Updated: Feb 28, 2022
Without seeing the smiles, we could feel the energy radiating off all the members that walked through that door. Otakon 2021 this year was well prepared and on top of their game. With Animanga's first year, we saw the following: low on human power, lines were long for hours, and people fainted. Every con has its flaws, but we are sure Animemanga will improve the following year.
With Otakon, the lines did not feel that bad, maybe in the afternoon and especially Saturday, because many members wanted to come just for one day either because of their budget or Covid concerns. We all know that we have a new wave hitting America called Delta Variant, and it is hitting the USA at an alarming rate. However, the show must go on, and Otakon did everything right for everyone's safety. From sanitizing the whole convention to forcing the mask mandate properly. If it were not for technology, we would have never known the number of convention changes. It is strongly recommended that conventions tell all members to get their information through an app or start using it. We understand that pamphlet is needed, but there were some things that people missed and wished that they knew early. For example, in the beginning, if cosplaying, you are allowed to remove your mask while taking a picture, but the next day they changed that due to the concerning increase of covid cases within that day. Many staff members were confused about specific information, but this is all new to everyone; going through covid protocols is a new game.
We wish many members who visit conventions during these times to understand the situation and not make hash decisions of slandering or giving negative feedback (The wrong way). We understand the necessary constructive negative feedback, but it does not help when conventions do their best to survive. For example, some deemed that Otakon badge prices were unsuitable for what the public was getting, but people do not understand its business. We are not in their chair signing contracts and thinking we know all because the audience read everything off Wikipedia. Every state works differently, district, contracts, fees, security and cleaning crew, insurance, Mcat blueprint to the fire and city department, bills for rental, and more. Liability runs deeper if anyone gets hurt or ill, but what hurts the most is going after a convention when their best is all they are trying to do. We agree that some conventions need to be accountable for their actions and announce their problems and issues.
Otakon's location was great, clean, organize at times, and efficient. However, members staying at the central hotel connected to the Marriott to the convention wished they could do better with the underpass tunnel. To elaborate, people going up the escalator while lines were piling up in a tight spot could have got into a big accident which; the next day, staff members did their best to keep the flow going without traffic or any issues. With how Otakon handled everything, overall was great, smooth, and felt less congested. It felt like Otakon when it first started. Yes, there was fewer panels, guest, and other fun activities but our press group enjoyed it. The community, from time to time, does like two types of cons, small vs. crowded. Many prefer having a taste of two but not back after back. In the end, we are glad that we are having a convention and finally meeting others who are part of the community together under one roof. How much we all miss going to a convention, and Otakon delivered that punch!