Ok, finally made it to my first Con-Nooga and thought I'd share some initial impressions.
Fist, this has the potential to be a really great con. It really mixes the genres of fandom quite well. Lots of scifi , anime and even a few random independent,but still recognizable fandoms.I'd imagine that in a few more years this con could be huge.Like Dragon Con about 20 years ago huge.
Second, they did a great job mixing interests with panels and even had plenty on hands on projects specifically for the kiddies. Once again, as it grows,I'd imagine this con could attract more of the bigger names of celebrity from the sci-fi and anime world. Right now,there really wasn't any guest speakers I cared to see.
The host hotel is decent with plenty of eating choices on site. But being a historic hotel, it's also quite popular for tourists. So be prepared to get plenty of weird stares from travelers who are unaware of the con.
The con Staff was also great. They seemed much more relaxed than others that I've encountered at other cons. As long as you weren't blatantly breaking the rules,they pretty much let you do your own thing. Now there were a few exceptions, a foam sword needing peacebonded....really?? :-\ But overall,they seemed to be there to have just as much of a good time as the con goers.
Now for my complaint. Con-Nooga why you be so spread out??XD Seriously, I must've walked 50 miles a day. The dealers room is all the way across the back parking lot, some panels are across the entry in a separate building and some are in the main hotel. Then the hotel rooms Are also separate from the main building as well. LOT of outdoor walking....in Cosplay shoes. This con would likely be a bit of a disaster if the weather wasn't favorable. Now they did have shuttle buses running the entire lot, but if you know cosplayers,you know we likely won't wait around for a shuttle and getting on and off such buses while in Cosplay can also be difficult.
I read on the back of the registration book that this con will be expanding to the convention center next year. However, it stated that the ChooChoo would still be the host hotel with the exhibitors hall expanding into the convention center. So the way I read this, and I hope I'm wrong, is that the panels will still be at the ChooChoo and the exhibitors hall will be off property at the convention center. Which you'll reach via bus. I do hope I'm wrong as this could be disastrous for the vendors. While the current location is a bit of a hike,you could still visit it several times throughout the day. But how many people are going to hop on a bus more than once...maybe twice. And some people's cosplays simply don't allow for them to get on a bus. As I said, I hope it's just printed incorrectly. I'll definitely be looking forward to seeing how this developes by next year.