David Peralty's Ramblings

Fan Expo 2013 Review

Annie and I took her two Life Skills boys to Fan Expo in Toronto on Friday, and it was an interesting experience. Despite being the slowest of the full days, it was quite busy. Despite having both sides of the convention centre, it was super packed. Fan Expo has just gotten too large.

I got to see a few Q&A’s, specifically the one with Richard Dean Anderson which was amazing. He is getting up there in years, and despite a positive attitude, you could tell he was having some difficulty. His jokes were hilarious though and the whole crowd walked out with a smile on their faces.

I didn’t get to go through the entirety of artists alley, or the main convention floor. One of the two people we brought was in a scooter, and the narrow walkways between the booths made it impossible for him to enjoy looking at what the artists were selling. It was an exercise in frustration as he tried to navigate through the crowds. We did our best to make it easier on him, but you could see his nervousness and frustration.

Speaking of the electric scooter, getting around the convention centre was a joke. The Q&A’s were in the north building near the sports merchandise and nearly everything else of interest to us was at the south end. It took four elevators to get from one side of the building to the other. We had to decide, after the first Q&A, if it was worth it to go back to the south building before returning for another Q&A we wanted to see later that evening. So we had to take four elevators back, and then around an hour later, we had to take four elevators back to the other side once again. The elevators were super frustrating to use, were always full, and were insanely slow. The crossing from one end to the other took nearly half an hour the first time.

Security, as normal, were completely lost on what they were supposed to do. When we first arrived, two different people didn’t know where people with special needs were supposed to enter. Thankfully, one of the Fan Expo volunteers let us know and we were able to get in. There were no lines to get into the Q&A sessions, and this meant that there was confusion. At one point, we had been waiting for twenty minutes, only to find out that they weren’t clearing the hall, and that people that had just arrived were getting in before us. By the time we had a seat, all of the ones in front of the stage were taken.

During the second Q&A, I told the security guy that because we were with a special needs person, we were allowed to go in the side door. He didn’t know if I was telling the truth or not, and was busy deciding that maybe they did need a line for the second last Q&A of the day. This allowed us to get a seat for the second Q&A we wanted to attend, but because they didn’t clear the room, the best seats were pretty much taken all day by those willing to sit through sessions they didn’t enjoy for the opportunity to get amazing seats for the ones that they really wanted.

At the end of the day, we were all pretty exhausted. There was some fun to be had, but the experience left me feeling a little frustrated. I think that I’ll probably stick to smaller events from here on out, as there is more opportunity for enjoyment. ComicCon Niagara Falls was a great experience. I expect that we will be hitting it up again in 2014.

A big thanks to Fan Expo for introducing me to my fiancee. I’ll never forget that. But you’ve gotten far too big for me.