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MomoCon 2018 Post-Show Field Report

Momocon has grown much larger than one would anticipate from its humble beginnings as a free college campus convention. Even if not a part of nerd-culture, Georgians are familiar with the end-of-May convention thanks to the billboards and commercials that herald its return. Aiming to be everyone's favorite convention with its wide array of panels, guests, and events, there's something for everyone at this all-ages convention!

Basic Info

When it Established 2005
Website: http://www.momocon.com
Length of Event 4 days
Usually held at the end of May, this year Momocon was held May 24, 2017 – May 27, 2017
Place/Location Georgia World Congress Center

Cost
  • Thursday: $30
  • Friday: $45
  • Saturday: $50
  • Sunday: $30
  • All four days: $75

If you plan on going for at least two consecutive days, it's better to just buy a badge for the whole weekend especially if you can buy your badge early for only $50.

Hotels The Omni is the main hotel for Momocon where karaoke and some panels can be found. It's a bit pricey but it's so convenient to have quick access to a place to change and your bed now that Momocon is a 24-hour con. It also has a bar perfect for killing time between panels. Just across the street, is the Embassy Suites, which has free breakfast and a Starbucks located on the first floor.



Company/Event Message for Fans/Attendees

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“MomoCon LLC was born from the hard work and dedication of a small group of committed people. Split between anime/manga, gaming, comics and costuming, we strive to bring the very best aspects of these fandoms to our fellow fans. From parents bringing their curious “young’uns” to the most dedicated old-schoolers, everyone is welcome. Based out of Atlanta, extending Southern Hospitality is important to us. We would like everyone to enjoy what we do best: having fun!”

What to Expect

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Expect a little bit of everything. Momocon hopes to appeal to everyone, which is reflected in the variety of their programming. Panels range from cosplay tips, representation in TV shows, charity sing-along events, martial art demos, and guests of the con showing off their skills or otherwise entertaining the crowd. There are a huge amount of games to play and you can enjoy (as of this year) the 24-hour arcade. Perhaps you'd like to battle it up in one of the many video game contests for popular games like Just Dance and Mario Kart or more obscure games like Nitroplus Blasters and Sushi Go! Momocon is also an all-ages convention so they are a bit more stringent than other cons on dress code. There are no 'after-dark' or 18+ panels and it's not uncommon to see whole families cosplaying or sporting fan shirts of their favorite shows.

Most of Momocon is located in the GWCC including the huge Dealers Hall, Artist Ally, and gaming room which are all on the lowest level. Two floors of panel rooms are located above this and are connected with escalators which do a good job of moving people where they need to go without the long lines elevators normally suffer. The CNN center next to the con has a food court with a lot of good options but they do prohibit masks and large props for safety so plan accordingly!

What to Bring in Order to Enjoy the Event

Water – with it being at the start of summer, having some water on hand is a good idea both to combat the sun and dehydration from drinking. Momocon is a party con and while it's pretty reserved, it's always safer to have water on you. There are also several water stations throughout the con, so there's no excuse!

Toiletries – you're going to be in close proximity to a bunch of people so make sure to do your part by wearing deodorant and showering over the weekend.

Snacks – With so many different things to do at Momo, there are certain to be lines worth waiting for. Keep a granola bar or some chex mix with you so you don't need to leave a line for food but you don't risk passing out. Just make sure to pack napkins too so you don't get any controlers greasy!

Hand sanitizer – One of the most fun parts of Momocon is playing games both old and new. Just remember that there are going to be a bunch of people touching the same things so hand sanitizer will be a good defense against con crud.

Card decks – There are lots of opportunities to throw down both officially and just casually with friends, so check out the different card game tournaments happening throughout the weekend.

Dance/rave wear with pockets – The Momocon rave is a blast, but they do not allow bags in, you'll want to keep important stuff on your person.

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What to Do While There/What is Available

While most cons have some sort of musical performance, Momocon always has several video game concerts to help you experience your favorite gaming tunes in a new way! This year had the Capcom Live! concert which featured a full rock orchestra for numerous games. Youtuber Brentafloss graced listeners with his own lyrics to popular video game tracks and OpenWorld on Sunday provided new arrangements of music from games like Metal Gear Solid, Super Mario 64, and Legend of Zelda.

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One of Momocon's biggest selling point is its huge gaming area. With indie games set up right next to the Dealers Room, you can peruse new titles coming out or still in development and test games no one has played yet. Atlanta Unity User Group provided 9 games over the weekend ranging from the simple but quirky Voiceball to the action-packed AR arena shooter Arbiter. The arcade is now open all night which means you don't have to worry about the large crowds if you're a night owl! Dance the night away with Dance Evolution, Pump It Up, and Dance Dance Revolution. There are a number of cabinet games like Tekken, Street Fighter, and Marvel vs Capcom should you wish to duke it out. With many games that are hard to come by outside of Japan, the arcade is a great enough pull for its novelty alone.

This year, Momocon was able to hold a special preview for new seasons of beloved anime FLCL. Along with showing anime both old and new, Momocon's AMV contests are a staple of the con. With 6 different categories, it allows people to show off their creativity by either re-imagining a show or framing it in such a way as to evoke emotion.

The Saturday night rave is one of the most anticipated events at Momocon and every year they get more fun. Tokyo Machine, Delta Heavy, and several others kept the party going until 4 am, which was not an easy endeavor.

Whether you're looking for official merch or a beautiful drawing of your OTP, you can find it in the Dealers Room and Artist Alley! Aesthetic is key here, and there are tons of posters, keychains, and shirts for gaming and anime fans. There's not a lot in the general fashion department compared to other cons, but especially this year, there were a lot of artists selling beautiful original prints and keychains that were lovely to behold. Also located here were huge, gorgeous backdrops perfect for posing in cosplay or fashionable outfits. Might want to bring a ring light, though, as the lighting isn't the best, but the backdrops are so nice you can overlook the lack of natural light.

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Panels can be pretty physical at Momocon from K-pop dance panels, ballroom basics, and martial art demonstrations. Guests usually go beyond general interview panels and get creative with their hour with the fans. Check out fan theories, murder mysteries, and industry panels from Thursday to Sunday afternoon.

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Cosplay

As there is not much focus on fashion guests or events, more people tend to cosplay. Characters from video games and anime are the most prevalent, but there is always a Disney presence. There's even a Disney karaoke contest and what better way to sell your performance than to dress up for it!? Thankfully, the con tends to be pretty air conditioned, so bigger, hotter cosplays are still manageable. Deadpool and Tokyo Ghoul cosplayers may need to consider their food options, though, as no masks are allowed to be worn inside the food court of the CNN center, otherwise it's free reign.

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Final Thoughts

Momocon is a great convention to bring newcomers to since it's not too crowded and there's something for everyone to do; be that learn the behind the scenes of their favorite shows, shopping for merchandise or playing games they've never played before. The karaoke events are also a lot of fun whether you want to sing Disney princess songs or rock out to anime OPs. An interesting note is that Momo tends to book guests that have worked with each other rather than one person per popular current game so you get people that like to play off of each other and it makes fan meets more fun. If you weren't one of the 3,500+ that went this year, keep an eye out for it next year!

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Writer

Author: May

Hey friends! I reside in Georgia and use my degree in Japanese primarily to (barely) read doujinshi that hasn’t been translated. Beyond deciding who is best girl in whatever I happen to be watching, I really enjoy ballroom dancing, reading, crying over dating sims, karaoke, and being surrounded by beautiful things~ (You know, scenery, décor, boys, stuff like that). I also love talking about passions with others!

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