This weekend I attended MomoCon in Atlanta, Georgia. MomoCon is an animation, gaming, and cosplay convention that started at Georgia Tech in 2005. This year was its 11th year and its second at the Georgia World Congress Center.
Atlanta has a strong geek community that has only grown in recent years but in regards to conventions, DragonCon has always been the best known with Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA) running a close second. And while the conventions are not really comparable, MomoCon is a great, smaller convention that gets fantastic turn-out, especially after moving off the Georgia Tech campus. That move propelled MomoCon from local college convention to serious contender. In fact, the first time it hit my radar was 2013 when they moved it to the Marriott Marquis and Hilton in downtown Atlanta.
Things I love about MomoCon
The venue. MomoCon is held at the Georgia World Congress Center and it’s an amazing space. It’s spacious, well organized, and has room to expand. While I can appreciate large crowds, being able to move freely is important. This venue allows that and manages traffic flow well.
The panels. MomoCon has an open application process through their website where anyone can apply*. ANYONE. This method gives everyone an opportunity to potentially get their voice out there and develop content they think is relevant for the geek community. I submitted a couple of panels and had one (Cosplay in Non-Canon Bodies) accepted. It was a great opportunity and experience.
*Please note: MomoCon staff vets their panelists, so while anyone can apply, you will need to demonstrate that you have relevant and interesting content.
The diversity. In all fairness, I do not travel out of state for conventions, so I don’t know what a lot of conventions look like. What I can say is that there seemed to be a TON of diversity at MomoCon. All shapes, sizes, abilities, ages…the convention felt safe for everyone. All weekend we kept commenting on how inclusive the convention felt.
The safety. The MomoCon staff worked hard to create an engaging, interactive, safe, and fun experience for its attendees. They teamed up with Take This and created an AFK room staffed with volunteers and clinicians to help with any stress related or mental health issues.
The game room. I LOVE MomoCon’s game room. I don’t even game like that, but I loved seeing the different types of video games and watching people play. I especially loved the focus on indie games and how they were set apart from the other consoles for people interested in trying something new.
The hotel. I’ve really enjoyed staying at the Omni. It’s been one of my most painless convention hotel experiences. I know this isn’t true for everyone, but for me, it’s been awesome.
The cosplay. There was cosplay at all levels from the very skilled to the basic. I have complete love for my duct tape warriors, of which I saw a few but unfortunately didn’t take pictures. There was also a cosplay repair room for those unexpected cosplay emergencies. Check out MomoCon’s photo gallery to see all the different costumes.
The photography. I love that MomoCon brings in photographers to provide free photo opportunities for the attendees. Costume, no costume, didn’t matter. Anyone could get a picture at the backdrop. And the photographer volunteers were friendly and talented.
Things I didn’t love about MomoCon
The vendor room. This year’s vendor room was a little underwhelming. I was in the market for a new corset and the one company “specializing” in corsets didn’t even sell them based on waist size. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve only bought corsets based on my waist measurement and that wasn’t an option with this vendor. And they were kinda rude about my question, so bunk that.
For the record, there was a large comic based convention running the same weekend in Orlando, Florida. If I had to guess, I’d say MomoCon lost some vendors to them. Hopefully there will be some better vendors next year.
The food. The food inside the convention area was SO expensive. And I wasn’t a fan of most of the selection. Same with the food court in the CNN center. That said, we were walking distance from a bunch of downtown restaurants so the food was only bad if you were too lazy to leave the area.
Things I have no opinion on regarding MomoCon
The guests. Because MomoCon is an animation, gaming convention, I didn’t really know or care for the guests. I mean, I knew Cree Summer but that’s because she’s done SO MUCH work acting and voice acting work that it’s almost impossible not to have heard of her. I don’t really attend conventions for the guests anyway.
The panels. I know I mentioned these before and while the panels were informative, some of them were the exact same as last year. On the one hand, that’s great, especially if you are a newcomer. On the other hand, for us repeat customers, we want new information. As the two desires wash each other out, I’m kind of neutral on this. There were also some panels scheduled at the same time that probably shared an audience, but this didn’t really affect me.
So that’s what I thought about MomoCon 2016. I wrote a more in-depth, personal account
of my experience on my blog, so check that out when you have a chance.
Did you go to MomoCon? If so, tell us about your experience in the comments.