MegaCon 2009 Review: Improved

Last year, MegaCon was, for lack of a better description, a mess. Things were missing, signs were wrong, and you had to enter a crypt to get to the too-small dealers room (and claw your way back out). Worse yet, anyone not already intimately familiar with the convention had little in a way of a website to back them up with; even that resource was outdated.

MegaCon 2009? Definitely improved. In fact, with all the money being extracted from ATMs and merchandise coming and going from the dealer’s room, onlookers might ask, “WHAT recession?” The convention was held on February 27th through March 1st, 2009 in Orlando, Florida at the Orange County Convention Center off International Drive.

Moving back to the main exhibit West Hall “D” (which enters on the same level), the Dealer’s Room was plenty big enough to hold all of the merchants, artists, and celebrities as well. My contacts in the gaming area were equally pleased with accommodations made for pickup games, and only a few of the tracks underestimated the number of fans wanting access to panels (which has become an escalating problem at hotel cons like DragonCon). As always, Saturday is THE day to be seen in costume, and from superheroes to Anime warriors, cosplay was everywhere.

One of the remaining shortcomings is still the antiquated functionality of the MegaCon website itself, which could use either a WordPress makeover or, at the very least, something in the way of an RSS feed. Have your web people ever heard of Twitter? Even the local amusement parks in Orlando let you receive SMS messages to your phone telling you when to get in line for your favorite attraction.

Also, a few of the panels were reportedly under-equipped or were moderated in ways that heavily differed from the details. One example was a “What’s coming up/going on with the Marvel Universe” only to be distilled into a how-to instruction for drawing and inspiration. Some of the larger panels were short on equipment such as microphones, but those kinds of things are always difficult to gauge.

MegaCon has already announced that they have secured the same hall (a very good thing) for next year as was used this year, so there shouldn’t be too many surprises for returning conventioneers. There seemed to be a lot more “sales” going on on the Dealer’s Floor, but plenty of merchandise was running out long before closing time on Sunday. We’re looking forward to next year’s con, but please (we’re pleading here) find a webmaster or team to bring MegaCon’s website into the twenty-first century (Y2K has long since passed… it’s safe to upgrade now).

Speak up, Mortal -- and beware of Spoilers!

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