Convention Review - ConnectiCon 2015! Experience this years convention now.

(My apologies that this took longer than expected to get posted.)

Avid convention goers can get very picky about what conventions they attend and why. However, when it comes to ConnectiCon you are sure to always have a good time. As a multi-genre convention, it welcomes fans of all genres and has panels that are suited for everyone. I have attended ConnectiCon for the past few years but this year I had the privilege of attending as Press and I have to say that I had a great weekend.

ConnectiCon is held in the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut which is a wonderful location for this convention. The convention center itself is large enough to host the convention and all of its attendees and the best thing is that you never get that cramped vibe that some other conventions may give off. Secondly, you are in the heart of Hartford and are surrounded by hotels to stay in and places to eat and drink. It's these kinds of things, mixed with the warm environment inside the convention itself, that make ConnectiCon feel like a home away from home. You aren't secluded to just the convention. You can head out and there is plenty of things around. I also have to commend the parking situation this year in the main parking garage. Spots may have filled up quick but if you were able to get one, ConnectiCon (or the Connecticut Convention Center itself) had a table in the garage selling weekend parking tickets for a great price which made the parking situation a lot easier. Thank you! Lastly, there are plenty of places to sit, rest, and enjoy some down time with friends in the convention center which is great.

Source: YouTube - TheGeekyPandaBlog

The convention was run very smoothly this year which was very pleasing. Not to say it wasn't other years but everyone this year seemed to be on top of everything. The badge pick up was a lot smoother and easily accessible and the various badge types had their own spots which was nice. (Pre-Reg, Reg, Press, ect.) A big point of interest for every convention is the dealers room and this year there was a noticeable change to the dealers room. Whether they removed some booths or simply had a different set up this year you quickly noticed how much more room in the dealer's room there was to walk around. Sometimes in a dealers room you can be very cramped walking up and down the isles, especially in cosplay, but that was not the case this year and it was amazing. I know that I wasn't the only one to notice this either as several friends in my group had pointed it out as well. One nice thing about the particular vendors that ConnectiCon brings to their convention is that prices are generally reasonably priced. After spending money to get to the convention, get in the convention, and hotel costs, you never want to find that item you've been searching for only to see that it has been marked up in price because it's at a convention. There were a few empty booths this year which is always unfortunate to see. I don't know if these vendors canceled or left early but it always feels weird to walk by an empty booth. One place that was not empty though was the food area in the dealer room. (As usual.) However, lines here seemed to move a little faster than they have in previous years which was great! Again, things just seemed to run smoother this year. This could also be due to the fact that convention staff and volunteers were around and visible at all times during the convention. Very big kudos go out to them for this. If you had a question someone was always around and very willing to help you out.

The convention hosted some great guests this year that included media guests George Takei and Nicjelle Nichols (Star Trek), Amber Benson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Dean Haglund, Tom Braidwood, and Bruce Harwood (The Lone Gunman - The X-Files), Sarah Lancaster and Ryan McPartlin (Chuck), and more. ConnectiCon always hosts some amazing voice acting talent and this year was no exception. In attendance was Bill Farmer (Goofy), Maurice LaMarche (Brain - Pinky and the Brain), Janet Varney (Korra - The Legend of Korra), as well as others. There is too many guests to list them all but the list of guests is large and impressive. (You can still see the guests on their site link below.) The guests that attend this conventions are always extremely nice and pleasant towards their fans. Speaking to several convention attendees, they were very happy with the guests this year and how the guests were treating them and interacting with them during photograph and autograph sessions.
*Stay tuned for upcoming articles from Q&As with some of the special guests!

Source: YouTube - PJMRK

My personal experience at the convention this year was great. The Press Staff treated me very well and I was able to have a lot of fun with my friends and meet some great cosplayers as well. I debuted three new cosplays at ConnectiCon this year which I was really excited about. I debuted my Daredevil (Marvel & Netflix) cosplay which got back amazing feedback from convention goers which made me really happy, my new Jedi look, and my Wash (Firefly) cosplay. I participated in some official photo shoots as well as some impromptu ones and took a lot of photos on my on camera. There were a lot of amazing cosplayers this year and I heartily commend all of them for their hard work they put into their cosplays. I attended some great panels but one of my favorites every year is the voice acting reading panel. This year the voice actors read the original Ghostbusters script in various voices which was amazing. A personal favorite part of ConnectiCon that my friends and I have done for the last few years is our Jedi Lightsaber Party down in the hotel bar on Saturday night. It's always a great time and the other con attendees at the bar love it. I even ran into actor Austin St. John (the Red Ranger from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) and got a great photo with him. He then asked to try out my lightsaber which was awesome! Also on Saturday, I really enjoyed that the convention blocked off a special area for con attendees to enjoy the Hartford River Fest firework show as well. The weekend as a whole felt laid back and comfortable. ConnectiCon doesn't have the hectic "hustle and bustle" feeling as some of the larger conventions and I believe that is why so many people love it and return every year.

I should note however that there were a few things that I could nitpick about throughout the weekend. From a cosplaying standpoint I did not like the convention's new peace bonding method. This year they opted to use those sticky event / concert wrist bands instead of zip ties to peace bond props. Regardless of the reasons for the switch, putting the sticker end of that band on one set of props I had left a horrible sticky residue on them that took a very long time to get off. Cosplayers work extremely hard on their props so this can be very upsetting to deal with. I know there were several other attendees who expressed concern with this as well. I also noted earlier the odd look of some dealer room booths being empty. This happens at many conventions but it still looks off as a convention goer. Another thing that was weird (that is out of the convention's hands) is that the stairwells on my hotel floor in the main hotel (the Hartford Marriott Downtown) were closed forcing everyone to take the crowded elevators. I didn't mind waiting for an elevator (which took a long time to arrive) but from a safety standpoint this seemed wrong.

I'd like to end this review by stating that I had an amazing time throughout the weekend at ConnectiCon and highly recommend it to convention goers everywhere. The location is great, the staff are very courteous, and the price of a badge will not break your wallet. Thank you, ConnectiCon, for a fun weekend!

**Visit the official ConnectiCon page for info on this year's and next year's convention.

**You can see all of my photos from the convention in my ConnectiCon 2015 Flickr album.

Be sure to follow my new Twitter account for the latest news and fun conversation! Twitter - RealmBeyondS


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