This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending Naka-Kon in Overland Park, KS at the Overland Park Convention Center and connecting Shearton hotel. We arrived on Thursday mid day as the members of my party were on staff and needed to be there. First of all this convention is only 3 -4 hours away from St. Louis so it was a very nice and convenient drive. Thursday, I was able to check into my hotel and I helped staff get things ready for the convention.
Friday morning I got up and got dressed and headed down to the convention center around 11am. The convention activities didn't start till 4pm so everyone was in the registration line which meant one thing...nap time! I would suggest the convention start a couple hours earlier as people were "looking for things to do" in the early afternoon. I was impressed with opening ceremonies. Things seemed to be very well organized at this convention. There were numerous staff members in easily seen badges and shirts as well as ASL interpreters.
This convention also hosted some new ideas that I thought were fantastic. One of these is the "quiet room" which is a room to retreat to when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. It included toys to occupy yourself with or coloring books. The room was staffed with one staff member and no sleeping was allowed. There was also a cosplay lounge including items to repair cosplays with and it was a place away from cameras where you could rest or fix your cosplay. Also, WARNING signs on escalators that they like to eat cosplay! Who would of thought. Around 5pm I checked in for the cosplay contest. My juding time was at 9pm. This convention tends to run things super late. Judging was no more than 5 minutes tops.
Saturday, I changed costumes and spent a couple hours running around the dealer's hall. It was huge but very well organized. I like the break between the artist alley and actual dealers. There seemed to be a lot of official merchandise as well which was nice. My only complaint is that the dealer's room was very hot!! It started snowing on Saturday and the convention had blocked off the only inside passage between convention center and hotel. I realize it was a 30 second walk however it was very cold. Around 2pm I had to be in the green room for the masquerade. My only complaint with the green room was they needed to either close the doors or have a staff member at the door to keep non contestants out. It made it hard to get ready when people kept walking in. Walk ons for the contest began around 5pm which is an hour later than it was supposed to start. However the contest was a nice and unique experience and well organized for such a vital part of the convention. Saturday night was the usual parties and so on.
Sunday is always a do nothing day for me so I packed up, went through the dealer's hall again and went home. Peace out Naka-Kon!
- Extreme temperature differences from room to room.
- Convention blocked off only inside entrance between hotel and convention.
- Cosplay contest ran long with little information given as to why.
- Security was lax or non existent in some cases.
Review by Luna