This year’s MTAC theme was Omega, or the end of the world. Though many of us did party hardy while attending theconvention, we all seemed to have survived. That’s no doubt, in part at least, to MTAC’s new home, the Renaissance Nashville Hotel and the Nashville Convention Center! While their sister convention, Geek Media Expo did themselves a disservice in their most recent hotel selection, MTAC hit the nail on the head. The Nashville Convention Center was a fantastic location for the ever growing event. A convention center? Who knew!
Regular attendees of MTAC know and have nightmares about its trademark crowded hallways and teenager infested corridors. It was always a drag for cosplayers because pictures weren’t allowed to be taken in hallways because of bottlenecking. Too much room, however, can be just as awkward. The Nashville Convention Center was just the right size for MTAC Omega.
While a major event for me is usually the Cosplay Contest, this year I attended the Cosplay Sit-Out. This event is for those either uninterested in the Cosplay Contest, or perhaps simply uninterested in waiting in line for 3 hours in order to get a seat. Regardless, I actually helped present this panel, led by amazing cosplayer Dorian Bugg. Dorian, myself, and several other panelists discussed the ins and outs of American cosplay vs Japanese cosplay, our costuming pet peeves, and anything else cosplay related. I admit I learned more than I taught! Dorian has a wealth of knowledge about Japanese tradition, fashion, and fandom in general and it was really eye opening to hear how my favorite hobby works in other countries.
Our panel room, however, presented a bit of a problem. For whatever reason the Cosplay Sit-Out was scheduled in an area open to the rest of the convention. This location made it very difficult to have discussions with audience members,
since all the noise from the entire convention flooded in. This panel is traditionally held in a closed in space where it’s easy to pull up YouTube videos, show pictures, and generally horse around without interruptions. We were, however, not provided with a projector, or internet access, despite having requested both in writing long in advance. We never found out if this was an oversight or perhaps something else, but despite our requests to the guy in charge of the microphones, our two hour panel was left for its duration with none of the materials its presenters had requested. Taking care of panel participants may be a place which could use some improvement at this convention. Regardless of the difficulties, the Cosplay Sit-Out was a success! Everyone we talked to enjoyed the event and hoped to skip the Cosplay Contest with us again next year.
Speaking of difficulties, getting my Press Pass was a major undertaking. I was instructed to pick up my badge Friday evening from the Registration Table. I arrived a little later than I had intended, but well before Registration closed. No
one at the table seemed to know what I was talking about, and once someone arrived who did, she didn’t have the materials she needed to check me in. The Press Passes were somewhere else, as was the list of expected Media Guests. If not for a kind friend of a friend who happened to be a higher up on staff and was willing to provide me with a Visitor Pass for Friday evening, a 20 minute ordeal could have kept me waiting all night. I got my badge with ease the next morning from someone well equipped and informed. I haven’t heard of any other problems with Registration; mine may have been an isolated incident.
I would like to say, however, MTAC’s Director of Media Relations, Tara Ptacek, handled herself and her job extremely well. She gave members of the Press clear instructions and kept us well informed on the weekend’s happenings. She set up interviews and press conferences with available guests, and I was impressed with her ability to handle so many things and people at once.
Other than the Cosplay Sit-Out, highlights for me included the Japanese Fashion Show and a press conference with Jason David Frank. The Fashion Show featured men and women modeling various styles from Japan, and told a little bit about each look. I modeled my favorite Japanese fashion style, Dolly Kei. The press conference was certainly an interesting experience. I never really watched Power Rangers, but I am a casual martial artist, so I was interested to see what the Green/White Power Ranger MMA Fighter Extraordinaire had to say about that. Highlights from the hour long press conference will be posted soon.
Overall, the convention was great. The rave was just as crazy and jam packed as usual, and Artist Alley brought a whole new level of talent. And the new location made it that much easier to see it all! I’m absolutely looking forward to next year’s event, and you should too!