I've been "conning" since 2002, so I guess I can give you a little insight. I've sort of evolved over the years in terms of my interests. My first con was Katsucon in 2002. It was extremely fun for me, but I had no clue what I was missing until I attended Otakon. Being surrounded by so many people was such a shock for me. My first year was '05 and I had a ball attending the industry panels, amv contest, and masquerade. Then the dealer's room and artist alley were insane. It was awesome because I got to meet amazing artists of works that I really admired online. '06 was a lot of fun because I got involved in the industry a bit, so got to see a few "behind the scenes" things and got a few more freebies while still being able to enjoy the con. '07 was even more fun because I was able to meet up with some friends that I'd known from online and we keep in touch daily. Thanks to that group, I got into cosplaying
. Since Otakon just kept getting more and more fun by the year, I had high expectations, especially since it was my first time cosplaying there too. Unfortunately, this year as a whole was lackluster. I wasn't interested in anything in the dealer's room, artist alley was extremely disappointing (I only bought one piece), and the panels weren't appealing. While there was plenty to do, I just wasn't up for most of it. So it was just me and my friends hanging out and goofing around. Something new and great though was that I got to meet several editors from this board. I've loved amv's for years, but I only started editing last year. I didn't imagine I'd grow to love it as much as I do. It was like artist alley for me for my first year in that I got to meet people who have created works that I really admire. This time though, I can dabble in it myself (since I'm far from an artist). Also, booking the Hyatt was awesome since we were so close to the convention center. We're already booked again for next year.
The most fun I have ever had though was at this year's Katsucon in February. It was my very first time cosplaying, so it was doubly special. The masquerade was good (it surprisingly is better than Otakon's IMO), and I got to meet with Johnny Yong Bosch who I have been a fan of since the power ranger days (yeah I'll admit it). He premiered his movie there that won't even be released until this fall. The downside was that I acquired a stalker, but I knew I'd be okay since I had my friends around.
Katsu is considerably smaller than Otakon, but still about 7,000 attend that one so it's plenty of people. I went to the rave one year for katsu and it was nice and airy and lacking otaku funk that I hear you run into at Otakon raves (have never been and don't really desire to go). So really, the size of a con doesn't always correlated to having a better time. It really depends on what you make of it.
Brad wrote:Like, take Otakon this year for example. As for as the convention went, for me, it was kind of boring. And keep in mind this is the 2nd biggest anime con in the US. TONS of stuff going on all the time. Yet personally I couldn't find a single non-AMV related thing that I was even remotely interested in. Even the Dealer's Room was pretty much bleh for me. Nothing interesting. Yet, I can still say that I had a fun time because I was there with friends who I don't get to see all that often. The best times I had were had outside of the convention.
This was my fourth Otakon and I have to agree that it was pretty boring in comparison to previous years for me. The only thing that was actually entertaining for me was Iron Editor. I could actually sense the spirit that I just didn't feel for the whole convention. Also, the amv contest was actually the best one since I've been going to Otakon.