FandomFest Review

Ah, so I am back from a long weekend at FandomFest and wanted to give a rundown of my thoughts about it.

First and foremost, the literary panels were amazing and ran like clockwork. They were all very helpful and entertaining. It was a well-run series of panels that covered some great topics like Short Fiction Techniques, Fight Scenes in Fiction, Finding Writing Opportunities, etc.  The panels were run by some amazing authors and every single one of them was friendly and eager to talk. I cannot recommend the literary panel (organized by the very talented Stephen Zimmer) enough.

However, the rest of the convention was a disaster. When my group arrived Thursday night we headed to our room. The hallway outside our room had the heat blowing out at full blast, that hallway had to be easily over 100 degrees. We told the front desk and were moved.

Friday morning we get up with no idea where anything is. We walked around the hotel for a bit looking for where to register but gave up and went out shopping instead. We finally found where to register (which was across the street in a building we had no idea was connected to anything) but were told we had to wait for VIP check in to end. So we sat and waited for around 30 minutes before checking in. We were given wristbands that we were suppose to keep on all weekend. Ha.

There was a dealer’s room in the registration building which consisted of mainly horror themed items. This is also the building where all the guests were, which means that the vast majority of people had no idea that the building where the authors were even existed.

Now, where the biggest fail was, was in the fact that there was no AC in the area where the authors were and it was in the area where the indoor pool was. So heat + humidity = torture. It was horrible to just walk around there, no one wanted to be there, and the hotel didn’t even work to provide water to anyone. Friday night we spent at the bar, it took over 20 minutes to get a drink and then we sat at a dirty table because there was a total lack of help.

Saturday morning, some fans were brought in which made the area a little cooler and more tolerable Again, the panels were excellent. We spent the day gaming and talking with a wide variety of people. When evening came, we dolled up for a Masquerade ball we’d been hearing about.  We got there only to see it’s actually more just a band playing. The band was good, but it was hard to really anything in the area it was in. All of a sudden, the cops showed up and that was the end of that. No idea what happened, all I know is cops told us to please leave. So we did.

Sunday morning, we hit a few more panels and then said our goodbyes and began the 8-9ish hour drive home.

All in all, the literary panels were awesome but the lack of organization and the poor hotel choice (thought I have heard it will be at a different location next year) have made me doubt I will attend again. It’s a long drive for something of a disappointment.


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