Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Con Report: Space City Con

On Saturday I attended Space City Con in Houston.   It's only a second year con, but I was impressed at the turn-out and the enthusiasm of the attendees.

This was my first time attending a con where I had no responsibilities and wasn't vending.  We just went for the day, mostly because I'd been missing the con atmosphere.  It's pretty weird to be at a con and not have anything you're supposed to be doing.  I was trying to remember what one DOES at a con if you're not working.

The Marriot Westchase was a nice hotel, and I loved the location as it was easy for me to get to.  But it seems the con has already outgrown this location and should consider moving or at least heavily reorganizing.  The main hallways were atrociously crowded.  I don't think they expected the attendance they got and found themselves overwhelmed somewhat.  I know they ran out of badges at some point and were handing out wristbands.  But something needed to be done about the hallways.  With all the fan tables set up there, and people stopping for pictures, and the huge traffic snare around their TARDIS mock-up, it was nearly impossible to get through the halls.  

The other problem was that it was really difficult to find anything, and the maps in the program and posted around were completely useless.  My husband and I spent at least an hour trying to find the dealer's room.

I did like the set-up for Artist's Alley, which was it's own room which lead into the main dealer's room.  There was much less traffic in those two areas, so you could actually move around.  Mostly.  The quality of merch for sale was really high.  I normally don't find a lot that I want to buy, but there were three items I very much wanted.  Unfortunately I could only afford one of them.

Even with all the organizational difficulties, I was impressed with the atmosphere and tone of the con.  The attendees seemed like a great crowd, enthusiastic, having a good time, nice and appreciative of everyone else's costuming. People apologized for bumping into you and were generally very nice.  There was also a lot of great cosplay that was inventive and went beyond the standard costumes you always see.  There was a heavy Star Wars fandom presence, and they were all fantastic, with a lot more variety of Star Wars costumes than you usually see.  My personal favorite were the Sith cheerleaders.  They were so adorable.

Steampunk was well represented in costume, though not so much in panels and activities.  There was a healthy smattering of active members of the steampunk community, but many more people who just dressed  in steampunk costume and came out.  There were a couple of steampunk panels, but I didn't make it to any of them.  But I decided something.  At any con like this that is a general sci-fi con, there needs to be a scheduled steampunk meet-up.  There's always some sort of steampunk panel, but often they are introductory panels or panels that people who have been in the community for a while have already attended.  So I think there needs to be a Steampunk Social Hour put on the schedule so that steampunks and anyone interested in it can come together and just hang out and chat.  Sometimes there is a ball or other nighttime event that might include socialization, but it seems like there should be something during the day as well, for those who can't stay late.  So, yes, it's possible I'll be trying to organize something along those lines in the future.

The only panel I actually attended was the Pin-Up Panel, which turned out to be really informative.  The ladies running it demonstrated a few hairstyling techniques and talked make-up, corsets, clothing and posing for photos.  I definitely picked up some tips that I'll be trying out.  And I have to admit I couldn't help chiming in quite a bit when the topic turned to corsets.  I think it would have been physically impossible for me to do otherwise.

Finally, you'll notice that I've changed my Cleopatra costume a bit.  I got rid of the cloth headdress and made a metal crown/diadem thing.  I'll make a post with more detail about that later this week.

So I'm looking forward to the next Space City Con, which is actually going to be in January (YAY, COOL WEATHER).  But this time I'll sign up to vend, because it IS a bit weird just walking around with nothing to do.

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