In a bold move that may come as a surprise to you, I drove to Providence, RI for Rhode Island Comic Con – “The Biggest Show In The Smallest State”.
At this point, I’ve attended a fair share of cons and I’d like to think that I have a pretty good handle on things. But RICC really threw some ideas out the window for me. I underestimated the disorganization and venue size. Here’s what happened.
We arrived at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center at 10:30am, thirty minutes after doors opened. The line was still a couple blocks long, with the line winding towards the entrance for the security checkpoint. The bag check & metal detector may have contributed to this, but I feel like doors opened late to begin with. But we finally got in at 11:30am.
Prior to arriving I understood that RICC took place in two separate buildings, yet there was no information to help me understand anything further. No helpful maps, no helpful staff, no signs, and definitely no book. This is where NYCC is king in comparison. I overheard some attendees calling RICC the San Diego Comic Con of the east coast, but clearly they haven’t attended NYCC yet. (Granted, NYCC has its faults as well but at least navigation isn’t a nightmare)
I should clarify.
There were maps but you had no idea where you were in relation to where you need to go. Booth numbers and room names were there but no map key. No “you are here” star.
There were information booths but the staff were using the RICC app, which was not updated throughout the con. Plus, anyone could look at a blank app.
There was a book but it only had ads and an outdated guest list (many had canceled but they must have printed these books months ago).
Getting to/from the photo ops to the show floor was a 15 minute run. The first time, I missed the photo op with Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian from Star Wars). They apparently locked photo sales for the rest of the day. But fortunately near the end of the con, they announced a surprise second photo session. No thanks to the staff, I figured it out and got to Billy in the nick of time! I had already met him when he signed my figures & Topps card, so finally getting the photo was the cherry on top.
And there was no shortage of vendor booths, that’s for sure! We didn’t get to attend any of the panels, but just the meet & greets and booths alone took up our whole day. There was everything from phone cases, prints, Lego minifigures, to even Microsoft. Aisles and aisles of fun things to look at! Here’s some of the swag I scored:
We finished our day by accidentally eating dinner at Ken’s Ramen, easily one of the best ramen spots I’ve ever tried. The noodles had a great bite to them, the broth was delicious & flavorful, and the pork buns… the pork buns…
Be sure to check out the few extra photos I took from RICC on my Facebook page. And without further delay, here’s a video for everything else: