Sunday, 27 October 2013

London MCM Expo... High hopes and little return. A rant post!!!

Saturday the 26/10/2013 started fine, OK there was a problem with the DLR but it is a 5/10 minute walk from Canning Town to the Excel Center and it's not a trip to Excel if there is at least one problem with transport. No the problem's started once i got there. 

There was a lot of people and crowds started to form but it was early. Sadly things took a turn for the worse when we got in to the hall where we had to que for our ticket/wrist band. I pre-booked and printed our tickets online a few months before so was not worried but when i saw that there were only four stands where we would get our tickets scanned and given our wrist bands and the numbers of people starting to mass in the hall you just knew things would not end well. But we got to the stand and were greated by a nice enough girl would scanned the ticket and we were moved on to another check point where tree guys were applying the wrists bands. They were not necessarily rude but were very short with people. Then we moved to yet another check point where we had to show our wrist bands before entering another que before being letting us into the corridor were we had to deal with the cross traffic as the cons show floor was in the opposite hall.  This meant we were walking in to people going in to the con and people walking up and down the Excel Center itself. This was a Very  bad idea as this is not a main road with crossing lights so people would be banging into each other, bumping in to cosplayers and this was where i encountered one of my biggest complaints... Why would you stop and ask for photos in the middle of a busy crossing. You wouldn't stop in the middle of the road with cars going pass and you shouldn't do it here. There was very little space and con goers need to be mindful of where they are, I will be coming back to this point later.

Once in the main hall like i said above it was the show floor and once again the layout was bad. The layout of dealer tables and this is an old complaint of mine. The tables are to close together So the room you have to walk down the ales is very small and the flow of people trying to see whats on the tables makes it impossible to move freely and easily. And if you have a bulky costume then you end up taking up even more space. Then everything stops as people ask cosplayers to take a photo. So like i said con goers must be mindful of where they are and remember when and when not to take photos. If i had my way i would stop people taking photos in the dealer room full-stop. I don't know how many times i walked in to a cosplayer because they just randomly stop for a photo in a crowed ale There is space out side the hall or in the Center itself for photos. I don't want to be the A-hole who says no to photos but there is a time and place for everything. And if you are going to block the flow of traffic then that is a No-No. Also when it comes to the ales we need to stay to the left, there are tables on both sides so you don't need people on both sides going in the same direction. It's just common courtesy and common sense. This has been the problem with every Expo but it is getting worse every year and with more and more people attending it's not going to get any better. The other cons in London don't have this problem. It is as if the Excel Centers hall's are to small for the number of people coming to the event. My main complainant is the over crowding there were just to many people there. Let me put it in to perspective. I have been going to the Expo since the early 2000's and this is the most unorganized one i have been to. It has been getting bigger and bigger each and every year. But it feels like the MCM staff can no longer handle the numbers of people attending the London event. Maybe this disorganization is the price we have to pay as the con gets more and more people attending. But that is no excuse and something we as con goers and more importantly as PAYING customers should do or except. After all there where so many people there that the Center's corridor was jam packed with people and you could hardly move. There was no structure and organization to the flow of people and that is a fire risk as well as a problem and shows a complete lack of Health and Safety in and around the event MCM is having.

It would not take much just a few signs up and staff there to remind people to keep moving and where to go when coming in and out. me and a friend walked out for some fresh air and when we came back in to the center we went through the door and ended up on the wrong side and gad to go all the way round the and had to ask to cut across the hall with the que of people waiting to get a ticket to get in all because we went through the door on the right no the left. Like i said signs need to be up and visible. And because of the over crowding i got angry and very frustrated with things trying to look at a table but constantly being pushed around or walking past a casplayer in the middle having there photo taken because they just stopped and there was no where for me to go but between the photographer and the cosplayer. Also The lack of exsibitors there there apart from some games companies like Namco showing off a few games... Where was the Movies or Comic/ Manga showing off the newist thing that will be coming out in the next few months... There was Nothing there....
I know how i sound... Like i did not enjoy myself and that i wont be going back next year... Well yes and no. I did not enjoy myself this time but i will be going next year and i will probably be complaining about the same things then as well... 

With all that being said Lets talk about the positives. There were so many good no i should say amazing cosplayers and i wished i didn't get so frustrated that i forgot to take any photos of them... Well that's something to do next year. Heck by then i should have my Darth Vader finished so i can go in costume... That is something that is always done well at the con. The effort people put in to the costumes are fantastic and i'm sure there will be many youtube vids for the con. I know i'm looking forward to see them. I brought a few things No cushions this time unfortunately but i did two anime Blu-rays FL-CL and the Patlabor OVA so that was very cool. Namco was showing the Tales of Symphonia HD and that looks so good, can't remember how many hours i lost playing that game on the Gamecube. I don't really know how to end this post so i will leave it with a few more photos of the crowd out side the Excel Center.