11 April, 2018

Tekko 2018 (Part 1)

When I coined the term "Tekkosnowcon" three conventions ago (counting this one), I thought it was going to be a one time thing. This past weekend it snowed again, with daytime highs in the forties. That's only slightly above freezing. -_-;

As anticipated, and as appropriate for the cyclical nature of these things, as the [personal] theme of last year's con was growth, this was, in many ways (excepting one important one), a fallow year.

The con snuck up on us fast, in the midst of an unrelenting winter (I mean, it was eighty degrees in February, but it hasn't been mild again since the beginning of March), and zoomed past us - four short days of excitement, only for us to turn around and see it already receding into the distance behind us.

It doesn't even feel like it should be con yet, and now it's gone. I hadn't been putting much effort into prepping cosplays, or even watching a lot of anime (like last year) - except for catching up on Dragon Ball Super (I just finished the future Trunks arc). But it was, as always, still a lot of fun.

Dragon Ball Super


We got a late start on Thursday, but made it in to the city for our new annual tradition of dinner at the Ramen Bar in Squirrel Hill (where I had a delicious bowl of curry ramen) - this year, with Doug in tow - and then to the convention center barely in time to pick up our badges. Probably because it was so late (almost nine - when registration closes on Thursday), we didn't have to stand in line at all this year.

Notably, they moved registration downstairs to the first floor this year, where nothing of any substance had previously been located. This actually makes a lot of sense, because (provided you're not coming in the hotel way, which we ended up doing Saturday and Sunday), it's the first thing you pass when you come in the door, and it makes it much easier for the staff to check badges before people get into the action proper (one short escalator ride up one floor).

So that's a pro. Here's a con: no booklets. We still get printed schedules, which is good, because I can't stand using the "guidebook app" to plan my day - I need the organization of the spreadsheet format. But if you want to read descriptions of all those panels, you'll need to pull out your mobile phone. I call this a con, but it has its advantages (one less thing to awkwardly carry around all day), and it's a logical adjustment, because it reduces printing costs, as well as waste (even I don't keep my con booklets indefinitely - and I'm a hoarder). So I think it's something we're all just going to have to get used to.

On the subject of changes, the badges are also bigger this year. I don't know if this is a pro or a con; it didn't really affect me much either way. Another change was the movement of bag check from beside the Exhibition Hall (downstairs on one end of the convention center), up to where all the panels and video rooms and main events are (upstairs at the other end of the convention center). I heard some grumbling from my group on this point - it's a further walk to put stuff you just bought at the Exhibition Hall into your bag check until you go home. But, honestly, I think it's more convenient this way, since it's closer to just about everything else you do at the con besides browse the Exhibition Hall. (Although that does constitute a significant portion of the con experience).

To be continued...

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