Another con in the books! MegaCon Orlando 2017 was a success. It was well attended and had a great variety of vendors, artists and guests. The main draws for me this year were actors Brent Spiner (‘Star Trek: TNG’, ‘Outcast’), Nicholas Brendon (‘Buffy’, ‘Criminal Minds’) Caity Lotz (‘Mad Men’, ‘Legends Of Tomorrow’) & Tom Cavanagh (‘Ed’, ‘Royal Pains’, ‘The Flash’) and comic creators Bob Layton, Scott Snyder, Greg Rucka and Howard Chaykin. But the guest list had a very impressive number of celebrities including the always popular Stan Lee and the cast of ‘The Dukes Of Hazzard‘ just to name a few. There was a lot to try and get to this time as I was only able to be there for Friday and Saturday of this 4 day event but I was determined to make the most of my time.
Knowing Saturday to always be the busiest day of any convention, I went to the celebrities to try to grab interviews that I could use for Saturday’s live broadcast of my radio show (follow me on Twitter @GeekToMeRadio for details on how to listen each week). I was able to get a brief interview with Nicholas Brendon as well as Greg Rucka and Howard Chaykin. Saturday was significantly busier and there were a great number of celebrities in attendance (some can only do Saturday and Sunday). The staff was very helpful but information wasn’t readily available and some volunteers could only offer educated guesses instead of solid answers to some of my questions beginning with “Where do I go for my press credentials?” to “Where do I find Bob Layton?” Another thing I noticed was the lack of signage in the line-up area for the celebrities. Most other cons have some sort of stand-up sign detailing when the celebrities would be at their booths and what the prices were for autographs and photos. These were not to be found anywhere on the floor and the program did not have pricing listed either. This caused some confusion for a few guests who made it up to near the front of the line before being told they had to pay money for a selfie (granted, they should have known this, but still…).
Another surprise I had not expected was being told that all of the press and interviews were already done. Considering I was emailed and asked for my “wish list”, I assumed that I might get the chance to interview one or two of the 12 celebrities I had inquired about in my reply. Finally I found the set up a little wonky. There seemed to be more room than needed in the autograph area for the celebrities but a little cramped in the vendor area and at Artist Alley. The need to walk around the entire building to enter in the nearly empty back area rather than using the ample room in the front hall also seemed to be a waste of space and I heard several other con goers voice the same complaint. Overall, I’d have to rate MegaCon Orlando a 6 out of 10 compared to other cons I have experienced this year. There was great potential, but seemingly a lot of missed opportunities and hiccups as well. Hopefully next year will be better.