April 29, 2014

C2E2: The Verdict....

After a busy time at C2E2, I have to admit that heading to a local pulp show actually served as a kind of palate cleanser. Although I had a great time at C2E2 hanging with my Comic Related pals (as well as Chicago Nerd Social Club)....I have to admit that I wasn't all that crazy about the show this year. In fact....I actually felt that there were some really disappointing and frustrating aspects. (One of which was....well, my own darn fault).
  • First, on the positive front - both of the Chicago Nerd Social Club panels went exceedingly well. (Saturday's panel on sexism was standing-room only). Despite all of the back-and-forth on the Janelle Asselin controversy (and yes, more on that later on in thie blog), it's heartening to see a segment of fandom willing to discuss these issues openly.
  • Guest-wise....I have to say that I felt many complaints about the lack of media guests was rather out of line. (After all, it's a comic convention - focusing on that might not be such a bad idea). I did think that there could have been slightly more diversity....and I did think the comments about the increasing number of wrestlers with booths was a bit out of line. (At the risk of gatekeeping, wrestling might not be so much a "nerdy" thing as a "comic" thing....and it was worth an effort.
  • Saturday...was probably the worst day. It didn't help that one shuttle bus pulled up, was full (but announced another was coming), a second one drove straight by, and a third pulled up to take in a large crowd. Although more regular, this is...not good.
  • My big complaint about Saturday morning - despite holding a press pass and having a 10 am appointment, I was herded into large line, and was kep waiting. (I had arrived at approximately 9:55 am). As the third line, I watched as two larger ones were let in around 10:00 am, and we were kept waiting for 10 minutes. As our line progressed, I could see that we were being recorded by a staff member with a video camera at the head of the line...walking backwards. I don't mind waiting until officially opening....but delaying a large group to "get the shot right"? Not cool.
  • Not being allowed in early (despite having Press credentials) had a knock-on effect, meaning that I missed two scheduled appointments, was late for my Doctor Who panel (which had a bumpy start due to my lack of preparation), and ended up missing one of my Comic Related pals entirely. Yes, I am whining and claiming privilege for a complimentary press pass, but if I wanted to be herded like cattle, I would have attended Wizard World
  • Yes, bags were checked, and I realize the need for heightened security. However, I question that strategy when several vendors sell prop and real weapons (including swords and guns) for cosplayers. (This is not anti-cosplay; I realize safety is an issue, but it seems like C2E2 is sending a very mixed mesage).
  • Note to self and to fellow CNSC board members: we should do a bit more planning when having our booth manned. Working two booths is a bit tiring on my part, and I'm willing to spearhead that effort.

Admittedly, my experience at C2E2 was overall....OK. Unfortunately, I think the show this year was hampered by a bit of misscheduling due to Easter (having this and Windy City on the same weekend meant that one effectively "stole" attendees from another - I'll write more on Windy City Pulp tomorrow). I will say this - I was very disappointed in C2E2 this year. In talking with a fellow blogger, he mentioned that C2E2 was started because they could be an altenative to Wizard World
Although it provides a much healthier fan experience, C2E2 needs to work harder on providing value, because just claiming "We're Not Wizard World" is no longer enough.

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