Hey, hey, hey, fancy readers. Your favorite goons are back and not even close to being better than ever. This past weekend we had the privilege of covering Wizard World in Columbus Ohio. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that with all the cons we’ve done this year, we definitely experienced a bit of con burnout. On the positive side, though, this was an excellent show and Columbus is a fun town to explore!
Over the last few Wizard World events, we’ve been changing the way in which we do things. We use to cover the event with real gusto and focused on catching every panel and event going on. But to be honest, that’s a little bit of overkill. With this con, our focus has shifted to meeting and talking with local creators on a more personal basis. From the awesome guys at the 3 Geeks Podcast (which we recorded another podcast with), Myths and Mystics, artist Chris Williams with CDubb Art, and even various indie authors such as Ray Wenck, we had a really successful go of it. But before we get into all of that, let’s rewind and start from the beginning.
The Drive And Parking
The drive from South Western PA to Columbus is relatively straightforward, but we did hit some ball-aching traffic. Columbus itself is easy to navigate and we managed to get to our hotel just fine.
For this trip, we booked the Hampton Inn directly across the street from the convention center. Since all hotels in major cities have expensive ass valet services, we did the smart thing and booked a three-day pass for the convention center parking garage. The downside, we couldn’t use the car, because once you leave the garage you can’t reenter. On the plus side, we saved at least thirty bucks going that route. And since all the cool bars and restaurants in the area are within walking distance, there wasn’t much of an inconvenience.
As I said, we stayed at the Hampton Inn directly across from the convention center. The staff was great and the location was ideal, but for the price of our room, I feel it should’ve been a little nicer. Don’t get me wrong, the hotel and our room were nice, but we’ve stayed in fancier places for cheaper. The hotel breakfast was also disappointing and I feel the price should’ve better reflected their offerings because again, we’ve stayed at places in the past that were nicer with a much better breakfast and half the costs.
Not all was “meh” though. It was the first hotel I think I’ve ever stayed in that had great internet, a somewhat soundproof bathroom (something that is much needed with us!), and ice-cold AC. Long boring story short, I doubt I’d ever stay at that hotel in Columbus again unless they drop the price by at least 200 bucks. And it has nothing to do with quality or bad service, I just feel the price should better reflect what you get. Even so, it’s hard to beat the location! But not all the sights were great…
I’m sick of these monkey fighting cons with their Monday to Friday security checks! Sorry for the harsh language. I’m just tired of Wizard World events having bogus security setups. It’s literally one of the only gripes I have about these shows.
The problem, which was the same with both Pittsburgh shows we’ve covered, is that they put the event panels outside of the security check. It makes no sense. Not only do you have to go through security every time you enter the main floor, but it also doesn’t make things much safer.
You see, if you’re like us and want to catch a bunch of panels but also want to walk the main floor in between panels, you must go through security a bunch of times. If you wanted to bring a gun in during a celebrity panel crowded with people, you could because it’s outside of the security checkpoint. You don’t get checked before going into event panels because they’re outside of the main show floor in conference rooms. Insanity!
I’m not going to complain about that anymore, though. It is what it is and who am I to tell them what to do? And other than the security, I found the layout of the con to be stupendous. Artists Alley, the celebrities, and the vendors were all sectioned off in perfect squares and rectangles. It made it so everyone was easy to find and kept the crowds from getting congested. I think every show should have this style of setup.