Recently, I had an opportunity to attend Phoenix Comicon, which took place at the Phoenix Convention Center in Arizona. Even if the first day of the convention was disappointing, due to the media relations department informing me that they weren’t able to set up any of the interviews I requested, depriving with that our readers from an opportunity to hear the guests answering some tricky questions I and other members of The Geekiary team compiled, I still consider the overall experience a very positive one.
It was my third year attending Phoenix Comicon, but it was the first time when instead of wandering around, trying to find a good panel to attend, I had to choose among so many that it was difficult to decide which ones I wanted to skip. This, in my opinion was a large plus rather than an inconvenience.
In comparison to the previous times, there was a larger amount of guests attending, starting from book authors, comic artists and ending with big names actors, like John Barrowman, Nathan Fillion, Stephen Amell, Mark Sheppard and much, much more. But the biggest event of the convention, in my opinion was the panel of Stan Lee. To tell the truth, I’ve never been a big fan of comic books, but Marvel Universe has and always will have a special place in my heart. Plus, the mere thought ofhow much this man have done for the geek fandom in general left me humbled to simply be in the same room with him. The fact that he attended the convention, said a lot about the growth of the event.
For those who were not interested in TV or comic-related events, Phoenix comicon had plenty of entertainment, including film and anime screenings, cosplay contests, gaming events, fan panels and workshops able to satisfy any taste or sphere of interest, or give you knowledge of existence of such organizations as the department of zombie defense, and the R2D2 building club. Even those who were more interested in science rather than fiction, could find something worthwhile at the official NASA panels.
And if all of this wasn’t enough, the exhibition area was so big, it was possible to get lost in rows and rows of any geek related merchandise one can possibly think of. Among the well-know brands and publisher’s stands, there were plenty of young and promising artists and writers displaying and selling their creations, each of whom worth attention I simply cannot give in the premises of one article.
But so many big name guests and other kinds of attractions also meant the increasing number of people attending the event. In fact, this year there were almost eighty thousand attendees, which made a rather large convention center crowded to a point that sometimes you could spend half an hour trying to get from one building to another, no further than a crossroad away. The enormous lines, sometimes hours long, were almost everywhere, starting from bigger panels and ending with cafes and coffee shops, so if you wanted to get a lunch break you either had to bring it with you, drive somewhere farther away or be mentally and physically prepared for a long wait.
Another large minus of so many people being in one place, was the lack of good internet connection, as all of the wifi sport were overwhelmed with the amount of people trying to connect. And, as some spots in the North Ballroom didn’t have a phone service, it made live tweeting from the panels still rather challenging if not impossible.
Organizing such a large amount of people is more than strenuous, but at the same time, it was handled very well. Not only everything was well marked, but the amount of staff members around the convention center was on the level that it was really easy to find one at any location at any time, all of them were really helpful with pointing to places or rooms you wanted to find, or ready to give a useful advise. The trafficking system in the North Building, the one with the largest ballroom dedicated for biggest spotlight panels, in my opinion was well executed to make the traffic in the building more efficient, even if at the first glance, it was rather annoying not to be able to enter the same entrance you exited from.
So yes, overall the convention had its minuses, but its pluses made it really worth being a part of. Out of three times I attended it, in my opinion it was also the most successful one. There were so many things to do or to see that it was impossible to cover even a smallest portion of it, but which made the entire experience so much better at the same time. And if the convention itself will continue to grow as it grows, it is reasonable to expect even more from the Phoenix Comicon next year, where I hope to see you all.
Rin created our website logo and many other graphics that we’ve used throughout our social media platforms. They’re also an avid gamer and gives us insights into all things gaming. They’re also heavily involved in our ongoing eBook project.
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