Here there be Dragons - Dragon Con 2017 Recap

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Dragon Con 2017 in Atlanta came to a close at the end of Labor Day weekend, but the memories will last on for years to come. The con which had a record breaking 80,000 attendees, spanned 5 hotels in downtown Atlanta. There was everything from 400 guests who sat on hundreds of panels all weekend, to two and half floors of vendors, tons of artists and comic book illustrators, and the celebrity walk of fame where you could get autographs and selfies with actors from shows such as Arrow, Star Trek, The Flash, Star Wars and more. There were dozens of parties every night and cosplayers everywhere you looked from hotel lobbies to panels, to the downtown streets of Atlanta. If you couldn't find something to do at this con, you were literally doing it wrong. There was so much to do, I had trouble deciding between multiple activities at nearly every hour of the day.
One of the uniquest parts of Dragon Con is the atmosphere. Fans are super helpful and I frequently struck up conversations with people around me. I met everyone from rocket scientists to folks who had traveled near and far to be at Dragon Con. Even the Dragon Con volunteers and hotel staff are super friendly and get in on the action by dressing up as well.

The celebrity guests are not only excited to be at Dragon Con, but also often seen out and about among the fans. Example: I saw Wallace Sean at the Dragon Con parade Saturday morning enjoying it alongside a crowd of people. In the Walk of Fame celebrities frequently come out from behind their tables to meet you or even shake your hand or give you a hug. And many con attendees have stories about bumping into celebrities in the elevators or halls.

In general, for as large as Dragon Con is, the crowds are fairly well controlled. The lines are managed well by volunteers and even fans are helpful in pointing out where the lines start and end. The staggered panel times and line locations allow for smooth loading and unloading of rooms so panels can start on time and participants don't miss out on any of the panels (which is a vast improvement from when I last attended in 2014).
While the crowds in some of the hotel lobbies can be unwieldy and tight at peak times, the people watching is probably the best part. You will see some of the best cosplay ever standing in the lobbies of the host hotels. In addition, you will not only see mainstream know characters but a variety of made up ones as well as pop culture, crossovers, and even popular memes cosplayed as well.There was a group of undercover boss Kylo Ren's from the SNL skit out on Sunday evening.
And this mash up of Yo Quiero Taco Belle?
While the con by and large went very smoothly there was a few things that could be a little better. A lot of the host hotels book up super early. This year there was a debacle about the room rate at the Sheraton after charging attendees full price at the time of booking, they requested additional payment. They later went back and refunded the additional cost, but it was not handled well. In addition, check out on Monday can be a bit of a fiasco. Hotels have different checkout times and don't always allow late checkouts some as early as 11am, and others will only hold up to 7 bags per room.
In addition, this con is truly for the fans.There's no special treatment for the media. They aren't allowed to take pictures in the same areas fans aren't allowed, there's no special access to panels, or areas for media to photograph them, and interview access is dependent on the size of the outlet, certain media venues are held with more esteem than others. We did however get to interview NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman (see that interview here).
This con I spent a fair amount of time in panels for Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and live tweeted many of the panels we attended (check out our Twitter feed #dragoncon). It was fun to hear the actors experiences on set and what they were looking forward to moving forward. I also sat in on Nathan Fillion's panel who is also fun to watch.
We also shared tons of photos of the amazing cosplay around the con. Make sure to check out both our twitter and facebook feeds for all the action. And for all the photos from Dragon Con check out our album here. (Or just watch the slideshow below!)

Overall Dragon Con 2017 was a blast. We saw a ton, slept a little, and enjoyed ourselves a lot. I hope you enjoyed our Dragon Con coverage throughout the weekend and hope to catch you at a con in the future. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I need a nap.

Created with flickr slideshow.