18
Mar
09

Back from MomoCon

This past weekend, a group of us headed down in the wee hours of the morning to Atlanta for the free, two-day convention MomoCon. Sponsored by Anime O-tekku, the anime club of the Georgia Institute of Technology, this was the con’s fifth year. It’s typically held in March at the beginning of the university’s spring break. While it was also on our spring break, it was at the end of it, making Monday morning somewhat unpleasant. Enough about that though and onto the con.

Registration was a fairly long mess at first glance, but it actually moved fairly well. One might wonder why a free con has registration. For one, liability and emergency information. From another standpoint, it gives them demographic data for marketing.

However, despite the registration maintaining a decent line flow, it was flooded Saturday. The convention, held in two buildings on the Georgia Tech campus, eventually set up a satellite registration table in the building registration wasn’t in. This table, by the way, was basically 10 feet away from the MTAC table. Great for us for getting foot traffic by the table.

Speaking of the other building, spreading the con over two buildings meant having to physically leave one building for more content. The buildings aren’t far from each other, which would be fine on a nice weekend. Not so much on a rainy one. The weather wasn’t so bad, just rainy and dreary enough to make going from one building to another a chore. Due to rain, some of the outdoor events had to be cancelled (like the chalk drawing) or moved inside (like cosplay).

Again with the convention being on a college campus, there were technical issues the con staff couldn’t fix because there was no university staff to help. Breakers flipped and outlets failed in gaming areas.

Otherwise, the campus aspect helped with plentiful food from cafeterias and vending machines, as well as class rooms already providing technical requirements panelists may need.

Onto the content, there were a decent amount of panels and events, especially considering the limited day and time restrictions due to being on a campus. Panels and events pretty much started at 11:30 a.m. On Saturday, they pretty much lasted until 11:30 at night. Things closed slightly earlier on Sunday. There was a good variety from fan panels to workshops. Most guests, not really the big names usually found at anime cons due to this being put on by an anime club with little budget, fit well with the panels and workshops.

The two panels I went to were on anime clubs and conventions. Both panels were the first of the day, anime clubs on Saturday and cons on Sundays. Saturday, I was dead tired from lack of sleep and an early departure to Atlanta, so I didn’t actively participate as much as I would have liked. Still, it’s often good to hear what other anime clubs do in compared to my own club and ideas.

The conventions panel, I was awake for. I always enjoy these panels, not for the how-to tips but for the stories. Panels on running cons are 80% stories of how things went wrong or how something completely random came up. More often than not, these stories are fairly funny, as are many bad experiences through retrospect. Stories about surviving tornados or bad hotels with pools filled with sludge or taking place at the same place and time as a cricket match or an expectant mothers’ trade show, these things seem awful at the time, but in hindsight, they are looked at with a chuckle because these were experiences survived and persevered through.

Of course, when remembering any con, there has to be mentioning of the dealer room. MomoCon split up its dealers into four rooms, as they did not have a single room large enough to accommodate all of them. The main dealer room 1 was decently sized, but the other three were fairly small, and thus fairly crowded. There were a few good dealers, and I made off with a tall Kamen Rider Stonger figure (thank you Anime Palace for filling my Kamen Rider need).

All in all, I enjoyed my stay at MomoCon. It was a fun little weekend trip with my friends to enjoy some panels and partake of some dealers. If you go to cons for big-name guests or the most competitive AMV or cosplay competitions in the area, this con might not be for you. If, however, you want a relatively cheap con trip (who doesn’t these days) with a few panels, some dealer swag, and hang out time with your friends, MomoCon is a good choice for your 2010 con year.

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