room. It is up to the tenant to section off the area. That was what Connecticon did. The Dealers Room was very small; they cut the space in half and gave one side to the dealers. The other side was split in half again. These halves were given to the artists and autographing section. That was not even the sad part. The sickening thing about this was that there was still room to spare. They compressed the sections a lot but it felt like they could have had more dealers and/or artist. Alas, next door was a haven for tabletop gamers and League of Legends masters. Although this section was slightly smaller in size compared to the dealer’s/artist/autograph room, you barely notice the size difference. In my opinion, the priority was a little wonky.

Third Gripe: Connecticut. This was the final straw. Since you clearly didn’t need to spend more than half a day in the dealer’s room, we tried venturing out into the city. We soon found out that for some reason, Hartford closed up shop really early. We tried going into a CVS around 2pm and they were closed….What’s the point of a convenience store that closes so early!? Also, there was a food court that fell victim to the same early closure. It was closed on Saturday. In Baltimore, a large portion of the city works together when Otakon is in town. Restaurants open until much later in the day and so do other various convenient stores. I would assume that when Connecticon comes to town, all nearby stores and restaurants would adjust their hours so they can profit from the influx of visitors. I was dead wrong.

I honestly don’t know what else I can say about this tragic trip to Connecticon. The only good thing this con did was make your badge the size of a Samsung Galaxy Note so it can explain all of the running around that you will have to do. Even if I was a person that enjoys going to panels, this would still be annoying to deal with. This was probably one of the worst conventions I have ever been to. Too small, too convoluted and bad lay out. Never again…..never again.

© 2015 Linda Thai
Photography by Linda Thai
For more pictures, check out the Something Deeper: Anime, Manga and Comics Page on Facebook

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