What can I say? I LOVE first year conventions!
Now, most of you may be saying “but first year conventions are SO SMALL!” But, to me, that’s what makes them so endearing. With all of the ever-growing conventions that are turning into mega events, they had to start somewhere. And that, my friends, is what I hope happens to this very convention.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a first year convention in Nashville, TN called Akaicon. The convention had over 600 people in attendance, which is phenomenal for its first year. The convention space was but a corridor that expanded into the lobby and onto an outdoor patio, but it was plenty of space for the convention goers. The panel and event rooms were roomy and left plenty of space for those that were running panels.
The same weekend that the convention was scheduled for was the same as the release of the new Pokemon games: Pokemon X and Pokemon Y. While you would think that this would draw away from a Convention’s crowd, it really added a new air to it. People were walking around with 3DS or 2DS’ in hand, asking what game they had bought, which starter was chosen, or, in my case, why did they choose the 2DS? It made for conversation amongst the more shy guests and for some fast friends.
Like any convention, you would expect for some rowdiness of the attendees or some kind of trouble; however, Akaicon really had no troubles at all. The attendees were all very kind and the staff was more than willing to help out in whatever way they could. Speaking of the staff, I have to give a major shout out to the man that helped plan this amazing convention: Devin! You and your staff did a great job with this one!
While I was unable to attend the Friday of the con, I was able to attend all day Saturday and part of Sunday. Saturday was a relaxed day that started with some social greetings, my favorite part of conventions! There were several great panels going on, so it was hard to choose what to attend. For a while, I roamed the amazing Artist Alley/Dealer’s Room that was on the smaller side size wise, but not on the merchandise. I have to say that the smaller conventions have the best dealer’s rooms. Don’t believe me, then give it a try! I always spend more money in smaller conventions’ Dealers Rooms, than I ever have at a large one. The deals were great and the merchandise was even greater.
Saturday, of course, is the big day of the convention with the Cosplay Contest. This was one of my favorite parts of the convention. I love getting to see all of the cosplayers show off all of their hard work and get a moment in the spotlight that they deserve. I was definitely blown away with the craftsmanship at this first year convention. They all deserved a prize in my eyes, but, unfortunately, that’s not how a contest works. So kudos to everyone that entered! You all deserve a lot of praise.
After the contest, my group of friends decided to take it easy around the con, which was very easy to do with the laid-back air. We chatted with contestants, talked to other cosplayers, and just had a good time. I ended the night with something from my convention bucket list (Thanks, Akaicon!) and then we parted ways.
Sunday was a nice and very easygoing day. I did not get to stay very long, and for the first time at a convention, did not cosplay (which is a very weird feeling and I will not repeat that again anytime soon).
So three massive cheers for Akaicon’s staff and volunteers! You all deserve so much praise for making this convention such a success! I cannot wait to attend next year!
Be sure to visit the Akaicon website and Facebook page for all of the excitement for this year and for the anticipation of next year!