So as the title suggests I’ve got some unpleasant things to say about this convention, but overall I still had a good experience. Lexington’s annual comic con is an event I’ve gone to yearly for several years and it’s become a sort of safe haven for me. It’s an event that I’ve successfully done everything I wanted to do so much that I never considered the thought of having trouble with my goals. Unfortunately, this year gave me a very different perspective on the event.
So overall I did like how the convention expanded and allowed more room for people. Last year it was so crowded that it was nearly impossible to walk anywhere; however, when they expanded the convention floor it seems they also expanded the number of tickets they sold. The convention added a separate room just for the celebs so the vendors hall was not very crowed, which was nice; however, the autograph area was so crowed the announcer had to state, multiple times, to keep moving in the hallways. It got so bad that he even said to just avoid the hallways completely. So the crowd was bad but it falls under a minor inconvenience for me.
The way they managed the autograph and photo op lines was very hit and miss though. For most lines the organization was amazing like always. Everyone knew where to line up and waited patiently till it was there turn. Same for the photo ops; however, for the photo ops they had so many going on at the same time that they lost track of who was where and just started yelling for people to tell them what line they were in. Once the lines started moving they moved very smoothly, once they figured out which line needed to move. For autograph lines the problem lied in one guest in particular, Matt Mercer. They severely underestimated how popular he was and capped his line about 1:00 pm, just shortly after I got in line. They only allowed about four guests at a time to line up next to him and meet him so by the time his panel at 5:00 pm rolled around a lot of people were still in line. Now Mercer is a great guest to meet because he’s social and friendly but in most cases the con staff will make sure nobody takes too long to be fair to the other guests, but this convention did nothing of the sort. Furthermore when Mercer went to the panel they didn’t tell the people in line that he was gone so I just left, but many people stayed.
Another problem lied in the security. I commend the convention for adding security measures, but it led to huge lines at registration that they weren’t prepared for so they quickly scrapped all security measures to allow people to get in which just defeated the purpose of attempting to be secure in the first place. I had to go through several security checkpoints, which again is no issue to me, but my friend arrived just a couple hours later and walked right in. The fact that they just gave up completely on being secure was really disappointing to me.
The guest list was amazing, but in many ways that was a problem. It’s clear to me that this convention can only handle guests up to a certain level of fame and going past that mark just over exerts the convention’s abilities. I hope this convention focuses more on how to improve what this convention currently provides, rather than work on expanding because it’s clearly gotten so big that it’s imploding on itself and I do not want to see this trend continue.
Overall I still had fun. I met Chuck Norris, I got a few autographs I wanted, but this was the first convention that I just gave up on an autograph session. I don’t know what made me more disappointed: the fact that I had to just give up on an autograph I wanted or the fact that it was Lexington that it happened at.
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