07 February, 2011

CONVENTION REPORT: Ohayocon 2011

Ohayocon 2011


Location: Columbus, Ohio

Venue: The Hyatt Regency Hotel

So it has taken me a week to write my review of Ohayocon 2011 some of the reason is because I wanted some time to reflect on my experience and the other is I have been extremely lazy. But enough about me on to the review!

About Ohayocon:

Ohayocon is a convention held annually in Columbus, Ohio to bring together fans of Japanese popular culture with the main emphasis on Anime and Manga. The convention includes a cosplay masquerade, several dances, English voice over actors/actresses and various panels dealing with fandom. The convention has been held in January since its inception and has become one of the largest winter conventions in North America.

Report:

This was my second time attending Ohayocon and the convention is much improved over last year’s edition. The dealers room along with artist alley where much larger than last years convention. The dances where held in a much larger area this time and the registration was located in a better spot than last year. On a whole the convention had a much larger feel to it not only from the change of room sizes but also from overall attendance. I have not seen the numbers but I would guess the attendance was close to 12,000 overall. The English Voice actors/actresses where super nice and the Evening of Improv with Mike McFarland was fantastic! I laughed so hard I came close to wetting myself. Carli Mosier was an absolute sweetheart but I wish she would have come over and thanked me and my buddy for introducing her to a writer from Horror Hound magazine. Christopher Ayres was a delight to meet and very funny in the improv skits. There was some fantastic cosplay which you can see my photo’s from the event here Friday and Saturday.

Pros of the Convention:
  • Bigger dealer’s room.
  • Bigger artist alley.
  • Better ran registration.
  • Great events like the Evening of Improv, Cosplay masquerade, AMV contest, Rave, Formal Ball and a dance.
Now with everything there is always a down side and Ohayocon is no exception. I personally only ran into a few issues, none of which where serious but minor problems that can be easily fixed. Line formation to panels and events was kind of a problem. The guide book did not have any panel descriptions in it and the only way you could find out was going to the room where the panel was taking place and hope that a staff member had placed the correct print out on the room. Also some of the panels never happened because the panelist backed out, which is slightly irritating. Also how many fake sword booths do you need in the dealers room? But that is just me since I have a dislike for poorly made weaponry. I have read that some people had issue with the staff security but me personally I never had a problem with them. Security is a tuff job and sometimes you have to be a hard ass to keep people safe.

Cons from the Convention:
  • Line formations
  • Slightly over crowded at times
  • To many replica swords
  • No panel descriptions in the guide book
Overall I had a blast at Ohayocon 2011 and I will be attending the event in 2012. I recommend this convention if you live close enough to drive to it. If your looking for something like an Anime Expo or larger conventions save your money and go to them. But if you find yourself in the Columbus, Ohio area and have a few bucks to spend you can not go wrong with Ohayocon! Its fun and a good sized event but there are larger and better conventions out there but not to many in the Midwest or in the middle of winter. As their saying goes “Ohayocon: the cure for the winter time blues!”



 

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