Katsucon 2020 was the first convention of the year for the Blerd Team. We started off with a bang by going to one of the biggest nerd conventions on the east coast. Katsucon is a multicultural nerd con held at the Gaylord Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland and see’s over 17,000 attendees. Katsucon was started in 1995 and has seen attendance growth every year since its inception. If you are into cosplay and anime, this is the con for you. So what did we think of Katsucon 2020?
Cosplay is maybe the core of Katsucon. Some of the most elaborate and well put together cosplays that we have seen at a con were presented at Katsucon 2020. Katsucon had cosplayers of all different shapes, colors, sizes and you name it. Special areas were even designated so that the Katsucon cosplayers could get amazing photos. Cosplay extended all the way from the Harbor to the main gazebo. The main gazebo area had beautiful decor and substantially great lighting. This is the most photogenic and photo friendly con we have been to, so if you are a cosplayer that wants to get some great pics, this is the con for you. If this is your plan, make sure to get up early for the great lighting and before it gets too crowded.
There were two separate vendor areas at Katsucon. The smaller vendor area had merch from more independent companies that had a more unique feel to it. In the larger vendor area, there was a bit more of a corporate feel to it with merchandise from many of the big players that you are probably familiar with. However, there were still a few more up and coming companies that also had some quirky merch.
We did get a chance to speak with some blerdy vendors as well, and we were happy to see black representation at Katsucon. Rell and I picked up a few items ourselves while there. I ended up buying some face masks and Rell purchased a few customized flasks.
Panels + Viewing Rooms
Like all nerd cons that we go to, Katsucon had a plethora of panels to check out as well. One of the nice things were that they all seemed very well organized and put together. It was easy to find out what was going on with the guidebook app from the Katsucon website. You could even set alerts so that you wouldn’t miss a panel that you really wanted to attend. It is easy to get preoccupied at such massive events like Katsucon.
I also want to give a special shoutout to one of the panels we attended about Kawaii style. It was called Kawaii 101 Fashion + Lifestyle presented by DC Kawaii Style. We always try to attend panels that we are interested in getting more education on as nerdom is so vast in the different areas that it touches.
Going to nerd conventions in general can be exhausting with so much going on. What is nice about Katsucon is that they had anime viewing rooms. This allows you to catch up on one of your favorite animes, or be exposed to a new anime that you have never heard about.