Opening days of comic conventions are normally the “slow” days; few if any of the celebrity guests are there (so no celebrity panels, obviously), crowds are typically smaller, etc. So it’s normally a “find-your-way-around” kind of day, casually perusing the art and vendors to get a feel for what you might want to pick up, that sort of thing.
And that’s pretty much what today was at Phoenix Comic Fest. Credentials were picked up, and a general sense of how things will be run for the remainder of the weekend was gathered. And, since this is a FOUR DAY event, this opening day was even more, theoretically, slower.
But it sure felt busy, despite all that.
Lots of security checkpoints, some designated for those with bags to be checked, and some for those without. After last year’s security fiasco, everyone should feel safe attending this event. Also, there are apparently cosplay checkpoints through which those wearing cosplays will be subjected. Not sure how that’s going to play out over the busier days, but we’ll see.
The VIP stuff is a bit different than I’m used to in Salt Lake: once VIPs are inside, they head to the VIP lounge (a lounge!) and pick up all of their VIP swag in a very handy clear backpack. Handy not only to carry the swag, but all of the stuff one might buy while they’re there. Give a person a bag, and they’ll buy more stuff. Seems simple when you think about it.
But, as an aside, the redemption folks outside had no idea where VIPs were supposed to pick up their swag. That seems an easy piece of information to provide to them.
Once the vendor floor opened, it turns out the con’s concessionaires weren’t running because they didn’t have cash yet. Also, many of the vendors weren’t ready for the VIP early entry (a half-hour before general admission: not enough bonus time, IMHO), including the official Phoenix Comic Fest merchandise booth.
I don’t know whether the vendors had inadequate access leading up the opening, but this is the second time I’ve been to a con and had the vendors not be ready at open. It’s embarrassing and unprofessional.
There was a nice smattering of cosplays, but mostly garden variety I’ve seen a thousand times. perhaps this weekend I’ll see some more inspired or impressive efforts on that front.
Plenty of food options and seating for the most part, so you can take a load off after hours of being your feet.
It’ll keep folks from calling it a day, prematurely.
Till tomorrow, have a pleasant evening.