UpcomingCons.com's Rating ScoresAt UpcomingCons.com, we're all about fun events, anime conventions, comic cons, etc, but when it comes to our convention ratings we take things seriously. Reviewing conventions is the most important thing we do. Reviews are when we help you choose your next convention, and we focus our reviews on answering one question: which convention will be most fun for you to attend.
Obviously, you may be limited to only conventions within a certain area. Our reviews and ratings focus on giving you the most possible insight into every event - and helping you decide which convention to attend if you can only pick one.
The UpcomingCons Review ScaleWe review conventions on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0, giving us a rating system of 100 points. This score allows us to give you an insight into the fun of an event, and gives us the power to rank events.
Scores are just one insight into our opinion, which is why we include a synopsis review on any ranked events, because we want you to know why a particular event stands out, or why a particular event falls short. We don't want review scores to be the end of your research, but we want them to help facilitate some insight, and we want you to interact with other congoers and your friends to decide on the best events.
10.0 - Wonderful Epic Adventure
The absolute god tier of conventions, an epic convention may not be perfect, but it stands out so brilliantly that it is hard to imagine an event being better. These events are grand, impressive, and immerse you in an epic world. Everything is on time and flawlessly executed, and almost nothing bad can be found.
9.0-9.9 - Fantastic
One of the best events out there, people will think back on these conventions for the rest of their lives. These events have almost nothing going wrong for the majority of people attending, and every last major event is nearly perfect. You feel like you've stepped into another world, and nothing distracts you from it.
8.0-8.9 - Awesome
An awesome convention gives attending fans lasting memories and a once-in-a-lifetime experience, yet may still have a few hiccups here and there. An awesome convention will be filled with spectacular events and excellent guests, and almost everyone will have a great time.
7.0-7.9 - Great
If you attend a ton of conventions, then you still need to attend this one. It stands out among events as being exceptionally well run, with countless fun things going on. The exhibitors, guests, or events are in general stellar, though some may turn out pretty lackluster.
6.0-6.9 - Good
Any convention that in this category will still be fun to attend, even if there are glaring problems, oversights, or missing features. If you live in the same metro area, it would be a shame to miss such an event. The convention likely has some fun guests or decent events to keep you occupied, even if they are not exceptional.
5.0-5.9 - Okay
Conventions in this category are still fun - they are fan conventions, after all. Usually, though, a lot of the fun comes from socializing with friends that you already have than from participating in epic events and meeting guests. There may be some problems organizationally, and some main events may be boring or underwhelming.
4.0-4.9 - Mediocre
This convention has glaring problems that keeps a major portion of the convention from having as much fun as they could. While attendees may still have a ton of fun from hanging out with friends in costumes or playing games, a lot more could be offered for their money. There are hiccups, snaffus, and problems that might dampen the convention's spirit.
3.0-3.9 - Bad
At a convention in this category, you might feel ripped off and cheated, and it would likely dampen the entire experience for a reasonable number of people attending. Major events may start late, there may be few major guests, and the attitude and experience is overall unpleasant.
2.0-2.9 - Awful
Something has gone terribly wrong, and you probably know what it is. A huge portion of the attendees are not happy with something major, and nothing else is going right. At least the hotel hasn't kicked you out, and you may be able to salvage the weekend by having epic friends.
1.0-1.9 - Frightening
Any unbelievably bad convention will go in this category, and serve as a warning of what you should never even think about doing when running a convention. A frightening event has major problems, most everybody is unhappy, and even the greatest troupe of friends has a hard time having fun together at an event in this category. The longer you stay, the worse things get and the worse you feel.
0.0-0.9 - Non-existant
This rating goes to an event that was literally non-existent, or was kicked out of the hotel midway through. Registration money has disappeared, guests and events are missing, and people wonder if they are at the right hotel or they are simply kicked out of the hotel.
Our IdealsOur ratings are focused on regular congoers.
Our ratings are meant primarily to help you, the discerning fan, decide if an event is worth the drive, time, and money to attend. It's a measure of the level of enjoyment the average fan of that genre might expect to have at the convention. Scores are somewhat intended to estimate the amount of fun the convention will be in the future.
Genres should be looked at carefully.
An anime convention with a score of 7 won't be quite as much fun to a person who doesn't like anime. Our reviews try to include whatever genres the convention labels itself as. If it's an "Anime & Gaming" convention that features only a trivial amount of either one, it will get a slightly lower score, maybe turning a 7.8 into a 7.4. Many conventions try to pretend to have many genres that they don't understand or include, and they might get a lower score for false marketing and leaving a bad impression. A convention that calls itself a "Japanese Animation Convention" and features several guests from Japan will likely get a slightly higher score, perhaps turning a 7.6 into a 7.9.
The past and future are important.
A convention that is generally very excellent, but has an off year, may get greater leniency than a convention that has a history of complaints and problems. Scores are a combined reflection of that year, in addition to what you may expect in the future.
Conventions are relevant to nearby conventions.
Because you can probably only travel so far, we take into account the quality of other nearby conventions in our reviews. If a convention surpasses by a large amount several nearby conventions of the same size or larger, it will get a slightly higher score so that you can understand just what you might be missing. This won't change the category (for example a 7 into an 8), but it could turn a 7.2 into a 7.5.
Grandness and intimacy are carefully examined.
A huge convention is expected to have major guests and major events of grand quality, and will lose points for not keeping up. A small convention is expected to have a smaller number of major guests and major events of reasonable quality, but could gain points by surpassing expectations. We give more points if you will feel immersed in an epic world at the large convention (our concept of grandness), or we will give more points if you will feel closer to the guests and more involved in the events at a smaller convention (our concept of intimacy).
Factors incorporated into every review
- Number of events, concerts, shows, contests
- Quality of events, concerts, shows, contests
- Time waiting in line
- Reward of waiting in line
- Amount and quality of unique events
- Quality and attitude of hotel and location
- Attitude of staff members and attendees
- Quality of sound, lighting, and equipment
- Quality of programs, banners, cosplays
- Attentiveness to raised concerns or questions
- Quality of dances, cosplay contests, concerts, if any
- Availability of amenities, food, etc
- Concerns and complaints raised by attendees
- Cost of admission, value of admission ticket
- Size and scope of exhibitors and artists
- Size and grandness of convention
- Intimacy of convention and its events
- Number and quality of guests and entertainers
- Comparison of advertised content and quality versus actual content and quality
- Comparative quality to events in same region