Convention Review: Baltimore Comic Con 2016

Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Website: www.BaltimoreComicCon.com

The Baltimore Convention Center once again hosted the annual Baltimore Comic Con this past weekend. With a reputation as a convention primarily focused on comics and the comic industry, it traditionally has a good turnout of both guests and fans alike. I had the opportunity to spend a couple days at the show this year and wanted to share a little about my experiences. Check out my thoughts on the show, as well as some pictures from the event below.

Pre-Show:

I followed the show across social media platforms for updates throughout the year. The first wave of guests for the show were announced mid-April, and updates were made regularly from that point on. Up until the week of the show new guests were being added, which is exciting as a fan. While I do enjoy pouring over guest lists, I do appreciate the convention websites that offer a “Recently Added” section for quick searches. With such an extensive list of participants every year, I think it would be something nice for the show to consider for future conventions.

The Venue/Staff:

I arrived at the show a bit late on Friday, so things were well underway when I reached the convention center. The staff checking badges & wristbands at the door were visibly tired, but couldn’t have been nicer and more helpful. Upon entering I found the ticket windows to be well advertised, but I didn’t notice any signs directing attendees to the show floor. I had to walk around a bit before I found the main show floor, and would have liked to see a little more guidance for fans. The Baltimore Convention Center is a perfect location for the show as it is a beautiful location and the building is more than big enough to hold the event. The show organizers utilized the space well, which always enhances the convention experience for attendees. The main show floor was easy to maneuver and despite the large number of vendors and guests present, it was pretty easy to remember where everything was and the best routes to get there. Aisles were spaced to allow traffic in both directions, all while leaving room for guests to stop at booths for a closer look at things. There were plenty of volunteers on the floor and most were very knowledgeable about guest locations. Some of the more popular guests had lines that got out of control at times. It would have been nice to have volunteers help organize those situations but I found the creators and fans figuring things out for themselves for the most part. Multiple snack options were available to fans both indoors and outdoors and there were plenty of ATMs in the building to accommodate all of the attendees.

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Guest List:

Headlined by their 2016 guest of honor, Kevin Eastman, the 2016 Baltimore Comic con hosted over 350 artists established and amateur artists. The show provided a nice mix of talent ranging from silver age creators to creators on current titles. There was a whole section of the show floor dedicated to children’s creators. My highest score goes to the guest list convention organizers were able to assemble. This was my third time attending this show and it has never disappointed in this area. You can check out the full list of guests through their website at wwwbaltimorecomiccon.com.

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Exibitors/Vendors:

Rarely these days can I say that a COMIC convention had as many or more comic vendors as they do toys, games other obscure vendors. This show definitely had a nice balance between the two, and may have even leaned in favor of comics. The regulars that you see at almost every other show were there, but I also met some vendors that I had never come across before. There was overpriced stuff in every booth you walked into, but that’s not unusual at a convention. What I did find unique was the willingness of the vendors to work with attendees on prices. ON the last day of the show almost every booth was running some type of sale, some as high as 50%. I’m very picky with what I purchase at shows and I had a great shopping experience. That can’t be said for every show.

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Final Verdict:

Overall, I had a terrific experience during my time at the convention and would recommend it to anyone thinking of making the trip. Not only is it a great show, the surrounding attractions make for a wonderful weekend getaway. I look forward to seeing  what Baltimore has in store for the future.

 

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