Fanexpo Canada – Day 1

So after last year’s kerfuffle that was Fanexpo: Linecon, I decided that this year will be the deciding factor of if I will be returning to the con in years to come. For those who don’t know about what happened last year I’ll give a quick recap:

The con was disorganised and so they oversold tickets, this became a fire hazard and anyone who left the building to eat was trapped outside the con. I saw the line outside but was not informed what it was for, I then got trapped outside for two hours waiting for them to re-open the doors. Other people were trapped outside longer. There were no refunds, discounts, etc for this, which really upset people who came specifically for events that happened during that time. Sitting in the summer sun waiting to get back into a con you already paid for and were inside of, just because you unconveniently wanted lunch? Not cool.

Anyway this year they decided to do something about the unhappy patron’s complaints:

  • They extended the con by a day so it started on Thursday.
  • Tickets were available for pickup Wednesday
  • There were seperate lines for buying passes and picking up passes, they usually had this but they were in different areas to make things easier. We literally had no line to wait in when picking up our advance passes
  • They switched back to the larger building
Anyway, this is how my day went:

  • Wore Akira Kogami cosplay, comfy and not too warm but the tights got a run and I was stuck with them. There definitely could be a worse malfunction!
  • Roads were fairly busy and the parking lot was nearly full, I was expecting a pretty long lineup because of this.
  • Arrived and found there were helpful staff everywhere, including down the street from the convention center. We got directions on where to go and signs made it easy to find where we had to be.
  • The advanced ticket line was empty, sweet!
  • I enjoy the wristbands, they make it hard for some costumes but unlike last year where they put it on us we were able to put it on ourselves. I can slide my wrist out so when I wear taskmaster tomorrow I can slide it over the gloves.
  •  It was a bit of a walk from the tickets to the con, since the north building was where you picked up tickets and the south building had the con (which meant going upstairs, across a walkway, back downstairs, further downstairs, and then keep going down until you get to the basement level). It was a little weird to have it so far away from everything else.
  • Dealers room was standard for fanexpo but interesting. It was lackluster compared to last year but it may improve for Saturday.
  • There wasn’t really much for video gaming. There was a room for tabletop gaming which is awesome, and a retro gaming room which was nostalgia, but aside from that there wasn’t a dedicated freeplay / tournament area for people to plug in controllers and play fighting games (usually there is at least Smash Bros, but we were hoping for MVC or Street Fighter). There were demos of games (Halo, CoD, Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed) with large displays and a lot of “3D” stuff.
  • Found and bought a starscream toy, f-yeah!
  • Went to the Gaia panel and sort of won the balloon blowing contest, I blew up the balloon until it popped lol
  • Weird situation with staff. While leaving there were dividers that prevented you from going any direction but up the escalator. Someone must have gone farther than they  planned to and wanted to turn back. The down escalator (back in) was blocked by the dividers and so this guy slid underneath them so he could return. The security guard then yelled at him and made him go back under. This meant to go back to the con he would have to go up the escalator, then back down the other escalator and then around the base of the escalators to go back in. While I understand they are trying to maintain order, I think it would be better telling him off  rather than making him go BACK under which was the problem, and then go out of his way to return.
So far I am pretty split on if this con is good. I find it disappointing in some areas and great in others but there is still a lot of con to go. I’ll be wearing my Taskmaster costume tomorrow!
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