The Small Con that did
With the help of Newark Pulse, the Newark Office of Film and Television, Sprint, NJIT, and Rutgers, the city had the pleasure of being able to host the 2015 Newark Comic Con at the Robert Treat Hotel in downtown Newark. With the convention being held in a prime location in downtown Newark, there were loads of people flocking from around the area itching to get their convention fix on.
After a quick, convenient train ride away from NJIT, the moment I stepped through the front door of the Robert Treat Hotel I was greeted by an extremely friendly staff. From various artists and guests I talked to at the con, like BlueHanzo, Will Torres, and Uncle Yo, everyone had the same vibe, for a first time con, you could feel that it was a con meant for the people, a con bringing back life to Newark. People weren’t afraid to crowd hallways to take awesome pictures of cosplayers. Con-goers flooded Military Park to listen to the various performing artists. In general, Newark Comic Con exceeded all of my expectations.
However, there are a few things that Newark Comic Con can improve upon.
First off, creating a map of the venue for guests to easily use would have been convenient. I missed out on a few good panels and short films because I didn’t know where they were located. This map should be given to guests the moment they buy or pick-up their badges. Handouts at the con, containing all necessary info about the con’s features, were in the middle of the artist alley, which was a good distance away from where guests get their con badges.
Second, having a centralized table for all registration would prevent guests from getting lost trying to register tickets and obtain Press and VIP badges.
Lastly, the location of the celebrity guests should be designated. There was an incident at the start of the convention where one exhibitor was at a table meant for general information. This would tie more into organizing the layout early on, so that exhibitors know where they are to be stationed, and to prevent future confusion in-case some exhibitors forget where they should set up.
Regardless, with all of these small nitpicks, the event was a success. I personally got two awesome poster prints which I have gleefully already hung on my wall and got a chance to talk a bit and have a laugh with Uncle Yo, a comedian I’ve first heard back at Castle Point Anime Convention in 2012. For a small con, there were loads of big names, like “Pedro” (Efren Ramirez) and, apparently, The Rock’s dad, which a friend pointed out to me a day after the con. This con has the potential for a lot of great things in the future and I’m glad I went. Now that we have a Fall comic book convention, who knows how much better the city is going to get. So, I want to again thank the wonderful staff at the Newark Comic Con for running a great convention. I definitely can’t wait to see what kinds of things Newark Comic Con 2016 has in store!