Galaxy Con 2020 Convention Review
Galaxy Con 2020 was a smashing hit from last year, 2019. Richmond, VA was the first Galaxy Con of the year and as such will carry lots of for the rest of Galaxy Cons. Galaxy Con’s trademark came from SuperCon before their events were sold to ReedPOP and GalaxyCon was born. It is just a change in ownership and the only SuperCon left is the original in Florida. I came to the friends the Reynolds Anime Club and treated volunteering as the community service project for the club. I would have come even without the community service aspect. I was assigned to the Audio and Visual department for Galaxy Con. I went on Saturday, February 209th, 2020 and had two shifts of ten hours with a break in between.
I arrived at the event around 8:45 A.M. and was waiting to enter with staff personnel for my shift. Apparently, the Greater Richmond Convention Center Security was very picky who came on the restricted areas before 10 A.M. I had to go with a staff member even though I had the volunteer shirt for my shift from 9 am to 2 pm. This reassured that the event would be safe and there would be no external threats for the remainder of my time there. I went to the second floor and it felt deserted with all the guests downstairs. Luckily, the volunteer coordinator put a list of numbers for the supervisors of each department and I called mine. The only sense of direction for finding everyone was what I thought was the Viewing rooms. However, AV’s home base was on the other side of the building which was interesting for walking back and forth from. I met Anthony and he directed to headquarters (HQ) and that is where I began my wait for something to do.
It took about 10:30 where the waiting around was followed by briefly moving the equipment around and such. Though during this time, it was quiet because most of the preparations were done beforehand. Basically, it was fine-tuning and watching AV staff getting the transcribing software eady on TVs and connected to tablets. The transcribing software was to help those with hearing impairments a chance to understand what was said in the Main, Super, and Hero Stages. After some time, I had a chance to do the main activities for AV which was checking on panelists and seeing their requirements for the panels.
Since I was new to AV, I had someone named Tim, who every chance he got to help AV at Galaxy Con. He showed them things to ask and look out for like projectors, microphones, audio from an external device to speaker, and other important factors for the panel sections. My favorite part was meeting the panelists and asking the same questions to make it easier for them. A majority of the time, the panels did not need the project much and mainly used the microphones in the rooms. While I was making my strolls to the panels, I ran into a panelist that I met last year who hosted Who wants to be a Nerd? (geek trivia) and Conversation Menu (a list of ice breakers for talking).
Though my first shift was busy, I still managed to enjoy the AV segment so far and it provided a groundwork for other conventions to come. The last activity that I was assigned was to help a special guest who had a signing and Q&A activity which had a lot of preparation for it. We had to organize the room where people would line up in the hallway and slowly present their ticket for the autographs. There were two tables lined up on the autographs and the Galaxy Con banner had to be moved in front of the platforms so no one would step on those platforms. The people attending the panel were ecstatic at them getting a small picture and a large poster as a gift. This was the last task I did before going on my hour hiatus and then have to go back.
During the two hour break, I met up with a member of the club whose shift ended on the same shift. Actually, I ended up a couple of minutes early and decided to go to the Anime Viewing Room to wait on Reggie. He could not leave the pile of DVDs, so I waited with him for confirmation when Anthony would be able to open the storage room. We went to AV HQ and sat in the room for about 20 minutes. Reggie did not eat for a while so pizza was his option in the office and waiting around was pretty relaxing. The shift prior to this was taxing and my feet were aching for walking the 3 blocks of a convention center. Reggie and I went downstairs to meet up with the former club president and his brother. Apparently, there was confusion about which cafe he was and it ended up being Concessions B in Exhibit Hall B. I thought the Food Court and Cyber Cafe were the only places but I was severely wrong when I found out about the concessions in the vendor’s area.
When I met Irvin, the plans that I discussed with Reggie were changed. Originally, Irvin decided to go to the Video Games room for the Dragon Ball Z Fighters Tournament but soon joined me in watching the Super Smash Bros. Tournament. I liked the Smash Bros. and my favorite was discussing with guests about Melee versus Ultimate. Melee is the second generation of Smash Bros. on the GameCube while Super Smash Ultimate is the new version on the Nintendo Switch. I was trying to see people’s opinions on HungryBox (who is the top champion in Melee) and if Ultimate was better than Melee. However, my two hours of rest would have come to an end and so my second shift began 4 to 9.
My second shift was literally doing Reggie’s shift which was the Anime Viewing Room and later the Nostalgia Viewing Room. I checked with Brian after the break and found there was not much to do at the moment. I proposed to assist in the viewing room and Brian suggested to go check. I arrived at the viewing room and found out that people were anxious for My Hero Academia that should have started at 4 pm. I went back for a second time to retrieve the DVDs that were scheduled and put on MHA: Tale of Two Heroes. I am telling you MHA was too crazy for their respective panels and their photoshoot. I was really excited after I put Sailor Moon Crystal at 6 pm since it was my first time watching any Sailor Moon.
I met really cool fans of the anime and had many conversations with them. The one conservation that stood apart was a Queen Ramonda cosplayer from Black Panther and how she made the costume. The Nostalgia room started at 7 pm with Batman: The Animated Series and at first had a small screen since the cord was really short on the projector. I played Space Dandy at 8 pm and the first episode that was on was “I Can’t Be the Only One, Baby” which introduced the multiverse concept in the episode. The most exciting thing I watched was The Transformers: The Movie which started at 8:30. This movie is an American icon and should be watched at all costs!
In conclusion, I learned a lot in AV operations, the importance of permission to screen media in public, and how to go through crowds effectively. The AV was like a second choice for me since Video Production was not available for volunteers. I understand the process of sound and technology crew at an event more clearly now. I also stumbled across why you need to ask permission from licensing companies for public screening. The viewing rooms were screening events in public and you need to get permission and possibly pay the creators prior to showing the DVDs for the particular copyrighted franchise. Finally, I learned how to not be people’s ways while waiting in between panels. Going to crowds is essential as well for you are considerate for the guests walking by you just like not being in the middle of the path for walking. I hope to volunteer again for AV in the near future and possibly be better at it. According to their description, “GalaxyCon Richmond is More Than a Comic-Con! It’s a 3-Day FESTIVAL OF FANDOM…” and as a result, I hope to see you there.