The first Saboten Con I went to was back in 2010. I will hook you guys up with amazing flashback pictures.
Yeah, that was me at my first convention.
Obviously, a lot has changed since then. Not just my aspirations, dreams, and goals, but my hair as well!
Anyways, I attended Saboten Con back when it was in Mesa and then for one more year when it was held at the Renaissance at Westgate. It felt like “more of the same” – especially since back then I would attend as many conventions in the state of Arizona as possible.
The goal this time was to provide photographs for Bros N Cons. I’m playing with the idea that I can use Mediasmith as my portfolio for weddings, anniversaries, corporate, etc. photography, but I can still join on with another company/business to diversify my portfolio without having to “make space” for it here at Mediasmith.
So, although I was at Saboten Con to take pictures, assist in pulling aside cosplayers for the video Bros N Cons were making, and just to have fun, I wanted to review the event as a whole.
As such, here are some three negative first impressions I had.
First, the lighting in the vendor hall was unquestionably bad. I don’t like tossing blame around. It could have been the organizers (Saboten Con) or the venue (Sheraton). It doesn’t really matter who “gets” the blame. The fact is that the lighting is bad and what’s done is done. It is an issue that I wanted to bring up in my post because I hope that, maybe, in the future it will be addressed.
Second, the lines in the lobby need to be spread out more appropriately. I can certainly imagine that this was the best they could do based on the restrictions from the venue. But if they could bargain for more room in the lobby area, that would be fantastic. It was such a struggle trying to get passes, pay for parking, and go up to the second floor all in one area.
Finally, there needs to be MORE “meat” to certain panels. I have been complaining (to my brothers) about this for years. There are far too many panels being given to people who download YouTube videos, play them to an audience, and then leave after an hour. Panels are an excellent opportunity to convey information about a topic to the audience. Essentially, a bar needs to be raised for certain panels. Any panels regarding music are usually YouTube videos saying, “You should enjoy this song!”
It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t outweigh the negatives with the positives, so here are three positive initial impressions I had of the convention.
First, it was cleanly. That is a major plus and a positive of holding it in a hotel venue. I go to many festivals and events in a year. The thing with conventions is that they are always on par with the likes of weddings when it comes to cleanliness. It is very much appreciated from a con-goer perspective and, presumably, the staff as wel.
Second, ample amount of room to move on the second floor. Although I feel like there should have been more seating available, I never felt compact in the convention space on the second floor. I generally felt safe walking around. Not “safe” in the sense that I would be robbed, but “safe” in the sense that I wouldn’t trip over anyone or keep walking into people. This is also a huge plus for videographers and photographers looking to take pictures of cosplayers.
Third, the convenience of the location. You’ve got restaurants all around. It is located in the middle of all the towns. So, it’s not really close to the people in Chandler and it’s not really close to the people in Surprise. It’s a fair distance drive for everyone which means it’s easier to access for people all around the valley!
Overall, I’d say any convention can’t be a perfect 10/10. I’m not going to begin to give events I go to an arbitrary number to rate them by, but I think you’d get the gist that 10/10 is perfection whereas 0/10 would be something I would never, ever attend again. Now, if I do have to rate something, it’ll either be a perfect or bad score. If not, I imagine the score would be somewhere, arbitrarily, in-between.
Ultimately, I am not here just to rate a convention – I want to tell you all about the photographs I took. For the next seven days, I will post a photograph a day of my favorite shot and why it was my favorite. I’ll explain the settings and composition of each shot as well. Hopefully, this will help aspiring photographers learn from my mistakes and my successes.
Thank you all so much for reading.