Con Report – My Thoughts on (swi)MTAC

I’m trying something new for my con report this time.  Instead of giving you a step by step account of my weekend, I’m just going to give you some of my general thoughts.  The guests, the panels and events, or just the con as a whole…whatever pops into my mind, you get to read.  Aren’t you lucky?

MTAC was the first con I got to attend as an official member of the press.  I’ll be upfront with this, it’s a completely different experience.  Almost everything I wanted to do was made easier.  Registration was a breeze, being able to enter events early really helped me get set up for pictures and video, and having a dedicated media room made handling interviews very simple.  Well, there were a few schedule issues with the media room, but overall, I would say MTAC does a great job with media relations.

Speaking of scheduling, that’s my biggest complaint about MTAC.  From what I understand, it’s a long-running issue.  I don’t think anything I went to actually started on time.  I understand that panels and events take time to set up, and sometimes it all takes longer than expected, but that’s something I feel needs to be considered more when the schedule is made.  I know it frustrates many con attendees, and I personally missed out on a few interviews and autograph sessions when everything started to run together.

Aside from the schedule issue, I really loved the events I attended this year.  The AMV contest had quite a few good entries.  The sound was definitely loud enough to hear everything, but I do wish the screen hadn’t been quite so far back.  It was great placement for the other events, though, so I understand the reasoning there.  Opening ceremonies were a blast.  Tons of energy from the staff and guests, it really seemed to get everyone excited about the weekend ahead of them.  I’ll talk a bit more about the staff and guests later, no worries.

The Man Power outdoor concert was pretty entertaining.  Those guys are always full of energy, and such a fun band.  Their own songs are funny and catchy, but they’re not afraid to do a Taylor Swift cover for the right girl in the crowd.  I’m aware they aren’t for everyone, but I say give them a listen if you’ve got the chance.  However, the highlight of the con for me was the costume contest.  I love seeing everyone in their amazing costumes up on stage, and MTAC really did this right.  Each contestant was allowed to hold 3 poses in various spots across the stage.  This let everyone in the crowd really see them get in to character.  As a bonus for me, it also gives plenty of time to take pictures.  The contest had a couple of new hosts this year.  I appreciated their effort keeping the crowd entertained while contestants walked on and off the stage, but sometimes the banter did fall flat.  Overall, though, good job to them, I’m looking forward to seeing how they improve for next year.

The con attendees were a great group this year.  Everyone seemed really friendly and full of energy, which is a great way to spread enjoyment.  I even got compliments on my Roxas shirt, which brightened my day.  The cosplayers roaming the halls were amazing!  Hetalia and Pokemon dominated, but there was still a great variety of cosplays to drool over.  I wish I had been able to get pictures of all the cosplays that caught my eye, but I’m still happy I got to see them when I did.

MTAC has one of the best con staffs around.  You can really tell that each and every one of them loves being there, and that they’re working hard to make sure everyone else loves it as much as they do.  Even the security staff was friendly, which is something other cons can take a lesson from.  It’s entirely possible to keep order without resorting to yelling or being rude.  I just want to say thanks to the entire MTAC staff.  You guys put together an amazing con, with such a variety of amazing events and guests.

What can I possibly say about the guests?  If you looked at the list, you know how many they were, and how great of a group they were.  They all seemed to enjoy spending time with their fans, and worked hard to inform and entertain.  The guest that gets the focus of my attention, though, is Spike Spencer, because he’s the guest Zippy and I got to interview.  He’s a very creative and funny guy, completely different from what I was expecting.  He was very easy to talk to and interview, and really came across as a good guy.  When the interview transcript gets posted, be sure to check it out.

I think that’s all I’ve got to say about MTAC at the moment.  If you want to know more, including a more step by step account of what I did, check out Zippy’s con report on his Sensei Says page.  And while you’re at it, take a look at all the photos posted so far from MTAC.  I think there may even be more to come.

Did you get to attend MTAC this year?  If so, what did you think?  Do you have any great stories to tell?  Suggestions for the future?  Guests you want to meet?  Feel free to share in the comments below.

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