Another year, another MCM Expo. With two of these each year, you would assume that somehow the event would become stale after a while. How very very wrong. If I could describe this year’s event with one word, it would simply be “BIGGER”. As the event has become more and more popular, you find that more and more people are crammed into the hall. Saturday morning/ afternoon is peak time and mass of people can be overwhelming and uncomfortable.
It’s easy to see that the organisers have taken this on-board as the arena space was a lot larger and the overall layout seemed much more thought out. The larger space meant a lot of more displays and stands for us nerds to interact with and lay down our cash on.
There was far more to see and do, compared to the last few events. Gaming, Anime, Comics, Trading Cards and much more was on display. And I was really surprised at just how much we could interact with.
This year certainly saw the gaming industry taking a much larger chunk of the space. I saw Nintendo, Bandai Namco. Capcom and others. Each company had a host of games to play, with quite a few, such a Mario Kart 8, yet to be released. Merchandise was also a big theme with the gaming companies with loads of freebies and the option to buy some pretty rare and exclusive items. Nintendo especially had wide range of official merchandise to buy. It’s good to see them finally embracing the huge commercial potential in their IP’s.
Even with the somewhat random weather, the cosplayers came out in force. What I liked this year was the range of costumes on display, from the obvious Marvel/DC costumes to far more obscure anime characters, which had you having to dig deep into your memory to figure them out. It was also great to see meet ups of cosplayers, who posed for pictures and in some cases had mock battles 😛 The DC vs Marvel meet up was certainly a highlight, shame I was too tired at the point to take pictures :'(
Sadly there was one issue which added some negativity to the event. The overall organisation of actually entering the event was horrendous. I would even go as saying it was the worst it has ever been. Poor queue management, a lack of signs and some rude/unhelpful security staff meant getting into the event was painful at best. Hopefully the organisers will listen to the anger and discontent which has put all over social media about this topic. We all of course understand that queuing and crowds are part of the experience but having this be such a torrid affair can put a downer on the event as a whole. Some simple signs would do wonders to fix the confusion which ensues when trying to get in.
Overall this was the biggest and best MCM expo we’ve had so far and fingers crossed the organisers will keep building on this, as the event is quickly becoming a showcase for a lot of mediums and geek/Japanese culture in general.