Akai Con 2013 Review
As first year conventions go this one was one of the better ones. Now with any convention first year or not there are always going to be your hiccups along the way. That is just how these things go.
Akai Con was held at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville Tennessee. For a con being new to the con circuit, it was a good place to start off. The location was an okay place, there was an outdoor area with a pool and a nice little garden deal for pictures. Most of the time I was there and I was not hosting a panel this is where I was located. There was also a nice little hill that was just outside the door for you to sit on and relax in between picture taking and panels.
Now to get to the staff part of this review. Most of the staff were wearing an arm band that said Akai Con on it, so even if you did not see their badge you just looked at their arm and you could identify them. Which was a good thing as the staff was also in cosplay and it got somewhat confusing as to who you needed to talk to if there was an issue. Now there were some things about the staff that I hope to see an improvement on. For example, when we arrived to get our badges we asked the people at the badge table just inside the door where con ops were. They just kinda starred at us like what is con ops? Now I think they were also first year staffers so I can give them a pat on the back and hope the study a little more about their con next year. Now for my big problem with the staff, or one in particular. The podcast was there in a guest capacity, which for the most part people treated us very well. But during one of the panels we had a staffer come in three times and interrupt the panel because they could not hear the video being played in the next room, the first 2 times we were like oh no problem we will turn the mics down. But once we turned the mics down so far the audience could not hear us over the movie. The staffer then came in again and was like turn them down. We finally sat the mics down and told her at this point we could not even hold our panel because we could not be heard over the movie. She got a little bit of and attitude and walked out of the panel room. I thought that it was a little rude that she would act like that to guest panelist.
Then there is the schedule, which was either so clustered that you could not tell what was going on where, or had big gaps of nothing going on at all. Then there was the overloading of one fandom or another that could have been spread out through the weekend, instead it was all on one day at the same time. This did cause a problem if you were a panelist because you either had a lot of people in one panel and maybe a handful in the other.
Apart from the little run in with the staff and the schedule the rest of the con ran smoothly. When we went to the guest suite they took care of us and made some awesome breakfast if I do say so myself. It was also a light and friendly place to chill out when being down in the main lobby became to noisy or over bearing. The staff that was working the guest room gets a thumbs up from the whole crew that attended Akai Con, they did an awesome job.
From a photographers point of view there was a small area that was amazing for photo taking. If any of you have seen any photos from Akai Con you more then likely can guess what area I am talking about. It was perfect for the sweet pictures and added just a little bit of a softer edge to the photos that were a little more hardcore.
From what I heard while walking around the con, being a general attendee was amazing. Most people were happy about what they saw at the con, or were totally blown away with the con because it was more then the expected. There were plenty of people in the dealer room as well.
As a first year con this con would get a 7 out of 10 from me. We had a sit down with the con chair and told them what we thought and they assured us that Akai Con 2014 would be even better. So yes I recommend that you put Akai Con 2014 on your con calendar for next year. I hope to see you there!