To wit, I have only had one experience with a convention before—and I spent the entire time under a table (more on this later)—so I cannot say that I have much of an idea for exactly what a convention should be like. This said, I am still going to be a little bit hypercritical of some of the more major faults that fell out; but I am overall pleased with Anizona ’09 and I really hope to see them again.
The schedule and programming were hell to find especially on the web pages. None of the navigation took us anywhere we expected to go, and no information was forthcoming. In fact, this became quite a bear and possibly wrecked a lot of the events at the con due to people being unable to find them…but it gets worse…
The schedule and programming booklets were alphabetically sorted! In the immortal words of our ferret, “Because we encounter events in alphabetical order in real life rather than chronological, I like all of my schedules to be alphabetized.” This rendered the booklets pretty much useless to the con-goers except as amusing distractions whist looking up events we might want to see, but quickly discovered we either missed or had to miss to see something else (which we only barely discovered later by flipping to another letter.)
As for organizing and actual programming that was wonderful. There were a number of excellent panels, events, and random nonsense going on that managed to fill out the days with good cheer. I didn’t get a chance to go to most of them, but instead rather enjoyed mingling with all the other characters.
The registration fee ($20) was amazingly acceptable and absolutely wonderful, and in fact rather makes up for the programming issues. This particular cheap cost made it a lot more permissible to actually show up, and be part of the con culture.
All this said. There is no Anizona next year.
According to many of my friends this event was much better organized and run than any before it—even with all its faults—and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. (If for no other reason than someone, whom I adore for this, decided to come and cosplay as Vex Harrow. She made the con one of the best events I’ve ever been to in my life.)