Posts Tagged ‘Convention Center’

Vidcon returned this past weekend for its eighth year running to the Anaheim Convention Center. To sum up VidCon in one line, this expo represents all things in “new media” and anything related to it. As an attendee put it, new media means anything not NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, or anything on mainstream television. If it has to do with the realm of online video and the next generation of technology, it had a place at VidCon. The convention itself mainly held dozens of vendor booths representing gadgets, shows, software, and activities. Beyond the booths, a handful of “internet celebrities” made an appearance here to cater to their fans. If thinking about the traditional definition of celebrity, no actual celebrity made an appearance here. However, plenty of children and teenagers idolize famous YouTube and Instagram people, and some of these famous internet personalities fall into the category of internet celebrities. This also paints an illusory veil of a personality’s true fame, as people measure fame directly with amount of followers/subscribers. This goes without saying that this primarily attracted countless teenage girls to this event. Take one good look around the convention and you would see mostly teenage girls in attendance. While I understand their fascination with meeting their cherished internet celebrities, I do not understand spending at least $150 to attend this event without a guarantee of meeting any of the so-called internet celebrities. VidCon did not used to cost that much, but I guess their increasing fame plus the fact that they sold out every prior year merited the increase in admission. Oh, and some people may have heard on social media about drama at VidCon this year. Some of the drama started with rowdy and/or self-entitled people trying to raise a scene at the con, such as self-entitled people who think they have more fame than their follower count would say, or gamers trying to troll other attendees. As some would say, if you have haters, you have succeeded.

The 2017 Anime Expo returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center starting this Saturday and running through Tuesday. This annual 4-day expo for all things Anime & Manga attracts exhibitors and fans from across the globe for the largest gathering of its kind in the world. What started as a simple expo for those in the Anime industry has grown to encompass anything remotely related to the art of Japanese art & animation. Today, this large expo now hosts artists, designers, vendors, video game companies, technicians, actors/actresses, voice actors, models, musicians, singers, cosplayers, and much more to spread their work out to the public as well as interact with the fans. With so much to do, so many people to see, and so many people wanting to get in (tens of thousands of visitors on the first day!), naturally the organizers had to make this expo cover a span of four days every year.

As the current world’s largest expo of its kind, one can expect sheer overflow of people in the area for miles. Road traffic does not face as much of a problem, save for the exuberant parking prices that reaches upwards of $40 per vehicle. Pedestrian traffic causes the most headaches, from the uncontrolled crosswalks to the endless line of jaywalkers. If anything definitely terrorizes attendees, the line to enter the expo causes the most grief. From getting in line to getting into the building, the wait in the mornings usually takes hours to enter. Strangely, very few attendees complain about this, as if they accept this year after year. Upon questioning some attendees from previous years, they mention that at least a hundred attendees camp overnight, and that entering the line at 8am when the expo opens still takes over an hour to get in. They also mention that the first day always sees the most amount of attendees, which sounds reasonable. Lesson learned: if attending Anime Expo, either attend extremely early on the first day, or attend on the second and/or third day.

The actual expo covers the entire span on the convention center, both the South Hall and the West Hall. The main expo occurs in the South Hall, while the West Hall houses the miscellaneous activities, such as workshops, video game competitions, cosplay contests, and more. The expo simply has too much going on, so I understand why most attendees purchase either the two or four day pass rather than just a single day. The expo contains different sections based on the content; for example, attendees would find the artist booths at the back, the autographs at the right, the merchandise in the middle, and celebrity/actor appearances at the front.

For any type of expo or convention of this nature, sure we may want to pay attention to the exhibitors, but at the heart of any gathering of this kind, our attention instantly turns to the cosplayers. Attendees love to dress up as their favorite character to show their pride and/or craftsmanship, while some simply slap together a lazy costume just to blend in somehow, such as the hundreds of attendees with a Teemo hat. For Anime Expo, the world’s largest expo of its kind, attendees either go all in or go nothing.

Which came first: the chicken or the egg? Since the beginning of time, civilization has always asked what came first. While the public can typically attribute tangible items with an origin, everything else requires documentation to pinpoint an origin, unless generally accepted. For example, today’s gourmet food truck trend started in early 2009 with Kogi BBQ, which everyone will say started it all. When you look at expos for comic books, all fans will tell you that the San Diego one started it all. But with the San Diego Comic Con selling out in seconds every year, what else can fans do? Sure they can shell out the cash for super inflated after-market passes, but why not travel up two hours to the greater Los Angeles area? We have witnessed countless comic events in Southern California, with one seemingly popping up every weekend or two. But how does one know which event to go to compared to others? It takes the brave to venture out and seek the new comic events, and many found that the Comic Con Revolution held up to its promise to deliver a fantastic comic con experience.

The 1st Annual Comic Con Revolution took place at the Ontario Convention Center this past Saturday to a massive crowd easily in the thousands. For as large a turnout that appeared, this expo worked in a very small space to hold that many fans. Taking place in most of the rooms on the first floor, hundreds of local comic book writers and artists traveled here to exhibit their merchandise, art, books, toys, and more. Eager fans could gain access to the entire show floor for the low price of $25 per person or $15 for teenagers, with children 12 and under entering free with a paid adult admission. In addition to the expo on the show floor, various workshops and seminars took place in the surrounding meeting rooms for those who registered ahead of time. True fans will recognize the various celebrities sitting in for meet & greet and autograph sessions. For a small space, it took some time to walk through every single aisle to gaze at all the work on display.

Even to those not interested in comics, everyone should attend a comic expo/con just to see everyone dressing up in costume. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into a staple for any sort of expo in this industry, and the fans proudly donned their best gear for this expo. Check out some of the amazing costumes that I encountered at Comic Con Revolution below.

Considering the massive turnout for this event along with the cramped space, not only do I foresee Comic Con Revolution returning next year, but I also predict that they will have to expand their space to accommodate for all the extra vendors and attendees that will want to attend next year. Comic Con Revolution joins the ranks of big comic events in Southern California, such as San Diego Comic Con, Long Beach Comic Con/Expo, Wonder Con, Los Angeles Comic Con (formerly Comikaze), Anime Expo, Fantasia Comic Con, Comic Excitement Con, and lots of others. Keep in touch with future updates from Comic Con Revolution by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The Robo Toy Fest returned for its annual event this past Sunday. Taking place at the Pasadena Convention Center, this all-ages expo features dozens of artists and vendors all showcasing any media involving robots or mechs. From Transformers to Power Rangers and more, any fan of robot toys would love to see everything here. Visitors would find more than enough toys around to keep their interests piqued for hours. Admission only costs $10 and allows in-and-out privileges the entire day. Robo Toy Fest normally operates along with Brick Boutique, but for some reason that event did not return this year, so Robo Toy Fest operated on its own. For a small event though, one could see everything present within half an hour. However, the event organizers provided some extra content to entice visitors to stay, such as complimentary snacks and special guest celebrities doing autograph signings and photographs with visitors. I specifically saw one of the Red Rangers from one of the Power Rangers seasons, as well as the actor that portrayed Liu Kang in a Mortal Kombat movie. For those with expanded interests, plenty of vendors present provided merchandise from video games, comics, anime, manga, and more, giving fans more to see than just robots.

Robo Toy Fest returns at different times of the year. Last year, Robo Toy Fest took place in October, way off from this year in May. The organizers of Robo Toy Fest also put on a lot of other similar events at the Pasadena Convention Center, which I will list below. Make sure you like Robo Toy Fest on Facebook to see what else they have coming up. To better understand what transpires here, check out these other similar events held at the Pasadena Convention Center:

Technology has truly come a long way in short time. In the 1990’s, many people did not know of the internet, and those that did had to deal with the frustration of dial-up. Just a decade ago, smartphones had just made its introduction to the world, revolutionizing information technology by placing the world in your hands. Many other gadgets have surfaced since the smartphone, including many wearables and other useful tools. The way we view electronics has changed greatly over time too. Touch screens started off as resistive, meaning it relied on physical pressure to measure taps and touches. Touch screens later evolved into capacitive, which senses the conductive capacity of an object that touches the screen, such as human skin. In addition to touch screens, 3D and virtual reality has existed for a long time too, but had not made it into the mainstream as much. Times have changed, and you can now possess virtual reality in your hands, which the VRLA Expo 2017 showcased many forms of VR.

The general public used to think of virtual reality as a luxury item, but in today’s economy, anyone can experience VR, and the VRLA Expo 2017 exhibited the many ways that one can experience VR. This all-ages electronics expo took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center’s west hall this past weekend, and contained dozens of vendors all showcasing their entry into the VR market. Within the expo hall, the convention center staff had the lights dimmed the entire time so that attendees can better witness the spectacle of virtual reality. Most of the demos involved a VR headset that you either hold up to your eyes or have them strapped around your eyes so that you get the full immersion of the video clip or game. Most commonly, attendees got to use the HTC Vive (a complete virtual reality headset that includes a viewer and controllers, but no headphones) or other similar VR headset such as the Samsung Gear VR or Oculus Rift. Other VR demos at this expo included mixed reality (MR), full body motion capture, physical/cardio machines (bikes, elliptical, etc), and a 360 dome that simulated perspective distortion, where you lie still in a room surrounded by a round screen, and that screen displayed a video that made you feel like you moved with the video.

The future has arrived, and the future includes virtual reality. We live in a future where we put clocks in our smartphones so that we do not need to wear a watch, yet we now have smartwatches so that we do not have to pull our phones out of our pockets. In this future, we now use a USB cord to charge books and cigarettes. Virtual reality does not have to cost you much – if you have a smartphone (I recommend at least a five inch screen), you can use a Google Cardboard with it, which should only cost a few dollars on third-party sites. If you missed out on the VRLA Expo 2017, fret not, as they normally run their expo twice a year. In the meantime, check out the VRLA Expo on Facebook and Twitter for more info about future expos and all the vendors that participated in this past weekend’s expo.

They said the classics never go out of style, but eventually they do. But when looking at trends, things that have goner out of style also eventually rebound back into popularity. Trends and fads ride a wave where they peak at one point then fall down and rise back up, repeating this cyclical process over time. Take a look at Pokémon for example. It had its prime time in the early 2000’s then slowly faded down, but then it surged in popularity again with the release of Pokémon GO last year. The Power Rangers had its glory in the 1990’s, then faded away for some time. However, a new Power Rangers movie will release later this month, hoping to revitalize the franchise. It helps to pay attention to the classics, as they will always find a way to come back into our lives, as we witnessed at the 2017 Pasadena Comic Con & Toy Show.

Pasadena gets their own event dedicated to comics and toys of new and old with the Pasadena Comic Con & Toy Show. Taking place this past Sunday at the Pasadena Convention Center, this all-ages convention represents a smaller, localized version of some of the larger comic events known throughout the world. Unlike those larger events, this one only costs $10 to enter for a decent amount of content. The main show floor had dozens of writers and artists all showing their work, as well as a handful of vendors selling toys, video games, and accessories. Additionally, some of the convention center’s side rooms contained more content, such as more toy vendors, guest cosplay booths, and a seminar/programs room. Altogether, this represents a nice scaled version of the big comic cons.

As a comic expo, we cannot forget about the diehard fans dressing up as their favorite fictional character. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into an art of fans sporting outfits and accessories to appear like another usually recognizable character. Mainstream characters such as Harley Quinn and Deadpool often get selected as the costume of choice due to the fast recognition by many fans, while lesser known characters tend to receive more praise by the fans who recognize the outfit. As one of the smaller comic expos, the Pasadena Comic Con did not have as many cosplayers in attendance throughout the day. However, a good amount still showed up, and I got to interact with them at the same character level that I do at larger events.

The Pasadena Convention Center hosts a handful of related events, such as events dedicated to Legos, Transformers, Power Rangers, and more. Check out the convention center’s website often (linked above) to see when they will have an event next. Also make sure you like the Pasadena Comic Con on Facebook, as they will post links about the aforementioned similar events that will take place at the Pasadena Convention Center.

Like a flash, the 2017 Long Beach Comic Expo came and went this past weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center. This convention for all things comics returned to the convention center’s Hall C just like previous years, and visitors had to enter from the east side instead of the usual west side due to another convention taking place along the western rooms. The main operations of the expo had not changed – hundreds of local comic book writers and artists exhibited their merchandise, art, books, toys, and more, either for sale or for show. Elsewhere in other rooms across from Hall C, a number workshops and seminars occurred, ranging from speaker panels to art workshops to live activities. Cosplay Corner returned to the expo as a part of the show floor in the same side of the room as previous years. Nothing else drastic changed from the previous years of the Long Beach Comic Expo, but due to the weekend’s storms, a few things got moved around – notably, anything vehicular moved to the other side from the entrance, such as themed cars and the mobile food vendors. Many cosplayers often remain out in front for photo shoots; however, due to the weather, most attendees preferred to remain inside the expo halls. Overall, I experienced lower attendance than usual this past weekend, and many attribute that to bad weather.

As a comic expo, we cannot forget about the diehard fans dressing up as their favorite fictional character. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into an art of fans sporting outfits and accessories to appear like another usually recognizable character. Mainstream characters such as Harley Quinn and Deadpool often get selected as the costume of choice due to the fast recognition by many fans, while lesser known characters tend to receive more praise by the fans who recognize the outfit. Check out this collection of the great costumes from the 2017 Long Beach Comic Expo. If you recognize any of these awesome people, please leave a comment with a URL to the person’s website or Facebook page, as well as the reference costume & photo! If the image links go down, click here for the album.

The Fall expo, the Long Beach Comic Con, returns in early September. The Fall event should return to the exact same location as this past weekend’s event, and generally has a greater turnout due to more famous people in attendance. Until then, keep an eye out for other similar expos, such as WonderCon at the end of March, or Anime Expo in early July. You have plenty of time to work up that unique and amazing DIY costume that everyone will want to take a picture of.

The Los Angeles Cookie Con & Sweets Show returned to the Los Angeles Convention Center this past weekend for its third year running. As the name suggests, this event featured all manners of sweets and desserts, but especially cookies and anything related to cookies. From traditional cookies to cookie sandwiches to cookie ice cream to cookie cups, if it had to do with cookies, attendees would find it here. This year’s event setup largely resembled last year – in the first year, it took place at the Pasadena Convention Center. Due to overwhelming popularity, they moved it to the LA Convention Center, expanded the event to two days, and tripled the ticket price. However, last year’s event STILL sold out. This year, admission went up to $60, and it still appeared as though they sold out once again.

Although now in their third year, it appears that some things never change. For the most part, the organizers have solved the problem of most of the lines. Last year, attendees had to wait in a line outside the convention center to even enter, and then once inside had to wait in a line to scan their tickets, and then wait in another line to get into the expo hall where the event took place. All of that did not exist this time – what lines did remain resided within the expo halls. Despite the best efforts to qualm all the line-waiting that attendees did, no one could avoid the massive lines for the vendors once inside the expo hall. Once inside, all the attendees faced lines upon lines for the few vendors that had samples. At this Cookie Con, less than half the vendors had actual samples for attendees to try – most of the vendors set up to sell things, such as products or services. Basically, attendees paid $60 in order to wait in lines to spend even more money. At this rate, eating $60’s worth of food would only occur if this event had a quarter of the amount of attendees so that everyone could efficiently reach the front of lines. In reality, it took half an hour of waiting in each line to finally get a sample of a cookie or some other dessert. On the other hand, the few vendors that had savory foods instead of sweets did not have bad lines, so I could easily get food samples such as jerky and tamales.

I fully expect Cookie Con to return next year, and likely with increased admission once again. When Southern California has food fests similar to this that cost like $175 or more to get in and sell out all the time, Cookie Con can just keep raising their prices, and would still sell out. If paying exorbitant admission fees to see these vendors sounds bad to you, just independently support the businesses on your own, such as Maya Brigadeiro or Bad Pickle Tees. The Cookie Con site (linked above) has a full list of all the vendors. By directly supporting the vendors, you omit the admission fees of going to an event, and you get to select what you want to see without the hassle of dealing with crowds of people and the dozens of strollers taking up space. Plenty of other dessert events will come up soon in the greater Los Angeles area, so check out my weekly events post every Monday to see how you can satisfy your sweet tooth.

The 3rd Annual Los Angeles Cookie Con & Sweets Show returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center this weekend. As the name suggests, this all-ages event features all manners of sweets and desserts, but especially cookies and anything related to cookies. From traditional cookies to cookie sandwiches to cookie ice cream to cookie cups, if it has to do with cookies, attendees will find it here. The price of admission actually went down this year from last year’s $50 admission. However, they have introduced multiple levels of attendance, from as low as $20 up to $60. I do not understand why, as they sold out last year even with the $50 admission. Parking at the convention center costs $20 per vehicle.

As anyone can guess, this event draws massive attention from the local populace. As of the time of this post, Saturday has already completely sold out. For anyone planning to attend Saturday, expect wall-to-wall people with long lines at every booth. I highly suggest early arrival, as the line to get in to the building takes about half an hour to clear through, and then you have to face another line to enter the convention hall. Once inside the actual event, you will have to endure even more lines to get to the vendors. I hope you bring your patience this weekend, as well as comfortable shoes, and cash since you will have to pay for the food you consume here. By the way, very few of the vendors actually bring samples – the vendors need to make a profit, after all!

Do some research about the businesses that will attend Cookie Con. Local businesses such as Velvet Rope Bake Shop or Bad Pickle Tees often set up at other cheaper, less crowded events. The Cookie Con site (linked above) has a full list of all the vendors. By directly supporting the vendors, you omit the middleman, and you get to select what you want without the hassle of dealing with crowds of people and the dozens of strollers taking up space. Plenty of other dessert events will come up soon in the greater Los Angeles area, so check out my weekly events post every Monday to see how you can satisfy your sweet tooth.

The 2017 Long Beach Comic Expo returns to the Long Beach Convention Center this weekend, taking place over two days in all its glory. Returning to Hall C and the Pacific Promenade area, hundreds of local comic book writers and artists will travel here to exhibit their merchandise, art, books, toys, and more. Eager fans can gain access to the entire show floor for $30 per person for Saturday, $25 for Sunday, or $50 for both days, with children 10 and under entering free with a paid adult admission. In addition to the expo on the show floor, various workshops and seminars will occur in the surrounding meeting rooms for those who register ahead of time. Diehard fans will recognize the various celebrities sitting in for meet & greet and autograph sessions.

Some general tips to make your visit pleasant:

  • Peak time: 12pm-2pm on Saturday, as you will encounter the most amount of cosplayers at this time
  • Wear comfortable shoes, as you will walk a lot.
  • I advise staying for as long as possible to see more and interact with other attendees. Also have enough energy to last the entire time.
  • While mostly indoors, a lot of the cosplayers like to hang out outside for photo shoots. Regardless, it would behoove you to dress for chilly or possibly rainy weather.
  • Have extra cash available for food as well as merchandise if you think you will buy something inside the expo.
  • Get into character! Even if you cannot dress up, cosplayers love to act their part and interact with others.
  • Expect to take a lot of photos, so bring an extra camera or power bank for smartphones.
  • I know we normally tell our kids to not talk to strangers, but at this event, attendees encourage others to chat with the cosplayers, especially children.

Even to those not interested in comics, everyone should attend a comic expo/con just to see everyone dressing up in costume. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into a staple for any sort of expo in this industry, and the fans proudly don their best gear for this expo.