Otakon 2012: In the End It Really Does Matter
At last, we come to it, the end. Another Otakon gone by, another summer convention season drawing to a close. Not that Otakon closes slowly by any means. There was still a packed full dealer’s..well, room isn’t really appropriate. It’s more of a packed dealer’s hall that happens to be larger than a couple of football fields put together. Brighter, too, given the enhanced lighting in the building this year. There were actually a number of nice renovations this year, mostly to the bathrooms. They actually looked quite nice again. Small things really, but when a bathroom isn’t very nice it kinda sticks out. Aside from the industry panels that we’ve already covered, there wasn’t too much left on the panel slate for Sunday, and that’s perfectly fine. Sometimes it’s nice to just sleep for a bit and wander the building, soaking in the last of the costumes and everything else before the tear down crews attack the building. And attack they do as we were hustled out of the panel room in the Hilton pretty quickly once the panels were over so the crews could disassemble the tech rig.
Every year we always ask “How can this get any bigger?”. Well, it was over 3,000 people bigger this year than last at minimum, so I guess we can ask that question again: how can Otakon get any bigger? Given how tight the spaces were in a few spots this year, what happened to the crowd control measures from that few years that were up in the bridge between the old and newer parts of the Baltimore Convention Center? I’m really not certain how much bigger this whole deal can get before we’re seriously squeezed in tight in every spot. Just for comparison’s sake, San Diego Comic-Con International gets about 885,000 sqft of space to play with. Otakon has a little under 520,000 sqft to play with in total, depending on how you count the arena (and I don’t count it at all, since it’s a single use space). Obviously one convention has a lot more space to play with. As for an actual attendance comparison, well, you can’t do that since SDCCI never really says how they count their attendees: if their numbers are a total warm body count, a turnstile count (1 person who attends for 4 days is 4 people), or some other counting method. All the same, both are huge, though San Diego probably has better weather.
Back to Otakon, the weather on Sunday was actually almost nice. Far less humid and a bit less hot, so things weren’t nearly as yucky, and the whole placed smelled a fair bit better. It’s really impressive to see how many people are still in full costume even after they’ve checked out of their hotel rooms. That’s dedication, since one would most likely end up wearing said costume on their way home as well.
And that’s all there is to say. Well, there is one more thing to say: Otakon 2013 aka Otakon 20 will be August 9-11, 2013.
Oh, and one more little thing: Otakon Music festival at Rams Head Live in Baltimore on November 3, 2012 featuring JAM! Project, Faylan and Natsuko Aso. Oh my….