Saikoucon. It means "best convention" and is the newest convention to the northeast held in the state of Pennsylvania. This year it was located just a few minutes outside of the city Allentown in the town of Breiningsville at the Holiday Inn Conference Center.
Now I will say this, if it weren't for getting press badges, I probably would not have registered for this convention due to the at door price being a steep amount for a first convention. Asking for $75 for a weekend pass was a ridiculous amount, but after interviewing the convention head, it made a little more sense(which we'll touch on that later).
Anyway, after finding the table, there was a lone staffer who seemed confused when we mentioned our press badges. We ended up waiting for the con chair to show up and he gladly resolved the problem. It still would have been nice to have a few more people maning the table than one person(who didn't really seem to know what to do).
Badges all accounted for, we also received a flyer-like piece of paper of the events taking place that day. No map, no indication as to where/what rooms they were being held, just a "hey this panel is at this time!" and that's it. There were also large gaps of time when absolutely no panels were going on, so there was a time when we had to sit there for two hours occupying ourselves until the next one started.
The only thing within visual contact was the Dealer's Room/Artist Alley room. Not many actual vendors(and the ones there had mostly bootleg merchandise, which it's to be expected for a first year convention)but a very nice variety of artists, some of which we befriended and hung out with for most of the convention. If it weren't for the friends we made there, we probably wouldn't have bothered to go all three days to be honest. Anyway, the vendor area was a decent size so I'll give it that much(no having to maneuver around people and such).
Now with the interview with the con chair, did explain most(and lack thereof) of the concerns that we had. Pretty much, in his words, "Anything that could go wrong before a convention, did." Most of their staff(which there seemed to be none, people could literally walk in and out of the convention and badges were not being checked)had bailed on them last minute, the printers for the program book broke down, and the conference center in general were starting to give them a hard time(which is why they had to jack the registration price up so high). It was nice to hear the "official" side as to why things were the way they turned out, and gave us some closure on questions/concerns.
All in all it was more of a "hang out" convention and it was nice for being a first year convention, despite most of the negative things. The people there, as I stated before, pretty much made the convention for us.
With that said, I would give Saikoucon a rating of 6.5/10. Let's hope they have better luck next year and have an even bigger turn out!