Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Dragon Con 2015 - Final Thoughts
The Dragon Con organizers are really good about listening to gripes about space, and trying to come up with better ways to set things up. It's in their best interests to keep things growing while making the experience as good as possible for everyone. So as great as this year was I have a few ideas for the organizers to mull over for next year.
In no particular order:
Find a way to replace stolen badges. I know that this is a tough one, but there's got to be some way. Either that or make it harder to steal a badge. They're so flimsy at the top. When I was picking up my media badge Thursday evening some poor schmo was already down there to report his badge stolen. I immediately went home and ran a double layer of duct tape across the top of my badge. Either that or give people less incentive to steal badges. Last year there were people checking badges on your way into and out of every hotel. Is all that really necessary? Friday and Sunday this year they were pretty much just checking badges on the way into panels. That seems fine to me. I get that they're trying to keep the crowds of partiers down, but that really only matters at night. For many broke years of my life I went to Dragon Con on weekend nights to hang out and party with nerds. There weren't nearly many as people going back then so I get that it's harder now, but there's got to be something that can help.
Speaking of crowds I think it's time to look at rearranging where stuff is happening. With the Marriott being the main party hotel now it may be time to move a few big things out of there. The Walk of Fame being the biggest one. It congests the crap out of things. Maybe Americas Mart I cound be the Walk of Fame and Americas Mart II could be the vendors. As far as the vendor set up was concerned it was much better this year. Moving something as big as the Walk of Fame out of a main hotel would clear up a ton of space, and maybe make the crush of people on the sky bridges a little easier to manage. As much as I loved chilling out in the game room at the Hilton maybe that could be moved as well. If they were out at the Westin or Sheraton it would free up a lot of space. The LAN and video gamers too. Nothing against all the gamers; I'm a gamer too. I love you guys, but the 3 main hotels are valuable space these days. You con-gamers are often camping in your rooms for hours. It wouldn't be a big deal for you to be just a little farther out if you're going to be there for such a long time. I couldn't even be bothered to go to the Westin this year. Mainly because there weren't a lot of panels there I wanted to see that badly. Maybe if they were in a main hotel I would have tried harder to see those panels.
And speaking of the crush, put up some better directions. A couple of signs would cost too much would they? A few times this year I was too out of it and tired to navigate well myself. I won't blame it on drinking because all the times I was drinking I had people navigating me. But for the drunks guiding themselves it had to be much more difficult than it even was for me. I was so out of it Sunday morning I took the bridge to the Hyatt rather than the Hilton. My fault I know, but I haven't gotten any better at working my way around the Marriott after all these years. The app is good if you know where you are, but if I can't figure out where the hell I am it doesn't do me any good to see where I want to go. Heck, a "you are here" function on the app would be good. I would use the shit out of that. I don't know anything about tech or mapping so I don't know how hard that would be to put together. I think it would be super useful though.
The Dragon Con media people are fantastic. Super nice, and helpful. And very accomodating of our tiny little conglomerate of nerds. The only thing I would love to see change would be wi-fi for the media. I wanted to upload pictures several times over the weekend, but I was trying to keep an eye on my data usage. Maybe a code we could get at badge pick-up like the code hotel guests get. Just a thought.
It was a great con, and as in past years I didn't feel like I didn't do as much as I wanted to do. I always make all these great plans, but once I get there everything flies out the window. I know I should just suck it up and get a room. That would free me up to do a ton more stuff; or maybe I'd just spend too much time napping and hiding from crowds. Maybe next year.
The big news of the year is that there were just over 70,000 people in attendance. $100,000 was raised for the Lymphoma Research Foundation. The blood bank totals have yet to be released, but considering how many people I saw wearing the free t-shirt for donating blood I'm sure it was a pretty good amount.
Big thanks to Dan Carroll of media relations for approving me. Thanks to Derek and Kelley for the pre-con interviews. I'd also like to thank Dana, Linnea, Sean, and Oz for letting me tag along for a great game show. And of course, none of this would have been possible without The Phantom Troublemaker. Thanks for giving me a shot, and letting me help in whatever small way that I do. Thus ends my being nice for the year. From here on out you bitches can suck it. Except for Dan Carroll. He is exempt from the sucking since I'd like to come back next year.
Beth got her start writing for a site called Movie Criticism for the Retarded (which has been revived as dorkdroppings.com. Check it out sometime), but was pulled out of an early retirement to write for Needless Things. When she isn't writing she plays video games and watches bad horror movies while eagerly awaiting the zombie apocalypse. She may try to save her husband and/or their cats, but luckily hasn't had to make those tough decisions yet.