Mini Con certainly stays true to its name. Having been to many conventions held in smaller hotels before, I knew the majority of them weren’t as wholesome as conventions held in conference centers and spacious well-equipped hotels. I believed Mini Con however would be a good experience. Was it? Kind of.
It would’ve been more fun if I had money to buy stuff.
I will begin with the biggest problem I had with this convention, basically, the entire layout. I’ve complained about the layout of conventions before but the layout for Mini Con was nothing short of a panelist’s worst nightmare. Everything was stuffed into one room (except the video game room which was before of the main room). Aside from some artists and vendors near the entrance everybody was packed along with the main event stage, photo booth, and makeshift panel “room.” Basically it was a small area with chairs and some equipment obscured by two walls, one of which served as a doodle space. When you have more people interested in a wall than what’s supposed to be going on in it, it’s very discouraging. I have hosted these two panels before, and all of them have had a decent turn out but for Mini Con that wasn’t the case. The reason for panels being hosted in their own, concealed space is to attract more people by having an environment separated from all the distractions of the con itself so people can wander in and see if what’s going on is of interest to them without being drawn away by something more noisy. The feel of the room is greatly improved by isolation as it does provide a break from the often agitated atmosphere of a convention. My setup didn’t provide that, the loudness of the main stage in this enclosed space had me yelling to be heard and passerby couldn’t understand what was going on. Also the people that attended overall didn’t seem to seek out the unique things a convention provided and were mostly there to hang out. Maybe this was due to the fact an offshoot show hosted by a more notorious well known convention I’ve covered before was happening the same day and might have directed the active hardcore convention attendees away but it’s just a theory. The video game room was quite good, lots of retro games were to be found as well as newer ones. The cosplayers, simply great. The majority of the attendees were cosplaying and there was everything from Attack on Titan to League of Legends. This made the costume contest quite entertaining.
The free table of a young artist.
The sellers were decent and I did see quite many underage and disabled artists selling their artwork because of Mini Con’s generosity. A paid workshop to make Twinkie minions was held to give the profits to Drops of Hope. And of course everybody’s paid tickets had part of it go to the same charity. With all its faults Mini Con is still one of the only geek events in Florida to be actively involved with a charity and it needs the community’s continued support to keep thriving and growing. As a newcomer to the scene it is bound to make some mistakes, but I have confidence in that the show will get better with time. These are my suggestions in how to make the new show considerably better.
- Have panels away from the main event room in their own individual spaces.
- Seek out panelists to offer a wide variety of panels so con attendees can see the plethora of things they can do on their con schedules and decide to check some out.
- Have parking for con attendees in a more convenient location.
- Larger space if exhibitors and main stage are to be put together.
- Try to get more attendants by making sure event is not the day of another event and advertise in other conventions more.
To stay up to date with Mini Cons next show, like their official Facebook page.
Part of my work with ROG is the ability to attend events and host panels. It allows me to promote the site and get the chance to interact with other otakus. Mini Con is one of those events. I don’t always get to host panels, but when I do I make sure they kick butts! I will be hosting two fun, informative panels for your enjoyment.
- Otaku on a Budget
- Spot the Fakes: How to Avoid Replicas and Other Unlicensed Goods
Mini Con is an event I strongly recommend attending. A portion of every ticket sold goes to Drops of Hope, a local charity that helps pediatric cancer patients. Thus you can have a great time and help people in need simultaneously, it’s a win-win. Another charitable gesture they do is give free artist tables to young and disabled artists, make sure you support them.
Make amazing things like this happen. A room makeover for a little girl who’s battling cancer.
There shall be a game room hosted by Anime Gaming Experience, a costume contest with prizes, and many other cool panels alongside mines. I hope to see you there soon!