IncreaseBlue’s Saboten-Con Re-cap

4 10 2011

The 2011 Saboten-Con occurred over the weekend in Phoenix at the Squaw Peak Hilton Resort. The event played host to numerous voice actors such as Sean Schemmel, Reuben Langdon, and Johnny Yong Bosch, as well as offered up a fair amount of panels and activities for attendees.

Not only were there tons of anime events to attend, but also steampunk, gaming and various other genres were present in the programming. The Pause Button’s own IncreaseBlue was able to attend Saboten and offers her thoughts below about how it went.

IncreaseBlue-

Going into Saboten-Con I had low expectations because the last time I had attended the convention it was 2009 when hundreds of attendees were shoved into the smaller space of the Phoenix-East Mesa Hilton hotel and panels consistently overran time and were overpacked. Once again I seem to have redeemed my poor luck in going to a Saboten convention that seems more than ready to outgrow its location, which was extremely apparent during the three days the event took place.

Logistics and Space-

The wonderful topic that always sounds boring but is indeed a central piece of how well a convention can run. While this year Saboten had alot more space in the resort as opposed to the East-Mesa Hilton, the layout was still confusing and stuffed with con-goers.

The panels were spread across the bottom floor of the convention center, the third floor of the building, and across the parking lot to a second building, all of which were not directly connected or had only four elevators spread across the area to utilize. This worked in favor for a few panels, but for the most part was just plain irritating and disorienting; even finding the vendor hall at times was difficult when navigating the place.

However, the timing of events and panels were much better scheduled and in a few instances did anything go egregiously over its scheduled time. Panels weren’t spaced right on top of each other as far as time went and there were even “buffer” areas for panelists to set up and attendees to take a breather.

Attendees-

Despite the lack of space, most of the attendees followed suit with Phoenix Comicon in that they were polite, friendly, and had fun. Most of the cosplayers responded great when I snapped photos and took video and it appeared that everyone was enjoying themselves to the fullest over the weekend.

Most of the guests were very entertaining and on-point during their events throughout the con.

It was also a bummer that Troy Baker was unable to attend, but the rest of the guests were very friendly and upbeat with the convention-goers. During a few panels that were specific to a certain topic, most of the guest panelists made it a point to not stray too far off with questions not related to the panel, which was appreciated.

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