MTAC 2014, The Great, The Bad and The Lines

Hey everyone in Internet land!

If you’re interested in Middle Tennessee Anime Convention (MTAC) then you probably follow them on one of their associated Facebook pages and have seen all the negative comments about this year’s convention.  I wanted to give my thoughts on the weekend.  Of course it’s based on the things I’ve done, but that’s what I got.

SIDE NOTE: I’ll be posting again soon showing off the costumes I’ve been working on.  We got some great pictures so stay tuned!

MTAC was held this year in Murfreesboro, TN instead of downtown Nashville, like last year.  Let’s go with the positives first.  Over all, I personally had a great time, but a big part of it was my friends and me making it what it was.  Besides friends being awesome, I loved the hotel despite how small it was to house the now three thousand plus in attendance at MTAC.  I wish every con could be held at an Embassy Suites!  The room was amazing with bedroom, kitchenette, microwave, good-sized mini fridge. and pull-out bed in the living room.  We all loved the free, full breakfast each morning that usually ran till 10 or 11am!  I’m talkin’ fruit, yogurt, cereal, sausage links, bacon, home fries, omelets, coffee, tea, juice, soda, etc.  Then they had a “Manager’s Reception” from 5pm – 7pm every night–in other words free drinks (beer, wine, and liquor). To top off all of these bonuses they had a free shuttle that took us to our restaurant of choice in Murfreesboro.  We tried to make sure to tip as much as possible.  Along with the hotel, was its friendly staff.  Everyone we dealt with was very helpful and friendly.  We also didn’t experience the always annoying elevator wait.  We never waited too long for an elevator.

So I really have little to complain about when it came to the hotel, the only exception being the obvious lack of space to support the crowd.  Now how can you blame the hotel and its staff for the size of the convention?  I think they handled it as best as they could.  So if people are complaining about the hotel staff, they need to look elsewhere.

I’ve also heard people complaining about the MTAC staff; there might have been issues, but I personally didn’t have any negative experiences.  Oh, by the way, the dealer’s room had a good selection for being downsized.

Now we’ll go for the negatives.  Like I’ve already stated, the hotel wasn’t big enough to support the convention, but it’s had to move from hotel to hotel because of it’s own dramas.  I’m not on the staff so I can’t be specific, but there’s been tales of drama behind the lines and people leaving and/or stepping down.  But anyway, the obvious size issue caused ridiculous lines for registration, to get into panels, game rooms, the dealer rooms, etc.  The Walk-In Registration had to turn people away at some point after hitting their limits each day.  My boyfriend tried a few times to get into the dealer’s room and gave up because the line was so long.  The game room was very tiny and most of the time too many people were on games so one wouldn’t have a chance.  Some of my friends felt it to be so crowded they didn’t even feel like taking pictures and just didn’t want to try to go into some of the rooms.

Now, I’ve gone to MTAC the last six years and almost every year there seems to be some idiot who destroys hotel property, drinks too much, or someone involves drugs into their con experience.  This year was no different as the rave was shut down again.  I’ve heard it was due to two people over dosing on something.   I just don’t understand how people can’t just come in, dance and have a good time.  This isn’t the streets of Oakland, it’s an anime convention.  And yes, my friends and I have drinks, but we’re adults and have never caused any public disturbance.  By the way, don’t ever lay your hand on a cop….no matter what!  Yes, someone did that this weekend and found themselves on the edge of being arrested.  Idgit…

You wonder why we keep having to find a new hotel for the con and you wonder why the people causing all the problems can’t get it through their idiot skulls that there will be no more convention if we keep having to move around like this.  This all becomes extremely frustrating and at the same time I can imagine it being very difficult to keep people like this out of the convention.  My boyfriend and I actually sat at dinner the other night trying to think of how they can regulate this and we couldn’t come up with any great solutions.  We both agreed, as big anime fans, who actually listen to anime music, that they should have a rave with mostly anime dance music and a little bit of electronic.  I know we’d be happy.  😉

So basically, I loved the hotel and its location.  One thing I didn’t mention was there were some great open areas around the hotel that allowed us to get some great pictures.  The lack of space for the size of the con was what caused most of the problems.  If you really have an opinion, let MTAC know instead of just venting online!  I will too.  They have a survey on their website right now where you can let them know what you think.





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One Comment

  1. I need to write my own post about MTAC because I have too much to say in response to you… but suffice to say, I agree with everything you said.

    I think that a more anime-oriented dance/rave would be a LOT of fun and discourage people who aren’t anime fans from showing up on Saturday and doing dumb shit that makes the con look bad.

    Because when you get to the heart of all the issues, con attendees’ bad behavior is a big reason why hotels might not want to host MTAC. I’d like to think that the MTAC The Organization could do or say something to effect change, but I really don’t know if that’s possible. If a kid want to take some xanax and kidnap a luggage cart for a joy ride down the halls,* there really isn’t anything MTAC can do to prevent that. And it’s a shame, because it’s those assholes who are ruining it for everyone and basically driving the con into the ground.

    *I have not heard of this happening, I am just making up this scenario.

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