This one is probably going to be fairly short. I was only at the convention for Friday to promote MTAC. I enjoyed myself with what little time I was there.
OMGcon is a fourth-year convention in Paducah, KY. That’s basically right on the border of Kentucky and Illinois. It’s a fairly small town, and the small con complements it. It’s attendance last year was around 600, and it does seem to have grown from when I last attended in 2007. It’s held at JR’s Executive Inn, which is right on the Ohio River and actually fits the convention quite well with elbow room.
OMGcon is a smaller con than I usually go to and blog about, and that has its perks. People seemed far more willing to talk to us at the MTAC table than at larger cons like AWA or Ohayocon. The people in general, from staff to volunteers to congoers, seemed generally friendlier than the larger conventions with multiple thousands I’ve been to. That holds especially true to con chair Daniel Dodd and his wife and executive officer Gabrielle. I’ve talked with them at con trips and at MTAC where they had a booth, and they’ve been nothing but nice. We, my friend/fellow MTAC staffer and I, were just going to walk around and hand out fliers, but they let us use an extra table they had. Very kind of them.
OMGcon also really enjoys being giving to its attendees, having hundreds of giveaway items. That includes over 200 anime DVDs and over 100 manga volumes, as said in their program guide.
Speaking of the program guide, that’s one of the unique things I like about OMGcon. The guide itself is a simple enough book with all the necessary info, but it comes in a DVD case that has a cover for this year’s con. OMGcon has been doing this every one of its four years to my knowledge. I first saw it at the second OMGcon in 2007, my first. For $5 each, attendees can buy an OMGcon DVD to go with the DVD case. The DVD likely includes footage from the entire convention that I would often see them filming.
OMGcon also has some interesting events. While the otaku dating game seems questionable (didn’t see it), the cosplay chess that I did see looked like fun. The gaming rooms were well laid out and seemed to have something for everyone, even rooms just dedicated to LANs and tournaments. There was even a map of the gaming rooms in the program guide showing what game was played where in the room, something I thought was pretty nifty.
Really, the only downsides I could think of are fairly picky and opinion-based. The guests were all the same as last year, which is great for people who really loved them and not so much for people wanting more variety. The dealer room was actually not too bad. I saw some things I was interested in. Really though, a dealer room needs a nice selection of tokusatsu and UC Gundam merch to impress me, and that doesn’t happen at the larger cons I’ve been at. There was also a lot of running and being rambunctious in the halls, but they do have the space to do that in. Oh how I envy wide and spacious halls.
Also, out of their control, the Executive Inn was undergoing renovation, so the connection between the hotel and con space, where a little mall and restaurant are located, was cut off. It was most assuredly an inconvenience for congoers and staff alike, but if they return to the same location next year, I’m sure it’ll be smooth sailing.
OMGcon is a nice, fun con to hit up on a free weekend. If you want somewhere in a major city and with a dealer room the size of a football field, there are plenty of other cons for that. If you want to hang out with people and make new friends, OMGcon is a great place for that. I look forward to its 2010 year.