Merchandise. Dayum Naka's merch room is huge compared to other midwest cons! While most of the merchandise vendors had an overlap in offerings these overlaps definitely benefitted the con-goers with good ol capitalistic competition driving down prices (I managed to snag a figure I've had my eye on con-after-con at a $30 discount). Still, there was an amazing assortment and it was difficult to leave the merch room empty handed....even after the 5th walkthrough
Artist Alley. Kansas City is a hot spot for artwork. Placed in the heart of the USA, it draws artistic talent from all around beyond Kansas and Missouri - Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, even Colorado.
Organization. Naka-Kon is one of the most organized cons I've had the pleasure of attending. The signage is accurate, plentiful, and non-overwhelming. Lines, while long, did move relatively quickly and were well regulated by convention staff so that they were non-disruptive to other convention events.
Panels. Naka-Kon is definitely a well-loved convention that hosts a strong Kansas City community presence. There were a great variety of panels that made it friendly and open to just about any attendee. I would like to give a shout out to Naka's 18+ panels for not only variety, but also quality. Often, it seems options are limited to hentai with snide commentary, or oversexualized panels of fan-favorite characters and (while these panels are fan-favorites), it's refreshing to see something new (ex: Yaoi Panel, Nier: Automata Panel, Adult AMV contest, Night Life in Japan, etc.) Conversely, the main flaw in Naka's panel offerings is that the con itself seems intent on deterring the fan-favorite character panels that draw large crowds at other conventions, most notably Yuri on Ice, Free!, and Haikyuu mini-game/dare/Q&A style panels.
Venue. Whomever is responsible for venue management at Naka-Kon does their job incredibly well. The Overland Park Convention Center and (attached) Sheraton Hotel are ideal hosts. The space is the perfect size for Naka-Kon, and there are plenty of other nearby hotels that are sufficient for overflow space for attendees. My one complaint is that Overland Park is a ways out of Kansas City. This means that out-of-state visitors for the con who fly in are forced to have a friend or a pricey rideshare bring them to the con from the airport. This also prevents out-of-state attendees from maybe taking some downtime to explore what Kansas City proper has to offer.
Guests. While Steve Blum, KABUKI, and Ian Sinclair may have spotlight as most-anticipated guests of Naka-Kon 2018, Moderately Okay Cosplay stole the show with his excellent cosplay and his loveable persona which he presented on stage in a rave cameo and during the cosplay competition. It was truly a treat to get to see him at Naka-Kon, especially as his popularity in the cosplay community skyrockets.