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Posts posted by TomDent

  1. I really wish this board would get popular again. I miss the old days when this was a booming place. Social media pages are a mess (especially Facebook since 90% of my feed now is ads and clickbait). The BBS is so much more organized. Is there something that can be done to increase interest (advertise the BBS more on the social media pages or make it easier to find)?

    • Like 1
  2. The Good: 

    • As many have said already, the crowd control was great this year. I do kind of miss the camaraderie that came with waiting in long lines and getting to play games while waiting, but it's really nice that things overall were moving at a good pace, especially when waiting outside in that heat.
    • The new attendance record was great to see IMO. Large crowds wear me out, but it's nice to see Otakon growing and I really wasn't expecting it to go up that much this year. It's exciting to see.
    • Even though I didn't get to go to all the guest panels this year, it was great to see the variety of guests that Otakon brought this year. Having more Asian guests outside of Japan was great to see and having Spanish dub VAs was pleasantly unexpected. I hope they keep this up.
    • I loved the Japanese Embassy booth in the dealer room.
    • The cosplays were great as they are every year.
    • There seemed to be a lot less clogging in the hallways for photoshoots, probably due to the photo suite that I've heard good things about.
    • Seeing more premiers, something Otakon has been known for in the past.
    • Discotek......enough said.

    The Bad:

    • As per usual, the convention center staff seem very rude and at times uninformed. I guess some of that can't be helped due to the large crowd of excited people, but they have zero chill, even when they're wrong about something.
    • Lack of info and supplying important info right before or even during the convention. Things like the convention center going cashless caught a lot of people off guard since it wasn't announced until the con started.
    • I really REALLY miss the industry presence in the dealer room. Not having Crunchyroll, Funimation, Aniplex (I know these are all basically merged now), and other industries is a real let down. Thank god for Discotek still being there for us.
    • It feels like there's less and less anime stuff in the dealer room each year and fewer vendors selling anime DVDs/BluRays and CDs. Even a lot of the vendors selling t-shirts have less anime stuff and more "meme content" stuff (I see this at other cons too).

    The Ugly:

    • The weather and the prices. I know that's not Otakon's fault, but holy crap it was hot and stormed on and off pretty bad and the food prices in the WEWCC are getting more and more ridiculous every year.
    • Like 2
  3. Somehow I managed to get a double bedded room at the Marquis. I was suprised to see it on the list as soon as everything went live since that didn't happen last year. I kept getting all kinds of error messages while booking and thought I'd lost it several times, but it somehow went through. I've even saved my comfirmation email to two different email addresses and screenshot it to my phone, just in case. I did try to book a second room there or at the Renaissance (or anywhere within half a mile of the WEWCC), but by the time I finished booking the Marquis room, everything was gone. We'll have our biggest group ever next year with around 8 people, but by some of the dumbest luck, I was the only one available when the block went live to book the rooms. I guess I'll just have to keep checking down the road and hope I get lucky with a second room.

  4. Comfort Inn Downtown DC/Convention Center

    We stayed at this place for the first time this year since we couldn't get a room at the host hotels. It was on the (relatively) cheaper end at something like $650 for Thursday thru Sunday. If you don't mind a little stroll, it's about a 10 minute walk to the front entrance to the WEWCC.

    The location wasn't too bad, but it seemed like all the eateries immediately around were kind of expensive and a lot of those places either opened up later in the day or closed kind of early. Some convenience places nearby, such as a formerly 24 hour CVS, weren't open too late and weren't too convenient with their stock (I needed some body wash the first day since I forgot to pack it, but it was under lock and key at the CVS and they were understaffed like most places).

    The hotel itself was on the older side and pretty small. The main entrance had stairs, so anyone in a wheelchair had to use a side entrance. The lobby was tiny and the room was very small if you had 4 people or a bunch of luggage, such as cosplay stuff. Even the elevators were really small. Another thing that was annoying, but probably couldn't be helped because of being short staffed, was that no one ever came to the room to collect trash, make the beds, swap out towels...the kind of things you expect at a hotel. We had to go to the lobby to request towels and it took a while to get them. However, the room (even being in need of some updating) was very clean and cozy and the staff were super nice and as accomodating as they could be. The place also had free breakfast, but we never ate there (we tended to sleep in a bit each day).

    In summary, it was a clean hotel that wasn't too far away from the WEWCC and was on the cheaper side. The staff was super nice, but understaffing caused some issues. I would only suggest it to smaller groups (2-3 people at most) who don't mind walking a bit and don't have a lot of luggage.

  5. I think it would be pretty cool to bring back some guests from the first few years of Otakon. Not sure how many are still active in the industry or con scene, but it would be a nice throwback. And maybe industry guests from anime that debuted or was super popular in '94.

  6. 35 minutes ago, windseeker said:

    I second an attendance cap should have happened. I got extremely anxious when they announced how many people had been at the con at closing ceremonies. If Otakon ends up being a super spreader event that's not good for the con's image or for the attendees. 

    Otakon should have required proof of vaccination, if anything.

    Just curious, but how many did they say attended otakon? Also what's next year's theme?

  7. IMO it'd be better to just cancel for this year and put everything into 2021. This would work out better with the theme since the Olympics will be next year. Of course I know that the folks running Otakon have to wait on official decisions from DC, the WEWCC, etc, but hopefully they've already got a solid plan for what seems like the inevitable. Also, assuming it's canceled this year, I hope we get the option to have our registration roll over for next year instead of just getting a refund (and maybe our hotel reservation as well,  if that's possible). And maybe they could try a small virtual con for one day later this year, giving a bit more time to get everything worked out for such a thing. As for my group, we've already decided to skip this year in the event that Otakon somehow does occur considering the risk. 

  8. Got mine yesterday right on time (according to the tracking number) and I did have to sign for it. One friend in my group got his Friday and I think one's was delivered to his house, but no one answered the door to sign for it, so he had to reschedule the delivery. There's two more in my group who haven't gotten theirs yet. The one who got his Friday lives in NY, me and the one who had to reschedule delivery live in southwestern VA, and the two who haven't gotten anything yet live in northeast TN. Hopefully they'll get theirs soon.

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