Queen City Anime Con Review: A Smooth Experience, No Need to be a VIP.

Queen City Anime Con is an event that I was introduced to only recently but where it had a few people I really wanted to meet and it was five hours from home I decided it would be fun to see what kind of event it was. Since I went into this event not knowing anything about it I splurged and got a VIP pass so I could skip some lines in case they were really long and plus I can’t resist a pass with a swag bag option. This event wound up being a very interesting experience and I’m pretty excited to write it all down.

First I want to talk about the guests since that was why I arrived. The guests were of course nice and had a few people that I needed for the Fire Emblem collection I’ve worked on for so long, but what I really enjoyed was how it had guests like Tiana Camcho, Matt Shipman, and Brittany Lauda. These individuals have never been to an event this close to me before, as far as I can recall anyways. This was the main reason I leaped at the chance to come here. I also really like how for their signings the convention had them sign for two hours each on Saturday which is way better than the one-hour signings I’m used to at most events. With the VIP pass I wound up being first in line each time with lining up only 15 minutes prior to the signing but even if I didn’t have the pass the lines never got bad enough that I would have stressed about getting the autographs. I was impressed because it really seemed like a situation where everyone who wanted an autograph got one and the signings went very smoothly.

The panels were a lot of fun too as the event had a wide variety of guest and fan panels plus other cool events like a circus performance. They even had a panel about blogging which is something I haven’t seen in a while. The panel rooms were really easy to find but it did get a little crowded if there was a popular panel in panel rooms two through four because they were in rooms lined up in a narrow hallway and the rooms themselves were rather small so the only reason I didn’t attend more panels than the ones I did go to was that I didn’t want to leave and be noticed by everyone if I decided to bail early on it. These aren’t really problems or even issues it’s just where sometimes I get really socially anxious I tend to avoid situations that I fear might bring out my anxiety.

The vendor’s area was pretty nice with a lot of merch that was hand made so it was full of stuff that I’ve never seen before and I really enjoyed it. Since the area was small it didn’t take long to see everything but where there was plenty of room I was easily able to look through everything and not feel cramped in the process.

The VIP perks weren’t bad but I’m not sure if I would splurge for one if I go to this convention again. The line cutting perk was really nice but where the lines were often short I wound up not saving as much time as I thought I would skipping them. Plus the general lines were way easier to find. Additionally, I found myself not enjoying the swag bag. It had a nice light with the convention logo on it but there was nothing else in the swag bag that had my interest at all.

The event overall was super organized. Everything ran on time, the staff was incredibly nice and everything was near each other and easy to find. There were only a couple of minor things that I had issues with of any kind. The first was the fact that VIP lines were not labeled so I honestly had to ask anytime I went to a VIP line for a particular event. The staff was more than nice enough to help but otherwise, I probably would not have been able to find it as there were no visible markers to help with at all. Because the staff was so nice and helpful this was an issue that was quickly resolved. The only other issue I had was registration. There are two ways to get to registration, one is via the inside of the hotel where you walk downstairs and the other is to walk around the hotel and enter through the door at the parking garage. Now if you arrived at the event during registration and parked at the hotel this is a non-issue as you got registered within the door closest to where you parked. However, in the case of my wife and I, we got there after registration on Friday and had to register Saturday morning and because of that we couldn’t walk in the hotel to get to registration because it meant passing a small part of the convention that required a badge so we had to walk around the building to find the other entrance. This wasn’t a very far walk but in the head that was there during the event, it was a bit of an annoying one. The only other issue I had was it was humid inside the event most of the time so I found myself often going back to my room to reapply deodorant to avoid being a source of discomfort to the other attendees.

Overall I really liked this event it was a small intimate setting that made everything easy to do. The staff was friendly and made it easy to resolve the few issues I did have making for a very smooth and comfortable experience. This event has a wide variety of panels, events, and guests that will keep you busy the entire weekend, and any problem I did have was quickly resolved to the point where I feel like I’m being nit-picky even bringing them up. Except for the room temperature that was a bit of a pain. I went VIP this year but I feel like the benefits of the perks did not justify the extra expense when I could easily get what I want with minimal effort with a general admission pass. This is an event I will look into for future years but not as a VIP.

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