This has been about the fourth year that I’ve gone to the Supercon in Miami. The first four times, you could see the growth until last year, they grew out of the location they had been at for years and they needed someplace that was bigger. This year, they moved to the Miami Beach Convention Center. They were able to bring in big names in Comic books, wrestlers, actors and other people in the sci-fi world. From last year to this year, they made a lot of improvements and still need help in others.
Let’s start with what almost everyone who comes to a convention deals with, traffic and parking. Now, I’ll say that this issue was far better than it was last year. But again, there were backups. I took the interstate in and went on main roads to get to the convention center when I got close. As I got close, you could see the backup start. I got stuck waiting around 9:45ish, and didn’t get parked until about 10:30ish. This can’t be blamed fully on those who were running the convention because from what I could see, it looks a little like the streets around were not designed to have a mass of people come in at once. But they could have had someone directing the traffic close to the parking areas to keep things moving.
Once I got inside, I could see a big improvement. Last year, I could barely move in the isles trying to get to someone or somewhere. This year, they had a lot more space and it was used well. You could move around, get up to tables and get your autographs and talk to the people. Also, last year, it was hot in the dealer room because the AC wasn’t working either at all or not up to the level needed. At this convention center, the AC did what it was supposed to, you stayed cool but not too hot or cold.
There may have been one or two instances where I’ve gone to a convention and did not have a positive experience with a celebrity. This year, there were no issues at all. I talked with the usuals in my area, Allan Bellman, Jose Delbo and George Perez, they are always willing to talk and tell you stories. This year, there were more big name wrestlers and comic book people. I had the chance to talk to Jerry “The King” Lawler and Ted Dibiase Sr. Both were very approachable. Now, I have to admit, there was one person I geeked out for, Caroll Spinney is the muppeteer for Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. When I was talking to him, my son was looking at me like, “Dad, you’re embarrassing me.” What can I say, I couldn’t help it. But he was also approachable and looked like he was enjoying the attention.
Now, I did have a chance to talk to a person who ran a panel and he had a different story. From what he told me, if you host three panels, you get a full pass. But since he was hosting only one, he had to pay for his ticket and parking. He wasn’t too happy about it; I haven’t had a chance to talk to management. What I can report is that I too had an issue getting my media pass. So overall, there are still areas that need work but some major areas have been addressed. In my humble opinion, go next year and we should see more areas get better. I give this 4 caps out of 5.