Dallas Geek Reviews Fan Expo Dallas 2018
So...we have finally run out of videos about this year's Fan Expo Dallas! No more interviews, no more convention footage, & no more torturing Mike with another new tattoo. Now, all that's left is to talk about our opinions on how it went. I know, still SO relevant a full two months after the fact, right? Well, it turns out that it is. We are in the middle of convention season & there are new conventions popping up all the time. For better or worse, Fan Expo Dallas is the largest convention around, so it will continue to set the standard that most other cons around Texas will look to as their example. While we have no illusions that they intend to listen to any opinions other than their own when choosing the direction for their next outing, the other, smaller cons have a chance to learn from Fan Expo's triumphs as much as their mistakes.
To begin with, we really did have a great deal of fun at Fan Expo Dallas this year. It was one of the most social Fan Expo's that either of us has attended in several years. While it is obvious that we were talking to practically everyone, so, of course we would see it like that, it was much more than our experience. Everywhere we looked, it seemed like people were stopping to chat or meet someone new. Whether that was due to more things like the tattoo area being available for people to hang out around or because there were significantly fewer popular panels that had people rushing off to see them, there was definitely a more social tone to this year's con.
The biggest improvement, however, was their decision to move the con to the wider section of the convention center, Halls D-F. This actually gave everyone space to move around, unlike last year, where people were literally forced to be shoulder to shoulder in the main hallway, just to get from the exhibit hall to the main ballroom for Q&A panels. The only miss in this area, though, was that they chose to use part of the exhibit hall for the main stage, rather than giving it its own devoted room. This both took away from space where more vendors & activities could have gone & significantly added to the noise pollution, which was already fairly rough at times just from the number of people in the exhibit hall. If that one adjustment had been made, it would have improved the overall convention 10-fold!
The other prominent feature that was great, but still had room to be improved was the cosplay area. They were given more space this year & were placed away from the main flow of traffic to avoid congestion, which was great & gave the area more room to breath. However, it was missing one prominent feature that has actually been included in years past. It was missing the cosplay creation side of the community. While they gladly made space for the well known cosplayers, cosplay groups, & cosplay background arrangements for photo-ops, they were completely devoid of any booths were you could learn about cosplay creation. There were no SFX artists doing make-up demonstrations: showing how to make realistic zombie bite marks or how to correctly apply facial prosthetics. Nor were there were haunted houses with make-up booths offering full ghoul & vampire makeovers. While this may seem like a non-issue to some people, for others, these kind of vendors act as their introduction to trying out cosplay for the first time. And if you don't think that the cosplay community is worth catering to, you clearly don't know who spends most of the money buying stuff at these conventions...
Overall, while we may have our issues with the details of how the convention was executed, we still greatly enjoyed the experience. We clearly have our own, differing opinions from Fan Expo for what should be changed about the convention, but that’s only because we deeply enjoy the con & only want to see it improve & get bigger with each new year.
Photo & Cosplay Credits: