A few weeks ago, the kids and I packed into the mini van and headed two hours across the Florida Peninsula to Mega Con Tampa Bay. The folks at Mega Con were kind enough to grant us a press pass, so we wanted to drop this review of the con for our readers
Mega Con Tampa Bay is a large con. Over the weekend, they did about 30,000 fans and guests. Hosted at the Tampa Bay Convention Center, right on the water, its a beautiful location and a great space to host a con. There was plenty of walking space inside the venue and beautiful views outside if you needed to take a break. Food trucks were lined outside the convention center offering a variety of foods to try if you wanted to avoid the fried food offerings inside.
The Badge Process
If you have read our reviews before, you know the one thing that can sink the boat of a con goer is the badge process. Often times, the process is so lengthy and tedious, it takes away any excitement you may have had attending the con. We were fortunate to have Press passes and that process was super smooth. I am happy to report tho, fan badge process was smooth as well. Lines were not too long and the wait was short. MegaCon Tampa Bay did a great job of getting the word out to pick up badges early and fans listened. There was some hold up for "weapon" checks for cosplayers, but nothing significant. A great badge process overall!
The Guest List
The Guest List for MegaCon Tampa Bay was awesome. I mean really awesome. You could have your pick in the world of tv, sci-fi/ movies.. there was someone there you probably have seen before. From Fonzie, to Levar Burton, to David Tennant, to Neville Longbottom.... An absolute great guest list and from the looks of the autograph lines and photo ops, fans thought so too. I was able to meet "Stewart" from the Big Bang Theory and he seemed like a really nice guy!
On top of the celebrity guest lists, the comic book guest list was also outstanding. Even tho I am not a fan, Rob Liefeld had a long line at his table all day for his fans.
The Cosplay was outstanding! People really went all out. I am not a huge fan of Harley Quinn the character, but she has inspired some great cosplay. Check out my Flickr page for Cosplayers at the event!
|see the guy looking|
Vendors were all over the convention floor. If there was something you really wanted, you could find it at Mega Con Tampa Bay. The issue, as with every con, is the prices. Vendors often ramp up the prices and people often get gouged for items they might be able to find cheaper someplace else. Not all vendors, tho as my kids were able to get a many Lego figures for a great deal from a vendor on the floor.
For such a large con, Mega Con Tampa Bay was very kid friendly. My kids are 11 and 10 and at no point did I feel the environment was unsafe. Cosplayers were respectful in their dress out in public and activities that were 18 and above were placed in areas that were far away from the main floor.
This was a great con. I mean really great! I was able to pick up a 2nd Press Pass and meet with Brothascomics contributor Sandman at the event. We had a great time on the floor with the vendors, looking for hidden treasures with toys, and geeking out over some of our favorite characters. If you live in any portion of Florida or in Atlanta, Georgia and all cities south of Atlanta, this is a great con for you to attend. The con size will not overwhelm you and they really picked a great venue to host the event.