This review is going up today after I was a zombie yesterday. ; P Now that I’m functional, the interview can wait.
First and foremost, I will admit I had a very negative experience last year at this convention and wasn’t planning on returning, but my friends managed to snag an Artist Alley booth and asked me to work for them. Thus, I went. ; P
Nan Desu Kan did manage to get some things right this year. Artist Alley was a lot more organized and easier to navigate than it has been in a long time, they had people guarding the elevators to make sure they weren’t getting too crammed and thus keeping them running all weekend, and another big kudos to the EMT team on the 5th floor in the hotel. They were awesome, friendly, and exceptionally helpful all convention. The attendance cap was handled decently, but I think NDK is just too big for its staff at this point.
Now then, the hotel needs to pull their heads out of their asses, though. The charging of Wi-Fi at $13 a day, plus any electronics using power in the Artist Alley at $75 a day was ridiculous. Parking at $10 a day got asinine as well. Plus the small staff at Starbucks causing a 30 minute wait in line is silly; you knew it was coming, staff accordingly.
And whomever thought the autograph signing on the 5th floor of the hotel was a good idea needs to be slapped. That was the dumbest thing I have EVER encountered at a convention. Not only was it obnoxious if you had a room on the 5th floor to push through people, but that was a HUGE fire hazard if I ever saw one. Too many people, not enough staffers making sure they weren’t acting idiotic.
I heard about the long lines everywhere, but never experienced them myself as I was busy most con. I didn’t attend any photoshoots, but heard that they were organized to meet inside and then head outside in a group, which makes sense.
Overall, the convention is just too big for the hotel and its staff, and this year ultimately proved it. NDK needs to move to a different location, contractual obligations be damned. I only plan on attending again if my friends work Artist Alley once more, otherwise my money and time will be going elsewhere… to more spacious and organized conventions.