HEROES AND VILLAINS FAN FEST- Don't Call It A Convention

– by Michael Connally

An Intimate Experience

This past weekend I had the great opportunity to go experience Heroes and Villains Fan Fest in Atlanta at the World Congress Convention Center.  The organizers of this event are also responsible for the famous Walker Stalker Convention that has gained massive popularity.  The focus of the Heroes and Villains Fan Fest is to provide the attendees an intimate experience with the actors and actresses that attend the convention.  The main highlight to this event is to meet a majority of the cast from Arrow with other actors from various movies and shows.  The motto the organizers of Heroes and Villains/Walker Stalker Con created is "For Fanboys, By Fanboys" and that is what you feel when you attend this event.  This is not a conventional comic convention that you normally attend, this is an opportunity to get up close and personal with the celebrities you love and enjoy to see on the screen.   

Autographs/Photo-Ops

This is the main highlight of the Heroes and Villains Fan Fest, this is why you are coming to this event.  What makes this event different than the other conventions is the interaction the fans have with the celebrities.  While a majority of conventions that I have attended have similar set-ups to Heroes and Villains, the main distinction is the amount of opportunities the celebrities make themselves available for autographs and photo-ops.  The best example I can give to you was one of the headline actors at this show was Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, Aquaman, Justice League) only took a two hour break on Saturday from signing autographs and taking photos with fans that were waiting in line up to two hours.  All of the celebrities took time to interact with each individual and made sure their experience was worthwhile.  Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, Walking Dead) had a conversation with everyone that waited in line and even stayed 30 minutes after his scheduled time to make sure everyone got their autographs.

Panels

This was different than any other convention I had ever been too.  The norm is that panels are hosted in a conference room away from the main convention floor.  Majority of panels that are worth seeing you have to stand in line well in advance of the actual time then it is a free for all to get a seat.  Once the panel is full then it is completely cutoff from anyone wanting to see who is at the back of the line or didn’t wait an hour plus to see the panel.  The beauty of Heroes and Villains Fan Fest is that the panels were on the main floor so even if you weren’t able to get a seat then you could stand outside the cutoff ropes and see the entire panels without a hiccup.  The panels ran roughly on time with a couple of delays here or there mainly with the ones where there was an ensemble cast for the panel.  Another great experience for the fans about the panels was how fast each panel went to fan questions.  A big issue at regular conventions are the moderators end up taking up a majority of time asking their questions only leaving time for two or three questions.  All the celebrities that attended the panels respected the audience and their questions especially Mr. John Barrowman, who could literally host his own convention himself. 

Vendors

If you attend this convention don’t expect a mass amount of vendors to shop from.  This experience was truly about the fan experience with the celebrities.  Although there weren’t a ton of vendors at this experience the ones who were there didn’t disappoint.  The amount of deals and artwork that were available for the fans made up for this.  As this Fan Fest continues to grow into the following years I can only imagine more vendors taking the opportunity to go to more of these events making it even bigger and better next year.

Tickets

Just like some other events Heroes and Villains Fan Fest offers customers to purchase VIP, Gold, Platinum, or Stephen Amell tickets along with their General Admission passes.  While each pass has different aspects to them that increase the price of the ticket, customers that are interested in getting multiple autographs, photos, and attending all the panels definitely want to invest in one or multiple tickets.  The major benefit of purchasing a VIP ticket was the ability to wait in a lot shorter line for autographs.  VIP customers also were guaranteed a seat at the panels.  The Gold and Platinum passes are significantly more expensive but the price for these passes end up being worth the price.  The main purpose of purchasing these tickets is to guarantee themselves up to four autographs and photo-ops.  There are other benefits to purchasing these passes with a catered lunch provided, seats in the front row of the panels, and other perks that make it worth the cost.  The only downside from the weekend was that Stephen Amell’s shooting schedule had changed at the last minute and wasn’t able to make it until late in the afternoon on Saturday.  This meant that fans who bought his special pass were the only ones he would be signing autographs for that day.  For some people who spent money on the Gold and Platinum passes that had wanted his autograph weren’t able to get it.  It is always a gamble at any convention when it comes to autographs.

Overall

Heroes and Villains does not disappoint for fans of Arrow and The Flash plus other actors that make an appearance at certain locations.  For the fans that will never be able to make it to some of the bigger conventions our there or want more of a personal experience with their favorite celebrities then this is the event for you.  This experience was on par with a majority of conventions that we have attended over the years.  Heroes and Villains Fan Fest will only continue to grow just as its other half Walker Stalker Con has.  To find out when and where the next Fan Fest is going check out at the link below.

Heroes and Villains Fan Fest Schedule

Walker Stalker Con Schedule

Conventions, Reviews #HVFF, Heroes and Villains, Heroes & Villains Fan Fest, Atlanta, Arrow, The Flash, Stephen Amell, Jason Momoa