Venue: Exhibition Centre Liverpool, King’s Dock, Port of Liverpool,
This review was Saturday only
The layout was good. The traders and signing area was big. Lots of stuff to see and do, take pictures, stuff to buy, but I’ll speak about traders in a moment. There were places to sit but because of the number of people there they went pretty quickly. Which is not a bad thing it just happens. I did some exploration I did find a quiet room which I think was a great idea. I wish that they had said more about it, but I understand that if it said more people would use it and it would be busy and not quiet. The other sitting area was mostly in the walkways and stairs and on the way to the auditorium which was a great placing. In regard to the sitting in the signing/ traders area, there was some but too little of them for the cafe. There was an area above the cafe which had a great view of the con.
The Gaming area
The gaming area was on what could be seen as the second floor or floor 1.5. The area was small. I was a little disappointed at that. The games sitting area was varied which was nice, and I found two side rooms for fighting and Minecraft. The smash tournament was odd as they changed it from 2 pm to 1 pm. To sign up there was a piece of paper that said you would need to speak to someone. Which was difficult as I could not find said person. It could have been promoted better to feel like a big deal. The set was just three screens which could have been tricky.
Most of the panel ran on time with 5 minutes over on some which is not a problem. They did cancel 2 panels because the guests could not make it which was a disappointment but understandable given recent developments.
During the panel, the host was very good. SoCal Val was professional and friendly. And there was a guy in auditorium 3 who was good as well.
The panel was varied with different stuff from Brian Blessed, David Harbour, David Jason frank, American pie cast, to a surprise panel from Sabrina the Teenage Witch to the never-ending story cast. Also, a nice surprise was you could watch the panels from a big screen in the trader/signing area. Which I thought is a cool thing.
The traders were very good with a lot of things to buy from drawings ( local to national) artist to professional comic book artist, you had pop figures, masks, body pillows, anime figures, fudge, bits to eat and drink for more adult attendees. As well as replica sword, engravable bullets and of course comic. If I had more money I could defiantly have spent a lot here!
The location was easy to walk from the city centre, it was on the docks which in Liverpool is very recognisable. Though I did not see any noticeable signs to tell people where to go for the event. We walked from the hotel. I would say if some people did not know then I could see how it could be difficult to find it.
The gaming area needs improvements it just felt thrown together with no sense of entrainment or interaction. Maybe in the future may be a stage or somewhere people could watch/take part, another idea a more structured timeline an example would be 12-2 is (insert game).
Security could be improved as we walked in with bags and no one checked them.
Also, I would say the layout for the line for photo ops was oddly placed. If someone was popular the queue would go the length of the trader’s area which is a little annoying because it was difficult to get the traders area.
Overall it was a really good convention. Small improvements would help, but still a really good convention. I would recommend it as an alternative to the MCM and show masters.