Anime Weekend Atlanta 2013 Review
This year at AWA, Anime Weekend Atlanta, I was able to fully enjoy a wide variety of the events happening. I went to a few different panels and several different events.
As per my usual convention experience I was able to walk around and see several of my good friends and enjoyed the ability to take photos of whom ever I wished basically whenever. Now I will high light the only flaw I saw this year, traffic control. During previous conventions, I have experienced poor traffic control, and with an event as large as AWA was this year I was not surprised at the amount of people there. However, I did find the lack of direction given to con-goers slightly aggravating. At almost any convention you will find the occasional persons who ask for photographs in the middle of a walking path and usually they will be asked to step to the side or will voluntarily move, but this year I found more often than not that people were just left to their own devices so when they wanted a picture it ended up blocking the walk way and making it difficult for others to move past. A solution to this would simply be more workers making sure it was known by con-goers that they needed to move to the side and the con-goers themselves to be a little more thoughtful on where they asking for a photo.
Now the first place I went once arriving at the convention was to get into the con and purchase my badge. I arrived on Friday morning and was actually very pleased with how quickly we were able to move through to get our badges. They had originally only assigned one line for both cash and credit but quickly realized it would move faster if they organized two lines with the two forms of payment and therefore quickly resolved the problem and split the two. This made it more productive and was very convenient. The second thing I did was try and check into my hotel, the Sheraton. This was slightly more difficult and time consuming due to the fact that someone else had originally reserved the room and was giving us the room but the matter was resolved fairly easily. The hotel worked with us and was patient with us as we figured out what was going on and told us exactly what we had to do. Over all the hotel service was one of the best I’d had in a long time.
Now once everything had been settled I headed into the dealers room and was pleasantly surprised at how everything was set up the same as previous years. It always worked well in the past and proved to still work this year as well. There were two sets of doors divided by a long wall; one for entrance and the other for the exit. At each door there was a volunteer and they monitored who went in and out, checking badges making sure people went through the correct doors and that traffic flowed thoroughly. Once inside, they had booths lined up in vertical rows and two single horizontal isles going in all the way across. The dealer’s room has always been a personal favorite of mine and I have never found a better set up than the one at AWA.
Now for my own pleasure I did attend a few different panels of my own fandoms. The Black Butler panel, the Fairy Tail Panel, and the Konoha Corner panels were the ones that stood out the most to me. However they had numerous amounts of fan panels from all different fandoms and for all different interests. Anyone can apply for a panel at AWA but being as I have never actually tried to, I couldn’t exactly tell you much about that. However, I did attend the annual AWA ball this year. The workers spent countless hours creating the beautiful masterpiece that was the AWA ball. There were hand crafted roses made from pages of older books glued onto actual tree branches that workers had to strip of any branches or leaves before decorating. Their work was gorgeous. They had great music to dance to with a variety of different tempos and styles, the band they had play was beautiful. Over all that was probably my new favorite part of the convention and I truly cannot wait to go back again. If there is anything you must experience at some point it is the AWA ball.
This year at AWA has probably been my favorite convention in a very long time. I suggest this convention to anyone and everyone who could possibly attend it.