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Their second year in the new hotel, and they're starting to grow into it very nicely. Things are finding their places (although not everything has), schedules are starting to even out (although not all of them are), and parties are getting better and better. And yes, that is relevant to the management of the con.

I'm not sure whether MarsCon should continue to bill itself as a 'relax-a-con,' as things are getting consistently busier there. It's a tough call. Panels are being stepped up, the dealers' room continues to grow, and while they don't have a masquerade Saturday night, their evening entertainment is becoming more and more an All-Night Event. (I heard about people going from Luna-C to Coyote Run to Rocky Horror with very little breathing room in between ... perhaps I'm wrong, but that's something I've never heard at MarsCon before.) There are, unfortunately, still a few 'growing pains' about it, but with some ironing out, I don't foresee them killing the con or anything.

Panels: Pretty good. They seem to be very open to types of panels they might not have been 'down with' before. There was a nice variety, and not just the typical sci-fi ones. As is usual with cons, unfortunately, there was a bit of problem with getting some long-running panels to shift. One or two rooms were a little ways around the back (and thus difficult to find).

Program: Madness. It was nigh impossible to find things. Needs definite work.

Stage Shows: I can only speak from the point of view of a performer, and I can say that staff (or at least staff responsible for this bit) were not on the ball at all. Big disappointment, especially since, with no masquerade, the two or three acts that go on are the night's entertainment, and if something were to go phenomenally wrong ... well ... that's it for the evening. Hopefully things will be a damn sight less stressful, with staff knowing what went wrong. Again, hopefully.

Dealers' Room: They're getting some really lovely people in here. One way I judge a room at a sci-fi con (as anime con dealers' rooms tend to be mostly shops coming in as opposed to individuals) is if I can find people from different cons. They're bringing in good, popular people, and the layout isn't difficult to navigate at all.

Parties: They can mess up the scheduling for Saturday night, they can hide panel rooms from me, but they will always, always have the best parties and con suites. Themed parties every year -- not surprisingly, it was pirate-themed. And they do indeed go all out. It gives the whole con a much more personal feel, having a hub like that that isn't a room party ... you can see people from all over the con without feeling crowded or imposed-upon.

Overall: The general layout still needs plenty of work (although I do understand this is only their second time in this hotel), and communications broke down fairly easily in some spots, but it continues to be a good con otherwise. The variety of panels, the general hospitality of the majority of staff, and the amount of different things do to all continue to make this a con worthy of the work that goes into it.

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Upcoming Conventions:

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