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Dragoncon 2016 - A First-Timer's experience

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Dragoncon did not disappoint for this first-time goer.

In over 20 years of going to various conventions, Dragoncon stands apart in its spectacle, scope and fan friendliness.

Unlike other conventions that revolve around a convention center, Dragoncon is city-centric and held in agreement between the areas major hotel groups. Because of this, the convention never truly closes. There is something going on 24 hours a day, from panels to parties, large photo shoots and intimate gatherings between aficionados of niche fandoms, and everything in between.

Dragoncon is perhaps the most cosplay-friendly con in America. All levels of cosplay are represented, from first-timers to established names in the industry. It is not uncommon to observe a professional photo shoot with top-tier cosplayers on the Hilton Atlanta steps or the marble pillars of Hardy Ivy Park.

At its best, Dragoncon is like a family reunion, which is especially true for cosplayers. I have made several connections with many costumers from around the nation with many I am making plans with for next year in Atlanta.

If you decide to go, make sure to plan a year in advance. There is so much to see and do at the convention, including navigating a vendors hall that occupies three stories of one downtown building. But it will definitely be a worthwhile experience, even to the most jaded veteran convention-goer.

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