Dragon Con 2022 Review: The Return of The Iron Throne
Dragon Con 2022 Review
The Venue - 9
Event Schedule - 9
Special Guests & Vendors - 8.5
Wait Times - 5.5
Vibe - 8.5
For Blerds, Dragon Con 2022 in Atlanta was a ball! Dragon Con 2022 gets especially high marks on it Venue & Vibe. Utlitize the Dragon Con app and plan your schedule accordingly.
Dragon Con 2022 returns to full form with over 65,000 attendees this year in Atlanta, Georgia, almost double last year’s attendance of about 42,000 attendees. Being in Atlanta, you know plenty of blerds were in attendance as well. The event was Labor Day weekend again from September 1st 2022 to September 5th, 2022. Dragon Con is one of the biggest nerd conventions in the Southeast with a focus on pop culture, anime, gaming, fantasy, and of course sci-fi. You will see some of the best cosplay ever at Dragon Con! The event was sold out and had attendees from all 50 states and even worldwide. Dragon Con was also able to raise at least $190,000 for its charity Open Hand Atlanta, contributing to good along with the fun. You absolutely must pace yourself not to get sensory overload because of everything you will see at Dragon Con. So how was the event this year? We are using the same Blerd rating criteria as normal for conventions which is: The Venue, Event Schedule, Vendors & Special Guests, Wait Times, and Overall Vibe. Scores of 10 mean near perfection and are going to be especially hard to obtain:
“We were delighted to bring our fans together for another terrific convention, where they celebrated the things they love, connected with friends, and forgot about the outside world for a few days,” “We are incredibly impressed with fans’ generosity and their willingness to support Open Hand Atlanta, which does great work to meet an important community need.”convention co-chair Rachel Reeves
The Dragon Con 2022 Venue
With an event as large as Dragon Con, venue layouts become especially important. Even with the increased attendance at Dragon Con 2022 versus Dragon Con 2021, I didn’t notice any extra congestion. Dragon Con is accommodated by 5 different hotels (Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Hilton Atlanta, Marriott Marquis Atlanta, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, & Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel). The sky bridges make going between the Hyatt, Marriott, and Hilton very easy so you can move from place to place. The venue setup was not significantly different than 2021 other than the gaming section being moved to the Mart Building. Even though I generally know the layout of Dragon Con at this point, I still ended up using the app a bit more this year than last for convenience. If you ever get lost or are trying to find something, the app has a locate me function and maps built in.
The Dragon Con 2022 Event Schedule
The event schedule at Dragon Con can be daunting as there are constantly things happening. You will not be able to do everything, so I would recommend picking a few “must-go” events before attending and adding them to your schedule in the app. Not only will multiple events be happening at once that you want to go to, but sometimes they will be spread out amongst different locations as well. Dragon Con 2022 gets points from us for making sure to include diversity panels including “Black Comic Creators Round Table: Artists on Artists”, “Welcome to the Diversity Track: What is Diversity?”, “Diversity in Video Games – Why Representation Matters”, and even “Telling Black Stories in Fantasy Realms” . The biggest event by far though was the return of the Dragon Con Parade on Saturday which is a can’t miss event.
The Dragon Con 2022 Special Guests & Vendors
Dragon Con is always going to have top tier special guests. Some Blerd favorites this year included Laz Alonso (The Boys), Darryl Banks (Green Lantern), Mauro Castillo (Encanto), and Afua Richardson (Black Panther). The full guest list can be seen on the Dragon Con website here.
Hours can be spent in the Dragon Con vendor hall alone. There are multiple floors of vendors with just about everything you can imagine. The vendor floor is especially useful if you want to add on something to cosplay or find accessories for the many various theme parties that happen at night. We would like to see a bit more diversity and variety in the vendor area as there are a lot of up-and-coming Black nerd brands that could benefit from the exposure.
The Dragon Con 2022 Wait Times
With attendees almost doubling, the wait times at Dragon Con definitely went up quite a bit. In my opinion, the worst was the wait for the vendor hall, as in 2021 you could basically just walk in. Waiting 30 minutes to an hour to spend money isn’t the greatest experience. With the number of people in attendance though, waiting in lines is just a part of the experience. You will also randomly meet people while waiting in lines. The Dragon Con staff does at least do a great job of making sure to direct people to the right places to go.
The Dragon Con 2022 Vibe
Vibe is our most subjective category and is the overall “feel” of a convention. I believe that a great Vibe score can make up for other categories at any convention as the main point is to have fun. Blerds were out heavy this year for Dragon Con which made just made the vibe even better. There was more energy overall at the convention with the additional attendance and everyone we met was extremely friendly. Even with the rain on Sunday, attendees made the most of the event!