Boston,MA, USA. February 14 – 16, 2014
Reporter(s): Kouichi Kimura
After attending Katsucon 19 in an unofficial capacity and staying in the wonderful Gaylord National Harbor Hotel, I absolutely HAD to give this convention another go. This time, I was even under direction to attend the World Cosplay Summit Eastern Regional Qualifiers held at Katsucon!
I’ll spare the reading audience my horrific travel details, but suffice it to say: if the weatherperson says to drive carefully and plan ahead, do it.
The Gaylord has two primary types of rooms: ones that overlook the harbor and the highway, and ones that face inward into the hotel and give you a birds-eye view of everything below from a balcony. Not a bad way to get some aerial cosplay pics if you ask me! Check-in at the Gaylord is quick and easy. You have the option of self-park or valet, but given the location, unless you plan on seeing the sights or driving around, saving a few bucks for the dealer’s room by opting to self-park wouldn’t hurt. The hotel staff is always accommodating and friendly, too. If you care about the noise level, be sure to request a quiet floor, otherwise you may find yourself on a party floor.
Anyway, enough about the hotel. Let’s get down to the Katsucon nitty-gritty!
In my opinion, the biggest hassle is just getting the layout of the hotel and convention center down, and noting where the escalators and elevators are. The escalators were down at times, but it wasn’t that often, and never for very long. The staff did a good job of ensuring things ran smoothly, and I hardly noticed any problems.
Con traffic was steady for sure, and the fountain was, of course, one of the primary centers of attention for cosplay pics. If you have a group that plans on taking pictures, be sure to head over to the Katsucon webpage and register a time so you don’t lose a time slot to another group…especially if you would like to use the coveted gazebo.
Next, of course, is the dealers’ room and artists’ alley. With a wide variety of vendors and an assortment of goodies covering just about anything you could want—except a larger bank account—you can probably find what you’re looking for in either of these sizable rooms. The rows are wide enough to walk without bumping into one another, and there’s even room to stop and snap a picture of a cosplay or two.
The last and most important piece of advice I can give about Katsucon is very simple: PLAN! Before venturing out, be sure to download the Guidebook app from the Apple or Google Play store and grab the schedule for Katsucon. A lot of conventions are choosing to use this convenience instead of paper schedules, not only for the ease of the attendees, but also because if there is a schedule change, they are able to let everyone know MUCH faster.
All in all, Katsucon is a fantastic example of how a convention should be managed, and the group of people that attend are, for the most part, great folks who are there to have a great time. I, for one, plan on putting Katsucon on my list of must-attend cons every year for as long as I am able. I look forward to whatever fantastic guests and programs await at Katsucon 21 in 2015.
Please be sure to check out the video coverage of the World Cosplay Summit Eastern Regional Qualifiers at Katsucon by visiting the link here.