There were plenty of options for those looking for informative panels. With several rooms, a Star Trek zone, and a voice acting zone nearly all areas of interest were covered with panels. However, for those who enjoy gaming there was no gaming area. There was no table top gaming and there was no e-gaming either. It is surprising that a convention would not have either of these as they have been part of the convention in previous years. Ideally, we will see a return to gaming in the next year. Thankfully, there were still plenty of other options to use for entertainment at the convention.
The panel rooms featured many different topics, some featuring guests, but the rooms were scattered a bit making some of them difficult to get to if you needed to hit back to back panels. Yet, it was nice to see panels from fan groups professionals, and the guests because they made things feel like the old days. The rooms were large and well set up, but the audience wasn’t as large as one would expect. However, other zones had a much bigger audience than the standard panel rooms.
The voice acting area was the home of not only a large amount of booths featuring some of the most popular voice actors, but also where they held the voice actor panels. These panels could be fun with topics from how to audition to improv games. The main issue was that the room wasn’t designed for panels as the large room had terrible acoustics and echos from all the noise made hearing some panels difficult. Minor problems aside, this was a nice way to put all the anime/video game voice actors together while also offering a fair amount of panel content.
The Star Trek zone was a nice touch to the convention. The area brought in people from NASA, fan groups, and Star Trek allumni. The members of NASA who stopped by ran several panels about the state of space exploration and how Trek inspired them to go forward with the hopes of working in the final frounteer. The fan groups had several props and settings for con attendees to take pictures and donate to various groups. This area drew in many attendees, but the biggest draw for the Star Trek area was the farewell tour of Nichelle Nichols.
The farewell tour was made up of a couple panels and autographs with Nichelle Nichols. On the surface this seems like a good thing, but there were strange happenings that made aspects of this event seem suspect. Inforatmion came out that heavily implies that Ms. Nichols is being abused by her family and being isolated from friends and care givers. While all these are just alleged claims, there is more than enough information online to make a person a bit more concerned about the whole situation. Not only that, but she wasn’t on stage for the majority of her farewell panel, instead several other people went up as if eulagizing her. It wasn’t a very fun experience for fans and all those who care about her well being. It didn’t seem like she was in control of the situation and that she was being treated more like an object than a person.
For an end of the year convention there was plenty of content to go around. While something aspects of the show might have been a little sus, that’s not the fault of the convention. They organizers did their best to put on a great show with plenty of content and that is exactly what they delivered. Hopefully next year we will not end our convention trip on a down note.