This past weekend, GalaxyCon brought their event to Columbus, OH for the first time. The inaugural Columbus event brought a weekend jam-packed with everything from celebrity guest panels, workshops, cosplay contests, exhibitors, and more. Nerds & Beyond was on site to partake in the festivities.
Whether fans were attending to meet their favorite celebs, exhibitors, or panels, GalaxyCon offered a little something for everyone. To start, the event brought in a solid variety of guests, hitting on large fandoms across genres. Fans had the opportunity to meet cast from Doctor Who, Clerks, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Star Trek, Star Wars, and many more. Voice actors across video games, anime, and other animated projects were also in attendance. If that wasn’t someone’s speed, a handful of pro wrestlers and professional cosplayers were invited as guests as well. And, of course, there were plenty of comic creators for fans to meet.
Along the same line, the weekend was filled with a variety of programming featuring celebrity guests, cosplayers, authors, and more. Saturday and Sunday were the biggest panel days, with some of the biggest draws like Rosario Dawson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jodie Whittaker, and Ashley Eckstein taking over the main stage for Q&A panels. Like many cons before it, this one gave fans the chance to ask questions, creating a more interactive environment for them and guests. The moderators throughout the weekend were also just as enthusiastic and did a great job keeping everyone engaged. Meanwhile, fans could partake in separately ticketed events such as an evening with Kevin Smith and a “Smallville Nights” event with Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling. The fun didn’t stop when the exhibit floor closed, as there were also many late panels and parties happening during the weekend.
Exhibitors and artist alley also did their part to bring fandom to attendees. Artist Alley in particular offered a wide variety of artists selling prints, pins, keychains, and other merchandise. All types of fandoms were represented, including The Owl House, anime, Kirby, Marvel, DC, and more. Several exhibitors showed their Hellfire Club support, and others sold items related to all things gaming and comics. For the more bookish attendees, a handful of literary guests, many of them local, had their books on display and largely offered content related to the paranormal and other sci-fi and fantasy.
As this was the first GalaxyCon Columbus, there is still room for improvement going forward. One of the biggest pitfalls I noticed was the automated caption system for Deaf and hard of hearing attendees. In theory, this is a great device for instantaneous captions during panels. However, it often didn’t catch a lot of what was being said or didn’t properly translate spoken words into text. ASL interpreters would be a much more effective option for the next event. Additionally, organization as it pertains to autograph lines and certain areas of the show floor could be improved. From an autograph perspective, many of the biggest guests were along one aisle rather than spread out, which made moving around difficult. Similarly, the main floor itself was a large space and could be utilized more to give attendees more space to move through exhibitors.
Overall, GalaxyCon Columbus was a successful event that brought no shortage of fun to attendees. For a first event, I thought it was generally run well even in areas where it could improve. For those who live in or near the Columbus area, I would recommend checking out the event, whether it’s a day trip or the full weekend.
GalaxyCon Columbus will return December 1-3, 2023. Find our other coverage of the convention here.