Awesome-Con 2019 is in the books, let’s look at all the things we loved, and some of the things we didn’t, of the con!
The Return of Wild Bill’s Soda – After two years of absence, and Awesome-Con’s cheap imitation of their service, Wild Bill’s was a welcome sight. Great cane sugar soda, good flavors (no Pepsi products here!), and awesome service.
Photo Ops and Autographs – They’re getting this system down! Not only do they get thousands of attendees through quick and orderly, but they’ll bend over backwards to help you out.
Panel Support – Not only were the staff amazing, but the fact that almost every room had ADA access (including wheelchair lifts for the raised platforms) was on point and the ASL support staff were fantastic!
No Place to Sit – Unless you were on the concourse or near the panels, the convention was not kind to the disabled or just plain tired. They had a few seats at the photos (and even less at the autographs) for ADA attendees, but otherwise it was standing room only. Plus they moved the food court seating a good hundred yards further away!
No Pride Alley – They advertised it. The vendors were there. Yet, a common area for LGBTQ+ artists and consumers? Nowhere to be found. I understand they were simply mixed among all artists, but this is not the time to dismantle safe spaces.
Questionable Exhibitor Space – Whoever’s managing the vendors, artists, crafters, and organization booths apparently never visited the floor. You had missing signage, the 501st (and affiliates) were split up and shoved to easily missed corners, and “adult” product vendors were adjacent to child/family-oriented exhibitors. When you’re trying to buy National Geographic books and your 7-year-old slowly reads “c*nt master” out loud from a nearby underwear booth, you know somebody messed up.
The Meet Up – For many of us, Awesome-Con is our first major con of the year, and seeing all of our friends; making new ones and getting to hang out with people – some of whom we haven’t seen since the previous year – is what makes this con so special. The panels, artists, and cosplay are wonderful but that feeling of coming home is where the true, well, awesomeness, of Awesome-Con comes from.
In other words, we can’t wait for next year! See you then!