C2E2 2023 Review: I Had A Great Time, I Just Wish I Had More of it.

So for the third time, I find myself attending C2E2. This is an event I keep an eye on every year; however, since it takes a lot to travel to this event I often don’t go unless it has some actors my wife and I really want to meet and in that regard, C2E2 2023 really brought their A-game to a point where we just had to go. Now in this case I was only able to go for one day due to several different circumstances and turns out that had a huge effect on my experience this time around.

I’ll start by talking about the guests. My wife is a huge fan of Buffy and we both love Avatar The Last Airbender. Well, this year they had actors from Buffy that rarely attend events and the first-ever appearance of the voice of Aang from Avatar. To say my wife was overjoyed would be an understatement. On top of that, you had actors from Chainsaw Man, Spy X Family, and even multiple actors from the Marvel Cinematic Universe like Chris Evans.  C2E2 never disappoints with its guests and this year is no different. Plus they all signed for most of the day so it wasn’t hard to get everyone we wanted even when some had extremely long lines. I also want to really give a shoutout to the staff that were working the lines. They deserve so much praise from what I saw as they were constantly helping people with lining up, talking to people when lines were capped and making sure fans were prepared with what they wanted autograph/photo wise when they got to the end of the line. I even saw one member of staff get berated by an irate attendee and kudos to her she maintained her professionalism the entire time and did her best to help the attendee who was mad because a line was getting so long that it was reaching the vendors and they had to cap it till it died down a bit.

The vendor’s hall was a lot of fun. It is this massive collection of booths to buy merch from and is easily bigger than the entirety of some conventions.  You could devote an entire day to shopping and still never see what every booth had to offer. The variety was also there which surprised me.  Events like this often seem to consider anime products as an afterthought but there was a lot of anime merch this year. in some places, there was so much space to walk around in that you would forget how big the event actually was and in other places like artist alley food traffic was slow and a little cramped. Now I will say that the autographs are not far from the vendors so some vendors closest to the autographs had some difficulty with foot traffic when those lines got long.

The panels were a lot of fun but honestly, I found it hard to be motivated to do several of them because there were so many actors to meet and that alone took a while on top of the massive vendor’s hall.   You had a lot of Q and A panels which were capped fast so they were very hard to get to, but there were options to watch them digitally.  However, the con also featured a lot of fan ran panels that covered a wide variety of fandoms on par with the vendors. plus there were several places in the vendors where you could take the escalators to get to the panels which were incredibly helpful.

I also want to point out how awesome the mobile app for the convention is.  With all of the vendors, guests, and panels it’s about impossible to keep track of everything otherwise. it had a fully customizable schedule, detailed maps, and provided handy notifications throughout the weekend. it’s a must-have without a doubt. Now I will say it did provide information I found that was not helpful but for a good reason. Multiple times the app and the convention website stated the will call lines will be long on Saturday, the day we went, so my party arrived around the time will call opened to avoid long lines and to our surprise, there were a lot of people that had the same idea and in spite of that we were able to get our badges, go through security and line up to wait for the convention to start in a little under 20 minutes total. Now I don’t know if the wait times got longer as the day went on but it really didn’t seem like it did from what I could tell.

Overall this is a convention that puts guests and vendors at the forefront of the convention and they were absolutely amazing. vendors as far as the eye can see and guests that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else. The panels were fun and easy to get to but where there is so much to do you really have to take a day and pick either panels or vendors\autographs because there is way too much to do to try and do a little of everything in one day.  That was one thing I was a bit saddened by as, like I stated earlier, I could only do the one day. Going forward I really don’t see any viable option of doing this event if I can only go for one day because while I had an absolutely wonderful time I simply can’t get a full convention experience if I only do the one day there is simply too much to do for that.

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