Kraken Con Fall 2014 After Action Report

Cosplayer: Eliteslayer (car by Rave2theJ)

Cosplayer: Eliteslayer (car by Rave2theJ)

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NEWS REEL

Sorry but I won’t be doing a Write-Up for SacAnime Summer or Yaoi-Con 2014.  For SacAnime, I was either shooting or resting inside my hotel room due to the heat so I did not get a good look at the convention.  As for Yaoi-Con, it was rather uneventful and most of the events at the convention either involve seeing guys performing and twerking for the fan-girls or private parties, neither of which I was interested in or privy to.

My next events are Pacific Media Expo and NorCal Fall/Winter Gathering.  No other events for me this year, including Comikaze.

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With the successes of Kraken Con 2013 and Kraken Con 2014 (now Kraken Con Spring), the organizers saw fit to plan for the Kraken Con Fall 2014 Convention.  Both of those conventions had the distinction of have a solid organizational structure despite limited resources.  I enjoyed both these conventions because of the small, local feel they had.  The question now is whether or not they could pull off a bigger con in the same small area.  Through that hall of panels and games opens up to the Artist / Dealer’s Hall, with the photo booth run by OscarC Photography and the Tea Time Cafe.   This time, the second level of the hotel/convention center also held a few more panel rooms.

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Tea Time Maid Cafe

Tea Time Maid Cafe

The format for Kraken Con Fall was familiar to those who attended Spring, with many of the events crammed into the main ballroom, separated by dividers.  This time, there was a seperate section for the video games space (not room, space), again with a giant screen for attendees to randomly play Let’s Dance.  The large guest panels, cosplay contest, and talent show were all held in the main panel room and had dividers.  The “workshop” panel room was unfortunately “open air” so it was sometimes hard to hear the speaker there.  Still, the addition of screens and large signs helped attendees figure out which was where and what time.

Many of the things I liked about the convention were still around.  The maid cafe had a bigger space for themselves and the Dealer’s Hall was decently packed on Saturday.  In fact there was a surprising amount of attendees on Saturday, to the point where extra staff had to be on hand to process them through (and process them quickly they did).  The voice actors seemed to have fun interacting with their fans both on stage as well as at the autograph booth.  The cosplayers, make-up artists, and other performers seemed to enjoy the smaller con atmosphere.  And the cosplay masquerade had a lot of top-notch work on display.

Brandon W. + Dynamic Cosplay Couple + Davey G.

Brandon W. + Dynamic Cosplay Couple + Davey G.

Probably it’s greatest stumbling point, aside from the placement of certain panels and dividers, was what was going on during Sunday.  Historically, many conventions have less material on Sundays due to the drop in attendees.  This is understandable since school, work, and other things could prevent people from attending.  Still, it would be nice if there were more than just cosplay tutorial panels and a talent show.  I can understand why Kraken staff decided to place many of their more exciting shows like the masquerade and most of the talent panels on Saturday, but there needs to be a lot more material in order to make it justifiable for attendees to put that extra effort into staying overnight at the hotel or even simply attending on Sunday.

Overall, there were only a few placement changes and the increased attendee count.  Some of this could be due to the guest list with veteran voice actors Matthew Mercer and Eric Stuart there in force with booths and panels, as well as Daydreamernessa’s Cosplay as the cosplay  guest.  Lots of local artists and dealers were in attendance as well.  The group that really caught my eye was Pandora FX showcasing some amazing prosthetic and make-up, even going so far as to creating an entire cosplay outfit out of body paint.

Daydreamer Nessa + HezaChan

Daydreamer Nessa + HezaChan

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Final Thoughts

I’m glad that the cosplay is slowly growing and improving itself.  Overall, there were only a few complaints as to the size of the facilities, but it’s still a very easy to reach, easy going convention.  A lot of what made Kraken great were still there.  Meanwhile, the move to have professionals hosting guest panels and demonstrations as well as the extra day helps to give this convention more value.

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Good:

StrawberryHunnie Melissa Capistrano + Pandora FX

StrawberryHunnie Melissa Capistrano + Pandora FX

 – Solid small, local convention atmosphere

 – Easy Access to Public Transit and Food

 – Staff helpful and mostly organized.

 

Bad:

 – Limited space for panels and photo shoots.

 – Some questionable placement of resources such as dividers

 – Sunday schedule a bit weak.

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~ by BlizzardTerrak on October 15, 2014.

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