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MARCON - The Midwest's Premiere Fantasy & Science Fiction Convention
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MARCON, also known as the Multiple Alternative Realities Convention, is the Midwest's Premiere Fantasy & Science Fiction Convention. MARCON is the place to be for Sci-Fi and Fantasy Fandom. Autograph Hunters, Writers, Costumers, Gamers, Collectors, Filkers and Partiers need to be at this event. It is hosted at the Hyatt Regency, in Columbus OH, May 22nd - 24th 2009 (Memorial Day Weekend)

Who: Marcon (Multiple Alternative Realities Convention)
What: The Midwest's Premiere Fantasy & Science Fiction Convention
When: May 22nd - 24th 2009 (Memorial Day Weekend)
Where:
Hyatt Regency, Columbus OH
Why: Well, that's the easy part...Just for the fun of it!!

Costuming

Parties

Con Suite

Programming

Gaming

Media Stars / Celebrities

Huckster/Dealer Room

Value For Dollar

Overal Rating



Costuming: You will see costumes all day. But not surprisingly it is in the evenings that you will see the costumes come out in force. The Iron Costumer’s Contest and the Masquerade pulls in top end pro and amateur costumers. There is a professional hallway photo shoot where you can be photographed that happens in association with the Masquerade.

Parties: (Most parties check for ID and a con badge) Thanks to a huge presence from Bar Fleet on Saturday, MARCON is one of the best party weekends around. You can count on large variety of parties both nights. Memorable parties include: Historically on Friday’s the Knights of the Round Table throw a Monty Python party. There is usually a group that does a fund BDSM demo (signed waiver required to get in) Saturday night is dominated by Bar Fleet (http://www.barfleet.org/ and they deserve special mention here. They take over one half of one floor of the Hyatt to throw their party. With two smoking suites, at least one non smoking suite and a separate “don’t be surprised by the adult content” and a bar in each suite they have enough room and booze to party the entire convention. 

As with most room parties at conventions there is no admission to get in. But they throw these parties at huge expense and with a lot of work, so bring some cash to put in their tip jar. Or in the case of Barfleet buy an official Bar Fleet cup and a couple of raffle tickets. Try this, figure what it would cost to have a night out drinking on the town… Compare that to the fun you will be getting at all the room parties. You will realize you would be far better putting money into room parties than into your 401K

Con Suite: MARCON has one of the best con suites anywhere. This consuite is the first consuite I ever came across on which you could actually survive the weekend. But it is not just surviving, it is eating well. Friday is sushi night, they have a make your own sub/deli sandwich on Saturday, an ice cream social/sundae bar. You can count on solid food appearing on a regular basis. There is a steady supply of soft drinks and coffee. (You can count on Gluten free food choices being available or at least available by request) All food and drink is free with Convention membership. The only reason they did not get a 10 in my rating is that they only served one kind of beer. Programming: Lots and lots of programming. Huge variety of topics. As is often the case the bad thing is having to choose between panels that are running at the same time. BTW I will be running two panels this year. Con Sociology 101: (How to Meet People at Cons), and Con Sociology 210: (How to Flirt at Cons) I will be on at least one other panel yet to be determined. 


Gaming: Lots of space, friendly/helpful staff. And a huge selection of scheduled games/tourneys as well as a library of games for pickup games.

Media Stars / Celebrities: I am not big on Celebrities or autographs. But a lot of people are and MARCON gets a respectable selection of media stars. (I had a short chat with Kevin Sorbo in the elevator at MARCON once.) And the odds are you will rub shoulders with someone who’s book you have read.

Value For Dollar: Considering these factors MARCON is one of the best entertainment values around 1) You can do better than merely surviving by consuming nothing but food and drink from the consuite. 2) There is a plethora of booze to be had at the room parties. 3) There are several less expensive hotels available within a block or two of the Convention hotel. 4) Free on the street parking a short cab/bus ride or longish walk away (MARCON Parking start looking about 8 blocks north of the hotel and stick to the west of High Street) 5) Volunteer to run eight hours of games or be on at least three panels by the cut-off date and you get a free membership to the convention.

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