Two weekends ago I attended Treasure Coast Comic Con. Even though it is called a comic con, it is really a mixed genre con. This type of convention is always interesting and often times, a hot mess. Treasure Coast Comic Con (TCCC) had celebrities, vendors, cosplay, board gaming, panels, and a very small amount of actual comics. This was the second year of TCCC, and my daughter (Victoria) and I were very excited to go and see what it was about and what could be done to maybe improve the con over time, and to hang out with some of our friends in the board gaming community.
The first thing that raised a little flag for me with this con was the website, it was horrible. More and more we are seeing that a good website is like a good business card; it’s the first impression that potential attendees get of the event. The second thing that was frustrating was labeling and signage. The schedule for the event was a piece of paper that was only done in black and white, and it had very little information. There was also confusion with the attendees and exhibitors over what the hours of operation were for the event. TCCC also had celebrity guests, and they were pretty good names, considering Port St. Lucie is not a major city. That said, there weren’t clear postings of when they were going to be at their tables. The panel times were not posted, nor was there a list of what panels were happening. Generally, cons where there is cosplay, there is a contest of some sort. I never knew if there was a Cosplay contest or not, again events were not well labeled. Additionally, staff for the con weren’t easily distinguished from the rest of the crowd. Just like the schedule, the badges were printed in black and white and had no names.
Despite the bad website, lack of labeling and scheduling info, there were a lot of great things about the weekend. The con was held at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center, this was a huge plus. The venue was absolutely beautiful. The one thing that was interesting was that the civic center is really more of a community center. There were other activities going on at the same time, which not being a local, was neat to see. This did, however, cause a little confusion with people wondering about the facility, and distinguishing between which people were there for the community center and who was there for the con.
Cosplay was definitely welcomed at this convention. There were some fantastic costumes and you could tell that attendees had as much fun looking at those wearing them, as those that created them were having. Everyone that I encountered that was participating was super friendly and didn’t mind stopping for pictures, or talking about their costumes.
Vendors, vendors, vendors… From Pokémon to Potter and everything in between, you could find something from your genre. There were only two real comic book retail vendors, which I thought was interesting, since it was a “comic con.” Most vendors were selling items at reasonable rates, making their wares available to the average attendee. I want to share two exhibitors that I was especially excited about. The first is, Screech Dragon Studios with their awesome new dice alternative: Loaded Dice. This is a pint glass set that, on the back, has 1 – 20 just like on a d20. You take a drink and look at the number and that is your roll. The idea is ingenious, and at the time of this post the item is live on Kickstarter. My next favorite was from the comic genre, an indie company called A.L.Ex. Their new comic MANIA 001: The Shift, is available for purchase online now. They were super cool guys, and I can’t wait to see all the great things they are going to do.
Board gaming made a definite presence and impact at TCCC. There were tournaments, an UNPUB event, publishers, designers, and podcasters. It was great to see all the people and play all the games. Letting more of the general public in on the AMAZING hobby of board gaming was really fun. There were also play to win games and prototypes for you to check out. This area definitely has room for lots of growth.
I can’t share with you what the final numbers were for this convention. I was told that thousands of tickets were sold, but it never seemed like there were more than about 600 people in the building. The attendees in their late teens seemed to be having the most fun hanging out with friends. A few families were overheard saying that it was something to do, and that they at least got out of the house. This event has potential, if the owners decide to promote it and target a crowd to promote to. Also, if they can find more ways to keep people in the door for longer amounts of time, it would greatly help their relationship with vendors. Overall, it was a really fun weekend.
Have you ever been to a con that wasn’t what you thought it was going to be, or didn’t quite live up to your expectation? I would love to hear about it. 🙂
Until we CONnect again!