What is MomoCon?
Whether or not you live in Atlanta, if you enjoy nerd culture then you probably know about MomoCon. In case you don’t, this is how they describe themselves:
“MomoCon brings together fans of Japanese Anime, American Animation, Comics, Video Games, and Tabletop Games to celebrate their passion by costuming / cosplay, browsing the huge exhibitors hall, meeting celebrity voice talent, designers, and writers behind their favorite shows, games, and comics and much much more over this 4 day event.”
How has MomoCon changed?
MomoCon is one of Atlanta’s main attractions for geek culture and hosted a massive audience of 39,000 attendees in 2019. MomoCon hasn’t taken place in 3 years so how have those 3 years affected it?
I’ve been going to Momo for so long I’ve lost track of when my first one was. For many years it has been very consistent without many changes. It has always been an enjoyable con that was more family friendly than Atlanta’s two other large conventions (DragonCon and Anime Weekend Atlanta).
It hosts a ton of attractions such as a large game room, a well rounded vendors hall, and many panels on a variety of topics. Many cosplayers attend and share with us their amazing creations and in the evenings generally people crowd in the courtyard and celebrate the gathering together.
So how was MomoCon this year? What changed? Should I attend next year?
Don’t worry, I will answer all these questions and more.
Let me tell you what I did, so you know where my personal experience and opinions come from. I assisted my friend in the vendors hall a majority of the time but in the evenings I spent a lot of time in the gaming hall, cosplaying and hanging out with friends doing various other activities.
So MomoCon has been in the Georgia World Congress Center since 2012. In previous years it was in the smaller ‘A’ hall but this year it moved to the much larger ‘B’ hall. Attendees had mixed feelings on this due to it being further away from the main party spot, the courtyard, and a longer walking distance from the host hotel, the Omni.
I agree that walking that multiple times a day does get tiring. However, I believe it was well worth the trade off. You can still easily access hall ‘B’ from both an indoor path and an outdoor path so you have options if you want to stay cool or take a quicker route. In previous years, Hall A was becoming more and more crowded creating a claustrophobic feeling and making popular areas crowded like the vendors hall.
Another great thing about Hall B is the scenery. This hall provides access to great locations for cosplayers to get photos, or just to enjoy some beautiful views at the con. There is a koi pond, staircase, greenery and even a set up photo booth to take advantage of.
Also the walk to the CNN Center, where most attendees grab a bite to eat, is not much further and still easily accessible.
So I would sum it up by saying Hall B was a massive upgrade and I happily traded walking a bit further for more space and comfort.
I know this isn’t the most exciting topic but in these times it’s a pretty important one.
MomoCon required masks indoors and enforced them to the best of their ability. I also noticed several security guards placed in different areas around the convention.
I support all of these safety measures and they made my experience more enjoyable.
Now it’s time to move on to the fun stuff. What is there to do at MomoCon? Well that depends on what you enjoy.
MomoCon has great panels for any number of subjects you are interested in such as “So you want a career in Special Effects?” hosted by Volpin Props and “Historical Figures VS The Anime.” Alongside these are panels where you quite literally watch anime and chill, play trivia about your fandom, or sing karaoke to geeky songs. So whatever you like, if it’s geeky, MomoCon will have something for you.
Other main attractions to MomoCon include competitions or watching professionals discuss their work.
One of the big draws for gamers to the convention is the Super Smash Brothers competition where contestants enter to win a cash prize and all the bragging rights that their hearts desire.
For the cosplayers there is a cosplay contest where you prepare your best work and display it in front of a crowd and are then judged by professionals in order to win an award.
Some other competitions include a Disney Singing Contest and an Anime Music Video Contest.
These panels are a great way to hear from some of your favorite artists or creators. This varies from Voice Actors to Content creators. Their discussions vary from talking about their work to teaching you how to pursue a career like theirs.
Some of the panels this year included “Avatar The Last Airbender Voices” and “Ask a Youtuber.”
So now we get to talk about one of my absolute favorite features: the gaming hall. The gaming hall is open 24/7 so whether you’re an early morning gamer, taking a break between other events, or a drunken 2am gamer, you are welcome.
The gamer hall hosts arcade games imported from Japan as well as some classics. There is also an option to play PC games but I must warn you, your game will lag as the internet speed isn’t the best.
There’s also a large tabletop gaming area where every day you can play card games like Magic the Gathering, borrow board games, and play RPGs.
So for concerts there was a bit of a dramatic change this year. MomoCon did not host an onsite rave. I know, I know… this is upsetting news. The rave is always a great place to go dance and listen to fun music. To be honest some of my favorite MomoCon memories were made at past raves.
There was an offsite rave that was not directly associated with Momocon itself but I heard that it was excellent. I was not able to attend but from the videos and feedback from others, I think it was a great option if you enjoy raves.
I have to assume the rave did not take place because of safety reasons. Let’s be honest, it would be difficult to enforce masks on a bunch of hot and drunk nerds. That being said, I hope this is something they are able to bring back in the future.
Vendors Hall/Artist Alley
MomoCon has always had a pretty exciting vendor hall and artist alley with options for merchandise from all fandoms. The artists alley this year was conjoined with the vendors hall, artists being in the front and vendors in the back.
At first I didn’t like this idea because it seemed like it was hard to tell where one started and the other ended, but after observing the shoppers I noticed that more people than usual visited the artists’ tables and bought merchandise from them. Many artists were even able to sell out of a lot of their stock.
There were both artists and vendors that were new and seasoned at the con which made it an exciting shopping experience whether it was your first MomoCon or not. There was space in the new hall to make the aisles wider which also was a massive improvement on the shopping experience.
As I worked with an artist I can also speak to the fact that the staff in the vendors hall go above and beyond for their guests and their vendors/artists. Shout out to you MomoCon staff and volunteers. You guys work so hard and deserve so so much praise.
Cars and Wrestling
I grouped these together due to the fact that they are both in the same area as the vendors. I have to admit that the wrestling in the vendors hall was absolutely not my favorite. It added noise to the already noisy area making it hard to hear customers.
Besides that one little complaint, I believe this is the first year I have ever seen wrestling at MomoCon and I always think it is so exciting to bring more fandoms to the convention.
The Fan Car and Replica Showcase is always exciting whether you’re into cars or not. The design on some of these vehicles is stunning and seeing replicas from movies is always fun too. I’m sure that if you know anything about cars there is a whole new depth of enjoyment to this.
You can also vote for your favorite car in the showcase as a way to express your appreciation.
My Overall Thoughts
So what did I think of MomoCon 2022? I really enjoyed it! It felt safe and well organized which are two requirements for a successful convention in my opinion.
This convection is well rounded, in that it appeals to many fandoms, and does it well. It is family-friendly making it the best option for young con-goers to get into the Atlanta scene. That in no way takes away from how enjoyable it is for all ages from children to seniors, especially young adults.
It was also buckets of fun after years of no MomoCon and even with the changes I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this con. I cannot wait to go next year and spend an exciting weekend with friends and other people who enjoy the same things I do!