Orobouros.net @ Ohayocon 5
Location: Columbus, OH
Venue: Hyatt Regency Columbus & Columbus Convention Center
Date: January 14th - 16th, 2005
Attendance: ~ 5000
Photos: 376
Movies: 1

Ohayocon returned to the Columbus Convention Center for the third year in a row. This location would serve any convention well. Three hotels are directly connected to the convention center building, with a score of other hotels only a short walking distance away. A large food court sits directly adjacent to the main hotel's convention area, with plenty of foods and tables awaiting hungry attendees. Coming from the hotel side, the convention center appears deceptively small. Several large ballrooms and a few smaller panel rooms are found in the front of the convention center; going past this front area, a wide, glass-enclosed hallway leads to the main part of the convention center, numerous huge exhibition halls and smaller meeting rooms. Growing each year, Ohayocon has started to encroach on the larger exhibition halls to provide space for the main events.

In addition to the above-mentioned food court, the Columbus Convention Center is well suited for conventions in general. The wide -- very wide -- hallways allow plenty of room for people to stop and talk, photographers to take pictures, and everybody to get from one place to another. Even so, they do get crowded from time to time with all the attendees there going from place to place. While I generally much prefer linear convention center layouts, the hotel section of the convention center works pretty well. The main upper hallway has stairs down to the lower meeting rooms, two hallways featuring video and game rooms to one side, and another hall leading to the dealer's room on the other. Stairs and escalators to the food court, main ballroom, and coffee shop are at one end, with a spacious walkway to the convention center ballrooms at the other. It's all very nice and centralized without being too crowded. An additional bonus: the convention center space is enormous, larger even than the Baltimore Convention Center which houses Otakon and it's twenty-two thousand attendees. There is plenty of room for growth if Ohayocon keeps growing, expanding, and improving.

While there are many conventions on the east coast, the mid-west has conventions spread out over wider geographical areas. Lying in just the right place to attract people from both the coastal areas and far inland, Ohayocon has a fairly unique demographic and feel. There's a lot of diverse programming for all kinds of different interests, though people seem to be there for Ohayocon itself, not necessarily a particular guest or meeting. Overall, people seem to just be friendly and happy to be there. Many attendees seem to focus on only a very few conventions a year and look forward to Ohayocon all year. But even many "touring" convention attendees look forward to Ohayocon, so they must be doing something right.

Again this year, my report of Ohayocon has to be from the Staff perspective. This year, I assisted with running the cosplay. After four years of being involved with it, I'd like to think I've learned some tricks and tips to make everything move smoothly. Communication is always a problem, and once everybody tries to talk at once, chaos can soon follow. Luckily, though, I think the cosplayers managed to come though it all without any major problems. Judging ran late again, for the same reason. Too many good costumes and cosplayers with so much to tell about their work, but only so much time to do it all.

The hardest part was of course actually getting the masquerade competition underway. The hallway we could use was very hot in one section, and very cold in another. But through it all, the cosplayers were patient and understanding. When I had a chance to take a break for a moment, somebody told me, "It's so good you're upbeat and friendly about this! It makes us worry less." Well, inside, I was bouncing off the walls, but I'm glad on the outside I was still helpful and approachable.

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Photos & content 2005 Oliver Oberg