Hopefully you didn’t plan on arriving late to the Wondercon 2017 Talk Back panel, as it clocked in just under ten minutes this year!

One of the last panels of the convention, Comic Con International affords attendees the opportunity to give praise, criticism, and suggestions for the years to come directly to the source. John Rogers, from Comic Con International, was on hand to take notes for future presentation to CCI members.

The Good

Following San Diego Comic Con’s lead, this was the first year that Wondercon badges were mailed out ahead of time to attendees and that was greatly appreciated, as well as the convention’s return to Anaheim.

The accessibility for handicapped attendees, as well as the services provided, was also praised for how line and crowd management is handled for both Wondercon and SDCC. Along with that, many of the attendees at the panel lauded the layout of the exhibit floor. There was space to maneuver around, to stop and look at things, and it never felt too claustrophobic. The space given to Artists’ Alley was also welcome.

Specific panels that were given a shoutout as being particularly impressive were the Jack Kirby panel, the Showrunner panel, the Making a Nerdy Living panel, and the Nerdist panel. All of them felt like professionals having knowledgeable, insight-filled discussions with the audience and they were very much appreciated.

The Bad

While the logistics inside the Anaheim Convention Center were handled well, many of the attendees at the Talk Back panel voiced issues with some of the areas surrounding the convention center. Mainly it was an issue with the Arena area, where no one was there to direct the crowds when exiting. It took some attendees a while to figure out how to get to the parking garages, while others were forced to simply follow the crowd.

There also seemed to be some miscommunications with directions. One attendee came into the convention off of Harbor and got stuck between the two hotels there, as it wasn’t clear that they were no longer able to park in the hotel lots anymore.

It was mentioned that CCI might have underestimated how many people would want to attend the Honest Trailers panel, as there were a few hundred people left in line that would have liked to have seen it. If they were to hold one like it again, a bigger venue might be warranted. Also, the Star Trek: The Next 50 Years panel disappointed, as the panelists didn’t seem to adhere to their own description of the panel.

Suggestions for the Future

One suggestion for next year was that CCI announce on their social media sites and website the percentage of badges that are sold out at any given time, rather than simply making the announcement after all of the badges were already gone.

It was also suggested that panelists give out some kind of contact info at the end of their panels, either a handout or possibly a slide on the screen, while another attendee suggested this information be integrated into the CCI phone app with links for the future.

Crowd management by police was suggested specifically for Saturday in the area of Harbor and Convention Way, where a number of attendees were crowding together and in danger of getting hit in traffic.

And finally, it was suggested that a nearby Chinese buffet that serves lunch for $10 be shown on the map given to attendees, along with directions on how to get in and out of the parking structures.

What did you think about Wondercon 2017? Did you like the return to Anaheim? Do you have issues with anything that happened during the convention? Let us know in the comments!

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