Katsucon wasn’t always held at the awesome Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington DC. This is the reason why our attendance in 2017 was a first return after a 10 year break at avoiding it since we attended it first in 2007. Simply put, it was a crappy experience in 2007 when Katsucon was held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in DC.
However many years it took them from then to relocate, and the amount of effort it took to change hands, we are glad that they did. Even more glad that we gave Katsu another chance after hearing so many good things from the Con community about it over the years since they relocated.
The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is such a great place to hold an anime convention in with its brightly lit interior, wide open spaces, and an atrium with a ceiling height that spans the top of a skyscraper needed to give a crowd of colorful cosplayers the ability to never feel claustrophobic.
The organization of the convention itself was pretty spot on and well coordinated, at least from our experience attending as PRESS. There was no hassle at picking up the badges, and help was easy to get from the staff. They also based all their business-related logistics in an area away from the main crowd spaces so that anyone who needs help won’t have to trudge through its thousands of costumed attendees.
For media-related activities though, such as professional photographers and videography, daytime shoots outside the convention center is where you will find the space you need to get the best shots as the interior, as spacious as it may be for people to freely walk around in, is not so spacious for taking your time with well aimed camera shots.
The food scene inside the convention center is also not to be relied on. The bar by the atrium and hotel service provides neither cheap nor enjoyable sustenance to consume, by any geek standards. It’s best to buy your group or yourself something to eat from neighboring businesses outside.
The Cosplay scene also brought in many of the heavy hitters in the community with the likes of Jessica Nigri and Stella Chu freely walking around for their fans to approach and greet. The industry panels were especially nice with several community-based topics being discussed and explored in detail.
If our 2017 experience of Katsucon is any measure of how they’ve been running their convention, it’s no wonder this has become one of the most popular Anime Cons to attend to at the start of the year. We are definitely looking forward to attending Katsucon 2018 as well… this time better prepared with more ideal locations shoots, and food. Righteous, delicious, nutritious food.
KATSUCON 2018 is also being held at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center in Washington DC on February 16-18.