Aki Con 2013 Convention Coverage by Al Lin

November 8, 2013
3,178 Views

After a year, Aki Con is back in full swing at its new venue, DoubleTree by Hilton Seatac Airport Hotel, a distinct difference from the past year’s venue. Carrying its tradition, the convention is fully decorated with cutout boards, cityscape decorations, and miscellaneous items to deck out the convention space. For those who missed this convention, let us share with you our experience.

_MG_1315

The Joker and others lined up for the cosplay contest

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Venue

Anyone who has attended previous Aki Cons could tell you that the previous year’s venue was a tremendous disappointment, especially for those who signed up for the Artist Alley. This year, to brush off that bad experience, Aki Con relocated to DoubleTree, a much larger venue with a decently sized square footage, allowing attendees to roam around without feeling too cramped, for the most part. Being an airport hotel, it is conveniently located within walking distance from a few restaurants, providing a variety of food options, which helped spread out the rush during meal time. There were still some extended wait time depending on when and where you eat, but for the most part you got your food rather quickly, or at the very least, you are seated. Though, while the venue is decently better than previous year’s, one downside for drivers is that parking is not free. All parking space on the hotel property is either valet or paid parking, so prepare to pay the event parking fee. At $12 for all day, it is actually comparable to other conventions held at downtown Seattle, but it still remains a distinct price hike from free.

Convention

L5D33533

The Titan head on top of a vendor’s booth

The convention arrangement is decently spaced out, utilizing two floors and many large rooms to spread out the crowd. This year Aki Con ramped up their “Cosplay Hall” with a few more sets, in addition to many cut-out boards placed all around convention space. The registration booth is distinctively placed right between the main lobby and the convention area. The high visibility makes it hard to miss, though now the hallway is 50% smaller and did create occasional traffic.
Water stations are aplenty around the convention area, and they seemed to be very well stocked 100% of the time. Kudos for paying attention to this little but much appreciated detail.
Most 1st floor rooms are plentifully large so there is no noticeable space issue, though it becomes apparent when you visit Artist Alley, of which was split into 3 small rooms with paths only 2-person wide. Considering there are 4 game rooms right across the AA with much less foot traffic, it would be more strategically sound to dedicate one more game room to AA to spread out the load.

Photographers’ View

What’s a convention report to photographers if we don’t talk about available space for photo-shoots? As a start, there really isn’t any nearby place to do photo-shoots outside of the hotel property. The hotel itself is full of hotel-looking areas: couches, stairs, and long hallways. Like many hotels, there is a pool available, and there are two small courtyards that many photographer attendees have used to do photo-shoots. One interesting place to check out is the underground that connects to two previously mentioned courtyards, but overall there isn’t too much of a variety as far as photo-shoot location goes; so you are working with limited space, competing with other photographers, and the possibility of distracting background.

L5D33849

Soul Eater photoshoot taken place in the tunnel linking the two courtyards

The Experience

I attended the convention with a clear goal to execute my personal Faces of Cosplay project, so the majority of my time was spent at the booth off to the side of the main hall. I had the opportunity to meet and hangout with a few cosplayer guests such as FantasyNinja, rebelliousDante, Living Dead Girls, Rikkugrape, Spicy-Seasoning, and Blue Bow Space. There were a few panels that I attended, and they received generally positive feedback.
For those in the know, Aki Con’s nickname is “chill con”, and it didn’t earn it for no reason. The staff are very down to earth and understanding of the con scene; there are obviously rules and limitations, but not without solid reasons. There were even a few occasions that I thought the attendees had crossed the line, but if it’s cool with the organizers, well, it is cool!

Overall, I would recommend Aki Con for people to meet and hangout with friends. Its relaxed and cozy atmosphere are what made this convention enjoyable, and in a way, acts as a con that perfectly closes the “convention season” for the year in the Pacific Northwest.

Now that you have read our take, how did you enjoy the convention? Share with us your experience in the comment section below!

I am a Seattle, WA based lifestyle fashion photographer who has Cosplay to thank for his adventure into the photography world. In addition to fashion, I also maintain Costographer as my cosplay work outlet: http://facebook.com/costographer

6 Comments

  1. Aki-con didn’t chose to leave the Hilton. The Hilton voided the remainder of the contract and kicked them out.
    Water stations are a responsibility of the hotel. The event hiring the space has nothing to do with them. If they were kept full, that’s good work by the venue, not the con.
    If there are still issues with space to move as it sounds from placement of reg and layout of AA, then the con hasn’t learnt anything from the last 2 years.

  2. This was a good read. I have to agree with you that this year was a BIG improvement from previous years. They still have work to do but overall I had a good time (which is what counts in the end).

  3. Inviting convicted pedophile sex offenders is a bad plan, particularly when they rape attendees. The people who put on this convention are disgusting and made this an unsafe place for attendees. Aki Con fail. I’m boycotting and so are my friends.

    • It’s also illegal to hire some one who was convicted of raping minors to work in a place with minors, so they SHOULD be held legally responsible for this.

  4. Learn the facts.

    The “girl” crying rape is a LIAR.
    I was witness to all her “actions” at the Con and knew where the DJ was and everything, just down the hall from ME.

    That girl never ‘slept’ with Malice, she never was raped. Malice has a girlfriend who was IN THE ROOM during the “time of alleged rape” explain how THAT happened, hmmm?!

    The way the “victim” acted over the RAVE both nights was more than enough for me to judge her as a liar. She was bumping and grinding with VARIOUS men at Aki-Con, especially the DJ from Robot Sex Music, who was groping women left and right on stage in front of everyone.

    The “victim” is crying rape because she doesn’t want her boyfriend to know about her perniciousness at the con while he was at home, sleeping. She plays a damn good part at being a victim, but she’s got the lot of you all fooled into supporting a liar.

    • To the above Anonymous asshole supporter of Victor Malice, aka convicted sexual predator Leslie Burt Shotwell, please eat a bag of dicks and die in a fire. How about some real facts? The hospital found traces of date rape drugs in her system. Shotwell has convictions in Arizona forĀ sexual conduct with a minor, attempt to commit a sexual act with a minor, and dangerous crimes against children. Aki Con’s owners were made aware of his past convictions and still invited him to their con, placing their attendees, including children, in danger because they were friends with him. Other girls came forward with their own accounts of encounters with Shotwell. The girl you claim is lying still has panic attacks and nightmares from that piece of shit excuse for a human. Everfree has stated he will never be invited back. Sakuracon has perma-banned him. Kumoricon has blacklisted him. At least those conventions take shit seriously, unlike Aki Con.

Leave a Reply