Another C2E2 has come and gone, and I can honestly say I still maintain C2E2 is the best of the Chicago conventions. Here’s the Good, the Bad and the Meh, of C2E2 2015.
Location- McCormick Place is great for a convention. It’s bright, well lit, and very clean. Even with what seemed to be more people in attendance, it was easy to move around.
The Layout- I don’t know what they did, but C2E2 somehow increased their layout. It was super easy to move in the main convention hall. The space between the aisles of the vendor area was every fangirl’s dream. You could easily browse the booths without feeling like a sardine. This increased space also made it easy to spot interesting booths from a distance, which made for some great finds. Thirteenth Floor was one of those finds. With prints priced as buy two/get two free, we couldn’t pass this up. The eerie images and WW2/Star Wars mash-ups make for excellent gifts.
Registration- Registration was moved to a separate room this year as opposed to being near the front of the main convention floor. It helped alleviate pressure off the main floor. It was also a breeze. Even the Will Call line seemed to be moving quickly. Whatever method C2E2 has for this madness seems to be working well.
The music- The last few years C2E2 has had a DJ parked just outside the main convention floor. I LOVE THIS! It sets the tone for the entire con and creates some awesome impromptu dance parties.
Quiddich! Do I really have to say more? I LOVE that C2E2 invites Quiddich teams to play every year. It’s a great event to watch and awesome for kids to burn off energy!
Artists- I LOVE C2E2’s Artist Alley! There’s so much variety and such great talent. It’s fun to browse and discover new works. This year, I was looking forward to finding Chad Sell and picking up a few of his Drag Race portraits.
We also came across some amazing WWII/Star Wars crossover prints from The Thirteenth Floor. Of course I had to pick up a few for myself!
FREE WI-FI!! Um, AWESOME! THANK YOU! Wow, this made everything so much easier! Our phone batteries weren’t drained by the end of the day. This was a huge advantage and yet another detail that makes C2E2 stand out among other conventions.
The Cosplay Room- More and more cons are doing this. They designate a separate room that’s just for cosplayers to go and relax. This is great especially for those of us with warm costumes. It was nice to be able to hydrate undisturbed. WeAreCosplay provided a pretty decent repair station, that came in handy. After a few years in storage, one of the Snowth’s horns was coming off. PlayItGrand was able to repair it quickly and we didn’t have to worry about it anymore. Thanks WeAreCosplay!
Parking- Ok, this isn’t C2E2’s fault and it really has nothing to do with them at all. Traffic was terrible getting downtown and the usual lot was full by the time we got there. Instead of being routed to another of McCormick Place’s numerous indoor parking structures, we were shuffled to a seedy looking lot that had us walking the bowels of the convention center to get to a door. It wouldn’t have been too bad if it weren’t raining. At least there was a trolley to take you from the parking lot to the building…when it stopped.
The Exit- On the main convention floor there was no clearly marked exit. Most people just sort of stumbled upon it after being told by security that the “See you soon!” sign above where they entered had nothing to do with that being an exit. This happened last year as well and I think it’s a matter of the sign being printed double-sided. Maybe next year we can get an actual sign to go over the exit? It’d be a big help!
It’s hard to put anything in the “Meh” column this year. Every year C2E2 gets better and better, and it’s becoming harder to think of ways they can improve.
Interviews- how reporters get interviews with guests is anyone’s guess. It would be nice to know how to request interviews. Do we go through C2E2? Do we go through the agents? You don’t want to step on any toes or take the guests away from the fans, so a little guidance from C2E2’s Media Relations Department would be great. I don’t expect C2E2 to go as far as Dragon Con does with interviews (scheduling and having a separate room). Space is likely limited. Still, a little guidance would be helpful. And I’m not just suggesting it because I’m a bit biased. 😉
Autographs- I’m not really sure C2E2 can do anything about the autograph area. I actually like the way they separate the lines. It keeps things neat and organized. The downside of this layout is you literally can’t see the guests unless you get in line for an autograph. Unfortunately, I can’t think of another way to do this and keep the chaos organized. It’s just one of those things. You can always see the guests during their panel.
Guest Panels- It appears as though each guest is scheduled for one guest panel the entire weekend. This makes sense for the guests who are scheduled for only one or two days of the con, and because they’re there to make money. But could we maybe bump that up to two panels? When the one panel is completely full, people won’t feel so bad knowing they have another chance to see the guest. I’m fairly certain fans would fill those giant rooms more than once.
Overall, C2E2 was, once again, an amazing convention. I had so much fun and we met some great people. This remains my favorite Chicago convention and I recommend it to everyone. The great thing about C2E2 is that it’s very family friendly without being kiddish. The atmosphere is warm, friendly, and inviting. Everyone truly feels welcome here and there’s so much to do you’ll never be bored!
See you next year C2E2!