Galaxycon is an event I am familiar with; however, this is the first time I went to one of these events in Columbus, which I later found out was their first year at this location. In fact, this is the first time I went to a second location for a convention I’ve already attended so this was a rather interesting experience. I remembered how much I went to the one I went to in Louisville, which sadly is no longer happening, and I was very excited to see how similar or different this event was going to be. As I expected the events were largely the same, but that is actually a good thing because in this case, it’s one of those situations where if it’s not broke don’t fix it.
First I’ll talk about the guest list. Galaxycon consistently does an incredible job at having a guest list full of actors and talent from all kinds of franchises and sources of entertainment. It really embodies the idea of a little something for everyone. It had quite a number of anime voice actors from My Hero Academia, but also on-screen actors from shows like Daredevil, Legends of Tomorrow, Doctor Who, and the Mandalorian. The only real downside is the lines can get really long, now that is expected at an event like this and many of the actors signed all day so it’s not hard to meet everyone if you’re determined to wait in the long lines for a while but this is a major use of time so it can be hard to do everything else. I really enjoyed the convention’s solutions to all of this for some fans. You do have the option of getting a VIP pass, but where I was only going on Saturday I felt like paying over $300 for one day was just not a smart idea, but I was in need of a room for the day, and turns out if you get a room at one of the two host hotels you get a fast pass. Now at first, I was skeptical as this seemed a bit too easy to get a pass but I got one and made plenty of use of it to get to the front of several autograph lines with ease. On an unrelated note, I have stayed at this hotel before, The Hyatt Regency Columbus, but this time I got a corner room with a nice view and absolutely loved it.
The panel options were great as well I went to a couple of the Q and A sessions because this convention had John Barrowman and I just love the hilarity that happens at every one of his panels. I also went to a My Hero Academia panel but several more caught my eye such as a Speed Friending panel, some improv comedy, and more. I actually wanted to go to more panels than I did, but my mental health and by proxy my stamina has taken a bit of a hit due to stress, not related to the convention, so I just didn’t have the means to physically do everything I wanted to but I had an easy time attending the stuff I was able to see and really enjoyed myself. I also want to point out that the Galxycon background makes taking pictures of panels so much easier for me than most backgrounds at conventions so I was able to take some amazing photos. I do have one downside to the panels but it’s a minor one. The convention doesn’t seem to clear out the room from one panel to another. I noticed this when I went to the John Barrowman panel, I was near the front of the line but I really didn’t get a good seat as most of them were taken before anyone in the line entered the room. Now I understand several conventions opt for this but this is something I personally do not like for a couple of reasons. One is that you can be in the front of a line to get in and still not get a decent seat. The second is that you can have people attending a panel solely to ensure they get a good seat for the panel they are actually trying to attend that happens to be after the one they are currently watching. I feel it promotes people attending panels they are not interested in for seats at the ones they are and I just don’t care for that.
Then you have the vendors which I also greatly enjoyed. Lots of variety everywhere including vendors I’ve really enjoyed shopping at from previous events and there was plenty of space to look around. Even with the heavy Saturday crowd I never had any difficulty walking around and looking at the merchandise. The convention really made great use of the space to give people plenty of room to be comfortable. This is one of the few times I’ve been at a larger event and could say shopping was a comfortable experience. I do have one thing to say about this and I don’t really want to say this is particularly good or bad but I find it is something that goes from practical to impractical quickly. The vendor’s area also holds the photo ops and the autograph area and has multiple entrances. One door is for fast pass and VIP ticket holders and that is right by the autographs which to me makes sense because most people who get a fast pass for an event like this prioritize good spots in autograph lines. The general admission area is on the other side of the hall. When the doors open I can see where this can be a very good idea but this door policy was enforced the entire day even long after the crowds at the doors were gone and I just don’t see a point in enforcing a rule other than to make sure you have a pass to go in after the huge crowd waiting to get in at the start of the day has faded. By that point, most people are in their respective autograph lines or shopping and there’s little to no crowd at any of the entrances.
This actually leads to a miscellaneous point I want to make which is that the registration line was so close to the entrance to the vendors that it was a bit tricky to know where we were supposed to go and which line was which since you had several registration lines and several lines to get in the vendors. It wasn’t a major problem by any means but it did create a bit of confusion at the start of the day other than that everything ran incredibly well with great success.
Overall I had a lot of fun at this event and took full advantage of the fast pass to do as much as I could. Galaxycon has a lot to offer and you are sure to find something you are passionate about at these events. It’s not a perfect event by any means but anything I disliked had very little impact on my experience and frankly, I can live with these elements not being worked on at all in favor of them continuing to perform as well as they did this weekend. I really hope to be able to attend another Galaxycon in 2023 because it is abundantly clear they all are incredible events.