Review of WonderCon 2016 and why people love it!
This is our first year attending Wondercon. Due to buying the tickets last minute, we we could only get one day badges for Friday. To avoid the big line on the opening day, I went to pick up the badges early on Thursday. Instead of having the badge pick up set up at the main exhibit hall, they have a separate hall (West Hall A) where you can pick up badges to help control the flow of the heavy traffic. This makes the badges pick up experience very easy peasy. I remembered attending other cons at the LA Convention Center where the same South Exhibit Hall had crazy lines and angry con goers. Even when you enter the West Hall A, they have different signages for the press, volunteers, and general attendees. They’ve even got a coat check area and a food truck seating area. I have to say they really put some good thought into in reducing the con goer stress that is picking up badges. Good job for WonderCon!
Now back to the main hall (South Exhibit Hall). The first floor was the main gathering area with lots of cosplayers and photographers. What we liked about WonderCon is the amazing quality of the costumes and the good mix of Comic and Anime cosplayers at one event. With our experience at other cons, it’s either one type of cosplay or the other. Maybe because of the name, WonderCon, there is no such clear cut of it being a comic con or an anime con so people feel more free to dress in whatever they like. We also saw some quite unique original creations that cosplay-artists came up with themselves! (See photos below).
A tip for cosplayers, with how many people are sharing photos on social media, quite a lot of the more professional cosplayers come prepared with business cards that That have their social media handles, I think amature cosplayers should do the same because you all deserved a shoutout on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr.
Organization. It’s surprising extremely easy to navigate in the big exhibit hall and artist alley. By having aisles clearly numbered from 100 to 2000, it lets people find booths or meet up with friends in a specific area very easy.
Artist Alley was quite an easy find as well. It was to the far right hand side of the hall so you don’t have to walk through tons and tons of exhibitor booths if you just want to head straight to the artist alley. In terms of the quality of the art, we saw quite a lot of unique stuff which we hadn't see at other cons. More original creations is always a plus.
Things to improve: Online registration was actually quite confusing to find. Also, after you register there is no info on where you can pick up the badges online but it’s listed in the program book you get after you’ve already picked your badge up. So let us know ahead of time on the website where badges can be picked up and then give us directions in the email confirmation as well. It would help a lot. In terms of mobile app: List with description for the vendors since most of the attendees might not be familiar with their goods just because of their name.
Overall, we now understand why this is one of the favorite cons for artist and fans. We are definitely looking forward to come back next year!
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