Dragoncon is the largest multi-media convention on the east coast. Featuring guests from television, movies, comic books and all forms of media, over 30,000 fans swarm on the city of Atlanta, Georgia for one weekend out of the year. Some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry are invited to the convention to host panels, sign autographs, and meet with fans.
Dragoncon is truly a convention for everyone. Hitting all genres from sci-fi to fantasy to anime, there is sure to be something there that every person can enjoy. Whether you are a fan of the hit shows "Doctor Who", "Once upon a Time", "Grimm", "Star Trek" or want to see guests from hit movies such as "Ghostbusters" this is the convention to attend. If your focus is going to panels, there is no shortage of both fan run panels as well as main events featuring the industry's top names. Spread across the five main hotels, panels rooms are located on several levels of each building. If you are a fan of many genres, you will undoubtedly have to make sacrifices in your choices of what to attend because of the sheer amount available. Also, be prepared for lines because there are thousands of others that also want to see those same events. Depending on the guest, lines for events could flow through the hallway of the hotel and out the doors to stretch around the building. Many people get in line two hours before the event is scheduled to start in order to secure their place inside of the room. The biggest room is the main ballroom of the Marriott, which featured such guests as John Barrowman and Lucy Lawless.
If costumes are what you attend the convention for, then there is no shortage of those to see. There isn't another convention on the coast where you can see such a high number, a wide variety, and an impressive level of workmanship when it comes to cosplay. There are many panels that teach cosplayers the tips and tricks of things such as armor, leather working and even lighting. There are also costume contests throughout the weekend that focus on craftsmanship. The Sunday night Masquerade is the biggest of those events, giving contestants a chance to perform a short 90 second skit that best shows off their costume. Some skits were dramatic while others took a more comedic or musical route. Anything from original designs to costumes from "Game of Thrones" and "Bioshock" were displayed for the audience. The event was even broadcasted to all of the main hotels through DragonTV.
If you go for the party, Dragoncon is a non-stop socializing event. There are various parties throughout the weekend, and the hotel bars are always packed. Small mini-bars are even placed on every floor of each host hotel, allowing a continuous flow of drinks to con attendees. A dull roar can be heard through the many levels of the Marriott hotel late into the night as people enjoy the after dark festivities.
In short, Dragoncon is the kind of convention that you want it to be. No matter what your reason for attending, you'll find something to do. There is never a dull moment when it comes to the east coasts biggest convention. Be prepared to not see everything you want to do. Many times throughout the weekend the walkways between the Marriott and the Hyatt were shut down and alternate routes had to be taken to travel between the two hotels. This could prove problematic for those that wanted to rush last minute to a panel. Make sure you plan ahead. Don't expect to get anywhere quickly because there are thousands of people standing in your way. Use the Dragoncon mobile app to plan out your day and stay on top of your favorite events. Don't let the general lack of phone signal deter you. Atlanta is a black hole for reception, often causing phone batteries to drain quickly, so make sure to carry a charger with you wherever you go. You never know when a convenient plug might be the difference between a dead battery and keeping in contact with friends. Stay hydrated and don't forget that no matter how hard you want to party, sleep is still important and so is food. No convention is fun if you end up in the hospital.
For more information on Dragoncon and to keep track of what the convention will be doing in 2014, visit their website at: http://www.dragoncon.org